Newsletter #925

The long-awaited fixtures for the 2003-04 season are out today. Unfortunately, due to those nice folks at the FA and Premier League demanding licence fees from anybody who cares to publish them, we cannot carry a full list (the fact that we fans pay out vast amounts to attend games does not warrant listing those games in their eyes). We’ve therefore got a link to the MCFC site, which lists the fixtures. And before you go booking travel etc., remember that those equally helpful folks at Sky haven’t yet decided which fixtures to alter. We have a visit to The Valley as the opener, planned for 17th August, and our first competitive game at the new stadium the following week when Pompey are the visitors. The UEFA draw takes place tomorrow (Friday) which will undoubtedly mean further alterations to the published list.

Other than this we have Don’s news, opinion on new signings and systems, Dave has stirred up plenty of response to his Moving On article and we’ve a few requests.

Next game: to be announced


General News

South London Start for City: The Premiership fixtures were published today, and City will start their campaign in South London with a game at Charlton Athletic. This brings back unhappy memories of the opening game of 2000-2001, which saw the Blues drubbed 4-0 by the Addicks. The latest visit to the Valley is scheduled for Saturday August 16, but that may change to the Sunday, given City’s UEFA Cup commitments. The first home game will be on Saturday August 23 when Portsmouth will be the first league visitors to the COMS. Derby days are: City to visit OT on December 13, with the return game taking place on March 13 at the Citadel. There are two games scheduled for the festive period – Birmingham (away, December 26) and Liverpool (home, December 28). City complete their season with a home match against Everton, on May 15. These dates are of course conditional, subject to the changes for Sky TV and to accommodate City’s UEFA triumphs (let’s be optimistic shall we?). Of the opening fixture, Chairman Wardle commented that “There will certainly be no repeat of what happened at Charlton on that previous opening day of the season. We fear no one. We know we have to play them all twice and it doesn’t matter whether that is in August or May.”

It’s Lord Goater of Maine Road! Well, almost! Shaun Goater has been honoured with an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list this week. He has received the award, not for services to Laser Blue humanity and to Gary Neville, but for services to sport and young people in his home country of Bermuda. Shaun was of course the official ambassador for his country during the Commonwealth Games last year, and also runs a summer soccer school each year and is a figurehead for football in Bermuda, aiming to raise the profile and standards of the game of there. This summer has seen the first annual Shaun Goater Grassroots Soccer Festival on the island, with City’s Academy team taking part. What does the Great Man himself say of this week’s announcement? “It is not often that I am lost for words, but I am completely speechless,” said Shaun. “It is an honour and privilege to receive the MBE. There have been so many highlights in my career, like scoring the goals against Manchester United this year and leading Bermuda out at the Games, but this takes some beating.” His agent, Mark Georgevic, added: “Shaun is a national hero in Bermuda and has done so much work for promoting grassroots football and has run a soccer school for quite some time. But he will never forget the adulation in which City supporters hold him. I remember him coming out of the ground after the last game of the season and it was pouring with rain, yet he signed every autograph.” Chairman John Wardle was fulsome in his praise of City’s number 10. “I am absolutely delighted for Shaun Goater; his MBE is certainly well deserved. Shaun is a great ambassador for sport and continues to do excellent work with grass roots football in Bermuda. I would like to place on record our congratulations from all at Manchester City Football Club.” Director Dennis Tueart accompanied the Academy on their trip to the Caribbean, and has seen for himself the Goat’s popularity back home in Bermuda. “At times when we were running the soccer clinics, it was like Shaun was the Pied Piper with the number of children who followed him around. They hung off his every word. He always gives 100 per cent in everything he does and is a really popular figure. There is no side to him. I am delighted for him. If anyone deserves an award like this, it is Shaun.” Goater is the second person at City to be honoured by the Queen. Former goalkeeper and Director of Community Affairs at City, Alex Williams was awarded the MBE last year.

Twin Sponsors Scheme: It’s understood that City have been given permission by the Premiership to wear different sponsors’ names on their home and away kits. This is thought to be an attempt to minimise the losses to club following the demise of First Advice. City have decided not to destroy the alleged 80,000 shirts that have already been manufactured, but will attempt to recoup some revenue by securing a different sponsor for the away kit. The final plan will be decided next week after consultation with Reebok. Chairman John Wardle said: “We have basically decided we must start making some decisions and so I have set Monday as a deadline. We have had interest from four or five companies who want to take over the home, away or both kit sponsorship. We are hoping something can be arranged with First Advice because we have some good friends in the company and already thousands of Reebok home shirts have been made.”

Transfer News and Gossip

Imagine Lennon Back at City, It’s Easy if You Try: A report in the Daily Mail suggests that Celtic’s Neil Lennon has held talks with City and newly promoted Wolves, and is keen to return to the Premiership where he made a name for himself with Leicester City. Lennon has been the victim of sectarian abuse recently, so the report concludes that he is keen to make a fresh start. Lest we forget, Lennon began his career a junior at Maine Road, playing one first team game in 1988 before being released in the summer of 1990 to join Crewe Alexandra. Comments made later in the week by the player do not suggest that he is about to leave Glasgow, however. Lennon said: “It would be nice to think I could finish my career at Celtic but I will leave that to the powers-that-be. It is the club I wanted to be at. I still have two years left on my contract and I’m hoping to see that out. I hope I can extend it too because it’s not up to me. When the time comes to talk about it, I’m sure the manager will let me know.” The 31-year-old also expressed a desire to play Champions’ League football with Celtic.

Swapsies, Martin? On the subject of Celtic – Darren Huckerby’s agent has stated that the UEFA Cup finalists are once again chasing his man. Manager Martin O’Neill has been a long-time admirer of the jet heeled striker (as the M.E.N. might say), and tried to sign him on loan last season. Darren preferred the comforts of home and finished the season at Nottingham Forest. The player’s agent, Phil Smith, is quoted as saying: “I think there is interest from Celtic, but Martin is on holiday and I don’t expect any developments until next month. It’s certainly a possibility but we’ve not had any official discussions at this stage.”

Clear-Out Difficulties: City’s management accept that the playing squad needs to be trimmed, but this may prove difficult to achieve, according to Managing Director Alistair Mackintosh. He said: “Moving players out is one of our priorities. Anyone can look at our squad and say it is too big and you can identify some players who won’t feature. Against that, it is a very difficult time because generally if a player is not featuring in our own squad then they will be looking at the bottom half of the Premiership or the top of the First Division. There is very little money around for transfer fees or wages, so it is not easy. There are 586 players who have been released from Premiership and Football League clubs and that is frightening. A financial reality must set in. You will have wage deflation at the bottom end. Quality will always retain value both as an asset and also they will command a higher wage. Outside of that, you now have a tremendous supply of players and limited demand, so naturally the wages will fall.”

Midfield Maelstrom: It’s still no clearer who will be in City’s midfield in the new season. The saga of Marc Vivien “Will he won’t he” Foe shows no sign of being resolved. Foe’s agent, Willie McKay, gives his weekly dispatch. “I’m still working on things with Lyon and it’s all going well,” said McKay. “I have already had contact from five Premiership sides and there is interest on the Continent, too. Those clubs were prepared to pay a fee for him and if he becomes available for nothing, there will be even more interest in him. As for City, we won’t know what will happen for sure until Kevin Keegan comes back from his holidays this week. It’s a wee bit early to say where he will be playing next season and to say that it will be with Manchester City is a bit premature. My personal opinion is that he won’t be going back there.” Bolton Wanderers emerged as a potential destination for the Cameroonian international, although Sam Allardyce has denied any interest in the player. A couple of names have been mentioned as replacements, should Monsieur Foe go elsewhere. Gavin McCann has been cited as one potential target. The newspapers reckon that KK will offer £1 million plus Shaun Goater for the 25-year-old, although Aston Villa and Leeds United have also been linked with McCann. Julian Gray of Crystal Palace has today been mentioned as another potential target. Gray came to prominence last season during Palace’s F.A. Cup run, when scoring against Liverpool and Leeds United. He has just rejected two offers of a contract by his current employers, so Palace may look to sell the player while he still commands a transfer fee. Pining for Michael Brown to return to City? You can forget it if Neil Warnock is to be believed. Sheffield United have had no offers for their midfielder, and do not need to sell in any event. “The board have told me we are not in a position where we have to sell,” Warnock said. “So there is no reason why we can’t have the same players at our disposal again. We have had no offers for Michael Brown and unless we are offered silly money – and I really don’t think we will be – I don’t see why he won’t be turning out for us again. We want him to stay and he is under contract.” There’s a similar tale emerging from City over the fate of Eyal Berkovic – no offers yet. “There is no player activity at the moment and there has certainly been no formal offer for Eyal from Portsmouth or anyone else,” confirmed the John Wardle. “Kevin Keegan is having a well deserved break at the moment, but we speak regularly and there has been no mention of transfers.”

Beckham for City? This News Summary does not pander to Beckham-mania, but you might like to know that bookmakers William Hill are offering odds of 50/1 on Mr. G. Balls becoming a City player once his sojourn in Madrid is over. Should you consider it more likely that Becks will return to Stretford’s Dark Side, you’ll get odds of 12/1. Beckham in Blue? Stranger things have happened – remember the disbelief expressed in most quarters when reports of Peter Schmeichel’s arrival began to surface. You read it here first, folks…

Ex-Blues’ News

Vale to Make a Killen? Chris Killen could be on the move from Oldham Athletic, with Port Vale showing a great interest in the former City striker. You feel that the vultures are already circling over Boundary Park, as the Latics announced recently that they are on the verge of bankruptcy, with debts mounting at the alarming rate of £50,000 per week. A club statement added that employees have been informed they are virtually certain not to be paid at the end of the month, so players under contract will become free agents. Vale boss Brian Horton could soon increase his ex-City contingent, as Killen is well known to the Potteries club. The New Zealander was on loan to Vale in the 2001-2002 season, and impressed by scoring 6 goals in 10 games. Killen’s price at the time put Horton off making the deal a permanent one, so the 21-year-old joined Oldham for £200,000.

Squad News

Mikkel Is OK: Fears over Mikkel Bischoff’s injury have proved unfounded. Bischoff sustained a broken foot whilst training with Denmark’s under-21 squad, and there were concerns that he would not be fit in time to attend pre-season training at Carrington. The young defender has made a swift recovery, though. “Following a minor operation Mikkel was feeling a lot better within three days,” explained a City spokesman. “He is due back in Manchester at the end of June for rehab and we do not foresee any problems and look forward to welcoming him back.” Danny Tiatto is another player looking forward to the resumption of training. Having played only once for the first team in 2003 due to a persistent stomach injury, Danny has spent the summer back in Australia. He has followed a fitness programme devised by the club and cannot wait to return to Carrington. “I know I will come back stronger and am determined to get a good pre season under my belt and to kick on,” said the midfielder. “My appetite now to get back and get started is as strong as ever. I wanted to play in the reserves match at the end of the season to test my injury. Fortunately I came through okay.”

England’s England’s Number One! City’s goalkeeping coach Peter Bonetti is in no doubt that David Seaman will soon be back in contention for a place in the England team. “Make no mistake about it, there is nobody better than him. David is still the best goalkeeper in the country,” said Bonetti, who has worked with Seamo during KK’s stint as England coach. “He is top class and his record speaks for itself. He is proven at the top level for a number of years. As far as I am concerned, he is still a tremendous goalkeeper. The highest compliment that I can pay him is that he has proven himself time and time again. David has got presence, character, and is a superb shot stopper who can organise the defence. Those who have concentrated on some of the mistakes he may have made recently are all wrong. He has never let anyone down. The only reason Mr Eriksson never picked him for England recently was because David was in the process of moving clubs. Now that he is settled, I have no doubt that he will challenge for his place again.” Bonetti thinks the Boss Man deserves credit for the capture of the pony tailed shot stopper. “Kevin is always looking to bring top quality players in and that is what he has got with David. He can do a great job for Manchester City next year and hopefully the season after. I’m looking forward to working with him again and he is a very likeable man. Players like David are just what you need when you go into the big grounds and big European nights. Kevin knows his players, is very astute and has brought a professional of true quality in, who will have a huge influence on the squad.” Seaman’s presence should be an inspiration to players like Nicky Weaver, he feels. “All the young lads will benefit from his experience, I have no doubts about that. Nicky has been particularly unlucky since I came here and I feel desperately sorry for him. He has never had a chance to show what he can do. I wish him well and hope that he will be able to challenge for the number one shirt again. As it is, David will start off next season there and I don’t think we could have anyone better than him. I have been on holiday, so I haven’t had a chance to speak to anyone for a couple of weeks and I can’t wait to get back into training. We did very well last year and this promises to be a very exciting season and playing in the UEFA Cup is magnificent.”

Don Barrie (


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Heidi (


Can’t wait for the season to start but from looking at the provisional fixture list, we have our work cut out just after the mid-point of the season when we have Arsenal (a), Liverpool (a), Chelsea (h), Man U (h) and Leeds (a) in seven matches between 31st January to 20 March not to mention the distraction from the advance stages of the UEFA Cup, assuming we made it that far. This could make or break our season.

I don’t think anyone needs reminding that the team lost its way somewhat last season around about the same period of the year when results kept going the wrong way against relatively easier opposition.

It is also unnerving to note that the last time we started the season against Charlton in the 2000/01 season back in the Premiership, we ended the season relegated.

Oh what the heck! Bring on Charlton anyway.

Nizam Idris (


After the recent debate about the City midfield I thought I would throw my 2 pennyworth in. Surely the most important goal is to find a system that allows our existing players to play to their strengths rather than filling rôles that they are obviously uncomfortable with. The “diamond” formation has received much publicity recently and, although it did not work too well for England in their last game, I feel that it would be ideal for City.

Barton – and possibly Horlock or Tarnat if the youngster tires over the season – would be ideal for the holding rôle. SWP and Tiatto could fill the right and left side positions respectively. This would allow them both to be involved in the game rather than being stuck on the wing, use their dynamic energy to best effect and provide natural pace and width on the flanks with the assurance that they have defenders behind them when attacking, unlike 5-3-2. Both would have to work on their crossing though. Eyal (or Ali when the former is injured!) could play at the tip of the diamond, allowing him to play balls for the strikers and also get into the box without being overly concerned with defending.

The centre of defence picks itself (Distin & Sommeil) – may need a new right back although Dunne might be ok here in this system and would give us height at set pieces, which the midfield would lack. Tarnat or Jensen could play leftback – probably the former as I doubt that he left Bayern to sit on our bench.

Up front Anelka and A.N.Other. Fowler has a lot to do to convince me he still has it. I am sure we would have finished a couple of places higher up if the Goat had played instead of Robbie. I wish we had got Viduka from Leeds rather than Fowler as I feel he would have been a far better partner for Nic – strong, holds ball up well and good in the air – complete basket case though! I would love Robbie to prove me wrong but I feel that he may be one of those players – Nigel Clough, David Hirst, Mark Robins etc. – who loses it and never gets it back.

Given the lack of money available, it makes sense to get the best out of our existing squad rather than pursuing every big name player – McManaman, Geremi etc. – who becomes available. With Wanchope and Macken hopefully being fit for the start of the season it will be like having a couple of new signings anyway.

Knowing KK though I guess he will want at least one big name player before the season starts!

James Hawkins (


Now that glamour boy has signed for Real Madrid, could it be that the name of Steve McManaman will come back into the picture? It will become tougher for McManaman to get a place in the Madrid side. Will he be content to sit on the bench all season, or decide to come back to England? If Real Madrid give him a free transfer, I expect that Kevin Keegan will have the power to get McManaman before Everton try to move in.

Another current La Liga player is Michael Reiziger, who would be the perfect player for right back. Since City had more success playing a 4-4-2 last season, then this would be the way to go.

On the down side we still have players that need to go leave; the transfer market has really changed, there is not as much movement during this “silly season” due to clubs having cash problems. Sheffield United are the latest club to be interested in the Goat, but seems his wages are a bit of a stumbling block, I guess Premier to First Division is quite a difference.

Ernie Barrow (


I’d like to further pick up on the debate brought about by Sarah Ferguson concerning Berkovic, Foe and the team in general.

Firstly, I must agree with Sarah and Graham Keller, I think Foe has been good for City, he is a big lump who can put it about in midfield and score the odd goal or two. I know there will be loads of people thinking, “is he serious?” but we all have opinions and I feel Foe has a lot more to offer, and hopefully will improve on his consistency.

It was his first season and yes he can improve his all-round game, and if KK likes MVF, then he is right to keep chasing his signature. The same goes for Berkovic, he is too good a player to lose to another team; again as the saying goes “better the Devil you know”! For us to replace Eyal’s midfield genius would mean spending a lot of dosh, without the guarantee that the newcomer would fit into the pattern of play that City are used to, or we could take a chance on a relatively unknown up and coming player or search for a quality Bosman free transfer, if one is available?

I believe KK knows Eyal well enough by now, and a lot of his rants are paper talk, many a player will tell you that the grass is not always greener on the other side, and being first choice in any team is a bonus, regardless how much you are earning each week, playing regular first team football is what counts and this might be enough to placate Eyal.

There are a few players I would like to see at City, and some are purely out of hope, than reality, but you never know!

I loved watching the Porto midfielder Deco, then there is the Basle midfielder Yakin, the Auxerre centre half Boumsong, WBA’s Jason Koumas, Ipswich’s Darren Bent. I am sure some of these would welcome a Premiership team, playing in a fantastic new stadium, and would not necessarily cost the earth.

To think we paid nearly £5 million for Macken, imagine what we could buy for that sum now, plus I always had my doubts about Fowler, and let’s hope he proves me wrong next season.

Let’s hope KK watches the Confederations Cup in France and manages to pick up one or two quality players, so that we can have a good start to the season.

Sarah – well done for generating so much healthy debate.

Glyn Albuquerque (


While I can fully sympathise with David Mayor’s comments about leaving Maine Road, there is no danger of the club losing its identity – why should it? Did Bolton, Sunderland, Derby, Leciester, Southampton etc. lose theirs when they moved and how many of their supporters would go back given the choice?

The identity of a football club rests more with its supporters, the team and its history than with where it plays. Don’t get me wrong, Maine Road has and always will have a significant place in the club’s heritage and that will never change. Yes, it will be strange at first but the excitement contained within myself and all other Blues that I know is just amazing and when we get in there it will be fantastic and I for one will be bursting with enthusiasm. I can’t wait to get U****d there as the passion and atmosphere should be excellent.

Will I miss Maine Road – yes I will, but I am not sorry to be leaving because the club needs to grow and move on and this is the only way to do it. We cannot stand still – the club has done that on too many occasions in the past, and we have to do everything to get our fan base (which far exceeds the 34,000 at Maine Road) to attend. The missing 10-12,000 people referred to have always been there and will continue to be there after we have moved so I do not associate increased ticket sales just with the move. The club is fortunate to be moving at a time when it is in the Premiership, the UEFA Cup and has one of its best squads for some time. Let’s face it, had Maine Road been big enough we quite likely would have been getting crowds in excess of 40,000 anyway.

The fact is Maine Road got left behind and I’m not just talking about the last 10 years or so, it goes further back than that. If the club truly wants to compete at the highest level and be the true giant it aspires to be then we simply have to move. We aren’t the first and we won’t be the last.

See you at the Blue Camp (I like that one!).

Graham Keller (


I don’t think I have ever heard anybody claim they will be going to the new stadium so they can use a swipe card – they are all going to see City, the swipe card is a bonus. Same goes for the catering, and every other improvement that the new stadium will have over Maine Road, including the lack of posts supporting the stands, so those without season tickets but lucky enough to get the last tickets available don’t have an obstructed view of one goal for the whole match. I could go on, but do I really need to?

And get this, Mr. Mayor, you could fill the new stadium 10 times with people who love City, so an extra 10,000 season tickets won’t kill the vibe, it will only make it better. So some of them don’t come up to some purity standard you have set as to what constitutes a ‘true blue’. Good for you, you’ve worked out that not all fans are as committed as you are. Now get on with your life and enjoy being part of the next chapter in City’s great story.

I was born in Australia, where we have some rather cruel stereotypes about Englishmen who are never happy with their lot, and I’m sad to say this is Exhibit A in the case for.

Paul Calder (


Thought I’d respond to Dave Mayor (MCIVTA 924) who is “bothered” by “just who are these extra 10-12,000 people who are going to have season tickets?”

Well, I’m one of those “extras”. I have waited patiently for 3 years (6,030 on the waiting list), and I am proud to finally receive my 2 season tickets to the new stadium. Since I teach in the U.S., my visits to Maine Road have been limited to school holidays and fixtures in August-December/January-March/April. As Dave knows there have been increasingly more capacity crowds and purchasing tickets has ranged from difficult to impossible, and we won’t even discuss away matches, Cup matches etc. So, Dave, I would say that the “extra 10-12000 people” are true fans like me, the 6,000 odd in front of me on the waiting list, and the several thousands behind me on the waiting list since I applied three years ago. Furthermore, Dave, I would follow City to any stadium and am loyal to the team, not the building. I look forward to 48,000 capacity crowds with a new 10-20000 waiting list. Hope that doesn’t spoil your season Dave!

Michael Sayward, ex-Old Trafford, and Stretford Grammar (


In reply to Dave Mayor (Jnr) and his piece in MCIVTA 924 regarding the move and us ‘wait-listed supporters’. Firstly, I can’t explain the reason for your loss of identity – apart from saying that after reading your comment, it seems you have failed to accept that life progresses – the electric light bulb was invented so we no longer had to burn candles as a form of light…

Maine Road – as wonderful as the mis-shaped place was – simply was not suitable any longer. The offer of the COMStad was a godsend and an offer not to be refused. I don’t care whether we have swipe cards, tickets or washers to gain access to watch City, but what is wrong with being able to watch City in a much greater stadium that City fans will have great pride in reminiscing with their grandchildren about the stadium we used to have and the one we now have? Hopefully you will now have found your identity more now (go on, switch that light on and look in the mirror), I will move to your next point.

Who are these extra 10-12,000 people who now have season tickets (or swipe cards) for next season? I am one of them, my girlfriend is another and you probably know someone who will know someone who has one. To ease your concern, no, we are not turning into glory-hunting fans who want to turn up to the new stadium with little regard for Maine Road. I had been a sSeason ticket holder for a number of years until, one year, the unthinkable happens and you simply have more pressing things to spend money on and something has to give. Unfortunately, in my case (and I know I wasn’t alone in this situation) it was my season ticket that had to go.

I thought there would not be much to worry about as we were dwindling further away from the top flight and I expected people to give up their season tickets ‘en-masse’ therefore enabling me to get another one the next year. Obviously that never materialised and the support just remained every bit as strong. Therefore thousands of people joined the waiting list over the next few years. We would have loved it if people like yourself would have kindly not renewed their tickets – then we could have enjoyed the ritual of going to Maine Road also. As it was we had to settle for joining the Citycard scheme and the usual scramble for tickets that way – but with far more members than tickets available, that was also often a lost cause.

It was with great excitement and the news of the move to the COMStad that I hoped I would get a season ticket again at long last – not to be able to go to a brand new stadium – but so I could watch my beloved Blues every week once more. I know I am not alone in this kind of situation, but there is your answer as to who the extra 12,000 are.

So, once again, I urge you to blow that candle out, switch on the lights, open your eyes, open the curtains and look out of the windows. There’s a bright world out there – embrace it. When you go to the COMStad next season, please don’t be abusive to those who make it known that they haven’t seen City for years until now – welcome them back into the fold.

Andrew Keller (


I just feel I have reply back to Dave Mayor jnr (Opinion: Moving On – MCIVTA 924).

I have been a Blue all my life, just like all of my family (past and present). I used to be a regular season until my partner started working weekends and I started looking after the kids (all 4 of them). This season I have only managed to get to 7 games (Everton, Blackburn, Liverpool, Crewe, Chelsea, Man U at home and Wigan away), most of them with my 13 year old daughter – I even had to take my 14 month old daughter to the Liverpool game as I had no baby-sitter.

Now, I have given you a bit of background, I’ll get to my point. I am absolutely disgusted at the comments made my Mr Mayor, how dare he say that the extra supporters we will have at the new stadium are just there because of an upturn in the team’s fortunes? I watched City through bad and good times (mostly bad) and due to my family circumstances I no longer have the privilege of a season ticket so I have to try get tickets for the odd games I manage to get someone to mind my kids… does this guy realise how hard it is to get a ticket for a City match? I was completely gutted when I couldn’t attend the Southampton game because I didn’t have enough points and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. So when City announced they were moving to a new stadium with 48,000+ capacity I was over the moon (don’t get me wrong, I’m sad to see the end of Maine Road, but its restriction on capacity was a major problem).

Maybe now I will be able to get tickets to see the team which I have great passion for, maybe now I will be able to take all my kids as there will be enough seats, maybe now Mr Mayor will understand that thousands of true Blues have struggled to see their team at Maine Road for many years and will only now be able to show their support!

Forever Blue, Steve Cummings (


I want to take (slight) issue with Dave’s grumble about the extra thousands of new season ticket holders. It may well be that there are some ‘glory boys’ – I prefer to think of this as excellent extra revenue and support.

I for my part was born in Manchester in 1966 and moved in 1970 to London, then in 1972 to Kent. These were not my decisions! All the while I have maintained a love of my roots and a growing contempt for Southern sport. All my mum and dad’s relatives were/are from the North (she a Manc – Red unfortunately, but passionately so as far as I remember, and he from sunny Scunny. They were the first team I saw, when I was 3. Apparently!).

My love for Manchester City and also for Lancashire CCC has been legendary amongst a large group of friends / acquaintances for many years. And through many beers. But trips to see City at Maine Road have been thin on the ground, principally for financial reasons. But I have seen them many times in London, plus awful, awful places such as Plymouth – lost 3-2 – and Bournemouth.

I moved to York (girlfriend, then work) nearly 4 years ago and immediately went on the waiting list for Manchester City season tickets, as well as becoming a member of LCCC. I was practically name number 4000! Now if this were multiplied by 2 tickets per person… so is that perhaps a fair explanation of the new crowd?

I for one am proud of MCFC, moved to tears at my first derby, aged 36, 3-1, oh, yes! All those pseudo-Rags I have had to put up with in the sarf for all these years. Well, since the early 90s! And this season we shall have the greatest City team ever, I feel it, especially if Robbie gets it together. I went to practically every home game this season and the one before, and at times we were awesome. Now established, we shall improve.

I’ll stop now, I just felt a little aggrieved. Maine Road obviously does not have the same level of emotion for me as for someone who has been there since a toddler.

But the Club does.

Best wishes, Mike Bains (


Sad I know, but I really fancy going to the Selkirk v City game on Sept 2nd, no matter how weak a team we put out. Scottish work colleagues suggest that whilst Selkirk isn’t much to write home about, its near neighbour Melrose is well worth an overnight stay. Can anyone out there confirm and even better recommend reasonably priced accommodation?

My desire to go has been tempered a little by an article in this month’s “When Saturday Comes” in which another Borders team, Gala Fairydean F.C., get a mention. There is a description of the club’s crest which includes a plum tree. This apparently relates back to an incident in 1337 when during a border battle with the Scots, some English soldiers are said to have strayed from their main troop to gather plums. Some locals spotted them, slaughtered them and chucked their bodies into a trench at… The Eastlands(!), which was later to become one of Gala Fairydean’s home grounds. Do they still do things like that up there? Will Galasheils folk descend on Selkirk and take revenge on us for pinching the name of their ground? Any precautionary advice would be appreciated!

Dave Miller (


Many of us bought shares in City when the rosy pictures now were pipe dreams. Some bought extra later.

The problem is that these shares are not listed in standard newspapers nor on the Web. You either have to get a copy of one of the heavies or go to a broker (and we all have one these don’t we?).

Is it beyond the wit of some office based soul employed at the Club say everyweek to put the current prices (and cost of getting more if we wished) on theOfficial site and this information could be accessed by groups as ours?

Are we now too big to remember the dark days?

Peter – still a Joe fan (


I am moving to The Hague in August after 4 years exiled in Malaysia. I already have my season ticket for Eastlands and will be travelling to most home matches.

Are there any other Blues in The Hague or Amsterdam areas that would be interested in travelling to the games or meeting up for a few beers? Is there a branch of the supporters’ club in The Hague?

Dave Griffiths ( or

MCIVTA FAQ [v0304.01]

[0] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup) :
News/rumour (Don Barrie) :
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins):
Technical problems (Paul) :
FAQ (David Warburton) :

[1] What are MCIVTA’s publishing deadlines?

Deadlines for issues are nominally 6pm, 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:

[8] Where can I find out if City are live on satellite TV? provides a listing of Premiership games being shown on UK domestic and foreign satellite channels. A good site for North American viewers is

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

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

[10] Do we have a Usenet newsgroup?

Yes we do: is our home on usenet. If you are not familiar with usenet, a basic explanation is available here:,289893,sid9_gci213262,00.html

[11] Do any squad members have their own web pages?

There are a number available and direct links can be found at

[12] Acknowledgements

Thanks go to John Arnold for providing the match day music information, to Ian Bell for pointing out the alternate live match commentary service and to Damian Quinn, Stephen Webb and Roger Haigh for the Satellite TV info.

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 #925