Newsletter #348

Quite a quiet week really, with the main story being the Gallagher brothers’ offer to bring Maldini to Maine Road – surely tongue in cheek. Undoubtedly, the most welcome development is that the Georgian centre back – Shelia – has got his work permit, so no cock-ups this time around it seems. Tomorrow sees the first day of the Tribal Gathering with Blues coming from all four corners of the world; yes folks, this can only mean an embarrassing defeat!

Other than that, there is a bit of opinion and a good Why Blue.

Apologies if you have sent me something after 9.00pm (Thursday), the server will let me upload but not download mail!

Next game, Bradford at home, Saturday 22nd November 1997


SHEFFIELD UNITED vs. MANCHESTER CITY, Saturday 15th November 1997

Set off at 11.00, picking up Noel and Mike at Victoria station in Manchester (Leanne was poorly and couldn’t make it). I took a lad called Lee with me. Lee played footy for the junior team I ran, and has been a season ticket holder with his dad in the Main stand for 4 years, but had never been away. I told him how exiting it was going to places like Ipswich(!), Bury(!), Oxford(!!) and QPR, and how brill the away atmosphere was, so he asked to go to Sheffield.

We discussed our recent form, and after all the player activity we collectively decided that after Huddersfield we had “troughed” (opposite of peaked?).

Took the wrong road over the tops and ended up going down the M1, but still arrived well early and parked in a side street behind our end. We frantically searched for a pub, only to see “HOME FANS ONLY” on the door of the nearby pubs. After a lengthy walk we found one without a notice and walked in to be greeted by the Mansfield Branch. After a couple in there (in case there are any police reading this, I only had one ‘cos I was driving, Mr Occifer). Lee and I got a burger and paid a visit to the souvenir shop. Paid £1.50 for a badge and went to stand with Noel, hoping to meet our Ed. Ashley, but missed him by minutes, because Lee wanted to get inside to soak up the atmosphere!

Not bad seats to the left of the upper tier behind the goal. The trend of the day was wearing blue paper elasticated hospital shower-cap thingies (at least 100 walked past me wearing them). Didn’t see the usual helium-filled pink My Little Pony Balloon being let off as the teams came out. City recalled Creaney at 9, and gave a début to Craig Russell at 11, who looked a slightly bigger version of Dickov, who was sub. Brannan started yet again, only to be brought off (again) in the second half for Dickov. Otherwise there were no surprises. City kicked off towards the far goal, but it was Sheffield who had the best of the early period. Every time City gained possession the ball was hoofed upfield, either to the ‘keeper or out of play. At some stage of the first half, I cannot remember if it was before or after Deane slotted home after 21 minutes, City broke down the left out of defence. Kinky (I think) passed across the box to the unmarked Creaney right in front of goal, who managed to give the ball to the ‘keeper instead of burying it in the net, like he has been doing at Burnley. Only then did we realise that the ref. had stopped play for 3 injured players in the City box, but I can assure you Creaney was unaware of the stoppage. Half-time 0-1.

Michael Brown came out at the end of the break to warm up, and he replaced Creaney for the second half. Though the gap in the stands I thought I could see Gerry waiting at the bus-stop for the Burnley bus. City had the upper hand in the second half, mainly due to the fact that they had learned to pass the ball around, instead of kicking it to United. Kinky looked interested for the first time since his crash, and weaved his magic. This seemed to rub off on the others, who actually played as a team for once. Whatever chances were created however seemed to break down in front of goal. With time running out, Kinky went on a run down the right and hooked in a wicked low cross which was turned in by Horlock, just ahead of Russell. The City end went beserk, my lottery strips went up in the air, and the ref. blew the final whistle as United kicked off. Full-time 1-1.

My player observations:
Margetson (8) Totally competent.
Edghill (6) Confidence ebbing away.
Vaughan (8) Say what you like, but I think he gives 100% and is improving.
Wiekens (8) Yet to see him have a bad game.
Symons (7) Battled hard, but looks uneasy.
Brannan (5) Must be good at cutting FC’s front lawn. Cannot see any other reason for him being in the team every week.
McGoldrick (7) Motivated the team well, but gave the ball away too often.
Horlock (8) Gone up in my estimation as the season has progressed. Gives 100%.
Kinkladze (8) Got more involved as the game went on, and now seems to be back to normal.
Creaney (6) High hopes before the game – no hope during the game.
Russell (7) Too early to judge, but not a bad début. Just wish he was over 6ft.
Brown (half-time sub) (7) Battled well.
Dickov (last 15 minutes sub) (7) Unfortunate to be dropped, but showed great spirit when brought on.

The atmosphere was superb as we left the ground. As we crossed the road I noticed a row of 20 parked coaches blocking all the side streets (including the one we were parked in!). Struggled to get away from the ground, as we listened to Buzzer on Radio 5 being very complimentary about us until he described Sunderland as “a club as big, if not bigger than City.” We look forward to welcoming you back to Maine Road with your big club Nicky! Frank Clark also gave a good interview. When asked if he had plenty of money to spend he said “No, I have already spent six million.” When asked when Kinky was leaving, he said Kinky wasn’t leaving, that we were trying to build a team around him, that he was a special talent, and that when FC arrived Kinky was allowed privileges at training, etc, and that had been stopped and Kinky was now treated like all the other players. Lee thought the atmosphere was 10 times better than in the Main stand (not difficult), and now wants more of the drug. Arrived home after 7pm.

I still need a ticket for Stockport. Anyone got a spare?

See you at the pre-match Gathering.

Q: What time does Saddam Hussein have his dinner?
A: After Tariq Aziz

City ’til I die, Steve Kay (


Here’s a couple of stories that I’ve grabbed off our internal news source, the first is confirmation about Shelia and the second is more publicity for those Gallagher brothers – must have been a slow day for the sports news desk.

Soccer – Another Georgian player set to join Kinkladze

Manchester, England, Nov 18 (Reuters) – Manchester City moved a step closer to signing Georgian defender Murtaz Shelia from Russian club Alania Vladikavkaz on Tuesday when he was granted a work permit. “All he has to do now is apply for a visa and he should be with us by the end of the week,” the English first division club’s manager Frank Clark said.

Shelia will link up at City with fellow Georgian international Georgi Kinkladze who had recommended the midfielder to the club. Press reports have put the transfer fee at £400,000 ($678,000). City are desperate to turn their season around after slumping to just one point off the bottom of division one but Clark said he did not expect Shelia to play in their match at home to Bradford City on Saturday. “He hasn’t played for his Russian club for a while and he will need a week or so. He will probably have a reserve game first,” Clark said.

Soccer – Maldini’s Oasis could be Manchester City

London, Nov 18 (Reuters) – Pop star Noel Gallagher has offered to buy Italian captain Paolo Maldini for his local club, English first division strugglers Manchester City. Noel and brother Liam form Britain’s top rock group Oasis and during the band’s current tour of Italy he was sent an Italian national shirt by the AC Milan defender. Noel responded with the message: “Paolo, forget Milan, we want you at Manchester City. I’ll pay for the transfer and then you can play in our band as well.” Maldini, one of the most accomplished defenders in the game, has spent his entire career with Milan, winning a crop of honours. But an English first division club flirting with relegation is not likely to be top of his target destinations – whatever the pulling power of Oasis. The Gallagher brothers keep a close eye on Italian soccer. During Saturday’s Bologna concert they had a television installed backstage so they could check on the Italy-Russia World Cup qualifier.

Has the club received any money from Oasis apart from through merchandising and concerts etc.? Maybe it should accept an offer of cash for new players before the boys decide to call it a day and take their wealth to Rio, but God knows what they’d want in return.

Any Blues in the New York area? I’m stuck in the middle of Long Island (a.k.a. the land that time forgot) for the next two months. Drop us a line if you fancy meeting up in the city.

CTID, Diptis Halder – Long Island Blue (


City have now been granted a work permit for Georgian international defender Murtaz Sheliah, and are now only awaiting a visa, international clearance, … and the player himself! Sheliah missed his plane to Manchester on Wednesday. The rest of the paperwork is said to be a formality now that the work permit has been issued and he should arrive in Manchester in the next few days to start training. “He is a little short of match practice so we want to get him over here as quickly as possible,” said Frank Clark. Alan Hill added: “Three days training would have given him a chance of playing against Bradford on Saturday; that’s unlikely now.”

One player who won’t be coming to Manchester is Italian star Paulo Maldini, despite a tempting offer being made on City’s behalf: during Oasis’ current tour of Italy, Noel Gallagher was sent an Italian national shirt by Maldini. He is reported to have said to Maldini: “Paolo, forget Milan, we want you at Manchester City. I’ll pay for the transfer and then you can play in our band as well.” As lucrative as the offer sounds, it seems that Maldini will be staying with A.C. Milan.

City have several players on the way back after injuries, most notably Uwe Rösler and Scott Thomas. Rösler has returned from seeing a specialist, a close friend of his in Germany, about his problem with his lower shin. He is feeling a lot happier about the situation and Roy Bailey feels he could be back in contention within the next couple of weeks. Thomas, 23, who had a double fracture of the left leg whilst playing in America during the summer of 1995, has now completed three A team games as he bids to regain fitness. After playing 80 minutes at the weekend, he said: “the coaches thought I was feeling the strain and brought me off but I wanted to stay on. I have made significant progress over the last 12 months and there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel. For a long time I was struggling with aches and pains as I stepped up my training but that was all part of the recovery programme. When I first got the injury I was distraught as I was on the verge of breaking into the first team. I thought it was the end of my world but I looked around and saw people in much worse situations.” Frank Clark said: “He will get all the time he needs to get himself right again. After this long there is no point rushing.” Lee Bradbury has been ordered to take a complete break from all training for two weeks. On his return he will begin a programme of light training and rehabilitation. He will be out until into the New Year. Tommy Wright had a knee injection towards the end of last week, and Rae Ingram has had some work done on his cartilage which is currently healing very nicely according to a report on Citynet. The squad for Saturday’s game against Bradford will be the same as that that travelled to Sheffield last week.

It’s not been a great week for City’s youth and reserve teams. On Tuesday the youth team lost 2-0 at Tranmere in the quarter final of the Lancashire F.A. Youth Cup, and on Wednesday a strong City reserve side needed an 87th minute Ian Brightwell header to save a point against Bolton Wanderers at Altrincham. City’s reserves lined up as follows:

                          Michael Brown
Ian Brightwell  Dave Morley  Paul Beesley (capt)  Jason van Blerk
 Jeff Whitley     Lee Crooks     Michael Brown     Tony Scully
            Nigel Clough (Ray Kelly)  Chris Greenacre

Bolton took the lead after 11 minutes when Scott Taylor latched onto a big hoof upfield, outpaced Dave Morley and knocked the ball past Brown. City piled on the pressure and easily had the lion’s share of possession, but nearly went further behind when Franz Carr’s effort was well saved by Brown. The other Michael Brown, in midfield, was the star performer and he saw his powerful shot tipped onto the bar and substitute Ray Kelly went close before Brightwell headed home a Scully corner to earn a point for the Blues.

Bradford winger Peter Beagrie has been talking of his feelings for City prior to his return to Maine Road on Saturday. In an interview in the MEN, he refers to City’s fans as “the best supporters in Great Britain.” He goes on to say: “I am trying to look at Saturday’s match professionally. We need all three points to keep us in touch with the promotion pack and I will be doing my damndest to earn a victory for the club which pays my wages. But there is a part of me which will feel genuine sadness if I do anything to add to Manchester City’s relegation problems. I really do feel that I owe something I can never repay to the Maine Road supporters. Most of my last two years at City were spent trying to recover from injury. At times you become terribly despondent in situations like that and feel like throwing in the towel. What kept me going through those black periods was the support and encouragement I received from the City fans. I want to show those supporters what a fit Peter Beagrie can play like and I am only sorry that I had to move elsewhere to get back to my best.” He even bears no malice towards the manager that sold him: “I received more sympathy and understanding from Frank Clark than from anyone since the departure of Brian Horton. He didn’t think my style of play would suit the system he wanted his team to play and I have no quibble at all with that. He could have priced me out of a move but Frank set a very modest fee and that helped me enormously when it came to negotiating my personal terms with Bradford City. The only thing which still rankles a bit is that I am sure that if I had stayed at Maine Road I could have been a help in City’s attempts to get away from the First Division’s relegation zone. I think it is fairly obvious that the confidence of the City players has taken a hammering this season and anyone who knows me will tell you that the one thing I am never short of is confidence. But if there is one message I could send to the City players and their supporters it would be to have patience … they won’t go down.”

Paul Howarth (


Paolo Maldini – the Italian captain and AC Milan superstar – has been asked to join Man City by Liam and Noel Gallagher. The Oasis brothers have even said they will pay his transfer fee. Apparently, the brothers asked Maldini during a radio interview in Italy.

Can anyone see Maldini joining City? He is one of my all time favourite players and the thought of him in a City shirt is heaven. His pace on the left would certainly cause 1st Division defenders a few problems. I can’t really see it happening though.

Charles Pollitt (


We wonder why the Rags laugh at us? Well here are two stories I came across this week that shows why. One shows us chasing a player who we can not afford and one shows why even if we could, why no-one would want to come to a team ripping itself apart.


By Daily Mirror Staff

They don’t come much higher quality than Italy World Cup captain Paolo Maldini – and there has been a bizarre bid to get him to join struggling City. Rock mega stars Oasis have begged the £10m-rated AC Milan defender to join City… and even said they will pay his transfer fee!

Devoted City fans Oasis, led by brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher, have been on a tour of Italy – and made their appeal when the linked up with Maldini on a Milan radio show.


By Steve Millar of Daily Mirror Staff

Frustrated Manchester City fans have stepped up their bitter campaign to oust chairman Francis Lee. Thousands have already protested outside Maine Road in angry scenes over City slumping to their worst ever league position. And now 600 of the angry faithful will attend a meeting on Monday night to call for the chairman’s head. It’s a carbon copy of the emotional campaign that swept Lee to power nearly four years ago.

Then Peter Swales was the victim of the fans’ vitriol. Now it’s his successor’s turn with a ‘Lee Out’ drive backed by the distribution of T-shirts and posters. Fiery fans will speak out against Lee at the meeting – and they are hoping that past City stars will join the campaign to axe the board. Lee survived a stormy AGM last month.

CTID, Tony “Tom Hark” Hulme (


Friday evening we are attending the Prestwich & Whitefield bash. I suggest we meet up in the Parkside Hotel at 6:30pm. Don says if we get to his venue at 7:00ish we can all sit together. You can get the Metrolink from the city centre and get off at Heaton Park. Turn left out of the station and left again along Bury Old Road. Walk past the British Legion, past The Commercial pub and the Parkside is the next pub along. Probably 250 yards away from the Metro station. The pub serves decent Boddingtons. Don’s meeting place is another 100 yards further up the road.

Arrangements for Saturday are still the same as they have always been. I think some of the guys want to meet up in the Parkside for a quick jar but I think others want to enjoy the benefits of the lounge as early as possible.

Colin has already given details of the Sunday 5-a-side at Altrincham.

So there we are. City fans coming from all over the world to see the club in the worst position in their history. There is nothing like a Manchester City fan!

Here are the loungers:

Clive (St Lucia), Bob (Jersey), Espen Heggelund (Norway), Thomas (Austria), Robert Lever (Kent), Dr. Tom Robertson (Little French Quarter in London), Howard McCarthy x 2 (Eire), Bernie Le Claire (Jersey), Hsien Min (Singapore), Paul Burns (Japan), Steve Young (Germany), Sam Lowson (England), M. Kennedy (Berkshire), P. Barclay (Kent), C. Schofield (Durham), Claudio Avrili (Little Italy), A. Mannion’s husband (Swindon), Daniel Coupe (Croatia), Phil Taylor x 2 (Australia), Tommy Hutchison, Gerry Gow, Bobby McDonald, Don Price (Prestwich), Dave Watson (Don’s friend), Bob Price (Holland), Bob Price’s 4 friends (Holland), Jimmy Bottomley (Jersey), John Young (Jersey), Vince Walsh (Canada), Stephen Heywood (Manchester) & Richard Fenton (London)

There are certainly 4 places left, possibly 6 so it’s not too late to join us. Contact me on or 0161 653 7395 from Friday morning if you want a place.

The Club have asked whether we can bring some international flags. So if anybody can help with that we would be grateful.

If you know of anybody that would love to join us but can’t for reasons of real poverty and you feel they are a deserving case we might be able to sort one place out for them. It does happen, please let me know.

Bob Young (


Sunday 23rd November – 2pm to 4pm
Tribal Gathering 5-a-side Tournament
Venue – Altrincham Sports Centre, Manchester

Please note – the tournament is open to all

The teams have not already been picked as a couple of people have thought. They will made up on the day from the people who turn up.

I would appreciate it if everyone would aim to arrive between 1:30pm & 1:45pm so I can get the teams ready to start on time at 2pm.

Even if you don’t want to play please feel free to turn up and support / laugh at the teams as they prove their superior skill to the first team ;o)

Tournament Schedule

It is a 4-team tournament: Manchester Blues vs. Rest of England Blues vs. Europe Blues vs. Rest of World Blues.

With the Schedule as follows:

Matches: 7 and a half minutes each way (15 minutes total).

2pm – Manchester vs. England
2.20pm – Rest of the World vs. Europe
2.40pm – Manchester vs. Rest of the World
3pm – England vs. Europe
3.20pm – Manchester vs. Europe
3.40pm – Rest of the World vs. England
4pm Shower / Change – retire to the Bar / Nearest Pub for Post-Match Celebrations/Commiserations

Team sizes will be made as even as possible by the Irish rules of squad selection – i.e. Does your grandmother have a dog that once drank a spilt pint of Guiness by accident?

Directions to the Game:

By car:

Exit the M56 at Junction 7
Take the third exit off the roundabout signposted: A56 Altrincham

Straight through the first set of lights then follow the road on until you go round a sharp bend at the edge of Altrincham and reach another set of lights. Turn right here onto a dual carriageway signposted A560 Stockport. The Cresta Court Hotel is unmissable on the opposite far corner of the lights.

Straight across the next set of lights and turn right at the second set. You should now be on Stockport Road which bends immediately to the right, then back to the left. You will pass Altrincham railway station on your right, then the Sports Centre which is set back from the road. Turn right after the Sports Centre into the Pay and Display Car Park. Don’t panic! It is free to park on Sunday!

By Rail/Metrolink/Bus:

Catch any of the above to Altrincham Interchange:

  1. It is a major rail station,
  2. It is the end of the Metrolink link.
  3. It is the terminus for a large number of buses from the city centre and elsewhere.

Head left out of the station towards the main street traffic lights / McDonalds. Turn left at the lights (Moss Road). Walk over the rail bridge amd turn left into the road at the bottom (Oakfield Road). The Sports Centre is 400m along on the left.

See you at the event! Please try to contact me at the address below if you intend to come.

The Wookie, Col Surrey (


OK, I don’t know if this has been suggested before, but you know how Kinky loves drinking Tango? Can anyone pull a few strings out there to try and get him on a Tango advert – imagine it – an edited version of the goal against Southampton, all the Southampton players are coloured orange. Gio takes a sip, and runs through them all. That’s right, Trev, he beats them all, and sticks it in the onion bag. You know when you’ve been Gio’d.

I’m sure that going through the archives, we could find some nasty tackles from previous players. They could say – you know when you’ve been “Vonked”.

Just an idea.

Andrew Theobald (


A note of caution to anyone approaching Maine Road from the North on Saturday. The link road between the M602 and the Mancunian Way has been closed for the last 5 to 6 days because of a hitch in the ‘controlled’ demolition of the old Interarms building. This was the direct cause of FC missing the Xmas lights switch on. There were well broadcast tales of it taking 3 hours to cross from one side of Manchester city centre to the other, so Frank must have been ill advised on this. Although the road is expected to be back open by Saturday, I have been hit by serious congestion here for the last few home games. I would suggest M62 Whitefield turn-off or M63 Old Trafford turn off instead of the M602.

Ken Foster (


What about the Fall’s
Surmount all Obstacles (optimistic)
You’re Not Up To Much (pessimistic)
15 Ways (To Leave Your Man) – (Gio)
Totally Wired – (Vince Miller)
How I Wrote Elastic Man – (Barry)
Dead Beat Descendant – (Buzzer… I know it’s out of date, but couldn’t resist)

Ken Foster (


For those of you who don’t yet subscribe to DOSLA, here is a summary of City’s position in the stats. Sorry, but they don’t make pleasant reading.

Current League Position: 22nd
Position if City won any games in hand: 21st
Final Points/Position if City’s remaining results are same as last season: 53pts/19th
True position when all teams had played 15 matches: 22nd
Points difference when comparing results of this seasons fixtures to last year: – 8
Home Record Percentage points won, and position: 33% / 20th
Away Record Percentage points won, and position: 25% / 20th
Average Home Attendance and position: 26544 / 3rd
Average Away Attendance and position: 18611 / 1st **** Yes, First! ****
Average Combined Attendance and position: 22811 / 2nd
Final Home points total if current form continued: 23pts
Final Away points total if current form continued: 17pts
Final Points and Position if current home and away form continued: 40pts / 22nd
Percentage of Home Capacity filled and Position: 84.4% / 4th
Current Form (last six games) Points and Position: 5pts / 21st
Final Points and Position if current form continues: 39pts / 22nd

If you would like the full version mailing to you each Sunday night, send the following details to me at STEVEMCFC@AOL.COM

Full Name
Town and Country of residence
Your e-mail address
Team you support (Not always Man City. DOSLA goes to 90 non-City Division One fans, including a Port Vale fan in Tbilisi, Georgia)
Your age, occupation, and how long / why you support your team

Statto till I die, Steve Kay (


Here is some worrying news for all of us in the “lower divisions”. This was taken from Sporting Life and makes grim reading, more so than ever we must get back up this season or sink… read and weep!


By Harry Harris of The Daily Mirror

Premiership clubs have launched an attack on the Football League in a bid to close the relegation trap-door.

The system of three-up and three-down is the No.1 target, as virtually two-thirds of the Premiership clubs are now terrified of making the drop. They are demanding a two-up and two-down policy.

I can reveal that a letter has been sent by Premier League chief executive Peter Leaver, serving twelve months’ notice on the Football League that they want a new agreement drawn up. The League have responded by insisting that the terms of the breakaway that set up the Premier League five years ago are not negotiable. But the Premier League are in no mood to back down and a potentially explosive battle is set to erupt.

With so much at stake, the Premiership are attacking the very cornerstones of the ‘breakaway’ agreement – relegation, the Coca-Cola Cup and a string of other issues, including nursery clubs. Sky cash is at the centre of the new fear of failure in the Premiership. Relegated clubs receive half of the Sky money – £5m a year – for only two years before being cut adrift completely.

With investment so high in players’ salaries and transfer fees, the clubs have too much staked on survival. While only a handful of clubs compete, in reality, for the big prizes and the huge revenues from the Champions’ League, the rest are obsessed with retaining their Premiership status.

Giants of the game, Everton and Spurs, are floundering on the edge of the precipice. And many others know that just a couple of defeats plunge them down into the danger zone. They can no longer stand the pressure. Managerial sackings are likely to increase, with no let-up in the investment in high salaried overseas stars. In addition, the top clubs, notably those in Europe, want the option not to compete in the Coca-Cola Cup. The Premiership clubs are lobbying the FA to set up nursery clubs within the Football League.

The FA are deeply concerned that the integrity of the F.A. Cup will be brought into question if nursery clubs are drawn against Premiership sides that effectively own them. The Premiership are anxious to set down new rules before the start of next season. The League will stress they already have a concrete contract.

Tony “Tom Hark” Hulme (


“My support of Manchester City is not a matter of choice. I inherited two fatal flaws from my father: premature baldness and Manchester City, neither of which I can change. It is like a tribal bond, something irreversible” — Howard Davies, former deputy governor of the Bank of England.

I saw this quote the other day, I’m not sure about premature baldness being fatal, supporting City is much more likely to be, if only from suicide. The question is, should someone who demonstrates such irrational behaviour by supporting City be trusted to look after our money? Nice to know we are in such good company though.

Brian Scott (


By Noel Bayley (editor of Bert Trautmann’s Helmet)

Since the death of the cyberpet I’ve switched my attentions elsewhere. Underneath the telly, there’s this black box. Now and again I stick a videotape in it. Sometimes it eats it, sometimes it doesn’t. When it eats it, it’s happy; when it doesn’t, I am. The pleasures of progress? Still, what’s the point of having these things if you’re not going to use them? I’m no celluloid-head, far from it; I just like taping stuff and never watching it. I love to hear those record heads whirring round. It’s music to my ears and if I were to put all the unwatched videotapes in our house end-to-end, they’d probably stretch as far as Maine Road and back. However, I seem to recall having watched the 5-1 once or twice since and, along with Pink Floyd Live At Pompeii and the two copies of Life Of Brian, it’s probably the only thing I’ve ever watched more than once. So you can imagine what a joy it was to be able to see the 5-1 all over again on ‘live TV’ on Sunday afternoon, not to mention that ropey old City documentary recalling Malcolm Alison’s second coming on Friday night. But back to the 5-1 and what a surprise to see it coming top of the pops in the big Granadaland vote! (what was genuinely surprising, however, was the number of sad Rags voting to see a match that was only played the other week… Juventus at home, I ask you). I didn’t vote myself, and even though Andy Hinchcliffe’s bullet header (following the sweetest move of all time) seems to get faster with every passing year, I would have preferred to have seen the 1976 League Cup Final; I haven’t got it on tape yet!

Here’s a funny thing: after making my somewhat controversial comments on MCIVTA the other week (These Last Days) about some people (i.e. those who should know better and other fanzine editors) embarrassing the club with their ill-stated comments in the media, a rash of ‘LEE OUT’ slogans appeared around town. And what do you know? One of those to whom I was referring has privately admitted responsibility; apparently, he was up till 5 in the morning with his bucket and brush.

Just in case you are wondering, my own view on Francis Lee is that he should stay. Why, you may ask. Well, he’s a top bloke, a bit of a card, gets the beer in, sorts us out for tickets and, well, you can’t buy me mate! While at least one of those statements may or may not be true, I have adopted a ‘wait and see’ attitude. This is shorthand for wait for long enough and see City in the Second Division. Seriously though, until someone else is prepared to throw his hat into the ring (together with his wallet preferably), a-shouting and a-hollering outside the Main Stand will do no-one but the people who make Strepsils any good. It’s all academic. The only people, to my knowledge, who have pledged any sort of commitment to the club are the current chairman of Sheffield United Mike McDonald (at the time of Francis Lee’s takeover bid) and Stephen Boler who prefers to pump his money into endangered species of an altogether different kind.

As soon as someone comes over the brow of the hill (Clint Eastwood-like) to save the City, I’ll probably make like a hypocrite and change my mind, but one thing’s for sure, whoever it is waving the fistful of dollars won’t be riding a black rhino.

In the meantime, I’ll see you all at the Tribal Gathering, Saturday if not Friday night.

Adios Amigo. Noel Bayley (


I am writing to you to condemn the remarks made by Elton Welsby on the Footy Weekend. When the game between Manchester City and United was shown, he said that it had won by “a large amount of votes”, but after it was shown, he made the comment that “it won due to a large anti-United vote”. Would he have said that it was due to a large anti-Liverpool vote if Everton had won? I think not! There was no need to make any comment at all, except that this game had won the most votes.

Joe Royle to his credit did not rise to the bait. This is not the first time that Mr Welsby has been in the position of baiting Manchester City fans, the interview with Mr Horton and Mr Neal being a case in point. This may/will be dismissed no doubt as a “whinging letter”, but he must be made aware that he cannot make comments and attacks on Manchester City and have us sit back and take it. I look forward to reading his reply (if any) to this letter.

Tony Hulme (


I understand Paul Whittaker’s comments about Gio, but I really don’t see how we can keep a player who is a luxury considering our current league position. Anyone who has seen City regularly this season will tell you that Gio has failed to perform all season. A number of papers – including the MUEN – were raving about his performance on Saturday against Sheffield United, but I personally thought he was pretty average. He seems unable to deal with the man-marking he gets in every game, and he just drifts around in midfield. I also believe his huge salary (compared with other City players) and the hero worship he gets from the supporters is causing problems in the dressing room. Okay, he’s a great player and I love watching him, but I would much rather we had a battling team with good spirit that can get us out of this s**t division. I can’t stand to watch the likes of Huddersfield and Bury for much longer! I also seem to remember Bolton being criticised for selling Sasa Curcic, but it was the best thing they ever did.

Charles Pollitt (


It seems we may have been a little harsh on Gio. The 2 excuses of ‘Shock from the crash’ for his lacklustre performance against Port Vale, and the News of the World ‘Scandal’ for his non-existence in the Huddersfield game give credence to the idea that all may not have been well with the Georgian phsyche. His improved performance at Sheff. Utd. will hopefully see him back on top form for Saturday.

Ken Foster (


Thanks to Timothy Waymark ( for sending me his copy of the Charlton programme. I am still looking for a Forest programme. If I wait for Mike Turner to open the old souvenir shop, I’ll probably wait forever.

Cheers in advance for any help.

Steve Kay (


On The Fall’s ‘Middle Class Revolt’ album, the track ‘Symbol of Mordgan’ contains a telephone conversation between John Peel and a City fan regarding the celebrated match where David Rocastle did an amazing roll back on the ball to beat his man. I don’t remember who it was against. My questions are:

  1. Who was the City fan?
  2. What was the game?
  3. Does anyone have a MOTD video of it, as I’m pretty sure it was televised.

Here’s to toasting an impending victory at the Parkside.

Ken Foster (


Is anybody able to get hold of the stats for (a) Away fans attending Maine Road and (b) City fans attending away matches? Is our MCIVTAite in the ticket office privileged to this info? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Steve “Statto” Kay (


I was born in 1976 and my dad put me into the Junior Blues straight away, so I suppose I never had a choice of which football team to support. Though from memory, I can’t remember there being even one United fan near where I grew up.

The first match I remember in great detail was the Charlton match in the 1985. If we never win one thing while I’m alive I’ll still be able to think of that match and imagine what winning a trophy must feel like. There were around 50,000 at the match and as the goals started to go in one after another it was one of the happiest days of my life. For an 8-year-old kid it was a marvellous experience – the noise of the crowd, the sheer elation of the City fans. The Kippax was a sea of a blue as all the scarves were held aloft as they sang “You’ll never walk alone”. Absolute magic.

It’s moments like these that make you remember why being a City fan is something special and a thing to be proud off. At the moment it just seems these special times are getting fewer and fewer as time goes on. My family left Manchester while I was young and moved to Bristol; if anything, this made me even more of a City fan as I had to defend them all the time and going to Maine Road became even more of a special experience. Going back to Manchester was great, seeing the gorgeous green pitch again with the huge swaying Kippax behind it and with my heroes on the pitch in front of them. There always seemed to be a good atmosphere at those games but now, like the Kippax, it seems to have gone. I moved back to Manchester three years ago and it’s good to be back, though I feel sorry for my dad who now has to do the 300-mile round trip on his own. It’s great to be able to talk to City fans and go to Supporters’ Club meeting (I am a member of the Prestwich and Whitefield branch of the C.S.A.). I’ve even gone to see them train (I’m a student at Salford).

Anyway that’s why I support them and like somebody else wrote, City get in your blood and you can’t help but love ’em.

N.R.Wentland (


Contributions: Ashley –
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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.

[Valid3.2]Ashley Birch,

Newsletter #348