Newsletter #1313

No action for the Blues at the weekend due to the international games, although Stevie Ireland was on the scoresheet for the ROI, scoring a historic first goal for their game at Croke Park.

Tonight we have opinion on football club investment, praise for the wonderful Jim Cassell, the beautiful game and the usual requests.

Next game: Newcastle United, away, 3pm Saturday 31 March 2007


Following comments from ‘St Petersburg Blue’ in the MCFC Trust article and website ( “How Will A Bid For City Be Structured And Financed?”, I was moved to write a response. I was late in posting the reply and hoped I could air my views in McVittee again as it might also resonate (or obviate) with the readership.

I am definitely with ‘St Petersburg Blue’ on taking on the ownership of the club wholly by the fans, rather than let ‘outside’ interests steal our soul.

To all intents and purposes the takeovers we are linked with appear to involve forms of leveraged buyout (LBO) whereby the buyer uses equity in the club (company) to take over control, i.e. the assets of the company are used to fund the purchase. An anomaly of corporate structures throughout the capitalized world is by doing this, according to Modigliani-Miller theorem – whether the club (or any company) is structured using equity or debt, its value is not affected. Models to more or lesser extent that are being used by United and Liverpool. These involve LBOs based on future TV revenues and ability to borrow against the assets in the club, as do many companies. The concern with many LBOs is that they precipitate asset stripping.

Assuming LBOs are the case in point, I believe we, as fans, with the organization of bodies such as that the Trust is hoping to achieve, have a superb opportunity to put the club into the professional control of fans passionate about City. Why let someone else walk in and do it? City have the kind of assets to borrow against with the stadium’s lease being professionally valued at £153 million in last year’s report and accounts. I would expect the due diligence processes that are, allegedly, underway to be heavily investigating this as an option to borrow against – as well as delaying any decision on Premiership status for gaining access to pots of TV revenue.

The difference with a LBO from City supporting interests are clear. I believe it should not matter what division we play in to want control. I do not believe we will go down. However, it should not affect ambitions to run our own club. That is where we, as supporters, have an advantage over buyers focussed purely on financial or other aspects outside supporting City would bring. Obviously, relegation would have a devastating effect. It would also affect the share price and, therefore, purchase price; as well as the means to repay. However, whichever division and subsequent revenue stream we followed, the owners, such as a body like the Trust, would always have the interests of the fans and community at heart.

Assuming a LBO is not the means of takeover, I still feel that the club would be better served in the hands of its supporters. I would rather keep our soul and leverage the assets through taking on repayable debt ourselves. Any City fan with ‘real’ money would have surely been in by now? As Dave Boyle and the guest speakers at the inaugural Trust meeting were keen to point out, a football club is more than just a business that generates profit. It is a ‘generational thing’. Football is not a ‘normal business’, Sean Hamil speaker from Celtic. As supporters we have a chance to build on those sentiments and those that I read many of us feel, see Steve Kay’s findings in MCIVTA 1308.

Whilst finance needs proper and close attention, there are other factors to consider for a football club, and Manchester City Football Club in particular. My own take on that is a vision I have set out before in MCIVTA (1292):

  • Having a belief that we can be number one
  • Playing in front of passionate fans with whom players bond (not least byattending Supporters’ Clubs meetings as well as playing with their heart andsoul every time they feel the pride of pulling on the City jersey, to nametwo)
  • Supporting the communities we work with
  • Developing sportsmen and women of the future

That is the type of vision I believe can only be addressed by City fans who are not wholly concerned with money.

Anxieties over ‘saddling’ the club with debt should be balanced with maximizing its long term potential e.g. the opportunity we had to buy DvB at £2 million and choosing not to raise the cash, against standing still, and now, falling behind. SWP, Flitcroft, Stewart, Barnes ad nauseam are more examples from the past that we have come to regret. A longer term financial vision might have let us keep players of this ilk as well as our dignity. Finance is merely a means of achieving our own dreams as to how far the club can go. Whilst there are obvious constraints, we should maximize our assets and limit the cases of losing players who should have made 500 appearances in the Blue shirt. If leveraging is one of them, I’d take it.

Whatever you do, stay Blue!

Dave Clinton <dave_Clinton(at)>


We seem to spend most of our time in recent years highlighting all that is wrong we our great club, and with some justification, but there is one aspect that is working very well.

City’s Youth Academy Director Jim Cassell has been doing sterling work and I was lucky enough to witness a product of that academy, Stephen Ireland scoring the first ever goal for Ireland at Croke Park on Saturday. Although not one of the greatest matches I have ever witnessed, all City fans, I am sure, will be glad to hear that both Stephen and Richard Dunne were in excellent form.

Another positive for us long suffering Blues, here is a statistic brought to my attention by my son before the Boro game last week. City have not lost a game this season to a team that we had already beaten or drew with, so on that basis we should stay clear of relegation this season. I hope I haven’t put the mockers on it [So do I Paul! – Ed].

CTID, Paul Fegan <paulo9(at)>


Gibby Zobel is so right. This is a major reason for not renewing my season card next season alongside the cost. There just doesn’t seem to be any hope for a club like City anymore unless, like Chelsea, an unprecedented amount of investment comes our way.

I remember last season Peter Kenyon annoying the likes of United and Arsenal when he said that only one team (Chelsea) would win the title that year – and he was right. Will it be any different next season? I doubt it. Yes we may have a team like Reading who do exceptionally well in their first season but apart from that the league is a total damp squib.

The problem lies in Europe though. The Champions’ League is killing domestic competition and unless there is some kind of limitation of that competition alongside the money that is spent on transfers and wages then this problem will continue for many years to come.

Graham Keller <gkmcfc(at)>


The Centenary Supporters’ Association (CSA) have organised their annual 5-a–side competition for Saturday 16 June at the Platt Lane Complex, commencing at 10am and finishing about 2pm.

A presentation of trophies and buffet will be held in the Oasis Suite following the football. The 5-a-side competition is open to all City supporters wishing to enter a team. Entrance is £10 per team, please contact me by either email below or phone 0161-281-7517 for more information.

Alex Channon <alex.channon(at)>


I live in Birmingham and I would like to join a branch. Unfortunately there are no branches in my area. I would like to know if there is a possibility that we could start one or possibly me join another one? Can anyone help out?

Jack Baker <mcfcbakerjlb(at)>


I’m a lifelong City supporter from Hamburg, Germany.

Are there any other people who want to get in contact with me to exchange information about the team or want to organise a German branch?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Up the City.

Frank Mooß <frankmooss(at)>


League table to 25 March 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  30 13  1  1 39  9 11  2  2 31 11 24  3  3  70  20  50  75
 2 Chelsea         30 11  4  0 33  8 10  2  3 21 11 21  6  3  54  19  35  69
 3 Arsenal         29  9  5  0 34 11  7  2  6 17 13 16  7  6  51  24  27  55
 4 Liverpool       30 11  3  1 29  4  5  3  7 15 16 16  6  8  44  20  24  54
 5 Bolton Wndrs    30  8  3  4 21 14  6  2  7 14 24 14  5 11  35  38  -3  47
 6 Everton         30  8  4  3 22 11  4  6  5 16 15 12 10  8  38  26  12  46
 7 Tottenham H.    30 10  1  4 28 18  3  5  7 15 26 13  6 11  43  44  -1  45
 8 Reading         30  9  2  4 26 16  4  3  8 17 22 13  5 12  43  38   5  44
 9 Portsmouth      30  8  4  3 22 12  3  5  7 14 19 11  9 10  36  31   5  42
10 Blackburn R.    30  7  2  6 20 18  5  2  8 16 23 12  4 14  36  41  -5  40
11 Newcastle Utd   30  7  5  3 23 17  3  2 10 11 22 10  7 13  34  39  -5  37
12 Middlesbrough   30  8  3  4 21 16  1  6  8 11 20  9  9 12  32  36  -4  36
13 Aston Villa     30  6  5  4 15 12  1  8  6 14 23  7 13 10  29  35  -6  34
14 Fulham          30  6  5  4 14 13  1  8  6 17 31  7 13 10  31  44 -13  34
15 Manchester City 29  5  4  6 10 13  4  2  8 12 21  9  6 14  22  34 -12  33
16 Wigan Athletic  30  5  3  7 14 20  4  3  8 16 24  9  6 15  30  44 -14  33
17 Sheff. United   30  5  6  4 18 17  3  1 11  7 27  8  7 15  25  44 -19  31
18 Charlton Ath.   30  6  3  6 17 17  1  3 11 11 32  7  6 17  28  49 -21  27
19 West Ham United 30  5  2  8 17 21  1  3 11  6 30  6  5 19  23  51 -28  23
20 Watford         30  2  7  6 13 20  1  4 10  6 26  3 11 16  19  46 -27  20

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1313