Newsletter #825

Tonight’s issue sees news on our Blue Kiwi, Killen, plenty of opinion on new season, line-ups and more news on the ITV Digital saga. Also a few requests on auctions, websites and old games with a bit of humour thrown in for good measure.

Next game: Leeds United, away, 17 August 2002


The All Whites have rounded out their 2 match tour of China in the best of ways, with a 5-0 rout of leading Chinese ‘C’ League side Shandong.

It was a clinical display from the New Zealand side against one of China’s leading sides fresh back from a tour of Russia during a break in domestic action for the World Cup. Shandong included two full internationals, Su Mao Zen from China and Nigerian Alamptey, who has experience in the English Premier League. It made no impact though on an All White side playing with purpose and flair.

Aaran Lines gave New Zealand the lead after 13 minutes with a rare headed goal from a Mark Burton/Jeff Campbell worked corner. Lines popped up at the far post to head home.

A period of concerted pressure and possession football followed from the All Whites, with the locals struggling to gain a touch of the ball. Good play in midfield from Chris Jackson and Mark Burton saw Lines through but he missed the one on one opportunity with the goalkeeper. A similar chance wasn’t wasted though by Chris Killen just before the break, the former Miramar striker scoring after being put through by Ivan Vicelich. Lines should have made it three at the break but his shot was deflected into the side netting.

The second half saw the good work continue with the third goal again coming from a set piece. Another corner, this time played short by Burton and Lines saw Ivan Vicelich head home powerfully from the penalty spot in the 56th minute. Chris Killen scored his second 4 minutes later, another header on the end of an Aaran Lines free kick.

By the later stages of the game Mick Waitt had largely cleared the bench and one of those subs Paul Urlovic completed the scoring with a calm finish after Gerard Davis had sent the Kingz striker away in the 85th minute. The final score of 5-0 reflected the dominant effort of an All White side playing with confidence and flair, showing a good ability to maintain possession and show patience when defending.

Goalkeeper James Bannatyne was forced into a couple of excellent saves but was otherwise untroubled in his work. Napier striker Shane Smeltz made his début for the All Whites, coming off the bench late in the game in place of Chris Killen.

The All Whites now head home to New Zealand for two matches against Scottish Premier League side Dunfermline Athletic in Wellington on Friday night and at North Harbour Stadium on Sunday. The Oceania Nations Cup then kicks off on Friday 5th July.

ShanDong        0
All Whites      5       A Lines 13th, C Killen 44th, 60th, I Vicelich 56th, P Urlovic 85th
(H/T 0-2)

Forwarded by Ralph Sheppard (


John Caley mentioned the lack of home pre-season friendlies. I think Liverpool was the last one, in 99/2000, we had a 0-0 with Cardiff in 98/99 and I recall losing to Feyenoord (featuring Henrik Larsson) years back. Even further back was a two-day pre-season tournament featuring Man Ure, PSV and AN Other… we thrashed PSV on the night I attended.

But I have noticed that the club seems to have left the 10th August free – one week before the start of the season. Pointing out that I have no insider knowledge and that this is nothing more than a stab in the dark, I fancy we might play a European side at Maine Road on that afternoon. Watch this space!

Jonathan Haggart (


KK has done brilliantly in firstly, taking us up into the Premiership and then attracting quality players to the club. However, I do have reservations of having such a big squad. I cannot see players such as Goater, Macken, Vouso, Negouai, Weaver etc. being happy sitting on the bench or in the reserves. The likelihood is KK will have to play near enough his best 11 every match to ensure dare I say it “survival” first and barring long term injuries some of the forwards will be lucky to get a game, let alone being a sub.

Having 6 forwards is way too many and the games tend to rely on midfielders, who are the engine room and providers of chances. This is where, in my opinion we need quality cover. Putting aside loyalty some of the fringe players should be sold to the highest bidder. KK has also got plenty, maybe too much cover at the back, and again the older, slower players should be sold on.

So based on all that my team for the start of the season would be:

Dunne      Mettomo  Distin   Jensen
W-Phillips Benarbia Berkovic Tiatto
         Anelka       Wanchope

Subs: Nash, Horlock, Wiekens, Huckerby, Vuoso or Macken.

Glyn Albuquerque (


Further to the recent “behind the scenes” details of the new stadium – does our correspondent (or anyone else, for that matter) know if the stadium will have any video screens when we take over? At the Commonwealth trials the other week there were 2 – 1 looked more “permanent” than the other (which was behind the Gene Kelly).

Also – if Etuhu does go to Everton, do we stand to make money from a sell-on clause? I seem to remember at the time he left us there was talk of such a clause.

Oh yes – another thing, any whispers yet on the new away kit? An e-mail I had from Maine Road said they expected it out in early August… but what colour is it? What’s it like?

Thanks for listening, Hugh Thigh (


I had an article printed in MCIVTA 801 (Heidi agreed my name and address be withheld due to my profession) re the then unfolding events at ITV Digital.

I had also copied the article, virtually word for word to the Football League on 2 April 2002. To date, they have not had the decency to reply, but from reading today’s Sunday Mirror, they belatedly seem to think my proposals were a good idea, so here goes:

Letter to Football League 2 April 2002

I speak as a Manchester City season ticket holder, but write to you in the wider context of involving fans from the 72 League clubs in a media campaign to help Carlton and Granada feel that it is in their long term financial interests to honour the ‘agreement’ in double-quick time before administrators are brought into numerous clubs the length and breadth of the country.

My thoughts are as follows:

It may be that when the lawyers get to work unravelling the ITV Digital contract, or ‘agreement’, we will find that the Football League will simply be a large creditor of an insolvent company and that the parent companies and major shareholders, Carlton and Granada will not be liable in law for the outstanding monies owed to the Football League under the terms of the original contract.

If press reports are to be believed, this will trigger the collapse of numerous football clubs in England and Wales who have based their business plans on the basis that the ‘agreement’ will be honoured.

As we know, ITV Digital (in administration) is only being kept going at the moment by way of short term funding by Carlton and Granada. There is talk in financial circles that Carlton and Granada may shortly force ITV Digital into liquidation and then buy back from the liquidator (at a knockdown price of course) certain parts of the failed company, thus enabling ITV to keep its own digital platform.

What can be done about this worst case scenario? In law, possibly nothing, except squander vast sums on legal fees.

In reality though, there is one area where companies like Carlton and Granada are vulnerable and that is in the area of public opinion. In particular, protecting their brand name in the eyes of their advertisers and shareholders. This is where the voice of the ordinary fan can be heard, if organised correctly.

We will all have seen much air time given to ITV’s current discomfort by BBC and Sky. We’ve probably all read the many articles in both national and local newspapers. But have we seen much airtime devoted to the potential demise of ITV Digital and numerous football clubs on ITV News? Of course not!

I’ve heard various theories such as footie fans and their families boycotting programmes such as ‘Blind Date’ and ‘Coronation Street’ to upset the advertisers, from whom ITV rely on for their income. To follow that logic through, we should all stop watching ‘The Premiership’ as well.

Instead of this (or as well), it might be an idea for fans from different clubs to collectively protest outside the headquarters of Granada and Carlton, on a rolling programme, daily. Invite BBC and Sky along to each ‘circus’ (and they would love to come), as well as the local press for every football team potentially affected. Keep maximum exposure on ITV via their competitors to ensure the cringe factor becomes so high that the term ‘ITV’ runs the risk of being associated with untrustworthiness – as we all know, their brand name is all important to them – remember Gerald Ratner?

This form of action, admittedly, would take some organising, and would involve liasion with the police in London and Manchester. The police will probably accept five to ten minute peaceful ‘demos’ as long as they could be assured by the organisers the action was purely for the benefit of the TV crews and press photographers, to gain public exposure and, most importantly, would be limited to the kind of timespan mentioned.

This form of action could be perhaps done through various supporters’ clubs of different teams, on a daily basis, in the early evening to catch the ten o’clock news programmes and the deadline for the newspapers for the following day. Seventy-two days of protest by 72 sets of fans on a ‘Nationwide’ basis would, if publicised and organised correctly, have the movers and shakers at Carlton and Granada squirming in short order. This war has to be won through the media, not the courts.

By putting public pressure on Carlton and Granada, we can try to push them into a position where they feel it to be a good business decision to take moral responsibility for the actions of their ailing sibling. They can ‘spin it’ any way they want as for example, as being ‘in the interests of the national game’, but as long as they pay up the balance owing on the contract, it doesn’t matter.

Radical? It has to be. If this goes as far as reaching the courts, the patient will have died as many clubs will have gone under by the time we get to that stage. As stated, this battle has to be fought through the media and with the help of the media, or at least, the anti ITV factions of the media that can be persuaded to back such a campaign.

You may feel this does not directly concern Manchester City now we may make it back to the Premiership next season. But we are talking here of the future of the wider footballing family. The actions of Carlton and Granada are putting the grass roots of football at tremendous risk – football fans from different clubs standing together as one for the future of the game they love has all the ingredients of a great story, a great campaign and ultimately, a great victory!

Article from Sunday Mirror dated 30 June 2002:

Football: Hearn: I Fear ITV Will Kill 30 Clubs

Fans will stage a series of protests next month over the ITV Digital cash crisis that leading Nationwide League chairmen fear will spark a Doomsday scenario in the lower divisions next season.

Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn forecasts that between 20 and 30 clubs will go bust by December if ITV Digital’s parent companies Carlton and Granada don’t cough up the £178.5 million they owe to the clubs from their aborted television deal.

Walsall chairman Mike Lloyd predicts that between 800 and 1,000 players will be thrown on the soccer scrapheap this summer.

Thousands of fans representing all 72 Nationwide League clubs will invade London next month to take part in English football’s biggest protest.

The mass demonstrations will take place outside the London headquarters of TV giants Carlton and Granada, who have refused to negotiate with the League.

The Nationwide League chairmen will kick off 13 days of protest on July 10 by gathering outside the Carlton and Granada offices and over the following 12 days fans from every Nationwide club in the land will add their weight to the Save Our Clubs campaign.

The League is also sending a petition from fans to Prime Minister Tony Blair and fans’ groups are boycotting ITV programmes including today’s World Cup Final coverage.

Hearn insists English football will be plunged into the biggest crisis in its history if Carlton and Granada and the Government don’t shift their positions.

“I’m not optimistic about the survival chances of many clubs, particularly in the First Division,” said Hearn. “If this isn’t resolved in the next few months, I fear we could lose 20 to 30 clubs by Christmas. We are facing a disaster.”

Two-time European Cup winners Nottingham Forest and the 1987 FA Cup winners Coventry City are two of the big Nationwide clubs in trouble and Hearn predicts that most of the casualties will come from the First Division where most of the clubs will lose around £1.75 million next season.

“The Government has washed its hands of the whole affair and said, ‘It’s football’s problem – nothing to do with us’,” added Hearn.

“The Government’s position has been more reprehensible than Carlton and Granada. We should be telling Government that they should be involved in this – they were the ones who wanted the digital revolution. The Government should be reminded that millions watch Nationwide football and if clubs go to the wall they will be partially responsible for depriving fans of their local club. That’s more than enough to lose an election. We must let Tony Blair know this is his electorate speaking.”

The Nationwide League’s chief executive David Burns warns that the effects of the ITV Digital calamity will be felt at Premiership level. “The elite end of the game could not prosper without the foundations provided by the Football League,” argued Burns. “People shouldn’t forget that 12 members of England’s World Cup squad played in the Football League. We have on numerous occasions asked Carlton and Granada for the opportunity to explain this face to face only to be refused. We have no alternative but to go to their offices, in person, and ask them to hear our case.”

Keith Loring, chief executive of Derby County, relegated from the money-rich Premiership last season, feels his club will survive the crisis, even though their income will be £9-10 million less in the Nationwide. He said: “Although we receive a parachute payment of £6 million we are still looking at a deficit next season of around £9-10 million. While some clubs will struggle to survive, we believe we should be OK.”

Gillingham’s chairman Paul Scally is fearful about his club’s future despite having one of the lowest wage bills in the Nationwide Division One. “The ITV Digital farce will have a massive impact on Gillingham,” said Scally. “I don’t think talk of 20 to 30 clubs going to the wall is scare-mongering. The only clubs able to stay in business will be those backed by multi-millionaires like Birmingham, Reading and Wolves. It’s a frightening prospect.”

Football: 13 Days of Protest

Here’s when your club needs you:

July 10: Nationwide League Chairmen
July 11: AFC Bournemouth, Barnsley, Blackpool, Boston, Bradford City, Brentford.
July 12: Brighton, Bristol City, Bristol Rovers, Burnley, Bury, Cambridge.
July 15: Cardiff, Carlisle, Cheltenham, Chesterfield, Colchester, Coventry.
July 16: Crewe, Crystal Palace, Darlington, Derby, Exeter, Gillingham.
July 17: Grimsby, Rochdale, Hartlepool, Reading, Hull, Ipswich, Kidderminster.
July 18: Leicester, Leyton Orient, Lincoln, Luton, Macclesfield, Mansfield.
July 19: Millwall, Northampton, Norwich, Nott’m Forest, Notts County, Oldham.
July 22: Oxford, Peterborough, Plymouth, Port Vale, Portsmouth, Preston.
July 23: QPR, Huddersfield, Rotherham, Rushden & Diamonds, Scunthorpe.
July 24: Sheff Utd, Sheff Wed, Shrewsbury, Southend, Stockport, Stoke.
July 25: Swansea, Swindon, Torquay, Tranmere, Walsall, Watford.
July 26: Wigan, Wimbledon, Wolves, Wrexham, Wycombe, York.


I’ve just stumbled across MCIVTA on the Internet – I thought you might like to know that on they’ve got loads of video clips of Vuoso banging the goals in. Looks bl**dy good! Thought you might like to let your readers know about it.

Andrew Stavely (


Man City reserve team player, Chris Killen has been picked for the New Zealand squad to play in the Oceania Nations Cup between 5-14 July in Auckland. Chris scored in the New Zealand side’s 4-1 beating of Dunfermline Athletic on Sunday, NZ’s last friendly before the tournament starts.

Ralph Sheppard, Kiwiland (


Just a quick note to let you know that I have set up a new City website entitled Bluemoon at if anyone is interested.

Ric Turner (

REQUEST: CITY CHARITY AUCTION ITEMS the auction memorabilia site founded by Barry Venison and which helps good causes has a few City auctions this week. Auctions of signed items from Benarbia and Berkovic end tonight at 2200, whilst signed items from Goater, Pearce, Summerbee, Lee, and a signed team shirt end on Tuesday at 2200.

The site has all kinds of signed items from the likes of Zidane, Figo and Rivaldo and has supported charities including the Niall Quinn Charity Fund, Peggy and Friends, the Variety Club, and the Andy Cole Children’s Foundation.

The auctions are at

Thanks again! Nick Streeter (


A librarian friend recently had someone come in to the reference section and ask a question relating to the 1973 Charity Shield. He couldn’t find the answer. Does anyone out there know? In 1973 Burnley beat us 1-0, in the Charity Shield. The game was played at Maine Road. The question is, why were these 2 teams playing in the final when the previous year Sunderland won the FA Cup and Liverpool the League title? The match has usually been contested between the League Champions and the FA Cup winners (or League runners up when one team wins the double). I gather that only from 1975 it was played at Wembley.

Mark Snelson (


Alex Ferguson is the one of the guests of honour at the Miss World Beauty pageant. During the interval all the guests and contestants are mingling over drinks. Sir Alex is besieged by three of the most beautiful women in the world.

Miss Venezuela pops the first question. “Sir Alex, I admire your management skills and all you have achieved and the trophies you have won.” Sir Alex acknowledges her flattering remark, but she then lowers the left strap of her dress and reveals her left breast and says, “Can you autograph this please?” Sir Alex now bemused, duly obliges.

Miss Croatia pops the second question. “Sir Alex, I admire the way you play psychological games with your opponents even before you play them.” Sir Alex acknowledges her flattering remark, but she then lowers the right strap of her dress and reveals her right breast and says, “Can you autograph this please?” Sir Alex, again bemused, duly obliges.

Miss Argentina pops the third question. “Sir Alex, I admire the way you motivate your players and shield them like they were your own sons.” Sir Alex acknowledges her flattering remark, but she then lifts up her dress and reveals the fact she is wearing no underwear at all and is completely shaved, and says, “Can you autograph this please.” Sir Alex totally gobsmacked by now says, “Hang on a minute love, no, no, no! Last time I signed a bald Argentinean t**t it cost me £28 million!”

Jonathan Bradshaw (
Tony Farrar (

MCIVTA FAQ [v0203.02]

[0] How do I contact MCIVTA?

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] What are MCIVTA’s publishing 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] What is the club’s official web site?

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 #825