Newsletter #249

Another woeful performance (2 match reports and 2 match views). Meanwhile, there’s quite a bit of news with a rumoured (probably more than that) 2 transfer targets. So, Lee Clark and Gunnar Halle in… Rösler out? Also, more on the investor front…

There’s also Player of the Month, news of the London Supporters’ Club, an encouraging article about Neal (for a change), a history lesson and a nother good Why Blue from sunnier climes!

This one goes out to 1164.

Next game, West Bromich Albion at home, Wednesday 27th November 1996


MANCHESTER CITY vs. TRANMERE ROVERS, Saturday 23rd November 1996

At first glance, the City line up seemed more likely to inflict damage on opponents than any starting eleven so far this season. At last Kavelashvili was in the front line with Dickov. The omission of Uwe Rösler was long overdue in my opinion (Uwe should be “You’ve a” as in; “you’ve a” pair of legs, so use them for support rather than your arse). Anyway, for the first few minutes the prospect of domination was resurrected; Kinkladze was working well with Kavelashvili, the pair creating several chances on goal in the opening minutes only to be denied by the City reject ‘keeper Nixon and his less than confident looking defence. For my money, Kavelashvili was the sharpest looking player on the field throughout the early stages, showing good skill on the ball when in possession and a confidence that has gone missing from most of the rest of the team. Paul Dickov was disappointing, not for the effort he put in because he ran about like a man possessed for most of the match, but his marksmanship was something else. If Dickov, Kav or Lomas had been on target with any of the many shots on goal in the first half, City would have been running away with the game because Nixon was far and away the most jittery ‘keeper to (dis)grace the Maine Road turf this season; this including Dibs.

After the promising opening period from City, it became evident that Tranmere had made the short trip to Manchester with the sole aim of being the most negative and boring side of the season. They were successful. There were more back passes to the woeful Nixon than it was comfortable to count, and if it wasn’t for the cold it would have been easier to go to sleep than watch the game. At the end of 45 minutes the teams withdrew to the sound of some pockets within the crowd booing (not me though; despite the abysmal performance, I don’t think the booing brings any positive results).

Summary at half time: Little promise, no ideas, no score, but lots of snore zzzzzzzzz zzz.

For the second half, McGoldrick (who was clearly limping at the end of the first) was replaced by Frontzeck; within three or four minutes some really poor defensive work from City allowed Ged Brannan to take a totally free shot from about 20 yards. This was certainly destined for the back of the net but for a brilliant fingertip save from Margetson, pushing over the bar for a corner. The corner was well taken, but again sloppy defending allowed Aldridge to head on for Higgins to put Tranmere in front. Here we go again…

City responded with a reasonable spell of determined pressure, so much so that within ten minutes or so of going one down, Kinkladze threaded a delightful ball through to Summerbee whose angled shot somehow beat Nixon for 1-1. Mmmm, Hope yet?

City continued to pressurise but by now Kavelashvili was looking very tired and slow. Neal took him off and put Rösler on. Some more pressure from City as Rösler moved forwards and won a corner which was intercepted by Paul Cooke’s arm low inside the box. Penalty! No. I was at the other end of the ground when this happened and I saw it. Why didn’t the ref? He was in a good position.

The game deteriorated from this point, Lomas was replaced by Clough (why?) and the shambles that started in the first half was resumed. Soon Tranmere started to put together some reasonable moves with Liam O’Brien and Shaun Teale looking quite good. With about half an hour to go, Alan Rogers took up a good ball from ??? on the left, ran with it and put in a reasonable cross. The ball bounced high, hit an airborne Brightwell on the top of his leg and went into Margetson’s net. Again, very poor defending to blame.

Final score: City 1 Tranmere 2

As it seems to be the thing to do, here’s my marks for the players.

Margetson… Not to blame for either goal. Quick off his line when needed and he can kick a moving ball. Perhaps short of match practice and he needs to shout for the players in front of him… 7
McGoldrick… He seemed very sharp when he came to the club, that’s gone now. Seems not to care an awful lot. Very mediocre performance whilst he was on the field… 4
Wassall… Bloody awful, no idea, stands off too much and when he gets the ball he just hoofs it upfield… anywhere… 2 (for turning up)
Symons… Seems to have lost his confidence although today he made some good challenges in the air. Difficult to judge because I feel that for most of the time he’s looking at what the other jokers are doing… 5
Frontzeck… Just too slow. Looked reasonably happy going forward but caught out of position too often and back pedals rather than make a challenge. When he does tackle it’s late. Lucky not to be booked after an outrageous tackle from behind on Higgins… 4

Defence as a unit: 3-5-2 formation just doesn’t suit, if City played any half decent side, judging by today’s performance we would get well and truly stuffed. Defending too deep on the edge of the box will not work. Too easily split wide open and too slow to react… 4

Brightwell… Apart from the own goal a reasonably determined performance. At least he looked like he wanted to win. If only we knew where he was supposed to be playing!… 5
Lomas… Steve Lomas, though not the player he was last year still showed the determination lacking in most of the side. Showed willing to have a shot when the opportunity arose. I don’t know why he was taken off… 5
Summerbee… As usual, laying the ball off and standing rooted to the spot rather than making a run. Too much ball watching and not enough thinking or trying. Although he scored it was by virtue of appalling goalkeeping rather than any effort on his part. Lazy… 4
Kinkladze… Not up to his usual standard but still made enough chances that more accomplished strikers than ours would have been pleased to put away. A few passes went astray… 6
Whitley… Poor passing giving the ball away far too often. Hardly noticeable for long periods. We know he can do better… 4
Clough… Up to his usual tricks. He would be right at home concreted to the spot where moorland paths cross. He could do there what he does best; giving directions to others, pointing the way whilst practising the economies of personal movement. Tackle shy and lazy, he’s not suited at all to this league… 3

Midfield as a unit: They aren’t a unit, no communication, playing each other into trouble and relying on Geo to weave his magic. Some individual effort was evident but it just isn’t enough. This 3-5-2 doesn’t suit these jokers either… 4

Dickov… I quite like this chap, lots of determination and not intimidated by monster full backs. He ran his heart out yesterday, but as I’ve said, he didn’t hit the target… 6
Kavelashvili… Looked sharp and skilful though not match fit. Failure to hit the target was disappointing but I’m sure he will soon show some form if given the chance… 6
Rösler… Within minutes of coming on he was sat down with his arms flapping (again) like a duck stuck in the mud. Seemed to want to make a go of it though moving forward when he could. I think we will see some of the old Rösler when Neil Heaney starts playing in the rôle of a winger. Remember those?… 5

Strikers: The old saying about a barn door comes to mind. They really should be hitting the target. What they need is practice… 5

Steve Bolton (


MANCHESTER CITY vs. TRANMERE ROVERS, Saturday 23rd November 1996

As I left the game on Saturday in freezing rain and a biting wind, the chants of “Lee out” a distant ringing in my ears, my thoughts turned to all those lucky MCIVTA subscribers in warmer climes who are not subjected to such utter crap. The joys of sitting in Australia, The Bahamas or Texas oblivious to the misery us Blues with access to the Academy must suffer!

It started as always with a degree of optimism, Rösler on the bench with the stump Clough alongside and the return of the cranially challenged Frontzeck; the bench was rather crowded with Neal, ably assisted by Book and Hartford et al.

Anyway Tranmere were welcomed and the return of Nixon brought a smattering of light applause from the assembled crowd.

The game began with Kava up front partnered with Dickov. In midfield Lomas who was doubtful prior to the game started with Kinky, Brightwell, Whitley and Summerbee; at the back we had Symons, Wassall and McGoldrick.

The first half was very poor. Tranmere stroked the ball about like a South American club. Tackles were non-existent, the commitment shown by the Blues was pitiful. To be honest the only thing of real note was a disallowed penalty for City from a blatant handball. We at times looked threatening but the finishing was atrocious… the Natives grew restless.

The 2nd half began and within minutes Tranmere were ahead, the goal coming from a corner. Our marking looked very poor indeed, possibly because McGoldrick had been replaced by Frontzeck due to a calf strain.

Tranmere looked like they could go all the way but within minutes City had equalised from a Summerbee shot; he strung a few passes together with Kinky and shot from the edge of the 18 yard box, the ball going under Nixon’s body. He could have done better. The relief from the players was akin to having had a major bowel movement after six days of constipation. I though Summerbee was going to be raped by his teammates.

Kava was brought off and Rösler was brought on, God knows why – he was about as effective as an elderly lady with diabetes and a dodgy hip entering the ring against Mike Tyson, when Mike’s had very bad day!

The midfield was atrocious. Whitley, who to date has shown promise and fight, was very poor. He and Lomas passed more to the opposition than to our players, we seem committed suddenly to firing long balls up the park to our two front men whose lack of height is only surpassed by their lack of pace!

Their winner came again due to poor marking; the number 3 I think had a ball played out to him wide on the left, attacked the space and crossed for it to be deflected off Brightwell… that summed it up: when you’re down it all goes against you.

The introduction of Clough, who spends his entire time on the pitch inside the centre circle, his hands stuffed inside his shirt sleeves attempting to keep them warm, was a pitiful waste of time. Perhaps if Nigel ran occasionally he might warm up.

This was an incredibly poor game; the display against Oxford was primarily a pitiful goalkeeping performance and the team at least showed a modicum of spirit. Today that spirit has gone, there is no fight, no esprit de corps.

I assure you there is not one player who you would have next to you in the trenches. God only knows what our new signing from Southampton thought; introduced prior to the game, I am sure he was outside after with the mob chanting “Lee out, Lee out!”

Ian Ferguson (


After marvelling at our performance against Tranmere I just felt that I had to write a report on it. We lined up like this:-

  1. S**t
  2. S**t
  3. S**t
  4. S**t
  5. S**t
  6. S**t
  7. S**t
  8. S**t
  9. S**t
  10. S**t
  11. S**t


  • S**t
  • S**t

First Half: S**t
Second Half: S**t

This was the worst performance I have ever had the misfortune to watch by a City team. We are in real trouble – relegation could be looming once again. Enough is enough and I’m sick and tired of making excuses to my mates about the way we played – “it was just one of those days” and “we played alright but we were dead unlucky.”

There are no more excuses – we are just s***e, it’s as simple as that. There’s a real possibility of us getting relegated again this season. If the unthinkable happens we can wave goodbye to these 25,000+ gates and get used to getting stuffed by Burnley and Stockport County!

Yours – extremely p***ed off and fed up to the eye-balls!

Jon Walsh (


So we endured yet another defeat, this time by Tranmere. Having missed a couple of home games (Oxford and Huddersfield) I thought it was time to come back and see if the Blues had improved. So had they?

The team:

    NS      KS      EM(3)   DW      IB
        SL(1)   GK      JW
            PD      MK(2)

The first half seemed a vast improvement over the previous fayre I’d been served. Both Tranmere and City very happy to play a reasonably open attacking game. City created the best chances, both of which fell to Kavelashvili. His first chance came from a corner which was flicked on, but his effort from within the 6 yard box was blocked. His second effort came after he stole the ball from a defender and with only Nixon to beat, he managed to let Nixon save his effort. For all City’s industry, Tranmere still looked dangerous on the break and were able to play the ball around with increasing ease. The closest Rovers came was when a 30 yard free kick was saved by Margetson (however, the worrying thing was that there were two Rovers players ready for any rebound, whereas the City ‘defenders’ were still stood on the edge of the box). Frontzeck replaced McGoldrick at half time.

The second half started badly for City, with Rovers scoring from a corner within 3 minutes of the restart. It wasn’t as if Rovers had piled men into the box and outnumbered the Blues, they had the mighty figure of four players in the box. The corner was flicked on at the near post by Aldo and Dave Higgins arrived at the back post completely unmarked to score with a half volley.

This bucked City up and they managed to create more pressure and chances. Rösler replaced Kavelashvili and he didn’t start falling over, in fact for the rest of the game he stayed on his feet. City managed to get back into the game with a goal from Buzzer junior. He cut in from the right and appeared to unleash an unstoppable shot into the opposite corner of the net, under Nixon. However from where I was sat, this wasn’t a shot, it was a firmly hit cross, I don’t care what anyone else says, it was a cross. So would the Blues continue and get back into the game? The answer was no. Tranmere from this point just took total control of the game, they had City running around chasing shadows. They played the game how it should be, decent passes to each other, movement off the ball, creating space. It’s so easy, why can’t City do the basics, is it the players’ inabilities or the coach’s inabilities? The goal looked like coming from Tranmere, a ball was played out to their left wing and the full-back had acres of space to run into (where was the marking?); he ran into the box and hit a low, hard ball that went across the six yard box, beat Margetson and the unfortunate Brightwell could only divert the ball into the back of the net. City had gifted another goal. From here to the final whistle it was all Tranmere, they bossed the game and gave City a complete runaround.

They showed everyone how football should be played (Aldo certainly picked up a great deal at Liverpool), they hardly gave a ball away, if they needed to pass back they would and then build from the back again. They would pass and move, they showed fight and determination, they played as a unit. When are the City players going to show the same enthusiasm and commitment as the Rovers players did? Why are they going to find doing the easy things simple? At the moment I’m pretty sure that if you pulled 11 fans out of the stands they’d give a damn sight more effort and commitment than the current players.

So another defeat led to another demonstration. This time 1,000 braved the elements to express their opinions about the club and board. Unless things change pretty quick the demonstrations will escalate and actually start within the ground. At the moment it seems the demonstrators are happy to vent their feelings and frustration outside, but once it starts inside will FHL leave?

More News…

City have alledgedly offered £500k for Burnley’s free scoring Kurt Nogan. However Burnley have rejected the offer and are now looking for a fee around the £1 million mark. Which according to reports is out of City’s price range (do we still believe the hype about us being a big club?).

Another potential player City have been linked to is Newcastle’s Lee Clarke. The money to fund this transfer could come from the sale of Steve Lomas. It was mentioned that City would hopefully be able to buy Clarke and still have £2 million left over. One problem, just how much do the club think they could get for Lomas and how much do they think Clarke will cost? Anyway, this has gotta be a dream, do you honestly think Lee Clarke would lower himself to come to City?

It’s also been reported that the Dummy’s (Rösler) days at Maine Road are numbered. Neal now seems quite happy to listen to offers for Uwe. He has already rejected 2 £1.5 million bids from Premier League teams. Neal is hoping to be able to sell Uwe for £2.5 million.

Spending spree. It’s been reported that part of the reason why City lost so much money last season was due to loyalty payoffs. £1 million is the quoted figure, the biggest parts are Curle ‘earning’ £300K+ and Quinn £400K+ when they moved to Wolves and Sunderland (due to not asking for a transfer). These payoffs were written into the contracts negotiated under PJS, surely FHL must have known the contents of the contracts? Can he honestly justify selling these players now, would their wages have amounted to the quoted £1 million?

Another new manager, step forward Sergeant Wilko. Once more he’s being linked with job at the Academy of Mirth. I wonder if he’s really interested or once more is his name being banded about because the sports reporters have got no new news! Soon we’ll have got more managers than points.

As Trevor McDoughnut says… And finally a deal has been announced where several persons are willing to put money into the club; the value of the investment: upto £12 million (should go some way to clearing the debts!). A couple of the potential investors have been named and are the founders of JD Sports. I’ll wait until the money has been deposited in the Blues’ bank accounts before I start celebrating.

Martin Ford (


Former City transfer target Mark Schwarzer has joined Bradford City for a fee of £200,000; it had been reported that City pulled out of the deal to sign him because our offer of £250,000 didn’t satisfy Dynamo Dresden but it now seems clear that the sticking point was over personal terms. If this is the case and City aren’t prepared to pay the going rate for players’ wages, Phil Neal may have difficulty spending the £4 million that has allegedly been made available to him.

The Mole
Tony Farrar, Salford Blue (


Neil Heaney has elected to join City rather than Huddersfield (why?) and he signed for £500,000 on Friday night. It’s reported that he was recommended to the club by Alan Ball, which is something I’d have kept quiet about myself! Heaney was presented to the fans before the Tranmere game. Having watched the game he should be pretty confident of getting back into first team action soon.

The Mole


GMR reports this morning (Sunday) that Francis Lee is in talks with a potential investor that could pump £10 million into the club. The investor is believed to be JD Sports, the recently-floated sportswear company that announced record profits of £6.71 million earlier this week. The men behind the company, John Wardle and David Makin, are believed to be worth nearly £60 million each.

The Mole


GMR reports today (25/11/96) that JD sports are willing to invest around £10 million into City. Nothing else has been mentioned as to a time scale but this story has already surfaced before. JD Sports are I think the firm that are helping to run our souvenir shops. I don’t know how the Wigan Athletic fans will feel about this as their chairman Mr Whelan is the main person behind JD.

Tony Farrar, Salford Blue (

Actually Dave Whelan is the man behind JJB Sports, a similar-sounding but entirely different company.



It was reported in Manchester Evening News ‘Pink’ that Peter Beagrie, Richard Edghill, Scott Hiley and Alan Kernaghan are all slowly recovering from their injuries, and in fact Beagrie will be stepping up training this Thursday.

Ben Aaron (


The Independent this morning is quoting a report from the People on Sunday saying “MCFC have made a move for Newcastle’s Lee Clark for £2 million.” What the hell is going on down there?

Stefan Franczuk (
Ross Young (


City have been told that they will have to find £2.5 million to secure the signing of Lee Clark from Newcastle United. City have bid £2 million so far for the 23-year-old midfielder who is likely to be Kevin Keegan’s choice to replace David Batty who will be suspended following his sending-off on Saturday.

City have also renewed their interest in Oldham’s 31-year-old Norwegian defender Gunnar Halle. City were linked with Halle earlier in the season, as were Leeds United, but neither club’s interest came to anything at the time.

Paul Howarth (


City hope to announce an investment of £12 million into the club later this week. The money comes as part of a rescue bid by three local businessmen who will get places on the board in return for their investment. Two of the men are J.D. Sports’ founders John Wardle and David Makin, though it has been emphasized that they are investing on an individual basis, not through the company. The third man has not yet been named. A condition of the package is apparently that Francis Lee stays on as chairman.

Paul Howarth (


I hate to brag (ok maybe not all the time), but on June 12th 1995 (MCIVTA 95) I proclaimed Steffen Iversen as a buy for the future, and cheap too! Now almost 1 1/2 years later Tottenham have offered £3,5 million for him. I still consider him as a better player than Ole G. Solskjaer at United, but the price is reaching the sky on this dude.

Svenn Hanssen (


If you are an exiled Blue in London and want cheap travel to City games, home and away, why not join the London Branch of the City Supporters’ Club? We also have a thriving football team (victors over the Rags twice already this season) and also have pool, darts and quiz teams.

Interested? Then contact Carol Darvill (Membership Secretary) on 0161-440-0788 or via the internet on Compuserve ID 101677,1076; or Andy Cleaver (Secretary) on 0181-977-2767. Andy is currently in Australia until just before the Oldham match so you can contact Tina Robertson on 0181-843-9854.

Hope to hear from some of you soon! Keep the faith however hard and painful it is at the moment!

Carol Darvill (


There were 17 sets of votes for October, and the result was:

1st  Paul Dickov       26 votes (29%)
2nd  Gio Kinkladze     15 votes (28%)
3rd  Steve Lomas       22 votes (25%)
4th  Jeff Whitley       6 votes ( 7%)
     Others                     (11%)

Other players to receive votes: Kavelashvili, Clough, Symons, Frontzeck, Dibble & Brightwell. One wag suggested that we award the accolade to Michael Frontzeck for convincing the immigration authorities into giving him a work permit.

The accuracy League Table for predictions is as follows:

League Table         Played  Points
Paul Monaghan           3      17
Tony Coatsworth         2      12
Christine Haynes        2      11
Paul Howarth            3      11
Gary Sowerby            2      	7
Sean Cable     	        1       6
Per Paulson             2       6
Paul Kelly              1       5
Adam Sowerby            2       5
I.P. Chatterton         1      	4

Voting for the November PotM has begun. Please send in your votes to reach me by December 7th. The matches covered are:

Swindon      (A) 0-2 lose
Oxford       (H) 2-3 lose (Dickov,  Brightwell)
Portsmouth   (A) 1-2 lose (Rodger)
Huddersfield (H) 0-0
Tranmere     (H) 1-2 lose (Summerbee)
WBA          (H) ?

Ken Foster (


Even though I haven’t been at Maine Road since the season opener, I have a slight feeling that Oasis is still being played in the speakers at half time and after the game. Personally, I’m very tired of Oasis and I’d like to introduce a new and more appropriate band (lyric-wise) to be played. Oasis’ lyrics are far too happy and some supporters have to “rewrite” the lyrics to make them correspond with the misery of being a Manchester City supporter. Well, I think I’ve found the perfect band with lyrics that suits a City fan perfectly. The band I’m talking about is called “Manic Street Preachers” (supported Oasis at Maine Road in May, if I’m not wrong). With song titles like; “I’m bored out of my mind”, “La tristesse durera (screem to a sigh)”, “From despair to where”, “Suicide is painless”, “Life becoming a landslide”, “No-one knows what it’s like to be me”, “Hanging on to nothing”, “Everything must go”, “Spectators of suicide”, “Archives of pain”, “Mausoleum”, “Revol”, I think they sum up pretty well the thoughts of City supporters these days…

Just a thought… Tor-Kristian Karlsen (


Article by Alan Hansen in the Evening Herald, here in Dublin 19/11/96, about Phil Neal:

Phil Neal and Graeme Souness were chalk and cheese as captains of Liverpool when I played with them. They will need their full variety of skills as they try and bounce back from major setbacks as managers of Manchester City and Southampton.

Both have tough jobs but they have learned from the managerial masters at Anfield. There has to be something wrong if you can’t pick up priceless experience from the likes of Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan, Ronnie Morgan and Roy Evans.

It might sound crazy given that City are fourth bottom in the First Division but I think that Phil has the easier job. I knew he was going to become a manager because at Liverpool he was always looking to pick up things from the coaches. He was very attentive and keen to learn.

One thing about him that people probably do not understand is how single-minded he is, and he will need that quality more than ever as he tries to turn things at Maine Road.

The infamous Graham Taylor video did him no favours but as Phil himself has said – and as I know full well – it did not show him in a true light. He is an honest, strightforward guy who knows exactly what he wants and how to get it. He is not a wishy-washy type and will impose himself on City.

At Liverpool he was maybe not appreciated until he left because he was the quiet type, even as Captain, but I’m sure he can make his mark at City. The club might have become a bit of a laughing stock but there is only one way they can go and that is up. With some of the players there – and most importantly with 30,000 loyal supporters – I cannot believe they will stay at the bottom for too long.

It might sound daft but I think it’s a great job to have because, despite all the turmoil, they will surely head back up the table – and when they do imagine the credit the manager will get as the club’s saviour.

Sounds encouraging!

Andy Jowett (


Note that HTV are showing next Sunday’s game away at Wolves live; this starts at just after 2pm; I don’t know whether or not Sky 3 are also showing the game, but the pub we go to for live City (dead City?) shuts at 3pm on a Sunday, so we will be donning our funeral gear and watching the game in the comfort of our own armchairs.

Jeremy Poynton (


Don’t get me started on songs.

We’re erratic,
Our forwards seem to be static,
The midfield looks geriatric,
and we need more cash,

In goal is Dibble,
His lack of skill is not something to quibble,
And only one player can dribble,
and we need more cash.

And I want them to know got my mind made up now,
We need more cash,
And I want them to say there’s a big consortium,
The players don’t know what to do,
We’re heading for division two,
The board don’t seem to have a clue,
They’re erratic good job fans aren’t erratic too… or

How many times do bosses change?
How long can we go down the drain?
Where were you when United were on Sky?
Watch us down the table fall?
Can’t blame it all on Alan Ball,
Where were you when United were on Sky?

Someday you will find us, down at Lincoln City,
With the cashflow supernova in the Sky,…

Never mind that great disco hit “Yes sir, I Kinkladze…”

Yours over the blue moon… Jim Simmons (


I don’t know if any other MCIVTA subscribers have received any Junk email… I recently received the following from: (tim and steve):

Message to all “BLUE S***E” YOUR’E GOING DOWN

I have obviously sent them a reply and I would invite you to make your views known. Note the inability to use an apostrophe correctly; perhaps Tim and Steve have been lobotomised?

If you do respond to them please send me a copy, I’d be delighted to read them.

TIA, Ian Ferguson (


A seasonal note. The British Turkey Information Service have short listed Man City for their “Turkey of the Year” competition. We are in the company of such luminaries as Paula Yates, Pamela Anderson, Fergie, and City fan Liam Gallagher. Hold the cranberry sauce.

John Wilson (


From: Manchester City FC official programme.

“…now, when things have been going wrong and the directors and manager have worries enough, they have suddenly become the object of condemnation and abuse… Whether it may be due to injuries, lack of second line support, too many reserves required together, bad buying, injudicious selling, wrong blend, or any other conceivable circumstance, the fact with which the City supporter is concerned – and rightly so – is the position of the club today. The present position is unquestionably very aggravating to our supporters. I would remind them however, that whoever is responsible for the existing state of affairs, it is not the players themselves.

They are fully aware of the shadow which is at present cast on the club’s fortunes and it is undoubtedly having a serious effect on them. They are trying very hard, but unfortunately, some spectators, in their anxiety for points, cannot resist the temptation to voice instructions and implications to the players. While points are all important, it must be obvious to all concerned that a new team is in course of construction… City will undoubtedly come again and probably much sooner than some people imagine possible.”

These are the programme notes of W.M. Shaw, City director, in the programme vs. Sheffield United 22.10.1938.