Newsletter #202

A couple of match reports: the Quinn sending off Irish game; and an England vs. Switzerland report from Martin Ford, for interest. The big news is that City have secured a good sponsorship deal with Brother and that Kinky has promised, yet again, that he will stay at Maine Road. There’s also an incisive Why Blue, which reveals a little of why we support a team which has often let us down.

This one reaches 827.

Next game, Athlone Town FC, Friday 19 July 1996



After a thoroughly luckless season, I should have known that any good fortune to come my way would be short-lived. Sure enough, the Niall Across America Tour that began so promisingly is over, after a bizarre 2-2 draw that was probably appropriate considering that both sides wear the same home shirt.

I’m not really sure I can call this a Match Report, since those who interest us — Quinn and Alan Kernaghan — didn’t play (Terry Phelan was only brought on as a late substitute for Mark Kennedy). That is not to say, however, that City didn’t have an impact at Giants Stadium, formerly home to the NASL’s legendary New York Cosmos. In fact, no one in the whole park generated as much excitement as Quinn, who leaped off the substitutes’ bench in the 57th minute to chase after Mexican pest Luis Garcia. Big Niall was promptly red-carded, meaning that he’ll be unavailable for Sunday’s U.S. Cup finale against Bolivia after setting up Ireland’s lone goal in a 2-1 loss to the Americans. So, so typical. Of a possible three servings of Quinn on U.S. television, I get one.

I can’t really say for sure what happened because this game was broadcast Wednesday in Spanish, a language I don’t speak. A replay was to be shown Thursday in English, but not in time for me to get this posting into the freshest issue of MCIVTA.

From what I could tell, the chaos started when Watford’s David Connolly was brought down by a hard tackle. The game was delayed for a minute or two as Connolly received treatment, then was further slowed when Coventry’s Liam Daish — one of the many new faces introduced by Mick McCarthy after Sunday’s loss, costing Quinn and Kernaghan their places — took his sweet time putting the free kick into play. Incredibly, just as Daish struck the ball from behind the centre circle, referee Raul Dominguez blew his whistle and came running toward the Irish No. 4 to card him for him time-wasting. Unfortunately, Daish had already been booked for a first-half foul and was thus ejected, leaving the Irish, up 2-1 after an own goal by Mexico, short a man for the final half-hour.

Then it really got crazy. With all the cameras focused on Daish’s protest, Quinn came storming out of the dugout onto the field, gesturing wildly. McCarthy was able to restrain Niall before any punches were thrown, but Garcia — who wound up scoring both Mexico goals, the latter a 70th-minute penalty — was seen mocking Quinn as the City king was being led away. I haven’t been able to locate a U.S. newspaper that quotes Quinn or explains what set him off, but I’ll keep looking.

Within about five minutes, McCarthy joined Quinn and Daish in the dressing room. Connolly, who equalized for Ireland with a nifty 44th-minute finish, drew a yellow for a harsh foul of his own, which combined with a yellow on Sunday vs. USA excludes him from the Bolivia match as well. McCarthy went onto the field to argue and immediately got sent off by Dominguez, an anal-retentive ref from America’s Major League Soccer who I swear to you is worse than any of the louts who conspired against us in the Premiership last season.

Things were just going too well, I guess. The day after the U.S. match, I actually heard Niall’s name mentioned on a radio call-in show here. So what if the caller was Irish? City players being mentioned on an American sports program? I had to have been dreaming.

Oh, well. Perhaps there is some good in Wednesday’s events. At least you won’t have to wade through another endless posting next week. No matter how hard I try, even if Kernaghan is recalled for the Bolivia encounter, I can’t imagine him doing anything worthy of more than a few paragraphs.

Marc Stein, Los Angeles, CA (


ENGLAND vs. SWITZERLAND, Saturday 8th June 1996

After applying for my tickets for Euro 96 last year (being a member of the England Travel Club does have some advantages) I actually received them just over 3 weeks ago. The tickets advised getting into the ground early to watch the opening ceremony. So we set off at 8:30 on Saturday morning, with a few tinnies to help us on our way. We arrived at Wembley in good time to get to the ground. Outside was a warm mixture of England and Swiss fans. The Swiss resplendant in their red and white (just can’t get away from those colours) and clanging cow bells, I wouldn’t have liked to have been next to them. The England fans were from all over the country, mixing amicably with not a hint of trouble. As usual the sales stores were there peddling their wares with a distinctive ‘mark up’, the flags, scarves, banners, shirts all seamed rather expensive. The programme seemed the only reasonably pricesd item, but that was still £4.

We walked past the Swiss section and on to our designated turnstile entrace and much to my surprise there were quite a few Swiss queueing up, so where was the segregation? On entering the ground we saw the pricing policy of Wembley, which is quite ridiculous: huge mark-ups on any sort of refreshment but the one thing missing was alcohol. We got to our seats (opposite the royal box) in time to see the knights jousting, football through the ages, we heard the introduction to some of the all-time greats but because of the stupid bloody giant Euro trophy we didn’t see any of them. Then came the Reds, Devils, Hucknall and Arrows, followed by releasing the 40k balloons and then the parading of the flags. By the time the teams entered the stadium I was glad the match was with us; to be perfectly fair I didn’t think much of the opening ceremony, didn’t impress me one iota.

So onto the game itself. Venables had selected what appeared to be a more than attacking formation with the team as:

 Neville    Adams   Southgate   Pearce
 McManaman  Ince    Gascoigne   Anderton
        Shearer         Sheringham

Ince appeared to have the holding rôle that gave the other three midfielders a more attacking option.

With all the anticipation and hype that had been built up over the preceding weeks I expected England to take the game by the scruff of the neck and give the Swiss a torrid time. In the first twenty minutes the players did seem to have the upper hand and seemed to quite easily deal with the Swiss attacks. England took the lead thanks to a much needed goal from Shearer, a through ball from Ince and Shearer took the chance with his usual finishing, thumped it in by the near post, cue celebrations. England should have built on this but it was Switzerland who came back into the game. They showed more commitment and fight. If it hadn’t been for the crossbar blocking Türkyilmaz’ shot then the teams would have come in level. Other than Shearer’s goals it had been left to Neville to sting the keeper’s hands from 20-odd yards and a couple of half chances from McManaman and Sheringham. England faded badly towards the end of the half so Venables should have used the half-time to gee up the players.

he second half just deteriorated, England were so poor it was unbelievable. England never threatened in the 2nd half and it appeared to me as though Tel had decided to try to hang on to a 1-0 win. Once Gazza was taken off then any little spark of imagination that England possessed had gone, no one could show any flair including either of the wide-men (Anderton and McManaman). Tel made changes, which had all the hallmarks of a man hanging on: Platt replaced the fast dissappearing Gazza, then much to everyone’s disgust McManaman was replaced by Stone which left the absolutely useless Anderton still on the park and Barmby replaced Sheringham. The Swiss dominated long periods of the second half with England back- peddling. It didn’t come as a surprise when Switzerland equalised. Unfortunately Southgate made a rare slip that ‘allowed’ Pearce to handle a ball pushed into the box (no arguments here, it was a penalty), and from the resulting penalty Türkyilmaz rolled the ball home. In fact this did nothing to hasten any urgency in the English ranks and if Seaman hadn’t saved a low shot from Chapuisat in the last minute it could have been an even worse result.

So England managed a 1-1 draw in the opening fixture of the Euro 96 competition. I doubt if any other team is worried about facing England; I’m sure the MCIVTA team might have given those so-called stars a run for their money!!!! In my opinion the only players that can come out of the game with any credit are Shearer, Southgate and McManaman’s 1st half performance. Here’s my opinions of the players:

Seaman 7 – Steady
Neville 6 – Reasonable, problem is that he can’t pass with his left foot, had to turn too often and play the ball to Seaman
Adams 6 – Dominating in the air, suffered for pace on the ground
Southgate 8 – Played well and covered Adams on a number of occasions
Pearce 6 – All heart, pity he gave the penalty away, also struggled for pace
Ince 5 – Completely anonymous, didn’t get forward at all
Gazza 6 – Played far too deep, often picking the ball up well inside his own half, needs to dominate up front. Tired dramatically in the 2nd half; is he really fit?
Anderton 4 – Pathetic
McManaman 7 – Early promise, but rarely threatened later in the game
Sheringham 5 – Very poor
Shearer 9 – Worked hard up front, scored the crucial goal.

Subs: Platt, Stone and Barmby didn’t really impress.

So my changes for the next game would be to make sure the midfield supports the attackers quickly, extra bodies need to be pushed into the danger area. Often it was two attackers against four defenders. For the next game I’d leave the defence as is, I’d drop Anderton, Ince and Sheringham and replace them with Stone, Platt/Redknapp and Ferdinand. I thought the journey home was pretty miserable after the poor performance and scraping a draw; I’d dread to think what it will be like next week if England lose. I’ll give my thoughts and view for the Scotland game next week.

P.S. I wasn’t the only Blue there, anyone else notice the St George’s cross with Man City – Don’t Look Back In Anger on it?

Martin Ford (


City and Brother have extended their sponsorship deal for a further three years; the deal could be worth as much as three million pounds but is dependent on results; no minimum valuation was mentioned to the best of my knowledge. City’s relationship with the company dates back to 1987 and is now one of the longest running partnerships in English football. Despite City’s relegation, the new deal is the most lucrative in the club’s history; one wonders whether the Oasis sponsorship rumours had any effect on the size of the deal?

Uwe Rösler has stated once again that he has no intention of leaving City and is keen to try to repair his working relationship with manager Alan Ball. Whether Ball grasps the olive branch held out by Rösler is another matter, though the striker has made it clear that if he does leave, it will be a case of a “push” rather than a “jump”.

Gio Kinkladze returned from his holiday this week and was prompty paraded at a press conference by Francis Lee, determined to put an end once and for all to the rumours that he’ll be leaving the club. In front of the assembled media people, Kinkladze confirmed that he was very happy at City and intended to honour the remaining three years of his contract. Will this statement “straight from the horse’s mouth” be enough to quell the rumours? I bet not!

The Mole
Colin (
Mark Helsby (


During the course of my professional activities I was at the Academy today (Wednesday) for a press conference to launch Brother electronics continuing sponsorship of the Blues. They have done a three-year deal worth £3million, and as their chairman said, “City are a Premiership club in every sense, and they will hopefully be back up at the first attempt.”

So it looks like Oasis are out of the frame now! Franny Lee turned up at the conference with Gio, who he had picked up from the airport as he flew in from a holiday back home in Georgia. He said he had had enough of the rumours about Gio going to any one of half a dozen big European clubs, so he brought him along so we could hear it from the horse’s mouth, that he was staying with City. Also I was at the German team press conference last Friday at their HQ at Mottram Hall Hotel, and amongst about 300 German media people, I spotted Uwe; he said he’d come to wish his countrymen good luck in the Euro 96, but when asked where he would be, come the August kick off, he would only repeat “I am on a 2-year contract”, so make of that what you will. He also said he wanted a chat with AB “to sort out our differences – which we should not allow to affect our primary object of getting City back into the Premier” He said he would carry on thinking that way until and unless AB tells him otherwise.

Eric Graham (


Today through no fault of my own I was forced to read the Daily Mirror, well hey their slogan is ‘Honesty, Quality, Excellence’ After slogging through the unashamed slagging off of their own countrymen I was drawn to a small box with the headline:


The author Steve Millar goes on: “Uwe Rösler yesterday insisted he won’t be leaving Maine Road unless Alan Ball boots him out.” The German striker said: “I will not ask for a move. The only way Uwe Rösler will go from Manchester City is if the manager calls me in and says he’s accepted money from another club for me.”

Are we to believe this (I hope we are) or do we ignore it like the rest of the gutter press these people produce? Don’t forget these are the people who say Gazza is cracking up. Wouldn’t you if you were being hounded by idiots bent on breaking you for the sake of a story?

Mark Edwards (


Niall Quinn was one of two players sent off in a stormy start to the Republic of Ireland’s US Cup campaign against Mexico in New Jersey. Liam Daish was the first to go; Niall Quinn then ran onto the pitch (he was a substitute, not actually playing at the time) and apparently grabbed one of the Mexican players by the throat, earning a red card for violent conduct. Manager Mick McCarthy was subsequently ordered from the dug-out for throwing the ball into the crowd to prevent the Mexicans taking a quick free kick. The game ended 2-2.

Paul Howarth (


Any refs out there in MCIVTA land ? If so, perhaps someone could enlighten us all about the actual rules governing handball in the area? The commentators and the media seem to think that unless the handball is deliberate, then no penalty should be awarded; my understanding (gleaned during many discussions on the terraces) is that a penalty should be awarded if it is either a case of ‘hand to ball’ i.e. the player brought their hand to the ball, deliberately or not, or that when the ball strikes the hand, the ball is some way or other, controlled or deflected. i.e. – If the ball hits your hand in the penalty area, you will be lucky if it is not a penalty? Any *a*t*r*s in the black care to clarify this?

Jeremy Poynton (


I was cheekily reading the July VOX (a music magazine) the other day in a bookstore without paying and came across an article about footy with interviews with a few “rock stars”, most of which I didn’t recognize. Anyway there is a classic quote from Joe Elliot of Def Leppard. He slags off the Rags on many occasions and says most football supporters in Manchester are City fans as he’s seen it first hand. He lives in Dublin and says the planes are packed with Rags going to the Swamp whilst he is trying to get to Sheffield to watch Sheff Utd. On the way back he says all these Rags have two dozen programmes each for other Rags in Ireland! Also on page 2 and 3 are some shots of the Oasis lads performing at the Academy.

Paul Whittaker (


If anyone wants to keep in touch with the magazine, but can’t get to the Internet, I can print out each week’s worth for only 5p a page (it tends to run to around 4 pages) plus stamp. If anyone wants to leave a home or office address, and there’s not more than 4 of you. First issue free!!

H.J.Fleming (

Not sure about 4 pages a week! I thought that some of the triple issues were well in excess of that?



In the world of Euro 96 well, England sadly is off to a not-so-good start. A draw is points but a win is more. Let’s hope they improve. I heard a lot about Italy’s win in their first game but having not seen it I can’t really say. As to how I am following the matches, I decided to frequent a certain IRC channel called #soccer. Anyone familiar with IRC can find me there keeping an eye out for the latest scores. My nickname is man_city by the way. 🙂

I do have a little story of my first slagging by anti-City fellows; I ran into a few lads who dubbed me man_s**tty and really pounded me with ridicule and such, but I am a person who believes that talk is talk. So I held my chin up and took all their comments in my stride and when it was all over I felt even stronger. It did make me wonder though… living in the States keeps me safe from such mockery but if I was in England!!! You must really get an earful out there. Regardless, always Blue…

Sorry for the vent… Rene’ (


Radio 5 sports news this morning reports that Niall was sent off in yesterday’s game against Mexico, when not even on the field. He was given a red card whilst on the bench, for ‘aggressive behaviour’. Shurely shome mishtake?

Liquor. I am sure those of us who are UK based, with English blood (me … I’m 3/4 Celtic and 1/4 Lancs, so I can happily dip out of being English when it suits me ;’>), will have been following the alcoholic adventures of the national team. It does seem to be dawning on some commentators and people in the game (John Spencer noted that Gullit had already introduced a strict alcohol ban at Chelsea, I suspect before Glenda left), that we are way out of step with the other European nations in our attitude to players and drink. Anyone recall the gay bar incident at the end of last season? I think Colin Barlow mentioned that those involved were out on the town for a few beers and a sing song… what is going off here? (Copyright Fred Trueman) … how come City players could happily piss around in bars whilst on the verge of relegation… seems to me that it concerned many of them (not all) less than it concerned us the fans. Bring back the minimum wage eh!

Jeremy Poynton (


As a five-year old I was a victim of “Red Fever” (The Liverpool strain, not the new, more dangerous Rag kind). My Granny, bless her, thinking she was doing me a favour, bought me a Liverpool shirt, Liverpool lunchbox, Liverpool bath towel etc, etc. Yes, in the late ’70s I was a Liverpool “fan”. I didn’t know much about the team, only that at 5 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon “my team” had usually won.

Growing up and going to school in South Manchester/North Cheshire I found out I wasn’t supposed to support a Scouse team, and so entered the football supporting wilderness. Despite pressure from my dad and school friends, I resisted the urge to turn to the Dark Side. Even then I knew United weren’t the team for me.

Some years later I was offered the use of a neighbour’s season ticket while she was away on holiday. I was about thirteen at the time and had never been to a proper football match before. The feeling of awe as I climbed the stairs and walked out into the top of the North Stand will stay with me forever. Maine Road looked huge. As I sat there staring out onto the pitch, hearing the roar of the Kippax, something strange happened. My heart beat faster, my palms began to sweat, I was entirely caught up in the atmosphere. I was hooked. What’s more, we won(!) and went 16 (I think) matches undefeated. I was told by my friends I must be some kind of good luck charm for the team. Looking back now I see it for what it was, Man City ensuring they had me firmly in their grasp. Building me up so they could knock me down again.

I’ve been stuck on this emotional rollercoaster ever since, dancing on the Kippax when we beat Huddersfield 10-1 and put 5 past the Rags, crying into my beer after another derby defeat. But for all the lows (and there’s been a few!) the high points are the ones that stick in my mind. The feeling as you walked onto the old Kippax at 2.15, the atmosphere already starting to build. Sitting on the terrace, reading your programme, hearing the jokes, drinking your bovril, chatting to your mates. Making sure you were in your favourite spot (half way up, Platt lane end, next to the tunnel). Even when the team were crap, there was still no place I would rather be.

My girlfiend is a City fan now too. At first she found my peculiar devotion to such an infuriating club hard to understand: “Why not just support United?” So, I brought her along to see for herself. Lo and behold City won, and she became another victim of this cruel addiction.

In the ten years or so I’ve followed City, we’ve won nothing to speak of, not been to Wembley or Europe, and been relegated twice, yet, in a perverse way, that’s how I like it. It wouldn’t be the same if you thought you were going to win every week. Obviously, a few trophies wouldn’t do any harm, maybe a European Championship or two, but still retaining that self destructive streak that makes City what they are. The only team for me.

Stay Blue, Russell Town (


Contributions: Ashley –
Subscriptions: Adam –
Club Questions: Stephen –

Thanks to Martin, Colin, Rene’, Mark, Jeremy, Russell, Eric, The Mole, Paul (x2), Marc & Jeremy.

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 #202