Newsletter #557

After what has been a really astonishing run, City finally yielded to a very professional looking Huddersfield Town side on Saturday. There was a good deal of déjà vu about this match, though this time from the opposite perspective – the Blues being the victims of a tactically aware side who knew what to do if they were to go home with all three points. In stark contrast to last year’s early-season defeats, the three match reports in this issue are uniformly upbeat, a message with which I wholeheartedly concur. We didn’t play badly and could easily have won, and without Morrison, Kennedy and Bishop too. In fact, two of these players should be back on Friday, together with Robert Taylor; so, there’s every reason to be fairly bullish about our ability to bounce back from this one.

This issue also contains the Fans’ Committee minutes (the current ones); some very sad musings from Steve Maclean; a newspaper match report of the Charlton game – makes for interesting if contentious reading; opinion and a Why Blue.

This one reaches 2,982.

Next game: Wolverhampton Wanderers away, Friday 3rd December 1999


Unbeaten Run Ends but City Stay Top

City still top Division One despite suffering their first league defeat in two months on Saturday. The Blues went down 1-0 to Huddersfield at Maine Road, Town midfielder Chris Beech scoring the game’s only goal on 51 minutes to send the majority of the near 33,000 crowd home disappointed. The win moves the Terriers into second place, two points behind City having played a game more. Charlton had started the day as the Blues’ closest challengers but lost ground after a 2-2 draw at home to lowly Port Vale. The Addicks tossed away a two-goal lead to stay three points off the top with a game in hand on City.

Royle Tips City to Get Back on Track

Joe Royle bemoaned his team’s lack of attacking thrust in the 1-0 home defeat by Huddersfield. The City boss praised the disciplined and professional performance of Steve Bruce’s side and lamented the inability of his players to break down a rearguard superbly marshalled by Dutchman Ken Monkou. However, Royle is backing his players to bounce back from Saturday’s reverse and is confident that the team will soon return to winning ways. “I have no doubt we will recover,” said Royle. “To be realistic, back in July we would have taken a situation where we were leading the division by two points with almost half the season gone. It would be silly to start remonstrating with the players.” The City manager was also unable to resist reflecting on what might have been had a fully-fit squad been at his disposal. City were without the injured Andy Morrison, Paul Dickov and Mark Kennedy, while the Robert Taylor signing didn’t go through in time to allow the 28-year-old front man to feature in the game. Meanwhile Ian Bishop wasn’t match fit and only made the bench and Kevin Horlock, Shaun Goater and Danny Tiatto all played carrying injuries sustained against Barnsley on Wednesday. Royle felt a couple of his absentees could have been crucial in helping City to break down the Yorkshiremen’s defence, and he claimed, “In a tight game like that Kennedy might have made the difference and if [Robert] Taylor had been with us we could have rested Goater.” Despite the defeat, the City boss is delighted with the position his side are now in. “It’s been a great run,” he reflected. “We look at the big picture and we have done magnificently well.”

Bruce – City Still the Team to Beat

The City boss thought that Steve Bruce’s Huddersfield were the best side to visit Maine Road all season. And not surprisingly, Terriers manager Bruce was delighted with the win, feeling it marked his team out as having a genuine promotion pedigree. But the former Manchester United skipper also found time to praise the Blues. “Our second-half performance gives me optimism that we can keep it going because, make no mistake, City are becoming a serious force again and this was my most important win as a manager,” he reflected. “It is wonderful to see what Joe Royle has achieved here. Even if I did play for the other lot across the city, I always liked this club. They belong in the Premiership and while I am delighted by our win, City remain the team to beat in Division One.”

Taylor Agrees Terms, Will Sign After Medical

The six-week Robert Taylor saga should finally end on Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning with the striker completing his move from Gillingham to Maine Road. The player agreed personal terms on Sunday and now only an unexpected medical problem can scupper the transfer. Taylor arrived in Manchester on Saturday and watched the Blues’ Maine Road clash with Huddersfield. Sunday’s negotiations proceeded smoothly and assuming that the player receives a clean bill of health from the City medical staff, he should be in the squad for Friday night’s trip to Wolves. It’s been confirmed that the Taylor deal is independent of Danny Allsopp’s prospective move in the opposite direction and will go through even if the Australian doesn’t agree to join the Gills.

Allsopp Set to Turn Down Gills?

There’s speculation that City striker Danny Allsopp will reject a move to Gillingham. Allsopp is said to be reluctant to move south and it’s thought that the Australian will have options closer to home. Weekend reports linked Notts County with a bid to make the 21-year-old’s current loan at Meadow Lane permanent, while other interested parties may step forward now it’s clear Joe Royle is prepared to sell the player. Allsopp may even decide to fight for his place at Maine Road, though this is rated an unlikely prospect given that he’d be well down the pecking order of strikers at the club. Earlier, Joe Royle had said that the Australian is unlikely to taste much senior action at Maine Road in the near future, and the City boss was hoping that the prospect of regular first-team football would persuade Allsopp to sign for the Gills. “We think that it is a great opportunity for him and hopefully he will think so as well,” the manager told the official City website at on Friday.

City Linked With Premiership Stars

Local radio station BBC GMR has once again reported City interest in Everton midfielder Tony Grant, while other reports claim that the Blues are eyeing out-of-favour Manchester United defender David May. There has been repeated speculation since the summer that Joe Royle could move for Grant, who is said to have impressed when the City boss was in charge at Goodison Park. However, Everton boss Walter Smith is rumoured to be reconsidering his view of a man he’d previously written off, with the player making his first appearance of the season for the Toffees as a substitute against Aston Villa on Saturday. Meanwhile, now that long-term striker target Robert Taylor has finally arrived at Maine Road Royle’s next transfer priority is thought to be a central defender. And after the Blues were linked with Barry Hunter of Reading and Darlington’s Craig Liddle, the latest name in the frame is 29-year-old May. The former Blackburn man has figured only three times for the Reds this season.

Greenacre Set for Permanent Stags Move

On-loan striker Chris Greenacre is set to make his move from City to Mansfield permanent. After Greenacre’s fourth goal in four games gave the Stags a 1-0 win at Halifax on Saturday, manager Billy Dearden confirmed that he wants to keep the 21-year-old Yorkshireman at Field Mill. “He’s been superb since he came here and we would love to keep him,” enthused the former Sheffield United player. “Joe Royle knows what we can afford and I’m sure he wouldn’t ask for silly money.” Ironically Greenacre was signed by Mansfield as a stop-gap replacement for the Maine Road-bound Lee Peacock. Meanwhile, three other transfer-listed City players seem unlikely to have found a permanent new home by leaving Maine Road on loan. The word from the north east is that Craig Russell will not be joining Darlington when his three-month stint with the Quakers comes to an end next week, while Cardiff manager Frank Burrows has said that defender Tony Vaughan is out of the Bluebirds’ price range. And Michael Brown’s hopes of sealing a permanent switch to Portsmouth could, if rumours are to be believed, be hit by the impending dismissal of Pompey boss Alan Ball.

City “Break Gills’ Fans’ Hearts”

Gillingham fans have been reacting to the loss of crowd favourite Robert Taylor, who is joining Manchester City. And Kent outfit’s supporters’ club website summed up the general mood when it said that by signing the striker, the Blues “broke the hearts of thousands of Gills fans for the second time in six months.” ‘Super Bob’ has been a folk hero with the Priestfield public, and the Gillingham Internet message board was full of messages expressing consternation at the news. One fan wrote, “This is a total disaster for The Gills. Bob Taylor isn’t just a pretty good forward we could hope to replace (like Cas [Tony Cascarino], Akinbiyi etc.). He is the most influential player ever to play for us. Ever, ever, ever.” Another contributor spoke in equally glowing terms, labelling Taylor the “best player I’ve seen in a Gills shirt in 25 years – and that includes Akinbiyi, Tony Cascarino and Steve Bruce.” If he can have even half of this impact at Maine Road, Joe Royle’s £1.5 million will have been well spent.

F.A. Refuses to Sanction Cup Venue Switch

The FA have told Chester that the Cup third round tie against City will have to take place at the Deva Stadium after all. However, the game has been put back to Sunday, 12 December with a 1 pm kick off, with the imminent retirement of Chester safety officer Eddie Riley delayed so he can supervise arrangements for the match. The governing body is taking a hard line over changes of venues which it considers to be financially motivated and earlier last week it rejected Exeter’s request to move their home tie against Everton to Goodison Park. A decision to play the match on the Sunday has been made because neighbouring Tranmere and Wrexham play host to West Ham and Middlesbrough respectively the previous day. This means police resources will be too stretched to cope with a large influx of City fans. On the basis of Chester’s most recent sell-out, a League Cup tie with Spurs, congestion outside the ground is inevitable. With this in mind, local sources advise City fans not to park down Bumpers Lane but in the retail car park opposite the ground. It’s also worth noting that the ground may not be well signposted, so look out for the Kwiksave on the corner down past the racecourse.

Peter Brophy (


MANCHESTER CITY vs. HUDDERSFIELD TOWN, Saturday 28th November 1999

Well you’ll know by now that we lost this game and that our magnificent run has come to an end. The honest view is that we can have no complaints at the result. The game was played to a full house again, just fewer than 33,000 were in the Academy to watch this one and there was no doubt right from the start that it was going to be tight.

It was odd to see our opponents wearing a kit that was almost identical to our new away kit (red and black striped one) but not half as odd as listening to the Yorkshire folk singing their simple songs in homage to their team. The reason it sounded simple and odd was that they just could not get anything to rhyme with Huddersfield. In fact I should say they were unable to get anything to rhyme with udders-field as they dropped they ‘H’s at all times.

Such were the limitations of their vocabulary, and it may well be a Yorkshire thing, based on other recent experiences (I wonder do they have a reduced level of schooling?) that they were unable to come up with an alternative chant. Oh well!

Due to the importance of this game my brother and I (along with my two children) had decided that we needed to take part in some intensive pre-match preparation. We did this by meeting at the Gardner’s and enjoying some delightful Guinness whilst we pondered over recent results. We were as one in agreeing that the six points from Charlton and Barnsley had been unexpected and that if we could grab all three from the udders-field game it would complete a majestic week. The magnificence of the week had been sealed early on of course when Fiorentina had dumped the Rags 2-0, on the way to the ground and I almost crashed the car as I laughed when I heard they had flown half way around the world to play in the Toyota Cup – one of the longest and most established trophies in the world I think!

Anyway back to the Gardner’s, such was our confidence that my daughter forecast that we would go nap with none in reply, my son forecast a 4-1, my brother Paul forecast a 3-1 whilst I was reluctant to forecast a score but happy to forecast a home win. I should say that Paul’s forecast has no real relevance he forecast the same score each week, on the basis that he rather likes 3-1. I suppose it is quite a nice score, although at the moment I have a soft spot for 2-0 as I have recently become a Fiorentina fan.

Well I suppose I must reluctantly comment on the game. I’ve got to say Huddersfield looked pretty good in midfield, and on the break often looked like they might get through us. It could have been different though when we hit the post at around 20 minutes. We had to work hard to contain their midfielders, and it was good to see Pollock playing with such determination. The first 45 ended with the visitors having the best of the last 10 minutes and after half time we saw a change up front for City. Terry Cooke was on and within a few minutes had the opponents’ ‘keeper stretching brilliantly to tip a looping long range effort over the bar, but that wasn’t until Weaver had been at his brilliant best to palm over an equally superb shot when the Huddersfield striker (Irons) had blasted one in.

About 5 or 6 minutes into the second 45, our visitors went in front with a very decent near post header. This set the game up for City to go at them, and whilst our build up play was quite good we just couldn’t get past their tight and effective defence. We had a few chances but it seemed to me the best we would get out of this one would be a draw, but it wasn’t to be. Despite a fine effort we were done for.

I think on balance we hadn’t looked as good as in previous matches, but we can have no complaints with our visitors taking all three points. We should be well content that we still head the League, and have taken six points from nine in the last seven days when playing the top teams.

The stats show that nearly a half million people have watched the Blues this season (league games) and that we remain on target for top spot. The trends indicate that we will now finish on 97 points, and our points per game rate has dropped slightly to 2.2. Goals per game (for) are at 1.5, with goals conceded at 0.7, this still leaves us with an acceptable +0.9 per game goal difference. The indications are that the most likely result at Wolves on Friday will be a score draw, probably 1-1.

If you want analysis, programme covers from all this season’s home games and more check out my website at <> and finally I forgot to add that the fourth official was Mr P J Grange.

Tony Burns (


MANCHESTER CITY vs. HUDDERSFIELD TOWN, Saturday 28th November 1999

Oh well, it was always going to happen one day wasn’t it? Although the defeat was to one of our closest rivals, I think that this defeat is more acceptable, bearing in mind our current injury situation, than if we had lost to Port Vale for instance, with a full squad. The bubble hasn’t burst, we’ll bounce back on Friday… If you believe reports, it seems that half the team passed late fitness tests to enable JR to name an unchanged side from the team that defeated Barnsley. Bishop was added to the subs’ bench at the expense of Wright-Phillips, whose omission, with the benefit of hindsight might have been a mistake. The Terriers had the productive partnership of Marcus Stewart and Clive Wijnhard upfront, ex-Rag Ben Thornley (he’s not a M*nich any more either) on the left wing.

City started quite well but it was clear from the opening exchanges that this was going to be a tough game. Huddersfield’s defence looked strong and in the front two, always had the ability to catch us on the break. Nevertheless with Tiatto and Whitley pushing back the full backs and Horlock and Pollock battling in the centre, we pushed most of the play into their half. Goater had a good chance created by Whitley’s ratting, but Nico Vassen made the first of a few decent saves. Goater put Taylor clear but his side foot was blocked by a defender, with the ‘keeper beaten. Again in the first half I thought that Goater and Taylor did OK together, without achieving the levels of performance they did on Wednesday. A little later, we had our best chance of the game when Jobson’s header from a Horlock cross smacked the post and was cleared.

Huddersfield began to get more into the game and just before half time Marcus Stewart was put clear and had a one on one with Nicky. Fortunately for us he screwed his shot wide. We always play better in the second half though don’t we? Tiatto was surprisingly withdrawn, presumably due to injury and Terry Cooke was introduced. Almost immediately he cleverly brought down the ball and smashed in a half volley which was destined for the top corner until that pesky ‘keeper saved it. Sad to say that this was Terry’s main contribution to the match. With Tiatto withdrawn, Huddersfield’s right side got more into the game and it was really no surprise that this was the source of their goal. Their left back swung over a teasing cross and Chris Beech (did he used to be on our books as a youth?) came from deep, completely unmarked, to send a powerful header past Weaver’s despairing dive. The marking was poor, but it was a class goal.

The remainder of the game was ebb and flow, with City probably having the lion’s share of possession but without creating too many decent chances. Granville was doing his best to get forward and did provide several reasonable crosses. Peacock, who replaced the increasingly ineffectual Taylor, had a chance which he thumped over the bar. Goater had our second best chance in the last 5 minutes when he too skied a shot from Peacock’s sensible chest down. We had a decent shout for a penalty when Cooke’s cross seemed to be handled in the box, but the ref saw differently. To be fair I’ve seen the TV replay and it is possible that the ball hit the player in the face even though his arms were raised, but I’d have given it!

During this time Huddersfield continued to hit us on the break, but we usually covered quite well. At the final whistle Huddersfield fans and players celebrated like we did at Charlton a week before. In fact Huddersfield did to us what we have been doing for several weeks. They played well without being brilliant, tackled anything that moved, scored a good goal and defended with determination and some skill. As I mentioned at the beginning of this report, I feel that upfront we needed something different to unlock the Huddersfield defence, the injured Dickov would have been ideal for this type of game, Wright-Phillips could have done a similar job. Without the precision of Kennedy’s crosses or the guile of Bishop’s passes, we needed a different approach and I feel the wee man may have been able to provide it. All in all we didn’t play badly, indeed we have played a lot worse and won. I don’t even think that we’ve been ‘found out’, the game could have gone either way but today it wasn’t ours. With Kennedy, probably Bishop and the new Taylor likely starters on Friday, I’ve no worries. Other results were in our favour and although I’d obviously have preferred another 3 points, it could be that a defeat at this stage might actually do us some good. I don’t think there was any danger of complacency, but continued success can make you a little less ‘hungry’. Hopefully the lads will feel peckish again this Friday!

Phil Hartley (


MANCHESTER CITY vs. HUDDERSFIELD TOWN, Saturday 28th November 1999

It was going to happen sooner or later, and quite frankly it deserved to happen today! Still thought of as probable push-overs, due to the famous 10-1 mauling dished out to Malcolm MacDonald’s mediocre Town side in the late ’80s, every City fan seems therefore to expect a victory over Huddersfield at Maine Road.

This however, was the second successive 1-0 reversal the boys from the McAlpine Stadium have inflicted on their travels to City – although in very different circumstances. Back in ’97, the well-chronicled City-slump contained the first of these defeats and was preceded by a sit-in by City’s fans, tired of being the country’s footballing joke. There was no sit-in on Saturday, as the song goes “We are top of the league, I said we are top of the league.”

City started brightly enough, although without the passion on display in the teeming Wednesday-night rain against the other Yorkshire-based promotion candidates, Barnsley. Goater was through on goal on a couple of occasions – once denied by the ‘keeper and again to pull back to Taylor so he could make his sole contribution to the game – a shot blocked by a Town defender. Richard Jobson headed against a post in the opening 20 minutes, but then Huddersfield settled in and started to control the game. They should have taken the lead right at the end of the half with Stewart racing clear to put his shot just wide of Weaver’s right-hand post.

The second-half was more City than Huddersfield but only six minutes after the restart Edwards had headed in to give them the lead. Ironic that it should be a midfielder that scored after their front two of Stewart and Wijnhard had looked so lively and caused Jobson and Wiekens a busier afternoon than usual. City battled on – the introduction of Cooke meant that the Vaesen had a save to make from his 20-yard shot – that and a Goater miss in the last 10 minutes were about as close as we got. Steve Bruce, the Karl Malden-nosed ex-Rag we all love to hate had put one over on us again. He was never on the losing side in a derby between City and Stretford United (although I remember enjoying a victory over his Birmingham side 1-0 at Maine Road – last minute-ish goal). Come the end of the season, I would expect Huddersfield to be there or thereabouts – they are the best we have faced this season and they did their job well. Even at 1-0 up and in the last 10 minutes they still had two attackers upfield consistently – a great tactic as it kept the ball away from their defence for lengthy spells when otherwise they would have been under the City cosh. We defended deep so we couldn’t be caught out for the ball dropped over the top with two speedy strikers legging past the fairly static Jobson and Wiekens. Our midfield of Whitley, Pollock, Tiatto and the superb Horlock, whilst being industrious, will never be the most creative. We missed Bish and Kennedy – and we can look forward to the introduction of Super-Bob (who’ll have to share a song with Super-Kev). The first defeat for two months – another run like that and it will be the end of January before we witness another. Bishop in for Pollock and Kennedy in for Tiatto and Super Bob in for Gareth Taylor. Wolves will suffer the wrath.

Matt Cadman (


The outcome of this game was important for at least a couple of reasons. The obvious one being that it would further consolidate our place at the top of Division One by adding to the great victory at Charlton last Saturday, a less obvious one being the impact on my working day.

I say this because although I live in Manchester, the office at which I am based is in actually in Sheffield. This meant that far too many colleagues were showing far too healthy an interest in the outcome of this game. In fact one colleague who works in Sheffield and is a Barnsley season ticket holder telephoned me to let me know that they were going to stuff us, went on to tell me how much movement there was in their team, how fantastic they were etc. He also made a point of telling me that he would phone me on Thursday to talk about the match.

All in all then this additional workplace banter had made me a little concerned as to the outcome, and as I drove home I had in mind all sorts of elaborate plans to feign illness the next day, should the unthinkable happen.

My route home takes me over the very beautiful and scenic Snake Pass. On this occasion though it had lost a little of its character as hordes of Yorkshire men, women and children made the journey to Manchester. Not since Henry 3rd had awarded Barnsley its Charter in 1249 had they had such a splendid day.

A trip to Manchester and its bright lights was really something special for these folk and I had left early so as I would have time to negotiate my way through these day trippers.

Those with an entrepreneurial spirit had set up all sorts of stalls on the Snake Pass, there were makeshift tents set up for the sale of Yorkshire puddings, old women with crooked noses telling people fortunes, and some of bright young things were sinking shafts to take part in some impromptu coal mining. Those more accomplished in the ways of Europe were busying themselves with applications to the European Union for even more grant-aided help for their impoverished town.

Before leaving for the match I was careful to check that I did not have my belt on my trousers, I was quite certain that if ever I needed my pants to fall down, then it was tonight.

When we left home the weather was cold but dry. However, before we got to the ground we were caught in a terrible downpour that was to last for the next two hours. As we neared the ground we found hordes of Yorkshire folk cowering in doorways, shaking and weeping. Some had even soiled themselves. On further investigation it turned out that they were frightened by the loud bangs and cracks coming from Manchester city centre as the firework celebrations for the re-opening of city centre Manchester ripped into the night. The poor things were just not used to big city life. One young man had been so shaken by the noises that he had even dropped his gas lantern.

We were a little confused when we got into the stadium as we thought we may well have arrived in the wrong place. For one awful moment as we looked across to the Gene Kelly we thought we were in Alabama. The Yorkshire folk in the open end had been issued with the de rigueur Klu Klux Klan water proof macs and what a silly bunch they looked. Most of them had spoilt the lineage of the macs by keeping their flat caps on underneath the hoods, others simply wore giant oversize Yorkshire puddings on their heads, baked especially for the night.

In all fairness though they had brought a very sizeable contingent and their numbers swelled the crowd to a very impressive 32,692. More in fact than were to watch the Chelsea vs. Feyenoord Champions’ League game at Stamford Bridge.

In awful weather conditions, as near a monsoon as we’ll ever see in Manchester, the game kicked off. Kick off was delayed by 10 minutes, the official explanation being because of congestion, more likely though that even at Maine Road we’re just not geared up for the garaging and parking of so many horse driven carriages, steam engines etc., not to mention the motorised Yorkshire puddings that some of them had travelled in.

Moving onto field matters. Mr Tony Leake from Darwen officiated, which must have made a pleasant change from his day job as a raw materials buyer. He was ably assisted by Messrs Rushton and Wood (red and yellow flag respectively). You’ll be interested to know that whilst Mr Wood hails from Nelson, Mr Wood hails from Ilkley, which I understand is bar tat.

The Barnsley chaps looked slightly ridiculous in their red shirts and black shorts. The reason they looked a little silly was because the shorts seem to have white band around the top which from the stands looked like a poor man’s version of how a Yorkshire man (say from Rotherham for instance) might try to feign sexiness with sackcloth make believe Calvin Klein’s showing above his shorts.

Irrespective of the silly underwear, within 11 minutes of the start we had blown them away. Goals by Taylor and Goater had us two up. Despite having Kennedy, Morrison, Dickov and Bishop out we mesmerised the opposition. Make no mistake, where we may lack skill we more than make up for in out and out effort, commitment and will to win. The normally lively Hignett was left out in the cold as Joe’s tactics totally nullified the Barnsley striker.

To be honest at two up we thought it was going to be a romp to a really big win, but Barnsley began to peg us back as the first half ticked on. They probably had their best spell in the last 20 of the first 45. But to be honest there was very little that came Weaver’s way. Pollock, who started the game, was inspirational, and although he seems to run and steady himself in much the same way as a 1960’s thunderbird puppet, his contribution to the game was massive. So much so in fact that if he continues to play like that it’s going to be very difficult to take him out of the team. This was a night of great performances all round though. Edghill, Wiekens and Whitley looked strong and competent throughout. Jobson was excellent and made some very important tackles and Goater, who looked good throughout, was impressive as he once again proved the annoying boo boys wrong. He scored his ninth goal and I can’t imagine that he won’t go on to get at least 20 for us this season.

If I did have to pick a man of the match it would have to be shared between Whitley and Pollock. It was actually difficult to give Weaver any sort of rating as he had so little to do. On the couple of occasions that he did he was as competent as ever, although he will be disappointed at the goal that went in. It was from a header that initially had him beat, hit the post and bounced back into open play for the Barnsley player (Thomas) to hit home from the rebound. No worries, within about another 10 minutes we had restored our two goal margin as Goater back heeled the ball to Whitley who slipped it across to Horlock who slammed in a real net breaker – an absolute peach of a goal. Barnsley, who had arrived at the soccer citadel of the north on the back of an impressive run and climb up the table, were stunned at how they had been humbled and made to look like also rans.

The Yorkshire fans were left stunned, in fact they had been very quiet after the second goal. Prior to that was some of the most bizarre chanting I have ever heard at a football match. I can’t imagine City fans going to away matches and chanting Lancashire etc. but this lot were claiming allegiance to their home county of Yorkshire and pronouncing Barnsley as Barnz-er-ley, in fact from where we were my children thought they were chanting for dairylea, how strange.

It was great in work on Thursday and it may well be even better on Monday after the next lot from Yorkshire make the trip the Academy.

In terms of what this means performance wise, then it’s good news. Based on current form we are set for a total points finish of 102 points, which will of course gives us first place. Our goal per game rate is at 1.6, with goals against remaining at 0.6. This means our average goals difference stays constant at +0.9 per game. The critical figure though is the average points per game and this is at a very very healthy 2.21 per game.

More facts, figures and performance tables are available at my website which you can check out at <>.

Tony Burns (


The Dutch Man City Site was offline for a while but now it’s back. The address has changed. It’s now: It’s not completely finished but it will happen in the next few weeks. Please let me know what you think about it.

Martin Kampherbeek (


Calling on all Blues living in Holland. Your attendance is required for City’s next live T.V. game versus Wolves on Friday 3rd of December at 20.00, the venue being The Boozer on the Voorstraat, Dordrecht. That includes The Blarneystone Blues. The landlord is a Red so the more of us “blue noses” the better. Apart from the game there will be a raffle and a quiz and if I’ve got anything to do with it a lot of beer drank. R.S.V.P.

Ian Hawthorne (


Here are the latest meeting minutes, last week’s issue’s minutes were actually the previous meeting’s minutes.

Attending for MCFC: Chris Bird, John Wardle, Barry Pollen and Peter Fletcher.

Attending for Fans: Ian Barton, Dave Wallace, Dave Beddard, Les Saul, Graham Brine and Stephen Knott.

1. New Stadium

The Club are having weekly meetings with the designers (ARUP) and the council. The main structure of the stadium is set with the `internals’ almost decided. Eighty percent of the stadium has been put to tender and set.

There are no firm plans as yet as to how fans can pick their ‘new’ seat. Season ticket holders will get first choice but the Club are looking into giving priority to the longest standing season ticket holders. The Club are exploring various ways of allocating the seats and are liaising with other clubs who have experienced similar moves. Because the new stadium will be larger than Maine Road there should not be a problem letting fans take up similar seat positions when we move.

There is a possibility of having singing sections in the ground. Do you think this would be a popular option?

Some seating could be unreserved to enable fans to take friends to some games and still sit together. Smoking could be prohibited in the new stadium. A good idea? I think so but how about you?

The concourse under the stand on the lower level will be 12m wide. This will give extra space for fans near the bar areas and also leave room to have some seating in these areas.

The stadium has been sited to get the maximum amount of sunlight onto the playing surface.

2,700 of the total 48,000 seats will be for ‘corporate’ fans. This is pro rata to Maine Road now.

Many corporate seats will be sited in the centre of the two sides, but will not take up all the seats in these positions.

There will be 64 private boxes around the stadium and 6 hospitality suites which will have the capacity to hold 300 people.

There will be 300 seats available for disabled fans and their helpers.

At the north end of the stadium there will be a social club, superstore, heritage centre and many other attractions to promote City.

Away supporters will be located at the south end of the stadium. They will have their own parking area. The number of tickets available to away fans is flexible but will still only be the same percentage of the gate as per League regulations.

You will be able to walk all the way around the inside of the stadium on the lower level concourse unless the away section is cordoned off.

The council will have the big say in any naming of the stands but the Club will probably ask fans for their suggestions on this topic nearer the time.

The Club also would like to have any new road outside the stadium named Maine Road.

The pitch will be `state of the art`. It will have a `subair system’ underneath it to remove excess moisture from the playing surface and to also prevent the pitch from freezing. This system is the best available at the present time.

The Club are to hold more open days on this topic and are looking to produce a newsletter which will be posted periodically to fans.

Please send in your ideas/comments on New Stadium issues.

2. Televisions in the Bar Areas

All the TV’s should now be turned back on before the end of each game. This is to assist in keeping all the exits clear. If this does not happen please let us know.

3. Ticket Office / Tracking System

A focus group has recently been formed and this group met with the ticket office management. Many concerns were raised and discussed with the feedback taken away and acted upon. This group is to meet the ticket office staff on a regular basis. All concerns and ideas are welcome.

The tracking system for away games is still being tested. The Club plan to remove the need to produce an away ticket stub by the New Year with the tracked attendance taking over. If you are unsure of your `tracked attendance’ and wish to clarify your position the ticket office welcome any window enquires.

Contact Nathan Gould at the ticket office if you require further information on these subjects.

4. Season Ticket Prices

The Board of Directors are to discuss next season’s ticket prices at the December Board meeting. They are also considering introducing a reduced price for season ticket holders who are 16/17 years old. Let’s hope this idea is implemented.

5. Red and Black Shirt

The red and black shirt (as worn versus QPR) will be available as a leisure item next Easter. This means the shirt only, not shorts or socks. This is so that the Club does not have three kits on sale in one season. League regulations state the Club must have a third kit. The Club and Le coq sportif will produce a new kit for next season but it has not been decided if the home or away shirt will be changed. Again, what do you think?

6. Kappa UK Deal

City are in litigation with Kappa UK. City were unhappy with the late delivery of stock experienced with Kappa UK, which lost City considerable sales. Kappa UK are unhappy with lost royalties when the deal was ended early. This situation is ongoing (N.B. the Club are delighted with Le coq sportif).

7. Open Day

There are plans the stage another open day next summer. This event will be based in the Kippax Stand and held over three days. The open day will have exhibitions of City memorabilia and have personalities from the Club staging other City related displays. The Club are looking to involve a professional exhibition company to help stage this event.

8. BSkyB

BSkyB will get 30% of any increased revenue generated through their agency deal with City. This extra revenue could be generated through sponsorship, advertising, stand sponsorship, video screen advertising, video sales, Internet sales etc. The 30% will not include any of our current income which includes TV money, shirt sponsorship, merchandise sales etc. The Club feel this `deal’ with BSkyB will encourage them to be proactive in generating extra and new revenue for City.

9. Next Fans’ Meeting

Monday 17 January 2000, 7.30 p.m. Oasis Suite, Platt Lane Complex. Any City fan can attend and have their say. All points raised will be discussed with the Club the following week. This facility is unique in the football world. Come along and have an active say in how your football club is run.

Les Saul (


Paul Ralley’s article in the last MCIVTA about City scoring in the exact minutes making up his birthdate (6-10-73) set me thinking… Has this ever happened before? What are the possible birth dates that this could happen for, and what birth dates make it impossible? When have City scored in minutes that make up a valid birth date?

Now I’m going to put all my anoraks on at once here so some of you may want to skip this and go to the next article! I warn you, it’s extremely sad…

Let’s start by assuming some simple rules to qualify someone for “Birth Date Scores” (or BDS):

  1. City must score exactly 3 times. Though there is an exception to this, see below!
  2. The minutes of the goals must be taken in strict order.So for example, goals in minutes 10, 12 & 73 would give a BDS of 10-12-73.But if you were born on 12-10-73 then it’s not a BDS for you!
  3. Own goals scored by City players do not count!
  4. Penalty shoot out goals do not count!
  5. If you want to be really picky, own goals scored for City by opponents do not count!
  6. The exception to rule 1 could be made when City score exactly 4 times,and the 3rd goal is in minute 18, 19 or 20. Then it could be used tomake up the full century date.

So what does it all boil down to? Just a reminder you may want to skip this, it gets much, much sadder.

Well, to have a BDS you must have been born on either Jan 1st, or Feb 1st / 2nd, or March 1st – 3rd, or April 1st – 4th … etc., because of Rule 2. So for example if you were born on say July 12th you can never have a BDS because the goals could never be scored in minute 12, followed by minute 7.

However, it gets messy if you’re American because they tend to write dates as mm-dd-yy as opposed to dd-mm-yy, so that turns all my theories upside down! I’ll just get around that by making up another rule:

7. The date must be written in English format i.e. dd-mm-yy or dd-mm-ccyy!

Anyway, onwards and upwards…

If you want to take advantage of Rule 6, then you’d have to have been born between 1890 and 1899 – realistically, unless there are any McVittees out there aged over 109? That means the 4th City goal must have been scored in minute 90-99, therefore either in injury time, or extra time. And think about it, that must have been a hell of a game, because for extra time it must have been 3-3 at full time!

Or, if City scored 2 goals before minute 19, the 3rd in minute 19, then the 4th could qualify anyone born between 1919 and 1999 (it could be 1919 because City could score 2 in the same minute, and it could be up to 1999 because of the time added on or extra time).

Next century: This gets a bit interesting. Obviously there’s nothing till at least 2001 because you can’t score in minute 00. But even then City would have to score 3 times in the 1st minute, making it 01-01-01, maybe a bit unlikely. The earliest date that’s remotely likely next century is probably 1-2-03. And here’s an amazing stroke of luck – Feb 1st 2003 is a Saturday! Also we should be in the new stadium by then.

I’d better stop now, my head is about to explode… is there anyone out there as sad as me who can either:

  1. Look back through City results to find all 3 or 4 goal games that make up valid BDS’s?
  2. Write some sort of program to churn out all the possible future BDS’s and match them to Saturdays?
  3. Tell me if I’ve ever had a BDS – I was born on 9-9-55?

Steve Maclean (


or how to bend the truth to suit your local audience (and I work as a journalist myself so I should know).

Lewisham Mercury “newspaper” Nov 24th 1999

Addicks bow to a “a pub side with attitude” by Kevin Nolan

Equipped with hindsight, it’s as plain as the sly grin on Joe Royle’s face that Manchester City sprang few surprises at the Valley on Saturday. Including this important result.

A glance at their away record shows what they’re all about on the road. Sometimes you see juggernaut heading your way. You still need to step lively to get out of its way in time.

Nine previous excursions from the rainy city had netted the Blues 15 points, with eight goals scored and a niggardly six conceded. Figures like that cried out for a punt on 1-1 with 0-1 suggested as a sensible saver. Far less easy to predict were the kick and rush tactics of a pub team with attitude.

City’s – ahem – rugged performance at least clarified their impressive travelling statistics. Admittedly weakened by injuries, most critically that defensive tower block Andy Morrison, they gritted their teeth and shamelessly kicked lumps off anyone or anything with the temerity to threaten their security. An adverse 21-4 foul count undermined Royle’s mischevious claim that referee Roger Fernandez had victimised his side. This cabal of cynics were a far cry from the Moss Siders of Lee, Summerbee and Bell, though come to think of it, that streetwise mob could also put it about a bit when it suited them.

The visitors’ malice aforethought was quickly defined by Gerard Wiekens criminally late challenge which left Clive Mendonca in a crumpled heap near the left touchline. Drawing Dutch courage from a lack of official censure, Wiekens proceeeded to chop down Charlton’s marksman no fewer than four more occasions before the interval. On each occasion, the Dutchman enjoyed an avuncular arm around his shoulder from the portly Furnandiz, who presumably would have recommended counselling for Jack the Ripper.

One of Wiekens’ fouls on Mendonca, ironically, provided Charlton’s best first half chance. Mark Kinsella’s short free-kick was driven low and hard by Steve Brown but deflected agonisingly wide with Nicky Weaver hopelessly committed in the opposite direction. A minute later, City served initial notice that their lawlessness might be backed up more legitimate aggression.

Sent clear on the break by combative Kevin Horlock as the Addicks pushed up anxiously, Danny Granville closed in on Dean Kiely and cannoned a low drive against the ‘keeper’s shins to Jeff Whitley, whose follow-up effort squirted to safety off a defensive leg. Charlton had received a warning shot across the bows.

Having closed the first period bullishly, City took up where they left after the break. This time Whitley broke down the right to rifle a fierce crossshot which Kiely brilliantly fingertipped past his post. Home relief was shortlived as Horlock’s corner was headed back by John Robinson. Taking care over his second delivery, Horlock spotted muscular Shaun Goater in a close range mismatch with diminutive marker Keith Jones. The inevitable outcome was the centre-forward’s powerful header which hit the roof of the net off Kiely’s despairing right hand. For the third consecutive home game, Charlton had fallen behind. This time there was to be no way back even for Alan Curbishley’s resilient outfit.

Stunned by their unexpected reverse, the Addicks wobbled briefly. Anonymous apart from his precious goal, Goater wasted two clear cut chances to seal the issue. First he rounded Kiely before rolling a virtual backpass to Brown, waiting gratefully to receive it on the goalline. Next he lobbed feebly into Kiely’s hands. As the initiative passed to Charlton, Weaver combined a running feud with Kinsella with a pair of saves which justified advance publicity as England’s foremost up and coming ‘keeper.

His instinctive reaction to touch Kinsella’s piledriver against the bar was first-class, though substitute Martin Pringle after chesting down the rebound, should have done better than balloon the ball into the North Bank.

Weaver topped that gem by miraculously beating away Andy Hunt’s last minute header from Robinson’s perfect cross. So concluded a rewarding day for brute force and ignorance supported, it must be conceded by cosummate knowhow and professionalism.

Simmering with barely suppressed anger, Curbishley was entitled to the last well-chosen word. Rarely one to publicly badmouth referees, he was obviously and justifiably disgusted with Furnandiz.

“How when you look at the foul statistics, he did not show more yellow cards, beggars belief!” he fumed, “And when people keep making so many fouls, surely the referee has to do something about it, Clive Mendonca and the rest of my players were not protected. The ref allowed to go on happening and that was wrong! He refrained from adding that when a team swaggers away from neanderthal conduct like City’s with three vital points, a frisson of fear passes through fellows contenders.”

It’s no comfort, either, to suspect that City on this evidence, would be relegated from the Premiership before Christmas.

Chance alone is a fine thing and Curbishley would die for another chance. But without sacrificing his principles of course!

Comments welcome… though not at me, please (the poster of this article disassociates… and all that).

Chris Egerton (


Just finished reading Sharon Hargreaves’ excellent match report from the 3-1 victory over Barnsley in MCIVTA 556 and wanted to add a quick aside to Sharon’s comments on Super Kev’s goal celebration after having scored City’s third on Wednesday night last week.

For those of you who haven’t seen any replays of the goal yet, Super Kev’s goal and celebration comprised of him sweeping in a beautifully curvacious left-footed goal from the edge of the area to finish off a move which was just smothered in thick chocolatey confident play. He then, in the throes of joy, runs a few yards into a clear area and holds his left foot up in the air (in a kind of floppy Karate Kid pose) with the other players flocking around to Super Kev’s invitation to revere and pay homage to his left boot.

The thing is there was a programme on Sky the night before the Barnsley game which contained a five or ten minute mini-documentary-type piece about the career of Gianfranco Zola to date at Chelsea. During this piece a replay of a free kick goal scored by Zola (I think it was against Sunderland a few years ago) was shown where Zola very skillfully whipped a right footed free kick from outside the area into the top right corner of the net. His celebration saw him run to the near touchline and hold his right foot aloft and allow his teammates to stroke and kiss his boot. I remember thinking that was a fairly original way to celebrate. I think our young Super Kev was obviously watching too and it looks like he thought he should rejuvinate the Zola style of celebration at the first opportunity. Which he didn’t have to wait long for.

Forza Gianfranco Horlock.

In closing, I’m considering writing another alcohol fueled Sky-Live match report for the upcoming game at Wolves on Friday night and have chosen Berlin’s “Oscar Wilde” pub as my match night venue. Any other MCIVTA readers in Berlin would be encouraged to come down and constantly distract me with freshly pulled pints of Guinness to ensure that the hit-and-miss chronological accuracy of my last attempt at a match report (vs. Birmingham) is at least as poor this time round. It’s Wolves vs. Man City. The return of the Beer Goggles. Coming soon to MCIVTA in an In-Box near you.

Cathal Whelehan – wheelie on BlueView (


H  orribly
U  psets
D  ay
D  reams,
E  nding
R  unaway
S  uccess.
F  orm
I  mpressive,
E  xcept
L  atest
D  efeat.
T  ake
O  n
W  olves
N  ext!

Steve Maclean (


I’m seriously looking forward to the game against Huddersfield, and not just for the obvious reason that if we win we’ll be an amazing position. The first game I ever went to was at the tender age of eight, with my grandad, to watch City murder the Town 10-1! I remember the game well, but have trouble remembering all the scorers. Anyway, I remember saying to my grandad after the game, “This must be the best club in the world” (the wisdom of youth!). “The biggest win I’ve seen was Liverpool winning 3-0 on match of the day. I’m going to support this team forever ’cause they’re the best. What are they called again?”

When I got home to Preston I pestered my mum for two months to buy me a City shirt, and when she finally did I walked into school the next day with it in and my head held high, and of course, the inevitable happened. Three Rags (all much larger than my diminuitive self) saw the shirt as a great reason to kick the cr*p out of me!

This didn’t get me down, and from then on I made a point of visiting my grandad every week for the next seven years to go with him and watch City, till he sadly passed on about three years ago. I now go to matches alone, or with my younger brother if possible.

By the way, if there are any City fans (any age/gender) in the Preston area who’d like some match day company (I know there are 2 other MCIVTA subscribers here!) e-mail me and see if we can’t arrange a day of Beer and City – the two greatest pleasures in life!

City till I die and then some (ain’t reincarnation brilliant!), Andi O’Neil (


I think someone ought to inform Kev McMeeking (before he submits his article) that Huddersfield isn’t in the West Midlands (see extract below)!

“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.”

Philip Harper (


Racism seems to have raised his ugly head again. I’m a season ticket holder that sits in the Main Stand and on Saturday for the first time in maybe four years I heard a City `fan’ using racist language.

Being black and sitting directly in front of him I challenged him. To his credit he quickly apologised. His defence was he didn’t rate Shaun Goater, the subject of his abuse, he was not racist and he had lots of black friends.

I have no problem with him not rating Shaun, I’m even happy that he’s sufficiently tolerant to have black friends, but, I was not happy on two counts, the ease with which abuse can be hurled and supplemented racially, and equally how in our current position, top of the league and with our recent history, how players can be singled out for abuse of any kind.

During Saturday’s match, a few rows behind me Edghill was subjected to abuse which whilst not racist, was expressed in the foulest of language.

I draw a distinction between criticism and abuse, fans are entitled to voice their opinion but we must not return to the days of general booing and singling out particular players for abuse. We have earned the right to be where we are based on the current squad and how they play.

Everyone says we’re the best fans in the country, but I think that if we continue to hurl abuse when things go slightly wrong then a hard earned reputation will be soured.

Averil Capes – CTID (


I’m 21 years old, and I’ve been a City fan for 9 years. I have never seen us top of any League. I’ve seen us be spineless, useless, act like idiots in the transfer market and I’ve been let down by the club more times than I can remember.

And now I know what it was all for. Can I just take this opportunity to thank Mr. Bernstein and Joe Royle for giving us something to cheer about, and above all putting some pride back into the club. May the run continue.

CTID, Jon Marshall (


It is with interest I read the recent contributions to MCIVTA. Only today I asked my one and only fellow Blue colleague when he thought the bubble would burst. We are so conditioned to disaster, we question success. I can remember, in the 70’s, when Maine Road truly was (split infinitive there to appeal to any Trekkie City fans) a fortress. I went there expecting we would win every game. In fact I remember coming away disappointed even though I had just seen one of the most exciting games I had ever seen 0-0 (against QPR my failing memory tells me). But the point was, we didn’t drop points at home then, we just didn’t, and it hurt when we did. Maybe, just maybe…

David Kilroy (


Without sounding like the Glasgow Media Group gone mad, but could the relitively poor displays of Cooke compared to last season have something to do with our left sided predominance? A problem the national team would love no doubt. I could be alone in thinking this but I always felt that Cooke performed better when Brown was in the side and linking up with him.

Whilst I acknowledge that Edghill is playing well, he does not like to go too far forward, unlike Granville on the left. Add to this the good form and dominance of Horlock and it is no surprise to see the ball going left to Tiatto/Granville/Kennedy. Remember the long diagonal ball from Morrison to Kennedy every game they play in?

In order to redress this inbalance ought we not rest Whitley and play Pollock across on the right of midfield to link up with Cooke when he plays and allow Bishop back into the middle to act as play maker? We have to find a way to get more out of Cooke.

One more final thought: Why did we allow Mason to play for Hartlepool in the FA Cup against Hereford thus making him ineligible for us?

M Joyce (


My grandfather was Blue, my father is Blue (see MCIVTA 549 ‘Why Blue’) and so there is only one answer to the question of why I am Blue; It has been passed down from generation to generation like some ingrained expectation; “When you grow up son you’ll inherit all this – someday it will be yours”. At times it has seemed like an onerous burden (what other club would have sold Peter Barnes and spent that much on Steve Daley?) and at other times it has seemed as if no one else could touch what we have (that goal, that penalty shoot out, the 5-1 Rag beating).

I don’t remember my grandfather, he died on holiday in Austria when I was two. He was a farrier and ran a small business in Manchester. He was old enough to have enjoyed City’s successes of the 30’s and to know the hardships of the second world war. He was also lucky enough to have seen City’s next great period of success before he passed away in ’69.

My father didn’t see much of a future in fur (foresighted man that he is) and so didn’t take up the reins of the family business. In fact none of his brothers did either. Instead my father joined the Navy where he ran sea-going libraries and saw exotic places like Bahrain, Cape Town and Sydney.

During his time in the Navy we lived in the south where I was born in a house that backed onto the Naval Air Station (I’ve always had a soft spot for Pompey – but not their manager).

After he left the Navy my father took us back up north to exotic Audenshaw to live in the house the fur business had bought. I didn’t see City play at this time (about 1974) but I remember dad driving us past Rag HQ and looking at what seemed like the biggest structure I had ever seen with red all over it – had I known its significance I would turned to avoid my eyes falling upon this pagan place of worship.

Not long after this we moved to Australia with me a City supporter in name only. I had never seen them play and didn’t feel that real attachment that I know now.

Lucky for me my parents missed the old country too much and we were back in Manchester for the 1976-77 season. I will never forget my first game; City vs. Newcastle United at Maine Road. I was only 9 and I can remember looking across at the Kippax in awe at this seething ocean of City fans. I remember thinking that the match was fantastic, not even dreaming of how good it would be if City had actually scored (it ended 0-0). Score they did in the next match I saw; City vs. Derby County with Brian Kidd coming back into form with 2 goals in a 3-2 win over a side that included Roy McFarland, Charlie George and Kevin Hector. Our side boasted the likes of Kidd, Tueart, Donachie, Barnes, Hartford and Corrigan with Bell still on his way back from injury. In the twenty years since I don’t think City have produced a better side although the signs are there now that we can build a side like this again.

We caught a few more games that season including our home draw against WBA in the 3rd round of the cup where my aunt Dorothy had my name announced over the loudspeaker as a bye-bye from City as we were moving back to Australia. I returned to Australia as a real City fan and soccer fanatic (it’s not called football here – that name is reserved for Aussie Rules). I joined a local club and we used to get hammered by double figure scores every week in my first year but I loved it and persisted to enjoy the good times – just like playing for City.

I have enjoyed all the highs and lows from afar. I remember sitting up late to watch the 1981 F.A. Cup final and then the replay with its swag of freakish goals from Steve MacKenzie and then (worst luck) Ricky Villa. That we lost is history but there was no doubting its entertainment value.

As I grew older and priorities changed I didn’t take so much notice of City’s results. I would still look for them in the results column of the paper from time to time and watch the odd game when I could catch them on TV here. Yes, that included Raddy Antic’s last gasp strike to send us down when we only needed to draw at home to lowly Luton or the time we beat Liverpool 3-1 at Anfield and Phil Thompson put in a better save during that game than anything Bruce Grobbelaar did (although I now wonder whether Bruce was paid a ‘commission’ for that game in light of the bribery scandal that erupted around him).

My interest was fired up again a couple of years ago as I watched our inexorable slide down the Division 1 table. I had always taken it for granted that we would yo-yo between the Premier and the First. I don’t think we had ever done any worse than 13th in the old Division 2 and here we were fighting to stay up and losing the battle!

Down we went and now I found myself checking the results religiously and reading as much as I could at For a long time it looked like Wolves all over again – big side going down and losing their way. The rest of course is history and it looks to me as if that brief nightmare in Division 2 was one of the best things to ever happen to the club.

Nicky Weaver’s run around Wembley after saving that penalty is the stuff of legend and I think it signifies the turnaround at City. From our lowest point ever we are now looking like winners and there is a definite change in the fans’ expectations – I no longer check the results with a nagging feeling of pessimism although having said that the 1-0 away win at Charlton was more than any of us could have hoped for.

Like my dad in MCIVTA 549 I have to thank my cousin Tony (avid MCIVTA reader) for sending us the Gillingham video – it’s now in a glass case where it is revered as a holy relic, and to my cousin David for sending me that City shirt all those years ago – I still wear it with the words ‘Brother’ fading on the front of it. It’s a shame their dad (my uncle Eddy) isn’t around to pen a ‘Why Blue’ – he could sure write and tell a good story.

I love Australia and will die here but my heart is Blue, not because I’m sad but because I’m City and that’s how my son will be too (he’s not yet 3 and already he is a hooligan). As for the wife she is for the Hammers but I live in hope.

John Ward (


Recent results to 29 November 1999 inclusive

28 November 1999

Grimsby Town          2 - 1  Norwich City

27 November 1999

Birmingham City       1 - 1  Swindon Town
Blackburn Rovers      2 - 0  Stockport County
Charlton Athletic     2 - 2  Port Vale
Crystal Palace        2 - 0  Nottingham Forest
Ipswich Town          2 - 1  Crewe Alexandra
Manchester City       0 - 1  Huddersfield Town
Portsmouth            0 - 0  Bolton Wanderers
Queens Park Rangers   2 - 2  Barnsley
Tranmere Rovers       1 - 0  Wolverhampton Wndrs
West Bromwich Albion  2 - 2  Sheffield United

26 November 1999

Walsall               1 - 3  Fulham

24 November 1999

Ipswich Town          1 - 0  Wolverhampton Wndrs
Manchester City       3 - 1  Barnsley
Nottingham Forest     2 - 0  Portsmouth

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  GD Pts
 1 Manchester City 20  8  0  2 21  7  5  3  2  9  6 13  3  4 30 13  17  42
 2 Huddersfield T. 21  8  2  0 28  9  4  2  5 10 13 12  4  5 38 22  16  40
 3 Charlton Ath.   19  7  2  1 18  8  5  1  3 18 13 12  3  4 36 21  15  39
 4 Ipswich Town    20  8  1  2 22 11  2  4  3 12 12 10  5  5 34 23  11  35
 5 Barnsley        20  8  0  2 24  9  3  2  5 14 23 11  2  7 38 32   6  35
 6 Fulham          20  5  3  2 11  7  3  5  2 13 11  8  8  4 24 18   6  32
 7 Birmingham City 20  6  3  1 21  9  2  4  4 11 14  8  7  5 32 23   9  31
 8 Bolton Wndrs    20  6  3  1 19 11  2  4  4 10  9  8  7  5 29 20   9  31
 9 QPR             20  4  6  0 16 11  3  2  5 13 15  7  8  5 29 26   3  29
10 Stockport C.    20  5  5  0 17 11  2  2  6  6 17  7  7  6 23 28  -5  28
11 Wolves          19  3  4  2 11  8  3  4  3  8 10  6  8  5 19 18   1  26
12 Tranmere Rovers 21  6  3  2 19 12  1  2  7  9 18  7  5  9 28 30  -2  26
13 West Brom A.    19  2  7  2 12 11  3  3  2  8  8  5 10  4 20 19   1  25
14 Norwich City    20  5  1  3  9  7  1  6  4  8 11  6  7  7 17 18  -1  25
15 Grimsby Town    20  6  2  2 13 11  1  2  7  8 21  7  4  9 21 32 -11  25
16 Crystal Palace  20  5  3  2 18  8  1  3  6 10 24  6  6  8 28 32  -4  24
17 Blackburn R.    18  4  4  2 13  8  1  4  3  8 10  5  8  5 21 18   3  23
18 Nottm Forest    20  4  4  1 16  9  1  2  8  7 17  5  6  9 23 26  -3  21
19 Port Vale       21  4  1  5 11 12  1  5  5 15 19  5  6 10 26 31  -5  21
20 Portsmouth      21  4  4  3 16 11  1  2  7  9 24  5  6 10 25 35 -10  21
21 Sheff. United   20  3  3  4 14 13  1  3  6  9 22  4  6 10 23 35 -12  18
22 Walsall         21  2  4  5  9 14  2  2  6  9 19  4  6 11 18 33 -15  18
23 Crewe Alex.     19  2  3  3  5  8  2  2  7 13 21  4  5 10 18 29 -11  17
24 Swindon Town    21  2  4  4 10 17  1  3  7  5 16  3  7 11 15 33 -18  16

With thanks to Football 365


Contributions: Ashley –
News & Rumours: Peter –
Subscriptions: 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 #557