Newsletter #417


So far I’ve had two offers to be guest editor, but both have complications which make them fallback options rather than preferred options. Is anyone else out there prepared to take over MCIVTA for 2 weeks? There is little technical expertise required and Paul Howarth will be available to sort things out should they go awry. I’m convinced that there are loads of people out there who would love to have a go, but are just too shy or think that they will not be considered – there must surely be plenty amongst 2137! We’re even happy to consider someone who has done it before – desperation creeping in here folks! Please consider having a go. Drop me an email on

We also need ‘news’; if you read a story or hear one, please put it in your own words and send it in; don’t be afraid to put your own slant on it as well.

I’ve just been listeneing to the live commentary on the City vs. Wednesday game (final Score 0-0), and I can recommend it to all out there. All you need is RealPlayer (free) and you’re away. The WWW site is Anyone do a match report, easy one this as there are no complex moves leading to goals to describe!

We’ve a short match report of the Newquay game but other than that, not much has happened, just some administration redundancies at Maine Road. There’s some support for Bradbury after his performance on Saturday, criticism of the ticket office and North End’s attitude to Blackpool, and some advice on how to get tickets for Northampton with a thick Manc accent! We also have a Why Blue, talking of which: the anonymous Why Blue in MCIVTA 416 was in fact by Phil Booth in Edmonton, Canada.

Next game, Scarborough away, Monday 27th July 1998


I was unable to make it to the game but have had several reports from family and friends ‘back home’ that went to watch. Apparently, nearly 3,000 people turned up at the Mount Wise ground and witnessed City’s 6-0 win. The Newquay PA system played ‘Always look on the bright side of life’ as City took to the field. Were they taking the p**s or what?

Midway through the first half City broke the deadlock (it must have been tough!) with Captain Pollock finishing a goalmouth scramble. New boy Danny Tiatto scored the second, driving a hard hit shot low into the net. Minutes later City had a penalty for handball and Ray Kelly (?) put the spot kick away. Soon after the start of the second half Richard Edghill made a good run down the right flank before feeding Michael Brown who drilled home the 4th from 12 yards. The next goal was far and away the best of the game I am told, scored by a 19-year-old lad on trial by the name of Daniel Allsop, who skipped his way past three defenders before finishing coolly. Gary Mason got the final goal of the game 8 minutes from time.

Adam Davey (


There have been several redundancies at Maine Road, including Joanne Parker who was very helpful to us in earlier days – all the best to her. TeamTalk erroneously reported her as being the Editor of City Magazine, when in fact she was Publications Manager at the club. Others who have been affected by the cost-cutting exercise are Ian Niven who had a rôle in the ticket office amongst others, and more surprisingly John Clay, who had a PR rôle.



I’ve decided I had to write after reading the report of the Sunderland game written by Elaine Taylor. I personally thought that Bradbury looked a much better player than the no hoper who was in the side last year. He held the ball up well, made some good runs and generally looked right up for it, unlike Goater who was anonymous for the whole game. Maybe Elaine was too worried about her cold to actually pay any attention to the game. Everyone I’ve talked to since thought Bradbury had a really good game (including Ashley judging from the comment at the top of MCIVTA 416). I also noticed she had to get a comment in about Gio; I personally didn’t think City played that badly against a side who p****d all over us last year, and I certainly didn’t miss Gio’s standing around doing f*** all for 89 minutes on Saturday, I just wish we’d cashed in on him earlier as he was never going to shine in our team in Division 1.

On another matter here are a few comments on the reserve game at Altrincham on Saturday morning.

Tommy Wright – absolute crap (as if we didn’t know this already); he couldn’t kick and wouldn’t leave his line; if Joe Royle picks this old has-been over Weaver he needs shooting.
Brannan and Hiley – did not look in the slightest bit interested but Hiley had a nice tan.
Beesley – solid game but too slow, didn’t really do anything wrong.
Morley – looked OK, composed on the ball, I hope we don’t sell him.
Crooks – playing in the back 3, looked OK but a bit dodgy in the air.
Bishop – absolutely useless, gave the ball away every time he got it.
Brown – outstanding game, scored a good goal, still a bit rash in the tackles sometimes but Horlock should watch out if his performance against Sunderland was anything to go by.
Phillips – looked good, ran at defenders and got to the by-line, subbed at half time, don’t know why.
Conlon – took his goals well, looked OK if a bit lightweight, still the oldest looking teenager in the world.
Russell – did lots of running but just looked uninterested, can’t imagine the scouts breaking down his door after this performance.

Danny Alsop – never heard of him, looked quite quick but didn’t do much, a couple of nice touches and don’t believe the Evening News or Teamtalk because he didn’t score the 4th goal, it was Bailey; the reporters were obviously listening to the Altrincham announcer and not watching the game.
Jeff Whitley – short run out in midfield looked OK (and a bit p****d off).
Alan Bailey – only on for 10 minutes, not scared to shoot, scored the 4th goal after a long range shot from Brannan (?) came back off the ‘keeper.

I can’t remember who else came on so they can’t have done much. It looked like Joe’s trying to get rid of a lot of these players as quickly as possible but they’re not helping by being disinterested or being played out of position (Brannan at left wing back in the first half and right wing back in the second!).

Gary King (


by Noel Bayley – editor of Bert Trautmann’s Helmet

While the excitement of the World Cup is now but a distant memory, it was refreshing to return to The Academy last Saturday afternoon for Ian Brightwell’s testimonial to find that nothing whatsoever has changed, especially at the ticket office. Despite the fact that they had advertised the availability of Fulham tickets, come Saturday morning there were none to be had. Who the blame lay with I know not, but badly photocopied credit notes in lieu of the aforementioned tickets were issued instead. Information on admission to the match was equally thin on the ground, but fortune favours the brave and I managed to elicit the response from ticket office staff that admission to the Kippax was by cash only while admission to the Main Stand was by ticket only. Only at Maine Road could they insist on issuing tickets for a testimonial. Only at a testimonial game at a barely quarter full ground Maine Road could the ticket touts do a roaring trade!

Though there were few punters in The Bee Hive, it was as if we’d never been away and at ten to three we made the familiar walk up Claremont Road. Lengthy queues had formed at the one cash turnstile while the ticket only gates, of which there were several, were deserted. Typical City. Several people turned away as the farce worsened. Another two gates were opened which made three cash gates, but before long all these were closed, although not before a few hardy individuals had vaulted the turnstiles! As everyone made their way to the ticket only gates, the cash turnstiles reopened once more. It was quarter past three before many people managed to get in. If the club cannot cater for a ‘crowd’ of 7,000, how are they going to fare with crowds of 20,000+?

Inside, it was good to see so many Sunderland fans had made the journey south. I’ve never been particularly fond of Sunderland, especially now that they’ve got Quinn, Reid and Summerbee there, but credit where it’s due. I would, however, still like to see City playing some top class opposition in these games, if not in League games! Many, I know, would like to see Glasgow Rangers here; I’m not mithered as I think Scottish football’s a waste of space anyway. However, I do know that a visit from Rangers would garner a sizeable crowd; as too would a visit from Ajax. City were well placed with Kinkladze’s sale to the Dutch club to arrange a friendly with them, so why didn’t they? Home and away would have been ideal. Even a home game would have been enough, but no. Ironically, Sunderland had the imagination to invite them over here for the Stadium Of Light’s inaugural match this time last year. All too often City do things on the cheap, which goes some way towards explaining why I cannot comment on Ian Brightwell’s testimonial match. It was so incredibly dull, it simply isn’t worthy of one.

P.S. Thanks to everyone who sent me details of B&Bs in Dublin recently. They were all booked up, but you’ll be pleased to know that we managed to find somewhere in the end!

Noel Bayley (


I’d like to take the opportunity to complain about one or two comments made by your away fan guest writer Mr. TM in MCIVTA 415 (TM only submitted the article, it was actually written by a Preston North End fan called ‘Town End Steve’ [Ashley]).

I’ve been a Blue now for about 30 years and in that time I’ve spent the last 15 years living in Blackpool, Lancashire. As you can imagine, I take a close interest in my local club. Town End Steve was very keen to point out the poorer conditions at Blackpool F.C: “like us you will have to endure some real pits, Macclesfield, Blackpool and Wrexham spring to mind” he quotes. Sure enough, Blackpool’s once legendary Bloomfield Road ground has seen better years, and it falls a long way short of Maine Road. But I wouldn’t call it a “pit” and you should know that it still has one of the best playing surfaces in the country.

Your writer was also keen to point out the support that Preston North End get and eager to draw a comparison with the Blackpool fans. I can tell you that there are many reasons why Blackpool’s gates have diminished over the years, but you have to look very hard to find fans that are more genuinely loyal and passionate about their beloved club.

Blackpool itself has undergone a major transition in the last ten or so years. As many visitors to Blackpool will testify, the local population has been driven away by a lack of investment in the town’s infrastructure; the investment that does take place in Blackpool these days is on short-term tourist attractions that don’t provide the real population of Blackpool with any tangible benefit. Most of the cash generated from the millions of visitors that Blackpool gets each year is sent south to large fat corporations in London. Take a look at the shopping facilities in our town centre and you’ll soon understand what I mean. Blackpool is most certainly a shadow of its former self, but it is a proud Lancashire town that doesn’t deserve to be slagged off in this manner.

Town End Steve is obviously very bitter with Blackpool F.C. Perhaps because in the past Blackpool has outshone its next door neighbours? Whilst I acknowledge Preston’s legendary hero, Tom Finney, you will also know that Blackpool is very proud to have its name connected to the legendary Stanley Matthews and Stan Mortensen. And arguably the greatest F.A. Cup final match in history was won by Blackpool in 1953, the ‘Stanley Matthews Final’.

Good luck to Blackpool next season, and I hope that one day soon they too will be back in the big time. Of course, not at the expense of Manchester City. As for Blackpool’s “pit”, I hope that on the road to success, the Bloomfield Road ground will get a lick of paint here and there to help restore her dignity… are you fat cats listening?

City ’til I die, James Barber (


Following the article about the Cobblers that appeared in the last Mcivta, in particular the titbit that the box office was not selling tickets in the home parts of the ground to people with Manchester addresses, I thought that readers might be interested in my successful quest.

I got a tip off that tickets for the away end (all 950 of them) might be on sale from the Cobblers box office. I got someone else to phone and check if this was the case (I must say I was sceptical but you never know). They weren’t. I then phoned the box office and after being put on hold for what seemed like an age I got through to a very pleasant woman:

Me: “Are there any tickets for the game against Manchester City left?”
VPW: “Yes, in all parts of the ground.”
Me: “How much are they?”
VPW: “Are you a Manchester City supporter?”
Me: “No!”

After a slight pause she asked me where I live (which isn’t far from Northampton) and hey presto three tickets are on their way to my home! As I have a strong Manchester accent it seems that the only thing you need to do this is have a contact in the south of England (or outside Manchester) with a credit card (and before anyone asks, no I can’t get anyone else’s, sorry!). But if you have a friend or relative outside Manchester or are just passing through then getting tickets is a breeze.

I’d imagine that many other grounds we’ll be visiting this year will adopt the same policy. Apart from Millwall which will have several thousand tickets as their stadium holds around 20,000 or so.

CTID, Dave Bradbury (


For all you out there who have wondered what I look like (so you can buy me a beer … ?), I have had a go at writing a web page.

It is my first go and I’ve not been on any courses (everything hit and miss), so it my be a bit rough, so any comments good or bad, any links you want adding or any p**s taking please feel free to mail me.

The address is:

Tony “the tattooed donkey” Hulme, North Stand Block N Row 13 Seat 10 (


Football Unlimited ( is the Guardian’s new football site, launching soon, featuring The Football Unlimited Network (FUN) where footy fans are invited to put up their own pages about their favourite teams.

On the site there’s a results service covering every match in every UK competition, minute-by-minute match reports, live scores and pictures. You’ll also find player and club profiles for every club in the UK, unrivalled stats and an archive of all Premiership matches.

You can also subscribe free to the Fiver, a daily e-mail roundup of the latest football news and gossip delivered at 5pm every weekday.

The site also includes:

  • All Talk – debate the burning issues of the day on the bulletin boards.
  • When Saturday Comes – an exclusive editorial from the footy bible.
  • Updated versions of old favourites including Fan Factory, our popularinteractive questionnaire that tells you which team to support, and Goal ofthe Week, our unique analysis of the week’s best goal.

For more info please contact Jules Griffith, at the Guardian’s New Media Press Office on 0171 713 4340 or email…

Jules Griffith (


Just seen the new away shirt – is it a joke? I thought Man City had so far managed to avoid the ridicule experienced by Arsenal, Chelsea and Everton fans for having shirts designed by colour blind chimpanzees; why not stay with the tried and tested yellow and black? It’s bloody awful.

Matthew Cavanagh (


I liked the well written “Why Blue” from the chap in Canada, But pray we do not become a Juventus Farm Team – that’s Juventus Reserves, I want to see City rise back to the top as a top flight club in their own right, not someone else’s reserves. The first step back to Division 1 this season, one step at a time, City will get back to the Premier Division, Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow – True Blue (


Actually my affliction for the Blues begins and end with bloody Arsenal of all things.

No, stay with me! The product of a Forces upbringing (and that’s where the similarity with Bradbury ends!), it was my lot to be shunted from one dead end base or town to another. So, of course, when I began to get interested in footie I had no local team which I had any affinity for.

Well, what do you do in situations like these – you turn to your old man of course. Now this is where the first Arsenal connection came in – he had grown up in Highbury and supported the Gooners in his youth. A certain Joe Mercer was playing for them at that time and so impressed was the old man that he developed a sort of split personality thereafter – continuing to support Arsenal but then following City when Mercer arrived.

The rest is history and fairly typical of the lot of a City fan I suppose – there was me and my brother, there was City and Arsenal. Guess which one I chose. So now while my brother has a season ticket at Highbury watching the likes of Bergkamp and Wright and with European jaunts every year, I’ve had the likes of Parlane, Tolmie, Creaney and Lillis over the years, not to mention sightseeing trips to Portsmouth, Ipswich, Millwall and Huddersfield.

But something somewhere makes it impossible to be anything else doesn’t it? For God’s sake my tour of duty as a kid included living near to Leeds and Ipswich – both of whom were hugely successful at the time. But would I be swayed? Not on your life – even when in the 70’s we lived near the world-beating Ipswich and that was the only place I could go and watch my beloved team, if only once a year.

Now we all know about our record at Ipswich don’t we? But was I downhearted after that first live experience at Portman Road and a 2-1 defeat even with Lee, Summerbee et al? Or the straight 10 defeats that followed in that same stadium? Or the Halifax and Shrewsbury débâcles that happened at about the same time? Course I bloody well was, but still I wore my scarf to school and trotted out in my sky blue shirt for PE to general mirth all around!

Never mind I thought, it’ll be better when I can watch them somewhere else apart from Ipswich. So when it came to choosing a University there was only really one place to go – Manchester here I come I thought. Only problem of course was that my course was smack bang in the heart of Rag territory – Salford! Being a student and a Blue in Salford did not give me huge feelings of safety as I wandered the lonely miles down to the Academy that first day and the 0-3 pasting off Liverpool didn’t do much to lift the spirits either.

But it was all worth it a short while after and the milestone first victory 3-1 – against Spurs. This is it I thought! – and for a while under Johnny Bond it almost seemed like it. Easy victories, Cup Final, League Cup semi! Would it never end? Being City we all know the answer to that one and Luton, Brentford, Lincoln and numerous others have stuck the boot in ever since.

But despite the woes we all share and put up with week in week out, something keeps us going. Blind, stupid, dumb optimism? Regressional hypnosis? Mass brain disease? Maybe a bit of everything but for me there is something completely intangible – if I could sum it up in images and put them in a photo album entitled ‘Why Blue’ it’d come close to it:

What’d be in there – Tueart’s overhead kick; bananas at Watford & swimming pools at Palace; the Charlton & Rags 5-1s; yellow shirts at Arsenal (!); Lillis talking about a possible England call up (!); massive Division 2 crowds vs. Chelsea, Newcastle and Wednesday; Tolmie’s haircut; the Full Members’ almost come-back; Redmond slipping on his arse at West Ham while putting away a penalty; Quinn’s goal away at Spurs; bedlam after Nicky Reid nicked it in the last minute at home to Pompey; Kinkladze at Oxford; the perishing cold at Pompey last year; chucking up in delirious excitement after celebrating vs. Brentford in the Cup.

So spare a thought for us non-Manc Blues. We’ve all got our various reasons for being afflicted but it’s certainly nowt to do with winning trophies! It takes devotion/lunacy of a peculiar kind to not come from the city and yet still to stick to the Blue cause, year in year out, cock-up after cock-up and to the understanding of absolutely nobody!

Oh yes, I said this story ended with bloody Arsenal too – to put the tin hat on it where do I now live? bloody Highbury!

Hannah Fisher (


Contributions: Ashley –
Subscriptions & Club Questions: Steve –
Technical Problems: Paul –

The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribersand there is no intention to represent these opinions as being thoseof Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies anduniversities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not inany way whatsoever connected to the club or any other relatedorganisation and is simply a group of supporters using this mediumas a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.

[Valid3.2]Ashley Birch,
Newsletter #417