Newsletter #1295

Well, if that lame excuse for a team on Saturday isn’t proof that we need to introduce performance related pay, I don’t know what is. Only Vassell came out with any credit for his work effort, but he still cannot master 1-on-1s. Note: we need to score goals to win games. Can we not buy Pederson who seems to do everything our players cannot when we face Blackburn!

We have opinion on the game, a great article from Mike, views on Barton, the finances and standing.

Mads will be kindly stepping in to do Thursday’s issue, as I’m off for a spot of ankle ligament surgery in a bid to empathise more with our bunch of overpaid players.

Next game: Southampton, home, 3pm Sunday 28 January 2007 (FA Cup)


Having seen the Blackburn débâcle live one can only wonder why our board have yet to move mountains to find us a striker – Corradi was unbelievably poor today and has been of late, Samaras looks much better but is benched at present and Vassell for all his endeavour has a shot to goal ratio that speaks for itself. And yet we have young Sturridge scoring a hat-trick at Bolton midweek and is not even on the bench? Blackburn only had 3 shots for 100% result – I feel for Weaver who is every bit as good as Robinson and today had no chance thanks to the daydreaming of Jordan/Trabelsi and a crumbling wall.

Thank goodness Joey is back next week as Dabo was the worst on the pitch and at fault for the second goal – get rid please. The back 3 looked good as usual but where was Onouha, injured?

Nil-nil results will not challenge Europe nor will they stave off relegation battles. With Arsenal/Chelski/Portsmouth in February we need every goal we can get to succeed – why not Collins John, please somebody who is lethal in the box. Curse Cole for his late decision to jump ship – it’s cost us and him now he is a designated benchwarmer. I expect we’ll soon see a “Bring Back The Goat” banner at the COMS!

CTID, Chris (Hawk) – Napier, NZ <hawkeye11(at)>


SP said that we weren’t at the races after the Blackburn fiasco; with that type of “effort”, we are not even on the planet.

I need someone to convince me why Corradi and Jordan are even considered – pathetic doesn’t cover their “efforts” yesterday.

Two midfielders – one creative and one enforcer – and two strikers are the minimum requirements.

Absolutely soul destroying.

Malcolm Clelland <clelland(at)>


Memo to the City first team; “That was absolutely pathetic!” For heaven’s sake give the fans a refund. I really feel for those who fork out hard earned cash to watch a bunch of under achieving, over paid, enflated egos play under the guise of Manchester City.

Why in heaven’s name the Italian statue get a run each week is beyond me, he is absolutely useless. Ad I’m not even wound up yet! But then what do I know?

Southampton must be rubbing their hands with joy. I think the fans of this great club deserve something better. Stay Blue, matches my mood,

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


In a recent edition of MCIVTA, Heidi asked to hear from anyone who’d been getting McV from the very early days, so I thought I’d share a few “MCIVTA memories”. When I moved to New York State in 1993 (back when the world was slightly less well connected – though seemingly more peaceful…), I had a little difficulty keeping up with news and even results from Maine Road. Phone calls were expensive and the newspapers in the States weren’t exactly bursting with information on English football. However, I soon came across a lifeline called I would check this several times a day on my black screen, mouse-free computer terminal (with glowing, orange letters) for any emails posted by City fans. That’s where I came across Mr MCIVTA himself, Ashley Birch, who was similarly cut off from Manchester, somewhere in the Alps. I have no recollection of exactly how MCIVTA formed, but thanks to Ashley, it did, and I remember the very first edition, sent out to about a dozen of us.

I contributed my first article to edition number 2 – basically a verbatim copy of a piece from the previous week’s Football Pink that my mum had sent me. Although never a regular contributor, I have found some reason to write an article once or twice a year since the beginning. In recent years these have either been statistical reviews of some kind, or defences of Joey Barton (and he’s certainly needed defending on several occasions). One of my earlier postings broke the news that Colin Bell was coaching in Germany (got that from a German friend – it turned out to be a different Colin Bell!), and in another I suggested that firing Keegan and making Pearce the manager would be a recipe for disaster (after which they did just that and under Pearce we went 8 (?) games unbeaten and almost qualified for Europe). I guess you can’t be right all the time (a good mantra for a City fan).

And so I’ve largely been just another reader, along with the thousands now around the world, who rely on MCIVTA for news, lively comment, and unique match reports. Since 1993 I’ve moved further West, to Northern California and a communications revolution has occurred. I can now see almost half our games on TV over here, and read media reports of City games and City news on half a dozen different websites 24 hours a day. And yet there’s still something special about seeing MCIVTA in my mailbox twice a week.

Most articles are well written, and more importantly, well thought out. There are differences of opinion, but these are resolved in a civilized manner that appears to be sadly lacking on most message boards. I think this is due to three factors; (1) The MCIVTA format encourages longer articles that take some time, consideration, and effort to produce. This pretty much rules out the type of person who takes all of 10 seconds and no thought to write “You’re a f@#*ing w*&#@r!” on a message board. (2) Even if crazy rants were submitted, I’m sure they would not become part of the finished MCIVTA due to the presence of an editor (and I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say what a tremendous job Ashley, Heidi, and all the temporary editors have done over the years – thanks!). (3) Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the culture of MCIVTA is such that thoughtless, abusive posters are not tolerated for long. I remember the first time a truly disruptive element appeared in McV (I think his name was Simon). This guy seemed to be deliberately trying to upset the applecart. And he did draw some fiery responses at first, but cooler heads prevailed, and within weeks it seemed like everyone had decided they preferred MCIVTA the way it was (and still is). Responses to his postings were more measured and soon enough he was gone (apparently) and order was restored.

For the five people still reading at this point, I’d just like to make a couple of quick comments on the débâcle against Blackburn today (and it’s my birthday as well!). First of all, why was it that the only penetration we achieved on the right side in the whole of the first half came from Micah Richards, the full back? Sinclair was virtually invisible, and Trabelsi didn’t seem to know what to do with the ball when he got it. Next, how come our midfielders and attackers seemed to have about four Blackburn players around them (and no City players within sight) when they got the ball? We gave the ball away a lot, and played many long, hopeful, but useless passes, but I blame the players off the ball as much as those making the bad passes. We needed our players to help out the guy with the ball instead of running off to some position 30 yards away, surrounded by three defenders and then raising an arm and calling for a pass. As usual, I’m going to suggest things would have been better with Barton in there. He at least seems to want the ball, and be willing to come and get it off a team mate. He is also able to keep the team driving on when the chips are down (don’t ever expect Dabo, Sinclair, or numerous others to do this).

Finally (again, as usual with my postings) I want to suggest that in spite of our shortcomings in the game, Blackburn really weren’t that much better, and if we played them again tomorrow, we’re as likely to win as they are. We had a good shout for a penalty when Bentley handled on the line (it didn’t look deliberate, but it did stop the ball going in the net and referees give penalties for a whole lot less), their second was a really good strike (although I fault Samaras and whoever was standing next to him for allowing the ball to go between their heads with no attempt to block it), and their third was a typical goal against a side pushing up for goals at the end of a game (and a bad error by Jordan, of course). The good news, of course, is that even with this loss, we’re still 10 points clear of the relegation zone, and Barton’s back next week. Let’s just hope we can avoid a run of bad results and the twitching that will accompany it come March and April…

Mike Maddox <mwm2240(at)>


Ok, it’s time to ask the question.

Where has the real Joey Barton gone? You remember him, he was the cigar-in-the-eye-stabbing-acouse-scally miscreant who thought he was Steven Gerrard. The boy who couldn’t play more than 5 games in a row because he’d be suspended for one of his lunging tackles or would have picked up enough yellow cards to tile his bathroom with.

Our Joey was a boy who referees would have pencilled in for a card while they were posing for pictures before the game started.

Now we have this alien impostor, we have this man who is articulate and intelligent off the field, we have this person, who is obviously wearing a Joey Barton mask, who shows natural leadership, can pass the ball, shows energy and drive, inspires other players and who referees probably enjoy refereeing because of his hard but non-confrontational style of play.

I’m not sure where the real JB went, but I’m enjoying his alien counterpart, so it looks like we got a good deal for once.

Now if only they would replace our Freddie Mercury look-alike (Samaras) with Ronaldhino we would be laughing.

Keep the faith.

Phil <XPHILLEE(at)>


So, apparently City are in a financial hole they cannot get out of. We are, for want of a better word shafted. That was last year’s reporting summed up I think.

This year it’s no longer a massive hole, more of a cash flow problem, (according to Colin and his financial breakdown from early in the season) as we have debts that are securitised against the future revenue etc., but – cough – the current situation means that the Chairman’s money has kept us afloat.

Well I reckon that the new TV deal is something that we supporters failed to consider.

By my reckoning if we finish 10th next season we would collect about £35 million, that’s up from the £20 million we collected last year. Not a bad pay rise I’m sure you agree.

If we have another good cup run, a definite possibility, then we are looking at another £3-5 million all in. And the big what if of course is, what if we get into a decent European competition … kerching.

I’m pretty smug at the moment as we have a developing squad and a talented manager (not the best, but learning) and I can also see improvement and prospects in the future.

Will we be in the top flight again next year, yes we will. Will we have 2 or 3 of the hottest prospects in football, yes we will.

Will we have to sell them to survive, no we won’t.

Oh happy days.

Andy Morris <andy(at)>


SP’s recent remarks condemning the overly-high pricing of tickets to watch games is to be commended.

British football has changed in many ways over the years – in my view, the excessive money/greed-factor of many players, together with their respective agents, is quite the most distasteful aspect of all. When “average” players of today earn more money in one week than many people outside of the game earn in one year, that is not right – it is ridiculous and quite absurd – yet, this situation is allowed to continue. It is wrong.

I realize most of the money in today’s game comes from sponsorship etc. However, the expensive game-day ticket prices of today must surely be a relatively considerable drain on the monetary resources on those individuals as well as families who wish to actually attend a Premiership game. I believe this should not necessarily have to be the case.

Manchester City has, and continues to, address this issue and I applaud their efforts.

However, until something is done at a national level, I only envision this situation deteriorating, to the detriment of those fans being totally excluded from the game for purely financial reasons. That, also, would be wrong.

Football used to be considered a “sport”. Now, “business venture” is likely a theme closer to the mark, I fear, and the game is all the worse for that.

As a way of attempting to bring a more moderate balance into the game, I would initially, over time, prefer to see a very strict quota system being brought into British football, with respect to the ever-pervasive influx of non-British players who are currently flooding “our” game in Britain, and bleeding it for all it’s worth; since I believe it is purely the money factor that is enticing these players to British shores.

In my opinion, when British clubs are fielding sides that, for whatever reasons, have a majority of non-British players, that situation is just not acceptable. All clubs should be restricted to, say, a maximum of 3 non-British players on its staff at any one time. This would be a good beginning, in my view.

The British game needs to be re-balanced – and, in favour of the fans who actually have to pay for their tickets.

I expect this may be a point of debate amongst several readers – if so feel free, friends…

Graham Mills – Rhode Island, USA <ride4311(at)>


I agree with John Crump wholeheartedly. Much as it galls me to say, I was mightily impressed by the support the Owls brought to CoMS on Tuesday night. It was splendid to see a bank of 6,000 supporters behind the goal, giving non-stop support to their team, and brought back memories of forty years ago at Maine Road. I was also saddened, by the way, to see that despite the cut in entrance to £15 and £5, how few City fans made the effort to come out and shout.

Moving from my elevated central position on the 3rd tier of the Colin Bell stand to the south end of second tier for the cup replay, I had a personal revelation. It is clear that in this new stadium, you can get a decent view of the game wherever you are, and anyway, what’s the point of getting the same view of the game on Football First and MoTD when you get home? Those Wednesday fans reminded me that it’s the atmosphere you go to the match for, not to sit and listen to umpteen pot bellied armchair (or bucket seat) critics berating every misplaced pass or shot.

So against the Saints, I’m going back where I started, in amongst the real supporters, who turn up and shout and sing for an hour and a half every match. I’ve got my own song too… It goes ‘We are, we are really here, we are, we are really here, we’re not at home, watching this on Sky TV, We are really here!’.

Graeme Nicholson <bensongarth(at)>


I think Ernie came in for a little bit of unfair stick this week. I personally would love to see the return of standing areas but until we get them we’ll have to make the best of what we’ve got. The only way our club will ease off with the over-zealous stewarding is when the fans are no longer there to stand.

Going back to Ernie’s piece, he added that the early sixties game at home to Huddersfield was the worst game he ever saw. I also remember that one, 15,000 in a ground that held over 60,000 at the time and you could have a whole block of seats in the Platt Lane and stand on them if you wanted. We actually lost that game 3-2 but it was awful in a season when mediocre was a bonus. The crowds were at their lowest ebb and when only 8,015 turned up in January to watch Swindon Town beat us 2-1 the board suddenly were under pressure to do something. The last game of the season saw Charlton at Maine Road but again with only 8,409 packed into the old stadium to see us win 2-1. Like I said, empty seats force action and lo and behold we were on the dawn of the most wonderful period of the club’s history as Mercer and Allison arrived that summer. The football was unbelievable, the crowds starting rolling back in and when Huddersfield came back 47,000 were there to see City win 2-0.

Now I’m not wishing to see 8,000 in the COMS but it was the dreadful football that kept the fans away in the early sixties and that was nothing to do with the atmosphere or whether or not the fans were sitting or standing. The football this season has been pretty awful at times and again that isn’t because of lack of atmosphere, it’s been down to poor performances on the pitch; winning isn’t the be all and end all in my opinion.

On a lighter note, I wonder how many fans remember the Football Pink and Football Green ringed heads competition in the sixties? When the photographer appeared before the kick off, he used to ask the fans to bunch up together so it looked like there was a big crowd. I won it quite often!

Stay Blue, Malc Hough <malcolm.hough(at)>


In Episode (OK Issue) 1293, Ernie wrote that there is nothing clever in standing. Who said it was clever? Ernie? Does he think it’s clever? I’ve never heard anyone say it’s clever. And to refer to those who wish to bring back standing as ‘Luddites’ infers that there is something wrong with those people.

Well I for one think that there is something wrong with people who don’t want something to happen just because it doesn’t suit them.

Let’s remember, not everything that is in the past is bad. It doesn’t mean that doing things from years ago is ‘turning the clock back’ (although I’d like to turn the clock back to 1968).

There are numerous things done differently these days that were done better years ago but, we keep being told, progress is always good. Turning the clock back is bad.

Football is a participation sport whether on or off the field and if that ‘participation’ means jumping around whilst the game is in progress, then so long as they are not knocking people over and causing discomfort for those around, then I don’t see anything wrong with it.

Many people give up watching the so called ‘top class’ football because of price and the things that they are forced to do that they weren’t years ago at games.

Many of the people deserting football go to lower league clubs where they can get in for less money and sit or stand, it’s their choice.

I, personally, prefer to sit mainly because I’m too lazy to stand for 2 hours (probably too old as well).

But I for one would welcome the masses behind the goal back purely for the noise generated by more people being in the same vicinity.

I don’t want to open up old wounds again, but I’m fed up of Lord somebody or other tell me what’s best for me at a football match when ‘Lord Nobody’ has probably never been to a football match in his life. So for some ‘toff’ to be assessing what happened at Hillsborough, then coming out with all this mandatory seating garbage, is not acceptable.

At Hillsborough, too many people were in the section where the deaths occurred and fences at the front prevented escape. Full stop.

Solution: Strictly control the numbers in any standing area, and no fences.

John Nisbet – Annoyed of Hyde <nisbet1957(at)>


First missive of the new year, so all the best to all at McV (and thanks), and best wishes to our family of Blues. Reading MCIVTA 1294, I followed the link ( in Don’s (excellent) news round-up and it’s no wonder Bernardo can’t score for City if he is concentrating all his scoring here!

CEWID (City even when I die), Jack Millington <jackblue(at)>


With the MLS being in the news here’s an ex-City player that’s staring out there – Terry Cooke.

Billy Watkinson <billywatkinson(at)>


Could anyone please clarify the full fiscal implications of the new overseas TV rights deal for Premiership coverage from next season? How much can City expect to get from the present arrangement and what are the likely rewards from the onset of the 2007/08 season?

I have seen figures of £26.6 million for the bottom team and £50 million for the top team next season – is that everything factored in or is it supplemented by other existing TV deals?

Whichever way you look at it, one would hope that this offers some light at the end of the proverbial tunnel for City to finally eradicate the debt.

Kind regards and keep up the excellent work.

David Walker <davidjwalker1(at)>

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Articles (Heidi Pickup)          :
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[2] What are MCIVTA’s publishing deadlines?

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[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 Radio Manchester (née GMR) pre and post match phone-in is available on the web at

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[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

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Yes you can: Shares in Manchester City PLC are traded on OFEX. The latest prices can be on found the Plus Markets Group web site 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] I hear there is a TV programme specifically about City?

InsideMCFC is broadcasted by ChannelM. It is available on the SkyDigital (ch.203) and NTL (ch.26) platforms as well as being transmittedtraditionally within the Manchester area (ch.39). In addition, theprogramme is available to watch via the web. More details and schedule:

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Newsletter #1295