Newsletter #256

The rumour mill has been kick started once again this week; since the last issue the papers inform us that we’ve been turned down by one management team and are likely to be interviewing a new maanger in the next 48 hours. There’s news that the Wombles are back in for Lomas and of a possible stadium move; player of the month; some clarification of what the rights issue is likely to entail, more on Brighton, and a Why Blue from Austria.

Lastly, don’t forget your musical instruments on Boxing Day!

Next game, Oldham Athletic away, Saturday 21st December 1996


GMR today (Tuesday 17th December) reports that City have again approached Brian Kidd to become the next City manager. It was reported that Steve Bruce was wanted as Kidd’s no.2. Both parties were supposedly not interested in the positions. There was also a report that City were after two players, one of them being a Crewe striker?

Tony Farrar – Salford Blue (


For those of you not living in the UK, for a long time there has been a debate about where a new National Stadium should be built… at Wembley (replacing the current stadium) or a new one in Manchester. The decision has been a long time coming, but as expected, Wembley was today chosen for the new venue (costing £280 million). However, Manchester was given a consolation prize, £60 million towards the cost of a new stadium seating 60,000, this primarily for the Commonwealth games to be held in 2002.

Tonight (17/12/96) on GMR (Greater Manchester Radio), Colin Barlow said that “City would be very interested in moving to the new stadium upon completion, if an agreement satisfactory to both parties could be reached” (I’m not quoting verbatim… but that was the gist). For many fans leaving Maine Road could be something they would be loathe to do. Personally I think it would be a great idea, I have long thought that Maine Road has a jinx on it, and travelling to the new ground would certainly be easier for me (I currently live in St. Helens and travel to the Academy by train and bus). Any comments…?

Secondly, it was reported in “The Sporting Life” that Alan Hudson (very gifted ’70s player with Chelsea and Stoke City) and Frank Worthington (similarly gifted ex Leicester Bolton… lots of other clubs) were very interested in forming a management duo at Maine Road. Personally I have no comment, neither has any track record in management and to be honest it’s the players that make me mad at Maine Road not the management.

Jack Millington (


City’s youth team won their replay at Walsall 4-2; there was a hat-trick for Ulsterman George Doherty and the fourth goal was scored by Jeff Whitley. This time it was City who came from behind after going a goal down after only 2 minutes. The Blues now face Leeds United (whose youth team were at Maine Road to watch the original tie) in the third round at Maine Road on Tuesday 7th January at 6:45pm.

Paul Howarth (


GMR reports this morning that Wimbledon have returned with a “new, improved offer” for Steve Lomas and that Newcastle have made a bid of £4 million plus Lee Clark for Gio Kinkladze. Ashley Lewis is handling transfer business at the moment in the absence of Francis Lee, who is on holiday.

The Mole
Benjamin Aaron (


GMR reports (Tuesday 17th December) that the new stadium that is to be built in the Eastlands part of Manchester (Beswick and Bradford) has been earmarked for City. This is not a new story but there is a very strong chance that City will be given first refusal on this 60,000 all seater stadium. As yet nothing has been mentioned as to whether or not Maine Road will continue to be used or not.

There is also paper speculation that Newcastle are interested in Gio. The figure offered was supposed to be in the region of £4 million plus Lee Clarke.

Wimbledon have also supposed to have stepped up their interest in Steve Lomas.

Tony Farrar – Salford Blue (


I have heard a rumour from a “rag” who is generally in the know about the trivial goings on at Stretford Rovers. The rumour goes, Frannie is trying to sight up a double act as manager and assistant namely Steve Bruce and Brian Kidd. I of course asked him what the punch line was, but he assured me it was not a wind up and went on to say that Kidd has asked for the lid to be kept on while he speaks to United. Any leaks this time and it’s no deal.

John Colborn (


Following Wimbledon’s renewed interest in Steve Lomas, his agent Jim Melrose has been trying to get an improved deal for the Ulsterman as a reward for his loyalty. “Steve turned down what was a lucrative offer from Wimbledon because he felt it was not right for him at that stage of his career. He preferred to stay with City and we would hope that they recognise this loyalty with a vastly improved contract. Under the Bosman ruling, players can move abroad when their contracts expire without a fee being involved, so clubs should really take this on board and protect their interests. Steve wants to stay with City but we will be looking for them to come up with a much-improved deal,” said Melrose. Lomas still has 18 months of his current contract to run and Phil Neal, after fending off speculation that Brian Kidd was set to take hos job, said that the important thing right now was to get ready for the Christmas fixtures but that if Lomas wanted to discuss things with him he could do so in the new year.

Rumours that Newcastle were set to offer £4 million plus Lee Clarke for Gio appear to be pure media speculation. “Newcastle lost last night so the papers had nothing to write about them so they made this up,” said Phil Neal.

With City showing definite interest in becoming the anchor tenants for the new Millenium Stadium in Eastlands when it is completed in 2001, Colin Barlow confirmed that he had already received four enquiries about using Maine Raod, and that he expected more when more concrete details were available.

City’s game at Oldham on Saturday is now completely sold out.

Reserve team left-back Chris Beech could be set to join Chesterfield: he plays in a friendly for them on Wednesday night.

The Mole


The latest news is that Manchester has been given a grant of £60 million towards building a new stadium that will house the 2002 Commonwealth games. This after the powers that be decided that Wembley should be home for Britain’s National Stadium. I suppose we (people north of Watford) should be grateful that Manchester is getting a larger staidum.

Although its initial purpose is to host the Commonwealth games, it must surely be utilised further to make it a viable venue. Certain noises are being made by both Commonwealth games committee and Maine Road about using the stadium to host City’s games. My initial thoughts were to use the stadium to host City’s big games, the Rags, L’pool, Everton, Arse, Spurs, Leeds and use Maine Road to host the smaller matches. However, as we’ve seen nothing in life is certain, so City could be facing the likes of Bury, Wigan, Rochdale in the future.

P.S. Frank Clarke as City’s manager, another undecided opinion!

Martin Ford (


Frank Clark today resigned as manager of Nottingham Forest and is being strongly tipped to be the new City manager within a matter of days. He is reported to be Stephen Boler’s choice to replace Phil Neal and with no compensation to sort out, things could move very quickly. Francis Lee is thought to be cutting short his holiday in the Caribbean so that he can enter negotiations with Clark.

Clark’s resignation pre-empts his likely replacement at Forest following a protracted take-over at the midlands club. They haven’t won a game since the opening day of the season and with no money to change the side around until the takeover is completed, Clark felt unable to do anything about Forest’s plight. He has admitted to friends that he “is eager to take charge of a club with City’s massive potential.” With City’s much-publicised transfer fund waiting to be spent, Clark will know that his hands won’t be tied at Maine Road.

Career summary:

  • Born 9th September 1943 in Durham.
  • Wins the Amateur Cup with Crook Town in 1961.
  • Joins Newcastle in 1963, going on to make 388 League appearances for them.
  • Wins the Second Division Championship in 1965.
  • Wins the Fairs Cup in 1969.
  • Joins Nottingham Forest on a free transfer in 1975, going on to make 166 appearances for them.
  • Wins the League Championship and the League Cup in 1978.
  • Wins the European Cup and the League Cup again in 1979.
  • Becomes the manager of Leyton Orient in 1983.
  • Becomes the Managing Director of Leyton Orient in 1991.
  • Becomes the manager of Nottingham Forest in 1993 and wins promotion to the Premier League at the first attempt.
  • Reaches quarter-finals of UEFA Cup in 1995/6.
  • Resigns as manager on 19th December after failing to win any game since theopening day of the season.

Paul Howarth (


There were 17 sets of votes for November, and shades of last season as Gio walked away with it. In fact the votes were so widely spread that we only had a clear cut 1st and 2nd. The result was:

Gio the model

1st Gio Kinkladze 32 votes (35%)
2nd Paul Dickov   12 votes (13.5%)
    Others                 (51.5%)

Other players to receive votes: The entire squad except Heaney, Immel, Wassall, Kernaghan, Foster and Rodger.

Thank you to P.A. Clover who suggested 1st Beagrie, 2nd Phillips and 3rd Edghill, who actually may all have still performed better than the fit ones.

The accuracy League Table top ten for predictions is as follows:

Name                    Pld.    Pts.
Paul Monaghan           4       21
Christine Haynes        3       18
Paul Howarth            4       17
Tony Coatsworth         2       12
Sean Cable              2       10
Gary Sowerby            2        7
Raymond O'Neill         2        7
Hunter Sheridan         3        6
Per Paulson             2        6
Ronaldo?                1        6

Ken Foster (


As far as the Boler situation is concerned I understand from a reliable source that he does not want to play any part in day to day management of MCFC, although naturally it is his policy to place his own men in control to protect his investment. Boler is thought to be a shrewd businessman and well thought of in Manchester business circles. It follows that there will be changes at board level and within the management of the organisation, although FHL will stay as titular Chairman. Following the issue of authorised shares which Boler will take up, control passes to him. I understand that the deal has agreement of City’s bankers who, assuming they have a standard bank debenture would ordinarily be entitled to reduce their debt from the sale proceeds. There is a view that FHL was really in at City for the money and the glory. FHL plays down the bank overdraft situation (have any of our readers cast an eye on the balance sheet?), referring to “loan notes” of which he is one of the main holders. So what, debt is debt, and FHL, I would bet, is not for waiving his interest on them.

Alan Lingard (


In the New Year, there is to be an EGM at which the resolution to issue new shares will be accepted by the majority (the largest) of shareholders, following which all shareholders will receive a certificate detailing their entitlements. This will be a sheet of paper, with a number of shares, an expected amount of money, a closing date and some boxes to be filled in if you wish to change ownership details. There will be a period of time in which to pay your dues, and if you choose to pay for your shares, eventually a nice new share certificate will be sent to you.

Although you don’t have to pay for your shares on day one, you actually own the “new” shares from the time of issue of the allotment certificate, and can sell them in their “nil paid” form up until the final date for paying for them. If you do not pay for the shares, and you do not sell them on to someone else, the underwriters to the issue will sell them on your behalf at the closing date, and pay you the difference between the selling price and the issue price (if the underwriters keep the shares for themselves, they pay you the assumed market price). Very small sums will not be paid, read the documents.

In practice, a small City shareholder, owning (say) 100 shares will have an investment worth £115 (mid market price of 115 pence, but only – £105 to sell) before the share issue. He will be offered 3 new shares at 80 pence each for every 4 held, so he will get an allotment letter saying he now “owns” 75 new shares for which he will be required to pay £60. If he pays for his shares, his investment in City will now be in the region of £175 made up of 175 shares worth 100 pence each (mid market, 90 pence to sell) after the final acceptance date.

What holders may wish to consider is, do they want to buy the new shares? If they do, fair enough, if they don’t they can allow the underwriters to pick up the shares or sell them to a third party (mates or other fans). Using the above example, the “nil paid” shares will be worth in the region of 20 pence each, so the holder will receive a cheque for about £20, but their investment in City will be reduced to about £100 mid, £90 to sell. This assumes no dramatic movement in the share price; if the underlying price falls, the “nils” may be worthless, if there is positive news the price will rise (but this is not in the underwriters’ interests).

If you don’t want your shares, and can find better things to do with your money in the New Year, it is perfectly ok to sell the “nil paid” on to another City fan who fills in the appropriate boxes, and pays the due amount. Work out the calculations as above, and make a bit of a profit, as the buyer will be getting a few City shares for far less than would be possible through a broker (no brokerage charges, minimum quantity, share stamp duty etc.).

As a non shareholder, I would be prepared to pay the full current share price of say 115 pence for a very small allotment letter (e.g. in the region of 20 shares). Any offers?

Please, please note, I am not offering financial advice here, don’t take anything I say for granted, and always read your documents thoroughly before making any decisions. Take professional advice if you need to.

E-mail me for any further advice, but please note I shall not be reading my mail again until 6th January.

Merry Christmas and Keep The Faith, Martin J Beckett (


Just a quick note before I finish for the Christmas hols to remind people to bring along kazoos/instruments/whatever to the Port Vale game on Boxing Day. The so-called “band” will apparently be sitting at the back of the North Stand and have had the official go-ahead from Colin Barlow, no less! I’m sure they’ll need all the help they can get, so let’s make some noise and have some fun for a change! (I won’t be back in work until 3 January, so if anyone mails me I won’t be able to reply until then).

So have a great Christmas and let’s all hope for better things in ’97!

By the way, are any McVitiers going for a drink before the game on Saturday? If there’s any particular pub you’re meeting in, can you let me know on Friday – maybe we could meet for a few jars and some pre-match psyching up! Not sure how we’ll identify ourselves… any news on the T-Shirt yet?

That’s it, see you!

Christine (


A student of mine is a former Blues’ apprentice and knows some of the current players very well. He reports discontent in the dressing room. Apparently the “local” players have much poorer contracts than those bought in. One particular example is Michael Brown who only earns £400 per week (approx!), is on a month to month contract and is determined to leave at the end of the season. Another very worrying case is Jeff Whitley who has aquired an agent, is on lower pay than Brown and is also making noises about leaving. Perhaps The Mole can elaborate further. It seems the club are being tight with some players. This can’t be right – you get what you pay for. FHL should have another look at the club’s pay structure.

Sorry to deliver bad news but a couple of wins over Xmas will cheer us up. Have a great Blue Xmas.

Rob Simmons (


Managed to get some tickets from the Oldham ticket office for this weekend’s game – Rochdale Road (City end); this is despite ‘sold out’ signs at Maine Road! It seems they hadn’t sent them all through to Maine Road. Maybe worth a try if you still fancy going to the game?

Wes (


Is it me imagining things or: the worse City get the more sign up for this email news.

A brief message to wish you all a happy holiday full of wins, wins, wins for the Blues. I am off for two weeks starting this weekend but will follow the holiday season’s results as closely as possible.

Good luck to us all in 1997 – to lots of good news from Maine Road (play-offs perhaps). Many thanks to all the correspondents who keep us exiled Blues up to date (whether we like it or not!).

The latest “Why Blue” evoked memories of Colin Bell’s return on Boxing Day 1977 against Newcastle. O-0 at half time and on trots the sub. – Colin. Final result 4-0. 48,000 there that day! I have to believe that one day we will see that many again at Maine Road watching players that will remind us of Bell and not just make us pine for players like him.

John Pearson (


Hi All

Blues everywhere or what! This is one true Blue from Swansea, S. Wales who catches 1-2 games/month. There are about 10 Blues who keep in touch in this area and about 5-6 go to matches as often as possible, away matches are nearer in most cases, so any news/info is always well appreciated so keep it up and I hope all Blues everywhere have a great Xmas and an even better New Year. Play offs? ;-}

Nadolig Llawen y Glas (Merry Xmas the Blues in God’s own language; Welsh of course ;-}} )

Jack Cooze (


The following letter is from Ryan Harding, the former Brighton and Hove Albion Web co-maintainer and current Seagulls mailing list co-maintainer. Although it’s not strictly relevant to us – God forbid – it is nevertheless of interest to all football fans. It was originally sent to owners of Web pages so I’ve cut it to get rid of the WWW references:


I hope none of you mind this email. Please forward it to website maintainers outside this list’s readership (which is English football club website maintainers). Please consider sending it to the maintainers of any football or sport-related sites you regularly read.

I’m appealing to all of you who are true football supporters, particularly those in England or near a branch of Focus DIY to add a link on your homepage (be it generic to football or specific to your club).

It could happen to your team! Only 13 years ago, Brighton and Hove Albion were FA Cup finalists and in Division One. Only 5 years ago, they were at Wembley again in the play-off for promotion to the top flight. Brighton are not a small, badly supported team but they ended up with Bill Archer in control for a stake of £56.25. Now he’s plunged the club into a nosedive towards probable extinction (if he remains in charge). We can only guess his motives (and I don’t wish to risk libel by telling you what my guess is) and we even have a consortium waiting in the wings to take over with a new stadium planned, backed by Alfred McAlpine, who built Huddersfield’s award-winning new stadium.

Virtually none of our fans are particularly fussed that we’re 9 points adrift at the bottom of the entire League (this was correct on Saturday but it’s now 11 points due to being docked 2 points by the FA for our troubles). What we all fear is not relegation but the total extinction of the club we love after 94 years in existence. The longer Bill Archer clings onto control of the club, the more desperate we feel our plight will be.

If all football fans can join together to try to save Brighton from the totally unprecedented situation we can give a message that we will not tolerate it ever happening again. If any team in future ever falls into the same situation I shall be wholeheartedly supporting the campaign to save them (yes, even if it’s our biggest rivals!)

The Brighton and Hove Albion Campaign Pages created by Gary Crittenden <> can be found at:

and they detail the chain of events behind the troubles and all the best non-counterproductive ways to support the campaign.

Ryan Harding (


The main theme of the Brighton protest seems to be boycotting Focus DIY stores (owned by Bill Archer), writing letters to Focus DIY directors and stores, writing directly to Bill Archer at his home in Blackburn (Cos he wants to be close to where all the action is), and taking part in peaceful demonstrations.

The protest is totally non-malicious and non-violent.

I know this doesn’t involve City directly, but I believe what is happening at Brighton is very worrying, and may well set a precedent for modern football. This could have happened to any club (10 or 15 years ago Brighton were way above where City are now).

It is important that we, the fans, show our disgust at football being controlled by people with no apparent knowledge or concern about the game. We must also protest at money and business ruling over the players on the pitch, and fans in the stands.

Cheers to whoever sent me the e-mail on Brighton (I think it was Paul Howarth).

Have a Merry, Blue (and hopefully winning) Christmas to City Fans everywhere.

Stay Blue (shouldn’t be difficult at Oldham in the middle of December), Ben Brookes (


I have just read an article in the Electronic Telegraph about the conditions of Manchester getting money for a new 60,0000 seater stadium. One of which being regular use, which the Telegraph pointed to City being the prime target.

I think this would be an excellent idea;

  1. Get us out of Maine Road, give us a fresh start.
  2. Decent stadium instead of 1 decent stand.
  3. Something to be proud of?!

In my 22 years I can remember FA Cup defeat; Full Members’ Cup defeat; 10-1; 5-1; 0-5; and Ball, Coppell, Neal, Frontzeck, The current team bar a few!

End of year awards

Player of Year: Kinkladze (even when he’s bad he is better than the rest!)

Young player of the year: Whitley

Most important addition to club’s history: Coppell (thanks for the memories!)

Shopping list; Chilavert – Paraguayan superstar goalie, Shaun Dundee – German/South African Striker (not at all like Rösler) and Mr Vincent Jones (we desperately need a leader!)

Have a Happy ‘Blue’ Christmas, Gaz Rogers (


Watching the TV yesterday (Tuesday) it appears we are already deeply involved in negotiations about leasing the new Manchester stadium. If this is the case then why do we appear to be ploughing £££££s into ground redevelopment when the likelihood is we’ll be moving out in a few years time?

Jim Egan (


A very good question. After all, I am not from Manchester. In fact, I am not even from England. I am an Austrian, grown up in a tiny village somewhere in the Alps where football is only the second most important sport after skiing.

For some reason I have always been interested in Man City. I remember watching the League Cup Final 1976 – not live, but still – and the first leg of the 1981 FA Cup Final, when poor Tommy Hutchinson scored for both teams.

But I really started to support City when I spent 5 weeks in Mansfield with an uncle of mine. I don’t remeber what year it was exactly, it must have been around 1986. One of the Blues’ players – Imre Varadi – lived in or near Mansfield and did not have a driving licence at the time. The man who drove Imre to the training and matches was a friend of my uncle – so when he asked me if I wanted to come to Maine Road, of course I said yes. The moment when I first came out of the tunnel and saw the stadium all around and a luminous green pitch in the middle and I haven’t been the same since (ok, it is a quote, but it was like that). After the matches I was allowed to meet some of the players personally. It was a brilliant time for me, and when I had to go back to Austria, I was a die hard Blues fan and stayed so ever since.

Since I am living in London now, I can go to a few matches and see the team live, not just reading about it in the papers or the Web, because I feel that a supporter must see his team playing. Although we are having a difficult time at the moment (and that is an understatement), I am convinced that, in the bright future, there will be better times for us.

Up The Blues!

Thomas Bubendorfer (


Full-time score for Wednesday, December 18 1996


Full-time scores for Tuesday, December 17 1996

BRADFORD CITY           0-0    READING

Up to and including Wednesday, December 18 1996

Team                  Played   Won  Drawn Lost     For Against   Points
Bolton Wanderers        23     11     9     3      46    32        42
Sheffield United        23     12     6     5      40    24        42
Barnsley                22     11     8     3      41    26        41
Crystal Palace          23      9     9     5      47    24        36
Oxford United           23      9     6     8      31    22        33
Wolverhampton Wanderers 22      9     6     7      29    22        33
Stoke City              21      9     6     6      29    30        33
Norwich City            22      9     6     7      29    27        33
Tranmere Rovers         23      9     5     9      31    29        32
Birmingham City         22      8     8     6      23    21        32
Queens Park Rangers     23      8     7     8      29    28        31
Port Vale               23      7    10     6      22    23        31
Swindon Town            23      9     2    12      32    30        29
Ipswich Town            23      7     8     8      29    33        29
Portsmouth              23      8     5    10      28    30        29
Charlton Athletic       22      9     2    11      24    32        29
West Bromwich Albion    22      6    10     6      33    34        28
Huddersfield Town       23      7     7     9      26    31        28
Reading                 23      7     6    10      25    33        27
MANCHESTER CITY         22      8     2    12      26    35        26
Southend United         23      5     9     9      23    40        24
Oldham Athletic         23      5     8    10      24    28        23
Bradford City           23      5     7    11      21    37        22
Grimsby Town            22      5     6    11      24    41        21

Russell Town (
With thanks to Soccernet


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Club Questions: Stephen –

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 #256