Newsletter #207

Well, barely had the Germans completed their usual feat of winning, irrespective of the quality of their team, than my hopeful prediction of a move in the transfer market was fulfilled. Don’t get too excited though: could it be Curle or Dibble or Frontzeck on his way out? No, none other than our arguably our most improved player, Stevie Lomas! To say this was a surprise is a slight understatement, but you do have to wonder whether there is a hidden agenda here. The deal is not cut and dried and Lomas may refuse to go. Opinion is already rolling in on this development and, as well as this, we have a few other articles and a good Why Blue.

Next game, Athlone Town FC, Friday 19 July 1996


GMR this morning have said that Manchester City have accepted a bid of £1.2 million for Steve Lomas from Wimbledon. Steve is said to be in London this afternoon to talk over personal terms.

Tony Hulme (


Steve Lomas looks set to head the Maine Road clear-out following a bid for his services from Wimbledon. Earlier today the deal was reported as being around £1.5 million but is now thought to be closer to £3 million. A smaller bid was received around three weeks ago but according to Alan Ball “We wouldn’t even have considered selling Steve at that price. Let’s just say that it took a very substantial offer for us to even think about letting him speak to them.” Lomas is in London today having talks with Dons’ manager Joe Kinnear. “I am shocked,” said Lomas. “This has come right out of the blue for me. I had never given any thought to leaving Manchester City but I will be seeing Wimbledon boss Joe Kinnear to see what’s on the table.”

Alan Ball seems to have somebody else lined up to replace the 22-year-old Northern Ireland international. “If he decides to go then I shall certainly replace him with quality. I have already made in-roads into that.”

How times change. Who’d have thought that some day Wimbledon would come in with a big-money offer for one of our players?

Paul Howarth (


I’ve just had a very quick glance at the back of the MuEN (still not buying it yet) and there’s some big news about City. It appears as though the start of the summer sale may be just beginning; the report stated that Wimbledon have tabled a near £3 million bid for Stevie Lomas! This came as a bit of a shock so I scanned further down the report and I’m sure it mentioned that AB was already looking for a replacement!

So with the departure of Flipper and Lomas (our most improved player last season?) just who’s gonna do the midfield spade work and leave Gio to create his magic? We can’t expect Brown to fit straight into the rôle with no experienced support, unless Clough is gonna be given the job?

No doubt more news will follow, hopefully in the negative, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Martin Ford (


City’s pre-season game at Cork City has been switched from Sunday 21st July to the evening of Saturday 20th July, according to the MUEN. Well, actually the article said June but I’m sure they meant July!

Paul Howarth (


I was watching TV a few days before the Germany game and they had Britain’s leading colour expert commenting on the grey kits. She said that grey was a bad colour to play in but she had an idea as to the perfect colour for a football team. Purple. What colour is the new away kit again?


Plum/burgundy fading away to white, top to bottom sounds ****ing awful. But then the last one wasn’t great – red and black stripes would be OK but IMO those funny grey bits over the shoulders just made it look crap. Can anyone out there remember a good looking City away kit? My memory’s a bit ropey, but I can’t.

Also, can anyone tell us how much Umbro are paying to make City’s kit – presumably less than the Rags’ £80 million over three years deal – and if they actually take it seriously? It seems to me they’re only concerned about making the U****d kits. Maybe City should be looking for a new manufacturer. (actually just typed ‘new manager’ by mistake. Freudian slip, honest!)

Julian Griffiths (

It is rumoured that City are very unhappy with Umbro and their promotion of all things Rag at every other clubs’ expense. Could be that we’ll be getting a new manufacturer after the end of the coming season.



I can’t believe it. I’ve just had a really crap weekend and now this to kick off the week. What the hell are they playing at? Sell Stevie Lomas to Wimbledon!

  • he was arguably the most improved player last season once he regained full fitness after his injury at Palace in the CCC
  • he never gave less than 100% (see injury above)
  • he actually got forward and scored
  • who’s going to look out for Kinky?
  • how the hell have we become a selling club who have to sell to Wimbledon?

I can’t work it out at all. The fee’s derisory in today’s market; we’ve only just sold the exact same player in all but name, Flip Flop, for twice this amount to Blackburn and I thought that everyone kept saying that we needed players who were willing to battle for the club and each other to get back into the Premiership.

My only suspicion is that there’s a deeper reason. I seem to remember that when there were the indiscipline issues during last season his name cropped up rather a lot. A bad influence on the younger players perhaps?

They’d better come up with something good to explain this one away. We’ve just seen our midfield go for under £5 million.

Let’s hope he rejects the move or it falls apart à la Quinn last year.

Stay Blue (we will if no-one else does), Mark Helsby (


So now Lomas has gone as well – the 2 best midfielders the club had have both been sold, by Alan Ball! – do we want to get out of Division 1? Lomas, although I’ll admit I’m not the biggest fan of, is exactly the sort of player we need in Div 1. Do we really think we can play ourselves out of this Division playing nice, neat, pretty football? I don’t think so.

Surely he can’t have wanted a move out of ambition! – “Yeah I really want to go to a Premiership club of Wimbledon’s standing – it’s my dream to play Premiership football in front of 5,000 fans every other week!!”

Alan Ball’s having a laugh surely – as if he hasn’t done enough damage already!

Dave Zech (


Just a line or two to ask for help. Is there anyone who knows where I can get cheap travel to away games in the Failsworth area? Is there a City Supporters’ Club anywhere near?

My beloved and I (just in case she sees this on MCIVTA) would like to get to a few away games next season (if I can get two tickets), and would of course like to get there as cheaply as possible, so we can have one or two more pints of the falling down water!!

Also, does anyone know where Steven Bordman is; I went to school with him and his brother Andy? I met up with them at the Villa match in the Dutton Arms and he said that his girlfriend got MCIVTA, so if you are her, get him to ring like he said he would!

Well, that’s all from the lost and found section, next week: ‘Was Lord Lucan hiding in City’s back four? Was Shergar playing in nets for the Blues? All this and more in next week’s soreaway MCIVTA

Tony Hulme (


I feel this is being a bit presumptious but it came to me as I was sitting on the tube yesterday, and thought I would share it with everyone!

To the tune of Three Lions

We’re going up
We’re going up
We’re going City are going up

Three Points for a win
Georgian star still shining
Second best to Reds
Never stopped my cheering


Any comments or improvements would be well received, let me know what you all think!

James Talbot (


The answer should be obvious to most of the subscribers. Because they are the only team worth supporting, at least that’s what I tell my wife who is Scottish.

Actually my tale is one of near permanent exile. I have seen City play ‘live’ on only about twenty occasions and have generally followed them from afar. I used to live as a child in Stretford and 90% of the kids at school were Red and were mad about Georgie Best and the Beatles. Probably out of contrariness as everyone supported United I had to support City. My ambition as a child was to see City win a local derby, all the other matches were unimportant as long as we could beat United. However, my dad had other ideas, he was a United man and the first match he took me to see was United playing Forest. Best scored a penalty in a one all draw. He did though, take me to see City a few times. We also had a next door neighbour who was a keen Blue and knew some of the players and would take me to the occasional match. I was City mad but barely knew anything about football. This was in City’s greatest era, I remember watching the FA Cup Final on TV and shouting the house down when Young scored.

Shortly, my exile from Manchester began; we moved to Cheshire and few City fans lived nearby. There were lots of scousers at school and everyone supported Liverpool or Everton, or for the non-scousers United. My father was too busy to take me to many games. I could still watch City on the big match on ITV or occasionally on MOTD, but rarely live. My main memory from this stage is buying Rodney Marsh, being top of the league by a point and still being theoretically unable to win it even if all the other matches could be fixed. I don’t know if this is accurate but it is my recollection as an eleven year-old.

My exile became more distant as I was sent to boarding school in the south. Rugby was the sport and we were not allowed to watch television. My following of football was limited largely to the newspapers and radio 2. I remember cheering as Law scored against United to send them down to Division 2 and desperately hoping the result would stand after the pitch invasion before the end. Hooliganism was a problem and I was not allowed to go to matches on my own in the holidays. I did get to see QPR play at this time as my cousins supported them and I visited them frequently. They had a good team with a City old boy Stan Bowles always impressive.

My exile continued; I went to university and subsequently to work in Scotland, football was taken far more seriously than at boarding school though most folk supported Celtic or Rangers even if they have never lived in Glasgow (sound familiar?). I watched some matches and remember an overweight Best waddle around Easter Road for Hibs against Partick Thistle. He still had one or two flashes where passes were played that none of the other players could have dreamed of but Hibs and Thistle were pretty awful then. City were harder to follow, TV showed Scottish football and the papers reported it. I had to hunt for the papers without a Scottish edition in the student unions. I did however, manage to go to see the occasional game at Maine Road on the rare occasions that I went home. More often, watching City was going down to the borders where you could get English TV channels. The FA Cup Final where Tommy Hutchison scored at both ends was watched in Dumfries, the replay was shown ‘live’ in Scotland but I forget the score.

Now I live in Hong Kong and watching City play live is unfortunately impossible; sources of info on City are the local press where coverage of the results is good but match reportage is scanty and focuses largely on lesser teams such as Trafford Park Rovers or whoever that team that play in grey are called. TV is restricted to the goals and highlights of the Premier League games one hour a week; the reportage is generally good but superficial. The BBC World Service radio carries radio 5 live each week on Saturdays and is essential listening, though at 7-8 hours time difference I have fallen asleep before the results are announced on occasions and missed other matches due to Saturday night parties. Needless to say the first football fan I met out here has never been to England and is therefore a Rag. I further contribute to MUFC coffers as he always wants memorabilia if my family are visiting. The local football is not too exciting, though usually better than the desperate performance England put on when they came out.

When one has lived away from The Academy for such a long time I probably see the players and teams through different eyes than the regulars. Much of my contact with the Blues is through newspaper and radio interspersed with occasional sightings on TV and even less frequent visits to Maine Road. Living away from regular viewing of City the questions you usually ask yourself are:

  • I wonder is x as good as the papers say, will he be playing when I next seeCity, what does he look like anyway?
  • Are we becoming a rest home for elderly strikers? (Wyn Davies, Law, Kidd,Royle, Channon etc.)
  • Why do we buy Scots I have barely heard of and I livein Scotland? (Gow, McParland, Melrose etc.)
  • Do we need to spend money on another unknown centre back (Symons) when wehave a collection of indifferent ones already? (Curle, Kernaghan, Vonk,Brightwell).

I am delightied that now I can find out the answers to some of these questions via MCIVTA.

Highlights are seeing any good player play well when I visit (Bell a distant memory, Barnes, Hutchinson, Francis, Corrigan slightly more recent). Lowlights are seeing us lose, a 5-1 drubbing by Liverpool stands out as I was with a mate who is a Liverpool fan and I had last seen City at Anfield beat Liverpool in the same season around about Christmas. Still, following City is never purely about pleasure. Living away from Manchester for so long has many advantages but following your childhood team is not one of them.

Bob Campbell (


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

Thanks to Bob, Julian, Tony, T(?), Mark, Dave, Martin, Paul & James.

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 #207