Newsletter #828

Tonight’s issue sees Don’s news round-up on happenings in City land, plenty of opinion on pre-season, new stadium, travel and City ‘fans’.

Next game: Leeds United, away, 17 August 2002


General News

League Surrenders to Sky: If City needed proof of the importance of staying up in the Premiership, it was provided this week by the TV deal that has been struck in the League we have just left behind. Following the demise of ITV Sport, the Football League have announced a deal with Sky to show FL matches for the next four seasons. The agreement will cost Mr. Murdoch’s empire only £95 million. What a reduction from the cash that had been promised by the ITV deal, when clubs were due to receive double this amount per season. The contract will see Sky show 60 league matches exclusively live per season, with two live ties from each round of the Worthington Cup shown and up to nine play-off matches, including the finals exclusively live. Sky’s strong bargaining position means that they will show games at times to suit their schedules, namely 5.35pm on a Saturday, Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons.

Season Ticket Support: David Bernstein has revealed that there may be at least 35,000 season ticket holders at the City of Manchester Stadium for the 2003-2004 season. “We have sold out our 24,000 season tickets for next season and have sold a further 20,000 for the new stadium. That is where we had hoped to be at this time. We are considering a further offering of season tickets before the end of the year for the new stadium and if we do that, I suspect we will sell out our allocation of season tickets before we get to next spring. We are looking at 35,000 season tickets for the new stadium but, as at Maine Road, we will put a cap on that number so that other supporters who don’t want to buy season tickets or can’t afford them can come in on a match-to-match basis. We have a waiting list of 14,000 at the moment, which is quite incredible. I speak to other clubs and I don’t know of any other club which has a situation like ours.” This is good news for Manchester City Council, because under the terms of the 250 year lease, the Blues pay the Council a percentage of any gate receipts over the Maine Road average of 34,000. It’s estimated that if the Blues are attracting full houses of 48,000 at Eastlands, then the Council will receive over a £1 million per annum.

Raw Deal for Bury: City’s physiotherapist Rob Harris has a new assistant. A very experienced man he is too – it’s Bury’s first team physio Alan Raw. He won’t have long to wait before he sees his old colleagues, as City play Bury in a friendly on July 31. “I’ve had a great time here, it’s been a wonderful nine years and really enjoyed myself, but opportunities come along and this one came right out of the blue,” commented Raw. “It was completely unexpected and I just had to take it really. It was a bit of a surprise I must admit. I went over to see them and obviously it’s an incredible setup there, and next season they will be in their new stadium in Manchester. I will be working with the first team at Maine Road, Rob Harris is the first team physio there and I will be working with him. Rob is a much younger chap than me and they are taking me there because they want somebody a little older and a little more experienced with rehabilitating players. I start on Monday morning at Maine Road and in two or three weeks I shall be returning to Gigg Lane. It’s exciting times for me really, but it will be great to come back to Gigg Lane for the friendly.”

Four Goal Chris: New Zealand booked a semi-finals place in the Oceania Nations Cup, with a 9-1 rout of Papua New Guinea in Auckland. City’s Chris Killen was in prime form, helping himself to four goals in the first hour of the match. New Zealand finish their group matches against the Solomon Islands before their semi final clash on Friday against Fiji or Vanuatu. A few months ago, the twenty year old also scored four goals in a match, against an experienced Liverpool Reserves side. Not bad for a man whom KK sees as the next Steve Howey!

Transfer News and Gossip

Mettomo Move to Marseille? The first speculation of the week concerned Lucien Mettomo yet again. Following the summer’s stories of a move to Paris St. Germain as part of the Anelka deal, Mettomo was this week linked with a move to Olympique Marseille. The stumbling block was said to be Marseille’s insistence on a one year loan deal for the player, while City wanted a permanent deal. City dismissed the reports as “pure speculation”.

Not a Wise Deal: The most alarming transfer story of the weekend had City linked with Leicester City’s midget irritant Dennis Wise. The 35-year-old would be available on a free transfer, as relegated Leicester strive to reduce a Premiership-sized wage bill. This seems an unlikely move for a number of reasons. First, KK has already announced that there’ll be no new signings, and second, the Blues have more than enough cover in the defensive midfield rôle, what with new signing Marc-Vivien Foe and existing squad members Kevin Horlock and Alfie Haaland. Another telling reason can be found on the websites of the Leicester supporters, where Foxes fans are pleading with Special K to relieve them of their ineffective captain. Leicester boss Micky Adams clearly doesn’t share the antipathy of the fans, and has been quick to deny the link. “There has been no contact whatsoever from Manchester City. I’m not shy at telling players when clubs are interested in them but there is nothing to report.”

Other Tittle Tattle: One headline announced this week that “Man City Were Offered Juninho Before Middlesbrough”. KK had been offered the Brazilian star for £5 million, but politely declined having decided that we had enough playmakers in the squad. You might infer that Juninho’s agent had merely been doing a good job for his client, and checking out alternatives if his move to Middlesbrough broke down. The latest club to show an interest in City’s out of contract full back Richard Edghill is said to be Burnley. Martin Keown won’t be getting on board the Keegan Express. The 35-year-old England international was out of contract at Arsenal, but has just signed a two-year deal with the Gooners. Keown was an alleged target for City, Newcastle, West ham, Blackburn and Fulham.

Ex-Blues’ News

Mariners Line Up Cooke: Bad news for Rochdale fans – last week’s rumours concerning Terry Cooke proved to be unfounded, as the former City and United winger finally committed to a permanent deal with Grimsby Town. The 25-year-old will have a medical before signing a deal with the Mariners. “We’ve already seen enough of Terry to know how capable he is, and we are delighted that he has agreed to come to Blundell Park,” said Grimsby boss Paul Groves. “He has the pedigree and class that we need for success in the First Division.”

Thanks, but No Thanks: Andrei Kanchelskis has been released by Glasgow Rangers, and is anxious for another crack at the English Premiership. “I am 33 and have two years left. If I can play in the Premiership I will be very pleased,” commented the Ukrainian born winger. Kanchelskis spent a few months at Maine Road, playing in eleven matches and scoring one goal. Joe Royle signed him in one of those acts of last minute desperation which characterised our last sad season in the Premiership.

Trio Look for Clubs: Three ex-Blues find themselves training with clubs while looking for employment elsewhere. Having finished his short term contract at Stoke City, Ian Brightwell has linked up with neighbours Port Vale for pre-season training, but is unlikely to make a permanent move to Vale Park. Nicky Summerbee meanwhile is shedding those summer pounds at Leicester City. Buzzer Junior played 18 games for Nottingham Forest last season, but has not been offered a longer deal. Similarly at Oakwell Fat Bob “Call Me Robert” Taylor is training with Barnsley. Another inspired signing by Sir Joe, Taylor was signed for £1.5 million from Gillingham, but was injured when he joined us (brilliant!) and made only twelve appearances for the Blues. A Barnsley spokesman summed up the situation for Taylor, as well as for many unemployed footballers suffering from the clubs’ loss of TV money. “Robert’s agent phoned up and asked if he could come in and train with the squad just to keep him ticking over while he is without a club. He left Wolves last season and is just looking for somewhere to train and that is all there is to it. At the moment we are inundated with agents ringing up trying to get places for their players to train. There are just that many players without clubs and needing places to train.”

Bishop Takes on Europe: City legend Ian Bishop has found himself a club. The thirty seven year old has signed for the Konica League of Wales side Barry Town. Bish has now got a chance of some Champions’ League action, as Barry take on Skonto Riga in the first round of the competition later this month. Bishop will forever be remembered for his part in 1989’s 5-1 drubbing of Fergie’s Fledglings, and was a vital part of City’s 1999-2000 promotion side during his second spell with the club.

Ward Goes to Leigh: In 1989 Bish, along with Tiger Trev Morley, was swapped by Howard Kendall for West Ham’s Mark Ward. Ward has just been appointed assistant manager to Steve Waywell at Conference team Leigh RMI. “I wanted Mark when we got promoted to the Conference but he got offered the manager’s job at Altrincham,” said Waywell. “It’s not the intention to play Mark week in, week out, but if we’ve got him it is worth it. That will stand him in good stead and he knows us, knows what kind of club we are and is looking forward to it. He will be a big asset.” Ward had three undistinguished seasons at Maine Road, during the false dawn that was the Kendall era.

Heavyweight Mike: Leon Mike has found that his new colleagues at Aberdeen are a merciless bunch. When his team-mates learnt that the ex-Blues striker had to perform extra pre-season work because he was overweight, he was immediately nicknamed “George Foreman” after the lardy former boxer. A chastened Mike said “I deserved a kick up the backside and accepted I had to come in a bit earlier than everyone else to do a bit more work. It means the pre-season has been tough, as tough as any I experienced at City under Joe Royle. It was a bit more relaxed when Kevin Keegan came to Maine Road. We hardly did any running, it was all bodywork and conditioning training. It’s been hard getting used to really grafting again but I’m now back into the swing of things.”

Reactions and Comments

On the Up and Up: Mr. Chairman gave a long interview on the club’s website this week, and a generally upbeat and optimistic one it was too. “There is a feel about Manchester City now that it is a club which is on the up and up. I am incredibly excited,” stated David Bernstein. He outlined the transfer strategy which has seen KK land all his major targets in the close season. “We made certain commitments to Kevin when he joined both in his first year in the First Division and what we would be able to do in the second year if we got promoted. We have exceeded those commitments that we made. He has been very clear as to what he wanted. There were four or five different positions that he identified and a certain number of players that he clearly identified. And we have managed to achieve every target which Kevin set himself. I believe the squad which we came up with was great and played some wonderful football and if you add to that the players who we have bought then it does look very exciting. The building was started even before last season had come to an end and was completed within six weeks. It has proved a different strategy from two years ago when it was left to the final weeks of pre-season before new players were brought in for the Premiership campaign. I don’t like to compare the situation with that of two years ago. But it was certainly always Kevin’s strategy to get players in early. He did not want to be caught in a late rush. It was a brave thing to do. We are very conscious of the state of the transfer market and some people might think we have been over aggressive. We don’t think so, we believe we have paid the right money for quality players. Getting them in early means that when pre-season starts at the end of this week Kevin has the maximum time to work with the players.”

Balance the Squad: It seems that as City gain a wider share of the spotlight, so the newspapers look to push so-called controversial stories about the Blues. “Keegan told to cut squad” screamed one headline this week. That storyline came from DB’s interview, when he made the following comments: “We have not put undue pressure on Kevin to sell players. Any squad has to be balanced and of course the manager knows that. Kevin and I and the Board have agreed that we need to move some players but we are not in a situation that it has to be done with any urgency, we will wait and see what happens. I would stress too that we are not a club where there are bargains to be had. We have some great players. The squad is a little bigger than we would like but if anything happens it will happen in the right way with clubs coming to us if they see players who they want.” So it was hardly the dressing down for the manger, as suggested by the tabloids, more a reasoned response to the future development of the squad.

What’s a Thousand Percent? KK meanwhile was telling the world that he felt no pressure from the club’s board to sell. He also praised the directors for their support during his first year as City’s supremo. “The board are not saying I have to sell anyone but I certainly think they are saying we can’t take too many more,” admitted Keegan. “If we are honest, when I took over just over a year ago, we now only have three more players in the squad, but the quality – with the money we have spent and the players we have brought in – has improved dramatically. That is no disrespect to the players who were here. We have gone out and brought in players like Eyal Berkovic and Ali Benarbia. Jon Macken, Jihai Sun and Niclas Jensen are all examples of the quality of players we have now, and for some we have not paid a fortune. We have got some good deals and we have brought some younger players in as well so we have looked at the whole club. I have worked closely with the board and they have backed me a thousand per cent,” said Keegan with typical understatement.

More Cobblers About Anelka: Here’s the second story of the week where the national press tried to manufacture outrage where none exists. According to the Daily Mirror, Nicolas Anelka risks insulting City fans and officials by revealing that he’d rather be at Liverpool. Err, not quite right, chaps. Unless I’m mistaken, Anelka was answering the question “Why did you leave Liverpool?” Anelka replied, “I cannot answer that. It is better to put the question to Gerard Houllier, because I really wanted to stay. I did well, and they played the game that I had been looking for and the atmosphere was good. For me there was no question. But obviously that did not suit Mr Houllier. I had not been able to give the response right away to Manchester City, because Liverpool had not decided what to do. It was during this period that Kevin Keegan contacted me through Ali Benarbia. And then it all came together when Houllier did the opposite of what he had said. From the moment where they did not want me, I moved on to something else.” I personally do not feel insulted that a player who had an excellent six months on loan at Liverpool, may have thought he’d done enough to earn a full time deal. Let’s hope he channels all that hurt and anger into a storming season for City. Anelka concluded thus “The bottom line is I am very happy to remain in England. And after seeing the facilities at Manchester City and spoken with the chairman and manager I know they want to do big things.”

Squad News

“New Keane” – The Proof: Last week, whilst musing over the season to come, Boss Man Kev claimed that new signing Marc-Vivien Foe would be the “Roy Keane of our team.” Photographic evidence soon appeared. In its review of the 2002 World Cup last Sunday, this month’s Observer Sport Magazine had a picture of our new midfield enforcer, warmly grabbing Germany’s Michael Ballack by the throat. This incident occurred during the ill-tempered Germany and Cameroon game, which produced a world record fourteen yellow and two red cards. Eyal and Ali will surely feel happy to know that such protection will be on the pitch with them come September.

What Alfie Did Next: Alfie Haaland must be getting diplomatic in his old age. After appearing to question the signing of Nicolas Anelka last week, the long throw expert of the squad has been almost boringly “on message” this week. The Norwegian international has declared himself to be fully fit, and is looking forward to battling for a place in the first team. “When we all return there are going to be a hell of a lot of new faces – it should be fun. The manager and chairman have splashed out a lot of money on big name signings during the summer but we shouldn’t have expected anything less from Kevin Keegan, should we?” Keep it up Alfie, KK might even let you sit on the bench near him if you’re lucky!

Striking Striker Options: KK is still pondering on who will partner Nicolas Anelka in the first game at Leeds, and he may yet try the 3-4-3 formation at some stage. “I am committed to playing a certain type of football and I have six great forwards to go from,” acknowledged Boss Man Kev. “I do not know who will play with whom at the moment. When you have a player with Anelka’s pace and power and you have paid that sort of money then almost certainly you are going to start with him, that’s for sure. But people would just be guessing if they said that it would be him and Wanchope or him and Goater or him and Huckerby. Vuoso and Macken, who can hold it up, could also come into it and they are different types again. It is possible even to play 3-4-3 with the players we have got. So I have everything I want in that department. All the strikers offer me something different and that is great for the club. We have plenty of pace with Huckerby and Wanchope. Paulo can also do the unexpected and is decent in the air, as is Shaun Goater, who is an out-and-out goal-scorer but also good in his own penalty area.”

Talking in Tongues: The Manchester Evening News has been wondering whether there will be language difficulties this season in a squad containing eight French speakers. They asked KK about it, while mentioning that the Boss speaks fluent German (no I don’t understand the relevance either). “It is not really French as such,” clarified KK. “Ali Benarbia is Algerian, while Marc Vivien Foe is Cameroon and so is Lucien Mettomo. My job is to get them to play together but then we were able to do that last season. When I look at the nationalities that were all playing together for City last season I couldn’t believe it. I have no worry about the mix of nationalities playing or the fact that a number of them speak French. Those things don’t worry me and I often think that people who look for those sorts of problems then they will probably find them. But we have no such problems in the squad. They all speak good English. Lucien Mettomo, Sylvain Distin and Nicolas Anelka all speak great English. The two young lads Mikkel Bischoff and Tyrone Loran and of course Peter Schmeichel speak excellent English, so it will be English we will be speaking. [FIRST KK JOKE WARNING OF THE SEASON] I am not so sure about Richard Dunne but I am sure he will improve!”

Valuable Vicente: Boss Kev is very impressed with his new Argentine striker Vincente Vuoso. “He is very different to all the other strikers that we have here, as he will come and balance play between midfield and attack,” said the one time competitor in “Superstars”. “He did very well last season in what was a struggling Independiente side and this is a good deal for us. He and Forlan were a very good partnership and Vicente also has a very good scoring record. Vincente will definitely be considered for a starting place straight away,” he declared. “We are buying into potential here and one day he will play for Argentina’s full side,” he said.

Classes for Coaches: City coaches of the past, present and future have enrolled on the F.A.’s UEFA Pro-Licence coaching course, with Willie Donachie, Derek Fazackerley and Stuart Pearce amongst the students. It’s a year-long course which began last Monday with a residential study week Warwick University. Psycho is particularly keen to complete the course, which will provide him with a firm platform to build a managerial career. “This course is all about education. There are a lot of managers here who have been managing for a long time, picking up tremendous experience,” stated Pearce. “Experience as a manager is one thing that I don’t have so just being around people like that improves my experience. The benefit of it is two or three-fold. I might look at a session someone is putting on and think to myself: ‘That’s a good one, I’ll take that back to my club.’ I might look at someone’s style as a coach, think about how it differs from my own and what I might draw from that. And there’s also the educational aspect. You’re not only benefiting your club, but also enhancing your own personal development.”

Advice for Nicky: Ray Clemence, the England goalkeeping coach, says that Nicky Weaver must make the most of Peter Schmeichel’s presence at the club to improve his game. Clemence said: “Nicky has to get into City’s team to start off with if he has any chance of getting back with England. A couple of years ago he was in the Under-21s and was playing well for them, but obviously his performances at City have been inconsistent otherwise Kevin would not have left him out of the team because he likes young, talented players. Unless you are inside a club you don’t know exactly what has gone on, but certainly his performances have lacked consistency and that is why he is out of the side. Schmeichel’s arrival is likely to limit Nicky’s appearances even more, but the good thing is that he will have a rôle model to look up to and to work with. If he can take some of Peter Schmeichel’s qualities into his game that can only help him. I’m sure the coaches at City will be trying to help him as much as they can but, in the end, you can only go so far as a coach – the rest has to come from the player.”

Don Barrie (


I have to say that I just don’t buy the idea of us finishing in the top 6. Love the optimism but let’s be realistic.

Arsenal, Man Utd, and Liverpool are three of the top sides in Europe. They are all adding quality players this off season to be even better. Dark horse is Leeds. It’s criminal that those idiots at the FA didn’t place Venables in charge of the England team (give him the team for 2006 and we win the Cup, probably 2002 come to think of it). Tactically superior to any other manager in the Premiership, El Tel is going to take a supremely gifted squad that has under achieved and make them winners. Newcastle should also challenge for honors and Robson is adding, assuming Bramble signs, rather well to a strong group. We really did a number stealing Distin out from under him though. Team 6 should be Chelsea. Admittedly they could regress as at the moment they are group of excellent players rather than a great team. But ask me to bet and I take all 6 of these to be above us at the end of the year.

Then we have the pretenders. Teams that have good players, Spurs and Villa for example, who we will be well pushed to beat. I have a sneaking suspicion that Boro are finally on track but that’s probably a north east bias.

Yes we have more firepower than Fulham, and even Joe Cole can’t save West Ham’s defence. Birmingham and West Brom? More power to them if they can stay up. Charlton, less talent than most, more team spirit than anyone. Which is why Curbishley keeps being mentioned for other jobs. Everton? Poor transfer market dealing dooms them although give them credit if they pick up Thompson. Bolton… in trouble, Blackburn more so. Sunderland? A team that could challenge for top 6 but could also be relegated. Lastly Southampton. Would have been very interesting to see Hoddle stay there but middle of the pack is the best they can hope for.

So sorry folks. If you say we are better than Southampton, Sunderland, Blackburn, Bolton, Everton, Charlton, West Brom, Birmingham, West Ham and Fulham then I can go with that. Maybe Boro too, but they have so much good talent.

I figure if everything goes our way we end up 9th and have a good run in one of the Cups. Me? I’d take that.

Wallace Poulter (


This Thursday’s the last day for the 21 days in advance £86 Seapex fare Harwich to Cuxhaven for the Hamburg match (out 16:00 1st August, return from Cuxhaven 18:00 Sunday 4th, arriving Harwich 09:45 on the Monday). or 08705 333000 or your travel agent. After that it’s £108.

Ryanair fly from Stansted to Lubeck (about 30 miles from Hamburg). Cheapest is out Sat morning, back Mon evening (£90).

And for rail travellers for the first home matches: the lines are blocked at Bletchley at weekends so it’s a long journey from Euston with buses part way. For the 12.15 kick-off on August 24th, it’s 06:25 from Euston to get to Piccadilly for 10:36! Looks like no Virgin Value tickets either, so cheapest and quickest looks like the 07:00 from St Pancras changing at Sheffield, and in Piccadilly at 11:01 (earlier train 06:20 change Derby and Sheffield, arr. Piccadilly 10:36). Book separately £19 London – Sheffield (7 days in advance, limited availability) then £11.85 day return Sheffield-M/c. You have to specify a return service Sheffield to London.

Same going to West Ham on 21st September: 08:27 and 09:27 from Piccadilly take 4 hours to Euston.

Birmingham – Manchester trains taking longer too (diverted via Nuneaton).

Steve Parish (


We also had a home pre-season game with Sheffield Wednesday a few days after Bob Brightwell’s testimonial in ’97, where Tony Vaughan found a kindred spirit in Paolo di Canio and they had a neat little tussle involving shirt-pulling, testicle groping and wild eyed gesticulating. To emphasise how things go around and come around, we were about to face Blackpool in the season opener with the gathered might of Conlon, Mason and Jim Whitely getting a run out whilst Wednesday were yet to turn into a pan of cold porridge and were set to embark on a decent season in the Premiership.

Simon Curtis (


Just thought I would add to the pre-season debate regarding Maine Road games; in the season after relegation from the First Division we played 3 games at Maine Road, on successive Saturdays. One was Brightwell’s testimonial vs. Sunderland as was correctly stated by Madeleine Hawkins in MCIVTA 827. However we also ‘enjoyed’ another 0-0 versus Cardiff City at Maine Road in the previous game, and yet another 0-0 against someone else whose name escapes me, although I’m fairly sure it was someone fairly cr*p like Southampton or Coventry. So three 0-0’s in a row then, and I dragged the missus to them all. I remember these games because I sat in the Main Stand for virtually the only time, right next to the directors’ box to see if I could spot any famous managers ‘scouting’ our players (I think we had about 64 players at the time) One of these games also heralded the début of one Nick Weaver I seem to recall.

Richard Ellor (


Someone asked what the situation was re. smoking at Eastlands. My understanding is that smoking will be banned in the seats, but allowed in the concourses.

I’m a non-smoker and so would be very happy not to have to breathe others’ smoke, I personally think that smoking should be confined to designated areas. They have a similar system at the Stadium of Light, where people smoking in the seats are gently sent into the concourse by the police.

Euan Bayliss (


To shed some light on Alex Channon’s enquiry about no smoking at Eastlands.

Although it is supposed to be a no smoking stadium, at the recent ‘Time Trials Event’ spectators were being allowed to smoke on the concourses where large ashtrays had been put out and on the circular walkways. There are no smoking signs at the entrances to the seating areas and the security staff were enforcing this. There did seem to be some confusion though with the security staff allowing smoking on the concourse, some were saying it was OK and others making people go out onto the circular walkways. I don’t know who makes the decisions about this policy though, bearing in mind that currently, I think, the council owns the stadium, but from next season MCFC take over the lease. Time to start wearing the patches Alex.

Anthony Ward (


Alex Channon asked for views on his/her smoking at games, being a “right”; it was claimed to be a matter for his/her freedom of choice. While I never disagree with fellow Blues, who are all my fellow sufferers and saints, I must take issue with this (I am a public health consultant!). You give up many “rights” when you live in a community e.g. the right to pollute the environment, copulate in public etc. This, coupled with the right of everybody to a clean environment, takes precedence over the freedom of choice for individuals to pollute. The Human Rights Act of 1998 is quite clear about the rights of communities and those living in a democratic society. There is also the Health and Safety legislation to consider. This is why nobody is allowed to smoke at work anymore, or when standing at bars in pubs (staff have a right to clean air)? So if Man City Council are banning smoking that is why. Give it up and then you can laugh at all the Rags puffing away to an early grave. Andy Dillon wanted a DVD fix. I expect there are others wondering about this. You can usually sort this out with the remote control by inputting coded data to the player. They are all different so you need to do a search on the net for your particular DVD player. For the UK most fixes are listed at for outside the uk try this is a USA site that Andy might try. Most Sony and Pioneer DVD machines need a wire soldered across a junction on the PCB. If you are not up to that any radio/TV repair man should be able to do it in 10 minutes.

CTID, John Stewart (


I for one welcome the No Smoking stance if this is to be true. As a non smoker, being surrounded by smokers during a match is more than a bit irritating.

Call me a nazi if you like but a smoke free match would suit me fine. Sorry for the lack of support for your campaign. It’s hardly the end of the world is it?

David Severn (


I’m sorry – I know I said last week would be my only annual contribution, but I’m really wound up…

I know this isn’t strictly a City issue, but I attended the Oasis/ Charlatans / Black Rebel Motorcycle Club gig in Finsbury Park on Sunday, and the behaviour of a lot of the people there makes me feel sick. Having saved up the £30 to go, plus £20 on the train (I’m currently unemployed), looking forward to a great gig by 2 of my favourite bands, taking my girlfriend to her first outdoor concert, I’m sad to say that the whole thing was ruined by a bunch of, I’m ashamed to say, Mancunian tw*ts lobbing plastic bottles full of beer, reef and/or urine over the top of the crowd. This was supplemented by a bunch of about 8 or 9 of the idiots smearing mustard over anybody who dared to like any of the support bands – shouting “get these c**** off – f****** OASIS f****** COME ON”. Of course, if you’re an Oasis fan, it’s impossible to be able to cram liking another band into your already space-limited skull… They then took to smacking people over the head with the bottles. A different bunch of lads took to lobbing bottles really quite hard at the back of one poor lad’s head for the duration of the concert. Why? Because he was ginger. It’s one thing to take the mick out of someone – it’s another to repeatedly hurt him throughout the duration of a concert which he’s paid for, because of the colour of his hair. A number of people in the crowd around us left because they genuinely felt threatened – I know this just sounds like me being soft, but me and the other lads I was with have been to Glastonbury 3 times, and I’ve seen other bands outdoor with massively bigger crowds, yet there has never been anything like that amount of aggro. I certainly don’t remember it at the Maine Road gig.

The reason I’ve sent this in to MCIVTA, is because some of these lads were City fans, wearing shirts, carrying scarves and that – I just wanted to say that if you see anyone at Maine Road threatening people like this, do us all a favour and report them to a steward – there’s nothing you can do at a 24,000 person gig, because there’s no easy way of getting them out, but there’s no place for them in a football stadium, and there’s no need to put up with it, because they’re easy to get at in an all-seater… it’s difficult to buy into all of the indignation about us getting blamed when there’s trouble at games with Millwall, Stoke, Birmingham and the like when you see people wearing the shirt and acting like this. Oh yeah – it comes back to the Union flag debate again too – a load of them were carrying them too – I’d deport them, and make them leave the flag at the departure gate, although it does seem to be becoming so prevalent that it seems it might be a better idea to join the legions of ex-pat Blues that MCIVTA so effectively services.

Jon Marshall (


Recently I was lucky enough to receive my tickets for the Commonwealth Games 100m final in the post and excitedly opened the envelope to discover all sorts of flyers, advertising and attempts to flog things basically.

The part that interested, and disgusted me, in fairly equal measures however was the pocket guide that was supplied entitled ‘Welcome to Manchester’. There are various minor quibbles regarding this guide, but those I can handle (and ignore!). However, it is the ‘Sport’ section that has really got my Goat.

And I quote…


Sport is the City’s lifeblood. With Manchester United Football Club and Lancashire County Cricket Club flying the flag it’s easy to see why the City is known throughout the world as a sporting capital. 2002 sees the state-of-the-art City of Manchester Stadium take its rightful place on the City’s skyline and don’t forget the brand new Manchester Aquatics Centre providing professional training facilities and a whole range of activities for all the family.

And that is all. The guide for the Manchester Commonwealth Games doesn’t mention Manchester’s football team.

Now I would suggest some kind of boycott, but hey, I’ve got my tickets and I want to see our new stadium! So if anyone wants to pass their comments on, they should be sent to:

Marketing & Visitor Services, PO Box 532, Manchester City Council, Town Hall, Manchester, M60 2LA.

Yes, our own council are responsible for this!

Anyway, let’s get these games out of the way, out of our stadium and get on with the action – I can’t wait for the football to start!

Matt Toulson (


The Manchester City team to start next season is certainly an international team. We do not have an England international, but don’t be downhearted about that as I predict we shall have an England star soon in Shaun Wright-Phillips, as long as he keeps progressing the way he did last season.

As City fans I know the thing foremost in our minds is a City team that can do us proud; I doubt if there is one City fan out there who is not excited about the new season.

Smoking in the new stadium? a question has been brought up, and good before we move. For my point of view I feel there should be made “smoking areas” for all the fans who smoke. I do not smoke, but I have never objected to smokers as long as they don’t blow smoke in my face. But I am sure we have a lot of smokers who are City fans, the last few years some have no nails left, some are chewing more gum, and we have the smokers, we have to accommodate them, after all they are above everything else City fans.

Come on you Blues, Ernie Barrow (


Man City reserve team player, Chris Killen, has been nominated for New Zealand Soccer’s (the governing body in New Zealand) Adidas International Young Player of the Year; the winner will be announced at the NZ Soccer/New Zealand Soccer Media Association Annual Awards on Saturday 20th July at North Harbour Stadium in Auckland.

Ralph Sheppard (


There is a book out in September about stadium design featuring a large section on Eastlands, it may be of interest to City fans.,,0470848405,00.html I’ve not read it so I can’t say how good it is but it might be of interest to someone.

Vuoso looks good.

Joe O’Brien (


The South West Branch of the Official Manchester City Supporters’ Club (1949) are holding their Annual General Meeting at the Boots and Laces Social Club, Torquay United F.C. on Saturday 13th July at 1 p.m.

All South West based Blues are welcome to attend the meeting and join us for a few, purely medicinal, drinks afterwards.

For further information regarding the meeting or the branch, please contact the Branch Secretary, Andy Foden.

Andy Foden (


Anyone else out there planning to spend time in Denmark while City are there? My wife and I’ll be spending the week in Aarhus, travelling to Haderslev (Sonderjylland match) and back to Aarhus on the day of the match. If you fancy an adventure on Danish public transport or sharing the cost of a hire car for the day then get in touch.

I’ve been in touch with Morten (, who wrote in MCIVTA 817 with some ticket info. We’re planning to meet for a beer or two. I’ll post details once we’ve sorted out where and when.

Roger Haigh (


I am emailing you from a television production company in London. I am producing a series for Sky One called The Football Years. It is a nostalgic look at various different years of the Premiership. One of the stories we are following is eccentric fans, and I have been given the job of trying to track down these guys. I understand you interviewed the Maine Road Chicken man and was wondering if you had any contact details for this guy?

Dom Sharman (

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 #828