Newsletter #733

The good news is that we have only 5 days to go until normality returns and we’re saved from cricketing humiliation and running & jumping championships.

Tonight’s issue sees Michael’s news, Ken’s Diary, some mixed opinion and a handful of requests together with a report on the Bish in New York.

Next game: Watford, home, Saturday 11 August (18.15)


Keegan in Drug Scare! Sorry, just thought the headline would match the following comments. City will be in the top six of the Premiership and financially strong enough to spend £25 million on a single player within five years says KK. Quoted in the Manchester Evening News, Keegan said “I have set myself targets which I believe are realistic, the first target is the obvious one, to take Manchester City back into the Premiership as quickly as possible. That is a realistic goal. The second target is to make City a top six Premiership club within the five years of my contract. That is also realistic, although it won’t be easy.” He added, “The gap between the top of the Premier League and the rest is widening all the time and to break into that league-within-a-league will be very difficult. I am going to need help from my board to achieve my targets and by that I mean financial support. We will have to develop and grow as a club to the point where we can spend £25 million on a single player. That is the only way we are going to compete on level terms with the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea.” I’ll have a half of what Kevin’s on!

City Favourites to Go Up: Oh no, the Bookmakers have installed us as favourites for promotion. Sorry for my doom and gloom I’m just not in the Keegan mindset after close to 30 years of clouds without silver linings! One turf accountant has us at 4-6 to go straight up, whilst the weekend comics have been full of knowledgeable tipsters such as Harry Bassett backing us all the way; fortunately KK hasn’t been going on about it.

Etuhu Set for Début: KK has confirmed that Patrick Viera look-alike will be in the squad for the game against Watford. Keegan said, “Dickson will certainly be in the squad for the Watford game and there is a strong possibility that he will be in the starting line-up. He has been training with the senior squad for the first time these past few weeks and has handled himself very well.” He added, “There is an obvious danger in going overboard about a player of his age but, if he keeps his head and doesn’t get carried away by the publicity he is bound to receive, there is a chance of him having a big future.”

City to Widen Pitch: Back to the good old days as Kevin Keegan has had the Maine Road pitch widened, saying that he wants his teams to play open, attacking football and go for the jugular at home. Something we will need to do, as by experience we have had to watch some negative-minded away teams in the Nationwide over the years.

Behind Closed Doors: City’s squad took part in a Probables versus Possibles game this weekend, with the possibles winning 3-2. Goals from Gerard Wiekens, Kevin Horlock and Leon Mike beat the replies from Eyal Berkovic and Paulo Wanchope.

City Reserves Win Again: City’s second string beat Chester City 3-2 at the Deva stadium on Saturday, two goals from Kiwi Chris Killen being the highlight. Chris Shuker netted the other. The starting line up was: Murphy, Mears, Jordan, Whelan, Day, McCarthy, Barton, Blackburn, Killen, Dunfield and Shuker. Subs: Paisley, Hodgson D, Holmes, Tunnicliffe, Mike.

Ins, Outs, Rumours

Paulo Wanchope has allegedly turned down a £5 million move to Malaga, pledging his immediate future to City. The Costa Rican appears rejuvenated and is in a rich vein of scoring and states he is very happy at City.

City are apparently linked with a move for Stoke City’s highly-rated midfielder James O’Connor. Ipswich are also rumoured to be after him. The expected fee would be about £1 million and Stoke are said to have already turned down one bid of £750,000.

Tranmere’s Jason Koumas is said to on the verge of sealing a deal with City. The fee of £3.5 million plus an additional £500,000 based on appearances. The creative midfielder had initially pledged his future to Tranmere but City have been persistently linked with him throughout the summer and the Welsh international could be set for talks shortly.

Ex-Blues’ News

Once linked as a possible goalkeeping coach, Tommy Wright has now signed for Ballymena United. Wright, 37 spent the end of last season with Bolton and was released shortly afterwards.

Michael Leafield (

CITY DIARY: August 6th-12th

August 6th:
Keith Curle signed from Wimbledon for the then record fee of £2.5 million in 1991. In 1960 City won a friendly with St. Mirren 4-3.

August 7th:
On tour to West Germany in 1983, City beat FC Osterode 4-0.

August 8th:
In 1984 a 4-1 win over Waterford Utd on the first game of a pre-season tour of Ireland. Nicky Weaver made his début in 1998 at home to Blackpool; City won 3-0 in their first-ever game in the third division. The attendance was the highest for a 3rd division game for thirty years.

August 9th:

Joe Mercer’s birthday (1914) and also the day on which he died in 1990. His team were at home to Sheffield Wednesday on August 9th 1969, the opening day of the season, starting early on account of the World Cup in Mexico, and won 4-1 for him with two goals from Neil Young and one each from Bell and Lee. In 1975 City beat Sheffield Utd 3-1 in an Anglo-Scottish Cup match.

August 10th:
City drew 2-2 with a Great Britain XI in 1955. In 1968, 51,000 came to see the champions (that’s City!) start the new season at Anfield, and Neil Young began as he had left off at Newcastle the previous May, but his goal wasn’t enough and Liverpool won 2-1.

August 11th:
1965 and Joe Mercer made his first signing, Ralph Brand from Rangers, who would go on to score just twice. In 1997 City vs. Blackpool at the seaside. City lost a dreadful first leg League Cup match 1-0. Before the game the Blackpool, police greeted City’s supporters as though they were some kind of alien invaders. Bloomfield Road had become a crumbling ruin where it once held 40,000, and the match itself was dire – the most entertaining football was played by the little lad who kicked a beach ball around in the penalty area at half-time, until the stewards moved in. In 1999 City had another first leg League Cup encounter, this one at Notts County, and won 2-0. The first goal was from Kakhaber Tshkadadze, who met a cross with a thumping header into the net the City fans were behind; it had goal written all over it from the moment he went to meet the corner, testimony to how good he was in the air. A few days later he’d be writhing in agony on the ground after a bad injury at Fulham, and that was really the end of his career. Anyone know where he is now? Back in Georgia?

August 12th:
25 years ago today City drew 2-2 at Leicester on the opening day of the 1976-77 season. The goals came from Joe Royle and Dennis Tueart, together no more.

Ken Corfield (


When the email came round last week exhorting New York area Blues to turn out on Saturday night and cheer on Ian Bishop and his Miami Fusion team against the New York/New Jersey Metro Stars, I must say that I was in two minds about the 130 mile round trip, bearing in mind how bad the traffic usually is around NYC. However, since it sounded as though there were going to be a few City fans there and Stu (Miami Blue) Booth was flying up especially for the game, I decided to give it a go. The Dickster (Dickie Denton) and I therefore took our lives in our hands and set off for darkest New Jersey. As it turned out the traffic was a breeze and we made the 45 miles from Dickie’s place in about 40 minutes. We soon found Chippy standing high on his Dodge Durango (he must be planning on having more kids with a car this big) looking for other blue shirts. Stu duly showed and eventually Sedge with Martin Harrop. The ladies with Stu and Martin H made up our group of eight. It was rumoured that Ken Corfield was there with his missus but I guess he mustn’t have wanted to hang with his Blue chums this time round. We had all been invited to ‘tailgate’ with Bob Ferguson, an American City fan, but he only had three beers left for the four of us there when he found us. Never mind, his gesture was appreciated and at least in the US there is no problem getting served and taking drinks to your seat. More of Bob later. So, while Sedge and his group finished their Boddies ‘lagers’ (?) outside, the first few of us went inside and took up our seats. The Fusion team was warming up on the pitch and we soon picked out Bish. As the team left to change into their match strip, we shouted at him from about 50 yards and he gave us a wave and a smile. No doubt he remembered having his picture taken with me after the Blackburn TG game (or maybe it was just ’cause we all had City shirts on). This was the first of our Bish highlights of the night.

The game itself was not particularly exciting. In fact Chippy’s daughters were bored by the 3rd minute and had had enough by the 20th, apparently disappointed by the fact that no-one had died of heat exhaustion (a reference to an NFL player who suffered this fate during training a couple of days before – can’t see that happening to any City players). Chippy duly left (never mind lad, it’s only money). At half time, with the score at 1-0 to the Metro Stars, Dickie was gutted that the hermaphrodite he’d been eyeing up near us left its seat. We still had no idea whether it was male or female but it had a full ‘viva Zapata’ moustache and breasts (real ones bigger than Colin Montgomerie’s).

And so on to the second half. The Fusion, who had had a man sent off for two bookables, equalised through Prekki. At least Stu was happy. Sadly for him, his joy was short-lived as Mark Chung scored his second for the Stars around the 80th minute. We breathed a sigh of relief as we were to be spared ‘overtime’. What we certainly didn’t expect was our second Bish ‘highlight’ of the evening. This happened in the 85th minute when Bish, who had not stamped the authority we expected on the game and had played mostly short balls from a deep lying midfield position, got sent off for a late scything tackle on the sideline. It is very unlikely that this would have earned more than a booking in England and Bish had not previously been cautioned. However, the officials were not up to much (what’s new these days?) so off he went. I hardly remember him tackling anyone when I saw him play for City, so perhaps he was anxious to get to the pub (he had been seen drinking in the Manchester Pub in Manhattan during the week). Predictably, he wouldn’t give us a wave on his way off, despite our cheering and standing ovation.

So the game finished at 2-1 for the home side. This was my first MLS (Major League Soccer to the uninitiated) and I would go again. Crowds are usually small (although bigger than Stockport County’s) but there is a group of supporters (Bob Ferguson’s Empire Supporters Club) who stand behind one of the goals and chant songs. This is something rarely seen in American sport (if you don’t count “Devils suck” at N Y Rangers games) so at least these guys do try to create some atmosphere. Unfortunately for them, following the first game was a friendly between Columbia and Liberia (yes old ‘white boots’ was playing). The ground was therefore so full of Columbians that I doubt many people were left in Columbia. It would have been really interesting to see how quickly 35,000 could disappear if the US Immigration Service had raided the place. On the plus side, although from what we saw Columbian men are not known for their good looks, there was certainly some top notch totty there for the second game. This is not generally the case according to Bob.

Although most of our gang left after the MLS game, Dickie and I stayed around for a short while (to let the traffic clear of course – nothing to do with the totty). However, this did mean that we got to see the ‘build up’ to the second game. By the reaction of the Columbian supporters, the highlight of this was (with apologies to Monty Python) an emaciated dago with 9″ hips presenting flamenco for foreigners with a female dummy the feet of which were attached to his. We left after about 5 minutes with Columbia already leading 1-0. Despite it being 10.45pm when we were leaving the ground, people were still coming in. Imagine the mayhem at a 10.30pm kick-off in England. Half the fans wouldn’t even be able to remember the game!

Michael Warren a.k.a. Redding Blue/RB (


In this time of boredom I think it’s time for some good news. Those of you from TG3 will remember me from the 5-a-side tourney as BennyBlue.

Well, I’ve just come back from the Cerebral Palsy World Games which were held in Nottingham. Grandstand recorded highlights from the games which will be broadcast on Sunday 12 August on BBC2. Those of you who know me will be familiar with CP, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy what the BBC will show.

The Games proved to be a tremendous success, with over 1,500 competitors from around the world competing. The Asian team duly wore their Rag/Liverpool shirts, yet my City shirt caused the usual “Why City?” talk, and I may have converted a few to the righteous way. Upon winning the silver medal in the table tennis competition, and due to my CTID personality, Grandstand decided to interview me. So if you fancy cheering up, why not watch it?

Looking forward to seeing you all at TG5.

Benjamin Bloom a.k.a. BennyBlue (


‘Sorry folks, I’m afraid it’s back to my bi-weekly trawl/rant re the city news. Lots of thanks to Peter for his brief return to family values and comprehensive summaries. By the way, don’t go to Sandown on the Isle of Wight, unless you’re over 90!’

Sorry, can’t resist the old joke from “Take it from here”: Ron & Eth (perpetually engaged couple) talking about where they might go for the honeymoon and Eth suggests the Isle of Wight – “Do you think you’d like Shanklin, Ron?” “Dunno, Eth, I’ve never shankled…”

Steve Parish (


Through McV may I thank Richard Young for his honest comment that we do have louts in our “bandwagon”. Because I live close to London (after Belgium then Horsham) I have often had to get in games using the “locals” entrances (without favours or badges) and suppressing obvious elation at City’s efforts and have viewed our “supporters” through others’ eyes. We really should not shout too loud at others.

Peter Holland (

Agreed, it’s a disgrace to see such behaviour out there, ruining it for all.



To all those who have already phoned me… just a line to say that the picture, bottom left of the six is not Mark Bowden, a.k.a. Bibby! I missed the Chelsea game. I was in Benidorm… honest!

Mark Bowden


Sorry to bring ringtones up again but has anyone got Blue Moon for the Ericsson T28 World?

Dave Kilroy (


Does anybody know of a good bar/pub in central London frequented by City fans and that’s going to be showing the matches on the big screen this season as I’m going to be in that part of the world a lot in the near future?

Adam Worrall (


I will be on holiday in the Plymouth area next weekend. Does anybody know of any pubs/venues where the Watford game may be shown on TV?

Rhys Rowlands (


Anyone know where I can watch Saturday’s game in Amsterdam?

Daniel Marcus (


Our next branch meeting will be on Tuesday 7th August at Morley Cricket Club. Start time is 8pm. The meeting will be our AGM, along with sorting out memberships. All are welcome.

Any further info can be obtained from myself at the address below.

Simon Clegg (


[0] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)        :
News/rumour (Michael Leafield) :
Subscriptions (Geoff Donkin) :
Technical problems (Paul) :

Comments concerning this FAQ should be sent to David Warburton using the address:

[1] MCIVTA Deadlines

Deadlines for issues are nominally Monday and Thursday evenings.

[2] MCIVTA Back Issues and Manchester City Supporters’ home page is the unofficial Manchester City Supporters’ home page. Created in 1994, it is the longest running of the Manchester City related web sites. Back issues of MCIVTA are also hosted on the site.

[3] Club Web Site

The official club web site can be found at

[4] Supporters’ Clubs

Manchester City FC recognises three supporters’ clubs: The “Official Supporters Club” (; the “Centenary Supporters’ Association” ( and “The International Supporters’ Club” (

[5] Fans’ Committee

The Fans’ Committee operates as an interface between supporters and the club. It has its own website, containing info about forthcoming meetings as well as minutes from previous gatherings.

[6] City of Manchester Stadium Progress/Web Cam

The latest information regarding the progress of our new home can be found at

[7] Match Day Broadcasts

Live match commentaries and archives of games, reports and interviews can be found here: GMR Saturday Sport is also available live online between 1-3pm, and 4.45-6pm at

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]Heidi Pickup,

Newsletter #733