Newsletter #1433

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Tonight we have more discussion on season ticket refunds, some opinion on Thaksin and is or isn’t the team up for sale?

Next Game: tbc

OPINION: FAR EAST TOUR

Having just watched a barely recognisable City team lose 3-1 to a South China Select (drawn from players in local leagues) I feel City have lost a great, potential marketing opportunity in HK and the region. What was surprising was the number of locals in varying editions of the Blue shirt and not just with “SUN” on the back. I wonder how they must have felt on their rare opportunity to see City and to watch a team that did not “turn up” in both senses of the phrase.

Similar feelings would have been also felt by those from UK who had paid good money for the tour. No matter whether the game is a friendly or a final there must be pride in the Club and pride in the shirt. People do pay money to watch. Come on marketing guys, management, players, we deserve better! And come on HK Blues let’s get a Supporters’ Club branch going; there is a good support base here. Please get in touch.

Tom Derbyshire

OPINION: SEASON TICKET REFUNDS (I)

Many thanks to Jack Buckley of Raleigh, North Carolina for the learned lesson in the legalese of ticket purchases! I am the guy who has had a season ticket ’30 years+’ and have had enough. The reason I asked the readers of this forum for advice was that postings regarding this subject had been made in previous articles. I don’t actually go around reading the T&C’s of everything I purchase – life is a little too short for that! And I don’t need and didn’t ask you to call the ticket office on my behalf (I can actually walk there if I needed to).

The issue here is not the refund itself – it’s why City fans of many years’ standing are actually thinking about packing it in after the best season for many a year!

Doh!

It is clear we have a full blown, complete and fully paid up megalomaniac running the club – he is clearly nuts! Rich? Yes. But still nuts!

Would any top class manager want to come and work for this lunatic? The answer is no. Will our best players leave due to the way he runs our club? Yes – probably! So stop quoting legal jargon my friend and enter the debate…

Ray Bardsley <Rbardsley(at)btinternet.com>

OPINION: SEASON TICKET REFUNDS (II)

The removal men have been at the Radisson hotel yesterday (Sat 24th) and moved out Sven’s belongings. Sadly Sun Jihai wasn’t in Sven’s suite at the time.

And on ‘good’ authority and some measured guessing(!) big Phil is to be installed early next week. However, with the sacking of Avram – this could be subject to change.

P.S. Mr Buckley – All well and good when a ‘product’ isn’t deemed to be faulty/or providing a satisfactory service – refunds can be refused. At any point where you – as the customer – believe the service/product/purchase/package/consumable/running of the club or whatever you want to call it is questionable – you are well within your rights to demand a refund regardless of T&C’s. It’s pretty fair to say T&C’s aren’t worth the paper they’re written on in most cases.

Other small print elsewhere will state ‘refunds will be offered at the manager’s discretion’. Er? Could you point him out?

Better advice on purchasing our seasoncards would be (you did go to remarkable lengths for someone who probably doesn’t attend many home games by the way – well done!) to have in bold letters emblazoned on the front and back of the card ‘SUPPORTING MANCHESTER CITY IS NOT RECOMMENDED FOR PREGNANT WOMEN’; it’ll cause harm, to you, your children, your childrens’ children, and their children or something. Thanks a bunch, Great, Great Uncle Harry – if only you’d known…

I love City me.

Joel Perry <j.perry(at)mondiale.co.uk>

OPINION: SEASON TICKET REFUNDS… AN APOLOGY, AMONGST OTHER THINGS

I must apologise to Ray Bardsley for the tone of my “ticket office” blurb in the last issue. I thought it was a wind-up, there have been a heck of a lot of wind-ups of late. Sorry Ray.

I’m sure City will, whatever the T&C, refund the ticket price, with perhaps a small deduction for admin costs.

Ray, generally, this whole Frank-Sven thing hasn’t been a debate, it wasn’t meant to be. Does any of this at all (tactics, etc.) remind you of Swales vs. Franny Lee? Just a few points as I have to go and mow the lawn as ‘er indoors is dictating my Saturday this week.

City are accused of operating some sort of censorship scheme on their website, despite the fact the “what the papers say” section has been reproducing articles for weeks that make Frank look like a nutter, and Sheik Sven an angel. Yet on this basis(?) Frank has been accused a number of times around the Internet of being a dictator?

Some dictator, some censorship.

What’s required by these critics are articles and analysis front and centre that discuss City’s management problems… code for: “Slag the owner off and validate us.”

What has Frank done again? I want to know. What has he done? Has he… proposed a mutiny and been rewarded as a loyal servant by the same organisation that took sides during the Swales vs. Lee imbroglio? Has he… met with Benfica but not to discuss pay and duration you understand. Has… his agent admitted he might well have violated his contract? Something even the Telegraph admitted, though only by the use of the weasel-word “technically”. Has Frank… leaked story after story to the press? Is he guilty of anything more than sins of omission and ambiguous statements? Is it Frank that has made City a laughing stock, or journalists allied with the rats and reptiles Franny Lee and Frank Clark talked about, “They all come out of the woodwork or slithering out from under the stones when you’re not there. That is the atmosphere, and you can’t get rid of them. All you can do is ban them from the club, but what do you ban them for? The moment you ban them from the club they pick up the phone to the tabloids and say, ‘I’ll give you all the dirt you need on that club.'”

The kind of dirt some “Eastlands insider” dished up to The News of The World a couple of weeks ago? Frank has no money, he’s juggling the finances, he needs investment sooner or later. True? False? Did someone leak this? Did NOTW make it up? Whatever the case, I hear this all the time, but nothing is said about Crain’s Manchester Business reproducing an FT report that Frank is the third richest person in the North West with £625 million. Is this true or false? I don’t know. I know it appeared at the same time as the NOTW report (before Bell Pottinger (north) were hired again). Perhaps Frank has fooled the FT? Perhaps Frank has fooled Garry Cook as well? He must be gutted to leave Jordan-Nike only to find out Frank lied to him and Nike.

For some time we were regaled with stories about unhappy players at COMS. Over the last week or so this has changed to stories about how happy they are, and/or how this issue is above their pay grade. These new stories are not commented upon, or, are dismissed because players just want to keep their jobs and Frank has finally gotten to them; after all, that fits the narrative of Frank as the mad, bad, dictator. It couldn’t be that the support for Sven and the disatisfaction with Frank’s non-decision was a bit overdone? What has been overdone is the claim that being pro-Sven does not mean one is anti-Frank. Going off City fans on here and all over the Internet, that façade lasted as long as a Creme Egg.

You know I’ve read fans’ complaints that Bell and Pottinger were doing a lousy job. A lousy job before they were even put on the case mind you. What can you do? The same City-baiting media that were routinely excoriated by City fans in the run-up to the Memorial Derby, are now treated as some collective oracle gifted from on high. Why?

Anyone for a cliff? Perhaps a goldfish bowl? A sheep paddock?

“Frank needs better PR” his critics mumble from the left side of their mouths, whilst, simultaneously, from the right, “He’s a master of propaganda, he’s deceptive, he’s a politician.” Deceit: there is a lot of deceit about… petitions, polls, votes, leaks, rumours, sources, insiders… lots of deceit. It’s not better PR his enemies want. It’s not information. It’s an unconditional surrender, a capitulation so they can pump their fists in the air, “power to the people”.

There is a dictatorship I am worried about, that of the mob, the mediocre, the backwards-looking, the delusional, those who are so mired in malaise they actually, seriously, look at this season in toto and say “it was good”. No it bloody wasn’t. It was a stinker, it just stunk less than last year.

Jack Buckley <Jack10000days(at)yahoo.co.uk>

OPINION: TEAM UP FOR SALE? (I)

Andrew (MCIVTA 1432), what you need to look at, is what all the reports (true or false) are doing to the club. I’ve been around long enough is to realise where there’s smoke there’s a fire.

Dave Clinton hit it on the head in his article. A lot of people (the board included) have been taken in by Thaskin. Over in this part of the world, he is known as a vicious man, with little or no morals. The length of time this episode in our club’s life continues, makes us a laughing stock. Who in their right mind would want to come to the club, manager or player?

And Manchester United keep on winning (which makes it worse!).

Sport to a large part is a mind game. To get the best out of players you need to have them in the right frame of mind (some say that being paid mega bucks to play a sport that a lot of us would play for nothing, is enough). The best managers, owners, know how to do that. The best run clubs in the world are just that.

City through the decades, were renowned for when things start to turn for the good, shoot themselves in the foot. This time I think they’ve blown their leg off.

Believe it or not, staying Blue.

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)slingshot.co.nz>

OPINION: TEAM UP FOR SALE? (II)

Are the rumours that Frank Sinatra is putting up the whole of the first team for sale, true or not?

Does he think that the sale price will reach 3 figures?

He could not do better than draft the whole of the Hull side into Eastlands, for a lesson in commitment.

Brian Rawling <brian.rawling(at)virgin.net>

OPINION: THAKSIN (I)

What is happening behind the scenes between Thaksin and Eriksson is not fair to the supporters of City.

Now we hear that Eriksson is close to being the new coach of Mexico, but who can really blame him after his treatment?

I like so many others are sick and bored with it all, and dislike the way this is going on in an underhanded way, and not coming straight out and letting the supporters who pay their hard earned money to buy season tickets, know what the hell is going on?

Mr Thaksin Shinawatra, please come clean; this is not a political game but you are dealing with our beloved football club that many of us have supported all our lives. We deserve to know the truth.

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)aol.com>

OPINION: THAKSIN (II)

I have just read on 4TheGame.com, ‘A City source said: “The owner’s family have [sic] told him how badly the fans have taken it all but he seems confident things will soon be forgotten.”‘ For nearly the entire 90 minutes of the Liverpool game, the fans were singing, “Hey, Thaksin, leave our Sven alone!”, and it took the owner’s family to point out to him that we’re upset! Good to know he has his finger on the pulse.

Halfway through typing this, I got a phone call from a mate with the latest gossip on why Sven is out, so before continuing, I’d like to share it with you.

“Reliable sources” (who undoubtedly were not wining and dining at Thaksin’s expense when they were apprised of this shocking revelation) are whispering that after Sam Allardyce’s exit from Newcastle, Sven put himself forward as a replacement, and that is why Sven now has to go.

I’m not even going to begin to pick holes in this nonsense because everything about it, the logic, the timing of the leak. it’s only one step up the ladder from Thaksin saying, “Sven has to go because.err. I THINK SVEN STINKS!” Thaksin is like a spoilt brat. In an effort to justify the imminent dismissal of Sven, he is not content with sabotaging the last games of the season by “leaking” the news of Sven’s demise as manager, and so destroying the morale of the players, he is now trying to curry favour with supporters by character assassination.

I’m treating this as a kind of cathartic exercise that I hope will make me feel better, because I really can’t express how fed up I am with the current situation at City. By this time after the close of that dreadful season when we were infamously relegated to the equivalent of the old third division, I had begun to look forward to the next season with some kind of optimism. This feels much worse. We have an extremely dubious character in charge (who’s no doubt already siphoning cash from every available financial artery in the club, into to wherever he keeps the Thai taxpayers’ money), who’s sacked a manager who is, arguably, one of the best club managers in the world, and is popular with fans and team alike, and now appears to be in a Francis Lee-like, headless chicken frenzy, trying to buy a manager and players with only a cheque book for a strategy. And I do mean that he has sacked Sven. At the time of writing it may not be official but it’s as certain as Taggart demanding 10 minutes injury time if the score is 0-0 after 90. Thaksin is just hoping that Sven blinks first and saves him a few million in compensation.

I believe that it is more than likely that Sven has simply proved not to be as compliant as Thaksin would prefer, unwilling to buy the players that the chairman wants (anybody remember the Thai players who arrived for a trial and returned home disappointed, and what really happened during the winter transfer window when rumours were rife that the money had dried up because Sven had promised big name signings that didn’t materialise?).

Sven probably had little knowledge of the players available to him at City when he accepted the City job, so he set about acquiring players that he thought he could rely on to begin to build a team. However, after working with the squad for some time it probably became apparent that quite a few of the existing players, a number of the youngsters included, were up to the task of playing the type of football that he required, and sensibly he chose his sides based on which players performed well, as opposed to which ones he had brought to the club. In short, he had a plan to build a successful football team, and would do this by selecting and buying only the players that he believed were suitable.

The problem with a policy like this is that a manager is more likely to buy the right player for the right job, as opposed to the player whose transfer fee is large enough to provide a bung suitable for a millionaire’s secret bank account. And for those who, like my mate, are thinking, “Hang on a minute, Thaksin’s spending his own money!”, tell me this. How many club chairmen have ever been declared bankrupt as a result of their involvement with a football club? Many deluded football supporters at clubs throughout the divisions, and I include myself, have over the years believed the lines fed to them that, “the chairman is spending his own money”, or, “the hotel being built onto the side of the stadium is self-financing”, only to discover later that it was all bulls#!t, and clubs like Leeds have found themselves staring into a financial abyss. When Thaksin leaves, every penny that he has spent and more will leave with him.

If Thaksin is truly chasing Ronaldinho at the moment, yes, he will be thinking of the crowd-pulling power of the party-loving maestro, but no small part of the decision will be the size of the bung heading his way.

I think it was after the Liverpool game, Sven was asked a number of times by a reporter, what would happen if the chairman wanted to buy players that he didn’t want. Each time he was asked, Sven, with characteristic stoicism, replied, “That will not happen”. Too right, Sven. He got rid of you first.

P.S. I still feel like cr#p…

CTID, Sutty, Chadderton <netsutty(at)aol.com>

MCIVTA FAQ [v0708.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Madeleine Hawkins)     : editor@mcivta.city-fan.org
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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

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]Madeleine Hawkins, editor@mcivta.city-fan.org

Newsletter #1433

2008/05/26

Editor:


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