Newsletter #1686

News tonight with reaction to the recent run of games, transfer rumours and behind the scenes activity.

We’ve opinion on Mancini and the fans, a look at the City youth game and Maine Road FC together with questions about the FA.

Next up we face former manager Hughes’ team at Fulham.

Next Game: Fulham, away, 4pm Sunday 21 November 2010


General News

Firing Line? It’s been a tough week for City and manager Roberto Mancini as the most anticipated Manchester derby in recent history came to a deflating end, only to be followed by an equally disappointing stalemate against Birmingham City three days later. Roberto Mancini’s Italian roots are showing and whether a side of City’s ambition and resources are willing to play the patient game remains to be seen. In the former Inter Milan boss’ defence, he would simply ask where City fans hope to finish this season and then point to the table. The Blues sit comfortably in the top four and despite a run of disappointing results, aren’t far off the summit. Having been booed off by sections of the City faithful in two consecutive matches, there’s no doubt Mancini will be feeling the pressure, but the Italian coach has found an unlikely ally in Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger who stated: “I have sympathy for every manager who has problems because I know what it is like. But that is where you see the strength of a club to stick with people they know are competent and they know do the right things. That’s why there are directors at the club and it is down to Manchester City to trust Mancini. Personally I invite them to do that.”

In the Fishbowl: City first team coach David Platt has moved quickly to defend a man that he knows better than any of those who have criticised him. Former team-mate and friend of Mancini, Platt understands that the Italian’s tactics may not be the most entertaining, but they get results. Despite disappointment in the Carling Cup, City’s league position is impressive and their Europa League form hasn’t been half bad either. The former Arsenal favourite thinks Mancini is merely a victim of expectation and has explained that contrary to media reports, the manager has the full backing of the playing staff: “The spotlight is on us, and if we lose matches, there is going to be negativity coming from outside. The good thing is that we know internally what is going on. There have been false or exaggerated reports. I’ve known Roberto Mancini for 20 years, and he puts pressure on himself to succeed – that’s why we have good players at the club that want to win, that want to succeed. The negativity comes from outside the club. You come to the training ground every day and there is no negativity there. We are sat fourth in the Premier League, three points behind Manchester United and Arsenal, and in the Europa League we are in a very good position where if we win our game against Salzburg we’re close to qualifying.”

34 Years and We’re Still Here: There’s been much dispute this week about whether or not it’s right to boo your own side. Some argue that it’s the right of a paying public to vocalise how they feel about the “service they’re being provided”, whilst others think it’s simply not on and doesn’t motivate the team to do any better. After a chorus of boos rang around the stadium against United, some sections of fans were left criticising others. Though the topic is particularly controversial, City anchorman Nigel de Jong has stated it doesn’t matter because the City faithful remain the best around. Boasting a vast number of travelling supporters and filling a 48,000 seater stadium despite a lack of trophies for 34 years, there’s no doubting City fans’ loyalty and the Dutchman believes they make the difference when the going gets tough: “Our fans are brilliant, they just keep on supporting us. They have always been such a helping hand as a 12th man. You can see and hear at every away game that they are at full strength, so the message is: just keep that going! The confidence is there in the squad that we can pay them back on the pitch.”

What a Bobby Dazzler: Former City star Bobby ‘Dazzler’ Johnstone was inducted into the Scottish Hall of Fame last weekend. Johnstone, the first man to score a goal in two consecutive FA Cup finals, played for the Blues from 1955 and 1959 and earned his status as a terrace favourite. Nine years after his death, The Scottish FA have seen fit to induct Johnstone into their Hall of fame where he will join some of the greats. Life President Bernard Halford paid tribute to an old friend: “I was asked as his life-long friend to do the presentation; it will be one of the proudest moments of my life. He is my favourite player of all time. He will join the likes of Kenny Dalglish, Dennis Law and Matt Busby in the SFA Hall of Fame and he definitely won’t be out of place in there because he thoroughly deserves the recognition. He was one the greatest exponents of the weighted pass. He was an exceptional player for City and played in one of the great teams in the history of the club.”

Squad News

Silva Wins Gold: Spanish starlet David Silva has won the Etihad Player of the Month award for October. With 59% of the vote, City’s World Cup winner was far and away the supporters’ choice for last month’s award, ahead of both Carlos Tevez and Vincent Kompany who finished second and third respectively. After spending the first two months of his time settling into the English game, Silva has finally found his feet and is beginning to live up to his £24 million price tag, drawing comparisons with City legend Giorgi Kinkladze in the process.

Top Class: French midfielder Patrick Vieira has backed the Blues to bounce back from their poor run of form. With only one win in six in all competitions, City’s season has taken a bit of a backwards step since early season wins against Liverpool and Chelsea but the former Premier League winning captain still thinks City have what it takes to challenge their top of the table rivals this season: “Character will keep you going forward, and I think all the stuff we have seen and heard about City recently can be positive. It will make us improve, make us win trophies and I think what’s happening here at the moment is good. Look at some of the players we have. Carlos Tevez, Emmanuel Adebayor, Yaya, Shaun – there is real character in the dressing room and that’s why I am not worried at all. We are all here for the same objective, to win the Premier League, and the only way to do that is if we are all together. We all understand that.”

Boyata to Bounce Back: Vincent Kompany has called on fellow defender Dedryck Boyata to prove his quality following a fortnight to forget for the young Belgian centre-back. Sent off against Arsenal and contributing to a freak goal in the Europa League against Polish Champions Lech Poznan, City’s Young Player of the Year has hit a snag in his development. But fellow Belgian Vincent Kompany believes Boyata will bounce back stronger than ever and is sure the 20-year-old is capable of achieving great things in his career: “For me, Dedryck has been the surprise of the season for us. We all mis-time tackles occasionally and red cards are an occupational hazard for defenders and the goal at Poznan was a one in a thousand chance and not his fault at all. What means a lot to me is being willing to progress by listening to advice and criticism – and Dedryck has these qualities and has improved again this season and if he keeps going in the direction he is, you know he’ll be able to stand his ground in a very good team.”

Hoping to be Magic: Fan favourite Adam Johnson has been speaking about his first team opportunities this week after fans criticised manager Roberto Mancini for not giving the exciting winger enough of a chance. Signed by Mancini in January, the former Middlesbrough star seems to have fallen out of favour with the Italian boss. Now being used more as an impact substitute, the City faithful feel that ‘Magic’ Johnson’s talents are not being fully utilised, but the midfielder has asserted that he is up for fighting for his place in first eleven: “It’s been tough at times because I started the season really well, and I was pleased with my form, but we’ve got a good squad, and in football sometimes you have your highs and you have your lows. I just want to play every minute of every game, but that’s not always possible.”

The Right Direction: Money, money, money; that’s all City players are interested in if you believe everything you read in the press, but that’s not the case according to winger James Milner. The FA Young Player of the Year joined City in the summer for a fee believed to be around £20 million and his former club, Aston Villa, were left ruing the chance to keep hold of their brightest young talent. Milner has been speaking to the club’s Official ManC magazine and has assured fans that his move was motivated purely by ambition and not pound signs: “City and Villa are both great clubs who are moving in the right direction, but I think City will get there quicker. I think we are in the better position with the owners coming in and investing in the way they have and hopefully we’ll be soon in the Champions’ League and beyond. We’re all desperate to win trophies – that’s why I came to City. We have a great squad and a fantastic fan base and everything is moving forward. It’s all there for us – now it’s up to us to go ahead and do it. There’s a great bunch of guys at City and we all get on brilliantly with no cliques or anything like that. We’re nicely placed in the league and just have to keep it going.”

All About Mee: City Academy graduate Ben Mee has been called up to represent his country at Under 21 level. Joining fellow local lad Kieran Trippier on the international stage, this call-up represents a massive step forward for the defender who first made his name as captain of City’s FA Youth Cup winning squad of 2008. With Micah Richards stepping up into the senior national side alongside Joe Hart, James Milner, Joleon Lescott, Gareth Barry and Adam Johnson, Roberto Mancini’s squad is obviously vital to Fabio Capello’s hopes of rejuvenating the England team. Mee spoke this week of how proud he was to represent his country: “I’m really chuffed because this is a big thing for me. There were several things I hoped to achieve this season and playing for City’s first team and the Under-21s were at the top of the list, so I’m really happy. I hope I get to play some part of the game against Germany. It’s just a shame my parents can’t be there. I made my first ever appearance for England against Germany for the Under-18s so it’s strange to be back here with the Under-21s. If I play I’ll just do my best and hope there are more caps to come.”

Johnno the Second: One young Englishman who may still catch the eye of national boss Fabio Capello is 22-year-old Michael Johnson. ‘Johnno’, who has spent the best part of two years sidelined by chronic knee injuries, is said to be only weeks away from a return. Having attracted the interest of Liverpool and Chelsea as an 18-year-old, the midfielder clearly has enough potential to play a part in Capello’s future plans, if he returns to the side in good form. Though he still dreams of playing with ‘three lions’ on his shirt, Johnson is just pleased to be on the way back to first team action for City: “I feel really good and I’ve started running again so things are going well. Fitness-wise I’m somewhere near the level I was before I had the run of injuries I’ve – probably stronger if anything. My knee feels great and I’ve had no problems whatsoever, but after two years out it takes time to build up to world class endurance levels and that is something I’ll be striving for over a period of time. I’m looking to get playing reserve team football within a couple of weeks and then we’ll take it from there. I’m not looking to go out on loan but if it’s deemed something that will help me get up to match fitness quicker, we’ll see what the manager wants to do.”

The Rumour Mill: Versatile Argentine Pablo Zabaleta may be the first to be shown the door this January, as Italian giants AC Milan expressed an interest in the defender, though whether Mancini will want to lose his utility man in yet to be revealed. Roque Santa Cruz has been linked with even more clubs on the continent as Spanish side Real Zaragoza and German team Stuttgart were said to be battling it out for the Paraguayan’s signature, whilst Shaun Wright Phillips is said to be seeking a loan move away. Celtic and Arsenal have again been tipped to come in for City goalkeeper Shay Given this summer, sparking suggestions that Mancini may move for French stopper Remi Riou as a replacement.

Garry Cook is believed to have travelled to Abu Dhabi this weekend with the manager’s January wish-list. Fernando Torres is expected to be top of that list, whilst big money moves for Sunderland’s Jordan Henderson and Everton’s Mikel Arteta wouldn’t come as a surprise to most if Mancini moved to bolster his midfield.

Post-Match Reaction

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: It was quite a wait but during last week’s trip to The Hawthorns, Mario Balotelli was finally given the chance to make an impression on his new club. Boy, did he do that! Two excellent goals and a red card firmly announced the Italian striker’s arrival on the Premier League stage and left City fans pondering what sort of player they had signed. Glimpses of brilliance reminded Blues of the way Robinho performed during his first months at the club, but a tendency to fall over in the box and a rash temper ultimately became Mario’s undoing. Despite this, the Blues ran out 2-0 winners and given their recent record against The Baggies, midfielder Nigel de Jong was more than happy to come away with all three points: “We are fighting for something. Everybody in that team at West Brom was confident about the game and really hungry to win. The attitude we showed, we have to have that every game – not go somewhere like West Brom and think we might get some points. We have to go to a place like that and say: We will get these points today, they are ours. Overall it was one of our best performances of the season. We defended very well and up front we looked very strong, especially in the first half. So credit the whole team.”

Boooooring: Safe to say that things haven’t been quite the same since that game against Brom. Goalless draws at home with arch-rivals United and relegation candidates Birmingham City brought a chorus of boos at full time in each game, as the Blues simply couldn’t find a way past either ‘keeper. The über-defensive approach adopted by Mancini is obviously not sitting well with the City faithful and the Italian may find himself under pressure from the board if performances continue to give writers very little to write about the actual games themselves.

Drawing with United is understandable, but City’s only chance came through a Carlos Tevez free kick and when United seemed there for the taking, the media soon slated the most expensive squad in the league. Mancini, however, assured his critics that most derbies are tentative affairs and that in this way; to gain a point was a good result: “I thought we played well in what was a difficult game. We did not have many chances to score, and it was the same for United. A derby is always going to be a very difficult match. A point is better than last year! Maybe we played better last season, but we lost. This time it was not a fantastic game but in the end it is a good point. We suffered in the last three minutes, but only because of what happened last time. I am not disappointed with the result, but I can understand if some supporters are angry but if they think back to what happened last year, it’s a good result. In the end, this will be a good result. We started very well, played football and kept the ball well, but this is against United and we had to be at our best to keep our concentration. We did not concede any chances and I am pleased with that. You always want to win, but sometimes if you can’t win, you must not lose.”

The ever-reliable Gareth Barry felt that both sides understood the consequences of losing the match and has directed those surrounding the club with negativity to consider the ‘bigger picture’: “The only way I can explain it is that we showed each other too much respect. Everyone was a little bit tentative on both sides and very wary of making a mistake. We all knew how much was at stake. Derbies quite often do not live up to expectation but after what happened to us last year we don’t feel as though we have lost ground. We all have to look at the big picture and now we need to get on a long unbeaten run if we can.”

Mancini and Barry would then create headlines only days later as the Blues were again held by Birmingham. With minutes left on the clock and City goalless at home against a side in the bottom four, City’s Italian manager bemused fans by replacing captain Carlos Tevez with defensive midfielder Gareth Barry. The decision was met with much protest by fans and left Blues reeling as the final whistle went. Though Tevez had a goal ruled out for handball earlier in the game and James Milner had a chance cleared off the goal line, City never quite threatened enough. After the game, Mancini revealed that he understood why fans were disappointed with the late second half substitution, but insisted that it was a tactical decision made in order to try to win the game: “We were pushing players into the box, and Carlos has had a little injury for two or three weeks. I thought that if I took him off and put on another player, there was a chance to score. Do you think that if I put on four strikers we will score four goals? That’s not football. All supporters are like this, here and in Italy. They think why not put on two, three, four, five strikers? If football was like that, I’d put ten strikers on the pitch! But it’s not. We had 17 chances. In the first half we played too slowly, but in the second we played good football but didn’t score. It happens.”

Summer signing Jerome Boateng assured fans that the club was seeking to do better: “Of course we’re all disappointed; we want to win these games. It was a difficult game and we wanted to score a quick goal. We work as a team, so we must attack together and defend together. Defence at the moment is good, but attacking is not so good. We must score more goals, but that’s not just about the strikers and midfielders. We wanted to win as much as the fans did. We want to be higher in the table but with the Birmingham game it wasn’t possible. We have lost two points and we need to get them back quickly.”

Alex Rowen <news(at)>


The match kicked off half an hour early due to terrible weather conditions but the three of us arrived just in time for the start. Not a bad crowd turned up either and understandably all sat in the covered stand. The match itself was rather entertaining with lots of skill and endeavour shown by both teams. After twenty minutes or so we had to move to the warmth of the bar as it was getting too cold and the wind and the rain was not letting up at all. A compliment to the players of both sides that they could put in a performance.

The City ‘keeper kicking into the wind could not get the ball to the halfway line, it was that bad. The game ended 1-1 and if the European competition for Academy teams gets underway I will be tempted to see Ajax again. Spoke to a couple of proud dads after the game and most of the players came up to say hello. A good bunch of guys. Not sure but I think they were invited to see Ajax in the cup, which was played later in the evening. We couldn’t make that as we had work the next day. We certainly enjoyed our day out though.

Bob Price <bob.price(at)>


In answer to Andy Longshaw’s query last week, I’d say that his ‘something rotten…’ statement is absolutely spot on with regards the English FA. What a shambles it is, and furthermore, what a biased shambles it is. It looks after the establishment clubs and everyone else can take a running jump.

As for the inconsistency between the Ferdinand and the Balotelli dismissals, it is a case of the rules having changed since last season. The FA is institutionally biased to the bigger clubs. I’ve always felt it an anomaly that David Gill sits on the FA’s board (no conflict of interest there then!). Surely we want unbiased members of the board who are not going to look exclusively after the biggest clubs. The Premier League should have no more than one representative on this board (currently it has two, with Phil Gartside being the other snout in the trough) and he/she should be from a medium sized club to ensure that that we have someone who represents as many members from that division as possible, rather than the very biggest clubs.

The FA panders to the biggest clubs because they are petrified that they will leave the Premier League and go and form their own European “Super League”. The tail in effect wags the dog.

It is a commonly held view that referees favour the bigger clubs; the evidence stacks up and even prominent ex-referees like Graham Poll have admitted that the biggest clubs in England get the better of decisions from referees. There have been bribery and corruption scandals in other countries over the years with the most recent high profile issue being Italy’s ‘Calciopoli’ scandal that saw Juventus being relegated and other clubs punished. I don’t believe that referees in England take bribes, but the referees are pressured to give decisions otherwise their characters are assassinated by managers like Ferguson, e.g. his attack on Alan Wiley last season. It’s a case of ‘anything for a quiet life’ for several referees, and they bow to pressure from the biggest clubs. Yet the FA preside over this and allow it to go on.

Let’s take Mark Clattenburg, for example, and look at the facts:

On Sunday 24th October in the Dedryck Boyata red card incident at Eastlands, Mark Clattenburg told protesting City players to go away, and yet he allowed Cesc Fabregas to wave an imaginary red card in his face. Fabregas was allowed his say, but City’s players were not allowed theirs. Clattenburg failed to book Fabregas.

In the same game Clattenburg booked Fabregas for a cynical foul on a City player, then in the same half, failed to book Fabregas for an equally cynical foul on Silva, which prevented a City breakaway. Instead Clattenburg booked Djourou, who had not committed the foul. How convenient! Fabregas continued and Arsenal’s man advantage was maintained and they went on to win.

On Saturday 30th October in the Nani cheating goal fiasco at Owed Trafford, Mark Clattenburg told the protesting Tottenham players to go away, and yet he allowed Rio Ferdinand to shout and bawl in his face. Clattenburg failed to book Ferdinand and allowed a goal that never should have been allowed to stand. Can you imagine Tottenham being allowed such a goal against United, whether it be at Owed Trafford or White Hart Lane? Me neither.

It’s not just Clattenburg, though.

Why was Nemanja Vidic not sent off by Phil Dowd for bringing Gabriel Agbonlahor down, and denying a goal scoring opportunity in last season’s League Cup Final? “Manchester” United went on to win the game. How convenient!

Last Saturday Villa’s Ashley Young was booked for embracing the crowd after a Villa scored, yet “Manchester” United’s Nemanja Vidic wasn’t booked for the same offence. Again a $ky 4 club was favoured.

There are countless examples. The question remains: is refereeing biased towards the $ky4? The evidence is pointing to the affirmative. The facts say it all. There is one rule for one set of clubs: the $ky 4, and another rule for the rest of us. Bias has always been a problem (e.g. dodgy penalties have long been a feature at Anfield), but it has never been as blatant as it is now.

Even Graham Poll and $ky Sports acknowledged that the bigger clubs get the decisions and if they are admitting that (Andy Gray said so last Sunday, and $ky have a vested interest in the biggest teams with the largest support doing well because it sells subscriptions) then we have a very serious problem out in the open.

It’s about time that someone did something about it.

The concept of ‘Premier League referees’ should be scrapped. Every referee who referees professional football should referee any of the top four divisions – so you can referee at Anfield one week and Plainmoor the next. Let’s remove this unhealthy and nauseating ‘camaraderie’ that referees build up with ‘top players’. Too often the likes of Ferdinand (Rio) and Gerrard are treated leniently by referees.

Furthermore, why should an FA Cup tie be refereed by a Premier League referee who knows the Premier League players better than he knows the lower division players? It’s not right.

Let’s return to the days of referees not being the personalities and just getting on with being fair arbiters of the game. After all that’s what they are there for.

So, until the FA change things and make it fairer for all clubs in all divisions, there is ‘something rotten’ in this state of England.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


After giving my thoughts on Roberto in a negative way in my last article, I will now give my positive thoughts about him.

I like the way Roberto is building his team; he is doing it first from the back by building his defence, he has changed the midfield but it still needs a creative midfield player of quality similar to Gerrard.

Tevez and Silva are class up fron; it might be difficult to get Edin Dzeko to join City but he would be great with Mario in the squad.

It takes time to build a team; it’s just like a jigsaw puzzle, every player has to fit in place. Roberto is on track in building his team; he has had some setbacks with injuries and some players being off form such as Adebayor.

I feel that Roberto Mancini is without doubt the manager for City, and I do hope that he will stay for several seasons to steady the ship; he just needs to show being more positive, although he might have his own reasons to bluff the opposition at times.

City have some class players and Roberto has signed young players that will be the future of City.

So yes in Roberto I still trust, and I don’t regret what I have said about him in my last article; I stand behind my comments.

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


I have to agree with all of Ernie Barrow’s comments in MCIVTA 1685. I watched the Birmingham game on Saturday on Fox in Houston, Texas and I had the same view as the commentators. While all credit should be placed on a very sound defence from Birmingham there were definitely times when we cut them open. Those times corresponded to much higher tempo attack that quickly got the ball forward and into dangerous positions. I watched with frustration as we passed the ball sideways and backwards keeping possession but posing no threat and allowing Birmingham to settle into good defensive positions.

I typically watch with frustration as the more successful teams, namely Chelsea, United, Liverpool (not this season) and Arsenal attack with such speed that they just cut open the opposition. It is no wonder Chelsea score significantly more than City do with the speed of their attack. The opposition doesn’t have time to settle or get men back, the goal is already scored or the ‘keeper made to work at least.

On Saturday the commentator said the game could be a comparison of two ‘keepers, both vying for status in the England team. The comparison was who would stay awake as it was about 20 minutes before there was a decent attempt on goal.

My concern with City this season isn’t winning – we have no chance – but with whether we can sustain 4th place and Champions’ League football. People often call for stylish football; I’m one for winning. The problem is I don’t see us winning or losing with how we play. We are too slow and pedantic in build up and Tevez more often finds himself on the wing or deeper in midfield. He thrives on speed and movement, which was witnessed when we played against West Brom with Balotelli. He needs another tall, pacey striker to work alongside. He also needs a midfield that has speed and movement to attack quickly. I wonder if the players are tired because of over-training (it is possible) or just the style and slow build-up that Mancini wants.

I’m behind Mancini as are most supporters, but the booing on Saturday was a response to style not the score so much. A 0-0 draw would have been easier to accept if they had been peppering the Birmingham goal but superb goalkeeping had kept us out.

Chris Marland <cnmarland(at)>


Driving home tonight I heard on the radio that Hodgson’s job is in jeopardy again at Liverpool; this after losing one game against Stoke. Also, if the media and message boards are to be believed, Chelsea fans are apparently unhappy after yesterday, whereas Arsenal fans are delirious and think that this is they year they will finally win something – only a couple of weeks after they were all feeling suicidal about Arsenal’s chances this season.

It is a sad fact that a majority of so-called ‘supporters’ of every team are quite dim. It would be interesting if an IQ test was used to try to ascertain the relative intelligence of different teams’ fans, but I suspect that they are pretty much on a par. We now live in a fast-food, celebrity-led, low brow culture and, unless we start limiting the freedoms of certain intellectually challenged individuals, it is something we have to learn to live with and accommodate when judging the merit of their opinions. We certainly don’t have to react to them as if they have anything of any value to say, but instead just have to ignore or humour them and hope that those who actually have any power (i.e. the owners) are also intelligent enough to treat such idiotic reactions (such as singing the name of an unfit player who only ever played one good game in six and is no longer with us) with the disdain they deserve.

Success has never come to a club run by trigger-happy chairmen, and it is no surprise that Bacon Face has achieved the success he has after being given the money and the time to spend it and develop the team. Of course, the Swamp-dwellers also had their share of knuckle-draggers who were calling for Fergie’s head, but they stuck with him, even after losing 5-1 to us, and look what happened. Obviously this is an argument that is lost on the less cranially developed amongst so-called City supporters.

The funny thing is, that if you study the comments of those City fans calling for Mancini to go, they usually manage to defeat their own ‘arguments’ by not having stopped to think about what they’re writing.

I do hope we have intelligent owners…

Steve Burrows <stevieburrows(at)>


So as many us knew on Saturday night, and from watching closely in the game, Tevez was carrying an injury. An injury that meant he missed the Brazil-Argentina game.

So would the small audible minority (that’s what they are) who booed Roberto Mancini when Tevez was subbed, and chanted ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’, like to apologise?

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


I enjoyed Gary James’s interview with the late John Benson in the last MCIVTA edition (MCIVTA 1685). Typifying the type of character John was that he had found time to give and become a ‘Friend of Maine Road F.C.’ He had joined the likes of Ian Mellor, Frank Carrodus, John Stapleton, Fred Eyre and the City Former Players’ Association, the Donachie family and also the Reddish and Dublin branches had already come on board prior to the above letter. How to become a ‘Friend of Maine Road F.C.’ can be found in the ‘About us’ section of, but as we have said, we would welcome any direct form of support or suggestions as to how we can increase our income.

As a result of the article in the City magazine, we have already had one or two enquiries about the first team shirt, which is shown clearly. We were initially reluctant to lay out for replica shirts if the demand wasn’t there, but if you too like the look of them (and it is a belting kit!) let us know and we’ll start getting our order in and get a merchandise tab on the website.

Dave Miller <djm68(at)>


Just wondered as a response to the Rags’ 34 year taunt at the filth pit if there should be a “debtometer” at Eastlands updated by the week.

Should be increased by say a million a week. Start at £750 million and head North. Should “P the fans off”.

Hopefully we will win something so they have to take it down. The Rags’ debt will go up and up!

Happy days!

Mike Lloyd <mike(at)>


I thought I’d share the following letter with you guys, partly because we do not have all the Supporters’ Clubs’ e-mail addresses and partly because not everyone is a member of a branch and may well be interested:

A letter to all branches of the Manchester City Supporters’ Club from Maine Road F.C.

Maine Road F.C. was formed in 1955 from members of the Rusholme branch of the Manchester City Supporters’ Club. The full history of how the club has progressed to Step 5 of the Non-League Pyramid is available on our website Anyone visiting the website will see just how the club remains true to its City roots. We play in a sky blue kit with a badge that is virtually a replica of the very popular crest City used prior to the current one and have carried the name “Maine Road” since the old City Social Club became their base in the mid 1960’s.

However, running a club at the level we are playing is becoming an increasingly challenging prospect. Chairman Ron Meredith explains and wonders if you can help?

Two years ago our previous landlords, Manchester County F.A., left Brantingham Road and moved to Salford. Our ground then reverted back to the original owners, the Trustees of St Margaret’s Church, Whalley Range.

Maine Road’s situation and future was in jeopardy for several years both before and after this event, but thanks to the support of the North-West Counties League, we were allowed to continue playing our football at Brantingham Road despite having no security of tenure.

Slowly we developed a working relationship with the Church through the trustees, which has grown gradually stronger, as we began to understand each other’s needs. Additionally, the Church has embarked on much-needed repairs and improvements to the clubhouse with more plans in the pipeline. Inevitably, considerable costs are involved, part of which have obviously been passed on to us, stretching our funding to the absolute limit. Given that improvements are also required to the ground itself, you can appreciate the difficult position in which we find ourselves.

However, our management committee is determined that the name of Maine Road must be preserved and protected well into the future after 55 years in football.

It is with this in mind that I am writing to every Supporters’ Club branch of our great club to enlist your help in any way you see fit. After all, we began as a City Supporters’ Club bBranch ourselves and are now the only Maine Road in existence.

We welcome your proposals, none of which would be too small for us to consider.

Kind regards, Ron Meredith, Chairman

P.S. Apart from visiting our website you will be able to learn more about Maine Road F.C. in the new edition of the monthly City Magazine (now titled “MANC”) where there is an excellent four page article (pp 62-65) about our club. Many thanks to David Clayton and his staff at City for that they did us proud.

Dave Miller <djm68(at)>


League table to 17 November 2010 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Chelsea         13  6  0  1 17  3  3  1  2 11  5  9  1  3  28   8  20  28
 2 Arsenal         13  4  0  2 15  6  4  2  1 11  6  8  2  3  26  12  14  26
 3 Manchester Utd  13  5  1  0 15  5  1  6  0 11 10  6  7  0  26  15  11  25
 4 Manchester City 13  3  3  1  7  5  3  1  2  8  5  6  4  3  15  10   5  22
 5 Bolton Wndrs    13  2  3  1 10  8  2  4  1 11 11  4  7  2  21  19   2  19
 6 Sunderland      13  3  3  0  7  3  1  4  2  8 10  4  7  2  15  13   2  19
 7 Tottenham H.    13  3  3  1 11  7  2  1  3  7 10  5  4  4  18  17   1  19
 8 Newcastle Utd   13  2  2  3 15  9  3  1  2  6  7  5  3  5  21  16   5  18
 9 Aston Villa     13  3  4  0 10  5  1  1  4  5 13  4  5  4  15  18  -3  17
10 Stoke City      13  4  1  2 11  8  1  0  5  4 10  5  1  7  15  18  -3  16
11 Liverpool       13  3  2  1  9  6  1  2  4  4 11  4  4  5  13  17  -4  16
12 West Brom A.    13  3  2  1  8  6  1  2  4  8 16  4  4  5  16  22  -6  16
13 Everton         13  2  3  2  9  8  1  3  2  5  5  3  6  4  14  13   1  15
14 Blackburn R.    13  2  2  2  6  6  2  1  4  9 12  4  3  6  15  18  -3  15
15 Blackpool       13  1  2  2  9 10  3  1  4 10 16  4  3  6  19  26  -7  15
16 Fulham          13  2  3  1  8  6  0  5  2  5  7  2  8  3  13  13   0  14
17 Wigan Athletic  13  2  3  3  6 15  1  2  2  4  6  3  5  5  10  21 -11  14
18 Birmingham City 13  2  3  1  6  5  0  4  3  8 12  2  7  4  14  17  -3  13
19 Wolves          13  2  2  3  9 11  0  1  5  4 12  2  3  8  13  23 -10   9
20 West Ham United 13  1  3  3  7 11  0  3  3  4 11  1  6  6  11  22 -11   9

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v1011.01]

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[2] What are MCIVTA’s publishing deadlines?

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Newsletter #1686