Newsletter #615

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This issue has news and opinion on Alf-Inge Haaland; very sad news of the tragic disappearance of MCIVTA subscriber Andy Gordon (please let us, and especially Steve Brown, know if you have heard anything); a comparative assessment of the talents and careers of Vaughan and ‘Peepo’ from Andy Noise; as well as much opinion.

If you’re looking for news on Euro 2000, please consider using the link below.

This one reaches 3,315.

Next game: Saturday 22nd July 2000, Linfield away

EUROFINAL365 – THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO EURO 2000

As King Kevin prepares his squad for the much anticipated match against Germany on Saturday, Eurofinals365 give you the opportunity to ask West Ham United manager Harry Redknapp what he thinks about our chances at the weekend as well as anything else Euro2000 related. Ok, he isn’t Joe Royle but Harry knows his onions when it comes to 22 men trying to tuck the ball in the back of the net!

  • Will referree Pierluigi Collina have an impact on the game?
  • Will Keegan realise that the Neville brothers are useless before Saturday?
  • Will England still be in with a shout of getting through to the next round come full time?

If you want to Ask ‘Arry a question then visit http://english.eurofinals365.com/ now and submit your questions ready for Harry to answer on Friday at 12 noon UK time.

Likewise if you’re after all the gossip, news and views from Euro2000 as well your chance to have your say on the discussion board (Weaver for England!) then Eurofinals365 is definitely the place to be. Not quite as good as being there, but a pretty close second!

Eurofinals365 – http://english.eurofinals365.com

NEWS SUMMARY

Royle Delighted With Haaland Signing

Alf-Inge Haaland finally became a Manchester City player early this week. And Joe Royle believes that the Norwegian will play a vital rôle as the Blues bid to establish themselves in the top flight. When managing Everton, Royle tried to sign Haaland from Nottingham Forest. And the City manager also tried to bring the 27-year-old to Maine Road last term, so is delighted finally to have got his man. Royle claimed that his research on the player indicated that City’s first summer signing is a dedicated professional who will fit in well in the dressing room, and whose adaptability is an asset. “Alfie wanted first team football and he’ll get it here,” the Blues’ boss told the Manchester Evening News. “We have got ourselves a great athlete and a team player that can cover a number of rôles.” Despite this, the City manager admitted he has a particular position in mind for the versatile new boy – although he refused to elaborate.

Haaland – City Won’t Struggle

Alf-Inge Haaland has given up the chance of Champions’ League football to join Manchester City. But the £2.5 million buy from Leeds is adamant that he won’t be in a relegation battle next season. Haaland says that he wouldn’t have signed for the Blues if he’d expected the team to struggle at the wrong end of the table – and he’s looking forward to proving wrong those critics who are tipping City for a swift return to Division One. “There is no way I would have signed for City if I thought we were going to be involved at the bottom of the table,” he told the club’s official website at http://www.mcfc.co.uk/. “I am not saying we will win the title, but I am sure we will surprise a few people.” Haaland has now returned to Norway and may report back late for pre-season training – his wife is due to give birth to the couple’s third child soon, prompting reports that Joe Royle may give the player a few days’ leave to be with his new baby.

Haaland Deal Shows City Have Arrived

Manchester City’s promotion to the Premiership means that the club can sign players who would otherwise be out of reach. And this week’s signing of Alf-Inge Haaland is a case in point. Joe Royle’s move to bring the player on loan last season, with a well-placed source claiming the Blues refused to pay Haaland’s Premiership wages. Now it’s a different story and the City manager couldn’t be more pleased. “We could not have afforded to buy the player when we were a First Division club,” Royle told the official City website at http://www.mcfc.co.uk/. “This is a signal we have arrived in the big time.”

Royle Looking for More Signings

Manchester City’s summer spending will not end with the signing of Alf-Inge Haaland from Leeds. Joe Royle has vowed to continue his search for players as he bids to strengthen the City line-up ahead of the club’s return to the Premiership. And the Manchester Evening News has claimed that the £2.5 million fee for Alf-Inge Haaland is unlikely to be the biggest City pay this summer. Royle has been linked with a host of players, and his comments appear to back up reports claiming that another two or three signings will be made before the start of next season. “We have to try and improve every postition as we go along,” said the City boss. “United won the treble and still bought – that is what you have to do to keep competing with the best.” The latest player to be touted as a possible City signing is Toni Brogno of Westerlo, who despite being top scorer in the Belgian league last term failed to make his country’s final squad for Euro 2000. Bradford are also said to be interested.

“No Transfers in Next Two Weeks”

Joe Royle has indicated clearly that there will be plenty more transfer activity before the season starts in August. But it’s thought that no moves are imminent, with the official City website at http://www.mcfc.co.uk/ claiming that developments in the next fortnight are unlikely. The Blues are looking to follow the signing of Alf-Inge Haaland with further quality buys, but it appears that no prospective deal is close to its conclusion. Meanwhile, although other clubs have been linked with several City stars, it could also be some time before any outgoing moves are completed. Royle, however, says he’s in no hurry to move players through the exit door. “I have given very little thought to it [selling players],” he says. “Quite honestly the ins and outs will probably look after themselves by the time the squad is together for the start of the season.”

Burnley Linked With Taylor Move

City’s anticipated summer recruitment drive is likely to lead to a number of players eventually leaving Maine Road in the coming weeks to make way for the new boys. And Gareth Taylor could be among the first to move on if Burnley follow up their interest in the transfer-listed striker. The Clarets need to strengthen up front following the retirement of Ian Wright, and are reportedly showing an interest in the former Sheffield United player – although they may face competition from QPR and two unnamed European clubs. Craig Russell is also on the transfer list, while Jamie Pollock, Nick Fenton, Lee Peacock, Andy Morrison and Danny Allsopp have all been linked with moves away from Maine Road this summer.

Boss Throws Down Gauntlet to Grant and Cooke

When Manchester City report back for pre-season training next month, players have an incentive to make an impact, with Premiership places up for grabs. And two men in particular have something to prove. Terry Cooke has been taken off the transfer list, but Joe Royle is looking for the winger to show he can develop into a Premiership player. Meanwhile, the Blues’ boss is also looking for Tony Grant to show the form which has eluded him since his move from Everton last December. However, Royle insists that both men will be given a chance. “Everyone comes back to pre-season with a clean slate,” said the City manager. “There is no-one ever written off here otherwise Jeff Whitley could have been at Wrexham and Jamie Pollock could have gone twice but stayed and played in the final game.”

Aussie Coach Praises Tiatto

Danny Tiatto was one of Manchester City’s successes last season following a disappointing first term at Maine Road. And the Australian has also made an impact at international level. Tiatto played in the goalless first game of the Socceroos’ series against Paraguay last week but was rested for the second encounter, which also ended 0-0. He was then recalled for Thursday’s final match and played his part in a 2-1 win. And the ex-Stoke player’s form has delighted national team boss Frank Farina. “He thrives on hard work,” enthused Farina, “and he just seems to get better and better.”

TV Deals Give City Added Incentive

The English Premier League has concluded broadcasting deals which will see income from TV triple from the start of the 2001-2002 season. And the massive cash prize gives City an even greater incentive to survive in the top flight next term. For three seasons from the summer of 2001, BSkyB will have the right to show 66 games on Sundays and Mondays, American cable giant NTL will screen 40 pay-per-view games and ITV will show Saturday and Sunday evening highlights programmes. The three broadcasters are paying an aggregate of around £1.6 billion over the three-year term, while the current arrangements bring the clubs in the region of £188 million each season. According to director Chris Bird, the cash bonanza would provide the Blues with funds not only to buy star players but to invest in the new Eastlands stadium and in the club’s Youth Academy. “The kudos of playing in the Premiership is already an incentive in itself,” he told the official club website at http://www.mcfc.co.uk/, “but this deal now gives us another massive reason to remain in the top flight.”

Stockport in Surprise Maine Road Rumour

City will be leaving Maine Road in 2003 to play at the new Commonwealth Games stadium at Eastlands. And there were rumours this week that Stockport County are considering moving to the ground the Blues are leaving behind. The Hatters reportedly view Maine Road as an option after encountering planning difficulties in connection with the proposed development of Edgeley Park. But even though Manchester City Council, who will own Maine Road after City’s relocation, have indicated a preference for using the stadium for sporting purposes, it appears that County won’t be moving in. It had originally been expected that a rugby club would be the most likely tenant but some rumours claim there’s also the prospect of the Blues retaining a link with what director Chris Bird, when dismissing the Stockport story, called the club’s “spiritual home”. “This is obviously something which is very speculative and we don’t think it is likely to happen,” he said. “We as a board would not be sympathetic towards it.”

Peter Brophy (peterbrophy@mancity.net)

HAALAND – A LEEDS’ VIEW

This is a comment from a Leeds fan friend of mine. Worth sharing with all Blues!

Alf-Inge… a sad loss to us. Became a hero of the fans towards the end of last season when playing as centre half during Lucas Radaebe’s absence. Played superbly in a couple of the European games in that position.

Has also played well at full back, and has played most of his games at Leeds in midfield. Definitely a bargain at £2.5 million.

CTID, Joe Ramsbottom (joe.ramsbottom@nescogroup.com)

ANDY GORDON, A.K.A. ‘BATANGAS BLUE’?

I am writing this article to see if anyone on MCIVTA has any information on Andy Gordon.

Andy wrote several contributions to MCIVTA and it was through one of his articles that I came to know him. He wrote that he was ‘stuck in the Philippines’ and did he know how he could see any of City’s games on TV here. I emailed him and told him that no games were ever broadcast here and introduced him to Talk City Chat on match days. He joined the regulars – Casey, Herbie, the Ozzie lads and everyone for the last few games of the season and we swapped emails as we were probably the only exiled Blues here in the Philippines. Andy was an avid Blue – he even had a season ticket last season but spent all the season in the Philippines.

He was due to finish his contract here and fly back to the UK on Thursday 9th June. On June 2nd he e-mailed me and told me he was going to a resort he had been to before for a last few scuba dives. I emailed him a Bon Voyage! for the UK and never received a reply.

On Friday 9th June, I read the following article in one of the Philippines national daily newspapers:

British diving student missing

CALAPAN CITY – A massive rescue and search operation has been waged for a British engineer who has been reported missing since June 3, in a diving resort in Puerto Galera, some 50 km north of this capital city. Philippine National Police provincial director Superintendent Napoleon Cachuela identified the missing foreigner as Andrew Neil Gordon, 31, of Manchester, England, a mechanical engineer of an engineering firm in Sta. Rita, Batangas.

According to police report, Gordon and three other unidentified foreigners, together with two Filipino master divers went to Sitio Sinandigan, Barangay Sabang Puerte Galera for a diving lesson on June 3, given by the Atlantis Dive Club.

The searchers are composed of two private helicopters, two Piper Cub planes, 12 motorized bancas, two teams from the diving clubs in Puerto Galera and a team from the local PNP station under Inspector Edison Atienza.

I have emailed the paper several times trying to find out more but have had no reply. I have tried contacting the diving club but it is hopeless trying to get phone numbers and information.

If anyone on MCIVTA knew Andy or has any further info, I would be really grateful if you could contact me.

I never met Andy in person but I feel like I have lost a good mate and I feel really sorry for his family and friends back in the UK.

I am sure wherever Andy is he will be following the Blues on match days and I will certainly remember him each game.

Steve Brown a.k.a. Filipino Blue (mancity@mozcom.com)

TALE OF TWO CENTRE HALVES

With MCIVTA being a bit thin at the moment and this being left over from the last edition of Bert Trautmann’s Helmet, I couldn’t bear to see it go to waste, so here is my appraisal of a couple of recent departures.

Kakhaber Tskhadadze’s contract with Manchester City was terminated around the middle of last month. No way could it have been classed as a success, yet most of us will have fond memories of ‘Peepo’. In contrast Tony Vaughan was sold on deadline day with very few admirers. Both arrived at Maine Road with reputations, so what did City do to these poor men?

Peepo had nearly joined us during our first season outside the Premier. Terms were agreed with Eintracht Frankfurt, but he couldn’t get a work permit. Shame thought I. I’d seen the ‘King of the Air’ in one of Georgia’s games and thought the nickname not unjust.

Wind forward, if you please. It was the summer of 1997 and Frank Clark had money to spend. In fact it was burning a hole in his pocket. He’d shelled out £500k for Wiekens, but that was it so far. Now, our main priority was a left back, as it was every year. Now, Frank, for some reason, and I can only presume that it was a misprint in his Rothmans, decided that Tony Vaughan was the man to fill the void. We should have smelt a rat at this point. The sale was agreed but with Vaughan out of contract and still only 21, the fee was to be set by tribunal. We were offering a few hundred thousand. Ipswich wanted £2 million, or something stupid. This is normally child’s play and you get your man for £500k plus a sell-on. Not City, though. We were forced to cough up £1.35 million! And this was for a centre half who was going to play left back. It doesn’t bode well getting ripped off at the tribunal. More clues as to the dodginess of the signing.

It then transpired that a couple of years earlier, we could have had him for nothing. Apparently he was a local lad, who’d been a City ball boy. People tried to get mileage out of him being a City fan, but he’d been one of these Maine Road one week, Sty the next, types. You see, there are clues to his dubiousness everywhere. He duly lined up at left back for our first game against Portsmouth.

From the off, he was no left back. His distribution was indescribable. Row Z was a compliment. Vaughan managed five games and was dropped. If that wasn’t an ignominious feat, being replaced by Jason van Blerk certainly was. He managed to force his way back in when Brightwell was injured. His stock rose slightly when he netted a last minute winner against Bradford. The arrival of the Mighty Murt, however, sent Tony back into the reserves where he remained until an injury to the Mighty Murt’s new partner in crime, one Kakhaber Tskhadadze…

…As I said earlier, Peepo had previously been refused a work permit, so based on this I was puzzled to see him arrive for a trial with Liverpool, not one year later. Wouldn’t they have the same work permit problem? Next thing I know, we’ve signed him for a ludicrously small £300,000. Bearing in mind he’s the national captain, he looked a bargain. To set the scene, City were busily redefining their lowest point in history. Fellow Georgian Shelia was suspended so Peepo stepped into the breach.

He looked solid, rather then spectacular, but we were in freefall and he looked better than our other options. A goal at Huddersfield was well taken, too. We were now playing three centre halves and had started to win a few. Peepo is then crocked for the rest of the season. But we have a tailor made replacement in… Tony Vaughan. And so it came to pass that Tony played in the sad eleven who were relegated to Division Two. Come next August and we’re all up for it. Royle had been peddling Peepo to all and sundry and had agreed a fee of £50k with (Maccabi?) Tel Aviv. I was a little cross, I’ll tell you. How Vaughan, Jobson et al were being kept and Peepo sold was beyond me.

Still, first game and every centre half at the club was selected. We were now playing with six centre halves and wing backs. Peepo starts like a train. Two goals in two games and solid as a rock. Tony is fine in the air, but still finds Row Z with consummate ease. Twenty minutes into the third game and Peepo goes down in a heap. And that’s it. His last league game. He tore his cruciate knee ligaments. At first it looked good, well relatively. His progress was swift. There were rumours of a comeback before the end of the season. But minor setbacks kept stalling him.

Tony’s purgatory, meanwhile, continued until January, really. He really looked like the worst signing in years. Playing as one of three centre halves or left back, he was a liability. Thanks to one of Andy Morrison’s (many) suspensions, he was used as a centre half in a back four. He finally began to show his worth. He looked very strong in the air and rarely needed to kick it. When Andy returned, the class difference really showed, though. Still Tony was a good squad member for the rest of the season, even coming on as sub at Wembley. Not wishing to rub it in, though, but it looked a completely different defence when he replaced Big Andy and we went two down.

This season was a disaster for both men. Tony managed two appearances as sub and Peepo’s reserve comeback ends with a broken kneecap against Stoke. The latter incident is shrouded in controversy as claims of inaction by the City bench were made as Peepo lay writhing in agony. The Stoke players seemed to do more to help than anyone. At first the injury is claimed to be cruciates again, but is confirmed as the knee cap (urgh). Next thing we hear is that his contract has been paid up. Tony, meanwhile, is finally loaned to Forest, plays well (relatively), gets criminally sent off, gets injured, spoils any chance of a permanent deal and returns to Maine Road.

So Forest then turned their attention to City target Calderwood and poached him from under our noses. They then try and sign Spencer Prior from Derby, whom we in turn poached from under their noses. They return for Vaughan. £350 k. Sold. I’m sure both players have got some good memories from Maine Road, but also many bad ones.

For the record Vaughan played in 66 games scoring twice, whilst Peepo played in 13 games and managed three goals.

Andy Noise (anoise@supanet.com)

BLACKSTAR VIDEO

Thanks to whoever emailed me with the ‘phone no. for Blackstar. They were excellent and the video arrived within a couple of days at the bargain price, no postage. Having watched it a few times, I began to notice that the same thing kept on happening after about 80% of the goals last season. Once you spot it it becomes quite hilarious! Is it just me or has anyone else spotted it?

Chris Ryder (Chris_Ryder@teachers-group.co.uk)

REQUEST – MCVITTEE FOOTBALL TEAM

This email is for the current players of McVittee FC and those people who are interested in playing 11-a-side football next season. As most of you are probably aware, there is an 11-a-side football team which represents this mailing list – there are over 60 football teams representing teams all over the country from Man City and Arsenal to Grimsby and Scunthorpe. There is a league run all season and there are around 6 tournaments, some containing 40 football teams run over the summer and during the season. It is a great way to show how fans from different clubs can meet, play football without the aggression associated with football supporters. A lot of the matches/tournaments raise a lot of money for charity.

I run the City team and over the last 2 seaons have had a lot of different players coming and going which means I have a list, fairly out-of-date, in terms of who wants to continue to play, and also who would be interested in turning out for us. Last season we won 11 and lost our last match finishing us runners-up in the league. This season has been difficult for finding matches with us playing a lot on Friday nights! This has left us unbeaten all season with 7 wins and a draw but other teams in the premier have played more.

Next season will be different so I need to find players who are willing to turn out regularly and allow us to play regularly.

Look at http://www.moonfish.co.uk/ifa/ for the football league and information about it. Everyone who wants to play please email me.

I currently have:

See you next season!

Dave Barker, Manager McVittee FC (dave.barker@moonfish.co.uk)

SEASON’S GREETINGS

I got my copy of the end of season video from the Blackstar site – and incidentally I only realised after I’d bought it that it was the first time I’d actually bought anything on the Internet – and now I’ve watched it a couple of times, there are a few things that stand out.

  • The huge variety of different away colours we wore at different times inthe season: black and red, white, orange etc. (at risk of igniting thesmouldering embers of an argument, my personal favourite is the black andred because it does have a very strong historical association to it).
  • Edghill’s goal was absolutely brilliantly taken. I just can’t rememberwho it was against but he slid it home at the far post end of a cross.
  • I’d forgotten how many games Terry Cooke played in at the first part ofthe season, and how well he seemed to play (at least in the bits leading upto all the goals he did!).
  • The number of times Weaver made fingertip saves to just knock the ballaway from goal on a different angle. Not great spectacular stuff buteffective.
  • At the end of the season I could hardly remember us getting a penalty allseason, however to my surprise there are quite a few on the video.
  • There were a couple of fairly heavy defeats that I’d completely forgottenabout – selective memory?
  • On the video Whitley looked like he played really well all season, seemedto be one of the most consistent performers.

Finally, I’d just like to add that it was not me who bought the “Chorlton and The Wheelies” stuff on the Blackstar site – in fact I can proudly state that I haven’t the faintest blo*dy clue who The Wheelies are or what they have to do with Chorlton!

Steve Maclean (stm1@stm1.freeserve.co.uk)

ROD MARSH I

In reply to Richard Mottershead in MCIVTA 614.

Rodney Marsh is to have his hair shaved off in front of the Bradford crowd at their first home game next season as far as I know. He will be doing this for charity. This is according to the You’re on Sky Sports program about a month ago.

Great to see him honour his decision.

David Severn – Cheadle Blue (david7@zedtwo.com)

ROD MARSH II

Just a quick reply to Anorak’s (a.k.a. Richard Mottershead) e-mail. I heard on Sky that Rodney Marsh has agreed to get his head shaved in front of all the Bradford fans at Valley Parade on the first game of next season. I’m sure they will televise the event and show it on Soccer Saturday. Apparently he’s going to donate all the money to charity. I don’t know where the money is coming from, but I’m sure it will be a good laugh to watch.

I’d also like to say that I agree with Mr R.N. Springthorpe; I’m not keen on seeing the Blue side of Manchester play in red and black. What was wrong with the burgundy shirts? I know they weren’t the nicest shirts to look at but I’d rather that than red. Everyone associates red with Man Utd so why don’t we keep it that way?!

D Springthorpe (DSpringtho@aol.com)

SHAUN’S R & R

Just to advise that Shaun Goater is back in Bermuda for some R & R. Shaun and another Bermuda professional, David Bascome – plays for the Harrisburg Heat in the States, have an annual soccer clinic for Bermuda youngsters which starts soon.

Meanwhile speculation rages in the Bermuda press concerning Shaun Goater’s decision to play for promotion with MCFC and not his country, which many feel here contributed to Bermuda’s elimination from the World Cup.

I am really enjoying catching up with the news at Maine Road. I shall be over in England as of June 21st for two weeks and will be making my way to the official City shop to stock up!

Best wishes, Debbie Riley, Paget, Bermuda (driley@northrock.bm)

DOMAIN NAME FOR SALE

The domain name manchestercity.org is for sale. I am a true Blue supporter and would only want this name to go to a City fan; I am not in a position to utilise the site myself and will listen to offers for it. I am sure that there are many supporters who would like the opportunity to have their own site totally dedicated to Man City.

Please contact me at the address below for further details.

I look forward to the excitement of Premier football, we are back where we belong!

Craig Collins (adrenalin.sports@virgin.net)

‘FEED THE GOAT’ BANNER

I’m sure that I was not the only one to have their depression at England managing to lose to Portugal despite a 2-0 lead lifted slightly by the “Feed the Goat” banner clearly visible behind the goal into which Portugal scored their first and second goals! Well done to those who spread the word to a European-wide audience!

Mike Cosgrove (cosgrove@publiconline.co.uk)

HALLUCINATING?

I’m not sure if I was just totally bladdered and halucinating during the Portugal vs. England débâcle, but I’m sure I saw a banner (sky blue paint on a white banner) that said Feed The Goat. Did anybody else see this? What pure genius. On a separate issue, do you recall the debate I started about 3 months ago on MCIVTA about the commission of a Feed The Goat t-shirt? As you will have seen, the cheeky b*****ds at MCFC nicked the idea! Oh for the benefit of a copyright agreement.

Can we also please start some sort of pressure group to get MCFC to play the old ‘Boys in Blue’ record when the team runs out next year? It would be interesting to see if other Blues feel the same way as me about this – it doesn’t seem the same playing that speeded up version of Blue Moon, or ‘Roll with it’ by Oasis. We need to get back to tradition next year – I would settle for the red and black away strip and ‘Boys in Blue’ blasting out as City run out onto the hallowed turf.

Altogether now – “City, Manchester City, we are the boys who are playing to win…” The B-side was also this amusingly crap song called ‘Funky City’, I seem to recall. Can any other Blues confirm this?

Richard Ellor (rich@apr-leasing.co.uk)

THE KING AND I

My family and I were privileged to get parts as extras in the recent filming of this short drama starring Denis Law and filmed in Watford two weeks ago.

But what can only be described as nearly a nightmare, was when I was asked to wear a United shirt for the final clip; I just felt that was totally out of order, so my wife offered to do the honours; she will never live it down.

Watch this drama; it will be good; we also met up with some more Blues in the area. Come on King Alf!

The Collard family (Creditabilityltd@btinternet.com)

PREDICTIONS LEAGUE – REMINDER

Next season sees the predictions competition being played for ‘Cold Hard Cash’ as part of the fund-raising strategy of the Essex & Suffolk branch of the CSA.

Entry into the competition is £5.00 per prediction sheet and is open to any MCIVTA reader who wants to have a go.

Our target is 100 entries with 50% being paid out in prize money which would give a payout of £250.00 and will also raise £250.00 for the branch this would enable us to subsidize travel to games and junior tickets etc.

With 50% being paid out in prize money, the more people who play, the bigger the pot and the more prize places. These will be confirmed as soon as all entries are in.

There will be a weekly update in MCIVTA, so you can see how you are doing.

Those interested can drop me a line and I’ll send you the prediction sheet and the details. The sheet will be in the form of a Word Document attachment, let me know if you want a hard copy mailed instead.

Closing date for entries is 30th July 2000.

Paul Gallagher, Secretary, Essex & Suffolk CSA (paulg@mancity.net)

‘SUPER MARK KENNEDY’ SONG

In response to the Super Mark Kennedy song, some Blues may remember a rousing rendition in the pub before QPR away with 4 lookalikes – Mark Kennedy (obviously), Ian Bishop, Kevin Horlock and Terry Cooke! Each person stood on the table in a packed pub to take their bow and their respective song; I think the pub was Edwards near Loftus road. The Super Mark Kennedy song has been much in evidence pre-match particularly at Charlton, however never quite made it to the ground until the later part of the season.

Are Nicky and the boys singing Tony Grant in the dressing room after Blackburn!?

Laurence (medical.innovations@dial.pipex.com)

OPINION – MUNICH SONGS I

In response to Simon Hope’s comments about my comments on Munich chanting, I actually think some points he made were fair. I shouldn’t have said that none of us bats an eyelid when the Munich chants start up. There are plenty of us who feel the revulsion described by Simon and by others who wrote in.

I was really just expressing how powerless I feel when faced with so many people singing this lousy stuff. Simon, you say you’re disgusted at what you’re “forced to listen to”. That’s precisely the point – what can you do? Believe me, I’m neither “nonchalant” nor “relaxed” about Munich chanting, otherwise I wouldn’t have raised the subject, nor condemned the chants, as I did categorically throughout my initial email. However unpalatable Munich chanting may be, it is a part of our culture, and one I wish we could get rid of. Simon Hope is right that the club could take measures. Five foot seven individuals such as myself are hardly in a position to take direct action.

I also said some stuff about normally reasonable people doing unpleasant things on a Saturday afternoon. In an ideal world, Simon, we wouldn’t have to deal with this crap, but the fact is we do, because people are weak. How many people reading this have joined in with Munich chants, racist chants (especially in the 80’s – remember?), Spurs are on their way to Belsen, etc.? Peer pressure makes it very difficult to speak out. But the effect is horrible and potentially dangerous. I remember going to Elland Road in the early 80’s and hearing, from the Spion Kop, the loudest rendition you could imagine of ‘Hitler is back’. Very frightening.

As for Munich, Simon, how about taking your comments about the club needing to take action a stage further? We could contact the club about this asking them to eject Munich chanters, or, say, putting up some publicity around the ground urging people to think before they chant. I dunno, maybe others have better suggestions. The club can hardly deny it happens and the new ‘regime’ doesn’t seem like the kind to sweep difficult things under the carpet.

Best wishes to all City fans.

Daniel Marcus (dmarcus@dancity21.fsnet.co.uk)

OPINION – MUNICH SONGS II

I agree with Daniel Marcus writing about Munich songs in MCIVTA 613 – what gets me about Munich songs is their obsessive nature – I don’t go to Maine Road to sing songs about United, we’ve got so much that they haven’t got – Terry Cooke’s remarks about crowd involvement at the two clubs said it all – they sit back and wait for the expected win and their manner reflects that; we are passionate about our team and club. Players, fans and board are all as one – there is a camaraderie amongst City fans that I’m sure Rag fans are not even aware exists as a possibility – sing-songs that celebrate us, not songs that make them think that all we talk about is hating them.

The personal abuse that Beckham got after the England game last night is not acceptable and does nothing for the perpetrators – slagging them off for their on-field antics is one thing but personal abuse just demeans us as fans. The world will have its eyes on the resurgent Manchester City and its world class fans in the coming season, particularly when the Derby comes around; don’t destroy a hard-earned reputation with a few cheap jibes about Beckham’s personal life.

Rick Eagles (rick@eagles.org.uk)

OPINION – MUNICH SONGS III

Munich Songs… I, too, grew up on the Kippax and I used to sing the Munich songs, like the rest of us, with all my heart. I’m now in my mid-30’s and should be a lot more sensible than I actually am. My loathing for the Rags increases with each passing year. I do, however, think it is now time to finish with the Munich songs. They belong to a different time. We can still hate U****d, but we really don’t need these songs any more. Our priority should be to concentrate on our own team and get them back to the top. Let’s not be obsessed with the swamp-dwellers any more. We’ve proved that we’re the best supporters in the world, the passion which spilled out at the end of last year showed the country what we feel for our team. Let’s move on and leave the Munich chants to the nouveau fans of Leeds.

P.S. Did you notice the Feed the Goat banner behind the English net in the first half against Portugal? Anyone know anything about it and will it be seen again?

CTID, Mike Nolan (msnolan@uk.packardbell.org)

OPINION – MUNICH DEBATE

It saddens me to see the re-emergence of the ‘Munich debate’. I count myself among the City supporters since the mid-fifties and have had to endure all the years of bullshit and hype surrounding our ‘illustrious’ neighbours. We all know that the ‘Rags’ left all other English teams trailing behind them when, on a (worldwide) wave of sympathy, they swept to Wembley in the wake of that terrible disaster. A legend was born but at an awful cost. They never looked back, except when it suited them.

Our successes in the intervening years have given me more pleasure, I believe, than the more hollow achievements of the swamp dwellers. When it’s counted, we have taken more off them than they off us. When they gained their first European Cup, it was within a couple of weeks of our 100% English born team, sprinkled with local talent, thrashing them out of sight on their own turf to take the championship off them. We’ve beaten them in League Cup semi-finals. We’ve had the immense satisfaction of believing we’d put them into the old Second Division with the most derogatory of goals. I don’t begrudge the scum their ‘air’, and their ‘success, I am proud to be City. I am proud of the fact that so many ‘like-minded’ souls thrive on the adversity and character-building that it takes to be a City supporter. I am a City supporter because I am City and not because I hate the ‘Rags’, or that we have to win at all costs, stooping so far that I feel I’m scoring cheap points indulging in Munich chants.

Please indulge me in allowing me to repeat my message of nearly a year ago in MCIVTA: The singing of so-called Munich chants is an insult and affront to all genuine City and Rag supporters. It is a yob activity designed to wind-up Rag yobs. Let me qualify.

One of our greatest legends, Frank Swift, perished in the Munich air disaster. The big man, whose playing career was disrupted by the war years, was a fixture in the England goal. Imagine drawing a modern parrallel and the same fate befalling one of our modern legends. It is unimaginable that true ‘Blues’ would get involved in this mindless activity. I’m convinced that Munich chanting is carried out by morons who are unaware of what that dreadful accident was all about, for the benefit of those morons who are easily goaded. Most of the people at the source of the chants, and those who feel themselves the target were not even born when the accident occurred.

Need I say more?

Met vriendelijke groeten, Dave Lyons (Dave.D.Lyons@OPC.shell.com)

REQUEST – BLUES IN NORTH CAROLINA

I will have to spend two or three weeks in Winston-Salem over the next couple of months doing very boring document review at a large local manufacturer’s (who shall remain nameless) headquarters – are there any Blues in the area who fancy a pint or watch the Euro 2000 games?

CTID – Jon Davenport (JDavenport@SullivanHeard.com)

REQUEST – BLUES IN THE BASQUE COUNTRY?

Will there be any Blues in the Basque Country this summer? If yes, send me an e-mail so we can get together for a few beers.

Steinar Sel (steinarsel@hotmail.com)

REQUEST – ATTENDANCE FIGURES

Is there anybody out there who can help me with the attendance at the following matches:

Manchester City – Huddersfield (15.11.97)
Manchester City – Middlesbrough (20.12.97)

Harald Larsen (harald.larsen@rl.telia.no)

REQUEST – MONTREAL BLUES

Still feeling euphoric since our great game at Blackburn. I’ll be going to Montreal, Canada, for about 10 days starting Monday 19th of June. Is there any City fan in the area? Perhaps we could meet and have a “broue” (as they call it in Quebec) to recall and celebrate City’s comeback to the top flight and even maybe watch England’s game against Romania in some bar. If interested, drop me a line at my hotmail address or you could call (514) 338-8750.

Malek Tabbal, The “Beirut” Blue (mtabbal@hotmail.com)

WWW MANCHESTER CITY SUPPORTERS’ HOME PAGE:
http://www.uit.no/mancity/


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DISCLAIMER
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, mcivta@tollbar.u-net.com

Newsletter #615

2000/06/15

Editor:


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