Newsletter #1300

Plenty of news tonight on the international front from Don, together with reaction and player comments / whereabouts, which always make for a wry smile.

We also have opinion on the state of MCFC, transfers, season tickets, a hatful of one-off ticket requests and another Why Blue.

I was going to say 1300 Not Out – what an achievement – until MS Office conspired against us!

Next game: Portsmouth, away, 5.15pm Saturday 10 February 2007


International Blues’ News

T’was a busy week of international matches, and quite a few City players were involved. Here’s a quick run-down on how they got on…

Young England – Part 1: Or more accurately the Under-21’s, who until the summer will be known as SP’s other team. On Tuesday, Psycho was at Pride Park, Derby, in charge of the Young Guns. They misfired horribly to start with, as England were two down by the break. Luckily for the home nation, there was a distinct improvement in the second half, and goals from Preston’s David Nugent and Leroy ‘Not Him Again’ Lita restored parity and ensured that SP’s tenure began without defeat. “For 45 minutes, Spain were outstanding,” Pearce said. “We were tentative and possibly a little bit frightened and they pushed us right onto the back foot. But I said at half-time a bloody nose now could stand us in good stead next summer. But credit to the players, they were ones who got themselves going and in the end, we were the ones who looked most likely to win.” He added: “Sometimes, young lads can be more grown up than you give them credit for. You can speak to them honestly and get a reaction.” And Joe Hart came off the subs’ bench to play the last eight minutes for England.

Young England – Part 2: After the game SP hinted that a compromise over the March under-21 game might yet happen. City agreed to Pearce being involved with Young England on the understanding that after the Spain fixture he wouldn’t be directly involved till the tournament in the summer. Asked if he’d be sat in the dugout in March, he said: “I’ve not really looked at that. With the kerfuffle that has led to me taking me the job, it’s probably sensible that I just view the game from the stands and leave it there unless, obviously, the club somewhere down the line turn round and change it. I’m sure the FA would be delighted if the club turn round and say, ‘that’s going to be the case, Stuart can have some involvement’. But as I said, logistically, the most important thing for me is my football club, the fans, and everyone who goes with Manchester City.”

England: England subsided to a 1-0 defeat to Spain at OT on Wednesday night, but at least the home team had the good sense to finish with a couple of City players on the pitch Micah Richards came on with twenty minutes to go, while Joey Barton was given the last dozen minutes to impress on his début. Joey was named in the squad last Friday, and there was considerable speculation about how he would be welcomed by the established England stars, some of whom he’d criticised recently. Let me recap on our number 8’s musings: “England did nothing in that World Cup, so why were they bringing books out? ‘We got beat in the quarter-finals. I played like s***. Here’s my book.’ Who wants to read that? I don’t.” Stevie Gerrard and Frank Lampard, who brought out such books in the aftermath of the World Cup, were reported to be none too please with JB’s opinions. But England boss Steve McClaren, asked if Barton would be invited to apologise to Gerrard and Lampard, told BBC Radio Five Live: “There is no issue there. We treat everybody the same. Everybody has the same rules, they know the rules and how we work with England. There will be no issues with Joey coming in. Everyone will be professional and Joey will have to stand or fall by his performances on the field.”

Ireland: The Republic of Ireland started with two City boys in the team, namely Richard Dunne and Stephen Ireland. They were facing tiny San Marino, so an easy night for the Irish surely? Well no, actually, as the principality in the middle of Italy looked like taking their first ever point in a competitive game. They equalised with four minutes to go, but Ireland snatched the win with a late tap-in by our very own Stephen Ireland, with a few seconds left on the clock.

And Elsewhere… Georgios Samaras started for his country in a friendly played at Fulham’s Craven Cottage. Greece faced South Korea, and Big Geo played just the first 45 minutes. Korea won with the only goal scored with 12 minutes to go. Andreas Isaksson found himself in Cairo this week, keeping goal for Sweden in a friendly against Egypt. He only played in the first half, but was beaten just before the interval. Egypt went on to win 2-0.

General News

Only a Hundred Mill Behind! The annual football ‘Rich List’ was published this week, and City remain in the world’s top 20. Published by accountants Deloitte, the list covers the 2005/2006 season and relates to revenue only. The Blues find themselves in seventeenth place (just like last year) with revenue estimated at £61.8 million. This is some way behind the top three of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus (over £170 million each), but just ahead of such clubs as Rangers, West Ham and Benfica. The Reds came in a pathetic fourth with £167 million, dropping two places. So we haven’t far to catch up, have we? And while we’re on the subject of matters financial – if you hear of an airline based in the Middle East pumping some money into City in the near future, remember you heard it here first!

Mac Attack: I guess he just about still qualifies as a City player, but Danny Mills has become the second former Middlesbrough player to accuse England manager Steve McClaren of being “false”. Massimo Maccarone, who left Boro to join Italian outfit Siena on a free transfer this week, was scathing about McClaren’s stint at the Riverside. Having played on loan at Boro in the 03/04 season, Mills chipped in with his opinion, as he told Radio Five Live: “You can see where Massimo was coming from. He [McClaren] did like the phrase ‘magnificent’ and it often was a false smile Steve McClaren would hide behind. Some of his comments about McClaren are difficult to disagree with – two-faced and that sort of stuff, I experienced some of that myself. Three days before the end of the [2003/04] season Steve McClaren pulled me in and said, ‘I want you here, you’re part of my plans.’ I already knew he was looking at other right-backs. He said he would call me, but he went away with England to the European Championships, I didn’t. The phone call came about three months later when I signed for Manchester City. It’s difficult. Steve McClaren, for what he is, is a very, very good coach but for me his man management skills at times were very, very poor.”

London Calling: The dates against the big two London teams have been confirmed. City will travel to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal on Wednesday February 28, kick off 7:45pm provided neither club has an FA Cup Fifth Round replay. Little Shaunie and his Chelsea mates will be rolling up at the CoMS on Wednesday March 14 for a 7:45pm start.

Transfer News and Gossip

The Ones That Got Away: As this Summary noted last week, City had a less than thrilling time acquiring players during the January sales. And Psycho agrees – “I am disappointed that we couldn’t bring in two or three more during the window,” he told the Daily Star. “But I can guarantee everybody that it wasn’t through lack of funds or the chairman not putting money in. Clubs just didn’t want to sell their players. Every avenue crossed my mind and we contacted every club with an asset outside the Premiership. But if you have a commodity, there is a price on it and clubs didn’t want to sell.” One ‘commodity’ City missed out on was Portsmouth’s Andy O’Brien, who failed to sign in a deadline deal. Pompey were prepared to release the Ireland international, but O’Brien turned down the offer. A higher profile miss was the non-signing of Tottenham’s striker Mido. Jol admits Mido could have left the club, but he decided to keep the striker after losing Dimitar Berbatov to injury. “There was an opportunity for Mido to leave but I want him to stay so that is the end of it.”

Making a Mad Lunge for Madlung: City are said to be ready to battle it out with Tottenham Hotspur for the services of Wolfsburg defender Alexander Madlung. Despite the transfer window closing last week, speculation is continuing to do the rounds over who Stuart Pearce will target in the summer and according to reports in Germany, Madlung is an option. Press speculation in Germany has claimed that both Spurs and City have sent scouts to watch the 24-year-old in action in recent weeks and were present at the recent 2-2 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt. Defence is an area that Jol is keen to strengthen and it would come as no surprise if a bid went in for the former German Under-21 international as soon as the window re-opens. Madlung, who is tied to Wolfsburg until the summer of 2009, has been in great form since signing from Hertha Berlin last summer and Spurs are big admirers.

Say It Ain’t So, Bernardo: Please don’t get too upset, but apparently City face a battle to keep Italian striker Bernardo ‘Two Goals’ Corradi beyond the end of this season. Palermo and Reggina both came in for the ex-Valencia forward this week and the Independent says Tottenham also asked about the player’s availability yesterday. More worryingly, the Sunday People reckon that Barcelona are keeping tabs on Daniel Sturridge. And a host of Italian clubs are chasing unsettled goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson. The Swede admitted this week he was ready to quit the COMS if he was forced to continue playing second-fiddle to Nicky Weaver. Alerted to Isaksson’s frustrations, Lazio, Udinese and Torino are preparing to move for the experienced shot-stopper.

Scout’s Honour: I owe a big apology to Matt Thomas, who has kindly sent me a number of City-related news stories, but my poor planning during previous weeks means I haven’t had time to include them in the News. Time to redress that oversight. In the first story, have you ever thought that City’s scouting system for players was less than top notch? Well, City are trying to do somethi9ng about it. City became the 15th Premier League club to make a deal with Scout7, a Birmingham based international player database company. The club will utilise the company’s ProScout7 program, a scouting and recruitment management system. Under the direction of Derek Fazackerley and Chief Scout Graham Carr, Manchester City’s scouts in the UK and abroad, will access the secure ProScout7 system to input and archive all the individual player reports. The reports will be saved and stored centrally on the Internet. The club’s staff could access all its match reports at a faster speed and more efficiently after the club’s opposition assessor inputs the match reports into the system. Carr thinks that the information available in the ProScout7 database will be an immense help to him and other key members of the club’s staff. “The detail of information in each player record is very comprehensive,” he said. “All the player’s statistics at both domestic and international level are listed. We can see how many games a player plays and misses each season.” For the full story: Matt also updates us (not via ProScout 7, I hasten to add) on a December target of the Boss Man. Apparently Werder Bremen striker Ivan Klasnic needs to undergo a kidney transplant. The 26-year-old Croatian international star was diagnosed as having kidney problems when in hospital for an appendix operation in November. Hopes that the problem could be corrected have, however, now been dashed and a donor has been found for a further operation. “His doctors think that he’ll be able to play again around six to eight weeks after the op,” Klasnic’s lawyer Klaus-Peter Horndasch told the media on Tuesday. Blimey, playing footie after eight weeks? Ivan sounds like the kind of bloke to grace any team.

Now Beatt It: I’ve heard Everton fans on national radio phone-ins complain that James Beattie is overweight and out of form, so guess which club are supposedly interested in the some time England international? Yup, you guessed it – both City and Blackburn are said to be willing to snap up Beattie in the summer. Southampton would also love to have their former striker back on the South Coast if they gain promotion from the Premiership but the ex-England international would prefer to stay in his native North-West. And here’s another snippet for you SP is set to make a summer move to bring giant Fulham midfielder Papa Bouba Diop to City. Pearce enquired about Diop during the transfer window but was unwilling to meet Fulham’s £4 million valuation of the Senegalese midfielder. However, Pearce is set to make a renewed bid of £2.5 million for Diop in the summer.

Ex-Blues’ News

Shaker Sheron: Mike Sheron is back in the North West and back in football, as manager of Bury’s Centre of Excellence. Shakers’ boss Chris Casper said: “Mike interviewed very well. Everybody knows Mike Sheron, a good goalscorer and a good coach as well. We have to produce our own youngsters, and anyone who does send their child here knows that the first team is a real opportunity for them to progress their career.” Youth team manager Chris Beech added: “Mike is hungry, he needs an opportunity and we are giving him one. He will suffer from shellshock as soon as he crosses that line because it really is a hard rôle.”

He’s Not Really Here: The Evening News printed a Missing Persons appeal this week for City’s former terrier Jeff Whitley. Last heard of at Cardiff City, the Bluebirds have admitted that they’ve no idea where Jeff is. The Northern Ireland international has been told he can leave the club, and that he need not attend training, but must keep in touch as the club try to find him new employers. Cardiff chairman Peter Ridsdale said: “We’ve called Jeff Whitley’s mobile and left messages but he hasn’t called back and we don’t know where he is. We want to speak to him urgently.” So if you’re reading this Jeff, please get in touch with Peter immediately, as he’s worried. And someone who might as well be AWOL is David Sommeil. Currently at Sheffield United, Sommeil arrived at Bramall Lane in the summer from City but has failed to make any sort of impact and now boss Neil Warnock is ready to allow him to leave on loan with a view to a permanent move in the summer.

Reactions and Comments

Two Litas Too Powerful for City: Two late goals by Leroy Lita sank Manchester City to extend Reading’s impressive start to 2007. Lita, who earlier had a goal wrongly disallowed, ran on to Steve Sidwell’s pass to put the Royals ahead and added an almost identical goal soon after. Reading also hit the bar when Sidwell’s cross deflected off Dietmar Hamann – but City had their own chances too. Joey Barton shot straight at Marcus Hahnemann while Darius Vassell blasted over the bar from close range. Nicky Weaver got clattered after half an hour, and had to leave the field, handing Sweden World Cup ‘keeper Andreas Isaksson a belated home début. “We know full well how quickly things can change in the Premiership,” mused Stuart Pearce. “One defeat can become two or three – it is the same with victories. We have to make sure that we are very hard to beat and also that we go flat out in the game. We had some great opportunities to win the game but we didn’t take them. If you don’t do that, you will get punished. We are creating chances, there’s no doubt about that. At the start of the season, we were not creating as many as I would have liked, but we are now but we have to be a touch more clinical. That comes with a touch of confidence and the feeling that comes with the ball hitting the back of the net. Today was one of those games where if we scored first we would win the game, we could have sat in and picked them off on the break. What happened was that they sat in and did that to us, and their finishing was a touch more clinical than ours.” A bright point of the day was the first appearance of Daniel Sturridge, who came off the bench with 15 minutes left to a huge ovation from an expectant City crowd. The teenager did not have many touches, although one spin and pass did catch the eye, but Pearce is confident he is ready to cope with the step up to Premiership football. “I don’t think he has got anything to lose, we won’t put them in unless we feel they are ready. It’s bold of the manager to put him on the bench and to bring him on. He’s got a great eye for goal and if the ball drops to him he’s clinical. That’s why he got his chance today.” Daniel certainly enjoyed himself: “I was overjoyed, it was my déebut and it was great to be out there with the boys. The fans were singing my name and I loved it, I just wanted to get out there and prove to them that I deserved to be on the park. Unfortunately we lost, but hopefully I’ll get another chance soon. I didn’t know it was coming and I was very, very surprised. I think I deserved to be in the squad at the very least, but I was on the bench and got my début so I could not be happier.”

Copp for That: Is Reading’s low key, laconic boss Steve Coppell any relation to twitchy, stressed out Steve “33 Days” Coppell, who managed City for one comedy month a decade or so ago? Surely not. The Royals have now reached the 40-point mark, which should guarantee a place in the top flight next term but Coppell is not even contemplating what a place in Europe next season would be like. “I am not really worried about artificial points targets being attained,” he said. “We have to try to finish as high as we can and forget about anything else. We are what we are – a team very much with the L-plates on. Sometimes you can find in situations like these, you do not know who you are playing against, so you are not afraid of it.” Inevitably SP was asked whether his rôoles as England under-21 coach was interfering with his work with City. “If people want to raise the England issue every time, fine. My workload with the Under-21s starts tomorrow and ends on Tuesday evening until the summer. We weren’t beaten because I’ve been appointed England Under-21 manager. We didn’t take our chances. Credit to them, they did. I watched Lita four times when he was at Bristol and wasn’t sure he was good enough at this level. Now I know he is.” Better late than never, eh Stu?

Squad News

Nedum’s Knee Needs Nourishment: Nedum Onuoha has suffered another injury blow, as his knee has given up on him again. “He had a scan on Monday, which showed a reasonable amount of damage inside his knee,” reported the Manager. “We are still waiting to find out the full extent of the damage. He’ll have to go to London to see a specialist, but he’ll be out for a number of weeks. It’s bad for his situation and from a selfish point of view for me also. I thought he was getting better and better as the games went by and he was outstanding against Bolton in his last match. From there, he’s had a slight niggle, came back from that and on Friday morning when you’re trying to nurse the players through the session. It looked like an innocuous challenge between him and another player, he walks off the training pitch, comes back and tries to play on and then walks off again. You know in the back of your mind that we’ve got a problem here. There wasn’t a great deal of pain from his knee, but having scanned it, there are problems in there. Knowing how key the young players are to me at this Club, I’m massively disappointed for him.”

So Lonely: DaMarcus Beasley has suggested that life’s not been too easy for him since his loan move from PSV Eindhoven. “I don’t have any family here, and I don’t have a girlfriend,” he said. “So I’m still on my own, moving to different places. Holland was tough, but when I came to England I knew it would take me a while to settle in and get the feeling of the city. I wouldn’t say it gets easier, but it’s just something that you do, and you get on with it. I admire the Premiership, and I just wanted to come here and see how it was. So far, it’s been a great ride. It’s been tough with the injuries, but now I’m 100 per cent fit.”

Here Comes the Sun: Sun Jihai was on the bench against Reading at the weekend, marking the end of a Long March back to fitness for the 29-year-old utility man. SP was certainly pleased to have him back: “Jihai is what he is, a good professional and we have certainly missed him,” said the Gaffer. “The beauty of him is that he can play in various positions. He can play at the back or in midfield, which, with the size of the squad we have is very useful. He has been out for nine months, which is a long time to lose a player for. But his attitude throughout the recovery process has been superb and we are really pleased to have him back.”

Kelvin’s Degrees of Suffering: What a shame for youngster Kelvin Etuhu. The winger has been forced to Eastlands from his loan at Rochdale after damaging medial knee ligaments. Rochdale boss Keith Hill had just agreed with City to extend the player’s loan after he scored twice in four games for them but now injury has cut short his stay. Hill said: “Kelvin has damaged his medial ligaments and as a result has gone back to Manchester City. It’s a real shame for the lad and for us because we’d been given the green light to extend his stay by Derek Fazackerley.” He added: “Since he’s been here he’s proved what a good footballer he is and he’s also a terrific rôle model for our younger players in terms of how to prepare yourself and look after yourself.”

Magic Sam: It’s a year since Georgios Samaras joined City from Heerenveen, and the club magazine marked the anniversary by having a chat with the 21-year-old. He’s upbeat about his development these last 12 months. “It has been a really interesting year and I have learned a lot of things,” he said. “I feel physically and mentally stronger than I have ever been in my life. I know I have a strong character that will enable me to succeed and I am 100 per cent sure that coming to Manchester City was the right move for me to make.” He has some interesting views about the differences between football in Holland and England. “I have found the English game so different to the one I played in Holland,” he said. “You really cannot compare the two. The difference is huge. In Holland, players work almost exclusively on passing the ball. Every team’s first instinct is the pass. The technical side of things is at the front of the mind, and not running faster and further, jumping higher or increasing the tempo. The physical skills are very much secondary, whereas here in England it tends to be the opposite. The physical aspect here comes first, and skills come later. If you don’t run, you don’t jump and you don’t fight for the ball, then you do not get into the side. It can be a problem for players coming over here,” he admitted.

Don Barrie <news(at)>


I was honestly looking forward to the January transfer window, checking the Man City web site, looking at Sky Sports for all the latest news, checking the back pages of the national papers to see who we were being linked with, knowing SP wanted to make some signings. Guess what, we missed out on Mido at the 11th hour.

Nearly every other team in the Premier League that needed strengthening did so, apart from City! Yes we have Michael Ball and Djamel Abdoun, but that’s not nearly enough, especially with a malfunctioning squad that is somehow held together by a sprinkling of good football pros. I must be insane to think City will reach for the stars, because nothing should really surprise me with City. Just when you think we are on a roll we descend back to type just as quickly. You only have to look at our position just after Christmas when we looking to be in the top 10, and then move on a month later, and the relegation pack is closing on us.

To say City (maybe SP) have bought players that are not good enough may be harsh, but after the Keegan era of buying has been “over hyped and; over paid” knacker’s yard players, I was expecting better from SP. We paid £6 million for Samaras who has some talent but is he really any better than McManaman was for us? I have never known a player who can play out of his skin and really build up expectations, with murmuring of “he’s a rough diamond” to then turn up the next match and resemble a piece of charcoal. He is just the sort of player we should not touch with a bargepole; he is as consistent as the British weather. Would he honestly make the Reading team, a team without any stars, but boy do they give a consistent performance, hard working, honest football pros, unlike our pile of s***e! You have to ask yourselves, how does Arsene Wenger get so many excellent young players, mostly via France? The answer is that Arsenal invest big time in their scouts, and have a very good network in France. Their ability to secure the services of young French based African players is second to none.

SP looked at Lita a couple of times when he was at Bristol City and exclaimed I didn’t think he would make it at the highest level, then he looked at Theo Walcott and thought the same? Well I can assure anyone that the best asset a striker can have is speed, and only Vassell has it, which sadly he uses very well to make the chances for himself, but just doesn’t finish the job. What we need is 2 speedsters up front and that will give most defences a really hard time.

Who do we secure? Paul Dickov, Trevor Sinclair, Ousmane “useless t****r” Dabo. It’s obvious to anyone who follows football that we are so desperate for a decent striker, but given a month to get one we can’t even do that properly. What’s the point in having parachute payments when you are in the Coca Cola Championship, because that’s where we are heading? Corradi and Samaras are a shower of s***e, Vassell couldn’t score in a brothel, Barton can’t score from 5 yards out, Weaver who was beginning to show England potential is starting to make stupid errors of judgment similar to David James, neither of them know when not to rush out of their box, and make the striker do the thinking.

I honestly cannot see us winning a game for a long time to come, and God help us if Ireland or Barton get injured, it will be relegation for sure. I don’t want to apologise for being pessimistic but this is the reality and I am sure there are plenty of people thinking the same.

Finally, in my opinion the City should have backed SP when he was a target for the England U21’s instead of pondering so much; it might just about revitalize SP. Nine times out of ten, it’s the 11 players on the pitch who are responsible, not the manager. I would like to see Mourinho manage our under performing clowns without a transfer budget.

Glyn Albuquerque <glynalbuquerque(at)>


As the January transfer window officially closes, are Manchester City fans rueing missed opportunities or praising Pearce’s tactical nous?

The main rumour this January was of Micah Richard’s proposed move to Chelsea for an estimated £18-£20 million. Although the Premiership giants and their billionaire owner persisted with constant attempts to unsettle the 18 year old, England right back, Stuart Pearce stood proud and refused to lose a player who epitomises the astounding results the Academy provides.

Within the battle to keep Micah Richards, Shaun Wright Philips was reportedly on the verge of a return to his former club, in an exchange that would hide Chelsea’s embarrassing financial loss. However much Manchester City fans are pleased that we have kept hold of Richards, I’m sure that signing Wright Philips, if only on loan, would have created extra buoyancy to the mood within Eastlands.

Joey Barton became the £5.5 million target of many of the top ten clubs, especially boyhood favourites Everton, and contract rebel Sylvain Distin found himself constantly linked with a £3 million move to Chelsea and Liverpool. Nevertheless, Barton professed his loyalty to the club and will be vital in the fight for a European place. Meanwhile, Pearce claimed he is willing to lose Distin in the summer for free and refused any enquiries that came his way.

The £500,000 departure of Ben Thatcher to Charlton Athletic and the £600,000 compensation received from Claudio Reyna’s contract termination freed up some funds for Stuart Pearce to attempt to claw the club into the top seven. The money brought experienced full back Michael Ball into the City fold for an undisclosed fee from Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven and Ajaccio’s French midfielder Djamel Abdoun came in on loan, with the option to sign at the end of the season if the youngster proves successful. The only other incomer was Italian Francesco Coco, on trial, but he turned out not to be what the club was looking for and was released after only two days.

January allowed some of the youth players to gain much-needed first team experience as a few of the under 21s joined lower league clubs on short term loans. Young Dane Kasper Schmeichel transferred to Scottish Premier League club Falkirk for the rest of the season as goalkeeping counterpart and England under 19 Joe Hart joined Tranmere Rovers. Academy graduate Kelvin Etuhu moved to Rochdale and made a great start by scoring an 80th minute equaliser against Wycombe Wanderers on his début whilst defender Nathan D’Laryea has started a month long loan with Macclesfield Town.

Pearce attempted to solve the problem position of centre forward by surveying Marbella born Kepa Blanco of Sevilla. However, this transfer link never realised as Kepa joined West Ham on a six month loan. The final week saw Pearce enquire about many forwards including Wycombe’s Welsh wonder Jermaine Easter, Fulham forward Collins John and Portsmouth’s key man Lomano Lua Lua. However, it was Tottenham’s Egyptian striker Mido who was most likely to join, for an estimated £3 million pounds, to add some much-needed firepower to a side lacking goals. Unfortunately the close of the window seemed to come too soon for an agreement to be reached and City will rely upon their current strikeforce to improve their finishing, in an attempt to excite fans and add a much-needed increase in attendances.

With only four months left of the season, backroom staff and fans alike will be hoping that the squad can pull together and climb into those top seven places for a much coveted European place.

Alexander Rowen <ajpr2007(at)>


Amidst all the fuss about the new super-casino and the worries about the increase in gambling addiction in East Manchester, there are another group of addicts who have been forgotten. These people have spent thousands of pounds, often all the money they have, feeding their addiction. They are preyed on by a shadowy and ruthless gang who find new and ever more ingenious ways of parting them from yet more of their money in pursuit of their habit. There is no cure for this problem; once hooked there is no way out.

Not only do the addicts suffer years of unremitting hopelessness and misery but so do their families. Indeed, the addiction often bites so deep that they also get their young children hooked. Surely this is the saddest part of this whole situation; that innocent children too young to know what is happening to them or to make their own decisions are sucked in to this pernicious habit.

You can see them, if you know where to look, in a particular corner of East Manchester, huddling guiltily in the cold and furtively handing over money to the gang’s front-line dealers. But this is just part of it. To feed their addiction, those with the worst habit have a compulsion to travel away from this place to seek danger in seedy parts of other run-down and soulless towns and cities, where their health and even lives are constantly in danger. To those places whose very names strike fear into the hearts of those who have happily not been dragged down by this unforgiving disease.

Places like Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Wigan and even Bolton. Who’d be a Blue?

Colin Savage <colin(at)>


I have just responded to Steve’s request for renewal info.

After 34 years of supporting City, I no longer get any enjoyment from watching City for the following reasons:

  • An inept manager (a blind man could pick a betterstriker); if it wasn’t for our back four andJoey we would be relegation certainties. He can’tmanage to save his life, never has a go at theref, abuses Corradi in public for diving then thesame ref who sent him off has let at least 3players off; why? – because their managers go totown on referees. 3 5 2 does not work in English football, period.
  • We wait days before the 31st January to sign astriker. What a bloody joke. We haven’t a cat inhell’s chance of winning anything with this bloke;his brand of football is akin to Wimbledon. Evenin Division 3 we could see the light; all I see withPearce is dark and gloomy days ahead.
  • The board are totally out of tune with the fans,the £95 for kids is a great idea but if noadults go with them, then they lose out on twocounts. Also, can somebody tell me what Mackintosh does for his money?
  • Sky and Setanta next season will finally put thenail in English football, all these great kickoff times are superb for the lazy arse in hisarmchair, but supporters up and down the land lose big time.
  • Finally, the biggest waste is all those playersearning obscene amounts of money and hardly putting in any effort!

The big four might as well play each other 6 times a season and the other 16 can have a league of their own, might be more entertaining.

Apologies for the rant but I’ve had enough.

P.S. I will pick and chose my matches from next season.

Paul Jones <pierce.p.jones(at)>


I have a ticket for sale in the City end for the game vs. Portsmouth on Saturday. Can meet outside ground before match.

Please contact Chris on 07789 435999.

Chris Pilkington <chris(at)>


Does anyone have 1 spare ticket for Preston in the Cup? Call 07970-564638 or email below.

Darren Wareing <darren.wareing(at)>


My 10 year old son and I are travelling from Australia, originally to see the Chelsea game at home, which disappointingly has been cancelled due to their Cup final date.

We are in Manchester for approximately 14 days and are struggling to find fixtures with ticket availability. If you know of anyone with spares or not able to attend, or any of your readers of MCIVTA have access, I would be only too happy to take these off your hands, as this is a long planned trip!

Karl Clarke <kkclarke(at)>


Dear Dubai Investment Corp.

Whilst you wallow in the loss to the Americans on your intended purchase of Liverpool F.C., look circa. 40 miles to the East.

There you will find the answer to your aspirations. A club steeped in history, a fanbase second to none, and an opportunity to stick one up the so-called Big 4.

All it takes is investment.

Mike Sokol <msokol(at)>


Announcement of Open Meeting

We are pleased to announce that we will be holding an open public meeting for all City fans and shareholders on Sunday March the 4th at the University of Manchester’s Renold Building, Sackville Street Campus, Altrincham Street, Manchester, M1 3BB.

In response to growing concern about the future direction of the club, we will ask fans to back the formation of a Manchester City Supporters’ Trust. All City supporters are welcome and the meeting will be used to present the principles and philosophy behind the Supporters’ Trust movement and the national body representing it, Supporters Direct.

Working party spokesman, Ollie Goddard, commented: “City fans have a reputation for being both passionate and fiercely loyal, yet the fans are becoming increasingly marginalised. Our aim is to readdress the balance by putting supporters back at the heart of our club. We hope to provide fans with a collective voice, a means of communicating with club management and a way for individuals to affect the future success of Manchester City.”

We will also outline our aims and proposals and have invited a number of special guest speakers to voice their opinion on a variety of football and City related issues.

The open public meeting begins at 12.00pm. Please e-mail us at the address below for a detailed map.

Ollie Goddard <mcfcsupporters(at)>


I hail from Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada. I live and breathe City and was put onto MCIVTA by my best mate Rob Simnor and his dad Bob Simnor who hails from Manchester and needless to say is a lifelong Blue.

My first encounters with City are two fold and go something like this:

Growing up in Canada, I played footy since I could remember. My cousin, who was not a bad footballer in his own right, had grown out of a couple of jerseys and handed ’em down to me. I wore my new Rag jersey over to the Simnor household one day when I was about 10 years old and was in for a rude awakening. Bob told me if he ever saw me wear that jersey in his house again he would burn it off my back. Needless to say I was a little intimidated, turned Blue and never looked back. Thank God for Bobby Simnor.

I really started to get into City a few years later as my dad left us and I became a staple at the Simnor household where Bobby (wether he knows it or not) assumed my father figure rôle. We would often watch Soccer Saturday in the early mornings when I got my first taste of City and a little glimpse of what it meant to be a Blue and I was hooked. I love reading about City and especially talking City with my mates and especially our godfather of City, Bobby Simnor. I love to hear and read about City as whenever I’m around the lads we always start talking City as it is what we love. Getting up at 4 am to watch City when they’re on the telly over here is a ritual and I wouldn’t dare miss one. All my other friends think I’m crazy for doing it (the non-footy supporters and non-Blues) but I get a rush and a thrill when the Boys in Blue are shown waiting in the tunnel. If you’re in the apartments around me I’m sure my neighbours are often woken up by me belting out Blue Moon! by myself.

[Welcome aboard Scott, that Mr Simnor has a lot to answer for!! Ed]

CTID, Scott Wallis <s_wally7(at)>


4 February 2007

Tottenham Hotspur 0 - 4 Manchester United 36,146

League table to 06 February 2007 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  26 11  1  1 33  8  9  2  2 28 10 20  3  3  61  18  43  63
 2 Chelsea         26  9  4  0 27  8  8  2  3 18 11 17  6  3  45  19  26  57
 3 Liverpool       26 10  3  0 25  3  5  2  6 14 14 15  5  6  39  17  22  50
 4 Arsenal         25  7  5  0 30  9  6  2  5 16 12 13  7  5  46  21  25  46
 5 Bolton Wndrs    26  7  3  3 18 11  6  2  5 12 16 13  5  8  30  27   3  44
 6 Reading         26  8  1  4 24 16  4  3  6 15 18 12  4 10  39  34   5  40
 7 Portsmouth      26  7  4  2 20  9  3  4  6 14 16 10  8  8  34  25   9  38
 8 Everton         25  6  4  2 19  9  3  5  5 12 14  9  9  7  31  23   8  36
 9 Blackburn R.    26  6  2  5 16 16  4  2  7 14 21 10  4 12  30  37  -7  34
10 Newcastle Utd   26  6  4  3 21 16  3  2  8 11 19  9  6 11  32  35  -3  33
11 Tottenham H.    25  8  1  4 21 16  1  5  6  8 20  9  6 10  29  36  -7  33
12 Middlesbrough   26  7  3  3 19 13  1  5  7 11 17  8  8 10  30  30   0  32
13 Aston Villa     26  6  4  3 15 11  1  7  5 13 20  7 11  8  28  31  -3  32
14 Fulham          26  6  4  3 12 10  1  7  5 16 29  7 11  8  28  39 -11  32
15 Manchester City 25  5  4  4 10 11  3  2  7  9 19  8  6 11  19  30 -11  30
16 Sheff. United   26  4  5  4 15 15  3  1  9  7 20  7  6 13  22  35 -13  27
17 Wigan Athletic  25  4  2  7 13 20  3  2  7 13 21  7  4 14  26  41 -15  25
18 West Ham United 26  5  2  6 14 16  0  3 10  4 25  5  5 16  18  41 -23  20
19 Charlton Ath.   26  4  3  6 11 17  1  2 10  9 28  5  5 16  20  45 -25  20
20 Watford         25  2  5  5 10 14  0  4  9  4 23  2  9 14  14  37 -23  15

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0607.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

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

[2] What are MCIVTA’s publishing deadlines?

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

[3] MCIVTA Back Issues and Manchester City Supporters’ home page is the unofficial Manchester City Supporters’ home page. Created in 1994, it is the longest running of the Manchester City related web sites. Back issues of MCIVTA are also hosted on the site.

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

The official club web site can be found at

[5] What supporters’ clubs are there?

Manchester City FC recognises three supporters’ clubs: The “Official Supporters Club” (; the “Centenary Supporters’ Association” ( and “The International Supporters’ Club”.

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

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

[7] What match day broadcasts are available on the web?

The Radio Manchester (née 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 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:

The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribersand there is no intention to represent these opinions as being thoseof Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies anduniversities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not inany way whatsoever connected to the club or any other relatedorganisation and is simply a group of supporters using this mediumas a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.

[Valid3.2]Heidi Pickup,

Newsletter #1300