Newsletter #1283

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The main news of the day, which has certainly kept Don busy in preparing the round-up tonight, is the announcement at the AGM by Chairman John Wardle that MCFC are in negotiations with a potential investor/buyer. Opinion is divided around various news and fans’ sources as to whether this is a reality or a timely story to deflect difficult questions at the AGM! The statement coincided with City’s shares being suspended from trading on the market for a spell today. We shall be watching with interest over the next few weeks.

We also have reaction to the Watford game, news of ex-Blues hanging up boots and finally finding scoring boots. As the end of the year draws near, the transfer rumours are hotting up too with links to players at Bordeaux, Colchester, Werder Bremen and Excelsior!

There’s opinion on the Watford game, a novel approach to encouraging teams to play positively, news of the Poppy Shirt auction, match viewing and Distin.

Next up is the small matter of the derby: which City will turn up?

Next game: Manchester United, away, 12.45pm Saturday 9 December 2006


General News

Baton to be Passed? At the club’s AGM today, City chairman John Wardle confirmed that the years-long search for new finance was nearly over, as a possible investor had been identified. “I can confirm that during the past year, we have identified a series of leads in relation to possible investment in the club,” said Wardle. “I can further confirm that we are currently in talks with an investor that may lead to potential investment. Talks are at a very early stage and accordingly we are not yet in a position to disclose the identity of the possible investor.” The press reckoned that £70 million would give the mystery backer control of the club – at the time of writing, the identity of this backer was still not known. Interviewed after making his statement, Wardle revealed that he would step aside if he right offer was made and it helped push City to greater achievements. “Hopefully, something comes of these talks because I would be prepared to pass the baton on if it allowed the club to get back into the honours,” he said. “The board are aware that we need further investment to maintain our challenge in an increasingly competitive and high-finance Premier League. With the new TV deal commencing next season, we are all conscious of the importance of the current campaign. We would welcome the arrival of anyone who could take the club forward with open arms.”

Cut Some Slack: I don’t know how much Stuart Pearce knew of this financial white knight, but earlier in the week he’d been defending John Wardle against allegations that the chairman hadn’t invested enough funds in the club. Pearce has pointed out that Wardle has ploughed £20 million of his own money into City over the past few years. “People should start cutting the chairman a bit more slack,” said SP. “In Roman Abramovich’s world £20 million might be a drop in the ocean but it is a sizeable percentage of our chairman’s personal wealth and just maybe, that money has kept us afloat over the past few years. It is very hard for me when I go to supporters’ meetings and hear people call for the chairman to put his hand in his pocket as if he had never put a penny into the club. I speak to the chairman regularly and I think the criticism hurts, it would if it was directed at me, because it is unfair.”

Callow Youth: There’ll be no repeat of last season’s run to the FA Youth Cup Final. This year’s side fell at the first hurdle, as they lost on penalties to Millwall. City, who were edged out by Liverpool in last year’s two-legged decider, failed to find a goal against Millwall at the New Den despite fielding highly rated striker Daniel Sturridge in their starting line-up. With the sides still goalless after 90 extra-time, Gary Breen missed a decisive penalty in the shoot-out, allowing the Londoners to claim a 6-5 triumph and a place in the last 32.

Not Much to Ask: Your News Editor spends three days of his working week in Sheffield, so imagine his feelings when the FA Cup Third Round draw landed City with an away game at Sheffield Wednesday. The tie will take place on Sunday 7 January, kick-off 3.00pm. Here’s a personal plea from me to Psycho and the boys – after suffering the humiliation in the Carling Cup down the road at Chesterfield already this season, please can you try to secure a win at Wednesday? Dealing with gloating Owls fans is just too much to contemplate…

Transfer News and Gossip

Not Flogging the Rolls Royce: Some say that they’re expensive to maintain, difficult to keep in the right direction and others covet them, but SP has been reiterating his desire to keep hold of his Rolls Royce – which is a reference to Sylvain Distin. “I’ve been talking to Sylvain for a year and a half about a new contract and, as a man, I love the kid,” he says. “I want him here as a player and will continue trying to persuade him to stay – even if it takes us to the last hour of his contract next summer. I don’t think for one minute that when the transfer window is open I can say ‘Oh good, I can sell Sylvain Distin and turn over some money’. I’d rather keep Sylvain and, if the worst comes to worst and he leaves for nothing next summer, then that’s the way of football these days with Bosman free transfers. I’ll do everything in my power to ensure he stays – and anyone else we deem is good enough to stay at the club.” Pearce was speaking on Friday, when memories of Distin’s 70-yard run and finish versus Villa was still fresh. “Sylvain is a Rolls Royce when he gets into his stride and his finish the other night was fantastic,” drooled Pearce. “I would love to say he does that in training every day but he can’t hit a cow’s backside with a banjo normally, so he certainly surprised me the way he tucked it away.” All this enthusiasm for the former City captain is not good news for Tottenham Hotspur, who are the latest club considering a cut-price January bid for Distin.

Marouaned at Bordeaux: You can tell it’s nearly transfer time – the press are full of your club being linked with players you’ve never heard of. For instance. City are now being linked with a loan swoop for Bordeaux forward Marouane Chamakh. The 22-year-old Morocco international says he would welcome the chance to leave the club when the transfer window opens in January. He told But!: “At the start of the season, I wanted a last campaign at Bordeaux so I could leave in the best way. This is still possible, but if there is an offer (in January), clearly I will study it.” Lyon were once viewed as suitors, but the Premiership now appears a more likely destination. And wouldn’t you know it – he is currently sidelined with a knee injury. One report even suggested that Bernado Corradi is set to return to Italy with Chievo Verona, thus explaining SP’s search for a striker. And there’s me thinking it was because City’s four main strikers have been using Sylvain’s banjo for most of the season…

Ready for Another Halford at City? Reports suggest that SP is ready to hijack Sheffield United’s proposed move for Colchester United star Greg Halford. The versatile 21-year-old can play in defence, midfield or attack, and he has already been the subject of a deadline day bid from the Blades. That offer was rejected, but Halford has since insisted he wants to move to the Premiership in January Sheffield United are readying a second bid, but it is thought that City are ready to give Halford an alternative route into the top flight.

Allofs is Aloof: SP has confirmed his admiration for Werder Bremen forward Ivan Klasnic. Klasnic has slipped down the pecking order at the Weserstadion and reports suggest he could depart the club in the January transfer window. “He is a quality front-man with a good goals record and at 26 is at the right age,” Pearce told the Sunday Mirror. This has been denied by Werder’s sporting director Klaus Allofs, who insists there has been no contact from City. “The simplest and fastest way, in order to state an interest, is to call me,” said Allofs. “We must have a strong squad for the end of the season. Each player will be used there. We know that Ivan has great potential.”

What’s the Slory? Thanks to Henk Timmer, who’s sent in a rumour from the Netherlands: “City and Spurs are amongst several clubs said to be interested in Excelsior’s striker Andwelé Slory who is their top scorer with 8 goals in the Dutch premier division. The Surinam-born player, 24, has been a revelation this season. He helped his club getting promoted last season when he scored 14 goals. A couple of weeks ago Feyenoord were said to have taken an option on him. Remember, Excelsior is a satellite club of Feyenoord – both clubs are from Rotterdam. The player’s contract runs until July 2007.”

Ex-Blues’ News

Kinky End? City’s former Georgian genius Georgi Kinkladze has become a free agent after being released by Russian Premier Liga club Rubin Kazan. The 33-year-old, whose contract expired at the end of the 2006 Russian season, will not have his deal renewed after making just four appearances this term. Since leaving Derby County in 2003, the Georgian had spells at Anorthosis Famagusta and Dinamo Tbilisi before signing for Rubin in August 2005.

Paul Calls Me: And at the other end of the skills spectrum – midfielder Paul Bosvelt has announced his decision to quit the game. The 36-year-old is currently with Heerenveen, but he will hang up his boots at the end of the season. “In March I turn 37 and I don’t want to continue playing at the expense of everything,” he told De Telegraaf. “I want to decide myself when I quit and not be carried away from the pitch stumbling.”

Reactions and Comments

Hail the New Dons:

It took a mixture of muscular brutality and of the brilliance of a secondchoice goalie to give Watford a point at the COMS on Monday night, as Cityfailed to capitalize on last week’s superb win at Villa. Instead, the Blueshad to settle for yet another goalless draw. After Nicky Weaver savedbrilliantly from Damien Francis, City piled forward and ‘keeper Richard Leehad to be alert to deny Micah Richards and Georgios Samaras. Watford posedproblems but lacked a cutting edge, Danny Shittu’s header that hit thecrossbar their best chance. City had more opportunities to win it and Leepulled off a super stop to tip away Joey Barton’s free-kick before he deniedBernardo Corradi from six yards. The hosts produced an enterprising end tothe game, but in truth Watford did enough over the 90 minutes to deserve apoint. To this observer it seemed at times that our opponents were Wimbledonin yellow shirts, and SP paid Watford a back-handed compliment – he would’veloved to have played in the game. “Watford were organised, dogged,aggressive… you name it, all the superlatives,” Pearce told Sky Sports. “Itwas like a game in the 70’s and 80’s – it was my old non-league days. Theonly thing I was disappointed with is that my old legs ain’t up to it. Iwould have loved to been involved with that tonight. They stifled us, to bequite honest with you. I thought Shittu got blocks in when he had to, and Ithought the goalkeeper pulled off saves when he had to. They’ll be pleasedwith their point, as this is a very difficult place to come to at the moment.My goalkeeper has not made a save in the second half, so we’ve now gone eightgames and conceded one goal at home. I’ve got to take the positives from it.Myself, the players and the supporters are disappointed that we’ve not wonthe game. But the Premiership is not like that – people don’t lie down andsay ‘Hey, I’m bottom of the league, come and roll me over’. This isn’tItaly, this isn’t Spain. This is England, this is the real world, this is thePremiership. That’s the beauty of it.” Unsurprisingly, Hornets’ boss AdrianBothroyd pronounced himself pleased with his side’s reward. “I’m happy witha point,” Boothroyd told Sky Sports. “I think the first half we attackedvery, very well, we played what Watford play at, we have put a few thingsright I thought. The second half, we had some defending to do, Man City wereon the up and we had to make sure we defended and we did. I thought wedefended superbly well in the second half. All in all, I think City are ingood form at the moment, so to come here and get a point is good for us.”

Paying the Penalty: Most City fans called for a late penalty, but the boss later backed referee Mark Clattenburg. Pearce admitted his immediate reaction was that Jay Demerit had given away a late penalty when Bernardo Corradi went down in the box – but after speaking to his back-room staff he was put straight. “I thought it was at first. But my coaches tell me it wasn’t a penalty, so the referee has got it right,” Pearce told Sky Sports 1. “I am the first to say it was or wasn’t a foul if I think so – but if they get it right I will say ‘well done’.”

Defying Gravity: City performed a neat trick over the football weekend. On Saturday they rose one place in the table, despite not playing. And even a single point here was enough to propel the Blues up yet another place. “We’re in the top half for the first time this season, I’ve got a feeling it was a point gained rather than points lost,” commented SP.

Squad News

New Roo: Interest in him from other clubs may be higher than one of his leaps, but Micah Richards insists he’s happy to be Blue. “I am very happy to be a City player,” he told the club’s website. “I am getting first-team football and playing every week and also representing my country. I don’t think I could ask for more than that. I am really enjoying playing at right-back because it gives me the opportunity to bomb forward and to get into the opposition’s box. It is playing at right-back that has also won me my first England cap too, so I can’t complain. My aims for the rest of the season are to play my best for City, so we can climb up the table and keep my place in the England squad,” he said. “I don’t expect to start over Gary Neville because he is so experienced but it is up to me to play well for my club and keep my place in the national squad.” And ahead of the derby this weekend, Richard Dunne has heaped praise on young Micah. City travel to United on Saturday looking for their first Old Trafford win since they sent the Reds down in 1974 (I remember it well!), and Dunne believes Richards can play a key rôle for the Blues. “Micah is as big to us as Rooney is to United,” said the Irishman. “The difference is United can offer Wayne anything he wants. For us to get into Europe the board have to do us the favour of keeping our players here. It’s a two-way thing.”

Top Hatem: Prior to the Watford game, the club announced that Hatem Trabelsi was the player of the month for November. He told the club website that he was pleased to be making progress at his new club, in a new position. “You can’t play at 100% from the start, every player who comes to England even for the biggest teams has problems adapting to this league,” he said. “It’s quicker here and that causes problems, but taking game after game you start to feel better. I feel better now that I am starting to play regularly, we have played well in the last two games so the atmosphere is good and I hope that we can continue like this.” And what does the former Ajax man make of his new found rôle as a right sided midfielder? “When you play for seven or eight years at right back you feel a little bit different when you have to change position. But, I have experience because I played in that position in Tunisia and for a few games when I was with Ajax. If you have good players around you, you don’t have any problems and you can adapt to any position. Every player has to play in three or four different positions because your manager might have to ask you to play at right back or in midfield, so you have to be ready when that happens.”

It’s Shaun’s Show:

Relight His Fire: It’s not often that another club’s player features so much in the City-related press cuttings. It’s understandable I guess when that player’s Shaun Wright-Phillips. Mr. Pearce once again mooted the thought of SWP returning to City – but only if the finances can afford it. “If the finance was available for Shaun I would be very interested,” said Pearce. “If it isn’t, we are not in the ballpark, it is as simple as that. But I know one thing for sure, the chairman will do everything he can to back me as a manager.” As a player, coach and manager during Shaun’s blossoming at City, SP is uniquely placed to offer his views on the boy. “Shaun just needs to be loved and rekindled again,” said Pearce. “Then, off he will go and his career will start blossoming as it did before when he was at our place. He is a fantastic player. We know him inside out because he has come through the system here and for everyone connected with our club, it would be great if he came back through the door.”

London Calling: We heard more noises from London clubs keen to keep Shaun in the Capital. Thierry Henry for instance wants Arsenal to sign him. “You can rest assured Arsene Wenger will try to – once again – land a few bargains in January,” said Henry. “Even using the loan system, there are top-class players who would jump at the chance of first-team football. One player who springs to mind is Chelsea’s Shaun Wright-Phillips. If he could be picked up on loan, I’m sure he could do a great job, given half a chance.” Way out East, West Ham’s new owner Eggert Magnusson reckons his club are chasing our former winger. “I know Peter Kenyon well and I think we will sit down and try to find the right fee, whatever that might be,” Magnusson told BBC Radio Five Live. Chelsea’s Chief Executive highlighted the club’s position: “We’re not looking to sell our players but if we get an offer we’ll have to look at it on a serious basis.”

Still Blue: And finally Shaun got to see some serious action this week for his current club, after scoring the goal that clinched Chelsea’s 2-0 Champions’ League win over Levski Sofia. He insists he’s going nowhere, by the way. “I don’t want to leave – so why should I want to go anywhere?” he said, after scoring a spectacular clincher, his 20-yard shot rounding off a mazy run at the defence (his first ever goal for Chelsea, by the by). Scoring that goal “means a lot to me, to be honest. The lads have given me lots of encouragement to do it.”

Don Barrie <news(at)>


Well what a load of rubbish that was, I really don’t think we deserved a point. Thank goodness we have a solid back five.

We didn’t seem to want the ball, to chase the ball, to pass the ball. You can blame the conditions all you like, but when a City player passes to another City player four yards away and a Watford player receives it, something’s wrong.

Sure, Watford weren’t pretty either, but at least they put an effort in, they hustled and bustled, City just seem to be waiting for someone else to do the business.

Still, life goes on, have to make up the time at work now, luckily I’m self employed!

I read recently that City have origins from the Masons. Gee, that’s like walking hand in hand with the Devil.

Back to work.

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


Not much to say about this game other than “scrappy and frustrating”.

I just hope that the City players are keeping something for the United game on Saturday.

Come on you Blues, beat the Rags and today’s performance will be forgotten.

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


I cannot understand why coaches spend so much time money and effort to get their coaching qualifications then put teams out playing in a way that I saw in the Watford match. I was embarrassed watching on TV and feel sorry for those who went spending money to go to the game. It was the worst sort of football I have seen in years.

SP said it was football from the seventies. Well Stuart, I followed City all over in those days and cannot remember crap like the other night. It was pub football plain and simple, only the players are fitter and stronger but the quality is the same. I can only think of one thing to stop the mind-numbing rubbish put out the other night and that is a points reduction to the guilty teams. We expect to be entertained don’t we, or am I missing something?

The Watford manager certainly did not learn to play that way on the coaching course he took, so what is he trying to do? OK he took a point off City but he could have done that by playing football.

No wonder crowds are down. I am coming over for the Blackburn game in January and I hope I do not see any more of what was put out the other night. I have spent the last 25 years living close to the old and new Ajax stadiums and in all those years I have hardly seen them as they are not my team but they play the game how it should be played, skill, technique and entertainment. Every player in Holland is brought up to play that way from the local village team onwards so why do some English coaches take that away from their players?

I am down the Blarney Stone in Amsterdam for the Rags on Saturday and I know there will be a different City for that game. There better be.

Bob Price <bob.price(at)>


Amazing. Weeks to go till the transfer window opens and Distin starts to perform. I wonder why? Don’t let a few good performances fool us. Let him go and bring SWP back, we need a class act.

If Pearce got the tactics right why did he c**k up against a team whom we know would be coming to get a point (Watford)?

My problem is I get P’d off with the way the club treats the fans. I remember a few seasons ago going to the ground for tickets and being treated like a piece of dirt by some idiot in the ticket office. Now I get e-mails virtually begging me to take a ticket for the games against the teams who don’t have any supporters.

Sam Duxbury <member(at)>


Following on from Stephen Mann’s comment in 1282, I too had problems with the Villa match. Not the first time either. Judging by the number of comments posted on the site, there were a number of City fans just as frustrated.

My money was returned promptly though.

It seems that these site are now being hit by the crackdown. I won’t be using it again – it’s so frustrating when you have built yourself up for the game!

Keith Strachan <keith.strachan(at)>


Ship Magnates of the World, United they take over.

Apologies if this has been touched upon already, time constraints haven’t allowed me to pore over the last few issues of MCIVTA in as great a depth as I’d prefer. However, wasn’t Eggert Magnusson the ‘Huge City Fan’ sniffing around the rickety financial fabric our very own ‘East End’ club a season or so ago?

I’m not entirely concerned by the fact that the Irons can muster such financial clout (however much it may be), but slightly perturbed by the shrugging resignation that we can’t.

If you cannae get one of ‘yer own’ onside, then what have we got? I must admit though, they can have as much moolah flung at ’em as they so wish, we are, and will be forevermore Manchester City. Mr Egg’ead Magnusson, on the other hand, may find himself in a head lock, if I could just get my arm around the jug-ear’d turncoat.

[This sent before today’s surprising news from the AGM – Ed]

Joel Perry – Rain-soaked but still smiling <j.perry(at)>


Blimey Charlie. Have you seen the ebay auction for the shirts worn by City players on 11th November? Dunney’s shirt is up to over a grand! And from the photo’s, it looks like they haven’t been washed either.

[We don’t normally include plugs for Ebay, but an exception here as this is for a deserving charity and still has time to run, well done! – Ed]

John Nisbet <nisbet1957(at)>


I will be in Dallas, Texas for Derby Day. Are there any City fans based there that will be getting together for the game? Failing that, does anyone know of any pubs or bars that will be open early enough to broadcast the game? Game is being shown live on Setanta Sports US.

Martin Prendergast <martinjprendergast(at)>


6 December 2006

Newcastle United      3 - 2  Reading               48,182
West Ham United       0 - 2  Wigan Athletic        33,805

5 December 2006

Charlton Athletic     1 - 0  Blackburn Rovers      23,423
Tottenham Hotspur     2 - 1  Middlesbrough         34,154

4 December 2006

Manchester City       0 - 0  Watford               35,915

3 December 2006

Everton               2 - 0  West Ham United       32,968

2 December 2006

Arsenal               3 - 0  Tottenham Hotspur     60,115
Blackburn Rovers      2 - 0  Fulham                16,799
Portsmouth            2 - 2  Aston Villa           20,042
Reading               1 - 0  Bolton Wanderers      23,556
Sheffield United      2 - 1  Charlton Athletic     27,368
Wigan Athletic        0 - 4  Liverpool             22,089
Middlesbrough         1 - 2  Manchester United     31,238

League table to 06 December 2006 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Manchester Utd  16  6  1  1 17  3  7  1  0 18  5 13  2  1  35   8  27  41
 2 Chelsea         15  6  1  0 14  3  5  1  2 11  5 11  2  2  25   8  17  35
 3 Arsenal         15  4  4  0 16  4  3  0  4  9  8  7  4  4  25  12  13  25
 4 Portsmouth      16  5  2  1 14  6  2  2  4  7  8  7  4  5  21  14   7  25
 5 Liverpool       16  6  2  0 14  3  1  2  5  5 12  7  4  5  19  15   4  25
 6 Reading         16  5  1  2 11  9  3  0  5  8 12  8  1  7  19  21  -2  25
 7 Everton         16  5  2  1 13  5  1  4  3  7 10  6  6  4  20  15   5  24
 8 Aston Villa     16  4  3  1 12  7  1  6  1  7  8  5  9  2  19  15   4  24
 9 Bolton Wndrs    16  4  1  3  8  7  3  2  3  7  8  7  3  6  15  15   0  24
10 Tottenham H.    16  6  1  1 12  6  0  3  5  3 14  6  4  6  15  20  -5  22
11 Wigan Athletic  15  3  2  2 10 10  3  1  4  9 10  6  3  6  19  20  -1  21
12 Manchester City 16  4  4  0  7  1  1  1  6  6 16  5  5  6  13  17  -4  20
13 Fulham          16  4  1  3  7  7  1  4  3  9 16  5  5  6  16  23  -7  20
14 Blackburn R.    15  3  2  3 10  9  1  2  4  3  9  4  4  7  13  18  -5  16
15 Newcastle Utd   15  3  2  3  9  9  1  2  4  3  8  4  4  7  12  17  -5  16
16 Middlesbrough   16  4  1  3  7  9  0  3  5  6 12  4  4  8  13  21  -8  16
17 Sheff. United   16  2  3  3  9 11  2  1  5  2  9  4  4  8  11  20  -9  16
18 West Ham United 16  4  1  3  8  8  0  1  7  2 12  4  2 10  10  20 -10  14
19 Charlton Ath.   16  3  2  3  6  7  0  1  7  6 16  3  3 10  12  23 -11  12
20 Watford         15  1  4  2  7  7  0  3  5  3 13  1  7  7  10  20 -10  10

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1283



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