Newsletter #1444

News tonight from Don on the changes at the club, with incoming coaches, outgoing players and the arrival of Jo. There’s also news and views on our upcoming game in the Faroes, and jailbird Barton.

Opinion continues on the transfer saga with Ronaldinho, and a hatful of requests.

Next Game: tbc


General News

No Such Thing as a Free Doughnut: How the Thai legal system works, part 317. I give you the opening paragraphs from a report on China’s Xinhua News Agency website. “THAKSIN DENIES INVOLVEMENT IN LAWYER’S BRIBERY CASE – Bangkok, June 26 – Thailand’s ousted Premier Thaksin Shinawatra denied involvement in an attempted bribery case in which three lawyers working on his corruption charge had been convicted for sending a cash-filled pastry box to court officials. Thaksin’s personal spokesman Pongthep Thepkanchana on Thursday read a statement on behalf of the ex-Premier at a press conference, which said Thaksin feels sorry that his lawyers were found guilty of contempt of court and were each sentenced to six month jail term by the Supreme Court on Wednesday.”

The Faroes – Far Out! City will face the Faroe Island Cup winners in the First Qualifying Round of the UEFA Cup. They’re called EB/Streymur, as if I need to remind you, and the first leg of the tie is away, and takes place on July 17. You could say that the home leg is away as well, as this takes place at Barnsley’s Oakwell Ground on Thursday 31 August. Thanks to Peter Blyth for tipping us off about another friendly, which may attract a few more fans than the start of the UEFA Cup campaign. Celtic confirmed that City will play at Parkhead on Wednesday August 6, kick-off 7.45pm. It will be televised by Setanta. Initial reports claimed the fixture would be the night before, but the date couldn’t be confirmed until the Champions’ League draw, which involved city rivals Glasgow Rangers. Mark Hughes said: “It’s always great going to Celtic Park, irrespective of whether it’s a pre-season friendly, a testimonial or whatever. There’s always a big atmosphere up at Parkhead. The Celtic game is going to be played just before the Milan game, so they’re a great couple of fixtures leading into the start of the Premier League season. They are the right quality of opposition and should be great games that will bring us up to speed. I’m sure they’ll be great atmospheres at both games.” Thanks also to Dillon Allie, who’s sent a note of the cancellation of a friendly that no one seems to have known was supposed to be taking place. Apparently Mexican club Chivas “had scheduled matches in Prague, Czech Republic, and Salzburg, Austria. Chivas was to face Czech club Sparta, Greece’s Olympiakos and England’s Manchester City. The matches were to take place between July 3-9. ‘It was cancelled because Manchester City wanted us to reschedule the game to a date precisely when we’re playing the SuperLiga,’ Chivas coach Efrain Flores said.” Which is news to most of us, unless someone out there knows better.

City Need Niedzwiecki: Mark Hughes has filled in another couple of places in his coaching team, by appointing Eddie Niedzwiecki as first team coach and Kevin Hitchcock as goalkeeping coach. This just about completes the wholesale transfer of Hughes and his boys from Blackburn Rovers. Meanwhile City have announced a year’s extension of their sponsorship deal with Thomas Cook. “It is fitting that we are extending our agreement at a time when European travel is very much back on the agenda for the club and our supporters,” said Blues’ Executive Chairman Garry Cook (no relation). “Both Manchester City and Thomas Cook share similar values and we are very pleased to continue our association with them.”

Transfer News and Gossip

Oh Hullo Jo: It’s obvious isn’t it? Mark Hughes reads MCIVTA. After this Summary’s searing indictment of the MH transfer policy (OK it was more a whinge that no one had been signed yet this summer), this week City finally concluded the deal that brought Brazilian striker Jo to City – and for a club record fee of £19 million to boot. City’s new number 14 joins from CSKA Moscow. The 21-year-old scored 30 goals in 53 appearances for CSKA and has also been watched by Valencia, but Hughes has swooped to make him the first signing of his regime at Eastlands. Hughes said of his big capture: “He’s a big talent and a young man with a big future. A lot has been said about him and there was a big expectation on him coming out of Brazil. So with the success he’s had I think it’s a real coup that we’ve been able to bring him to the Club. He’s a big guy, in stature and in ability, so I think everybody will enjoy watching him play.” Speaking of being big in stature – have you seen this week’s pictures of a very wide Ronaldino? As the Daily Telegraph put it: ‘To Manchester City’s horror, Ronaldinho is proving to be a bigger target than Mark Hughes’ club may have anticipated. The 28-year-old made his return to football after an absence of almost four months on Saturday, playing 56 minutes of a charity match in Venezuela. The Brazil playmaker and Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi each captained a team of internationals and while the football on display was often dazzling, it was Ronaldinho’s midriff that really caught the eye. Sporting a dark shirt that did little to hide his bulge, the watching press pack dubbed him Gordinho, or Little Fatty.’ The latest on this transfer saga has City still being the only club to make a formal bid for Little Fatty, but he doesn’t seem thrilled at the prospect. How can a European tie in the Faroe Islands not be appealing? On the day Jo put pen to paper, Garry Cook told Sky Sports that there was a 50/50 chance of signing Ronaldinho. There are many complicated strands to the deal, according to Cook, and he didn’t seem too sure that Thaksin’s dream summer signing would actually take place.

Deadwood Clearout Update: And lo it is written in the football law – if a player arrives for a huge fee with a huge wage packet, then must some wood of the deceased variety must be jettisoned. It is named ‘balancing the books’ (don’t worry, I’ll be gone in a few weeks). And thus it came to pass. This week, two players have left the club. Sun Jihai has signed for Sheffield United after reaching the end of his City contract. Sun, 30, joins the Blades on a free transfer, penning a 2 year deal with the Yorkshire club. So ends a six season tenure at MCFC. And goalie Andreas Isaksson has finally escaped his purgatory at the COMS and signed for PSV Eindhoven for an undisclosed sum. The 26-year-old joined City from Rennes in 2006 for £2 million but made only 20 appearances for the club with the last coming (how could we forget) in the 8-1 capitulation at Middlesbrough in May. Isaksson told PSV’s official website: “I’m looking forward to it. It feels good to be here. Hopefully, I can enjoy a very nice time. PSV is a great club. It’s a stable club [Not having a go at anyone in particular are we, Andreas?] which has achieved good results in recent years, both domestically and in Europe.” Still looking for other clubs are Rolando Bianchi and Emile Mpenza. Bianchi is likely to return to Italy, to either Lazio or Torino. The £8.8 million striker was shunted out to Lazio on loan in January but is due back at City for pre-season training this week. Bianchi said: “I’d have no problems playing for Torino. But I haven’t received anything concrete from Italy.” If Emile Mpenza’s protracted move to Ipswich Town doesn’t materialise, there are a couple of other clubs waiting in the wings – the Belgian international is also said to be interesting Stoke and Cardiff. Mpenza has now been officially released by the club, along with Paul Dickov and Geovanni. Dickov will make a decision next week on whether to accept Blackpool’s offer of a one-year contract. The 35-year-old scored six goals in 11 matches while on loan with the Seasiders last season, which helped to keep them in the Championship. Hull City have confirmed an interest in signing Geovanni. “There’s interest in the player, but that’s all we’re prepared to say at this stage” Tigers’ Chairman Paul Duffen told the Hull Daily Mail. Geo will hold a special place in City fans’ affections after scoring City’s fastest ever Premiership goal (at Wigan) and scoring the only goal in last season’s home win in the derby. City have also released Irish defender Garry Breen, and Roberto Mancini’s son, Filippo.

Ee’s the Guiza: Daniel Guiza was a star performer in Spain’s winning team at the Euros recently, and this has meant that his proposed switch from Real Mallorca to Fenerbahce is on hold following interest from a number of clubs, according to his agent and girlfriend, Nuria Bermudez. She’s revealed that he is considering his options after receiving approaches from other European clubs, reportedly including City, Arsenal, Sunderland, Roma, and Barcelona. “The move to Fenerbahce has yet to be finalised,” Bermudez told AS. “Now we have received some other offers and it is necessary to study the situation.”

A Trotta and a Ferrari: No, that isn’t a suggested plotline for another revival of ‘Only Fools and Horses’, it concerns a couple of Italian players who have been mentioned in despatches this week. The first titbit was only reported on one website featuring Italian footy news, and nowhere else, so it does carry a health warning. It might be a piece of agent speak, so tread carefully. Apparently Jo wasn’t the first signing of the Hughes era, as we all thought. Oh no. City have signed a 15-year-old from Napoli (he’s 16 in September, mind). He’s signed a four-year contract with the Blues after deciding to pursue his career in England. “They have demonstrated how much they believe in me,” Trotta told Interno18. “I am happy.” Our second Italian stallion is of a more mature vintage – have reported that City have entered the race to sign Matteo Ferrari. Ferrari, who had a loan spell at Everton in the 2005/06 season, is a free agent after seeing out his contract at Roma. Roma have not given up hope of agreeing a new deal with Ferrari although his Bosman status has alerted a number of clubs. City are believed to be ready to send an delegation to Italy next week to hold talks with Ferrari’s representatives about a possible return to England.

Ex-Blues’ News

From Bridewell to Bolton in One Bound for Barton: Joey Barton has received a suspended sentence after admitting assaulting Ousmane Dabo in a training ground row. Barton changed his plea to guilty just before the trial started. The trial, which had been due to start more than a year after the incident, was put back until after the season had ended for the convenience of witnesses, many of whom are involved in professional football. Outlining the events at Carrington on May 1 last year, prosecutor Richard Vardon said it was an “explosive combination of football and violence”. Barton and Dabo confronted each other after a row during a training match, the court was told. Dabo was said to have felt intimidated that Barton had invaded his personal space as he shouted and swore at him. The Frenchman pushed his shoulder with both hands and Barton retaliated by punching him in the head, causing the Frenchman to fall over and lose consciousness. Mr Vardon said several witnesses said Barton continued to punch Dabo while he lay on top of the player, who was in a dazed state. One player, Georgios Samaras, said he had never seen such a violent incident on a training pitch in all his career, the prosecutor added. Barton is currently serving a six-month jail term for an attack in Liverpool, and someone decided to release CCTV footage of that attack to the media this week. There were also reports suggesting that his current club Newcastle would sack him on his release from jail. Barton’s agent, the ubiquitous and unctuous Willie McKay, revealed that his client hasn’t given up hope of being able to return for the start of pre-season training on Monday as he awaits early release. McKay said: “We can’t really say too much until Joey is released, but we will be sitting down and talking about his future. He will be aiming to be back for pre-season training next week. But again, we will see what happens. Joey had a great end to the season and has kept himself in great shape. In fact, he is in the best shape I have ever seen him in and I think he will be fitter than anybody else.” One possible option might be a loan deal to another club, and the Daily Mail report that Bolton Wanderers are willing to give Barton that chance.

Squad News

Miami Nice: Micah Richards has delivered his ‘what I did in my holidays’ essay to various media outlets, and it seems that he’ll be fit for the start of the season. He missed a large chunk at the end of last term due to a knee problem. “It’s been a frustrating time with the injury, but I’ve had a good summer,” the defender told the club’s official website. “I went to Miami with a few of the boys. It was nice to get away after the way the season tailed off and it didn’t turn out as good as we expected. It was nice to have those couple of weeks away, but now I just want to get back into football, especially after my injury and show everybody what I can do again. The injury’s coming along exceptionally well and I’ve been at Carrington a lot this week running and getting my fitness back up to the level it was at before. So it’s looking good and hopefully I’ll have no further problems. I’m just looking forward to pre-season now because it seems like ages ago since I last played.” Micah also thinks that the side will learn from last season’s slump in the second half of the campaign. “With a new manager in place, I am hoping we can get some new players in all positions to strengthen the squad and give it a really good go,” he told the M.E.N.. “Let’s hope we can get to the end of the campaign and say ‘We had a good season’. We don’t want to be making excuses and saying ‘We should have done this or that’.”

Cass the Way We Like It: Academy Supremo Jim Cassell wants his FA Youth Cup winning players to kick on from last season’s achievements. “You can have as many youth cups as you want, but unless you produce players for the first team, you are not going to be successful and that’s still our aim. The older ones from last season will go over to Carrington and it’s a big season for them. They will have to adjust, they will be playing with and against older and more experienced players and will need to make the step up,” he said on the club website.

Don Barrie <news(at)>


Well we wanted European Football and we got it.

A trip to the Faroe Islands is not such a long journey but navigating there will be challenging unless the club run a flight. There are flights from Stansted and Aberdeen via Atlantic Airways but there are actually no flights from Aberdeen at the moment so Stansted is the only option.

You’ll have to make your way out there on Monday as there are only flights on Mondays and Fridays (at least you won’t have to wait too long to come home).

I priced the flights up and including taxes, it’s a cool £462! Well we wanted European football, didn’t we?

One question, we are playing the second leg at Oakwell, not too far away but negotiating the A628 home is no fun in the dark, why wasn’t Stoke City considered? Is it because it’s a Premier League ground? Does anyone know?

John Nisbet <nisbet1957(at)>


Well at last, Man City have actually stopped declaring who they want to buy, and have now finally bought someone: Jo. I am sure that with the hefty pay cheque he is receiving, he will perform to the best of his ability and not be up front and do beggar all, for example, Benjani: the last-minute buy in January by Sven that was really good value for money… wasn’t it?

I hear that the signing of Jo is City’s highest transfer record since buying Nicolas “Le Sulk” Anelka. Seems to me that the most expensive players don’t seem to be good value, like Wayne Rooney. I’m glad that from now on when I watch England on BBC, when England are doing awfully, John Motson will shout “Rooney!” as if something amazing is about to happen. Yes Motson, giving the ball away and hitting it wide of the goal is impressive…

George Kearney <george_Kearney(at)>


My dear Mancunian friends,

Everybody here in Italy is watching the last photos of Ronaldinho. I hope Dr Thaksin, Mr Cook and Hughesy take a look to them indeed!

Our beloved squad need first of all to become a Top Four Club with Top Four players. Can a miracle be done with this fat Brazilian player at the end of his career? I don’t believe so, mates!

Are we only a brand or, as I strongly want, are we a good English football club yet? Jo, Arshavin, Bentley or Joaquin from Valencia could be good signings for us. This fat Brazilian Player? Absolutely no!

C’mon City forever!

Renato Tubere – <r.tubere(at)>


The latest report on Ronaldinho suggests that Manchester City’s desire to sign him are fading fast.

Recent photos of the superstar seen by Sparky showed Ronaldiho overweight, almost as if pregnant in appearance; this did not impress the new City manager/coach.

We all know of Ronaldiho’s past as a great footballer, but has he still got the motivation inside to continue, or will he fade out of the game just like Georgie Best did?

I hope that all the talk of City trying to sign him will now fade, and let Mark Hughes sign the players he wants, for his new City side.

As I write this, looks like MCFC have found the solution to getting the striker Jo; now for a midfield playmaker.

Although just heard on Sky Sports News that MCFC are in talks with Barça, and are the only club to be interested in Ronaldinho. If he gets his weight down, and is 100% fit and with a strong commitment to City then I sure would like to see him in a sky blue shirt.

Good luck Sparky!

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


I hated the guy when he played for us. For his passing, shooting, corners, and his arrogance on the pitch. People used to bite my head for sl@gging him off, both on here and in the East Stand.

Well I hate him even more now. Horrible, horrible person. Thank God he’s not associated with City anymore. look at the CCTV video.

£5.5 million. Ha! The FA should ban him for life. Whatever sentence he gets ain’t enough.

Joel Perry <j.perry(at)>


Is anyone planning on going to the Faroe Islands? I’m interested in learning more about travel options, tickets and hotels just in case I can make it. I have to be in New York on 15 July and could make it to the islands, via Copenhagen, on 16 July.

Neil Adshead <neil.adshead(at)>


Thought people might be interested in the upcoming schedule, which includes our UEFA game on

Thursday 17th July 2008
TBC – EB Streymur vs. Manchester City (CH1) UEFA Cup

I’m told you can now buy a 30 Day Pass for only £5.00; this will go up to £8.00 in August, £2.00 cheaper then last year.

For more details visit

John Nisbet <nisbet1957(at)>


If any City fans in and around the London area find themselves free on Saturday 5th July, you could do worse than make your way down to Arsenal’s Ashburton Grove stadium and attend the Football Supporters’ Federation’s AGM.

The event is absolutely free to attend and the proceedings will be electing this coming season’s National Council and then debating over 15 motions put before the conference, all football fan related issues.

Anyone attending is welcome to participate in the discussions of the day, though only members can actually vote. It all kicks off at 10am, simply turn up on the day and meet football fans from across England and Wales from the Premier League right the way through the non league pyramid system.

Phill Gatenby <Safestanding(at)>


Reddish Blues are pleased to announce that they are now based at Reddish Working Mens Club, Greg Street, South Reddish, Stockport.

We would like to thank The Ash Hotel for the hospitality they have shown us over the last 8 years. If you’re unsure where Reddish WMC is, you come past The Ash Hotel (where we were based) from Stockport, turn right at the traffic lights onto Whitehill Street, go all the way to the end and the Club is on your right.

If you would like to take a look around our new home then visit our website at and follow the link to the slideshow. Membership is now available for the new season.

Howard Burr <reddishblues(at)>

MCIVTA FAQ [v0708.01]

[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 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

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] 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

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.

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Newsletter #1444