Newsletter #972

A committed performance and some sterling efforts from the City side saw us go down by a freak own goal 0-1 to boring Boro yesterday. The result even more annoying when Boro didn’t even have one attempt on goal, but we managed to squander a several chances. The fact that two blatant penalties went ignored (missed) by referee Riley did nothing to help, or endear him any further, to the City faithful. Frustrating in the least, but that’s City.

Tonight we have reviews of the Groclin game, some disturbing news on the unwanted elements of City support and the usual opinion and requests.

Next game: Tottenham Hotspur, away, 7.45pm Wednesday 3 December 2003 (Carling Cup)



  • Best supporters in the land.
  • 3 Zloties (50p) for a pint.
  • The Grodzisk locals and Groclin fans.
  • Berlin.
  • Plane ride home from Berlin on Friday night – they never stopped singing – even had a John Bond song!
  • The Ryanair hostesses on the way back – especially the one trying to read out the announcements.
  • Tommy the hungarian City fan!
  • Barbequed steak sandwiches at the ground.
  • City cake in the Grodzisk baker’s window.
  • Pub atmosphere before the game.
  • Watching the whole town celebrating the win in the Town Hall square afterwards – including band – this was their best day in history.
  • Firework display.
  • “Gadgets for sale” tents outside the ground.


  • The game – don’t even want to discuss it – it was awful.
  • The ingratitude of players, manager, backroom staff towards City fans at the end – apart from Joey Barton, Dunney and Seaman.
  • Subdued atmosphere in the City end.
  • The few idiots at the end slagging off the Groclin fans – they won the tie fairly and squarely – they were the better team – no excuses.
  • The majority of the players – overpaid – overrated t**sers.
  • Queues at the Polish swieko (border).
  • The sideroads – suddenly the tarmac disappeared from our side.
  • Dodgy Hot dogs in Tomlyn Norwski!

Bring back the Goat, Super Kevin Horlock, Dickov – and all the others who have been proud to wear the shirt and play their hearts out for the fans. Also many thanks to the McVittee contributor who provided the Berlin guide for Blues – came in very handy.

Ged Donnelly <g.donnelly1(at)>


Well, this is written immediately following the result so tinged because of that and also off the TV so not a match report but a string of comments. Now I’d like the team to play glorious football the whole time and yes, patient was the correct way to play at the start, but an upping of the tempo was clearly required; after all we did have to score, and it was frankly non-existent. The second half was probably slower than the first. Hoofing long balls vaguely in the direction of the penalty area (but not necessarily a blue shirt) basically never comes off as far as my City watching is concerned, so why do it? Do we have someone in charge of coaching set pieces? Do they have any good advice? Plenty of other teams are capable of whipping in a decent free kick or corner but this is a perennial fault as far as City are concerned. I’m not sure what Keegan’s tactics were really. McManaman was very deep and I felt should have pushed on but ended up behind Distin (who was left back, a so-so idea) for most of the last 20 minutes. Wright-Phillips, our most effective player, was substituted when I thought Sinclair was definitely worth removing.

Anyway, the game. A draw was a fair result. Groclin had one dangerous spell and should have scored (Dunne with an excellent goal line clearance, Fowler off the line from a corner). Naïve defending then made up for well at times but one could argue if it had been defended properly in the first place there wouldn’t have needed to be so many well timed last man tackles. City had some good chances (Anelka had one decent one and should have scored but frankly didn’t look like he fancied it today, Wright-Phillips and Fowler had ‘nearly’ chances) but there was very little clear-cut stuff – I think due to a lack of pace in attacking moves. Certainly not a lot of creativity against a team who knew they just had to keep it at 0-0. I thought Barton also had a good game. I missed the introduction and didn’t hear where the ref came from but Poland wouldn’t have surprised me. Groclin broke the game up superbly. Constant injuries (don’t they have to go off?). How long is the goalkeeper allowed to hold the ball for now (I thought it was 4 secs but maybe it’s 10?)? How do that many injuries add up to only 3 minutes? Impossible. Constant subtle fouls and not so subtle but not punished (Richard Dunne please take note), although two challenges on Sweep could easily have led to red cards in a Premier League game (is the Premiership out of touch with FIFA rules or are UEFA?). So, no more Europe for this year. A learning experience I hope, although part of me doubts it. Keegan himself seemed to have written the game off with 15 minutes or so to go, certainly not positive body language. Anyway, enough. Roll on some goals and some wins in the next couple of games, a certain one would definitely be a fillip.

Thomas Bodey <psitaccula(at)>


I am absolutely disgusted at the lack of “will to win” that is being shown by more than a few of this current City team, that supposedly represents me and my fellow supporters. I’ve never been ashamed to be a Blue, it takes character not to take the easy option and follow moneychester u****d. But the performance against the Polish pub team had me squirming in my seat. We need a captain, someone who can shout in a player’s ear and make his eardrum on the other side bulge out! I just feel so sorry for the travelling fans who had the p**s taken out of them by a team that just didn’t care!

Atmosphere. Where are the song writers? Now that the Goat has gone, and apart from Danny T. (please get well soon!) and Sweep, there are no individual songs for individual players; the players respond to that and we need invention to get the non-singers going, people get fed up with “there’s only one… “?

Booing. Has never done anyone any good and never will; if you support the team, don’t do it. Some people might remember a certain Richard Edghill; he might have had a skilladectomy, but he would have played for City for nothing, the boo boys destroyed him!

6th place? I’m looking below us not above!

Phil – Stretford <XPHILLEE(at)>


Was anyone at Poznan airport when the team were there? Did anyone get the chance to talk to them? Did anyone hear any of the abuse etc.? What was said? Apparently there was a huge row between certain players and so-called fans.

I thought the behaviour of many of the City fans at the game was a disgrace. Most people were so p**sed I was embarrassed for them. I saw a City fan get his head kicked in – literally – for the dreadful crime of trying to push into the food queue. He was beaten up and was on the floor in the wet grass when one guy – who must have been 45 years old – took a flying kick at his face and splattered his features through to the back of his head. He looked ten times worse than the woman who was hit by a firework at Wolves.

I saw another two jokers tip up a portaloo when someone was inside. The poor lad came out covered in what you would expect to find in a portaloo. I tried to get the City stewards involved but they didn’t want to know.

Several fans were lying on the seats all through the game comatosed – two of them covered in their own vomit. What is wrong with men – for it is always men – why do they have to behave like this?

Loads of “no surrendering”. In a bar before the game we had the sickening sight of the burberry cap /Stone island jumper ‘army’ giving the bemused (and very hospitable) Poles, several renditions of the new national anthem (no surrender) with the add on of “If it wasn’t for the English you’d be Krauts” etc. Factually incorrect, but these ignorant extremists aren’t hot on the factual. These people are saddos who deserve our utter contempt. However, more and more people join in with their imbecilic songs.

On the morning of the game we travelled to Poznan from Berlin by train. We had some City fans threatening the ticket inspectors for daring to ask them to show him their tickets – which of course they didn’t have. Then abusing him further for trying to get them to pay up. On the local train from Poznan to the stadium (return fare approx £3) we had loads of Blues jump the train and then blow smoke in the face of the inspector when he quite reasonably asked them to (a) pay up and (b) stop smoking in a no smoking carriage. “No f’g Polish $*%@ tells me what to do. I’m f’g English you $*%@” was the most polite response he got from any of these morons.

I was embarrassed to be English. I was also embarrassed to be a City fan.

I was almost glad we got knocked out, if only because it stops these morons dragging our name further and further into the dirt.

We are getting a new breed of small minded bigots following our club – especially away from home. This has to be addressed by MCFC. They should start checking who they are selling tickets to. If they are being passed on – as we know they are – the people doing so should be banned from buying them. Something has to be done now before it’s too late.

[If anyone else has experienced similar scenes, as were witnessed at Newcastle, please let the Club know as these individuals need to be stopped – Ed]

Leanne (email address withheld at contributor’s request)


There have been a lot of posts on various sites about the article in The Sun – reproduced below:

Cops in raid on footie jet

Armed cops stormed a plane when drunken Manchester City fans went on the rampage. Sozzled supporters fought in the aisles, smoked and hurled abuse in a three-hour terror flight from Poland.

Other frightened fans said they feared for their lives as the gang threw objects at each other and refused to sit down. The captain issued ten warnings to the yobs urging them to behave. Police carrying submachine guns boarded as soon as the flight landed in Manchester.

The fans had been drinking heavily after City were knocked out of the UEFACup by Polish side Groclin Dyskobolia. One fellow fan said: “They were sodrunk they shouldn’t have been let anywhere near a plane.” Three hundredfans were on the specially chartered Monarch flight. No arrests were made.

The behaviour generally of our ‘fans’ in Poland was nothing short of disgraceful. It was far worse than any trip I’ve made before to see City in Europe. Possibly with the exception of a Celtic game in Dublin about 10 years ago.

This piece is a bit misleading though. The fight on the plane was a direct response to an incident that happened at the Groclin ground. A well known and well connected City fan – well connected because he knows half of the Manchester underworld – was attacked behind the stand for pushing in the food queue. The fan was one of the original City hooligans who ran the Kippax in the late 60’s. He doesn’t get involved in anything now. He got his head kicked in – literally, by three blokes who obviously didn’t realise who they were picking on. One bloke kicked him while he was lying on the floor like he was taking a free kick – except the guy’s face was the ball. These same three guys were on this plane and were attacked by his friends and family. They’ve also been told never to come near City again. This is pretty serious stuff and they’d do well to heed the warning. There was no random trouble on the plane.

There was also a bit of nonsense with drunken idiots who thought it was a laugh to tip a portaloo up with someone inside it.

He knows who did it and it looks like there will be a lot of fighting between certain sections of Blues to sort this one out. Watch out you away fans. It’ll go off more and more whilst City attract idiots like this.

I’d like you to put this in MCIVTA to tell another side of the story instead of the one that most people will read in The Sun and the M.E.N.

[Although anything that reliable tabloid The Sun prints in relation to MCFC should be taken with a huge pinch of salt, the general feedback of some of the behaviour out there does leave a lot to be desired – Ed]

Mike Stearman <mercers_marvels(at)>


I read a “Conspiracy Theory Special” in the Observer a few weeks ago, which, amongst others told the story of how Paul McCartney was apparently killed in a car crash in the late 60’s, and replaced with a lesser-able look-a-like who we know today as Paul McCartney. This could at least explain “The Frog Song” and “Mull of Kintyre”. As implausable as this theory seems, it may explain a few things regarding our recent situation. I now believe a similar conspiracy may have happened to Robbie Fowler, again a scouser, who only a couple of seasons ago was regarded as the best finisher in Britain. In the same way as Paul McCartney, Robbie’s fans continue to support him religiously, not on the basis of current offerings, but on the memories of what he was once capable of. Hopefully, Robbie will suddenly prove my theory to be as ridiculous as it sounds. We have to be proud of the fact that we have continued to chant Robbie’s name after he had a shot that “wasn’t too far wide” and remember that great time against Spurs we he “nearly played in Anelka”. Other strikers of lesser standing (Gareth Taylor, Lee Peacock, Barry Conlon etc.) were afforded much less time to prove themselves before the doubters set in, despite contributing more.

The big concern is that if this support diminishes (and it will), then Robbie’s performances are likely to get worse rather than better. The only solution therefore is to give Jon Macken a chance with The Elk. There aren’t many other players that look as hungry as he does to prove himself at this level. This would also give Robbie the chance to get his touch and confidence back in the reserves, and may finally give us the player that we long to see wear the blue shirt.

James Roberts <jamesandmichelle(at)>


It seems that this season is heading in a similar direction to last year… the usual rollercoaster ride!

I for one will be pretty happy if that’s the case, though. Now before you bite my head off, hear me out.

The difference between clubs that really make it out of Division 1 and those who think they have but haven’t, is the second season. If we finish around 9th or 10th this year, we will have had another very good season. And the consolidation that KK has carried out in terms of playing staff might have a real chance to take effect.

That said, there is a downside too. I’m not going to say I told you so, because there’s no point, but last season we were not good enough to have a place in European competition. And we’ve been found out in just the same way that Southampton were. When people say “on our day we’re as good as the Rags or Arsenal”, surely the point is that that means we’re not good enough? Not for top ranking European competition, anyway. My concern pre-season (which I was roundly slated for) was that KK was buying older players of very high quality – my worry was that with these players, you pay high wages and get short-term, high quality service. That means that you need to get rapid results. You can’t fault the man’s courage in aiming high, though.

But as an example, take Jensen and Tarnat. I’m not saying for one minute that Jensen is the better player. But if we’d held on to him, I think he would have been better value. We’re going to give Tarnat another year’s contract, and then we’re left with nothing the season after – no sell-on value whatsoever. So the question is, is Tarnat as good as the equivalent player at a top club? And I would say he’s not, and he has no development prospect whatsoever. Whereas Jensen wasn’t either, but he had another 4/5 years of development in him. So KK took a risk in the hope of achieving this year.

The problem now is that by his own admission, we’re not going to finish in the top 4. And we’re out of UEFA. So when he says we’re going to have to focus on the FA Cup and the League Cup, he’s absolutely right – we need to win one of them. The good thing is, it’s not over yet, and there’s still a chance for the Great Man to succeed.

So pick up your bottom lips, and get singing.

P.S. As for Anelka letting us down in midweek, the lot of you can shut your faces – we wouldn’t be in this division this season if it weren’t for him. Ask anyone who saw us away at Chelsea last year if he’s earned the right to expect to be able to rely on the others every now and then.

CTID, Jon Marshall <jon_g_marshall(at)>


City score! Ooop,s it’s the Sun shining down on Middlesbrough. Sun was unfortunate to put the goal past his own ‘keeper, Middlesbrough never had one shot on goal, they didn’t need one, the goal from Sun was enough for them to win this game.

I have been one to keep saying come on Growler Fowler he will come through; it seems like I have been wrong, but I give him just one more chance. If he is picked to play versus the Evil Empire and he helps us win! City had so many shots on goal versus Boro it’s hard to understand why we did not score. To think Boro did not have a single shot on goal and yet won, it’s crazy.

Things have got to get better for City; this game was a tough one to lose. They did not deserve to lose it, but it’s a game of scoring goals and our star strikers failed, the team failed. Let’s hope that City are saving the goals for the Evil Empire game (the only way for me to forgive). Man of the Match: Claudio Reyna.

As professionals who get paid the kind of money they get today, our strikers have no excuse for missing the opportunities in the last few games (I bet Frannie Lee’s foot was kicking away in the stands having to suffer such disgraceful performances).

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today
To look up at the heavens and pray
Pray for the lifting of Anelka’s shoulders
Pray for the clearing of Fowler’s many distractions
Pray for the parting of Middlesboro’s defence
Pray for another cockeyed linesman
And most of all a gentle headache in the morning not a ponder
Come on you Blues.

James Judge <James.Judge(at)>


I have one spare Spurs ticket in the Upper Tier, email or call 207 089 1220 / 0771 267 6943.

Andrew Goodman <andrew.goodman(at)>


I have two spare tickets for the Everton game, face value £27 each. Please email me if you want them. Thanks.

Keith Pryce <keith.pryce(at)>


I can no longer go to Everton away, so there’s a ticket up for grabs if anyone wants it. It’s in Lower Visitors, block LV2, row G, seat 67, obstructed view. Cost £24. Give me a call on 07970 698 524 or email if interested.

Thanks, Dougie <Julian.Douglas(at)>


I am going to be in Los Angeles on 7th December. Does anyone know of a bar/diner (06.00am) where I can watch the Everton game?

Thanks, Bill Hill <gacbill(at)>


Dear all, I have successfully used this message board before when travelling afar requesting any City contacts.

I wish to again on behalf of my brother Peter who has been sent to Coventry, sorry China, by his work and will therefore be unable to attend the derby match and other games. If there are any Blues in Shanghai from the 1st December till the 20th December please contact me to arrange a beer and a bitch about the club we still have the faith in.

Merry Christmas, John Elliott <mrjohnelliott(at)>


The online auction is now “live” and you can view the items available from the many Clubs, the FA and various celebs which are available to bid for by visiting the website:

Amongst the City related items kindly donated by Doves are shirts which we have signed by Keegan, Anelka and SWP, we also have a shirt and City magazine signed by Shaun Goater.

For further information please email:



I am the webmaster for Animals in Distress sanctuary. The Irlam sanctuary are holding a Christmas Fayre on Sunday 14th December 2003 and have a raffle for a football signed by the players of Manchester City FC. The tickets are 30pence each or 3 for £1.00 further details can be obtained from the sanctuary manager:

Mr Michael Brown tel 0161 775 2221
Animals in Distress

Warmbells Holly Tanglepaws – webmaster for Animals in Distress


I have just been given a sneak peek of City’s new kit for the 2003-2004 season, the style of the kit is the same as the current season but the sponsor is not Tom Cook as originally planned and I’m not sure about the colour of the sponsor’s logo but then again it could be apt for the current form we’re showing. If you want to see it then have look yourself at this following link.

Gareth Croke <gareth(at)>


30 November 2003

Arsenal               0 - 0  Fulham                38,063
Liverpool             3 - 1  Birmingham City       42,683
Manchester City       0 - 1  Middlesbrough         46,824
Chelsea               1 - 0  Manchester United     41,932

29 November 2003

Wolverhampton Wndrs   1 - 1  Newcastle United      29,344
Aston Villa           1 - 0  Southampton           31,285
Blackburn Rovers      1 - 0  Tottenham Hotspur     22,802
Bolton Wanderers      2 - 0  Everton               27,350
Charlton Athletic     0 - 1  Leeds United          26,445
Portsmouth            0 - 2  Leicester City        20,061

League table to 30 November 2003 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Chelsea         14  6  1  0 16  5  5  1  1 12  4 11  2  1  28   9  19  35
 2 Arsenal         14  5  2  0 12  6  5  2  0 16  4 10  4  0  28  10  18  34
 3 Manchester Utd  14  5  1  1 14  4  5  0  2 11  5 10  1  3  25   9  16  31
 4 Fulham          14  3  2  2 12  9  3  2  2 12  9  6  4  4  24  18   6  22
 5 Charlton Ath.   14  2  2  3  9 12  4  2  1 11  5  6  4  4  20  17   3  22
 6 Liverpool       14  3  1  3 11  9  3  2  2 10  6  6  3  5  21  15   6  21
 7 Newcastle Utd   14  3  2  2  9  4  2  3  2 11 15  5  5  4  20  19   1  20
 8 Birmingham City 14  2  3  2  6  7  3  2  2  6  7  5  5  4  12  14  -2  20
 9 Manchester City 14  2  2  3 12 10  3  1  3 10  9  5  3  6  22  19   3  18
10 Middlesbrough   14  2  1  4  6 10  3  2  2  6  5  5  3  6  12  15  -3  18
11 Bolton Wndrs    14  2  4  1  7  4  2  2  3  6 15  4  6  4  13  19  -6  18
12 Southampton     14  3  1  3  5  4  1  4  2  5  5  4  5  5  10   9   1  17
13 Leicester City  14  2  3  2 11  9  2  0  5 11 13  4  3  7  22  22   0  15
14 Portsmouth      14  4  0  3 15  8  0  3  4  2 12  4  3  7  17  20  -3  15
15 Tottenham H.    14  3  1  3  8  9  1  2  4  5  9  4  3  7  13  18  -5  15
16 Blackburn R.    14  3  0  4 11 11  1  2  4  8 13  4  2  8  19  24  -5  14
17 Aston Villa     14  3  3  1  7  5  0  2  5  4 12  3  5  6  11  17  -6  14
18 Everton         14  3  2  2 11  7  0  2  5  4 12  3  4  7  15  19  -4  13
19 Wolves          14  2  3  2  7 14  0  2  5  2 13  2  5  7   9  27 -18  11
20 Leeds United    14  1  2  4  5 12  2  0  5  7 21  3  2  9  12  33 -21  11

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0304.06]

[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] What match day broadcasts are available on the web?

The GMR pre and post match phone-in is available on the web at

Live match commentaries and archives of games, reports and interviews can be found at, whilst an alternate live commentary service, hosted by Yahoo, is located at

[7] 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. Useful sites for North American viewers are,, and also provides a guide to pubs in the USA showing football.

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

It’s actually a mix of two tracks. It starts with “O Verona” (from the motion picture “William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet”) and leads in to “Barber’s Adagio for Strings (Ferry Corsten remix)” by William Orbit. The first part is available on the movie soundtrack (volume 2) and the second is included on a variety of CDs such as Kiss House Nation 2000, Galaxy Hit Mix, Cream Live, Ibiza Chill and Dance Nation 4.

[9] 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

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

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

[11] Can I buy shares in the club?

Yes you can: Shares in Manchester City PLC are traded on OFEX. The latest prices can be on found the OFEX web site (registration required) or in the business section of the Manchester Evening News.

[12] Where can I find match statistics?

Statistics for the current season are available from the club site, but for a more in-depth analysis try or

[13] Acknowledgements

Thanks go to Damian Quinn, Stephen Webb, Roger Haigh, Martin Price, and Adrian Howarth 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 #972