Newsletter #1207

Running late; some lovely memories of Roy Clarke tonight, thanks to David and Simon.

Don brings us his news round up and reaction to Tuesday night’s game, the youth team won the first leg of their FA Cup semi final, plus we’ve lots of opinion and requests.

Roll on Monday.

Next game: Wigan Athletic, home, 3pm Saturday 18 March 2006


General News

Roy Clarke (1925 – 2006): The saddest news of the week was the announcement of the death of Roy Clarke at the age of 80. Clarke’s career at City ran from 1947 to 1957, and he made 369 appearances for the Blues, scoring 79 times in the process. Having missed out on City’s FA Cup final defeat to Newcastle through injury in 1955, he featured the following year as the Blues recorded a Wembley triumph over Birmingham. The Newport-born player was also capped 22 times by Wales and, after a brief stint as manager of Northwich Victoria following his retirement as a player, returned to City to manage the club’s social club, a position he held for 25 years. “Roy will rightly be remembered not only for the great effort and enjoyment he gave on the pitch, but also for the enormous efforts he made off the pitch to turn City into one of the country’s friendliest and most approachable clubs,” said City secretary Bernard Halford. “Roy was a true gentleman and ambassador and will be sadly missed.” Stuart Pearce added: “Roy and his wife were great servants of this club. He was hugely respected and well loved by everybody.” The club held a minute’s applause in honour of Clarke before the Villa game on Tuesday night.

Mrs. P’s Idiot Husband Signs Up: Last week he said he’d do it, and he has – SP has signed a formal contract with City. It’s a two-year rolling deal. He’d been working without a contract since replacing KK 12 months ago, but after discussions with John Wardle, Pearce finally decided to sign up, partly to satisfy Premier League regulations. A statement from the club read: “Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce confirmed that he has signed the contract he agreed last summer with chairman John Wardle. The Blues’ boss had been working to the terms of his two-year rolling deal since July and last week promised to put pen to paper this week.” Speaking last week, Pearce revealed there was no compensation fee inserted into the deal, meaning there would be no big pay-off should he get sacked, while City would not receive any financial recompense should he leave to take another job. “Why should Manchester City pay me for not being their manager? I have been fortunate to earn a decent wage as a player, and now as a manager. I don’t want to be wrangling with the chief executive for a couple of quid. My wife thinks I am an idiot – but that is my view.” There’s been yet more speculation this week linking Pearce with that England job, in a Psycho/Alan Curbishley pairing. Mr. P was having none of it: “England is not a distraction for me, I don’t take a great deal of interest in it,” he said. “The only time England gets mentioned is when I walk into a press conference and get asked the same questions week after week.”

Interesting Times in the Life of Grimes: I’m afraid news of this game was a tad late for last week’s summary, so here’s a quick catch-up report. Last Thursday City’s Reserves beat Wigan Athletic 4-2, in what is commonly known as a “ding dong battle”. City took the lead early on c/o Ishmael Miller, but before half time found themselves 2-1 down thanks to goals by Wigan first team regulars Andreas Johansson and Neil ‘Son of Spider’ Mellor. A Miller penalty on the hour levelled things for the home team, before super sub Ashley Grimes struck twice in the last 10 minutes to ensure a City triumph. This was City’s fifth win on the trot, prompting coach Steve Wigley to observe: “We can take the fact that you can play very, very well, be in front and then before you know it be 2-1 down. Fortunately, I always felt that we had enough to get ourselves back in the game.” Wigley added: “I thought it was a smashing game of football, there was a bit of quality out there, and it was good fayre for the supporters that came tonight. Young Grimesy’s come on and done well and grabbed a couple of goals. Ishmael’s got two more for himself again, so there were a lot of good things to come out of the game.”
Team: Weaver; D.Mills (Logan 57), Thatcher, M.Mills, Bischoff; Sommeil, Flood, Laird (Etuhu 45), Haapala; Bermingham (Grimes 70), Miller.
Unused subs: D’Laryea, Matthewson.

Toon Doon: On Wednesday City’s under 18’s gave themselves a mighty fine chance of progressing to the Final of the FA Youth Cup. In the first leg of the semi-final, the Blues scored a 3-2 win over Newcastle United at St. James’ Park, with the second leg at the COMS to come next week. Kelvin Etuhu opened the scoring, but the Blues found themselves 2-1 down after an hour’s play. It took goals from Ashley Williams and Michael Johnson to secure a precious first leg lead.
Team: Matthewson, Obeng, Logan, Williamson, Breen, Marshall, Williams, Johnson (c), Etuhu, Sturridge (C.Evans 77), Moore.
Unused subs: S.Evans, Vadon, McDonald, Mouritsen.
You can see some of the action here:

Future Fixture Fun? A whisper reaches the News Desk that there could be a few fixture changes in store for City. It’s the price of success, I guess. Here’s what we think might happen, although the club haven’t confirmed this yet:
1/4/06 City vs. Middlesbrough – could switch to 2/4/06 as Boro continue to progress in the UEFA Cup.
12/4/06 Could be an either /or. Either City will play West Ham in an FA Cup replay or potentially they face Arsenal in a re-arranged fixture.
17/4/06 City vs. Arsenal, could switch to 12/4 depending on Arsenal’s Champions’ League progression.
22/4/06 Villa vs. City – could switch to 26/4/06 if (and it’s a big “If”!) City make the FA Cup Semi Final that weekend.

Transfer News and Gossip

Not on Board the Grav-y Train? Former Everton midfielder Thomas Gravesen has emerged as a summer target for SP according to reports this week. The Danish international midfielder looks set to leave Real Madrid at the end of the season as the Spanish giants begin to rebuild under a new president and with a new coach. He has attracted attention from his former club Everton as well as the Glazer All-Stars, but now City are eyeing him as Pearce looks to bring in the quality signings he wants to take the club onto the next level. The 29-year-old poured cold water on this report and insisted that he’s happy at the Bernabeu. “In football there are many rumours but I’ve said nothing,” he said. “There are no contacts with Manchester City.” Today’s news took a different direction – thanks go to Henk, who’s written that Danish paper Extra Bladet is reporting that negotiations have started between Real and City for Gravesen. It is said to be down to financial matters.

French Connection I: Lens attacker Olivier Thomert claims City and Tottenham Hotspur are still on his trail. SP has been a long-term admirer of the Frenchman and the Blues were linked with Thomert in the summer. Thomert is under contract at Lens until 2007, but is ready to discuss his long-term future at the end of the season. He has yet to decide whether he will quit the Ligue 1 outfit, but revealed the interest from across The Channel. “I know Tottenham and Manchester City are keeping their eyes on me,” said Thomert. “I have not yet taken a decision. But I will sit down with the management once the season is over.”

French Connection II: While we’re on matters gallic – it is believed that Sylvain Distin is a Marseille target. The French defender has been offered a new contract to extend his stay at the COMS, with his current deal set to expire at the end of next season. However, whilst he considers his options before committing one way or another, Distin has revealed he has been approached by a French club – believed to be Marseille. “Coming back to France is a possibility,” the 28-year-old said. “Even though I am happy at Manchester City. I have had contacts with a club in the south, but I can’t tell you any more about it.” No, do tell Sylv! SP confirmed the latest offer to the club skipper. “We have put an offer into his agent yesterday,” said Pearce. “He is our captain at this football club, he’s top man around the club in my eyes on and off the pitch and I want him to stay with me. So we are hopeful. For me it’s fantastic when I hear from players that finance is not the over-riding factor. In The Premiership if you are earning good money, chances are you will be catered for the rest of your life. It is great to hear players saying they want the club to go places. And then as a manager you put the ball back in their court and say ‘do you know which people determine where we go? Yeah, it’s you. And it’s down to you which way the club goes’.”

Rising to the Okkas-ion? City are one of three Premiership clubs trailing Olympiakos striker Yannis Okkas with Charlton Athletic and Wigan also credited with an interest, according to the player’s agent. Okkas is contracted to the Greek giants until the end of next season but reports from Greece suggest Olympiakos are ready to cash in on the player this summer. The 28-year-old has impressed over the last couple of seasons and his agent has claimed strong Premiership interest along with Spanish high-fliers Osasuna.

Reactions and Comments

Pompey Chime Late On: There was a ‘cornercopia’ of goals last Saturday, as all three successful strikes on goal followed corner kicks. Pedro Mendes’ dramatic last-gasp goal rekindled Portsmouth’s survival hopes as they beat City 2-1 Fratton Park. City looked to have earned a point when Richard Dunne cancelled out Mendes’ first goal from 30 yards, but the former Tottenham man popped up with yet another goal from outside the area deep into injury time to send Fratton Park into raptures. The win was Portsmouth’s first in five games and moves them to within six points of safety in the fight against the drop. Winning manager Harry Redknapp sounded mighty relieved afterwards, and it was alleged in some journals that the victory had saved Redknapp his job. You could almost hear him blowing out his cheeks in relief afterwards when he said: “If we didn’t win today we were dead and buried. It has given the players a lift and the fans a lift. It’s going to be hard but you can only keep going and what today’s result has done is keep us in there. It was no more than Pedro Mendes deserved because he was fantastic today. He hits balls like that in training. He’s been doing it all week and we said ‘save one for Saturday Pedro’, well he saved two!”

Not So Cute: NPsycho managed to be analytical of his team’s performance, despite the crushing disappointment of conceding such a late goal. “I thought we worked hard enough to get something, I thought we deserved a point,” he stated. “But once it went to 1-1 we should have kept our shape better than we did, and when we broke on them we had to be better than we were. Both teams wanted three points, neither wanted just a point. We thought to ourselves that we could get something here and we wanted a win. At 1-1 we had three or four players stood up front while my two centre-halves, who I thought were magnificent, were working their socks off. They needed a touch more help and a bit more shape around the team. Also we lacked a cutting edge up front and it cost us. We could have been a lot more cute. The game finished up end to end because both teams wanted the three points but we should have changed our formation a bit. The goals we conceded I don’t think my defenders could do anything about it. The lad finished well although we might have challenged better outside the area. We had a few youngsters out there at the end but I’m not making excuses. Once we got back to 1-1 we had the opportunities and they were vulnerable. We’ve grafted extremely well in some games but our away form has not balanced what we’ve done at home. We’ll learn from that.”

Productive Shift: He may look like Freddie Mercury circa 1973, but “Gorgeous” Georgios Samaras still looks good to most City supporters as he scored his fourth goal in eight games to pave the way for a 2-1 home victory over Aston Villa in the FA Cup fifth-round replay on Monday night. City now meet West Ham United at the COMS in a quarter-final tie. Greek international Samaras, who joined City from Dutch club Heerenveen for six million pounds in January, opened the scoring after 17 minutes. He raced clear of the defence and slotted in the rebound after his first effort was parried by ‘keeper Thomas Sorensen. Villa continued to struggle and their former striker Darius Vassell added a second goal for City from close range after good work by Albert Riera four minutes into the second half. City went close to a third when Antoine Sibierski headed against the post two minutes later. Villa rarely threatened until midfielder Steven Davis pulled one back with his eighth goal of the season in the 85th minute. “I thought we played pretty well tonight,” SP said on Sky Sports after the game. “It would’ve been nice to win the game 2-0 but I was absolutely proud of my players and their attitude and application. I don’t ever doubt their battling quality. I’m pleased for our chairman that we’re in the next round.” One worry was the sight of Samaras limping off at half-time and Pearce is praying the injury is not serious. “We’re hoping he’s just got a dead leg. He’s got a bit of bruising around the knee. We’ll know more tomorrow.” Later on SP mused that “I thought everyone went out and put a hell of a shift in for the club, the players were superb. On the run of play they deserved to win the game more comfortably than the last cavalry charge deserved. You have got to be happy to go into the next round of the FA Cup and to have a home draw. We try to set a high tempo here with these fans, they want to get off the edge of their seat and support the club. When we are playing well we are a high-tempo side who are up and at the opposition.” Man of the match Albert Riera and Kiki Musampa got special mentions. “I thought Kiki was outstanding in central midfield, Albert Riera did a lot of the nasty side of the game that he doesn’t particularly enjoy.”

Crazy Trophy Talk: “I think I could retire happy from management if I did that!” smiled SP when asked what it would mean to lead City to their first leading trophy since 1976. “Whether we’re good enough to win the FA Cup, I’ve no idea,” the manager said. “But if you ask me whether our supporters are desperate to win a trophy and whether they deserve to after following the club to the second division, I would say yes, they deserve some payback. Our last trophy was so long ago it does not weigh us down,” insisted Pearce. “In some ways, it actually takes the pressure off us. Look at Manchester United. They are weighed down by pressure because they are so used to winning things. Then, all of a sudden, Chelsea come along and because it is not so easy to win the Premier League any more, they got into a League Cup Final desperate to win it just so they can bring in a trophy once every two years.”

No-Too Dreary O’Leary: For a man whose whinges can rival Bryan Robson in the volume of their bellyaching, defeated Villa boss was uncharacteristically placid in his after-match views. The former spendthrift Leeds boss man said: “It wasn’t our night and I feel sorry for the supporters. They were terrific and they have to drive home knowing we’re out of the cup for another year. I can’t fault the players for effort, but the simple fact is that we gifted them two goals and it was asking too much to come back from that. The second goal was a killer, coming so soon after the break and then our goal came too late to make a difference. Maybe if Steven Davis’ goal had come 20 minutes earlier, we might have been able to force the game into extra-time, but we left it too late.”

Squad News

The Great Lee-P Forward: Lee Croft has confirmed that he’s has put pen to paper and signed a new deal, which will see him through to the summer of 2008. “I signed a new deal on Tuesday, it’s an extension for another two years after this year, so I’m really delighted about that,” said the winger. “I’m glad to be here and hopefully I’ll look forward for my chance [of first team action] now.” The 20-year-old added: “There was an option last year of signing for longer, but I thought to myself that if I sign for just the year, I’ve still got the incentive to come out and push on. I ended the season quite well getting a few games and I wanted to have the drive this season to pick up where I left off. The Manager’s spoken to me and he thinks I’ve done that. I’ve been in and around the squad for most of the season – so it’s a bit of reward really.”

Ins and Outs: There’s news of one out and two to stay this week. The departure may only be a temporary one though; defender Mikkel Bischoff has joined Sheffield Wednesday on loan for a month. Owls’ boss Paul Sturrock watched the Danish defender in the Reserves’ victory against Wigan, then acted quickly in taking the 24-year-old to Hillsborough. Bischoff has previously enjoyed two successful loan periods at Wolves last season and will now attempt to regain his match fitness at the Sheffield club. Meanwhile, a former loanee at Hillsborough, Nicky Weaver, will be offered the chance to continue his City career after SP confirmed the goalkeeper has been offered a new deal. Nicky, still just 27, has endured a nightmare few years with injury but this season has put his worries behind him with a spell out on loan Sheffield Wednesday. And an even more venerable squad member may be enticed to stay with the Blues for one more year – Andy Cole is expected to sign new one-year contract this week. Cole, 34, has earned an extended stay with the Blues after scoring nine Premiership goals this season. City boss Pearce said: “We’re hopeful it can be put to bed this week.”

Don Barrie <news(at)>


Roy Clarke was a complete gent I knew him from his 40 club days with Tudor Thomas and then the City social club, which my grandad Charlie Locke used to license, He did his best to bring the World Cup games to City and all was agreed until at the last minute Matt Busby intervened; anyone know how? and got the cantilever built at United with a £2 million grant, which gave them boxes and a springboard to commercial success with the corporates denied to City ’til so recently (the b*****d leaned on someone somehow).

Roy was a delight to drop in on as I did occasionally when I was in my teens in the 70s – he was in City’s employ for all his life – him and Stan Gibson RIP.

Roy thanks for being a super guy and a true gentleman who had time for everyone.

You will be sadly missed, a true antidote to the days of Barton and Savage, and I’m told he was a mean winger in his day for City.

Simon Moorehead <simonmoorehead(at)>


I can remember City signing the young and talented Roy Clarke from Cardiff City. He had been making a name for himself in South Wales, and we were all enthusiastic about the signing. A fast and direct winger, he was sometimes accused of putting his head down and running, without necessarily being aware of his teammates, but that criticism was a bit harsh. He ran himself into the ground week after week for City, and in those days there was a real affection between fans and players (possibly because they didn’t earn all that much more than the supporters?), and no City player was held in greater affection than “Our Nobby”.

He was capped by Wales and played in the same Welsh team as our captain Roy Paul. Nobby was an important member of my favourite City side – the one that reached Wembley twice in succession, and in fact his goal in the Villa Park semi-final against Sunderland was my favourite City goal of all time. Hard to believe, but in those days Sunderland were an extremely strong and physical side and included the one and only Len Shackleton. How we got through that game I’ll never know, but we certainly wouldn’t have if an exhausted Nobby hadn’t hurled himself horizontally above the mud to head a sublime winner. The ball must have weighed a ton, as it was one of the old leather cased variety that absorbed the wet. A pity that Newcastle United won the other semi, as I’m pretty sure we would have beaten York City in the final!

Some of my fondest moments as a City supporter include contributions made by Roy Clarke, and if any of his family are reading this, may I assure them that there are still some of us who remember him with great affection. My official souvenir brochure from the 1954-5 cup run describes him thus: “one of the most loyal servants City have ever had.” Hear, hear!

David Buxton <dbbuxton(at)>


Without doubt an improvement on Sunderland – David O’Leary is probably safe for now. But again a game that we largely dominated was ended with us hanging on. We weren’t helped by an unsatisfactory refereeing performance with repeated attempts to get Villa into the game with imaginary fouls, giving free kicks just outside our penalty area and a failure to see a brutal karate kick to Samaras’s back and a blatant dive by Mellberg to get Samaras a booking. Samaras scored the first in what may become trademark fashion – depriving a defender of the ball and hitting a shot hard at the ‘keeper – in this case scoring (very well) off the rebound. Vassell added the second – well deserved after a good game – deflecting a Riera shot into goal. Riera had the best game I’ve seen him play. Richards continues to be a revelation – still some defensive naïvities, but the guy has real presence. So perhaps City are saving their “real” team for the cup.

David Lewis <dfl(at)>


FA Premiership
Portsmouth 2 Manchester City 1
Fratton Park
Sat Mar 11th 2006, Kick-off 15:00
Attendance: 19,556.

Team Changes: Sun and Barton replace Distin and Riera in the starting line-up.
Line-up: James, Sun, Dunne, Richards, Jordan (Ireland, 75), Sinclair (Croft, 46), Barton, Reyna (B. Wright-Phillips, 69), Musampa, Samaras, Vassell.
Unused subs: Weaver, Thatcher.

Goal times: (60) 0-1 Mendes; (83) 1-1 Dunne; (93) 1-2 Mendes.
Bookings: None.
Sent off: None.
Referee: M. Halsey.

Stats points: Richard Dunne’s 200th start for City, and Claudio Reyna’s 50th League start.

Steve Kay <steve(at)>


I made my annual trip back to see City. I had to be at a meeting in New Haven, Connecticut, so it was obvious that the quickest way to there from San Francisco was via COMS.

What a game. As much as I always enjoy coming back to see City I can’t see that there has been any real improvement since last year. True, we could still creep into Europe but it is going to take a real effort. The more I have watched City on TV, the more I think the problem continues to lie in the midfield – with very little creativity and, as someone mentioned in Monday’s report, no quality holding midfield player. I still think that that is where we need some quality, proven players.

I note that Distin is making some noises. I find it difficult to really blame him. Last year we missed Europe by a few seconds and one poorly struck penalty. This year we seem to be treading water at best. Though some of the Academy players have shown their promise but they need some steady hands to help them progress.

I don’t think we get the Cup replay tomorrow over here but we will get the next round live if we get through.

My seat for the Sunderland game was near the corner, to the left of the dugouts, at the end where the standing, sitting goes on. I found it very odd indeed that many, many stewards have to spend all their time making people sit down who are there to encourage the team. But I won’t go on: much more experienced fans than myself have spoken on this topic.

I think we have exactly the right manager at the moment, but let’s not get carried away. He is learning the rôle; what on earth was that substitution against Sunderland when Sun was brought on? He is certainly not ready to be England manager but I’d like to hope he will be given some funds this summer to solve the central midfield problem. I don’t think Reyna or Musampa solve it at the moment, who knows if Barton will still be around.

Nevertheless it was great to be back and do you think I should reserve a Saturday in early May just in case…?

John Pearson <john.pearson(at)>


An interesting and complimentary article appears in the 9th March issue of Accountancy Age (no I am not an accountant, a friend let me have a copy).

It’s about our very own CEO Alistair Mackintosh, who the writer describes as a friendly, quietly spoken and financially astute Chartered Accountant.

He talks about our highly publicised debt in the context of risk management and says the position is fully understood and considered to be well managed.

He refers to the debt itself, which remains high at around £60 million, being well structured: £30 million repays over 25 years and £14 million over 15 years. The debt is secured on the stadium, which although leased for 250 years, is as good as a freehold interest. Despite popular reports like being “saddled with debt”, he says that the club is in better shape than it has been for years although he does refer to debt management balanced with investment (that means new players). He cites Leeds United, who invested on a model based on continuing European football, as a prime example of a club going too far.

He runs a cost benefit analysis of every aspect of the stadium – he says it’s easy to find people who will design anything – but it must be made to work.

He is described as a Chartered Accountant at the top of his game, he trained with Price Waterhouse working across audit and corporate recovery with secondments at IBM and Shell. He is hoping that the skills he has gained with us will lead to some involvement with the 2012 Olympic Games but not in an executive capacity. The article suggests that he is held in such high esteem that fans should be more concerned about losing him than SP – now that might be taking matters a bit too far!

He does well with the balancing act of managing risk while at the same time not strangling the club’s ambition. He talks of flexible contracts with players, with wages being monitored against turnover and wage budgets being linked to where you are in the Premiership. This seems like eminently good sense to me, I know my wages are linked to performance and I bet many other readers are as well – why can’t this apply to footballers? Give them a decent basic and a huge performance bonus (my opinion). Needless to say that Nick Humby, FD at Manure doesn’t altogether agree but sees some merits in AMac’s policy. Then again, they are in a different league financially to us, it might be interesting to see what might happen in a prolonged period lacking in success. It was refreshing to hear him say that the Joey Barton outburst was a natural part of negotiations over players’ wages (which, let’s face it, it is and there is no point in all of this anti-Barton stuff just because he asks for more money) and that he doesn’t like to negotiate through Sky TV (the inference here being he was annoyed that someone seems to have let this out).

All in all we seem to have a skilful and sensible man at the top; I got the feeling that our finances are in safe hands with Mr Mackintosh and long may that continue.

Alan Lingard <Alan.Lingard(at)>


The club are supposed to read MCIVTA aren’t they? Well I see that Charlton, West Ham and other clubs have paid for coaches to take their fans to away games etc.

I think the club, or the players, should subsidise the Chelsea tickets by £10 a ticket. They could send everyone who bought a ticket a £10 cheque (rather than charge them £1.50 for the privilege of paying £48 a ticket). City have spent money on marketing City, so this would be great PR and would cost less than £15,000 – which was 3 days’ wages for Fowler.

I would also get a cheque for £20.

Andrew Godman <Andrew.Goodman(at)>


Rewatching the City-Portsmouth game I was shocked by the naïvety in which we played the last few minutes of a game. No wonder our away form is so appalling.

With about 50 seconds to go and City holding on to a 1-1 draw, one of our

forwards, I believe it was Lee Croft, was attacking with the ball on the right wing, deep in Portsmouth’s half. But instead of heading for the corner flag and killing off the last few seconds, he tries to win the match with a shot on goal. We all know what happened next. The ball is hoofed downfield, Pompey win a corner and score with the last kick of the match.

If City are ever going to go anywhere, they have to know how to protect a lead or a draw in the last two or three minutes of a match. To see points tossed away in the last few seconds of the game is sickening.

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


Here follows my somewhat predictable response to the excellent piece of prose from Andy Morris. Without his sense of wisdom I don’t think I would have seen the light for quite some time to come!

To be fair and serious though, my personal view is that Andy does miss the point when it comes to standing or sitting or whatever you choose to do at a football. I don’t for one minute think that the majority of fans want to stand – neither do I think that has ever been the case in my time as a City fan. Yes, times change and things move on – some for the better, but not always. It does seem that Andy thinks fans who increasingly feel alienated from the game they love should sit back, adopt an apathetic and passive attitude and perhaps go and watch something else instead. Why should we? The point is: what difference does it make whether I’m stood up at my seat or not? I could accept being told to sit because fans behind me wanted to sit and couldn’t see. As I’ve said before plenty of times on these pages though, that little issue is easily solved. It’s about being able to participate with the match – by getting up or down when I want and for as long as I want. Why should some person in a special luminous jacket donning the word Showsec be able to tell me otherwise? My brother will probably tell you about his “discussion” with Greater Manchester Police on this very issue.

It’s not about safety, it’s about control and it is typical of how fans were treated in grounds before Hillsborough. Football fans in the majority are human beings, not imbeciles, and none of us who frankly pay ridiculous sums of money to watch our team week in, week out deserve to be treated as such. If Andy is happy to passively ignore this fact on the grounds that “nowt’ll ever change dude” then fine – just don’t expect the rest of us to be happy about it and remember that any change in life is brought about by somebody somewhere making a stand.

Back on the subject of changing times, perhaps Andy would make a good agent for Joey Barton because he probably advocates astronomical players’ wages given that it is a “sign of the times” and hey, things do change don’t they? Not always for the better mate!

Graham Keller <gkmcfc(at)>


Anorak’s Final League Position Prediction 2005-6

Well the best that can be said is that City are finally consistent. Put simply, we now win at home and lose away.

Anyway, onto the predictions.

The first prediction (p1) replaces last season’s score with this season’s score (with the relegated clubs replaced by the equivalent promoted clubs).

We beat Portsmouth away last season so we drop a bit, so the prediction formula predicts that we’ll finish on 52 points, which means we miss out on Europe by 3+ points.

The second (p2) is a rolling average that averages how we’ve done so far over the rest of the season. This is calculated as follows, where gr = games remaining, gp = games played, and p = current points total:
p2 = gr/gp * p + p p2 = 09/29 * 40 + 40 = 52 points.

The third (p3) is a rolling average based on the points obtained from the last 6 games played. This is calculated as follows, where ls = points in last 6 games, gr = games remaining and p = current points total:
p3 = ls/6 * gr + p
p3 = 9/6 * 09 + 40 = 54 points.
Better than the other two guides but it would still see us finish short of a European place.

The following table indicates how our form has changed over the season, with the columns specifying:

  • result last season (and the points obtained)
  • result this season (and the points obtained)
  • +3/+1/NC/-1/-3 = change in points from last season (NC = no change)
  • g = gr/gp = games remaining divided by games played
  • p = current points
  • ls = points from the last six games
  • 1, 2, 3 = each points prediction (and league position)

Portsmouth (A) 3-1[3] 1-2[0]-3 g=09/29 p=40 ls=09 1=52(08) 2=52(08) 3=54(08)
Sunderland (H) 3-1[3] 2-1[3]NC g=10/28 p=40 ls=09 1=55(07) 2=54(08) 3=55(07)
Liverpool  (A) 1-2[0] 0-1[0]NC g=11/27 p=37 ls=09 1=55(07) 2=52(08) 3=54(08)
Charlton   (H) 4-0[3] 3-2[3]NC g=12/26 p=37 ls=09 1=55(07) 2=54(08) 3=55(07)
Everton    (A) 1-2[0] 0-1[0]NC g=13/25 p=34 ls=07 1=55(07) 2=52(08) 3=49(10)
Newcastle  (H) 1-1[1] 3-0[3]+2 g=14/24 p=34 ls=07 1=55(07) 2=54(08) 3=50(10)
Bolton     (A) 1-0[3] 0-2[0]NC g=15/23 p=31 ls=04 1=53(08) 2=51(10) 3=41(16)
Man Utd    (H) 0-2[0] 3-1[3]+3 g=16/22 p=31 ls=07 1=53(08) 2=54(08) 3=50(10)
Spurs      (H) 0-1[0] 0-2[0]NC g=17/21 p=28 ls=04 1=50(10) 2=51(10) 3=39(16)
Boro       (A) 3-2[3] 0-0[1]+1 g=18/20 p=28 ls=07 1=50(10) 2=53(08) 3=49(10)
Chelsea    (H) 1-0[3] 0-1[0]-3 g=19/19 p=27 ls=06 1=49(10) 2=54(08) 3=46(11)
Wigan Ath  (A) 3-2[3] 3-4[0]-3 g=20/18 p=27 ls=07 1=52(08) 2=57(07) 3=50(10)
Birmingham (H) 3-0[3] 4-1[3]NC g=21/17 p=27 ls=07 1=55(07) 2=60(05) 3=52(08)
WBA        (A) 0-2[0] 0-2[0]NC g=22/16 p=24 ls=07 1=55(07) 2=57(07) 3=51(10)
Charlton   (A) 2-2[1] 5-2[3]+2 g=23/15 p=24 ls=07 1=55(07) 2=61(04) 3=51(10)
Liverpool  (H) 1-0[3] 0-1[0]-3 g=24/14 p=21 ls=07 1=53(08) 2=57(07) 3=49(10)
Blackburn  (H) 1-1[1] 0-0[1]NC g=25/13 p=21 ls=10 1=56(07) 2=61(04) 3=63(04)
Fulham     (A) 1-1[1] 1-2[0]-1 g=26/12 p=20 ls=09 1=56(07) 2=63(04) 3=59(05)
Villa      (H) 2-0[3] 3-1[3]NC g=27/11 p=20 ls=09 1=57(07) 2=69(04) 3=61(04)
Arsenal    (A) 1-1[1] 0-1[0]-1 g=28/10 p=17 ls=07 1=57(07) 2=65(04) 3=50(10)
West Ham   (H) 2-1[3] 2-1[3]NC g=29/09 p=17 ls=10 1=58(05) 2=72(04) 3=65(05)
Everton    (H) 0-1[0] 2-0[3]+3 g=30/08 p=14 ls=10 1=58(05) 2=67(04) 3=64(04)
Newcastle  (A) 3-4[0] 0-1[0]NC g=31/07 p=11 ls=10 1=55(07) 2=60(05) 3=63(04)
Bolton     (H) 0-1[0] 0-1[0]NC g=32/06 p=11 ls=11 1=55(07) 2=70(04) 3=70(04)
Man Utd    (A) 0-0[1] 1-1[1]NC g=33/05 p=11 ls=12 1=55(07) 2=84(02) 3=77(03)
Portsmouth (H) 2-0[3] 2-1[3]NC g=34/04 p=10 ls=14 1=55(07) 2=95(01) 3=89(02)
Sunderland (A) 2-1[3] 2-1[3]NC g=35/03 p=07 ls=14 1=55(07) 2=89(02) 3=89(02)
Birmingham (A) 0-1[0] 2-1[3]+3 g=36/02 p=04 ls=12 1=55(07) 2=76(04) 3=76(04)
WBA        (H) 0-0[1] 0-0[1]NC g=37/01 p=01 ls=12 1=52(08) 2=38(17) 3=75(04)

[1] 2004-5 Season: Points: 52 Goal Difference: +8 League Position: 8
last5=11, last4=8, last3=7, last2=4 last1=1
[2] Last season’s relegated teams are replaced with:
18: Crystal Palace = Sunderland
19: Norwich City = Wigan Athletic
20: Southampton = West Ham

Richard Mottershead <richardjohnm(at)>


Mark Cohen asked in MCIVTA 1205 if anybody knew the whereabouts of Alfie Haaland. He is currently a director of Norwegian club Bryne FK, the club he played for before his transfer to Nottingham Forest. His contact details can be found on Bryne’s official website:

It’s in Norwegian (not surprisingly) but if you click on “Klubben” then “Administrasjon” you’ll find him third from the top.

Andy Watson <andythejambo(at)>


I am going to be in Eilat (Israel) for the FA Cup quarter final. Will it be on Israeli television (worth bearing in mind that West Ham have Israeli players) and does anybody know of any ‘Blue havens’ to watch the game?

Avi Barr <abarr(at)>


I would like to know if anyone has 2 spare tickets for Spurs away as I have a friend visiting me in London from up North and it coincides with this weekend. Call 07753 914917 or 07970 564638 or email.

Thanks, Darren Wareing <Darren.Wareing(at)>


I’m currently living in Atlanta, USA, but will be in the UK from the 22nd April until the 15 May (yes, just in case!) and am looking to secure seats for all of City’s matches during this time period; home and away, and also cup. If anyone has any spares to sell, or is interested in travelling with me to any of these games – I’ll have a car for my stay, then please get in touch.

Many thanks indeed!

Simon – ex-Maine Road season ticket holder for over a decade – but probably personanon grata to the current MCFC ticket office/CityCard regime :o( <AlienUK(at)>


A Big thank you for the club giving us permission to do the yellow card protest at the Villa game. It went really well and we had loads of support. It also highlighted on the card that the enemy is not the club but the Football Licensing Authority. So people gained a knowledge as well!

The stewards were excellent but I don’t think they will be that good every week as they are just following orders and the root is the F.L.A. Let us at Bluewatch stress again, we have a great knowledge of this issue and the enemy is the F.L.A.; together with the fans of other clubs (standers or sitters), we can solve it. The club has responded really well to everything we have asked concerning protests and we really cannot fault them for that.

We have just asked the club if they canpurchase a mass of ticker tape and the cards to make a mosaic in the crowd for Monday’s game (like the England games). We have said we will volunteeer to set it all out by getting in early. I really believe we can work with the club at giving the players an extra incentive and buzz.

So bring your flags and banners and let’s make COMS a colourful fortress, because you can bet your bottom dollar whoever we play, their fans will come en masse and be as vocal and colourful as ever.

Simon Cooper <actionmcfc(at)>


15 March 2006

Liverpool             5 - 1  Fulham

League table to 15 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         29 14  1  0 35  8 10  2  2 23 10 24  3  2  58  18  40  75
 2 Manchester Utd  28  9  3  1 27  8  9  3  3 29 20 18  6  4  56  28  28  60
 3 Liverpool       30 12  3  1 25  6  5  4  5 14 14 17  7  6  39  20  19  58
 4 Tottenham H.    29  9  5  1 25 12  4  5  5 16 16 13 10  6  41  28  13  49
 5 Arsenal         29 10  2  2 32  9  4  3  8 13 14 14  5 10  45  23  22  47
 6 Blackburn R.    29 10  2  2 24 13  4  2  9 14 21 14  4 11  38  34   4  46
 7 Bolton Wndrs    27  8  4  1 20  7  4  5  5 17 21 12  9  6  37  28   9  45
 8 Wigan Athletic  29  6  2  7 18 19  7  2  5 16 17 13  4 12  34  36  -2  43
 9 West Ham United 28  7  2  5 24 18  5  4  5 18 22 12  6 10  42  40   2  42
10 Manchester City 29  9  2  4 24 13  3  2  9 15 21 12  4 13  39  34   5  40
11 Everton         29  7  1  6 14 16  5  3  7 10 21 12  4 13  24  37 -13  40
12 Newcastle Utd   29  7  5  2 17 10  4  1 10 12 22 11  6 12  29  32  -3  39
13 Charlton Ath.   29  6  3  6 17 17  5  3  6 17 21 11  6 12  34  38  -4  39
14 Aston Villa     29  4  4  6 15 17  4  6  5 18 20  8 10 11  33  37  -4  34
15 Middlesbrough   28  5  5  5 21 24  4  2  7 16 22  9  7 12  37  46  -9  34
16 Fulham          30  9  2  3 25 17  0  3 13 14 34  9  5 16  39  51 -12  32
17 West Brom A.    29  6  1  8 20 19  1  5  8  6 24  7  6 16  26  43 -17  27
18 Birmingham City 28  4  3  7 16 17  2  3  9  7 22  6  6 16  23  39 -16  24
19 Portsmouth      29  3  5  6 10 17  2  1 12 10 32  5  6 18  20  49 -29  21
20 Sunderland      29  0  4 11  9 28  2  0 12 10 24  2  4 23  19  52 -33  10

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0506.02]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

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[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.

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Newsletter #1207