Newsletter #314


Welcome to Manchester City Information Via The Alps (MCIVTA), an informal but moderated newsletter that is sent out twice a week to well over 1400 subscribers worldwide from the Peak District in Derbyshire, England. So why is it called Via The Alps? Well, Ashley (the founder of MCIVTA) started this City mailing list in September ’94 when he was working in Switzerland. Being so far from home caused enormous problems with keeping in touch. Unable to find anything out about the Blues, he relied on info being sent to him. It was the collecting of this information that led to the birth of MCIVTA. This has worked well with people sending ‘live’ match reports as well as general news, rumours etc. It has also developed along the lines of a discussion group and there is now a healthy exchange of opinion.

Past issues of MCIVTA can be found on the supporters’ web page at If you have web access, a visit to the homepage is recommended.

If you feel that you can contribute something to the WWW page or MCIVTA, then all that’s needed is a file or a straight Email. MCIVTA is for everyone so, if you have an opinion, can provide a match report, news or want to write something along the lines of how you became a City supporter ‘Why Blue’ or do a book/video review then don’t hesitate.

Due to pressure of work, Ashley assumes that everything you send can be used in MCIVTA; if it’s only for him personally then please say so. Send all contributions to Ashley at:

We also have an official contact at the club who can respond to any queries, so if you have a question relating to football at City (not the business side of things), send it to me at:

When you do send an article, to save Ashley’s time would you please place your name and mail address in brackets at the bottom of the piece like this:

Joe Bloggs (


Steve Bolton (


Just got home from the Blackpool friendly, which I watched from the “luxury”(?) of the Directors’ box, complete with orange cushion and wooden seat. The game was a typical pre-season friendly, with Blackpool looking quite good, especially in the first half. I must say how good it was to see Richard Edghill (lives ’round the corner from me) pulling the famous Aquamarine shirt on once again and playing in the second half. I noticed Uwe was up to his old “best man falls” tricks, whenever he got within 5 yards of the box. The highlight of the match for Uwe was when he got pulled off by Frank Clark at half time! The Seasiders deservedly went in at half time with a 1-0 lead, scoring in the 30th minute.

City made four or five changes, and played much better in the second half. In the 70th minute Nigel Clough stabbed in a near post equaliser from a Nick Summerbee cross. I personally thought Chris Greenacre had scored, but perhaps that bloody big piece of metal holding up the “grandstand” may have obscured my otherwise uninterrupted view of the field of play. I must say I was very impressed with Gerard Wiekens’ performance on the right side of midfield. He looked strong and very comfortable on the ball, and played some cracking long passes. Jeff Whitley continues to impress and Nicky Summerbee was also very confident. I even saw his dad in the directors’ lounge! Tommy Wright made two blinding saves in the last few minutes. But surely the highlight of the match was when the ref tried, unsuccessfully, to control a wayward 40 mph rocket pass with his “groin”. The game was appropriately restarted by the ref with a “drop ball”, which is probably how he felt at the time.

Steve Kay, Manchester (


Once more the media have gone over the top after Blackpool. The widely publicised story of “steward rescued from the fans” can be explained in 3 short points.

  1. City fan runs onto the grass adjacent to the pitch from a stand occupied by Blackpool fans.
  2. He sprints down towards the Spion kop (away end) but slips on the greasy turf as he attempts a quick turn (sounds like City!).
  3. After a further lunge, a game of tug of war commences between the crowd and the steward using the fan’s shirt as a rope. The stewards lost.

That was it as far as I could see. If nothing else it proves the new Kappa shirts are quite strong!

Best chants:

  • “I’d rather be a camel than a Rag”
  • “New kit same s**t”

Kev McMeeking (


The second pre-season friendly, and a visit to new Football League members Macclesfield, aka “The Silkmen” (most of us thought they were singing “We’re Sadmen ’til we die”!). Nice, warm sunny night. Plenty of Kappa shirts around. Nice little ground, with 2,500 turning out (mostly Blues). I thought £8 to get in was a bit steep though.

As you might expect with friendlies, the City line up was totally different from the Blackpool game. Martin Margetson played well in goal, Richard Edghill had another successful first half, and Lee Crooks played the full game and gets better and better. Our new Aussie left winger Danny Devito (er, sorry Tiatto) played most of the match, going off with cramp in the second half. He looks very promising, willing to take on defenders, though he did give the ball away a few times. He’s only small and reminded me a bit of Dennis Tueart; he’s even got the same initials! As Dennis is one of my all time City top 5 players, if this lad is 10% as good as Dennis, he’ll do for me! Ironically he was replaced by Alan Ball’s £10 million man ‘Buster’ Philips.

The game was a bit “flat” in the first half, with not a lot happening. Uwe didn’t play the first half but during the half time warm up, he came over to sign autographs which earned a round of applause. Uwe and Paul Dickov took over up front in the second half and straight away we had more bite, with Dickov constantly having a go at the Macclesfield centre back, a big Nigerian lad, complete with knotted white hankie (or was it a bandana?). City started to have more shots on target and it was no surprise when Uwe rose to head home a corner in front of the City fans. City should have had more, but I suppose 1-0 was a fair result on the night. Still no Kinky or Ian Brightwell, who should be playing in Scotland, whilst Kit, Tommy Wright, Jeff Whitley and Gerard Wiekens were rested. Macclesfield battled well and should hold their own in Division 3. The match programme cost £1 but was better value than the poxy Blackpool one. The City squad was listed on the back, including Lomas, Beagrie and Kavelashvili… but no Kinky? It’s good to see that these programme editors really put the effort in, and fully research the visiting teams!

P.S. Forgot to mention… when I was in the Directors’ Lounge at Blackpool on Wednesday, on the wall I noticed an artist’s impression of the inside of Blackpool’s futuristic stadium, complete with crowd, players and giant scoreboard. I said to the doorman “Is the bloke that did this painting dreaming, or what?” The doorman replied “Of course not, the plans are still in place for this wonderful stadium,” to which I replied “I didn’t mean the ground, I meant the score on the scoreboard.” It read: Blockpool 3 Liverpool 0. Dream on!

Steve Kay (


Macclesfield Town vs. Man City, Friday 18th July 1997

The game was played on a warm, sunny evening at the Moss Rose, in deepest Cheshire. We arrived at the ground half an hour before kick-off, the crowds growing steadily, the majority being City supporters. We took up station behind the goal. The game started at quite a good pace with City attacking the far end, a good shot from Clough producing a fine save from Price in the Macclesfield goal. After about 10 minutes the home side began to take control of the game and produced some neat football; they seemed to sense that they could beat this team, I wonder why! With some good attacking play they forced 2 successive corners, a near post flick on had the City defenders and goalkeeper well beaten and would have produced the first goal but for a timely header off the line by Edghill, who was stationed at the back post. The first half then went downhill for City, with little to threaten the Macclesfield goal, the Silkmen having the best chances.

The second half was a vast improvement with the introduction of Uwe, Dickov, Brown and Hiley. Right from the kick off City attacked down the wings, Uwe and Dickov pulling the defence apart with neat interchanging play. City continued to control the game with a series of shots on goal, the build up play was a lot better with good movement up front. Dickov got in for two good chances but he shot just wide; the defence had little to do in this half as City took complete control. In another attack the ball was crossed in from the left and Uwe ran to meet the ball and sent a bullet header flying into the back of the net; 1-0, the ‘keeper had no chance.

City continued to pressure the Macclesfield goal and should have had two more for their efforts. Macclesfield rallied in the dying stages and nearly equalised with a fine cross to the far post but Phillips ran into his man and was lucky not to give away a penalty.

The City team was:

Margetson: not an outstanding game, usual misunderstanding with Kernaghan (5/10)
Edghill: good to see him back, showed some good touches but needs more games (6/10)
Ingram: very solid game, with good distribution (7/10)
Beesley: worked hard but was beaten on a couple of occasions (6/10)
Kernagan: again worked hard, saved the day on a couple of occasions, but poor distribution, and a lack of co-ordination with the ‘keeper, as per last season (5/10)
Brannan: had a good game but should have got forward more (7/10)
Summerbee: played well in first half, had a good strike from a free kick tipped over the bar, and whipped in some wicked crosses; replaced early in second half by Phillips (7/10)
Crooks: not bad, nothing outstanding though, full of running (6/10)
Clough: good early strike should have scored, but that was it, replaced in second half (5/10)
Greenacre: had a few chances but failed to make a real contribution, still time for him though (5/10)
Danny Tiatto: showed some good footwork and worked hard, but lost his way, replaced in second half by Greenacre (2nd appearance) (6/10)

On for the second half:

Brown: worked hard and got forward quite often, nothing outstanding (6/10)
Hiley: not his best game (5/10)
Phillips: still too lightweight, didn’t take on his man, kept passing back too much but showed promise for the future (6/10)
Paul Dickov: excellent, excellent, excellent, never stopped running, chased every ball and won most of them (10/10)
Uwe Rösler: along with Dickov, he changed the whole game around in City’s favour, chased every ball, always willing, and scored an excellent goal (11/10)

Ref: S Griffiths: usual poor ref that city tend to get (2/10)
Ref’s asst: T.Wardle-Paylor, outstanding, but he is a City fan and on the committee of the Macclesfield branch of the OSC.

Overall not too bad considering the players missing, most of the team will not figure much this season IMO. City played in the new home shirts, with the navy away shorts. The gate was 2,964 allegedly, good support for City (about 80%), who gave the Macclesfield ‘keeper some stick for looking like Rodney Trotter, and he was a right plonker.

The bit about the steward being draggged into the crowd at Blackpool was typical GMR rubbish. We were standing right by the steps and my youngster was sat on the wall when a Blue who appeared from the Blackpool stand chased by a steward managed to get into the Blue end but the steward managed to grab a piece of his sacred Kappa shirt and was determined to keep a piece. Obviously the fellow Blues in the stand felt he should stay and were pulling him the other way; it was then that the steward lashed out with his radio, he was not at any time dragged into the crowd by the City fans and it was only when the police inspector rollocked the steward and told him to let go that everything calmed down.

By the way I thought there was going to be a meet in the Dunes; I got fed up and went in the Dutton on the seafront which was awash with Kappa and had a good old sing song. As for the new season, hope springs eternal.

Wes Marchant


Tickets for all home league matches will now go on sale 28 days prior to the game.

Please note for the first 7 days of sale it will be postal applications only in order for supporters to purchase the best possible choice of seats. Please post your applications to:

The Ticket Office
Manchester City F.C.
Maine Road
Moss Side
M14 7WN

Enclosing your remittance (cheque, postal orders, credit/debit card numbers) and a stamped addressed envelope. Please quote a daytime/night time telephone number in case of queries. Supporters paying by cheque are advised that their cheques will be cleared before tickets will be posted.

The ticket office have increased their credit card lines from 7 to 16. When these are all being used, the telephones will not be sited in the serving windows. This will enable the ticket office to have a potential of 21 selling positions overall.

These details were announced following the Supporters’ Committee meeting on 14th July; the minutes of this meeting are available of the Supporters’ Club web site at:

Paul Howarth (


I wrote to Citynet about purchasing tickets for the upcoming season and this is the reply they sent. So if you’re visiting from abroad or just want to catch the odd game you’d better join the membership scheme to avoid any possible disappointments.

Basically for the meanwhile you will have to join our membership scheme to guarantee your seat. It is the police who enforce this scheme if the away fans have sold out all their allocation and game is not a sell out in the City end.

We often only find out on the day of the match, although we can guess the matches (see What’s New in Citynet 21/7/97).

When the ISC is off the ground, this should entitle international fans to automatic membership. However, for the meanwhile, as I stated above, to definitely get a ticket, either apply as early as possible, or join the membership scheme.

Steve Sayer, Citynet

Paul Whittaker (


Martin Kampherbeek asked in MCIVTA 311 about when City will be training during the summer; the bad news is that the summer training sessions will not be open to the public – this was announced on CityNet a couple of weeks ago I think. After the season starts, people will be allowed to mingle with the staff at some sessions, as per the end of last season.

Paul Howarth (


Ken models the new T-Shirt

The pre-delivery sample of the T-shirt has arrived and I am pleased to say that the result is very good with striking laser blue colours and a crisp sleeve print on a very high quality t-shirt. This picture of the actual shirt can be found at: (excuse the ugly mug).

The actual photo was taken on a very bright day, very hastily to get something to Svenn (via Paul H.) so apologies for its brightness. It’s enough to give you some idea of what the shirts are like though. There are 74 XL, 47 L, 4 M and 3 S left unordered. I currently have definite orders for 72 shirts which should be despatched within 10 to 12 days, depending on delivery from the manufacturers.

Ken Foster (


Tickets are selling well for the Maine Event ’97. Available now from the ticket office at a nominal £1.00 entrance fee. This is a ticket only event with turnstile admission.

All the first team squad will be in attendance alongside other attractions including the Coca-Cola inflatable football games and a live roadshow with GMR Talk. Taking place in, on and around the Kippax Stand, this should be a brilliant day out for all the family.

Steve Sayer at CityNet (


Courtesy of Citynet:

Wed Aug 13  Sunderland               H
Wed Aug 20  West Bromwich Albion     A
Wed Sep 10  Oldham Athletic          A
Tue Sep 16  Wolverhampton Wanderers  H
Mon Sep 22  Leicester City           A
Tue Sep 30  Grimsby Town             H
Tue Oct  7  Middlesbrough            H
Tue Oct 14  Notts County             A
Tue Oct  2  Port Vale                H
Tue Nov 11  Coventry City            A
Tue Nov 18  Bolton Wanderers         H
Wed Nov 26  Huddersfield Town        A
Tue Dec  9  West Bromwich Albion     H
Mon Dec 15  Sunderland               A
Tue Jan 20  Oldham Athletic          H
Tue Feb 10  Wolverhampton Wanderers  A
Tue Feb 17  Grimsby Town             A
Wed Mar  4  Leicester City           H
Tue Mar 10  Coventry City            H
Wed Mar 25  Port Vale                A
Wed Apr  1  Bolton Wanderers         A
Tue Apr  7  Huddersfield Town        H
Wed Apr 22  Middlesbrough            A
Tue Apr 28  Notts County             H

Paul Howarth (


There is only one move to make at this point, friends. City must sign Tony Yeboah. Now!

None of us need reminding that striker is the one position at which we’ve failed to strengthen ourselves in the close season, and strength is exactly what Yeboah offers. Brute force, lethal finishing and a hunger (I hope) to re-establish his name in the top flight (like a certain club that wears laser-blue shirts).

I don’t want to hear about Yeboah’s weight problems or his whining or the notion that he might not be the prototype partner for my beloved Uwe. You all heard Frank Clark: We’re just not going to get a top-class English striker to come Maine Road. Hell, we couldn’t even convince Shota Arveladze, not exactly a proven talent, to join his best mate. Shota deemed the sub’s bench at Ajax more cozy than the plush turf at House of Gio. I’m hoping – no, praying – that Yeboah would actually consider signing for us because he’s drawing so little interest from top clubs.

Yes, there are loads of question marks with Yeboah. He wouldn’t be available if there weren’t. But I, for one, hope that his sagging reputation scares off the Premiership and Bundesliga boys. Maybe, just maybe, we could catch a break and have a real shot at a player who’s not only talented enough to get us out of the First Division but good enough to help us stay up when we get there. And since no one else seems interested in joining City, what’s there to lose by going after the scorer of the only goal in the ’95-96 season deemed more spectacular than Gio’s mazy run vs. Southampton?

From what I’ve read, Yeboah can be had for about £2 million. If by some miracle we could get that far, FC and Franny better not short change him on the personal terms. They keep telling us that we’re a big club. It’s time to start acting like one – with a bold, risky, splashy signing to really get Blues buzzing. One more year in this sorry division is all I can stand; remember, those of us in the States don’t get the MEN or GMR or the Nationwide highlight show.

P.S. – Since I realize that the thought of lining up Yeboah with Rösler is pure fantasy (to me, anyway), I can look at things realistically. So, assuming we don’t sign anyone up front, I urge Blues everywhere to get behind Clough. We all know he’s not an out-and-out striker and that he hasn’t exactly bled Blue since joining us, but he is a proven Premiership-class player. There aren’t many of those guys under contract here any more. Wouldn’t you feel more comfortable seeing Clough alongside Rösler than Dickov or Greenacre?

Marc Stein (


City have apparently got Lee Bradbury on their “wanted list” (according to South coast local Ceefax). He currently plays for Portsmouth; I think before that he was in the army. He’s a striker who made tremendous progress last season.

By “wanted list” I guess they mean a City scout was spotted at a Portsmouth game!

Tim Starns (


Gary King quite rightly pointed out that Paul Merson dropped a division from Arsenal to Middlesbrough and asked why City cannot do the same. I recall that the same club that signed Merson just lost a fair bit of talent from Brazil and Italy(?) and other news is that Bryan Robson will still continue playing this year after coming on a sub recently in a pre-season game, desperation maybe?

Keep dreamin!

Claude Nuttall (


Having just returned from the Phoenix Festival I am able to provide conclusive evidence that City are indeed the hippest team on the planet. Having completed a statistically sound survey based on what I saw with my very own, not at all addled vision, I am pleased to present the final positions in the 1997 Phoenix Festival Football Shirt Spotting League:

Manchester City – 8 shirts (3 Kappa)
Brazil – 7 shirts
Ajax Amsterdam, Liverpool – 3 shirts
Rangers, Arsenal – 2 shirts
Spurs, Rags – 1 shirt.

For the record, there was no sign of any Rags shirts at all until I finally spotted one during the David Bowie encore on the last night – don’t tell me they can even pay him off to keep playing until they score!

A good result all round and also of interest was that Kappa shirts generally have overtaken Adidas in terms of popularity with the bright young things, so hopefully City can cash in on having the most fashionable strip in the country…

Chuckster (Charles) Annable (


Would it be possible to mention through your service a bit of good news for other Blues living near the East Coast of Norfolk? A local Public House which goes by the name of the Never Turn Back, which is situated at Manor Road, Caister-on-Sea, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk has been taken over by a City supporting landlord who is in the process of jazzing the place up in the famous blue and white and attempting to turn it into a bit of a focal point for local live away Blues (both of us!). It’s a lonely business being Blue in this part of the world, so if you live close to Great Yarmouth or if you visit on holiday, try and give the place a look. Now that we’ve got a place like this where we can meet like minded people, it would be a shame to lose it. I very much doubt that the atmosphere will be anything like the Parkside on match day, but after the last away game with Norwich City (1996/97), about a dozen of us gave it a good go! It was good to see a few lads from Manchester itself in there who were staying nearby so word is obviously getting around, hopefully this small mention will help.

Many thanks, Paul Rawling (


Born in 1968 in Ashford, Kent, I had no interest in football until the age of 5 in 1973.

My father had not, and still does not, have any interest in football at all. He did, however, have an Italian mate from work who was mad about footy, particularly Man City. I used to sit and watch the Big Match with him on a Sunday afternoon and my blue fever soon showed through. Since then I have supported them though thick and thin – more thin on reflection, and followed them to places such as Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday. I always try and make the London games with my mates – you’d be suprised how many City fans there are in Ashford.

By the way anyone know how I can get the City mag as it disappeared down here when we dropped to the Nationwide.

Be Cool – Be Blue Forever

Steve Cox (


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.

Sarah Dugdale,

Newsletter #314