Newsletter #1335

The major news story today is that Shinawatra’s assets have been frozen in Thailand and he faces 5 major charges of corruption. Just where this leaves his supposed bid/takeover is anyone’s guess with his spokesperson saying it is still on track.

Obviously the majority of articles were sent in prior to the announcement, but there are definitely more questions being asked about this whole affair.

Plenty of opinion therefore on the state of the club, the shirts, the money, the management, the lot. Get a drink, you’ll need one.

Next game: TBA


I haven’t written to MCIVTA before, but what clowns have we got in charge?

We are now, with the transfer window open, leaderless, rudderless, going nowhere, except possibly down again. What a state of affairs. It certainly takes fortitude to keep the faith. I blame both some of the fans and the Board for having no ability to see consequences.

Firstly the so called fans, they call for Psycho’s head, unjustifiably, in my opinion, as we were, and I emphasise the word were, only one striker away from challenging those higher up. So, we weren’t playing our usual attacking football, but at least we were still in the Premiership. How short are their memories.

Secondly the Board, they listen to that section of the fans and then sack a manager and assistants without having a replacement in mind. I thought the people running the club and the fans were a cut above and not dimbos that can’t see father than the end of their noses.

Finally, is it now Kenny Jackett, sacked by Swansea, in charge? I can’t remember seeing any mention of him, but maybe I haven’t been looking hard enough.

The only thing worth worrying about is worrying itself (adapted from Roosevelt).

Looking forward to the Championship.

CTID, John O’Connor <aardvet(at)>


Given the current state of limbo, perhaps City fans should change from singing “Blue Moon” to singing “I’m putting all my eggs in one basket”.

I’ve no doubt John Wardle’s heart is in the right place but the Directors in toto seem out of their depths. With the single exception of SWeeP I can’t think of a single recent transfer deal that has been well managed and even with SWeeP I think we could have got £3-4 million more.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt more disenchanted with football – the trend for very wealthy foreigners and Sky to pour money into the game doesn’t seem to benefit anyone other than a few players and their agents. I’m ambivalent about City being taken over: on the one hand there seems no future without a takeover but on the other I’m not sure that the “new City” will really have the same appeal. Up here in Scotland, Hibs have been turned into a complete laughing stock by their Lithuanian connections.

Stuart Pearce was weakened his credibility in my eyes with his volte face from “I can do this U21 job and manage City” to “the U21 Manager needs to be full time”. I thought he was more honest than that. In reality he should have resigned to take on the U21 job rather than waiting to be sacked but I suppose the compensation was better this way.

Ah well, all is not lost, we’ve still got Dabo to look forward to next season!

David Lewis <dfl(at)>


Everyday I go to the MCFC website for news on the (alleged) take over – nothing. I get home from work and hit the Teletext pages on TV – nothing. All I get are emails from MCFC trying to tempt me in parting with £30 of my hard earned money to buy the new first team shirt! All emails from MCFC have now be assigned as spam until someone does something at what has now become a sad, desperate and pathetic excuse of a football club who I am increasingly becoming embarrassed to support.

In my wildest of dreams (or nightmares) in my darkest, darkest hours I never even remotely managed I would say such a thing about the club I have supported and genuinely loved all of my life. I truly, never, ever thought it would come to this…

Just how badly has all of this been handled? I am now having grave misgivings over our (alleged) Thai saviour. I genuinely don’t think he has the money. Or he can’t move it out of Thailand – therefore he doesn’t have the money. Just as he didn’t have the money when it was time to put it on the table during his ‘bid’ for Liverpool (which he could have had for circa £65 million, so he now wants to buy City for £90 million – it simply does not add up!). In a previous life I have had a little experience of being involved in the buying and selling of multi-million pound businesses. Let me tell you – the ‘due diligence’ does not take this long! All (and I mean all) of the required financial information will be in place to be studied. All of the City Directors and senior managers will be on call to attend meetings and answer questions on any subject that they desire to discuss.

The numbers could easily be crunched, analysed and crunched again in a week. Ten days absolute tops! Indemnities will be put in place to cover the new owners of anything that might arise in the future that was not in the data required for due diligence – it is standard, everyday business practice. He doesn’t have the money! He’s in it for the publicity and his own ego. If this ‘bid’ fails I really, really do not know where it will leave us. It is clear the owners and managers of MCFC are bereft of ideas and at a total loss regarding how to run a football club.

No manager, no squad, no money and frankly no hope whatsoever of staying up next season. We only just managed it last season due to 2 unexpected (and against form) away wins over the Christmas period. Maybe It would have been better if had been relegated? A chance to restructure and rebuild without being constantly under the spotlight and the pressure off – who knows?

What I do know is that the mob at OT splash circa £50 million in 3 days and they are supposed to be £600 million+ in debt! Job done, one world class midfielder (Hargreaves) and 2 highly talented Portuguese to add to the squad that won the title without any real worries. The business executed, done, dusted and put to bed in 3 days! That’s how a football club should be run!

‘Big Sam’: in previous newsletters I made a strong case for him taking over at MCFC. Within a week he has landed Barton, Viduka and 1 other who I can’t remember and another couple of quality players to follow very shortly for sure and at the same time Big Sam has offloaded Titus Bramble and Sibierski And oh… the club has just been taken over for £100 million+ at the same time. No hassle, No big deal. That’s how a football club should be run!

I honestly wish I had not spent the £500 on renewing my season ticket. I should have booked the family a holiday to Spain with it! If this takeover does not happen, I’m not sure that I even can be bothered going to watch next season. Why bother? Spend the time with your family or something you actually enjoy doing. Not watching more dire and worse performances than last season whilst we slide headlong and at great speed to certain relegation and yet again become the laughing stock and object of pity to the rest of the footballing world – no thanks, I have had enough of being a mug!

I genuinely hope and sincerely pray that the deal goes through and I’m made to look silly by saying these things. And in the same newsletter this is published, news that the ‘bid’ has been completed, a new manager is in place and has funds of circa £50 million to deal with.

However, don’t hold your breath. I fear the worst, I honestly do… Why? He doesn’t have the money!

Ray Bardsley <ray.bardsley(at)>


Or WTFIGO? Potless, managerless, clueless, faceless board. Yes, I want investment in my club, yes I want new Chairman, new Board (get rid of the lot of them, not just the Chair), new playing management but honestly is this the best City can do? Negotiating with some deposed PM looking to up his stakes and profile by claiming to want to buy MCFC? Have they checked him out at all? Liverpool walked away when they realised he was trying to by them on the back of a lottery. Not City. Not only is he facing corruption charges and his wife’s already been done, but he has a human rights record to also be questioned. Honestly, it’s as if this Board are doing business with Robert Mugabe – would you want him in charge of MCFC?

So it’s now second week of June and we still don’t have a manager, we’ve got a dishevelled squad to deal with, we have no pre-season games announced to take our minds off things and start planning our trips, we’re down on season ticket renewals quite phenomenally by all accounts (although the Club chose to ignore this and still haven’t announced figures). I’m sure they thought by telling us fans that Tinkerman was coming we would be ecstatic and ignore all the ills at City and the potential of this takeover going t***s-up, and yes the majority did get their heads turned, but we’re desperate for some form of stability, some money to buy some decent players but most of all some decent management and board in place who can take this club forward, stop making such stupid decisions and stop treating us fans with contempt.

It’s going to be a long, hot summer…

George E <>


As I reported two weeks ago the ex Prime Minister of Thailand Thaksin’s bank accounts in Thailand have been frozen. I don’t think that he has many friends in the present government.

Back to plan B, and for John Wardle to become a hero again by rescuing the club.

If John Wardle gets a very good team manager, which should be his priority, and gets the right players into the club and the team move up the table, then the value of MCFC should go up for any prospective buyers in the future.

I think very strongly that the Club can still move forward, it’s a challenge for everyone at the Club to get stuck in.

As for Joey Barton, he has really shown his true colours asking for a bonus of £300,000; get rid, it’s a fresh start for everyone.

Come on you Blues we can do it!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


Martin Hunt spelled it out perfectly as far as I am concerned in his superb article in MCIVTA 1334. I agreed with every word although it wouldn’t surprise me if there were a few criticisms from the success at any cost brigade. It seems to me the last time we enjoyed any amount of success at length, i.e. 1967 to well into the seventies, it was achieved with very little money or indeed in most cases a total lack of big name players. People like Tony Book, Tony Coleman, George Heslop, Freddie Hill, Wyn Davies, Frank Carrodus, Keith McRae to name just a few early doors. Bell, Lee and Summerbee didn’t exactly break the bank and they all came from lower league clubs. Rodney Rodney cost a few bob and many believe the league title but my God he had more talent in his little toe than our present bunch of hapless strikers.

I see even Ernie Barrow has got drawn into the splash the cash brigade. For me I hope the proposed takeovers all hit the rocks and we get back to playing football with our home grown talent. For heaven’s sake we have enough of it. If they aren’t good enough then we go down. When they are good enough, we come back up but at least we can identify with them. I spent one hell of a lot of money last season watching a bunch of misfits whilst trying to convince my grandson that he made the right choice supporting his grandad’s team. I know in my heart he only tags along to please me because he’s seen nothing to get excited about yet.

I believe that next season will be make or break for a whole lot of die hard Blues, the CoMStad isn’t the field of dreams we all hoped for, we’re in debt up to our eyeballs, our better players have jumped ship and I fear we are about to buy another shed load of ropey foreigners plus a “proven” coach from abroad. Our club is about to fall into the hands of people who know nothing of Meredith, Hyde Road, the Kippax, truly great City goalkeepers, Ken Barnes and his son, Colin Bell, me, Ernie Barrow and the like. Does Frank even speak English?

Trying very hard to keep the faith.

Malcolm Hough <malcolm.hough(at)>


Thought people might be interested in this, which appeared in this Saturday’s Bangkok Post.

My ex – yours too – continues to behave like all obscenely rich people do, by wanting to own something quite useless.

Our booted, hooted, ousted ex-PM’s lust for English football clubs, first Liverpool, now Manchester City, is a ploy orchestrated as much by political craftiness as it is by the plain old vanity of an ageing opera diva who has lost her voice and next season’s booking. Owning a proud, 113-year-old football team could be fun, never mind that this is the outfit that, during last season, was coached by a man whose nickname is “The Psycho”; the team whose exhibitionist midfielder once flashed his freckled buttocks to fans and later gave the old one-two to his teammate in a hot-tempered training session. Manchester City FC, loved by half of Manchester I’m sure, has since had the good sense of chucking The Psycho and the wayward midfielder, so why would they want to replace one nut-job with another?

If Joey Barton is loud-mouthed, wayward and prone to cause disaster and bad human rights statistics, watch out Manchester City, for here comes The Maestro. Every kid knows the one thing that enables a Thai-Chinese merchant from the Equator to own a football club in nippy North England: Pounds. Ample Rich of: $, Yen, Baht, etc, stockpiled in some place where no hounds can sniff and no graft-busters can smell. Purchasing a football club is perfectly legit, but it’s also a blatant form of consumerism, of showing off the power that comes automatically with money, and this practice of our dear ex perhaps reflects the mentality that explains the craze for European football among Thais.

The ex doesn’t love Manchester City FC, he just wants it. Likewise, we Thais don’t love English football – we just consume it. With the rapacity of a hummingbird that consumes daily food twice its weight, we feast on live broadcasts of the Premiership, four, five matches a week, cheering for distant, exotic neighbourhoods like Chelsea and Liverpool and Manchester, celebrating when they win and weeping when they keep hitting the crossbar. This despite the fact that many of us don’t even know where Liverpool is, or if Arsenal is a team that also produces those butter cookies.

It’s safe to assume that, even when English football has been jolted into the globalised phase with influxes of foreign players and managers, a football club is still deeply tied to a sense of community; it’s a kind of Otop institution (see, that’s why the ex wants it so badly). But the craze – which is not the same as “passion” – of some Thai people for European football has escalated to the degree of abstract mania that is bewildering to onlookers. Manchester United fans boast of their team’s victory as if Thailand has won a lucrative FTA deal, and when Liverpool win, which is rare, a famous news anchor on our Channel 3 never fails to beat his chest King Kong-style and sing praises to the might of “his team”. Nothing wrong with this, actually. These clubs have turned themselves into entertainment products, their players becoming celebrities, and we dig them. But the phenomenon of the English Premiership in Thailand emphasises the fact that we are a society of consumers (and gamblers) who are more interested in buying than in producing, in being fed what’s ready-made than in cooking our own meal. At least the local leagues in Singapore and Malaysia attract decent spectators, whereas our own Thailand League is such a pitiable affair that, sometimes, there seems to be more players on the pitch than people in the stands (no, I never turned up to watch them, either).

A number of fans place such faith in their favourite clubs that their emotional state is boosted with every favourable result. Maybe this rampant consumption of a faraway football team, this hollow attachment to an obscure identity, is not so much different from the Jatukarm fever, or from the sight of middle-aged mothers in tight camouflage outfits who came dangerously close to relinquishing their dignity at Korean singer Rain’s concert last Saturday. In looking for something to worship we all tend to pick those that are not worth worshipping at all. Which happens to include our elected, worshipped ex, who will proceed to set the great example of what money can do as he intends to finalise the takeover deal in a fortnight. Good luck, Man City. You’ll have his money, and you’ll also have our sympathy.

Kong Rithdee writes about movies and popular culture for real.time, Bangkok Post.

David Bunting <d.bunting(at)>


Can somebody remind me why and how David Bernstein was got rid of? He was the only City chairman in living memory who was able to get the club on an even keel financially and able to give his managers (mainly Keegan from memory) substantial funds with which to buy decent players. He was clearly a man with financial know how but seems rarely to get a mention anymore.

Any chance we can get him back? Maybe MCIVTA could start a petition?

Danny Speller – Bournemouth Blue <email(at)>


After a weekend away from it I am catching up on the farce at City to read John Wardle is ‘preparing’ to ‘pump’ in £30 million of TV money:

Would that be another loan then John?

JW has to make his mind up. Whether this Pravda style leak is another means of asking our potential Red Thai Source to decide whether he is sweet or sour on the deal, who knows? However, the takeover shouldn’t take this long. Take Frank out of the equation. He is using us for his own ends and has no affiliation to City.

I feel JW has never appeared to have full charge. Not being able to sort the club as thoroughly as he might have if the ownership had been more certain – in the way he had at JD Sports. The current Mexican stand off has dictated a board of shareholders’ representatives rather than professionals directing our club. The appeal of a new owner is establishing a mandate with a convincing majority. Conditionally, this cannot be for anyone without the interests of the club at heart.

The issue for JW is what does he want to do to move City forward? If he puts in £30 million of the TV money then great, dip even further into his personal fortune, even better. However, given a decent war chest, would this all be two years too late? Back when we had something to build on. £50 million seems de rigour for all the clubs lapping out of Rupert’s bowl. We need stronger direction and new strategies to compete with all the other nouveaux riche. One such strategy would be to stand firm on ploughing the new money into already over paid players’ pockets. Instead, reward the unswerving loyalty of fans with reduced and affordable ticket prices for all. Look at it as payment for creating an atmosphere for the Sky viewers?

If John still is the reluctant chairman, he needs to decide one way or the other, and soon. Further, we need life back in our club and a reinvigorated board to match our ambition. More, we need clear corporate goals right throughout the club. If Wardle stays, he has the income to sort things out from Sky. There is no doubting JW’s Blue credentials. It’s whether he still has the fight for it. Put the cash in, sort out the board structure with professionals in more appropriate rôles and move to make City great again, please John!

Whatever you do, stay Blue!

Dave Clinton <daveclinton(at)>


Eric Steele is currently completing a coaching tour of Australia and I spent some time talking to him about the comings and goings of the club. He tells me his contract is currently frozen, as are the contracts of Michael Ball and Nicky Weaver. There may be more but he didn’t elaborate. He left England the day Stuart was sacked, and said he was told by those in charge that it would all be sorted out within 2 weeks! Clearly things are not going according to plan.

He spoke about the best talent at the club, and he certainly rates Joe Hart. He considers him to be the best goalkeeper we have at present, and he would choose him above all others for the start of the season. He also rates Johnson very highly, and considers him to be the best of the young emerging talent.

He was a very amicable guy, but he, like us, is very concerned about the time it is taking to get the vital summer organisation underway. He lamented the loss of Distin and Joey and he thinks they will be big shoes to fill.

I am starting to fear the 2007-2008 season already, and it’s only June.

P.S. if anyone who went to China last year wonders where the poster from the front of the stadium ended up, it’s hanging proudly in my workshop. You think I don’t cop some stick over it by passers by.

Adrian Kenny <balcatta(at)>


Just returned from a special open night at the new City store to buy a plethora of the new home shirt all numbered and named for friends and family. It looks pretty good in the flesh and the new away shirt will be of similar design but in purple with white pin stripes – pretty snazzy by all accounts. There is supposed to be a limited edition 3rd strip available in the autumn which is reputed to be predominantly white, so sadly no black and red stripes – don’t you just love it when an organisation listens to its customers – Black & Red stripes MCFC, you stupid t***ers!

Rumour in Manc on Friday night is that Ronald Koeman has been spotted in town for possible talks with City. Not keen myself, too defensive minded. Much rather take Ramos from Sevilla since Louis van Gaal does not appear to be a possibility.

Finally, and if true it just shows what a crazy world Premiership football is, the word is that everybody’s favourite scally scouser, one Joseph ‘Yer Know’ Barton is holding out for a £300,000 ‘loyalty’ – falls off chair in near life-ending laughter spasms – payment from City before b***ering off to the Toon. If true and if paid by Man City I will be on the phone to said Club to demand refund on three very nicely positioned season ticket seats for 2007/08. I am not paying to line the pockets of this snotty, self-opinionated little s**t when he is effectively out of the club.

I hope Big Frank sorts his bid out pdq because these last few weeks have been b****y painful. We’re being left behind and need to start buying quality immediately or it’s AA Routefinder: Blackpool, Colchester, Scunthorpe.

David Walker <davidjwalker1(at)>


On hearing Thug Barton wants a £300,000 loyalty payout begs the question, what will he pay City for the loyalty they have shown him – show him the door ASAP and send him an invoice for 4 times as much. He was only ever average and will never be another Bell, Hartford or Lake. Yeah Joey, Newcastle might have ambition but am I correct in saying they have had a longer wait for success than City?

On another note I watched a City training session in 2001 and got to have a chat with Keegan – being a Kiwi the chat got around to Chris Killen who has just now signed for Celtic. In Keegan’s words, great in the air but lacks pace, probably right given it’s taken 6 years for him to make his mark since.

CTID, Chris <hawkeye11(at)>


For a day or two I became deeply depressed, but now I realized that there is no reason to moan over the fact that Claudio Ranieri said yes to the offer from Juventus. Beside me and everyone else who’s reading this, there can hardly be any sane football manager who would have preferred Man City before Juve. I know how you feel, but sometimes truth hurts…

But this is the time for all of us around the world to get on our knees and pray. May God forbid that we get Graeme Souness as our new manager.

I’ll be happy with almost anyone else. To my opinion we need a big name (and that does not include Big Sam – see, my previous prayer helped; he went to Newcastle) and a clever tactician who can make the most of our assets and make clever business.

This is my verdict over the candidates:
David O’Leary – No, no and never again.
Ruud Gullit – This must be a joke, right? Not even we could ever consider Ruud.
Glen Hoddle – See above.
Juan Ramos – Yes! Undisputably a class-manager.
Sven-Goran Eriksson – Definitely a yes. Excellent choice, but can we really afford him?
Gerard Houllier – Always welcome.
Ronald Koeman – A good choice, but is he really interested?
Co Adrianse – Will definitely do. Has done wonders in Holland. Could find us cheap players.

Mikael Leijon – Sweden <mikael.leijon(at)>


Don’t know if you are aware: if are going to purchase one for your kids, the size of the shirt is a size smaller than last season, therefore my son was and still is junior large but know this size is adult x/small so you have to pay £30 instead of £19!

I am not bothered about the price, it’s the principle that the club know full well about the size difference. Just thought I would point it out for all you future buyers – haggle and speak to the shop/store manager and you will get the adult x/s for £22.

Stephen <luck.stephen.5268(at)>

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[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          :
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[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

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Yes you can: Shares in Manchester City PLC are traded on OFEX. The latest prices can be on found the Plus Markets Group web site or in the business section of the Manchester Evening News.

[12] Where can I find match statistics?

Statistics for the current season are available from the club site, but for a more in-depth analysis try

[13] I hear there is a TV programme specifically about City?

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

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[Valid3.2]Heidi Pickup,

Newsletter #1335