Newsletter #122

Due to all the transfer rumour/fact received, I’ve decided to send this edition out even though the Creaney deal has not been officially completed. We’re already getting mixed views on this one. I’ve only seen Creaney playing for Celtic against a German team in Europe and he looked the genuine article. Then again, Celtic did sell him and to a first division English club not too long after that. Anybody know anything about him that you’d share with the rest of us? There is of course a downside and for many people this will be Walsh’s move to the south coast, though personally I think the logic of the deal is sound. If you want an MCIVTA tomorrow then let me have your comments and opinions!

Lastly, no one has offered to take over MCIVTA for a couple of weeks; is there really no one who wants a bash at it? Now’s your chance, stand up and be counted 8-).

Next game, Arsenal at home, Sunday September 10th 1995 (live on Sky!)


The Today newspaper, in an article on City’s attempts to sign Gerry Creaney as reported in MCIVTA 121, also mentioned that Ball hopes to raise cash by selling Alan Kernaghan to Sheffield United for £750k. That should please Big Al’s detractors. He, along with Niall Quinn, has been named in the Republic of Ireland side for the vital Euro’96 qualifier in Vienna tomorrow by the way.

Paul Howarth (


It looks like the proposed transfer/swap of Walsh and Creaney is now off. City pulled out of the deal when Pompey refused to reduce their asking fee for Creaney from the previous £1M.

In tonight’s MEN it’s reported that Franny Lee is unlikely to try to buy his/our way out of trouble, as that would only put the club into a worse financial situation (IMHO reading between the lines he’s just stating that the club, or Franny, hasn’t got any spare cash and won’t go cap in hand to the banks). He claims that it’s taken 20 months since his ‘take-over’ to finally get the club on an even keel and panic buys would cause more financial worries!

So does that mean it’s upto the current players to pull themselves out of the mire, when the previous four appearances seem to indicate there may be little chance of that? A little better news is that Beagrie, Brightwell, Curle and Edghill will all feature in some capacity in the reserve team game tonight.

Martin Ford (


Yesterday it was widely reported that the Gerry Creaney/Paul Walsh transfer was off, as the difference in valuations between City and Portsmouth was too great to bridge. Alan Ball said that the media had blown the whole story out of all proportion and nothing would be happening.

However, GMR reported this morning that the clubs have agreed a cash adjustment of half a million pounds and that Creaney will be playing for City on Sunday!

Brightwell, Curle, Beagrie and Edghill all came through the reserves’ 2-0 win over Barnsley last night unscathed.

The Mole
Tony Farrar (


City have (according to GMR) now agreed a £1.5 million fee for Portsmouth’s Gerry Creaney. Paul Walsh may or may not be moving in the other direction as part of the deal. Alan Kernaghan may also be going to Sheffield United for £750,000 in order to fund the deal.

This looks like one of those one in, two out deals, which brings in new blood, reduces the squad size and reduces the wages bill, like the one which brought Kit Symons to Maine Road.

If Walsh is going I’ll be quite sad as he always gave us 100%, but he’s not getting any younger and Creaney is a good buy, one of the best strikers outside the Premiership. Nice one Bally, now how about one or two Columbians, particularly the goalie 8-))

Dave C. Bradbury (


It now appears as though the Walsh/Creaney deal is back on after the clubs reached a compromise settlement. Pompey are expected to take Walsh as a downpayment for Creaney and they will receive a £400k cash adjustment at the end of the season. City will then add further payments depending upon first team appearances and Scottish international caps. However, the deal all depends upon Walsh accepting terms at Fratton Park (which might be likely with him still owning a house on the South coast).

So it appears as though City may have got their man, though it just goes to show the dire financial situation when they can’t even manage to scrape together a measly £400k (especially with today’s rocketing transfer fees) and pay Pompey off.

Martin Ford (


As you will all know, the game against Arsenal will be live on Sky on Sunday 10 September, KO 4pm.

For any London Blues who will not be going to the game, you may like to know that a good atmosphere (and good viewing) can be had at Terry Neill’s Sports Bar (near Holbern Circus).

It is the Terry Neill and I go there for most Sky matches. Indeed, the London City Supporters’ Club booked out a room there for the ill-fated Derby Match at the swamp last year.

I’ll be there (subject to me surviving two games of squash) and so will a load of other Blues (hopefully).

Martin Reynolds (


A few money questions:

Where has all the season ticket money gone? There was something like £2M paid in; has that gone straight on one player (Kinky)?

Also, just what did ever happen to all the money raised (?) when some shares were made available (Ashley, did you hear anything more)?

Absolutely zilch! [Ashley]

What has happened to the £1M from the restaurant facilities and what about all the money from the new executive boxes?

Are we left facing the situation that everything raised is either (still!!!) paying for the Kippax and/or paying wages? If that’s the case then it’s going to be a very long time before any ready money is available to help strengthen the team!

Martin Ford (


Does anyone have similar opinions to myself about the Walsh/Creaney speculation or am I the only one who thinks why?

Surely now is the time when we need more than ever the type of players of the quality and experience of Paul Walsh? I cannot see the point of releasing one of the most skilful and dangerous players at the club for an untried lower division player. Paul Walsh’s contribution to the club has been superb even if there may be question marks over his fitness. There was speculation about his injuries etc. when he came to the club so unless this has altered dramatically why release him? Our problems are in creating chances for Walsh/Rösler/Quinn and I just cannot see the logic in letting him go.

Yes, bring Nigel Clough in to the club – it might give us a bit more creativity, but release Walsh – they’ve got to be kidding!

David Zech (


1 – Clough:
This guy is vastly overrated – every time I’ve seen him helooks like a schoolboy chasing the ball everywhere but always arrivingon the scene a second or two too late. Please let’s leave him festeringat Anfield and go after someone else.
2 – Ebbrell:
I like this player – he’s a defensively-minded midfielderwho will tackle his heart out for you. His only weskness it seems isgoing forward – you won’t often see him in the opposition penalty area,and when he gets there his finishing is generally, er, well, lamentable!Still, as I say, he defends like a tiger!!
3 – Creaney:
He has played in the top flight, albeit for Celtic and(briefly) for Everton last season. Apart from that I don’t know muchabout him but he seems to be hitting the mark for Pompey regularly enough.Could be well worth looking at.

There are a few others who may be worth looking at too – can I suggest Blackpool’s ex-Crystal Palace/Stockport forward, Andy Preece? He looks quick and sharp in front of goal – I can’t understand why no Premiership side showed any interest in him as he left Palace.

Liverpool finally ditched Paul Stewart, another player who I rate very highly – he may be worth a look too. He was an outstanding player for City when we signed him from Blackpool and to my mind, hasn’t been given ample opportunity to show what he can do. He’s strong and good both in the air and on the ground.

Just my opinions, of course!

Jim Needham (


There has been a lot of chat on the Celtic mailing list recently concerning the rumours about City signing Gerry Creaney. The Celtic fans clearly do not rate Creaney. What is Bally getting up to? I am getting a bit worried now – I know it is very early in the season but what are City doing even looking at this type and class of player – we are still a Premier League team for God’s sake or is Bally thinking he is already relegated?

Excerpt from the Celtic list:

> Also on the talk of Gerry Creaney, the fee was around the £650,000 mark. The
> Daily Ranger reports today that he is on the verge of signing for Man City
> for a fee of £500,000 plus Paul Walsh (Portsmouth originally wanted 1M plus
> Walsh.

I know this is very pessimistic but never has a team looked like being a cert for relegation so early in the season. It has to be cheque book time and in a big way.

I presume many of us were amazed at the Colombian gaolkeeper in the match versus England on 6th Sept. – unbelievable!!

This from Reuters;

Soccer- Higuita save stuns goal-shy England, London, Sept 6 (Reuter) –
Colombian goalkeeper Rene Higuita produced one of the most extraordinary saves in Wembley history during his country’s 0-0 draw in a friendly international against England on Wednesday. The extrovert Higuita stunned spectators and players alike in the 22nd minute when he opted to keep out a goalbound lob from midfielder Jamie Redknapp with an airborne back-heeled “donkey kick” performed on his own line. Higuita dived forward and under the ball before knocking the ball away to safety via his heels, insisting afterwards he was not aware a linesman was waving an offside flag.

This weekend MC are live on Sky – we have to get something out of this game. Although MC traditionally don’t do well when on Sky, a repeat of last season’s epic versus Blackburn would be very welcome and would cheer me up no end.

Peckers up,

Nick Reed (


Much has been said about City’s recent “form” and the necessity of buying and maybe selling players, so here a few comments on suggestions put forward by other subscribers:

Fox and Sinclair:- Fox is currently being pursued by Blackburn and Tottenham, both clubs bigger, wealthier and (dare I say it) more successful than City. Sinclair began his career at Blackpool (my home town team); despite his pregnant partner wanting to stay in the North, he turned down City for QPR. If he were to change his mind he would cost at least three times what City could have bought him for if we had shown a bit more commitment three seasons ago. Sinclair was and is shit hot; in Blackpool he is regarded as probably one of the club’s best players, i.e. up there with Sir Stanley.

The suggestion has been that we sell Summerbee, Edghill and Walsh. Walsh is getting on but could be worth considering for a coaching position; he has played a lot of football with some pretty good sides. Edghill is one of those players who City sell, only to see him in contention for an England call-up four years later, but he still needs a kick up the behind to improve his overall game.

Summerbee is a player who showed well for Swindon both in and out of the Premier, but for City the story is woeful. He is all right-sided and seems magnetically drawn to the corner flag on a tramline parallel to the touchline. If he looked to come inside more often and ran round opponents rather than into them, his overall contribution would definitely improve. He has given us hints of his ability and in the Spurs game on two occasions Kinkladze tried to bring him inside by going wide of Summerbee. His off the ball running is virtually non-existent; he seems uncertain of his rôle – is he a winger or a full back? As a full-back, standing square of the midfielder with possession is reasonable, but for a winger he is in no-man’s land. That is something for AB to make clear to him. However, if he continues to be barracked by the crowd as he was against Everton I can see him requesting a transfer.

City have again been connected with Jason Dodd; it would be nice to have a full-back who can play at that position. I do feel that Phelan is beginning to regain his defensive awareness and seems one of the more committed players on the pitch.

All of this is subject to player availability and funds but as a Bolton fan pointed out on a GMR phone-in, the consequences of relegation are too massive to be afraid of going into the red to avoid the drop this season.

Paddy Bedell (


Play Phelan & Edghill, Curle & Symons, Beagrie, Flitcroft, Lomas, Kinkladze, Walsh and Rösler and buy some top class players… like Le Tissier… surely he’d follow Alan Ball from down south? Sell Summerbee and keep away from crap like Ebrell!! We waste enough money as it is….get your bog roll out for the lads Franny… and give us some money.

Stuart Rutter (


Apart from sharing some of the normal personality traits of a City fan (chronic pessimism, manic depression etc.), I have to agree with what Dave Shephard said in the last MCIVTA. Yes we are playing shit, yes we do have problems, but we are a large club and it appears that Franny does seem to be getting things in order gradually (the souvenir shop and corporate boxes are cases in point) and a grand plan does seem to be forming.

The reports about Ball being the long term term coach we so desperately need is also encouraging IMHO. He’s definitely fired up and he appears to be on the road to getting some fire into the belly of the first team squad. The season’s started dismally, but AB is a new manager with a team that hardly know each other. We’ve already had two good signings in Kinkladze and Symons and I think we can look forward to some more, given that we make some good sales, e.g. Buzzer ;@).

We have squandered an easy run in to the new season, but as a wise Scottish friend of mine says, the season doesn’t finish in December. Last year’s a case in point. We had great start. Look what happened. Everton had a crap start. Look what happened.

I don’t think it’s all peachy and creamy (we still could go down {shudder/cringe}). But we are a big club that appears to be getting it together and should eventually find success again in the Premier. Surely the QPRs, the Wombles and the Sotons of the league must eventually sink and we must surely be able to beat ‘Boro and Bolton (once Blackburn strip the team of talent).

I guess what I’m saying in a long winded way is that, all’s not well, but all’s not lost either. And no, I was not pissed when I wrote this!

Andrew Inman (


My initial introduction to the delights or otherwise of football was through my father and uncle; we made regular trips to Haig Avenue to watch my home town team Southport play. In the mid-sixties my uncle moved with his work to Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester; little did I know this was to be the start of my passion for City. We used to visit my uncle once every month or so and during one visit it was decided that we take in a game of football, Manchester style. It was the Blues who were at home that day, otherwise I could well have ended up a Rag supporter. The Rags were enjoying one of their lucky streaks; meanwhile, City languished in the Second Division but undeterred by this we set off for my first visit to Maine Road. Even though City were dragging supporters in off the streets at the time, the crowd and the size of the stadium completely overwhelmed me. Maine Road for a reserve game could generate the same atmosphere as Southport. I cannot remember the opposition or the score but the day was to have a permanent effect on me. My father and uncle are obviously better at picking outsiders than me because as you know the impending arrival of Mercer and Allison was about to transform the club.

Unfortunately I had to rely on my parents too infrequent visits to Manchester in order to support my new found love. I still saw more of Southport in the mid to late sixties but my visits to Maine Road had a special magic. At the time, support in Southport was spread across 4 or 5 teams namely, Southport, Liverpool, Everton, Preston and inevitably the Rags. Finding a fellow Blue was almost impossible. I cannot claim to have been in that Swindon crowd or at Newcastle for the Championship game but by 1968 I was making my own way to Manchester Victoria station to be collected by my uncle and then on to the Academy.

During the seventies, having started working, I was able to follow the Blues home and away. Watching the likes of Bell, Lee and Buzzer then Marsh and co. was worth any money. My first visit to Wembley for the Wolves game ended in disappointment but was soon followed by watching my all-time favourite Dennis Tueart scoring his overhead winner. It seems a long time ago; it was a long time ago!

Even though the trophies dried up after ’76 there was still an expectation about Maine Road. We were still capable of living with the best. Unfortunately Swales saw fit to bring Big Mal back and the rest is history. John Bond took us back to Wembley but this upturn was unfortunately shortlived. City have never really recovered from both managers’ spending. I now take my wife and two sons to Maine Road, taking up our seats in the Platt Lane? Umbro? J.B. Sports? Family Stand. I keep relating tales of past glories to my 11 and 13 year-olds but they ignore my unbelievable rantings. At least I have steered them away from the Rags or the Scouse teams their mates all seem to support. Hopefully the good times will return and the ‘lost’ generation of supporters will experience the buzz of a packed Maine Road and the team lifting trophies once more.

Forever Blue,

Alan Foster (


Am I the only one who finds the reference to Maine Road as ‘The Academy’ a bit out of place?

Maybe it’s because I live in the south but I am sure WHU FC were the true Academy. Having watched City for over 20 years I would like to know when (and why) this term was used.

Martin Reynolds (


Apparently, Frannie Lee offered to send the squad on an expenses paid holiday to Florida, but they said they’d rather go to Blackpool so they could see what it’s like to ride on an open-top bus.

Charles Pollitt (


No change due to Wednesday’s England international.

With thanks to Riku Soininen


Thanks to Alan, Jim, Paddy, David (x2), Paul, Charles, Stuart, Martin (x2), Andrew, The Mole, Tony & Nick.

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 #122