Newsletter #556

Wednesday saw another top five team going down to the Blues, this time by 3-1. Although there was a period when Barnsley could have got back into it, overall the scoreline was rather flattering, with City 2-0 up after 10 minutes and Goater scoring but once when his positional play ought to have secured him a hat-trick.

This issue has two match reports from, one from Phil and one from Sharon; Peter’s news (Robert Taylor seems very close to signing); Fans’ Committee notes; info on how to become a shareholder; plenty of opinion, and two Why Blues.

Next game: Huddersfield at home, Saturday 27th November 1999


City March On – Now Four Points Clear

City consolidated their position at the top of Division One with a 3-1 win at home to Barnsley on Wednesday evening. A sensational start featuring goals from Gareth Taylor and Shaun Goater helped the Blues move four points clear. The early strikes from the front two gave City a two-goal lead after only ten minutes’ play. Although Geoff Thomas pulled a goal back on 64 minutes, Kevin Horlock scored a spectacular clincher ten minutes later. The Blues now lead second-placed Charlton (who have a game in hand) and third-placed HuddeRsfield (who’ve played one game more) by four and five points respectively. Barnsley stay fourth, a further three points back. Tuesday night’s results saw Charlton win 2-1 at bottom club Swindon but struggling Walsall sprang a surprise with a 2-0 victory over Huddersfield.

Royle Hails Table Toppers

Joe Royle abandoned his earlier caution and branded his side serious promotion contenders in the wake of the Blues’ 3-1 Wednesday night home win over Barnsley. The City boss said that City’s tally of 42 points from 19 games was “officially a good start” and noted that “it’s a rate that normally gets you promoted”. Royle felt his players had taken their foot off the gas after storming into an early two-goal lead against the Tykes, but was pleased with his team’s character after a Geoff Thomas goal had brought the visitors back into the game. And this is the quality he views as this City side’s biggest attribute. “We turned off after that start but the biggest thing was our heart and industry that got us going again,” he said. “I can’t remember the last time we went ahead and lost. We have only lost half a dozen of 50 or so league games so our character now can’t be questioned.”

Bassett – “City Not Best We’ve Faced”

While Wednesday’s win over Barnsley prompted Joe Royle to hail his side’s promotion credentials, opposition boss Dave Bassett feels that the current Division One is an even competition with little to choose between the top teams. Bassett offered a measured assessment of the Blues’ qualities. The Tykes’ manager feels that City are currently being swept along on a tide of self-belief and commented, “I wouldn’t say they are the best team we have played. Charlton were as good, as were Ipswich, but City are firing. I don’t believe that any team will run away with this division, but if City can beat Huddersfield as well on Saturday then they will certainly have a good cushion at the top.” City fans might reflect that the Blues were without four recognised first-choice selections. If City can be “as good” as Charlton or Ipswich without Morrison, Bishop, Kennedy and Dickov, this bodes well for when the injured quartet return – or when Royle finally dips into his recently-inflated transfer kitty.

Goater’s Place Safe Even If Taylor Signs

Robert Taylor remains Joe Royle’s transfer priority – and Gillingham boss Peter Taylor said on Thursday that he’s resigned to losing the player. But the City boss has assured Shaun Goater of his future at Maine Road even if the Gillingham front man joins the Blues. Reports on Thursday morning had indicated Taylor could be on the verge of joining Scottish club Hearts. But as the day drew to a close there had been no further developments. The Gills’ manager said City are still front-runners to sign the striker who’s notched 18 goals this season – and the Blues have admitted they’re still interested. “I’ve not given up on him,” Royle confirmed. “I did believe it would be solved last week. I think it certainly will be next week, but who knows?” But it appears that Goater need not fear for his place after the manager’s fulsome praise in the wake of the win over Barnsley. “He’s big and quick and can turn on a sixpence,” the City boss told PA Sport. “He’s not discouraged by physical presence, he’s not discouraged by missing a goal chance, he just keeps going. That is why the lad averages a goal every two games.”

Now Hearts Enter Taylor Bidding

Thursday’s news was the latest twist in a week of feverish speculation surrounding Taylor. First it was claimed that Joe Royle’s number one transfer target was set to join Spurs, with George Graham ready to top any bid from the Blues. Then Scottish Premier League outfit Hearts were linked with the Gills’ top marksman. With the Edinburgh club’s bid for Motherwell’s Lee McCulloch appears to have hit snags, boss Jim Jeffries had supposedly switched his sights to Taylor after the 28-year-old front man impressed the watching Hearts scouts in Gillingham’s Tuesday night match at Scunthorpe. Tynecastle manager Jeffries has said he expects to be doing business in the transfer market very soon, and with Daily Express-linked website SportLive claiming that Hearts had already been given permission to talk to Taylor, it was thought he could be the man in question. The latest word from Kent now appears to cast doubt on this, however. The story was another complication in an already tangled web of rumours involving City and the Scottish side. Hearts were recently said to have enquired about City’s Gareth Taylor while City are said to have shown an interest in the Scottish side’s international striker Gary McSwegan. Both clubs were also linked with Icelander Rikhadur Dadason.

Multi-National Transfer Links

Apart from figuring in the never-ending Taylor speculation, the Blues were this week linked with a Jamaican, a Scot and a Spaniard. According to the Spanish daily sports paper AS, Joe Royle has tabled a £3 million bid for Villareal striker Moises Garcia. The 28-year-old has found the net eleven times this season for the Spanish Second Division outfit. Moises was previously with Celta Vigo, and his former clubs also include Zaragoza and Osasuna, where Jamie Pollock spent a brief spell. It’s also claimed that the City boss has joined Coventry and several other admirers of Hull’s Jamaican international midfielder Theodore Whitmore. The 27-year-old, who played in the 1998 World Cup, moved to Boothferry Park only a month ago. He’s won rave reviews in his six outings so far and one report said the Tigers’ match at Southend was watched by “more scouts than fans”. Meanwhile, the Blues are said to be monitoring the progress of Alloa striker Martin Cameron. The 21-year-old is rated at £250,000 by the Scottish club. However, having already referred to recent signing Lee Peacock as “one for the future”, Royle seems unlikely to acquire another front man in this bracket.

Rovers Eye Rival Bosses

Wednesday’s Guardian newspaper claimed that City’s Joe Royle has “come under discussion” in the Ewood Park boardroom as a potential new Blackburn manager. Barnsley’s Dave Bassett has already disclaimed interest in the job and the Lancashire club are said to want a candidate with a proven record at Division One level. It will come as a relief to City fans to know that the Maine Road boss isn’t the favourite for the Rovers post – Huddersfield’s Steve Bruce is rated as the most likely candidate. In any case, an objective observer would question Royle’s sanity should he be keen to make the short move to Blackburn. The City manager has already turned round one club in disarray so would surely not want to abandon the fruits of his labours to undertake a similar rebuilding task. And remember that Royle is at a club which has a massive and unswervingly loyal support base, will soon have a new stadium to rival any in the country, has an improving media profile which has won the patronage of a broadcasting giant, is currently showing promotion form and whose financial prospects do not depend in their entirety on one individual. It would thus be mystifying if he were to elect join an outfit which possesses none of these attributes.

Brown Bidding for Permanent Pompey Switch

City’s midfielder Michael Brown, currently on loan at Portsmouth, has reportedly accepted that he has no future at Maine Road. The player is said to be keen to make his move to Fratton Park permanent. Brown was strongly linked with Wigan recently but reportedly didn’t fancy the switch to the Second Division leaders. It’s thought he feels differently about the south coast club, however, and as the Blues were taking on Barnsley, Brown was bidding to impress for Pompey at Nottingham Forest. The 22-year-old made his début on Saturday in a dismal 2-0 home defeat against Crewe but was rated as his temporary employers’ best player.

Chester Cup Venue – Announcement Still Awaited

There were reports on Wednesday afternoon that City’s away FA Cup third round tie against Chester on 11 December would definitely be switched to Maine Road. However, despite reports that an announcement would be made on Thursday, the story had yet to be confirmed by 5pm. While Chester’s fans seem to favour keeping the tie at the Deva Stadium, the Cheshire club’s board are thought to be keen on the idea of the extra revenue a Maine Road encounter would generate. Though the FA wouldn’t sanction a change in venue for purely financial reasons, safety grounds would justify a switch and there’s been talk that potential difficulties over crowd segregation may be viewed as sufficient reason. Discussions have been taking place this week and the Chester directors may well have had their fingers crossed that the game’s move to Manchester would be given the all clear.

“Injury Cost Dickov Scotland Call-Up”

Paul Dickov may have even more reason than usual to rue the knee ligament damage which has sidelined him for three weeks. For a newspaper story has stated that the City striker would have featured in the Scotland squad for the Euro 2000 play-offs against England if he’d been fit. The man who’s made the unverified claim is Daily Express journalist Graham Clark, a Scot bemoaning the lack of quality front men avaiable to national team coach Craig Brown. Dickov notched only one league goal in fourteen starts this term before his enforced absence. However, the speculation he has an international future will provide an incentive for May’s Wembley goal hero to increase his strike rate, as will the signing of Lee Peacock and constant rumours that Robert Taylor may also move to Maine Road.

BSkyB Sells United Shares

BSkyB has sold some of its shares in Manchester United. The broadcaster, which also has stakes in City and Leeds United, was in breach of Premier League rules by virtue of its 11.1% holding in the Old Trafford club and its interest in the Elland Road outfit. The TV company moved quickly to reduce its stake in the Premiership leaders to comply with the rule forbidding the holder of 10% or more in the shares of one club from having an interest in another Premier League club. The Premier League had earlier rejected a request from the United board to give Sky special dispensation to retain its 11.1% holding in the club. The group Shareholders United recently criticised Sky’s strategy of acquiring a stake in several clubs in the wake of the broadcaster’s deal to buy 9.9% of the shares in Manchester City. Before yesterday, Sky was the largest single shareholder at Old Tafford, while the company is involved in United’s own TV channel and runs the club’s official website.

Wright-Phillips to Boost Youth Cup Bid

Shaun Wright-Phillips is set to spearhead the City juniors’ bid for glory when the Blues begin their FA Youth Cup campaign next week. City take on Bristol City at Maine Road on Tuesday, 30 November in a first round tie which kicks off at 6.45 pm. And manager Joe Royle has confirmed that the youngster with the famous father will be allowed to play as long as there are no more injuries among the senior squad’s strikers.

Old Foe Aims to Stop City

Going into the trio of vital games against three of the division’s top teams, Joe Royle would, he’s since admitted, have been happy with five points from the run of tough fixtures. The Blues have already exceeded those expectations but to improve the return even further must now overcome an adversary against whom they’ve historically enjoyed little success. For Huddersfield manager Steve Bruce spent almost nine years at Manchester United, and the Reds suffered only one derby defeat in that time – when the former Norwich player was absent through injury. On the face of it, the Blues’ prospects of righting some of those past wrongs appear good. Following a narrow defeat to Wolves on the first day of the season, City have won eight successive home games in the League. Meanwhile, the Terriers have a magnificent record at their own McAlpine Stadium but have let themselves down somewhat on their travels with only three wins, nine goals and eleven points from ten League games. Even so, Bruce’s side are sure to represent formidable opponents if they show their best form and a home win on Saturday would go some way do demonstrating the aptness of the ‘New City’ tag which is gaining currency in some quarters.

Breaking News – Taylor Bid

Manchester local radio station GMR announced on its 5pm sports desk on Thursday that Gillingham are expected to accept City’s offer of Danny Allsopp plus cash for Robert Taylor.

Breaking News – Possible Cup Switch

It was reported on the same bulletin that Chester have applied to the FA to switch the venue of the FA Cup third round tie against City on December 11 from the Deva Stadium to Maine Road.

Peter Brophy (


MANCHESTER CITY vs. BARNSLEY, Wednesday 24th November 1999

It’s going to be difficult writing this particular match report without mentioning either of the ‘P’ words, as at times we looked a class apart from one of the form teams in Division 1. The rain was lashing down in and around Maine Road and contributed to the delay of the kick-off by 10 minutes. I felt truly, deeply sorry for the City fans located in the Gene Kelly and Son of Gene Kelly stands. Mind you, the snazzy white pack-a-macs they were given made them look like important nuclear scientists, so it wasn’t all bad was it chaps!

City started with the same line-up as on Saturday, Kennedy obviously failing a late fitness test. Lee Peacock took his place on the bench. City were out of the blocks like 10 Linford Christies with or without alleged artificial stimulants. On 6 minutes Edghill floated a beautiful cross over to the unmarked Gareth Taylor who rose like a salmon and looped a header past the stranded ‘keeper. I still can’t make up my mind whether it was a superbly placed header or if the goalkeeper was seriously at fault. Anyway, Gareth ran over to the Kippax kissing his badge clearly having enjoyed the goal. More about Mr Taylor later. City weren’t happy with one goal and the very impressive looking Goater was unlucky when his shot was this time well saved. From the resultant Horlock corner, Goater (yes you guessed it) rose like a salmon and powerfully headed into the back of the net. 2-0 after 11 minutes!

Still we went forward and Barnsley really did not know what had hit them. Eventually, probably inevitably, City relaxed and let Barnsley have a go for a while. Ex-blue Sheron skied a shot, but Weaver did not have a single save to make during the first half. By this time I was more concerned that the continuing downpour might lead to an abandonment (remember the Ipswich game during the Swales out campaign, 2-0 up and game abandoned?). However, the pitch looked in great condition, there was no standing water and in truth there was nothing to worry about. The first half was probably our best first half performance for several games. The second half started in similar style but unfortunately without the goals. Taylor and Goater looked like a real strike partnership, getting on the end of each other’s flick ons and linking up well. However, Barnsley were creating a little more themselves, Sheron bringing a typical reaction save from Weaver, with Wiekens also alert in clearing the rebound.

Eventually, Barnsley did score, the mainly anonymous Hignett crossing for the also anonymous Shipperly to head against the post, with the even more anonymous Geoff Thomas (I’d luv to play for City, yeah right!) scoring from the rebound. However, as has been the case for most of this season, there was no panic in the City ranks either on or off the pitch. Nine minutes later, Goater chased down the ball in the right corner, sublimely backheeled to Whitley, who squared to Super Kev, himself curling a glorious 20-yarder past the despairing ‘keeper. The finish was superb, but the build up also demonstrated a team brimming with confidence and self belief.

Barnsley used all 3 subs, with Bruce Dyer immediately looking more effective than Shipperly and bringing out a side foot save from Nicky. Crooks and Peacock replaced the tiring (slightly injured? – hope not) Tiatto and Goater, who got a well-deserved standing ovation. I was a little suprised that Cooke didn’t get a run out, is there a problem here do you think? Anyway, this was the first opportunity I’d had to see Peacock and although to me, he looked very, very nervous and awestruck performing in front of a 32,632, he held the ball up well and looked eager. My night became a little surreal, when during the last six or seven minutes a Scandinavian 70’s porn star sat next to me in a seat recently vacated (apologies to our Scandinavian readers, I don’t want to be stereotypical, but I’m sure you can picture what he looked like). The chap in question had clearly had a drink or three and spent the remainder of the game shouting constantly that “the 4th was coming”. At the time I thought he meant a City goal, now on reflection maybe he meant something else :-).

I don’t usually do individual player assessments, but on this occasion, I think they warrant it.

Weaver – probably his quietest game for some time, still made 3 excellent saves and commanded his area well.
Edghill – defended as well as always, making some great covering runs. Some good passing too, particularly the cross for Taylor’s goal.
Wiekens – looks like he’s never been away. Superb timing, reading of the game and control.
Jobson – playing every game as if it might be his last one. Probably playing as well as he did at his ‘peak’ with Oldham. Never looked like being beaten.
Granville – developed a wonderful understanding with Tiatto as the game developed. They were taking it in turns to be left back / left wing!
Whitley – for me one of his best ever games. Looked a complete midfielder. Accurate passing and one great shot. If not already, there will soon be a lot of clubs coveting this player.
Pollock – whole hearted performance from Jamie. I really admire his attitude this season. On this form, definitely a better bet than Brown.
Horlock – again a terrific all round performance capped by that splendid goal.
Tiatto – see Granville. Didn’t miss Kennedy at all.
Goater – similarly to Whitley, one of his best ever games, I feel. Good in the air, good on the floor, sensible link up play. Don’t want to say I told you so, but see my comments pre-season!
Taylor – yet again a player having one of his best games for the Blues. Confidence obviously high at the moment and looked a good centre forward. More importantly seems to have developed an understanding with Shaun and although I know it was only one game, for the first time since Rösler and Walsh we had 2 strikers playing with each other (ooh-err!) rather than as individuals.

Overall, to go with the determination, commitment, team spirit etc. I have been praising over the last few weeks, we played some sweet stuff and displayed genuine quality. At this level, we already have a very good team, who as stated at the top of this piece, at times looked a class above our opponents. When you again consider that we had 4 players out who would certainly have been first choices a week go, it certainly makes you think! This is good stuff at the moment and it seems to be getting even better. Now is definitely a great time to be a Blue. Let’s enjoy ourselves! Huddersfield, you are next!

Phil Hartley (


MANCHESTER CITY vs. BARNSLEY, Wednesday 24th November 1999

If this goes on much longer I might actually start to believe it! Is this bubble never going to burst? As Kennedy still wasn’t fully fit we started with the same team as on Saturday – Weaver, Granville, Edghill, Wiekens, Jobson, Horlock, Skinny-boy Pollock, Whitley, Tiatto, Super-Shaun and Taylor. Kick off was delayed for 10 minutes – ostensibly this was to allow everyone else to get into the ground but I was very grateful as it gave me time to finish my pint…

City attacked from the first whistle, in a completely different manner to Saturday. Barnsley hadn’t even had time to check which way they were attacking (other way boys!) before City were ahead. Edgy (who had yet another stormer – look what confidence and scoring a penalty at Wembley can do for you) put a long cross in from the right which was met by Gareth Taylor for 1-0. All this success is going to our heads, it feels strange not being surprised when we take the lead. A couple of minutes later Barnsley still hadn’t managed to touch the ball and we were 2-0 up. After yet more excellent work from Goater we won a corner. Horlock put a rasping ball into the box, where this time it was met by Shaun Goater for another goal. I have to admit I didn’t see this one go in the net – when he hit it we all thought he’d shot wide so I turned away. Not in disgust, for that isn’t the way any of us behold Shaun’s misses these days, but more in a “oh well he missed that one but one of them will go in” sort of way. Isn’t it weird? Isn’t it just as weird that, when we realised the shot was on target and the ball had gone in the net, we weren’t surprised? I’ve been watching and suffering with City for about 20 years, but this season is the first on in which I haven’t looked at the ref expecting him to disallow our goals each time we get the ball in the net…

City sat back after this and who can blame them? 2-0 up in 11 minutes and coasting. Barnsley didn’t put up much of a contest, I remember Weaver having to come and collect the ball from them a couple of times in the first half but can’t remember them actually being a danger. The ref missed a couple of blatant crashing fouls by their defence and gave them free kicks for nothing tackles, just like the ref on Saturday against Charlton. I am a bit worried about this by the way – if people like Curbishley start whinging too much about us being a dirty team (and please note we are not dirty – as Joe said, when did they change the rules to stop football being a physical game?) then we’ll get a bad reputation. Just look at how Andy Morrison is treated by refs – they assume the worst, so tackles that from anyone else would result in a stern ticking off at most end up in him being booked.

As usual, they were cheered off the pitch at half-time. After resisting its lure for at least 30 seconds I made a dash to the bar for another pint. Mm lovely. As City weren’t kind enough to delay the start of the second half as well I did miss the first couple of minutes, but apart from another effort from Goater there wasn’t much to talk about. City still looked comfortable although Barnsley were now posing much more of a threat and finally made Weaver make a save – think it was Mike Sheron, who I’d fully expected to score against us, who was foiled this time. Barnsley did manage to get a goal back about 15 minutes into the half, when a shot came back off the post and Geoff “I’d walk to Maine Road but I think I’ll sign for Wolves instead” Thomas reacted quickest to knock it into the net. At this point the old City would have crumbled. At this point the heads would have dropped and Barnsley would have scented their chance to get something out of the game. At this point the old City would have given away at least a equaliser if not another goal to lose all three points. At this point the old City would have probably let old-boy Sheron get a hat trick, probably coupled with a sending off for at least one of our players – usual suspects would have been Tiatto or the old, fat, Jamie Pollock. But no. This isn’t the old City. This City is playing with some sort of pride – with team spirit, with a will to win, with a desire to return something to the fans who’ve put up with so much for so long. This City has super Kevin Horlock’s super left foot. After he was disappointed with a free kick on the edge of the area that he couldn’t squeeze through the wall, Kev’s blood was up and he was determined to get a goal. It was no surprise when it was a lovely (cheeky!) back heel from Goater that set him up for City’s third. Horlock ran across from the right of the pitch and let the ball fly from outside the area. We celebrated as soon as he’d hit the ball – this one wasn’t going to miss. The 2-goal cushion was restored – this is not the City of old. I wasn’t too sure about the goal celebration though, as everyone rushed over and kissed his left boot – surely they don’t know where it’s been…

We were never going to let another goal in after this and even if we had we probably would have scored another. Goater and Tiatto, who ran his socks off again, were replaced with 10 minutes to go by Peacock and (apparently) Kennedy. This confused some of the lads around us who were convinced Kennedy was in the executive box behind us in the Kippax – you’d think the announcer at Maine Road would try and make sure he got his own players right, after all Lee Crooks and Mark Kennedy don’t look that similar… The standing ovation that Goater got when he went off was wonderful – this man has had so much criticism in his time at City yet his performances this year have really been outstanding. Even Taylor looked better tonight – I’ve seen him miss chances a lot easier than the one he put away and he was actually winning headers and passing them in the rough direction of a City player. Tiatto and Granville link almost as well on the left as Kennedy and Granville. Whitley’s carried on improving – he must be covering almost every blade of grass on the pitch these days he works so hard. Horlock is super Kev – that’s one of the sweetest left foot strikes I’ve seen for a long time. Our defence looks steady, our midfield’s working hard, our attack is scoring goals and we’ve got the best ‘keeper we’ve had for a long time. What’s going on? This isn’t City!

The real bonus over the last couple of games though has to be the performance of Jamie Pollock. He was awesome on Wednesday – he won every ball he went for, he tackled well, if he was ever dispossesed he fought back (not literally) to get the ball back straight away, and best of all those extra pounds (stones?) that he’s lost mean he isn’t half an hour late for every challenge as he used to be. He’s played two full games now and hasn’t been booked – he hasn’t even really fouled anyone. When was the last time that happened? When was the last time City were four points clear at the top of the table? Even if we don’t go up as champions this year (oops, might regret I said that) I’ve almost forgiven them for what they did to me at Wembley. Almost.

Even the torrential rain had stopped by the time the game finished so we didn’t get that wet walking back to the car. What a perfect evening.

Sharon Hargreaves (


Attended for MCFC: Bernard Halford, Peter Fletcher and Sara Billington

Attended for Fans: Dave Wallace, Dave Beddard, Ian Barton, Les Saul and Stephen Knott

1. International Fixtures

1.1 From next season the Club will highlight the international match dates and the appropriate City fixtures that may be affected by these dates . For this season, fans will be made aware when they purchase match tickets of any matches which may be affected by international games.
1.2 The Stockport home fixture could be affected by the Euro 2000 play-off matches . The Club are attempting to get information from the various FA’s to ascertain if there will be a full international calendar on that particular day.

2. North Stand / Kippax Stand Corner

So far this season this area outside the ground has not experienced any problems with congestion etc. The survey being carried out, by Panstadia International, is still ongoing. The home fixtures versus Blackburn and Birmingham could change this situation. If necessary the Club will hold back away supporters for a few minutes to ensure this area does not get over congested.

3. New Stadium

John Wardle, Director, is to attend the next fans’ meeting. He is to inform the fans on their involvement, if any, during the development and build of the new stadium. If anyone has an opinion on this subject please send it to the Fans’ Committee.

4. Idea – Beer Sales

At some venues, refreshments are sold using tokens not cash. This system can speed up the turnover of people being served, thus reducing queues. Stadia Catering have looked into this method but feel it would not work at Maine Road.

5. City Stores

Although the Club has a massive support in Greater Manchester, they feel it would not be the right time to open City stores around the Greater Manchester area. The Club are to carry on concentrating their efforts on the store at Maine Road. What are your views on this?

Fans’ Involvement at Board Level

The Sports Minister recently said he would encourage groups of fans to purchase blocks of shares and have a say, at board level, in the everyday running of their football club. The Co-op bank are to help and advise these groups. The Club feel that MCFC are already very open with fans and that most City fans have regular access to the Chairman and Directors of the Club in some way. Is this the way forward for football? Your thoughts please.

7. Programme Feature

Along with the article in the programme, you can access the minutes from the fans’ and the football club meetings via the Internet at the Supporters’ Club web site ( and the Official Club web site ( You can also write to the fans’ committee c/o MCFC Maine Road or Email or just come along to the monthly meetings and join in.

8. A.O.B.

8.1 The Club are to liaise with the Police to arrange for the televisions in the bar areas under the stands to remain on for longer after the half time interval. This has been requested by the fans’ committee and at the recent A.G.M.
8.2 The Club are to look into the circumstances surrounding the recent sale of a Club plaque by Ian Niven.
8.3 The Club will also be looking at ticket prices for 16/17 year olds who are still in full time education. Any views?

9. Next Meeting

Monday 15th November 1999, 7:30 pm
Oasis Suite, Platt Lane Complex
Everyone welcome, all opinions are discussed with the Football Club.


If you want City Shares:

Step 1.
Tel: 0161 819 6000, T.D.Waterhouse, and buy 7 shares or contact your bank. Expect to pay £20 commission/brokers fee. Do this before 06/12/99 to qualify for the option of buying further at 90p per share.

Step 2.
You will be given the option to buy 1 new share for every 7 held at 90p each. You will be also asked if you wish to buy any more shares at 90p each – if they are available.

This is when you can splash out (Step 2). All this money goes to M.C.F.C.

90p each. Could be the bargain of the year!

Les Saul (


Somebody please explain to me, there’s something I just completely fail to understand…

Just over 6 months ago we were still in the (old) 3rd Division with promotion still far from certain. We are now top of the 1st Division, 4 points clear, and 12 points ahead of the last play-off place.

We’ve just wrapped up 2 consecutive wins against close promotion rivals. Last night’s win over Barnsley was reported in drooling style in The Times under the headline “City Cruising At Altitude”.

Maine Road was packed last night, in fact we got 3,000 more than Chelsea for their European Cup tie (OK I know they were on TV and we weren’t but it’s still worth mentioning).

So… why am I annoyed that we didn’t keep a clean sheet!?

B  ernstein
A  nd
R  oyle
N  ow
S  eem
L  ikely to
E  xcel
Y  early.

Steve Maclean (


Last week, I was asked to write notes for the forthcoming match against Huddersfield town for a dummy run of a new football magazine/paper entitled Football Gazzette (details to follow). You may be interested in the following:

“Manchester City prepare to face a resurgent Town”

Following their dramatic promotion campaign last year, with the unforgettable play-off final against Gillingham, Manchester City have started their challenge on Division One much like they ended their challenge on Division Two, like a house on fire. After an uninspiring opening day defeat at the hands of Wolves, City have climbed to the top of the division following an impressive run of 11 wins from 16 League matches. The cornerstone of this run has been a solid defence, built around the agility of Weaver, the confidence on the ball of Wiekens and the strength of ex-town favourite Morrison. Joe Royle has built a City team with a mixture of the experienced Bishop and the youth of Crooks and has re-introduced 2 wingers with Kennedy, Horlock and Cooke all capable of attacking at pace and chipping in with a few goals. Goater has surprised a few doubters with his goal return but although Royle has successfully introduced Wright-Phillips and Taylor as cover for Goater, the big Bermudan’s fitness remains a key to any promotion push.

Huddersfield boast one of the most impressive stadiums in the country and have made progress this season under the guidance of ex-Manchester United favourite, Bruce. Town currently lie in third position in the division and can be grateful for the 20 goals scored this term by crowd favourites Stewart and Wynhard who have impressed a number of scouts for their pace and strength on the ball. The supply line to the strikers has been good with valuable contributions from Thornley, Irons and Baldry. The Town defence has been bolstered by the arrival of Ken Monkou, with the result that Huddersfield have lost just once in their last 11 games and and will be relishing their West Midlands derbies against West Bromwich and Walsall before their trip to Maine Road.

Since these are two teams in top form and there are a number of players with links to the other club, the match promises to be very exciting. City have had the better of recent encounters, most notably the 10-1 demolition which remains one of their most impressive results of recent times. I would be surprised if there is much between the two teams this time with a draw or a win by the odd goal the most likely outcomes.

Regards, Kev McMeeking (


After an informal survey of known Blues in the Beverley area we’ve decided to go ahead and have a meeting to discuss setting up a branch of the Centenary Supporters’ Association for Blues living in and around Beverley. Such a branch would complement the recently created branch for the Scarborough / Yorkshire coast area; given Beverley’s fairly central location in the county an additional branch would offer interested Blues in the East Yorkshire / Hull area at least two options depending on their location / preferences.

We’re meeting at a pub (predictably!) in Beverley, the Beaver, 8 North Bar Within Tel. 01482 862160 at 8pm on Monday 6th December. For those of you who know Beverley it’s just off the Saturday Market place (handy for parking as there’s no parking space at the pub itself) but if anyone needs more precise directions please get in touch as I have a map I can e-mail if you need it.

The aim of the meeting will be to decide what we want the branch to do – subject to a few minimum requirements we can organise ourselves as we see fit – so feel free to come along and meet with fellow Blues and see where we go from here. If you can’t make it on 6th but are interested in the idea and want to be kept informed of developments get in touch anyway.

Geoff Donkin – Beverley Blue on Blue View (Geoff@Donkin.Freeserve.Co.UK)


In response to Dave Smith’s request for information on George Smith who he thought had scored 5 goals vs. United, Joyce Maddocks has had a look at John’s records whilst he is in hospital and found that George actually scored 4 goals for City vs. United in the match held on 6 April 1946. Joyce isn’t sure whether this was held at Old Trafford or Maine Road because of the war time bombing of OT, but was certainly the “away” game for that season.

Dave, if you want any more information (and there is more!) on George please write to John via MCFC and they will pass it on to him.

Carol Darvill (


Imagine my delight when City scored in the 6th, 10th and 73rd minute against the Tykes, as 6-10-73 is my date of birth! It this isn’t a sign of the rebirth of the greatest team in Manchester, I don’t know what is.

CTIBA (City Till I’m Born Again), Paul Ralley (


The other night as I was sitting down with a bevvy to enjoy the ‘Manchester United extravaganza’ I was a little bit disappointed to see that their comedy goalie wasn’t playing; I almost gave up there and then. Thankfully however, I stuck with them and the Roy Keane incident made up for it big style. What a guy, I was in stiches. ‘Here I am, on the Manchester United counter attack, we must have a good chance from here, and all the Fiorentina players are behind me now, I’ll just hold on to the ball and move up field, … actually sod that I’ll just pass the ball to Batistuta he’s bound to miss anyway.’ Brilliant. And I loved the Laurel and Hardy routine their defence put on for Fiorentina’s second.

I can recommend the highlights of this match to anyone who needs a little bit of Man U humour in their lives.

Ben Cavanagh (


Please make sure you meet up for our annual X-mas drink session before the Wolves game on Sky. Members living around Oslo, please note that we are to meet up at 18.00 hours at Bohemen pub in Arbeidergt 2 in Oslo (if you don`t get there in time you may have to wear a Rag shirt for the rest of the night!). We have also deceided to concentrate on drinks this year, so get some food before you get there! In Trondheim the meeting point is Bajazzo, Bergen Blues meet at “The English pub”, Stavanger based Blues please contact for more details. Stockholm members contact, and of course there is Bloomsday Bar in Copenhagen and Kalle & Kj