Newsletter #216

So here’s my second attempt at getting MCIVTA out in reasonable time and form here in the heat of Dubai. However, I have used the heat to my advantage by persuading my wife that I was suffering from heat exhaustion when I had the Orbit satellite system installed at mad expense yesterday… this means that I get ESPN Sport which shows all the footie on weekends and can now suffer along with all of you when City are on the box (I won’t mention the other team I watch!). The downside of course is that I will have to put all the family out on the streets (and join them myself) in order to pay for it. Well thank goodness my mother’s coming for a holiday tomorrow; at 75 she can help out as well!!!

Anyway in this issue, news on the short and Curle front, fixtures and prices, more fibs from Honest Al and an update on Matt Busby’s uncle. Finally a strange sighting in Milton Keynes which could have been lifted straight from the X-Files… Read on.

Next game, Scarborough (away), Saturday 3rd August 1996, Kick-Off 3:00 pm


Following much speculation linking Keith Curle to Leeds and Sunderland, he’s finally been sold … to Wolves. The fee was £650,000, representing a loss of nearly £2 million, though a loss was always likely to be incurred considering that Peter Reid made him Britain’s costliest defender when already in his late twenties. One club who certainly haven’t made a loss this week are Blackburn Rovers, who, in case you’ve been on a different planet, sold Alan Shearer to Newcastle United for a world record £15 million fee on Monday. On the subject of Blackburn, City played a series of three half-hour games against Rovers behind closed doors today (Wednesday). Nicky Summerbee gave City the lead in the first session but Blackburn equalised shortly afterwards. The score was still 1-1 going into the final session when Alan Ball “threw everybody on”, i.e. made a number of substitutions, which included giving young Chris Greenacre a run out. Blackburn romped home to an aggregate 4-1 victory in this last session but Alan Ball was said to have been “delighted” with the first hour.

City are keeping their options open on Aussie Damien Mori, who played against Sangsing on Saturday. Ian Brightwell is now fit after recovering from “a slight niggle” and Scott Hiley will play in the two friendlies in Devon next week. Of the long-term injuries, John Foster is nearest to regaining full fitness. Peter Beagrie apparently has ligament damage and Richard Edghill is still struggling.

The Mole


Keith Curle has finally departed from the Academy. He left City for a fee of £650,000 to go to Wolves. City were beaten by Blackburn 4-1 with Nicky Summerbee getting the consolation goal. City are supposed to be playing Scarborough on Saturday I think the venue is Scarborough.

Tony Farrar (


City have arranged to play a friendly at Scarborough on Saturday, according to reports on Teletext this evening. Teletext also reports that Scarborough have a fixture away at Worksop on the same day. If you’re thinking of going I’d call the club first to confirm details.

The Mole


This appeared on CarlingNet ( – when will we be removed?) on the Middlesbrough Pages:

‘Middlesbrough were beaten on penalties after drawing 2-2 with Selangor in the second match of their tour of Malaysia. John Hendrie, a target for Barnsley, and Craig Hignett scored for Boro, who faced former Manchester City striker Niall Quinn in the Selangor side. Branco missed the crucial penalty for Bryan Robson’s side, whose next game is against the Malaysian national side.

So it looks like AB has been telling porkies after all!

David Goodman (

Regular readers of MCIVTA may find that last sentence a trifle hard to swallow…



Two questions answered from MCIVTA 214

Jimmy McMullen was actually Matt Busby’s uncle and, like Sit Matt, began his career with Denny Hibernian. He joined City at the start of the 1925/26 season and played for City in 242 games, including two Cup Finals, losing to Bolton Wanderers in 1926 and to Everton in 1933. In the 1933 game he played alongside his nephew Matt. He usually played either left half back or inside left and gained a number of Scotland caps. McMullen didn’t manage City but in 1933 he left City and went as player manager of Oldham Athletic.

Martin Ford asked for an opinion of Jeff Whitely. I have watched him play numerous games for the Lancashire League team and I have been most impressed. He is good on the ball, has vision and is a tenacious tackler. He can also score goals. I would certainly mark his card as a star of the future.

City vs. Wilmslow Albion

Subscribers living or working in the South Manchester area may be interested to note that a City team containing such names as Buster Phillips, Kernaghan, Beagrie, Foster and Edghill will be playing Wilmslow Albion on Friday 9th August K.O. 7.00pm. I suspect the team will be subject to change at short notice but it would appear that a “reasonable” team will be fielded. Wilmslow Albion’s ground is on Styal Road, between Wilmslow and Styal, opposite Styal Mill National Trust Country Park main entrance.

Neale Hayward-Shott (


This is the latest from our contact at the club. There are still a few elements to some of the questions put that remain unanswered. They are not being ignored but our contact did not know the answers and has gone to find them.

Curle Gone

Keith Curle has been sold to Wolverhampton Wanderers for £650,000. Quite a big loss made here but at least it’s one large salary off the wage bill. Niall Quinn has decided Malaysia isn’t for him but the move to Sunderland is still a possibility. Niall’s future is still up in the air.

Match Practice

With the matches in China called off, the team will be needing some match practice; but who against? On Saturday 3 August the first team will be visiting Scarborough, 3.00 pm kick off and pay on the door. There are no other fixtures arranged yet but the club are trying to fix up a couple more.

Windy Corner Still Windy

Paul Howarth enquired about the likelihood of some ground improvements; filling in Windy corner, a scoreboard etc. Well it seems that such luxuries aren’t to be had, or even thought about until the club is back in the Premier League. Paul also asked about the Board. Who now sits down the table from FHL? Colin Barlow, David Holt, Andrew Thomas (the Greenalls representative), Ashley Lewis, John Dunkerley and David Bernstein make up the new board of directors. The board as it was no longer exists.

Georgia vs. Norway

Tor-Kristian Karlsen asked about Kinkladze and Kavelashvili being available to play in this match on 1 September, despite it being the day after the Charlton match. The club doesn’t know until 10 days prior to the match whether they will be called up or not (how could they not be!). It’s only then that the official decision will be made. However; as there is no direct clash with any domestic fixture it’s very unlikely that they will be prevented from playing.

Georgian Shirts

David Bradbury asked about Georgian National team shirts; why aren’t the club selling them and where can you get them from? The answer isn’t strictly official but this is what Ashley has found out: When the Georgian squad is playing, all of their kit is made especially for them. That is to say the only ones made are for the team. There’s apparently no public demand for them in Georgia, consequently, you can’t get one. We asked our contact about the possibility of having them made; the initial response was “what a good idea, we’ll look into that” but it now seems that the problems associated with the manufacturing of these shirts are too great to justify going ahead. If anyone knows anything else about this, mail me.

Steve Bolton (


First of all, I would like to thank Leo for pinch-hitting while Ashley is gone. We appreciate the community service.

Has UEFA or any of the European football associations given any consideration to a post-Bosman payroll cap for clubs as a tool to maintain the competitive balance? If drafted well and enforced, a payroll cap can be very effective in allowing smaller market teams to survive and be competitive (see NBA during the 80’s).

In order to remain legally within the bounds of the Treaty of Rome, UEFA and the football associations would probably need to include the players’ unions and get their agreement on the payroll cap. The quid pro quo with the players’ unions of course is that in exchange for a payroll cap the players get higher compensation and security/benefits for the players in the lower and middle rungs.

A payroll cap is the only tool I can think of to maintain the competitive balance after Bosman. I am afraid that if something like a payroll cap is not instituted the competitive balance is toast and smaller clubs or clubs struggling financially (City?) will cease to be competitive, and may even fold.

One other option to consider is to institute within each country the equivalent of a NFL draft where the clubs at the bottom of the third division draft young talent first, with the Premier League Champions drafting last. If you are drafted by a club, you have to sign with them. Not sure that would work within the European football framework.

Hunter Sheridan, Atlanta, Georgia (

Hunter, that’s all well and good, but what have you done with our Gold medals?



Thought I’d add my two-penny worth on the £650,000 sale of Keith Curle to Wolves. I for one am not at all disappointed. After much promise when he joined City, he failed to deliver either as a 100% reliable defender or as a creative force building attacks from the back of the field. Sure he was the best in the business at taking the p**s out of attackers and making world-class players look like donkeys, but his back-tackling and defensive heading were his only real qualities. Nowadays you even have to query his world-famous pace for which we paid £2.5 million. When did you ever see him:

  1. make a telling contribution to a corner (à la Mr Bruce from the Swamp),
  2. produce an incisive attacking pass from outside City’s box to the midfield/forwards, or
  3. take a half-decent penalty?

So often he wasted the ball simply by hoofing it aimlessly towards Niall and his rare forays into the opponents’ half were, well, rare! Only once in every ten games would he decide to take players on and go “all the way”, but the problem was he never did go all the way. I notice from the poll in MCIVTA that 28% of respondents put Curle top of the “out” list and now their wish has come true. The question now is how will the centre of defence shape up in 2 weeks’ time when we go “Nationwide”? And who will be captain?

P.S. Are SKY planning fireworks etc. next Friday against Ipswich in the same way as we had all that rubbish against QPR when we were the first evening game to be televised when the Premier League started?

Mark Leibling (


First Team Friendly Match Information

SCARBOROUGH vs. MAN CITY, Saturday 3rd August 1996 3:00pm

Admission to the seating area for Manchester City supporters for this fixture is by cash at the turnstiles only. Scarborough Football Club ground is all-seater. The price of admission is as follows – Adults £5:00, Juniors/OAPs £2:00

EXETER CITY vs. MAN CITY, Thursday 8th August 1996 7:45pm

A limited number of seat tickets priced £8:00 for Adults and £5:00 for Juniors and OAPs have been available since Saturday July 20th. Admission to the standing accomodation will be by cash payment at the turnstiles: £6:00 for Adults and £3.00 for Juniors and OAPs.

PLYMOUTH ARGYLE vs. MAN CITY, Saturday 10th August 3:00pm

Admission for this fixture will be by cash at the turnstile only. Seating and standing accomodation will be the same price – £7:00 for Adults and £5:00 for Juniors and OAPs.

Nationwide League Division 1

MANCHESTER CITY vs. IPSWICH TOWN, Friday August 16th 7:45pm

After consultation with the police, the membership scheme has been suspended at this time for this fixture. However, it may be necessary to re-instate the scheme before kick-off.

Seat tickets will be on sale from 9:30am on Sat 27th July. Personal, postal and Dial-A-Seat credit/debit card bookings will be accepted while tickets remain.

In addition supporters may now apply to the Ticket Office for tickets by fax (though not on matchdays). The fax number is 0161-226-1037 and supporters are advised to state their requests clearly, giving all relevant information and a contact telephone number for both daytime and night-time. Please note that all supporters’ fax requests will be acknowledged. To assist supporters, tickets will also be available from Piccadilly Box Office, which is situated in Virgin Megastore, 1st floor, Market Street, Manchester. Tel:0161-832-1111.


Main Stand Blocks B and C              £16:00
Main Stand A, D, E, F, HC, H1, HR, I   £15:00
Main Stand G - OAP's only               £5:00
Kippax Upper                           £14:00
Kippax Lower                           £11:00
Umbro                                  £11:00
Family Stand Adult                      £8:00
Family Stand Junior/OAP                 £6:00
North Stand Adult                      £10:00
North Stand Junior/OAP                  £6:00
North Stand K and L Junior/OAP          £5:00

BOLTON WANDERERS vs. MAN CITY, Tuesday August 20th 1996 7:45pm

This match is all-ticket. Tickets cannot be guaranteed.

Ongoing qualifications as long as tickets remain are as follows:

Season Ticket holders are advised that you must produce application form ‘A’ and your Season Ticket book as per the following details:

Maximum 1 ticket per application form. Maximum 2 application forms per person. A limited number of standing tickets, priced £11:00 for Adults and £8:00 for Juniors/OAPs will be available to Regular Season Ticket Holders only (Not 4th, 3rd, 2nd or 1st year) from 9:30am on Saturday August 3rd. Season Ticket holders are advised to queue from window 10 towards the Main Stand. Season Ticket holders are advised to apply in person for this fixture. If any tickets remain, postal, Dial-A-Seat and Fax-A-Seat credit/debit card bookings will be accepted from 9:30am on Monday August 5th.

4th Year S/T holders – 9:30am Wed Aug 7th
3rd Year S/T holders – 9:30am Thu Aug 8th
2nd Year S/T holders – 9:30am Fri Aug 9th
1st Year S/T holders – 9:30am Sat Aug 10th

Further to this, should any tickets remain, they will be offered for open sale from 9:30am on Monday, Aug 12th.

STOKE CITY vs. MAN CITY, Saturday August 24th 3:00pm

This match is all-ticket. Tickets cannot be guaranteed.

Ongoing qualifications as long as tickets remain are as follows:

Season Ticket holders are advised that you must produce application form ‘B’ and your Season Ticket book as per the following details:

Maximum 1 ticket per application form. Maximum 2 application forms per person. A number of seating tickets priced £13:00 for Adults, £7:00 for Juniors/OAPs will be available to Regular Season Ticket Holders only (Not 4th, 3rd, 2nd or 1st year) from 9:30am on Saturday August 10th. Season Ticket holders are advised to apply in person for this fixture. If any tickets remain, postal, Dial-A-Seat and Fax-A-Seat credit/debit card bookings will be accepted from 9:30am on Monday August 12th.

4th Year S/T holders – 9:30 am Wed Aug 14th
3rd Year S/T holders – 9:30 am Thu Aug 15th
2nd Year S/T holders – 9:30 am Fri Aug 16th
1st Year S/T holders – 9:30 am Sat Aug 17th

Further to this, if tickets remain they will be available on open sale from 9:30am on Monday August 19th.

The Shade of heaven, the coolest blue
I will always follow you.

Mark Burgess (


Great idea whoever scanned the new City away top and put it on the Blue View page. That got me thinking: would it be possible to scan say, Paul Hince’s MuEN match report, or say the report from the Sunday papers (with pictures) or anything interesting from the matchday programme or City Magazine and make it available on either here or the Blue View page? The quality of the picture was excellent and you could read the print easily. I think a lot of Blues around Britain as well as us from overseas would really enjoy this. To the Blue that wrote to me last week (I lost your e-mail) yes I’m the one with the licence tag/plate MCFC 1 who was in the programme 2 years ago. My old fella was the one in the programme this season stood next to Gazza in Los Angeles with his City top on!

Stay Blue, Paul Whittaker (


In case anyone is interested, found the August official City mag in downtown sunny Milton Keynes on Saturday. Choices of Rags and Liverpool mags have been in abundance forever, but City? A first (MK being 150 miles south of Manchester).

John Shearer (


I would like to apologise for the incorrect perception which may have been given with the heading, “CURLE SWAPPED FOR A.SHEARER”. This of course should have read “CURLE SWAPPED FOR A SHEEP SHEARER”, a reference to Damien Mori who is of course an Australian ex-sheep shearer. I’m very, very sorry.

The Editor


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

Thanks to The Mole, Mark Liebling, Mark Burgess, Neil, Dave, John, Tony, Paul W, Hunterand Paul Howarth for off screen assistance…

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.

Leo Fewtrell,

Newsletter #216