Newsletter #1334

Another week closes and still we are no further with manager, signings or investment. Again, depending upon which sources you read, we’re either two days away from telling the former Thai PM “deal or no deal”, or he is two days or two weeks away from making his bid. Meanwhile, Newcastle United quietly get on with things: new manager, new players and a new majority shareholder/owner. No wonder the long suffering City fans are becoming increasing cynical about the whole situation.

However, it was rumoured this week that Prestwich & Whitefield supporters’ branch had pulled off a major coup in getting John Wardle to address a supporters’ meeting to be held next Tuesday at COMS. Whether this happens remains to be seen, but it would be nice for the board to actually give the fans some proper news on what is happening.

Don’s news covers the ongoing saga, the latest managerial links, departures and international action.

We have opinion on the lack of direction and inertia, treatment of the fans, rights or wrongs of investment, a former Blue favourite and news on the Fans’ Parliament.

Next game: TBA


Takeover Talk

Ran Runs to Juve: We’ll never know if Claudio Ranieri would have led City to a better place – because the Tinkerman decided to take his caravan to Turin. He’s the new coach of Juventus. He’d begun the week with some mighty fine sounding quotes about what he could do for City. He’d 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.” Fine, come on down Claudio! But then the interest from Juventus became known, and Ranieri’s soundbites became a tad more cautious. “It’s premature to specify names,” Ranieri said. “At this moment, I haven’t signed anything and it is all yet to be decided.” Then what do you know – Juve have a new boss. So reports of Ranieri being City Supremo as part of a Thaksin takeover were to come to naught. Ranieri said of his new appointment: “It is a beautiful, difficult and electrifying challenge. I like electrifying challenges. There’s hard work to do to recover the position Juve are used to. I’m sure we’ll do well. The fans are calm and we will make them feel proud of what Juve will do in the grounds of Italy for the moment, and then in the grounds of Europe.” And the disgraced Italian giants were pleased with their acquisition too. “For Juventus, this is the best possible choice fully in line with the company’s objectives and tradition”, ran a club statement. “Ranieri is a man of great experience and international vision. He is able to carry out the sporting project approved by the administrative council.”

Juan’s the Man: So who would City be turning to, following Ranieri’s snub? Sevilla announced that they would be re-opening contract talks with their coach Juande Ramos at the end of the Spanish season in mid June. The 52-year-old’s current contract runs through to 2008 and he could leave this summer if his buy-out clause is paid. A Sevilla spokesman said “He is in discussions with the club in order to get another contract. At this moment, Juande publicly always says that he is happy here. He wants to continue and is waiting until after the league and cup to get a meeting with the president in order to make the arrangements for a new contract. When he talks about the future he always says ‘at this moment I work for Sevilla, I am happy here, I am not thinking about change. I think that I will continue at Sevilla next season. But anyway the most important thing now is the end of the league and the cup final and later we will talk about the future’.” Bearing in mind the success Ramos has enjoyed at Sevilla, winning 2 UEFA Cups, keeping them in the race this season’s Spanish title, and with a domestic cup final to come – who can blame Sevilla for trying to keep hold of their manager? Of the other candidates mentioned so far, Gerard Houllier got a vote from Rangers’ manager Walter Smith. Smith, who knows the 59-year-old well from their time managing Merseyside rivals Everton and Liverpool respectively, believes any side managing to acquire Houllier’s services can count themselves fortunate. Smith told “I don’t think there’s any doubt, he made an impact on the Premiership before and he did a great job at Liverpool when he was there. I think he’s an obvious target for Premiership clubs who would take into account what he’s done at both Liverpool and Lyon. I don’t think that there’s any doubt that whichever club gets Gerard will be handling one of the best managers throughout the whole of Europe.” The Sunday Mirror meanwhile suggested that City chairman John Wardle was targeting Graeme Souness amid fears that Thaksin Shinawatra’s £90 million takeover bid has hit the wall. Wardle wants to see the colour of Shinawatra’s money within a fortnight or he may be forced to scrap his plans to sell. The former Thai Prime Minister’s accountants have been looking at City’s books for weeks as part of a due diligence process. But no formal bid has been made.

Interest Mounts: With the lack of any news of a formal bid this week, what was the club saying about takeover talks? On Monday, the club website posted the following statement: “Further to its announcement on 25 April 2007, the Board of Manchester City confirms that it is now in advanced discussions with interested parties that may or may not lead to an offer being made for the Company. A further announcement will be made in due course as appropriate.” The assumption is that the ‘interested parties’ refers to the Shinawatra brigade, although it could also be the mysterious unknown American investors mentioned by Mr Wardle at the AGM last year.

General News

Pearce’s Pair: Stuart Pearce dipped into his knowledge of City this week and had two of his former charges appearing for England’s under 21’s in a warm up for this summer’s Euro Tournament. In the 5-0 thrashing of Slovakia, Joe Hart was between the sticks for the whole game, while Nedum Onouha played for the first half. Goals from Richardson, Reo-Coker, Taylor, Huddlestone, and Lita saw England stroll through the game. SP organised a penalty shoot-out between the teams, which must be good practice ahead of the Summer tournament. England won that mini-contest 4-3.

Transfer News and Gossip

Barton Finks He’ll Be Loved at the Toon: A quick recap on the comings and goings at our beloved club. More accurately the goings and goings, but here goes – the manager’s left, the coaching staff have followed his lead, the replacement manager’s gone before he arrived and one of the best defenders has decamped to the South Coast. And this week – last season’s top scorer has all but signed up for Newcastle United. Joey Barton has had a medical at St. James’ Park and has agreed to join the Toon in a £5.5 million deal. This outcome became more likely when Barton told Sky Sports News on Friday that “If the club decided that they don’t want to keep me and they want to accept an offer then so be it, I’ve got to look after Joey Barton and my family as well. I’ll listen to what people have got to say and if they’ve got a great desire for me to play for their football club then that’s all the attention that you need. We have achieved nothing at Man City and I think of the fanbase there and the support structure within the club – the club should be achieving.” Newcastle were then reported to have offered the requisite £5.5 million to City, the figure that triggered a release cause in Barton’s contract. The Magpies then sold Scott Parker to West Ham, thus creating a vacancy in their midfield terrier department. Next came word that Barton had given his word he’d sign for Newcastle after Freddy Shepherd and Sam Allardyce made him “feel so wanted”. He told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle: “I have given my word to Newcastle United and that is where I hope I will be going. Everybody knows they are a club of great history and tradition – and that is great – but what has also been great for me is that they have pushed the boat out for me, and both Freddy Shepherd and Sam Allardyce have made me feel so wanted.” He added: “I am not proud of some of the things I have done and know I have brought a lot of my problems on myself. But I want to be a winner, not only for myself, but for the fans. I have heard it said that footballers are all about flash cars and expensive watches, but for me, it is all about winning medals and it hurts me that I haven’t any.”

Getting a Spot at Spotland? Defender Nathan D’Laryea, who was released at the end of last season, has joined Rochdale. The Academy product was a regular for the second string last season but could not break into the first team at City and spent a spell away from the club on loan at Macclesfield. Now Rochdale boss Keith Hill has moved to take the player to the Division Two side where he is far more likely to get first team football.

Rangers on DaMarc? After failing to win a permanent deal with City, DaMarcus Beasley has been linked with a move to SPL runners-up Rangers. The United States international has been told that City are unwilling to transform his loan from PSV Eindhoven into a longer stay and he has since attracted interest from Scotland. Rangers boss Walter Smith is believed to be an admirer of the forward and has reportedly entered into talks with Beasley about a move to Ibrox. However, the player’s agent Lyle Yorks claims a number of English clubs are also tracking the 25-year-old. “There are several teams that have expressed an interest in DaMarcus in the UK,” Yorks told the Daily Star Sunday. “He is a PSV player but DaMarcus really enjoyed his time in England with Man City.”

Sporting Chance: City are said to be chasing Sporting Lisbon midfielder Leandro Romagnoli. The Argentine was on loan at Sporting this season from Mexico’s Veracruz. The midfielder’s contract expires on December 31, so his club may wish to cash in on the player this summer. Reports in Portugal suggest that City, Paris Saint Germain and Espanyol have all made contact with Veracruz about a deal for Romagnoli.

Ex-Blues’ News

Sib-Stantial Move for Antoine: Antoine Sibierski’s back in the North West, after a nine month spell with Newcastle United. He’s signed for Wigan Athletic on a free transfer. Wigan Boss Chris Hutchings said: “Antoine is a player I have admired a lot ever since he came to England. He is strong and committed and will give everything to the cause. He is a player who can fill a number of different positions, in midfield or as a striker and I’m delighted to be able to add him to the squad.” The Frenchman turned down a one-year deal to stay at St James’ Park and has instead opted to join the Latics on a two-year contract. “I am delighted to have my future sorted,” Sibierski told Wigan’s official website. “The manager impressed me hugely and this is clearly a very ambitious club. I can’t wait to get started.” Sibierski follows former Magpies teammate Titus Bramble into the club, after the centre-half signed a three-year deal earlier in the day.

Golden Gordon: It’s amazing where former City players pop up – take for instance Gordon Smith. Smith wore the Sky Blue shirt in the mid-80’s making 49 appearances and scoring 15 goals. After his playing days he’s been a TV pundit and a players’ agent, but now – the Scottish Football Association have confirmed Smith as their new chief executive. The agent and football pundit, who played for Kilmarnock, Rangers, Brighton and Manchester City, replaces David Taylor, who left the SFA to become UEFA’s new general secretary. “I feel privileged and honoured,” said Smith, who conceded he did not even think he was a genuine contender for the post at the final interview stage. “I am a proud Scot who wants to see Scottish football flourish. The response I’ve had already from within the game has been marvellous, and that has given me extra motivation.”

Don Barrie <news(at)>


Two losses to end the season and a manager sacking to boot. Not a great month in the world of Manchester City but a controversial one all the same.

The derby lacked much attacking progress in the final third of the field for most fans’ liking; however, the amazing support from the Blue fans outdid any I’ve ever heard. Surely now Thaksin Shinawatra can’t have any doubts now about buying a club with a fan base like ours. I think we’re all hoping for a new era to come with the former Thai Prime Minister and a new squad couldn’t hurt if we intend to challenge for Europe next year.

Joey’s on his way out to Newcastle and morale is low (even if the two aren’t necessarily linked). The new manager will need sparkling charisma and amazing tactical knowledge to resurrect the glory days of Colin Bell and Co. but it seems a consecutive European Cup winner is more than interested. Juande Ramos has put new contract talks on the back burner at the Sevilla and he has made it common knowledge that a move to the English Premier League would be a dream for him. Ramos is now favourite as Claudio ’empty promises’ Ranieri signed for Juventus 48 hours after claiming he wants to create a Blue side that will challenge Stretford United as soon as possible. The tinker man is out of contention and Sven Goran Eriksson wants a new challenge thus would seem to be Ramos’ only threat.

No new signings appear around the corner until Shinawatra puts his money into a bid but with 50 million pounds reportedly available, the deep pockets of the potential investor could clear the blemishes of an underachieving side over the summer.

I’ll end with a Thank You to Wardle and Makin for sticking by us over the past few years but we’ve always been a club with expectations so it’s time to do what is right for the squad, the staff and the fans by selling to a multi-millionaire. Next month I expect to be talking of high profile signings and a new era of MCFC, which will allow the fans to create a derby-like atmosphere against all clubs next year as we watch ten home goals a game, not a season. Ever the optimist.

Alexander Rowen <ajpr2007(at)>


I have been wondering how Man City are in such a mess. Even with the combined spending of Keegan and Pearce we must only have had a net spend over this period of about £25 million, not much over a six year period.

In losing Barton and Distin for a combined fee of £5.5 million we have lost two of our best players and if you were to try to buy replacements of this calibre I reckon you’d be looking at upwards of £13 million (Barton at £8 million à la Reo Coker and Parker and Distin at £5 million plus). If you check out our squad list on the City website, it’s pitiful and other than Dunne, Richards and Onouha there isn’t one player that would get in another Premiership squad, let alone their first team.

I know we have debt but why has the club been that mis-managed? I look at the squad and for the life of me I cannot see where the salaries are being spent. We have been paying Barton and Distin in the region of £25-30 thousand a week but they will both be earning double that at their new clubs yet at City they were considered big earners. I think the next to leave will be Richards to Man U or Chelsea as I think his agent will get him out of a sinking ship and it wouldn’t surprise me if Dunne went to Sunderland.

We are all banking on this buyout as being the saviour of our club but it shouldn’t have come to this.

Billy Watkinson <billywatkinson(at)>


Chris Turner can read and remember club statistics from the past, so how come he cannot recall the utter dreadfulness of Sven’s last World Cup? He picked a bizarre squad, without enough forwards and including untested forwards that he would never use despite injury crises. His substitutions were even less effective than Stuart Pearce’s during the end of last season and his tactics and formations left his carefully developed squad utterly bewildered. On the evidence of all of that, perhaps Chris wants Sven because his last World Cup epitomises the last 30-odd years at Manchester City.

As for the constant excitement about should we/shouldn’t we, will he/won’t he, the belief that an injection of cash will save Manchester City is simply wrong. It will cost us our soul. I’d rather see us in the Pontin’s League than as we are now.

Fans treated with contempt, management impervious to their own incompetence and the bottom line is purely how much money they can make. I do not want to become like the top four even if that is the only way to compete with them. Why on earth do the vast majority of contributors to MCIVTA? If the price of success is to emulate the Scum, Chelsea or Liverpool then forget it!

When we were in the second and third division, or the Cokeheads League (or whatever it was called at the time) football was simply far more fun. Isn’t that what fans should really care about? Obsessing about loadsamoney ignores how obnoxious and offensive that condition really is. I simply cannot grasp why everyone wants an alleged crook or a major player in the demise of Leeds United or some unknown Yanks (who are even less well-known than the beloved Glazers) to take Manchester City and complete the job of making it a faceless, soulless corporation. We’re rapidly reaching that state already with our dreary stadium, which is clearly not ours and clearly not Home, our tatty marketing and merchandising (when was the last time we had as kit that was truly great, and why on earth did we accept its demise by buying the tat that replaced it?).

Let’s forget the desperation to win at all cost and remember why we are Blues. Enjoying good football does not have to mean competing in a competition that we all know is terminally contaminated by greed. Do you really want to give that up in order to compete with 4 teams who will then be off to a European Super League, leaving us left out and permanently damaged because we chose to follow their sordid example? From all the complaints I read every week (from catering to car-parking, ticketing, cost and quality) why do you really want all that to get worse and more expensive?

Ideally we could play in the Second Division (or whatever they want to call it next season) and not have to go into the odious Premiership whenever we win the league, but, instead get a place in the UEFA Cup instead (when we win that we can go into the Champions’ League for the next season). I know it will not be allowed to happen because of money, but it would be nice.

When we were in the third division we had a better and more loyal following than we have now. Shouldn’t we reflect on that before hoping we accelerate in the direction we are going?

Martin Hunt <martin.hunt(at)>


I find it a very sad reflection of the game when a guy with more huff-and-puff than real football talent will apparently be paid £45,000 per week (by Newcastle). An uncompromising thug to be rewarded in this manner is appalling, a real slap in the face to the average working guy. The only good thing about the situation is that Barton shall no longer represent Manchester City, the likes of whom we can well do without.

Due to the proposed takeover, we continue to be well behind other clubs, who are clearly wasting no time in shuffling and adding quality players to their staff. By the time any such takeover is sorted, there likely will not be too many really worthwhile players remaining for us to pick from. Then, again, where will be if the Thai move for the club does not, after all, materialize?

We’ve already lost out on Claudio Ranieri, the apparent first-choice as manager. One way or another, the club must get its act together – quickly.

Graham Mills <gkm_5(at)>


Our top scorer last season has now gone. So sad, move on. Now with tears in my eyes, I read that we are about to bid for Marlon Harewood. Yes, the same player who managed a whole 3 goals last year. Can’t wait – but then 3 goals would put him on par with our strikers.

MCFC = little ambition. For £4 million, surely we could do better.

Malcolm Clelland <clelland(at)>


The following link shows the questions raised by readers of Stavnger Aftenblad and the answers provided by Uwe Rösler during a net meeting on 31 May 2007. The article is mostly in Norwegian but the heading “Drømmer om City” translates as “Dreaming About City”:

Question number 8 is posted in English and asks about the possibility of a return to City. The answer is shown in Norwegian but my Norwegian mate Hans has translated the answer into English as follows:

“To me it has always been a goal to develop as a manager and reach as far as I can go. As a player it was a great challenge for me to sign for City. Now I have just started my career as a manager and it will take quite some time before I can hopefully fulfill my dream, which is to become manager of Manchester City.”

Uwe was the coach of Lillestrøm S.K. in the Norwegian Premier League for two seasons, finishing fourth both times. They also reached the Norwegian Cup Final in 2005 and the Royal League Final in 2006 but lost both. He was sacked in November 2006 but was very quickly appointed manager of Viking F.K.

Andy Watson <andythejambo(at)>


Regarding the question about the yellow away shirt.

They were a limited edition so won’t be available via the club. Most likely ebay holds the answer. I actually got one from ebay but it was manufactured in Thailand of all places and although it’s a decent replica the quality is not as good as perhaps it should be. I am sure that you can still get them. You can have mine if you ask really nice.

Rob Matthews – Brisbane Blue <robertm(at)>


Looks like Manchester City will be coming from the back of the pack next season. But I don’t think that we should panic, many a good horse has run a good race from the back. It will all depend on some vital statistics at the start of the new season.

  1. Who the owners of MCFC are
  2. Who the Board of Directors are
  3. Who the Manager of City is
  4. Who the new players are to sign for City
  5. Will the CoMS be full of cheering City sSupporters (I hope so; we are City supporters till we die, aren’t we?)

So let’s try to stay positive, we can still get to be surprised, right?

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


For those football fans stuck in a rut with nothing to do this Saturday, why not pop along to The Football Supporters’ Federation’s ‘Fans Parliament’ on Saturday 9th June, 11pm at Crewe Alexandra FC’s Gresty Road stadium.

A great deal of football related matters will be discussed. The meeting is free to attend for members and non members, anyone can join in the debates on the motions put forward, though only members can vote.

The meeting also doubles up as the FSF’s AGM and officers to the National Council will also be elected on the day. For more details –

Phill Gatenby <Safestanding(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 #1334