Newsletter #471

A crucial victory on Friday night, one that keeps the momemtum up at the expense of one of our main rivals. Suddenly, the team seems to have acquired some steel – not sure where from – and just as Fulham were rolled over by our strength in midfield, so were Stoke. However, Stoke did put up more of a fight (literally), putting in some fairly horrendous tackles: one by Robinson – for which he was sent off – which David Carradine would have been proud of; and a particularly nasty two-footed challenge by the Icelander (Sigurdsson I think) which might have broken Taylor’s foot with, were it not for his agility in evading it. As ever of late, we ought to have had 4 or so, but a win is what we needed and what we got.

I’m afraid we only have two armchair match reports – can anyone who was at the match do a ‘live’ one for the next issue?

News of the rumoured sale of Stephen Boler’s shares is bubbling to the surface, with the Chairman now making affirmatory noises, though still keeping his cards close to his chest. I must say that the club have done a pretty good job of keeping this under wraps, especially in view of the press feeding frenzy which usually accompanies changes of managers or chairmen at Maine Road.

There’s more on the Motherwell Maestro, plenty of opinion and another neat Why Blue.

This one reaches 2,326.

Next game, Millwall at home, Saturday 6th February 1999


STOKE CITY vs. MANCHESTER CITY, Friday 29th January 1999

Stoke 0 City 1 (report of viewing of Sky in pub with irritating darts competition)


Crooks   Wiekens  Vaughan  Edghill
Cooke     Brown     Pollock    Horlock
        Taylor      Goater

A good performance from the Blues, but it was Stoke’s abysmal performance that gifted us the three points. City dominated from the off, chances every couple of minutes, but being City, we only converted one. But what a goal, and from a corner, not directly mind, but still. Wiekens headed to control it, then a spectacular volley to net it, on about 20 minutes I think.

Sky gave us pub-bound lot a gorgeous picture of our Gerard grinning like a Cheshire cat, he was in City Heaven, and still pretty much kept his head for the rest of the half, although he made the odd slight error that he doesn’t usually, but I’ll forgive him. Edghill carrying on his good run after the game against Walsall, at left back… Question: Is he always good at left back? Is that where we’ve been going wrong with him? Two powerful shots on target from Edgy, of two later shots from Richard one ricocheted off a defender and one went miles wide… don’t get too cocky Edgy you’re not a striker you know… but having said that neither is Taylor on tonight’s performance, even with a relatively free header he misses by yards.

Pollock had about 7 shots on goal, all either 12 yards off or so feeble I could have saved them (and that’s saying something). City had most of the possession. Other incidents of note: Stoke’s Phil Robinson got sent off on about 35 minutes for an absolutely reckless challenge. Brian Little had already made 2 substitutions before this, to try to give his side some recognisable football shape. I never felt Stoke were going to score (which worried me no end), but they created nothing, a free chance 5 minutes or so from the end was well wide.

Taylor disrupted quite a few potential openings for the Blues by being offside; he was offside about 8 times in the match! Crooks made a good defensive manoeuvre 15 minutes into the second half; unfortunately he crashed into a Stoke player’s legs and was stretchered off. Replaced by Bishop, so Edghill went back to right back, Horlock dropped back to left back. Later on Cooke and a poorly performing Pollock (despite good tackling and spirit, but to be honest it’s all he seems to have) Dickov and Jim Whitley came on. Dickov gave up some clear shots on goal from the edge of the area to put quite good passes in. The funniest moment in the came 5 minutes from the end: The ball was running parallel to the touch line at the Stoke end towards the corner flag and a Stoke sub grabbed the ball! He got a yellow card and we were awarded a corner kick. Some bloke thought I was laughing at his darts performance. We should have scored more, but one was enough.

Weaver (7) Didn’t have to do much… I can’t actually recall a save.
Crooks (8) A good, solid right back performance until his injury.
Edghill (8) Keep this up Richard and I might pen a song in your honour.
Wiekens (9) Despite the wonderful goal and your cute smile I dock a point for a few slight errors.
Vaughan (6) On two occasions against a very riled and aggressive Stoke team, almost got himself sent off, quite a good performance though.
Brown (8) Got stuck in, some good passing.
Horlock (7) Again didn’t notice him too much but was always there when you expected him to be.
Pollock (5) I gave him 4 last Saturday, maybe a bit below the belt, but he just gets the ball and wellies it. The side have a bit of passion and commitment now so his purpose is a little harder to understand.
Taylor (4) We have Taylor to head crosses in… Yes? On tonight’s performance he’s crap at that as well. How did he get a place in the Welsh squad?
Goater (7) Still improving. I gave him a 6 last Saturday and though afterwards I thought that he deserved a 7, maybe still lacks a little on the commitment front, that ‘extra millisecond’ of pace and he could easily have bagged two goals.
Cooke (7) Sky gave him man of the Match… though I couldn’t understand why. Yes, he gave us width again, and has more pace than Horlock on the left, but not a performance worthy of Man of the Match… but then whose was?

Bishop (6) Never done much since he rejoined us, kept the ball up well, but pretty nonchalant.
Dickov (7) The ickle terrier found space, got into good positions only for passes to be a fraction off. Premiership strikers would have finished but Premiership strikers won’t be playing this abysmal Stoke team.
Jim Whitley (6) Didn’t notice to be honest so an uncommital 6.

Gareth Thomas


Now this is more like it! My first Sky League match since we got caned at Fulham, so I felt I was tempting fate, especially wearing the not-so-lucky laser blue shirt. I was amazed by the way we got stuck into them from the word go; the pessimistic part of me felt the fact that we had so much possession early on but couldn’t score was a bad sign, but then up pops Gerard with a bit of ball control and finishing that most centre forwards would have been proud of and I was off the sofa!

When Andy Morrison got himself suspended for these last three matches I thought that was the end of our unbeaten 1999 league record; now I wonder how he’s going to get back into the team. OK, defensively we had a few flutters but the clean sheets continue to stack up and you get the feeling that provided we score at least one these days we’re at least not going to lose. Nicky Weaver had to dive towards a few and watch some go past his posts but otherwise didn’t have a real save to make. Lee Crooks looked fairly composed and Edgy was actually having shots on goal! Jamie P was his usual enthusiastic self, a little too much so at times but he got away with it. Mike Brown and Kevin Horlock were pretty industrious, the former narrowly avoiding a serious injury after the airborne Robinson literally flew into him and was rightly sent off and no messing (puts Andy M’s red card into perspective).

The worry is still the front two. Gareth Taylor had a pretty poor match for me, missing one open goal with a shot that was more of a clearance. Shaun put himself about a lot but it just wasn’t working for him, though he did force their ‘keeper to make a point blank save. Terry Cooke must wonder what he has to do to get an “assist” in this team. Time and again he turned the Stoke defence inside out, only to see our dynamic duo fail to read the game or miscue. Cookie seems to be giving us the extra dimension to our game that McVittee subscribers have been crying out for all along. He looks exciting going forward; if only his long range lob had gone in!

I don’t want to be overly critical of the forwards because overall this was a very competitive team performance with the only downside being a failure to capitalise on our possession and give Stoke the thrashing they deserved (like Preston did to Wrexham). The belief seems to have come back (was it ever there?) to the team and they’re evidently taking games by the scruff of the neck.

Perversely, the real test is going to come when we have to start playing the less capable teams in the division. As has been said before we can take the game to footballing teams but we’ve been a bit shy of a scrap against the lower orders. This weekend gives us a chance to consolidate our move up the table with the four teams ahead of us playing each other. Fulham and Preston still look unlikely to slip up enough for us to catch them, but obviously all we can do is keep winning our games and see what happens around us. We’ve all talked about turning corners before but 4 wins, 2 draws and only 2 goals conceded since we last lost a league game is reasonable form. Here’s hoping we keep it going against Millwall.

Come on you Blues!

Geoff Donkin (Geoff@Donkin.Demon.Co.UK)


Cash Injection – Speculation, Comment From Bernstein

Rumours of an imminent cash injection have intensified, and the latest word is that a considerable sum could be available to Joe Royle before the transfer deadline. Yesterday’s Sunday People claimed that the apparent behind-the-scenes activity at Maine Road in the last few weeks was set to culminate in the announcement of a “major cash injection” as a result of a deal reportedly put together by Manchester-based corporate financier Peter Ricketts (whose son, Adam, plays Nick Tilsley on Coronation Street). The People referred to two potential investors, “believed to be Scandinavians”, who would take a major shareholding under the terms of any deal. The News of the World carried a similar story but offered a different nationality, saying that two American businessmen would acquire 28% of the shares in the club for £5 million and that the official announcement would come after next Saturday’s home match against Millwall.

Later on Sunday, the club made a rather vague statement admitting that discussions with prospective investors had been in progress for some time, and that while some of the original interested parties have fallen by the wayside other talks are still ongoing. On Monday, David Bernstein made some slightly more detailed comments. He’s being cautious, warning that agreement being reached is still not a certainty despite GMR’s afternoon sports bulletins running a story that there should be a deal, including a cash injection and the purchase of the Boler shares, announced within the next week. However, Bernstein did state that a substantial injection of funds will be available if the deal is completed, while he repeated that any change will settle all issues surrounding the ownership of the club, said he’ll remain Chairman and referred to a “partnership not a takeover”.

Details? Well, as the official public statements are coming from the still-cagey Bernstein, the following has to carry the warning that it’s only speculation. Reports insist that Francis Lee, John Wardle and David Makin will retain their shares while the cash injection will amount to £20 million of which £10 million will be available for expenditure on players this season. Of course, fans are awaiting keenly the identity of the new “partners” and that’s something that the rumours can’t even offer a guess at as of 4 pm UK time on Monday, though word is the buyer is UK-based. One name can, however, be ruled out – Raymond Donn, reported last spring as having secured first option on the Boler shares, has said he isn’t involved in the latest developments. Maybe by the time MCIVTA 472 hits your mailbox, it’ll be clear who is.

Stoke Reaction

Most reports showered considerable praise on City for their performance in what the Press Association called Friday night’s “convincing” 1-0 win at Stoke. Even the opposing manager agreed, with Brian Little commenting that, “They [City] were the better team and genuinely deserved it. Their goalkeeper didn’t have to make a save and our lad made some outstanding saves.” The only slight criticism in most quarters was that we didn’t make more of our superiority – we had seventeen goal attempts to four according to the count on Sky, and by all accounts should have won by a more convincing margin. Joe Royle admitted, “There was a great deal of frustration in the dressing room that we didn’t score more goals.”

Ironically, City seem to have played better before the 37th minute sending-off of Stoke’s Phil Robinson. Royle certainly thought so. Referring to the first half as featuring “probably our best display of the season right through the team,” he admitted that the “psychological effect of [Stoke’s] going down to ten men made a difference, but we were very rarely troubled.” The three points, coupled with other weekend results, leave City in eighth place, now only one point off the play-off positions but eleven adrift of second-placed Preston.

Automatic Promotion “Still A Possibility”

Despite Preston’s advantage, on-loan winger Terry Cooke and “Dutch destroyer” (as the Manchester Evening News called him) Gerard Wiekens continue to insist that City can go up without recourse to the play-off lottery. I hate to be a wet blanket but while the last few results, touch wood, seem to be evidence that things are now coming together, unfortunately matters aren’t in our own hands. For example, if Preston were to continue picking up points at their current rate City would need 47 more points to overtake them. This would mean fifteen wins, two draws and a solitary defeat from our last 18 games – really spectacular form. And if Fulham’s points/games ratio doesn’t deteriorate by the end of the season, we’ll be below them even if we win every game. Confidence in the camp is commendable, of course, and we have to keep going in the hope that one of the current top two may see their form fall away badly (it’s happened to teams in their position before). Realistically, though, the play-offs are a more likely bet.

Pay-Per-View Set To Flop

TV analysts are apparently predicting failure for the pay-per-view experiment, in which City’s game at Colchester on March 20 will be the second match offered by Sky on a subscription basis. The trial kicks off on February 27 with Sunderland’s trip to Oxford, one paper at the weekend reporting that the take-up for the televised showing from the Manor Ground will probably struggle to top the predicted 9,500 who’ll watch the game live. The report goes on to say that “forecasts aren’t much higher” for the City game. The suspicion already is that not enough fans “will want to fork out … to watch games from such clubs as Oxford or Colchester.” The implication is that it’s felt, given more attractive opponents, that Sunderland and City fans would be prepared to fork out. If this idea takes root, there’ll be the temptation to manipulate the league structure to ensure the clubs most likely to deliver decent TV audiences are in opposition to the maximum extent possible. Maybe such a process could even see City move up a division without having to bother with anything so tedious as winning promotion on merit, but I still can’t say I’d view it as a positive development for the game.

City Snap Up Brown

Having already signed two sought after youngsters in the last few weeks, City have sealed a deal for 17-year-old Clive Brown of non-league Curzon Ashton, the club who supplied City with goalkeeper Eric Nixon in the mid-1980s. There’s no word on what position Brown plays in, but he has a decent pedigree – he’s the brother of Manchester United defender Wes Brown, a 19-year-old who’s done well enough after breaking into first-team contention to be awarded a new contract on a reported £8,000-a-week. I hope Clive makes more of an impact than John Sharpe, the last youngster we had whose brother was an established first-teamer across the city.

Strikers Off On Loan

City strikers Craig Russell and Alan Bailey, neither of whom seem to figure in Joe Royle’s immediate first team plans, have departed on loan for Port Vale and Macclesfield respectively. In the case of Russell, it seems fairly clear that Joe Royle doesn’t rate the player, having consigned him to the reserves at the first opportunity following the recovery from injury of Shaun Goater and the signing of Terry Cooke. Presumably if the new Vale manager (a certain Brian Horton) comes up with any kind of realistic cash offer, the ex-Sunderland forward will be allowed to leave. With Bailey, the loan may only be to give him the kind of first-team experience he wouldn’t get at Maine Road at the moment. Incidentally, I hope we’ve stipulated he can’t play for Macc against us on February 20 – it would be typical of City to see promotion hopes suffer at the hands of one of our own players.

Both Russell and Bailey featured for their new temporary employers at the weekend but as it turned out neither player had a great début – both were substituted in away defeats (Vale lost 1-0 at Ipswich while Macc suffered a 2-1 reverse at Blackpool). Meanwhile, a third City striker out on loan, Chris Greenacre, had a bitter-sweet afternoon playing for lowly Scarborough away to Scunthorpe United. Greenacre did at least find the net but unfortunately for him, it was his team’s only goal in a 5-1 hammering.

Westminster Blues

Miles Webber supplied details in a recent MCIVTA of the formation of a Manchester City supporters’ group in Parliament and I’m looking forward to his report of their first gathering. In case you missed Miles’s posting, the meeting will be on February 9, will be addressed by Colin Shindler and will also see the attendance of other notable London-based non-Parliamentary Blues, not least Chairman David Bernstein. And the group has already generated publicity even before its first meeting, featuring in Saturday’s Guardian newspaper – not in the sports pages, either, but in the political ‘Smallweed’ column. In particular, it was noted that, though the top man himself follows Blackburn Rovers, Home Secretary Jack Straw’s office is a “nest of City fans”. Surely they must be able to think up some nefarious plot to use this power for City’s ends?

Former Blues – Nicky Reid

After following the decline of John Bond’s managerial career in MCIVTA 470, now I have news (from the MEN last Thursday) of a member of Bond’s 1981 Wembley line-ups also ploughing the managerial furrow. Nicky Reid, after a playing career which took him from City to Blackburn in 1987 and then to Bury, West Brom and Wycombe, found himself without a club a couple of years ago. Invited to Irish side Sligo Rovers on a short-term contract by the former Burnley boss Jimmy Mullen, Reid was asked to mind the shop on a temporary basis shortly afterwards when Mullen found himself sacked. A run of decent results saw the remit become a permanent one, and Reid’s still there now, both in the hot-seat and marshalling his side on the pitch. Things continued to go well last year as Reid emulated the 1981 heroics by guiding his new team to a League Cup final victory last year.

Unfortunately this season, with Sligo second bottom of the League of Ireland Premier Division, he seems set to replicate another aspect of his City career – the relegation campaigns of which he was a veteran in 1983 and 1987. I for one hope not, as he was a locally-born player who seemed to have a genuine feeling for City, and though he didn’t achieve all the promise he at one time hinted he might, he gave good service over more than 250 first-team games for the club. Incidentally, if anyone’s interested there’s a book due out soon about Reid’s time at Sligo. Written by Connell Collier, it’s entitled “NorthWest Frontier” and will be published by Fifth Province. You might be reading about a future incumbent of the Maine Road hot seat – the MEN article closed with Reid’s musing that, “Who knows … one day I may be back at City.” I’ll resist the observation that if he relegates Sligo this season, he’ll be eminently qualified!

Frontzeck Gets That Sinking Feeling … Again

Nicky Reid wouldn’t make my post-1975 best City side (the period on which I’m qualified to comment), but he’s a long way from contending for a place in any team made up of the worst players I’ve seen playing for us. Michael Frontzeck on the other hand is an automatic selection for the Nightmare XI. Of course, aided by the Homer Simpson-lookalike’s consistently abject displays in the left-back spot, City slid from the Premier League in 1996. And news from Germany suggests it was part of a pattern: the year before he came to Maine Road, he was in a Bochum side which departed the Bundesliga top flight, and after we conned Freiburg into stumping up £80,000 for his services they were then relegated in 1998. He’s since moved to Borussia Mönchengladbach, and I’m sure you can guess their likely fate. Yes, the club which once struck fear into the hearts of Europe’s greatest teams (they even knocked us out of the UEFA Cup once!) are stranded at the foot of the table. Perhaps we could use special agent Frontzeck to our advantage – anyone know Kevin Keegan’s phone number?

Steve Rimmer – Clarification

Finally, a follow-up to the confusion in MCIVTA 470 over whether reserve City defender Steve Rimmer is actually on loan at Doncaster or Rotherham. I’ve had confirmation from a Rovers fan via an MCIVTA subscriber that the player is indeed at Doncaster, as was first reported.

Peter Brophy (


Manchester City vs. Macclesfield Town
Saturday 20th February, Kick Off 3.00pm

Tickets for this fixture are now on open sale.

Chesterfield vs. Manchester City
Saturday 27th February, Kick Off 3.00pm

Tickets for this fixture will go on sale to regular season ticket holders from 9.00am on Saturday 30th January on production of voucher ‘DD’. The allocation is approximately 2,700 tickets, mainly standing.

Supporters are reminded to keep their away ticket stubs as it is almost certain that these will be required to purchase tickets for at least one remaining away fixture!

Ticket Office – Manchester City


“Great telly, shame about some of the idiots”

Having moved up to Glasgow as a student last October from Leeds, I’ve not had as many opportunities as I would have liked to see City play this season, and regretably have been reduced to waiting for our turn on the Sky Friday night football. So yesterday I walked on down to the one pub I know which would definitely be showing the Stoke game, settled down with a pint of Scottish ale (does anyone know of a pub in the town centre which serves Tetley’s, Boddy’s or John’s?) and waited for kick-off. Never a quiet supporter, I was soon discovered by the regulars to be a Blue and immediately their mood changed. There was talk of the days of Willie Donnachie and Asa Hartford, comparison of the ticket prices at Maine Road and Ibrox (worryingly similar if the truth be told, anyone else think we might be paying a little over the odds. I know it’s only Scotitsh football, but all the same) and, thankfully, a general feeling of hatred and disgust for all things Red. All this enlightened conversation and City were one nil up and looking set for another three points but the mood of the bar was set to change.

One match I did get to this season was that thrilling encounter against Stoke at Maine Road and I was appalled at what I saw there as I was the other night. Yet more crowd trouble. Not for the first time, and I fear not the last, I found my eyes drawn to the section of the terracing being swamped by fluorescent shirts as tempers boiled over. I ain’t the oldest fan this club’s got but I don’t ever recall this being an obvious problem at Maine Road (correct me if I’m mistaken) except in recent years when we’ve been going through this somewhat turbulent spell. The point is that I had to go from friendly banter with the locals to trying to defend the club’s reputation in the face of the actions of these complete pillocks at the match.

I don’t really care what the provocation was, if indeed there was any. We all knew that when we went down to this sodding division that the other fans were going to have a right go at us. We knew that for most of them every game against us was their Cup Final. The cameras may have only lingered on it for 10 seconds last night but that is simply 10 seconds too many. The name of this club does not need dragging further into the realms of farce by bast**ds like this (and I hope that you are reading this) and I hope that you see fit to reply as I will take great pleasure in passing your details on to the authorities I can assure you.

Last time at Maine Road I picked up a copy of BTH and flicked through to the letters page where there I found a Millwall fan boasting away about how some to**ers masquerading as City “fans” had met up with him and some mates of his. He also mentioned that these same pri**s had also been involved in an altercation with some other team’s mob of idiots (can’t remember who, can anyone fill in the blank?).

Like I said, I’m not the oldest fan but isn’t this how all the trouble at teams like Millwall started in the first place? A large club playing smaller teams and a few Neanderthals realize that if they tag along then they can meet their weekly violence requirements? If anyone invloved in last night’s trouble, small as it was, is reading this then please get in touch with me or MCIVTA and have a go at justifying your actions. You ruined a perfectly good evening for myself and countless other City fans across the country. I don’t want you associated with the team and neither do the real fans. This club doesn’t need you and it doesn’t and will never want you.

CTID, Peter Blyth (


After reading Johnathan Tod’s article about Ged Brannan, I thought I’d write and tell you a little more about the ex-City player’s new life at Motherwell.

I’m a Motherwell fan who just happens to be afflicted with a love for Man City, I blame my aunt and uncle for taking me to Maine Road as an impressionable child. I only get to see City a couple of times a year when I come down to Manchester, though.

I remember Brannan’s illustrious career at City, and when I heard he was signing for Motherwell, I was not the world’s happiest bunny. In fact I spent a good couple of days on the Motherwell mailing lists arguing with people about him, basically banging on about how useless he was.

You’re probably not aware of the situation at Motherwell; we have recently been bought by John Boyle, the bloke who sold Direct Holidays for £81 million. He brought in Pat Nevin as player/chief executive, which immediately caused problems with the then manager Harri Kampman. Kampman soon resigned and Motherwell player Billy Davies was appointed manager. To a lot of ‘Well fans this seemed to be the appointment of a ‘yes man’ manager by the board.

Davies’ 1st signing was Ged Brannan, and frankly I thought here is the first crap signing by our crap new manager, oh how wrong I was!

I almost hate to tell you this, but Brannan is a revelation. He dominates midfield and his running and distribution are magnificent. Not only that but he’s been scoring too, both in open play and from free kicks. Without doubt he has been our most important signing in years. I was wrong about Davies too. He has Motherwell playing attractive, passing football, and his recent signings of John Spencer and Andy ‘The flying pig’ Goram have got the town jumping.

As you can imagine I’ve had to eat a lot of humble pie after slagging him off as useless, but frankly he’s a different player from his City days. In interviews it comes across how happy he is to be playing for Motherwell. When John Spencer returned to Everton, it was Brannan who was in all the papers calling for Everton to let him sign for Motherwell rather than rotting in his reserves.

The impression I get of Brannan is that he is a man who seems to have escaped Maine Road. I’ve heard him talk about his City days in an interview once and was left in no doubt that he was very happy to be away. In his own words, a promising start which soon fell away. I don’t think he found City a happy place to be at all.

It seems to be a trend for ex-City players to regain their form once they have left Maine Road. Just what is it that seems to cause players to become useless once they come to City? Frankly I don’t know, but I wish someone would find out why, and fix it soon.

Douglas Youngson (


Could someone confirm this as I can’t believe what I heard.

If City do change kit manufacturers then the badge would have to change as well. I overheard that Kappa have the rights to the current Man City badge and would therefore refuse the use by another kit manufacturer. Surely this is not true (not that I like the badge in the first place)?

Stephen Wallwork (


I agree that a stand should be named after Joe Mercer, but hopefully they will never name a stand after my hero Colin Bell. I couldn’t bear being called a Bell Ender.

Incidentally, since I moved to the south in 1980, I have never, on my journeys home, seen City lose at Maine Road. If anyone wants to sponsor me to attend the rest of the games this season I am open to offers. This doesn’t apply to away games where I have seen us lose all too often, although I was at Stoke on Friday. “One-nil in your cup final, one-nil in your cup final…” etc.

Dave Kilroy CBIC – City Because I Can (


What a pity that our well-deserved 1-0 victory at Stoke last Friday didn’t actually take place – at least as far as Saturday’s Daily Mail was concerned. I came down to breakfast, grabbed my DM and sat down with my mug of tea to read about our fine win. But despite much scouring and searching, could not find a match report – or even worse – not even a scoreline. I rushed out and bought a Telegraph and there was a good report, with a picture. I was so mad I sent an e-mail to the sports editor pointing out our average home gate size. It isn”t that there’s bias against our team, is it? But if the Rags reserves were playing a friendly against the Milk Marketing Board I bet it would merit at least half a page.

Eric Graham (


In keeping with the current positive atmosphere, I would like to comment on the recent submissions about ex-City players performing well for their new clubs (e.g. Ged Brannan). Tonight I saw Alan Kernaghan for St. Johnstone vs. Celtic on television. Having scored three in the first half hour, Celtic decided to settle for five overall. St. Johnstone’s defence was torn apart – as Kernaghan proved, we’re not always wrong to let someone go!

(From someone who is doubly bitter and twisted having watched Kernaghan play for City and Ireland)

Eamonn Lonergan (


I wasn’t entirely happy with the respone to Paul Keelagher’s posting on the cost of supporting the Blues over the Net, particularly the intimation that he should be prepared to throw his money around to prove to he is a Blue. There are a number of issues here. First of all, is the ethos of the Internet, in that it is a user-based rather than supplier-based forum (classic example, we post to MCIVTA for the fun of it). So Paul’s remark touched on the related issue of “when is someone using the Net as means of exploitation?” This is always a contentious Net issue, and in this case it sounds like they probably are. Also, so what if some people spend £2,000 following City; it’s all about freedom of choice. Presumably this represents value for money to that person, whereas to someone else, travelling all of 5 miles to see the Blues is a hassle if they don’t feel like it.

The settler for me is the Man Utd supporter issue: whenever I see coaches from all over the country, heading into Manchester (as we head off to Macclesfield!) do I respect these apparently dedicated supporters, who presumably spend thousands of their own money watching the Reds from all over the country (and beyond)? Do I think that it is great that they generously spend their cash in the Superstore? Do I hell! So to me, the fact that Paul is frustrated over his poor connection to keeping up with City, tells me at least, all I need to know about his Blue credentials. Keep at it Paul, and spend wisely.

On a much lighter note, here is my dream of the future… I sneak into an away match with a camera in my baseball cap and a wireless Internet hook-up. I then watch the game, and fast stream the video signal direct to the Net, where thousands of Internet Blues watch Bootleg City live, whilst on the beach in Bermuda or wherever! I then get chased around the ground by the Sky Net Sensor Police who are also hooked up to my website, but can’t work out where I’m standing – they want the money for televising matches to go to the last place I’m gonna let it go! Guess where that is! Then, I come home and log on to MCIVTA and get an e-mail from Paul, telling me to please stop jumping up and down every time we score (this is a dream remember!), as it is driving the BlueNets crazy and they can’t get a good enough view. Also, other MCIVTA’ers want me to stop shouting abuse during the match (now would I do that?), as it is upsetting them and in fact, it is the reason why City are about to slide back down the table! Finally, after all of this, the Sky Net Police catch up with me, and I end up being arrested outside Maine Road for selling ‘White Cover’ digital bootlegs of Man City away games (PS: anyone got the 1968 Newcastle Away match complete?) But at last, to save the day, some kind old Blue thinks nothing of proving his allegiance to the cause, by paying the sterling £2,000 to spring me from jail, so I can do it all over again!

See you all at the next away, and don’t look to closely at my cap… you never know!

My Blue flame is now fully restored!

Neil Haigh (


If anyone taped the game on Friday and could possibly send me a copy I would be over the (blue) moon. I will reimburse any costs incurred.

Thanks in anticipation, Arthur Levio, Kings Langley, Hertfordshire (


I was wondering if anybody recorded the match against Stoke the other day, and could send me a copy when I am back home in England. I am currently in Spain, and although I got to see the game, I obviously couldn