Newsletter #346

City appear to be on the verge of signing Craig Russell from Sunderland, in an exchange deal which sees Buzzer Jnr going in the other direction. As of tonight, terms have been agreed, though City were apparently having trouble getting Smith to agree to the move; this however, seems more like pure press speculation due to the deal not being seen to be done by late afternoon!

This issue has some interesting gossip from the Failsworth Supporters’ Club, together with the usual mix of articles and opinion. Anyone fancy doing a Why Blue?

Next game, Sheffield United away, Saturday 15th November 1997


Efforts have been made this week to relieve City’s goal-scoring problems. First of all Gerry Creaney has been recalled from his loan spell at Burnley (8 goals in 9 games for a team that was also struggling in front of goal). The management team have watched all of his games noting his improved form, though his early return is more due to the striker crisis at Maine Road than anything else. However, it has been made clear that miracles aren’t expected from the Scot: “No, I don’t think we’re looking for any one hero, and it isn’t fair to put any pressure on Gerry. It has to be a collective thing with the whole team involved,” said Frank Clark. Burnley have not yet given up hope of Creaney signing for them permanently – Chris Waddle said: “Gerry’s on such a good deal at Maine Road, he’s getting paid Premiership wages which is not his fault. But it makes it difficult for us. We will have to keep an eye on the situation at City but if Creaney doesn’t feature in Frank Clark’s plans then maybe we can put together a package to try to bring him back. He’s a player who’s got ability and we would love to have him back here.”

Secondly, and somewhat more surprisingly, a deal has been all but completed which will see striker Craig Russell join City from Sunderland, with Nicky Summerbee going the other way. There was nothing in the press on Thursday morning and by early evening the clubs had agreed the deal and personal terms had been settled with the two players. All that remains now are “routine” medicals, which if completed quickly enough on Friday morning, could see Russell joining Gerry Creaney to form City’s strikeforce at Sheffield United on Saturday. If not, Paul Dickov is expected to play after recovering from a badly bruised toe.

Russell, 23, nearly joined City during the summer but the deal collapsed when he failed to agree personal terms. He then missed the start of the season due to a groin problem which required surgery but is now fully fit. His strengths are said to be his direct running and pace, and he averages a goal every three games.

Uwe Rösler has seen a specialist in Germany and all being well could resume full training on Monday. Ian Brightwell, Paul Beesley, Nigel Clough and Eddie McGoldrick are all now available for selection, though Richard Edghill is likely to miss Saturday’s game due a thigh injury sustained against Huddersfield last week.

There were more rumours linking City with the Montpelier striker Ibrahim Babayako this week, with an official of the French club being quoted as saying: “Manchester City have made an offer in the region of £4 million and are continuing their interest in the player.” However, Frank Clark has insisted that he has made no such offer and is not likely to (quite believable given City’s current financial situation).

City’s reserves lost 4-2 to Coventry City on Tuesday night, with Chris Greenacre and Paul Beesley grabbing City’s goals in the first half.

Paul Howarth (


Craig Russell will complete his £1 million swap deal to Manchester City after a medical on Friday morning. The Sunderland striker agreed the Maine Road move after four hours of talks with manager Frank Clark and will sign a three-and-a-half year contract.

‘The move had to be right and I’m just glad it’s all sorted out now,’ said 23-year-old Russell. The deal involves City’s Nicky Summerbee moving in the opposite direction after he agreed to join Peter Reid at the Stadium of Light.

Tony “Come on Glory” Moran (


Taken from the Sunderland Web page:

Craig Russell
Playing position:Striker
Date of birth:4th February 1974
Place of birth:Jarrow
Date signed:1st July 1992
Signed From:School
Transfer Fee:Nil
Sunderland Début:Vs. Watford, 2nd November 1991
International Honours:England Under 17 trialist
Previous Clubs:None

The “Jarrow Arrow” was top scorer in the club’s promotion winning side with fourteen goals and although he still finished joint top scorer, the local lad only started ten Premiership matches, being used as a regular substitute. Brought up as a Sunderland supporter (according to his parents he was conceived on the day Sunderland won the FA Cup in 1973!) he saw his first game at the age of three when we beat West Ham 6-0 in 1977. Craig was a mascot at Roker Park on his tenth birthday for a match with Liverpool in which Paul Bracewell was in midfield. A prolific scorer in his youth team days, he once scored five in half an hour against Hartlepool Youths and Reserves. Russell is a hero of the fans who were thrilled by his four goal performance in the 6-0 win over then top of the table Millwall who were also the side he scored his first goal against two years earlier. Likened to Malcolm MacDonald by former coach Viv Busby who played alongside SuperMac at Newcastle, Craig has the pace and direct style to worry any defence.

Martin Styles (


From Division One Statistics and Leagues for Anoraks (DOSLA). Compiled by Steve “Statto” Kay. Update No 14. Up to and including 9th November 1997.

Town start a game with only 8 players, and is losing 8-0 with five minutes of the match remaining. Then two Town players collide with each other and both have to leave the pitch permanently with concussion.

What do you do, and why?

Steve Kay (


Some juicy clips from tonight’s (Tuesday 11th November) Supporters’ Club Night at British Aerospace in Failsworth. In attendance were Mike Turner, the Commercial Manager, and Jo Blakeway, the match day announcer and “eye in the sky”. Noticably absent were Richard Edghill, Rae Ingram and Tommy Wright (no explanation was given by the players). Tommy Wright has just undergone a cartilage op, which is a good enough excuse. As for Richard Edghill, perhaps he knew I was going, and couldn’t bear to face me, knowing he still has the shirt I gave him at the Open Day in August!

Scoop 1. Apparently Everton offered £500,000 for Uwe Rösler, but City, knowing Everton are due £7,000,000 from Sky in January, asked for £500,000 now and £1,000,000 in January.

Scoop 2. Uwe has told Frannie Lee that after his visit to a specialist in Germany, he is now fit, and will be back in Manchester by Thursday, and is up for selection.

Scoop 3. Burnley are paying half of on-loan Gerry Creaney’s wages, City paying the other half. Consequently Creaney will be back at Maine Road tomorrow (Wednesday). The reason for his return is two-fold. Firstly as an attempt to solve our goalscoring problem (he has scored 8 in 9 games for Burnley), and secondly to see if Burnley come back with an offer to buy him.

Scoop 4. Francis Lee does not own Kinky’s playing contract, and will not personally benefit if he leaves. FA rules do not allow this. However, there are no rules about a players off-the-field activities and clothing deals, etc.

Scoop 5. The Georgian defender Shelia has been brought in to take over as captain, as it is felt that Kit lacks on-field leadership. Shelia appears to be a Ruddock-like character who doesn’t tolerate time-wasters.

Scoop 6. City may be in a position to decide on moving to Eastlands in the next four months. City would be tenants, and a deal would be done with the council regarding Maine Road. City would therefore benefit from any Semi Finals and concerts held there. If City moved in before the Commonwealth Games, the running track will be covered with seating, and the track would be ripped up straight after the Games.

We were told that the club will not consider any swap deals with any club. Presently there are 50 pros at the club, and City ideally want players out, and money in. That must be why FC insists on making 3 or 4 changes each match (i.e. in the shop window).

It is expected that an incredible 120,000 Kappa replica shirts will be sold this season, and that the club also gets £2 for each shirt sold in non-City outlets around the country and world. The Kappa deal is at least twice as good as the Umbro deal.

Mike Turner was asked how much Kinky is being paid. Mike refused to comment, shook his head when £20,000 a week was mentioned, then said that as the first guess was wrong we couldn’t have any more tries!

There are no plans to market the yellow/black kit, as it may never be worn again. I pointed out that we will have to wear it at Reading, to which he agreed.

There is no truth in the rumours suggesting we will be a feeder club for Juventus, or that Richard Branson wants to buy the club. Mike Turner said that many meetings had been held with interested parties, but anybody wishing to take a majority holding in the club would need £35m, and another £15m to spend on players. Turner said that Frannie was at the ground every day of the week, takes nothing from the club, and has been shirking his responsibilities in at least one of his paid-directorships, in favour of City.

I asked him why the shop no longer sell home and away programmes, to which he said they would look at it, possibly using the “old” souvenir shop as a programme/book shop.

So there you have it. If you read about it in the MUEN, write to tell ’em you heard it first from me on the Internet!

Q: What’s the difference between City and the Spice Girls?
A: Theres only ten tits in the Spice Girls.

Steve Kay (


The Swedish TV-programme Tipsl