Newsletter #661

This issue still has much about the derby, primarily focused on the biased reporting that set peoples’ blood pressure soaring for a second time at the weekend. The major news item is that City have reportedly made an approach for Robbie Keane, though unsurprisingly, this has been turned down. We also have Clive Allen’s column; the latest S.A.F.E. newsletter; letters to the Mirror and Observer; and opinion. One of the articles has been written by a United supporter, who gives his objective view on the current state of play in Manchester. Rather than print his email address, any replies should be mailed to me and I’ll pass them on.

Match reports for Ipswich to me as usual.

Next game: Ipswich Town at home, Saturday 25th November 2000


Inter Refuse City’s Keane Loan Bid

Manchester City reportedly last week asked Inter Milan about the possibility of taking Robbie Keane on loan. But the Italian giants refused to allow the Irishman to move to Maine Road for the rest of the season. Keane moved to the Serie A outfit in the summer in a £13 million move from Coventry. But after the sacking of coach Marcello Lippi, the ex-Wolves star has failed to feature under new boss Marco Tardelli. And that state of affairs prompted Joe Royle to see whether he could land the talented 20-year-old on loan with a view to a permanent £10 million deal in the summer. However, it seems that Inter are not prepared to give up on the player completely and have set up a deal to take him to Reggiana for the remainder of the campaign so that he can return to the San Siro having gained valuable experience of Italian football.

FA Write to City Over Coin Incident

The FA have asked Manchester City for their observations on the incident in last Saturday’s Manchester derby in which David Beckham was hit by a coin thrown from the crowd. But the Blues are hoping for leniency from the governing body. Match referee Steve Dunn mentioned the incident in his match report, but City are optimistic that their action in immediately ejecting the perpetrator will ensure that any punishment will not be severe. Meanwhile, Manchester United fan Jon Leigh has been remanded on bail after being charged with throwing a bottle into a section of the ground populated by home fans at the derby match.

Three American Stars to Arrive on Trial

Three US stars currently playing in the American MLS competition are set to arrive at Manchester City for a three-week training stint on Sunday. And if any of the trio impresses at Maine Road, a permanent move could be on the cards. This week’s MLS Update reports that the players, all from the Colorado Rapids, are goalkeeper Adin Brown, forward Wes Hart and midfielder Jason Moore. Brown was named in the US Olympic squad but missed out on a trip to Sydney through injury. He’s said to have attracted interest from European clubs already and is tipped soon to replace Blackburn’s Brad Friedel as his country’s number one. Meanwhile, Hart has an impressive scoring record for the Rapids.

Royle Wants Horlock to Stay

Kevin Horlock has been linked with a move away from Manchester City after failing to win a place for recent league fixtures. But Joe Royle has played down reports that the Northern Ireland man wants to leave Maine Road. Horlock last started a league game in September – although he did play, and score the winning penalty, in the League Cup tie at Aston Villa three weeks ago. But Royle says that although the ex-Swindon star would prefer not to have been omitted from the side, there’s been no bust-up between player and manager. “Kevin has spoken to me a couple of times about his position but there has been no big bust-up or row,” said Royle. “I want Kevin Horlock to stay.”

Boss – Kennedy Not For Sale

Weekend newspaper reports indicated that Manchester City had been prepared to allow Mark Kennedy to move to Spurs as part of a deal to bring Chris Armstrong to Maine Road. But Joe Royle has emphatically stated that the Irishman is not for sale. Royle’s current priority is to recruit a new striker, and the Blues are believed to have made an inquiry for Armstrong last week after first being linked with his team-mate Les Ferdinand. And it’s said that it was the Londoners who mentioned the prospect of Kennedy moving south in part-exchange for the ex-Crystal Palace star. But the idea was rejected by City, who see the former Millwall and Liverpool man as a key part of the squad even though he’s been in and out of the side this term. “Mark is not for sale, full stop,” insisted Royle. “I am his biggest fan and I have been delighted with him since his move from Wimbledon.”

Royle – We Never Wanted Les

Manchester City’s search for a striker might already have ended had reported interest in Les Ferdinand come to fruition. But the Spurs striker wants to wait until the end of the season before he leaves White Hart Lane – and in any case Joe Royle denies making the ex-England star an offer to come to Maine Road. Tuesday’s Manchester Evening News claimed that Ferdinand was, as reported last week, a priority target for the Blues. But the City manager’s comments cast doubt on the story, and the 33-year-old is reckoned to be keen to hold out for a lucrative move when he is out-of-contract in the summer. Meanwhile, a swoop for Eidur Gudjohnsen also looks unlikely, with the Stamford Bridge club said to be asking £6 million for the Icelander – a profit of £2 million on the fee it took to prise the 22-year-old from Bolton in the summer. And although the Blues’ boss is said to have run the rule over Sheffield United’s top scorer Marcus Bent in the Blades’ midweek draw with Fulham, the ex-Crystal Palace player looks set to go to Blackburn, who have agreed a £2.1 million fee for his services.

Gareth Finally to Move Away?

Gareth Taylor has been on the Manchester City transfer list for months. And the tall striker could finally be set to leave Maine Road, with reports linking him with Stockport County. Taylor has had loan stints this year at Port Vale and QPR. But although he had an offer to join Dutch club Fortuna Sittard, the ex-Sheffield United man has had no opportunity to move to another English club on a permanent basis. However, Division One strugglers County may be prepared to offer him that chance, with boss Andy Kilner having some cash to spend after the recent sales of Ian Moore and Tony Dinning.

Boss – Striker Hunt Continues

Manchester City’s need for a new striker is as pressing as ever after a run of four league defeats in which the Blues have found the net just once. But Joe Royle is refusing to be drawn over the identity of potential targets. The Blues have been linked with several players in the last few days, but Royle will not comment on whether the names in the frame are accurate. However, it’s clear from the City manager’s comments that he is still making determined efforts to add a new front man to his squad. “I have made a couple of enquiries about strikers,” he admitted, “but we intend to conduct our business discreetly and will do so until there is someone to present.”

Kanchelskis Available – But City Interest Unlikely

Manchester City were interested in bringing Andrei Kanchelskis to Maine Road in the summer – only for the Ukrainian-born star to stay at Rangers. And now the winger is available for transfer, the Blues are unlikely to want to sign him. Rangers’ boss Dick Advocaat is unhappy with his team’s form this season, with the Ibrox club eliminated from the Champions’ League and trailing rivals Celtic in the Scottish league. And in his efforts to give his squad a shake-up, the Dutchman is prepared to offload ex-Manchester United star Kanchelskis after a reported bust-up with Fernando Ricksen. However, media sources are opining that Joe Royle is not expected to move for the Russian international, even though the Blues’ boss signed the player when in charge at Everton.

Spanish ‘Keeper Move No-Go

Tommy Wright proved a more than capable deputy for Nicky Weaver when the England under-21 star missed this season’s home game with Newcastle through injury. But with the Northern Ireland man reaching the veteran stage, it appears that Joe Royle is looking for a new second-string goalkeeper. Reports in Spain this week linked the Blues with Villareal’s Jesus Unanua, who is second choice with his club but came to prominence when he featured in a recent away win at Barcelona. However, even though the 31-year-old described the prospect of a move to England as “very flattering and tempting”, he wants to remain in his native country. The spotlight now moves to American Adin Brown, who is set to arrive on trial this week.

Wednesday Struggle to Find Cooke Cash

Manchester City are reportedly prepared to allow Terry Cooke to leave Maine Road for a cut-price fee. But Sheffield Wednesday, who currently have the player on loan, are still struggling to find the cash to pay for the ex-Manchester United star. Cooke has spent two months on loan at Hillsborough, in which time he’s impressed Paul Jewell enough for the Wednesday boss to want to make the deal permanent. But even though the Blues are said to have halved their asking price to £500,000, the South Yorkshire outfit are still unable to complete a deal at this stage. The Owls play Crewe on Saturday in what will be the final game of the winger’s second month on loan, and a decision over his future is expected early next week. Meanwhile, it’s rumoured that Joe Royle would be prepared to listen to an offer from Norwich for Danny Granville, but there’s no indication of whether the Canaries want to prolong the on-loan full-back’s stay on either a temporary or permanent basis.

City to Sign Irish Youngster

Manchester City have landed another promising Irish youngster. And this time, the signing is not a result of the Blues’ link-up with Dublin youth side Cherry Orchard. City have beaten off the challenge of several other Premiership clubs for Stephen Ireland, and the teenage midfielder will join the Blues next year, once he has completed his schooling. Ireland is rated an “excellent prospect, capable of scoring and creating goals” by Maine Road Academy Director Jim Cassell, and arrives from Cobh Ramblers, the club from which Nottingham Forest plucked a certain Roy Keane in 1990.

Wanchope Working Hard to Win Place Back

Paulo Wanchope’s omission from the Manchester City side for last week’s big derby clash prompted speculation that the Costa Rican could soon leave the club. But Joe Royle has rubbished such talk. Wanchope was said to be angry after being dropped for the Blues’ biggest game of the season so far and in the early part of the week was linked with Celtic and Fulham. However, according to Royle, the 23-year-old has responded to the disappointment in the right manner. “I would expect him to show me what he can do and make it impossible for me not to pick him,” said the City boss. “And he has certainly been working hard in training this week.” But positive attitude notwithstanding, the smart money seems to be on the Blues’ record signing being on the bench again for Saturday’s match against Ipswich. Media sources reckon Shaun Goater is likely to get the nod to lead the Blues’ attack.

Haaland – Derby Shows We Can Progress

Manchester City have slipped down the Premiership table after a poor recent run. But Alfie Haaland insists that the Blues’ display against Manchester United on Saturday proves the team can climb back up the table. Although City have now suffered four successive defeats, those games have included tests against the sides currently first, second and third in the table. And Haaland insists that regular repeats of the performance against top dogs United on Saturday will be more than enough to turn things round. “We were passing the ball well on Saturday and showed a lot of passion in our play,” the Norwegian told the official club website at “I think if we continue to do that we can progress in the League.”

Neville Blasts ‘Coward’ Tiatto

Phil Neville originally refused to criticise Danny Tiatto after the pair clashed in Saturday’s Manchester derby. But the Manchester United man has had a change of heart after seeing the incident on television. Tiatto was much criticised by pundits for his challenge on Neville late in the game. And though the full-back didn’t originally agree, he’s now launched a verbal attack on the Australian. “Looking at the TV afterwards, there was no way that the lad I went in with had any thoughts of going for the ball,” claimed the England man. “He was up round the knee area and probably well clear of where the ball actually was. It was disappointing and a bit of a coward’s tackle really.” Joe Royle, however, defended his player. The City boss called the challenge “clumsy rather than malicious”.

Reserves Earn Second Win

Manchester City reserves notched their second win of the campaign on Wednesday evening. The Blues beat Aston Villa 2-1 at Villa Park. Two-goal hero for City was Gareth Taylor, and with Stockport scouts watching the match, the ex-Sheffield United man will have done his chances of a permanent move to Edgeley Park no harm. Kevin Horlock and Paul Ritchie both played the full ninety minutes, but Andy Morrison, who has returned from his loan spell at Crystal Palace, was substituted with a knee injury. It’s not yet known if this is a recurrence of the problem which sidelined the big defender for most of last season. Meanwhile, the City under-17s were less successful this week, going down 2-0 to Nottingham Forest.

Maine Road to Become Rugby Venue?

Manchester City will move away from Maine Road in 2003 and ownership of the ground will revert to the local council. And talks have been taking place this week over possible use of the stadium once the Blues leave for Eastlands. It’s thought that there’s a prospect of City youth and reserve games being staged at the club’s traditional home. But, in addition, Sale could play rugby union fixtures at the venue. With Sale’s current Heywood Road ground having a tiny capacity, the club is keen to find a new home – and owner Brian Kennedy has already held talks with Manchester City Council over the prospect of making Maine Road that venue. Meanwhile, it’s thought that the Council also has an eye on hosting major rugby league games at the stadium.

Death of Cup Hero Dyson

Jack Dyson has died in Oldham. The 66-year-old played for Manchester City between 1951 and 1961 and is best known as a member of the club’s 1956 FA Cup-winning side. Dyson was an inside forward who managed the impressive strike rate of 26 goals in 63 league appearances for the Blues – and also scored three times in the FA Cup, all in the successful 1956 campaign. One of those strikes restored City’s lead in the 3-1 triumph over Birmingham in the final, with Dyson compounding his crucial rôle in City’s success shortly afterwards by laying on the killer third goal for Bobby Johnstone. That Dyson played so few games during a long association with City was in part down to other commitments resulting from his all-round sporting prowess; a cricketer of distinction, he scored over 4,000 runs and took more than 150 wickets in his first-class career with Lancashire.

Two Vital Home Games in Four Days

Manchester City’s home form so far this season has been disappointing. And if the Blues are unable to remedy that situation in the next few days, the campaign will take a distinct turn for the worse. After four successive defeats, City have slipped to sixteenth place in the league table and a failure to arrest the decline when Ipswich visit on Saturday would see the Blues slide even closer to the relegation zone. Then, next Wednesday, a place in the League Cup quarter finals is at stake when Wimbledon visit Maine Road. Two wins would rekindle optimism for the remainder of the campaign – but less successful outcomes would no doubt bring out the doom-and-gloom merchants in force.

Thanks to Geoff Donkin (, who’s standing in for me on news duty for Monday’s edition of MCIVTA. I’ll be unable to access any e-mails addressed to me until next Tuesday but will be back in time for next Thursday’s edition.

eBLUEPRINT: the original City fanzine, now online at

Peter Brophy (


Left Toronto on Thursday Evening, arrived at Ringway Friday morning somewhat nervous about the game. After 4 years in the nether regions, I had to come back for the big one.

Coincidences: the last time (I think) the derby was on the 18th November was in 1969, my 18th birthday. What a day, City 4 United 0. Bell was robbed of a hat trick as his shot was deflected into the net off Sadler and it was given as an own goal. As I remember Nelly scored from almost the left corner flag, I hoped that lightning would strike twice!

I felt very fortunate to have a ticket for the game (director’s box no less) and arrived at the ground around 11 am.

No, they don’t serve prawn sandwiches in the director’s box.

I take my seat after saying hello to Tony Book, one of my all time favorite citizens.

The atmosphere is building up, not quite like the old days in the Kippax but one improvement is that the whole stadium seems to get behind the team, not just one stand. Game kicks off and before we know it Beckham takes a dive. City line up without a real wall, I guess to let Nicky see the ball. Didn’t work; Mr. Posh deposits one in the far corner of the net, my worst fears stare me in the face. What I haven’t mentioned is my mate Phil is sat next to me (we travelled from Toronto together and he is a long time Red); he very politely (quietly) claps and is immensely relieved, he is even more scared of a loss than I am. I do have to thank him for the ticket.

Fortunately City do not panic and start working hard in midfield to close United down, which do they do well. SWP looks like he is enjoying himself and Dickov does his usual impersonation of a scottish terrier. After forty minutes it looks like we may get back into the game. SWP sends Alfie through, he tries to round Barthez but the ball gets pushed wide and the chance is lost. My mate Phil lights a cigarette and is looking very nervous. At the end of the half we could have been on level terms but I am encouraged by the performance.

Second half and Kennedy, Wiekens are replaced by the Goat and Bishop. I thought Kennedy did enough in the first half to warrant staying on but he doesn’t seem to be in favour right now. Bishop adds some creativity to midfield and we look like scoring (as do United on the break); Goater, Dickov and Alfie all have opportunities to save the day but each is squandered. Scholes misses a sitter and Yorke doesn’t seem to want to score, maybe he wants to play for some real fans across the city.

My player of the match was Howey. He made a number of last ditch tackles and always looked like he had Yorke under control. Let’s hope he stays fit as he appears to be the best bet to build a defence around. SWP did enough to stay in the team for the near future and I don’t think anybody had a bad game. Tiatto seemed to be out of position a number of times in the second half but this was probably caused by the tactical change of taking off Kennedy.

All in all a good team performance without anything to show for it. If we get this sort of commitment (and a new striker) we should be able to stay out of the bottom three. Bring on Ipswich.

We will be getting together for the Chelsea Game at Web’s pub in Mississauga Ontario on December 3rd.

Peter Hallsworth (


Here’s Clive Allen’s views on last Saturday’s derby. Read more from Clive at … including the day he applied for the City manager’s job.

Derby Verdict: By Clive Allen

I backed City at 4-1 and I was sick at the result. I had a feeling that it was going to be a fast, furious, open game because there hadn’t been a Manchester derby for so long.

City had chances but the biggest difference was that the quality shone through in the end. Beckham’s free-kick was real quality and although Nicky Weaver felt that he couldn’t do much about it, I think he might reassess that when he sees the video.

It was a tremendous game from which City can take a lot of plus points. Joe Royle’s boys showed they can create chances and if they can play games at that tempo against lesser opposition they will pick up the wins they need.

Certainly City need a cutting edge and I know there’s been a lot of talk about getting the right striker. But there was no lack of effort on Saturday morning and there was real passion in the way they played.

Unfortunately, the game showed eveybody what Manchester United are about. They went into the game and were prepared to match City’s effort. Sometimes people overlook the level of commitment that is required from top teams.

I thought Shaun Wright-Phillips had an exciting game. He played on the right side of attack and was quite free in terms of not being too shackled to a system. He is a dangerous player and if City can get good ball into his feet he will cause problems with his pace and touch. He is very quick when he’s running with the ball and I thought he had an excellent chance to score against United. Although the commentators said it was a difficult chance to take, I thought he might have done better when the ball bounced up invitingly on the edge of the box. Like Nicky Weaver, he will look back and be disappointed that he did not get a very good strike on target.

I spoke to a few people at West Ham last week and they were very impressed with his first half performance at Upton Park. They didn’t know how to handle him because he was so tricky and mobile. I’m not so sure that he will ever be the finisher that Ian Wright was but he certainly has enough pace and skill to have a bright future.

Losing to United is obviously a big blow for everyone at City but it is important heads don’t drop. Joe Royle will be looking to emphasise the plus points and there were plenty of those. I’ll be keeping my eye on things at Maine Road and, of course, wishing you the best of luck in the weeks to come.

Via Doug Bennett (


BLUEPRINT, the first City fanzine, has relaunched on the net. The site is now up and running and can be accessed at The news section is already operative and is updated on a daily basis; we like to think this will be the best fan-generated independent news service on the web. As of now, MCIVTA news summaries will be collated from the eBLUEPRINT news page. Some of the other features are not yet ready, but please keep visiting in the coming weeks as we add more to the site. We have plenty of exciting new features to come, including a regular column by Paul Lake. We also welcome contributions – the more innovative and original the better, as befits a publication responsible in its heyday for starting the banana craze, the plane round Old Trafford on derby day, the biggest flag in British football and the fancy dress at Stoke. Please send submissions by e-mail to Bill Borrows at or Frank Newton at

Bill Borrows (


Milton Keynes branch are holding their ‘Official Opening’ meeting on Thursday, November 30th. Guests will include David Bernstein and Chris Bird from MCFC, as well as retired players Roy Clarke (1947-58) and Johnny Williamson (1949-56), so this promises to be a memorable evening.

The venue is Great Brickhill Cricket Club, starting at 8pm (latest – get there early!).

All branch members welcome – in fact let’s make sure the venue is packed for this one – and if you’re not yet a member then there’s time to join before Nov 30th (you will be able to pay at the door on the night)!

For more details, directions to venue, to enquire about joining the Milton Keynes branch, etc. Then please contact us at the email addresses below.

Branch Chairman, Kevin Duffy (
Treasurer, Matt Bass (


Standing areas for Eastlands
Spokesperson Phill Gatenby
Tel 07887 884 653

Issue 8 – 22nd November 2000

Well, it is not even the end of November yet and this is the third newsletter this month! Literally, each day has seen new developments and activity with the campaign.

Issue 7 was only sent via the email, as I knew this update would follow quickly, so for the benefit of those receiving this by post, I will begin with an update from issue 6.

The campaign has received 2 sources of support from the political arena. Tom Pendry, MP for Stalybridge and Hyde – and Chairman of the Football Trust – has expressed the need for dialogue between Government officials and other bodies on the issue of safe standing areas, which he has advocated for a number of years now. Bob Russell MP for Colchester – who is the Liberal Democrats’ Spokesperson for Sport (and a season ticket holder at Colchester United for 44 years) – contacted us and offered his full support. We need to build on support from other MP’s who would also be likely to support the campaign.

Until 2 weeks ago, the campaign was moving on at a pace we could keep up with, with a few new contacts and supporters’ groups getting in touch weekly. This all changed after an unlikely source bought the subject of lack of atmospheres in stadiums into the national spotlight – and propelled the issue of standing areas as a solution to the problem. Step forward a certain Mr Roy Keane! Regardless of whether you think he was correct in his observations or accused him of biting the hand that feeds him, his comments certainly created the environment for the media to debate the subject of atmospheres, ‘corporate spectating’ and standing.

The Independent (Friday 10th November) featured an article on Keane’s comments, linking it nicely with safe standing areas and featured interviews with the Independent Manchester United Supporters Association (IMUSA) and SAFE. The following day, the paper gave contact details for SAFE and the web site details for Bayern Munich’s stadium, which brought in a whole flood of support.

Also on the 11th November, I was able to gain a fair bit of air time on Tom Watt’s show ‘it’s round and it’s white’ on Talk Sport, whilst IMUSA did likewise on Kevin Miles’ show ‘early doors’ on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Then, on Tuesday 14th November, Alan Brazil on Talk Sport, hosted an hour-long debate on the subject of whether or not standing areas should return. I managed to book the first call, setting out the aims of the campaign and bringing the German issue into the debate. The producers managed to pretty much alternate ‘for’ and ‘against’ callers – and once again SAFE was backed up by IMUSA who also managed to get onto the airwaves. The star of the show was undoubtedly Brazil’s studio guest, Alan Parry, who stood firm on his belief that safe standing areas should be implemented into stadiums.

The rest of the week was then spent dealing with various aspects of the media resulting in the following:

On Sunday 19th November, Sport First produced an excellent feature covering nearly 4 pages on the return of standing areas. Alongside a large article on SAFE (including IMUSA again) was an interesting interview with former Arsenal and Scotland player, Frank McLintock – who referred to the ‘Highbury Library’, and calling for standing areas to be built at Arsenal’s new stadium. Two other articles looked at The Taylor Report and the state of stadiums at the time of the Hillsborough tragedy and a look at current stadia in Germany and Italy, ending with comments from Simon Inglis – a leading authority (and author) on stadium designs. Inglis discussed the difficulties the campaign faces, both political and technical. Indeed members of both SAFE and IMUSA met Inglis at a reading session for his latest book, ‘Sightlines’, at Waterstones bookshop in Manchester on Friday 17th November, when he expressed the same comments.

On Tuesday 21st November, I was interviewed by Sky Sports for a show to be screened that afternoon. This was followed by a good feature in the Manchester Evening News, highlighting the fact that City and United fans have put their ‘rivalries’ to one side and joined forces on the campaign. Wednesday 22nd, the Evening News followed up with the leading article on Paul Hince’s weekly sports column, supporting Kate Hoey MP in her efforts to ‘persuade English soccer’s top brass to reinstate terrace areas in grounds.’ Good luck with your campaign Kate – let us know if we can be of any assistance!

However, the biggest media scoop has come from the BBC’s consumer affairs show ‘Watchdog’. All last week I was in contact with a team from the programme – who are also very supportive of the campaign. Before the ‘derby’ game on Saturday, a few interviews were recorded and these will be shown on this coming Friday 24th November at 7pm on BBC 1. The feature also includes interviews with high profile supporters of the campaign – one of which may surprise you! To date, the Government, Football Licensing Authority and The Premier League have all declined to speak against the campaign in the studio live.

Whilst all the media interest over Keane’s comments took up welcome space in the press, a few papers also picked up on the story of safety issues over cantilever stands not being able to hold the weight of fans standing up throughout the game in seated areas. You may recall there was a scare at Anfield during a pre-season game against Celtic, when the upper tier appeared to ‘move’. The Premier League has ordered every ground to have further checks within the next fortnight. A spokesman for the Premier League even called for fans to ‘think seriously about the safety aspects of this and to remain seated’! It goes without saying that if a stand is moving due to the weight, it is not because fans are standing up, but most likely due to (once again) clubs / developers cutting costs and producing on the cheap. Surely when being built, it must be taken into account that at certain times (ie when a goal is scored) the whole stand will jump up and celebrate within seconds of each other. Once again, the fans are being blamed for the negligence of those who are responsible for our safety and well being within the walls of the stadiums. The spokesman went on to say that whilst there is an issue of safety here, the issue of standing is not up for discussion. So we must write ask ‘when will it be an issue for discussion?’

Then there was the marvellous news that apparently the Premier League are powerless to stop Fulham from using terraces at Craven Cottage next season – should they win promotion to the nation’s top league. Of course, if fans are able to stand safely at Craven Cottage, then why not elsewhere? SAFE shall be arguing the point that even we are not satisfied with the quality of the terraces at Fulham and want to see even safer standing areas implemented!

And – pause for breath – that’s what has been happening over the last 2 weeks!

Action. Write to the following people:

  • Your MP at – The House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
  • The Premier League, 11 Connought Place, London, W2 2ET
  • Your club chairman
    This is crucial to ensure the above realise the strength of commitment from all fans on this subject.
  • To keep the campaign moving further, pass this on to your club fanzine,supporters’ association and local press / radio station.

You may have noticed from the heading, we are now on the web! The site is almost finished, just a few little things to add, but thought it was best to launch it with this issue. We are open to suggestions to improve the site, please drop a line with any ideas. If you are from a fanzine, supporters’ club or association, please reply with details, so we can produce a list showing who is supporting the campaign.

Some of you are happy to receive the newsletters, but would prefer not to have your address revealed. Please contact me and I shall ensure your copy is sent without details displayed (but there are over 90 of you – so please don’t all do it!). I understand I may be able to send future newsletters from the web site direct, but bear with me, I am a technological virgin!

Finally, thanks to all those involved in the media who have given us so much support as outlined above. It is important to maintain as high a profile as we can otherwise we could be in danger of simply disappearing or being forgotten about. Oh yeah, and thanks to Roy Keane too!

Thanks, Phill Gatenby (


To: James Fletcher, Daily Mirror.

I began reading the Mirror a few weeks ago, because of the extra football coverage it gives over and above that found in the broadsheets.

This Monday, I opened it to look for a match report on the Manchester derby, a game I attended with my son and later watched as a repeat on Sky. I am a City fan of 40 years and more, born and bred in Manchester and all that that means in terms of derby matches and the feelings they generate. My son has been following City for the last 10 years but was brought up outside Manchester and consequently carries a lot less baggage than I do when it comes to this particular fixture. He viewed the prospect of a match against Manchester United with great interest and was pleased to see an enthralling game and an even contest with more good football in it than many a derby in many a town. He also saw David Beckham holding the side of his head, heard about the incident later and, along with 99.9% of the City support, roundly condemned the culprit(s).

We were both keen to read the report in our Monday Mirror and felt as you did that, given Beckham’s past temperament, he handled himself very well and deserved credit for keeping his cool and playing his part in a hard won victory.

My son, a football player as well as a football fan, seeing Beckham ‘live’ for the first time, also admired his skills and even managed a few words of praise for his ability with free kicks (something I was not able to verbalise myself).

All of that was in your piece. As we read on however, we were amazed to find that, although this article was presented as a match report, with the score at the start and the teams at the end, it gave no detail of the events as they unfolded, beyond those given in respect of the free kick. What about the other 88 minutes? Where was the flesh upon the statistics that accompanied the article, statistics that showed 19 shots, 18 corners and four yellow cards.

What was the target audience of the article? Not football fans wanting to find out about what went on in the game and certainly not my son wanting find out what the sporting press thought of the game he’d seen.

What was in that article for him? He’d hoped to find out what a professional sports writer thought of the match he’d seen from the terraces; read what was thought of performances by players on both teams, of forwards squandering chances that could have seen a 4-4 draw, of Wes Brown in an absorbing contest with Paul Dickov, of Ireland’s Mark Kennedy taking on England’s Neville brothers, of saves made by Weaver and Barthez.

The shame of the coin thrower(s) had to be and was, addressed just as it has been in the past when, goalkeepers from both sides used to supplement their wages with the fifteen shillingsworth of copper thrown at them by the lunatic fringe in the Streford End and the North Stand.

A game that had so much incident and atmosphere deserved more. This match showed how healthy football is in Manchester, your article didn’t and I think you’ve done us all a disservice.


Rick Eagles

(9, Imperial Avenue, Nottingham, Notts, NG9 1EZ)

For those that want to read the so called match report by Mirror reporter James Fletcher, the following link may be out of date by Thursday but it may take you there:

Rick Eagles (


This is an open letter to Paul Wilson of the Observer, copied (in writing) to his editor, the Observer letters page, and to the Manchester City mailing list. I note that other City fans have also taken a similar route, however I feel so strongly about this that I am compelled to write.

Mr. Wilson,

Your report on the Manchester Derby last Saturday is one of the worst pieces of football journalism I have read. Were journalists, as MPs, compelled to disclose their interests, then yours would surely read “Apologist for Manchester United”.

Tell me, when have football supporters ever not derided the opposing supporters? Are Manchester United to be exempt from being ridiculed, as well as the FA Cup next?

Tell me, do you know of any football clubs that do not have a band of morons following them? No true City fan applauded the coin throwers, and whilst the club may have failed on not foreseeing the possibility of such an incident, it dealt with it swiftly. How does one create the “best fans” in the country? Not by pointing at the idiot few, but by looking at the soul of that club. We may have lost the Derby, but we have won in the battle to keep the soul of our football club, through thick and very thin. Our relegation to the Second Division could have killed us had we not been the club that we are. The fans of this club, happily allied, after far too long, by good management within, willed City back to life, and brought us from playing Mansfield Town two years ago, in the Auto Windscreens Cup, to losing a hard fought game 1-0 to what we are led to believe is the world’s greatest football club. Well, tough mate – your club sold its soul, ours is growing by the game. City are back.

Jeremy Poynton (


Dear Editor,

Having watched professional football for almost 35 years and read newspaper reports of matches watched, I have been of the opinion that in the Observer I could expect to read informed, objective, and unbiased reports of matches. Alas this is no longer the case, for reasons only your sports editor will be able to explain. He chose, on Saturday to allow a “reporter” to waste an inordinate number of column inches by giving vent to his own ill-informed and biased opinions regarding the Manchester derby. I can only assume that Mr Wilson was not actually at the match, but, like many other “supporters” of the eventual victors in this match, he watched the game courtesy of satellite T.V.

On what grounds does your reporter refer to Alfie Inge Haaland as “the unlikeable Haaland”? I am quite sure that the City supporters who had their petrol paid for by Mr Haaland would not share this ill-informed opinion. Has the unlikeable Mr Wilson ever attended any football match? Why does he consider that there was no need for the Maine Road faithful to deride the quieter United supporters? This has been for several decades now part and parcel of the game and if he and his fellow prawn sandwich connoisseurs feel aggrieved by this, perhaps they should stick to watching football from behind the glass of corporate hospitality boxes.

Perhaps your reporter feels that he deserves an apology from City fans because they were guilty of “making a lot of noise”; what were they supposed to do, clap politely and quietly so as not to disturb their sensitive guests from the opposition? Mr Wilson refers to “moronic references to Munich” yet chooses not to refer to the equally moronic and perhaps more sensitive references from his friends to the recent tragic sinking of the Kursk submarine. Responsible, informed and unbiased journalism? Don’t think so. Professional Sports Editor? Don’t think so. Buy the Observer ever again? Don’t think so.

Yours Faithfully, Graham Lister (


Got this – comment from a friend down here re Beckham…

“Thought you boys would have found something better than money to throw at Becks, what about a few thongs?”

Made I laugh, anyway, as they say in Bristol :-)))

Jeremy Poynton (


I’ve been in that gutter that used to pass for an away section at the Swamp on several 1980s and early 1990s derby days.

As I stood beneath the good citizens of K Stand, even when the Rags were in the lead – too much of the time for my liking – we were often pelted with any object these “people” had at hand, be it coins/scalding coffees/pies/children. I still wouldn’t have stooped to the level of retaliating to it even if I were given a baseball bat with them placed right in front of me after the match, their hands tied behind their backs.

At least in the Kippax during those wild days of standing sections, any undesirable acts such as coin-throwing were perpetrated on an equal – horizontal – level instead of being a one-way downward torrent into that non-gladiatorial K-stand pit (and look what happened to the Romans).

Few of the national press men, especially the Observer’s one-sided representative Mr Wilson, know about this. As a working journalist, I can guarantee their observations would be sub-edited out even if they did try to bring this up (anyway, who made the claim which was evidently heard by Mr Wilson? The one which claimed City supporters are the best in the world. Only certain other clubs’ supporters like to resort to such extremes. Not us!).

I wouldn’t waste the smallest denomination of a defunct East European currency on Beckham, the over-rated two-trick pony.

If you did, remember that the other 99.9% of us have to answer for it for weeks afterwards. Consider: your spiritual homes are not at Maine Road but in that upper section of K-Stand. Go there in future and stand there with the other sad cases.

Marc Starr (


A derby match report in the last issue suggests that David Beckham may have been play acting when he went to ground after being hit by a coin. The contributor then goes on to further trivialise the incident by stating that he might have suffered brain damage – if indeed he has a brain to damage. Clearly someone who has never felt the utter shock and acute pain which follow being struck on the head by a chunky piece of metal travelling at pace. It happened to me at Anfield during the ’81 League Cup semi-final and I still vividly remember the feeling of disorientation and fear that followed. I also remember how fortunate I felt when reflecting on the incident afterwards that I hadn’t been hit in the eye. As anyone who was there will know, City were awesome that night and desperately unlucky to be knocked out on aggregate to a Liverpool side which was the best in Europe over an 8-year period. My abiding memory though is of wondering what kind of person would want to throw such a dangerous object in my direction with the absolute and deliberate intention of hurting me, when we were, after all, simply watching a game of football. I have no particularly strong feelings for David Beckham as a person – either positive or negative, though I love watching him play football. Clearly though he is someone who stirs up a lot of emotions in people as a result of the way that he chooses to live his life. Be that as it may, surely using infantile sarcasm to make fun of what could have been an extremely serious incident for him and his family is not what reports of a football match should be all about. I only hope that any individuals apprehended for throwing missiles at the United match, or indeed any other, be banned from Maine Road for life.

On a completely different note why does Joe Royle feel the need to pick out and criticise individual players in public? This seems to be coming something of a habit. How on earth must Nicky Weaver have felt – a player who has contributed so much to getting us back where we belong – at being singled out and blamed for the goal which cost us the points in a game which is of such significance to the fans? Wanchope is another who is currently, and very publicly out of favour. And there have been others previously who we all know about. Is it mere co-incidence that the managers of the 2 most successful sides in the country in recent years are very rarely heard to criticise their players collectively, let alone individually? Joe’s ability to create a great team spirit cannot be questioned – but what is actually achieved by singling out Weaver in the way that he did? I can’t see how anything positive can come from it.

Finally – loads in the last issue about how great the crowd was last Saturday and I couldn’t agree more – I’d been worried that the early kick off might take the edge off things a little but the atmosphere was incredible – real goose pimpley / hairs on the back of the neck stuff, and the players rose to it and did themselves great credit against one of the best teams in Europe. What’s vital now is that this performance is built on. Middlesbrough were very unlucky to come away from Old Trafford with nothing, and unlucky to lose to Arsenal the week before. They then slumped 0-3 at home to Leicester. We have to take the attitude from the big games such as United/Liverpool away/Leeds away (if not Arsenal away) and somehow incorporate it into our performances against the likes of Coventry, West Ham, and this weekend Ipswich. And the crowd must be up for it also – not only for the glamour matches but for the less attractive ones also. The derby’s gone now – a relief to my eyes – now we can concentrate on what really matters which is first and foremost getting enough points to guarantee our Premiership status next year.

Simon Hope (


The derby spirit is certainly up and running in the Blue half of Manchester with some great match reports on last week’s game! All were very well put together but my favourites would have to be David Cash, blue valentine, Averil Capes, Neil Haigh & Christine. It was obvious that a certain Mr. Wilson from the Observer had got right offside with Joel Perry. Obviously being in Oz I did not see the write up but good on Joel for putting his viewpoint forward, I would be interested to see whether there is any reply!

I saw no reports over here of crowd trouble either during the game or afterwards, was that the case? Looking to Saturday, team selection is critical against a side that is playing well in the top division; we must get a win. My own starting eleven would be as follows:

Goal:                      Weaver
Back Four:      Charvet, Prior, Howey, Tiatto
Midfield:         Whitley, Bishop, Haaland
Behind Front Two:           SWP
Front Men:             Dickov, Goater.
Subs from: Dunne, Wanchope, Wiekens, Wright etc.

Regards, Ex Blue Mike Brennan – Perth, Oz (


There were a few phone calls on Sky Sports tonight, about David Beckham’s new found maturity, since he became England captain. I feel this is an exaggeration by the media. There are a number of reasons I feel it is the same old David Beckham of old.

  1. Why does he feel the need to dive in order to get opponents booked, orto gain free kicks against supposed inferior opposition? On Saturdayagainst Manchester City, why did he feel the need to dive, when tackled by PaulDickov? He should rise above this level of cheating.
  2. At the end of the game, the United players went over to the United fansin the corner of the ground and thanked them for the support; only oneplayer decided to entice the Kippax stand at City with a sarcastic applause, youonly had to look at his face to see he was taking the mickey. After thegame there was a lot of trouble which couldn’t have been helped by Beckham’sactions, which were meant to upset the City home fans. Does Beckham notrealise that United fans and City fans clashed after the game? He just helped add fuelon to a burning fire, people from both sets of fans were hurt, but whatdoes he care, the media seems to now be on his side.
  3. Was he really hit on the head with a coin? I’m not doubting for onemoment that coins were thrown in his direction, but I would like to see thevideo evidence of him being struck on the head, when he claims he was. Iwould not put it past Beckham to show a complete lack of responsibility andsay he was hit when he clearly was not.
  4. He is captain of a national side, when he can’t even captain his team inthe Premiership. Ferguson who is a top level successful manager and knows athing or two about football, wouldn’t have him as club captain; why would anational side? A team needs a motivator as a captain, a Tony Adams, a RoyKeane, a David Batty, a Alan Shearer, not some quiet man who looks good andhas let his country and club down on many occasions.
  5. Do you remember in the last couple of seasons, Beckham gave the V signto the Leeds fans, and in the same month Petit did the same; Beckham gotaway with it due to (I believe) media support and Petit was banned for a number ofgames, even though he had suffered racial abuse.

Beckham does not come across as a leader of men, more a follower of an overbearing wife; do we really want this man to lead out England at international level?

Walter Smith (


As a colleague of Ashley’s, I was lucky enough to read the recent edition of MCIVTA in which the derby match was debated.

I am a Red. I was born and bred in the Borough of Trafford, I don’t eat prawn sandwiches (am I the only person who laughed at the fact that Roy Keane thinks prawn sandwiches are the height of sophistication within corporate hospitatility?), and was appalled at the idea of our fans singing songs about the Russian submarine disaster. I have been a season-ticket holder since I was five – and fall into the classic United fan category of “love the team – hate the club”.

I probably agreed with 95% of the articles in the last edition of MCIVTA. United fans were crap, your songs are much better and wittier than ours and a draw would have been a fair result. I disagreed with a comment about Beckham being over-rated – he is a total prat off the field but a very fine footballer and easily the most skilful player United possess.

So where does this leave a liberal and (relatively) objective Red? Judging from the temperature of the debate in MCIVTA; nowhere it seems. I either have to be a corporate “fan” and then even your own players hate you, come from Kent/Singapore/Tibet (delete as necessary) and be derided by all and sundry (even Traffordian Reds) or chant songs about dead sailors and be derided (quite rightfully) by anyone with half a brain. What seems to me is that I have become disenfranchised by my club. I don’t fit into a convenient category and therefore cannot easily be manipulated and/or ignored by the plc. City have not fallen for this – and for a variety of reasons, it appears to me, that City fans feel part of the club. I feel disconnected.

Don’t worry – I cannot and will not be changing my allegiance. The love of the team and the excitement of the game overrides all. I used to watch the youth team matches with Beckham et al in the early 90’s and have got a lot of enjoyment out of watching them progress as players. I have enjoyed our period of success and will continue to do until the bubble bursts. And it will. It is a very big bubble and when it does burst – you will be able to hear it all the way to Singapore.

John Freeman, via Ashley (


It is now Tuesday, three days since the big one, and I am still angry. Let me explain…

I, like most people, heard Gary Neville’s comments on GMR, but it got worse.

I was reading my mother-in-law’s aail last night and his comments bear on the ridiculous.

“They have two or three hotheads in their team and we should have beaten them four or five nil.”

What? Is this the pot calling the kettle black, Keane – hothead, Beckham – hothead (only escaped a booking because obviously the FA have done a Shearer, do not book him unless he kills someone), and Paul Scholes in my opinion is also a hothead and a cheat. The way he dived in the second half was an absolute joke, count the seconds 1, 2, 3 oh I will fall down now! I was in the Platt Lane and how we didn’t get a free-kick on the edge of the box for the scythe on Haaland is beyond me.

My wife can testify that even before the derby I hated Gary Neville, but now… I would probably get arrested, so I’d better not say.

I hope and pray we beat them soon and a member our team makes an absolute ar*e of him!

A couple of comments on the team selection on Saturday.

Wiekens – obviously not fit, and not Premiership class I’m afraid – (Bishop should have been on from the start).
Kennedy – Why bring Goater on and take off your supply line, absolute joke.
Whitley – I am not a big fan, how on earth he gets a shirt week in, week out his beyond me, can’t pass, can’t shoot, gets knocked off the ball very easily.
Tiatto – No brain simple as that, Horlock a far better option, and at least he gives you a goal threat, which we have not got at the moment.
Wright-Phillips – What a star, when he scores a goal the floodgates will open.

I will ever be indebted for what Joe has done, but he has to re-evaluate the squad and quickly, I get the impression if you speak out of turn you get dropped or sent out on loan, Cooke, Granville, Horlock et al.

One final point – did you see the cross by Reg that made a goal on Saturday!

Paul Jones (


I must admit that, being a fairly laid back person, I don’t normally vent my spleen over media coverage of City (apart from the MUEN’s constant bias towards the Red rabble which is par for the course) but I’m now just a teeny, weeny bit p***ed off with it!

  1. I don’t get the Observer myself (the words are a bit too long forme!) but having read through MCIVTA (Mr Wilson’s writings), I’d be tempted tostop buying it if I did!
  2. We listened to Gary Neville’s interview on the Jimmy Wagg show on theway back in the car – “when we’d silenced their crowd” he babbled. Ohyeah? Silenced the Maine Road faithful on Saturday? Don’t think so Gazza!Your mob maybe! Brainless idiot!
  3. I’m also glad I’m not the only one to be totally incensed at thedisgraceful MoTD coverage of the match on Saturday night. TheNewcastle/Sunderland game, fine match though it was with a superb headerfrom Quinny, took up about 15-20 minutes – main match, fair enough. Then wecame on. What did the MoTD viewers get? About 5 minutes, maybe less,showing all their attacks, and the goal with about 10 seconds of Cityattacks (yes if you’d blinked you’d have missed them!) and then theyconcentrated on the second Tiatto “tackle”. The post match “analysis”lasted longer than the highlights! Alan Hansen said we played well – fairenough, we did. I held my breath waiting for some more plaudits from BigAl, but no. It was straight over to “the goal” and the debate on whetherthere should have been a wall or not (that argument will rumble on for awhile). Then onto the coin throwing incident – not clever and I hope thestupid sod gets banned for life. Credit (for once and yes, I am feelingwell) to Master Beckham for making light of it, don’t think Keane wouldhave done so – perhaps the boy is finally learning but I won’t hold mybreath.

    Then of course they covered the second Tiatto tackle. Yes it was a badtackle and, yes under normal circumstances he would have deserved to getsent off. But, as ‘im indoors was trying to get through to some Red matesof ours on Sunday morning, if the referee had sent DT off, he would havehad to also do something with Captain King Prawn, Alfie and a couple ofothers who spat their dummies out during the “scuffle”. So, Mr Dunnprobably decided to use common sense for once during the game and not doanything. As has been often said, you ain’t allowed to breath on a Unitedplayer let alone have the temerity to tackle ’em! But to hear Lineker & would have thought Danny had committed murder! That aside, cansomeone please explain to me what have Manchester City FC done to upsetthem? It’s apparent that Lineker, in particular, can’t stand us, butwhy? We know that Sir Joe and Alan Green don’t exactly see eye to eye,but does this now extend to the whole of the BBC?
  4. I watched the Coventry vs. Ipswich match last night. Not a great gameto watch, Ipswich weren’t brilliant but they did deserve to sneak it at theend over a rather inept Coventry side – and they beat us? Oh well,hopefully if Ipswich play like that and we play like we did against Unitedthen we may stand a chance of getting something out of the game!

    The point I’m trying to make is that both ‘im indoors and I watched Andy &Richard analyse our match before the game kicked off. No bias, justreasoned, sensible comments and pointers. They didn’t have a go at Nickwith regard to the wall, or lack of it. They were objective, which is morethan Mr Lineker & Co. were. Is it any wonder that the Sky coverage is sogood and popular with those of us who have it? It doesn’t matter whetheryou like Andy Gray or not, the man talks a great deal of sense most of thetime!
  5. And finally Esther! Not a media point this one – Paul Scholes is agood player but he lost a hell of a lot of brownie points IMHO for divingand getting Spencer Prior booked. Needless and unnecessary.

Now for my long awaited lie down in a darkened room. Roll on Saturday!

CTID, Carol Darvill (


First timer here, so forgive the rambling and punctuation. Time and time again, we hear the pundits/managers etc. talking about a league within a league in the Premiership. I think from recent past history in the top division, it is mostly true that you have to beat your relegation rivals; consequently, being a bit of a sad statto and after our recent dismal run (results wise), I have started compiling the figures for our particular league table of relegation candidates.

All points etc. are only from results gained from each other, e.g. our results against the scum, the Ar*e etc. don’t matter, it’s our scores against the relevant teams that do. I’ve compiled a list of 9 teams including ourselves that I feel are worthy members of the division. Feel free to disagree with my choices. They are as follows:

  • Man City (not for long, but we must realise we are in a consolidation position).
  • We must also include, despite their current form, the other two promoted teams, Ipswich & Charlton.
  • Add to these: Bradford (lucky to stay up last year); Derby (team in freefall, featuring a highly skilledindividual – sound familiar?); Coventry (always sh**e, always escaping, lawsof probability aren’t on their side); Middlesbrough (Captain Bandage’smoneybagged misfits, let’s hope this management genius is on the scum’sshortlist when Taggart leaves); Southampton (Glenda’s got serious cash flowproblems here, hence the poor squad) and finally Everton (big club, greatfans, my ar*e. Poor team, crap fans, no money).

So to the results table so far; last game to date was Ipswich’s 1-0 win at Coventry. Nine teams, a maximum of sixteen games to play, bottom three are bankers to go down at the end of it all.

                  P     W     D    L     F     A    Pts    G/Dff
1) Ipswich        4     4     0    0     8      1    12       +7
2) Charlton       8     3     3    2    12     10    12       +2
3) Everton        6     3     2    1     9      7    11       +2
4) Mboro          7     2     2    3    12     11     8       +1
5) Derby          5     1     4    0    11      9     7       +2
6) Coventry       6     2     1    1     7      8     7       -1
7) Man City       5     2     1    2     6      7     7       -1
8) Soton          7     1     3    3     7     11     6       -4
9) Bradford       5     0     0    5     0      8     0       -8

Sorry, chaps, reasonably depressing so far for us, with wins against Bradford and Soton and a draw vs. Middlesbrough, tangled up with a few defeats against Coventry and Charlton, makes it a mixed bag. At least we’re not Bradford. This Saturday sees two ties, us vs. unbeaten Ipswich and Middlesbrough vs. Bradford. If you think all this is a bunch or ar*e, fair enough, personally, I’ll be watching these results very closely.

Mike Leafield (


I think Joe Royle was very right to drop Wanchope. Wanchope was made a hero with his hat trick against Sunderland, but what has he done since? Is he sulking because his friend George has been let go to the French club? The games that I have seen him play in have been disappointing, he seems awkward and lazy.

Now I know that he can play if he put his mind to it. If only he would put into his game the energy and commitment that Dickov puts into his. I do think that we still have a good striker; unless he gives his commitment to City, he is no good for the club, it’s 100% City or go. I do hope that someone will talk to him and get him going again in a positive way, we need a striker in a bad way.

Good luck!

Ernie Barrow (


Does anyone want to hear about cowards?

First of all, I refer you to David Beckham goading and fouling Southampton players and then hiding just behind Roy Keane’s shoulder when the Southampton players stood up to him to test him as the hard man he was trying to purport to be.

I also refer all readers to a Premiership fixture between Swindon Town vs. Manchester United circa 1993-1994 season.

Eric Cantona is harried for possession of a football by John Moncur, who dispossesses the former French international by using no more force than is usual in a top-flight meeting, particularly one between a team defending its championship facing a struggling team defending its Premiership status.

Moncur, having done nothing more than exactly what he has been selected against the then champions for, is lying prostrate on the ground. Cantona, perhaps believing that no-one is watching him, stamps hard on the chest of Moncur while the Swindon man is more or less defenceless but for the possibility of risking a broken wrist.

These are the actions of true cowards.

Then again, these two players were/(still) are the ultimate Man Yoo rôle models.

Any United fans reading this – and I know some of you do due to being a sad, obsessed lot – please feel free to write to me and I’ll explain what the concept of player, club and support suiting each other perfectly means in this particular context.

For the record: UniTed fans, I don’t hate you. Because you’re now below even the flattery of my all-out contempt.

Bye for now! Love from Marc Starr (


Does anyone out there have a spare copy or 2 of Saturday’s match programme? I attended my 3rd home game of the season and witnessed the 3rd 0-1 home defeat. Hope I’m not becoming a bad omen. On the previous 2 occasions I have bought my programme on entering the ground 15-20 minutes before kick off. This time they were all sold out so if anyone has a couple spare they would be willing to send me I will reimburse the cost plus postage.

Ian Hawthorne (


I have some Barca vs. MCFC items I wish to sell; these are as follows:

x21 b&w copies of the original press photos (Spanish) from the Barca vs. MCFC match 1975, for their 75th aniversary, size 20cm x 15 cm cost = £5.00 each.

Other items are A4 copies of the original club records stats which are like a team sheet for the following matches: Barca vs. MCFC 1951, 1956, 1975, 1986 at Huelva. They tell you the date, score, scorers, ref, venue, and the teams for the match; they also have Barcelona FC with a badge across the top. 1950s = £ 3.00 each; 1975 & 1986 = £1.50 each.

Ian Harkness (


Recent results to 23 November 2000 inclusive.

20 November 2000

Coventry City         0 - 1  Ipswich Town

League table to 23 November 2000 inclusive.

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  GD Pts
 1 Manchester Utd  14  6  1  0 24  4  4  2  1 12  6 10  3  1 36 10  26  33
 2 Arsenal         14  6  1  0 16  4  2  3  2  7  8  8  4  2 23 12  11  28
 3 Leicester City  14  3  3  1  7  7  4  2  1  7  1  7  5  2 14  8   6  26
 4 Liverpool       14  6  1  0 16  6  1  2  4 12 15  7  3  4 28 21   7  24
 5 Ipswich Town    14  3  3  1  9  6  4  0  3 11  8  7  3  4 20 14   6  24
 6 Aston Villa     13  4  2  0 11  3  2  2  3  5  8  6  4  3 16 11   5  22
 7 Charlton Ath.   14  5  2  0 13  3  1  1  5  8 17  6  3  5 21 20   1  21
 8 Newcastle Utd   14  3  1  3  8  7  3  1  3  7  7  6  2  6 15 14   1  20
 9 Tottenham H.    14  6  1  0 14  6  0  1  6  5 15  6  2  6 19 21  -2  20
10 Sunderland      14  4  3  0  8  4  1  2  4  6 12  5  5  4 14 16  -2  20
11 Leeds United    13  4  0  3 15 12  1  4  1  5  7  5  4  4 20 19   1  19
12 West Ham United 14  2  3  2 10  8  2  3  2  8  7  4  6  4 18 15   3  18
13 Everton         14  2  2  3  9 10  3  1  3  8 10  5  3  6 17 20  -3  18
14 Chelsea         14  4  2  1 19  8  0  3  4  6 12  4  5  5 25 20   5  17
15 Southampton     14  3  1  3 12 12  1  4  2  7 12  4  5  5 19 24  -5  17
16 Manchester City 14  2  1  4  8  8  2  1  4  7 17  4  2  8 15 25 -10  14
17 Coventry City   14  1  1  5  4 12  2  1  4  9 17  3  2  9 13 29 -16  11
18 Middlesbrough   14  0  2  5  5 13  2  2  3 12 11  2  4  8 17 24  -7  10
19 Derby County    14  1  5  1 10 12  0  2  5  8 16  1  7  6 18 28 -10  10
20 Bradford City   14  1  3  3  4  6  0  1  6  1 16  1  4  9  5 22 -17   7

With thanks to Football 365


Contributions: Ashley –
News & Rumours: Geoff –
Subscriptions: Steve –
Technical Problems: Paul –

The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribersand there is no intention to represent these opinions as being thoseof Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies anduniversities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not inany way whatsoever connected to the club or any other relatedorganisation and is simply a group of supporters using this mediumas a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.

[Valid3.2]Ashley Birch,

Newsletter #661