Newsletter #279

An awful game on Saturday but we still managed to get the points, something that wouldn’t have happended earlier on in the season. One thing that this performance brought home to me was that we will struggle badly if we get promoted. There were quite a few people after the game expressing the opinion that we need more time to build a team to play at the higher level. And… another addition to the squad looks fairly certain, this time from Tranmere Rovers.

We’ve several reports (thanks), news of the new man, a review of the City mag plus CityNet, more ravings (witty though) from Grand Cayman, more on racism, some opinion, and a Scandinavian Why Blue.

This one reaches 1,385.

Next game, Birmingham City away, Tuesday 11th March 1997


MANCHESTER CITY vs. OLDHAM ATHLETIC, Saturday 8th March 1997

A bright and sunny Manchester day, a 30,000+ crowd and a local derby (of sorts), combined to create an excellent Maine Road atmosphere before kick-off. Sadly however, it didn’t take long before the football on display brought everybody back down to earth.

This was City’s least convincing performance of the new Clark era – there were few, if any, performances of note from the Blues and we were quite fortunate to come away with all 3 points against a quite awful Oldham team.

The team looked tired and short of ideas in attack, very different to the 1st half performance on Wednesday. Much has been said about what a gentleman Tommy Wright is in honouring his word and coming to Maine Road; however, he had another extremely dodgy performance on Saturday with his Dibblesque kicking. A fine shot-stopper, as the pundits would say, but surely unnerving for the defenders in front of him.

There was little in the match of interest to try to summarise. Oldham hoofed it up to the huge Ormondroyd to flick on to no one in particular, and the best chance fell to Banger who should have scored having been put through by our own incompetence. Summerbee created our best chances down the right but there was no balance in the team with no penetration down the left at all – I thought we missed Heaney which says a lot because he is hardly a top class player. Gio was obviously missed, especially as Dickov followed 2 good performances with a very anonymous one, lots of running aside.

City’s goal came early in the second half. Summerbee just beat the offside trap, having been put through following a Dickov handball not spotted by the ref. He cooly and unselfishly squared the ball for Rösler to slot home yet another goal. Sadly this breakthrough failed to lift the quality of the game, and Oldham nearly sneaked an equaliser at the end, but missed from 8 yards out.

In short, a very poor performance but an excellent result to maintain the momentum. I’ll leave you to insert your own clichés about winning when not playing well, this was a game we probably would not have won 3 months ago but the calm and confidence Frank Clark continues to instill in the players seems to make all the difference.

Final score: 1-0.

Dan Rigby (


MANCHESTER CITY vs. OLDHAM ATHLETIC, Saturday 8th March 1997

I turned up on Saturday for my third Blues game in the space of a week, in the hope that the boys would prove that Wednesday’s disappointing game against Portsmouth was only a momentary blip in our march to the play-offs. Sadly, despite the result, I left with the feeling that if we can’t bury teams like Oldham then there’s not much point us going up anyway. Whilst it was true that we were the stronger team and most likely winners throughout I’m sure that a number of our mistakes wouldn’t have gone unpunished in the Premiership.

City lined up in a now unaccustomed 4-4-2 formation,

Brightwell                             Ingram
           Symons         Beesley
Summerbee   Lomas      McGoldrick      Horlock
           Rösler         Dickov

The game was one of few clear cut chances on City’s part with the game-plan seemingly to get the ball up to Dickov and Rösler as quickly as possible in the hope that they could hold it up for our advancing midfielders. This is fine in theory, but when one of your advancing midfielders is the inept Lomas this doesn’t augur well for goals. Personally, if someone has offered £2.5 million for him then I’ll be quite happy to give him a lift to his new employers.

On the plus side I thought Summerbee once again looked positive, although some of his shooting was a bit erratic, Horlock made a number of good late runs into the box and Kit gave another solid defensive performance. The strikers again worked hard for the team and it may have done his confidence good if Dickov and not Rösler had got the goal, especially in light of the news that Gio should be back on Tuesday. In my opinion, space should be created for all three with a return to three at the back and a move back into the middle for Horlock at the expense of Lomie. Saturday’s game showed people like Paul Nolan on GMR’s phone-in that we have not yet reached the stage where we can afford to lose Gio for a long period of time.

In conclusion, I would say that we should be grateful for the points, and feeling glad that the opposition’s strike partnership was Ormondroyd and Banger and not the likes of Shearer and Ferdinand who we still have chance of facing next year.

Paul Slinger (


Although Kinky was sidelined again, the team had proved it could win without him, but having said that he was clearly missed in the Portsmouth game when we showed signs of our former despondent selves. With that strange yellow ball in the sky shining down on Maine Road as we took our seats, we felt certain of victory over our weak neighbours Oldham. The first half was a scrappy affair with ‘head ball’ being the name of the game. We were clearly lacking either Heaney or Kinky down the left hand side as Ingram didn’t look comfortable going forward when it was necessary. Mind you, Lomas seems to have a blind spot on his left hand side anyway. The distribution from the usual ‘Steadie Eddie’ was erratic to say the least but I thought Dickov and Rösler worked hard when they got the chance. Tommy Wright seems to be adopting the standard City ‘keepers kicking skills (or lack of). The second half opened much as the first but I was glad to see Buzzer trying to get a cross in more often and take on defenders but I wish he would learn to get up off the floor in under 10 seconds. After 58 minutes Rösler got a deserved goal when Buzzer unselfishly passed to him from about 8 yards and Uwe hit the ball sweetly into the net. Not the most exhilarating performance but probably one of the noisiest of the season. Despite comments made by Oldham’s manager to the contrary, we were the better team and did deserve to win.

Melanie (


Portsmouth are the best team I have seen so far this season. I thought the game was far more even than the other impressions. First half started all City, but they faded after the effort was cleared off the line and Pompey should have scored when Wright cocked up his goal kick and then Beesley cocked up his back pass. After this both teams seemed to be largely reduced to shooting from distance. There was a bit of a punch-up involving Hall and McGoldrick which the ref failed to sort out properly and this was bad for the rest of the game. I thought Hall should have walked as he started and then continued the fight and McGoldrick deserved his yellow and possibly should have got a red as well. Seeing it on the TV afterwards Hall looked absolutely mad with anger although the racist comments McGoldrick made (allegedly) could well explain that.

Second half started superbly with a well taken goal by Horlock but City then appeared to sit back a bit and Pompey dominated for a long time. I felt we defended far too deep and every time we got the ball back we gave it away again as the Kernaghan school of passing took over. McGoldrick, Lomas and Beesley were particularly culpable. I expected Pompey to get a goal back but when it got to a couple of minutes to go I thought we’d hold on. The ref then just made a monumental series of cock ups to destroy the game. First the free kick he gave. I was directly behind this incident and Hall had Brightwell virtually in a headlock so obviously it was a foul by Bob! This was particularly ridiculous as only a few moments earlier a similar incident had resulted in a City free kick. The kick just had to be put away by Simpson but I’ll swear it was taken from a far more central position than where the foul occurred. Good free kick though.

There then proceeded to be an awful challenge by Brown (I think Beesley got booked for it but I was so incensed by their goal incident I can’t be sure) and then the guy he tackled punched him and got away with it. Hall got in another shoving match, Hillier threw the ball in Brown’s face and for all these incidents the ref did nothing. I think the niggle factor to this game would have been removed if the ref had sorted out the Hall-McGoldrick incident from the first half.

All in all I was disappointed in the end not to win but I thought a draw was a fair result (just not the manner of it). Symons and Brightwell were rock-like and outstanding. Horlock, Summerbee, McGoldrick and Rösler all started well but faded (lack of fitness?) through the second half.

Finally, City and Stretford at home on the same night with part of the motorway closed. Surely that’s stupid and we should have played on Tuesday? And racism in the crowd. After Pompey equalised a few (single figures) fans in the North Stand to my right and forward screamed racist abuse at Hall and Simpson for the rest of the game. Lastly, did Granada have to run off early to sort out the footage or something? Where was the offside goal and all the incidents at the end of the match? These were only shown after the highlights as if one cameraman had been left to film the last bit while the others left.

Thomas Bodey (


City and Tranmere are reported to have agreed a fee of £750,000 for 25-year-old defensive midfielder Ged Brannan. He is now discussing personal terms. Frank Clark commented: “he’s a good acquisition and will bolster the bid for the play-offs.”

Andy Dibble has gone on loan to Glasgow Rangers until the end of the season.

Eike Immel’s return to Germany at the end of the season is in danger because of doubts over his fitness.

The Mole


Issue 7

Volume 2 Issue 7 (March 1997)

I am convinced that the content and structure of the mag has changed yet again; personally I believe that the new publishers are slowly but surely getting it together with a winning formula, just like the team really!

The cover has City new boy Kevin Horlock and features a big interview – reviewed later. Also, it has this month’s sticker of the month – our ever committed Eddie; going to give you my tuppence worth here and say that I feel it hard to believe that he was racist when we have one black, two Irish, several Northern Irish, Scottish, Welsh, English, German, Georgian, soon to be Dutch, Aussies have been on trial as has a Czech. Hhmm, maybe Eddie only had Alan to talk to on Thursday! Or was Paul Hall just being an arse?

On to the mag…

Usual Photos; I like the one of Uwe bowing to you know who at Oxford, and the usual Diary and Maine Events. Maine Events covers the trip of Gio’s family and has the results of the recent questionnaire about who buys the mag; apparently us City fans are fairly well off?! Guess who was favourite player?

The first interview is with cover boy Kevin. It seems like he had quite a good banter with the lads as soon as he came to City, with Dibble walking up to him and saying “it was you that took that penalty wasn’t it? … Nightmare!” Who had the real nightmare though, Horlock for missing the penalty but still going on to win, or Dibble for losing and letting in his usual foray of goals? according to Kev the Manchester derbies will probable pale into insignificance if what was said in the interview is true: “Their (Oxford and Swindon) mutual hatred is of such a venomous nature that derby fixtures resemble an old firm clash.” Don’t worry he’ll come round!

Next we have my favourite article about my favourite match of the season so far. Appropriately titled: Were you watching Anal Lab; oh my spelling’s terrible… Alan Ball. The article is an attempt into giving fans some idea of the stresses that go on during a televised match at the studio. The only problem is they chose to cover an away match covered by a different network, so there wasn’t too much stress. Instead we get a sort of mini review of what Elton D***head had to say about Alan Ball and the response it provoked from the City fans (“I knew I had started something when the mail started pouring in”). We also learn that the recent turn of form is not down to the new manager, not the ginger one, but Elton himself, he’ll be buying a purple tracksuit soon if predictions like this keep coming on a regular basis! We also learn that from when Gio picked up the ball he carried it for 34 seconds by the time it hit the back of the net – one for all those Stattos out there!

Next one up is – You’re Gorgeous featuring Rae Ingram and a 15-year-old girl who left with the necessity to change her underwear! I wasn’t aware that we had a potential David Ginola at the club, but we do! I will confess to my girlfriend saying she thought he was lovely at Oxford; I put it down to the fact we were no closer than 30 yards, she had no glasses on, and we didn’t have the benefit of television close-up, shows how wrong I can be! The interview commences with Rae expressing his relief and delight at actually having put a run of games together in the first team. I also like his philosphy when he say “accept your flaws as your strengths and things can only get better.” He didn’t get that saying off Lomie now did he? We are also fortunate to have Rae grace our club with his presence, he could have been swallowed in the machine that is the Swamp, but instead his dad, an ardent Red, convinced him that Blue was best. He also states that Blue is still best – let’s be honest though he would, I mean replacing Dennis Irwin would be little harder and tougher than Homer Simpson.

Now, here I think there is a breach of copyright, sort of! We have a new feature being a sort of Why Blue; this month we have four people who offered their reasons. I would like to know how they knew about it, as I have read the mag for quite a while now and never saw anything asking for this? Anyway we have a wide spread of fans, Mr Wild (aged about 45, sorry if your reading Wildy, but you didn’t state it), Sam Eccles (13), Phil “Wolves fan in disguise!” Molyneuex (17) and Billy “only photo I had was the Strangeways one, been there 17 years see” Ross (47). Questions are such like: ‘best thing about City season so far’ – answers unanimous – Frank Clark. Also have the statisticians’ question. – ‘At which ground do you get the best pies?’ Best answer is Wildy’s – “Only sad people test pies!” Anyway you get the drift.

If you want to take part in Blue Watch send in your own thoughts together with a photo, remembering to include your first game, earliest memories of City etc. to – Blue Watch, City Magazine, Greater Manchester Publications, 164 Deansgate, Manchester M60 2RD.

Next there’s an interview with Beesley, you can guess what sort of things go on. We also have an interesting – if not weird – article on what Clive Allen is up to at the moment, and how unhappy he was at the way Reid treated him. Can someone refresh my memory and remind me why he was sent to train with the youth team and would only get picked if no-one else was available?

For of those who read Loaded, you’ll have heard of Bill Borrows, he’s the larger than life character who does weird things such as climbing in Tibet and supporting Man City. He must be mad. Many others will know him as the editor of Blue Print, I never read it, preferring King of the Kippax, but apparently he was the one who started the banana craze of the late eighties and also the Forward with Franny campaign. You won’t see Blue Print around now, as Bill decided it was right to quit it before he started criticising Franny, feeling it would be hypocritical to do so. If only more journos were like this.

Other new features … a fixture list … out of date now but handy, gives you all the scorers as well, would be good if they would give you the star man like the programme. Also get Blue preview giving directions to the grounds. Very useful. Last new one is 20 Questions with… (this month Eddie boy) all the usual stupid mundane questions like “what was your favourite subject at school”, “what’s the worst haircut you’ve had”, “what’s your favourite Abba song” and “what’s your ideal night out.”

Photos – short on the photos side this month, and no centre pullout for the youngsters; personally I think the teenage market is a big one to tap into so more photos please! We only get Steve Lomas and Neil Heaney for our money!

That’s all for this month.

James Talbot (


The Sunday Telegraph has speculated that City utility man Ian Brightwell is the only current professional to have heard half-time team talks from 12 different managers while at the same club, even though Ian is not yet 30 years old. Brightwell has played for Tony Book, Billy McNeill, Jimmy Frizzell, Mel Machin, Howard Kendall, Peter Reid, Brian Horton, Alan Ball, Asa Hartford, Steve Coppell, Phil Neal and Frank Clark. Of the latest incumbent, he says: “Hopefully this will be the last change for a good few years. We need the stability.”

David Yates (


Dark skies with a hue of smog drifting in off the M56. My feet wet and cold, but my heart was thumping. My dream game, my dream. City decided to adopt to a new formation; obviously FC had been watching the new “ROGAINE” training regime implemented by Andy Ritchie.

,,,,Duckworth (Vera)....... Sedgwick (Alma)..........
....................Pele (Eric)..................
Symons (Gene).......................Duckworth (Jack)
..................Kinkladze (Frank).......................
Summerbee (Mike)...Summerbee (Mike)..Summerbee (Mike)
...................Lee (FH)...........................

The line up was chosen because 1-2-1-2-1-3-1 has a nice beat to it. With a beefed up defence strengthened by the late signing of Eric Pele from the “Spudulikeit”, renowned throughout Piccadilly Gardens for the cleanest restaurant floor known. Hey, why not try a sweeper?

The kick off was late, fortunately for me. I was trying to convince the Oldham board that an accent does not qualify me to play on the wing. I managed to escape by claiming to be the bastard child of FHL.

A strong start by Oldham had flighty winger Michael Johnson twice breaking free of the City defence only to be stopped for a photo call prior to making crosses to the poorly marked Engleburt Humperdink. Humperdink, trying to rejuvenate a lagging career, caused problems from the start with his impressive hip movements, causing turmoil between Duckworth and Sedgwick. Both in constant pursuit, but never appearing to close down.

My view was obstructed by a falling tree, so I missed the opening goal; from the reaction of the crowd I understand that Summerbee crossed from the left after taking an incisive pass from Summerbee. The cross was chested down by Summerbee into the path of the oncoming Summerbee, who flicked the ball past Harry Dowd and into the top corner.

A desire for a more consistent attack had led FC to field Mike Summerbee in 3 key positions. This was proving a faultless plan. The Latics’ defence appeared unable to contend with the onslaught of 3 Mike Summerbees and in the 34th minute the gamble paid off again when Summerbee played a handsome 1-2 with himself and once more leaving Dowd confused, chipped into the top left corner.

Obvious friction between the two Duckworths and a political move in light of the recent comments about racism led to the substitution of Jack Duckworth, who had not really done a thing that could be considered constructive during the first half. Duckworth was replaced by a fresh looking Bob Marley. With the arrival of Marley there was a need for a change in the formation. Not liking the 1-2-1-2-1-3-1, Marley has often been an exponent of a faster, more vibrant beat. So Frank Kinkladze dropped back to up the tempo and Lee, who was always willing to adapt, squared up alongside the Summerbees.

The second half kicked off with Marley finding acres of room to move, but his habit of Jammin’ the ball left two of the three Summerbees getting great opportunities, but without the crosses coming in they soon lost heart. The faster tempo of the game began to tire Humperdink and he was replaced halfway through the second half by Emerson Fittipaldi, an obvious attempt by Neil Worlock to inject some pace into the midfield. All was going Oldham’s way for ten minutes, but Fittipaldi was having terrible trouble with corners and after an unfortunate slide into an advertising sign, he was rushed to hospital were his condition was said to be stable.

City sealed the win with a deceptively slow run up the centre by Lee, a delicate chip and there was Pele to clean up.

3-0 to City, an impressive performance against one of the poorer teams in this league, but three points all the same. The attendance of 1,276,000 was a shock, but that’s the price you pay for not making these “glamour” ties all ticket.

No match report next week as it’s FA Cup action here in Cayman, so I’ll be doing the smart thing and not going, electing to fumigate my cat instead.

Dave Lees – South Sound Grand Cayman (


Following on from the complaints of racism at the ground last week I remembered that we also witnessed shocking displays of abuse towards Asian fans at the Arsenal match last year. A big group of pissed-up lads in the Umbro stand started to seriously verbally and physically abuse two Asian fans watching the game and when we told them to lay off – we ended up being the target of some pretty vicious abuse ourselves. Following this we actually wrote to City giving the seat numbers of the people involved and reminding them of football’s commitment to stamping out racism in football and over one year on we have still to receive some sort of reply. The men involved were season ticket holders because we saw them sitting in the same seats for the next few games after but as far as we could tell, nothing at all was done.

Laura Turney (


Hi to all at the Manchester City Web Site,

Greetings from the Fever Pitch Internet team,

As you are probably aware Fever Pitch, the film which celebrates being a football fan, is soon to be released at the cinema. To help support the film we have created a complementary Web site. We are hoping that you will be kind enough to show this some support by simply paying it a quick visit and maybe telling your own users about it.

Here is the official press release information describing both the film and the site;

“Life gets complicated when you love one woman and worship 11 men. Basedon Nick Hornby’s best selling autobiography and film, FEVER PITCH kicks into the net with a great line-up of clips, games, romance, a competition and FOOTBALL!”

Best wishes, Paul Holt (


After reading today’s MCIVTA article about racism, I thought I would share this with you.

At the Swindon game a couple of weeks ago, my brother and myself had the misfortune to be sitting in front of about 4 or 5 drunken idiots who were swearing (fair enough, I do enough of it myself!) and carrying on throughout the whole match. They then started shouting racist abuse to the black Swindon players which was totally out of order. I wasn’t actually sitting next to my brother, he was 2 seats down, but we exchanged disgusted looks and kept our mouths shut. Unfortunately, they carried on and I turned round and glared at them. Wow, you might think, but I was the only female around and was, frankly, scared of the reaction I might get from these big gobs. So we said nothing but made a note of the seat numbers. I rang the club and was told I needed to speak to Jack Richards, the Safety Officer, whose number is 226 4945. Typical City, I haven’t been able to get hold of him despite numerous attempts (there is just no answer). I thought about telling a steward on the day, but I didn’t want these guys making the connection with me in case they followed me or something. I know this may sound cowardly but a girl has to think about these things! (and men too, come to think of it).

So if anyone else hears racist shit like this, give Jack Richards a ring or, if like me you can’t get through, drop him a line. I’m now going to write instead and hope this will make a difference and let people know that not all City fans are drunken, loudmouth bigots.

Here endeth the sermon.

Christine (


Out of the million things I had to do, I somehow remembered that the official Man City webpage, Citynet (, was scheduled to be launched at Portsmouth, so I visited it today. After several weeks of confronting a computer with a fist punching the air as it celebrated the continued construction of the website, I found a blue, blinking imp standing by a Man City logo and holding up a scarf. “The Official Manchester City F.C. Web Site”, read the caption. There was a choice of frames or no frames; and being usually irritated by frames I moved the cursor to select no frames… but wait, something wasn’t quite right! A little splash of the wrong colour! For down at the bottom right hand corner was a credit: “Web site managed by REDBOX”. In bright red. Ugh.

Not wishing to be colourist though, I moved on to the main page: “Welcome to the Official Manchester City Football Club Web Site. Featuring all the up to the minute news and views of MCFC direct from Maine Road.” So far so good. Then it blinked at me… “Note: This site is under construction.” In bright red! Was there some kind of Rag plot to infiltrate our sources of intelligence? There was that glaring typo: “Machester City FC Officials”… Not to mention “COMMING SOON” in… you’ve guessed it… bright red.

That aside, the new site promises to be a useful service for the fans. It is divided into five sections: Club, News, Fans, Shop and Past. The Team News section isn’t working yet, so there’s no competition for the Man City Supporters’ Home Page as yet (btw, there is a link to the Official Supporters’ Club but not to the MCSHP). Nor are Ticket Information and Travel functional. Nor the Shop nor Club History. So little of it is working at present that it was a bit of a disappointment, but hopefully, more of it will have come on-line by the time you read this, and it should continue to expand. However, it does have an excellent player section with stats, short bios (reasonably nonpartisan, with a tactful treatment of Buzzer) and great photos (though Heaney, Horlock, Wright and Beesley are still faceless, with the page “Awaiting more info” on the latter two).

Some of the graphics aren’t working – I’m sure whoever it is at Redbox managing this should know that links are case-sensitive, and finding “The requested URL /citynet.GIF was not found on this server” tends to show up ineptitude (but then again, this is City we’re talking about). However, the Oasis-style icons, good if limited graphics, imaginative blue backgrounds (why is MCSHP grey anyway?) and clean layout scored points.

On the whole, this is a valuable addition to the Net-Blue’s bookmarks, and once it all gets up and running, we’ll wonder how we ever did without it in the first place.

Toh Hsien Min (


…a forward who played for us briefly in the early-to-mid seventies called Barney Daniels? If anyone remembers him, or knows what happened to him, I would be interested to find out.

Here’s what I remember:

Barney played for my local team at the time, Ashton United, who I used to watch occasionally when my father refused to take me to Maine Road. He was a typical forward of his generation – scoring loads of goals but not bothering with the tiresome business of running about.

He also had a “thunderbolt” shot – I remember him in one game shooting after the ball was tapped to him from the kick off!

Anyway, to my great delight City signed him from Ashton in 1972 or 1973? To my 8 year old mind, it felt as if I had personally discovered him. He was pushed into the reserves, and for a couple of seasons ran riot in the Central League, averaging around a goal per game.

His chance had to come, and finally it did towards the end of the 1973-74 season. He played a couple of games (possibly in place of Mike Summerbee, who was perhaps training for his current rôle by recuperating in a bar somewhere?) and hit the crossbar in one of them.

Barney then had to wait until November in the following season, 1974-75, before his next chance came. Famously, he scored 2 goals in a home match versus Leicester, which was televised on Match of the Day.

However, for some reason (laziness?) his career did not take off. He only played another couple of games before moving, I think, to Stockport County. I vaguely recall him spending a season there, scoring 20-odd goals, but still being released. Why?

Eventually he returned to his roots – to good old Ashton United – where he carried on banging in the goals when he could be bothered.

Does anyone else remember him? What became of him? Why was such a prolific goalscorer released? I’d love to know…

Ian Buckley (


In last night’s London Evening Standard Di Matteo says:… “when I was a little boy in Switzerland, I used to watch the FA Cup every year. My favorite English team was Manchester City, although I can’t remember why…”

Kevin Cummins (


For any of you that are considering coming to Loughborough (although I can’t see why you’d possibly want to), here’s two very good reasons not to:

1) It’s too far from Maine Road. Well, only 80 miles, it would only be an hour’s drive (traffic police permitting) if the roads weren’t s***e between here and Manchester.

2) Far too many bloody armchair Rags. There’s a fairly good local team – Leicester – which is well supported round here. Leicester have a lot in common with City – loyal support which isn’t often rewarded, a few too many relegations, and although they haven’t had as much past success as we have, they deserve the good support they get round here, and you’d have thought that they’d be more popular now they’re in the Premiership, and not doing as badly as they were expected to. But look round the town centre and what do you see? Red shirts. Too many of them. People with scarves saying “the pride of the North.” Excuse me? Pride of the North? This is the bloody East Midlands, what’s the North got to do with Lufbra? This is what really gets up my nose about the f***ing Rags. The arrogance, the “we’ve got a divine right to win abso-bloody-lutely everything”, the whingeing when they lose I’m used to, I can live with these Rag characteristics, after all they just make them all look like a bunch of sad t***ers. It’s the ones that parade around small towns nowhere near the Theatre of Hype proclaiming their undying love of, and support for, “their team”, a love which is generally displayed by shopping at a certain greetings card shop here which has a big sign in the window (a window I’m always sorely tempted to put a brick through) proclaiming that they are the official sellers of Rag garbage, these tw*ts that mysteriously disappear when their beloved team lose (and particularly when they lost to Leicester!), something should be done about them. Which is why I’m thinking of starting a political party, one of these single-issue jobs like the Referendum party. The single issue in this case being that armchair Rags should be rounded up and sent to live somewhere very, very far away, like the Falklands, and all profits from the sale of Merchandise and the overpriced pay-per-view TV will be distributed amongst all the other league clubs.

So don’t come to Loughborough. Mind you, it would be nice to see loads of City shirts being paraded round the town centre…

Julian Griffiths (


Well, we are repeating the pattern of results for the first 7 games under Big Frank (is he big?). So we can expect to draw the next 2, win 4, draw 3 and win 4. And since Norwich should now only get 69 points (off the top of my head), we should be in without worrying about goals scored… Not that I’m stretching this approach or anything 🙂

P.S. Bloody ex-City players!

Mike Maddox (


Having read the letter in the last issue on the racist chats at Bradford and those of people condeming the fighting that took place at the Boro match. I would like to condone any acts of violence against racists. Strong as this may seem to those of you who are oblivious to racism, it goes on at every City game and has to stop. If the racists don’t give up after asking politely, smack ’em.

Tony Shaw (


A quick reply to Paul Coleman as I know exactly how he felt on Thursday, I had it all day to, and on the bloody Radio every hour, Manchester United’s shares are soaring today after their stunning win in Europe last night, the club’s value has increased by £11m. I nearly smashed the system up. Mind you what did I expect… it was Capital.

James Talbot (


Due to work commitments, I can seldom get to Manchester on Saturdays therefore I rely on Radio 5 for match reports throughout the afternoon. Today, Stuart (It’s a Knockout) Hall was summarizing the match action. I thought I was listening to a Shakespearean play or some form of Victorian prose. What does this guy know about football, why does he talk in riddles and why are his summaries so negative towards City?

It’s not the first time that I have heard him comment on a City performance and the guy just seems to love having a go at us. Is this me being my usual paranoid City fan self or do others think this guy’s match summaries are blatantly biased against City?

Tom Tait (


I wonder if you will post the following request for me…

If there are any City Fans living in Brighton, please send me an email. I have just started working as a contractor with American Express, and I will be in Brighton (Sunday thru Friday) for the next 12 months.

Jack Millington (


I have a ‘Why Blue’ that is quite boring, since it has nothing to do with cup finals or anything like that, but it’s still the real reason. When I was growing up in Sweden, most of my friends rooted for teams like Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal, and a few for Aston Villa, Tottenham and Chelsea. The exceptions were (and are) rare. I felt that I didn’t want to be like everybody else, so I had to pick myself some other team. The reason it became City is that I thought they had the coolest name (I was nine and hardly knew any English). Since then I become more and more interested in City every year, and now I check the homepage pretty much every day. All that’s left now, is to actually go to Maine Road (If anyone wonders why Swedish kids get interested in English football, it’s because every Saturday we can watch one Premiership game on TV).

Opinion: If Curcic really is on the transfer list, buy him!! He’s a good replacement if Kinkladze decides to go.

Sven Östlinger (


Full-time scores and scorers for Saturday, March 8 1997

BIRMINGHAM CITY         2-1    SOUTHEND UNITED           13,189
Forster (6)                    Marsh (69)
O'Connor (pen 37)
BOLTON WANDERERS        7-0    SWINDON TOWN              13,981
Thompson (30)
Frandsen (36)
Pollock (53)
Bergsson (82, 89)
McGinlay (85)
Blake (87)
BRADFORD CITY           3-4    GRIMSBY TOWN              15,219
Sundgot (28)                   Mendonca (4)
Edhino (37)                    Mohan (og 16)
O'Brien (90)                   Rodger (43)
                               Livingstone (75)
CHARLTON ATHLETIC       2-1    CRYSTAL PALACE            15,000
Lee (55)                       Dyer (60)
Robinson (70)
MANCHESTER CITY         1-0    OLDHAM ATHLETIC           30,729
Rösler (58)
NORWICH CITY            1-1    PORT VALE                 16,101
Jackson (11)                   McCarthy (26)
OXFORD UNITED           1-0    WEST BROMWICH ALBION       8,502
Gilchrist (88)
McDermott (4)
Spencer (47)
STOKE CITY              0-1    IPSWICH TOWN              11,933
                               Taricco (7)
Bull (34, 41)                  Irons (55)
Roberts (79)                   Aldridge (57)

Full-time score and scorers for Friday, March 7 1997

BARNSLEY                2-0    SHEFFIELD UNITED          14,668
Hendrie (36)
Eaden (83)

Up to and including Saturday, March 8 1997

Team                  Played   Won Drawn Lost  For  Against   Points
Bolton Wanderers        37     21   12    4     80    46        75
Wolverhampton Wanderers 36     19    8    9     52    35        65
Barnsley                35     17   11    7     59    42        62
Sheffield United        36     16   10   10     61    42        58
Norwich City            37     15   10   12     55    56        55
Ipswich Town            36     14   13    9     51    44        55
Crystal Palace          35     14   11   10     65    38        53
Port Vale               37     12   15   10     44    43        51
Stoke City              35     14    9   12     43    45        51
Tranmere Rovers         35     14    8   13     48    46        50
Portsmouth              35     14    8   13     42    39        50
Swindon Town            37     14    7   16     50    54        49
Queens Park Rangers     36     12   11   13     47    48        47
Oxford United           36     13    7   16     48    48        46
Charlton Athletic       35     13    7   15     43    50        46
MANCHESTER CITY         34     13    6   15     44    45        45
West Bromwich Albion    37     10   14   13     58    62        44
Huddersfield Town       37     11   11   15     41    52        44
Reading                 34     11   10   13     45    52        43
Birmingham City         34     11   10   13     39    42        43
Grimsby Town            35      8   10   17     47    66        34
Bradford City           36      8   10   18     38    60        34
Southend United         37      7   12   18     35    68        33
Oldham Athletic         34      7   10   17     34    46        31

Russell Town (
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 #279