Newsletter #579

Last Saturday saw a 20-minute City performance (heavily influenced by Mark Kennedy); unfortunately, this consisted of two 10-minute spells which sandwiched a truly dire 70 minute filling. Norwich were extremely negative and not a bit physical as well – their sole tactic consisting of wellying the ball up-field and hoping for a set-piece at which they could attempt to stick the ball on Roberts’ ugly bonce – this they actually managed once!

As far as news is concerned, City have – rather unsurprisingly – been in receipt of a transfer request from Terry Cooke, and perhaps just as unsurprisingly, Royle has recommended the board to accept. Expect a chase for him soon, and with Vaughan also doing well, we might see an incoming player in the next couple of weeks.

This issue has two match reports, the minutes of the latest Fans’ Committee Meeting, a Why Blue and an eloquent reply to Paddy O’Blue’s article on what it means to be Blue. Anybody else care to add to this?

This one reaches 3,070

Next game: Huddersfield Town away, Friday 18th February 2000


Kennedy Brace Helps City Keep Up

Two goals in the last ten minutes from winger Mark Kennedy kept City second in the First Division on Saturday. The Blues beat Norwich 3-1 at Maine Road, with Kennedy’s double sealing the win after Iwan Roberts had cancelled out Shaun Goater’s early strike. It was an important win for the Blues, with Charlton and Ipswich also winning at home to Wolves and Huddersfield respectively. And the top three appear to be opening a gap at the top of the table. Charlton lead by four points from the Blues, with Ipswich a further point back having played one match more. Barnsley are five points behind City after a draw at Tranmere on Friday while the Terriers’ Portman Road reverse leaves them a further five points adrift. City also have a game in hand on both of the Yorkshire sides.

Royle Relieved by Kennedy Late Show

Joe Royle was a relieved man after City beat Norwich on Saturday. The Blues’ boss had watched his side endure a frustrating afternoon as they laboured to break down a gritty and determined Norwich side. Shaun Goater’s early goal had given City the ideal start but after Iwan Roberts levelled the scores in the first half, much of the fluency disappeared from the home side’s play. And with the teams tied at 1-1 with only eight minutes left, it appeared that the Blues might have to settle for a point. Then Mark Kennedy changed the complexion of the game, leaving the City boss a relieved man. “We got there in the end,” said Royle. “My feeling was that it was going to be one of those frustrating games where we draw or lose to a breakaway. But we are made of sterner stuff these days.”

Rioch – Kennedy Can Do Better

Mark Kennedy was the match-winner for City at home to Norwich on Saturday. But Canaries’ boss Bruce Rioch, who managed the Irishman at Millwall, feels that the player is capable of more. When Kennedy was a teenager at The Den, manager Rioch viewed him as an exceptional talent who could perform at the very top level. And the former Middlesbrough and Bolton manager feels that, despite scoring twice and creating the other of the Blues’ three goals on Saturday, the international could still do better. “I know he has a lot more to offer,” explained Rioch. “I would not be satisfied with what he did today.”

Want-Away Cooke to be Allowed to Leave

Transfer-seeking City winger Terry Cooke is on his way out of Maine Road. It’s understood that City manager Joe Royle has recommended to the board that the player be allowed to leave the Blues. Cooke is upset at his lack of first-team opportunities and asked for a move on Friday after being told he hadn’t even made the bench for Saturday’s game against Norwich. Royle feels it would be counter-productive to keep an unsettled player, and the City boss told the official club website at, “If he is not happy scrapping to get back into the first team and he wants to go elsewhere, then I have to consider his opinion. I have made my feelings known to the Board and they have agreed that we should circulate his name.” Huddersfield currently have money to spend and are thought to be in the frame, while Preston are also reckoned to be keen on the winger. As yet, there’s no word on the transfer fee the club will be seeking for the ex-Manchester United junior.

Wright Rumours Just “Fiction”

Neither Tommy Wright nor Ian Bishop has yet followed the lead of fellow veteran Richard Jobson in signing a new one-year contract at Maine Road. But Joe Royle has distanced himself from speculation that the Blues’ reserve goalkeeper could be set to leave the club. Rumours have linked Wright with a return to one of his former clubs, Newcastle United, where the Northern Ireland international also had a loan spell earlier this season. Ironically the three appearances Wright made for the Geordies this term represents a higher figure than his combined tally last season and this with the Blues. “I have heard nothing from Newcastle and nothing from Tommy or his agent,” manager Joe Royle told the official club website at, “so I have to say that at the moment the rumour is fiction.”

Contrasting Fortunes for Loan Stars

Tony Vaughan produced an excellent display for Nottingham Forest at Walsall on Saturday to boost his hopes of making his loan spell at the City Ground permanent. But Gareth Taylor’s prospects of sealing a switch to Port Vale seem to be receding. Vaughan helped David Platt’s under-pressure side to a vital 2-0 win at fellow strugglers Walsall, and despite receiving a booking produced an impressive performance. Taylor, however, has failed to score in four outings for Vale, who lost 2-0 at Grimsby at the weekend. Craig Russell, meanwhile, had a hand in Oxford’s winner at Wycombe but it’s thought the Second Division outfit’s inability to match the striker’s personal terms means there’s little prospect of a permanent deal even on a free transfer.

Ruddock Set for Loan Spell at “Unnamed Club”

Sunday tabloid speculation that West Ham defender Neil Ruddock could be set to move on loan to an unnamed First Division club has sparked a guessing game as to the identity of the team involved. And inevitably City are one of the names being mentioned. Ruddock has lost his place in the Hammers’ rearguard in recent weeks, sparking claims that Harry Redknapp could allow him to leave Upton Park on loan. It’s well known that the centre of defence is currently the area of the City squad Joe Royle feels currently lacks depth, leading some to speculate, albeit without any concrete evidence, that Maine Road could be a potential destination for the ex-Leeds and Spurs defender.

Haaland Still Keen on City Move

Leeds utility man Alf-Inge Haaland has for weeks been thought to be City’s priority transfer target. And with Euro 2000 approaching and his prospects of a place in the Norwegian squad under threat, the 27-year-old has once again confirmed his wish to leave Elland Road. Haaland joined Leeds from Nottingham Forest for £1.6 million in the summer of 1997 but after making 61 league appearances during his first two seasons in Yokshire he’s managed only a further three this term. Now the player feels that a transfer is inevitable if he’s to rekindle his international ambitions, and a move to Maine Road appeals. “Manchester City are a very interesting club,” he said. “I hope Leeds do not scare away any potential buyers by overpricing me.”

Duo to be Fit for TV Clash

City are likely to welcome back striker Robert Taylor for Friday’s trip to Huddersfield. And stand-in skipper Richard Edghill should also be in the Blues’ line-up at the McAlpine Stadium. Taylor missed Saturday’s win over Norwich with a calf strain while Edghill was substituted in the second half after sustaining a thigh injury during the match. However, neither injury is serious and both players are expected to feature as City continue their promotion bid in a match which will be televised live by satellite broadcaster BSkyB.

Morrison Optimism Fades

City’s hopes that Andy Morrison could make a swift return from injury appear to be fading. The official club website at reports that the Blues’ skipper is making slow progress in his bid to shake off his troublesome knee problem. Morrison has been out of action for over three months, and has had two spells of intensive rehabilitation work at Lilleshall’s specialist sports injuries clinic. But the latest report is that the big defender hasn’t been able to join the rest of his team-mates in training, and earlier hopes of an end of February return to action seem to be fading. Manager Joe Royle reflected, “We are not pressing the alarm bells. Some knees take longer than others and his, at the moment, is taking longer.”

Brightwell Moves – But Not to America

According to rumours, Ian Brightwell could be set to play Major League Soccer in the USA. The ex-City defender won’t be heading Stateside just yet, having signed a short-term deal with First Division Walsall, but could head to the MLS after his stint at the Bescot Stadium. Brightwell left Maine Road for Coventry in the summer of 1998 almost twelve years after making his City début, but he’s now set for a quick return. His new club will be providing the Blues’ opposition for the league game on 26 February. The 31-year-old played in over 300 games at Maine Road but in the subsequent 18 months has been called on only once, in a low-key League Cup match, by Gordon Strachan. San Diego and Kansas City are thought to be the franchises interested in taking Brightwell across the Atlantic. Brightwell figured for Walsall in Saturday’s defeat against Nottingham Forest.

PFA Chief Backs Female Officials

Joe Royle courted controversy when he blasted female match officials in his programme notes on Saturday. But the fall-out from the City manager’s comments has already begun, with players’ union boss Gordon Taylor taking issue with Royle’s views. The PFA Chief Executive said he felt the comments were regrettable, and in particular he disagreed with the claim that it’s impossible for women to take charge of a football match because they don’t have sufficient playing experience. “You don’t need four legs to ride a horse,” explained Taylor, before going on to note that in any event women’s football is one of the world’s fastest-growing sports.

Male Ref Bids to Prove Royle Wrong

Meanwhile, the man who officiated in Saturday’s match produced a performance which seemed specifically designed to prove that competence in the field is not gender-related. It was a controversial incident involving a female referee’s assistant in the Youth Cup tie at Derby which saw the Blues eliminated from the competition and thus provoked Royle’s comments. And the City boss highlighted the appointment of Wendy Toms to run the line in the Worthington Cup final later this month. Toms, of course, persuaded the referee to send off City’s Andy Morrison at Wimbledon last season when a dismissal was clearly an incorrect decision. The League’s Chief Executive John McKeown insisted that Toms’ appointment was “purely on merit”, in which case Saturday’s Maine Road official Tony Bates can surely never expect such an honour. Any sensible observer who watched the game would be staggered that the Blues had been penalised more frequently than their niggling opponents.

City Youngsters Set for TV Feature

Manchester City’s juniors suffered the disappointment of an unlucky FA Youth Cup exit last week. But the Maine Road juniors will still gain wider recognition this week as BBC2 in the north west screens a documentary on the City Academy set-up. Filming for ‘Close Up North’ has been taking place over the last month, and the programme will show the daily routine of the Maine Road juniors. There will also be a feature on Maine Road’s highest profile youngster, Shaun Wright-Phillips and tracks the build-up to one of the youngsters’ biggest games of the season, presumably the match at Derby. ‘Close up North’ is screened on Thursday at 7.30 pm.

Peter Brophy (


MANCHESTER CITY vs. NORWICH CITY, Saturday 12th February 2000

Excellent start for the Blues, totally outclassing Norwich for the first twenty minutes with a couple of goal-scoring oppurtunities, with the Goat heading home after 3 minutes. After twenty minutes or so the Canaries got their first corner; it was placed outside the corner quadrant but it went unnoticed and they equalised. This I felt was almost inevitable because Joe Royle had talked about in his programme notes a ‘summit meeting’ about the relationship between clubs and officials and he went on to say “I am NOT sexist but I do not approve of female officials in professional football. How can they make accurate decisions if they have never been tackled from behind by a 14 stone centre half.” Well I thought Andy Morrison weighed in at more than that! Anyway, I bet female oficials are determined to show that they can make it in the professional game and would have made sure they noticed that the ball was placed outside the corner circle. What is important in refereeing is adherance to the rules of the game, not sympathy for players who wimp out of taking on large defenders. So thank you Mr Royle for the next hour of stress we had to endure. City did play quite well though up to half time but couldn’t emulate the fine form they demonstrated in the first twenty minutes.

In the second half Norwich manged to get most of the possession. My seat in the Kippax is surrounded by the Jamie Pollock fan club, and I have to admit that once he was put on City went back up a gear and dominated the rest of the game. Pollock was instrumental in setting up the bobbling in front of goal that led to the ball popping out to Kennedy who slotted home for the winner. I have to confess that he scored his second a minute later but I missed the build up to the goal due to singing commitments and replying to the vocal Canary supporters. Danny Allsopp almost bagged a fourth after a farcical mix up in the Norwich defence saw him beat the ‘keeper but fail to get the free shot at goal. Anyway, three vital points secured, albeit the nerve-jangling way, typical City. The hawk/seagull wasn’t there as promised but we won anyway; perhaps we don’t need its influence after all?

Edghill Wiekens Jobson Granville
Whitley Bishop Horlock Kennedy
            Goater Dickov

Weaver – 9 A fine performance in the goals.
Edghill – 6 Could have got forward into attacking positions more I felt.
Wiekens – 7 Solid performance.
Jobson – 7 Likewise.
Granville – 6 Didn’t notice him actually.
Whitley – 9 Surely his best ever performance for the club, very useful.
Bishop – 5 Not one of his best performances.
Horlock – 7 Helpful at keeping the ball up.
Kennedy – 9 Seems to be back to his old self and coped well with having two players marking him.
Goater – 8 The goal machine in action again.
Dickov – 6 Fell down a lot and perhaps staying up would have given us more opportunities.

The subs:
Pollock – 8 Instrumental in getting us back in the game, very energetic.
Allsopp – 6 Not committed enough, more awareness and desire could have worked wonders.

Gareth Thomas (


MANCHESTER CITY vs. NORWICH CITY, Saturday 12th February 2000

It’s a disgrace. For three quarters of this match we were outsung, out shouted and out supported (?) by the fans from that hotbed of soccer, Norwich. Most embarrassing of all was when they sung “There’s only one City” and the best we could muster was a half hearted “City, we’re from Manchester”. Oh yes, we gave it back to them in spades, once Mark Kennedy had opened his box of tricks. But c’mon, outsung by Norwich? This is supposed to be a match report so I’ll leave this point open to discussion. Suffice to say over recent weeks, for long spells, Maine Road has become very quiet. Something must be done!

Dickov and Granville replaced Taylor (calf strain) and Tiatto (international duty) respectively. Since there was no place on the bench for Terry Cooke, we’ve probably seen the last of him. Good luck Terry, still feel you’re cutting off your nose to spite your face though! City (the only City!) started well, playing some great one-touch stuff. The goal was set up beautifully; Dickov feeding Kennedy who skinned his full back, placing the ball on Shaun’s head. 1-0 after 3 minutes! Shortly thereafter, Jobson planted a header on top of the net when really he should have scored.

Norwich’s only attacking tactic throughout the game was to get the ball to either Iwan Roberts or the nippy Paul Dalglish and try to win a corner. Playing with one up front and 5 across the midfield is a tactic often used by teams looking to get a draw or maybe snatch a goal on the break. However, usually this means that when the front man gets the ball, the midfield get forward in support. Not in Norwich’s case. They very nearly got the draw that they came for but I’m glad that they didn’t, not just for the obvious reasons, but because such negative tactics do not deserve to be rewarded. Hey guys! People pay money to be entertained, you know!

Anyway, from their first corner, Dalglish placed the ball a good 18 inches outside the corner markings, a move which the Kippax tried their best to alert the referee to, but to no avail. From the kick, Roberts got in front of Jobbo to score a trademark goal. Much of the remainder of the game until the final 10 minutes was frankly boring. Dickov was diving all over the place, so much so that when he was clearly elbowed in the face, the ref waved play on. Wiekens took a sickening kick to the chest I think, from Dalglish and it must be said that Norwich were far more physical than they used to be. Passes went astray, balls were missed and all in all it was a poor, poor game. Dickov was replaced by Allsopp on the hour, with Pollock replacing Edghill on 79 minutes.

Throughout the second half, during any break in play, Royle was clearly ‘coaching’ Kennedy who had had an ‘in and out’ game, highlighted by his cross for Goater’s goal and in delivering a wayward high cross cum shot when a low, hard ball across the 6-yard box was clearly the better option. Whether Royle’s words inspired the boy Kennedy, whether he was worried about getting a b*llocking, I don’t know. However, in the 82nd minute from a long Wiekens punt which was not properly cleared, our left winger hit a low shot with such power that it was probably a good job the ‘keeper didn’t get in the way. 2-1 to the real City!

A minute later, Mark robbed a defender and hit the same shot, which this time the ‘keeper did get in the way. Same result! 3-1 to the real City! In the last 5 minutes, Allsopp intercepted a clearance from the ‘keeper, but couldn’t finish. During the same move Whitley hit a superb and very astute lob which the ‘keeper just managed to scramble over the bar. There were 2 reasonable penalty claims and Kennedy had an excellent free kick again well saved by the Norwich ‘keeper. In truth, the game (and certainly any entertainment) was contained within the first 10 minutes and last 10 minutes of the match. A mate of mine (yep you guessed it) arrived after 15 minutes and left 15 minutes from the end. So he had a good day then! Norwich fans probably left the ground if not exactly feeling ‘robbed’, certainly feeling as if they could have got something from the game. However, how many times over the years, particularly in our last 2 seasons in Division 1 have we felt the same? City are a 90-minute team nowadays and we have goal scorers all over the pitch. From the 13 players who graced the turf on Saturday, only Allsopp and Weaver have not scored this season. Goater is on fire, Kennedy seems to be coming back into form, Taylor hopefully can sustain a run of both keeping fit and scoring goals and with attacking contributions from the rest of the team we look secure on that front. Another goal conceded from a set piece is not great from the defensive viewpoint and, if Morrison’s injury is long term we at least need cover in this area. The ride is going to get pretty hairy over the next few weeks. I for one, cannot wait!

Phil Hartley (


N   icely
O   vercame
R   esistance
W   ith
I   rishman's
C   onsumate
H   eroics

Steve Maclean (


MCFC and Fans’ Committee, Monday 24th January 2000, 12:30pm

Present: Chris Bird, Bernard Halford, Peter Fletcher, Jenny Cunningham and Sara Billington for MCFC.
Graham Brine, Les Saul, Dave Wallace, Dave Beddard and Richard Jones for Fans’ Committee.


Chris Bird has recently met Peter Coats, Chairman of Stadia Catering, to review current services at Maine Road and consider future potential opportunities at the new stadium. A number of new products will be trialled / tested in the next few months to assess their suitability and fans’ feedback will be an important viewpoint in this process. An agreed issue from the above meeting was that the Stadia Catering management team on site needs to be improved; an item from this discussion is a concern that some of the staff look too young – Peter Fletcher to review this latter item. Generally the fans feel that the quality and pricing structure has improved but that the service could be significantly enhanced, particularly in the North Stand.

Ticket Office

A staff training programme within the Ticket Office has been successfully implemented and from the fans’ perspective the service has been much improved, although there is still the odd exception. The ‘Tracking System’ is now on an extended trial and it is hoped that with additional programming this will be fully functional by the end of February 2000. A future proposal is that the tracking system will run in parallel with the old process of ticket stubs and vouchers until the club are fully satisfied that there will be no glitches – continue to keep your ticket stubs!


Availability and range of merchandising within the superstore prior to Christmas was much improved although some of the more junior sizes were often difficult to purchase. The amount of stock is now significantly more than ever before and John Wardle has made great strides in this level of service and supply of products to the fans. During the next two months there will be extensive training for the sales staff to help improve the customer interface, which should also reap some future benefits. A prediction on several products is often very difficult but the goalkeeper’s jerseys are certainly now a very significant item with the success of Nicky Weaver.

Away Match Travel

Concern was expressed about the coach parking costs at away fixtures, which has been sometimes up to £20.00 even for small minibuses. Details of these costs for the future fixtures will now be noted in the City programme alongside ticket information and this matter will be brought up by the Supporters’ Club representatives at the National Federation to attempt to establish a common policy. Visitors’ coaches that are able to park at the rear of the Kippax Stand are charged £3.00 for this privilege, although there are only a limited number of places.

Queues at North Stand Turnstiles

Difficulties arose at the Fulham home match with respect to larger than normal queues occurring prior to kick off in the area outside the North Stand. These few difficulties were created because of the poor attendance by the Fulham fans, which allowed City fans to be allocated a larger proportion of the North Stand seating. The decision to re-allocate additional seats is taken by Peter Fletcher in conjunction with the Police but this positive action means that certain turnstiles normally assigned to visiting supporters cannot be used and hence extra supporters are trying to gain admission into the stadium through the ‘home turnstiles’. Segregation of the supporters in the North Stand is very important and the Club wishes the stadium to be as full as possible so this action is taken for all the best intentions. A proactive approach is to arrive a little earlier to avoid this problem and Peter Fletcher will put a note in the match day programme to reinforce this message.

New Stadium

This was a major discussion item at the last meeting but a few other issues were mentioned and these are summarised as follows:

  • A hotel is proposed as part of the development adjacent to the stadium site.
  • A museum will be incorporated within the Northern Plaza, approximately 80 metres from the stadium.
  • It is proposed that 120 disabled parking places will be available for Orange Badge holders.
  • Infrastructure for the stadium is a responsibility of Manchester CityCouncil with the responsibility for the fitting out of the stadium restingwith Manchester City Football Club.
  • An ‘Information Sheet’ is to be prepared for all the fans by John Wardle inthe near future – this meeting is the forum to discuss any of the fans’opinions for the future.
  • Plans to address the smoking/non-smoking situation will be reviewed byManchester City Council and Manchester City Football Club.

Season Ticket Prices 2000/2001

Proposals for the pricing structure for next season will be discussed at the Board Meeting on Wednesday 26 January 2000 – details will be announced in due course. Reduced prices for 16/17-year-olds who are continuing with their education will be provided as long as documentation is available to confirm their status.

Parking for Disabled Fans

An additional 9 places for Orange Badge holders have recently been made available, now a total of 15 are provided. Chris Bird with the Disabled Supporters’ Group recently held a proactive meeting and further local parking around Maine Road is currently being investigated.

Open Day 2000

An Exhibition on the top level of the Kippax Stand is currently being planned, probably over a weekend during the close season, to display memorabilia of the Club and show the history of Manchester City. A small charge is to be made and the planning of this event will be proactively pursued over the next few months.

MCFC Sponsorship on Saloon Car

This is a ‘one off’ for a Manchester City fan that requested to have the Club crest on the side of his car – good publicity and no money is involved.

Audio Subscription

Problems have recently occurred with the service provided by ‘Planet Football’ – Chris Bird has been reviewing this with them and several refunds have recently been authorised. All customer service problems with respect to this matter should be addressed to and then a single source within the Club will resolve all associated problems.

MCFC Web Site

This service is looking a little out of date now as the technology is advancing – Jenny Cunningham has recently been asked to improve this and other IT services for the Club.

Rescheduled Fixtures

Matches are selected by BBC/SKY/ITV and the Club have no input in this decision making process although the money is a welcome additional source of revenue. As the Club continues to be successful, this will inevitably occur more often with the latest amended fixtures being:

  • Away at Huddersfield Town on Friday 18 February 2000.
  • Home to Charlton Athletic on Sunday 16 March 2000.

Additional Investment in MCFC

Manchester City are delighted with the additional investment from fans and other investors – approximately £2.3 million was raised although at this stage there was no investment from major institutions as they are currently pursuing Clubs within the Premiership – watch this space.

Televisions in Kippax Stand

The televisions in the Kippax Stand were again not switched on at the end of the Fulham match – Peter Fletcher will investigate this issue and resolve this problem for future matches.

Date of Next Meeting

The date of the next meeting was confirmed as Monday 13 March 2000 at 12.30 p.m. at Maine Road.

Date of the next Fans’ Forum Meeting will be Monday 6 March 2000 at 7.30 p.m. in the Oasis Suite at the Platt Lane Complex – fresh ideas and new attendees always welcomed at this event.

Les Saul (


Just to let you know that King of the kippax went online today. It’s worth a look and a mention in MCIVTA would be appreciated. Here is the URL:


CTID, Chris Dee (


Well done, Mark Kennedy, who is the Irish Times Planet Football player of the week. Planet Football is a column compiled for the Irish Times by Mary Hannigan and it is the first thing I read every Monday morning. The column is very knowledgeable and frequently hilarious. Click onto for an interesting, sideways view of football. I think many City fans, particularly Irish supporters, would find it very amusing. I quote the following from this morning’s edition, and as Mary Hannigan says, you really couldn’t make these up!

“Southend United’s official website proudly announced their new sponsor last week – Marie Stopes International Vasectomy Centres. MSIVC refused to comment on how much the deal with the club had cost them, but confirmed that it was, em, a snip.”

And who is the world’s unluckiest supporter? No – he’s not a Blue, but from Huddersfield.

“Ah yes, a month to remember for Huddersfield Town supporter Darryl Aston. When his wife presented him with a spanking new baby boy, Darryl insisted on naming him Marcus Stewart, after the ace Huddersfield striker. Two weeks later? Stewart was sold to Ipswich. Last Saturday? Ipswich were playing Huddersfield at home and invited Darryl and baby Marcus to be guests of honour at Portman Road for the game. Result? Two-one to Ipswich? Who scored their winner? The man Darryl named his son after.”

I hate to say this, but looking at next Friday’s fixture list, I hope his bad luck continues (at least until City secure promotion – after that I wish him all the best)!

Tony O’Leary (


Okay, the Bermudan/ian thing has been bugging me for the last couple of weeks now, especially with Shaun’s current goalscoring frenzy, so I decided to attempt to find the answer.

First I searched my local library, in which all the books are written in Danish, and in Danish it’s just called “Bermudansk”, no answer there! They say the possibilities of the Internet are limitless, but hours and hours of search turned out to be fruitless. I then decided to write to a journalist at The Bermuda Sun, but she politely ignored my request for a reply, so there were no clues there either. Finally, after searching mIRC chatrooms for what seemed to me like several days, my logical sense came into play. – the logical last place to look, and there, I found my answer. I posted the question to a discussion forum, and a guy called Doug informed me, that it is in fact called BermudIan, not Bermudan. I am aware of the fact that I have gotten no second opinion on my question, but Doug seemed to be Bermudian, so I guess I’ll go with his answer.

Summa Summarum: Shaun is Bermudian!

Kasper Nymand (


Referees used common sense; The F.A. Cup 3rd round was in January; Rangers didn’t win the Scottish League; Aberdeen weren’t crap; Tranmere Rovers qualified for Europe; Dick Advocaat liked his players; John Barnes had a clue what he was meant to be doing; Manchester City were in the top 6 of the Carling F.A. Premiership; BBC T.V. cared about live football; Football wasn’t “hip” & terraces were full of “hard nuts”.

Brian Morrison (


Thanks to MCIVTA I have managed to get a connection to a City fan I last saw thirty years ago; I’m in High Wycombe (they deserved their wins) and Steve is in Barbados! The reason for this email is to see whether we can attract any other fans who lived in the Heaton Moor / Mersey area, 25-30 years ago and whilst doing this hows about any County fans from the same area; names we are looking for are Alan Carhart, Roy Dickinson, Selwyn Williams, ????? Beesley (no, not him). I hope this does not turn into a lonely hearts club email, but it would be good to find them.

Roll on Wembley again; lets go up in style!

Mike Collard (


A Forest football fan has been banned from all English matches for 12 months after throwing a wine gum at City fans during last Saturday’s game. David Elnor, 27 of West Bridgford, pleaded guilty to throwing the soft orange sweet but thought the penalty was a bit hard. He was also fined £120 and £55 costs.

Sounds like the magistrate did him a favour, if he goes to watch that lot on a regular basis.

Heidi Pickup (


If the seagull is a hawk, maybe that’s a sign I should soon make a pilgimage to Maine Road?

Chris Loveridge – Hawkeye of the Bay (


OK everyone here’s your starter for 10!

V  ain
O  verpaid
D  isgustingly
A  rrogant
F  #####g
O  bnoxious
N  auseating
E  gotists

Howard Burr – Reddish Blues (


I had plans to do a match report for the Norwich game but after the game I decided just to keep it about Mr. Dickov’s performance. Now Dickov works his heart out for City as we all know but against Norwich he totally lost it, Norwich got him a little riled and he took the bait, hook, line and sinker and almost the fishing rod as well. Now he is not a big guy so it doesn’t take that much to knock him off the ball; a couple of heavy tackles and you could see his attitude change, he goes down at almost every tackle, jumps up (if he doesn’t lie there acting dead which he got booked for on Saturday) and starts whinging at the ref about being pushed, pulled or elbowed or whatever. When this started after about 10 minutes against Norwich the whole team lost control of a match we were one up in (could/should have been 3). Even the mild mannered Goat put in a couple of tackles that were aimed more at legs than the ball. Norwich were dictating the game plan when City should have been.

Has Dickov always been this way? I’ve seen a tendency before but to check it out I put the Wembley match on and studied Dickov; not a moan or a whinge from him, stayed on his feet most of the time and got on with the game. He scored about 15 goals last season, okay in Division 2 against poorer teams but what has he done in his few matches so far this season? Whinge and moan most of the time and telling the ref how mean and bad and unfair the opposing players are to him. Paul, that’s what they are paid to do.

The 70 minutes (First 10 and last 10 were great) in the middle of Saturday’s game were rubbish, there was not an ounce of concentration from the team and for me it all started with Dickov’s moaning at the ref who was pretty useless anyway. Dickov should have been taken off a lot earlier and if he can’t get his direction back he might as well stay out of the team. Paul Dickov is an asset when playing football, get him doing that again like we know he can then he is well worth keeping on the books; if not we may as well let him go. And we can all remember him for that glorious goal last May that changed all our lives.

CTID, Ron Smith (


It’s a curious thing, this mixture of pride, pain, love, hate, ecstasy and despair. This sense of total identification with a certain shade of a certain colour; with a band of mercenaries who don’t know you exist and who wouldn’t give a damn about you if they did; with a heartless conglomerate whose prime ambition is to sell you shoddy merchandise at inflated prices; with a piece of decaying real estate in a downbeat part of town.

This fixation brings you into contact with other people, who become comrades, fellow-travellers, even though you’ve nothing in common other than this lemming-like urge to run in a pack towards the same death leap: these guys don’t dig your music; don’t read the same books; don’t eat the same food. They’re a rainbow bunch, bankers and teachers; pinstriped accountants and plumbers; journalists and brickies; Einsteins and headbangers. I met a fellow Blue in prison once. I was 19, he the wrong side of 30. I was a visiting law student, he was doing a stretch for GBH. I wore a blue, white and maroon scarf, he bore a tattoo reading “City Wembley Winners”. He had some absorbing theories about why the Class of 56 declined so rapidly. For an hour and a half he was my big brother. Being a Blue has got me free drinks in bars, free train rides, freelance commissions. It’s also got me p’d on, spat on, verbally and physically roughed up.

Being a Blue is about my youth. About a shy fourteen-year-old, trying to pluck up the courage to ask a guy in Albert Square who might or might not be Don Revie for his autograph. About crying in Trafalgar Square on a May Saturday evening in ’55, three nice Geordies come up, shake your hand and say “Weal swop onny three playoz for yewer goalie”. About hefting Mickie Mears, a Burnley fan, over the fence and on to the pitch at Wembley as Pardoe’s strike hits the back of the net and we’re on our way to a League Cup win. About hitching from London to Newcastle for that memorable match.

Being a Blue is about pride. I’m proud to support my local team, the team of my grandfather, father, daughter and now grand-daughter. Sorry, but I don’t want to dance in the streets of Clonmel, Douglas IOM, or Ashby-de-la-Zouche when the World’s Richest Club win the league for the 14th boring time. I don’t want it easy, where’s the fun in that? I wouldn’t mind a bit of the glamour and the glory, but I’ll never, never forget all those years when I sucked the fuzzy end of the lollipop.

Being a Blue is about anger. I’m setting up for a gig in a Dublin public bar, about 10 minutes before the end of a European tie. The punters are screaming for United, or about 90 per cent of them. A spawny shot goes past the Polish goalie in the 107th minute and the referee calls time on a one-nil win. All the happy shining faces, like excited school kids and you know in your heart that if you put any one of them on Barton Bridge with a free pair of 10×50 binocs, they couldn’t find their own blo*dy ground! Me, I’m a University man, good job, wrong side of 50 yet I have this urge to pick up my pint and chuck it at the guy with the biggest gob. Somehow, I resist.

Being a Blue is about suffering. I don’t need to elaborate.

Being a Blue is about solidarity. Not only wearing the gear, singing the songs. It means you get the amazing Mcvittie and get to virtually meet other actual, not virtual Blues. Thanks Ashley, for the Mock Tudor and the Whaley Bridge bits; Dave Kilroy for the SGS/Mile End comparisons and Cahal and the guys from Nova Scotia and New Jersey who e-malied to say they liked the song. I can’t somehow imagine getting the same craic from Stretford Infantile Garbage Via Bournemouth and Points West or whatever their webzine is called. Okay, call me a snob.

Being a Blue is about being Mancunian. It turns me into a walking ambassador for the Real Manchester; if Maine Road’s marketing gurus decided we were due a change of name that’s the only one I’d ever accept: Real Manchester FC. If I come over for the weekend with friends, they get the tour, Central Ref where I idled away my youth, Free Trade Hall where I grew up, Rusholme, Chinatown, Maine Road, I’ve got lost up some blind alley behind the University trying to find the way I walked back from Maine Road into town via my granny’s when I was a kid.

But, most of all, being a Blue is about being different, being subtle, discerning, rounded, balanced, a Renaissance Man among football fans, at least, so I tell myself.

I’m a writer. I spend my working day writing about good food and wine when I’m not eating or drinking the stuff, that is. I can appreciate Guigal or Chapoutiers Cote Rotie, it’s only liquid paradise. And get equally ecstatic in front of a pint of Holts or Marstons or Guinness or Robbies, when thirst strikes. Love woodcock or wild salmon but there are times when nothing but a bag of crisps or a black pudding will do. I’ve eaten the finest foie gras and I still get cravings for coltsfoot rock and cough candy. That’s City chips and caviar, Champagne and Dandelion & Burdock (mmm, not had any for years, wonder if it tastes as good. Can you still get it?).

It’s great to be Blue (but sometimes it’s hell).

Ernie Whalley (



Roses are Red,
City are Blue,
Just wanted to say,
that I love you




Thought it would be a useful idea for all Perth Blues to meet for a quick pint or two to discuss all things Blue. I know there are many Blues stretched across the metro area and that it will be difficult to find a suitable time to meet, however the general consensus is that most usually end up at Perth Glory on a regular basis.

Meeting Place 	Norwood Hotel - East Perth
Date		Sunday 27th February 2000
Time 		2.00pm - 4.30 pm (Prior to Perth Glory's home game)

Hope to see a few of you there (including you “wonderblue” – I’ll buy you a lemonade).

Graham Hine: Man City via the Bush Telegraph (


Basically because I was born in Manchester and my dad and all his family were Blues and so I didn’t really have a choice (unlike the vast majority of Rags!). Even though times have been hard over the last 20 years or so I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’ve got a few friends who aren’t really into football and they have asked don’t I wish I was a Rag and I have always answered with a scornful emphatic “No” – I wish City had been as successful as they have over recent years but I would still rather be a Blue (with all the torment that has caused and probably will continue to cause!) than be a Rag – we may have not had much to celebrate over recent years (last May excepted!) but we can still look down on all Rags with the knowledge that we are a far superior species!

One of my earliest Blues memories is coming home from shopping with my mum and sister one Saturday in 1969 (I was about 4 at the time) to find the windows of our house plastered with pages from the Pink celebrating City’s F.A. Cup win and my dad drunk on the settee (he couldn’t get a ticket but was at Wembley the following year and at Newcastle the year before to celebrate the Championship (oh to go to a game like that – well who knows!).

My first visit to the Academy was when I was 5 but I can’t remember who we played. Went to quite a lot of games home and away over the following years – I particularly remember flying down the motorway to Leicester sat across the back seat (or was it a ledge!) of my uncle’s MG with the roof down, hanging on for grim life!

First visit (without supervising parent) was against Spurs in ’76 or ’77 and we hammered them (I think) 5-1 (now that was to become a memorable scoreline even though I didn’t know it at the time!); best game at Maine Road – I’d have to pick two – the 5-1 win against Charlton to get promotion (I’d settle for a similar score when we play them next month!) and the play-off semi-final against Wigan last year – I missed the 5-1 demolition of the Rags (damn!) – although the 3-0 win against AC Milan in the UEFA Cup run them close. Best away game (apart from Wembley) – the semi-final win against Ipswich at Villa Park (not just for the result but also the visit to the “quiet pub” we asked the taxi driver to drop us off at before the game, which must have had about 200 Blues in, standing on tables, the jukebox and anything else they could find waving flags and singing!); best game ever – Wembley last year! Hopefully these will be replaced over the coming years!

I live in Hull now (and Hull really is, as the song goes “a town full of Munichs”, grown-ups, not just kids parading their Rags shirts around town) but still make the fortnightly pilgrimage to the Academy (sometimes much to the annoyance of my wife, who is not into football but who is sort of a Blue, as it plays havoc with our social life on Saturday nights).

A new era is also about to dawn – I go to the Academy with my sister and her 9-year-old son – but on Saturday (against Norwich) her 5-year-old son is due to make his first visit to the Academy. He is usually in tears as we get dropped off at Maine Road by his dad (a Rag by the way, who just loves the fact that his only children are both Blues, who true to style, detest the Rags even at their tender ages!) but he was promised that he could go when he was 5 (end of last month). He has been pestering his mum to “learn him the songs” although he knows “Super Kevin Horlock” and “We are, we are top of the League” – I taught him that one on holiday in Tenerife last year just after we had seen City beat Birmingham on Sky to go top of the League (although his Rag dad has pointed out that he can’t sing that one on Saturday!). The joy I know I will see on his face on Saturday will I am sure be enough for him to do a Why Blue in a few years and reinforce (not that it’s needed) why I’m a Blue.

Tom Farrington (


Well it all began on the 21st January 1976, MCFC vs. Middlesbrough in the League Cup semi-final, 2nd leg . I was squashed in the Kippax stand with the other members of the Openshaw Branch of the City Supporters’ Club. Result? 4-0! We all know the consequences of that excellent evening, a night that changed my life forever! City have been in my blood, blue blood, ever since! I can’t explain why but I love you City, I do! I’m sure you all understand how I feel. It’s the supporters and the atmosphere, I need that buzz, that fix! I will support Manchester City for the rest of my life because I am a proper Manc! 24 years of MCFC, the highs, the lows! The current and much needed (and dreamed of) successes (most notably Wembley!), the cool cats, guv’nors? (sorry Donald) Gorton beano boys, Moonchester (nearly ejected at Wolves aaagh! away) football isn’t it? Jumpers for goalposts! Bagash@te! See you all in the Premiership, where we belong, the most loyal fans in the universe!

Mark Redgrave (


Recent results to 14 February 2000 inclusive.

12 February 2000

Birmingham City       2 - 1  Bolton Wanderers
Blackburn Rovers      0 - 0  Swindon Town
Charlton Athletic     2 - 0  Wolverhampton Wndrs
Crystal Palace        1 - 1  Sheffield United
Grimsby Town          2 - 0  Port Vale
Ipswich Town          2 - 1  Huddersfield Town
Manchester City       3 - 1  Norwich City
Portsmouth            0 - 1  Fulham
Queens Park Rangers   1 - 1  Stockport County
Walsall               0 - 2  Nottingham Forest
West Bromwich Albion  1 - 0  Crewe Alexandra

11 February 2000

Tranmere Rovers       2 - 2  Barnsley

League table to 13 February 2000 inclusive.

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  GD Pts
 1 Charlton Ath.   30 11  2  2 27 11  9  3  3 30 18 20  5  5 57 29  28  65
 2 Manchester City 30 12  0  3 34 11  7  4  4 16 13 19  4  7 50 24  26  61
 3 Ipswich Town    31 12  2  2 32 14  5  7  3 20 16 17  9  5 52 30  22  60
 4 Barnsley        31 11  1  3 36 16  6  4  6 25 30 17  5  9 61 46  15  56
 5 Huddersfield T. 31 11  2  2 34 13  4  4  8 14 21 15  6 10 48 34  14  51
 6 Birmingham City 30 10  3  2 28 13  3  5  7 16 22 13  8  9 44 35   9  47
 7 Wolves          31  8  4  3 25 16  4  6  6 15 20 12 10  9 40 36   4  46
 8 Fulham          30  7  5  3 13  8  4  7  4 14 17 11 12  7 27 25   2  45
 9 Stockport C.    31  7  6  2 25 20  4  4  8 11 22 11 10 10 36 42  -6  43
10 Bolton Wndrs    30  7  5  3 26 18  4  4  7 14 16 11  9 10 40 34   6  42
11 QPR             31  6  9  1 22 15  4  3  8 18 22 10 12  9 40 37   3  42
12 Blackburn R.    29  7  6  2 21 11  3  5  6 15 22 10 11  8 36 33   3  41
13 Grimsby Town    31  8  5  3 23 21  3  2 10 13 28 11  7 13 36 49 -13  40
14 Norwich City    30  8  3  4 18 16  2  6  7 11 18 10  9 11 29 34  -5  39
15 Sheff. United   31  8  3  4 23 15  2  6  8 17 31 10  9 12 40 46  -6  39
16 Tranmere Rovers 30  7  5  3 25 17  3  2 10 15 26 10  7 13 40 43  -3  37
17 Crystal Palace  31  6  7  3 26 17  3  3  9 18 33  9 10 12 44 50  -6  37
18 Nottm Forest    31  6  6  3 19 13  2  3 11 14 27  8  9 14 33 40  -7  33
19 West Brom A.    31  3  9  4 14 16  3  6  6 12 18  6 15 10 26 34  -8  33
20 Portsmouth      31  5  5  6 22 17  2  4  9 13 29  7  9 15 35 46 -11  30
21 Walsall         31  4  5  7 15 20  3  4  8 18 29  7  9 15 33 49 -16  30
22 Crewe Alex.     31  5  5  5 16 16  2  3 11 14 26  7  8 16 30 42 -12  29
23 Port Vale       30  5  3  7 16 17  1  7  7 16 24  6 10 14 32 41  -9  28
24 Swindon Town    31  2  6  7 14 25  1  5 10  7 26  3 11 17 21 51 -30  20

With thanks to Football 365


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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 #579