Newsletter #833

Tonight we have a great report on the new stadium from Carol – and what a fantastic place. You can just picture the scene next year swathed in blue and ‘Blue Moon’ ringing out across East Manchester.

We’ve also plenty of opinion on squad, training, marketing and of course some info on the Hamburg friendly including a last minute place. Look forward to getting reports from a few of you lucky enough to be going.

Tonight sees my 100th issue as editor, and the year has flown by. Thanks to all out there for their contributions, encouragement and of course the rest of the McV ‘squad’ without whom etc.

Next game: Leeds United, away, 17 August 2002


I was fortunate to be given, yes given, tickets for the Commonwealth Games last night (28/7) so was able to look at our new stadium from the inside! And boy what a night! 3 English Golds from Paula Radcliffe, Jonathan Edwards and Mick Jones in the hammer – what roof there was went into orbit! Our girl falling over the last hurdle when in bronze medal position, Lee McConnell of Scotland getting a silver in the women’s 400m final, the Guernsey decathlete getting a standing ovation in the 1500 metres and the re-enactment of the last night of the Proms when Paula got her medal!

Outside impressions – looks magnificent; there are the four spiral walkways which make life a lot easier than climbing stairs or getting lifts and as far as I can see these cover quite a few blocks each. We were in block 328 (row A, right in front of the triple jump run up – dead handy!) on entrance T which was a “spiral”, as was entrance R – both of these are the West Stand which is, as I understand it, where the current Main Stand ticketholders will be based. Not sure which entrances the other two East Stand/Kippax “spirals” are. These spirals seem to cover levels 2 and 3 although there are naturally other ground level entrances in between. I presume these can be accessed by wheelchair users but would think there are other easier access points! There seems to be plenty of room for matchday parking – of course none available at the moment at the stadium – but one criticism is the amount of gravel around outside, awkward to walk on at the best of times but in the wet it could be dangerous. Most of the paving is fine, it’s just these gravel bits which bugged us!

Merchandise Shop – whilst on the outside theme, we visited the Merchandise Shop, which was a separate building to the main stadium. This was much bigger than our current Superstore but not as big as you know who’s! I presume we will be taking this over as our superstore once the Games have finished. We ended up queuing for about 40 minutes in the searing heat although I would doubt this would be so bad on a match day, so under the circumstances we did quite well! Large, spacious layout with plenty of room to walk around and choose what you wanted to buy – one criticism was that there were not enough tills available for payment, which would have speeded things up somewhat. For those of you who are going to the Games – the merchandise is good quality and not too expensive but be prepared to queue so get there a bit earlier or go there before you do anything else!

Anyway back to the inside! Once we’d got ourselves up the spiral walkway to level 3 we got our first view of the concourse. Plenty of food/drink points – didn’t try them ourselves as we’d been lucky to have corporate hospitality beforehand although we had been warned by a couple of Reds who’d been on the Friday night that these were expensive! Oh, and that the stadium was too good for us! Jealous then boys?!

Toilets – can’t speak for the Gents of course but the Ladies were large and clean, enough cubicles and two long sinks, not individual sinks, with equally distanced soap dispensers and paper towel holders. The one I visited had the sinks around the side with an exit/entrance which could get confusing as you exit at a different part of the concourse from where you came in so you could miss your waiting friends/family. Whether these are the same in other parts of the stadium I couldn’t say.

Seating – we were in the front row of level 3, plenty of leg room even for me, and the legroom looked good in the rows behind too. Seating is steeper than at Maine Road, which means that you can see clearly over the head of the person in front, which hopefully would mean no standing up but somehow I doubt it! As far as I could see there were two disabled areas per side stands, one at each end catering for around 10 wheelchair users and their friends/helpers. When in the front row there’s nowhere to put your flask/programme/monkey(!) as there is a rail around it – ok for hanging flags if you are permitted! As for the smoking question – I can confirm that at present there is no smoking in the seated area but it would appear you can smoke in the concourse and of course outside, having witnessed some desperate puffing going on after the Games’ conclusion for the night!

Transport Access – difficult to gauge having used the shuttle bus from Piccadilly station (does that place look good or what?! Didn’t recognise it!). Getting out though was a problem due to the amount of people heading for the shuttle buses for the station or the park and rides. We opted to walk back using the new Citylink walkway which takes around 25 minutes… or in my case 30 minutes ’cause it was so humid last night! The walkway is well lit and very well signposted and there was a police presence every few hundred yards. Again whether this would apply after the Games is another matter.

Overall impression? Fantastic, a stadium to be proud of – we were trying to suss out where we’ll be sitting; currently my seat will be under the running track if the “mapping” goes according to plan. Once the stand is completed and the roof all the way round it will look even better than it is now and as mentioned earlier if the Reds are jealous of it already then we really are onto a winner!

Carol Darvill (


City should do well next season. This is a prediction based on the fact that football is a simple game – your team wins the match if it scores more times than the other one. So consider the following:

The new strikers have improved an attack that scored over 100 goals. The new defenders have strengthened a defence that usually let in at most one goal per game in the second half of last season. In the Premiership last season only the top seven or eight teams scored more goals than they conceded, below that all the teams had a negative goal diffference. Therefore City should come in the top eight!

Wanchope: The flaw in all this of course is that City will be without PW for much of the coming year. KK must have had him in mind to be the first choice to partner Anelka, and PW himself seems to do better when playing alongside “stars”. It suits his temperament. Remember how he wanted to play next to George Weah and how he scored a hat trick in the 4-2 over Sunderland in August 2000, probably City’s best performance of that season.

Jerry Springer: A recent edition of the Springer show dealt with “Folks with anti-social behaviour” and assembled the usual collection of freaks and deviants, including a guy who came on in full Ku Klux Klan regalia, robe, hood and all. He was loudly booed and shouted down by the audience. How times change; this would not have happened even twenty years ago, and the thought occurred that maybe a time will come when even those people who parade around in bright red outfits with the letters U****d on them will also be made to feel like social outcasts!

Tommy Docherty: Don Barrie had a good item in the last MCIVTA about Tommy Docherty’s argument with a car wash machine but I just wondered why if he was “driving to Manchester from a speaking engagement in Wales” he was going through Chesterfield? He is also geographically challanged?

Lastly, here’s an all-time best City XI: Corrigan, Book, Pardoe, Dave Watson, Roy Paul, Doyle, Bell, Benarbia, Lee, Quinn (for a bit of height), Bobby Johnstone. Subs Oakes. Power, Summerbee. Could this team ever lose?

Ken Corfield (


According to the Hamburg website ( they have shifted just over 17,000 tickets for the City game. Nice little ad for the game on their site includes a changing image of bubble permed KK with the Meisterschale after becoming German champions and greying KK holding up City scarf. The legend reads Kevin Keegan’s Coming Home, as if the Germans haven’t stolen that phrase enough already. They’re big Holsten drinkers up there, but if you can get your hands on either Konig Pils or Veltins you’re on the right track. Look out also for those crazy fans with ripped denim jackets covered with sewn on patches and scarves around the wrists. Groovy. Los geht’s, City, they’re Wurst than us.

Simon Curtis (


Simon Sharp makes some good points and I fully sympathise with any long-serving City fan concerned that the club is about to become a Trafford-like money-monster.

It’s natural that the club should be drooling over the revenue potential of 1.2 billion shirt sales in China but at the same time it’s important they remember just what makes the City brand unique (what differentiates us, in marketing-speak).

It really does mean something unique to be a City fan. The suffering, the humour, the ecstasy, the agony, the inevitability! All these things are present at other clubs but I don’t think anyone would deny we have elevated them to new levels – we would certainly win the Champions’ League of supporter angst.

This is not to say that the club should not do everything in its power to broaden the awareness and appeal of the City ‘brand’. A more diversified revenue stream is the only way we will continue to stay healthy and compete at the highest level, especially with so much uncertainty over TV income looking forward. What the club, including Kevin, should do is sit down and decide exactly what the brand is, what it stands for and how it should be protected and revered. Once they’ve done that, it’s more likely they’ll promote it in a way that does not dilute its uniqueness or offend existing fans.

I don’t mind that we become known and loved around the world. What I would mind is if I meet a Taiwanese in a City shirt who really doesn’t get what being a City fan is all about. That would be criminal.

Jeremy Morris – Minneapolis Blue (


Apropos of my posting in the previous MCIVTA, I called the club to find out what had happened to my “lost” card. They referred me to another number – clearly not at Maine Road – and after four calls, all engaged, I thought I was being given the classic runaround, to be passed from one engaged or useless number to another.

However, I got through later, and found that I had failed to put my address on the form (my mum’s about to go into a residential home; I may well join her) – this was sorted out very quickly and pleasantly – the guy who dealt with it didn’t burst out laughing :-), and my number given to me over the phone (there aren’t really 800,000+ membership tickets out there are there? If so, then the we know the “Greatest club in the blah blah blah…” label is on the wrong club!).

So – if there’s anyone at the people who handle the membership applications who is a City fan and reads MCIVTA, or club employees who read MCIVTA, I grovel hugely!

How fantastic to see the swathes of sky blue at the new stadium!

Jeremy Poynton (


I met Alfie and several other Norwegian UK based players on a night out in Leeds two weeks ago. Among my exalted company was Eirik Bakke, Alfie, Olivier Dacourt etc.

It was in a Leeds night-club called Space and being a Blue I spoke to Alfie about his injury and his hopes for the new season. He sounded very despondent and was upset about being dumped re the captaincy. I got the distinct impression that he was miserable and unhappy at City and would be moving on.

It then so happens that I spoke to a friend of mine who is a sports agent for an agency called SFX. I have it on good authority from my snout that Alfie will be ‘leaving’ City in the near future if a bid comes in and he proves his fitness. My sports agent chum is also the agent for Jeff Whitley.

(Name and address supplied but withheld at contributor’s request)


Just an off the wall, tired and probably Vodka-addled brain, thought, but much has been said about our “different” training methods with the fitness coach. These apparently involve a lot less running (in straight, or at least straightish, lines) and a lot more ball work (presumably involving a lot of twisting and turning). We have an apparent surfeit of knee injuries at the moment. The players may enjoy it more and therefore put more into the training. But could it be putting more strain than they are used to on the old knees?

Rest assured the answer will be revealed when this becomes my thesis as a mature student. I have the age, I’m just waiting for the maturity to kick-in.

Dave Kilroy (


City in Europe

The harbour party in Hamburg, Saturday 3rd August, midday until 5pm on board the Cap San Diego, moored in the harbour (address: Uberseebrucke, 20459 Hamburg). Live music and DJs – German beers and food – Fish’n’chips too – buses direct to the stadium.

10 euros payable on door.

Please contact me direct for any further information.

Richard McCabe (


The Blackpool Branch of the OSC have 1 place available on their trip to the match in Hamburg.

The cost including return flight from Gatwick and two nights’ accommodation in a 3 Star Hotel (single room) is £250 plus a share of the travelling expenses to Gatwick.

The flight out leaves on Friday and returns on Sunday night.

The branch is flexible about where to meet any interested person on the way.

If you are interested the please contact Frank Kennedy direct on 07890 672397 (mobile)

Frank Kennedy


On a tour of England, the Pope took a couple of days off to visit the North West coast. His 4×4 Popemobile was driving along the golden sands when there was an enormous commotion. They rushed to see what it was and upon approaching the scene the Pope noticed just outside the surf, a hapless man wearing a United football jersey, struggling frantically to free himself from the jaws of a 20 foot shark!

At that moment a speedboat containing three men wearing City tops roared into view. Spontaneously, one of the men took aim at the shark and fired a harpoon into its ribs, immobilising it instantly. The other two reached out and pulled the Red from the water and then, using long clubs, beat the shark to death.

They bundled the bleeding, semi-conscious man into the speedboat along with the dead shark and prepared for a hasty retreat, when they heard frantic calling from the shore. It was the Pope, summoning them to the beach. Upon reaching land, the Pope went into raptures about the rescue and said, “I give you my blessing for your brave actions. I’d heard there were racist, xenophobic people trying to divide City and United but now I have seen with my own eyes this is not true. I can see your society is a truly enlightened example of tribal harmony which could serve as a model for other nations.”

He blessed them all and drove off. As he departed, the harpoonist asked the others, “Who was that?!” “That,” one answered, “was his Holiness the Pope. He is in direct contact with God and has access to all God’s wisdom.” “Well,” the harpoonist replied, “he knows bog all about shark fishing. How’s the bait holding up or do we need to get another one?”

Don Barrie (


1st. Arsenal
A second successive title for the Gunners as they not only scored in every game but also had a player sent off in every game as well.

2. Manchester City
A more than respectable return to the top flight. Scoring 178 goals in just 36 games would normally furnish the title yet the conceding of 177 goals has led to Schmeichel’s retirement due to a bad back. Kevin Keegan hopes to be released any day now from the padded cell he has been confined to since the incident live on Match of the Day in March when he tried to stuff Motty’s cap 15 inches up his backside following the 8-7 home defeat to West Ham.

3. Liverpool
Liverpool recovered from a poor start and, following Gerard Houllier’s internment in the “Home for the French and Permanently Startled”, they went on an 18 game unbeaten run. Unfortunately Heskey’s return to fitness in February put paid to their title aspirations.

4. Chelsea
Ranieri’s sacking in November transformed the Londoners into a footballing force to be reckoned with as new Coach David O’Leary changed the tactics completely by simply playing people in their proper positions. O’Leary’s future at the Bridge looks grim, however, since he publicly accused Ken Bates of being a “!*&-faced old *%£!pot” and labelled Marcel Desailly “a frog-faced %”@%” following his FA Cup semi-final penalty miss.

5. Newcastle
Things looked bleak in October when Sir Bobby finally ‘pegged out’ during a Worthington Cup match in Grimsby but the decision to have him stuffed and propped against the dug-out for the remainder of the season really paid dividends. “He’s a lot more knowledgeable about the game now” said Alan Shearer, “in fact I can’t remember the last time I had to remind him who I was”.

6. Leeds
Close to a Champions’ League spot but no cigar, although, “not so” according to Mr Venables who states quite clearly in the final match programme that he can get you any number of cigars for little more than “three monkeys”. Leeds’ season stumbled into crisis when, following their inability to offload any players, they were forced to sell their ground and played the last third of the season at the local park.

7. Middlesbrough
A good season by Boro’s standards, helped in no small part by Juninho’s September decision to clear off back to Brazil once and for all and let the ‘Riversiders’ get on with their lives. Rumour has it that Steve McClaren is already in negotiations with a hitman to kill his agent.

8. Tottenham
Glenn Hoddle’s religious beliefs both helped and hampered the North London club’s campaign in a tricky season. His decision to play God in the centre of midfield following an injury to Tim Sherwood resulted in some inconsistency and confusion. As God is omni-present he was constantly offside but carried his defensive duties out with some relish as He was, literally, everywhere. Confusion often arose on the occasions He went into the ref’s book as he would vary his name between “The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost”.

9. Blackburn Rovers
Another season of consolidation for the Lancashire club who recovered from the trauma of one day finding 10,000 holes in the area surrounding Ewood Park. Apparently Garry Flitcroft still lies at the bottom of one after a team mate bet him he couldn’t get any lower.

10. West Ham Utd
The pre-season dental work on Glenn Roeder made Upton Park a far less scary venue for visiting teams this season. This, coupled with Paulo Di Canio’s insistance that his team mates play the entire ninety minutes on their knees because they “are not worthy to be the same height as me”, hindered the campaign.

11. Southampton
Another season of mid-table comfort thanks in no small part to Gordon Strachan’s strategy of only playing people called Svensson, which disconcerted the opposition no end.

12. Aston Villa
A season of injuries for the Villa Park club. August began with Alpay falling over his chin as he rushed to board a plane to Germany, Angel got his hair caught in one of Paul Merson’s chins in October, Lee Hendrie left to play the ‘Sprite’ in the soft drink ad campaign on a full time basis in November and when Peter Crouch broke his jaw on one of the floodlights in December the season was all but over.

13. Sunderland
The pressure finally proved too much for Peter Reid this year and, following his total regression into a monkey and his cross-bar swinging tricks during the half-time interval of their away game with Leeds in December, the board decided to act and Peter was on his way. The arrival of Donna Air as his replacement improved morale but not results.

14. Fulham
Despite the fact that Fulham only scored three goals all season (one pen, one own goal and a 40 yard net buster from Saha – all against Manchester City), Fulham were saved by the intervention of Mr Al Fayed as he put all his dirty washing into the Fulham goal thus ensuring that only thirteen goals were conceded all season (one by Arsenal and twelve by Manchester City).

15. Everton
It finally happened in December, Duncan Ferguson’s legs fell off. Things were going well until then for the Merseysiders but big Dunc’s inability to get on the end of crosses from his prone position in the centre circle proved costly as the season progressed. The Everton board finally came up with enough money in February to buy a second-hand coffee table to perch him on but, alas, it was too little too late and the club are now desperately trying to offload the table.

16. Charlton Athletic
Won some, lost some, drew some, erm… boring.

17. West Brom
Survival attained on the last day of the season when Bob Taylor’s wheelchair deflected Darren Moore’s hopeful hoof into the roof of the net with seconds to spare. A great season for the Baggies thanks largely to their big pre-season signing, 13 year old Adrian Munsey, who was snapped up for 15 bags of crisps from local side the Dudley Marauders last July. “We took a big chance with Adrian” said Gary Megson “but it’s paid off and at £7.50 and a sherbert dab a week he’s just about justified his wages and the unrest it initially caused in the dressing room”.

18. Bolton Wanderers
Bolton never recovered from losing their manager during the FA Cup 3rd round tie at Lincoln. The tunnel at Sincil Bank is notoriously narrow and when Sam Allerdyce got his head stuck, there was little other option than to chop it off; unfortunately, it then rolled onto the pitch and broke both of Michael Rickett’s legs thus ending their season.

19. Birmingham City
Being top of the ‘Been hit in the face with a shovel’ league and survival in the Premier League are two different things as Steve Bruce found out to his cost. The big money spent last summer failed to pay off and leaves the club precariously held afloat by David Sullivan.

20. Manchester United
The writing was on the wall as early as last season when Fergie threatened to stay on. When that threat became reality panic set in as Fergie’s recent record of signing horse-faced forwards, bald dwarf ‘keepers, geriatric frogs and 70’s Argentinean porn-stars sent the shareholders running for cover. Despite Fergie being sensationally ousted, when an explosive was detonated in his left nostril in March, the season could not be saved.

Sent in by Chris Jones (

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 #833