Newsletter #1446

News tonight of Wardle’s departure from City, Hughes asserting his positioning charge, Thaksin’s trial and more transfer news. Dunne has signed his contract extension and pre-season is upon us.

We have opinion on pre-season, out sponsors and travel options, and a hatful of requests.

Apologies for delay – Zone Alarm & XP not playing ball together!

Next Game: EB Streymur, away, 7pm Thursday 17 July (UEFA Cup)


General News

Wardle Hasn’t Dawdled: The turnover in the non-playing personnel at the COMS continues apace, even if the playing squad are harder to shift. This week City parted company with the man known (at least by the Barries) as ‘the Jimmy Frizzell of the twenty first century’, one Derek Fazackerley. Derek, just like his 80’s equivalent, seemed to remain intact at the club despite numerous regime changes. And I must admit, I thought KK’s first team coach left weeks ago, but there you go. And even further up the COMS foodchain – John Wardle walked the plank after 11 years at the club. “This has not been an easy decision to make, as I have enjoyed every minute of my time at Manchester City in whatever rôle I have been asked to do,” Wardle said on the club website. “I am proud of the fact that during my time as Chairman, we have never dropped out of the top flight and that we achieved the stability that the Club and its fans had been craving for so long. It was for this reason that I took the necessary step of selling the Club last year, as I believed we had taken Manchester City as far as it could go. We had a wonderful stadium, top class training facilities and a fantastic Academy system, however it was obvious that further investment was needed. Now, with all these things in place and together with Dr Thaksin’s investment, I truly believe that the Club is set up for a very positive future. We have one of the brightest managers in the game and a great crop of exciting players. I wish the Club and everybody involved with it all the very best for the future. The support I have had from the staff at the Club over the years has been incredible and I know that I leave behind a truly committed and talented team. I would also like to say a special thank you to the fans who, without exception have remained truly supportive and whose loyalty has been unwavering despite some very testing times.” New broom Garry Cook said: “Our disappointment at John’s stepping down is matched only by our gratitude to him for the dedication he has shown on so many levels to this football club. Every single Manchester City fan owes John Wardle an enormous thank you, not just for his financial investment in the Club, but for the enthusiasm, emotion and wisdom he has imparted to it. He has been the fabric of this football club and quite simply, without his input in the darkest days of the third tier of English football, we would not be in the position in which we find ourselves today. John has stepped down, knowing that the future of the Club is in good hands and is heading in a positive direction. He will always be welcome at this Football Club and his input will never be forgotten.”

VIPs Only: It sounds like Mark Hughes is already trying to alter the attitude that surrounds the club. His training methods are discussed elsewhere in this Summary by Richard Dunne, but Executive chairman Garry Cook has revealed that the new boss has cracked down on who wanders in to the Carrington training ground. “Mark has made it quite clear at this football club who is allowed in and who isn’t,” said Cook. “He has certainly fired a few shots across the bow already. There were one or two people going over to the Carrington training ground who aren’t allowed back any more. It’s about Mark and his players going there to work. It’s about their jobs. It’s not about people coming in for a bite to eat and a bit of football. It would be fair to say that there have been some people going over there who don’t play football. Mark has made it very clear who is welcome and who is not. We’ve even joked with him that we might need special VIP passes if we’re going to see him!”

Thaksin’s Trial: How the Thai legal system works, part 318. The corruption trial of Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife has begun in Bangkok. The couple are facing charges related to a Bangkok real estate deal. The couple deny any wrongdoing, saying the charges of abuse of power against them are politically motivated. The case before the Supreme Court relates to the purchase of a plot of land in the Thai capital. The former prime minister is accused of using his political influence to help his wife buy the land from a state agency at a favourable price. The couple, who could face up to thirteen years each in prison if found guilty, did not attend court, but their lawyer sounded a positive note. “We are confident that our evidence will be enough to prove in the court that Thaksin and his wife are not guilty,” Anek Khamchum told the AFP news agency. Shinawatra is anxious to clear his name, not least because the Court has frozen £800 million of his assets. But in another court, Thaksin’s hopes took a blow when a leading member of the party loyal to him was found guilty of electoral fraud. The Supreme Court ruled that former House Speaker Yongyuth Tiyapairat, of the People Power Party (PPP) loyal to Thaksin, was guilty of vote-buying in the northern province of Chiang Rai before last December’s election. The ruling places more pressure on the PPP-led six-party governing coalition currently facing street protests over accusations that it is too close to Thaksin and it may persuade the country’s Election Commission that the entire PPP should be disbanded and new elections held. A government less favourable to Thaksin would clearly be a major blow for the former Prime Minister. And let’s get a bit Sky Blue-eyed here – there could be major repercussions to the funds available, and even to the ownership, of City, should Dr.Thaksin’s trial go against him.

Transfer News and Gossip

Tigers’ Feat: Hull City have signed Geovanni from City, subject to a medical. The 28-year-old Brazilian has joined his new team-mates at their pre-season training camp in Italy, and Assistant Manager (and former City boss) Brian Horton told BBC Radio Humberside: “He’s got a very good track record so I think he’ll be an excellent signing for us. We’ve heard a lot about him and spoken to quite a few people, but we saw him ourselves so we know the player.” There seems to be some confusion over whether Emile Mpenza will be joining Geo at the KC Stadium. Reports earlier in the week suggested that the Belgian forward, who is a free agent having been released by City, was having a trial with the Premiership new boys. But Mpenza’s agent denies any such deal is going on. “He is not on trial at Hull and there has been no contact with Hull,” Rachid Tajmout told “He is currently training in Belgium and keeping himself fit while we look to sort his future out. But I have not spoken to anyone connected to Hull.” While Tajmout has played down talk of his client joining Hull, he is hopeful that Mpenza will be able to find a new club in England. “Emile is very keen to stay in England,” Tajmout said. “Of course there is always speculation, but the only club I have spoken to recently was Ipswich. There is some interest from abroad but ideally he wants to stay in England. He loves the football and living over there. The hope is of course for the Premier League, but if not then we can consider the Championship.”

Cut Your Wages – Ot It’s City for You Lad: In this week’s tired old rumour section: a Brazilian former world’s best player, plus a big chunk of Blackburn Rovers’ first team. Ronaldinho is still coming to terms with the fact that the only club to make him an offer is City. The Blues have told Ronaldinho it is time to decide what he wants, Garry Cook said: “We definitely don’t want to be sitting waiting for a decision from Ronaldinho.” The player’s agent and brother, Roberto de Assis, is manfully insisting that his bro is likely to end up in Serie A. “It’s true, he is likely to go to Milan,” De Assis told Telelombardia. “Everything is ready for the transfer. It is 90% and we are heading in this direction.” Err, one problem with that Roberto – Milan say they don’t want to sign him. Unless he costs virtually nothing in transfer and wages, that is. Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani claims that Ronaldinho has rejected the chance to join City, despite being offering twice as much as the Rossoneri. “Ronaldinho is not in Pep Guardiola’s [Barcelona coach’s] plans for the new season, so that cuts the cost down a little, but the problem is his wages,” said Galliani to La Stampa. “In order to meet those demands we’d have to pay next to nothing for the player himself. It all depends on Barcelona. I can say that Ronaldinho rejected an offer from Manchester City, who were proposing twice as much as Milan.” Meanwhile the press are still convinced Marky Mark wants to hoover up talent from his former club Blackburn Rovers. Christopher Samba has been linked again with City, but his agent denies any such transaction will take place. “Chris has a five-year deal and he is very happy,” said Leon Lambert in the Daily Star Sunday. “There have been some rumours, but at this moment I expect him to start the season there.” The M.E.N. meanwhile reckons that Hughes will be signing Brad Friedel and David Bentley from his old club. He wants to bring in an experienced ‘keeper and a right-sided midfielder to his squad. He faces some very tough competition for Bentley though, because half the Premiership are also on the England international’s trail, with Tottenham the favourites according to the national papers.

Kaz You Handle It? Time for a new rumour, methinks. City have leaped to the head of the queue vying for the signature of Fenerbahce forward Colin Kazim-Richards. Newcastle United and Hull City were thought to be leading the race, but The Sun reports that the Blues are now favourites to capture Kazim-Richards. City boss Mark Hughes is willing to part with £4 million to prise the 21-year-old from Fener. The London-born youngster had an excellent Euro 2008, having failed to make any huge impact during his time in English football. Lazio are also reported to be keen on the man known as Kazim Kazim in his ancestral homeland.

Corradi Speaks: In footballing terms, Bernardo Corradi is one of the living dead – he moves amongst us, but he’s not quite one of us. The striker spent an unsuccessful season on loan at Lazio, so he’s now back with City. If he’s got anything to do with it, it won’t be for long. “There are eight strikers at City and I believe the club will want to analyse the coach’s intentions,” Corradi told Strill. “Everything has changed, not only the coach but even the club’s directors. Usually in these situations it’s down to the player and my intention is to return to Italy. I hope there is a chance for me to break my relationship with the club and move back to Italy.” The player has been linked with a move to Calabrian side Reggina.

Call Me Naïve: So why did the long mooted transfer of Jo take so long to complete? Garry Cook blames himself. He told the M.E.N: “I think I need to take some sort of responsibility for that. Being new to transfers and the Premier League and the Football Association regulations, I had to carry out my own due diligence on behalf of the club. These signings are very, very complex. We were signing a Brazilian from a Russian club. I contacted the Premier League and the FA and I slowed everything down until I felt we were all doing the right thing. It was really me and my naïveté that slowed it down more than anything else, but I thought it was the right thing to do for the club. It turned out that the result was equally exciting, in as much as we got one of the great future players in world football playing at Manchester City.”

A Young Thirty-Five: Paul Dickov is nearer to landing a place in the MLS, as he’s been visiting Toronto FC. Dicky is on the lookout for a new club, having been released last week by City. Blackpool were hopeful of landing the striker, who spent half of last season on loan – but the attractions of a transatlantic end to his career may hold sway. Toronto chief Mo Johnston said: “I think has really enjoyed his week here and the facilities we have. He’s a very young 35 and will solve a striker problem for us.”

Ex-Blues’ News

Reid to Bangkok: No, not another bizarre practice like Arshavin, but another link between City and Thailand – former player, coach and manager Peter Reid is likely to be named as the new national coach of Thailand. Reidy, who is due to sign a four year deal, said: “It’s good for the CV and hopefully I can get them to the 2014 World Cup.” Thai FA president Worawi Makudi commented: “I had a chance to consult Sir David Richards, the chairman of the FA Premier League, on our search for a new national coach during my overseas trip. He recommended Reid as a suitable choice, given his vast experience. Then, I held talks with Reid about the possibility we could work together. He didn’t take much time to consider our offer because of his affection for our country.”

Wig Out to the Reebok: Steve Wigley’s back in the Premiership – Stuart Pearce’s assistant at the Blues has been appointed Head Coach at Bolton Wanderers. He will combine this post with his coaching duties with SP at England under-21 level. One Wanderers fans’ website rather unkindly stated that Megson had only appointed Wigley to make him look good in comparison. Ouch…

Squad News

No Jo Blow: He’s only been at the club for five minutes, and already City have lost the services of Jo for a month. He’s been selected for Brazil’s Olympic squad for the Beijing Games in August. This means City’s new boy will miss most of the pre-season buildup, and the early Premiership games. This doesn’t detract from the importance of the Olympics of course – it’s taken very seriously back in Jo’s homeland, because it’s the only major international tournament that Brazil have never won. It’s just a shame that City’s number one hitman won’t be available at the start of the forthcoming term.

Richard Rich: Another confirmed signing by Sparky – Richard Dunne has signed up for another four years. The skipper had been reportedly unhappy when Sven was given the boot, and Portsmouth were supposedly sniffing around. But Hughes has convinced the 28-year-old to hang on in there, baby. “My first priority is, was and always has been to stay at City,” Dunnie said. “When Mark Hughes got the manager’s job I think everyone was pleased. I was thrilled he seemed to make it a priority to sort my contract out.” Hughes added: “I’m delighted with the outcome and Richard is a really important player for us. It was one of my priorities when I took the job that I made sure that he was one of the players we needed to keep.” Elsewhere, Dunne has been giving an insight into the training methods of the new boss. The squad is training somewhere in Southern Germany, and Dunne likes what he sees. “It’s been really good and I think everyone’s enjoyed it. What we’ve done, rather than the usual pre-season running, has been a lot of football-based fitness. It’s probably harder than just running, but it’s much more enjoyable and with us having the UEFA Cup in the next two weeks, it’s important that we get or football fitness in early and get a feel for the football. It’s been hard but certainly enjoyable. Like every player you just want to get back out and play football rather than just running around trying to get your fitness.” Garry Cook has been talking about the purpose of the training camp. “Mark wants to take a good look at the players and see what their character is all about. He’s putting them through their paces in Germany. He feels that a competitive advantage is going to come through fitness. We’re trying to change the culture at this football club and that doesn’t come easily, especially when you are living in the shadow of one of the greatest football teams in the world. You have to work steadily and plug away at it. Mark is about working hard and being committed. Winning is the option, while failure is not an option.”

Don Barrie <news(at)>


So good ol’ Thomas Cook come up with an £885 round trip to the Faroe Islands?

What a monopoly… I recall last time City were in Europe, City and our official sponsor tried to rip us off with their day/overnight stay in Lokeren (the club originally insisted that tickets would only be given to those fans booking on official travel). I was then (as secretary of the CSA) one of a number of fans who led a protest at this cartel (I had booked flights for £22 return from Stansted) and eventually the club conceded defeat and allowed the free sale of tickets to independent travellers.

Now with independent travel to the Faroe’s being somewhat very limited, the official travel consists solely of a 2 night trip. Why? And why via Copenhagen? Why cannot a plane be chartered by Thomas Cook to fly on the day of the game from Manchester airport to the Faroe’s, returning that very evening?

Thomas Cook, we don’t give a f**k.

Phill Gatenby <Safestanding(at)>


I’m sorry but I just can’t be doing with this ‘Sp***y’ nonsense, that’s his past (that I’m trying not to remember).

Leslie is the way forward chaps (and chapesses).

Jason Chinnery <jasonchinnery(at)>


I heard recently that City’s season got off to a top start against a Ukrainian team and it ended in a very positive 0-0. And from what I read, we had one half-chance.

From what I read, the other team were much fitter than ours. Why?!? Have they just come back from holiday and the next day play against an unknown team, who are Ukranian. Sorry to all those Ukrainians out there, but you’re not the best team nationally for football (but to be fair, neither is England).

I should be more positive about City as I have been for many years. However, I am slightly concerned that we can’t make a goal in 90 minutes against some unknown team (from Ukraine).

George Kearney <george_Kearney(at)>


For those of us based in the USA, can anyone advise me which TV station is set to broadcast live/recorded Premier League games for the 2008/’09?

I’m soon to be picking up a new cable or satellite service – as such, I need to make sure I’ll be able to get the most games, re. City.

Appreciate it.

Graham Mills <gkm_5(at)>


I have just moved to Bangkok and have been informed that a City store has recently opened in one of the shopping malls in Bangkok. I would appreciate if anyone could send me the address details so I can visit the store.

George Koumendakos <georgekoumendakos(at)>


The South West branch of the Official Manchester City Supporters’ Club (1949) will be holding their Annual General Meeting at Topsham F.C., Exeter Road, Exeter on Saturday 12 July with a 1:30 start.

All Blues in the south west region are welcome to attend. For further information please contact Branch Secretary, Andy Foden, on 07779 058999.

Andy Foden <andy.foden(at)>


The best three City (or related) books I have read are Bert Trautmann’s biography by Alan Rowlands, All Round Genuis by Mick Collins, and Kicked Into Touch by Fred Eyre.

Reading about Trautmann, one can only gasp at his upbringing in the Hitler Youth and eventually being captured (twice) and escaping (twice) from the Russian front before being caught by the Allied Forces.

Wayne Rooney has signed a five book deal on his life, yet all he has done in life is a paper round and a few years as a pro footballer… this book is very humbling indeed.

All Round Genius is the biography of Max Woosman, the unknown story of Britain’s greatest sportsman. Max (born in 1892) led a remarkable life. He played (and captained) both England and Manchester City whilst as an amateur player, was a Wimbledon Doubles Champion, Davis Cup Captain and Olympic tennis gold medallist, a Cambridge Blue at cricket and he even beat Charlie Chaplin at table tennis, playing with a butter knife. He also served his country in the trenches in WW1.

Fred Eyre’s book has gone on to sell a million copies and is packed with humour and self deprecation whilst also giving an insightful look into the eyes of how the professional and semi professional game is run. Or not run in many cases!

Phill Gatenby <Safestanding(at)>


Thanks to Dave Miller for his excellent review of my book, “Manchester A Football History” both on MCIVTA and on Amazon. It does help enormously – the more comments on Amazon the better as they use information like this to help determine stock levels etc.

I like Dave’s request for us all to nominate our own favourite City books so, if anyone’s interested, here are my favourites (ignoring my own writing of course!):

Best in last decade: Century City (Dave Wallace) – it says much about the quality of this book that Dave chose the 1957-8 season to cover (it’s fairly straightforward writing about a highly successful season but Dave chose a ‘Typical City’ season and his love of the subject shines through).

Favourite Biography: Football Wizard: The Story of Billy Meredith (John Harding) – although written by a Red and missing key information on Billy’s City career, this book is very interesting. It gave me a strong desire to write in-depth biographies of City men (although I’ve still only published 1 biog – Joe Mercer).

Favourite City History: The Manchester City Story (Andy Ward) – Only 96 pages, but the first history to cover every season. It came out in the early 80s and Andy’s writing style and level of research was better than most other club based football books at the time. Despite being a fan since birth, this is the book that got me really hooked on City’s entire history.

Best non-City book: The Soccer Tribe (Desmond Morris)
Best comedy football novel: Gladys Protheroe Football Genius (Simon Cheetham)

Gary James <info(at)>


I recently cancelled a credit card. I discovered that an annual subscription to was, unknown to me, coming up for automatic renewal. If, like me, you once subscribed and you are less than thrilled with this set up, it may be worth checking your own automatic renewals on cards or paypal.

I got reasonable service and value from last season, and they have scheduled the game on 17 July.

However, see also Ian Keir’s suggestion for free online viewing in MCIVTA 1445. I am definitely going to give this a go.

Peter Birbeck <pjb1946(at)gmaildotcom>


In response to Ian Keir, everyone I have spoken to about Sopcast tells me that Sopcast is poor quality and breaks up all the time. I tried Sopcast and couldn’t find the channels to watch.

Live online footy is around £3.50 for a day’s pass and you can watch any of the games that day. The quality is excellent and rarely disconnects.

I don’t want to be messing about reconnecting to a poor quality feed even if it is free.

John Nisbet <nisbet1957(at)>


In response to Ian’s comment about online footy. I have and continue to use both liveonlinefooty and another site, which includes sopcast as well as other p2p viewing media.

In terms of quality, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. The streamimg video on liveonlinefooty is vastly superior. Even on full screen the picture quality is good. I have not found this to be generally so with the p2p sites. Also liveonlinefooty in most cases has English commentary whilst the others tend to carry the commentary in Chinese, German, Albanian, Greek etc.

I have on one occasion been infected by a virus whilst watching on p2p. Partly my fault. If you are running Norton it usually comes up with a permission to open message when you try to connect. I got so used to this I think I didn’t read the warning properly and OK’d it as normal when it was actually a virus warning. So if you do use Sopcast or other p2p sites watch out for that one.

One more thing. The liveonlinefooty site has so many City fans registered our game is invariably on. Whichever media you select, let’s hope those who can’t get to the game enjoy the coming season.

Dave Kilroy <dave.kilroy(at)>

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Newsletter #1446