Newsletter #327

Not much has happened over the weekend, in footballing terms anyway. Despite this, MCIVTA is still hopefully an interesting read: Mark Burgess has sent in some ticket news, including news of Paul Lake’s Testimonial; and Tor-Kristian Karlsen has managed to get an interview with Mikhail Kavelashvili and ask him some personal questions about his time at Maine Road – many thanks for this one. There’s also news of the ISC gathering in November, Player of the Month Poll (and T-shirts), more excerpts from the Diary of a Madman, some Forest opinion, as well as Blue opinion and a Why Blue.

This one reaches 1,609.

More Why Blues needed!

Next game, Bury away, Friday 12th September 1997


We should know something definite about ticket arrangements for Paul Lake’s testimonial derby around Thursday/Friday of next week (13/14th September).

It’s actually Paul Lake’s testimonial committee that’s sorting it out but the game with the Rags will take place on October 5th. Taggart did promise at the start of the season to field the first 11, but whether he will or not remains to be seen.

The tickets should be marginally cheaper than cup-tie prices, although season ticket holders will probably get first dibbs. Remaining tickets will go on sale to supporters holding current membership cards. GM police will not let the club put the tickets on open sale, so if you haven’t enrolled as a member or renewed past membership and you’re wanting tickets for this game I seriously advise you to get yourselves sorted A.S.A.P.

BURY 12/9/97

Our allocation of 2,400 seats and a further allocation of around 2,000 terrace tickets for this game have now sold out. As of today (5/9) the only remaining tickets on sale are restricted view seats priced £14 Adult £8 Junior/OAP (!!)

Now that Nathan and I have become permanent members of the ticket office staff we’re both totally committed to improving the service fans receive. If you have any kind of problem, need help with anything specific, have questions you think we can answer or suggestions on how we can improve the services generally then please email me.

Plans are under discussion to install touch screen sales hardware already in effective use at premier clubs around the country which should speed up the process and shorten queuing time significantly.

We’re also exploring the possibility of introducing some kind of scheme which would allow supporters to pay for the renewal of season tickets by Direct Debit instalments, although this is still very early in the discussion stage.

Mark Burgess (


While I was in Switzerland for work, I made a little “interview” with the former Manchester City striker Mikhail Kavelashvili, who’s now on-loan with Grasshopper in Zürich. I haven’t had time to edit the piece properly, what you can read are just his comments;

“I’ve come here to revive my career as a footballer, and show everybody that I’m a quality player.”

“People said I didn’t fit into the English game, but that’s too simple to say. When I came the club was in the middle of the relegation scramble and I was put on the bench just after a few games. Even Georgi had trouble to settle at once and it took him 8-10 games to adapt to the English game, but I was never given that chance.”

“I’m happy to play in with a club like Grasshopper and I haven’t got any ambitions to come back to Manchester or England, though I enjoyed life there even if things didn’t work out for what football concerns.”

“If Alan Ball had stayed I’m sure things would have turned out differently. Ball had confidence in me and wanted me to be played. Once he went, it was just confusion. Coppell didn’t rate me and neither did the caretaker managers. But I suppose it’s natural that every manager wants to bring in their own players. However, I got really upset by being left out time after time so I went to Francis Lee to ask why I wasn’t playing. Lee said he would sort it out for me, but nothing happened.”

“Frank Clark was fair with me. Once he came in he told me that I wasn’t the kind of player he needed and that I wouldn’t be his first choice striker. But he gave me a chance from the start against Grimsby where I played well and scored a goal, but only to find myself dropped for the next game.”

“I think Alan Ball knows a lot about football, enough to become a great manager, but there’s just something he’s missing. I just can’t explain what’s missing. Perhaps he wanted Man City to play passing style football too early and he didn’t have the right players for playing that kind of football. Anyway, I was sorry to see Alan Ball leave and felt he was hard done by.”

“Clark is a good manager and he will bring Man City back to the Premiership, I’m sure about that.”

“Even though I didn’t get a proper chance I learnt a lot while being in England. I’ve become a lot stronger and now looking back, I think I can actually benefit from having played in the reserves as it made me stronger but I suffered a lot from playing with the reserves.”

“The supporters were fantastic to me. They were always behind me even when I was frustrated from being left out. At the end of the last season supporters often came to see me at the training ground and told me that they knew I was a good player but I had to leave the club as I wouldn’t get a chance here. They said they were sorry on my behalf and had hoped to see me play more often. This touched me a lot.”

“Kinkladze will stay another year with City, but he’ll surely leave if City won’t get promoted. In my opinion, Georgi is a world class player who ought to play at the highest level. He should play with a team like Liverpool or Newcastle. I know his exceptionally popular in Manchester but he has to think about his own career, he won’t progress any further at City.”

Kavelashvili is a very nice man but too be honest he seems to be lacking a bit of aggression. He always very reserved and relaxed, perhaps a bit too much. When I went with him to his first training with Grasshopper he was coming alone for a run with the coach (the rest of the team had trained earlier) and he almost had to be pushed in his back to get going, not because of laziness but simply because he’s so reserved that he needs to be pushed a bit. I just wonder if that’s why he didn’t make it in Manchester? By the way, interestingly the Swiss have brought him in to play in midfield. Kavelashvili has played two games and scored one goal for the Swiss.

P.S. are there any City supporters in North London out there? Please email me at the address below.

Tor-Kristian Karlsen (

DIARY OF A MADMAN 3 (Things can only get better!)

Monday – The death of the Princess of Wales is still on everybody’s mind. Certainly, it’s the biggest story in living memory.

Tuesday – The quiet week continues, notwithstanding the cyberpet now that I’ve managed to resurrect it.

Wednesday – I have to hold my hands up here… I’m the jinx. As none of my mates were going to Forest I gave it a miss… the only one I’ve missed this season. Well, twenty quid for a ticket and we never win there anyway; I think Wayne Clarke got the winner the last time I can remember seeing a win there. So what happens? Of course, you all know, but at least Radio Five (Brian Hamilton in particular) and even Granada for once did us and the fans who did go proud. It’s taken ages, but people outside of Maine Road are finally beginning to acknowledge that yes, City have got the best fans in the world. This was the only ray of hope in an otherwise wretched week.

Thursday – Got a bit of a ribbing at work for not going, especially from the wannabe Rags. This irony, however, was obviously lost on them! The Uwe thing is starting to annoy me, not because I think he’s a great player (I do anyway), but because it seems to emanate from one tacky tabloid, Rags’ rag The Mirror. As if they haven’t done enough damage already this week. As for those jokers at Everton, they are well known for having two transfer tactics:

  1. they put in a sky-high bid for a player after he has already signed foranother club in an attempt to please the fans with one song (‘Everton,Everton, Everton…’ ad nauseum) or
  2. they put in a ridiculously low bidfor a player that no one (but perhaps City) would accept. In my opinion,the bid to keep Rösler should start at Gigg Lane next Friday, but ifhe does want to go, then his new club will have to fork out a bit more than£1 million.

Friday – A typical Friday as I alternated between my desk and The Sawyer’s Arms.

Saturday – This was almost the day the earth stood still. No football today of course on what I’d say was the saddest day of all time.

Sunday – You’ll be pleased to know that I smashed the all comers’ Sunday morning shopping record, managing to grab a week’s shopping in a worldbeating ten minutes!

Noel Bayley (


Here are the details for the Gathering on Saturday 22 November 1997 at Maine Road… please note that you are very welcome to join us before and after the game for our other Gathering activities which include a tour of the ground, on Friday 21 November and we have all been invited to join the Blues at the Prestwich and Whitefield Supporters’ Club meeting which will be attended by Tommy Hutchinson, Gerry Gow and Bobby MacDonald on the Friday evening 21 November 1997. I have yet to iron out arrangements for after the game on the Saturday or even on the Sunday 23 November so if anyone has any suggestions please let me know!

On the Saturday, I envisage that we will meet up at lunchtime for some food and beverages at a venue yet to be decided following which we will proceed to Maine Road for the game. MCFC have offered us the former Manchester Evening News Lounge in the Kippax Stand where we can congregate. This includes seats in the top tier of the Kippax, drinks on arrival, finger buffet (fish fingers?), teas, coffee, programme, access to a private suite which includes our own bar etc. I also would like to set up a kitty for refreshments during the game which I have included in the price. This kitty will run until it is used up at which point we will need to dig out some more cash!

The price for the above is £50 per person. Please send cheques, postal orders, bank drafts, etc. to.:
Bob Young
5 Trois Chenes Court
Mont de la Chenaie
St Lawrence
Channel Islands

The first 40 people will be accepted as we have a restriction on numbers. As the Gathering has attracted over 50 people already, MCFC have offered to arrange a block booking of tickets for those who do not make the deadline for the above, so don’t despair. Also there may be those among you who have season tickets anyway and do not want to splash out a further 50 quid!

There are some details that I need to iron out but if Gatherers have season tickets then I fully expect them to use them. However, the question arises as to whether they will be able to use the Lounge along with the other Blues who will be paying 50 pounds! (I strongly suspect that the 50 pounds will include all the facilities that the Lounge has to offer and therefore anyone who has not paid the 50 pounds will not be permitted to enter). I’m clarifying this though. Anyhow, we will all congregate after the game and continue with the “festivities”. I’m not 100% sure what MCFC have got lined up for us after the game but I hope that we can all meet up again somewhere to talk about the match and to enjoy the banter for which City fans are famous! Also the sweepstake winner can buy us all a beer! Festivities will continue in the evening on Saturday with a curry included along the way and probably a trip to a Mancunian hostelry to round off the night (erm….did somebody say “what about a nightclub?”). On Sunday, I’m hoping that we can re-convene in the morning and continue to enjoy the Blue Spirit but to date I’ve not arranged anything for “The Day After”.

If any of the Gatherers have any suggestions to enhance what promises to be an enlightening experience for us all then please drop me an email.

Clive Tysoe a.k.a. Gio’s Bootlicker (


After receiving a number of enquiries about the Player of the Month poll, I would be grateful if you could submit votes for August (no it doesn’t include the Forest match) to me by Sept 12th. As usual send me your choice of the best 3 players in your opinion in a 1, 2, 3 format (1 for best). To add some spice I’ll take votes for a stinker of the month in recognition of anyone who isn’t pulling on the blue shirt with pride.

If anyone still wants an MCIVTA T-shirt please e-mail me for ordering details and thanks for all the letters of thanks from those subscribers who have received their shirts.

Ken Foster (


In Groningen, Holland, there is an English pub, called Ray’s Eetcafe, in the Bleekerstraat, with a Sky decoder. Therefore, I invite all Cityfans near Groningen to watch the Bury game this Friday, 2045CET.

Last Saturday, after the Holland vs. Belgium match I went there with two friends and found out that the bartender was also a City supporter (owner Ray supports Sheffield United, in fact). Shortly after we had a verbal collision with a Rag, or as he called himself a “Manchester supporter”, who got upset when my friend said he respected the Rag’s opinion, but he didn’t support them. The Rag claimed that PSV Eindhoven (my friend’s favourites) bought the title last year and he threatend to get his car and to kill us by driving into the cafe. We took off shortly after for a good laugh outside.

Very sad way to behave on this day of peace, silence and respect.

As you would have guessed, the lad was from (South-)London.

Gerben de Noord (


*#*+^%g ‘ell City have won a game and at the expense of the current division’s form team, will wonders never cease! Don’t worry folks normal service will soon return, we’ll be battered into submission at the next live SKY extravaganza against Bury a week on Friday.

Folks, just to let you know I’m away from Saturday (6th Sept) for a week in the sun in Benidorm. I’ll be burnt, boozed up, boisterous, but happy. Anyone over there for the week should look out for a short, fat, ugly git (you must have seen my piccie on the net, one thing the hair shorter, the Roy Keane beard has gone but the stomach’s bigger), I’ll be wearing the MCIVTA t-shirt sometime in the holiday, so if you do see me, do accost me and we’ll have a drink, maybe even watch the Bury game together.

In the meantime:

Predictions and comments should still be sent to me, they’ll sit in my mailbox ’til my return (and then processed, honest).

Offers to play against the QPR Internet team should also be sent to me, they to will have to wait until my return. However, I’ve confirmed our availability so those who have offered to play, your services are now needed. Anyone else wanting to play, please step forward, the team needs you.

Adios amigos, Martin Ford (


Finally, after over 2 years of protest and painful struggle, the share transfer at Brighton and Hove Albion has taken place, over a month after the deadline from the arbitration talks. David Bellotti has been dismissed and Bill Archer is now only a 49.5% shareholder, the same as new chairman Dick Knight, so the old regime is not in charge and won’t be able to make stupid or dishonest decisions unilaterally.

I’d like to express my thanks to all those who’ve supported our campaign to get rid of dishonest ownership, especially those from so many clubs, our rivals included, who joined us for the Fans United event at the Goldstone (RIP) on February 8th.

In celebration I’ve added a celebratory image to Albion Web:
(or if you have frames:

Thanks again for all your support, Ryan Harding (


This is the tale of an Australian Rules football club called St.Kilda. I don’t follow them, but like most followers of the game, I can’t help having a soft spot for them. Living in St.Kilda has helped develop the soft spot. Unlike another club which I relish seeing fall on their own sword (Richmond for those who know), St.Kilda’s ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory through implosion, sackings and poor administration leaves me feeling wretched for their supporters.

St.Kilda have not had real success since three Grand Final appearances in ’65, ’66 and ’71. They beat my team in ’66 by one point for their only premiership. It hurt for a long time, but now I’m kind of glad we could give them that one experience. They have, however, shown great promise in recent years, with some finals appearances and good wins. I spoke with the coach at a function late last year, who said 1997 was the year when the good young players had to stand up and become quality contributors. Success was expected.

Five games into the 1997 season (out of 22 games) they were 15th out of 16 on the table and the knives were out again, for anyone (players, coaches, administrators) who had their backs turned. To their credit the club held firm (unlike previous years). Last weekend they finished the season top of the table and go into the September finals series as premiership favourites.

What would have been the situation had they lost faith in their own potential and, more importantly, in each other? I support a club in the hope that they will realise their potential and make my dreams come true. People won’t realise their potential if they are continually being slagged off or threatened (ask any good parent or work supervisor). And people in a club won’t reach their potential if they see each other (including the supporters) as the enemy instead of the enemy being the opposition on the field (and the press off it!).

Even from this distance, through the pages of MCIVTA, I can sense the potential City has. Unity in the club and supporters living up to their name are essential to realising that potential. Dreams can come true, maybe sooner than you think.

Sebastian Harvey (


I know a few Forest fans here in Loughborough that were at the game (one of them’s my flatmate, who was opposite us in the Trent End – he didn’t look too happy when we met at the car afterwards) so you might like to know what they thought.

General opinion is that Forest were s**t and were really missing Stone and Van Hooydonk. They were all impressed with City and thought we should have won by five or six goals, they all thought we dominated the midfield and pretty much controlled the game. They were also all surprised Forest scored at all – apart from a couple of mistakes (Symons!) City cleared most of their chances from open play and the Forest fans all agreed that Forest are useless at corners. Maybe FC knew this and told the players putting it out for a corner would be safe enough? They also thought City always seemed to have an extra man and Gio was very impressive. Summerbee was a ‘dirty sod’ – he was ‘all elbows’, apparently. Well about time, it shows he’s got some motivation for once.

General opinion before the game was that we’d get stuffed three or four nil. Well it’s nice to have the last laugh for a change.

Good to see City players taking shots from outside the area, only a shame Gio’s wasn’t a bit lower and Bradbury’s a bit higher! Brannan’s second didn’t involve much skill, more a hoof it and hope for the best job and luckily it went in; shots like that won’t go in very often but you’ve got to try. And it was beautiful. Chettle’s face as he watched it go in was a picture of total despair – he needn’t have worried, he’d have had to be ten feet tall to stop it.

It’s a shame we haven’t got a game this weekend, after a performance like that it would be nice to try and build up some momentum whilst confidence is high. Let’s hope City can keep it going for Bury.

Finally, if we could get the same atmosphere at Maine Road as we had in the away end at Forest, we’d give the team a huge boost and Maine Road would be an intimidating place for other teams.

City til I die, and proud of it for a change! Julian Griffiths (


I’d like to respond to a chilling comment made by Jonathan, the lad who said that if FC left… Let me tell you, if FC leaves (or is sacked) it will be the best thing ever (even better than the win on Wednesday). Clark has been up to no good, and it’s not getting any better, mate. Would City improve if we got a new manager? Depends.

Much as I hate to say it, if we brought Fergie over from the Rags, we would improve greatly, but if we would go and settle for another Frank Clark, then I don’t see City being promoted. Of course, Frannie hasn’t made the best calls either. How many people has he signed since last spring? Ok, keep that number in your head while reading question 2. How many of these new signings have you heard of prior to them being linked to City? Subtract that number from the first. Ok, if you came up with a number lower than 3, then you will see that the front office is in desperate need of a brain.

City has some really good players, but there is no way that they can function as 1 unit without the guidance of a new manager, and a new front office. This is why we are mired in division 1. Think for a moment, this is the same club that let a certain Ryan Giggs slip right through Moss Side, and into Trafford, hello? Develop the youth side. That’s all I have to say. Simon, if you are reading, I know you agree!

Mike (


Recently I had the pleasure and anguish of my first City game since the F.A. Cup débâcle against Spurs. Having not lived in the Manchester for seven years, my visits home rarely coincide with a home match with sufficient notice to get tickets.

Watching The Blues play Tranmere was at times nerve wracking and at others pure heaven (first 20 minutes of second half). Being a former season ticket holder in the Kippax terrace I was upset by the lack of noise/singing – it was very quiet.

As a non-regular I will not comment on any players but the shape of the team. As I recall when FC arrived he played a 4-4-1-1 with Gio playing behind Uwe, this is why we played so well – why change a good thing? Sure enough when I came in from the pub on Wednesday (I couldn’t bear the thought of Ceefax at my disposal) I spent 30 minutes finding the remote – turned to page 302 at say Forest overwhelmed by City. Surely I was not that drunk – best check the other channel – same score. With only one striker, with Uwe practising his goalkeeping skills in maternity we played a 4-4-1-1 formation. I rest my case.

Following a disappointing 200-mile trip for a shirt in July I was pleased to get my hands on my own Laser Blue. I have yet to see anyone else wearing one and received many second glances in the pub when people wanted to know whose shirt it was. Many seemed envious of the quality. I hope to have cable in time for the Bury match, but Sky is an other story of poor TV performances.

City since conception – City till I die – Nick Ramsden (


As I have now moved over to New York with work, can you please advise anyone wishing to get info, or join the Australian Supporters’ Club, to contact Bill Chapman, ( Thanks to Bill for all the tireless work and organising he does over in Oz.

Also, if anone has info on where/when or if any events etc. go on in the New York area, can they get in touch.

Peter Singleton (


After all my harsh words of critisism of the official City site, I am putting my money where my mouth is and banging together some graphics for the City international site.

If anyone has any City pics showing something dynamic (what are the chances… eh?) or emotional (e.g. Gio crying or Tueart’s overhead kick) could they mail them to me asap. I want to use them in the title logo. At the mo the only pics of anyone looking 100% committed to City were of Lomas and Rösler. One of these is obviously already out of date and the other is looking more and more uncertain.

Jim McNiven (


Can anyone tell me of any good pubs in Bury worth going to on Friday night?

I have to use “McVittee” to get a message to Clive Tysoe, ‘cos for some unknown reason every time I try to e-mail you it gets returned saying it doesn’t recognise your e-mail address. Can you e-mail me please with details of the gathering? Cheers!

Here’s to 3 points on Friday (please?)

Stay Blue! Stay True! Helen Murtagh (


I don’t have a clue.

Is this heaven or is this hell?
Where are the days of Trautmann and Bell?

Through the years of anguish and despair
I conclude that my fixation is beyond repair.

Years of promise have ended in grief
Moments of sheer ecstacy are all too brief.

So again, with Blues Anonymous in session
I ask myself that same old question

Why Blue?
Because I am a Man City fan!

I was first diagnosed with this strange illness at the age of five years old when my parents unwittingly moved to Manchester. Actually, not only did they move to Manchester, they moved to Arnside Street – right behind the croft at Maine Road. The illness was highly contagious and quickly spread throughout my entire body.

There is no known cure. When I started school at Platt Lane Junior I found that I was not alone. There were others similarly infected. I also found that some people had contracted a different, much more sinister widespread illness. They were adorned in the colour of the devil – a disease that reached epidemic proportions in London, but somehow managed to bypass most of Manchester. Once you have contracted one, you were immune to the other.

I had a very narrow escape from the Devil’s disease. Being five years old and ignorant, I went to purchase the Man United kit from the sports shop. Upon being told that they had sold out (having all been shipped to London?), I asked for the City kit instead. From that moment on I have been infected with the Blues.

I can’t shake it. My parents moved to London and I tried to support other clubs but I always came back. The infection was too strong.

Yet through it all I have come to terms with being Blue. In fact, I am now happily Blue.

I know that if it was not for Manchester City, football would cease to exist as a sport for me. I can not even face the thought of supporting any other club.

By the time this is published, I will no longer be a London Blue. I will be flying the flag in San Diego, enduring the games on ICQ and catching the news via Mcvitee.

I have learned many things through this illness – but one things stands above all else. Don’t despair at being a Blue – it probably saved you from a life in the Red.

City till I die, Bob Narindra – a.k.a. Mystic Blue – (


Full-time scores and scorers for Sunday, September 7 1997

BURY                    1-0    TRANMERE ROVERS            5,073
Swann (42)
Beauchamp (17, 71)
Ford (23)
SWINDON TOWN            0-0    NOTTINGHAM FOREST         13,051
WEST BROMWICH ALBION    1-0    READING                   15,966
Hunt (79)
Full-time score and scorers for Friday, September 5 1997
BRADFORD CITY           0-4    SUNDERLAND                16,484
                               Gray (5)
                               Clark (30)
                               Phillips (33)
                               Johnston (37)

Up to and including Sunday, September 7 1997

Team                  Played   Won Drawn Lost  For  Against   Points
West Bromwich Albion     6      4    2    0      8     4        14
Nottingham Forest        6      4    1    1     11     4        13
Bradford City            6      4    1    1      9     7        13
Swindon Town             6      3    2    1      7     4        11
Birmingham City          4      3    1    0     10     2        10
Sunderland               6      3    0    3     11     8         9
Bury                     6      2    3    1      6     6         9
Portsmouth               5      2    2    1      9     7         8
Wolverhampton Wanderers  6      2    2    2      7     7         8
Sheffield United         4      2    2    0      4     1         8
Charlton Athletic        4      2    1    1      6     5         7
Middlesbrough            4      2    1    1      5     3         7
Queens Park Rangers      5      2    1    2      5     8         7
Oxford United            6      2    0    4      9     9         6
MANCHESTER CITY          5      1    2    2      8     9         5
Ipswich Town             4      1    2    1      4     4         5
Stoke City               5      1    2    2      2     4         5
Port Vale                4      1    1    2      5     6         4
Tranmere Rovers          6      1    1    4      4    10         4
Norwich City             5      1    1    3      3     9         4
Crewe Alexandra          4      1    0    3      5     7         3
Stockport County         5      0    3    2      5     7         3
Huddersfield Town        4      0    2    2      2     5         2
Reading                  6      0    1    5      2    11         1

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 #327