Newsletter #793

Friday night saw us take all 3 points over at Bradford, with goals from Huckerby and new-boy Macken making a dream début when he came off the bench. This saw us Top of the League, overnight.

Tomorrow night we’re off to a struggling Crewe for the re-arranged pre-Christmas fixture. Anyone making the journey, please consider sending in a report.

Tonight however see a match report from Sarah, McV making the news, plenty of opinion on new signings, rumours abounding, run-in scenarios and a hatful of requests.

Next game: Crewe Alexandra, away, 7.45pm Tuesday 12 March 2002


It was a cold and windy night… my first away game. Still we comprised about one third of the 18,000 strong crowd (there were plenty of empty ‘home’ seats, but I guess it was a Friday, it was cold and wet, it was on TV).

The match seemed to get off to a slowish start, with neither side really dominating but the pitch was probably to blame. However, as time went on, City took control, though couldn’t always get the deserved finish.

It was interesting to see that Gerard Wiekens had been preferred to Lucien Mettomo as a replacement for Steve Howey. However, over the course of the match the reason became clear as Wiekens made numerous timely interceptions and provided a good “foot in” and cool head when required. The same was true of Horlock. He was definitely the player making the midfield tick. Even in parts of the second half when the midfield seemed to have disappeared, Horlock was there in front of the defence providing an extra harrying presence wherever the ball was.

Halfway through the second half, Wright-Phillips took off. It seemed as if he had spent most of the first 60 minutes sticking close to Sharp and being afraid of losing him – with the potential risk of opening our defence. Suddenly, he started to run at the Bradford defence and, quite honestly I don’t think they had an answer. About 4 times he surged towards the Bradford goal leaving 3 or 4 of their defenders in his wake. I think that it was one of these occasions that led to him hitting the post (was it him?).

Tiatto contributed some nice touches, appearing seemingly from nowhere at times and demonstrating some great ball control, notably a cheeky back heel over two startled Bradford players which landed straight at the feet of Ali Benarbia in what was almost a case of réle reversal.

Almost inevitably, Goater made way for Macken as we looked for that vital second goal. Nothing had gone right for Shaun. The ball seemed to bounce away from him and the two times he was through on goal, he took slightly the wrong options and the chances escaped. Even when he received the ball about 10 yards out after Huckerby had hit the post he still managed to steer it wide. Macken’s first touch was almost a goal. My eye was drawn to him as Benarbia made inroads on the right hand side of the penalty area. Macken drifted away from his marker towards the near post and just hunched slightly to give himself a bit of a spring at the ball if and when came over. Well, Benarbia was on the ball and so over it duly came. Macken’s header was completely controlled, wide of the keeper, but unfortunately directly at the upright, which it hit before running out of play.

This was only a temporary respite for Bradford. Despite them having plenty of possession, they were still, fortunately, bereft of ideas around the penalty area. City always looked more dangerous when the end-to-end play headed down to the Bradford end. Eventually the pressure told. I had thought that Macken’s first goal would be similar to the one he scored at Maine Road – outpacing the defence to slot it past the ‘keeper. As it turned out, it was a goal that Goater would have been proud of. Tiatto’s shot from 30 yards was strong enough to cause the Bradford ‘keeper problems, and as it came back off him, there was Macken to gratefully hammer home the rebound from 15 yards. Cue mass celebrations.

We’ll be top by 10 o’clock :^)

The great spirit of the team was also in evidence – the subs warming up (and KK) obliging the fans when called upon to ‘Give us a wave’, Stuart Pearce giving his shirt to a young fan at the end, it was certainly a memorable match (and not just for Jonny Macken!).

Sarah Longshaw (


Macvitee doesn’t just report the news these days, we make the news as well. I nearly fell off the Barrie breakfast bar a couple of Saturdays ago when I opened my “Independent” newspaper and read the article shown below.

At the risk of boring everyone I’ve reproduced the whole article. It pays tribute to Mirel’s fascinating “Why Blue”, and apart from a couple of snide comments by the “Independent” reporter, is worth a read.

Don Barrie (

City Fan Transports Moss Side to Transylvania
The “Independent”, 02 March, 2002.

MIREL SIBULESCU grew up in Romania in the days of the Iron Curtain, hard line communism, the secret police and scarcity of information. It was in this environment that he naturally became a Manchester City devotee, as he explains in “Why Blue”, a regular feature in the supporters’ e-mail dispatch, “Manchester City via the Alps”.

He first became hooked after seeing highlights of City playing Milan in the UEFA Cup in the 1970’s. With only the World Service to keep him informed and when that was denied him in the army, monthly letters from his dad, who had a radio, he managed to keep in touch with the minutiae from Maine Road. Reading his recollections, from the Malcolm Allison era to John Bond, Howard Kendall, and the “real nightmare” of Brian Horton, then Alan Ball, it is almost as if he lived in Moss side, not Transylvania.

“Peter Reid did reasonably well,” writes Mirel at one point. “Especially the season when we finished above the Scum in the League.” Mirel would often travel 400km each way to Bucharest to an Irish pub simply to watch his team on satellite TV. “I can split this period of supporting City in 2 parts,” Sirbulescu writes. “One between 1978 and 1989 which coincides with the communist era when information was scarce and links with foreigners severely restricted. Then the 1989 revolution meant the fall of the Iron Curtain and all the restrictions vanished.”

Most City supporters can similarly split the years since the early 1980’s. There have been the days of lower division struggles and no trophies… and the days of higher division struggles and no trophies.


Having had a look at the table in the Sunday papers I noticed that with 9 games left (worst case scenario) we only need 15 points to guarantee promotion and 20 to guarantee the championship. That is assuming that everybody else wins all their games. I personally think it will be the match against Wolves that will cement our place in the Premiership next year(!), possibly with the trophy being presented at the Barnsley game.

Bear in mind that we have to play Wolves who have the Championship to fight for. Wolves have to play us, Burnley and Millwall, both with play off slots to fight for. Millwall have to play Wolves, Coventry and Preston, all with the play offs in mind. WBA have to play Coventry. Coventry have to play WBA, Preston, Millwall and Burnley. Burnley have to play Preston, Wolves and Coventry.

The way I see it (and this is a personal opinion and is no way meant to represent the opinions of the branch members), final table positions will be City top, West Brom 2nd with Coventry nicking the play offs, and City to finish on 101 points. I wonder what odds I’d get from the bookies for that one.

Do you agree? Or not?

Paul Gallagher (


So the championship run in is:

           Manchester City run-in            Wolves run-in
Tue 12/03  A - Crew Alex        (ko 19:45)
Sat 16/03  H - Crystal Palace   (ko 15:00)   H - Grimsby Town (ko 15:00)
Tue 19/03  A - Stockport County (ko 19:45)
Sat 23/03  A - Rotherham United (ko 15:00)   H - Norwich City (ko 15:00)
Sat 30/03  H - Nottm Forest     (ko 15:00)   A - Burnley      (ko 15:00)
Mon 01/04  A - Wolves           (ko 13:00)   H - City         (ko 13:00)
Fri 05/04                                    A - Millwall     (ko 19:45)
Sat 06/04  H - Barnsley         (ko 15:00)
Sat 13/04  A - Gillingham       (ko 13:00)
Sun 14/04                                    H - Wimbledon    (ko 13:00)
Sun 21/04  H - Portsmouth (ko 14:00)         A - Sheff Wed    (ko 14:00)

On the face of it we have a much easier run-in.

Wolves have 4 back-to-back stinkers against 4 promotion hopefuls (Norwich, Burnley, us and Millwall) and I can’t see them gaining more than 7 points from these four games. They will probably win all the others with the possible exception of Wimbledon where they will get at least a draw. So that’s a grand total of around 16 points for Wolves assuming a win against Wimbledon.

Statistically we should win all our remaining home games (though we may draw one of these). This gives a base points tally of at least 10 points. Where do we get the other 7 from to win the Championship?

Wolves away? Not a win but possibly a draw. We lost heavily the last time we played them at their place (4-1?) and our recent away form against them is also poor. Gillingham will desperately want to beat us but if our game against them at home (4-1 win) is anything to go by we should win by at least two. This gives us 3 points to start with.

This leaves us to find 4 points from three away games against the Division 1 strugglers (Crewe, Stockport and Rotherham). Alas, historically our record against such teams is very, very poor. Indeed, we recently dropped 2 points against Walsall (A) who are in a similar position. As the Keegan revolution is only nine months old I predict that we will mess up and lose one or draw two of these games – which gives us at least 5 points and the Championship by 1.

Of course I’ll be totally wrong but hey, who cares? I’d like to win the Championship but even if we mess up we’ll still be going up! Barring absolute catastrophe there isn’t any way that we won’t be going up…

CTID, Anorak (


Further to Anorak’s comments about SWP’s inclusion in the full England team (which I totally agree with, although think it’s a bit early for the Colin the King comparisons), I can’t confirm that Sven Goran Erikson was at the Coventry game but I can confirm that he was on the same plane as me on the way back to London after the game. I suppose he could have relatives in Whitefield but it strikes me as unlikely. And if he was at the game it could only be to run the rule over Weaver, Huckerby and/or SWP.

Bill Borrows (


I’ve heard quite a lot of rumours lately about what’s happening at Maine Road; I don’t know if they’re true but I thought I’d share them with fellow subscribers.

The new away kit for next season is going to be similar to the 1970’s away shirt with the diagonal stripe across the front and the badge is going to be a bit different to coincide with City leaving Maine Road. The City sponsor will also change next season and will be a insurance firm that not many people have heard of.

Jari Litmanen is on his way to Maine Road; just has to agree personal terms, but I can’t see him coming until Michael Owen comes back from injury.

Does anybody know of any DJ’s that are Blues and will be willing to DJ at the Warrington Branch end of season party? I’d prefer to have a DJ that is a City fan for obvious reasons; email me if you know anybody.

Nick Morley (


Please correct me if the blurb issued this week has baffled me!

  1. My Lower Tier Kippax seat has gone up to £330; an increase at twice the rate of inflation.
  2. To be able to get my seat at this higher price for the following season, they want £100 deposit, and
  3. Payment in full by October for the following season.
  4. The full price for the new ground will be £460 for the first season.
  5. It follows that a similar rise could be expected for the 2nd season at the CoM stadium and that I could therefore expect to pay around £500 for my seat from then on?

So, in the space of 2-3 years a £200 price rise?

Like everyone else I am loving every minute of watching City at the moment and to be honest if the board explained why price rises are necessary, I could consider their argument. But please, they shouldn’t try to dress this up as doing a big favour for their loyal and long suffering supporters!

Hope I’m wrong.

Jerry Serjeant (


Two Year Season Tickets – Another FAQ

Q If I buy next year’s season ticket now and put a £100/£50 deposit down on the one for the year after, will I be able to pay the balance monthly before October 31st 2002?

A No, you must save up and pay the lot in October but before October 31st 2002. We are having a new IT system put in and we don’t want the balances until it is installed. We couldn’t cope with fans paying the balance in bits and bobs.

Source: Man City Ticket Office 11th March 2002

Peter Llewellyn (


I am a little concerned with the speed in which a lot of supporters and contributors to this publication seem to be able to lose faith in a player. I am talking about the Goat. Everywhere you look in football you can see that consistency and loyalty are the key to a successful side. City fans especially should know that short-termism only spells misery for a club. How many games had we lost the season Peter Reid was sacked and what happened to us (and him) after this point?

I cannot believe people are writing the Goat off completely just because he is going through a bad patch at the moment. Please remember this is the player who has been our top scorer for the last 4 seasons and has scored 29 goals already this season! What makes more sense: to go and sign another striker who has a strike rate nothing like the Goat’s or stick with him until he comes out of his barren patch and begin to enjoy watching him score hat-tricks again?

Remember there were plenty of people who never rated John Aldridge or Gary Lineker as footballers, but recognised them as great goalscorers. This is what we have in the Goat and we should do everything we can to restore his confidence and goalscoring and stop knocking him because he has hit a barren spell as all strikers do.

Feed the Goat!

St John Cox (


Ninety three minutes and forty three seconds into the game and City are still 2-1 down; however, we are in possession. Our right-winger is robbed in midfield and he tries to atone for his error by flying into a diving tackle on the touchline, just missing an opposition midfielder kicking the ball upfield. As a result, the attempted cross-field pass is skewed harmlessly towards City’s goal line where the goalkeeper collects. It looks like a goal kick to City or a free kick against us but happily the referee gives a throw-in to the Blues.

Taunts and jeers rain down from the unexpectedly large Gillingham following at Wembley as the match staggers into its 95th minute. From the rather luckily won throw-in, the ball is thrown back to our defence. City hoof the ball upfield one last time then one header, one pass, another, one touch and finally a goal from Dickov, all this happening within 11 seconds.

To this day I think that, if he had connected with that Gillingham player and the player had not been scared off, Terry Cooke would have been sent off for serious foul play. Then a free kick would have been given against us, Paul Dickov would not have had his chance for glory and Gillingham would have been promoted instead of us.

After coming that close to the darkness of lower division football falling upon us forever, everything else is negotiable. Whilst I am happy to elevate Dickov to hero status for his attitude and for that goal, let’s not forget the contributions of others, especially not one desperate lunging tackle – from a cocky ex-Rag who has since shot to obscurity in our reserves – that could quite literally have saved Manchester City from rack and ruin.

I suppose the lesson is that sometimes help springs from the most unexpected of quarters at the most unexpected of times. I hope the more righteously bitter of our brethren understand that now, as we sign another ex-Rag, this time from Preston. Maybe he’ll Macken swallow their pride?

I refuse to end on a weak gag (that would be choking) so I must just refuse accusations of going soft on the Rags. I still can’t countenance having any Sharp products in my house and I only have a Vodafone because work makes me have it. I pay nothing for it and they would give it to someone else if I refused it and then it would get used much more than it does now. That’s my excuse, anyway.

James Nash (


So says the Geist man. Player for player I’d take Derby over our boys. We need to upgrade at most positions, the B&B boys notwithstanding and Keegan needs a war chest of $30 million. Nonsense says the masses. Sacrilege say others.

So in comes Sun, as noted by Mr. Kev, a Premiership quality player. In comes Macken. Total cost about £7 million. Now I see news reports that through a novel season ticket plan and anticipated TV revenue wor Kev will have about £25 million.

Hmm… 25+7 = 32. And reports of our continued search for players including another striker…

So, would you all like potatoes and vegetables with that crow?

Wallace Poulter (


I have compiled a table of the remaining fixtures and dates for the top 4 in the Division.

Paul Faulkner – ColoradoBlue (


The next meeting of the Essex & Suffolk Branch of the CSA will take place on Friday 15th March from 8:00pm. Venue as always will be The Seabright’s Barn, Galleywood Road, Great Baddow, Essex and all are welcome. Incidentally there is now a new e-mail address for the branch.

Paul Gallagher – Secretary, Essex & Suffolk Branch CSA (


Anyone here who wants to sell tickets? Home or Away. You can drop me an email please!

(Stuck in Stafford and season ticketless)

Alasdair Macdonald (


Last season I offered fellow Blues a new stadium wallpaper. I’d like to now offer everyone my new “blue moon” wallpaper, featuring players, City crest, new stadium, and (yes, you guessed) a blue moon!

Fans who would like a copy can mail me at the address below.

Pete Share (


Those of you haven’t yet received a copy of my e-mail, we are arranging a night of good City conversation, beer drinking and Blue Video watching on Fri April 12th, 7pm at the Keeper’s Arms Hotel, so put this in your diaries folks, let’s get together and hope that the next one is for a champions’ drink and not for the play offs.

We have got the Preston, Norwich and Ipswich games on tape, so you had all better be thirsty.

Tim Berry (


The online version of “King of the Kippax” is trying to create an online chat room so that Blues from around the world can log on and chat about City and other matters.

As you know, King of the Kippax is City’s longest running fanzine and has recently reached its centenary edition. The online version,, is only a couple of seasons old and but still has already had great success and has been “hammered” with visits to the site.

The chat room will give Blues a chance to chat to other Blues around Manchester and the world, swap / buy tickets, arrange shared travel, maybe even find romance! Or just meet up with Blues from the same area. Anyone interested in the chat room should contact Chris Deary, the KK webmaster, direct by e-mailing, who will pass on the chat room’s details and how to log on (there will, of course be no charges at all). Please note that minors will be allowed to chat only when the host is satisfied that suitable adult supervision is present and normal chat room rules will apply.

CTID, Chris Deary (


Recent results to 10 March 2002 inclusive.

9 March 2002

Birmingham City       2 - 2  Wolverhampton Wndrs   22,104
Portsmouth            3 - 0  Millwall              15,221
Barnsley              1 - 1  Sheffield United      15,430
Coventry City         2 - 1  Norwich City          16,744
Crystal Palace        0 - 2  Watford               16,817
Grimsby Town          2 - 2  Walsall                7,016
Nottingham Forest     0 - 0  Wimbledon             24,292
Preston North End     2 - 1  Rotherham United      14,579
Sheffield Wednesday   0 - 0  Gillingham            20,361
Stockport County      0 - 2  Burnley                6,410

8 March 2002

Bradford City         0 - 2  Manchester City       18,168

League table to 10 March 2002 inclusive.

                            HOME           AWAY
Pos Team           P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  GD  PTS
 1  Wolverhampton  39 12  3  4 32 15 11  6  3 38 20  35 78
 2  Man City       37 15  3  1 51 17  9  2  7 35 28  41 77
 3  West Brom      38 12  3  4 26  8  8  4  7 19 18  19 67
 4  Coventry       39 12  3  5 32 16  8  2  9 25 24  17 65
 5  Millwall       38 12  3  4 35 19  6  7  6 23 22  17 64
 6  Burnley        38  8  6  4 31 24 10  4  6 29 26  10 64
 7  Preston        38 10  6  3 35 18  6  5  8 22 32   7 59
 8  Crystal Palace 39 11  2  7 38 22  7  2 10 27 35   8 58
 9  Norwich        38 12  5  1 29 12  5  2 13 21 35   3 58
10  Birmingham     37 11  3  5 34 18  5  6  7 19 25  10 57
11  Watford        39  9  4  6 33 24  5  6  9 22 22   9 52
12  Wimbledon      37  6  8  4 23 18  7  5  7 28 27   6 52
13  Gillingham     38  9  5  5 32 22  5  4 10 21 34  -3 51
14  Nottm Forest   39  7 10  3 22 15  4  7  8 20 22   5 50
15  Sheff Utd      38  6  8  4 28 23  6  6  8 14 20  -1 50
16  Portsmouth     38  9  4  6 34 27  4  6  9 21 34  -6 49
17  Bradford       37  9  1  9 38 34  4  5  9 22 32  -6 45
18  Rotherham      39  7  9  3 28 25  3  5 12 19 33 -11 44
19  Crewe          34  7  5  6 17 26  4  3  9 18 28 -19 41
20  Sheff Wed      39  5  6  9 24 32  5  5  9 18 30 -20 41
21  Barnsley       39  7  9  4 33 30  1  6 12 18 43 -22 39
22  Grimsby        39  7  6  7 25 25  2  6 11 13 36 -23 39
23  Walsall        39  8  4  7 23 23  1  6 13 18 40 -22 37
24  Stockport      38  2  1 16 12 39  1  7 11 22 49 -54 17

With thanks to the Nationwide website:


[0] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup) :
News/rumour (Don Barrie) :
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: An alternate live commentary service, hosted by Yahoo, is located at: GMR Saturday Sport is also available live online between 1-3pm, and 4.45-6pm at

[8] City on TV

City’s games when broadcast on TV are generally carried by ITV Digital; provides a list of pubs that will be showing the games.

Granada television also has the rights to show a small number of games from the North West region. As Sky now carry ITV regional services these matches can be watched outside the intended region by “adding” channels to your Sky Digital receiver. Under “services/system setup” enter the following details: Frequency 10.891 – H – 22.0 – 5/6. Select “find channels” and you will be given a list of the available ITV regions. From here select the regions you want to add. In order to view the channels you have added, you have to make your selection via “services/system setup/other channels”.

[9] Goals on the Net has available for download, usually within 24-48 hours of a game being played, all the goals from City’s matches.

[10] 01/02 Season Match Day Theme Tune

The music the teams run out to at Maine Road this season is “Nightmare”, by Brainbug, and is available on the Positiva label.

[11] Acknowledgements

Thanks go to John Arnold for providing the information regarding match day music and to Ian Bell for pointing out the alternate live match commentary service.

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 #793