Newsletter #148

The excellent news in this issue has to be Bally’s reward for an excellent November. Also, the latest figures for the Xmas meet are 38 and rising so faces will be seen!

We’re down to our last Why Blue so if anyone else fancies having a go then please send them on in.

Next game, Leeds United away, Saturday 2nd December 1995.


Alan Ball’s just been named Manager of the Month – what a wierd world. Has anyone seen Paul Ince prancing round on Channel 4 recently? He can’t stop heckling even when he doesn’t speak the language.

Heather Fleming (


Alan Ball has been named Carling Manager of the Month for November, following a sequence of three wins and a draw with only one goal conceded, the best defensive record in the Premiership during the month. Terry Venables, one of the judges, said “this award is richly deserved considering the intense pressure Alan was under.”

The Mole
Steve Walker (
Alan Arensen (


The Electronic Telegraph today (Wednesday 29th) speculates that Eike Immel should be worried by the impending arrival of Thomas Christiansen. City are only allowed 3 foreign players in the team and there will be 4 competing for places. They say Tony Coton’s return to fitness will increase Immel’s worries.

I can’t really see Ball dropping Immel to make way for Christiansen. If someone should worry, it’s Uwe! His form this season has been very poor compared to Immel’s. IF it wasn’t for Eike we would have conceded far more goals than we have.

Charles Pollitt (


On Tuesday night Skytext reports:

Vonk is ready to sign a 3 year deal with Oldham. “I’ll be happy to stay at Oldham if they offer me a permanent contract.” He also reckons Oldham will be promoted within the next two seasons. Can’t see it myself. At least it is one more off the Maine Road payroll.

Colin Gorman (


On Tuesday night Skytext reports:

Alan Ball is quoted as saying “As far as foreigners are concerned we have several irons in the fire.” He continues “I have no problem returning to the European transfer market; it is less inflated than the English one.

Also, it is reported City have been linked with a Bayern Munich defender. If this is the case, does anyone know who the player might be?

Is it true that City can only play three foreigners? If so, it raises the question of who the odd man out will be if we sign this German and/or Christiansen. Coton in, Immel out? Hard to believe on current form. Rösler out? I hope not, but questions have been raised as to whether or not he can fit into Ball’s style of play. Maybe this is how Bally is thinking. We’ll just have to wait and see I suppose.

Colin Gorman (

OASIS at NYNEX – Sunday 26th November

A match report of sorts… attendence 15,000

Oasis returned to their Manchester Paradise on Sunday evening with pride and passion. Arriving early at the gig, singing was to be heard throughout the concourse around the stadium. Mainly, Oo Ah Eric ****** and Alan Ball is a football genius. Despite it being the best gig in years around these parts, it felt more like a footie match. City tops littered the audience and most people were wearing blue, so too the band.

Most of the City team were there, Lakey, Symons, Lomas, Flitflop, TC etc. Lakey sat a couple of rows in front of us; you could tell it was him cause his dancing resembled hopping on one (good) leg. Brightwell can’t dance to save his life as he seemed to be waving at his mum and dad on the other side of the stadium. There’s even a nice photo of Liam with the Blues at the post gig party in the MuEN. But for a laugh, two comedians turned up, Fowler and McManaman from LFC. I don’t think anyone spoke to them, least of all the City players who stayed firmly at the opposite end of the room.

As for the gig, very good, lots of references to the Blues, greeted with cheers, although I do have to admit, there were some Reds there as well. Champagne Supernova was introduced as Champagne Super City, and Noel was pretty chuffed that City were playing well and results were finally going our way.

No real gossip I suppose, although my mate spoke to Lakey and asked him when he’ll be fit again (original question); he said soon and didn’t want to talk about it as some rather tasty chick was talking to him. Nice Work Son!

Tony Shaw (


Before last Saturday’s storming Villa game there was another piece of Kippax opening ceremony – when the players came out all the City team were carrying MCFC footballs which they proceded to boot into the Kippax (to the delight of the crowd). This display provided confirmation for what many of us have suspected for some time. If you were ever in any doubt – Steve Lomas could miss the Kippax from ten yards, no problem. Maybe we ought to provide him with a cow’s arse and a banjo to help him in training?

R.S.Allen (


In the last issue, Malcolm Plaiter mentioned a report indicating that MCFC might move to a new Manchester stadium if and when it is built. If this is the case, why did the club spend millions of pounds expanding Maine Road? I assume the club owns Maine Road and not the City or another landlord. Therefore, even if the club gets to use the new ground rent-free, what is the point of wasting the time and energy of moving to a new facility, while Maine Road is unused? If the new stadium is not rent-free, tenants in the form of concerts, shows, etc. will have to be found to rent Maine Road to help pay for the rent in the new facility, plus maintenance of the old. Furthermore, the idea of a new stadium in Manchester isn’t really that old; why couldn’t Lee have been patient with the “old” Maine Road and wait for a new facility, instead of wasting millions of pounds on a ground that he feels is obsolete?

In America, we get used to teams moving from stadium to stadium and city to city in search of profit. Witness the National Football League, where, in the 1994-1996 period, it will have two teams (both Los Angeles’ teams) that have switched cities, two to four (Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Houston, and Cincinnati) that are about to switch, and two (Carolina and Jacksonville) that are having their first year in existence (there are 30 total teams). These moves are caused by old and small (less than 55,000-60,000 capacity) stadiums, low fan support (not in Cleveland’s case though), rising free-agent bonuses, and above all, skyboxes and personal seat licenses (PSL’s are the “privilege” to buy a seat; you pay a one-time $2,000-$4,000 charge on top of the cost of each season ticket, and when you don’t want season tickets anymore, you sell your license to someone who wants season tickets at whatever price the market will bear). However, this potential move makes little sense to me, whether one is concerned about profit, or the wishes of the fans, especially considering the club’s lack of the money necessary to make major signings.

Jesse McClure (


As a regular reader of this list, I’ve been fascinated to see how everyone has calmly handled the crisis of being bottom of the Premier. Now I must admit that I’m a list member because of some deep sympathy I appear to have for City – maybe it’s because of a complete hatred of United, or maybe it’s my recollection of Young’s goal in the ’69 Cup Final. Anyway, I’m actually a Sheff. Wed supporter and a regular on the Owls list, and this is why I’m interrupting your end of table musings.

It has come to our attention that some members of our list as well as other lists on the internet are interested in getting together for some friendly footy matches. Would anyone on this list be interested in organising a City team? Now, I’m in Canada so I can’t really play although I’d love to but I’d be happy to put you guys in touch with the UK-based Owls. E-mail me if there’s interest.

On a related point I play for a club here which is always interested in travelling around to play teams in other countries. If anyone on this list is interested, or knows someone who might be, in either hosting us or us hosting them, then send me an e-mail and maybe we can work something out.

Good luck the rest of the season – I don’t think you’ll go down – Wimbledon, Bolton and Coventry/So’ton are my choices (sort of perennial really).

Up the Owls

Dave Hargreaves (

What happened to the Internet Football Competition? Any news Mark (Varley)?



From the previous two MCIVTAs I read with interest the contributions on good old Nick Leeson and his City shirt. There is a big colour picture of the man on the local paper, Business Times. He is indeed wearing a City shirt but with a green Adidas (not dissimilar to Liverpool’s away colour) jumper over it. Nonetheless I am sure he is a City fan and he must be happy that City has moved off the bottom of the Premiership. I am just wondering if I could actually pass (or snailmail) him a copy of MCIVTA for humanitarian reasons; and stop doing so once City fail to deliver the goods again (also for humanitarian reasons?) I’ll try to find out.

On the Platt Lane correspondent – it is one of the articles that I always look out for in each issue, so please keep them coming. It’s simply wonderful, I think. Could you also add in more news on the youth and B team/players and their progress? There is practically no other way of getting any sort of information on these players.

Let’s hope the fine run continues this weekend. Keep it up boys.

A lone blue in a far away place [Singapore] (nope there is always Nick Leeson)

Nizam (

Nizam, please do try and get a snailmail copy to him – I’m sure he needs cheering up a little.



It is with great suprise that I see that Niall Quinn has not been named in the Republic’s squad to face Holland at Anfield in a couple of weeks time. I can only assume it’s because he’s suspended since he’s playing as well as at any time in the last couple of years, and Big Jack has always stuck by him during his lean spells. Can anyone enlighten me?

Paul Monaghan (

He is indeed suspended.



I’m getting to really look forward to the coming issue of ‘CITY’; even saw it advertised on the back of bus today in Manchester! The magazine is definitely a worthwhile buy and is getting to be the best way to obtain information about the club without it first having gone through a journalist who may have had a different axe to grind.

Perhaps the article that most will be keen to read is “Lake’s Progress” which is a lengthy interview with Paul Lake. One thing which is revealed here is that the original injury was a torn cruciate ligament which only snapped later on during the training which was meant to rehabilitate the injury! Perhaps tactfully, he doesn’t say who was resonsible for not despatching him off to get a decent diagnosis first time round. Since then he’s undergone numerous further operations including grafting the achilles tendon from a dead donor. He was seemingly very fit towards the end of last season but broke down once again, this time not due to his knee but because of a slipped disc. Lake comes across as a genuine person, loyal, determined and amazingly, not bitter. I sincerely hope that he can come back but there is a certain resigned quality to the article which makes you think that deep down he expects the worst. Fingers crossed…

The next interview is with Kit Symons who seems to have a similar temperament to Lake, determined but somehow unlucky. He constantly missed promotion with Pompey and had all but given up on actually making a move to the Premiership. He obviously relishes his chance here and should be an excellent servant to the club.

Next comes a 4-page interview with Quinny and once again we see what a bit of humility can do for a player. He talks at length about thinking he was out of the club and then being told by Ball that if he wanted to play then all he had to do was knuckle down and prove himself. He’s done just that and now looks a real quality player, so much so, that if Christiansen wants a game then it’ll have to be Rösler that makes way (IMO). Quinn relates positively the story of the season so far and the difficulties experienced by a squad when a new manager arrives and imposes a totally different style of play. He talks of the recriminations amongst the players, everyone blaming everyone but themselves and how this has given way to a really positive mood of self-belief.

Part two of ‘Malcolm X’ is here and this is the part where the real nasty questions needed to be asked. Perhaps surprisingly, they are indeed asked and Allison comes out quite well, admitting that he made mistakes, though he does say in his defence that he wasn’t given enough time to realise his vision. More gems from the closet are: that Steve Daley was signed after Allison had bid £500,000 (turned down), then Swales bought him later (without Allison apparently knowing) for £1,150,000; and that Swales bought Reeves after Allison had made a throwaway comment about him!

The ‘Away Day Blues’ feature picked on the Liverpool 6-0 thrashing but in True Blue style they still manage to come out laughing. Ray Kelly is the subject of ‘New-Blue’ and the ‘Maine Road Memories’ feature is the Stoke 10 City 11 League Cup game of October 1981. In case you’re wondering how Big Joe was beaten 10 times then I’ll reveal that 8 were penalties!

All in all a very good read, roll on the next issue.



I suppose grandads have an awful lot to answer for. As a child my Saturday afternoons were spent in Wythenshawe eating chips and watching the vidi-printer. Now and again I was allowed to stay over and my treat was to watch Match of the Day. I remember watching the highlights of the derby where we beat the others (2-0 Robinson + AN Other getting the goals). People often ask about where the passion for football derives; for me it was that Saturday night.

My introduction to Maine Road had to wait for a few more years; it was miserable. First of all we were playing Notts County, secondly I dropped my programme in the urinals in the Platt Lane stand, thirdly they scored and to really rub it in the ref. disallowed a Bobby Mcdonanld equaliser. If reason had anything to do with it, I would now be a Notts County fan, but no…

The eighties were incredible, we may have been up and down but what memories…

  • Charlton 5-1 The atmosphere in the stadium was tear inducing.
  • Utd 2-2 (OT) They were 2-0 up and Arthur Albiston scored an own goal.

Of course I do realise that if football was about silverware I wouldn’t support them, but hey what’s silverware?

To wrap up, I think my favourite thing about the boys in blue (brown copper kettles etc.) is to arrive at Maine Road for an evening match and see the floodlights make the pitch look radioactive. It’s a moving experience.

Keep the Blues at Maine Road.

Nick Cavanagh (


No Premier League games since Tuesday.


From: Someone on the Bolton list (no names, no packdrill!)
Subject: Why we don’t like man u

A few years ago when I was at University I was the only one on the block with a T.V in my room so when there was a match on everyone would pile into my room to watch it. One day it was Man Utd versus Leeds and a whole crew of Man U fans were watching the game.

All the way through the game we had “OOOh I f***ing hate Leeds” several times. One of them suddenly said “leeds are northern bastards!”

I said to him where do you think Manchester is and he just grunted “oh yeah”!

I’ve hated them ever since!

Jeremy Poynton (



Thanks to Tony, Jesse, David, Nizam, R.S, Charles, Heather, Nick, Colin, Paul, Jeremy, The Mole, Steve & Alan.

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 #148