Newsletter #714

KK appears to be settling in well, with the press hounds already baying news of interest in all manner of ex-Toon players! The only solid news is that Andy Morrison is being allowed to leave on a free transfer.

This issue has Michael’s news; somes news of a US-based fitness coach; a review of City Mag; humour and opinion.

Please note that I will not be editing MCIVTA next week (see below).

Next game: to be announced


Please note that I’ll be unable to edit MCIVTA next week, so all articles should be sent to Heidi Pickup, who has kindly agreed to step in for the next two issues.

Heidi Pickup:


General Stuff

Apologies to Man City Ladies

Due to some lazy journalism by the general media, the recent game against the Rags (I nearly called them Ragbags, apologies for even thinking this) was slightly incorrect. Here is the fuller picture: happily enough City have beaten U****d ladies three times already this season – 4-1 & 4-0 in the league and 4-1 in the FA Cup (I like these scorelines). The City ladies were promoted on May 10th after beating Blackpool 4-3. The actual 2-1 victory over ManUre was last Thursday and was actually a Charity game in aid of something called Football Aid. Apparently the Rags (typically) tried to import a few ringers from the decent Everton ladies set-up but we still beat them, ha ha. City are now promoted to the FA Premier League Northern Division. Check out the real info on this site: Oh by the way, thanks Jane.

Whitley Out of Northern Ireland Squad

Thanks to the far from sporting play of Chelsea’s Hasselbaink, the City midfielder will miss the forthcoming international against Bulgaria on Saturday. Despite boss Sammy McIlroy’s hopes of him travelling with the squad in the hope that his leg injury would heal, Whitley withdraw from the trip. Problem being is that it appears that Whitley thought City had advised Northern Ireland that he wouldn’t be attending. Initially this seemed to have caused Jeff some problems as McIlroy was at first expecting Whitley to turn up and work on his injury with the squad. Consequently the Northern Ireland boss was said to be unhappy re Whitley’s no show, but word is that Kev has smoothed this over and it shouldn’t affect Whitley’s future squad selection.

Donachie to Stay

Coach Willie Donachie has agreed to stay and help the club get back into the Premiership at the first attempt. He told the club website “My time at City as a coach and player has been fantastic. This club and its fans deserve to be in the top flight and I will now look forward to working hard alongside Kevin to get us back to the Premiership.”

New Home Kit

The club has announced that the new home kit will be available from July 6th. The official club website is revealing tantalising glimpses of the kit in stages; so far we can all ogle in wonder at the forthcoming left sock.

Wigan Want Big Joe

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has put the proverbial ball in Joe Royle’s court as far as the Managerial vacancy goes. Wigan, recently dumped by the club hopping gargoyle Steve Bruce, have not received an application from Royle but Whelan has praised him, saying “I know Joe very well and was surprised when he left Manchester City. He did wonders with the club. If Joe makes an application we will look at it seriously.”

Off on Tour

City prepare for a pre season tour of… West Yorkshire! To be more precise, Halifax. A friendly has been arranged at the Shay for July 21. Also on our worldwide tour will be a game against recently relegated Huddersfield Town ten days later as a testimonial for John Dyson, then in the first week of August we will play Oldham in a benefit match for Earl Barrett.

Non Friendly

One friendly we won’t be partaking in is a game against Fiorentina. Rumour is that the Italians would have played at Maine Road but due to the financial intransigence of a long-standing club servant we wouldn’t underwrite a payment guarantee to the visitors. This has all fallen through and apparently Fiorentina will be more likely visiting the giants of Blackburn Rovers and Middlesbrough (I’m getting really sick of writing this club’s name, can I refer to them as Middlesbore?).

City Escape Fine

City have escaped a fine from the FA after the shenanigans on the pitch in the last game of the season versus Chelsea. A spokesperson for the FA confirmed an investigation had taken place but that no action would be taken; this will come as a relief as they may have been a threat of action still hanging over the club since the Beckham/coin throwing incident.

Ins and Outs

Morrison Released

Popular centre half Andy Morrison has been released on a free transfer by new boss Kevin Keegan. Morrison, 30, has spent spells on loan this season but had been expected by fans to be given a further chance in the First Division next term. The club announced the free was due to his loyalty and commitment to City and they didn’t want to hamper his chances of a move by imposing a fee on him.

Well the press vultures are hovering. Speculation this week has several clubs chasing player of the season Danny Tiatto. For bored journo’s it appears that he is our foremost saleable asset, apart from the Chicken Balti pies of course. Apparently the interested parties include Aston Villa, Ipswich Town, Glasgow Rangers and the Mighty Captain Marvel’s Middlesbrough. Guestimated fee for the Aussie is £4.5 million. The only shred of evidence in this one so far is the revelation earlier this month that Danny’s agent, brother Frank did mention that Villa and West Ham had expressed an interest in the Aussie fireball.

On the incoming rumour mill, we are still heavily linked with Fulham’s 28-year-old Lee Clark. One source claims that following an initial £4 million bid we have upped this to £5 million and a deal has been agreed leaving Clark to negotiate personal terms and hopefully sign for us next week. The combative midfielder who has already expressed a desire to move North but is also wanted by his former club and boyhood idols Newcastle United.

Further competition with Newcastle apparently looms over Bolton’s soon to be free agent Robbie Elliott. Keegan managed the full back at St. James’ Park. Elliott is now 28 years old and though undoubtedly highly rated has suffered a succession of injuries since he left Newcastle in 1997. Sticking point for City on this one could be Elliott’s supposed wage demands of approximately £15,000 per week.

Rumours still abound that Keegan will approach Halifax in a bid to bring Paul Bracewell to Maine Road as his assistant manager. Halifax chairman Bob Walker has stated that an approach has not been made but if one were to he wouldn’t stand in Bracewell’s way.

Former Blues’ News

Former loan goalkeepers Mike Stowell and Bobby Mimms have both been released from their respective clubs, Wolves and Mansfield. Barry Conlon is being chased by Darlington after his move to Colchester fell through. Mr Beagrie Wonderland himself is being linked with a move to Hartlepool and finally Fitzroy Simpson is being linked with a move from Hearts to Walsall.

Michael Leafield (


Manchester City reserve player, Chris Killen, has withdrawn himself from the New Zealand World Cup squad due to play their qualifying games next week.

The statement from Soccer New Zealand reads as such: Manchester City striker Chris Killen has been allowed to leave the squad after discussions with coach, Ken Dugdale. Chris Killen requested that he be withdrawn from the squad due to the fact that he is physically drained and is of the opinion that he would not be capable of producing his best for the team during the forthcoming tournament. Chris has been playing football constantly for 2 years both at his club, Manchester City and has been involved with New Zealand teams at U-20, Olympic and with the All Whites at the Nations Cup in Tahiti and Merdeka Tournament in Malaysia during this period without a break. It was agreed by Ken Dugdale that in the best interest of the player and the team that Chris be released from the squad.

Ralph Sheppard (


Just noticed in the New York paper that the ‘new’ fitness coach Juan Carlos Osorio is debating whether to join Manchester City as he feels the Metrostars are poised to have a great season. He seems to have done a great job with the Metrostars as they are definitely one fit team. Osorio has a diploma in science and football from John Moores University in Liverpool, a UEFA ‘B’ coaching licence from the FA and a coaching certicate from the Dutch FA. While the standard of the league over here is pretty cr*p there is one player, Clint Mathis, a midfielder/striker with an eye for goal who could be a great buy for City. A belated goodbye to Peter for a job well done and to Ashley keep up the superb job.

CTID, Dave Heron (


Mmmm, just as I get a “window” to review the Mag then all hell breaks loose at Maine Road so please bear with me – I’ll try to keep it short!

Town & Out – what might have been

We went into the Ipswich match still hoping that we could pull it off and get three points to stave off the almost inevitable for the final game against Chelsea. As Mike rightly says we could have done with a bit of assistance from the Red mob but as usual they decided to blow it and let Derby win – b****ds! But unfortunately after going a goal up against the Tractor Boys our defence fell on their swords and we were defeated 2-1. I still cannot fathom why, after the Goat got injured, we didn’t replace him with Huckerby instead of Spence! I felt sorry for Spence ’cause he seemed to get the blame for the two goals but we shouldn’t have been trying to defend a 1-0 lead (again!). I must admit to quaffing a bottle of wine and a couple of beers during and after the game, sitting there wishing I’d gone whilst I had the chance. At least I could have a decent drink and drown my sorrows straightaway! There are a lot of “what ifs” regarding where we could have ended up with disallowed goals (Tiatto’s the prime example but would we have won the game in the end – who knows?) and dodgy decisions but relegation is over a season not on the odd result.


As Mike has now had to hang up his editorial hat for the mag – great job Mike and good luck in the future – the mag needs a new editor. Can’t say I’ve applied myself, I have enough trouble finding the time to review the mag without trying to edit it as well!

The Desire of Dickov

No, not a Catherine Cookson-type romantic novel, although I don’t doubt for one moment that our little braveheart isn’t a romantic at heart, but the article speaks about his desire to give his best for our cause. It’s obvious that everyone wants to speak to him regarding that goal at Wembley – he says he still gets a tingle down the spine when he sees it; I still get tearful! All that expectation and… well back to reality with a bump! Dicky is very popular with his team mates and fans alike although I wouldn’t fancy him chasing me round a football pitch (no sarky comments please) with that mean “I’m gonna get the ball off you and if you get in my way tuff” look! Unfortunately, like Danny T, he picks up his fair share of yellow cards, more I feel by reputation than malice although I thought it was harsh for him to get a red card at Everton where that Italian git Pistone kneed him in the gonads right in front of us – Dicky wasn’t the only one with tears in his eyes at that stage! The lads round me all turned white! Fortunately David Elleray overturned the decision (and may I say what a cracking game he had in the derby match). I was surprised to see that he still can’t drive (what about a scooter Dicky?!) – at least he hasn’t upset any of his team mates enough to avoid cadging lifts off them! Dicky goes on record to thank both Joe and Willie for all they’ve done for him and also the team as a whole and he hopes to hold successful contract talks at the end of the season, now of course with the new incumbent, Kevin Keegan. Personally, as a great fan of Dicky I hope he’s leading the charge in the Nationwide next season for us and not someone else.

Maine Frames

David Scally campaigned long and hard to save the “City Gates” pub but since the mag came out it has now sadly been demolished, although the original entrance to the building has been preserved and will grace Eastlands. The two streakers at the Arsenal home match feature – what the male streaker was trying to achieve by trying to tackle (sorry!) Kanu just in front of me I don’t know! It livened up the evening! I feel that picture 5 showing Joe, Willie and the fourth official trying to look like Kenneth Williams saying “oooh stop messing about” would be worth a caption competition! There’s a picture of a certain ex-Red French bloke almost outside Maine Road (next to the Soccer shop), can’t think of his name…

Obituary for David “Rocky” Rocastle

What can I add to Mike’s tribute? I had the pleasure of seeing Rocky in a blue shirt, even though I had forgotten he replaced my hero David White and he oozed skill. He always had that endearing smile on his face and was a genuine “diamond geezer” as they say where I hail from! May I add my sincere condolences to David’s family.

At the end of the article was an explanation by Sandra Roycroft-Davis on lymphatic cancer. Please read it, it could save your life.

The 126th Manchester Derby

The article starts with Ricky Hatton in the Blue corner “squaring up” to Michael Brodie in the Red corner and then follows the two page “DerbyBlueNotes”. Not maybe the most passionate of derbies on the pitch, our lot certainly made up for it by our singing and stomping and not sitting down! Don’t worry, my ageing knees were ready for this one! A gloriously warm day, catering was good – a plus point for the Swamp and no trouble seen! We deserved the point although Paulo could have got us off to a cracking start if he’d only shot instead of trying to round Barthez! I just hope the bloke to my right who then started on a five minute racist epithet against Paulo was proud of himself – you know who you are! Fortunately others round him also took exception and told him to shut up. OK we were all mentally throttling him but there was no need for that foul-mouthed outburst. Having conceded two penalties and only falling behind to one, we could be expected to have some hope. That hope was confirmed with big Stevie Howey heading home for the equaliser with six minutes to go! Much has been said also about that tackle. The article concluded with an interview with our mascot, 7-year-old Jamie Clinton, who is currently in remission from leukaemia – and long may it last – he had a cracking day!

Desert Storm

This covered the Academy squad’s trip to Qatar to play the national side. A very successful visit it would appear, strengthening links with the country for a possible return at some stage. Well done to Jim and the squad.

Young at Heart

“Nellie” Young was in the squad when I first started supporting City in the late 60s and although not as well-mentioned as Bell, Lee & Summerbee he was just as vital a part of the team. The article goes on to cover Neil’s career both with City, Preston and Rochdale. Unfortunately the testimonial that Neil was promised never materialised and I know that Dave Cash has been campaigning to get something organised for him. The club has agreed to donate some of the proceeds from one of the pre-season games to the Former Players’ Association who, in turn, will pass on a sum to Neil. Whichever game is chosen, please support it – this is one player who really does deserve it.

Awayday Blues

David Sykes made a visit to Tirana in Albania for England’s World Cup qualifying match and saw life far removed from how we live over here. I had the chance to go once myself whilst on holiday on Corfu but ‘im indoors and his parents who were with us didn’t so I missed out.


Covered Villa (h), Everton (a), Arsenal (h), Leicester (a), WHU (h) and Ipswich (a).

Carol Darvill (


King Kev – Live at the Theatre of Comedy

What the months ahead have in store for the badger-haired Manchester City supremo:

June: Keegan is delighted with his new job, announcing: “City are on the way back. It’s going to be tough but, ‘ey, we’re in with a real chance for a UEFA Cup spot the season after next.”

City immediately sign Keegan favourite Rob Lee, while training matches find Keggy experimenting with four strikers. The players are already fond of him, with Danny Tiatto saying: “He’s brilliant. He’s just like one of us and he lets us do whatever we want.”

July: Keegan is increasingly optimistic, saying: “I’ve got a great squad of players ‘ere, all 86 of ’em. I ‘onestly think the Premiership title is a possibility in two seasons’ time.” City announce the signing of Gareth Southgate, who is immediately groomed for a new rôle, playing just behind the front five.

Morale in the camp is high, with one player enthusing: “I tell you what, he always gets his round in. He doesn’t treat us like kids. He treats us like the emotionally and socially retarded adults we are.”

August: The season starts away at Rotherham with Keegan proclaiming: “There’s a fantastic spirit in the camp. I really fancy us for this year’s Eurovision.” Keegan ties up the signing of Faustino Asprilla, but the Colombian is deemed “too defensive” for City’s new six-up-front formation. The spirit at Maine Road is now dangerously high, with one star beaming: “What a guy. I won ten grand off him last month alone.”

An early run of four straight defeats (including a 6-4 thriller at Edgeley Park, Stockport) does not worry Keegan, who describes it as “a great adventure.”

September: After ten games, City are firmly anchored to the bottom of the First Division. With 45 goals scored already, their first point of the season cannot be far off. Keegan loses his temper in the post-match press conference after an 11-8 classic at Gresty Road, Crewe, blasting: “‘ey! ‘ey! Don’t try telling me we need a goalkeeper. Weaver’s doing a great job.” When it is pointed out that the aforementioned Nicky Weaver is being played as an old-fashioned inside right and that ‘scramble goalie’ is not a recognised tactic in professional football, Keegan storms out of the press lounge.

Not all is bleak, however, as Keegan secures the services of Philippe Albert, who is an immediate success on the left wing. The players continue to sing Keegan’s praises, one telling a restaurant full of embarrassed diners: “That is a man. D’you hear me? A real man. He’s my besht f****** mate, d’you hear? Don’t look away when I’m talking to you!”

October: With winter approaching, relegation is a very real prospect. Several City players have already had a large punt on Conference football within three seasons but Keegan remains bullish. “‘ey! I’ll tell you what, we’re going to win that General Election, y’know. I can feel it.”

The players continue to back the manager – one saying: “He’s really great. He lets me play with poo” – but the signing of Derek Fazackerley as a centre-forward fails to calm the board’s – or the fans’ – nerves and after a 19-15 home defeat by Grimsby, Keegan breaks down in the press conference, admitting: “I just wasn’t good enough. I resign.”

Another retirement to Spain beckons, but Keegan is already being linked with the leadership of the Conservative Party…

Withn thanks to Football 365


There’s no drinkers amongst the City squad, I mean Mark Kennedy, arrested for bouncing off a copper’s bonnet in Ireland only a couple of months after spending an evening vodka and oranging it up in the Kush Koly curry house – with me (ruining a table cloth – with his signature!)! After spending an evening with my mate Si, in Mas Que Vida – in Alderley along with a certain young midfield player completely rat arsed! Another midfielder too, leathered in the press club in Manchester, but not as leathered as me who then saw Mr Horlock in our local ‘Town Bar’ with a couple of shandies, and who also saw Mr Weaver after the disastrous cock up ‘keeping of the Villa game, three sheets to the wind in the Pitcher and Piano in Didsbury, who incidently has just bought the old Cheadle Wine Bar and re-named it ‘Weavers’!

Don’t know what they’re on about zzzzzzzz Z Z Z Z Z Z Z burp!

Joel Perry (


This is the first time as a City fan I can honestly say that I have experienced such apathy towards a new manager – yet he’s probably the best manger we’ve been able to get for the last thirty! What’s up with you all? David Bernstein has done what should have been done and to be honest his only mistake was to give JR so much time. He’s probably only done it about 3 months too late. Given 3 months I believe Keegan would have kept us up. As it is KK now has 5 weeks kicking his heels waiting to talk to and look at the players. That’s 5 weeks he could have been out finding a right back!

On paper we have a very good squad. I think in most areas we have strong base and there only needs a couple of additions to make us a decent outfit. We all know about the right back problem. Maybe Derek Fazakerly is going to be player/coach. We are desperate for a midfield general to sort it all out for us. I think the lad Gregan at Preston fits the bill as he’s got stature and experience. I have to say I still have concerns about Dunne, especially his positioning, fitness and concentration levels.

Take this team as a starting eleven for August 11th at Grimsby away. Nash; Edghill, Howey (capt), Dunne, Granville; Huckerby, Gregan (humour me!), Whitley, Tiatto; Wanchope, Dickov. This effectively leaves Haaland, Horlock, Goater, SWP, Dunfield, Morrison, Weaver and Wiekens chomping at the bit.

Can anybody tell me the last time the team played attacking football on a regular basis? I’ll tell you, the last manager to do it was Brian Horton.

Lastly, just a point on the drink culture business. I have heard and read so many opinions of fans who know nothing about it. Well maybe you don’t get these stories on Mars but I would suggest that 85% of the Maine Road crowd could tell you 3 or 4 stories of different players on the lash. Personally I couldn’t care if they were on the lash every day if they won every game, but then that wouldn’t be City would it! Good luck KK and oh find us a right back.

Mark Robison (


Having watched City (and David Bernstein) make a brave and, in my opinion, correct decision to sack Royle and bring in KK, I was mortified by two things from City fans – one at the Fans’ Forum, the other in MCIVTA 713.

I can see the issue over the M_word, it’s not anything that City or their fans say deliberatly, but every player/manager/tealady always uses it, and it’s something we get ribbed about constantly. But where has this “Manchester not Man” thing come from – anyone any idea? It wouldn’t surprise me if KK had thought “What am I getting involved in here?” It made us look daft.

There were two anti-Bernstein views in 713. One from the UAE, the other from Australia. Now these guys might fly over every week to watch the Blues, or may be sending articles in from holidays, but I think both talk absolute nonsense. Wythenshawe Exile says MrB is a “sanctimonious hypocrite” and “another sad bullshi*ter”. He claims money was promised to Joe and not delivered, yet I’ve been to forums where Joe confirmed he had money to spend but couldn’t do so. He also spent a total of £17 million in his tenure – maybe not much in Premier League standards, but more than you or I have. He then comments on the “undeniable poor judgement shown by Joe with some of his signings” – surely another reason for making a change?

Roy Bailey was sacked because he was not qualified to do the job – simple as that – you need a phsyio licence to work in the league – Roy didn’t have it. He may have worked hard etc but costs are costs – I wouldn’t like to think City take my season ticket money and pour it down the drain – why should we pay people who can’t perform a rôle at the club?

Wythenshawe completes his analysis by quoting Mick Channon who must have been the first person in the world to say “what goes round comes around” – I too hope for a “go-around” to the good days of the Mercer-Allison era.

I hope KK is a good appointment, guess we’ll see his intentions over the close season and first few weeks of the new campaign. Shame about the knee-jerk comments though.

Mark Cowen (


I have always been a backer of Joe Royle; you could see that by my articles in the past MCIVTA editions. I also was his critic during last season for changing the players so many times, and not having the right “team spirit”. I thank Sir Joe for his efforts, but last season was his downfall for whatever reasons.

Joe gave us 2 great seasons and brought back some pride to the club. During this period we must never forget that we have a brlliant chairman in David Bernstein, who with a very good group of directors also helped our favourite club. I wish Joe Royle all the very best in the future but now we must look forward. If there had to be a change, now is the best time. It gives the new manager time to get his team ready for the new season, and make what changes are needed. I voted for Kevin Keegan to be our new manager, I look to all his positives with his past teams. We all know he quit Newcastle and England but one must remember he said from the outset he was only going to be the caretaker manager of England, it was the fans who wanted him to stay in that position; he always said he did not really want it.

There are some fans out there who say he will quit City if the going gets tough; I would like to know what odds the bookies will give that Kevin Keegan will still be with City at the end of his 5 year contract? If the odds are good I would like a flutter on that K.K. will still be at City. Not only will Kevin Keegan be a great track suit manager, he will be a very good public relations manager for City. I have seen Kevin Keegan’s teams play, Newcastle and Fulham, and they played in an attacking style. Many of us City fans will remember the City team of the late 60’s, early 70’s; it was a team that played attacking football with flair, and us fans would chant “attack, attack.”

My vision is Kevin Keegan will help bring back those days again. From this time on we must back Kevin Keegan all the way, and David Bernstein with his board of directors.

We all are Manchester City fans, and we must move forward. Next season promises to be an exciting one, let’s all go for it!

Come on you Blues! Ernie Barrow (


OK girls and boys, so some of you are upset that Sir Joe has gone, but this is not a Shakespearean stab in the back tragedy, it’s a step forward. Something had to change big style. So get behind your club and manager and support us through a season of massive renaissance, victory, and taking over away grounds. We will fight them on the beaches…

Good luck Kevin Keegan. Maybe next time I predict a 4-nil win over Ipswich on Sky TV. I’ll not be disappointed, needless to say, but I will be there home and away all season, even bloo*y Millwall, our friends in the south who my Bermondsey friends say are planning a welcome right now… lucky to have friends like these – why does no one like them? Don’t get it, wonder how they’ll react to KK. Probably by adding another K.

Come on you Blues. Good luck Joe, I’m sure you understand. New labour? My vote goes to ‘New City’.

Hi to Jennifer in NYC!

Mark Redgrave (


I have decided to write about KK being appointed manager. I’ll keep it short. I remember standing on the Kippax when I was a lot younger than I am now and playing Liverpool, and a little fat permed-haired git’s name (KK) was annouced over the tannoy. All you could hear was boos – we hated him then and I for one don’t like him now, hate being a strong word.

For my team (from when I first left Ireland to live in Manchester) I hope he does the business, but if things don’t go well, will he run away again? I hope not. And what about the stability DB was on about, and his 5-year plan? I seem to be one of the only people who like JR and I wish him the best.

To end, I went to the pre-season game at Drogheda and said to a friend who was working here in Ireland from Hyde, “well at least we can’t get any worse” – sadly we did, but always CTID.

Ian Savage (


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

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Newsletter #714