Newsletter #1332

Who said following City is dull? Well maybe performances this past season were at times, but off pitch it’s still all go. We’ve had Ranson withdraw from the race to buy the club, and the Thai bid gone all quiet as the ruling there this week found Shinawatra’s party disbanded and him banned from political activity for 5 years. What this now means in terms of the potential takeover is anybody’s guess.

The transfer window opens on Friday 1 June and, despite players leaving, we have no manager at present to start to assemble his squad, which is quite a worry. Depending upon which news sources you believe, Ranieri who has now quit Parma is awaiting the Shinawatra bid before deciding whether to come to City or stay in Italy, and worryingly some circles are linking us with Souness should any takeover fail to happen and we revert to Plan F.

Tonight’s news from Don contains all the very latest on managerial speculation, takeover, City old and new boys, and international action. We have opinion on the current candidates and Inside MCFC.

Next game: TBA


Takeover Talk

Tinkering With the Deal: Reports from Thailand this week suggested that former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s deal for City was being held up because he hadn’t yet submitted a proposal to withdraw money from the country. Bearing in mind that Thaksin’s finances are the subject of much speculation in his homeland, the authorities there were interested to discover whether his bid for the club is a genuine one, and not just a ruse to ship out funds from the country. The Shinawatra camp is sure that all is going well, however. “Everything is going smoothly,” Thaksin’s lawyer Noppadon Pattama told Reuters. “We hope the deal will be formally concluded by early June.” On Sunday, the People reported that Claudio Ranieri had committed himself to the manager’s job at City. The paper claimed that “the Tinkerman”, has told the group behind the Far East bid that he will quit Parma to head for the Premiership in the next fortnight. A fly in the ointment appeared on Monday, when the word from Italy was that Ranieri was staying put. “I would like to remain at Parma. It is a healthy club, led by people who love football. But my future has yet to be decided,” Ranieri was quoted as saying. Parma president Tommaso Ghirardi clearly wants Ranieri to extend his stay in Serie A. Ghirardi said: “We want Ranieri to stay. He is tempted by the idea of going to England but we will try to keep him. He is fascinated by English football and this is no secret. But the warmth of the fans and the atmosphere at Parma will make him reflect on his future.” The story was soon back on message, as the Daily Mail claimed that Ranieri had held talks with Shinawatra’s representatives in London on Tuesday. And by Wednesday Sky Sports News was confident enough to report that Ranieri would be the next City boss, if the Thai deal gets tied up. The talks must have gone well, because by Thursday Ranieri was talking of looking to recreate his “Chelsea miracle” if he does take up the vacant hotseat. Referring to the pre-Roman Abramovich era at Stamford Bridge, he said: “The Manchester City challenge reminds me of the experience I had at Chelsea where without spending £1, we built a good team. It was an achievement that convinced (Roman) Abramovich to buy the club. I created the Chelsea miracle from nothing. Then, mountains of money came as well as a selection of top players.” He said: “The idea is to face Manchester United as soon as possible and be at the same level as them in the standings. With Manchester City, I hope to complete every stage. This time, I have been chosen whereas before, Abramovich found me at the club.”

Not Held to Ranson: It seems that Ray Ranson’s consortium has given up its attempt to purchase the club. Despite Ranson’s optimism a deal could be done that would wipe away some of City’s near £60 million debt and supply a new manager with a substantial transfer kitty, there were serious doubts among the City hierarchy about his ability to deliver the cash. “Ray has been unable to reach agreement with the board in progressing discussions and therefore announces that he is withdrawing from further talks relating to a possible offer for the club,” said a statement released to the Stock Exchange. A source close to Ranson revealed the decision had been taken “out of great frustration and with a very heavy heart”.

The Mancunian Candidates: The majority of the takeover talk may have concerned Ranieri and all things Thai, but that didn’t stop the press mentioning plenty of other candidates for the manger’s spot. Gerard Houllier quit as Lyon coach this week, bringing forth a flutter of speculation – but the former Liverpool supremo ruled himself out immediately regarding the City job, or any other post for that matter. Houllier said he did not have “the time and the energy” to carry on as Lyon coach, and added he wanted to take a break from the game. “I need a break, full stop,” he added. “I will not go to another club in France and initially not to a foreign club. I am firstly going to take a holiday. I need a rest.” Au revoir then, Gerard. Sevilla coach Juande Ramos was next in the frame for the vacant City job, according to the Daily Mirror. Ramos, 52, is chasing the La Liga title with Sevilla and has just taken them to their second successive UEFA Cup triumph. Ramos was sounded out about Chelsea, but then their FA Cup triumph threw Jose Mourinho a lifeline. And how about this one – Ruud Gullit fancies the vacant manager’s job. The Daily Star Sunday says the Dutch legend told City sources at Wednesday’s Champions’ League final in Athens that he’d like to be considered for the position. The award for the “180 degree turn of the week” goes to Sven-Goran Eriksson! Last week, the former England boss was quite dismissive about joining a such a small club. I don’t know what he’s been reading about the club and its suitors, but now Sven is singing from a different hymn sheet. “It would be an honour for me to be Manchester City’s manager,” Eriksson told the M.E.N. “If they indicated they’re interested in me of course I would talk to them. Manchester City is an established club with great potential. Every time I visited the club I was struck by the passion of the fans and made to feel welcome.”

Resigned to His Fate: Events are moving on apace. On Thursday night Claudio Ranieri resigned as Parma’s manager. A statement from Parma read: “Ranieri has informed the club about his intention to leave. We thank him for the great work he did helping Parma to stay in Serie A and we wish him good luck for his future career.” Can a Thaksin takeover be far behind?

Transfer News and Gossip

Wanted: Midfield Nutter: The first transfer tale this week concerns two players – one a City player of the past, the other a City player possibly with no future. Middlesbrough are supposedly after Michael Brown of Fulham (formerly of this parish) or Joseph Barton esq.- it’s hard to tell which of the pair is the number one target for the Boro, because according to the Fulham – based websites it’s Brown, while the City news mongers claim it’s Barton.

Are City Going to Hellebuyck? I’m not too sure who would sanction any incoming transfers at the moment, what with the ownership vacuum at the COMS, but that hasn’t stopped the media chucking a couple of candidates into the rumour mill for us to ponder this week. Paris Saint Germain midfielder David Hellebuyck is being linked with a move to the Premiership. Hellebuyck is ready to quit PSG this summer after failing to win over Coach Paul Le Guen and is said to be of interest to City and Middlesbrough. Also, City, and West Ham would like to move for Levante’s hotshot Mustapha Riga. Riga’s goals have lifted Levante away from the relegation zone in Spain’s Primera Liga in recent weeks. Spanish reports suggest a raft of Premiership scouts were represented at last Sunday for Levante’s victory over Celta Vigo, and were watching the Ghana international.

Ex-Blues’ News

Celtic Make a Killen: Thanks to Matt Thomas for alerting us to the fact that former City striker Chris Killen was on his way to Glasgow Celtic from Hibernian. He duly signed for The Bhoys on Thursday on a free transfer. He said: “There was a time when I was not sure where I was going but when Celtic came in it was a ‘no-brainer’. I’ve been in talks with a couple of clubs, including Cardiff, but the interest came from Celtic in the last couple of days and I am here now. But I’m not here to be a squad player, I have come to play. There is going to be competition but that’s not a problem for me. I’m going to work hard and do everything that I can to get that starting jersey. Initially I signed at Hibs on an 18-month deal and I saw it as a stepping stone to bigger and better things and Celtic are bigger and better. It’s such a great club and playing in the Champions’ League is something I would love to do.” Killen has not played since January, after suffering a serious Achilles injury against Aberdeen at Pittodrie but the burly striker had already notched 15 goals when injury struck. The Kiwi insists he has put that injury nightmare behind him saying: “It was frustrating; my season was going really well at the time. But that’s football, you’ve got to take the rough with the smooth, which I’ve done.”

[Good luck from us all at MCIVTA Chris. I remember years back when the Killen family used to receive and sometimes contributed to McV and keep in touch with news of Chris playing at MCFC Academy – Ed]

Kids’ Korner

Triumphant Youth: City’s under-18’s have won a tournament in Spain this week. They beat the host side CD Javea 5-0, with two goals coming from David Ball and the rest coming from Adam Clayton, Ben Morris and Ryan McGivern. They then beat Villareal, thanks to a goal from Scott Kay. Academy Manager Jim Cassell stated that “It was absolutely superb. The reason we go to the tournament is because of the quality of the opposition. Last year it was Valencia and this year Villareal, both of whom are renowned for having exceptionally good academies in Spain. So to beat them both over the two times we’ve been is a nice measure for us really.” Playing two games in a day was a tough test for the lads. “We didn’t play against Villareal until 9pm that night having played Javea at 12.30 in the heat of the afternoon. So we had a long interlude in between the games and that becomes part of the education. We took the lads back to the hotel and made sure they got some sleep and ate at the right time. Then because of the preparation, the game against Villareal was excellent. It was a good game and could have gone either way. We got the break and Scott Kay scored the winner for us with about ten minutes to go. The reason we won the tournament was because we were well disciplined, everybody knew their rôle and it worked as a great team building exercise for the Club.” The Squad was – Filip Mentel, Curtis Obeng, Ryan McGivern, Ben Mee, Gary Breen, Paul Marshall, Adam Clayton, Scott Kay, Ched Evans, David Ball, Karl Moore, Ben Morris, Angelos Tsialkis, Vladimir Weiss, Michael Daly, Clayton McDonald.

Call-Up for Pair: Stuart Pearce has selected two of his former players in his squad for the European Under-21’s Championships. City duo Nedum Onuoha and Joe Hart will both travel to Holland for the tournament, with their matches starting on June 11. There is no place for midfielder Michael Johnson, unfortunately.

Don Barrie <news(at)>


To the Board of Directors of MCFC

I have actively supported City since 1990, following in the footsteps of my dad and his dad, and I can honestly say that I have never felt as concerned about the club as I do at this time. I have suffered a wide array of footballing misfortunes including numerous derby defeats, ignominious Cup exits, disinterested players, Frank Sidebottom and ‘The Only Way Is Up’, but the only time I have ever felt ashamed to be City supporter was 7th March 1993, the pitch invasion against Spurs. I have the feeling that the second time might be just around the corner, and that it will be permanent.

I do not claim to be an expert on Thai politics or human rights, but Thaksin Shinawatra’s interest in the club leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. I know that the accused is always innocent until proven guilty, but I also know that nothing I have read about him makes me want to trust this man with my club or allays my fears that the club is being and will be used for his own personal gain.

I have seen nothing to suggest that he wants City for any positive reason. Has he ever been to a home game, ever professed a non-financial interest in the club? I’m not suggesting that any owner has to be a Blue, but it would be nice to know that there reasons other than us being amongst the cheapest of the ‘bigger’ Premier League clubs. Would he be interested if we were looking at next season as a Championship club?

I am sure that Thaksin will understand public opinion of him is not particularly favourable, but he has made absolutely no move to show the fans that the club will not be tarnished by association with him. How are fans supposed to financially support a club under the control of a man accused of serious human rights violations?

The club can lose a hundred dDerbies, go another 30 years without a trophy, drop out of the Football League and I will still be a supporter. But sell my club to Thaksin, and it will no longer be mine.

In closing, you may like the picture halfway down this page


Paul Barber <paul_j_barber(at)>


With the impending signing of Claudio Ranieri as the new coach at Eastlands, Manchester City are poised to either evolve into a force in the Premier League or dive bomb into obscurity. I am hoping for the former.

Certainly the rot that has crept into the side over the past two years has got to stop. When James, Cole and Distin would rather play at Portsmouth than continue with City, something is seriously wrong.

With seemingly every team in the Premiership armed with a 50 million quid war chest I am not sure how many quality players will be available by the time the Tinkerman swings into action, but let’s face it, the 2007/2008 team can’t be any more impotent in attack than last year’s lot.

Like most, I have my misgivings about this Thailand character, but his finances can’t be any more shady than Abramovich’s ill-gotten millions. So long as the money is spent on the team. All we can do is hope for the best, I hope Barton holds off to see what the new regime is about. We have the nucleus of a pretty decent team and with a few solid buys, we could at least be in the top 10 or 12.

In closing, I would like to congratulate Stuart Pearce in what he achieved in his two years. Let’s face it, he had no real funds to work with, didn’t get a sniff at the SWP funds and was forced to cobble together an attack with free transfers and loan players. His player selection might not have been the best but he at least kept City in the Premiership. Thanks Psycho!

Stay Blue and let’s get behind the Tinkerman.

Keith Sharp – Toronto, Canada <keith(at)>


Picking up on Glyn’s remarks in MCIVTA 1331, Co Adriaanse might be a good choice for next manager with some excellent credentials, but, he might turn out to be a shade too sensitive and temperamental for City.

Co stimulated a number of second rate Dutch league teams to super-human performances. He picked the Hague out of the gutter and lifted them to mediocrity. He achieved UEFA Cup qualification with Willem II – Tilburg with a side of journeymen. From Willem II he took charge of the youth system at Ajax, eventually taking full charge. After differences with leading personalities at Ajax he moved to AZ67, again achieving UEFA Cup football.

Oporto (Portugal) lured him away and he captured the Portuguese ‘double’ within a season. However, he fell out with the powers that be and packed and left. He has recently been at Donetsk in the Ukraine and after yet another disagreement he has walked out on them. Rumour had it that he was paving the way for a return to Dutch football and a new start at Feyenoord. He was welcome in Rotterdam but he has flatly turned their approaches down presumably because he wanted a free hand, and they couldn’t guarantee it!

Upon hearing that he’d rejected Feyenoord, I had a strong feeling that he had more irons in the fire and wondered if City might indeed be his eventual target?

He is a strong personality and very much his own man. He demands commitment from the charlady to the Chairman. If he gets the loyalty, he achieves, if you don’t toe his line then that is interpreted as “if you’re not with me, then…”, not one to be messed with!

In my opinion, he is just the strong personality that City need at this difficult juncture. He will demand full backing if chosen. He will not be frivolous in the transfer market and with a more modest budget will be more than a match for Red-Nose at the Swamp.

Guus Hiddink remains my favourite for the City job, but Co suffers no fools either. Knowing City as I do, we will more than probably end up with one of the charlatans, con-men or wasters currently available. In that case we’ll be exchanging the same messages again in 12-18 months.

Dave Lyons – Blue Moon over Holland <d.lyons(at)>


I was very surprised to see so many negative comments in the newsletter at the prospect of Sven Goran Eriksson being linked with City as a possible new manager, to the extent of him being called a ‘cretin’.

The man’s club record is astonishing, he’s done League and Cup doubles in 3 different countries, won the UEFA cub with Gothenburg and took Benfica to a European Cup Final.

His England record was as good as anyone in recent history, qualifying with ease for every major tournament during his tenure. Pretty much the same team is now struggling badly, the only major difference being the new manager. I suppose qualifying so easily for major tournaments is pretty boring for an England team – at least now we’re making it interesting by losing games.

He was unpopular with a press who had the hatchets out for a foreign manager from day one. In one article recently, he was criticised for sticking with 4-4-2, but then criticised later in the same article for playing 4-5-1. He really couldn’t win, unless England won every game 5-0 and every tournament going.

Eriksson gets results wherever he goes and I would love to see him at City. At the moment Ranieri seems to be the favourite. At least he’ll be at home, when he went back to Valencia from Chelsea a few years ago, one of his first signings was Bernardo Corradi.

Chris Turner <turnercrw(at)>


It was said that the grass is always greener on the other side of the hill but unfortunately you still have to mow it. Meaning it never is.

Now I wasn’t a Stuart Pearce fan, but this manager fiasco has turned this club into a laughing stock. Maybe we should have kept Pearce and given him some decent money to buy decent players. Yeah I know some of his purchases weren’t the best (Corradi, Dabo, Hamaan, Samaras-who I think will come good), but decent players cost big money now; a player from the lower divisions can fetch £2 million.

But as this saga drags on and on, it makes me wonder just who’s in charge!

Stay Blue, but it’s getting harder and harder.

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


It was interesting to read on the MCFC Supporters’ Trust Website that Channel M has decided to stop its Inside MCFC programme. This was reported on the Trust’s website; with a great deal of sadness we won’t get to see highlights of Reserves games, see interviews with the management (whoever that is in three months’ time!) and with former players, etc.

Now I always enjoy checking out the Trust’s website, and I usually agree with most of what I read on there. However, I can’t agree on the sadness on the demise of this programme. I say this with a heavy heart, and I watched plenty of the shows at the start of the season. I don’t live in the North West any more, so I miss out on any local TV coverage of City these days, so I was very pleased when Channel M announced they were doing a weekly show on things to do with City. Thanks to owning a Sky Box, I was looking forward to watching the shows. I even recorded a number for my dad, who is sensible enough not to pay fifty quid per month to Mr Murdoch, but after giving the series a couple of months I stopped watching and recording the programmes.

Inside MCFC suffered mainly because they could never show any of the action from City’s matches, for contractual reasons I guess, so we had to make do with after match reaction of fans coming out of the ground for match day coverage. I accept that it was good to watch some of the reserves coverage, and to get a view of some of the lads who may be first teamers in time but I started to have my doubts about the show when one night they put on some footage of a game, but with no commentary! It made trying to follow the action nigh on impossible IMHO. For me the low point was their coverage of the derby at Old Trafford, which amounted to a young lady interviewing Reds and Blues in a pub in town before, during and after the game as they watched it on telly.

I have to say that I found most of what I saw to be very amateurish, with poor production values, I feel that we Blues deserved something a bit better and a bit slicker. But hey, I might be completely wrong. MCIVTA’s readership may want to make up their own minds, the Supporters’ Trust’s website gives a link to Channel M’s back catalogue of the series, so you could always check it out for yourself. You never know, maybe things improved after I gave up watching.

Tim Roundwood <mcfc1981(at)>


With apparently no news on the takeover front (yeah right), here’s an exclusive competition. Win a hamburger*.

Simply answer this question:
Which hamburgers are the best in the Premiership?

Answers on a postcard, to: Paul Tyrrell, Senior Spinmeister, MCFC.

* to be eaten in the City Social Cafe with Moonchester

Next up: Q+A session with a member of the MCFC Under 3 Academy side

Martin Lever – St Petersburg Blue <citehboy(at)>


I wonder if anyone could tell me where I can purchase the yellow away shirt from?

Tony Higginson <Tony.Higginson(at)>


Many of you will be familiar with Maine Road FC, they have a good young team (average age of the team must be about 21) and do really well considering they regularly lose players to the “big” teams in the league.

They are looking for financial help and, given the historic links with City, thought that this might be of interest to some Blues out there. You can find more details on their website here: (it’s much better with the sound turned up!).

Michael Fryer <fryermichael(at)>

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 #1332