Newsletter #234

Plenty of action off the field but so far nothing concrete has actually materialised; surely something has to happen soon on the club, manager and playing staff front? In addition to the news, there’s plenty of varied opinion: ranging from City’s woeful PR through to Bill Gates’ empire; also, a Why Blue and the latest on MCIVTA FC.

The footie match against the Internet Rags is going ahead on the 13th October (Sunday) in Manchester. If you fancy playing (especially a goalie) then please contact Martin Ford ( who’s coordinating it. I guess more people will be available now, as university term has just started.

P.S. We’ve just passed the 1,000 subscribers mark!

P.P.S. the W.B.A. home game will now take place on Wednesday 27th November.

Next game, Queens Park Rangers away, Saturday 12th October 1996


Everton had a £2 million bid for Uwe Rösler of Manchester City, rejected last weekend.

The beleaguered City board indicated yesterday however, that if the offer was increased to £3 million, it would accept. Royle will table such a bid on his return to Merseyside today, with the deal likely to be completed by the weekend.

From the Times newspaper Tuesday 1 October.

John Shearer (


Frannie was interviewed on GMR today and these were the salient points:

  1. The ‘so-called’ approaches to Donachie and Coppell are pure press invention.
  2. Everton have made an offer for Rösler but have yet to come back(presumably with a higher offer).
  3. Kinky is ‘happy as a sandboy’ and was as astonished as anyone else bythe press revelations (Daily Mirror) that he had asked to leave the club.
  4. City will not be buying any players until the new management is inplace; he didn’t say how this would affect Wassall and McGoldrick.
  5. The new manager (team) should be in place for the QPR game.
  6. Lee has had talks with Guterman. The interviewer claimed that Gutermanhad told the press earlier in the day that he was continuing with the bid -Lee knew nothing of this. Later on, GMR reported that Guterman had saidthat the only thing that was ‘off’ was Tuesday’s press conference! AChester City spokesman claimed that a deal was still on the cards.
  7. Lee stated that there were other investors interested.



A trio of stories in Tuesday’s papers to report: first of all Gio Kinkladze is alleged to have asked for a move and that Liverpool and Barcelona could be ready to make £5 million bids. This has once again been denied by City, who said that in any case the asking price would be closer to £10 million as Gio still has two years left on his contract.

Secondly it was suggested that the Mark Guterman takeover/investment bid had fallen through. What had actually happened was that the press conference scheduled for after Chester’s Tuesday evening game had been postponed. The possibility of Chester becoming a nursery club for City is still on, but no announcements will be made until there is actually something concrete to say.

Finally, Sheffield Wednesday are supposed to be interested in signing Nigel Clough; a possible player-exchange deal involving John Sheridan and a small cash adjustment has been mooted. Sheridan, a former Republic of Ireland international, is 32, was born in Stretford and was released by City 14 years ago.

The Mole


Mark Guterman has described his “sky blueprint for the future” which could see a radical shake-up in British football. He sees the only way forward for small clubs such as Chester as being feeder clubs for “the elite” (his words) clubs such as Manchester City. Such a system is commonplace in Europe and he cited Barcelona as a club that had employed this with great success. He also confirmed that his plan for a massive cash investment into City was very much alive.

Meanwhile, City are set to talk to the London-based consortium wishing to invest £15 million into the club in the next couple of days.

City hope to have a new manager in place before the next game in two weeks’ time but I’ll believe that when I see it.

On rumours of Gio Kinkladze leaving City, Francis Lee has said that he and Kinkladze have a gentleman’s agreement that the Georgian won’t leave the club until the end of the season.

The Mole


Heard from Reuters newswire, Roy Hodgson of Inter Milan is under pressure. Despite not losing a single match at Inter, yet, club chairman, Massimo Moratti was quoted as saying “I’m most disappointed. This is not the way to do things”, following the 1-1 home draw against a modest French side Guingamp in their recent UEFA Cup match.

Local papers are also suggesting that his days at Inter are numbered. So FHL, offer him something. If he did a miracle at Switzerland, he should be good enough for City… and I am sure he would love to be back in England, not?

Singapore Blues, Nizam M Idris (


As a quick aside to the Guterman story. Teletext reported last night that he was an avid season ticket holding Rag fan.

Ken Foster (


Nothing concrete to report regarding either the new manager or any of the takeover bids; Francis Lee said on Thursday that City still hoped to have the new manager installed before the Q.P.R. game and that any possible takeover would not affect this. We’re still no closer to knowing who the new man is but Steve McMahon’s name has started to be linked with us again, despite the fact that he’s got five years to go on his contract at Swindon.

Mark Guterman has reiterated that he’s still interested in making a big investment into City and he’s now saying that it would be a “friendly” deal, with Francis Lee retaining his position as chairman. He also said that the money in question isn’t actually his but that of merchant banks and financial institutions who see it as an investment – they wouldn’t normally be interested in football. Guterman is coordinating the consortium’s bid and says he has letters of authority from his backers to prove that the money is available. However, he is not prepared at this moment to reveal who these backers are. Surely this puts him in exactly the same position as the mystery Arab investor? If he will not reveal his backers the club cannot open their books to him.

If this deal does eventually come off, it will mean Chester City becoming a “feeder club” for us. In return for financial assistance and possibly the loans of younger players from us, we would have first options on any new talent developed by them. I wonder if they have another Ian Rush coming through the ranks? Guterman clearly sees this sort of arrangement as the only way Chester can survive (and it is their interests he is looking out for), and he is prepared to take his plan to Premiership clubs if the deal with City doesn’t come off.

Nothing has happened with any of the other possible investors yet: the London based group hasn’t yet contacted City. Dave Whelan (Wigan Athletic chairman, the man behind JJB Sports) is still thought to be interested (and BTW is reported to be a friend of Lee’s) and there is also the possibility of a bid from Conrad International who failed in their attempt to take over at Leeds a few months ago, losing out to the Caspian Group.

Finally, Kit Symons has been named in the Wales team to play the Netherlands on Saturday.

Paul Howarth (


Watch the Huddersfield game and help the Christie Hospital. Umbro have generously donated the Brother Suite for the Huddersfield game (19 November) to the Christie Hospital to raise money for the LEAP appeal (Reg charity 1049751). The hospitality will consist of a champagne reception, a tour of the Academy (including dressing room – bring your boots), a 4-course meal with wine, watch the game with half and full-time refreshments, a say in the man of the match, and a chance to meet club personalities (the new manager? – unlikely it is only six weeks away and that doesn’t leave much time to find one). The evening will be hosted by Alex Williams. Could you or your friends or workmates raise £250 for a pair of tickets by holding a raffle or other competition? (allL money will go to the new leukaemia unit at the Christie). For further information please contact Craig Freeman, Appeals Dept., Christie Hospital, Manchester. tel (0161) 446 3670.


I keep reading how another manager has turned us down…

Is this really the case? I was under the impression that FHL has only approached Graham, Bassett and Kendall?

I have also heard that the press is phoning anybody and everybody and asking if they would take the City job… and if they say no then it’s a headline with another manager turning us down – the latest being Willie Donachie.

Matt Spence (


Just to clarify the situation:

Please send in some more votes for August Player of the Month and if I get enough before Oct. 7th, I can get a result sorted out and then concentrate on September.

I have had a couple already for September, so please send them in to reach me by 15th October.

A quick re-cap:


vs. Ipswich        (H)        W 1-0 (Lomas)
vs. Bolton         (A)        L 0-1
vs. Stoke          (A)        L 1-2 (Rösler)


vs. Charlton       (H)        W 2-1 (Rösler, Creaney)
vs. Barnsley       (H)        L 1-2 (Clough)
vs. Port Vale      (A)        W 2-0 (Rösler, Dickov)
vs. Crystal Palace (A)        L 1-3 (Kavelashvili)
vs. Lincoln        (A CC Cup) L 1-4 (Rösler)
vs. Birmingham     (H)        W 1-0 (Kinkladze)
vs. Lincoln        (H CC Cup) L 0-1
vs. Sheff. Utd.    (A)        L 0-2

See MCIVTA 233 for prize details.

Ken Foster (


As promised in last newsletter. I am grovelling with thanks for the answer to my query. On City’s performances to date I can only say that they are poor. I have looked at last year’s performances in the Endsleigh League and though I am no statistician it looks like any team who wishes to gain promotion can only afford to lose 7-12 games.

                     Pl  W  T  L  GF  GA Pts
Sunderland           46 22 17  7  59  33  83
Derby                46 21 16  9  71  51  79
Crystal Palace       46 20 15 11  67  48  75
Stoke                46 20 13 13  60  49  73
Leicester            46 19 14 13  66  60  71

Now at the rate we are going we would need to really pull it together and go on a winning streak to go ahead.

Here are our frightening statistics to date.

                   P      W     D     L       GF   GA    Pts
MANCHESTER CITY    9      4     0     5       9    11    12

This does not make me at all comfortable. In fact – well you know –

Kieran Daly (


Thanks to all those who turned up for the wet and windy practice match at the Armitage centre. It turned out to be more of a kick-about due to the insuffcient numbers for a proper 11-a-side game. Those who braved the elements were:

US: Me (Martin), Colin Bailey, Colin Surrey, Dan Ellingworth, Sam Al-Hamadi, Rob Watson, Tony Hulme.

THEM: Ashley ‘I’ll appeal for anything’ Birch, Paul Howarth, Gary Fones, Matt Varley, Julia Reissmann, A.N. Other (sorry mate didn’t catch your name).

Ermm, final score, did anyone actually keep score?

Martin Ford (


Just a quick message for all those wondering about coming along for the MCIVTA vs. Rags footie game. The pitch has been booked and payed for, it’s 14:00-16:00 on Sunday 13th October, everyone welcome.

The latest: I still need definite volunteers to make up the team. I would appreciate if you could give me a pen-picture of yourselves, preferred position, which foot, (aptitude ;-)) ), etc. Something that will give us an idea of the team we can put out.

The Rags want a referee, are there any (impartial) refs out there or does anyone know any refs? (we could even pay them).

Once I get my original mailer back I’ll double check with those who originally wanted a game and mail them all back.

Oh yeah, as a bit of a confidence booster (and bait) the latest news is that the Rags have had 4/5 definites, 3 possible and a couple of likelies (if that makes sense). So all those wanting to be a part of a Rag massacre (as the dear departed Leslie Crowther would have said) Come on down.

If you don’t fancy playing in the game, come on down anyway and give the lads a bit of moral support, we might need it. It’ll give you a chance to put unknown faces to names.

I would assume that afterwards we can all have a drink, so it’ll be a bit of a social gathering as well. So if you fancy watching 22 (?) guys of debateable fitness and footballing (?) ability kicking a ball around then come and watch us.

Martin Ford (


Just a few lines to thank all who turned up on Sunday for the game. I was thankful that my “skills” (turning an alarming shade of red, making my veins pop out on my head and making passes that Frontzeck would have called his own) were able to shine on the larger stage of the astroturf pitch.

If there is a chance that we can have one or two more games before we take on the Rags put my name down, as Rob had to go straight after the match so I missed out on my pint or 3 after the game, so more drinking… sorry practice is needed.

Tony the tattooed donkey Hulme (


I realise that we have to put up with the performance of our team good or bad. On the field it may be difficult to get it right. but with Francis Lee’s expertise in business you would think he would get it right in the other areas.

I am talking about the PR side of City. I recently went to the McDonald’s fun day. It was advertised in one of the Match programmes, so I took all the family. I got there and it appeared to be a football match with a bouncy castle at the side. People were asking about supposed player appearances and the football match was supposed to have soap stars – none! I think it was a mess! The best bit of the couple of hours was a drink in the Oasis Suite for the kids.

This fun day was advertised in the Junior Blues Magazine as having Kinky giving a ball skills demo and it was made to sound like it was some huge extravaganza.

All in all the kids enjoyed the fun fair in the adjacent park better!

Along with this incident was the first Junior Blues meeting of the year! In the closed season I joined my son as a life member (£30) and he and some other friends and adults went along to the Kippax. There were no players, no management, no Moonchester (is that a good thing?). And, it seemed, nobody was able to tell my wife what was happening throughout the session.

Sorry to moan! I don’t think I can justify moaning at the team at the moment because they must find it difficult to work under the conditions that we have at the club at the moment but I find it hard to believe we can’t get the PR right. Why can’t the club get it right for the kids, who, after all will be their supporters in later life.

That’s enough – I have vented by spleen (I think!).

Mark Woolstencroft (


So, I’ve been quiet for a few weeks.

You buy a computer, state of the art stuff. Things go pretty well for a while. Old faithful had its problems, you wanted to kill it. To hurt it, to just let it know you were pissed with it. You bitched and moaned about it, but you stuck with it. Ths loyal little thing had, it seemed, been with you forever. Through the glory and more recently the pain and adversity. It’s tired now, not much kick left in it. Along comes a glorious new operating system. All the whistles and bells. All the promise and all the potential for greatness once more. You load it. The old operating system is put to one side. A few weeks later it’s dead and buried.

You quickly get rid of all your old applications, good ones that have served you well. But you consider them remnants of the old system, they can be replaced with younger, newer, more compatible versions of your tried and tested stars. The old ones are just left on the shelf. Some slip your mind and are picked up by colleagues. You could have perhaps got a few quid for them, but no, they were just taking up space. Space you need for your new stuff. You load and you load and you load once more. Hold on a minute, nothing seems to be working quite the way you expected. Must be a conflict, perhaps that third party memory manager. Uninstall that puppy. Put it on the shelf. A few weeks later, a buddy has no conventional memory! Well that memory manager is off the shelf, and he tries it for a while. Works great, he’s running with 620K all the time. He offers to buy it, you say that it was no good to you so he buys you a few beers and everyone’s happy.

More applications are loaded, still not doing the things you want it to do. The things they said it would do. The things you expected it to do. Load more, then you notice your disk space, you notice your resourses, you notice your finances. Let’s get rid of that office suite thing. Takes up loads of space and doesn’t really do the things I want. I could get one of the smaller applications to do the same thing. So you try to uninstall it. It takes for ever, but then it’s gone. You reboot, then you realise, not only has it gone, but it’s taken a few crucial things with it. Stuff you never thought was important, that you could live without. Now they are gone, you try to replace them, you try to restore them. You’re not really sure what they are or where they went, but you know they’re gone. The application you tried to upgrade into an office suite has to go. The solution must be to replace the original suite, but they’ve upgraded it. Made it bigger and better. You have a 486, it now needs a Pentium. The solution is at hand you think. You find a discount store. They have their own office suite. Looks good, the price is right. You can’t find any mention of it in any trade publication, but it’s got to be an improvement on what you have at the moment.

The stresses and strains of trying to run your correspondence are showing. Your production has been good, but nothing near what you consider the potential of your system. The office suite just can’t handle the things you expect.

A major manufacturer releases a new office suite. It gets trashed in the trade press. You decided to make your own judgement. A bit more expensive than you hoped. Nice package and sounds pretty impressive, if a little squeeky. It’s soon loaded, but soon you realise more conflicts. No problem, just lose some of the previously installed applications. They weren’t up to much anyway. Load some replacements. Whoops, drive C’s full. No problem, let’s try some disk compression. Things have gone completely crazy. I’ll get shot of that office suite thing. Hold on a minute. It’s already gone. Can’t find it anywhere. What the hell do I do now? Easy, format my hard drive. So you do. What do you reload first? That fancy new operating system that you know doesn’t work!

Funny how life replicates life. I’m reloaded and back online, but I’ve lost my Address Book. Back-up? That’s for girls! If Ben from MD or anyone else can E-Mail me again, I’ll be able to reply. Sorry.

P.S. Any more support for Fidel? I’m very busy knitting false beards to help promote the campaign. Free Cohiba’s for all that join!

Hasta La Revolution Comrades In Blue, Dave Lees, Grand Cayman (


I was born and bred in Oldham (not exactly a hotbed of City support when I was a kid). In fact my grandfather made me a member of Oldham RLFC supporters’ club when I was 2 hours old!

When I was 11 I decided that I wanted to go to a football match and my grandfather dutifully offered to take me (father was a Derby fan). The first game I went to was Rags vs. Chelsea, a 1-1 draw (I think) and the second (Oldham vs. Torquay) Oldham lost but managed to win when the results came on the radio. The next game was City against someone else – I could only see those blue shirts – City won – Bell, Lee, Summerbee, Oakes, Doyle, Heslop, Mulhearn, Pardoe, Young, Book – all dream names – I was utterly and totally besotted – City for me for ever.

In those days I went to every home game – when the first team played away I went to the reserves. This was the Championship season and being a little thick I didn’t even look how high up the table we were. It didn’t matter – I just wanted to see City. I didn’t go to Newcastle for the last game and to be honest it only hit me afterwards that we were Champions. From then until now I’ve neen Blue – I had quite a few seasons when I couldn’t see City – service in the Royal Air Force in Germany and Northern Scotland – but I still had to see those results on a Saturday.

I never missed a Cup Final, even managed to get to the Spurs final(s) from Germany with a fellow Blue (from Folkstone). Postings to the Midlands, Cheshire and East Anglia provided me with seasons when I never missed a game home or away (the RAF wouldn’t let me go to Poland for some reason so I did miss one game).

In those days City were respected and feared; we had a good team who always played with style and were capable of winning. We had some great players – those already mentioned plus the likes of Tueart, Hartford, Watson, Corrigan, Barnes, et al. I now live in the deep south in Crawley with a mortgage to pay and getting to home games is out of my price range (travel too expensive). I do get to all the local games, Selhurst Park being only 20 miles away (Wimbledon and Palace games are ones I want to forget), Portsmouth is 90 minutes away, Reading, London and Oxford an easy drive. My kids are Blue (junior blues and London Branch) – my wife is dutch but I have her trained to turn round all the Rag Mags in Smiths and the local newsagents! She also wants to see a match at Maine Road – roll on Christmas when we travel North.

Being Blue has provided me with joy and heartbreak – something all soccer fans can relate to. I have found that City are often 2nd team of lots of other fans (mainly because we are not the Rags) they all want City to do well. I work for a French company and have taught some of my French collegues that most important of all phrases – Come on you Blues.

Keep the faith – good times are just around the corner.

Andy Birkin (


Full-time scores for Wednesday, October 2 1996


Full-time scores for Tuesday, October 1 1996

IPSWICH TOWN            1-1    BARNSLEY

Up to and including Wednesday, October 2 1996

Team                  Played   Won  Drawn Lost     For Against   Points
Bolton Wanderers         9      6     2     1      22    12        20
Barnsley                 8      6     0     2      16     9        18
Norwich City             9      5     3     1      10     5        18
Wolverhampton Wanderers  9      5     2     2      14     9        17
Crystal Palace           9      4     4     1      21     8        16
Stoke City               9      4     3     2      14    15        15
Tranmere Rovers          9      4     2     3      12    10        14
Ipswich Town             9      3     4     2      15    12        13
Sheffield United         7      4     1     2      14     9        13
Oxford United            9      4     1     4      13     8        13
Huddersfield Town        8      4     1     3      13    11        13
Queens Park Rangers      9      3     4     2      11    10        13
West Bromwich Albion     8      3     3     2      12    11        12
MANCHESTER CITY          9      4     0     5       9    11        12
Swindon Town             9      3     2     4      10    11        11
Charlton Athletic        8      3     1     4       7     8        10
Portsmouth               9      3     1     5       6    11        10
Birmingham City          7      2     3     2       8     7         9
Port Vale                9      1     6     2       7     9         9
Grimsby Town             9      2     2     5      11    19         8
Reading                  9      2     1     6      10    21         7
Bradford City            9      2     1     6       7    15         7
Southend United          9      1     3     5       8    20         6
Oldham Athletic          9      0     2     7       7    16         2

Russ (
With thanks to Soccernet


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

Thanks to Tony, John, Kieran, Ken, The Mole, Andy, Matt, Nizam, Mark & Paul.

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 #234