Newsletter #1284

Saturday’s result belies the input from the City team, but some poor defending and our inability to finish meant we came away with nul points and at the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline. Although everyone’s favourite referee possibly had an impact. We have match views tonight, together with a look back at recent results and a review of the AGM.

Next up, Spurs visit for yet another non Saturday 3pm kick-off.

Next game: Tottenham Hotspur, home, 3pm Sunday 17 December 2006


I am afraid that I can’t give a report on this game since for some reason Sky sent an entirely different game to my television than all of the commentaries and reports I have seen.

In the game that I saw, Ferdinand kicked Richards in the face whilst Richards was standing upright and there was no indication from the referee that this was violent conduct or dangerous play. A little while later Vassell performs an overhead kick playing the ball and not being near to making contact with anyone and a free kick is given. Thatcher was booked for a relatively innocuous obstruction whilst Rooney gets a smile for hacking an opponent’s legs from under him.

In short we had a set of match officials playing to two rule books: stringent rules for City and more lenient ones for the Rags – no wonder Taggart likes Poll so much.

The Corradi incident again appeared quite differently on my screen – the first booking was for jumping with a raised arm, shouldn’t be done but happens a dozen times in every Premiership game. It wouldn’t have been given against the Rags given that they were allowed to kick opponents in the face without penalty. The second was difficult, Pearce and the pundits are saying that it was a terrible dive – maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t – only Corradi knows. What I saw was Corradi twisting between two players and stepping on the foot of O’Shea; did that throw him off balance? Who knows? Certainly not Graham Poll. Was this Graham Poll being the great “I am” seeing an opportunity to show how he stands up against divers? Who knows? What I know is that Ronaldo’s fall had less explanation than this, what I know is that this happens several times in most Premiership games. Should it stop? Absolutely – but now we must see this decision taken in every case; if not then City have been singled out again.

Thatcher, right or wrong, was dealt with by bending the normal F.A. rules that where a referee takes action during the game, the matter is closed. I haven’t seen any other exceptions made to that rule since although I have seen incidents that would warrant it. Consistency is needed and it wasn’t in evidence at the Swamp just as it wasn’t in evidence when City played Arsenal last season with this same referee.

Returning to the football, in the game that I saw this is the best I’ve seen City play this season in terms of spirit and commitment. Sadly, we still lack any real striking power and made three silly slips that were punished heavily. Even so, had we not been playing against fourteen I think we would have got a result. Keep it up.

David Lewis <dfl(at)>


A bad start by the City defence give United a fast start after five minutes, when Distin went to hack at the ball and missed it completely; he had plenty of time to control the ball and clear it. The Rags got a second goal, this time because of another defensive error by Dunne.

During the first half Richards headed towards goal only for Samaras to stop the ball going over the line, and then missing himself. Samaras did have one very good shot that brought the ‘keeper to full stretch with a fine save. However, it was United who had most of the possession during the first half.

Being 2-0 down, City showed more passion in the second half and Trabelsi got a great goal to bring out some fight by City.

United got a third goal that looked way offside; I am puzzled how the official on the sideline did not see this for he was directly in line with the offside player. Looking again, I think the ball hit Dunne first, which played the United player onside.

With just minutes left Corradi dived in the penalty area and got a red card; it would never have needed video replay for it was so blatant, I don’t care which team the player plays for, I am against cheats.

Nicky Weaver tried his best as always, and it was sad to see him injure his knee again. Micah Richards was another casualty in this tribal war. I, like other City Supporters, hope all injuries are minor ones.

Why do we play not as well away from home? The answer is simple: it’s down to the mentality of the players. Let’s hope that City can beat the Rags at home.

Today I have to put my hands up and say United deserved their win (and I hate having to say that).

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


I was proud on Saturday afternoon – not mainly of the impressive display doomed to failure by three schoolboy defending errors, but of the manager’s comments afterwards concerning Corradi’s pathetic antics.

He declined to offer the bullshit spouted by other managers – a clear reference to Ferguson’s disgraceful defence of Ronaldo last week – and said he would ‘have a word’ with the player.

With 19 Premiership managers following that example, diving would be extinct in no time. Well done SP.

Peter Gibson <peterlgibson(at)>


Got up early in New Zealand to watch the ‘big’ game. Guess was not too surprised by the result, but if only…

They say Dustin and Dunne are so good yet when they have an off day like last Saturday, what a pair they make! If Dustin does not sign, then sell him for what City can get in the January transfers. I am sure City have other players who can play alongside Dunne. Get the money to help buy a goalscorer as we need goals.

If City had just got the extra goals in the 4 home draws and turned those away 0-1 defeats into 1-1 draws, City would be in the top 6 now! Guess not much more to add about the game, could have been 2-2 but that’s City for you.

On the plus side was Isaksson, who looks like a good ‘keeper, and Ireland, both of whom played well in the second half.

So not won since 1974 at Old Trafford, yes I was there that ‘now famous day’ Law put into United goal and the Reds went down, seems only like yesterday. Those were the days!

Have you heard of the New Zealand football club called ‘NZ Knights’, a club who are at the bottom of the Australian league and have sacked their manager. There is talk of a big name manager taking over, one of City’s old managers – Alan (I won a World Cup medal) Ball. Yes, I guess they are that hard up!

“Club is in talks with a potential investor” – bring it on!

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas to City fans around the world from one Manchester lad (well, was some 50 years ago) who now lives in Kiwiland, New Zealand.

Thanks to all who help with MCIVTA, you do a great job.

CTID, John Lim <johncity(at)>


This took place on Thursday 7th December at 10am, but the really big news happened before the meeting, with the news on BBC Radio Manchester (I really do listen) that City were in talks with a potential investor. The cynic in me, and numerous others (and there’s more cynic in me than there is water) thought that the timing was a little suspicious but who wouldn’t be delighted with the right sort of investment?

After tea and coffee at Asda we wandered over to CoMS. There was a very good crowd at the meeting, probably around 400-500 which, like last year, was held in a tent on the concourse. I have to compliment the club on the way they do the logistics; you can see and hear even at the back and there are plenty of people with microphones for people to ask questions.

The board, including new signing Mark Boler, plus Bernard Halford and Stuart Pearce were sat at the top table. The AGM is a formal meeting where there are a number of resolutions to be voted on including formal adoption of the accounts (and it’s amazing how many accounts don’t have parents) and re-election of the directors.

The first thing was a statement by John Wardle that went over much the same ground as the one in the last AGM. He said that just surviving in the Premiership was not classed as success at Manchester City. He also mentioned the possible investor but, as expected, said that things were not yet at a stage where they could name names. He praised the Academy and the City in the Community programme and no-one could argue with that.

Then it was into the first resolution, namely the adoption of the accounts. I had a number of questions on the figures but didn’t really get any answers that I was happy with. As an example, I asked how much of the £5 million fall in deferred income was attributable to lower season ticket sales. The answer was a long discourse on falling attendances in the Premiership and what we are doing about it, when all I wanted was a simple figure.

The next item was the re-election of two of the directors, Mark Boler and Dennis Tueart, and this was duly done. KPMG were re-appointed as auditors and the resolution about the ability of the directors to issue share capital that no one understands was also passed. Given that the directors have very close to 50% of the shares then it would be very surprising if the resolutions didn’t go the way they wanted.

With the formal business out of the way, we moved onto the general Q&A. I’m not going to go through all the questions but some of the highlights were:

What were the board doing about Distin? The response was that they didn’t want him to leave and were still talking but wouldn’t talk about any offers.

What was the name of the stadium, someone asked? AM said that this was dictated by the council and we had been given a few choices but that City of Manchester stadium was the one they felt was best. There was a question about naming rights and it was revealed that we could name the stands under the terms of the lease but not the stadium itself. The situation was under review.

Someone asked whether SP’s attitude to referees encourages them to fail to give us key decisions and that it would be nice to hear him say sometimes that the ref got it wrong. SP laughed and said he called it as he saw it and wasn’t going to change.

There was a question about the sale of SWP and the fact that we would have made a loss if we hadn’t sold him. AM said that we had made an operating profit and that some of the largest expenses in the accounts were accounting transactions, which made things look worse than they were. You should have read my articles Alistair.

An interesting question was asked about any provisions in place for repayment of the loans if the worst were to happen to John Wardle. This caused some chuckles from the top table but the answer was that it had been considered.

Our non-ownership of the ground was the subject of another question and whether this affected our ability to attract investment. AM replied that possibly it did but the upside was that we wouldn’t be attractive to property speculators.

The question of how the club could encourage share ownership was raised. AM rightly replied that it was impossible for the club to manage what brokers did. It would be easier in many ways if there was only one main shareholder but as there wasn’t they would publicise a number of websites that had identified suitable brokers. We have already done this on the Supporters’ Trust blog so if you want to buy shares then please look there.

The question of the Supporters’ Trust was raised and AM said the club were open-minded and were in dialogue with Supporters Direct. I swear I saw his nose grow a couple of inches when he said this!

The UEFA Cup final was mentioned, with a plea that it would be nice to take part in it at our own stadium. “Message received & understood” replied SP.

However, the best question came when the MC, Paul McDowell said “This is going to be the last question” after a relatively short time. The questioner asked “Why is this going to be the last question?” and John Wardle, to his great credit, allowed the session to go on. I was critical last year over the cutting short of the Q&A session but have to say well done to the board for not doing so this year. There were also some excellent questions but the bloke who clearly thought it was “open mike” night at the Comedy Club was probably the most memorable, even if no one could work out what his question was!

We trooped out to have tea and coffee and I met some great people, many of whom I previously knew only by name but finally got the chance to put a face to the name. We continued over at the City Social (and a jolly nice place it is too if you’ve never been there) and that was that. The big question is will we still see the same faces on the top table next year? Time will tell.

Colin Savage <colin(at)>


I’m sure that lots of people will make the same comment regarding Xmas coming early for United with Santa’s helpers – Dunnie and Distin – giving out early presents of goals to Rooney, Saha and Ronaldo. They have both been brilliant this season but yesterday they looked as if they met each other in the tunnel prior to the game.

The team is lacking generally, but the biggest problem – and it was highlighted time and again against United – is a lack of a goal scorer. Corradi is a waste of a shirt and although he did score two great goals a few weeks ago, he is not the answer. Nobody attacks the ball coming into the box. On 60 minutes yesterday, Samaras hit a brilliant ball to the near post. The ball had travelled 20 metres before Corradi reacted and this was not an isolated incident. Samaras is just as guilty.

When Gerrard scored against us recently, Fowler was on the move looking for a rebound, deflection etc, as soon as Gerrard got possession and was pulling the trigger. Saha and Rooney are reactive and don’t wait for the ball to come to them.

We desperately need a goal poacher, Cole, Goater, Owen, Fowler (10 years ago) or the like. No goals = no points. To drop points against Watford, Sheffield United, Charlton and the like is pathetic.

Barton is being asked to run the midfield by himself as Reyna, Hamaan, Vassell, Sinclair are not the answer.

The January transfer window is the key to our season if we spend wisely. Otherwise it’s all doom and gloom from here on in.

Malcolm Clelland <clelland(at)>


10 December 2006

Chelsea               1 - 1  Arsenal               41,917

9 December 2006

Manchester United     3 - 1  Manchester City       75,858
Blackburn Rovers      1 - 3  Newcastle United      19,225
Liverpool             4 - 0  Fulham                43,189
Middlesbrough         1 - 1  Wigan Athletic        23,638
Portsmouth            2 - 0  Everton               19,528
Tottenham Hotspur     5 - 1  Charlton Athletic     35,565
Watford               0 - 0  Reading               19,223
Bolton Wanderers      4 - 0  West Ham United       22,283

League table to 10 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  17  7  1  1 20  4  7  1  0 18  5 14  2  1  38   9  29  44
 2 Chelsea         16  6  2  0 15  4  5  1  2 11  5 11  3  2  26   9  17  36
 3 Portsmouth      17  6  2  1 16  6  2  2  4  7  8  8  4  5  23  14   9  28
 4 Liverpool       17  7  2  0 18  3  1  2  5  5 12  8  4  5  23  15   8  28
 5 Bolton Wndrs    17  5  1  3 12  7  3  2  3  7  8  8  3  6  19  15   4  27
 6 Arsenal         16  4  4  0 16  4  3  1  4 10  9  7  5  4  26  13  13  26
 7 Reading         17  5  1  2 11  9  3  1  5  8 12  8  2  7  19  21  -2  26
 8 Tottenham H.    17  7  1  1 17  7  0  3  5  3 14  7  4  6  20  21  -1  25
 9 Aston Villa     16  4  3  1 12  7  1  6  1  7  8  5  9  2  19  15   4  24
10 Everton         17  5  2  1 13  5  1  4  4  7 12  6  6  5  20  17   3  24
11 Wigan Athletic  16  3  2  2 10 10  3  2  4 10 11  6  4  6  20  21  -1  22
12 Manchester City 17  4  4  0  7  1  1  1  7  7 19  5  5  7  14  20  -6  20
13 Fulham          17  4  1  3  7  7  1  4  4  9 20  5  5  7  16  27 -11  20
14 Newcastle Utd   16  3  2  3  9  9  2  2  4  6  9  5  4  7  15  18  -3  19
15 Middlesbrough   17  4  2  3  8 10  0  3  5  6 12  4  5  8  14  22  -8  17
16 Blackburn R.    16  3  2  4 11 12  1  2  4  3  9  4  4  8  14  21  -7  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 17  4  1  3  8  8  0  1  8  2 16  4  2 11  10  24 -14  14
19 Charlton Ath.   17  3  2  3  6  7  0  1  8  7 21  3  3 11  13  28 -15  12
20 Watford         16  1  5  2  7  7  0  3  5  3 13  1  8  7  10  20 -10  11

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1284