Newsletter #186

Probably not surprisingly, this issue is almost exclusively opinion! I’m off out of it for a while and thoughtfully the league has cancelled Saturday’s fixtures to accomodate my plans… thanks lads! Articles for MCIVTA should go to Steve Bolton, see below.

Apologies for getting the Villa date wrong; there are no games next week due to the forthcoming England fixture.

Next game, Aston Villa away, Saturday 27th April 1996


I’m going away at the end of this week for several days and Stephen Bolton has kindly agreed to step in for the next two issues, MCIVTA 187 & 188. To fit in with Stephen’s work patterns these will be issued on Tuesday and Friday morning rather than the evenings beforehand.

All articles etc should be sent to Stephen from now until Friday (morning) 26th April.

Stephen’s email address is:



With a clear rift evident between Alan Ball and Uwe Rösler, other clubs are once again showing interest in the German striker. GMR reported this morning (Tuesday) that both Sheffield Wednesday and Eintract Frankfurt had renewed their interest in Rösler.

The Mole


City have now sold all of their tickets for the last two games of the season against Aston Villa at Villa Park and Liverpool at Maine Road. Let’s hope all these people make some noise and get behind the team!

Paul Howarth (


Francis Lee today stated categorically that Gio Kinkladze will not be leaving the club even if City are relegated. The Blues have been inundated with calls from fans worried about the Georgian’s future with the club.

Meanwhile, Gio’s compatriot Mikhail Kavelashvili will be staying behind to help himself settle in whilst Kinkladze plays in a friendly for Georgia next week.

The Mole


Barry Foster has asked: “Do City have any plans for big money transfers in the summer and if so, who are they interested in?”

Our contact says that nothing has been decided yet, but doubts there will be too much going on in this area; much depends on the club’s position at the end of the season.


Eddie Davidson asks: “First, who will be the kit sponsor next season? I have heard that Umbro has offered Man City £15 million, and Francis Lee has refused, declaring that Umbro is perpetuating the gap between United and City. Second, supergroup Oasis have offered £15 million for the front of the jersey – while Brother offered £9 million for sponsorship. Can you clarify either of these items?”

Regarding the first part of this enquiry, there is no knowledge of any offer being turned down or accepted. Secondly, whilst being keen to keep up the relationship with Oasis, there have been no offers from them to sponsor the kit for the forthcoming season.


Several people have enquired about Uwe Rösler’s seemingly tenuous relationship with Allan Ball and whether or not there have been any official approaches made to the club. The word from within is that no advance has been made, and because the transfer deadline has passed, it would be considered politically inappropriate for anyone to make such an enquiry before the end of the season.


Tony Hulme has expressed concern about the away fans being let out of the ground at the same time as the home supporters; he has witnessed, and indeed been the victim of violence several times when leaving the ground. When I put this to our contact, I was told that it was an issue raised at a recent Supporters’ Club meeting at Prestwich and that it was being considered.

Steve Bolton (


Following Rösler’s comments on MotD regarding his (non) relationship with Alan Ball at the weekend, speculation about a Summer departure for the German has grown.

The Guardian (6/4/96) reports:

“Uwe Rösler’s increasingly stormy relationship with Manchester City may well end with a move to Sheffield Wednesday. Six months after having a £3.5m bid for the German forward rejected, Wednesday are preparing a second offer which will be formally lodged after City’s status next season has been decided. But Wednesday’s manager David Pleat will offer no more than £2.5m. Although Rösler scored City’s winning goal – against Wednesday – at the weekend, his working relationship with the manager Alan Ball has all but collapsed in recent weeks.”

With no reliable information on what exactly has gone on between the two in the last few weeks it is hard to pass judgement on these current behind the scenes problems at Maine Road. If it is simply a case of Rösler throwing a tantrum because he was dropped, then he deserves little sympathy. His lack of confidence and penetration on the pitch, a continued refusal to play the easy pass and an annoying degree of diving and whining has certainly warranted a spell on the bench IMHO. However, there is no doubt that his performances against United and Sheffield Wednesday were much more like his former self – looking strong, lively and likely to score.

Inside info on the Rösler-Ball clash, from our Platt Lane source, or anywhere else for that matter, would be most welcome.

Dan Rigby (


Just a few lines to thank all who turned up on Sunday. Thanks to Rob for getting it off the ground and thanks to all of you who were unfortunate to have me on their team.

Apart from feeling like someone had given me a good kicking on Monday morning I had a great time. It was a very well organized day and seeing Newcastle win finished the day off well.

I look forward to the next one (if invited) and hope my throbbing veins on my forhead did not scare too many of you.

Are you thinking of doing another run of the internet shirts? I feel that with so many of us being new to this that they would sell very well.

Stay Blue and hope to see you at Villa (possibly in the Witton Arms).

Tony Hulme (

Re: T-shirts, we’ll try to do something in the next 5 weeks.



Is anyone going down to Villa on the normal service train at approx 11:17 getting in at approx 13:00? I ask as me and my girlfriend were getting a lift there and straight back, but this has fallen through. We are now going down by train and wondered if anyone would like to travel with us.

When we have got there we will be heading to the Witton Arms (see Paul Howarth MCIVTA 184). After the match I think there is a train at approx 5:30 which should get us back at approx 7:15.

If you are interested, the tickets are approx sixteen pounds return (I have to phone them and check) from Manchester Piccadilly, I think it may also stop at Stockport. This is not an organized do, it’s just open to anyone who does not want to travel down on their own.

Stay Blue…. MCFC 1 AVFC 0….. Cue the good times !!!!!

Tony Hulme (



If we do go down to Div. 1, the financial situation is not as bad as it looks. The Sky TV money is still paid to relegated teams for 2 seasons at a reduced rate of 50%. With the addition of the new TV deal covering the Endsleigh (City would be the prime attraction) we wouldn’t be far off getting the same money as we do now.

London Marathon

This Sunday’s London Marathon features a Football Challenge section where runner’s representing all 92 league clubs will start at the front of the main pack in their respective kits. I don’t know who is running for City but Steve Coppell is running for ‘Palace’. If you do look in on Sunday morning, I’ll be further down the field wearing my MCFC peaked cap!

Ken Foster (


I am an American who is a big Man City and English Football fan. I am looking at buying a short wave radio so that I can listen to Premier League matches and City matches.

I would greatly appreciate it if someone could provide me with information regarding which short wave frequencies carry the Premier League matches. Additionally, how does one find out the schedule for what matches are broadcast when?

Thanks for your help.

Hunter Sheridan (


This is agony! Two games to go, with a possible 4 points or more needed. That would mean, I think, putting together City’s best run of the season in their last three games. It’s a good job Boddington’s is on sale around here.

From afar it is increasingly clear we are a club in a mess. I was astonished (well that’s too calm a word) when I read that after the Wimbledon result Ball said that “if the season ended now I’d be happy.” That comment strikes me as missing the entire point of what it means to develop a team with a future. How can anyone be at all content with what has happened this year on the playing side, even if they do stay up? And what players do City really have that will bring anything subtantial on the market, other than Kinkladze and his mate?

However, we can leave those discussions until the two games have passed. I remember going through this in the very late 50s and early sixties when City had to win their last games to stay up. But Villa away and Liverpool at home!

The sun is shining here, it is very warm, it is spring, life is generally pretty good and I am completely miserable at what goes on in a football ground 8,000 miles away… a ground that looks like it is the result of 4 different theories of architecture.

Come on you Blues — just a trifling six points from the last two games and we might be safe but it would help if each game is 5-0. Any chance we could have the MCIVTA five a side team members play?

John Pearson, Stanford, California but longing for his old spot in the old scoreboard end or the Kippax…(john.pearson@Forsythe.Stanford.EDU)


It`s Tuesday and having spent the last hour studying the form and fixtures, I can exclusively reveal that City are going down. This isn`t the first time one man`s ignorance has dragged a club down. Anybody who heard 5 Live on Saturday couldn`t have missed the great “I don`t feel pressure since 1966 – Lilleshall” and “I`m a winner even if the players aren`t!” statements from our own AB. What I don`t understand is what is he hoping to achieve by getting at both his top scorers (Quinny and Uwe), selling our future captain (Flitcroft) and the buying that ***king donkey Fronz-heck.

The question has to be asked, is Franny going to stand back and let this one man destroy our club? It’s bad enough to see Buzzer at right back without playing Buster on the left. Our only solution is:

  1. When we go down, sack Ball that day.
  2. Sell Kernaghan (£0.5m), Frontzeck (£0.25m), Immel (free) and let’s face it Curle (£0.75m).
  3. Buy a decent centre half or give Foster a run there.
  4. Get a new ‘keeper very quickly, perhaps Branagan from Bolton.
  5. Try to hang on to the core of our squad.

For The First Division:

                     1. Branagan(?)
2. Egdhill  5. Symons (capt)   6. Foster    3. Hiley
                    4. Lomas
8. Summerbee.(give him his chance)       11. Phillips
                7. Gio (If he stays, if not we`d better get
                        used to Endsleigh League Extra)
          10. Rösler                  9. Quinn

Subs: Clough, Kavelashvili, Brown

P.S. Let’s start praying.

Adam Keating (


Come on lads ,we`re not down..yet. OK we`re c**p, but Coventry are even more s***e.

  1. They have a rubbish ground.
  2. They have no supporters.
  3. They have (in my opinion) the worst manager in the division.

If Coventry lose to Forest on Wednesday night, that would do us a huge favour as they would not have the game in hand any more. If we could then manage to beat Villa (come on we do have a good record against them), then we would have a good chance of staying up,

They say it`s a 2 horse race at the top, well it`s a three tortoise race at the bottom, with Coventry, City and Southampton being the three candidates to occupy 18th place on the final day of the season. Here is a list of their league record this season and their remaning games.

           Coventry           City                   Southampton
Apr 17     Forest(a)                                  Newcastle(a)
Apr 27     Wimbledon(a)       Villa(a)                Bolton(a)
May 5      Leeds(h)           Liverpool(h)            Wimbledon(h)

(both Coventry and Southampton have 2 hard away games)


                 P        W    D     L     F     A
Coventry        35        7    12    16    40    60
City            36        8    10    18    30    56
Southampton     35        8    10    17    33    51

Barry Foster (


Dave Bara’s saying “The fish rots from the head down. Something stinks. Ball must go.” sounds to me very similar to a quote from a well known Frenchman about fish and trawlers, and to be honest makes less sense. Since 1945 City have enjoyed the services of 20 managers, and what is now needed (imho) is some stability in this department. With the departure of Peter Swales I had hoped to see the last of the mentality that seemed to demand that managers were treated like disposable nappies and thrown out after a poor run of results (and were full of somebody else’s s**t). To sack Ball now would put the club in the same situation that it was in at the start of this season, and it would have the same problem. Just who would replace him? No doubt, whether City go down or not there will be some team changes between now and next season, but while Ball is running the show at least some of what is on show will be good, entertaining football. Incidently, I may be wrong but I seem to remember calls for Fergie’s head down at the Swamp when he had an initial poor spell; wasn’t he on the verge of leaving?

Steve Bolton (


Just a few things that struck me after the Sheffield Wednesday game.

For a start, yes we got the win and the three points but, like the West Ham game over Christmas, not many of us can have been happy with the manner of the victory.

Whilst it is all well and good to say that we just had to grind out the result, Stuart Hall’s comments after the match on Radio 5 Live were spot on. If teams are going to man-mark Kinky out of the game as has happened in the last three matches then the lack of pace from the midfield means that when he does break free nobody’s making the linking run to feed the front line.

Once Quinny and Buster came on the game immediately tipped in our favour. With Buster’s width the Owls couldn’t pack the midfield as they had done all game and Atherton had to abandon his tactic of sticking to Gio like a boiled sweet to a blanket. As regards Buster’s miss, if anything he seemed to have too long to think about it. Certainly he did the right thing in going across the ‘keeper, but he’ll bury a harder chance than that before long.

The press reports have focused on Uwe and Quinn being peeved at being dropped recently. For a long time I’ve thought that a spell on the bench and playing in the reserves would do Uwe the world of good. None of us can have failed to have noticed that for most of this season he couldn’t have hit a bull’s a**e with a banjo. Since being dropped in the derby virtually everything he’s hit has been on target which has been the biggest problem this season. The main difference is that he’s hungry again.

As regards Quinn then obviously Uwe’s form had picked up and dropping Kave would defeat the object of bringing him in in the first place – namely to bring some much needed competition, something that Creaney was never going to do.

For the last two games I would be happier to see Uwe and Quinny starting if only for their experience, but I’d also start with either Buster or Buzzer on the wing to stretch the midfield and make room for Kinky.

Anyway – that’s that off my chest. Here’s hoping that everybody else blows it and we scrape home.

Mark Helsby (


The time has come for some plain speaking; Uwe Rösler is a favourite of the fans but he should not under any circumstances criticise publicly the decisions of the manager, especially at a time like this. He should fight for his place by his performances, and not toss out some spiel to a radio reporter after the match i.e.: “I play for the fans not the manager, I don’t think I should be dropped, I think I have been playing well in the second half of the season.”

The fact is he has not set the Premiership alight this season. I’m not saying he hasn’t tried, but it’s goals he’s there for and nothing else. The decision to drop him for Kavelashvili was, in my opinion the wrong one; to bring someone in at this crucial stage of the season and hope he settles down straight away is ludicrious, look how long it to Kinkladze to get going. Quinn and Rösler should be the strike force until the end of the season, with the Georgian on the bench to get the feel of the Premiership.

If ever there was a time for the whole club to pull together it’s got to be now, Uwe should do his talking out on the pitch when given the chance, and not in the press. If he’s got a problem with Ball he should sort it out at the end of the season.

Terry Thiele (


Wouldn’t it be funny when City go down and Huddersfield get promoted via the play offs? Fate, methinks not. Just bad chairmanship if you ask me. So are you going to sit around and wait three years to see if Ball gets it right? If chairman Lee is the ‘big’ businessman we all think he is, don’t you think that Ball should go now based on the results that have been so dire? Or should he go because it seems that nearly all the players will bugger off at the end of the season because no one seems to ‘get along’ with him? Or should he go because every time we seem to go through a bad patch or are about to play an important match, all we see in the press is ‘wholesale changes’ to be made at the end of the season?

I know he speaks his heart, but Ball does not handle the press well and it’s plain to see from his interviews that he’s still not happy with the playing staff. Is he not content at selling Coton, Walsh and Flipflop? Perhaps he’s starting from the top and working down. That means by the start of next season, we’ll have Creaney partnering youth team unknown up front. Can’t wait…

Tony Shaw – P****d Off! (


It could have been worse tonight even though we’ve dropped back into the relegation zone on goal difference (+7 and +6 better than City so it’s almost worth a point to Saints and Coventry).

We could learn a lot by watching the video of how Ajax closed the game down after taking the aggragate lead against Panathinaikos. Pure class. Lots of movement off the ball making it easy to pass to their own players. Not the mad panic associated with City taking the lead and trying to hold onto it. Curle more than most has been accused of bad distrubution but unless the others give the man on the ball more options the big hoof upfield is the likely outcome, closely followed by another opposition attack. We need 90 minutes of effort off the ball as well as on it because this is our best chance of staying up.

AB please, please, please start with Quinn + another up front against Villa and let’s do our defending in their half of the pitch even (hopefully) after we go one up. Teams who sit back on a one goal lead get what they deserve.

Jim Egan (


Well, I’m writing this after Coventry have got a point at Forest and we’re in the bottom three; on my calculations we could be relegated after the next match, if we lose and Coventry and Southampton win.

So it’s Villa away; hand on heart the best I think we can do is get a point and hope for the best with the other two teams involved. If ever a team needed some luck as well as effort it’s now. We can if we play on top form, get something out of this game but we have to be positive in our approach; sitting back behind the ball is going to be a disaster, so let’s attack and try to win the game. Then see how the others have performed at five O’clock.

Is it too much for every City supporter in the world to get down on their knees at kick-off time and pray for those 3 magic points?

Terry Thiele (


This is probably the 100th posting along these lines… So, our future Premiership status is in the balance. Is there a case to be made for being optimistic? Given that we cannot improve our goal difference by enough (and that improving it would mean winning anyway, if you see what I mean) we need at least a point and either Coventry or Soton to lose their last two games. Both teams must play Wimbledon, who are one of the form teams at present: I can see them winning both at home and at Coventry, where the poor pitch will not bother them – they’re used to it! So, Soton must avoid defeat at Bolton: likely. And Coventry must avoid defeat at home to Leeds: more difficult, but apart from against the Rags last night Leeds have been poor recently. So, we probably need two points minimum – i.e. avoid defeat in both games, or win one of them. Villa have secured European football already, and Liverpool are out of the title race and will have the F.A. Cup to think about. If we prevent Villa getting three points, Liverpool may be guaranteed third spot as well.

Oh b*****ks, this is all c**p, we won’t know for another 9 or 17 days, and I can’t handle waiting! Anyway, perhaps Bolton and QPR will win their last two games and City, Soton and Coventry will lose theirs and all go down. Mmmm, I’m just off to the bookies…

Matt Varley (


With Coventry gaining a crucial point at Forest it means that we’re now in the bottom three, looking down both barrels, hammers cocked and triggers being pulled and the fat lady’s clearing her throat; can we escape the bullets?

It’s gonna make the final round of games on Sunday interesting, if nothing has been decided by then. The season could rest on one 90 minute game; tension’s gonna mount, nerves are gonna get frayed, it’s gonna be a traumatic day.

Smile… it’s only a game.

As we know the Rags have ditched their grey third kit because it’s been classed as ‘unlucky’; however, there’s absolutely no truth in the rumour that City are changing both home and away kits next season because they are unlucky.

Seen on TV recently…

Before a commercial break in Chris Evans’ T.F.I. Friday they showed a little sketch (side camera angle). An old lady was stood waiting for a lift, we hear a bell ring and the doors open. The old lady then says: “Excuse me young men, are you going down” (Switch to front camera angle showing the inside of the lift). A group of young men all dressed in the City first team kit reply: “Yes” and then start crying…

On Fantasy Football League (BBC2 comedy/footie programme), Baddiel and Skinner (comedians/presenters) said they’d found out who was phoning International Rescue. They showed the beginning of Thunderbirds (British 1960’s Gerry Anderson puppet show) upto where one of the Tracey brothers in the space station answers the phone, cut away to Maine Road as AB is talking on the phone…

Well we’ve gotta laugh :-)))))

Martin Ford (


Tuesday, April 16 1996

EVERTON                 1-1    LIVERPOOL                 40,120

Wednesday, April 17 1996

ASTON VILLA             1-1    WEST HAM UNITED           26,768
BLACKBURN ROVERS        3-2    WIMBLEDON                 24,174
MANCHESTER UNITED       1-0    LEEDS UNITED              48,382
NEWCASTLE UNITED        1-0    SOUTHAMPTON               36,554
NOTTINGHAM FOREST       0-0    COVENTRY CITY             24,629
SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY     0-0    CHELSEA                   25,094

Wed 17 Apr

Team                Played   Won Drawn Lost  For  Against   Points
Manchester United     36     23    7    6     65    35        76
Newcastle United      35     23    4    8     63    35        73
Liverpool             35     19    9    7     67    32        66
Aston Villa           36     18    9    9     52    33        63
Arsenal               35     16   10    9     46    30        58
Blackburn Rovers      36     17    6   13     57    44        57
Tottenham Hotspur     35     15   11    9     45    35        56
Everton               36     15   10   11     58    42        55
Nottingham Forest     35     14   12    9     46    48        54
West Ham United       36     14    8   14     42    48        50
Chelsea               36     12   13   11     43    40        49
Middlesbrough         36     11   10   15     35    46        43
Leeds United          35     12    6   17     39    53        42
Wimbledon             36     10   10   16     55    68        40
Sheffield Wednesday   36     10    9   17     45    55        39
Southampton           36      8   10   18     33    52        34
Coventry City         36      7   13   16     40    60        34
Manchester City       36      8   10   18     30    56        34
Queens Park Rangers   36      8    6   22     35    54        30
Bolton Wanderers      36      8    5   23     38    68        29

With thanks to Soccernet


Club Questions:

Thanks to John, The Mole, Adam, Barry, Dan, Steve, Tony (x2), Mark, Paul, Stephen, Ken, Hunter, Jim, Martin & Matt.

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 #186