Newsletter #1557

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With the season proper starting at the weekend, we have news from Alex tonight on the latest developments at the club with the open training session, new arrivals settling in and on the downside City in hot water with the Welsh FA and Everton playing hard to get. There’s also news of academy guru Jim Cassell’s move into an international rôle.

We have opinion tonight on ticket prices, the rivalry debate, merchandising assistance in the Far East and the usual requests. There’s also some worrying news on the pie front!

Next Game: Blackburn Rovers, away, 3pm Saturday 15 August

NEWS SUMMARY

General News

City and the Community: On one of this summer’s few days of glorious sunshine, Manchester City stars old and new turned out for an open training session. As Team GB, Ade’s Army and Kolo and the Gang fought it out under the instruction of assistant manager and referee for the day Mark Bowen in a number of training drills, former City star Paul Lake took time out with the fans to sign autographs. More than 10,000 fans took time out of their summer holidays to help settle City’s new signings into CoMS and remind some of the older members of the squad that they were far from forgotten. In one of the most British experiences I’ve ever been a part of, the 10,000+ fans queued around the stadium in preparation for the doors to open and the whole mood was one of excitement and anticipation for a season that could renew the face of Manchester City football club. Carlos Tevez received the biggest ovation of the day as he was welcomed to Manchester and had fans on their feet again when he was became one of only two players to succeed in the crossbar challenge, the other being young Ryan McGivern of the FA Youth Cup winning squad.

Marwood’s Memories: City’s Football Administration Officer Brian Marwood is excited as anyone about what possibilities lie ahead for the club over the next few seasons and has recalled some of his own memories of City’s past success. Marwood explained that it is not as if the Citizens are starting anew, the club has a proud heritage of success and the former Arsenal winger believes this will be the foundation of City’s future achievements: “A lot of ex-players will tell you that Maine Road was a special place to play, it had a unique atmosphere and the pitch was always in good condition, and I can recall getting two goals at Maine Road against Paul Power. It was a time City were struggling a bit, I had a decent record against them at Arsenal and Wednesday, but this club has always had a great heritage. The history and the colourful characters are something people still talk fondly of, and we hope to recreate that as we go into this period of our history now. We want people in 15 or 20 years time to say that City are one of the best around.”

Just the Ticket: The new era at Eastlands has led to great anticipation amongst success hungry fans and as a result season ticket sales have risen substantially. With only days left until the new campaign begins, the club has stated that sales are set to break all records held by City since the introduction of all seater stadiums. The initiation of family tickets and cheaper prices has kept fans smiling as the club’s new hierarchy continue to prove that their involvment in the Blues is not that of a hobby but as a project that they are truly dedicated to.

Squad News

Thoroughly Welcomed in Manchester: Fellow Argentinean Pablo Zabaleta has told reporters this week that Carlos Tevez has become an integral part of City’s new look squad only weeks after signing up to the Eastlands revolution. Ten thousand Citizens welcomed the former Manchester United forward to CoMS in last weeks open day and Zab’ believes that Tevez will play a huge part in where City finish this season: “Carlos is a normal person but a big character to have around. Mark Hughes and his staff have said to me what a fantastic player, what a good professional he is. Everybody here is very happy with him. He has a big desire to play, so it’s been frustrating for Carlos, the problem with his foot. He wasn’t able to train with us, but this week he can train well, and maybe he can play in the first game. Even with his problem, he was training in the gym every day. I don’t need to help him with his English! We sit with the other players and speak in English. Spanish would be much easier for us of course, but it’s out of respect for the others. It must be funny listening to us. Carlos and I are good pals – I’ve known him a long time, from when we were in the Under-17s and the Under-20 team for Argentina. As we all know, he is a very good player, and we wanted his quality. Carlos spoke to me before he came here. He asked me to talk about the club and of course I told him how big Manchester City is, and that it is a good club to be at. We hope to finish in the top six. City is very different now, and Carlos is good for everybody. Players want to come here. We have bought Gareth Barry and the others they come because they believe in the project, and that’s important. The new signings have changed everything. Last season was difficult now a lot of players have gone, and it is a new team. We’ve got some good players for this season, the pressure is going to be different.”

Injury Keeps Roque from Taking Cruz Control: New recruit Roque Santa Cruz is set to miss the opening weeks of the season with a knee injury that continues to keep him from full fitness. With the season’s opening game taking place at Ewood Park, City boss Mark Hughes had hoped that the former Blackburn Rovers striker would be fit to play against his old side but it’s seems that a recurrence of the Paraguayan’s knee injury is set to keep him out until September: “He’s been training every day but he’s probably two to two and a half weeks away from training with the group. Then there will be a period of time when he needs to get some general fitness with the group, but it’s not a case of trying to force him back – we’ve got options up front, so we have the luxury of time in that respect. We knew he would have a period of rehabilitation when we signed him, but we have good options up front. If we can, we want to give Roque the time he really needs, rather than getting him back early and having him at 70%. We want him back at 90-95% OK – it’s almost impossible to be 100% fit as a footballer. That just does not happen. For the sake of a couple more weeks of rehab and intense work, we think he will benefit long term, rather than bring him back too soon. I’d rather give him the time that he needs. We’re hoping by the end of the month he’ll be available.” Hughes has considered who may replace Santa Cruz up front with both Carlos Tevez and Craig Bellamy in the reckoning despite their own fitness issues: “We’ll see how he (Tevez) goes. He’s been doing loads of fitness work. We’ll try to give him some game time but not if we feel it’s a risk. He’s (Bellamy) strong and sharp, but three games in a week is not what we look to give Craig given his history.”

Montenegro Mix-Up: The Welsh national side had one noticeable absentee this weekend when skipper Craig Bellamy failed to show up ahead of their international fixture against Montengro. Bellamy suffered further damage to his knee during the club’s weekend friendly against Celtic and was then set to withdraw from the national squad. Unfortunately, due to an administrative mix-up, both player and club failed to report this to the Welsh FA and the national side were left quite confused as to where their usually reliable captain could be: “Craig Bellamy is continuing his fitness and rehabilitation work following a knee injury. He suffered a reaction following Saturday’s game against Celtic and is therefore unavailable to represent Wales in this week’s friendly against Montenegro. Craig’s situation should have been communicated to the Football Association of Wales over the weekend but a misunderstanding on the process meant this was regrettably not done until [Monday]. Manchester City have now made contact with the Football Association of Wales to clarify the situation.” The club would like to thank the Welsh FA for their understanding reaction towards the situation, which City took full responsibility for.

Attempting the Clean SWP: Expectation, pressure and money; the three most publicised attributes of the City side today but international winger Shaun Wright Phillips has asserted that it is the club’s passion, belief and play that will bring them success. City may be expected to achieve major accomplishments this season after the huge spend of funds but SWP believes that the City faithful will settle for steady success in their search for the Premier League title: “I am a great believer that although there is pressure around, the majority of pressure is put on yourself. If we go out and play the way we know we can, we will do fine. As long as we enjoy it, the pressure will be non-existent. I play the game with a smile on my face – you naturally play the way you want to play, and the gaffer wants you to play. You forget about the pressure. We want to win as many games as possible. At home, people will be more scared of us than we are of them. Now we have a load of new players, it has upped the standards of the team. We are a force to be reckoned with. I came back to try and help the club achieve things, to win something. It is what I did in my first spell. Now more players are coming in, it’s become more likely that I thought. Everybody here is excited. He is forming a team now where the players are used to winning. That mentality rubs off. If you let in a goal, you don’t sink into your shell, you come out even harder and put people on the back foot, home or away. The thing we lacked last year to be in the top six was our away form, and we started to correct that towards the end. Once we get the away form right, there is nothing stopping us really. If we put our heads down, you never know. We have fewer games not being in Europe. We can concentrate on domestic stuff and are likely to stay a lot fitter. I believe we have what it takes to win the title at some point. But that takes consistency, and being able to win when you’re not playing well. Last year, particularly away, if we weren’t playing well we couldn’t grind a result out. We’re learning you have to grit in sometimes.”

Champions in Training: SWP’s not the only home grown talent expecting success from City in the coming years, Nedum Onuoha has claimed that the way City are currently training for next season, the club’s new signings are working harder than ever before and that can only mean good things for players that have already been successful elsewhere: “Training has always been intense at this place with this manager, I think the new players have possibly had to raise their intensity levels from where they have been before because we set such high standards. Anyone coming in has to be able to match what we do, the new players that have come in have made it a bit more technical but the intensity has always been there. As a defender you sometimes wonder why you chose that position because you come up against such good players! It can be tough, but if I am going to learn it’s going to be out on the training pitch, because you might as well do it with the best of the best. The players that have come in this year have already spent a lot of time in the English league, so as well as them we have the lads that came here last season who already understand this league a bit more. People like Gareth have been in this league for a long time, and they know what it takes to be successful. I’ll have to make sure I can compete with them.”

Dutch Courage: Despite external criticisms of City’s new regime, January signing Nigel De Jong believes that the money spent at Eastlands has done nothing to unsettle the Blues’ old guard and the new boys have settled brilliantly: “The new players have to blend in, and that’s not easy. For them it’s a new club, a new environment and we all have to get to know each other a bit more before the real work begins. The first half on Wednesday showed that we really can play football, all of us, and having Ade up front is great. He’s strong and he can keep the ball really well, and that allows the midfielders to get around him. The atmosphere in the squad is good.” The Dutch midfielder, who cost the Blues £16 million when he signed from Hamburg last winter, accepts that City’s new-found wealth will create envy amongst the club’s rivals towards the Manchester outfit but has paid tribute to the way the City new boys have adapted the way the side plays: “Ade’s great in the air, but he’s got a great technique on the ground as well. He could make a big difference for us this season. He’s joined because we are trying to make ourselves into the biggest club, he knows what is involved and that there’s a lot of hard work to earn his place in the team. He’s doing well in training, and he’s a good for the group as well. Gareth’s helping me as well, we’re sharing our experiences. I’ve played in other leagues but I’ve only been here six months and I need to learn how the Premier League works. I’ve not played in every ground yet, so it’s good that he’s alongside me to help me out. He’s a good left-footer, which you always need, and his experience in the Premier League is going to be very important for the team. With having played so many games, he knows how it is and how a lot of opponents work. It’s great he’s on our side rather than against us.”

Loaning Donal: Academy graduate Donal McDermott has been loaned to League Two side Chesterfield on a three month deal. The 19-year-old spent part of last season with MK Dons in League One and went on to sign a new two year deal with the Blues this summer. McDermott now hopes to prove his worth to the Citizens by taking advantage of his opportunity to play first team football.

Transfer News and Rumours

Central to the Issue: Mark Hughes has this week stated that he is still in the market for a centre back though he will not overspend in order to bring quality to the side. Joleon Lescott has been subject to two rejected bids by City and this week had his own personal transfer request knocked back by Everton. If Hughes fails to bring the former Wolves defender to CoMS, his attentions may move to fellow England international Matthew Upson but Sparky must first decide whether or not it is time to move on from Lescott: “If we feel a certain deal has run its course, we will look elsewhere. Whether we have reached that stage with Joleon only time will tell. Obviously we can do deals right to the end of the transfer window. However, we would prefer to do our business as quickly as possible, ideally by the end of this week.” Other reports proposed that European Champions Barcelona were weighing up a move for City centre back Vincent Kompany, having been rebuffed in their interest of Dmytro Chyhrynskiy who currently plays for Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk.

First Refusal: Having missed out on a deal to sign Kaka last January, City are keen to add another of the world’s best to the fold though the Blues may have to wait a number of years until this deal is completed. It was reported this week that City had struck a deal with Barcelona President Joan Laporta so that should Lionel Messi ever went to leave the Nou Camp, City would have a first option to sign the Argentinean. The deal would see Barcelona earn mega money for their superstar winger, City sign one of the world’s best and Messi join a club that expects to be challenging Barcelona at European level in a few years’ time. Though nothing has been confirmed by either club, it is the sort of speculation that still has fans pinching themselves just to prove that it is sane to consider the possibility of Lionel Messi moving to CoMS.

Finding the Exits: Both Kasper Schmeichel and Martin Petrov have been linked with a move away from Eastlands this week following specualtion that they would be left on the fringes for the upcoming season. The arrivals of Shay Given and Stuart Taylor have pushed Kasper even further down the pecking order at CoMS and with Notts County supposedly preparing a bid for the Dane, the young goalie may be about to join up with former manager Sven Goran Eriksson again. The influx of talent at City has also pushed winger Martin Petrov onto the periphery and he has spoken this week of his need for first team football: “I don’t see City depending too much on me this year, at least from what I have seen from the pre-season friendlies so far. No footballer is content with polishing the bench and I am no exception. There were several inquiries but no offers as of yet.”

Post-Match Reaction

Old Firm Part Two: As former Blues Georgios Samaras, Willo Flood and Chris Killen lined up against their old side, it was City new boy Gareth Barry who took the headlines. A man of the match performance from the England midfielder was topped off with a goal from a Pablo Zabaleta cross. Chris Killen did equalise in front of his former fans but Celtic old boy Craig Bellamy staked his claim for a place in City’s first XI with the winning goal. Hughes clarified that though he was pleased with a rare pre-season win, he wanted the new season to begin: “It was a good work-out, but we’re at a stage where we are a bit fed up of friendlies and want to get the real stuff started. In fairness, today was a good exercise because they were good opposition, and there was a great atmosphere today. I knew I could only play Carlos for about 25 minutes at most today and I wanted to see him on the pitch with Robi and Ade, but you can’t play everybody. Craig came off at that point as well, but it illustrates the point that we’ve got great options and great variation in the type of players that we have in the forward areas. I’ve got a good idea of what I’m looking to do next week, but I have to factor in the internationals this week. We’re hoping that everyone comes back fit and well but it’s not the ideal preparation. Any Premier League manager will tell you that not having the squad together for a full week is not great.” Of Kolo Toure who was replaced after only 18 minutes, Hughes said: “Kolo’s OK, he had a little tightness in his hip flexor this week, we did some work on it and he thought he was OK to start. After about 15 minutes he felt it, so as a precaution we took him off. He’ll meet up with his international squad, but hopefully they will think it’s a risk to play him in a friendly.”

Academy News

It’s All Foreign to Jim: City Academy director Jim Cassell is set to be promoted to City’s Worldwide Academy project. Cassell, who has taken many of the plaudits following the successes of SWP, Micah Richards, Nedum Onuoha and Co., is preparing to be moved to Abu Dhabi where the Blues will create a brand new academy to expand inter-continental links on behalf of the club. Sheikh Mansour did claim when he took over the club that Hughes would be handed the funds to buy the world’s best players and would be asked to combine that with young, talented prospects. This new scheme is considered the first step in ensuring that this young talent is not solely from Manchester but from all over the world. Unconfirmed reports suggest academy coaches Alex Gibson and Paul Power will join Cassell in his new challenge and Cassell has told of his excitement: “It is great to be in on the ground floor of such an exciting project; we have the proverbial blank sheet of paper. I am thrilled to be part of such a ground-breaking venture. We have been having conversations for the past year about doing something new. If we didn’t add to what we do and come up with something new there was a fear that people in the Academy might alienate themselves away from new initiatives in the club. We want to be part of the successful evolvement of this club and the best way to do that is being at the forefront of the creation of new plans.” The Academy director has denied suggestions that the Platt Lane project will stall without him and is refusing to divulge who will join him in Abu Dhabi: “Platt Lane will go on and it will get stronger over the years. Everyone has seen the investment that the new owners have put in there already, which is fantastic. Everything is going well at Platt Lane but the worst thing you can do with any successful organisation that has been strong is to let it fester and grow weak. We didn’t want it to slip into that mode. We are not going to announce who will support me on the international initiative but there is another great opportunity for a couple of staff with great experience. This will not be a case of a Premier League club going in somewhere for a couple of weeks, getting some publicity and then leaving. There will be an important and lasting legacy left by the project.”

Ex-Blues’ News

A Losing Battle: Former Leeds, City and England right back Danny Mills has retired from professional football this week after two injury plagued seasons. The defender, who was capped nineteen times by his country, was released by the Blues last month and Mills now feels that the time is right to stop fighting what he believes is a losing battle: “Unfortunately I have now got to the situation where I can no longer continue to play. So, really as from today, I’ll be retiring from the professional game and looking to do other things. It has been difficult. I was fortunate it wasn’t my decision in the end. I’ve been around the world – America, Germany, Sweden, London – I’ve been everywhere trying to get it sorted. I’ve been out for 18 months. I’m likely to have another operation in three or four months’ time. Basically the knee just can’t cope with it any more.”

Alex Rowen <news(at)mcivta.city-fan.org>

OPINION: TICKET PRICES

I just booked two tickets for the Arsenal game in East Level 3 for £43 each. This included a £5 per ticket discount for holding Citycards, making the full adult price £48 (incl. booking fee). The cheapest seats for the game were £35 (North Level 1), so £40 excluding the discount. Unless my memory fails me, these prices represent a c.£10 per seat increase over last season.

Assuming my recollection of last season’s prices is approximately correct, do people think such price inflation is fair? Even allowing for the improved squad and likely higher finishing position, it seems a large jump. I suppose the answer revolves around the nuances of whether City are now purely a revenue-maximising business, or should still retain some elements of being a sporting club who might take a revenue hit in light of a recession that once again is hitting the North hardest. Remember that old strapline of “supporting our supporters”? Hopefully, through substantially cheaper seats for the FA and Carling Cups, those with limited disposable incomes will be offered the opportunity of watching live first-team football.

We finished 5th in 1991/92. For all our marquee signings, will a 5th place finish this time out make the season any more rewarding than those days of £8 turnstile fees on the Kippax? To what extent, I wonder, are match attendees paying costly sums to support the hefty wages of much marketed players predominantly demanded not by ticket holders, but by the television watching public?

Jonathan Pickstone <Jonathan.Pickstone(at)hca.gsx.gov.uk>

OPINION: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS

In reply to Kevin Williamson’s short piece in MCIVTA 1556: I understand what you are saying Kevin, and have some sympathy. We were a team that looked through the shop window at the goodies that the ‘big four’ had. We could not compete then, just as Stoke will not be able to compete now. Unfortunately a league campaign has always been there for the taking by the team with the most money. Money equals resources i.e. players. Bacon face has bought many trophies, yet people insist he is a great manager as though his continued big spending had nothing to do with it. Let’s see how he manages a depleted team this year shall we?

Unless we go for wage-capping there will never be a level playing field within the English game. But that is the rub of it, if we go for wage capping the players will leave and English football will suffer!

Nostalgia is always false, here’s to a Blue future.

Mark Jones <Mark.Jones(at)sheffield.ac.uk>

OPINION: IS RIVALRY A GOOD THING?

I agree with Kevin Williamson that we should not spend too much too worrying about United, and that we should get our own house in order. That was, after all, our downfall when we got within 5,000 of their gates back in the late 70s and Peter Swales brought Big Mal back in a vain attempt to overtake the Swamp Dwellers. Having said that, there is nothing wrong with rivalry as long as it doesn’t stop us being the best we can be, and as long as it doesn’t turn into violence, keeping within certain boundaries of taste and decency. Local rivalry is one of the ingredients of supporting your club, getting one up on your rivals, and City fans are no different to any others. I know Forest fans who really cannot stand Derby and vice versa; Blades who made the most of being top dogs in Sheffield after so many years of being looked down upon by Wednesdayites, who in turn, relished doubling their city rivals for the first time in 95 years last season. Some Wednesdayites say they don’t eat bacon on a Saturday morning because it is red and white! Phil Ball wrote an excellent book entitled ‘Morbo’ detailing the rivalries between clubs in the Spanish League (I won’t refer to Barcelona as ‘Spanish’!). In ‘Morbo’ you get a flavour of how rivalry adds extra spice to the game in Spain and I thoroughly recommend this book.

The finest day I have had watching City so far was when we beat United 5-1 on September 23rd 1989, and it was great to stick it to them, as it has been on other occasions (not enough of them in my opinion). The twenty year anniversary of that game is not far round the corner and I have to say that is only my best day in football because we haven’t won a trophy since I first went to Maine Road on 1980. Hopefully the 5-1 will be topped soon for me, because winning something is more important for me. For those of us who weren’t around in 1976 and the halcyon days of the lates 60s and early 70s, beating United has probably been the best experience! What’s more, winning the derby is important in terms of bragging rights.

MCIVTA gives us a chance to kick a few subjects around, and it’s a really good debating forum. When Bacon Face spills his nonsense, why not challenge it here? I don’t think there’s any harm in pointing out his factual inaccuracies or hypocritical comments etc. That’s one strand of rivalry and that will continue here while the Editors of such publications allow it! I wouldn’t want to think that Hughes and his players are obsessed with the Rags, and I wouldn’t claim to be obsessed with them either. When we have won or got a decent draw somewhere I do look out for their result to see, hopefully, that United have lost. However, when City have lost, I just don’t care and take no consolation in what United do.

So, hopefully, we can have more days when we are winning and that will need Mark Hughes to sort out our leaky defence. I’d like to see Nedum Onuoha paired up with Kolo Toure but both have sustained injuries in pre-season, leaving their participation early on this season in doubt. If Everton don’t want to sell Joleon Lescott we cannot force them and we should move on. Matthew Upson is arguably a better choice in any case, given that he actually plays at centre half regularly (Lescott often has to play left back), and we are looking for experienced quality. Granted, at 30 years old he doesn’t represent youth but we need to buy for now, and his experience will complement Academy products like Nedum and Micah. Brede Hangeland at Fulham is another very powerful centre half and he too could give us more authority in the air; at £12 million he may represent even better value. I am glad that Richard Dunne wants to stay and fight for a place because we need that depth in the squad and I would not be at all surprised if this fine servant to our club confounds all his critics and has a good year.

So, here we are the threshold of a new season, when hopefully we will at least break the top six, and who knows, better than that. Can we finally break the trophy drought? Come on City.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)tiscali.co.uk>

OPINION: PIE GATE

Never mind all this about multi-million pound transfers and players earning ridiculous amounts of money.

What has happened to the Balti pies?

Went to the Celtic game on Saturday and purchased a pie only to find that they have changed beyond recognition! Horror of horrors. They had been the only reason to go to the match during the last few seasons and they seem to now come from a different supplier.

If anyone from City reads our august ramblings in MCIVTA, perhaps they could take it up at Sheikh level and get the old ones back?

What will I do come the cold weather without a good Balti pie?

Chris Ryder <christopherryd(at)googlemail.com>

OPINION: INTERESTING TIMES BUT IT’S A FIRM ‘NO’

It’s been another interesting week in the life of Manchester City but not a totally positive one. I don’t think I’m the only person who thinks it is not a good idea to be playing the Old Firm in friendly matches. Whether it’s bigoted booing of our own players at Ibrox for their religion or drunken hordes of so-called Celtic fans literally throwing stones at City fans or getting bolshie because they are not allowed to drink in our pubs, they can keep their ugly behaviour. They can keep their sectarianism too. It’s not welcome here. It’s not so long ago that Manchester was vandalised by a large minority of Rangers fans. Every club has a troublesome element but surely it’s better to play our friendlies against teams where there is less likelihood of trouble? As for Celtic and Rangers wanting to ditch the rest of Scottish clubs (who really need all the income they can get) and play in our league, hopefully that will never happen.

I would like to end this particular piece by saying a big thank you to Colin Savage for writing an excellent open letter to Colin Schindler in the Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1206137/You-wrong-Colin–love-City.html), challenging what he wrote last week. Colin Savage pointed out that our owners have made an effort to understand our history by talking to Gary James, that they ‘understand our relationship with the club and what we want from it, off the field as well as on it’ and that ‘they are delivering’. He also cited the £5 tickets for the Hamburg cup tie to emphasise this. Absolutely spot on. Both Messrs Savage and Schindler are entertaining writers, but I totally agree with Colin Savage and hope that Colin Schindler rediscovers his faith in City and enjoys what is going along with the rest of us.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)tiscali.co.uk>

OPINION: MISCHIEF MAKING

After my “raid” on the wonderfully titled Manchester United experience in Macau, I turned my attention to KL airport this week.

Having first hidden the Man U books in the bookshop I took on the Nike shop again asking for the new United shirt with Tevez on the back. Much merriment for some of the English guys in the shop.

I can highly recommend this despite the fact that it embarrasses my children!

Philip Gregory <ph.Gregory(at)gmail.com>

REQUEST: I’LL BE BERT AT THE FRINGE

‘I’ll Be Bert’ is currently being staged at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (http://www.edfringe.com/ticketing/detail.php?id=13983). Written by Man City fan and playwright Bill Cronshaw, the play takes an affectionate look at growing up in Manchester and the impact that Bert Trautmann had on an impressionable schoolboy.

Ex-German paratrooper Trautmann found fame and popularity among British football fans when he succeeded in aiding his team Manchester City to FA Cup victory in 1957 by playing on despite a severe neck injury. For Bill Cronshaw, however, who also performs the play, Trautmann was not just a footballing hero but an inspiration for life.

Bill says of the play: “It is a humorous look at hero worship and club loyalty, which should appeal to football fans and non-fans alike.”

The play has been experiencing sell-out dates around England during the past year and attracts crowds of city shirt wearing audience members as well as the attention of the media with stories and interviews appearing everywhere from The Independent on Sunday to TalkSport. Anyone visiting the Fringe should make sure they get to see I’ll Be Bert.

Thank you.

Jane Dyer – PR for Dreamshed Theatre Company <jane(at)dreamshedtheatre.co.uk>

MCIVTA FAQ [v0708.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          : editor@mcivta.city-fan.org
News/rumour (Alex Rowen)         : 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 by email. Unfortunately we cannot accept email attachments.

[3] MCIVTA Back Issues and Manchester City Supporters’ home page

http://www.mcivta.com/ 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.mancitycsa.com/) 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.mcivta.com/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 #1557

2009/08/13

Editor:


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