Newsletter #1204

The instruction for City’s players and coaches must have read something along the lines of one of the UK’s favourite games: turn up and play for 10 minutes, collect your £20,000+ and return home, do not pass Go. A bright 10 minutes where we were in “attack” mode against poor old Sunderland, and Samaras confounded his critics by scoring two well taken goals in as many minutes. Then we stopped. Sunderland (just 22 defeats in 28 remember) were unlucky not to get the draw thanks to some comedy defending, nondescript midfield and shoddy finishing. Never mind, surely Mr Pearce and our European-action-wanting squad and entourage know what they’re doing.

Mr McCarthy unfortunately received his P45 today. What is it with City playing North East clubs? Roll on 1 April then, bet Mr McLaren can’t wait?

We have Colin’s match report and match views tonight from David, John, Kevin and Steve.

There is also some excellent opinion on the real issues facing football in England, the Greek and the Goat, our inconsistency (it’s official) and standing.

Next game: Portsmouth, away, 3pm Saturday 11 March 2006


They say the table doesn’t lie and, on that basis, we were playing one of the worst teams in Premiership history. Surely it was a banker three points but it would be nice to do it with some style. However, it was one of those awful Sunday lunchtime kick-offs and we never seem to do well in these. Sunderland brought nearly 2,000 with them, which considering the state they are in was pretty creditable. Still, I suppose it’s their last chance to see all the Premiership grounds for a while.

Richards was back replacing Mills and a welcome return for Claudio Reyna, for the suspended Joey Barton. The first few minutes went exactly as expected with City having all the play and Sunderland at sixes and sevens. Then on eight minutes, the Sunderland ‘keeper threw a ball out to the full back who, instead of getting it away (and even Danny Mills could manage that) dallied and fed the Greek on the edge of the area. Vassell was in the middle but Samaras unleashed a rocket to put us one up. Just the start we needed. Better was to come though as Sinclair was played in as the full back stopped, vainly appealing for offside. He had all the time in the world to pick out Samaras in the area and he slotted home confidently to make it 2-0 with ten minutes gone. It was clear that the table didn’t lie and the Sunderland defence truly was the worst in the Premiership. It was also to become clear that this situation was the worst thing that could have happened to us.

There was an article in the Sunday Times that morning, talking about England being much better when they had to chase the game rather than defending a lead. On this basis Pearce is a shoo-in for the next England manager as City proceeded to sit back and drop their concentration rather than go in for the kill. They fell deeper, became sloppy and Sunderland started to come back into the game. They were given a free kick about forty yards out and Arca floated a ball into the right hand side of the City area. Samaras seemed to be ball watching and lost Breen, who stole between him and Jordan to get a header across the face of the goal, where it beat James and was touched in by Kyle. Unbelievably we had not even managed to keep a clean sheet against the bottom team. This would surely shake City out of their lethargy but they seemed to decide that if you could be as bad as Sunderland and still get a goal then there was no point in putting yourself out. They descended to Sunderland’s level all too easily for my liking and the first half thankfully ended.

Psycho would have surely given them hell at half-time but, if he did it clearly hadn’t registered and Sunderland were the ones playing with belief. If they’d had the skill to match then we would have been in trouble but we were little better, with the old, familiar vices of sitting too far back, not pressurising them when they had possession and wasting our own. Samaras had drifted out of the game but came back in only to hit a tame shot at Davis, who also made a fine save from a much better effort from Musampa. Then the one moment of real controversy when Richards was played through into the area, lifted the ball over Davis who brought him down. As clear a penalty as you’ll ever see but referee Chris Foy, who’d not had the best of games, saw nothing wrong. BWP replaced the struggling Vassell, Sun replaced Riera, who started brilliantly but faded badly, and Ireland came on for Reyna. In truth, few of the City players could have complained if they’d been taken off. Even Dunne was having a nightmare. There was a late flurry from Sunderland, who brought Stead and Le Tallec on for the (thank goodness) ineffective Elliott and a shot flashed wide of the post. Then, with a few minutes left, Breen (who already had a yellow) threw his arms out to stop a James clearance and off he went. The game ended to virtually total indifference in the stands and while three points is three points, it was a deeply depressing and disturbing display from the Blues. We may only be three points off sixth place but, on this evidence, it may as well be thirty.

Colin Savage <colin(at)>


Oh dear, poor Sunderland. I had thought that no team could lose against City when “the other” City turned out but Sunderland contrived to gift City two goals whilst City could only manage to give one away.

The first goal amused me – full marks to Samaras for harassing the defender – but I was then shouting for him to cross to Vassell, but no, he shot apparently on the basis that the last thing the ‘keeper would expect was a shot straight at him. Davies dutifully went down to his right as the ball passed just where he had been. It was hit with some power though so he perhaps did the right thing by getting out of the way. Samaras’s second a couple of minutes later was a good looking volley from a Sinclair cross. There are times when his feet don’t seem to belong to him but you have to say that Samaras looks like quite a find.

At 2-0 up I was wondering how many we would get, but we reverted back to our “other” form and gifted Sunderland a goal; let’s be generous and say the sun got in our players’ eyes. To be fair to Sunderland, although, Arca apart, they looked out of their depth at Premiership level, you couldn’t fault their resilience and effort. There were a few strange refereeing decisions (both ways) but particularly a blatant penalty for the ‘keeper taking out BW-P. A pity, as it would have been nice to see a hat trick for Samaras.

So that’s 40 points but if we play like that against teams like Arsenal or Chelsea then we could see a new record defeat.

David Lewis <dfl(at)>


One or two observations.

Samaras 9/10. Impressed with the video clips that someone pointed us towards last week. He went and did it for us after his double in midweek for Greece. Very impressed with both strikes but moreso his awareness in picking out colleagues with passes when he has his back to them. Very intelligent player. One downside, he appeared to give up when losing the ball on a number of occasions when, had he just chased for a few yards, it would heave at least made it uncomfortable for his opponent.

Musampa. Continues to impress with his tenacity and his excellent passing. I was thinking just these thoughts during the game and he went and did a stinker of a pass. One bad pass per game is more than acceptable. Keep going Kiki.

Micah came back into the side and showed both sides of his game. The fact that he is an excellent prospect, but on occasions, his inexperience, particularly with the throw in where he was adjudged to have stepped over the touchline and ‘foul’ threw the ball. One thing is clear, we need cover for this spot as Micah will continue to be the future of the right full back position but is not there just yet. As for Danny Mills, after last week at Liverpool, I’m now convinced that he’s a liability.

Riera, I’m not convinced. He has a fantastic touch but disappears too often for me. He’s not ‘one of the team’. I’m glad that we have him on loan and that we can take a longer look at him without laying out millions. He’s got a lot to do to convince me I’m afraid.

Reyna: someone said this week that Reyna is back in for his customary 1 in 8 games. Well his ‘1’ wasn’t very good and, I’m afraid, again, not good enough. He’ll never hack it against the big boys if he can’t impress against Sunderland.

Overall, lucky to come away with 3 points today. Sunderland started awfully and gifted us 2 goals, although we took them well. It might have been the worst thing that could have happened as I feel that City just laid back after that, and that is just not good enough.

Come on City, there’s a European place to be had.

John Nisbet <nisbet1957(at)>


FA Premiership
Manchester City 2 Sunderland 1
City of Manchester Stadium
Sunday, March 5th 2006, Kick-off 13:30
Attendance: 42,200.

Team Changes: Richards, Reyna, and Vassell replace Mills, Barton, and Sibierski in the starting line-up.

Line-up: James, Richards, Dunne, Distin, Jordan, Sinclair, Reyna (Ireland, 82), Musampa, Riera (Sun, 61), Samaras, Vassell (B. Wright-Phillips, 69).
Unused subs: Weaver, Croft.

Goal times: (9) 1-0 Samaras; (10) 2-0 Samaras; (25) 2-1 Kyle.

Bookings: Riera (39).
Sent off: None.
Referee: C. Foy.

Stats points: The League Substitute Appearance table is changing every match. Bradley Wright-Phillips is now 3rd with 29 league sub appearances, Jihai Sun is equal 6th with 26, and Antoine Sibierski is 9th equal with 25. All three have a long way to go to catch Paul Dickov’s 51 league sub appearances, but Ian Brightwell’s 36 is the next target for them.

Steve Kay <steve(at)>


12,000 miles away, 2.25am on a cold Monday morning, set the video in case I fell asleep, and settled down to watch City, as they’re only shown once on Sky TV during March (typical isn’t it?). 2-0 after ten minutes, easy I thought!

Well I turned the video off after thirty minutes, and hopefully tried to fall asleep. The game was so bad I couldn’t even fall asleep and I was thanking Sky that they were only showing one City game this month.

Gee, I wish we had Sunderland’s fight! They are an awful team, but they kept battling even after some awful defending in the first ten minutes, and that’s all you can ask of a team.

I’ve said in the past that our so-called good performances, score-wise, came against weaker sides and that made us look good. I don’t for a minute think we are any better than last year’s side; we still have that on/off button we press all to frequently.

What to cheer about? Well we won, two great goals, Musampa’s found his niche in the middle of the park, Samaras looks like money well spent (I hope so), Sinclair’s pace (always thought he was better than he first showed), two decent centre backs, and a full back (Richards) who looks the part. I would also like to see Ireland get more than ten minutes, he has some nice touches.

So we’re nearly there as a decent side, two or three more players and we’ll have a decent shot.

It’s not all doom and gloom but for us to play with the ‘big boys’ we need the ‘on’ switch on most of the time.

Oh well it’s 8am, better get ready for work. It’s going to be a long day!

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


Or Standing – Is It Really the Most Important Issue in Football at the Moment?

I’ve followed the debate on standing with great interest recently as well as witnessing the continuing tension between the fans, club and stewards in the South Stand. I’m ambivalent about standing – being relatively small, I prefer to be able to see but if other people want to do it safely then that’s fine by me. I barely saw the 1976 League Cup final as I was stood behind taller people so didn’t see Dennis Tueart’s goal properly until I got home and watched it on television. But I wouldn’t have missed the atmosphere that day for anything.

Of course, the tragedy at Hillsborough and the subsequent Taylor Report changed all that. We now watch our football in all-seater stadiums and the Football Licensing Authority determines what we can and can’t do. Lots of people don’t like this situation and want to fight it but to listen to them you’d think it was a problem threatening the very fabric of football. I went to Villa Park for the FA Cup game; the City fans stood up the whole time and the atmosphere was great. I was also at Anfield last weekend; the City fans, for the most part, stayed seated and the atmosphere was great. So while I accept that it is probably easier to sing while stood up I don’t accept that standing is the only factor that affects atmosphere but if people feel happier standing then, as I said, that’s fine by me.

However, I had a good look at the FLA website recently and three things stood out. First, there is no political will whatsoever to even consider bringing back standing in the short or medium term. Secondly, even if there was, it’s not just a question of ripping out seats and putting in a few barriers. The grounds that have been constructed to meet the requirements of the Taylor Report tend to have a steeper gradient than those pre-Taylor, therefore turning terraces from seated to standing will involve extensive rebuilding. The third factor, and one that surprised me, is that the FLA recommend a minimum lateral space per spectator (i.e. how far apart we are from each other). To ensure safety in standing areas they would actually require more space, therefore making standing areas lower capacity than seated areas. So if anyone thought that the button to push with the football clubs for the re-introduction of standing was increased revenue, think again. Under the current FLA guidelines, reverting from seats to standing areas will involve both considerable expense (for the clubs), which is offset by a decrease in revenue. This is a double whammy as clubs would have to charge fewer people less for standing anyway.

So guys, by all means start your campaign and good luck to you but recognise it will be a very, very long haul, with little chance of success. I actually think there are a few things we need to worry about far more urgently:

1. Television

We all like watching our footy on TV, either at home or in the pub but, as a fan of watching live football, I think it threatens our game far more than the issue of standing. I don’t dispute that it’s handy to be able to watch an away game you can’t get to but we managed without in the old days. It’s now common to have five or six different kick-off times over any given weekend, culminating in ludicrous situations like an 11:15 or 12:15 kick-off on a Sunday (as happened with our games against Everton and Liverpool) or a 6:30pm kick-off on a Sunday night (FA Cup against Villa). Half the Villa crowd couldn’t be bothered to turn up for an all-Premiership, 5th round FA Cup tie, largely because it was on TV and ate into a Sunday evening. To me, TV money is no compensation for a half-empty stadium. We should be campaigning to restrict the number and timing of live games as the TV companies seem determined to cut the fan who actually wants to go to the ground out of the equation.

2. Financial Resources

In the old days, while some top-flight teams had more money than others, it wasn’t that much more and any team could win the league, with effective management and a good run on the field. In the sixties, eight different teams won the title followed by six in the seventies. Liverpool then dominated for a good few years but no-one would suggest that they bought their way to those titles.

Now, the top clubs attract the lion’s share of the money, via sponsorship and regular entry into the Champions’ League. You only have to finish fourth to enter the Champions’ League and getting to the group stages brings phenomenal financial rewards. Therefore the top four tend to stay the top four. In addition, Roman Abramovich has used his billions to transform a club on the verge of bankruptcy to one that has effectively bought the Premiership title two years running, while incurring a £140 million loss. They can pay the best players whatever they want, without having to worry about balancing the books.

The American NFL deals with this situation brilliantly. A club-level wage cap and the sharing of all commercial revenues equally (if you buy a £40 shirt, each club gets £2) ensures the financial playing field is level, while ensuring that the worst teams get the best rookie players makes the actual competition much more even. Of course a good coach with a good group of players can become an American football equivalent of Liverpool or Chelsea but it won’t last and they’ve done it because of their abilities rather than their bank balance. Clubs should fund themselves out of the income they generate and have to balance their books but there should be a more equal distribution of income to help this.

3. Foreign Players and Youth Development

The globalisation of football has meant that we regularly get to watch the best foreign players on our home grounds. From Trautmann to Samaras – we’ve certainly had our share. Some have been unforgettable for the wrong reasons (Negouai, Frontzek, Groenendijk) and some (Trautmann, Benarbia, Berkovic) for the right reasons. Samaras supposedly quadrupled his income when he joined City as the Premiership is one of the wealthiest leagues in the world, making it a great attraction for foreign players. However, there are now Premiership games where no English player figures and this can’t be good for football for two reasons.

The first is the impact on our national team. We have a good group of players now but that’s more for Darwinian reasons than any other. Only the very best survive in the Premiership these days and these are the ones that make up the nucleus of the national team. We may have quality but we haven’t got quantity, as there’s so little cover in many positions. Gerrard, Lampard, Beckham, Wright-Phillips – but then who? If Ashley Cole and Gary Neville are out – where are the world class full backs? When Robert Green is being talked about as an international goalkeeper then you know you’ve got problems.

In addition, the desire of foreign players to come here and the lack of restriction placed on signing those players means that it is easier and quicker to buy an established player than develop your own. At City, we have what must be the best Academy in the country and superb work from Jim Cassell and his staff seems to lead to an almost inexhaustible supply of great youngsters but it was still easier to get Kiki Musampa and Albert Riera in on loan.

To me, it seems crazy that sides can turn out without any home-based or home-grown players. There should be a maximum squad size (say 28) of which no more than eight should be non-UK nationals and 6-8 should be Academy graduates.

So by all means campaign for standing areas but let’s also fight the other things that are really threatening the fabric of football.

Colin Savage <colin(at)>


I tried the recently suggested Samaras song yesterday at the Sunderland match and it went down a storm! You know, the one that goes:

He’s Greek, he’s great
He smashes dinner plates
Samaras, Samaras.

The guys sat round me thought it was hilarious and were soon singing along, so let’s hope everyone else catches on.

On Samaras himself, I thought his play is getting better and better as he settles into the team. I think his performance for the Greek national side midweek benefitted us this weekend. He played a couple of reverse passes that were sublime, this on top of his two great goals. I think he needs a good partner up front with him, don’t think Vass complements him enough; perhaps it’s one for the future with BeeP or when Old King Cole returns.

On another point, we were talking about The Goat’s farewell at Southend at the end of the season, and there is a strong willingness to join up with fellow Blues to get down there and say goodbye properly. Is anyone organising a trip down there? When is Southend’s last match (date/time)? If anyone can help me I would really appreciate it.

Final point is one of total respect to the fans in the South Stand who again put up with some ridiculous bullying tactics from the Showsec stewards yesterday. How they put up with this bullying is beyond me; they even had the police in there again, probably ejecting some poor soul. I sit in the third tier of the East Stand and get a clear view of this each game and can see more and more seats being empty. It’s just not right. Come and sit in the East Stand with me were we can stand and sing as much as we like ’cause the stewards are too lazy to walk up the stairs.

CTID, Simon Curtis <scurtis4(at)>


Okay, since someone asked, I’ve made a first, brief attempt to analyse City’s alleged inconsistency. Here’s how my analysis works. Every 2 games you get “inconsistency points” as follows; 2 pts (WL or LW), 1 pt (WD or DW), or 0 pts (WW, DD, or LL). At the end of the season (or on a six game rolling basis) you add up the “inconsistency points” and divide by the number of games (actually games-1) to get an “inconsistency rating”. Maximum inconsistency would be WLWLWLWL (sound familiar?), which gets a perfect (imperfect) 2.00. Maximum consistency would be WWWWWW or DDDDDD or LLLLLL, which gets you a 0.00 rating. So the bigger the number, the more inconsistent you are.

I looked at three mid-table teams, City, Charlton, and Fulham, over the last three years, counting only their Premiership games (this avoids contaminating the data with cup results against lower division teams). During that time (including this year to the present) our league positions and “inconsistency ratings (IR)” (in brackets) were/are as follows:

City           16(1.14) -  8(1.08) - 10(1.35)
Charlton        7(0.81) - 11(0.84) - 13(1.04)
Fulham          9(1.19) - 13(0.95) - 14(1.35)

To draw any real conclusions I would need data from a lot more teams (if anyone can send me excel files containing a vertical list of points per game (i.e. 3, 1, or 0) over a full season for other teams, I’d be very grateful, and happy to incorporate that data into the overall analysis). However, here’s my feeling after playing around with the numbers a bit.

  1. “Careful what you wish for” – being consistent doesn’t correlate withbeing successful. Arsenal in 2003-4 had a very low IR (0.43) and won theleague with 90 points, but you can also be consistently bad (see Sunderland thisyear). Even consistently drawing won’t do you any favours these days.
  2. Charlton seem to go on lots of good and bad runs of form, whichcontributes to their consistently low IRs, but I would expect there to be asmany mid-table teams with IRs like City’s and Fulham’s as there are with IRslike Charlton’s.
  3. Being a mid-table team means you don’t win all your games and you don’tlose all your games – you have to get a mixture of results or else youwouldn’t be a mid-table team. You can either achieve this mixture by goingon good and bad runs (four wins in a row followed by four losses in a row,anyone?), or you can be “consistently inconsistent” – you win some, losesome, and draw some – the old random sequence once again.

And once again, as a reward for getting this far in my posting, I’d like to throw out another interesting “compare and contrast” – how about Joey Barton vs. Roy Keane?

Mike Maddox <mwm2240(at)>


I’ve just been speaking with a mate of mine who’s a steward at City. Naturally there will be no names mentioned here, not that anybody at the club will take the slightest bit of notice of course, but… We were discussing standing at the CoMS, and my obvious standpoint (hey hey), was that I/we/the majority want to stand – or at least be given the option.

My conclusion was that they’d never allow it because the revenue generated by ‘seat’ prices far outweighs the price of a standing ticket. However, would we not be able to fill a ‘standing’ stand with more bodies?

This debate could go on until the cows come home. The following debate won’t though.

West stand, just in front and to the right of the Mancunian Suite. A man. A chairman. John Wardle. He, throughout all of every home game, stands constantly. The stewards there do not ask him to sit down – and why would they? They do, however, ask all those paying public in the proximity to sit down. Their retort? “I will when he does” That’s what you would say tho’ innit?

Keep safe everyone – the club cares for you! Yeah.

Joel Perry, Ex-Kippax <j.perry(at)>


When I wrote my piece in MCIVTA 1202 I said I would forward any reply from the FLA; well, here is the reply and following that is my counter reply:

Dear Andrew,

Your message has been passed onto me as the Inspector dealing with the City of Manchester Stadium.

I have tried to answer your concerns with a little bit of the history behind each of the issues you raise; I hope this will help.

Following the Hillsborough Disaster, the government accepted the recommendation of Lord Justice’s Taylor’s inquiry that grounds in the top two divisions should become all-seated. The Inquiry’s conclusion that, while “there is no panacea which will achieve total safety and cure all problems of behaviour and crowd control, seating does more to achieve these objectives than any other single measure” has been proved to be correct.

The government’s policy is enforced through the licence that the FLA issues to the ground under the provisions of the Football Spectators Act 1989, which can be accessed on the Office of Public Sector Information web site This is backed up by the Ground Regulations, drawn up and enforced by the ground management, which state that persistent standing is not permitted while play is in progress.

Persistent standing in seated areas has caused concern not merely to the FLA but to the clubs, football authorities, the local authorities and the police. These bodies jointly produced guidance on how to address this issue. This is available on our website at You will observe that all of the bodies believe that, wherever possible, persistent standing should be tackled through a process of education and encouragement.

Persistent standing raises issues of spectator safety, crowd management and customer care. While no major incidents have occurred because of persistent standing, there have been a number of cases of spectators and stewards being seriously injured. In any event, the FLA and the local authorities must take whatever steps are reasonably necessary to prevent accidents, not merely wait until they occur.

While it has been suggested that spectators are less at risk if they are already standing prior to a goal celebration, we believe that this is misconceived. Spectators are more likely to fall forwards if they are already standing than if they are jumping to their feet.

We are aware of cases where persistent standing has been used to mask illicit entry, misbehaviour and localised overcrowding. We also receive a significant number of complaints from spectators who do not wish, or are unable to stand, who cannot see because of the actions of those in front of them. In most cases, especially when they are away from home, they do not have the option of moving to other areas of the ground.

Some spectators have argued that, if the person behind them does not object to them standing, there is no problem. But that ignores the views of the spectator in the next row and the one behind that and so on. One person standing persistently condemns all those behind to do likewise – that is if they are able to do so. That seriously affects the rights and enjoyment of those who do not wish to stand or are unable to stand because of age or disablement. It cannot be acceptable that they are unable to see the match.

It is not only those who are unable to stand who will experience problems of seeing the match. Sightlines in all purpose built seated stands are based on the height of a person while they are seated. When spectators stand, the point of focus changes. This means that, if people in front of you stand, they will obscure your view of the pitch adjacent to the near touchline, even if you stand yourself. If you are along the sides you will be forced to stretch and strain to follow play down the wings (thereby increasing the risk of losing your balance and falling) and if you are behind the goal you could find your view of the goal obscured.

Standing by away supporters is not, as you suggest, widely tolerated. It is, however, a problem that is more difficult for the home club to tackle. As there may be gaps of 18 months between the visits of a particular club’s supporters, dealing with the problem by education and encouragement is likely to be less successful. Reductions in the away capacity is very mush seen as a last resort, not least because it is the home club who would be penalised for the actions of another club’s supporters. We are therefore committed to working with the football authorities to encourage clubs to take more responsibility for their supporters’ behaviour away from home.

Yours faithfully,

John Levison
FLA Inspectorate

… and now my counter reply:

Dear Mr Levison,

Firstly, I thank you for taking the time to reply. However, you have failed (not surprisingly) to answer my points raised, you have simply regurgitated some well-known information regarding the Taylor Report (of which only a small number of recommendations were acted upon) – even then you fail to support some of your facts. Neither have you provided me with the requested information.

Regarding your reply, your penultimate paragraph concentrates on the ‘sightlines’ in all-seater stadia. From my own experience of being behind the goal and down the flanks, the problems that you purport to happen, simply do not – your information is factually incorrect – but having said that, you are, with respect, a suited body within the FLA, not a fan in the stands.

My seat is behind the goal; when everyone stands, I actually get a better view of the whole playing area as I do not have a goal net, posts and crossbar in my way. I have also sat by the flanks and have never experienced the straining you mention.

You state that supporters are more likely to fall forward when a goal is scored if they are already standing, yet you do not substantiate that argument with any facts. It is not something I, as a fan, have seen any examples of at the City of Manchester Stadium – even in the excitement of a City vs. United match!

As a suited inspector, rather than a match attending spectator, you also miss the point of fans not being able to see. The point I am trying to raise is that specific areas can be created for those who want to sit and those who want to stand which negates your comments in your 3rd last paragraph.

Maybe now you would be kind enough to answer my questions raised, which for clarity and ease of reference I have copied herewith:

  • It is perceived ‘safe’ to jump up and down in the seated areas when a goal isscored, yet it is deemed ‘unsafe’ to passively stand during quieter periodsof the match – why?
  • It is perceived to be ‘safe’ to be jostled when trying to leave the stadiumen-masse after the game, yet it is perceived to be ‘unsafe’ to passivelystand during the game itself – why?
  • It is deemed to be ‘safe’ to stand, drink and dance at the very same seat, inthe very same stadium during a rock concert – such as Oasis, yet it isperceived to be ‘unsafe’ to passively stand during a football match – why?
  • Away fans are deemed ‘safe’ to stand in seated areas, yet it is perceived tobe ‘unsafe’ for home supporters to passively stand during the game – why?
  • The legislation, as I understand it, states that supporters have to watchfootball “from seated accommodation”. In a nutshell, this means that footballsupporters have to watch a game of football from within all seater stadia.Nothing in the legislation states that supporters have to be sat in theseated accommodation and nothing states that supporters cannot stand in theseated accommodation. Quite simply, supporters can choose to sit or standwithin the seated accommodation – yet stewards and the police alike believeyou can be ejected for standing – why?

Furthermore, after giving your answers to each of the above 5 questions, I respectfully request that you please kindly provide me with a copy of the relevant legislation (that I cannot locate on the Internet) that shows that everything I have read is untrue and you do have to sit during a football match.

Andrew Keller <akcity(at)>


For Mike Maddox, I did make it through to the end of your posting. My comparison between Colin Bell and Joey Barton would be:

  • If they were motor cars Bell would be a B-for Bentley, absolutely majesticand in his day driven by gentlemen.
  • Joey Barton would be a B-for BMW. So as not to upset the BMW-driving Cityfans, I’ll leave you to decide what BMW drivers are (I have my own views).

Dave Kilroy <dave.kilroy(at)>


Compare Joey Barton to Colin Bell. Isn’t this like comparing beans on toast to sirloin steak?

Colin Bell was the best all round footballer I’ve ever seen.

  • He could run (at speed) all day
  • He could shoot from 30 yards (on target)
  • He could head
  • He could dribble
  • He had a footballing brain
  • He didn’t get sent off
  • He was a gentleman

On another topic: Why Can’t I stand at City?

As a regular in the Kippax over many years, it isn’t the same having to sit through a game at Eastlands. Aren’t my human rights being ignored?

City could (and should) develop two sections for standing City fans behind both goals. Just imagine what that would do for the atmosphere in the ground. With the right sort of barriers to prevent crowd surges and perhaps entry by season ticket this would be just as safe as seating. No, safer! When a goal is scored everyone stands and dances in the seats. How dangerous is that?

Forever Blue, Rob Fielding <rob.fielding(at)>


I have 2 Chelsea tickets for sale, face value (only) £48 each.

Please contact me on 07944 775022 or email:

Andrew Jackson <ajackson32(at)>


Thanks to Gary James for the information regarding his updating of the classic City tome.

If you aren’t bothered about having your name in the book – and let’s face it, you can always write it in yourself – you can pre-order it on for £13.19, a saving of 34% on the RRP.

Why City can’t offer a similar discount on their own books is beyond me. Amazon don’t take your money before the book is published.

A lesson they might learn in the MCFC ticket office, where we are being asked to stump up for our season tickets (plus a ten quid CC or debit card penalty) five and a half months before a ball is kicked in anger – and before we know how many games will be moved to 6am Sunday morning and the like.

Cardiff here we come.

Stay beautiful, Mark E Everett <markeeverett(at)>


5 March 2006

Manchester City       2 - 1  Sunderland            42,200
Tottenham Hotspur     3 - 2  Blackburn Rovers      36,080

4 March 2006

West Bromwich Albion  1 - 2  Chelsea               26,581
Aston Villa           1 - 0  Portsmouth            30,194
Fulham                0 - 4  Arsenal               22,397
Middlesbrough         1 - 0  Birmingham City       28,141
Newcastle United      3 - 1  Bolton Wanderers      52,012
West Ham United       2 - 2  Everton               34,866
Liverpool             0 - 0  Charlton Athletic     43,892

League table to 05 March 2006 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Chelsea         28 13  1  0 33  7 10  2  2 23 10 23  3  2  56  17  39  72
 2 Liverpool       28 11  3  1 20  5  5  4  4 13 12 16  7  5  33  17  16  55
 3 Manchester Utd  26  8  3  1 25  8  8  3  3 27 19 16  6  4  52  27  25  54
 4 Tottenham H.    28  9  5  1 25 12  4  5  4 15 14 13 10  5  40  26  14  49
 5 Arsenal         28  9  2  2 30  8  4  3  8 13 14 13  5 10  43  22  21  44
 6 Blackburn R.    28  9  2  2 22 13  4  2  9 14 21 13  4 11  36  34   2  43
 7 Bolton Wndrs    26  7  4  1 16  6  4  5  5 17 21 11  9  6  33  27   6  42
 8 West Ham United 27  7  2  5 24 18  5  4  4 17 18 12  6  9  41  36   5  42
 9 Manchester City 28  9  2  4 24 13  3  2  8 14 19 12  4 12  38  32   6  40
10 Wigan Athletic  27  6  2  6 17 17  6  2  5 15 17 12  4 11  32  34  -2  40
11 Newcastle Utd   28  7  5  2 17 10  4  1  9 12 20 11  6 11  29  30  -1  39
12 Everton         28  6  1  6 11 15  5  3  7 10 21 11  4 13  21  36 -15  37
13 Charlton Ath.   28  5  3  6 15 16  5  3  6 17 21 10  6 12  32  37  -5  36
14 Aston Villa     28  4  4  6 15 17  4  6  4 18 18  8 10 10  33  35  -2  34
15 Middlesbrough   27  5  5  5 21 24  4  2  6 15 20  9  7 11  36  44  -8  34
16 Fulham          28  9  2  3 25 17  0  3 11 12 26  9  5 14  37  43  -6  32
17 West Brom A.    28  6  1  8 20 19  1  4  8  5 23  7  5 16  25  42 -17  26
18 Birmingham City 27  4  2  7 15 16  2  3  9  7 22  6  5 16  22  38 -16  23
19 Portsmouth      28  2  5  6  8 16  2  1 12 10 32  4  6 18  18  48 -30  18
20 Sunderland      28  0  4 10  9 27  2  0 12 10 24  2  4 22  19  51 -32  10

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0506.02]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

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

[2] What are MCIVTA’s publishing deadlines?

Deadlines for issues are nominally 6pm, Monday and Thursday evenings bu email. Unfortunately we cannot accept email attachments.

[3] 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.

[4] What is the club’s official web site?

The official club web site can be found at

[5] 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”.

[6] Where can I find out about the fans’ committee?

The Fans’ Committee operates as an interface between supporters and the club. The Fans’ Committee has been relaunched as “Points of Blue”. It has appeared on the club website as a minor entry under “Fans Zone”.

[7] 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

[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. Useful sites for North American viewers are,, and

[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

[13] Where can I find a list of City-related websites?

Try Wookie’s Lair:

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 #1204