Newsletter #1350

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Sarah brings us the news roundup tonight with reaction to the BBC investigation on Frank, Svenn’s latest frenetic transfer activity, and rumours of current Blues on the move. There were mixed fortunes on the pitch for senior squad and reserves this week with updates on the Charleroi, Shrewsbury and Morecambe games. Next up: Thomas Cook Trophy.

We have opinion on the pre-season, preparations, kits and usual requests.

Next game: Saturday 4 August, 3pm, Valencia CF (home), friendly

NEWS SUMMARY

All Change For Ewood Park: City’s clash with Blackburn at Ewood Park has been put back to Sunday September 2. The game, originally scheduled for the day before, has been moved because of Rovers’ UEFA Cup commitments.

Human Rights or Wrongs? Thaksin Shinawatra’s legal team have pleaded with Manchester City’s fans not to judge their new owner despite damning allegations over his human rights record during his time at Thailand’s Prime Minister. Thaksin currently has almost £1 billion in assets frozen by the military government that ousted him from power last year and is wanted back in his homeland to answer a string of corruption charges which, if he is found guilty, could result in a 10-year jail term. Thaksin has already stated he has no intention of returning to Thailand from London, where he is currently living in exile, until free elections have taken place at the end of the year. Now fresh allegations, aired in a BBC Radio Five Live documentary, have surfaced, along with news that respected human rights organisation ‘Human Rights Watch’ have written to the Premier League questioning whether Thaksin should pass the ‘fit and proper persons test’ required by all top flight owners.

Publicly, the Premier League have defended their decision to back Thaksin’s £81.6 million City takeover, pointing out that as he was legally able to buy UK companies, there is little they can do to stop him purchasing a football club. Privately, there is no desire in the Premier League to take a stand against an individual who won two democratic elections in his homeland but is now being pursued by those who ousted him. City officials are also relaxed about the situation but this could be because of his investment.

Nor does the Government wish to comment… Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe believes that the “fit and proper persons” test could be improved, but “It has to be the football authorities that decide (on the outcome) because they set the rules”. Sutcliffe recommended the introduction of a test that would span the entire game – to replace the 3 tests currently in existence for the different leagues.

Thak’s Entertainment: City chairman Thaksin Shinawatra is hosting a huge street party after the club’s friendly against Valencia on Saturday. Popular Thai entertainer Mai Charoenpura will be singing at the event, staged in the heart of the city in Albert Square.

New manager Sven-Goran Eriksson and several of the first team squad are expected to make an appearance. The event will start at 6pm and finish at 8.30pm.

City’s small fry beat the Shrimpers:A young, predominantly small (according to press coverage) but verytalented, City Academy side beat Morecambe on Saturday afternoon. Notablefor a remarkable save that denied the home side and kept the score to 2-1in City’s favour was Kaspar Schmeichel, the best known player in the line-up.

City Suffer First Loss: City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson handed a début to Brazilian star Geovanni, while Rolando Bianchi also started in a strong line-up that ended up losing 2-0 to Charleroi. After an uneventful first 20 minutes, City were the victims of a bizarre penalty decision when Matthew Mills was adjudged to have pushed Dos Santos Costa in the area and Oulners scored from the spot. City then had their best spell of the game, but were hit by a sucker punch on 35 minutes when Dos Santos Costa outpaced Mills and squared to Jovian, who sidefooted home from close range to double the home side’s lead. Mills’ day got no better when he picked up a booking on 39 minutes, and two minutes later Bianchi had City’s only real chance of the first half, but his weak header never threatened to claw a goal back. A raft of substitutions at half-time added a lot more urgency to the Blues, with Georgios Samaras having City’s best chance when his left-footed shot rattled the crossbar on 53 minutes. City had the best of the remainder of the match, but could not get on the score sheet.

City Have Purple Patch vs. Shrewsbury Back to winning ways in the purple away kit that you either love or hate (my children hate it!). City started well with Petrov looking particularly lively on his début and Geovanni enjoying the British sunshine as he plied his samba-style football. Shrewsbury had an early chance, which Schmeichel was more than equal to, but City were dominant (and apparently) very pleasing on the eye, although at half-time it was still scoreless. The second half saw many changes with Joe Hart getting a warm welcome on his return to his former club, albeit at their new ground. City did not look quite so comfortable in the second half, leaving it late to score, then getting two in quick succession, the first from Corradi, the second from Dickov.

Movers and Shakers

Two… No, Make That Three More Today: Croatian international defender Vedran Corluka has signed from Dinamo Zagreb for undisclosed fee. The 21-year-old, Eriksson’s sixth signing, has penned a five year deal, subject to a work permit. Capped nine times at international level, Vedran already has some first-hand knowledge of what to expect in the Premier League having played in Croatia’s 2-0 win over England last season as well as facing Arsenal in a Champions’ League qualifier last August. Born in Bosnia & Herzegovina when it was still part of the former Yugoslavia, Vedran played over 60 times for Dinamo as well as gaining valuable loan experience at Inter Zapresic. Well over six feet tall, Vedran can play either in central defence or at right back and is an extremely capable ball player.

City’s next signing is former Real Sociedad left back Javier Garrido, for £1.5 million. The Spanish Under 21 international moves to City on a four year contract.

And City’s second Brazilian is midfielder Elano Blumer, who signs from Shakhtar Donetsk on a four-year contract in an £8 million deal. Elano, who scored twice for his country in their 3-0 victory over arch rivals Argentina in a friendly at the Emirates Stadium in September 2006, is described by national coach Dunga as ‘the symbol of the new Brazil’. Following the third signing of the morning, City Chief Executive, Alistair Mackintosh said: “This morning has proved to be an immensely productive one, the outcome of which is the acquisition of three top quality players for Manchester City Football Club. This has been achieved as a result of some tremendous team work and I would like to praise everyone involved for their efforts. I would particularly like to thank Dr Thaksin, without whom (or actually without whose money) today’s signings would not have been possible.”

Rumour Mills (or Mills Rumours): Manchester Evening News reports that Danny and Matthew Mills are expected to be leaving Eastlands as Sven looks elsewhere for strengthening his defence.

Vassell To Join Wigan: … and possibly partner Sibierski up front… Chris Hutchings is thought likely to bid for Darius Vassell after he was offered in part exchange for Leighton Baines (who now seems likely to go to Everton).

Terry Dun’ Roamin’: Former Manchester City trainee Terry Dunfield is the latest new arrival at Macclesfield Town. The 25-year-old, who spent last season with Worcester City after being released by Bury, has enjoyed a successful trial spell at the Moss Rose and told the Silkmen’s official website: “I’ve actually lived in Macclesfield for the last ten years, attending Fallibroome High School after moving over from Canada. I love football and there’s only one place to come and ply your trade and that’s over here. So to be given the chance to re-establish my career after a fairly serious injury, which I received while at Gigg Lane, is fantastic news.”

It’s Not What You Know, but Who You Know… Chicago Fire have signed Costa Rican striker Paolo Wanchope, formerly of Manchester City, bringing him together again with former City fitness coach, Juan Carlos Osorio. On Friday, the Fire, languishing in last place in the Eastern Conference, continued their self-transformation, signing longtime Costa Rica international Paulo Wanchope. The terms of the deal were not disclosed by the club.

“I think that Paulo Wanchope can only be good news for everyone involved with the club,” said Osorio. “Paulo is a very experienced striker, and has scored goals at all levels. I think he will improve our attacking force and hopefully he will be someone challenging the rest of the strikers on the starting line, helping us score more goals, winning more matches, and achieving our goal of making the play-offs.”

If not for Osorio’s arrival, odds are Wanchope would not be coming to Toyota Park. The pair have a history, stemming from their years together at English club Manchester City, where Osorio was an assistant coach from 2001 to 2006. Wanchope played for the Citizens between 2000 and 2004.

“I know Juan Carlos from a long time ago,” said Wanchope, “so I know he’s a very good professional and a very good coach. I saw the connection with Juan Carlos and that was the key.”

Barton Charged With Assault: Meanwhile, former City bad boy, Joey Barton, has been charged with assault after a training ground bust-up with former team-mate, Ousmane Dabo. He will now have plenty of time to reflect on his behaviour as he misses the start of the season with a broken toe.

Sarah Longshaw <news(at)mcivta.city-fan.org>

OPINION: FAR FLUNG BLUES

I enjoy reading MCIVTA, and even more so as I get it delivered to my works email address and I can take my time going through it, satisfying myself that I’m getting paid for doing so!

Sat here looking out of my window at the sunshine breaking through the grey Manchester clouds I thought to myself, “Looks like the weather has turned, summer is here at last, it must be 15 degrees or more out there! I’ll have a quick read of MCIVTA 1349!”

I read through it and admire the fact that City fans keep in touch from all four corners of the globe… I come across the article from Sean Cassidy, requesting a Blues viewing in Jamaica.

“How the other half live” I thought, I read on and Sean goes onto say “Otherwise is there a group getting together in Miami or somewhere else I can get to for the weekend, Barbados; Turks; Cayman?

Sean, you a one lucky bloke mate, when your choices for a weekend away are one from those. My view from my window didn’t look so good after that!

I shall be looking forward to a nice “summers evening” drive down to Shrewsbury for the friendly tomorrow night, contemplating where I went wrong in life.

Stay Blue everyone.

Brian Jenkins <Brian.Jenkins(at)uuplc.co.uk>

OPINION: ONWARDS AND UPWARDS

I just wanted to comment on how ‘upbeat’ the last issue (MCIVTA 1348) appeared to be. In the last 2-3 months MCIVTA has made for a pretty depressing read, although informative as ever.

Last season was awful as has been well documented in the past, which culminated in the sacking of Stuart Pearce. Initially, the overall opinion appeared to be that he was a ‘good bloke’ but couldn’t quite hack a job like City at this stage in his career. However, there was also a little bit of sniping regarding his affection for the FA; conspiracy theories on why he never berated referees etc. Initially, we all seemed to think his position on referees was refreshing to see and were proud of how our manager differed from the likes of ‘I never saw it’ Wenger or ‘It was his fault, we were robbed’ Allardyce. I know that’s how I felt anyway but I must admit the theories got to me and did make me wonder. How could they not, it was another angle for me to get worked up about.

Anyway, the next thing was missing out on Ranieri and the proposed takeover looking like it may not happen etc. The doom merchants were really out in force then. ‘We’re a laughing stock’ was the general cry. Then, when it looked like the takeover would go ahead, there was another outcry regarding the morality and ethics of old Frankie boy; season ‘cards’ were being thrown in the dustbin as we were about to lose our beloved City and what it meant to be a City fan etc. There were those who also chose to complain about the hiring of Sven.

Now all the complaints above may yet have substance and the pessimists amongst us may eventually be proved right (not necessarily with any satisfaction) but the common denominator appears to be that we all just enjoy a bit of a moan, regardless of what it’s about.

Well, now that Frank has the majority of shares within the club, who has relinquished their season ticket as a matter of principle? All seems to have gone quiet at the moment. I hope none of you, because rightly or wrongly we could be on to something good here and I think that we should all get to be involved with it. Why not? We’ve put up with enough of the lows; we’ve also put enough into it from a monetary and emotional perspective to deserve something in return.

I know that it’s frustrating sometimes (massive understatement) but it will always be ‘your’ club, figuratively if not literally speaking. It’s in your blood; nobody can take that away from you, nor could you change it if you wanted to.

It’s great to see that we all seem to be excited by the new signings, potential signings yet to come in, Sven’s handling of team affairs and transfer dealings; just a general enthusiasm surrounding the whole place at the moment.

Let’s just enjoy it for what it is. It may all fall flat on it’s a**e but what’s new? How could that be any worse than what we have had to put with for the last 25 years or so (apart from Dickov’s goal and champions of the ‘old’ Division One under Keegan – I mean c’mon, it’s better than supporting Halifax!).

I just hope that I never have to hear or read anything like I have done in the past 2-3 months again, no matter how bad things are. I get that from the Rags!

P.S. My five year old daughter goes for the first time next week against Valencia followed by a season ticket! Here’s hoping…

Noel Wilkes-Wells <wilkes.wells(at)btinternet.com>

OPINION: ENOUGH ALREADY?

I wonder if Frank has realised that when you buy a Premier club, you don’t have to spend money like it’s going out of fashion.

Three signings all in one morning, described as “immensely productive” by Mackintosh, and I’m wondering what the rest of the squad is thinking. Right now I can’t decide if the best analogy is a kid in a sweet shop, or an addict in a crack house – it’s all a bit manic, all a bit rushed, all a bit insulting to the players who worked to keep us up last season.

I’m as excited as anybody about some of the new talent we’re seeing coming into the squad but it now feels a bit like we’re riding down a hill on a bike with no brakes. Obviously we’re not party to the thinking of the new management, but am I the only one who is thinking “calm down lads”?

Paul Robinson <paul(at)iconoplex.co.uk>

OPINION: NEW KIT

Re: Neil Haigh’s opinion on the new strip – interesting points but it proves how the club can’t be expected to please everybody all of the time. Completely contrary to Neil, I like the new home strip, really like the new away strip, and am indifferent to the third strip. ‘A chacun son gout’ as they say.

Iain Keir <iainkeir(at)hotmail.com>

OPINION: CITY SPAM?

I wanted to warn all readers of a possible spam using our beloved MCIVTA name. I came to this conclusion when reading recent newsletters;I became very suspicious because the contributions said:

  1. We had a low keyed deliberate manager who wasn’t promising anything other than steady progress.
  2. We had brought in players that seemed to fill glaring gaps in the squadand none so far appear to be over the hill high salary duffers.
  3. We had a reasonably good pre-season.
  4. Interest and enthusiasm appears high (or relatively so).
  5. There is the promise of more players being brought in before the end ofthe transfer deadline.

Suspicious, you bet I was. I don’t know who has high-jacked this wonderful forum but I don’t find it the least bit amusing.

John Pearson <john.pearson(at)stanford.edu>

REQUEST: IN MEMORIUM

Last year we lost lifelong Manchester City fan, Ross Cooper, to a brain tumour at the age of 25.

To raise money for a dedicated research post into this type of cancer at Christie’s hospital, Ross’s girlfriend Nicola Spendlove and three friends (Jay Trisk, Beci Wood, and Philippa Murray) are attempting to drive to all 20 Premiership grounds in 24 hours, finishing at COMS in time (hopefully) for a presentation on the pitch at 2pm on Saturday, just before the Super Blues trash Valencia in the Thomas Cook Trophy game.

We’d really appreciate any donations to this worthy cause – http://www.justgiving.com/rosscooper Ross’s friends and family have all been incredible in responding so positively to this tragic loss, so it’d mean a lot if you could give them the cheer they deserve on Saturday.

If anyone is able to donate City shirts for each of the girls, ideally with their names on the back (an altruistic sports store owner, perhaps?), then it would be fantastic to give them to them at either the start or end of the challenge.

Also, any donations of scarves or flags for any of the Premiership clubs, to deck the car out with would be greatly appreciated.

To complicate matters, the girls are London-based and I’m in Milton Keynes, and donations of scarves / flags / shirts would be needed within the next day or so… sorry for short notice.

Thanks very much again for everyone’s kind help.

CTID, Jon Marshall <jon_g_marshall(at)yahoo.co.uk>

REQUEST: BOURNEMOUTH BLUES

Does anyone know of a venue in Bournemouth or Poole where City fans meet up?

Peter Birbeck <peter.birbeck(at)btopenworld.com>

REQUEST: WEST HAM TICKET

Desperately seeking ticket for Upton Park – if you can help please email.

Many thanks, Simon Hope <simonjhope(at)hotmail.com>

MCIVTA FAQ [v0708.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          : editor@mcivta.city-fan.org
News/rumour (Don Barrie)         : news@mcivta.city-fan.org
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins): subscriptions@mcivta.city-fan.org
Technical problems (Paul)        : paul@city-fan.org
FAQ (David Warburton)            : faq@mcivta.city-fan.org

[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

http://www.uit.no/mancity/ 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 http://www.mcfc.co.uk/

[5] What supporters’ clubs are there?

Manchester City FC recognises three supporters’ clubs: The “Official Supporters Club” (http://www.mcfcosc.com/); the “Centenary Supporters’ Association” (http://www.reddishblues.com/CSAWebsite/CSA.htm) and “The International Supporters’ Club”.

[6] Where can I find out about Points of Blue (formerly the Fans’ Committee)?

The committee operates as an interface between supporters and the club. Points of Blue appears 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 http://www.bbc.co.uk/manchester/sport/manchester_city/index.shtml.

Live match commentaries and archives of games, reports and interviews can be found at http://mcfc.videoloungetv.com/do/preLogin?clubSiteCode=MCFC&CMP=AFC-003.

[8] Where can I find out if City are live on satellite TV?

http://www.satfootball.com/pl.html provides a listing of Premiership games being shown on UK domestic and foreign satellite channels. Useful sites for North American viewers are http://msn.foxsports.com/foxsoccer, http://www.soccertv.com/, and http://www.livesoccertv.com/.

[9] Do we have a Usenet newsgroup?

Yes we do: uk.sport.football.clubs.man-city is our home on usenet. If you are not familiar with usenet, a basic explanation is available here: http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,289893,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 http://www.uit.no/mancity/players/

[11] 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 http://www.mcfcstats.com/.


DISCLAIMER
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, editor@mcivta.city-fan.org

Newsletter #1350

2007/08/02

Editor:


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