Newsletter #293

Quite an eventful issue: the main news is that the Gio petition letter has really taken off, and due to the excellent efforts of several individuals has made the the back page of the Manchester Evening News – this should really allow it to make the transition from the internet to the streets of Manchester, providing enough copies are available – the ball is in your court.

Meanwhile, City have signed a new young goalkeeper, are interested in a Scottish striker and two new Georgians (apparently), and have dispensed with another backroom boy – despite his tangible success! In addition, we’ve the usual interesting report on the Prestwich and Whitefield branch, as well as an excellent article on Paul Lake’s appearance at the Levenshulme branch.

Next game, Reading at home, Saturday 3rd May 1997


City have signed 18-year-old goalkeeper Nicky Weaver from Mansfield Town for a fee of initially £100,000. Frank Clark said: “He’s a very highly-rated youngster and it gives us terrific cover in that department. We now have Tommy Wright who is in his 30’s and Martyn Margetson who is in his 20’s, and now Nick.” He has been the deputy to Ian Bowling at third division Mansfield for most of this season but could play for City at Barnsley next Wednesday (7th May) when the Blues will play a testimonial for Gary Fleming, a former City full-back whose playing career has been ended by a knee injury.

City have also been linked with the Georgian brothers Chota and Archill Arveladze, both of whom are in the squad to face England on Wednesday. They are both at the end of their contracts with Turkish side Trabzonspor, and, according to the MEN, one of Gio Kinkladze’s “advisors” said: “Ideally, they want to join Georgi at City and that would really make him happy. Because of work permit problems, Mikhail Kavelashvili is about to go home and Georgi will be left alone.” The cynics amongst us might see this as a “notice of availablility” from the brothers’ agent but you never know. City were linked with Chota Arvedladze in January 1996 and nothing came of it then, despite reports that he and Kinkladze have been as close as brothers since their childhood days.

City reserves clinched promotion to Division 1 of the Pontin’s League with a 1-1 draw at home to Stockport County reserves at Maine Road. Watched by a crowd of around 4,000 (mainly youngsters), City took an early lead through Paul Dickov but failed to kill the game despite several chances and the visitors grabbed an equaliser in the 86th minute.

Paul Howarth (


Despite the reserves gaining promotion this week, Kevin Bond has departed Maine Road. Some sources quote this as a sacking whilst others state it to be “by mutual agreement”. Whatever the truth, this is probably just one more indication that FC will completely clear the backroom at Maine Road and bring in his own team.



The following is a transcript of a Bryan Brett article which appeared in Thursday’s Evening News, courtesy of Bury Blue on Blue View:

Anxious Manchester City fans are recruiting the Georgian Government to help keep Georgi Kinkladze at Maine Road. They fear they may have seen the last of their idol after Gio limped out of Georgia’s World cup game with England with a hamstring strain. He has little chance to recover in time for the final game of the season against Reading on Saturday – the day the fans are calling “Georgi Kinkladze Day” They are planning a massive demonstration of support for the 23 year old whose future will be decided next week.

Now a group of fans have contacted the Georgian Embassy in London and have had a message translated by officials to go out on the Internet as the campaign to keep Gio at City goes worldwide. “A group of fans wnated to spread the campaign as far as possible, so the message is going out in Georgian as well as English.” said supporters’ club official Tommy Muir. “The Embassy agreed to do the translation and we hope the Internet will encourage fans to send messages to Georgi telling him how much we want him to stay. It has been the subject of a debate on the Internet and it has blown up with the talk of big European clubs coming in for him. There is a petition asking him to stay and a number of branches are planning their own demonstrations with Georgian flags and banners. We want it to come together on Saturday and convince Georgi that he has a future with us.”

City had rejected one approach – believed to be from Barcelona – and will talk to Kinkladze and his representatives next week. Inter Milan are monitoring the sitution as they see Kinkladze as a possible replacement for Paul Ince (?) if he returns to England. Newcastle are long time admirers although Kinkladze is a boyhood Liverpool fan.


According to The Mirror, City are interested in signing Robbie Winters from Dundee United. A friend of mine supports Dundee United and he reckons Winter is a good forward. His goals have helped Dundee United climb to 3rd position in the Scottish Premier this season. Does anyone know anything more about this, or is it just a rumour? I’m a bit sceptical as Winter isn’t listed as a Scottish Premier League ‘Hot Shot’, as he has scored less than 17 goals. Surely we should be looking to sign a 25 goal plus striker for next season if we are to finish 1st or 2nd? I personally think we should go for Carl Asaba from Brentford. Wimbledon are interested in him and Joe Kinnear is rarely wrong about players.

Charles Pollitt (


Here a word from a Dutch Man City supporter. Maybe it’s a little late, but I’d like to congratulate you on your new signing, Gerard Wiekens, from the Netherlands. He currently plays for Dutch First Division team Veendam and he’s a real great player. He’s got a great long ball and he ‘reads’ the game very well, despite his young age. I’m sure he’ll prove he’s the player who can take Man City back to the Premier League in no time. Mind my words!

Dutch greetings from a Manchester City and Feyenoord supporter, Jeroen Huizing (


There was another meeting of the Prestwich and Whitefield supporters’ club last night; here is a very brief review.

Yet another good turnout from the club: Colin Bell, Uwe Rösler, Ian Brightwell, Paul Beesley, Ged Brannan, Alan Hill, Neil McNab and the ubiquitous Paul Lake were all in attendance. Colin Bell was billed as the star attraction (rightly so) but he was sadly asked too few questions and was pretty quiet (shy?) and sloped off after the break after signing about a million autographs and posing for countless photos. He spoke briefly about his playing days with City and of playing with Francis Lee and Mike Summerbee (the best person he’s played with on a City side).

Uwe was asked the most questions: about the current situation, if he thinks he’ll be playing for City next season (“I have 18 months left of my contract, that is my answer”) and a few questions about our beloved Alan Ball (“I do not speak about Alan Ball” was his sensible, if a bit boring, answer). He also said his happiest days were when he was playing with Paul Walsh. He said he didn’t mind who he played with up front, so long as he was in the team. He couldn’t think of his favourite goal so after a lot of thinking and face pulling, he finally came up with the goal he scored against the Rags when he came on as sub. If only he’d managed to score a couple more as well!

Ian Brightwell answered the question about a fitness coach being employed. He said this is true and everyone seemed to agree this is a good idea and they were quite positive about it. However, they all denied the team wasn’t fit enough! Maybe if they sat where we sit every week they’d have a different opinion.

Possibly the most interesting thing to come out of the evening was a question to Alan Hill about Kinkladze. Apparently, they’re meeting his agent on Wednesday and they’re making him an offer they hope he won’t be able to refuse. Basically, it sounds as though it’s up to him: if he wants to go, he’ll go, no matter how much money they wave in front of him. We await with interest (but not too much optimism).

Alan Hill also read out the pre-season friendlies. No exotic locations this year, I’m afraid! Training begins in early July and there are some dates in Scotland. One which I think sounds like fun is Blackpool on 16 July (don’t quote me on the date! It was around there, give or take a day!). I didn’t write down all the dates, I’m sure they’ll be announced soon, but don’t go packing your sun tan lotion if you’re planning on going to any of these matches.

So, an interesting evening. A shame Colin Bell didn’t talk more but he didn’t seem very outgoing and looked a little uncomfortable with all the attention (I suppose 300 pissed up people claiming hero worship would make anyone a little uncomfortable!).

I think that’s the last meeting until next season, so that’s it from me until then (unless I decide to write any more sporadic whingeing, of course).

Christine (


I can’t remember verbatim what was said (it was Thursday!) but I’ll try to convey the gist of what Lakey was on about.

Lakey on his Future:

As of next season he’ll be youth team physio. He’s currently studying part time for one physio qualification (at Salford) and will then study for a more comprehensive one for 2 years which will complete his training! I asked him whether he had any coaching / managerial aspirations. He didn’t exactly rule it out in the long term but he said it’s hardly the most secure of professions and he’d seen enough of the stresses, strains and insecurities to put him off. For now he’s concentrating on the physio but he is only young so who knows!

Lake on Injuries:

He couldn’t really explain why we’ve had more than our fair share of long term injuries over the last few years. He said little has changed training-wise manager to manager. He did suggest it could be partly to do with the poor squad forcing some of the better players to train/play too soon. Lakey suggested younger players are the worse for this because they don’t want to lose their place, and they’re also over keen in training (going in too hard and getting hurt or hurting other players). On individual players, both Edghill and Hiley came through a practice game against the A side without any problems so fingers crossed!

Lakey on Ball:

These comments must be put into context. Paul doesn’t seem to be particularly vindictive and seems more measured and thoughtful than most players. But surprise, suprise, his opinion of Ball was that he was basically a headcase!

The first story he told us was when he was just coming out after seeing the knee specialist in hospital. It was a few weeks after Ball had been appointed. When he was coming out of the room he saw Ball. He was just about to approach him when the doctor grabbed him and asked if he could have a quick word. After the doctor had finished he turned round and Ball had gone. He managed to catch up with him and said “hello boss.” Ball replied “Have you got a bad knee son? Oh I remmeber, you’re Paul Lake aren’t you? Heard a lot about ya son” and then proceeded to give a detailed hsitory of all the terrible injuries he’d had! Lakey said he could understand this, he’d been out of the game for a long time and Ball had only just arrived and had a lot of players to get to know quickly etc. but this was also how Coton was treated! Lake was at pains to stress that this was the main reason why he moved to United. TC was made to train with the kids and was 4th choice ‘keeper behind Immel, Dibble and Margetson. He had the chance to be number 2 and a serious 1st team contender in a team bidding for trophies without moving his family! Lakey said even though he grew up in Brum, our result is the first TC looks for and he still considers himself to be a City fan! Basically Lakey thinks his decision to go to United said more about Ball than TC himself! In general there was a terrible atmosphere under Ball; at least 3/4 of the players hated him, the senior players were treated like dirt and fights right up to kick off time were commonplace.

Lakey on City’s Prospects:

He seems to think it was probably a good thing we didn’t go up. There was no way we deserved to go up and he felt we would have been very unprepared and would have struggled. He suggested we need and will see at least 2/3 players come in over the close season and if we went up he thought we’d probably still need another 3/4 at least. The side could well have a very different look about it a couple of years time. He stressed the need to be patient as it will take a long time to get the club where it should be and we won’t become a major force again until the whole club is sorted, including the reserve and youth teams. Worryingly, reading between the lines, he didn’t seem too confident of promotion next year; basically so much has gone wrong it’s not going to be put right for quite a while!

Lakey on FC and Co:

This was by far the most encouraging. As mentioned above he seemed quite pessimistic about City’s immediate future but in the long term he was much more optimistic and this was down to his confidence in FC and his team! Basically he thought Ball was a tosspot, Horton was Ok but flawed as a manager (although he didn’t mention Reid I’d say he felt the same) but FC is in a different class and compared him to Kendall. Now I know in the popularity stakes he only just comes ahead of Ball but if he’d been crap we wouldn’t have minded him leaving and there would have been no shouts of Judas! Kendall also had a big impact of Lake’s career bringing him to the brink of the England ’90 World Cup squad and encouragingly Lake seems to have the same respect for FC! Apparently Richard Money is the man responsible for Summerbee’s change in form; he’s worked with him on a one to one basis and that’s been a major factor in the turnaround! Alan Hill has also impressed him. When he first arrived at the club he got McNab, Hartford, Bond and Lake and asked them to write down on a piece of paper what they thought was wrong with the club from top to bottom. When they’d finished he turned the paper over and showed what he’d written earlier; apparently everything they’d wriiten he’d included and that was when he’d only been there a few days!

Lakey on Gio:

He said he’s very happy in Manchester, loves the club, loves the fans. His heart is telling him to stay but his head and his agent/advisors are telling him to move on. Basically he could be on up to double the best offer we could feasibly make him and more importantly playing in the Champions’ League or UEFA cup. Paul was sure he’d stay at least another season if we were in the Premiership but he doubts he’ll stay for another in this “crap” (as Paul described it) division. Still, he said he could be wrong and no-one knows what Gio will decide to do but personally he couldn’t see him staying. He thought it would be best for both parties: Gio needs a bigger/better stage and we’d be best served by less talented but more consistent players who’d played for 90 minutes rather than 10 or 20! He wasn’t putting Gio down but doubted whether he was suited to this division. He also said his English is excellent and was a lot better than he let on from the beginning. Paul said when he was asked to do another couple of laps in training he’d shrug his shoulders and look blank, yet he’d somehow understand a conversation about the social arrangements for after the match “Saturday night, girls, me go, yes!” The crafty bugger, maybe those “Shaggy Shaggy” rumours were true after all!

Lakey on the new kit deal:

Yes surprise, surprise it’s Kappa. This bit was pretty funny. He said that this was supposed to be a top secret deal and no one was supposed to let it slip, but his 9 year old nephew knew about in January! “Uncle Paul is our new kit going to be made by Kappa?” “Shussshhh don’t mention the K word no one is supposed to know” “But everyone says it’s Kappa at school.” He refused to be drawn on what the new kit will look like, “it’s so top secret, if I told you I’d have to kill you afterwards.” He did say he’s very jealous of the lads after seeing it and makes him wish all the more that he was still playing!

Lakey on his highpoint!:

He mentioned his début home game, and said that even though he scored he had an absolutle nightmare and passed to the opposition all afternoon. Not surprisingly though his favourite moment was the 5-1 derby. He still lived in Denton at the time and had had grief all week from a group of young Rags who used to hang out. All week people were saying how we were going to get stuffed and kids were waving United scarves outside his mum’s house when he was having his tea! The City players were so wound up (he said every player was staring madly into space like Marty Feldman), Machin’s teamtalk was “It’s a derby – you know what to do”! They made so much noise in the dressing room they psyched United out, they didn’t fancy it at all; basically City wanted it the most! On the sunday he went to the paper shop where the Rag kids hung out and bought every paper (but only getting one at at a time so he walk past them again) yet it was dead, there were no Rags to be seen, only a few City fans with daft looks on their faces!

Other things of interest he mentioned were that he doesn’t think we’ll sign Fatko; he says at his age he doubts he’ll get much fitter and as he said regarding Gio we can’t afford players who disappear or do nothing for a few games! He agreed that Symons has had a bad season as captain and may be better off just worrying about his own form. Someone mentioned Brightwell and Lakey said he’s as Blue as they come but he’s no leader, too quiet but there isn’t a player more committed. He agreed that we have to stop selling the better younger players and didn’t think FC would have sold Filptop.

Finally he said he’s City ‘Til He Dies and said if over the next 30/40 years there there are any similar occasions where a group of Blues want to invite him for a beer and a chat just ask! Makes you proud to be a Blue and glad you’re not a Rag doesn’t it!

BTW Personally I hope he rethinks about coaching and management, I’m sure he’d make a great manager. After all at Maine Road he must have seen all the mistakes there are so he knows exactly how not to do it. Plus if he’s worried about the security, on this performance he could make a living as an after dinner speaker, never mind the physio!

Posted to Blue View by Revolting Blue and included with his permission – Ashley


I have never even set foot in England let alone Manchester. So how the bloody hell you may ask did I become an ardent (albeit long distance) fan of the boys in Blue? When I first started watching English Football around six years ago, something welled up inside of me. Hatred for all that was Red in Manchester. It only took about three weeks of viewing the paltry one-hour highlights on the ABC to realise my hatred of United. So began my search for a team to love. Obviously I went straight to the team in Blue that stood for everything that was not United. Over these past years I have continued to follow the battles of Manchester City and have become a City fan for life.

I request any information about a friendly Manchester City played in Newcastle Australia (where I live) in 1970 versus Northern New South Wales Invitational. I met one man who actually attended this game when he stopped me in the street while I was wearing my beloved City shirt. He was about 70 and couldn’t remember the score or who played but he said he would send me the programme but I have never received it. All I know is that City won (not suprising considering the state of Aussie football/soccer in the 1970’s). I would be very appreciative of any info that anyone can dig up.

‘And all the runs that Gio makes are winding’
‘And all the goals that Gio scores are blinding’

Please stay for one more…

Josh Cleary (


As I write this letter to MCIVTA, Georgia have just lost 2-0 to England, but worst of all Gio is limping off the pitch. In the back of my mind I just think that’s the last City fans will see of him. He’s obviously pulled his hamstring and is almost certain to miss the last game for the Blues on Saturday. The chants for him will be loud and strong, the petitions full of names pleading with him to stay, but I don’t think we will see him at all. Sorry to sound so depressed but the way our luck is going I just can’t see him staying, I just hope we get a good price for him (if Sharpe is worth £4 million) he must be worth £8 million.

I hope I’m wrong.

Here’s to next season.

P.S. Can anyone let me know if Paul Lake’s testimonial has been arranged?

Terry Thiele (


This is my first contribution to MCIVTA after receiving it for about a year and a half now. I look forward to reading ever one and think Ashley and the gang are doing an excellent job. Also congrats to Ashley on the new baby.

This is an idea that I got from the Dean of Students at the university I attend. He is on the Wolves mailing list and fans on his list in North America have started getting games taped when Wolves appear on TV in the UK and having them sent over. They all chip in about $10 american to pay to have them converted to our television standard and then they send a copy to the first person on the list, who sends to the second and so on. They have four or five games travelling around the continent at a time. We watched the Wolves-City game from before Christmas when we lost 3-0 away. It was the first time I had seen City in over a year, so even if we were crap, it was still a joy to watch.

There is no reason that the City fans of North America (or other parts of the world) could not do this. All we need is someone to tape the game and send it over to someone who gets it converted. I would volunteer for the job, but I hope to be going to school at UMIST next year, so I can go to Maine Road.

Anyway, there is the idea for anyone who wants to take it on. We should have a lot more victories to watch next year.

Mark Sweetapple (


Please, all of you going to the match on Saturday take as many copies of the Gio petition letter as you can.

I managed to get the letter publicised via Tommy Muir in the MUEN tonight (Thursday) and have now also written to the two local radio stations asking them to publicise it in their pre-match shows. There will apparently be copies available in the Supporters’ Club shop on Saturday.

Unfortunately, I can’t go but have now passed on approx 30 copies of the letter to various City Supporters’ Clubs and have given some more copies to the guy who is using my seat.

Don’t let the thing lie and it may just work.

Chris Hughes (


Up to and including Sunday, April 27 1997

Team                  Played   Won Drawn Lost  For  Against   Points
Bolton Wanderers        45     28   13    4     98    51        97
Barnsley                45     22   14    9     75    50        80
Wolverhampton Wanderers 45     22   10   13     68    50        75
Ipswich Town            45     20   13   12     67    49        73
Sheffield United        45     20   12   13     75    52        72
Crystal Palace          45     19   13   13     77    47        70
Queens Park Rangers     45     18   12   15     64    57        66
Port Vale               45     17   15   13     57    54        66
Portsmouth              45     19    8   18     58    53        65
Birmingham City         45     17   14   14     51    47        65
Tranmere Rovers         45     17   13   15     61    54        64
Norwich City            45     17   12   16     63    65        63
Stoke City              45     17   10   18     49    56        61
MANCHESTER CITY         45     16   10   19     56    58        58
Charlton Athletic       44     16   10   18     52    65        58
West Bromwich Albion    45     14   15   16     67    70        57
Reading                 45     15   12   18     56    64        57
Oxford United           45     15    9   21     59    67        54
Swindon Town            45     15    8   22     52    71        53
Huddersfield Town       45     13   14   18     48    61        53
Grimsby Town            45     10   13   22     56    81        43
Bradford City           44     10   12   22     43    72        42
Oldham Athletic         45      9   13   23     48    66        40
Southend United         45      8   15   22     42    82        39

Russell Town (
With thanks to Soccernet


Contributions: Ashley –
Subscriptions & Club Questions: Steve –
Technical Problems: 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 #293