Newsletter #307

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I’ve just moved house and managed to get the kit up and running, despite knowing looks from Steve Bolton as I vainly searched for my Mac power cable!

So, no time to write anything else; at least it’s going out! I’ll let the contents speak for themselves!

Next game, Blackpool away, Wednesday 16th July 1997

NEWS – NEW SIGNING!

City have a new signing – it’s 42-year-old former Bury winger Ian Miller. He’s also had spells with Nottingham Forest Reserves, Doncaster Rovers, Swindon Town, Blackburn Rovers, Port Vale and Scunthorpe United. Before you get too worried, let me assure you that he’s been appointed as Youth Team Coach, not as a player! He’s had similar roles at Port Vale and Wolves and is now moving back to the North West where his playing career started. “Youth coaching is the aspect of the game I really enjoy and I look forward to being a part of what is happening at City. The area has always been a breeding ground for young talent and the great reward for coaches is to see it developing correctly,” he said.

City are reported to have been quoted a £2 million asking price for Shota Arveladze by his club Trabzonspor, and a similar figure by Sunderland for Craig Russell. The Wearsiders want £1 million for Martin Smith. Given that one of these players is an established international striker, the choice seems clear to me!

City and Sunderland are exploring options for avoiding a postponement of their fixture scheduled for Saturday 16th August. Both clubs have players likely to be involved in international fixtures the following Wednesday and are supposed to release players 5 days beforehand. One possibility is to ask for special dispensation to release the players a day later; another is to move the game forward and play it on the Friday night.

The Mole

NEWS – KIT STOLEN

The front page of Wednesday’s MEN carried a story about a load of new City shirts, T-shirts, shorts etc. that were stolen from a lorry in Trafford Park. Around 30 boxes of kit were stolen, which contained clothing destined to be worn by the playing and coaching staff next season, worth around £30,000. This news came on the eve of the big announcement about City’s new kit deal, but the club were anxious to point out that the consignment was not going to have been for sale to the public, it was just for the staff. Merchandising manager Mike Peek said “We have already got all we need for the launch. All supplies are already in the ground awaiting tomorrow’s event.”

Nicky Summerbee’s agent Scott McGarvey (ex-Rag) has apparently rejected City’s improved contract offer but talks are continuing. “We have made Nicky an improved offer that has been rejected but we are planning more talks next week and are hopeful that he will stay,” said Alan Hill.

Ajax are rumoured to have offered Trabzonspor £2.5 million for Shota Arveladze.

Tickets are now on sale for the friendly at Blackpool on Wednesday 16th July, priced at £5.00 for adults and £3.00 for juniors and OAPs.

Paul Howarth (paul@city-fan.org)

NEWS – KIT RELEASED

For the full press release see http://www.mcfc.co.uk/official.htm

Credit to CityNet for having the story, complete with pictures, early this afternoon (Thursday) just after the official announcement.

City’s new kit deal with Kappa is reported to be worth £5 million, possibly rising to as much as £10 million depending on performances. City’s links with Umbro which go back to 1934 are now well and truly broken, with the Umbro Stand now being returned to its original name of “Platt Lane Stand”.

Paul Howarth (paul@city-fan.org)

NEWS – NO FATTIES?

An interesting snippet from CityNet:

The players are slowly returning from their summer holidays in time for pre-season training. Frank Clark gave each player a personal training plan to make sure that each player comes back fit and ready. If any of the players come back overweight, as per their own plan, they will be fined. This could be anything up to a weeks wages.

Paul Howarth (paul@city-fan.org)

NEWS – ARVELADZE

A Dutch friend tells me that there was a report on Dutch TV on Wednesday stating that Arveladze is about to sign for Ajax any day now. So it looks as if we need to look elsewhere for a striker. A colleague who is a Sunderland fan reports that Craig Russell is lively and quick but misses lots of chances i.e. needs 5 chances to score 1. This makes him a typical City striker, I suppose. Of course, FC may have other irons in the fire.

On the wages question, someone seems to be leaking stuff to the press. Details on Edghill’s pay, for example, don’t normally get revealed. I had no problem with Gio’s salary hike: he’s worth it. Like many others though, I’m not so keen on giving in to Summerbee’s agent’s demands. If we lose him, there are surely replacements around? Cannes seems a bit up-market for the man. Wouldn’t FC Tenerife or FC Benidorm be more appropriate?

Rob Simmons (r.simmons@economics.salford.ac.uk)

RUMOUR – NEW LEAGUE?

New Phoenix League?

This has come to me via a Barnsley fan, a West Ham fan and soccer-net. If there is any truth in this, it sounds like City would be involved if they don’t escape the Nationwide league of shame on merit next season. The title of Phoenix is interesting given the reports that this is to be our new badge. I wonder if this means that City are behind some of the suggestions?

“English football is facing its second massive shake-up in five years with the formation of a new breakaway First Division of 16 clubs. The plan will cause uproar but the new set-up already has a working title: the Phoenix Division.

The code name is not coincidental. Member clubs see themselves rising from the ashes of what is left of professional football after the formation of the highly successful and lucrative Premier League.

The new division will not be entirely comprised of clubs from the present First Division. Instead, it will include several from the lower reaches with suitable facilities and potential. Each geographical region of England will be represented.

Burnley, Plymouth and Watford (all in lower divisions) will be in. Charlton, Reading, Swindon, Oxford, Port Vale, Tranmere, Stoke, Bradford, Bury, Stockport and Crewe (all in the First Division) will be out. The plan is to introduce a two-up and two-down system of promotion and relegation between the Premiership and the Phoenix Division but there will only be one-up, one-down between the new division and what is the existing Second Division of the Football League.

The plan has been devised by a group of chairmen who believe they need to keep pace with the Premiership. It will outrage less fashionable clubs in the First Division and will be a savage blow to the excluded clubs from the lower divisions. The scheme, however, will welcomed by many Premiership clubs. They will be in favour of a guarantee that promoted clubs will have top class facilities and excellent support.

A starting date has yet to be decided, with the idea still in an embryonic stage. But the formation of the Premiership, which was fiercely opposed in the early Nineties, took only one year to organise. It proved that the clubs have the power.

The Phoenix Division will seek sponsorship and their own television deal. The new league could even interest Carling, the present Premiership backers. Next season, the brewery are to pay £9 million a year and may consider extending their backing to include the new division.”

Steve Hinchliffe (gea05@keele.ac.uk)

FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH…

I bumped in to FC’s daughter on Friday and thought I would share my conversation with her to you all; it may set the cat amongst the pigeons again and start of the Franny’s a control freak argument which is why we lose our decent managers?

  • She told me her dad gets £400k a year on a three year deal!
  • He wanted to sell Gio for £7.5m which was offered by Barcelona so he couldbuy three decent quality players, in particular two strikers.
  • He hasn’t got the reported £10m to spend on players.
  • He has to sell a number of players as the squad is too big.
  • He doesn’t like Franny Lee as he tries to take over all the time when itcomes to buying players and sorting out contracts and has told FC what todo on the pitch at times.
  • The new kit is Kappa.
  • He got offered the Sheffield United job last Wednesday, and turned it down.On that I asked why he was offered it as I thought Kendall was happy thereand she said he was leaving. I wish I had clicked where he was goingbecause he was 15/1 to get the job at Everton on Monday!
  • She likes Nicky Summerbee, and used to go out with him apparently, butbefore he and FC were at City. She said she has known him for years.She doesn’t go out with players or fans any more as she has had problemswith them when her dad has left the club.
  • She is very pretty!

James Talbot (lmd@compuserve.com)

THE KIT

Greenacre and Brown model the new kits

I’ve got a photo of Michael Brown and A.N. Other (Greenacre?) modelling the new kits and very splendid they look too. It’s a darker blue which I’m happy with as I’ve always felt we looked smaller in stature etc. playing against teams in strong colours, especially red! Both have the Kappa logo down the sleeves and Brother on the front. The crest is indeed the much talked about eagle. The away kit features top half darkish blue with the Brother underneath, white set in maroon. Dark blue shorts, white socks. Looks like we may need a 3rd strip in some games. No sign of silver or any metallic colours. They’re a break from tradition, but if they see us change the habit of a generation and actually win something who cares!

Anonymous

EURONET ’97

The Euronet 97 competition starts this coming Saturday (28th) June in Middlesbrough (at Mannion Park, ex ICI recreation club). If any Blues in the NE of the country fancy coming along to cheer the boys on then you’re quite welcome, I feel we’ll need a fair bit of moral support. If you fancy playing then that’s even better. Due to injuries the squad has been reduced to 13 players from the registered 15, so if we’ve got a couple of willing volunteers then please get in touch (asap Friday morning) and I’ll see about getting you registered to play.

If anyone wants any more details they’re available from: http://www.integrity.co.uk/euronet97/

Martin Ford (mford@fs1.li.umist.ac.uk)

DUTCH WWW SITE

There is now a Dutch Manchester City Homepage. This page is in English and made by two Dutch City fans: Martin Kampherbeek and Maarten Ivens. This page has all you ever wanted. Now with a picture, personal info and even a story about Gerard Wiekens. The address is: http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Field/3084/ So log in and sign our guestbook.

Martin Kampherbeek (m.kampherbeek@st.hanze.nl) and Maarten Ivens (m.j.ivens@rechten.rug.nl)

CITY MAGAZINE REVIEW – MAY 1997 VOLUME 2 ISSUE 9

Issue 9

Well, this review is a little late and a little out of date, but as it didn’t stop the publishers sending it to me when it was out of date I thought I’d let the rest of you suffer too! You’ll get exactly what I mean about the date in a second, and bear in mind that this landed on my doorstep around the tenth of May, after the season had finished!

Cover – some bloke called Dalian Atkinson, didn’t he play a couple of games for City? The sticker is of Big Bob Brightwell. Why do we call him Bob?

The photos show one of the last ones taken of Lomie in a sky blue shirt after scoring against Stoke.

All the usual in the diary.

Then we have an article titled “Blue Skies Ahead?” – an interview with Dalian Atkinson. I have to be honest, I haven’t really read this article as what is the point, before I got the mag Big Frank had already said he was on his way back to Turkey.

The only thing the article really seems to be on about is “Disco” regaining his fitness so he can reach through balls, he refused to talk about contracts and wages. There are rumours that the editorial team are looking to get him for another interview at the start of the season – Grey days return!

The next article is just as bad – Something in Reserve – Kevin Bond interview! Forget the curse of Hello, grace the pages of City and that’s it – you’re confined to the scrapheap of soccer! The article starts by saying that there can’t be many people happy with the season they had last season, but Kevin must be. If the poor bloke read that I wouldn’t be surprised if he had topped himself! It also goes on to say things seem much calmer for Bond now. Was that just the eye in the centre of the storm?! All in all, he seems a nice guy, but Big Frank has plans for City, so sorry Kev mate.

There is also a good article on the bloke that claims to have started last years favourite City chant – City ‘Til I Die. He gives a description of how he fell on it by accident and that it took ages before you heard the terraces singing it as you have to build up confidence in other fans that it will be a good song. So, if I think up a beaut next season, I’ll let you know and we’ll all have to sing it and maybe we’ll make the mag? You then have another “You Watch” article which is the similar one I mentioned to our very own Why Blue?

The curse then seems ready to strike again, with an article on Alan Kernaghan titled “I’ll be back.” No you won’t! I have a bit of a soft spot for Kernie, I think he has always tried his best and OK, he’s not too good in the air, can’t really pass the ball, and isn’t the fastest player around, but come on he’s not as bad as Homer Simpson was, is he? The article is a good one as well; he doesn’t have an agent ’cause he thinks there just there for themselves, he hates Alan Ball, he’s the club’s PFA rep. He has been actively involved in organising Lakey’s testimonial fund. All in all I won’t be too sad to see him still at City next season!

So that’s about it for this one then.

James Talbot (lmd@compuserve.com)

GEORGIAN SHIRTS

I have been trying to get the Georgian shirt after I saw a picture of Gio in the Kappa one around the time of the England-Georgia match (this was not the red one but a mainly white design with a stripe down the left shoulder). I contacted Soccer Scene at the time, they said that Adidas had been the makers but it was now Kappa. However, Kappa do not have a UK outlet (which is why their stuff is more expensive) and that if the Georgian shirt was available they would have it, but it isn’t and they don’t. I also visited the Kappa home page, there was no info on the Georgian shirt, or the City one, but the site is worth a visit anyhow. I emailed them but did not get a reply. I imagine the strip is not commercially available as not that many Georgians would be able to afford it and the demand world-wide must be err… low? Apart from Maine Road that is, so surely City must have looked into getting hold of them and now with the Kappa link it should be possible, or are they happy to market their own Gio-sport brand of goodies? A definite opportunity exists for some entrepreneur as I’m sure they’d sell well.

Neil Foskett (n.a.foskett@fel0109.wins.icl.co.uk)

PLAYER OF THE MONTH – AWARD CEREMONY

I’d just like to say a big thank you to Ken Foster for organising the Player of the Month prediction league. I received the winner’s prize today in a ceremony conducted by our postman. The package contains a selection of programmes dating back to the sixties and including AC Milan at home when we beat them in the UEFA Cup in the late seventies. There’s also a selection of photos, the team being presented to the King before the 1936(?) Cup Final being a highlight. So once again thanks Ken and I’d encourage more people to enter if it runs again next year. You don’t necessarily have to go to the games, as the quality of match reports in MCIVTA is so good and Gio wins most months anyway.

I have had a premonition that the new kit looks excellent and although the away strip isn’t a return to the red and black it too looks superb.

I’d also like to echo Paul Howarth’s comments about the stick Everton should have been getting about their failure to attract a manager. The Guardian had a running joke about Ann Widecombe being the perfect candidate for the Maine Road hot seat, but Everton, supposedly one of the big five hardly rate a mention.

And finally if anyone can offer a lift from Manchester to Livingston on the 22nd July (one way) and from Falkirk back to Manchester on the 28/29th July (again one way), I’d be very grateful and obviously contribute to expenses. I may be able to offer accommodation in Edinburgh on these nights, but I can’t guarentee that yet.

Paul Monaghan (pm5@bolton.ac.uk)

HAPPY IN SUSSEX?

Most of you probably know I’m exiled down here in sunny Sussex.

My company have decided to send me on a course for 2 days, to be specific 16 and 17 July in Leyland. When they told me I hugged my boss and burst into ‘City Til I Die’ – Blackpool Here I come!

On the bad news scene – Guess who booked his holiday for 23rd August (Tranmere and Blackpool followed by Charlton Away) and guess which scum TV Channel decided to move the Tranmere match (bloody Sky that’s who!).

Also can anyone let me know who the Oldham lad is in Perth, a friend of mine got deported to OZ years ago and I was wondering if it is him?

Andy Birkin (A_J_Birkin@msn.com)

BETTING ODDS

In answer to the request for the betting on Division 1 next season the following odds are available from Hills:

6-1  City          14-1 Birmingham C    33-1  Stockport C
6-1  Middlesbro'   14-1 Norwich C       40-1 Huddersfield
6-1  Notts Forest  20-1 Stoke City      40-1 Oxford
7-1  Wolves	   20-1 Tranmere        40-1 Portsmouth
9-1  Sunderland    25-1 Port Vale       40-1 Swindon
10-1 Sheff Utd     25-1 WBA             50-1 Bradford C
12-1 Ipswich T     33-1 Bury            50-1 Reading
12-1 QPR           33-1 Charlton        66-1 Crewe Alex

This time last year City were 4-1 clear favourites with the nearest rival about 8-1. These odds may of course change even before the season starts, reacting as they do to events such as the Sheff Utd management issue. I think Portsmouth look very generous at 40-1.

I can’t see a runaway winner like Bolton this time. I reckon it will be a blanket finish but surely City must be in the top six!

J Whelan (J.Whelan@man0539.wins.icl.co.uk)

OPINION – THE NEW KIT…

So the new kit has been unveiled along with an atrocious new club badge (IMHO).

Home Kit

Thoughtfully Kappa have managed to keep the home shirt a traditional sky blue. It’s got a v-neck with blue, white and black (dark blue?) edging. Down the sleeves there’s the Kappa logo, on a dark background – that’s a striking difference. The brother logo is once more white against the blue background. The new club badge is on the left hand side and the Kappa logo on the right (in white). Plain white shorts, dark Kappa logo on the left hand side, new badge on right hand side, dark Kappa logo down the sides. Socks, dark blue, red and white single stripe at the top. White Kappa logo just above the ankle. Overall it doesn’t look too bad, have to see one in the flesh to see if it’s worth buying and to see how much it’ll cost!

New Crest

The new badge; personally I think it looks like a WWII American air force three star general (or whatever rank they have in the air force)! At the top are three stars, underneath is a golden eagle and imposed on that is the new club crest. The ship is still there, underneath that is MCFC and then three diagonal strikes (like the badge of the early 70’s?). At the bottom of the whole thing is a bit of latin, Superbia In Proelio (Pride In Battle). It just reminds me of some military rank! Most disappointing feature of the new kits, yeuk!

Away Kit

The away shirt. Mainly white bottom half. White brother logo on dark background across the chest. Another white band before the the top half across the shoulders becomes a dark blue. Same design with v-neck collar, red, white and dark blue on collar. Badge on left, logo on right. The Kappa logo is on a dark background on the sleeves, which looks better and less noticable. Dark blue shorts with the same layout as the home shorts. Socks, white with dark blue and red trim. Once more a pretty good shirt.

If you want to see the thing in the flesh as to speak, look at the official city web site: http://www.mcfc.co.uk/. You’ll also get an explanation as to why the badge has changed.

Martin Ford (MFORD@fs1.li.umist.ac.uk)

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