Newsletter #295

Plenty of news in this issue: the big summer clearout has begun – both in the playing staff and in the backroom staff. I guess it’s no surprise to see Creaney, Clough and Kave on their way, but the departure of John Foster certainly is; I always thought he looked a good defender, though somewhat plagued by injuries. The biggest surprise is surely Neil Heaney who is now on the transfer list along with Peter Beagrie. Probably the biggest surprises however, are amongst the coaching staff; Colin Bell is going, but more shocking is Neil McNab who has received several plaudits for his work with the Youth Team. As for replacements… in steps one Paul Power!

Still nothing concrete on Gio, as yet…

In addition to this, we have a couple of match views on last Saturday’s game, news of more internet footie, and an excellent Why Blue.

Next game, to be announced.


This will be a fairly poor match view due to the fantastic atmosphere making me forget most of the match. Reading scored with their first attack. Their player was allowed to just run and run, then his shot took a deflection and trickled pathetically into the bottom corner. The second was just as bad, a free kick which should never have been given was floated in; it should have been cleared but was scrambled over the line by their number 2, not Symons. For much of the first half Reading were dominant although City were playing very badly. How Rösler missed a free header I have no idea.

The referee was appalling, falling for a series of dives from Reading players, especially from the number 7 who spent more time on the floor than Rösler used to BC. Why he booked Rösler but missed a host of other fouls was beyond me. I also thought both sides could have had a penalty on another day for handball.

The second half was completely different. I can’t remember a decent Reading attack and City could have scored at least 8 I reckon. Several chances were squandered before Rösler finally put one away and the pressure just continued. For the third the Reading defence went completely AWOL à la City and several players were left trying to put the rebound into a virtually open goal. Heaney succeeded but it looked like they might miss. There was also a great run from Buzzer, a lovely one-touch flowing move which so nearly ended in the goal it deserved, two cleared off the line and one where the ‘keeper appeared to carry it over the line. City should have made the game convincingly safe but didn’t.

Great atmosphere as I mentioned but why can’t we get anything near that normally? I thought it was quite quiet at 2-0 down with the North Stand taunting the Kippax to give us a song. However, the second half was just constant noise, and I hadn’t even heard the City boys chant before.

There are still problems though. A lack of a decent wide man on the left (don’t even think of Heaney as the answer), players who can accurately pass and control the ball without going backwards all the time, full backs who actually know how to play their position well and a 20+ per season striker.

The players did a lap of honour at the end and I felt the fans concentrated too much on shouting for Gio. I know everyone wants him to stay – I do – but what about the efforts of the rest of the team as well? I even thought Gio looked a tad embarassed at all the attention actually. All in all the result leaves me hopeful for next season (although I always am, you can’t support them unless you are can you?) providing a few shrewd signings are made. By this I don’t mean cheap necessarily but good i.e. not being ripped off, not signing complete unknowns from abroad (Gio excepted they’ve all been crap), and not selling our players at cut price – especially Gio. We need quality to complement and enhance the players we already have as well as getting rid of those who are patently not good enough. Here’s hoping.

Thomas Bodey (


What memories I take with me after the game on Saturday. What a fantastic atmosphere, it sent shivers up my spine! Imagine how brilliant it would be if it was like that every week?

Shame, then, that we ballsed it up a bit at first! I couldn’t help but laugh my head off after the first goal went in. I could see it coming a mile off and kept thinking no, no, surely not… oh God, it’s in! Typical, typical City, we have to get off to a crap start and go in for a roasting from Frank at half time. What does he say to them? Why can’t he say it to them before kick-off? Why do we have to endure a comedy half hour before the team decides to start playing?

I wasn’t complaining on Saturday, though – maybe because we had nothing to lose. I didn’t see our first goal because I was behind the goal in the North Stand, but I had an excellent view of our 2nd and 3rd goals. And both Reading’s goals too, unfortunately. Their 2nd goal was somehow scrambled in by Kit in the undignified scrummage on the floor. It seemed to happen in slow motion. I have never seen Margetson look so angry!

I also had a perfect view of our third goal: the panic on Neil Heaney’s face when the ball rebounded off the crossbar and he didn’t think he was going to be able to reach it! Hardly a classy goal, by any stretch of the imagination, but rather fitting with the end of term atmosphere of the day.

Does anyone know why Uwe was booked? That referee was a complete tosser. He should be relegated to a lower division!

And what about Gio? He must have been under unbearable pressure, especially if he’d already decided to leave. I honestly wouldn’t blame him, I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.

So that’s it for another season. I await with interest to see just who we bring in and who we get rid of. Judging by Saturday’s performance, we need at least 6 or 7 new players – I just don’t see how the hell we’re going to get rid of our has-beens (or never-weres!).

Until the friendly in Blackpool in July – have a great summer!

Christine Haynes (

Uwe was booked for protesting – about 5cm from the ref’s nose for 30 seconds during play – that he was being fouled!



Local radio in Manchester is reporting this morning (Wednesday) that Gio Kinkladze has expressed a desire to stay at Maine Road and that talks with Francis Lee will continue today. City are also reported to be looking into signing the Georgian twins Shota and Archil Arveladze from Turkish outfit Trabzonspor. They are boyhood friends of Kinkladze and will be available on free transfers since FIFA have decreed that the Bosman ruling also applies to non-EC nationals moving between EC clubs. Kinkladze and Uwe Rösler will be returning to Georgia and Germany respectively for summer breaks on Friday, so it’s expected that their futures at City will be known by then. Rösler and Kit Symons are both due to be married this summer (not to each other though! 😉 )

The Mole


Former City captain Paul Power has left his job at the PFA to join Alan Hill’s youth development team at City. Power, 43, made 430 appearances for City before it was decided he was past his best. He then went on to win a League Championship medal with Everton. He’s recently been working as a match summariser with GMR Talk Radio in Manchester and, judging by his comments, seems to like reliable grafters in preference to inconsistent flair players.

P.S. Extra pre-season date I missed last time: Falkirk (A) Mon 28 July. Kilmarnock (A) should be Sat 26 July.

The Mole


It was announced at the Reading match that Paul Lake’s testimonial will be on July 19th. The announcer said City are talking to 2 clubs, and I’ve heard that one of those clubs is Newcastle United. I hope the other is Rangers and we get them. If Man Utd can keep playing those Rag loving lot from Parkhead, why can’t we play the Scottish Champs? We’d get to see Dibbs’ silky goalkeeping skills again as well.

Charles Pollitt (


Gio Kinkladze swept to victory in the Supporters’ Club Player of the Year award for the second season running, amassing 58% of the vote. Joint second were Eddie McGoldrick and Nicky Summerbee, and in joint third place were Uwe Rösler, Paul Dickov and Ian Brightwell. Young Player of the Year was Lee Crooks.

The Mole


Nigel Clough, Neil Heaney, Mikhail Kavelashvili, Gerry Creaney and John Foster have all been made available for transfer as the summer clear-out starts. City will not be renewing the contracts of Chris Beech, Ged Tarpey, Sammy Harris and Jim Bentley, all of whom are thus available on free transfers. Eike Immel will be returning to Germany, as announced earlier in the season. Stuttgart are interested in Uwe Rösler as a replacement for departed striker Fredi Bobic but it’s expected that Rösler will agree to a new three-year deal with City. Dalian Atkinson is reported to be a target of Birmingham City and Ipswich Town; he is currently a free agent.

The Mole


Colin Bell, Terry Farrell and Neil McNab have been sacked by City. Frank Clark and Alan Hill will be creating their own youth development team, starting with the appointment of Paul Power earlier this week.

Also, Peter Beagrie and Alan Kernaghan have been added to the “released” list along with John Foster and Mikhail Kavelashvili. The names mentioned earlier in the week are “available for transfer”. Not quite sure what the difference between these two terms is. When it was suggested to Frank Clark that these changes might raise a few eyebrows, he replied “I don’t care whose eyebrows it raises. We have to make room in the squad for the players we will be bringing in.”

The Mole


Tommy Wright is fit again but won’t be playing at Barnsley on Wednesday night (Gary Fleming testimonial); new signing Nick Weaver is expected to play, with Martyn Margetson on the bench. Weaver may be offered out on loan to lower division clubs next season to gain experience, as the Blues already have Tommy Wright, Martyn Margetson, Michael Brown, Nat Freeman and Lee Daly contesting places in the first, reserve, “A” and “B” teams for next season. However, Nat Freeman, out of contract this summer, may make his loan move to Fulham permanent. His cousin, Darren Freeman, already plays for Fulham.

The Mole


If you are interested there is another match against the Rags provisionally scheduled:

Saturday 17th May (Cup Final day), 12:00 – 12:30 kick off (depending when pitch is booked). Location: Armitage Astroturf pitch. If you’re interested then let me know. I’ll confirm more details when I have them.

Martin Ford (


I decided to take the Gio Internet Letter to the match last Saturday to get as many signatures as possible. I arrived at 1.30pm with my brother-in-law Paul who I roped in to help; everyone we asked to sign was pleased to do so except 3 people who were definitely City fans with City shirts, who said on your bike.

I don’t know what they think of Gio, they wouldn’t say; I know City fans are hard to please sometimes but it makes you wonder what people want to see on a pitch.

Anyway, by 2.30 we had got quite a few names, so when we went to our seats in the North Stand at half-time we sent the petitions up and down the rows of seats near us.

And when Gio came out at the end it made it all worthwhile.

When I got home and counted the names we had… 1051 … not bad for about 2 hours work.

We are taking them down to the Player of the Year night (Tuesday) at the social club, to present to Franny and Gio personally.

A lot of people said when signing do you think it will make any difference… I just kept saying it can’t do any harm, just to let him know how we feel about him.

Anyway I’ll let you know how we get on down there.

Terry Thiele (


Here we go players, here’s the latest news regarding accommodation for the EURONET 97 comp, in Smog-monster land (Middlesbrough). As you’ll see the price for what it is, seems a bit steep; however, that may not bother any of us, as once again we need players. As you can see, numbers for accommodation needs to booked by Friday 16th May and with the distance involved, those wanting to play may need to stay overnight twice.

Due to circumstances (distance, other commitments etc.) some of the original players have had to withdraw their services. This leaves me with a bare 11, plus another 2/3/4 possible; this in my opinion is just not enough players.

At this stage, unless I can get some more players willing to travel to Middlesbrough before the accommodation deadline (May 16th) I feel I will have no alternative, painful as it is, to withdraw McVitee from the events, and offer my resignation as ‘manager’ unless someone else would like to take it on.

So come on, McVitee could do with another 10 players, so this is my last appeal. Players of any standard are welcome, it’s supposed to be a fun event, meet other teams and have a drink or three, anyone interested please volunteer.

Your email list has already entered a team for Euronet 97, to be held in Teeside on June 28/29th. Now we need to know how many of you (players and supporters) will want to get your heads down in the dormitory style accomodation that will be available at the site. Please note, that there is plenty of floor space available but no beds. People will need to bring sleeping bags, camp beds, hammocks or ‘women’ to sleep on. Costs should be around £32.50 per person per night, but will probably be cheaper should you wish to hire out your spouse as a bed for the night!!! Please provide a list of names and an indication of whether they require either Friday night, Saturday night or both nights a.s.a.p. and certainly no later than Friday 16th May. It is in your interest to book your piece of carpet/hardwood floor space a.s.a.p. Bookings will then have to be confirmed by you, with full payment (one cheque per team) no later than Friday 13th June. Cheques should be made payable to R.M. Goodair. We will endeavour, where possible, to keep players and supporters of the same team on the same piece of ‘shag pile’.

Your email header should read:

Euronet 97 Accommodation Request: ‘Team Name’
and be sent to with copies to and

For the more discerning Euronet 97 attendees we would suggest that accommodation in local hotels/guest houses will probably be a better option. Please contact these direct. Details of such establishments can be found on the Euronet 97 web page at This will be updated as we receive more details.

Martin Ford (


Here’s a quick thought. As I write Rangers have not won the title yet as they failed to win on Monday; who was in goal? Now if Rangers lose their next two games and Celtic win theirs… bye bye 9-year record. Imagine the scenario – two games full of classic Dibble blunders, how hated would this supposed ‘top class goalkeeper who was hounded out of Maine Road by the fans according to certain sectors of the press’ be in the blue side of Glasgow? We were p****d off with him for his blunders losing us 3 points against Oxford, but a place in Scottish football history?

ASM Peachmant (


I’m no marketing expert but I think Kappa should use the following slogan in their advertising campaigns:


Sends a chill down your spine doesn’t it? Imagine seeing that plastered on billboards up and down the country.

The latest news on Gio yesterday is encouraging, it’s the best news I’ve had since I got the phone call saying Dortmund had just scored at the Swamp! Have a great summer Blues everywhere and when on your hols wear the blue shirt with pride. Any Blues making it up to Jacksonville Florida let me know, you can stop by and I’ll buy you a pint!

Paul Whittaker (


Yesterday the Swedish Text-TV had a story about Man United, and their ‘rise to glory’. In that article it was said that Ryan Giggs had been a City player when he was younger, and that Ryan’s mother turned to City when United wanted to sign him. City turned him down. Now I wonder, is this true? If so, how can City’s scouts fail to see his talent? I sure hope someone got fired…

Please give me an answer, someone.