Newsletter #208

Things have suddenly sprung to life with Wimbledon attempting to buy Stevie Lomas, and now it’s rumoured that the captaincy-less Curle may be on his way to Sunderland. So far nothing concrete on any purchases by us, except for a rumour about a Dundee United player. As expected, the thought of Lomas leaving Maine Road has elicited quite a strong reaction and this issue has plenty of it! There’s also discussion of away kits, official MCFC news, more on the MCIVTA FC front and a Why Blue.

Latest news is that we have a new captain!

Next game, Athlone Town FC, Friday 19 July 1996



Keith Curle is to be replaced as City’s club captain and has been made available for transfer “by mutual agreement” following a discussion with Alan Ball today. Leeds and Sunderland are thought to be interested in him.

There also seems to be some confusion over the Steve Lomas situation, with Wimbledon denying that they have followed up their approach of last month. City have emphasized that any move is up to the player and he is still welcome to stay at the club.

The Mole



It has been reported on GMR that City’s target as a replacement for Steve Lomas is Dundee United’s Christian Dailly (sp?), who is 22 and apparently holds a record number of U-21 international caps. He’s usually employed as a full back but can also play in midfield or even up front. Out of contract at the moment, his transfer fee would be around £400k. Still no news on the Lomas deal, which is expected to raise £1.5 million up front plus another million or so depending on how well he does. The ball is in Steve’s court; he will be welcomed back at City if he decides not to go, or at least that’s what’s being said. Wimbledon have just spent £2 million buying Millwall’s Ben Thatcher; one wonders just how much money they have available to spend?

The asking price for Keith Curle is thought to be £650k.

The Mole


A City XI will visit St. Helens Town on 24th July at 7:30pm as part of that club’s centenary celebrations. Not sure how strong the team will be, given that the first game in the tour of China is only 3 days later, on the Saturday.

The Mole


This morning’s Guardian (Thursday 4th) reports that Steve Lomas has rejected the proposed move to Wimbledon. Also, Curle is now on the transfer list, which I for one consider a good move, as he is now an (expensive) waste of space. I had forgotten he was captain, as he never displayed any leadership qualities on the field at all.

Jeremy Poynton (


This morning (Thursday) the Guardian, Mail, Mirror and Independent all report that Stevie Lomas (“the midfield jewel” – Independent) has refused the move to Wimbledon as their offer was too little to tempt him to move away from City, even though one report suggests it was way over what he is on at Maine Road.

If Curley’s off, make Lomas Captain now and let’s try to keep him here. Can anyone shed any light on the player we’ve been rumoured to be interested in, Christian Dailly from Dundee United? Why aren’t we trying to get him as midfield cover anyway? How much was the rumoured fee? Answers, I need answers.

Anyway, I hope I haven’t tempted a move by a bigger club than Wimbledon by feeling extremely relieved that that move’s gone sour. I’m a bit happier now than I was on Monday morning though.

Also I’ve heard a rumour (fairly reliable) that we’re interested in one of the Russian Euro 96 team. Is it the same one as appeared in reports before the end of last season, Tetradze?

Stay Blue, Mark Helsby (



Kit Symons has officially been made club captain according to GMR.

The Mole


The home and away games against Bolton Wanderers have been moved from the dates originally given in the fixture list due to possible international matches on the affected dates.

  • The away game moves from 27th August to Tuesday 20th August.
  • The home game moves from 31st March to Wednesday 9th April.

The Mole


Wednesday 3rd July

I asked our contact about the talk in the papers regarding Steve Lomas and Keith Curle. Is any of it true? Well the top and bottom of it is yes. Steve is having talks with Wimbledon and the ball is now in his court (sorry, no pun intended). There is some doubt at this stage whether or not he will go. The general feeling is that if he should decide to go, he should (and will want to) go to a better club than Wimbledon. The fee involved would be as reported at about £1.5 million but extra payments would bring this to nearer £3 million. What about a replacement? After putting a severe strain on my powers of persuasion I was told that the club were approaching a Scottish Premier League player who is interested. I’m sorry but I couldn’t get a name or club!

As for Curley, he’s been stripped of his captaincy and transfer listed. When I asked about who would replace him as captain there was no response. However, I know a man who’s brother knows a man inside the club… and the gossip is that it’s going to be Kit Symons. I must stress that this is not “official news” but this guy is usually pretty good. A final transfer note is that we can expect to see lots of activity this week.


Back to more mundane matters; the club hasn’t yet decided whether or not to use squad numbers for the coming season. The new shirt will definitely be unveiled on 23rd July and the team will be back training on the 15th at Wythenshawe Park.

If you have any questions mail me, but please do keep them based on the football side of things.

Steve Bolton (


Some of you may recall that back in MCIVTA 190 I made a request for help setting up a new distribution system for our esteemed publication as I was about to change jobs and the existing system, based on a machine at my workplace, would no longer be available. I’m pleased to announce that the replacement system is now up and running and indeed has been in use for the last few weeks. Big thanks go to Phil Knight and Jeremy Poynton who volunteered the use of their machines (and some of their time) to keep MCIVTA going. Having two machines is a bonus as it gives us some back-up in case of mail/network problems which occasionally crop up. Thanks also go to Kirsten Fussing, Kevin Hopkins and Andy Longshaw who also volunteered to help.

A word of caution to contributors: some of you (particularly Compuserve users) send mail to the distribution address (formerly instead of direct to Ashley. When I finally leave ICL at the end of next week, this address will stop working, so I suggest that anybody with that address in their “address book” changes it to “” (Ashley’s address). Note that the addresses for contributions, subscriptions and questions for the club are listed at the end of each edition of MCIVTA.

Paul Howarth (

Paul forgot to mention was his own not-insignificant contribution; without his help MCIVTA would long-since have expired!



Seeing as AB dared to even think of selling Stevie Lomas, I have decided that I need another MCIVTA footy practice to get rid of my frustration and tension. The date I am proposing is Sunday, 14th July 1996 (Bastille Day when heads rolled I believe). The Duke of Queensbury rules probably with the newly added golden goal option. Should anyone else feel the same way then get in touch with me and I will dust off my abacus and see how many volunteers/fools we have next week.

Robert Watson (


Did anyone ever hear anything more about the EURONET 96 shambles 😉 after they overlooked the best INTERNET team (well we can dream just like normal ;-))))) )? I believe that there is a site:

I can give you a little news, as a bloke from our works actually played for the Rags.

The tournament was split into four groups which contained four teams. The Rags were in the same group as Arsenal, Leeds and Derby. I won’t go into details but Leeds won the group and progressed to the quarter finals by beating the Rags 1-0 (what a shame!). Both teams had won their two other group games so it was the decider.

I believe Leeds fell at the semi stage, which left the final between Middlesbrough and QPR. Boro won 1-0.

Maybe next time we might get an invite!

I’ve had a chat with the bloke who played for the Rags and it popped up during the coversation that maybe we could have a internet Rags vs. City game. He’s prepared to try to get in contact with the Rags players who managed to get to Nottingham, so would we be interested in trying to exact some revenge on them for last season? It’ll also give us a chance to ‘legitimately’ kick chunks out of them ;-))))

It’ll give us a chance to put into practice what we’ve learned at our training sessions.

Martin Ford (


Let me tell you about a nightmare I had the other night. I dreamt that Francis Lee appointed Alan Ball as manager, we didn’t win any of our first twelve games in the Premiership, we lost to the Rags three times, we bought Nigel Clough, we lost 6-0 at Anfield, we got relegated, and Ball is still the manager, the Rags won the double, and the French Angel was voted player of the year. Thnk God it was only a nightmare.

What, it really happened? Oh shit.

Suffering for twenty five years, Peter Jodlowski, Matlock (


Right then, can anyone tell me what is happening with Lomas? The Guardian this morning (4th July) says Steve himself has turned the move down, Teletext says nothing and my mum tells me that the M(U)EN was quiet for the last few days (I won’t read it any more). Teletext does say that Curle is a target for Sunderland. This does annoy me, as I have 5 and Curle on one of my shirts.

Incidently, can anyone tell me whether we will be using squad numbers in Division 1? Finally time for a dodgy rumour. I am currently working in a pub (The Bull’s Head on Manchester Road in Astley if anyone is passing) and I overheard a conversation at the bar. One bloke was saying that Middlesbrough were going to offer £3 million for Micheal Brown. Now this was before the Lomas deal was reported but I can’t see it being true myself; has anyone else heard this?

Liam Hosie (


In response to the question of our best away kit, my personal favourite was the maroon one we wore in our first season back in the old Division One 1989. It was exactly the same design as the home kit – just a different colour.

Also I want to express my disappointment at manufacturers Umbro – sorry MUFC Umbro. City are Umbro’s longest serving customer – they have been manufacturing shirts for City ever since they were established.

No one should have more support from Umbro than City – the youth team even used to model the other kits available in the Umbro catalogues.

No other club in the country – and quite possbily the world – has such a long standing partnership with a shirt manufacturer.

Just goes to show how far loyalty goes these days!

Forever Blue (and desperate for August 16th), Jon Walsh (


The best ever City away shirt was the white one with the black and red diagonal stripe. I think it was mid to late 70’s. I seem to remember Crystal Palace had a similar strip.

If anyone has bought the official City calendar and can’t bear the whole of July staring at Andy Dibble, I’ve got a really good tip. Go back a couple of months and carefully cut out the face of Kinky. For the best results cut through the City badge at the top. When you’ve done this, stick it over Dibble.

A happy July to you all, Joe O’Brien (


I think the best away kit in recent seasons had to be the one which matched the home kit (identical pattern). It was burgundy with a button down collar, the pattern had triangles all over it – see how a bad description can make a good kit sound bad. Many of the people I talk to about City like the one which was like a deck chair.

I must agree on the Umbro front even though they have been with the club for about fifty years, all they seem to want is to make money from United.

Why don’t Umbro ask what the fans want?

Whaley Bridge Blue – Paul Thompson (


I have just read the latest MCIVTA which has plenty of articles about the possible sale of Steve Lomas to Wimbledon for somewhere between £1.2m and £3.3m (depending on what you read and believe). I would firstly like to say that I would find it hard to believe that Wimbledon could afford the higher end of that price bracket – unless they have a big money offer on the table for one of their people?

The main reason I have written is to give my impression of Steve Lomas. Every year my Sunday football club send a team over to Coleraine in Northern Ireland to play the Coleraine branch of the Manchester City Supporters’ Club. As you may or may not know Steve Lomas is from Coleraine and was signed by City from the local team (called Coleraine incidentally). It is a very small and close-knit community and almost every other week some of the Irish lads come over and watch City live at Maine Road (believe me it costs them a fortune). When they do come over they generally get in touch with “Stevie” and if he can he meets with them.

On one visit last year quite a few of them came to watch a game and we all met up with them. It was when Lomas was just recovering from his injury and wasn’t playing so he came out with us. We did quite a bit of drinking (and some dancing) and Steve stayed at one of the lads’ places and met us again at the pub the day after. During the time we all spent with him I did quite a bit of talking to Steve (I can only just remember it and I am sure he probably can’t). The impression I got of him was of a very honest person who only wanted to give his club good value for their money. I think you will agree that this is reflected in his performances for City.

It is also fair to say that Steve is not the most talented footballer in the world – but he is a real tryer. He told me that he was very grateful to City for giving him money for playing the game he has always loved. He is very much a committed player and I am sure he will refuse a move (unless Wimbledon can significantly improve his deal). I know that he was very upset with Horton for not giving him the deal he thought he was worth but I know that he is very much a Manchester City person and would never ask for a move. If he ever plays at Maine Road again I will be one of the first to applaud him for the commitment he has shown to City.

Staying sad and Blue. Joel Adams (100534.715@CompuServe.COM)


Why are we selling all our young midfielders? In the Nationwide the only way to promotion is to battle ourselves out of there. Who do we have now who can win the ball in midfield? Brown.

This is too much to ask of one lad and God only knows what is happening over at Maine Road. Get Ball out and bring in someone who knows how to manage a football team. If this carries on I believe that we could get relegated again.

Simon Donn (


According to this morning’s radio [1152] Lomas is off to Wimbledon, but to rub our noses further in it, it looks as though Coton is off to Sunderland for £350,000.

Are we serious about getting out of the Division via the top end rather than the bottom? There was a rumour in some paper a few days ago that we were interested in Kuba the Czech goalie, who, to the best of my memory, made 2 mistakes in their opening game and 2 in the final all of which led to goals. Am I the only one beginning to despair so early in the season?

Brian Leigh (


To gain promotion from Division One it will require a blend of some experience, but mainly young hard-working footballers. So what in God’s name is Alan ‘bloody’ Ball thinking by selling our brightest young star? OK, the money will be handy in the transfer market but the question beckons as to whether there is anyone better than Steve Lomas to perform that task who will be willing to transfer to a Division One club.

Clubs like Burnley, Wolves, etc. have spent long, successful spells in the top flight but failure to return in the short term can spell disaster, and a generation of mediocrity and lower division football follows.

It does not take a football genius (heard that before?) to realise what City require if they are to succeed in the near future. Let’s not get carried away with this ‘clear-out’ mentality and sell those players we need the most.

I’m beginning to wonder if Peter Swales’ heartattack was brought on by a visit to a fortune-teller. Is it too late to exhume him and attempt CPR?

Adrian Kenny (


It’s bad enough being a Blue in Cheltenham when all your fellow Gloscester Blues have legged it to the USA for a few years, but the post-relegation stuff is the final straw:

If Ball isn’t keen to keep the man he called Flitcroft’s natural replacement at the club, what’s his agenda – make money for Franny or give the fans a team they can be proud of and support in the Premier League?

And Curle has always given 100% for the club – why ditch him now, not subservient enough?

I was looking forward to being at Maine Road on Saturday 17th for the opener, but of course it’s now a Friday night KO – alright if you can get off work but useless if not: stuck in a pub surrounded by (because it’s Gloscester) Rags and Mags fans who couldn’t find OT or SJP even with an A-Z.

I think I’ll stick to Subbuteo: at least my 1970 vintage Blues home and away teams have a decent kit!

Martyn Hansen (


First we had the shock move of seeing Flipper setting off to the moneybags at Blackburn at the end of last season. Then comes the more recent news that Stevie Lomas is considering a £2 million(?) move to the Premiership giants of Wimbledon (mind you I can’t knock him, it is at least Premiership football). This potential transfer comes with the (near) backing of AB who has already made it clear that a replacement will be found, to which the name Christian Daly (?) of Dundee United has been mentioned (this a.m.).

Now following hot on the heals of these bits is Curle being stripped of the captaincy and then being slapped on the transfer market. Hmm, interesting thought here, weren’t these two (Lomas & Curle) openly critical of the manager’s man-management, tactical awareness and training methods last season? God forbid we’re getting rid of fairly decent players because the manager can’t get on with them (Rösler, are you next?); I thought it was the good of the team and club that mattered, not the sensitivity of the manager!

This certainly looks like the start of the clear-out, who’s gonna be next, Dibbs (move to the USA), Kernaghan, Quinn (Sunderland/Sheff U), Beagrie, Frontzeck, Rösler (Sheff Wed/Everton), Gio. If all these players do go, just who’s AB going to replace them with? Will these raise sufficient funds to allow AB to play in the transfer market, or will we be faced with the prospect of more cheap Eastern Europeans (whose names we can’t even pronounce;-)) )

However, there’s an interesting article (Daily Star) that suggests that some of the deadwood in the boardroom may be about to be replaced by a couple of millionaires willing to pump more fresh money (article mentions £3 million) into the club. If this is true why has it taken so long for FHL to realise this is what was needed all along, more financial support and aid. FHL just doesn’t have the individual wealth to support and expand the club. You do need real money to survive and maybe now that’ll start to happen.

With just over six weeks before the season starts, AB must sort things out, we can’t afford to be messing around right until the season starts.

Martin Ford (


Just a thought on the Lomas deal, if the price is close to £3.million and the club is in financial difficulty, it seems to me it would be too good to turn down.

I was thinking about some of the players in Euro 96 and one player that stood out as the same type of midfielder was a kid playing for Switzerland 19 years old, I think his name was Wicky; if this is the case then it makes sense if City can come out of it with a 1 or 2 million profit, other than that I think Bally should be taken out and shot.

All the best for the coming season; just wish I could be there cheering the boys on. Also, a special thanks to the lads who work on the MCIVTA – this is the closest I’ve felt to the club since I left the old sod in 82, see ya for now, Salford Blue.

Phil Cunliffe, Vancouver, Canada (


The time has come to finally get rid of all my frustrations and direct them in the direction of Ball.

I’ve not criticised Ball since he arrived at The (Nationwide) Academy, as throughout the season I saw some encouraging signs, such as a new fighting spirit (amongst most of the players, but not all) and some promising youth players. However, Ball’s man management (which has been commented on before by a large group of people) has to be the worst I have ever seen in my life. He makes Swales look good!

In the case of Rösler I think the comments that AB made were justified and at the end of the day it worked, Rösler began to look good again. If he can’t stand criticism maybe he should find another club (controversial, I know). However, recent events have made me think that AB needs to go on a management course. Firstly he decides to let Wimbledon know that Lomas was for sale, but then says that if Lomas doesn’t want to go he’ll “welcome him back with open arms.” What a load of crap, that must make Lomas feel like the most unwanted player in the world, as Ball doesn’t want you in the team unless he can’t get rid of you.

Next comes Curle! Let’s publicly humiliate him by telling the press he’s been stripped of the captaincy. I won’t argue with the fact that maybe it’s time Curle moved on, but that is no way to treat a player who has served the club for many seasons.

It seems as though Ball couldn’t give a s**t about anybody except Kinky. Kinky may be the best player to grace Maine Road for nearly 30 years but without a good team who want to play for City around him, he’s nothing (although he could probably destroy a few of the teams we are about to meet on his own).

I think I better start praying that Ball starts to get it right before the season starts (or that Venables is still unemployed at Xmas and is feeling like a big challenge!)

Adam Houghton (


In response to the request for ‘3 lions’ songs, how about:

I still see Kit tackle them all,
and when Rösler scores,
Gio’ dribblin the ball,
and Eike’s diving,

Sky blue coloured shirt,
Georgian stars still gleaming,
20 years of hurt,
Never stopped me cheering.

Additions/alterations welcome.

Forever Blue, Big Kev McMeeking (


I liked James Talbot’s idea of of adapting ‘Three Lions’ for the new season. I’d keep the sames chorus but propose a different or additional verse:

‘Brother’ on our shirts
City fans keep singing
Twenty years of hurt
Never stopped us drinking

Hardly Noel Gallagher I know!

Julian Cooke (


It’s in the family I suppose. I don’t really know why I support City, I just always have done. I wasn’t really an avid supporter until a few years ago – since I could never get my dad to take me to a match when I was growing up in Manchester, I was happy enough to watch them on telly. Then when I came to Loughborough University I saw less of them on telly, and started to feel these strange urges to go and sit in the cold for two hours watching grown men kicking a ball around a field, and pay for the privilege. But Lufbra is 70 miles from Manchester, the trains are expensive and s***e and always at least half an hour late (it’s not actually written into the timetable, but it should be), and I was a poor student with too much work to do, so it didn’t happen.

Anyway, last summer, after three long years, I graduated and got a job, still at Lufbra university. Everyone in my lab is a fanatical supporter of some team (mostly Leicester – for such a s***e team, they must have the second most loyal supporters in the world) and, shockingly, no Rags. Naturally, at the start of last season there were a few City jokes flying around the lab (what’s the difference between a lift and Man City? A lift doesn’t take three months to go down. What’s the difference between a cocktail stick and Man City? A cocktail stick’s got two points. How I laughed) and I started to get drawn into this football supporting thing. I also bought a car, making getting to Manchester much easier, so it was only a matter of time. Then one weekend I was visiting my cousin, who had a spare ticket for the Sheff. Wed. game, and that was that. City weren’t great, but Wednesday were worse, and City seemed to have the best of the game. There were a few missed chances in the 1st half, but no shots that really had enough power. But then on came Quinn and Phillips, and before I could really take it in, Uwe had scored and I was out of my seat shouting my head off and singing Uwe’s name. The last ten minutes must have been the most nervous of my life. I was hooked. Couldn’t get a ticket for the Liverpool match, and now the close season is doing my head in. I even (briefly) thought about going to China for the tour this summer. Still, less than two months to go. We’ll **ss on the 1st division.

Stay Blue, Julian Griffiths (


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

Thanks to Julian (x2), John, Joel, Kev, Simon, Brian, Joe, The Mole, Paul, Adrian, Martyn, Martin, Steve, Peter, Phil, Jeremy,Mark, Robert, Adam & Liam.

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 #208