Newsletter #412

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It seems ticket details for the pre-season friendlies are quite hard to come by; if anyone can shed any light for us, please do so. Not much in the way of transfer news; just rumours but nothing concrete and virtually all of it outgoing.

Rick Eagles has kindly provided us with a Notts County factfile; very handy since it seems we’ll be playing them 3 times in August!

Martin Lever is canvassing City fans’ opinions on the prospective move to Eastlands and will present his findings to MCFC; if you have an opinion on this, please let him know and why not share it with other MCIVTA readers too?

Finally, does anyone know what has happened to Blue View? It seems to have been down all day and the error message that comes back when you try to access it suggests that it has been deleted!

This one goes out to 2,123 addresses.

Next game, Sunderland at home, Saturday 18th July 1998 (Brightwell)

SNIPPETS

Hearts are rumoured to be interested in Paul Dickov. Rae Ingram is set to join Macclesfield Town later this week. Tranmere Rovers have decided not to pursue their interest in Ged Brannan.

Kit Symons could be on his way to Coventry City; he’s revealed over the weekend that he was in fact willing to take a pay cut (though probably not 50%) and that when City broke off negotiations it came as a shock to him. “Could I say straight off that I have no axe to grind with Manchester City. It is a great club and I have met some terrific people during my time here. But I wouldn’t like to leave with the fans believing that I refused to take a cut in wages because that simply isn’t true,” he said.

City are still reported to be keen on Aussie Danny Tiatto (and another unnamed compatriot of his too!).

David White is set to retire from playing football after being released from his contract by Sheffield United. White has not been able to shake off a persistent ankle problem.

A number of celebrities including actors from EastEnders and Coronation Street, plus former players Frank Worthington, Asa Hartford and Norman Whiteside will feature in a game prior to Ian Brightwell’s testimonial a week on Saturday.

Bass have taken over from Coca-Cola as sponsors of the Football League Cup, which will be called the Worthington Cup for the next five years following the £23 million deal.

City have appointed a an official Press Officer, a move which will hopefully lead to a unified voice for the club, rather than the contradictory stories from different parts of the club that have regularly appeared in the media over the last few years. The appointee is Chris Bird, who runs his own PR company.

Tickets go on sale on Saturday 18th to regular season ticket holders for City’s first away league game at Fulham. Has anyone actually received their season ticket yet? I haven’t 🙁

Paul

SCARBOROUGH DETAILS

Anyone thinking of going to the Scarborough match on 27th July might be interested to know that, basically, the club don’t seem to know exactly what they’re doing about it at the moment.

I rang them yesterday to see what ticketing arrangements they had – “don’t know yet.” OK, what are the admission prices? “Haven’t decided yet; the Directors are all away (?), can you ring back nearer the game?” It sounds like it will probably be a case of turning up on the night and pay on the gate.

I’m told the McCain stadium is easy to find; on Seamer Road not far from Oliver’s Mount. The club can be contacted on 01723 375094 or fax 01723 378733; I tried the e-mail address on their web site http://www.yorkshirecoast.co.uk/scarbrofc/contact.htm but nobody replied.

Another club that’s not prepared for the Blue invasion – at least they’re in the Division below us.

Geoff Donkin – Beverley Blue (Geoff@Donkin.Demon.Co.UK)

NEWQUAY GAME DETAILS?

I’ll be in Cornwall at the time of this game. Could anybody give me directions to the ground? Also details of kick off, prices etc.

Thanks

Ady McLean (a.mclean@virgin.net)

NEW KIT UPDATE

My son asked at the Arndale City shop about the new kit last Saturday (again); this time they told him it would be out on 30/7/98 and would be navy blue and fluorescent yellow stripes!

Perhaps we aim to blind the opposition this season?

Gary Sowerby (blumoon@clara.net)

According to an advert in the new CITY Mag, the new kit is code-named “Fluoro” and will be available exclusively from the City Stores (and by mail-order on 0161 226 6000) for the first two days of sale. Other stores will have the kits from 1st August.

Paul

OPPOSITION – THE PIES – Notts County

Why ‘Pie’? Well, Notts County, and not those ‘Johnny come latelys’ from the North East, are the original ‘Magpies’ – In fact, Notts County are the originals full stop! They are the oldest club in the league having been founded in 1862, a fact that is proudly displayed above the ‘Derek Pavis’ stand at the club (do you know any other club that has a stand named after its chairman? He’s not been the most popular of chairmen either having sold the family silver in the shape of Tommy Johnson, Mark Draper, Craig Short and Dean Yates to build what might have been the finest ground in Division 2 if we hadn’t thrown our hat into the ring).

Being the oldest club, Notts, not surprisingly hold the record for league games played. Last season, they became the fastest club to win a championship when they gained promotion from Division 3 and earned the right to visit Maine Road – “and how many times have they done that?” I hear you ask, well, I am indebted to the book ‘The Official History – Notts County 1862 – 1995’ by Tony Brown, indebted first of all for its curing of my insomnia (so many statistics!) and secondly for this breakdown of matches played between The Lads and the Pies:

Notts’ Record against other league teams:

                       Home                Away          %won
                P    W  D  L  F  A    W  D  L  F  A
Manchester City	56  14  7  7 31 38    3  4 21 23 62      30.36

(Since starting this piece, the news has come through that we have drawn Notts in the ‘Worthington League Cup’ so, we will be playing them at least four times this season which gives us a real chance to get that % figure down a bit lower!)

Whilst we’re on the subject of ‘records’, Notts County’s other claims to fame are that they are the most relegated club in the league and the 2nd most promoted behind Grimsby!

Their record gate receipts of £124,539 came against the Blues on February 16th 1991 in an FA Cup match that many of us will remember well – Gary Lund scored their goal and Niall Quinn didn’t score ours but it wasn’t for a lack of effort.

They can also be found in The Guiness Book of Records thanks to Andy Legg who holds the record for the Longest ‘throw in’ – 41.6m (another connection with City here because, of course, our ‘ex’ own Nicky Summerbee is in there with the record for the most number of times the winger didn’t take on the full back).

The only other connections that I can find between Notts County and City are to do with players – George Hannah signed for them from the Blues in 1964, Arthur Mann had six years with them from 1972 to 1978, Jimmy McMullan, one of City’s greats from the 20s and 30s was their manager for a while in the 30s and Peter Reid spent some time there on loan in 1993 during his fallow period after his time at Maine Road. Howard Kendall is another connection having managed both clubs – I remember him congratulating Uwe as he came off the pitch having blitzed Kendall’s side with 4 stunning goals. The records also show that Notts were first to sign a certain Dave Watson who played in and eventually captained the last great Blues side of the mid-seventies.

Other famous names at Meadow Lane include Tommy Lawton, he moved from Chelsea in Division 1 to Notts in Division 3 as a favour to the Notts manager who was a mate of his (get dialling Joe, we could do with that sort of favour just now)! Jimmy Sirrell is their ‘managing’ hero, he had three spells at the club and one of the new stands was named in his honour. Jeff Astle played his first professional football at Notts as did Tony Hateley. Andy Gray and Martin O’Neill spent loan periods with them and Howard Wilkinson learnt part of his management trade there in the early 80’s.

You may have noticed that Notts County are referred to throughout this piece as ‘Notts’ and not ‘County’ which seems more natural somehow, this is because Notts fans have a real ‘thing’ about their name – for the first 18 years of their existence, they were known simply as ‘Notts’ and only agreed to add ‘County’ so as to avoid confusion with other local teams – if you want to annoy a Notts fan then you just refer to Nottingham Forest (known locally as “The ‘F’ word”), as ‘Notts Forest’, that really gets ’em going.

‘The Pie’ fanzine is a good source of ‘fan’ jokes particularly at the expense of the ‘F’ word e.g.:

Q. Why are laboratory technicians switching from rats to F***** fans for their experiments?
A. The lab technicians don’t form emotional attachments to the F***** fans.

They also include this gem in a recent issue:

Q. What have a three pin plug and Man Utd got in common?
A. They are both useless in Europe

So, what are we likely to see when we visit Meadow Lane in August? Well, apparently, it’s ‘Just like watching Juve’ and that’s what the fans sing when their team gets on top – Why Juve? – because, so the story goes, Juventus wrote to a Nottingham kit manufacturer when looking for a strip and, being a Notts fan, he sent them theirs. Notts also went through Division 3 in ‘Juve’ style last season and I’m reminded in all of this of walking to the ground for that cup tie in February ’91 talking to visiting Blues fans about how we were going to take them apart – same again in ’95 when David Brightwell scraped a draw to earn us the replay that saw R

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