Newsletter #927

Only one real news item tonight I am saddened to report, and that is the tragic death this evening of Marc Vivien Foe who collapsed during the Confederation Cup semi-final between Cameroon and Columbia. Early reports suggest that he suffered a heart attack. Our sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Next game: to be confirmed


European Campaign News

No Passport Required: The draw for the UEFA Cup qualifying round was made last Friday and City’s campaign begins with a short trip to Wales to play Total Network Solutions. The League of Wales runners up will visit the COMS on Thursday August 14, with the return leg taking place two weeks later. There had been speculation that this leg could take place at Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground, as TNS’s ground holds only 2,000 spectators. This idea was scuppered by an international rugby union match taking place the night before – UEFA regulations state that the away side must be allowed to train on the pitch the night before the match is played. So, what do you do? You just book the national stadium, that’s all! By my reckoning, potentially 123,000 spectators could watch the tie over two legs.

Euro Veterans: Alistair Mackintosh was at the draw in Switzerland on Friday afternoon and later commented that: “There was certainly an air of tension in the hall when City’s name came out of the hat. Then there was a cracking cheer from the TSN representatives when they heard their name. They are absolutely delighted to have been drawn against us. They punch well above their weight in the Welsh League and will undoubtedly prove to be very competitive opponents and will want to take their chance on the big stage. The ease with which we will be able to travel to our opponents is advantageous as we kick off our Premiership campaign just three days later. The fact that they are so close is great news for our fans.” The owner of TNS, Mike Harris, was clearly much enthused by the draw. “This is the best we could have had – but I feel sorry for City. They have waited 24 years to get back into Europe only for it to end in defeat in Wales! I am confident we can go to Manchester and get a good result – then really put the pressure on them in the second leg.” Harris added: “We won’t be there to make up the numbers. This is our fifth season in Europe and we were in the Champions’ League three years ago. So we’re more experienced than City when it comes to Euro football. This is a dream come true. There was so much shouting and cheering from our delegation when the draw was made. It’s like we’ve won the lottery. We’re off to the pub now to get drunk!” Manager Ken McKenna gave a more measured reaction. “How do we beat City? I haven’t a clue – but we’ll give it our best shot. I am absolutely made up – this is fantastic, the best draw we could possibly have had,” he declared. Last season, TNS were beaten 12-2 on aggregate at the same stage of the competition, by Polish side KS Amica Wronki.

Red Link: The press managed to find a Manchester connection within the TNS squad. Ex-Red Simon Davies has recently signed for League of Wales side, and is due to make his début for his new club against City. Davies was one of the so-called ‘class of 92’ generation at Old Trafford that included David Beckham, the Nevilles and Paul Scholes but the winger never achieved the success of his team-mates. Davies said: “I can’t believe we’ve drawn them, I just hope I’m selected to play. I never had a chance to play a Manchester derby in my time at Old Trafford.”

General News

Danish Blue (Again): City have confirmed their participation in a two-match tournament in Aaarhus in Denmark at the end of July. Their first game in what will be against Danish side Odense, followed three days later by a game against Dutch giants Feyenoord. The pre-season schedule is therefore confirmed as:

Sat 19 July   vs. Mansfield Town    15.00hrs
Tue 22 July   vs. Odense            19.00hrs
Fri 25 July   vs. Feyenoord         20.00hrs
Tue 29 July   vs. Lincoln City      19.45hrs
Sat 02 August vs. Oldham Athletic   15.00hrs
Sun 10 August vs. Barcelona         15.00hrs

League Fixtures Changed: As befits our new found status as European participants, City’s domestic fixtures have been disrupted by the Welsh adventure. The opening game at Charlton Athletic has been put back 24 hours to Sunday August 17. The second leg of the UEFA ties means that City’s trip to Blackburn’s Ewood Park, scheduled for Wednesday August 27, has been brought forward to Monday August 25. This game will be on Sky TV with an 8.00pm kick-off. David Seaman’s reunion with Arsenal will also be on that channel, and will take place on Sunday 31 August with a 4.05pm kick-off. Sky have also announced that Tottenham Hotspur’s visit to our new place will be televised on Sunday, 28 September, 4.05pm kick-off. Finally, City’s trip to OT will be shown, kicking off at 12.30pm on Saturday 13 December.

Transfer News and Gossip

This Week’s Sunderland Link: City are supposed to be interested in Sunderland’s midfielder Claudio Reyna. The 30-year-old USA international is thought to be surplus to Mick McCarthy’s requirements at the Stadium of light, having spent most of last season on the treatment table. Reyna is rated at £2 million, and is the second Sunderland midfielder mentioned as a Blue target – last week it was Gavin McCann. Presumably KK will also have to wait for Eyal Berkovic’s fate to be decided. The Sunday tabloids reported that Portsmouth’s bid for Berko failed because Pompey wanted to take Eyal on loan, with City paying half of his wages. City wanted a cash transaction, and were said to be “fuming”.

Uncertain Future for Ritchie: According to the Scottish press, Paul Ritchie wants a move back to Scotland. “My career has not worked out the way I would have liked it to after I left Hearts. I did well in my time at Tynecastle and was part of the Scotland international set-up. But, over the last two-and-a-half years, my career has come to a standstill with injuries, etc. That is something I’m looking to rectify as soon as possible. These things happen with many players at other clubs but I’m disappointed with the way my career is at the moment. The way the game is going now, it is just a case of trying to get back to playing at a good level. I’m 27 now and I want to be playing regular football at a good level and, to be honest, I have not had that consistently over the last few years. Who knows what would have happened if I had decided to stick around at Hearts and not gone to Rangers? But these are all hypothetical questions. They are best left in the past. Now I’ll have to keep my fingers crossed and see what happens.” Ritchie was at Hearts and Rangers before joining City, and his comments were taken to show a desire to return. He added that “At the moment I don’t know what is going to happen but I am perfectly happy to work hard all summer and give it one last go at City in pre-season.”

Word of the Wingers: City and Everton will lead the pursuit of Steve McManaman if he decides to quit Real Madrid and make a cut-price return to the Premiership. McManaman’s future at the Bernabeu is thought to be in doubt, since the arrival of Goldenbecks. If Stevie Mac is to be reunited with his old mucker Robbie Fowler, he may have to take a considerable pay cut – Real are thought to pay him in excess of £60,000 per week. Meanwhile, previous reports of Keith Gillespie’s imminent arrival may have been premature. Ex-City boy Peter Reid, now Leeds United manager, is said to be interested in signing the Northern Ireland international. Leeds cannot make a signing until the future of Harry Kewell is resolved, however.

Ex-Blues’ News

Kinky Will Move On: Gio Kinkladze has carried out his threat and refused the offer a new contract from his club Derby County. New Derby manager George Burley described as the offer as “fantastic” in light of the Rams’ financial problems. Kinky’s refusal is no surprise, coming after his assertion in mid-May that he wanted a ‘Premiership switch.’ The Georgian genius was quoted then as saying “Derby fans have been good to me, but I need to play at the top level.” One of his numerous advisers said this week that Kinkladze’s Pride Park career had been “soured” by spells on the sidelines after falling out of favour with previous managers. He said: “Giorgi just wants to play football and when he’s not in the team he gets very frustrated.” (Thanks to Vince Docherty for this item). On Monday, there was press speculation that Glasgow Celtic were showing an interest in City’s former idol.

Squad News

Danny’s Big Down Under: Danny Tiatto has been honoured back in his homeland, after being named in Melbourne Knights’ all time best XI. Tiatto recently attended a gala celebration evening to honour the Knights’ fiftieth anniversary, and repeated his aim of ending his playing career back in Australia. “I definitely would like to finish here, without a doubt,” he said. “I would love to come back here and end my career playing at the Knights with the other former players – I think we would still have a very good team.” Asked how his fight against injury was progressing, Danny replied that “I have rested as much as I can so it is just going to be strengthening work from now on. I’m going to give it that extra time just to make sure that it will be 100 per cent when I come back. Last season was certainly a bit of a write-off but these things happen. Injuries are a part of the game. I’m just going to make sure I get a good pre-season under my belt and kick on from there. The injuries got to me a little bit but hopefully it is all behind me now. I kept ripping the abductor muscle in my groin off the bone and every time I came back thinking I was ready, it would happen again. I know my groin is ok now and I won’t need an operation. The specialist gave me a programme to work on throughout the summer and I have seen a few specialists in Melbourne where I live. I have worked with them during the summer to get the problem sorted out. I have concentrated on strengthening work but will not be pushing it too much. The break has given me that little bit of extra time.” Tiatto was also asked if he’d miss facing up to D.Beckham OBE in the next Manchester derby, but it sounds like Danny’s already worked out a solution! “It’s a shock that he’s gone because it’s always good to play against him because he’s a very good player. I wouldn’t mind playing for Barça just to be in another derby against him!” quipped the Aussie dynamo.

Seamo’s Fresh Start: David Seaman has been speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live this week, concerning the “massive wrench” of leaving Arsenal, and of his determination to feature in the England team again. He told BBC Radio 5 Live: “Arsene Wenger was a complete gentleman about everything. He said to me ‘this is what I have got to offer, if you don’t take it I fully respect the decision you make’, and you can’t be any fairer than that. It was a massive wrench to leave Arsenal. I’ve got great friends there, great memories and the relationship I had with the fans was fantastic and I’d just like to give a massive, massive thank you to all the Gooners. I can’t wait to go back to Highbury with Manchester City.” Of his new boss, Seaman said “I knew Kevin Keegan from his England days and I knew the set-up there and the backroom staff. Arsenal only offered me a coaching rôle and that wasn’t what I wanted so it was an easy decision on that front, but a hard decision because I had been at Arsenal for so long. I’m really looking forward to the new stadium, playing in Europe and in front of such good support as they have up there.” Seaman admitted that it had been tough for him when England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, left the veteran out of the squad for the Euro 2004 qualifier against Slovakia. “It’s hard to get left out of the squad like that, but what will be, will be. All I’m concentrating on now is playing well for Manchester City and when my standards start dropping then I’ll know I’m not going to get picked.” It’s reported that Seaman is away playing golf in Spain at the moment with, amongst others, one Robert Bernard Fowler. Seaman’s former England colleague and soon to be City team mate reckons that the goalkeeper has made the right move. “I think it is a good move for David. He obviously has not been in the England squad of late,” said Fowler. “But I think he is a first class ‘keeper and I believe that by playing for Manchester City he will get himself back in the England squad now. Some of the saves he pulled off last year and the one in the semi final of the FA Cup from Paul Peschisolido’s header was tremendous. I think if he is still doing that at thirty nine then I believe he will be doing it for a few years yet. It is obviously unfortunate the way things pan out. You are at a club for so long and then suddenly you have to leave because the new contract is not what you want. But I think in David’s case I believe it will be good for him to get a new challenge at Manchester City, which is such a big club and he will be playing first team football again.”

Don Barrie (


Through the newsletter McV, I would like to bring to the attention of City scouts, and anyone else connected to the club, an Under 17 USA player; he is only 14 years old, he plays with confidence of taking anybody on, great control, quick thinker, and scores goals – in 35 games he has scored 22.

He is Freddy Adu, and yes he is only 14, playing for USA under 17 side. The USA are no longer to be taken lightly when it comes to soccer; they are rated 9th, just behind England who are 8th in World rankings.

Remember the name “Freddy Adu”; tomorrow’s Pele? The next games to see Adu play will be in the FIFA World Championships for Under 17 in Finland in August this year.

You heard it here first from a City fan.

Ernie Barrow (


So the staff are finally moving, and so will the fans, but one question that has not been raised on here that I can recall is: is the new ground going to have a giant monitor like most Premiership clubs, and what of the scoreboard? I mean, you have to admit that the one at Maine Road is a bit naff.

As to naming the stadium, Bluecamp has a nice ring, a bit like Nou Camp, but not sure. Comstad is different and I can see a lot of songs that can be made from that. I tend to think though that the new name should be Maine Road II, there is after all a main road outside the ground 😉

As to the other argument on MCIVTA 926 about the new season ticket holders, yes there are a lot of new ones, but think about in this respect: I bet a lot of them are people who have followed the ups and downs of City over the years, but have never been able to get or want a season ticket, e.g. work or family commitments, and who like I used to go when I could get time off from work, more so to the night games (I work nights so it always been a b***ache to see or get to a night game). Another point is that with the move to the north side of Manchester, there will be people from the like of Rochdale, Bury, Bolton and surrounding areas who might have found the transport situation from their neck of the woods different to your own, so don’t knock them, welcome them with true Blue hearts.

CTID, Steve (


I feel very sorry for the small minded, who measure their City loyalty by the length of their session ticket. Get over yourselves you idiots, and if more people are coming to experience the true Blue atmosphere that makes our club so special, then let them, and welcome them with open arms.

What other clubs will sing ‘we’re not really here’ when getting thrashed by Arsenal 5-1, or chant ‘Alan Ball’s a football genius’ as Rösler nearly misses when throwing his boots at the faithful traveling band, having gotten thrashed at Anfield. Granted, one of my first heroes from matches attended at Maine Road was Neil McNab, so I haven’t been following them that closely as long as some, but I’m still Blue and always will be. Oh, and yes, I still have my banana signed by Andy Dibble, and remember attendances counted in fans and bananas!

The more that come to the party the better.

CTID, Mark Jones (


After reading a number of responses in MCIVTA 926 to Mr Mayor’s note, I feel the need to reply. I still take exception to your reluctant acceptance of us ‘new’ season ticket holders.

I watched City from 1980 through to 1985 at home and held a season ticket in the Kippax. I cried with the rest in 1983 when we were sent down by Luton at home and rejoiced at the 5-1 in ’89.

I went to University in London due to circumstance and the lack of wit to obtain sufficient results to remain in Manchester and with my beloved Blues. As a student I managed to visit every London away game (including Brentford) but didn’t have the funds to return week in week out to MR.

I lived every moment of the 90’s on Sky, R5, whatever scraps BBC1 & ITV deigned to throw from their table whilst getting to as many away fixtures I could manage as a City Card holder.

Thankfully I saw the Blues five times last year (home & away) and paid my respects at the West Ham ‘game’, costing me 75 quid a head for a package deal.

Please don’t assume I am a glory hunter, I have followed the path my life lead, and was unfortunate that it lead me away from Moss Side, I wish that I was a season ticket holder of twenty years standing as your good self but that is not the case.

Now that I can afford to travel from the south, and that there are seats available to me, I have returned with my family. I am proud to be Blue, and as the City of London will attest, I spread the word, I live the Blues.

Do not call into question my desire, I am not a glory hunter, how can anyone who visits the Blue Camp, a fine name (Mr Challinor – I agree entirely with you except on this point) along with the Bell End – is humour not our greatest asset, possibly be glory hunting?

I am a true Blue who has the opportunity to return home in surroundings befitting the esteem to which I hold this club.

I suspect 99% of the 12,000 ‘new’ ticket holders are of this mind. Relish thechallenge, don’t be a dog in a manger, you are not the only Blue…

CTID, Mike Taylor – Exiled in Bishop’s Stortford, Herts (


The new ground (“stadium”) official name as is seems fine, but known as Maine Road or, New Maine Road. I dunno, I always just assumed Maine Road would travel with us, heck, just call it Maine Road will you or, go real pretentious, cheesy and sheep-like with some silly, “Stadium of Light”-type name: or, given the new ground is close to where it all began, something to reflect that fact. On the other hand, rather than forcing the issue, why not just sit back and wait for what will inevitably emerge of its own volition?

City and their colours etc. Is there a reason the shirts are always so “busy”? Why not try the simple, the classic, the timeless, the aesthetically pleasing… something like the 1970 replica home City sell? and please stop changing it, so much, so often: just pick a design and stick with it. Please put the red rose back somewhere, Manchester is a Lancashire town, so can we please reflect that? Also, we are going to see the Cross of St. George flying aren’t we, or must we suffer that foreign flag at the exclusion of our own?

(New) season ticket holders and all others… fantastic, bring them on. Whatever motivates any person to go to Maine Road next season I have every confidence the complete newbies will experience the same thing I did many years ago at my first game. You, the fans: ’nuff said. Why did I go to games (H & A) knowing City would (a) lose, and worse (b) go down without a fight? To do otherwise would be (a) disloyal, (b) strip me of any “right” in the club (c) exacerbate City’s financial problems and in any case you still have (d) the pre-game pub(s), the mates, the fans in general… fantastic, but that’s just me – I like City fans.

Let’s see Maine Road as colorful and noisy as La Bombonara! The world will be watching.

Jack Buckley – NC, U.S. <Jack10000days(at)>


Following on the debate from David Mayors ‘Moving on’ comments. I think everyone is missing the real point with all the additional season ticket holders. I don’t doubt for a minute they are City fans but will they go to every game? I know of at least a dozen Maine Road season ticket holders who were unable to a number of games in the last couple of years for one reason or another. A couple of them maybe go to half the games in a season. As it stands these seats are then left empty. According to the ticket office every home game last season was sold out, yet how many empty blue seats were there at home games against Charlton and Villa and the like? Hundreds, maybe even a thousand. Now understandably these guys do not want to give up their season tickets as they want to guarantee going to the big games. I haven’t had a season ticket since 1989 because I can’t get to every game. I’ve had all the various forms of membership since then and up until about 2001 I could guarantee a ticket for every home game. Since then they have introduced the loyalty scheme for City Card holders which in principal is a great idea. However, I shot myself in the foot by ‘buying’ people’s spare season tickets for certain games in our Division 1 promotion season. The ten games I did this for gave me no loyalty points on my CityCard. As a result I was in the lap of the gods for getting tickets last season and as a result missed my first Maine Road derby in 15 years and the Southampton game.

Now I am all for people buying season tickets but only as long as it is used for the vast majority of the games in a season. Not just to guarantee a ticket for the big games. I know of a few people who have bought season tickets for the new stadium just because they can afford to and it will guarantee them a ticket to big League and Cup games. They will probably go to a maximum of 5/6 home games next season. For the other 14/20 games their seat will more than likely be empty and no one will have a chance to buy it. This is further complicated by the fact that CityCard members will not want to use it because they will lose out on loyalty points.

As one of those on the waiting list, I was invited to purchase a season ticket but unfortunately was unable to purchase one due to financial constraints having started up a new business in January (any Recruitment Consultants need training?). Also I know I will only be able to attend about 15 games home and away next season so I don’t think I deserve a season ticket.

It is worrying that some of the 36,000 season ticket holders who have written have already said things like, “I’ll try and get to most games”. We will more than likely end up with the same situation as we had at Maine Road where a sell out does not constitute a full stadium. I’d like to see a scheme where season tickets holders can ‘sell’ their ticket back to the club if they are unable to attend. Not only would this bring the club more revenue but it would also allow more people to go to games. Has anyone else got any views on this?

Sefton Owens (


So Macca’s on his way, the Welsh are giving it large and the fixtures are changing even before Sky and Sky Premiership Plus get their grubby little mitts on them. Berko is making a fool of himself – so much for giving a t**s about City and the fans – what a selfish self-centred t**t. Talking of which – if I was Graham Sharpe from Bill Hill’s, I’d be laying odds on Bekkie not playing half of Real Madrid’s games. Did anyone see Trevor McDo-nut? Becks is advertising product in Japan that Third Division players would turn their noses up at…

The new ground will be called Eastlands, no matter what some of the deluded people on here think. ComStad indeed. Blue Camp is even sadder. Get real guys.

See you at the Macca signing.

Sarah Ferguson (


Why do we need a new name for the new stadium? Eastlands is perfect, in my opinion. Not only is it the original name given to the plot of land in east Manchester where the ground now stands, I think a single word title also has a nice ring to it just like Anfield, Highbury or Parkhead. Other clubs even prefer to drop the ‘Park’ from the title of their ground because a simple reference of Goodison, Ibrox or St James’s says enough.

All this talk of Blue Camp and the like makes me cringe. It’s exactly the sort of thing that gives United fans more ammunition to take the p**s out of us whenever we don’t deliver on the pitch. It’s trying to build up a fearsome reputation with military connotations in the hope it might worry teams but it’s all very false. We’re not Americans, you can only inject fear into opponents through performances on the pitch. We’re from Manchester and that should always be our identity.

As for the “We are City, super City…” song, there’s no need to change any lyrics because we still originate from Maine Road (well okay, Hyde Road if we’re being technical!) and always will do. I mean, could you ever imagine Manchester’s Irish community changing their choruses of “Fields of Athenry” to “Fields of Levenshulme” in the Palace on a Saturday night?!

Let’s forget all these pretentious ideas about titles and just concentrate all our energy on making the atmosphere at the new ground an awesome one. Personally, I’ve been calling the new ground Eastlands since it began to rise from the derelict land that once stood there and I don’t intend to change that habit now.

Meanwhile, the official title ‘City of Manchester Stadium’ can serve as a permanent reminder in Rothmans Football Yearbooks that we remain the only genuine Manchester club!

Mike Holden


Thanks to your correspondent who says you can register with Ofex. Many like me who use the PC for business do not want our details on there.

I think the club at 13p per share (am I sorry I asked!) should as a duty publish the price say weekly.

Peter (


Maybe MCIVTA readers can help. Surely it can’t be too difficult to have two season tickets together at the new Stadium (Blue Camp – not sure about that one, sounds a bit sleazy to me) but the ticket office have not been able to help despite letters and having been on the waiting list for a second season ticket for a year!

The best I have managed through the Club are: Two in South Level 2 or 1 in Block 216 Row R Seat 441 and 1 in Block 220, Row M, Seat 565.

If any readers who perhaps have single season tickets close (r) to either of mine contact me with a view to swapping seats. As long as this is done pretty quickly and both parties write to the club this would then be honoured and the changes made before the new season. I am keen to stay in South Level 2.

Whilst appreciating the whole administrative and logistical difficulties the Club are experiencing it does seem a little a bit unfair that new applicants end up being better off with their tickets allocated together as opposed to existing season ticket holders looking for additional tickets. Hopefully some one can help, as I am sure I am not the only one to have experienced this disappointment.

Thanks in advance, Chris Pilkington (


A little update on the Manchester CIty summer trip to Denmark: I have details of the revised programme and there is a change since Manchester City will leave from Denmark on July 25th right after the game against Feyenoord. Therefore there will be no activities on Saturday or Sunday.

Our travelling agent, Jane J