Newsletter #300

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City are reported to be close to signing Tony Vaughan from Ipswich, with him supposedly house-hunting in Manchester; there is also a promising opinion on this player from an Ipswich fan. We have Part I of a well-written article on 100 years of City from Martin Beckett (Part II to follow), and news of how to order the forthcoming definitive history of City from Gary James. More info is given on many of the Norwegian players we’ve been hearing about, in an interesting contribution from Norway. There’s also a report on the ‘Do I not like that’ TV show, and a good Why Blue – more please…!

Ken Foster has contacted me to remind you all that the MCIVTA T-shirts are now being made; please contact him by email (kf737@vossnet.co.uk) to order. Details are given below.

Next game, Blackpool away, Wednesday 16th July 1997.

MCIVTA T-SHIRT

This is a reminder that the orders for the MCIVTA T-shirt are now being taken. The design is the ‘Our World is Blue’ and costs £7.75 inclusive of post and packaging. There will be a single – fits all – size, unless the number of orders allows us to request a range of sizes. Payment can be made either by UK cheque or International Money Order payable to Ken Foster.

The T-shirt can be viewed at:

http://www.uit.no/mancity/mcivta/t-shirt.html

When ordering, please use the following form (print it out and send it via snail mail):

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Name				>
Delivery address		>
Email address			>
Preferred size (S, M, L, XL)	>
Number				>
Total cost (£7.75 each)		>

Please state if you would like your cheque returned if your preferred size is not available.

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Email me for details of where to send your order:

Ken Foster (kf737@vossnet.co.uk)

NEWS – VAUGHAN TO SIGN

Ipswich defender Tony Vaughan has had preliminary talks with Frank Clark over the weekend and is set to sign for the Blues after discussing personal terms on Wednesday, according to a report in the MEN. He stayed at his grandmother’s house in Stretford so that he could go house-hunting. The player is quoted as saying “Of all the clubs that might have come in for me, I could not have wished for a better one than City. This is a dream move for me.”

Paul Howarth (paul@city-fan.org)

RUMOUR – THE GINGER-HEADED ONE

I know it’s not strictly City news, but I hear from a little bird that the next people to look after Southampton may be none other that ex-City boss Alan Ball, and Dave Merrington. Apparently a certain star Saints player would be only too pleased to welcome them back to the fold.

My opinion is that they are welcome to the little ginger-haired guy, for me his only redeaming feature is that he was involved in the purchase of the Georgian Genius, and even then was that more down to Lee than Ball? As far as I’m concerned the further he is away from Maine Road the better.

City ’til we die, Geoof Collins (colli@globalnet.co.uk)

MANCHESTER CITY OFFICIAL HISTORY

Gary James, co-author of ‘The Pride of Manchester‘ and author of the Joe Mercer biography, ‘Football with a Smile‘ is in the process of completing an official history of the club. The book will be titled as follows:

Manchester – The Greatest City
(The Complete History of Manchester City Football Club).

This book – if Gary’s previous books are anything to go by – promises to not only be excellent, but to be the definitive history of the club that we’ve all been waiting for. The book will chronicle the history of the club from inception in Gorton, through to the present day. It will contain over 400 large, A4-format pages, and will be published for Xmas 1997.

If you order a copy now, it will cost £21.95 inclusive of post and packing (UK; more overseas) and guarantees you a place in the book as a pre-publication subscriber. Your name will be included in the book (limited edition), together with your favourite match and favourite player.

The book can be ordered by credit card on 0116 261 0800 (Note; that is 0116!). You can either order directly by phone, or ask for a colour leaflet which gives more detailed information on the contents of the book. The address of the publishers is:

Polar Print Group Ltd.,
FREEPOST LE 5731,
Leicester,
LE4 5ZA.

If you do decide to order a copy, tell them that you found out about it in McVittee!

Ashley

PAUL LAMBERT

About the interest in Paul Lambert of Borussia Dortmund. What’s known in Dortmund is that he has a contract until the end of next season; however, his wife is unhappy and he is unsure if he wants to stay. The club want him to stay and after the great season that he played I doubt that he will move. He is a very good defensive midfield player who would improve most sides. His style fits very well in the German 3-5-2 system. When you consider he went to Dortmund just to fill in for the German international, Steffan Freund, but has kept a first team place for the whole season, it’s a mark of his quality. I don’t think that he will leave Dortmund now (not after winning the Champions’ League) but if he did I’d be overjoyed if he went to City.

Keith Morris (Kmnorris@aol.com)

CITY – THE LAST FIFTY YEARS

Running a football club has always been about money, although it is only since Sky, and the arrival of Italian style mega-buck players that the average punter has become aware of this. The reason that City have lagged behind the Rags since the war has been that they have constantly been more cute and aware than we have about finance, and have gone out to find success as a business, not just relied upon the herd instincts of loyal supporters.

In the old days, meat pie merchants held power at clubs, they (the likes of Bob Lord) were big men within their own communities, and held sway over players who were controlled by pitiful maximum wages. City, having the biggest ground in the land should have emerged from WWII as the most powerful club. Think about it, 80,000 at a shilling was £4,000, less a squad of players at maybe £10 per week. Someone made a fortune.

Despite this money, an un-bombed ground, and some good players, we drifted through to the fifties in the shadow of Busby’s first side. United, having no ground, played at Maine Road (more money for us), and set up their Development Fund, fans’ money not the club’s, to rebuild OT. In the fifties, they didn’t even have floodlights (played their European matches at Maine Road), but they saw the potential of Europe, whereas we didn’t, and being bracketed with Real Madrid, Puskas, Di Stefano and all did their pulling power no harm at all, even before Munich.

So into the sixties, and by this time they have their floodlights, while we have to sell Dave Wagstaffe to Wolves to pay for new ones. Their ground looks as if it has been rebuilt, and ours looks as… well as it has always looked to me. You all know what I mean, putting seats in the Platt Lane was nothing to what was happening across the way, where with the help of government money they were building the country’s first cantilever stand for the World Cup.

This added to the glamour of the Rags, built upon Europe, Busby Babes and the sad event at Munich, it all meant that despite having the poorer team, they were seen by the world to be the bigger and better club. It is very difficult to persuade people that the team of Bell, Lee and Summerbee was better than Law, Best and Charlton, but they were, it’s in the record books, and I saw it with my own eyes.

The seventies and eighties have seen the divide between the clubs grow. When AA was Chairman, despite Joe, Mal and the team, the board failed totally to invest in the club as a business, which lead to the board split allowing PJS into power. Although his heart was in the right place, and to that extent he was maligned, Swales was an absolute disaster.

He came via Altrincham FC (ah the great Jackie Swindells) from White and Swales electrical shops (can you imagine a downmarket Rumbelows with a handful of branches?). His partner White went off to Liverpool, where he had Littlewoods money to play with, whereas PJ wanted to do it all at City.

Without anywhere near enough money to reverse the decline of the previous twenty years, he just used history as his template, and made do and mended where necessary, feeding us peasants on scraps. The North Stand here, one season of Trevor Francis there. Always there was a master plan, a new development, the next great signing, but most people knew it was always a smokescreen. The only thing that saved City from bankruptcy was the (idiotic) loyalty of its fans.

He, like a lot of fans, thought that a lucky break would change things, that one new manager, with one big signing, and one new super kid would win us a trophy, that would change things, just as long as you kept your fingers crossed and prayed hard.

Well the awful truth is that that type of luck strikes once in a long lifetime if you are lucky, and boy – we were very lucky in 1964, when Joe turned up. The next time we make it big it will be by hard work, application and capital investment, and it will be no overnight success.

Part II (City – The Next Fifty Years) in MCIVTA 301

Martin J Beckett (martinjb@cdrompub.demon.co.uk)

“DO I NOT LIKE THAT”

I don’t know if you remember the invitation to City fans that was posted in MCIVTA, to be in the audience for an episode of the above programme but I took up the offer.

Mistakenly I thought it would be a doddle as I work near the LWT studio but as it is recorded live at 10.40 pm I went home first to change into my City Oasis T-shirt and tart myself up and then trekked back into London.

We were allowed into the studio at 9.45 and as I took my seat near the front I spotted a few other Blues dotted around the audience. The footy topics of the week were Liverpool’s penalty, where Fowler tried to say it was an error, Joe Royle’s resignation and players being withdrawn from the England squad by whinging managers – oops slipped into anti-Taggart mode.

Before the action got under way, a stand up comedian tried to warm up the audience. Now I thought ‘The Comedians‘ was an old show confined to those who watch UK Gold but this was a blast from the past. All the old ‘there was an English man, Irish man, Scots man…’ jokes resurfaced I half expected to see Charlie Williams appear and shout ‘how are you me duck?’

On the panel were John Scales, wearing more make up than most of the models he dates, Terry Neil, “What? Me bigoted? – Not me darlin” and Rodney Marsh. Now I pretty sure Rodney was the reason that City fans were invited. Littlejohn tried to jibe him with a reference to Marsh losing us the title back in ’72 but apart from that City didn’t feature.

I stuck my oar in when Littlejohn invited questions on managers pulling their players from international squads. IMHO such a tactic has got worse in recent years and didn’t happen as much in the old days – I was trying to imply that Taggart is the main culprit and whilst Littlejohn seemed to agree Terry Neil thought it was just as bad in the olden days. I think we can take it from that the good old Terry would pull his players at the drop of the proverbial.

I really enjoyed the evening. Littlejohn came over much better than I imagined (especially if you’ve read some of his bile in the papers) and seemed sincere in his off-camera dialogue with the audience and afterwards when thanking us for joining in.

Tim Edmondson (ted@tao.j-sainsbury.co.uk)

GEORGIAN T-SHIRTS?

Did anyone make any headway finding a supplier of the Georgian team strip? I’ve asked every sports shop I see and they haven’t got a clue.

Mark Edwards (MEDWA20577@AOL.COM)

OPINION – NORWEGIAN PROSPECTS

City have been to Norway several times over the last couple of months, looking at players of interest. It is no secret that a possible Norwegian left-back has been strongly considered. Recent news regarding Vaughan of Ipswich might indicate that this search is over.

Tromsø duo?

Svenn Hanssen’s info from Troms

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