Newsletter #223


This issue is going out quickly and, as you’ve probably gathered, not on Tuesday as stated last Thursday. The reason is that I’ve just received news that Ball has resigned! This is as reported on TV though I have to stress that it has not been confirmed by the club!

Please send match reports etc. for Thursday’s issue.

This one reaches 910!

Next game, Charlton Athletic at home, Tuesday 3rd September 1996


Please accept that this is hard for me to write. I have just come back from the Stoke City game and I can honestly say that I have never felt so despondent about my beloved Manchester City as I do at this present moment. Make no mistake, we were truly awful. Where do we go from here?

Firstly, I was delighted to see that Frontzeck was to take no part in today’s proceedings and was happy (yes happy!) to see that his place had been taken by Alan Kernaghan. Onto the game then.

We started off quite poorly and unfortunately things didn’t improve. Surely we should be taking the game to the sort of teams we will encounter this season, home or away? Well we didn’t and eventually we paid dearly for it. Two goals against us in five minutes speaks for itself. The first came from a rebound from a shot that Eike Immel failed to hold and was gleefully slotted in by someone called Forsyth, no not Bruce and his enormous chin, but someone who was signed in the summer, apparently. Next up was a goal by none other than a certain Mr Mike Sheron (remember him?). This all came about when Eike decided to throw the ball out when it was in his possession rather than kick it. He put us under undue pressure and Sheron won the ball. He continued into our area and luckily (or unluckily) the ball bounced off him and into our goal. 2-0!

Not much improvement from us until half time.

For the first time that I can remember the Blues finally called for Ball to be sacked. All join in now, it goes something like this … Ball out, Ball out, Ball out, Ball out (get the gist?).

Onto the second half then. Paul Dickov and Buster Phillips entered the fray and it wasn’t too long before our new signing made an impact. Dickov burst through only to be brought down on the edge of the area. Obviously the free kick was wasted. We pressured for a while and it finally paid off when one of the Stoke City players panicked and attempted a backpass that was woefully short of the ‘keeper, Uwe was quick to react and rounded the ‘keeper to pull one back. Go on the Blues!

Sadly it was not to be. Uwe had a header cleared off the line and Nicky Summerbee saw a good effort crash back off the post but we couldn’t make the pressure count. Final score: Stoke 2 – City 1.

Alan Ballache (sorry, Alan Ball) was on local radio afterwards and said that he was happy with our performance apart from the mad fifteen minutes where we gave away two goals in five minutes. What? We were embarrassing for the first 45 minutes and we only marginally improved in the second half. This is totally unacceptable from a team that are obviously far superior, skill wise, to the absolute rubbish that we are playing against this season. All we need now is a decent manager to organise what we have and we will win this division without any trouble. Incidentally, Ball also blamed the poor performance on the local press whipping everyone up into a frenzy and that was why we aren’t playing very well. If you can make sense of that you can knit fog. Man of the match, by the way, without a shadow of doubt was Alan Kernaghan. A sterling performance.

Stay Blue, Despondent and suicidal. TM


City have now signed 23-year-old Paul Dickov for a fee reported as £1 million on teletext and £1.3 million in the MUEN. He goes straight into the squad for the trip to Stoke.

The MUEN reports that it has been deluged with letters from City fans demanding that Alan Ball be sacked following the incredibly poor showing at Bolton on Tuesday. With Ball even less popular at Stoke than he is in Manchester, it should make for an interesting atmosphere at the Victoria Ground!

The Players’ Union and the Football League have started talking to each other again following the PFA’s decision to delay balloting its members about a strike. However, after 5 hours of talks, a settlement doesn’t seem any closer yet.

Paul Howarth (


Reported 10 minutes ago on local radio (10:50 p.m 26/8/96) Alan Ball has tonight met with Francis Lee and offered his resignation. This has been accepted.



In today’s Daily Star (I think), there was yet another story regarding Andy Dibble and his sex life. According to the paper, he was having an affair with one of the City office staff and one day was up to no good at her house when her husband returned to find a pair of trousers and a pair of underpants in his front room on the floor. Looking around the house he then found Dibble with his hands over the only bit of his body that gets any exercise these days. The only thing he could think of saying to her husband when discovered was “It’s not what it looks like.”

Geoffrey St George (


I posted in the last issue that Port Vale had re-thought their policy regarding their home fixture with Man City and were going to make tickets available to the club. This news was given to me by the ticket office manager.

Well it seems it was rather premature. As of last Saturday morning Port Vale’s position remained unchanged and it was a ‘pay on the turnstile’ policy.

In the meantime the club have received 1,500 tickets from Crystal Palace which went on sale to regular S/T holders on Saturday morining (24.8), all seats, priced £14.00 Adults, £8.00 – Jnrs/OAPs.

Mark Burgess (


Birmingham City chairman David Sullivan has been linked with a six million pound investment into City this weekend (i.e. he wanted to buy the shares of Stephen Boler and Peter Swales’ widow). Although at first sight this would seem to contravene Football League rules, Sullivan insisted that it was not a takeover bid and that he would not want a directorship. He saw City as a club with a big potential and as a good investment. However, Paul Hince, talking on a GMR phone-in, said that Sullivan was also interested in Greenalls’ shares, which could take his shareholding to around the 50% mark. In January it will be the third anniversary of Francis Lee’s takeover; remember that Lee said that if he hadn’t improved things at City in 3 years he’d go. Some of the board members relieved of their duties in the close season could take City to court. It turns out that they were sent letters of resignation and told to sign them. Five out of the seven refused, as board members should be “voted off” in the same way that they are “voted on”. With the Arab deal still not dead and buried, it seems that some major changes in the boardroom may take place in the weeks ahead.

Alan Ball has been putting up the barricades to defend his position after City’s latest defeat at Stoke. Last week he accused the media (in particular the MUEN) of trying to stir things up and get him sacked, and following chants for his dismissal by the fans at Stoke he said “what do they know anyway?” On Sunday he appeared to have calmed down a bit and was pleading for more time and patience from the fans whilst he finds the right formula. “I know who my enemies are but I’m asking the fans to be patient. I promise I’ll produce a winning team.” I think he should take a good look at himself personally.

The Mole


Following the Bolton match and Ball’s reluctance to speak to anyone other than his wife I decided to compile a list of all the players that Ball has sold and the ones he still has left to sell. I assume he still has to sell them as they don’t get a look in at first team level. Also I’ve included a short list of those awaiting to ‘claim’ their first team place after injury:

Gone are: Tony Coton, Andy Hill, Terry Phelan, Keith Curle, Michel Vonk, Paul Walsh Niall Quinn, Garry Flitcroft, Carl Griffiths, David Brightwell and Fitzroy Simpson.

Still to sell: Peter Beagrie, Andy Dibble and Alan Kernaghan.

Injured: Richard Edghill, Rae Ingram and John Foster.

Now I wish to quote from the very first issue of the City magazine in which there was an interview with Ball and Lee on City’s squad prior to the start of the 95-96 season.

…but he (Ball) comes here and sees 40-odd players, some who arereasonably talented and some who are exceptional. He’s been taken abacka bit because the club has so many quality players.
When I offered Alan the job I gave him a list of all the squad togetherwith my opinions of each of them, and I told him how many very talentedplayers we have here. He probably thought “well he’s bound to say that,isn’t he”, but he soon realised that I wasn’t exaggerating. After a weekhe came to see me and said “you’re spot on, you know; there is so muchtalent here.”
However, I will not close the door on any of the players; whilst theyare here with me they will all be available for selection to the first team.

For those of you in possession of the squad sheet at the end of April 1995, you will see that in addition to those sold by Ball, you also will find the likes of Gaudino gone, Aide Mike gone and Paul Lake retired. That accounts for a total of 23 players either leaving/injured/forgotten in just over 16 months. In fact, of that squad of 28 players it’s fair to say only three are playing each week, Rösler, Summerbee and Lomas. So Ball did admit that there was talent at the club, so much so that it was so easy to sell (or ignore). Bargain basement blues…

Lee was obsessed with reducing the wage bill and the number of playing staff at Maine Road. We can’t deny Ball’s done that can we? So at least he’s achieved something during his stay at City. So it’s hats off to Alan Ball and his barmy blue way of thinking! Lets hope we sell this team as fast as we sold the last one and eventually buy some decent replacement players this time!

Ball Out and Forever Blue, Tony Shaw (


At times like these it’s good to know you can rely on the City magazine to offer a bit of hope and humour.

In September’s edition there’s an article called “…and after all, you’re my crystal Ball”, in which several ways of looking into the future are used to predict that we will be promoted this season. Anyway the quote of the piece has to be by a Scottish “psychic” who explains “I’m seeing a lot of love and happiness surrounding Alan in the future.” Now to me this can mean only one of two things. Either the Scottish psychic has been drinking to much Buckfast wine or there are going to be a lot of happy City fans in a few weeks and one unemployed football manager! I know which one I’d prefer.

Finally, somebody asked about Moonchester in the last MCIVTA. The rumour is that it’s Gerry Creaney in that suit, because FL told him he had to start earning the money City were paying him! Maybe Summerbee (Jnr) will step in should Gerry go to pastures new.

Here’s looking forward to a good performance against Stoke, and a bit of team spirit!

Adam Houghton (


Living in the West Indies, as I do, my only real contact with the wonderful world of Maine Road is via this bloody computer thingy. My typing skills are a touch rusty and I usually end up at completely the wrong place. I often delete anything that I really wanted to save. The more I try to do the right thing, the more I seem to do the wrong thing. Looks like me and Mr Ball have a lot in common! On a lighter note though, which is more than I could find in MCIVTA 222, whilst playing “Championship Manager 2”, I managed to beat Bolton 4-0; unfortunately I fielded a side of players who don’t actually exist.

It looks like Mr. Ball and I have matched up once more.

Too much drama. I’m heading back to the beach to watch the ladies play Volleyball. The score doesn’t matter but Gio could never match the entertainment value.

Dave Lees, Grand Cayman (


Now that the emphasis of our season has already shifted away from actually winning anything, am I the only one out there to have detected a shift of direction in management style at Maine Road?

With Ball and Dickov on the books, how long can it be before we put in a bid for German striker Kuntz, thus ensuring a complete set of genitalia on the pitch at all times? 😉

Nigel Kendall (


Is Alan Ball trying to increase his stature by filling the squad with players smaller than himself? The diminutive Kinkladze and Phillips are now to be joined by the equally compact sized Dickov the same week mighty Quinn is sold.

Should we rename ourselves Miniature City?

Martin Styles (


I knew that the reports from all of you would prove to be important and after two games I am more convinced that ever that the only way I can keep up with what is going on is through MCIVTA.

I know this raises the question of why anyone who doesn’t have to know what is going on would want to know what is going on. It seems to be a very depressing state of affairs. even after two games. Hindsight is not really worth much but if the team was not good enough to avoid relegation how could the same group of players hope to come straight back up?

I was sad to read about Quinn – though good luck to him.

Out before Bonfire Night; very possible. I took a look at the next few fixtures and they don’t look that easy at all. I am convinced Ball is after Dickov ’cause he thinks the lad is actually a star Bulgarian player.

I wonder if it will come down to this: Gio leaving or Ball leaving. I don’t envy Ball’s position if the club sells Gio – after all we need some hope for the future. I don’t mean to suggest that Gio is the answer to everything but he is a symbol of what is possible – i.e. good players at Maine Road. If he goes I think we lose hope of that.

I was (still am?) willing to give Ball a chance – but there is nothing in his track record that suggests he knows how to get teams playing well/successfully. Can you imagine any other profession where you would be hired after being asked to leave four or five previous jobs… well, ok, Cabinet Minister, but other than that.

Sorry for the unstructured thoughts. I feel helpless all this way away but I don’t think I could stand the stress and strain of actually watching live. I will be over in February so will begin taking valium around January!

John Pearson (


Just wanted to say how much I appreciate this service… Stuck down under in Sydney, it has been hard to get any gossip and info about my beloved City… thanks.

I’m dismayed to read all these reports from the Bolton game… what the hell is going on over there? I was quietly optomistic before the start of the season, we had kept hold of Kinky (who I have never seen play live but can’t wait) and I thought we had a great chance of bouncing back. Now look at us, we are becoming the laughing stock of the league. Thank God for Oasis or we wouldn’t get any coverage at all.

I can’t believe we have sold big Niall; one of my fondest memories was watching him score against Derby then step into the goalkeeping jersey and save a penalty at the other end… This man sweated blue and I feel that Ball honestly didn’t take passion like that into consideration.

It sounds to me that the team to a man have no time for AB… I just hope they have enough pride to do their best for City and I hope they are purposely playing badly in the hope they bring about the early departure of AB from the manager’s post.

As for who his replacement should be, I can’t see Kenny Dalglish coming to Maine Road; he is a winner but he has always had financial backing and I don’t think we have that, George Graham could be the man, he has always liked having foreign players in his team and we have enough of those.

I don’t know if its worth starting a “Ball Out” campaign , look how long it took to get rid of Swales!! On a final note does anyone have the address of the Oasis Fan Club or their managment? The band are coming down under in November, it would be great if we could let them know there is a Man City Supporters’ Club down here.

Matthew Spence (


We were better today than against Bolton but we were still a disgrace. If I was FL, not many players would be getting paid this week. I was going to write in a match report but why depress everyone? The only few good points out of the game were:- Uwe is off the mark; hopefully he can carry on scoring. I was a bit disappointed with Dickov as repacment for Quinn but he looked a good battler. I hope he does well for us.

If anyone is thinking of going to Port Vale then don’t go straight home after the match as Hanley in Stoke on Trent has some great pubs, and a club called The Void which is a little expensive but a great night out.

P.S. Where was Moonchester at Bolton and Stoke?

Stay Blue as things can only get better, Ross (c/o


Only two games into the season and Alan Ball is defending himself from criticism that he is incompetent. Personally I think this criticism has come far too late. He replaced a man who was criticised because his record was considered poor – yet he had never managed a club to relegation. AB has only avoided it with one. He has sold some of our best, most consistent players, who else would try to improve a team by selling a proven international centre forward and an England squad member, and replace them with other teams’ reserve players?

If anyone heard at the end of last season Niall Quinn being interviewed by the BBC several minutes after the club was relegated, can they have any doubt about the horrendous way this man has been treated? Despite scoring a goal every two games when picked he was consistently left out of the side and his future at the club was constantly questioned. He only started about 26 games last season, less than half, and still finished up top scorer at the club. In his interview he was honest and dignified. He talked to the reporters about pride and dignity, and the desire to prove the critics wrong by being promoted this season. After proving his worth again in pre-season he is then sold to Sunderland, where he starts off with two goals in two games. This man should not have been thrown out, if anything he should have been club captain. I hope that he goes on to take Sunderland to some trophy this season – along with Peter Reid, another man who has been abandoned by the club.

Alan Ball has now produced his own team at Manchester City, and if anyone is to blame when they put in a poor performance it is him. If they are not good enough or motivated enough it is he that has brought them to the club – if they are good enough it is he that has failed to allow them to show it. This is his team – he should be judged by its performances. For heaven’s sake the man was happy when we were beaten 6-0 by Liverpool because he saw how football should be played. It is nice to see football played well, but it should be by his own team, not the opposition.

It is awful to see second rate footballers from abroad trot out in the colours of Manchester City and play appallingly badly; it is worse when home grown talent much better than them is not in the team.

The only redeeming feature of his time as manager has been the performances of the two Georgians, and how much did he have to do with their arrival? Of the last three managers he has the worst record, and the club has been riddled with disharmony. Even when Lee and Swales were at the height of their struggle it was noticeable that under Brian Horton the players kept 100% together. Under much better circumstances AB has failed to achieve this.

When Manchester City played Notts County in the F.A. Cup two seasons ago Uwe scored a hat trick, and when he scored he celebrated by hugging the manager. He scored goals for the manager – he played for the manager. When City played Newcastle at Newcastle they won 2-0 and that performance was achieved by players being absolutely committed to the team doing absolutely anything to stop the opposition, just getting their bodies in the way of the ball.

Who can see this happening with Alan Ball? At no point, even when they needed to win to stay up has such character been even hinted at; Ball should go and he should go now.

S Al-Hamdani (


I am writing to support everything that Matt Varley said in MCITVA 222.

I wrote last year in Ball and Lee’s defence saying give them a chance; when they came to the club they said it would take 3-5 years to turn the club around, we cannot afford to sack the manager, etc etc…

Well I was wrong! This moron Ball is going to do something that the Rags have never been able to do and that is totally break this club! His “I know better, everyone else is wrong, I won the World cup on my own” attitude is going to rip the heart out of this club. If all he wants is robots to do his will then he will have to take the blame when the robots turn out to be ***t. We have become a one-player team just like Southampton, if Kinky/Le Tosser play we/they win, but close them down and the robots do not know how to play as “the master” has not told them what to do. Also, tell me what is wrong with getting a formation and sticking to it? It works well enough for the Rags, Liverpool etc. How can he or we expect the players to make those 40 yard passes to feet when they have no idea where anyone should be?

Ball has lost any support from me when, after the Ispwich game, he went on GMR (local BBC radio) and then later before the Bolton game on BBC1 TV and criticised the fans for wanting the team to go forward! We should be running at and turning teams inside out, but know “the master” wants us to play 6 passes to each other, allowing the other team to get back just so we can (a) give it to Kink (who will at have 3 players on him at the time), or (b) pass it to Fronz (I onced played for Germany) hick to lose it or give away a free kick.

When the likes of Ball start to have a go at us (after totally ***sing off everyone else and taking us down… keep it in the corner lads!) then the gloves are off. We got rid of Swales, we can get rid of this prat too. It’s in your hands, write to the club, call the club, put messages on the web, show your banners at the match, make your voice heard, there is Rioch, Graham and now Dalglish to take over, get him out before it’s too late!

And before anyone says about the team, that this atmosphere will not help them, I say this team is not a team, they cannot get any better with him in charge, it’s for the team and the club I am doing this for, because if we do not act now we will (a) lose Kinky (you can see he cannot and will not carry the whole club) (b) be in so much s*#t that no-one will be able or willing to help us. Do you want Ball in charge for another year?

Yours still and always Blue, Tony “the tattooed donkey” Hulme (


Judging from MCIVTA 222, I’m not the only one feeling somewhat pessimistic about City’s forthcoming 1st Division Championship. Matt Varley is right, Ball should go as soon as possible.

How many players has Ball now fallen out with? There’s been Rösler, Quinn, Brown, Beagrie, and I’m sure there must be more. We’re going nowhere if we don’t have a manager that can motivate the team. He’s sold, amongst others, Quinn, who has had two great games for Sunderland already and who I would have thought is exactly the sort of player City needed to keep this season, and not bought anybody, even though there are clearly some large gaps to be filled in the squad (a replacement for Frontzeck, plus a couple of wingers and a good striker). But most of all, City’s first two performances showed that he hasn’t learned anything from last season. There are plenty of good players, they just don’t gel into a team, and I don’t think they will as long as Ball is manager.

I agree that City should get away from the old habit of sacking the manager whenever things start to go wrong, but in this case the manager just doesn’t have what it takes. Now is the time to do it, while there are a few good managers available – Bruce Rioch or George Graham would both do a good job, and it’s possible that they might even accept it. I don’t think we’ve got a hope in hell of getting Dalglish. Whoever, let’s hope it happens before Ball adds another to his impressive list of relegations and we end up playing Wycombe Wanderers, having to enter the first round of the Coca Cola Cup and adding the Auto Windscreens Shield to the trophy cabinet.

Staying Blue, however depressing that may be… Julian Griffiths (


I’m obviously not the only one to have noticed the sudden departure of the Blackburn Rovers Director of Football. Had he grown bored with his behind the scenes rôle? Is he looking for a new challenge? Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

I have tried to remain optimistic during the off-season. We managed to hold on to Kinkladze despite being relegated to a division clearly not worthy of his talents. I told myself that it was probably for the best all ’round if Niall left. He and Rösler didn’t seem to be turning into the lethal strike-force that we had hoped for. We even won our first game of the season.

As has been pointed out, most of the current team have been brought in since Ball’s arrival. He has now had a full year to try to shape a side to match his vision. He appears to have made some reasonably good signings with limited finances. But one year on he has not created a team that looks capable of success in Division One let alone the Premiership. “Gutless”, and “passionless” was how City’s performance was described against Bolton. Kinkladze apparently looked “dejected”. This is no way to return after the summer break. Why aren’t the team fired up for it? Why aren’t they looking forward to taking the Division One title by storm? If Ball reckons Georgi is going to cause havoc to Hoddle’s England team, how come he can’t manage to get him to do the same against the likes of Bolton? What’s the point in having one of the most gifted players in the entire league if the Manager’s ‘system’ can’t cope with a bit of man marking?

Phew, couldn’t stop myself there. It all sort of burst out. Anyway, back to Mr Dalglish. OK so we haven’t got an Uncle Jack to pay for a new team but having Dalglish as a manager would surely bring in a fair bit of investment? Maybe having a miserable Scotsman as your manager is the only way to win anything around here!

I wouldn’t say “no” to Bruce Rioch either.

Tom Rhodes (


This is my first contribution to MCIVTA, so first of all I want to thank Ashley and all the contributors for making this such a great list. This really is a lifeline especially when away from Manchester in places like Cambridge, or right now, Aberystwyth. It is great to find out in such an easy way what other City fans think.

One of the things that has spurred me to write this is hearing what a United fan said this evening on 606 on Radio 5 about City fans actually being the bane of the club, and bringing it down by not having faith or patience in managers and making life more difficult for them. While I disagree and even find this remark a bit offensive, this is something I have actually been thinking about anyway. Last year when we were doing really badly at the beginning of the season, I wrote Alan Ball a letter of support, mainly because even if I didn’t feel 100% about him, I did at least feel 100% certain that another change of manager so soon would not actually help anyway, in fact it might even make things worse by causing even more disruption and undermining further the confidence of the club. What I felt was the the whole club needed to rally round.

And to our credit, I think we were patient and stuck with Bally even after relegation, which is more about the way Peter Reid and Brian Horton were forced out, though of course this was not the doing of the fans but of the board. I went to the Ipswich match, and with an attendance of over 29,000 the atmosphere was amazing. This is after relegation from the Premiership too! It is things like this that make me proud to be a City fan: it is part of my Mancunian identity, a very important part and I have no desire to change that! So we, the fans should not be blamed.

Why is the team underperforming so badly then, and why did it do so last year? I do not know the answer to this question, but if it is true that Alan Ball’s managerial style is undermining the confidence of the players, as was hinted by Niall Quinn, for example, on the radio last year after relegation, when he said what lay behind the terrible start to the season was Bally shouting at the players all the time to change their way of playing, then Ball has to go. I feel a bit awkward saying this, especially after writing Alan Ball a letter of support last year, but for me, the bottom line is that this, irrespective of results, is not an acceptable way to deal with people, whether in a football club, in Cabinet, factory, school etc. It seems too, according to what I have heard from other fans, that Bally seems to have repeated this very tactic after the Bolton match. The managerial style may not be the only factor though, and we should not have any illusions that it is… sooner or later City must end this high manager-turnover! But it does seem to be a major factor now.

The tragedy is that this is precisely how we lose our good players. Through loss of confidence, lack of motivation, they stop playing well, get in a rut, stop getting on with the manager, who then, and possibly some fans too, starts thinking they are a liability. If we are not careful this could happen to Kinkladze – I hope not!

I’d really appreciate if any other fans could say what they think about the views I have expressed here. Finally, does anyone think that the departure of Paul Walsh might have affected Rösler’s form (possibly Beagrie’s absence too)?

Oliver Currie, University of Cambridge; Proud Mancunian and City fan(


Well after travelling down to Stoke yesterday I’m even more convinced that he has to go and quick! Seriously worried is what we are.

I was dozing on the coach coming home but someone said he’d been having a go at the fans after the Stoke game. How the man has the gall I don’t know. We took just short of 5,000 fans down there, around which about 3-4,000 are S/T holders. Does he honestly expect us all to go home passively after the start to the season we’re having? Even the home win against Ipswich was less than impressive.

The flip side though is that while he’s mouthing off attacking the fans, what little support he has left on the board will quickly evaporate. The support is the only thing keeping the club alive at the present.

Will Frannie do the right thing though?

If the fans keep making their feelings known the way they are doing then I honstly don’t think he has a choice. They’ll be very vocal at the Charlton match I’m sure. The club isn’t structured for a prolonged life in Division 1. At best we’ll need to win every home game and at least 10 away matches to go back up so time is no longer a luxury with them. Yeah, I think the board will act soon.

Mark Burgess (


I was on holiday for the first two games of the season, thank God; today I listened to the commentary on GMR and it sounded to me that City were all over Stoke for the first twenty minutes and then disaster: it’s oh so predictable.

I have a theory about Alan Ball… Big heart, a lot of fight, a lot of bottle, aggressive sod… Just like Alex Ferguson but Ferguson has sometning Ball lacks… a brain! We sell Quinn, a class player with height, and who do we buy to pair up with the vertically challenged duo up front? Dickov, another Bloody Dwarf. Maybe Ball doesn’t like big guys!

I heard that relations between Hince at the MEN and Ball were cool but Friday’s back page attacking Ball was Hince’s retaliation… and today in his post match whinge on GMR, Ball referred to the story and said he now knew who the enemy was; what about the other teams in Division One Alan?

It was obvious that Franny Lee’s first choice for manager was Rioch; Horton was sacked early in the closed season but it took an eternity until Ball was appointed. Well, Rioch is now available so after today’s performance against Stoke it can only be a matter of weeks; if Ball falls to win the next two home matches he has got to go.

Ian Ferguson (


To be announced!


Contributions: Ashley –
Subscriptions: Adam –
Club Questions: Stephen –

Thanks to John, Dave, Matthew, S Al-Hamdani, Martin, Tony (x3), Tom, Julian, Adam, Paul, Nigel, Oliver, Mark, The Mole, Ian,Ross & Geoff.

The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribersand there is no intention to represent these opinions as being thoseof Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies anduniversities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not inany way whatsoever connected to the club or any other relatedorganisation and is simply a group of supporters using this mediumas a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.

Ashley Birch,
Newsletter #223