Newsletter #100

Well, Sod’s Law certainly proved itself to have a sense of humour by kicking-in whilst I was away in England, Alan Ball being announced as City’s new manager. Luckily this didn’t happen ’til the weekend so I wasn’t too snowed-under with mail when I arrived back this morning. The latest I know is that City were given permission to approach Ball but couldn’t find him as he was on holiday somewhere in Spain (unknown!). Eventually they made contact by phone and Ball agreed verbally to accept the management position at Maine Road. He will apparently fly to Manchester today to finalise a 3 year deal. He only recently signed a new three year contract with the Saints and they are said to want in the region of half a million in compensation. They also gave a clear ‘hands off’ warning to City about attempting to sign Matt Le Tissier. So, let’s hear your opinions on this one, we already have one and it’s negative!

Naturally, I was hoping to put together a bumper colour issue to celebrate 100 editions of MCIVTA but events have overtaken me so you’ll all have to make do with black & white 8-).

Yesterday’s Observer stated that City are to announce a small profit for last season which is encouraging seeing as they had a £5.7m (I think) loss the previous season.

I should just say that the ‘News’ is chronological and not in order of importance.

** To order the MCIVTA T-shirt see MCIVTA 97, deadline 15th July**


I’ve just been told that Ceefax & Teletext claim that FHL is to announce the new manager ‘before the weekend’ – Bally & Grahamy still the front runners. Franny stated to be ‘tight lipped’ – hope he’s not ashen faced as well ..

Jeremy Poynton ( or


Meridian News (South coast) tonight reported:

“Le Tissier is not for sale and will not be going to Chelsea.”

“Alan Ball has not been approached by City.”

So Ball and Le Tissier are not leaving Southampton – I saw the chairman of Southampton interviewed – So it looks like Ball is on the move to MCFC – I still haven’t had an invitation to be interviewed at Maine Road – mind you I should have applied.

Why is no-one looking to Jimmy Frizzell? He did a good job at Oldham with no money?

Andy Birkin (Crawley Correspondent) – by the way Crawley Town play in Red shirts and are called the Red Devils – this sad fact stops me going to see them (the ground is better than the rags though)

Andy Birkin (


I have just heard that Alan Ball is the man City are after. The Southampton chairman has said that City can approach him, but they expect £500,000 in compensation because he has just signed a three year contract.

David Bowl (


Presume you’ve already got a million mails telling you this (or someone’s winding me up) but apparently Alan Ball is our new manager.

I’m ambivalent about him.

Chris Williams (


I read in the 15th June edition of the UK IT publication Computing, a profile on the Manchester based National Computing Centre’s (NCC) head of software engineering, Michael Cavanagh. Apart from the fact that he’s a Vicar, is a mean Jazz guitarist and is heavily involved in voluntary work, he’s also a blue!

To quote Computing: ‘Joking aside, stand-up comedy is about the only job Cavanagh has yet to try. However, he enjoys laughing at his choice of football team – the mediocre Manchester City. “My sons complain that it might have been nice if I encouraged them to support a team that won once in a while,” Cavanagh laughs. But he is proud that his clan – his four sons and wife Marjorie – are all devoted City fans to the extent that the Cavanagh boys will only date girls with a leaning towards the team’s light blue shirts. The other blues in Cavanagh’s life are the musical kind..’

No manager, unable to complete successfully a sale or a purchase of a half-decent player, etc., etc., I suppose you have to laugh or you will cry.

Ian Thompson (


I see we’ve had another mention of the famous Ajax youth policy; I thought it was fairly common knowledge that most English clubs would love to have such a system but are prevented from doing so by the rules (FA I think) defining at what ages clubs can sign lads up. They simply don’t have access to eight-year-olds like Ajax do. Having said that, when we get the lads, we could probably do better, like having them master ball control instead of running up and down pitches playing 100 games a season in some cases. Maybe this explains why English football is full of fit players with relatively little in the way of ball skills?

Paul Howarth (


What on earth is going on now! How can we even start to consider Alan Ball? What has he done? Did he really keep Southampton in the Premership or was this down to good luck and/or some help and guidance from McMenemy? I hear these two have fallen out now. Before Soton and don’t forget he has only been there for 12 months, he was no doubt exciting Exeter City fans (no disrespect to Exeter)! Where is the £500k that Soton are said to want to come from to pay for a man who has no track record in top flight management? If I were a Soton supporter I would gladly take this sort of money from the Blues for him – do we have any MCIVTA members from this area who can provide some local knowledge? Our club is thought to be in dire straits financially – perhaps Dire Straits might do a concert for us to bring in some cash! Ball seems to be a chum of FL – they were together in the 60’s and it is said share a love of horses. This is simply not good enough. We need a quality manager with a good pedigree. There is no need to jump into this as I am sure Bell, Lee & Summerbee can put a team together in the short term until a good manager becomes available. We may never know – such an arrangement could just be a success. If this is the best FL can offer I suggest we look for a new Chairman as well. One indignant Blue of 20 years.

Alan Lingard (


My first experience with City came in the 1981 F.A.Cup final. I say experience, but it was of a TV nature, on the old black and white in the spare room ’cause Mom was watching some godforsaken soap. City were, as ever, the underdog. I was only 8 years old and one of my habits when watching sport of any nature was to support the weaker team/individual, whatever. Well, we all know what happened… you know, the big Argentinian with long black(?) hair and beard. It wasn’t so much the losing that bothered me, but more the fact that my then 7 year old brother had been supporting Spurs and wouldn’t let me forget it for another couple of weeks. Of course, I found myself defending the City cause, and before I knew what was happening, I had created a tendency to look out for the City result every Saturday.

Yes, I went through the 80’s with City, and what an experience it was. Being young at the time, I couldn’t understand the finer details of football and wondered what could be so wrong with a club that they could go up and down like a bloody yo-yo so often! But, with City I have come to realise that sometimes there just aren’t any reasons and there needn’t be any… you just know. When meeting the likes of Cardiff in the F.A. Cup 4th Rd (’94), you don’t know why, but you just get the feeling it’s gonna be one of those days. Taking this season into consideration, how can one team be so inconsistent that they be one of only 2 clubs that win at Ewood Park, and yet be the same team that had the honour of being one of only 4/5(?) teams that could lose to Leicester… at home?!?!? Makes you wonder.

Yet despite all the goings-on at City (which incidentally reads like something from “Tales of the Unexpected”), I have supported them through the good and bad, mostly of the latter kind. I love everything about the club… from the players to the colours (blue became my favourite and now has a large influence on my shopping habits, i.e. blue shampoo to blue dishes etc…!!). Yes, I’m hooked, and if we were to ever find ourselves in the 3rd Division (worse things have been known to happen), I’d still be a Blue. If they were to ever find themselves in the lower echelon, although I optimistically emphasise that I can’t ever see it happening, I would have the good fortune of being able to see my first City match. I live in Torquay, home of “The Gulls”, my home club, and thus for my live experiences with the football League/Premiership I must rely on 3rd Division football. I have never seen City in action or ever been to Manchester, so some may think I jumped on the bandwagon in ’81 and am not a real supporter, but I like to think that after sticking with them for 14 years now, I can be regarded as a “true” Blue. The day I win the National Lottery though, I’ll be there with a season ticket and maybe a donation or two towards buying a first/another (delete according to individual taste!) decent player! Well, I can dream… The day I see City in flesh and blood, and not on the antiquated B/W will truly be a good day.

High Points: The 2nd Division campaigns of the’80s and naturally the 5-1.

Low points : Cardiff ’94 and seeing the pitch invasion when losing to Spurs (them again), also in the Cup, a few years back.

As for my brother? Well, he flirted with Spurs, but in the last couple of years he’s become… one of them. So, I’ve turned my attentions towards my younger sister and brother and am struggling to convince them of the finer qualities of Manchester City Football Club, when all they want to do is talk about our spoilt neighbours at OT. I won’t give up the cause… Although having a manager would seem pretty helpful… are you listening Mr. Lee?

Jamie Evans (


Thanks to Paul, Jamie, Jeremy, Andy, Ian, David, Alan & Chris.

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.

Ashley Birch,

Newsletter #100