Newsletter #1128

News tonight on international action for Blues, confirmed and rumoured moves.

We’ve also opinion on the Shaun will-he-stay-or-go saga, transfers and more music requests.

Next game: TBA


General News

Hey Big Spenders: We’ve had further proof this week of why City’s finances are not, shall we say the best (if further proof were needed). The M.E.N. brings news that the Deliotte annual report on Premiership finances was published this week. It covers season 2003-2004, and City manage a UEFA Cup finish in that league table! The Blues were the sixth highest spenders in the Premiership, behind Chelsea, Stretford Red Sox, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Newcastle. The report shows that City had increased the wage bill by 7% on the previous season, spending a mere £37.7 million that term.

Record Crowd at the CoMS: Just over 29,000 spectators attended the COMS last week to watch England take on Finland in their opening Euro 2005 match. The crowd was a record attendance for a Women’s European Championship match. An own goal and an Amanda Barr header put the hosts 2-0 up at the interval. But Finland, who had already hit the bar, pulled one back through Anna-Kaisa Rantanen and drew level in the last minute as Laura Kalmari tapped in. Yet there was time for 17-year-old Karen Carney to chip in the winner in injury time. England head coach Hope Powell said later: “We showed resilience and got the winner in the last minute of play. I’m overjoyed with that, perhaps not overjoyed with the performance. We’ll perhaps put that down to nerves because we were very cagey. It proves we’ve got more to come. And I would like to thank the crowd – fantastic.”

Nedum’s Honour: Nedum Onuoha’s bright start to his Premiership career has been rewarded with a call-up to England’s international squad for the Euro U19 Championships. The games take place in July in Northern Ireland. England will face France, Norway and Armenia in the group phase.

Transfer News and Gossip

Keeping Kiki: City have secured Kiki Musampa’s services for next season. The 28-year-old moved to the COMS on loan from Atletico Madrid in January and he made a big impact, scoring three goals in the process. SP admitted he could not afford to buy Musampa – but now he has landed the Dutch international on a season-long loan. “I am delighted that Kiki has committed himself to the club for another season,” said Psycho. “He did exceptionally well from January through until the end of the season and on the back of those impressive performances he received a call-up to the Dutch national squad. If he continues to produce that sort of form I will be delighted.” Musampa sounds pleased enough: “I am feeling good and I think it would have been bad for me if I had to go away and start a new life somewhere,” he said. “Now I know the culture and everything on the pitch, so I feel good. I don’t have to switch my mind again. Stuart Pearce had let me know that he wanted me to stay, and obviously I enjoyed being here,” he said. “It was always a dream of mine to play in England.”

Just Like (Not) Starting Over: A couple of weeks ago, it was reported that SP might be interested in signing Neil Lennon. The speculation increased once Celtic manager Martin O’Neill announced his departure from the Glasgow club but new boss Gordon Strachan is keen to keep the tough tackling midfielder, and Lennon is expected to sign a new one-year deal. The 33-year-old said this week: “It was a tremendous boost to hear Gordon wants Jackie McNamara, Craig Bellamy and myself to stay. Without a doubt, it would be a wrench to leave. This club is more than a football club. You can see every emotion there is to experience here and I have been through the wringer with so many highs and so many lows. I don’t think you would get that at any other club. It just has some sort of magnetism about it.”

Doug Digs Distin: Aston Villa’s Chairman Doug Ellis has admitted that he has enquired our skipper Sylvain Distin. Villa have reportedly tabled a £5.5 million bid for Distin, and Ellis has now confirmed that, at a meeting of the Premier League bosses, he approached John Wardle regarding Distin. “I’ve just been with the other 19 Premiership chairman and chief executives and it would be dishonest to say I didn’t talk to Manchester City about Sylvain Distin,” said Ellis. Reports suggest a bid of around £6.5 million could be enough to prise Distin from City.

Standard Life for Chris? Stuart Wells has found a story on a Belgian website suggesting that Standard Liege might soon be making a move for the Mighty Christian Negouai. First of all, the Belgians have to appoint a coach, but once that is sorted out, Neggy could be Liege-bound. He would have to be released from his City contract, so no fee would be involved. There is even a suggestion that Negouai has met Standard officials already. At least that’s what I think the report says, which has been turned into English by one of those translation software package thingies. For instance: “Considered for his qualities of attacker, the French player has reconverted himself at the station of defensive median for a few seasons already. 27 years old, this large gauge (1,93m; 87kg) has the ideal profile to furnish to a line of centres inhabitant of Liege who lost Juan Ramon Curbelo and which could thus double a station which will have posed many problems to him before the arrival of Matthieu Assou-Ekotto.” Now what could be clearer than that?

I Like Aliaks! City fans should enjoy the opening paragraph from today’s Independent newspaper: “Arsenal are in talks to buy the midfielder Aliaksandr Hleb from VfB Stuttgart. The Belarus international is expected to provide competition for Fredrik Ljungberg. If he does sign it would bring to an end Arsenal’s interest in Manchester City’s Shaun Wright-Phillips.”

Ex-Blues’ News

Gonna Get Myself Arrested: Thanks to Mark Oldham for spotting the following item on the website: “Former Manchester City and England striker Francis Lee was arrested following an argument with a police officer, it was revealed on Saturday. It is understood a row broke out after Lee’s wife was arrested on suspicion of drink driving. Gill Lee, 54, was stopped and breathalysed as she drove home along Manchester Road in Wilmslow, Cheshire, in the early hours of the morning. Mr Lee, 61, argued with police and was taken into custody along with his wife and a 15-year-old boy. A spokesman for Cheshire Constabulary said: ‘A 54-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of drink driving. She was released on police bail to return pending further inquiries. A 61-year-old man was arrested for a section five public order offence and received an adult caution. A 15-year-old boy was arrested and received a youth reprimand.’ The incident happened just before 2am last Saturday.”

Back to Blighty? Paulo Wanchope is again being linked with a move back to one of his old clubs in England; this time it’s said to be West Ham leading the chase for his signature. The 28-year-old striker was at Upton Park for a year in 1999 before his switch to City for a fee of around £3.6 million. He spent last season at Spanish side Malaga but Paulo is now keen to return to the Premiership: “I still have sufficient quality to play for a club in the Premier League and this is my wish.”

Summertime Blues’ News

(Just to show that there is some City action at the moment!)

Bermuda Short: City’s Academy had a stroll in the sun last Friday, as they beat Bermuda 7-0. Not even the presence of the mighty Goat in the home team’s ranks could help the hosts. City took only five minutes to expose the local defence, Micah Richards outleaping two defenders at the back post to head home Etuhu’s corner. Ian Bennett gave City a 2-0 lead just before half-time. Two swift strikes from Ashley Grimes ensured there was no way back for Bermuda, before Kelvin Etuhu’s 60th minute lob made it 5-0 before a Miller brace during the closing minutes completed the demolition. If you would like an eye witness match report of next season’s encounter, please send all donations to myself at the usual email address.

Bradley for England! Bradley Wright-Phillips played his part in England’s stay in the Toulon Under-20 Tournament. He started the opening game against Tunisia, a 2-0 victory. He was unused in the defeat against Portugal last Saturday, but was back in the starting line up for the final group phase match, against South Korea on Monday. BWP failed to get his name on the scoresheet in the 3-0 win, but it was his low shot which came back off the post for Fulham’s Liam Rosenior to grab the opener. Wright-Phillips was taken off after 40 minutes. Bradley sat out the next game, the semi final encounter with France on Wednesday. The game finished scoreless, with France winning 5-4 on penalties. England’s campaign is not over yet, however, as they now face Mexico in the third-place play-off on Friday, while France will go on to face Portugal for the title.

Don Barrie <news(at)>


After observing the comings and goings in the transfer market, I am convinced more than ever that Manchester City is doing the right thing by cultivating and developing their own talent.

All these Italian, Spanish, French and Portuguese players who come in, play one season and then leave for better offers back home is not the way to build a football team. There is no such thing as team loyalty anymore.

The one thing you can say about the current City roster is that it is packed with players who will sweat blood for the team. Keep this squad together, add one or two strategic players and City fans will enjoy long-term success. But the minute we are lured into opening up the cheque book for quick-fix solutions, the team is doomed. We might not win the league championship in the near future but we will be able to cheer for a team that we actually recognize and does contain the odd English player.

Great to see the meltdown at Old Trafford. United really don’t know what they are in for. No one in their right mind would play for Malcolm Glazer.

Maybe City can find a job for Sir Bobby Charlton. Busboy in the Legends Lounge!

Keith Sharp – Toronto, Canada <keith(at)>


In Response to Paul Hince’s M.E.N. article,

Are you having a laugh Hincey?

Tottenham (and Newcastle, also recently linked with SWP) clearly would be downward moves for the Blue-blooded talisman. Along with bids or rumours around £8 million from Liverpool, they are all dreaming. It’s great that clubs want our players, but firstly they are part of something special growing at the Bluecamp and secondly anything less than £30 million is not even close to his worth to us.

The only team with that sort of clout are floating on a bubble that any decent bid for their real estate would pop immediately. And simply from a footballing view, Shaun’s continued rise is strongly linked with the blue moon rising.

Money does not dictate our future as it has done with previous sales of rising stars such as Paul Stewart or Garry Flitcroft. Both club and players in these cases would have been better served had they stayed together. Borrowings have now been properly and sufficiently structured not to panic even if a bid of a realistic price came in.

The only valid destination for Shauny might be Highbury. However, they have not got the financial clout at the moment. And by the time they have Shaun will be a World Cup hero and hold medals from the team that is growing round him in Manchester.

I am sure his stepdad will give him good advice, despite his Arsenal background. Shaun is loved at City and from day one the feeling has been mutual. The club clearly are in debt, but are not desperate for cash as your article suggests. Shaun is irreplaceable as the heart of City. His example has been the beacon for others such as Joey Barton, who are forming the passion this team has long missed out on by enlisting journeymen to keep us afloat. Who can now doubt the Division 1 champions team could not have done a better job than their more salubrious over paid subsequents? Where we have fallen down over recent years is the overpaid ‘senior’ pros, rather than keeping the heartbeat. As we whittle this dead wood out, we need to keep players with the passion for the club to complement Shaun and his growing Academy band.

There has been something developing in Manchester from the stability of Big Joe to the dynasty of King Kev – all of which has fulfilled Shaun’s ambition. Our club is on the up with Shaun very much a part of it. If and when Arsenal do come in, by then his prospects should look even brighter in the Blue of Stuart Pearce’s Army. Only until we cannot fulfil his ambition should we consider cutting our alliance. For now, we are both reaching for the stars together. Long may it continue.

Whatever you do, stay Blue!

Dave Clinton <daveclinton(at)>


John Wardle the Chairman of MCFC says he has no offers for Shaun Wright-Phillips; is he inviting offers?

JW says he is afraid of answering the phone in case it’s an offer. The fact is, if a fantastic offer came in how could JW say no to it? Unfortunately it’s money that talks in football today, even when SWP says he wants to stay at City.

For Shaun Wright-Phillips to be let go would be like selling the MCFC crown jewels, and many of the loyal City fans would be very upset. If a City player has to be sold then for the right money I would let Distin go, but hold on to our most exciting player, SWP.

Better still, keep hold of all our players that Stuart Pearce wants for next season if we are to be successful, and keep looking for “Bosmans” in the transfer market.

But surely MCFC have some transfer money to get a decent striker? There is still another month before the window closes, so one might say there is no rush; my answer to that would be by then City will be really scraping the bottom of the barrel for a striker, for the best that were available will be gone.

After the way Kevin Keegan bought some players in the past, the club has learned their lesson and have a much more cautious approach to getting players in the transfer market; it’s a pity it was not in place a couple of years ago.

I am not going to run down Kevin Keegan for he did do a lot of good for MCFC, and after all he did bring in and help groom Stuart Pearce to take over from him, and he did give us some exciting football.

The “silly season” seems so slow this year, with only one player signed for a further season – Kiki, a player brought in by Kevin Keegan; we are yet to see the club’s first signing by Stuart Pearce (of course he does not have much money).

We as City fans wait with hope of signing a very good striker, and not just an average striker; after that, some players to increase the squad size in case of injuries or suspensions.

It’s great to know that we have some very good players just come through the Academy, and others on the verge of breaking through; this will be the main future of City.

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


What is the point in City selling Distin?

We’ve just had a season where, contrary to many expectations, we had the fourth best defensive record in the Premier League, so why, if we are building a squad to be proud of, are we even contemplating selling one of our defensive stars?

And please also shed some light on why we are even thinking about selling him to Villa?

Ed Bodey <edbodey(at)>


You can tell it’s the close season when withdrawal symptoms set in, and a33 year old has to dig out his Playstation to get his fix of City.

So out it came at the weekend. With Mrs away for the night, the dust was blown off, a bottle of beer in hand and FIFA Football emerged once more. Thirty minutes of transfers later (Nic, Paulo, Berkovic, Macken et al sold, Kiki brought in) the season started. First game Leeds away.

Within 2 minutes Joey was booked (it was harsh, Radebe made a meal of it! Honest!?). Kiki was mesmeric on the wing but missed 3 sitters, lashing them high, wide and handsome. Danny Mills couldn’t find a blue shirt, I kid you not! Sibi hustled but was ineffective, with some very weak shooting. Robbie missed a penalty. And James had nothing to do all game as my heroes dominated possession, except pick the ball out of his net from a late Ian Harte free kick! 0-1.

Playstation off. Computer games these days are just too damn realistic!

God Bless the summertime. Roll on the new season.

Mike Sokol – still loving it <msokol(at)>


I’d like to congratulate Manchester City fan Ricky Hatton becoming the new Light Welterweight Champion of the World in Manchester at the weekend. I watched the fight in Australia on Sunday morning and it was brilliant. I always look for omens in everything and can only see good ones here for the season ahead for City – new manager in Stuart Pearce, loads of optimism around the club and now a City fan world champion who won it against all the odds.

So good on ya Ricky. As it says on the BBC site:

“The self-confessed “Man City nut” is quiet, respectful and unassuming out of the ring.”

Living in Australia, I have been to one of Kostya Tszyu’s fights and he is a great boxer so for Ricky to do the business in Manchester before 22,000 fans is fantastic.

I didn’t realise till reading about him that his dad, Ray Hatton, played for City under Joe Mercer.

So let’s all raise a glass for the new world champion and look to the future of City with optimism that the club will soon be following Ricky Hatton to success and glory.

Adrian Bates <adrianb(at)>


Blimey. Will this debate about the club badge go away? I think not.

I don’t see a problem with it. If it was the old round one, you’d get people moaning that it is out of date. Which it is.

The new one, as I have mentioned here before, is the old, old one from before the round one. All they’ve done is just add the latin bit and the Eagle plus the stars.

Well I for one hope they don’t change the badge. Forked out £100 for one of the Klaus Kobec watches with the new badge on it.

And back to the new shirt. Had nearly 2 weeks now and am still of the same opinion. Lousy Football shirt. Fantastic leisure top. Love it.

Great news about Musampa. What a clod hopper he seemed to be when he first arrived. How well he has improved though. A great signing, for another year, at least.

Gripe time: Fantastic that SWP was originally selected for England although, I’m glad he pulled out. He’s not in the shop window. Great that BWP is in the England youth and Nedum Onohua has made it to the Under 20’s.

But why is Lee Croft not in these squads? Lee Croft will turn out to be one of the best players we, or England, have ever had. You read it here first. Watch this space.

And Ireland, well it serves them right for not picking Willo Flood. What do players have to do to be recognised these days by their country? Score 10 goals every match?

Gripe over.

And so, finally, this Friday is D-Day for Liverpool and, possibly, City. Fingers crossed for both decisions.

Come on City!

John Nisbet <nisbet1957(at)>


Thanks for the link Rachel. I got all tingly reliving the pk’s. That whole day was surreal for me, as I had moved to Cleveland (Ohio, not Middlesbrough) the day before, and spent the entire morning (US time) trying to get tied on with my first ever home Internet link so that I could follow the match.

I finally got it working about five minutes after the kick-off, and followed along – text only, mind you – for the next two hours, smoking and staring at the silly screen as one of the worst/best sporting days of my life ensued. There’s something odd, and yet fitting, about my favorite City “memory” being the unlikely/amazing/should-I-even-dare-believe sight of “2-2” flashing up on my laptop. At first, I literally thought it was some ManU t****r just winding us up. But when the single word “Dickov” showed up next, followed by “Dickov, 2-2,” I just sat there and crIed (pitiful I know – never even set foot in Manchester).

I’m hardly an optimist, but I fully believed the penalties were a foregone conclusion, which, for a change, they actually were. I used to have the audio files from the two goals and the final Weaver save, but I guess they were lost in the shuffle several computers ago.

Indeed, if anyone does have them, I’d love to get them back.

Bob Kelley – longtime McVittee dork, and current resident of Pittsburgh, PA <maineroad9(at)>


Jeff Roycroft says that he vividly remembers Danny Mills being one of the last City players to leave the pitch at Villa. My memory, like your first correspondent, is that he did indeed hurtle off the pitch and straight down the tunnel without a second glance at the fans. Perhaps Jeff’s memory is confusing him with one of our other follically challenged eggshell blondes?

Steve Rigby <Mfsstshr(at)>


I’ve got two spare tickets for U2 at Comstad on Tuesday. If anyone wants them they can contact me on 01706 358006. They are standing/seated tickets on the lowest level or on the pitch.

Richard Lord <lordsummit(at)>


I have 6 tickets for the Oasis concert on the Sunday but due to “circumstances beyond my control” (my son is on leave from the army and has to go back on the Sunday morning) I need to swap them for the Thursday or Saturday concert.

If anyone can swap any tickets I would be very grateful; I can be reached on my mobile number 07754536184 or email.

Adrian Platt <adpmcfc(at)>

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Newsletter #1128