Newsletter #814

A busy week on the signings front, City have confirmed Distin is to join from Newcastle, Loran (Dutch U21 defender) and the rumours are continuing apace about Anelka. Don’s news summary contains a round-up of all happenings.

Sad news that former captain Roy Paul, City legend from the 1950’s, passed away this week. Our condolences to family and friends.

Finally, plenty of opinion, more news on stadium tours, season tickets and speculation.

Next game: to be announced.


General News

Crozier Bites Back: The bad blood between KK and his former employers at the FA has resurfaced. Following Keegan’s recent comments about the lack of support the FA gave him during his tenure, FA Chief Adam Crozier has accused the Boss Man of leaving England “rudderless” following his shock resignation after England lost to Germany. “Quitting after Germany left us completely rudderless for the trip to Helsinki. I felt Kevin should have stayed on for that one and I tried very hard to persuade him, as did a number of players. In the dressing room after the game we all tried – Tony Adams in particular – to get him to reconsider. He was still very popular with the players and even after that game there was still a lot of love for Kevin and a great deal of support. They wanted him to stay but there was no persuading him. Anybody who knows Kevin will tell you that once he has made his mind up about something that’s it. He won’t budge. The way we played that afternoon, we seemed to have gone backwards again. Kevin could see there were good young players coming through who were going to improve the team over the next couple of years and he wasn’t sure if he was the right man to get the best out of them. I felt it was very brave of him to say: ‘I don’t think I’m up to the job’. The thing I didn’t agree with him over was the timing. My view was if that was the way he felt the time to go was after the game in Finland, four days later.”

Fans’ Homage yo Maine Road: As reported in Monday’s MCIVTA, there was quite a party at Maine Road over the weekend for the “End of an Era” Exhibition. An estimated four thousand punters attended the occasion, with the highlight being a chance to be photographed with the First Division trophy. There were appearances by past players as well as members of the current squad. Trips to view the new stadium at Eastlands were also organised. “It has been a great event,” said former skipper and manager Tony Book. “It was wonderful to be back in the old ground and amongst the supporters, especially some of the older ones who remember my days!” Chairman David Bernstein also paid tribute to the occasion. “This will probably the last type of event which we will be having at Maine Road before we move to the new stadium. So it was a nostalgic time to enjoy eighty memorable years here,” stated Mr. B.

Legendary Skipper Dies: Former City captain Roy Paul has died aged 82. He had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Paul joined City from Swansea Town in July 1950 for £25,000, and registered 293 appearances in seven seasons at Maine Road. He captained City in the successive FA Cup Finals, in 1955 and 1956, and after seven seasons with the Blues moved on a free transfer to Worcester City, where he became player-manager. Paul’s former teammate Ken Barnes said, “It’s a very sad loss. Roy was one of the best midfielders ever to play for the club and was brilliant in every department, not only wing-half where he usually played. He was a ferocious tackler, who didn’t take any prisoners. He was a proud captain of Manchester City and played for Wales with great distinction.” Club secretary Bernard Halford paid his own tribute. “Roy was a City legend in his own lifetime – an achievement very few players attain,” he said. “As a former captain of the club, he was held in such high esteem at Manchester City and was highly respected by his fellow team members. We are all immensely saddened by this loss.” The Daily Telegraph recently recounted the tale of Roy Paul “kidnapping” the FA Cup in 1956. After losing the previous year, Paul vowed to return to his native valley with the cup the next year. And so he did after City beat Birmingham. “Dad didn’t have permission to take the cup, he just popped it in his car and took off” said Paul’s daughter Christine. “He had his knuckles rapped when he got back to Manchester, but the sight of all those Rhondda kids drinking pop from the FA Cup must have made it all worthwhile.” The residents of the Rhondda could truly claim that the Cup had left Wales twice, not just once when Cardiff won the trophy in 1927. He leaves behind his wife Beryl and his two children, Christine and Robert.

Transfer News and Gossip

Tyrone Signs: The first new player to join this week was FC Volendam’s Tyrone Loran. The Dutch under-21 international defender was signed for a bargain £60,000, when it was discovered that there was no buy-out clause as was previously thought. The Dutch team could only ask for a fee of 100,000 Euro, for an EU player under the age of 21, a tenth of the figure originally quoted. Boss Man Kev was delighted by his bargain purchase. He said: “When someone like this comes along, and the deal is not big money, you say ‘let’s take a chance’. It would take a real world-class player to walk into our team now as opposed to a year ago, but Tyrone is a player we believe could short-cut that process.” After signing, Loran said he was looking forward to meeting his new teammates. “I have heard of the forwards like Goater and Wanchope and also Ali Benarbia, but I don’t know many of the players,” said Loran. “I think it’s a very good team with strong individual players. I think that the team will do well in the Premiership.” He also revealed that his heroes are former City targets Jaap Stam and Edgar Davids. “I look up to players like Davids and Stam. I like the way that Davids plays and, of course, Stam plays in my position. I feel that Dutch players do well in England because they have a very good mentality towards the game.”

Chrisophe Dit “Non” À Monsieur Kev: Christophe Dugarry, one of France’s star players at the World Cup in 1998 and Euro 2000, was alleged this week to have turned down a potential summer move to City. This was quite a surprise, as the deal had not been mentioned before in any press reports. The 30-year-old was thought to be looking for a move outside France, but he has now announced his intention to stay with his current club Bordeaux.

A Distin-Guished Capture: The news week began with reports of City agreeing to sign Silvain Distin from Paris St. Germain, but not before the player’s loan agreement at Newcastle United had run out at the end of May. Next came word that Newcastle had given up hope of signing the 24-year-old, after failing to agree terms, and that the Magpies were already looking elsewhere for a defensive replacement. City’s website declared on Friday that they had signed Distin, in a £4 million deal. Director Dennis Tueart announced the capture, saying, “We looked closely at bringing Sylvain to Maine Road before he went to Newcastle before Christmas but at that stage we were in the First Division and he was understandably looking for a Premiership deal. When it became clear that Newcastle were not going to take up their option on the player, Kevin moved very quickly and we a delighted to have Sylvain on board. He is a powerful, quick athlete who has already proved himself at the highest level. What is vitally important, too, in the strategy for team building, is that he is a left sided central defender who is a like-for-like swap for Stuart Pearce who has now, of course, retired.” Newcastle chairman Freddie Shepherd could not resist taking a parting shot at the Frenchman, and provided the only sour note. Shepherd said, “Distin was perfectly happy with the wages that we offered him and he had a regular place in the side. We were aware that one or two clubs had been alerted to his ability and were prepared to pay silly money to lure him away from Newcastle. That’s when his agent got involved. We made him a very generous offer, but we weren’t going to be held to ransom. The prospect of playing Champions’ League football with a club established in the top four of the Premiership was enough to convince top internationals Kieron Dyer and Shay Given that it was in their best interests to contract themselves long-term. No disrespect to Manchester City, but they are a newly-promoted club whose first job is to avoid relegation. Distin has turned his back on the elite European competition and the reason is purely mercenary.” Let’s hope Distin and City treat Mr. Shepherd with the respect he deserves. Remember it was Shepherd who a few years ago allegedly called Geordie women “dogs” and Alan Shearer “Mary Poppins”, and thought Newcastle fans were mugs for paying so much for their replica shirts. Clearly Mr. Shepherd’s humility and common sense have not improved with age.

SOme Bloke Called “Anelka”: I have to confess – when I read this story last Thursday, I laughed to myself and decided not to include it in the news summary. My cynicism is born from the summer stories during the Swales era, which always read “City would like to sign [insert top player’s name here], because we’re as big as United, honest.” But this is a different time and a different regime, and such stories do actually happen. City were reported to be showing an interest in Nicolas Anelka, whose transfer negotiations were not going well with Liverpool. On Monday, Liverpool announced; “After a lot of thought we’ve decided not to make Nicolas Anelka’s move from Paris St Germain a permanent one.” Anelka was clearly surprised and disappointed at the decision, saying, “I wanted to stay at Anfield. I thought we had an agreement. I feel as though Liverpool have let me down. They haven’t explained to me why they didn’t want me.” The sports reports were then full of “Keegan chases Anelka” stories for the next few days, and clearly Anelka’s people were pushing the move to Maine Road. Algerian God Ali B was quoted as saying, “Nicolas is a great player and I hope Kevin Keegan can bring him to the club. He’s one of the best.” Ali was a former PSG teammate, who also shares an agent with the Frenchman. Next to go to press was that agent, Willie McKay; “Anelka’s brothers Claude and Didier contacted me to help find him a new club when it became clear that Nicolas wouldn’t be staying at Liverpool. The interest in Anelka is phenomenal. He is wanted by three Spanish clubs, a massive German club and three Premiership clubs apart from Manchester City. But Nicolas has got his heart set on playing next season for Kevin Keegan who he has enormous respect for. Anelka is a close friend of Ali Benarbia, who was his former teammate at Paris St.Germain and Ali telephoned him and really sold Manchester City to him. Ali told Nicolas all about the fantastic fans at Maine Road, the new stadium and Keegan’s plans to turn City into a major Premiership force and that was just what Anelka wanted to hear. Anelka and myself have talked about Manchester City and we both agree that there couldn’t be a better time to be signing for them. Everyone is aware of the quality of the players Kevin Keegan wants to bring to Maine Road and I genuinely believe that City are going to be in the Champions’ League this time next year. Nicolas thinks on the same lines and of all the clubs who have expressed an interest in signing him, City are far and away his number one choice. I understand that Kevin Keegan is on holiday at the moment but he knows how to get hold of me. I represented Lucien Mettomo when Kevin signed him for City and Distin is another of my clients. Kevin is very easy to work with and once he has set his sights on signing a player he doesn’t hang around. I think the move to Maine Road for Anelka could be finalised before the end of this week.” Before we all start buying “Anelka number 9” shirts, be aware that one website reckons our Old Chums from Trafford may be sniffing around. A fee of between £13-15 million has been mentioned. Today’s (Thursday’s) news implies that the next 24 hours will decide if the deal goes through. “We are continuing to have positive dialogue over the potential transfer of Nicolas Anelka and it is expected we will have a much clearer picture in the next 24 hours,” explained Chris Bird, City’s Chief Operating Officer.

Oh No, Mettomo To Go: The press report that part of the deal for Monsieur Anelka will be Lucien Mettomo, who will join PSG. The Cameroon international is highly regarded in France, following his pre-City performances at St. Etienne. Mettomo made a series of impressive displays for the Blues earlier in the season, before he missed a month in England to participate in the African Cup of Nations. Since returning, Luci has started only one game for City, and was a notable absentee from the Championship celebrations after the Portsmouth game. It’s believed that KK has offered £9 million plus Mettomo for the French striker, giving an overall value of £12 million.

So, A Vuoso Deal? The speculation over Anelka seemed at first to jeopardise the prospects of Matias Vicente Vuoso joining MCFC. On Wednesday morning, City were given a two days to sign the striker. An Independiente spokesman said, “They have 48 hours to make an official offer. If they don’t, we’ll look for other possibilities. If everything goes well, we may travel to England during the weekend to sign the contract.” This seemed to do the trick, as City made it clear that Vuoso was still a prime target, with reports stating the Argentinean front man would arrive in Manchester for talks this weekend. Vuoso’s agent, Carlos Morete, said: “The talks have gone well and if everything continues to do so, we are going to travel this weekend with Vuoso and another advisor to seal the deal.” Vuoso would cost around £4 million.

Keano! Keano! Keano! Yes, we might yet be shouting this next season, but at Robbie Keane, currently of Leeds United. Leeds have failed to reach the Champions’ League for next season, so with an astronomical wage bill and a total spent on transfers of over £90 million, Leeds’ manager David O’Leary is being instructed to shed players. Keane has not enjoyed the best of seasons, and finds himself fourth choice striker at Elland Road. Expect more speculation over the 21-year-old next week if the Anelka commotion amounts to nowt. Keane’s team-mate Lee Bowyer has finally decided that the offer of a mere five year contract proved that Leeds thought he really was “a piece of meat”. Leeds’ Chairman Peter Ridsdale responded by placing Bowyer on the transfer list. The England under-21 midfielder is expected to sell for £8 million or approximately £104,000 per kilo in Bowyer’s terms.

Mentioned in Dispatches: City have been linked again with Coventry’s midfield dynamo David Thompson. New Coventry boss Gary McAllister admits that there has been Premiership interest in Thompson, Lee Hughes and Magnus Hedman. McAllister said: “We’ve had enquiries for the three players which doesn’t surprise me. I’m not resigned to losing them, but the facts are there and if offers come in we have to listen to them. It’s definitely no secret which players are our biggest assets and clubs will have to pay some serious money if they want our players.” Thompson would command a fee of £3 million. The name of Ipswich’s Dutch defender Fabian Wilnis has also cropped up agin in City-related gossip. The 31-year-old is out of contract and is anxious to remain in the Premiership. City, Everton and Southampton have been mentioned as possible destinations. His current boss George Burley stated rather dryly, “Fabian believes he is good enough to play at the highest level.”

World Cup Blues

Paulo’s Back: Good news for both City and Costa Rica. Striker Paulo Wanchope has made a comeback, and played for the Ticos against Japan’s Nagoya Grampus Eight on Tuesday. Paulo, who has not played a competitive game since the FA Cup tie with Newcastle in February, came through the practice game unscathed. Costa Rica lost 2-0, but will hope for better luck in their final friendly on Sunday against Belgium. If Paulo continues to recover, he should be facing China’s Jihai Sun on June 4.

Dunne’s Down the Order: Richard Dunne has received mixed messages about his chances of playing in Ireland’s first team at the World Cup Finals. Having enjoyed a couple of excellent performances in the qualifiers against Holland and Portugal, Dunnie must have been optimistic that he might figure against Cameroon on June 1. The 22-year-old was only on the substitutes’ bench for Ireland’s last home game before the Finals, a 0-2 defeat to Nigeria. Ireland manager and former City defender Mick McCarthy made it clear that Richard was behind Steve Staunton, Kenny Cunningham and Gary Breen for the centre half positions. McCarthy said: “I’m not revealing what my team is going to be, but I’ve made it clear during the build-up to the tournament that I am not likely to make changes from the team that I have picked in recent games.” Dunne must have fancied he’d play in the warm up game with Sanfrecce Hiroshima next Saturday, as Kenny Cunningham was struggling with an injury. Alas for the Monster, Cunningham is likely to be fit in time for Cameroon, and Mick McCarthy again stresed that Breen was next in line for Cunningham’s position. Dunne said stoically: “You obviously don’t want team-mates to be injured, but I will be ready if I have to be.”

England’s Tests: City’s newest coach has been giving his thoughts on England’s chances in the summer tournament. Stuart Pearce, an England icon for a decade and a veteran of Italia’90, isn’t hugely optimistic over the national team’s chances this time around. “I desperately hope I am wrong but I cannot see beyond France and Argentina as winners and I think Italy will do well because they always rise to the occasion and probably have the easier part of the draw,” said Psycho. “Our chances could all hinge on the opening game against Sweden. It is important that we go into that game with a positive attitude because if we win it then we are as good as through to the second phase. Lose it, however, and you have to feel we would need to beat Argentina to progress.” Pearce singled out Rio Ferdinand to shine at this world Cup. “Before he got injured I felt Steven Gerrard would be a big, big star at the finals and it is shame he is not on the plane but I have a feeling that this World Cup will be the making of Rio Ferdinand. I remember going out to Italia 90 as a player who was well known in England but didn’t have great recognition around the world but all that changed for myself and others because we had a bit of success making the semi-finals. That will be the case for some of the boys in Sven’s squad and I think Rio will become a star.”

Sun Selected: China have confirmed their squad for the Tournament, and it includes City’s own Jihai Sun. Sun is one of only two European-based members of the squad, and is expected to line up for China against Paulo’s Costa Rica on Tuesday 4th June in Group C. Sun was rested in China’s friendly this week, a 2-0 defeat by Uruguay.

Luci’s Lament: Lucien Mettomo’s World Cup preparations did not begin too well last weekend. The Indomitable Lions lost 2-1 to Niclas Jensen’s Denmark in Copenhagen, and to make matters worse, Luci put through his own goal to give the Danes the lead. This was the African team’s first defeat under coach Winfried Schaefer, and ended a ten month unbeaten run. The good news for Richard Dunne and Ireland is that the Cameroon camp is not a happy one. It’s been reported that the Indomitable Lions have failed to turn up at their training camp over an alleged dispute concerning players’ bonus payments. An official from the training camp, said the staff there had been kept in the dark. “We have not received any information about the delay,” he stated. “We had to cancel several events, including a welcome ceremony and a practice match with selected members of local high school football clubs,” he added. “We hope they will come as soon as possible.” Cameroon play England in a friendly in Japan on Sunday. In the finals they face Germany, Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Ireland in Group E.

Reactions and Comments:

Keep On Keeping On: Chairman David Bernstein has been speaking this week about the work that has been going on this summer, attempting to make City’s return to the Premiership a more viable project. “We are all working very hard in this close season for the start of the Premiership. We are very conscious of what happened to us last time and we are determined that will not happen again. With Kevin Keegan planning extensively for next season I know there are exciting times ahead for us. We speak several times a day at the moment and I know that he and Arthur Cox are working extremely hard. I am always asked what is the amount that is available for transfers but we don’t quite work like that. The manager knows the extent of our funds which are available to him and he knew that when he came here. What we are aiming for is to build a squad which will give us the opportunity to move ahead very fast. We did remarkably well last season with a great bunch of players. We have the momentum going and now we want to take advantage of that.” If the rumours are to be believed, KK might spend up to £20 million of the club’s money on players, but the Chairman has faith in the manager and his team. “On the playing side I have every confidence in Kevin and Arthur and I ask all the right questions and I get most of the right answers, as you would expect. The way we have the set up here it is really left to Kevin and his team, as it really is a team effort, to sign the players they want. Our Director of Football, Dennis Tueart, helps in that discussion so we have a huge amount of experience there. I will get involved in the decisions which have to be made on financial side of the deal with the other club and the player. In terms of choosing the player and the quality and suitability of the player, if you do not have confidence in your manager and his team, then he should not be here. We have got every confidence in Kevin.”

Don Barrie (


Very sad to hear about Roy Paul’s death. He was the strong leader type (cf Pearce) in the first successful City team I saw in ’54/’55 and ’55/’56. As I remember it, the team was almost the same line-up every week: Trautmann, Branagan, Little, Barnes, Ewing, Paul (capt.), Spurdle (or Fagan), Hayes, Revie, Johnny Hart, Roy Clarke. Bobby Johnstone would arrive during the 54/55 season and then Jack Dyson in 55/56. Billy McAdams, Jimmy Meadows and Bill Leivers would also feature, but it was Paul, at left half, who typified the spirit of the team.

I remember my mate Bert being devastated when Roy announced he was retiring in 1957.

Some while ago, there was a debate on the old “Bless ’em all” song on MCIVTA: Bless ’em all, bless ’em all, Don Revie, Bert Trautmann, Roy Paul.

Following Jack Dyson and Bobby Johnstone, the passing of Roy Paul means that 3 from that team (and song) have gone in the last few months.

Condolences to the families involved.

John Ogden (


Following on from Sarah Longshaw’s account of the Maine Road Open Day (MCIVTA 813), there was also the opportunity to get a coach from Maine Road to the new stadium and have a look round there.

As well as having the chance to look round the changing rooms, custody room with cells(!) and watching rehearsals for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games out on the pitch, I thought that there were various interesting snippets of information that came out during the course of our tour (bear with me if you know any of this already!):

Once complete, the capacity will be a minimum of 48,000 but the exact configuration of the new stands has yet to be established, and it’s possible that the capacity could reach 50,000.

After the Games, the ground surface will be lowered by 20 feet to enable further rows of seats to be installed, and once complete all the stands will be roughly the equivalent distance from the new pitch as the stands at Maine Road are from the pitch there at present.

The club expects there to be around 35,000 season ticket holders. Away supporters’ allocation will be 3,000, with another 2,500 for corporate hospitality. The remainder will be available for non-season ticket holders.

All executive boxes have now been sold. The last one to be sold – on the halfway line in the “new Kippax” – was recently sold for £150,000 for 3 seasons!

There’ll be approximately 2,000 car parking spaces, for which you can buy a season ticket. However, people will be encouraged to make use of public transport, in particular the new Metrolink extension which will continue out to Ashton. But they still don’t know whether this extension will be completed in time for the start of City’s first season in the new stadium. [Typical, we have the Commonwealth Games a few weeks off and still no integrated transport policy! – Ed]

The deal is that the club must give a percentage of the income from gate receipts over and above next season’s average attendance to the City Council. So if City are canny they might try to squeeze a few more seats into MR next season!

Although the club doesn’t have control at present over the naming of the stands, some of the bar areas/suites have been named. If memory serves, I think the “new Platt Lane” i.e. North Stand would have a “Legends Bar” and there would be a “Mancunian Suite” in the new Main Stand.

The club are planning to hold an open day next year where they’ll be asking everyone to make their way to the stadium as if it was a match day as a kind of trial to see how things go with parking, finding your seat, bar areas, etc., which I thought was a really good idea. No doubt this will be publicised by the club in due course.

For the first fixture, the club will be looking to arrange for the opposition to be one of the “big” teams.

So here’s to staying in the Premiership for more than one season!

Gary Dickson (


I too went to the end of an era weekend and had quite an enjoyable day. We arrived at 11:20 on Saturday morning and firstly went into the Superstore. The videos were flying off the shelves and I bought one of the tee shirts the players wore when picking up the trophy. (minus the Eidos of course). I’m waiting for the DVD although my mate who I went with said that he was told that there would only be 400 copies of the DVD made to start with. I couldn’t believe this and told him so but it’s a strange thing to say. Anyone else hear this?

After that it was into the Kippax turnstiles and, to be honest there were no signs saying where everything was. Still we joined what was a biggish queue thinking it was for the trophy photo booth but it was merely to get into the lift into the memorabilia section on the 6th Level. When we eventually got up there we booked for the stadium tour and were told that it would be 4pm before we got on it. We thought that was a bit late, but accepted the tickets anyway. A brief walk through the memorabilia took us past (and talking to) Peter Barnes, Tony Book and David Bernstein who, when asked about Sylvain Distin told us we’d got him (a bit of a scoop, but I didn’t want to betray a confidence!) then it was down the steps to the floor below which was where the trophy was. “Is this the queue for the trophy?” I asked “Yes mate” was the reply. So we went along the queue and then down, and down, and down! 2 hours 20 minutes later (we’ve waited 26 years, another hour or two wasn’t too bad) we were faced with the chance to take our own pics or have the pro snapper do one for a fiver. Quite reasonable I thought under the circumstances because who knows how the instamatic snap would have turned out? And there it was gleaming in the light, a little photo booth where you could pick up, kiss, throw in the air, anything you like, with the trophy with those wonderful blue and white ribbons adorning it. And so we did. With all our cameras as well as the pros. Great moment. I’m not sure how many other clubs would allow their fans to manhandle the Football League Championship trophy. I had visions of it being on a table and it was strictly “No touching” but no, to be fair to City, this was organised superbly, just a huge queue that’s all and there’s nothing they can do about that. And then it was almost 4 and time for the tour.

To be honest this was a little on the disappointing side because they’d allowed everyone to book and our party for the tour almost filled the main stand itself. Naturally the dug outs, changing rooms and tunnel were packed, making photo opportunities not that good. We hung about unchallenged though and waited until we could take some decent photos. Then that was about that. Slightly disappointed that the only catering we could see were the normal kiosks without any discount from what I could see. I’ll make sure that I take a packed lunch when I go to the “Beginning of an Era” event next year at the City of Manchester stadium.

Lance Thomson (


Anyone out there like me, a teeny bit bemused by the to-ings and fro-ings at the Ole Blue Citadel this week? According to the London Indo it’s: Anelka+Foe+Vuoso (anyone seen him play?) for £25 million, less 3 for Lucy.

Lorra, lorra bread, although by today’s standards it’s a good deal (Anelka is only 22). I just hope we don’t slip back into the “Cheers lads, City have got money, let’s flog them our neverwas midfielder Nigel Zadonki for megabucks” syndrome. Luckily it seems DB is cannier, less profligate than Swales.

It’s going to take heroic JC-esque man management skills from Keggy. This past season (given the emergence of SWP and the rebirth of Superkev and give or take a few decisions of the Huck or Goat, Nash or Weaver variety (largely solved by the injuries to Chop and Nicky) the team has largely picked itself. Supposing Bisch or Loran (isn’t that a form of radar?) comes through and starts putting pressure on Dustin or Dunny?

And we can’t play SWP/Ali/Berko/Superkev/Foe/Tiatto/Jensen all at once. Yes, we all know in theory big (and good) squads are the way forward but someone’s nose is going to be out of joint. Sparks will fly!

Mind you, it’s a problem I’d rather have than not. Some mouthwatering prospects ahead lads and all credit to Keggy for giving it a real go. I’m particularly looking forward to seeing Dustin in action, a mate from Geordieland says he’s excellent and will be sadly missed.

One or two unanswered questions (we really do need a mole inside Maine Road, anyone related to a gobby director or friendly tealady?).

  1. What really happened with Lucy? Before he went to the Africa Cuphe was starting to look top-class. Clearly he’s upset Keggy at somepoint but how? Yes I know KK can’t say “Player X is a lazy git,wouldn’t train” or “Player Y shagged Player Z’s missus, Player Z hithim and anyhow, he’s crap so he had to go” but it would be nicesometimes to get the truth, by however devious a route.
  2. And, dare I mention Newguy – who’s now quite a Notsonewguy – KK’s“most exciting signing”. He’s beginning to look more invisible thanTony Grant.

Anyhow, mustn’t complain. Have a good summer lads and get your tickers checked out. It’s gonna be another exciting season methinks.

Ernie Whalley (


I don’t know how many City fans heard Monday night’s Radio 5 Live’s ‘On the Line’, but it produced some thought provoking questions regarding players and agents; actually there is a second instalment on Monday 27 May, 21:00-22:00. Now I know it would be easier for me to put my head in the sand, not rock the boat for what has been a quite remarkable season and as the programme said “There is nothing illegal in this”, but the programme highlighted the conflict of interest that might occur between a manager who has shares in an agency and a player who is represented by the same agency. The main focus of discussion was Proactive and its various deals e.g. Jenas to Newcastle – Jenas represented by Jamie Hart from Proactive, Bobby Robson owned 100,000 shares in Proactive – everyone’s a winner. Now this is all very interesting (and you can guess what’s coming) but a certain Kevin Keegan, Arthur Cox and Derek Fazackerley all have shares in Proactive. So far City have only signed Pearce & Schmeichel as Proactive represented players (so no fees involved) but it is worth being aware. You might want to look at the attached link, which is the Observer’s joint investigation with Radio 5 Live:,1563,717980,00.html

CTID, James Walsh (


Did anyone else see Football First when City played Barnsley and after the game Matt Smith said “If you pardon the indulgence, (clenched fist), YESSS”

I didn’t know he was a City fan. Unless someone knows differently.

Lance Thomson (


According to the City website ‘As the should I go, or should I stay Roy Keane saga comes to an end, City defender, Richard Dunne says you cannot underestimate his skipper’s influence on the squad.’ Not that bad, surely!

Graeme Nicholson (


With regard to the £100 deposit for the new stadium season ticket I went to the ticket office when I went to the End of an Era weekend to pay this, as I had merely clicked the box on the Internet to say I would when I paid over the Internet. I was told by the clerk that I had already paid it. I had presumed that clicking that box merely said I would pay by the end of May not that they could take it straightaway.

Upon checking my account for March I discovered that it had been previously taken out. So have a look if you’ve said you’ll pay by the end of May, you might have paid already!

Lance Thomson (

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The official club web site can be found at

[4] What supporters’ clubs are there?

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

[5] Where can I find out about the 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] Where can I find information about our new stadium?

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

[7] What match day broadcasts are available on the web?

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] Are City’s goals available on the net? has available for download, usually within 24-48 hours of a game being played, all the goals from City’s matches.

[9] What’s the music the teams run out to?

The music we ran out to at Maine Road during the 01/02 season was “Nightmare” by Brainbug and is available on the Positiva label.

[10] 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 #814