Newsletter #614

Still very quiet at Maine Road, with even the tabloids seemingly tiring of speculation in the face of competition for headlines from Euro 2000. This issue has an urgent request for film footage of crowds before and during Derby games of the mid-’70s; more on problems with Internet ordering; Munich chants; Blue Humour; and an unusual Why Blue, which is the first I can remember where someone started to support the Blues to attract someone they fancied!

This particular issue marks an unusual milestone in the evolution of MCIVTA, as it is the first to include sponsorship. As this is clearly a new development for the newsletter, I think it’s important to spend a few lines explaining the rationale behind our decision. MCIVTA was approached some weeks ago with a view to taking sponsorship, and this led to a brief discussion of the pros and cons amongst the MCIVTA ‘team’ (myself, Paul Howarth, Steve Bolton, Peter Brophy and Jeremy Poynton). Basically, we were happy with the principle of seeking to cover costs through sponsorship, as long as ‘quality’ and ‘readability’ were not compromised. For example, a deal that would involve three A4 sides of advertising at the front of the newsletter would not be consistent with these aims. However, after discussing this with our sponsors it was clear that this would not be the case, as the sponsorship is merely to take the form of a few lines and a link at the start of the newsletter. Additionally, the sponsorship is also football related, and is therefore likely to be of interest to a significant number of readers.

Our sponsors are the Internet football ‘zine ‘Football 365’, and the sponsorship will last for the duration of Euro 2000. In return for their sponsorship, it would be great if you can support them by visiting their Euro 2000 website for all the latest on the European Championship. So, if you’d care to help Joe Royle out with some scouting advice and do your bit for MCIVTA at the same time, please follow the link below:

Please note that the number of ‘hits’ via this link will be monitored, so if the numbers are reasonably high, this will undoubtedly send more sponsorship our way and thereby help secure MCIVTA’s future (running costs etc.).

Next game: Next game: Saturday 22nd July 2000, Linfield away


It has just been announced that City have signed Alf-Inge Haaland from Leeds on a 5-year contract, for a fee of £2.5 million.



Royle Hopes for Haaland Talks

Joe Royle has been chasing the signature of Alf-Inge Haaland for almost six months. And the Blues boss hopes finally to land his priority transfer target this week. City were said to be close to agreeing a £2.25 million fee for the midfielder with Leeds last week, and the next step will be for Royle to persuade the player that a move to Maine Road is in his interests. The Norwegian forced his way into the Leeds first-team towards the end of last season, but with David O’Leary set to spend big ahead of the Yorkshire outfit’s Champions’ League campaign could find himself marginalised once again next season.

Morrison Set for New Knee Op

After missing most of City’s promotion campaign, Andy Morrison is hoping to be fit for the start of next season. But first the Blues’ skipper will again undergo surgery in a bid to clear up his knee injury once and for all. The operation is routine, and Joe Royle is keen to welcome back the inspirational defender, whom he expects to be a valuable asset in the Premiership next season. “We are confident that this will clear up any lingering injury doubts,” said the City boss. “I am sure he will be absolutely flying when we report back for pre-season training.”

Gudjohnsen Set to Go South

Manchester City look set to miss out in the chase for Eidur Gudjohnsen. Latest reports claim that the man who is supposedly Joe Royle’s number one striking target is likely to be London-bound. According to one Sunday newspaper, Gudjohnsen could be heading for Chelsea. The Icelandic striker had earlier been said to prefer the prospect of a move to Maine Road because he’d be more likely to command a regular first-team place than at Stamford Bridge. Monday’s Manchester Evening News then claimed that the 21-year-old is poised for a transfer either to Gianluca Vialli’s side or to Arsenal, with the two London clubs both prepared to pay £5 million while Joe Royle refuses to bid above £3 million. Meanwhile, another man who won’t be joining the Blues, Andrei Kanchelskis, has once again said he’d like to stay at Scottish champions Rangers.

Royle Has List of “Four or Five” Targets

Manchester City have been linked with a host of players during the close season. But Joe Royle says that he has a shortlist of players he wants to buy – and it contains only a few names. The City boss has targeted players he feels will enable his side to survive in the Premiership and is putting all his efforts into securing their signatures. “Ask me what I will do when the transfer fails to happen,” Royle told the official City website at “There is no B list. There are four or five players who we are interested in for a variety of reasons.”

Taylor Looking for New Club

Gareth Taylor found himself in the Maine Road shadows as the Blues won promotion to the Premiership. And the ex-Sheffield United player knows he’ll have to find a new club to kick-start his career. Despite scoring six goals in the autumn, Taylor went on loan to Port Vale and then QPR after finding himself transfer-listed following the acquisitions of Robert Taylor and Lee Peacock in the autumn. And the striker knows that there’s now no way back into the first-team picture. “It’s a shame the way things have worked out for me,” he reflected. “There’s nothing I’d like more than to be a part of the club’s return to the Premiership but it doesn’t look as though that is going to be the case.”

Morrison In Plans Despite Transfer Rumours

Two First Division sides are rumoured to be keen to sign Andy Morrison if the defender recovers from his knee injury. But the City skipper is very much in Joe Royle’s plans – according to the boss himself. Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock reportedly claimed he’s been made aware that Morrison could be made available, and the Blades and Burnley have both been linked with the player. But Royle he’s keen to keep the 29-year-old at Maine Road. “Andy is part of my plans. I am pretty confident that he can play at Premiership level,” said the City manager.

Royle Hails Weaver Euro Success

Nicky Weaver was one of the few successes for the England under-21 side in the recent European Championships. But the City goalkeeper’s displays came as no surprise to Joe Royle. Weaver had an excellent first season in Division Two in 1998-99, then continued to produce fine form in Division One last term. And Royle feels that the 21-year-old’s performances on representative duty show that he can successfully adapt to another step up in next season’s Premiership. “Nicky did every bit as well as I expected him to,” the City manager told the club’s official website at “The big fella keeps putting his foot on another rung.”

‘Keeper Starts Fitness Drive

Nicky Weaver will have had a shorter close-season break than most of his colleagues, having played for England under-21s in the European Championships in Slovakia. But the City goalkeeper won’t be relaxing between now and the start of pre-season training in July. Weaver says he doesn’t want dispensation to report back later despite his efforts on the international stage. And even before the players do return to training, he’ll be pushing himself in a bid to reach peak fitness, having been put through a demanding routine by under-21 coach Howard Wilkinson. “We trained hard while we were out there [in Slovakia] and I want to continue that now I am back,” said the ex-Mansfield youngster. “I need to keep in trim and I will be doing plenty of work before we report for pre-season training. I will be taking my running shoes on holiday with me.”

Tiatto Facing Busy Programme

As most of Manchester City’s squad enjoy their summer break, two City players have been on international duty. But whereas Mark Kennedy has now finished his exertions after making a substitute appearance for the Republic of Ireland against South Africa in the US Cup on Sunday, Danny Tiatto still has more games to play. Tiatto featured for Australia in a 0-0 draw against Paraguay on Friday and in another goalless encounter on Monday. The Melbourne-born star is a part of the squad for Thursday’s third and final game against the South Americans and for the Oceania Cup campaign in Tahiti.

Kennedy Helps City Old Boy to Record

Mark Kennedy played for only half of the Republic of Ireland’s 2-1 win over South Africa on Sunday. But the City winger was on the pitch long enough to create his side’s winning goal – and help a former Maine Road star to a landmark. The Republic’s winning goal came when Niall Quinn headed home a Kennedy free kick for the Sunderland striker’s twentieth international goal. And that tally equals Frank Stapleton’s Irish scoring record. Sunday’s win means that the Republic finished second in the tournament, behind the hosts but ahead of Mexico and South Africa.

City Remove Platt Lane Roof

Manchester City have removed the roof of the Platt Lane stand over the summer. The Blues feel that the structure blocks sunlight from a part of the Maine Road pitch, and have taken the radical step in a bid to improve the playing surface between the Platt Lane Stand and the Maine Stand. The roof will be reinstated before the first home game of the new season.

Peter Brophy (


At the top of the last issue it had City’s next match as being against Linfield on Sat July 22nd. Is this not the date for City’s game against Drogheda United? I thought the Linfield game was a couple of days before that. Also on the Drogheda game the prices quoted last week should have been in punts, not sterling (i.e. stand ticket = IR£15, terrace = IR£10) and with the way the exchange rate is this could be a difference of at least 25p!

Paul Carey (

To the best of my knowledge, the Linfield game is as stated, with Drogheda on Monday 24th July.



BBC Choice have just finished shooting The King and I – a 30-minute film set on April 27, 1974, when City put the Reds down… cast includes Christopher Eccleston, Eddie Large and Denis Law (as himself!).

We have footage of the match itself, but we are urgently seeking any footage of pre-match atmosphere to intercut with the drama – i.e. fans of both teams arriving at Old Trafford, fans walking down streets, going through turnstyles, drinking in pubs etc… ideally should be from this 1974 derby, but 1973 might look authentic enough.

We are of course in touch with the main archives at Granada, BBC etc. but if any fan has any home movie footage of fans going to a game or knows of a video which contains this stuff, would be very grateful to know.

We need this material this week, so if any Blues out there can help, please please email me at or phone on 0208 225 7437.

Derek Wax, Producer ‘The King and I’, BBC Drama (


I’ve had many frustrating times with both Internet and phone orders. I live in the States, and ordered over the phone before they set up their Internet site. Aside from the fact that I would have to call them in the morning before I went to work (ugh!), and that Mancunians and Americans simply can’t understand what the heck the other person is saying, their organizational system seems to be worse than the bottom of the table MLS team! So, once the online ordering was available, I thought, “oooh, goodie… no more ‘Huh?’, ‘Sorry?’, ‘How do you spell that?’, ‘Is this a Switch card? Uh… I’m not sure… now wait, what?'”

My first Internet order involved was for 4 items. One week after I placed it, I received an email telling me that one of the items (training sweatshirt) was out of stock, and that they had a new version, and I could see it on their website in a week once it was up there. A week later, I saw it, and emailed the salesperson telling him to go ahead and send me the new sweatshirt along with the other 3 items! I received the sweatshirt and one other item without any further correspondence.

My second order for one god-awfully ugly yellow and black away shirt shipped without any problems (go figure!).

My fianc