Newsletter #1895

Thank you to all of you who have contacted me to pass on their thanks for the contributions made to edition 1894 and also to eagle-eyed John Duffy who spotted 2000-1894 is 116 not 16 as my typo had put!

Back to ‘normal’ matters if that word can ever apply to City and some thought-provoking State of Nation articles for you to digest ahead of the Easter game against our Geordie pals.

Should be a lively affair as they often are against the Magpies so, if you are there, enjoy the game and all of you have a fab Easter wherever you are.

Next Game: Newcastle United, Etihad Stadium, 30 March 2013, 15.00

1894 AND KOTK 205

Firstly, congratulations on reaching issue 1894 – a phenomenal achievement. Sorry I couldn’t contribute. We were up to our eyes in it with the latest ‘zine, but thoroughly enjoyed the issue as always. Secondly though, thanks to Gary James for reminding us of Norah Mercer’s funeral on Monday. Having finished the ‘zine on Sunday night we were able to attend. We spent some time previously with Norah at the Merseyside branch of the City supporters’ club, ably chaired by Tony Rawls. She did confide to me once that she always considered herself to be an Evertonian! That didn’t stop her from loving our Blues though!

My most endearing memory of Norah was at Liverpool a few years ago. At the end of the game I stopped on the corner of Stanley car park and held back a bit as those loveable Scouse scallies were enjoying a bit of bottle throwing at City fans. I was then aware of an elderly lady striding past me unperturbed and through the mayhem. It was Norah and she was about 90! Well done to the ex-City players who attended and to Bobby Charlton who I had a brief word with who wished me good luck with City. Norah Mercer RIP.

Gary’s book on Joe (Football with a Smile, updated) is still available and is well worth a read.

As I’ve already mentioned, King of the Kippax number 205 is now out and should be at the usual outlets, Aleef (corner of Cross Street/Market Street) and the National Football Museum tomorrow. It’s A4, 52 pages and has a full colour front and back cover of Yaya’s goal in the last semi-final (how far have we come since then Steve!).

It’s £3 and can also be obtained at future games and by cheque for £4.50 including P&P from King of The Kippax, 25, Holdenbrook Close, Leigh, Lancs, WN7 2HL.

This issue, the Semi-Final Special, includes the Bundesliga myth, FFP in the Premier League, the Derby, Mancini stay or go, Romance of the cup, Rags’ hilarious exit from the Chimps League and all the usual regulars.

Dave and Sue Wallace <dw001e8104(at)>


Am I alone in observing and disliking a small trend towards ‘Unitedism’ in the ranks?

By this I mean the belief that it is our right to win trophies every season, and that if we don’t heads must roll. I hope I am mistaken!

Here’s some of the thoughts that pass through my mind regarding this season. It was always going to be very hard to retain the League, especially after what we did to United last season.

We have had a dreadful injury roster this season, unlike last season, yet whilst United’s injury woes of the first part of the season were wheeled out left, right and centre in the media, ours have not been mentioned. Nowhere, for example, did I see a report noting that against Everton, we were missing our outfield spine of Vince, Yaya and Sergio. Clearly we are missing Vince badly, yet nowhere is this mentioned.

The transfer shambles of last close season. Who knows what on earth went on, but that must not be allowed to happen again. Hopefully, our new Barça employees will deal with that.

Losing Mario, who wanted to go and is now thriving and Mario not firing for us this season hasn’t helped. Intermittent injuries and, I suspect, the kerfuffles around the mother of his baby will not have helped. The thug and fool that the media like to portray, Mario is, in fact, a sensitive and intelligent kid. I am so pleased for him that he hit the ground running at Milan. As far as I am concerned, Mario paid for himself with his goals in the 6-1 and his last minute Elastoman pass to Sergio!

This is a long term project, folks. City will not be rebuilt in a day and, as well as the ups, there will be downs. I really do NOT want to see us get rid of Bobby Manc; I think he “gets” the club, likes the club; clearly he loves the fans, and I really, really do not want the Chelsea manager-a-season system to happen to us. Yes, they win trophies regardless, but it’s not good (nor do I want Mourinho here – fantastic manager, yes, but he sows discord wherever he goes).

Steady the Blues. If we win the Cup this season, I shall be abundantly happy. If not, then so be it and hopefully it will not be our out of town neighbours who do. We’ve let them off the hook this year for sure and, like many of us, had we got RVP then I have no doubt that it would be us looking down from a great height at the rest of the pack. Let’s give Guidetti a run in the League now we can forget about winning it.

Patience. These are good times – wonderful times – to be a City supporter; more silverware will come our way, but let’s not assume we have an automatic right to do so.

One of the most pleasing things about the club and how it has moved on since ADUG took over, is that it seems very much to me that it is still the same club that I fell in love with in the late 1950s. Sheikh Mansour has spoken about our fan base and it feels to me very much that our owners respect us and know that we are the heartbeat of the club.

City till I die and afterwards!

Jeremy Poynton <Jeremy.poynton(at)>


Well this season there have been a number of articles about the performance of the team and some complaints on how this is a bad season. Last year we had a great season, winning the League for the 1st time I can remember (I was just 21 months old in ’68).

We are not in contention for the title this year. However, at the moment we are still 2nd by 4 points and hopefully can stay there. We are still in the FA Cup with a trip to Wembley to come for the semi-final. If we can finish 2nd and win the FA Cup that is not a bad season after winning the League and the Community Shield.

It could be worse as we have already proven and are still the only team in England to do it. In the 1936/7 season we won the League and the season after, in 1937/8, we got relegated.

Let’s all get behind the team for the final push in and then we can see what happens this year and start to look forward to next season.

Steve Cheeseborough <steve.cheeseborough(at)>


Just read the 1894 edition – very nostalgic. I liked the piece about Joe’s wife in particular.

With reference to Keith Sharp’s contribution, I think this match was played in March 1962 (City 6 – Spurs 2) and City were not relegated until the end of 1962-3 season when they lost 6-1 at West Ham, finishing 12th in 1961-62. However, Spurs were second to Everton that year, having won the title (and the double) the year before and after the City defeat went on to win the Cup! Some win by City that day.

Of course in 1964 they were playing in the old Second Division, and not too well at that as I have cause to remember seeing them playing Sunderland at home in January of that year and getting stuffed 3-0, a lad called Sharkey scoring a couple I think.

Graham Stephenson <graham_7979(at)>


In response to Peter Godkin’s fine piece about the 3 REASONS WHY in MCIVTA 1893, can I just add a bit – as I agree that the League etc. wasn’t lost versus QPR or Everton (woeful though those displays were). We lost it last summer by poor business analysis.

Excusing the use of some truly horrible buzz-words, but whether we like it or not, if the Executive Board are embarking on a strategic, business-like “project” to make City the best team in the world, then should we not expect to see some strategic, clinical business planning and analysis at work?

Situation: 13th May 2012. We have 2 major factors going our way:

  1. We have just won the Premier League. As the most watched (hence bothvaluable and visible i.e. shop-window) league in the world, the City “brand”had just reached a point whereby many world class players would now seriouslyconsider City as a viable proposition who had earned the right to sit atthe higher table of world (especially European) football. So we are ofinterest to and can attract the big-time world-class players. Much as wemight have loved to believe otherwise, we did not have that credibilityin many of their minds until we actually “delivered” that trophy.
  2. We are supposedly “the richest club in the world”. Therefore, we havethe wherewithal to deliver such players.

Time for some strategic, clinical business planning and analysis around the boardroom table to move the “project” on to the two new goals for the next season:

  1. Retain the league title
  2. Progress in the Champions’ League, at least past the group stages

History shows that mass change rarely works anyway, but it was arguably probable that the core building blocks of success were already in place with that existing playing squad.

There were questions over certain players, especially forwards:
Tévez – loyalty and desire to be elsewhere.
Dzeko – ability and skill. Balotelli – temperament and focus (though after his excellent display for Italy, methinks that too many folk are using 20:20 vision in hindsight when suggesting that he should have been offloaded back then).

We could argue all day about others (I would argue that central midfield lacked a playmaker as Touré is just too lazy and fears tackling) but hey, no problem, that’s what Mancini is there for.

Revolution is not needed. Just evolution.

Leading to a need for just 2 new world-class only players (3 at most, if a “one-for-the-future” was allowed). Any more would risk upsetting the core stability of the team. This would:

  • Improve the squad quality
  • “Freshen up” any complacent members
  • Allow for the departure of some fringe players

Target No.1 should clearly have been van Persie. His experience of the Premier League made him front runner against similar quality players from other nation’s leagues.

Splash the cash. Do the deal. Sure we would have had to “over-pay”, but business is about investment. Speculate to accumulate and all that.

With the Rags being (relatively) cash strapped under the Glazer regime, then it was just a case of not penny-pinching or being “clever”. It was about delivering the deal.

I don’t know who actually screwed it up. Marwood? But it doesn’t matter. The problem lay higher than him. The Board clearly failed to engage in proper business practises. Set the task in simple, unqualified terms and then demand its execution.

Instead, REASON WHY No.3 is a double whammy!

We failed to get the player and strengthen our attack. And, our biggest rivals did just that – at a time when they should have been facing a slow, steady decline as they struggled to match the nouveau riche (be that us, PSG, Anzhi Makhachkala etc.) I don’t say that to boast about our new wealth (though it’s always good to wind a Red up with!). I say it out of simple economic and commercial fact. Whilst as Moyes’ Everton recently proved to us, work-rate, passion, teamwork and organisation can always allow a team to “punch above their weight”, nonetheless you start with a huge advantage if “You sign Phil Jones; we sign Kun Agüero”. Money doesn’t guarantee success, but it can certainly strengthen your hand – if used properly. That bit of business regarding van Persie was a disgrace to the word.

I slightly differ with Peter Godkin on REASON WHY No.2. The problem wasn’t Marwood. It was the lack of vision and understanding of their business from the Executive Board.

As I have said above, simple strategic business common-sense indicated how they should have approached the “next stage of the project”. No gurus needed there.

Where was the business leadership that should have directed Marwood in short sharp sentences as what he had to do – and don’t come back till you do!

It is utterly shocking that an underlying “Golden Rule” was so flagrantly broken.

What kind of executive management process allows “strengthen the squad” to result in:

  1. Garcia
  2. Sinclair
  3. Maicon
  4. Rodwell?

Matija Nastasic was worth a reasonable punt as a swap for the dire Savic and as that single “one-for-the-future” – and I have high hopes for him in the future. My only criticism there is that, despite linking so well with the Kompany to give us such a tight defence last season, Mancini seems to have gone out of his way to side-line (literally) and alienate Lescott (whose limitations are clear, but he is far from poor) by using Nastasic too much. Hey, that’s another story.

To bring in 4 patently non-World Class (and that’s not to disrespect them for being good, but average, players) and 0 top-drawer ones was complete madness.

It actually profoundly weakened the squad, rather than improve it. Now how stupid is that? What tactical execution of a strategic business plan is that?

The fault lies higher than the incompetent Marwood. It lies with the Executive Board who failed to understand and demand (or possibly spell out) what the next strategic step required. Then to allow the complete opposite of what was needed to come to pass was incompetence of a truly major scale. So much for executive leadership and responsibility!

As for Peter Godkin’s view on REASON WHY No.1, I’m firmly with him – but more so! De Jong had 4 major virtues:

  1. He was a phenomenal tackler and as a screen in front of the back pairing,he was a first class shield for the defence. Garcia etc. aren’t good enoughto lick his boots in that aspect;
  2. His presence “forced” an oft-reluctant Touré to go further forward andadopt a more attacking role than his previous history and instincts wouldnormally have wanted. Get him forward and he scores key goals. Let him“drift” and he will always try to come deep and be far less of a force;
  3. Like Zabaleta, he made up for his shortfalls with passion. He had adeep love of the club and especially the fans (and vice versa). You alwaysneed a few of them in a team, especially such a well-paid one;
  4. He was the off-field “heartbeat” to the team. He was the “lifter” and soulof the changing room. He was the centre of “teamliness” and team-spirit. Youneed such figureheads in any successful team (sporting, business et al).

Why on earth fail to recognise the importance of such virtues, and go out of your way to make him feel unwanted (see Mancini’s re Lescott above; what is it about the man that he is so blind and so unnecessarily destructive?)? De Jong did not want to go, till he was pushed. His real value was not in skill or in £’s but as a conduit to success. And on that basis he was a diamond. But why was the executive so blind to that which the fans could so easily see?

Strategic blindness of immense proportions. “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got, ’til it’s gone”

But we did know!

Sorry for the rant, but I’ve been boring folk with it for 10 months now, so why shouldn’t you guys suffer it too!

It certainly ain’t about saying “I told you so”. It’s really a plea to the blind Executive Board of the club to say that the disappointment (and pain!) of this season has been totally unnecessary and avoidable.

Please learn some basic strategic planning lessons. Go on a course! Whatever. Just start understanding your business and stop treating the club as a private plaything – just ’cause you can!

Sheik Mansour – it’s our project too!

‘Cept I have had 48 years of watching previous chairmen run the show and some of whom didn’t understand their business either (even after 20 years in charge)!

Phew, feel better for that! Thanks!

CTID, Ian Humphrey <ian.humphrey(at)>


I strongly support Roberto Mancini; throughout the recent years I have always felt that our downfall was the constant changing of managers.

Of course the main thing at MCFC now is the new owner who has also changed City in so many ways; there is no doubt whatsoever that we have the best owner in football.

For City to move forward Roberto Mancini has got to be the manager/ coach to do the job; his record in three short years says it all.

Back to Newcastle next; who can remember the day City won the League last game of the season in Newcastle? Last day of a season – City seem to like that!

The big game that we as City fans will be looking forward to is the game versus the Evil Empire at the Swamp; every derby game is big, but somehow this seems bigger (is that possible?).

The world will be watching!

On to another matter, I just hope that the judge in Tévez’s driving case is not a United fan!

In Mancini I trust! Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


In response to Gordon Hindle in MCIVTA 1892, the gist of the survey was to gauge the feelings of the supporters to the proposal of buying your seat at the stadium for life, which could then be passed on to the family at a cost that had not been determined. You would still have to renew your seasoncard each year at additional cost. The survey also said that you would not be forced to leave your existing seat should you not choose to purchase it under “Ever Blue”; you could, however, choose to move with some form of compensation given if you did choose to move.

It is just one of the ways the club is looking at to increase revenue streams to bolster turnover in view of the fair play regulations, so it would appear if you don’t want to buy your seat for life you can still sit in your existing seat so long as your continue to renew your seasoncard.

George Hamilton <georgehamilton(at)>


League table as at 21 March 2013

                        P / GD / Pts
 1 Manchester Utd      29 / 38 / 74
 2 Manchester City     29 / 25 / 59
 3 Chelsea             29 / 28 / 55
 4 Tottenham Hotspur   30 / 14 / 54
 5 Arsenal             29 / 23 / 50
 6 Everton             29 / 11 / 48
 7 Liverpool           30 / 18 / 45
 8 West Bromwich Alb   30 /  2 / 44
 9 Swansea City        30 /  2 / 40
10 Fulham              29 / -4 / 36
11 Stoke City          30 / -8 / 34
12 Norwich City        30 /-18 / 34
13 Newcastle Utd       30 /-11 / 33
14 West Ham Utd        29 /-11 / 33
15 Sunderland          30 / -9 / 31
16 Southampton         30 /-10 / 31
17 Aston Villa         30 /-25 / 30
18 Wigan Athletic      29 /-21 / 27
19 Reading             30 /-22 / 23
20 QPR                 30 /-22 / 23

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v1112.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Philip Alcock)         :
News/rumour                      :
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins):
Technical problems (Paul)        :
FAQ (David Warburton)            :

[2] What are MCIVTA’s publishing deadlines?

Deadlines for issues are nominally 6pm, Monday and Thursday evenings by email. Unfortunately we cannot accept email attachments.

[3] MCIVTA Back Issues and Manchester City Supporters’ home page/Twitter 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. You can also follow on to get the latest updates.

[4] What is the club’s official web site?

The official club web site can be found at and the official club Twitter page at The club also has a facebook page at

[5] What supporters’ clubs are there?

The Official Supporters’ Club and the Centenary Supporters’ Association have merged to become the Manchester City Supporters’ Club ( The club also recognise the Manchester City Disabled Supporters’ Association (

[6] Where can I find out about Points of Blue?

The committee operates as an interface between supporters and the club. Points of Blue appears on the club website under the “Fans” heading (

[7] What match day broadcasts are available on the web?

Live match commentary can be found on the club website. The Radio Manchester pre- and post-match phone-in is available on the web at

[8] Where can I find out if City are live on satellite TV? provides a listing of Premier League games being shown on UK domestic and foreign satellite channels. A useful site for North American viewers is

[9] Do we have a Usenet newsgroup?

Yes we do: is our home on usenet. If you are not familiar with Usenet, a basic explanation is available here:

[10] Do any squad members have their own web pages?

There are a number available and direct links can be found at

[11] Do any squad members have their own Twitter accounts?

A list of genuine player accounts is maintained at!/MCFC/players

[12] Where can I find match statistics?

Statistics for the current season are available from the club site, but for a more in-depth historical analysis try

The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribersand there is no intention to represent these opinions as being thoseof Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies anduniversities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not inany way whatsoever connected to the club or any other relatedorganisation and is simply a group of supporters using this mediumas a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.

[Valid3.2]Philip Alcock,

Newsletter #1895