Newsletter #322

The only news in the last few days has taken the form of press speculation, firstly that Kinky was off to Liverpool for the slightly non-credible sum of £7 million and latterly (today) that City have made a £5 million bid for the ‘new Weah’, Ibrahim Babayoko. This issue also contains some match views from Steve Kay, opinions and a Why Blue from the editor of Bert Trautmann’s Helmet. Finally, anyone who fondly remembers the soccer specials of the ’70s is in for a nice surprise! Hopefully the train operator isn’t!

Match reports to me by Monday evening, and more Why Blue’s required, in fact any articles of interest!

I’ve also been admonished by Steve Bolton whose mailbox did not contain 177 messages after 2 weeks holiday, but 477! Who’d be subscriptions officer for MCIVTA!

Next game, Tranmere Rovers at home, Friday 22nd August 1997.



Reports on GMR are suggesting that Everton and Liverpool are both interested in signing Kinkladze. It’s reported that if Steve McManaman had moved to Spain last week, Liverpool would have offered City £12 million for Gio. Liverpool are still favourites to land him if he becomes available.

Charles Pollitt (


Reports on Manchester radio stations today have denied Gio Kinkladze is being sold for £7 million, as reported in the national press. Frank Clark called the reports “garbage”, and went on to say that Gio would only leave if he wanted to. Francis Lee said much the same thing in an interview on Key 103, and added that these rumours only serve to unsettle the fans and players.

Gerard Wiekens is doubtful for Friday as he has a knee injury.

Charles Pollitt (


Courtesy of SoccerNet

Manchester City need the skills of Georgi Kinkladze if they are to win promotion to the Premiership, club chairman Francis Lee has insisted. The Georgian international midfielder has been linked with moves to Liverpool and Everton, but Lee backed up by manager Frank Clark insists he is staying at Maine Road. Lee said: ‘Our highest price this season is going to be getting into the Premiership and to do that without a star player of Kinkladze’s quality would make it difficult.’

Ralph Sheppard (


There were reports earlier in the week that Liverpool were poised to make a bid of £12 million for Gio Kinkladze if Steve McManaman’s move to Barcelona for the same price went through. This led to further speculation that City might even be willing to listen to offers as low as £7 million given the side’s poor start to the season. However, City have vehemently denied that Gio is going anywhere. Frank Clark said that every player has his price provided the timing was right but that Gio’s price would be substantially more than £7 million, and in any case City don’t want to sell him. He added that there was no substance whatsoever to the stories as there had been no offer received and all that had happened had been Liverpool’s Ron Yeats and Roy Evans had seen City’s first two games of the season, which led to the media putting two and two together and ending up with fifteen!

City’s reserves lost 1-0 at West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday. Gerry Creaney came closest to scoring for City with a header just over the bar and a shot that hit the post.

GMR reported this morning (Thursday) that City were ready to make a bid of £5 million for Ibrahim Babayako, the Ivory Coast striker hailed as “the new George Weah”. City were linked with him earlier in the summer but his club, Montpellier, refused to sell him. Nothing further has been heard of this report since this morning, so we must presume that GMR made it up.

The Mole


Manchester City are to launch a pilot scheme with Virgin Trains to transport fans to away games. The rail company, owned by business tycoon Richard Branson, will first carry City supporters to the first division game at QPR on October 25 and the venture could pave the way for a return to ‘football specials’.

If the scheme is a success, Virgin plans to extend it to other clubs in the Nationwide League and the Premiership. City sales executive Richard Aldridge said: “We’re delighted and honoured that a blue chip company like Virgin has chosen us before any other club.”

Virgin has also agreed to sponsor three matches at Maine Road, starting with tomorrow night’s game against Tranmere.

Michael Hesp (


Came across this on the NUFC list, is it true?

Hands up who’s rather have Gio Kinkladze playing for Newcastle, rather than the rumoured Steve McManaman? Now he’s available to leave Maine Road (supposedly), it seems obvious to me that Dalglish will be interested, especially as in the Georgian international team he links up very effectively with Ketsbaia.

Is Georgia in the EC? Got to remember the three non-EC players rule, of course…

Ralph Sheppard (


God, how I’ve missed MCIVTA. The hard drive on our PC died last weekend (think it was the heat), and it’s taken over a week to get a new one fitted and working today (19/8/97). I’ve been fortunate/unfortunate (delete as applicable) enough to attend the first three “proper” games of the season (Portsmouth, Blackpool and Sunderland), and already I can hear a new anthem playing in my head… “We’ll win again, don’t know where, don’t know when, but I know we’ll win again some sunny day.” Originally I was humming “we’ll win away, etc.” but I think “again” will be closer to the mark this season. Anyway, here are my observations/comments from the above:

Portsmouth 2-2

Undoubtably the highlight of the day was Noel and Liam’s grand entrance pre match. As for the rest, well, trust City to knock us down, build us up, then knock us down again. Beesley is safe, but injury prone. Margetson is too small, despite all his efforts. Symons is too slow. Vaughan is too left footed. The defence and midfield didn’t seem to be in any hurry to tackle the man with the ball. On the plus side, Wiekens looks a good signing and took his goal well, and City looked good going forward. At 2-1 we needed that next goal to clinch it and relax but we all know what happened.

Blackpool 0-1

Had my seat in the directors’ box once more, complete with tangerine cushion. Took my City shirt, but decided to leave it in the car so as not to embarass my host and incite the Blackpool fans around me as I would be happily celebrating each of the six goals City were going to stuff in to make amends for Portsmouth (some chance!). As it turned out, I made the right choice, because I was able to sneak away at the end without being laughed at.

Pre-match I let on to FHL in the lounge, who was asking how he could get into the changing rooms (funny, I didn’t see his name on the team sheet). I saw Peter Reid and Viv Anderson together drinking at the bar. Reidy was obviously checking us out for Friday. What a wasted journey! Also, there was Roy Evans. I wondered why he was there, I jokingly said to the party I was with “I bet he’s come to watch Kinky.” Two days later McManaman may be off to Spain, and tonight’s MUEN (19/8/97) confirms my fears. Ask yourself the question though. Much as we all love Kinky, if you were Francis Lee would you turn down a bid for £12 million for him? Before you answer, remember this, we haven’t won yet this season with Kinky playing, might we do better without him? Some of you may have heard some strange City names broadcast on the tannoy. That was because the announcer was reading from the same team sheet that I was given in the lounge, i.e Alan Kermagihan(!) and Nicky Leaver! As soon as I saw that Symons and Beesley were missing, compounded by the fact that Kermagihin was playing, I thought “S**t, another upset in the making.” And so it proved. It has to be said that Blackpool were very good value for their win, and City had better watch out for a repeat next week. The highlight of the night was seeing the kids in City kit kicking a beach ball around on the penalty area at half-time, only to be “escorted” off by a steward, probably the same one who had the tug-of-war in the friendly.

To make matters worse, on the way home I was listening to Radio Lancashire and heard Preston win 4-1 at Rotherham (I work in Preston, and all my colleagues are PNE fans). Wednesday was not a good day in work!

Sunderland 1-3

And so to the Stadium of S***e. I left Preston at 4pm, up the M6 and across the tops arriving at 6.45. The parking was crap (1,000 parking places in front of the ground for permit holders, but only 100 taken), so I parked down some back street on some estate (3 residents kindly warned me off from my first parking place, saying the police were booking everyone at the Ajax match). Got inside, very impressed, even had soap and paper towels in the toilets. There was only one programme seller in the City end, who had a queue a mile long. The stadium was an exact scaled down version of that ground in the Borough of Trafford. The compere was trying to get us all excited about the imminent arrival of the parachutist team The Rag Devils. The Sunderland fans couldn’t understand why all the City fans were booing. The game was about to kick off when the players left the pitch for no apparent reason. Five minutes later we were told that it was to allow more people in. As the teams were read out, Niall Quinn got a massive cheer from the City fans, and he gratefully accepted it. Seventeen minutes later he gratefully accepted a defence-splitting pass across the edge of the box from Tony “My Left Foot” Vaughan (unfortunately it was our defence he split). All this after T***pot Kernaghan had been booked for a dire tackle after 10 minutes. After 20 minutes déjà vu struck when T***pot re-enacted the same tackle on the same player in the same place. Result: off. Alan Kernaghan will go down in history (has he ever gone up in history) as the first player to try out the away team bath at the Sunderland SOL (no, not the hotel, the Stadium of Light). Well done to the City fans who silenced the City “fan”, who was slagging the team. What he was saying was probably right but we don’t want to hear it so early in the season, thank you!

You could tell Sunderland were up for this one but in the second half City were the better team and deservedly drew level when Kinky was brought down in the area, and skipped in to convert in front of his adoring fans. After scoring he clutched and kissed the badge on his shirt, then leaned into the crowd and held his hands aloft for his followers to touch them (lump comes to my throat, goosebumps on my arms). That moment alone was worth the 300 mile round trip, and we looked forward to a happy journey home. Or so we thought. The last six minutes are a blur to me now but that’s what makes being a Manchester City fan so interesting!?

As we left the ground, wearing our City shirts, I remembered our new logo “Pride in Battle” as I walked, seemingly alone, through thousands of oncoming red and white striped shirts, thinking “thank f*** we lost.” Then across the empty permit-holders-only car park, past a crowded pub and down this dark alley where my car was parked (I’d remembered to hide my little City kit and scarf in the boot). As I walked amongst this sea of red and white, I was tapped on the shoulder, and a voice in a Wearside accent said “You was unlucky tonight mate, what d’ya think of the new ground then?” “Great,” I said, “and we should never have let Quinny leave City” (trying to make him feel better). Then he said “You should have kept him, he’s s**t.” Finally he said “we may have a great ground, but you’ve still got the best band in the world, Oasis.” With that we shook hands and parted. As I walked on to my car I tried to remember the last decent band that came from this hell hole. Then it came to me… Lindisfarne! With that I remembered I’m a Manc, proudly stuck my little kit in the back window, put my scarf out of the side window, wound down both front windows, and blasted out Oasis classics as I made my way along the streets and finally back to civilisation. Stuff Kernaghan, stuff Sunderland and stuff Lindisfarne!

City ’til I die, unless somebody offers £12 million for me, Steve Kay (


Is it just me or did anyone else hear the commentator on Match of the Day yesterday remark of Michael Hughes around the 70th minute: “…he started his career at Manchester City… didn’t seem to do him any harm at all”?

Oh, and Horlock should have scored.

Toh Hsien Min (


I was given a copy of the September issue of ‘Total Football’ by a fellow work colleague today (Arsenal fan and absolutely hates the Cockerney Reds).

Although this magazine has the backside of a Gorilla on the front page or was it Roy Kea@#, I decided to investigate its content and the reason why my Gunner Buddy had passed it on to me. The reason, a pretty good article with the title “Don’t look back in anger… one trophy in 25 years and they’re still cooler than United”. The article starts with a large two-page spread of a view of part of the ground through a street in Moss Side, and then gives the reasons why the Blue of Manchester is where street cred is, with the likes of Kappa, Oasis, The Smiths and Charlatans, even though the trophies are stacking up elsewhere. The article states that only Rangers and Celtic shirts outsell Man City shirts in Scotland, and that City strips are the rage with Japanese girls (because of the Gallaghers). All in all it’s quite a good advert for the Blues, and was much admired by my cockerney chums.

On a final note, me and my cockerney chums are starting a smear campaign to oust all the cockerney bandwagon Reds from London. We are organising groups of true supporters of their home town, to go around taking the p**s out of anybody who thinks it’s cool to wear one of the numerous colours of shirt bearing the name SHARP. Could I suggest that other groups around the country/world are formed and see how long it takes to educate these morons.

Sadman steve – even when we are up (


Being a lifelong City fan is never easy, especially when you teach in a Wolverhampton secondary school where there is only one school of thought which is anything that is not orange is worthless. Still I try and enlighten the children of Wolverhampton to the error of their ways and point out that Jaffas are orange, but I think that comment is wasted on them.

A thought occurred to me. After hearing the new single by Chumbawumba a few times, rushing out to buy it and playing it until I’ve worn it out, it seemed to me that maybe we could adapt the lyrics for a new terrace anthem.

The basic wording of the track is

“We’ll be singing when we’re winning, we’ll be singing.
I get knocked down, but I get up again, you’re never going to keep me down.
I get knocked down, but I get up again, you’re never going to keep me down.”

How about a few minor changes?

“We’ll be singing when we’re winning, we’ll be singing.
We’ve been knocked down, but we’ll go up again, you’re never going to keep us down.
We’ve been knocked down, but we’ll go up again, you’re never going to keep us down.”

Listen to it and see what you think. Adopt it before some team from the lower reaches does. Just a pity that the 7 inch single is on red vinyl, eh.

Martin Farmer (


Well, I don’t think I am going to be very popular with this one, but already I have seen enough of City this season to say that Franny Lee was the biggest mistake Man City has made in the modern-day history of the club. The reasons? Read on…

Please don’t get me wrong, as with all of us reading these Emails, I love MCFC and devote all my spare time to Home/Away matches, and will always be there but let’s get things into perspective…

Before and after Franny Lee

Before Franny came, this was a Premier League club, competing against L’pool, Rags, Arsenal, Spurs etc. Today, we are getting stuffed by Oxford, Reading, Swindon (it will get worse when Stockport, Bury and Crewe p*** on us!).

Before Franny Lee took over, us City fans would have been p****d off if Spurs knocked us out of the FA Quarter finals. Today we get s**t-on by Blackpool in CC Round 1!

Before Franny took over, we had high class international players. After Franny called them “fat cats”, sold ’em for nothing and replaced them with “fat t**ts” like Creaney.

Before Franny took over, we finished 5th, 5th, and 9th in the top flight, and were one of the top clubs in the country. Today we are a mid table First Division Club going nowhere (or maybe Division 2).

The main reason for our massive decline in status was due to Franny employing his “old mate” Ball (say no more). I hold Francis Lee 100% responsible for this senior management cock-up. When Lee arrived at Maine Road, he said “Give me 3 years and we will be bigger and better than the Rags”! I think he should contemplate a job with the Disney Book publishing company… what a dreamer. Also your 3 years is up mate.

If any City fans think that we stand any chance of getting out of Division 1 then let me tell you that you are dreaming. The team has no pace, no width, no confidence, no class and no skill (apart from GK). In fact, if it wasn’t for the fact that we are the best supporters in the world, this club would be a nothing now. How bad it really is…

Goodbye Franny, let’s now start again.

S Cook (


A few points for the McVittee (that’s where our mam used to work) faithful (bear in mind that I’m stuck down south until next week, it’s horribly hot and humid and I’m watching the cricket with England currently 132/7).

  1. Oasis are great, they (along with people such as Mark and Lard off theradio, Curly from Corrie, Mr. Goggins MP and apparently the Deputy Governorof the Bank of England) help to promote City amongst many people,especially the young ‘uns. We should congratulate them on sticking to theirroots and not trying to promote themselves with false ‘loyalty’ to thescum (stand up Angus Deayton, Zoë Ball, Pointy Spice, Ken Doherty etc.).
  2. If Pompey fans actually took Liam’s behaviour seriously and didn’taccept it as a bit of (albeit immature) fun, then they can ***k off back tothe South Coast and not come back so we can sell their ticket allocation tohome fans.
  3. Sky are a bunch of ***ts. Being in the Direct Debit Scheme I’ve had myBlackpool home match ticket for about 3 or 4 weeks and I’ve had to makequite detailed plans to leave Wednesday night free in my schedule,including messing several people about, but I managed to do it … and thenwhat happens … a week before the match the ****ing ***ts change it toTuesday night and now I can’t go. Of the first 5 matches of the season 3have been changed, 2 for Sky and one to accomodate Horlock playing in aWorld Cup Qualifier. I’ve half a mind to write to David Mellor.

Anyway, enough of whining (for the time being). Here’s a little poser:

Earlier this year a man was stopped and arrested in Manchester city centre purely for wearing a replica Man City shirt. Why?

(Answer next issue)

Stay (Lazer) Blue, Ben Brookes (


Does anyone know of any pubs near Charlton worth going to before the match on 30th? I don’t know London at all (I’m not really sure even where Charlton is) so some comprehensive directions would be welcome.

Sharon Bennett


by Noel Bayley (editor of Bert Trautmann’s Helmet)

The first holiday I can remember was in 1970… a week in Torquay. My mother bought me a couple of T-shirts especially for the happy occasion: one red which featured the Roadrunner and the other sky blue, featuring Bugs Bunny. On returning from the sunny South Coast we visited my grandparents and on our arrival there my grandfather took one look at my red T-shirt and promptly exploded. “Don’t ever come here again wearing anything red!” he said.

My grandfather may have been a lifelong Blue and he may even have been amongst the 84,569 crowd that crowded into Maine Road for Stoke’s visit in 1934, but black humour isn’t something you readily understand at four years of age! Not to worry though his advice stood me in good stead for the next twenty-seven years.

Fast forward to sometime later in my embryonic years and a schoolyard in Wythenshawe provided the daily battleground for any number of games of City vs. United. Difficult to imagine now I know but the numbers were fairly evenly matched back in the 1970s. Naturally, I took the City side, but if my grandfather’s influence was subconscious, my father’s was anything but. He hated City (called ’em the ragged Eleven and probably still does) and I hated him! He didn’t care much for Led Zeppelin either, but then what did he know? It was a vicious circle. Our relationship deteriorated probably from the day I was born. He wouldn’t take me to matches because he worked on Saturdays. That was his excuse and just to make his point I cannot recall him having a single Saturday off work in about five years. This only steeled my resolve.

The day of reckoning came on 12 November, 1975. City beat United 4-0 in a League Cup tie and I was truly a believer (not that there was any doubt of course). Now there was no going back. Of course I wasn’t there, I was under my ‘bedclothes’ listening to the night’s events unfold on a transistor radio the size of a house.

Maine Road would have to wait almost another year to witness my début. I doubt if anyone remembers the 0-0 draw with Newcastle on 6 November as, apart from Joe Corrigan chasing a black mongrel round the pitch, nothing much happened. For me, however, the memory of that day is vivid, even if the mighty Blues failed to score. My dad wasn’t there, of course; my teacher Mr. Murray took me, along with the rest of the school football team on some free North Stand tickets.

Oddly enough though, my father suffered a rare personality reversal some months later when he had an ultra rare Saturday off work and took me to a reserve game at Maine Road. Naturally, it wasn’t the same as a first team game, but while he was in an unusually good mood he promised to take me to one and so, on 12 February, 1977 I saw my first City goal from the Platt Lane Stand as Joe Royle scored against Arsenal in a 1-0 win. My dad must have been well and truly p****d off as he probably only went in the hope that City would lose!

Still, he got his revenge in a few years later by grounding me almost every time City were playing at home. It isn’t much fun having to leave home almost every other weekend at fourteen just so you can go to the match. In the end he gave up on trying to stop me from going, and while he still can’t get into Led Zep, there is no doubt that those early struggles probably explain why I have been prepared to move heaven and earth, lose out on sleep, girlfriends, holidays, and even work in my quest to get to watch City at Maine Road.

Noel Bayley (


Full-time scores and scorers for Saturday, August 16 1997

CHARLTON ATHLETIC       3-2    OXFORD UNITED             10,230
Jones (20)                     Purse (85)
Mendonca (57)                  Jemson (pen 90)
Lisbie (90)
Adebola (35)                   Hunt (pen 25)
Rivers (63)                    Hughes (85, 90)
PORTSMOUTH              3-1    PORT VALE                 10,605
Aloisi (24)                    Talbot (43)
Svensson (39, 47)
READING                 0-1    SWINDON TOWN               9,338
                               Hay (18)
STOCKPORT COUNTY        0-0    BURY                       7,260

Full-time scores and scorers for Friday, August 15 1997

BRADFORD CITY           0-0    STOKE CITY                13,823
NOTTINGHAM FOREST       4-1    NORWICH CITY              16,524
Van Hooijdonk (22)             O'Neill (7)
Thomas (57, 61)
Campbell (59)
SUNDERLAND              3-1    MANCHESTER CITY           37,000
Quinn (17)                     Kinkladze (pen 76)
Phillips (84)
Clark (89)
TRANMERE ROVERS         2-1    QUEENS PARK RANGERS        7,147
Kelly (40)                     Peacock (90)
Jones (72)

Up to and including Saturday, August 16 1997

Team                  Played   Won Drawn Lost  For  Against   Points
Nottingham Forest        2      2    0    0      5     1         6
West Bromwich Albion     2      2    0    0      5     3         6
Swindon Town             2      2    0    0      3     0         6
Portsmouth               2      1    1    0      5     3         4
Sheffield United         2      1    1    0      2     0         4
Wolverhampton Wanderers  2      1    1    0      2     0         4
Bradford City            2      1    1    0      2     1         4
Oxford United            2      1    0    1      4     3         3
Charlton Athletic        2      1    0    1      4     4         3
Sunderland               2      1    0    1      3     3         3
Tranmere Rovers          2      1    0    1      3     3         3
Birmingham City          1      1    0    0      2     0         3
Middlesbrough            1      1    0    0      2     1         3
Bury                     2      0    2    0      1     1         2
MANCHESTER CITY          2      0    1    1      3     5         1
Queens Park Rangers      2      0    1    1      1     2         1
Reading                  2      0    1    1      1     2         1
Stockport County         2      0    1    1      1     2         1
Ipswich Town             1      0    1    0      0     0         1
Stoke City               2      0    1    1      0     2         1
Crewe Alexandra          2      0    0    2      2     5         0
Port Vale                2      0    0    2      1     4         0
Norwich City             2      0    0    2      1     6         0
Huddersfield Town        1      0    0    1      0     2         0

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.

[Valid3.2]Ashley Birch,

Newsletter #322