Newsletter #276

On the news front, it seems that at least one of our strikers will be departing at the end of the season. However, another is potentially replacing him as City persist in their attempts to get Dalian Atkinson. More bizarrely, no sooner has a City player escaped criminal prosecution than another bravely steps forward to take his place! There’s also plenty of opinion and a chance to earn some decent cash, merely by telling the Israeli population what it’s like to be a Blue and have to put up with all those jolly nice chaps who support Trafford United!

Anyone care to do a Why Blue?

Next game, Bradford City away, Saturday 1st March 1997


Bolton are sounding out City about playing their first few games of next season at Maine Road in the event of their new stadium not being ready. This is very much a contingency plan though, since the project is currently two weeks ahead of schedule.

On the subject of next season, club Secretary Bernard Halford says that season tickets for 97/98 are already selling well, particularly to new season ticket applicants. Season ticket prices are frozen until the end of March.

Nottingham Forest are likely to try to complete the signing of Nigel Clough soon now that their takeover is settled and £16 million has been released for transfer funds. Manager Stuart Pearce is reported to be itching to spend some of the money and Clough is near the top of his list.

Paul Lake, speaking on GMR, said that the long term injuries to Scott Hiley, Richard Edghill and John Foster (all of whom he is working with) are progressing well, leaving only Alan Kernaghan as a significant worry. His hamstring problem has not improved and he will be seeing a specialist this week. Gio Kinkladze has already been passed fit for Saturday’s game at Bradford City. Lake also described the new regime under Frank Clark as “a breath of fresh air” and he enthused about the team spirit that has developed since Clark’s arrival.

The Mole


Tuesday 25th:

The Bradford City manager, Chris Kamara, has been voicing his concern over the state of the Valley Parade pitch as he prepares for City’s visit on Saturday. On Monday night a youth team match was abandoned after 32 minutes with the pitch resembling a “mudbath”. Kamara reckons it’ll be difficult to get the surface into any sort of reasonable shape by the weekend, which doesn’t bode well for the likes of Kinkladze and Waddle.

The Mole


City winger Peter Beagrie has been charged with 3 offences of indecent assault and violent behaviour. The charges relate to 2 incidents which are alleged to have taken place in Jersey nightclubs. He has been released on £500 bail and will appear in court on the island on 20th March.

Dalian Atkinson will be returning to Fenerbache after FIFA ruled that he must honour his contract with the Turkish club.

City are being linked with Luton Town striker Tony Thorpe, the leading scorer with 22 goals so far this season for the Second Division club. He is valued at around £1 million.

The Mole
Tony Farrar, Salford Blue (


Just what is it about the players at Maine Road, why can’t they keep their hands to themselves? First it was Andy Dibble who was charged with sex offences which were later dropped and now as if no-one has learned a lesson, Peter Beagrie has been charged with three sex assault claims against two different Women. The allegations against Beagrie concern incidents on Jersey where the team had gone for a three day break. As well as the sex assault charge, he has also been charged with being disorderly on a Licensed premises. Beagrie has been released on £500 police bail and is expected to appear before Jersey magistrates on March 20th.

More bad news…

Mikhail Kavelashvili is likely to end his Maine Road career through governmental red tape. It is almost certain that he will not have his work permit renewed at the end of the season as he hasn’t fulfilled the Home Office’s criteria of playing 75% of games in a season. Although still under contract he will be forced to move abroad without the necessary work permit.

Martin Ford (


City’s Georgian striker Mikhail “Mischa” Kavelashvili will be leaving Maine Road at the end of the season as he has not played enough first team matches to have his work permit renewed. Kavelashvili was signed by Alan Ball towards the end of last season for £1.4 million but despite scoring on his début against Manchester United, he never became a regular in the first team and has not featured in the starting line-up since Frank Clark’s arrival. Kavelashvili’s departure will also mean upheaval for Gio Kinkladze, who lives with Mischa and his wife Tamara.

Peter Beagrie is maintaining his innocence over the indecent assault charges against him but has otherwise refused to comment. The incidents are alleged to have taken place during a three-day break for the City squad in Jersey. Beagrie was out with other players at the time but none of the others are involved. Frank Clark commented: “We are obviously supporting Peter in this and we just hope it can be cleared up.” The club later made an official statement: “The club is very concerned by these allegations regarding Peter Beagrie. We are making investigations but we are not in a position to make any further comment until these have been completed.”

Paul Howarth (


A City squad of 18 arrived in the island of Jersey last Sunday afternoon. On Monday most of them played golf at La Moye Golf Club. Peter Beagrie was the first to tee off and his shot landed three feet from the hole on the par 3 first. Richard Money won the cash but Neil Heaney shot the best round of the day. Uwe Rösler dressed the smartest with a white bobhat with a hanging bob! The lads had an enjoyable break and I think the management got what they wanted from the trip, to get to know the players better.

Bob Young (


Following the bad news about Dalian Atkinson, City are now reported to be pursuing a loan deal to keep him at Maine Road whilst he sorts out his contractual difficulties with Fernebahce. Meanwhile, he continues to train with the Blues.



Nicky Summerbee in action

In spite of the ‘Juridicial Department of the Staff of the Parliament of Georgia’ voting for you know who, the clear winner of the January POM was our ‘new’ forward Nicky Summerbee. Thanks for the large quantity of votes. Paul Monaghan has been knocked off the top spot for the first time this season, with Christine Haynes the only person to match her predictions with the exact result.

The votes were:

1st Nicky Summerbee 37 points (31%)
2nd Kit Symons      23 points (20%)
3rd Gio Kinkladze   21 points (18%)
4th Alan Kernaghan   8 points
5th Uwe Rösler       7 points
6th Steve Lomas      6 points
    Others          12 points

The top 10 in the Prediction League is as follows:

Name                    Played  Points  Average Score
Christine Haynes        5         32         6.40
Paul Monaghan           6         29         4.83
Paul Howarth            6         24         4.00
Sean Cable              4         20         5.00
Tony Coatsworth         3         16         5.33
Gary Sowerby            3         16         5.33
R. O'Neill              4         15         3.75
Alan Fraser             3         13         4.33
Ashley Birch            4         10         2.50
Thomas Bubendorfer      2          8         4.00

Ken Foster (


A bit of analysis of the table (up to and including the Southend vs. Norwich draw on Tuesday night).

There appear to be some grounds for optimism:

Teams we can overtake by winning games in hand:
Charlton, Reading, Huddersfield, West Brom, Swindon, Oxford

Teams we can take by winning games in hand, and improving our goal difference (which will of course happen by winning games):
QPR, Portsmouth

Teams who have to drop points for us to overtake them, assuming we win the games in hand as well (number of points they need to drop in brackets):
Bolton (21), Wolves (14), Barnsley (14), Sheff Utd (10), Norwich (5), Crystal Palace (8), Ipswich (4), Portsmouth (4), Stoke (6), Tranmere (5)

If we assume Bolton, Wolves, Barnsley, Sheff Utd and (probably) Palace are uncatchable, we want them to win all their games and the others to drop as many as possible. The important teams therefore, are Norwich, Ipswich, Portsmouth, Stoke and Tranmere, all of whom we play.

Dan Ellingworth (


Is anyone going to Bradford? If so, are there any pubs around the ground that you will be in? Hope to see you there, I will be the noisy Blue with the rattle.

P.S. Uncle Frank to take the Blues up…

Ross Young (


1. Can we have our 1,600 seats back please?

The attendance for the Boro game was 30,400-ish, and this was alleged to be a complete sell out. No tickets were available before kick off and therefore we can assume that all of the City allocation had been sold. The Boro area looked completely full, so why was our attendance not its purported 32,000? Notwithstanding any seats still in the hands of Birmingham fans, this loss must be due to the segregation of rival groups of supporters (which later events show was probably fairly important). But why did they start selling tickets for Boro fans from the Main Stand end of the North Stand? It must have been obvious that if they didn’t sell all the tickets to the Teesiders then it would mean segregating them on both sides. If they had started from the Kippax end then it would simply have been a case of a single segregation, and thus freeing up approx. 800-1,000? seats for City fans. I am not sure of the validity of this claim, but with many City fans unable to attend (particularly non-season ticket holders) then surely an extra 1,000 seats would have made a lot of difference. I would be very interested to know what our capacity attendance actually is (I’m sure we had in about 31,500 for Newcastle last season).

2. Dibble

Although the violence after the match was certainly started by rival groups of fans no one has mentioned the conduct of the police. It seemed to me that they managed to turn what were fairly minor, isolated incidents into something approaching a full scale riot. They were extremely high-handed and confrontational both outside the ticket office and down Claremont Road. Outside the ticket office the crowd was dispersing fairly slowly, almost certainly due to a combination of Boro fans staying inside for a while after the match ended, and to the sheer number of people trying to exit the ground. But 2 policemen on horses insisted on trying to force the crowd out onto Maine Road, which resulted in a big surge which knocked several people over, including an old man, and ultimately led to it kicking off in a big way. City fans were pushed into Boro fans and vice versa, which resulted in several skirmishes and soon large scale fighting broke out. Had the crowd been allowed to disperse naturally and the policemen concentrated on separating the two groups of fans rather then trying to overexert their authority then there was a good chance that none of the fighting would have happened.

As for Claremont Road, the only Boro fans I saw were at the top end near the ground. Down at the Sherwood/Wilmslow Road end there were none at all. So why the police felt it necessary to drive 2 riot vans down the road at considerable speed (one nearly knocking me over as I was walking along) and then do a “Charge of the Light Brigade” bit with their police horses is beyond me. The resulting violence was thus directed at the police, including one officer on a horse trying to disperse people drinking pints outside the Sherwood!

So although I am certainly not condoning the violence, I am sure most of it could have been avoided with good policing. This should have included dealing with minor incidents quickly and quietly and allowing the crowd to disperse more naturally, with perhaps some subtle persuasion i.e. not officers on horses waving sticks and threatening people.

3. On a lighter note

I was unable to attend the Swindon game due to being in Swindon on Saturday (great eh?). By the way it was still raining and blowing a gale down there, although this time I was sat inside, under a roof. Anyway, it was interesting to note the reaction to City from BBC Wiltshire Sound. We shared the billing with action updates from the other big match involving West Country clubs, the irresistable Sudbury Town vs. Salisbury City (I kid you not). Anyway, Shaun Hodgetts was extremely impressed with City, especially our attendance “only a 1,000 less than watching Chelsea vs. M*n Un*t*d” and our performance; he conceded that Swindon had been totally outplayed and it could have been many more than 3. Contrary to popular belief these southerners seem to be involved in a large amount of Rag baiting. Including a clip from a newspaper with a misprint showing the Scum top of division 3: “that should bring them down to earth a bit” etc.

Anyway cheers for reading these few humble opinions.

P.S. If anyone is travelling to the Bradford game on Saturday by train from Manchester and they’d like to meet up and travel together let me know. I will be travelling to the Bradford game on the 13:24 train from Manchester Victoria, which gets to Bradford at 14:31.

P.P.S. It costs 8 quid for a return ticket.

Stay Blue, Ben Brookes (


Being a Man City supporter located in Sweden it’s rather hard to get hold of all the latest news and gossip around the team. I realise that our position in the table is not the best and that we would have to win almost everything from now to be able to reach the play-offs, but after some calculating of my own, and comparing with last year’s Division 1 table I think that it actually can be done (this written after the Swindon game). I would like to know what the team want for the rest of the season; do they settle for avoiding relegation or do they go after the fifth or sixth place? What does the local press say? What does FC say? And what do the players say?

Jimmy Vidmo … Never give up … (


What do you mean we’ll get our own back on Middlesbrough next season? It’s a bit hard to beat a side who aren’t in the same division as us next season – the Premiership (here’s hoping)!

I saw that feature on Watchdog about us supposedly ripping wee kiddies off, but hey, what are they moaning about, they get to hold Kit Symons’ hand – that must be at least worth oh, 50 (was last time I checked). Perhaps they get to go into the changing rooms afterwards, or something-better, keep a look-out then when Dibble’s around (or we could have a national scandal on our hands).

Are there any City fans reading this in Edinburgh or thereabouts? I often feel like I’m the only one in a sea of 10 year-old kids who idolise the Rags; clearly their brains haven’t developed yet! Just in case there are, get in touch with me…

Clara Suess (


My name is Ari Folman and I am a sports editor in a magazine named HA_IR in Tel Aviv Israel! It’s a big weekly magazine with an intelligent, bright and funny sports section. I am looking for someone in the net who could write an article (2,500 words) about being a Man. City fan, in a city of the biggest club on earth. I need this article because I am trying to build a project about second-best teams (personally I hate United anyway, but it’s not really relevant, is it?). I am willing to pay £175 for the article; it will be translated to Hebrew and published next month.

Thanks, Ari Folman (


I am writing an article for The Gooner, an Arsenal fanzine, on recent departures. I would be extremely grateful for your opinions on the effect and impact of Paul Dickov and Eddie McGoldrick (if any?) since their arrival at Manchester City.

I notice you issue a newsletter and would appreciate if you could ask your readers to reply to me on this subject; please could you also let me know if I can quote yourself, or anyone else who is good enough to respond to this query. I am quite happy for you to use my e-mail address.

My utmost thanks in advance for any assistance you can offer to this regard; as always I’d appreciate a prompt response, with a deadline fast approaching.

With best wishes for Man. City’s promotion (no harm in a bit of sucking up!) if only that it will guarantee us six points next season (bang goes my goodwill!).

All the best, Bernard Azulay (


I am thinking of coming up for a match before the end of the season, combined with a weekend’s merryment. Could you advise me on a couple of sensibly priced hotels/B&B’s?

Andy Muirhead (


I got my icons from the person that advertised them but then my hard drive crashed and I lost them all (along with all my e-mail addresses).

Would the person who sent them to me please re-send them.

Bob -True Blue- Narindra (


Manchester United are about to launch yet another new goalkeeping strip. It comprises a pointed white hood and a flaming cross.

Barry Cox(


Wednesday, February 26 1997


Tuesday, February 25 1997


Sunday, February 23 1997


Saturday, February 22 1997

READING                 3-2    SOUTHEND UNITED

Team                  Played   Won Drawn Lost  For  Against   Points
Bolton Wanderers        34     19   11    4     71    45        68
Wolverhampton Wanderers 33     17    7    9     47    32        58
Barnsley                32     15   10    7     54    40        55
Sheffield United        33     15    9    9     57    39        54
Norwich City            34     14    9   11     51    53        51
Crystal Palace          32     13   10    9     59    34        49
Ipswich Town            33     12   12    9     47    42        48
Portsmouth              33     14    6   13     40    37        48
Port Vale               34     11   14    9     42    39        47
Stoke City              32     13    8   11     40    43        47
Tranmere Rovers         32     13    7   12     44    42        46
Swindon Town            34     13    6   15     48    46        45
Queens Park Rangers     33     11   11   11     44    45        44
Oxford United           33     12    7   14     46    43        43
West Bromwich Albion    34      9   14   11     54    60        41
Huddersfield Town       34     10   11   13     40    48        41
Reading                 32     10   10   12     43    50        40
Charlton Athletic       32     11    7   14     39    47        40
Manchester City         31     11    5   15     39    43        38
Birmingham City         31      9   10   12     34    38        37
Bradford City           33      8   10   15     32    50        34
Southend United         34      7   12   15     33    60        33
Grimsby Town            32      7   10   15     41    58        31
Oldham Athletic         31      6   10   15     32    43        28

With thanks to Soccernet


Contributions: Ashley –
Subscriptions & Club Questions: Steve –
Technical Problems: Paul –

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 #276