Newsletter #339

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Another appalling performance and the tension is almost palpable, with signs of snapping patience all around. This issue sees 5 matchviews, I couldn’t really call ’em match reports as all 5 couldn’t really bring themselves to describe the match in any detail – including me! Rumours persist about Babayoko – apparently he wants to come to Maine Road but the price has risen to £6 million and City can’t afford it. We are however, rumoured to be offering Buzzer and Rösler around to raise some cash!

This issue also so has a piece on that City institution, Vince Miller, some light relief from reality, as several Blues put together their worst ever City side; as well as opinion and some humour.

There is also news of 2 ways to recognise other Internet Blues, namely the enamel badge organised by Tom Robertson and the MCIVTA T-shirt, organised by Ken Foster. Ken still has quite a few of the T-shirts left and could do with shifting a few more if he is not to incur a loss; please buy one if you can.

This one reaches 1,661

Next game, Stoke City at home, Wednesday 22nd October 1997

MATCHVIEW I

The day started off nicely, brilliant sunshine and unpleasantly warm – in a long-sleeved shirt anyway! Steve, Paul and I met up with several MCIVTA-ers at the Old Abbey and after a couple of pints and a natter, we made our way down to Maine Road in balmy conditions.

The crowd was just over 26,000 and the new scoreboard was up, perversely filling only about half the area of the immense framework erected to carry it – perhaps we’re branching out into satellite launching?

The first disappointment for me was the team; it was the same old slow, shaky, and clueless centre-back pairing, but perhaps most bizarre of all, was Heaney playing as a striker instead of the injured Bradbury. City basically bombarded Reading for 20 minutes and then seemd to lose their way for the rest of the half. The second half started as badly as the first but another laughable refereeing decision seemed to annoy the crowd enough to actually get behind the team. The team seemed buoyed up by this and strung together a few moves, with Heaney blasting over twice. City had a penalty awarded with 5 minutes to go which Gio struck hard and low against the post! It was justice really, as I was right above it and it was an appalling decision as Dickov had virtually played the ball into touch by the time the goalie caught him.

Overall, City had little up front; bring back Bradbury, at least we get chances when he’s on the pitch! We looked shaky at the back and we would have almost certainly conceded a goal against a better team than Reading, who were very ordinary indeed. We seem to have slipped back to the team of a season ago with a huge void between the midfield and attack, the formation would have to be 4-4———2!

Ratings:

Margetson 7: Absolutely nothing to do really.
Edghill 6: Made some awful passes and some panicky hoofs up field – is this the same player who excelled against Swindon?
van Blerk 7: Played well, got forward and forced a good save with a 30-yard grass-cutter.
Bob 5: Maybe I’ve got it in for him, but he is simply awful; we desperately need someone calm at the back and neither Bob nor Symons fit the bill.
Symons 5: Spent the entire proceedings with Asaba’s shirt almost supernaturally glued to his hand; other limbs were used in abundance to foul the awkward forward from start to finish – the ref seemd to think all was in order!
Horlock 7: Played well and had a glorious 40-yard chip/shot which just missed. Put in some flying tackles.
Wiekens 6: Quite dependable but he really is a defender and we desperately need attacking midfielders.
Brannan 5: Totally anonymous.
Gio 5: One excellent run was ruined by him wanting to finish it off, there were two City players inside him who could have easily scored if he had bothered to pass.
Heaney 5: Had a couple of chances but generally looked as dangerous as something, er, not very dangerous at all!
Dickov 7: Ran and ran and ran, had a good old tussle with several defenders and won the penalty with the aid of some theatrical deck-hitting.

Subs:
McGoldrick 6: On for Wiekens and certainly livened up the attack, but looks very rusty.
Buzzer 6: On for the last 14 minutes and put in some good crosses.

The Ref 4: Looked good for 30 minutes but then made a series of bizarre decisions including bottling a clear yellow card incident when Edghill and a Reading player all but started fighting. The oddest decision was the penner, I just knew he would give it, despite letting numerous pushes, shoves and tackles from behind go all the game!

Ashley

MATCHVIEW II

As this is my first since the corresponding fixture last season I thought I’d combine a matchview with my thoughts on our lack of progress so far. This may make this quite long so I’ll apologise at the start.

The match could be summed up in one phrase really – What the f*** was that? OK, so for the first twenty minutes we looked good, forced loads of corners and had one headed off the line. However, we didn’t score so just gave up. The rest of the game might as well not have happened. I don’t think I’ve ever seen City have so many corners but rarely were they threatening. The only other incident of note was a late penalty when Dickov was brought down by their ‘keeper. The match had been so bad up to that point that I really didn’t expect Kinkladze to score and lo and behold he produced a crap penalty near the ‘keeper at a comfortable height. That was just about that really. Reading were so inept that despite our desperate attempts to give them a goal they completely failed to take their opportunities.

Team Ratings:

Margetson 7. Did everything he had to do well. Would have got 8 but sliced virtually all his kicks left.
Edghill 5. Pretty poor. Often failed to pick up his man and looked shaky in general. Captaincy material I don’t think.
van Blerk 6. Couple of good runs, not caught out of position too much.
Brightwell 6. Largely did OK.
Symons 6. Better than previous reports suggested. Tried a couple of times to cock up though.
Brannan 4. Crap. I hardly noticed he was playing. Pace? Passing?
Horlock 5. Did a bit more than Brannnan but looks lost out wide. Pace? Passing?
Kinkladze 4. Used to score penalties for fun but couldn’t even do that today. Selfish and shot when should have passed to those in better positions.
Wiekens 6. Might pass nicely but he’s so slow that if he doesn’t make the ball he can’t recover. Also missed too many tackles to look like a competent central defender.
Heaney 3. Crap. Pacey I don’t think. I personally hate the player and I’ve no idea why we bought him and displays like this are the reason why.
Dickov 8. Star. Tried, battled, ran, won the penalty, never gave up. If the rest of the team had played like him we’d have crushed Reading.
McGoldrick 6.5. Bit better than Wiekens but not much of an attacking substitution is it?
Summerbee 6. Should have started instead of Heaney. Couldn’t be any worse.

Now for the rant. I can still see the basic mistakes players were making last season. Movement at throw ins and free kicks is non-existent. Passing to teammates not opposition or empty space. Getting more than one short man in the box and then crossing to the players not to a random place. This is so basic but it’s not done. Why? Why? Why? I can do this stuff so they bloody well should.

It seems to me that lots of the team aren’t comfortable with where they’re playing. I think Horlock should play central midfield and be told to play like he did just after we bought him. Brannan should be told to p**s off and a winger should be played. This should be Scully or Summerbee as Phillips is nowhere. A defender with pace allied to ability and a striker who can score are also still clearly needed. Why weren’t they bought in the summer? We still have far too many players who aren’t regulars and aren’t going to feature often at the club but are still here. Surely it’s not that hard to get rid of them? Even to Hull or somewhere.

Other things. Clearly Gio is going at Christmas as we aren’t going to be challenging. So why don’t we arrange to sell him now and put deals in for other players before everyone knows we’ve got £5 million or whatever to spend so that we don’t get ripped off as per usual? What is the temporary stand for? It looks a mess and surely should have been put between the Kippax and Platt Lane so that the other scoreboard could be put between the North and Kippax at the other end of the ground to the present one? Jo Blakeway is an improvement on the P.A. but it’s still not sorted and disappointingly we’ve still got Vince Miller.

I was in the Platt Lane stand for the first time as I could get cheaper student tickets. However, it’s like a morgue. I tried to start a chant but I just felt too self-conscious at the complete silence around me. Mind you, the whole ground was silent virtually all game. If that had been an away game, soporific though it was, there would have been chanting virtually all game. Why not at home? There was no atmosphere.

I’m afraid I can’t face Stoke on Wednesday. I’m more depressed than after the QPR débâcle last season. Even the fact that we didn’t lose doesn’t cheer me up. I notice that many of the Why Blues are written by people who started following City in the 60s and 70s. Well, I’ve been a Blue for over 10 years now and I really don’t know why. Too much more of this and I might not be. I’m holding on till the Bradford game but I’m depressed and only just in Blue.

Thomas Bodey (mnqz5twb@stud.man.ac.uk)

MATCHVIEW III

The writing is definitely on the wall now for Frank Clark after another inept performance at Maine Road. He has had two weeks to sort out the shambles of Ipswich, and this is the result. I said recently that if things don’t improve dramatically by the end of November, then Frankie will be on his way. How much longer will we tolerate this s***e? Two wins out of ten is relegation form, not promotion form. All my DOSLA stats point to City struggling to stay in the Division. The boos after the match will surely soon be followed by calls for Clark’s head.

A rumour spread outside the ground that Uwe had walked out of the main entrance, thrown his boots across the road, and drove away from the ground. Why, I thought? When the team was announced, I found my answer. No Lee Badbuy, but Neil Heaney is preferred at number 9 to an international class player who still seems to want to play for the club. Not only that, but he is not even on the bench! You have to question a manager’s decisions when he is prepared to take such a massive gamble in such a vital match. Of course we don’t know the background to his decision, but we City fans have seen this scenario over and over again.

Step 1: Manager falls out with Star Player.
Step 2: Player is sold off cheaply, because nobody is bigger than the club.
Step 3: Star Player slags off the club in public, saying he was treated poorly, but he thinks the fans are the best in football.
Step 4: Manager gets the sack for poor results, and is paid off the balance of his 4/5/6* year contract. *Delete as applicable.
Step 5: We are accused of poaching another manager, and have to pay his ex-club compensation.
Step 6: The entire backroom staff are kicked out/paid off, only to be re-employed some time in the future when an ex-Blue takes over.
Step 7: Ex-Star Player and/or Ex-Manager return to haunt us.

How many players can you think of that can relate to being that “Star Player”, or “Ex Manager”? Quinn, Reid, Beagrie, Coton…

In my opinion, Uwe Rösler can do more for this club than Frank Clark. Unfortunately in a few months neither will be around the place.

This squad is good enough to get us out of this tin-pot division, but not whilst the manager unsettles the entire playing squad, with his personal power struggle with Uwe. I am afraid to say that after today, I have lost all respect for Frank Clark as a manager. His actions will only re-create the dressing room discontentment that we saw 12 months ago. It pains me to say it but I believe that his departure is almost inevitable.

All this at the end of the week when City’s greatest hero, Colin Bell, had to take the club to an Industrial Tribunal for unfair dismissal. Allegedly City tried to blacken Bell’s name but ended up paying an undisclosed sum, and the promise of printing a statement in the next programme.

As for the game, well I watched it from the Main Stand, because one of my friends decided after Norwich that he wasn’t going to waste his Saturday’s watching the crap on offer. However, his son still wanted to go, so I let my dad have my Kippax seat (his first visit since 1970?). My position gave me a great view of the goings-on in the City dug-out. Why does Frank Clark sit in the directors’ box in the first half, then stand in the dugout during the second half. Is it a superstition? If so, forget it Frank. The bench seemed to have no ideas of how to win the game. Why is Margetson still being told to punt the ball upfield to diddy Dickov? Everybody can see it is not effective (even more so from the Directors’ Box, Frank).

City lined up: Margetson, Brightwell, van Blerk, Wiekens, Symons, Edghill, Brannan, Horlock, Heaney, Kinkladze, Dickov. Subs: McGoldrick, Conlon and Summerbee. (I’m not in the mood to give ratings).

The game itself was largely forgettable, but City created quite a few chances in the first half, the best probably falling to Kinky whose jinking, turning run ended with a fierce shot that was well saved by the Reading ‘keeper, who had a very good game. Shortly after, a long range van Blerk shot was tipped away. You could see Reading gaining control as the game progressed, and midway through the second half Reading very nearly took the lead as a low, left wing cross into the six yard box was well saved by Margetson, who collided with the Reading striker and was injured in the process. City brought on Summerbee for the painful Brannan, and McGoldrick for Wiekens. McGoldrick gave a bit more bite to midfield but every effort created seemed to result in the final shot going over the bar.

With six minutes remaining Dickov was put through on goal, and was blatantly brought down by the ‘keeper, who was lucky to stay on the field but wasn’t even booked. A goal, and three points, would have been just about a fair result. Up skipped Kinky, fired in a shot low and hard to the right, ‘keeper dived the right way but the shot rebounded off the outside of the post and out for a goal kick. Final score 0-0.

The highlight of the match was when Jo Blakeway said “oops” when she dropped the microphone as she was announcing the Summerbee/Brannan change. She also had difficulty pronouncing the name of the Reading sub, Darius Wdowczyk (well, how would you say it?).

Anyway, enough for now. I’m off to see if I can get the job as the Daily Mail reporter on City games. Reason: See match report on Soccernet: “George(?) Kinkladze missed his third(?) penalty of the season … after misses against Sunderland(?) and Bury. … Kevin Horlock was the first to threaten in the third minute… as the visitors’ defence moved towards him he cooly lobbed the ball over Margetson(?). … Reading’s … key defender Linvoy Primus (made up name?) collided with Dickov(?).” For your information Mr Daily Mail reporter, Kinky isn’t called George, he scored against Sunderland, Margetson plays for City, not Reading, and Primus collided with Heaney, who was noticably staggering around after the incident.

After compiling my DOSLA stats, City are top of one league only… Highest average attendance, including highest attendance in the Division at Sunderland. It is also fantastic that every away game so far has produced the highest attendance for the home team. This club doesn’t deserve supporters like us. Why do we keep coming back for more?

Like a mug I have just bought my tickets for QPR and Oxford, but I look forward to the away games much more than home games. It’s a great day out, you can stand up and sing to your heart’s content and take the p**s out of both teams. The atmosphere at Maine Road recently is dreadful (cannot be very encouraging for the City team when you can almost hear a pin drop). It was crap sitting in the Main stand ‘cos nobody was singing.

P.S. Talking to Gary Owen who said how brilliant the City fans were at Ipswich, especially when we sang “Sing when yer ploughing, you only sing when yer ploughing.”

P.P.S. Why is the new scoreboard in the corner exactly the same as the poxy one in between the Platt Lane and Main Stand? Silly me thinking it was going to be a super-duper one like Arsenal, with a permanent team sheet displayed, replays of the goals and decent half-time entertainment, etc.!

P.P.P.S. How can I get hold of the Forest and Charlton programmes? After queuing for ages outside and inside the new City Megastore, on arrival at the counter I was told “we don’t sell any match programmes any more, sorry.”

See you on Wednesday vs. Stoke?

CTID, Steve Kay (Stevemcfc@aol.com)

MATCHVIEW IV

I thought I’d put in a report of the Reading game since I’ve been reading MCIVTA for a few months now and not yet contributed.

Was this indeed the same club that thrashed Swindon 6-0 or were they on holiday somewhere?

The game started off in true “Go For It” fashion and City could have had two goals from early chances, then the usual happened. 15 minutes into the match, City lose their way, and by half time I was thinking “Am I really a season ticket holder here?” There was only about 10 minutes of football by either team in the 1st half, with every chance being squandered.

Frank must have given them 10 minutes on gas mark 15 at half time, but alas it only lasted 5 minutes into the second half, then it was back to both teams playing pass for 35 minutes, then City woke up for the last 5 minutes. It was too late by then though.

I missed the last 3 minutes because I was disgusted and left – the 1st time I have ever left a match before the final whistle!

One thing I did notice – because Gio couldn’t get away from his marker (and seemed uninterested apart from brief moments of almost-magic) the rest of the team (bar Dickov) were uninterested too.

Better luck vs. Stoke…

Bubs, Bubbleman or Neil Bundy, from Stockport (neil_bundy@neil-bundy.demon.co.uk)

MATCHVIEW V

Here comes another critique of another City game!

Well there you go, the continued belief that the boys in blue would come good. How very much f*****g mistaken we were.

Due to a number of injuries, FC had to field a fairly weakened team with an unusual strike force! Things looked pretty rosy for the first 20 minutes or so with City performing reasonably well and an abysmal Reading side seemingly just hanging in there. City once more failed to capitalise on their chances, Gio, Horlock and van Blerk coming the closest. After the initial flurry of activites the ideas ran out, the pressure eased and the game slid into a meandering nothingness. It’s pointless going on any further than this as the teams conspired to produce a f*****g abyssmal performance. Once more the team made us suffer, they seemed quite content to pick up their wages and not give a stuff about us poor suckers who once more filled the ground, 6th best attendance in England.

Gio had the chance to win the game from the penalty spot after Dickov had flung himself theatrically to the ground and conned the referee into giving the spot kick. It was a con in two parts:
1. He wouldn’t have even caught the ball as he’d hit it too hard, and
2. Did the ‘keeper really touch him? if so it must have been really hard to propel Dickov three feet into the air!

As for the penalty, obviously I wanted Gio to score and give us the points, but the football side of my brain was quite happy to see it missed. We didn’t deserve to win and Dickov is a cheating git! IMHO justice was done with the miss.

Overall comments:

  • The team should have been taking Reading to pieces but obviouslythey don’t give a s**t; no pride, no passion, no commitment!
  • FC must once more hold his hands up, for not motivating theplayers, for picking crap players and a game plan that left a lot to be desired.
  • Why play a useless tosser of a winger (Heaney) up front? He can’teven do his ‘proper’ job. This game should have been used to bloodConlon, we had nothing to lose. Either that or Creaney should havebeen recalled, at least he’s a real striker!

Final Comments

Players that don’t give a toss – get rid of them.
FC – I hope you realise that it’s your arse on the line; get the players motivated, get a decent team formation, get some decent buys. Either that or ship out! And stop trying to blame the fans for a diabolical peformance. I thought we were pretty reserved considering the b******s we had to watch.
Gio – learn to pass the ball and stop being a greedy b*****d – either that or take the money and run.

Totally p****d off with the team, Martin Ford (MFORD@fs1.li.umist.ac.uk)

NEWS – VARIOUS

There has been much speculation today (Monday) regarding the futures of Uwe Rösler and Nicky Summerbee, both of whom could be involved in player exchange deals as Frank Clark sets about “wheeling and dealing”. Rösler, who missed Saturday’s draw with Reading due to an ankle injury but could be back in contention for Wednesday’s visit of Stoke City to Maine Road, has now been linked with the recently-promoted Italian Serie A outfit Lecce (who beat AC Milan at the weekend) as well as the usual Everton and Sunderland rumours. City are thought to value Summerbee at £2 million but a straight cash deal looks unlikely. Bolton are thought to be after a winger and might offer the transfer-listed Jamie Pollock (23) in return.

Frank Clark has hinted that he could be set to look to France to add to his first team squad at Maine Road. He commented: “The scouting staff have been over there and I’ve travelled across a few times myself to watch games and it’s something we will be keeping an eye on because, with the Bosman ruling, it is worth following up in the future. At the end of the season, there will be some very good French players available on free transfers.” Commenting on the bid to sign Montpelier’s Ivory Coast international striker Ibrahim Bakayoko in the summer (before Bradbury was signed), he said: “He’s out of the question now. His price has gone up to about £6 million. We tried very hard to sign him in the summer when the fee was about £3 million. The player was quite keen to come here but the President of Montpelier wouldn’t release him, which is his prerogative.” City have denied rumours of any interest in Rosario Guarino from Empoli and Alberto Malusci, a full-back from Marseilles.

One player Clark says he has no intention of letting go is Gio Kinkladze. “There is no pressure on us to sell Georgi Kinkladze,” he said. Speaking after the game on Saturday, he answered questions about the mounting pressure on him as City continue to struggle: “I have no intention of walking away. The situation when I was at Nottingham Forest was entirely different – I was not allowed to manage there. I am here. There is no question about me not seeing the job through. But we have to get an improvement in the next couple of weeks. We are confident we can turn it round. We have 10 points from 10 games and that concerns me more than being fourth bottom. I thought our performance against Reading was a vast improvement on the one at Ipswich. We played well for the first 25 minutes but then the crowd got anxious and we were hesitant after that.”

Francis Lee has been commenting on the prospects of City moving to the Millennium stadium: “Exact dates have not yet been set but we will only move if it is beneficial for the supporters. Negotiations are at a late stage but when I go to Supporters’ Clubs, on a show of hands, it is usually 80% in favour of a move to the new ground. If we are going to move then it would be in everyone’s best interests to go in the 2000-01 season. That would allow a year before the Games to iron out any teething troubles with the new stadium. The stadium will be used for the Commonwealth Games but the running track will be taken away as soon as they are over.” All the talks between the City council and the club have been conducted in private so far.

Gerry Creaney’s loan deal at Burnley has been extended for another month after scoring four goals in his first month at Turf Moor.

Paul Howarth (paul@city-fan.org)

VIRGIN FOOTBALL SPECIALS

Here are the details of the trains that the Travel Club will be running in conjunction with Virgin Trains.

Queens Park Rangers, Sunday 26th October;

Departs M/C. Piccadilly:	7-30am.
             Stockport:		7-38am.
             Wilmslow:		7-46am.
             Crewe:		8-07am.
Returns from London Euston:	17-30pm.

Adult Fare, £21.00. Child, £14.00.

The fare includes the underground trip to Shepherds Bush Station and return to Euston.

Oxford United, Saturday 1st November;

Departs Piccadilly:	8-17am.
Returns from Oxford:	18-22.

Adult Fare, £20.00. Child, £13.00.

Tickets are available from the Travel Club office. To travel, a person must be a member of the Travel Club, Official Supporters’ Club or the Junior Blues. The Travel Club will be open before and after the Stoke game on the 22nd Oct., on Thursday and Friday 23rd and 24th Oct, between 12 and 5pm. To join the Travel Club the cost is £5.00 for two seasons and two passport size photos are required.

Les Saul (LES_MCFCSC@compuserve.com)

AGM – CITYNET

Here’s how CityNet reported Friday’s AGM:


Manchester City Football Club today held their AGM at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester city centre. With the Club announcing losses of close to £4 million.

A fairly heated meeting saw close to half an hour of questioning focussed on the recent sacking of Colin Bell and Terry Farrell and the subsequent admission of unfair dismissal by the Club. A bomb scare and site evacuation then only added to the tension.

Both Ashley Lewis and Colin Barlow were re-elected to the board, and although there was some dissent, on the whole the majority of fans still seemed supportive.

Frank Clark provided the most honest of appraisals as he thanked the board for their full and unequivocal support and ended with a very good round of applause. As he stated, the rest is up to the team, who are now looking forward to building a campaign for promotion, starting with a win over Reading on Saturday.

Speaking after the event Francis Lee had a few words to say:

“80-90% of the audience seemed to be very supportive of the club. Off the field it is now better than it has ever been and everything now revolves around how the lads do, as Frank (Clark) rightly pointed out.”

“He has done a marvellous job, strengthened the whole club, restructured and set up a platform to go forward.”

Speaking on a move to a new ground, Francis hinted that a decision could be made in the very near future.

That statement in full:

1996/97 proved to be a challenging period for the Club. The first seven months saw a number of changes and the resultant lack of stability affected the performance on the field. Following the appointment of Frank Clark as manager at the turn of the calendar year, there was a marked improvement in the team’s performance and this together with other developments set out below leave the club in a much stronger position.

Financial Review

In January we successfully completed the Rights Issue which was well supported and raised approximately £11.6 million net of expenses. This enabled us to reduce borrowings and associated interest costs and provided us with financial resources to strengthen the playing squad. The balance sheet at May 31 1997 showed Shareholders’ Funds of £12,017,200 (1996: £455,810) and shareholders will be aware that there is no figure in the balance sheet for the cost of transfers as any net transfer fees relating to players are written off directly to the profit and loss account.

Turnover for the year was £12,727,063, a marginal increase on 1996 despite relegation at the end of 1995/96. The net loss before transfer fees increased to £2,137,395 from £579,861, partly caused by higher wage costs. Net expenditure on player’s transfers amounted to £1,753,991.

Football

The 1996/97 season was to some extent a tale of two halves. The first part of the year was difficult with numerous personnel changes and disappointing results from the team. We were very pleased at the end of December to secure the appointment of Frank Clark as our manager. In the following months he changed and considerably strengthened the management team and has brought a number of new players into the club, who should provide greater strength and additional options on the pitch. We were also successful in retaining our strongest players and believe we now have a squad and structure capable of challenging for promotion.

Operational

The club easily achieved the highest level of attendances in the first division and this was reflected in all aspects of our commercial development, including the sale of season tickets for the current season which are at record levels. Once again I would like to thank our supporters for their tremendous support and loyalty. Much progress has been made in a number of key operational areas, helped by the appointment of Michael Turner as the Club’s Chief Executive.

During the year we entered into a new contract with Kappa for the supply of our kit and other merchandise. We are delighted with this arrangement and look forward to a long and successful relationship with Kappa. The home and away kits have recently been launched and well received with a very positive response from our supporters.

We have recently taken over the area previously occupied by the Social Club for conversion into a store. This will provide a much-improved facility for the presentation and selling of our merchandise.

Involvement in the Community

The Club’s Community Scheme continues to thrive under the leadership of our former player, Alex Williams. We have just achieved the “Tackling Drugs Together Award” for our work in the schools against the use of drugs.

A future development of the Astrodome Project, at the Platt Lane Complex, will provide an indoor facility and enhance the activities available for the community in this area.

We are also pleased to have launched, in conjunction with Manchester City Council, a Football academy for the development of football at a junior and youth level in the Manchester area. This project has generous support from The Co-Operative Bank, Kappa and The Professional Footballers’ Association.

Prospects

Considerable progress has been made in strengthening the Club’s commercial development and generally making the Club a more professional organisation. Most of the pieces are now in place but clearly a great deal depends on achieving promotion to the Premier League where the Club’s potential can be realised. We are greatly assisted by the support of Brother Europe Ltd, JD Sports Plc and now Kappa. This is much appreciated, as are the efforts of the Directors and our excellent staff.

Paul Howarth (paul@city-fan.org)

MCIVTA/BLUE VIEW BADGES

Below is the list of people who’ve said they’d buy bagdes if we got them made. Fortunately, because we’ve got so much interest, it’s going to bring down the price considerably, to about £2.50 per badge. The design is a slight adaptation of the “oasis” style oval “city” badge, with “’til we die” in small letters under “city”, “BLUE VIEW” written around the top edge of the oval, and “MCIVTA” written around the bottom edge. The lettering will be chrome, and the Laser Blue will be hard enamel, flush to the lettering.

So, if your name doesn’t appear here, then get in touch if you want one (or more hopefully!) and then I’ll forward everyone the details of who to send cheques to etc. It should then take 3/4 weeks for them to be made, and then I’ll send them out.

Alex Bracey (Margetson’s Love Interest) – 1
Andy Irving – 1
George D – 1
Bob Ollerenshaw – 1
Bob Y – 1
Nick Charles – 1
Chris Woolley – 1
Roger Clarke – 3
Claudio Avrili (Blueski) – 1
Clive Schofield (Blue Durham) – 1
Doug Bennett (Sitemaster) – 2
John O’Connor – 2
Espen Heggelund – 1
Geoff Collins (Bertie Blue) – 1
Chris Griffiths – 10 (yes 10, he’s touring with Oasis in Nov, so wants to give them as a pressie)
Clive Tysoe (Gio’s bootlicker) – 1
Howard Wilson – 1
Howard? (H) – 1
howardmc@iol.ie – ?
Ian Blinkhorn (Blinx) – 2
Ian Reeves – 1
John Booth – 1
John Caley (Blue Pie Eater) – 1
Jonathan Tod – 1
Jules Price – 1
Julian Cooke – 1
Lisa Hinchcliffe (Navy Blue) – ?
Roger Spruce – 1
Nigel Wild (Thame Blue) – 2
Noel Bayley (Trautmann’s Helmet) – 1
Bernie ? (Deep Blue) – 1
Paul Barclay (Trautmann’s Brace) – 1
Paul Burns (Blue In Japan) – 3
Paul H – 2
Peter Kewley – 1
Philip Gregory – 2
Ray Bardsley – 1
Rich F – 1
Rik Smithies – 1
Rob Lever (Mouldy old Kleenex) – 9,758, sorry – 1
Paul Monaghan (Rusholm Ruffian) – 1
Sarah Dugdale – 2
‘Spenner’ Grady – 1
Sam Lowson (moonhead) – 1
Ste Heywood (Sikpupi) – ?
Stephen Wallwork – 1
Thomas Bubendorfer (Thomas) – 1
Tim Mcfarlane – 1
Tricia Joyce – 1
James Talbot (JT) – 1 (whether he wants it or not!)
LTB – as many as it takes to get the order up to 100, to keep the individual cost down, and with a bit of luck I’ll get rid of them at the Tribal Gathering.

Tom Robertson a.k.a. Le Tank Bleu (tpr30@umds.ac.uk)

MCIVTA T-SHIRTS

Now that winter is here what better way to keep warm and at the same time be recognised by other MCIVTA’ers. Yes you’ve guessed it, wear an official MCIVTA t-shirt over your Kappa shirt. At £7.75 (including post and packing) for UK and Ireland and £8.25 (including post and packing) for overseas they are a bargain as well. I still have limited quantities available in Extra Large, Large, and Medium. The t-shirt can be viewed on http://www.uit.no/mancity/mcivta/t-shirt.html. If you would like one please send a cheque or International Money Order to K.Foster 105 Clifton Drive, Blackpool, Lancs FY4 1RS.

Ken Foster (kf737@vossnet.co.uk)

A WEEKEND WITH VINCE MILLER

(by Noel Bayley – editor of Bert Trautmann’s Helmet)

I’ve known Vince Miller for years, I have. Well, when I say I know him I don’t actually mean I know him personally. I know who he is though and with his Man From Burton suit, and his platinum rinse, here’s a man you can’t ignore! I’ll meet him one day of that I’m sure, but I’ll bide my time until he’s presenting me with that £1,500 cheque on the Maine Road pitch. In another time and another place, of course, Vince might have been the fifth Beatle or living it up in Hollywood, one of the bratpack, with Sinatra and Martin. But it wasn’t to be; instead he now plays alongside Lee and Summerbee. And yet somehow, behind the Ancoats-meets-Vegas drawl and the perma-white smile, Vince cuts a slightly sad figure… but who cares when you’ve got the biggest, loudest microphone in Manchester and you’re MC’s MC? Not Vince that’s for sure!

At Friday’s AGM Mr. Microphone arrived like his mum had got him ready for his first day at school, but until he picked up his trusty mic, he was like a fish out of water. Then, once he’d velcroed said mic into his hand, the transformation began. For the first time ever, Vince had wrangled a seat at the top table. Crikey, who wants to see the Halle when Vince is on stage? Rommel-like he directed his small army of microphone wielders to would-be speakers with considerable aplomb; even to the untrained eye this was a superlative performance as a nod and a wink and a spinkle of stardust sent his minnions scurrying seamlessly from one shareholder to the next. While the bomb threat and subsequent evacuation of the Bridgewater Hall might have sent lesser lights exiting stage right, Vince put on a performance which would have sent Busby Berkeley home sulking. Impeccable, abbsolutely impeccable. Who said what? You might well ask and who cares anyway? The main event was Vince.

Saturday afternoon and the boy Miller was in his element; he even cracked a half-time joke, but I won’t repeat it in case he wants to air it again in a few weeks time. And just in case you were wondering why the hard-up Blues had the floodlights on on a glorious sunny afternoon, isn’t it obvious? They were on, of course, for Vince’s benefit, for the roar of the crowd alone is not enough when you’re a star and besides, we all wanted to see the sequins his wife had lovingly sewn into his suit the night before.

Sunday afternoon and Vince had a spot of competition at the first ever Branch Presidents’ Luncheon. With guest speaker Duncan MacKenzie, comedian Don Read and man with the plan Bob Young in attendance, this was never going to be anything but tricky. And yet for all Duncan’s Brian Clough memoirs, for all Don’s pyrotechics in his fire-eating routine and for all Bob’s keyboard wizardry, this ruby in the dust topped them all with a couple of risque jokes, an auction and, his tour de force, a raffle in which Francis Lee’s wife, Mike Summerbee, Paul Power, Tommy Booth and Tommy Wright all won prizes! Only Vince Miller could have got away with that.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Vince Miller: the man, the legend and my mate (one day).

Noel Bayley (noelbayley@compuserve.com)

WORST EVER CITY XI?

Could things possibly be worse? Yes, and here’s conclusive proof.

Sunday night; we were all in the ICQ chat room; Howie de Blue, The Blue Danube and Banjo got around to talking about crap city players and decided to pick our worst City 11. Try it yourself; although we`ve had to watch some s***e it`s hard to whittle it down to only a squad of 16. The idea was to cheer us up and to prove that although we’re depressed at the moment, things are not as bad as they could be!

Here is the team we came up with:

  1. Andy “Where the *** did that go?” Dibble. The only other contenderfor this prestigious position was Simon “5-0 vs. Rags” Tracey. Butterfingerswon the place mainly due to his consistently shaky play over aconsiderably longer period of time.
  2. Dragonoslav “Que?” Stepanovic. This wasdifficult; had we really not got any s****y right backs? Terry Phelan wasmentioned, but obviously he was a left-back so we had to settle on “Que?”(looked like Manuel from Fawlty Towers and played like him as well).Brightwell was also a contender, but was rejected on the grounds that heonce was good and scored a great goal against the Rags.
  3. Michael “Ref was absolutely right to send me off” Frontzeck. First unanimous decisionhere (although Phelan was mentioned for #2) as the award went to thesteady as a rock full back who could have been member of the German Euro`96 Squad. Fat chance of him being called up by his country if he`d beenaround in 1939.
  4. Alan “Speedy Gonzalez” Kernaghan. The jury was out onthis one; someone suggested Kit Symons; but the slot went to who wouldroll his sleeves up and… well roll his sleeves up.
  5. Kevin “Gotta go with daddy” Bond. Kit Symons was again cited for the centre half position;we had been joined online by a few other Blues who made the decisionsharder to make. Andy May was another to be mentioned to accompany Big Alin the heart of the defence but the choice was made and the winner (orloser as the case may be) was Bond. He would complete a partnership torival “Little and Large” for defensive skills.
  6. Nigel “Do Juventus know I`m on the transfer list?” Clough. No ifs, no buts, everyone was of thesame opinion that Nige was to be our number 6. What more can you say?
  7. Nicky “Lazy B*****d/Rag/Useless t**t/Daddy’s boy (delete asapplicable)” Summerbee; a decision which was more easy to reach than across from this cretin. Far and away the clearest decision for any oneposition.
  8. Adrian “Goal machine” Heath. Colin “The King” Bell wassuggested; but only to get the debate going; Banjo suggested Colin couldbe the youth team coach. Lots of names were bandied about the phone lines;Baker, May etc. But we thought our midfield should be anchored around acolossus of a man whose mere presence on the pitch would lift our team toBrazil-like performances, by the way that’s Alan Brazil not the WorldChampions. Obviously, it had to be Inchy.
  9. Steve “Arms and legs” Kinsey. Centre Forward; we all waited with baited breath for this one, andGordon “And Smith must score” Smith was one of the first names putforward. Mark Lillis and others followed but we collectively came up withthe man to spearhead our strikeforce. Strong cases were also put for Gerry“Who ate all the pies” Creaney and Carl “S***t” Shutt, but Kinsey got thenod eventually. With that out of the way all the fun must have been goneas it was left to HdB and TBD to pick the last few places.
  10. Tony “Wednesday told me **** off now we`ve been promoted” Cunningham. Our No 10was a name that jumped out at HdB from the pages of “The Complete Record”.Before someone left they suggested “Gio” for the No 10 shirt to resoundingboos from everyone across the net (apart for any Rags that may have beenlistening in).
  11. Rick “Fashion God” Holden. Last choice to be made; itwas an easy decision (although Phil Boyer’s name was put forward); oursuper wing partnership would consist of Buzzer jnr and Tricky Ricky, whomwe stole from Oldham for a mere couple of players and cash. Great workReidy… well done son.
  12. David “On-side trap” Brightwell.
  13. Ronnie “Danish Dynamite” Ekelund.
  14. Danny “Must be good because he`s Dutch” Hoekman.
  15. Ivan “Who the **** is he? – Blues at Southampton on his début (0-4)” Golac.
  16. Gordon “Only scored at Maine Road for Fulham” Davies.

Manager: Alan “Football Genius” Ball.
Assistant Manager: Sam “Don’t try to be smart lad, just bluddy hoof it!” Ellis.
Physio: Eamon “Doctor Death” Salmon.
Chairman: Peter “Serial employer strikes again” Swales.
Chief Executive: John “Jobs for the boys/Mad dog” Maddock.

Home kits are the 93/94 “Pale blue Yeah Umbro are spending a lot of time designing these” home shirts. For away games the “classic” red and black squares will be used.

This is only a bit of fun and no offence is meant to anyone (with the possible exception of Nicholas…). Please have a go, it takes your mind of the s**t were in and it’s quite fun. In fact we recommend it.

Cheers, Howie de Blue & The Blue Danube.

P.S. The authors would also like to thank Sikpupi, Florida Blue and in particular Banjo, for their constructive and thought-provoking contribution towards compiling this awesome side.

Howard McCarthy (howardmc@iol.ie)

DOSLA

The following is the only table City fans would really want to see from Steve Kay’s statistics output:

Division One Statistics and Leagues for Anoraks (DOSLA).
Compiled by Steve “Statto” Kay, Update No 11. Up to and including 19th October 1997.

As I am a class 3 referee, I thought you may like to test your ability at making decisions. Each week I will set a question. The answer will be given the following week. This week’s Question 1:

Just as a player from team A is about to shoot on goal, you look round and notice team A’s goalkeeper clearly punch team B’s No 9 in the face, in the other penalty area. You look back and team A score. What do you award, and why. Don’t e-mail, it’s just for fun.

Biggest Crowd Pullers

Average Away Attend   No of away matches
 1  20,411              5               Manchester City
 2  18,721              4               Sheffield United
 3  18,233              6               Wolverhampton Wanderers
 4  18,047              5               Norwich City
 5  17,706              6               Stoke City
 6  16,821              5               Portsmouth
 7  16,323              5               Swindon Town
 8  15,852              5               Middlesbrough
 9  15,222              6               Charlton Athletic
10  14,172              5               Nottingham Forest
11  14,074              5               Sunderland
12  13,653              5               Huddersfield Town
13  13,469              5               Ipswich Town
14  13,372              6               Oxford United
15  13,256              6               Crewe Alexandra
16  13,195              6               Reading
17  13,122              6               Birmingham City
18  12,848              6               Port Vale
19  12,800              6               Tranmere Rovers
20  11,425              6               Stockport County
21  11,116              6               Queens Park Rangers
22  11,039              6               West Bromwich Albion
23   9,838              6               Bury
24   9,104              5               Bradford City

Steve Kay (Stevemcfc@aol.com)

OPINION – MANCHESTER CITY (ONCE PROUD F.C.)

I became a City supporter in the 50’s when Roy Clarke and Roy Paul played with several other great players. We were a proud club then, and we were a proud club when Francis Lee played as a player in the 60’s. I had a letter from Francis Lee not too long ago promising me I would not be disappointed in the near future; he might have meant well, but since then we have been demoted to Div 1, lost some good players from our youth programme, could not get a decent Manager (coach) for the club and had to take whoever would take the job, so had to settle for Frank Clark. But it might not be his fault, I blame the owner Francis Lee who I admired as a player, I even called him the King – Let someone take over our beloved club Manchester City — and I will forgive you. You are destroying City. Sell out now, or you will put City where your toilet paper goes, down the toilet!

When I heard what had happened to Colin Bell, that was the last straw for me. To all City Fans I say have a silent protest – don’t go to Maine Road until we have a new owner. Frannie please give it up – I will always remember you as a great player. Please do not destroy our City.

Ernest Barrow (EB2205@aol.com)

OPINION – CALM DOWN

Voice of Florida (!) here again. After visiting UK and seeing early season Blackpool and Charlton messes, I came back here very depressed. Team of journeymen going nowhere I told my Florida Blues. Calm down they said – it’ll be fine. We’ll be OK – challenging for the top before Xmas. I was over again and saw the Norwich game – ugh(!) but missed the Swindon celeb. Since then – 1 point from 6 and pushing for a relegation slot. Sod it – I won’t calm down! This is Clark’s team, assembled at a serious cost. Apart from Gio they are uninspired. We are rooted in the bottom half of the first division, and with a quarter of the season gone threaten more to go down than up. And still 25,000+ turn up – surely the most tried and tormented fans ever? The reality is that there is no quick fix – the previous contracts are still there, then there’s this lot. At some stage Lee has to admit the buck stops with him – his tenure has been disastrous – more bad people choices have been made on his ‘watch’ than any I can remember (accepting he’s had some serious competition). I feel we are sentenced to a good stay in Division 1 (hopefully no lower). The London Business School should do a case study on this club – clubs are brands nowadays – and this is a classic example of how to mismanage one of the (ex) best.

Yours, still not calm, Barry Gibbons – Miami (GibbonFile@aol.com)

RED ANAGRAM FUN

Did you know that the following are all anagrams of Taggart (Alexander Ferguson)?:

“Free dung or anal sex”
“Anal-sex free ground”
“Fend an Oral Sex Urge”
“Urge Anal-Sex of Nerd”
“Free Anal-Sex on Drug”
“Sexual anger of nerd”
“Endure frog anal-sex” (obviously a C*ntona reference)

But my favorite has to be:

“Fan’s Deluxe Groaner”

Tom Robertson (tpr30@umds.ac.uk)

NEW ZEALAND FOOTIE

If anyone is travelling to New Zealand this year and wants to watch a copule of games, the 1997-98 Summer League Fixtures are available on the New Zealand GoalNET website at http://shell.ihug.co.nz/~mhallett/fixture.htm

Ralph Sheppard – Kiwiland (R.P.Sheppard@massey.ac.nz)

ENGLAND QUESTION – THE ANSWER

A week or so ago, I posted this to the list:

Who were the first foreign international (country) side to beat England on home soil? Clue, it wasn’t Hungary in 1953 at Wembley.

The answer wasn’t Scotland as some thought, they don’t count as foreign in this context, neither do any of the others who played in the old, and much missed Home Championships, neither was the answer the Romans, as some smart arses said, it was Eire who beat England in an international at Goodison Park in 1949. A couple of people said it was Italy, saying they beat England in a game at Highbury before the war, according to my records, England played Italy at Highbury on 14/11/35 but England won 3-2.

Ralph, Kiwiland (R.P.Sheppard@massey.ac.nz)

RESULTS

Full-time score and scorers for Sunday, October 19 1997

CHARLTON ATHLETIC       1-1    STOKE CITY
Kinsella (79)                  Wallace (51)

Full-time scores and scorers for Saturday, October 18 1997

BURY                    2-1    BIRMINGHAM CITY            5,700
Johnson (19)                   Grainger (90)
Swan (28)
CREWE ALEXANDRA         1-1    MIDDLESBROUGH              5,759
Adebola (55)                   Townsend (48)
MANCHESTER CITY         0-0    READING                   26,488
NORWICH CITY            1-1    STOCKPORT COUNTY          12,689
Eadie (73)                     Angell (34)
NOTTINGHAM FOREST       2-2    TRANMERE ROVERS           17,009
Van Hooijdonk (19)             L Jones (5)
Gemmill (41)                   Thompson (59)
OXFORD UNITED           1-0    IPSWICH TOWN               7,594
Smith (64)
PORT VALE               0-0    BRADFORD CITY              7,148
PORTSMOUTH              2-3    WEST BROMWICH ALBION       9,158
McLoughlin (78)                Mardon (7)
Foster (85)                    Burgess (49)
                               Hunt (51)
SHEFFIELD UNITED        2-2    QUEENS PARK RANGERS       18,006
Borbokis (31)                  Murray (58)
Marcello (73)                  Morrow (90)
SUNDERLAND              3-1    HUDDERSFIELD TOWN         24,782
Smith (41)                     Dalton (45)
Bridges (68)
Clark (74)
WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS 3-1    SWINDON TOWN              21,794
Freedom (11)                   Hay (pen 24)
Curle (78)
Simpson (80)

Full-time score and scorers for Tuesday, October 14 1997

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN       0-3    CHARLTON ATHLETIC          9,596
                               Mendonca (15)
                               Brown (69)
                               Robinson (75)

Up to and including Sunday, October 19 1997

Team                  Played   Won Drawn Lost  For  Against   Points
Nottingham Forest       11      7    2    2     17     7        23
Swindon Town            12      6    3    3     17    17        21
West Bromwich Albion    11      6    3    2     15    11        21
Charlton Athletic       11      6    2    3     24    15        20
Bradford City           11      5    4    2     14    13        19
Sheffield United         9      5    4    0     13     6        19
Stoke City              11      5    3    3     13    12        18
Queens Park Rangers     11      5    2    4     15    18        17
Birmingham City         11      5    2    4     14     9        17
Stockport County        12      4    4    4     20    16        16
Sunderland              11      5    1    5     17    16        16
Wolverhampton Wanderers 12      4    4    4     15    14        16
Middlesbrough            9      4    3    2     14    10        15
Port Vale               12      4    3    5     14    15        15
Crewe Alexandra         11      4    2    5     17    18        14
Bury                    12      3    5    4     14    18        14
Norwich City            11      4    2    5      9    18        14
Oxford United           12      4    1    7     17    19        13
Reading                 12      3    3    6     13    21        12
Tranmere Rovers         11      3    2    6     16    16        11
MANCHESTER CITY         10      2    4    4     16    13        10
Ipswich Town             9      2    3    4     10    12         9
Portsmouth              11      2    2    7     14    20         8
Huddersfield Town       11      0    4    7      6    20         4

Russell Town (russ@the-edge.u-net.com)
With thanks to Soccernet

WWW MANCHESTER CITY SUPPORTERS’ HOME PAGE:
http://www.uit.no/mancity/


MCIVTA ADDRESSES:
Contributions: Ashley – mcivta@tollbar.u-net.com
Subscriptions & Club Questions: Steve – sbolton@buxtonrd.u-net.com
Technical Problems: Paul – paul@city-fan.org


DISCLAIMER
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.


[Valid3.2]Ashley Birch, mcivta@tollbar.u-net.com

Newsletter #339

1997/10/20

Editor:


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