Newsletter #328

The papers and media have been speculating long and hard all week that Rösler is about to depart for pastures new. This stunning piece of news appears to be based on the revelation that Rösler is involved in contract negotiations; now could it be that his old one is nearly up and negotiating a new one might just be what any club and player would do. Not so, thinks the press, Rösler is clearly unsettled and wants away! Not content with this, the press have also been busy speculating who City are going to spend the money on, and guess who it is: Dean Saunders and Tommy Johnson – yawn! At least the idle speculation ceased midweek, whilst half the papers spent Wednesday rubbishing Paul Gascoigne, and after his imperious performance, Thursday pretending they had personally lobbied for his inclusion! Needless to say FC has been doing some rubbishing of his own!

Other than this, Clough has gone on loan and there is news of Paul Lake’s testimonial, including details of how to get tickets. Noel has sent in a review of MOTD magazine (including shirt survey) and an article on Friday’s match from a local Bury paper; there is the usual opinion, and an excellent Why Blue which manages to impart some of what it means to grow up Blue.

Match reports to me no later than 10.00pm Monday.

Next game, Bury away, Friday 12th September 1997


Following talks with Frank Clark and Francis Lee yesterday (Monday), Uwe Rösler has asked for a week to think things over.

The Mole


Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has agreed to provide a full strength team for Paul Lake’s testimonial at Maine Road on Sunday, October 5th. Testimonial committee chairman Tudor Thomas said: “Alex has been marvellous to us. We know how much pressure he’s under for time with Premiership and European commitments but he insisted he would bring his strongest squad. It’s a terrific gesture and very much appreciated.” The official announcement of the game will take place at a news conference at Maine Road at 1pm on Thursday 11th September, which will be attended by Ferguson and City boss Frank Clark. Former City and England winger Dennis Tueart, himself a member of the testimonial committee, said: “Alex has been tremendous in his support for Paul Lake this year and has attended many of our events which has boosted Paul’s fund.”

Paul Howarth (


Nigel Clough has joined Sheffield Wednesday on a month’s loan.

Martyn Margetson is likely to retain his place in the City side for Friday’s game at Bury, despite the return to fitness of Tommy Wright, who was in the Northern Ireland side that lost 1-0 in Albania. Kevin Horlock also played.

City reserves scored their first points of the season with a 2-0 win at Oldham Athletic on Wednesday night.

The Mole


There is an interesting survey in the October edition of the BBC Match of the Day Magazine – sales of replica shirts in various cities around the country.

The top 5 at JJB Sports in Manchester (not to be confused with the totally different company JD Sports that set up City’s stores at Maine Road and in the Arndale Centre) are as follows:

  1. Man City (home)
  2. Man City (away)
  3. Liverpool (away)
  4. Italy
  5. Brazil

No sign of United! Better news for our Red friends elsewhere though – the United kit is number 1 at Soccerscene in London, Olympus in Bristol, JJB in Halifax and Olympus in Truro. It’s also number 2 at JD Sports Nottingham and Olympus Worcester, number 4 at Olympus Birmingham and number 5 at JJB Newcastle.

City’s only other top 5 placing is at Soccerscene in London, coming in 5th behind United, Chelsea, Liverpool (a) and Arsenal.

The Mole


Ticket arrangements for the Paul Lake Test against United (Sunday, October 5th) have now been decided upon, and ticket prices are as follows:

Kippax Stand and Main Stand: £12 Adults,£8 Junior/OAPs
‘G’ Block of the Main Stand £5, OAP only
Platt Lane: £10 Adults, £6 Junior/OAPs
Family Stand: £8 Adults, £5 Junior/OAPs

Season ticket holders can apply for their seats from 9:00a.m. Friday the 12th September and have until 5:00p.m. on the evening of 23rd September to claim their seats. Any seats not claimed by the morning of the 24th will go on offer.

The Rags have been given the whole of the North Stand. North Stand season ticket holders have until 23rd September to choose seats in other areas of the ground.

Unclaimed seats will be offered to those carrying current membership cards. Those who have not yet joined the membership scheme will have to wait until after this fixture to obtain cards and are not eligible for tickets. Those carrying cards from previous seasons that have not yet renewed and who can get to the membership office in person (not the ticket office but rather around the corner on the North Stand, opposite the first set of traffic bollards) may find a sympathetic ear.

Otherwise, if you can’t get down, I’ve been instructed by the ticket office manager (!) to advise supporters in this situation to enclose a cheque for £3 (!), that being the renewal fee, a fresh passport photo and a further cheque to cover the price of the required seat. Although he cannot guarantee a seat will be forthcoming, he will consider the application (!).

The strict application of the membership scheme for this fixture is at the insistence of the local Dibbs who obviously wish to discourage Rags from coming to Maine Road, buying match tickets and sitting amongst decent folk.

Why on earth Rags should come to Maine Road to buy tickets in the early stages when they have around 5,000 North Stand tickets at Old Nafford which they probably won’t sell out of anyway, is beyond me but there you have it.

Hope the info helps.

Mark Burgess (


Article from The Journal, Bury’s ace local free rag: Wednesday, September 10…

City’s visit to Gigg Lane attracts a bumper attendance

Friday night’s televised Gigg Lane derby against Manchester City is an 11,800 sell-out. The last few hundred tickets were snapped up over the weekend guaranteeing a red-hot atmosphere for the first clash between the two sides in three decades. And the Shakers have already fired the first shots in the battle of words that is sure to precede the most eagerly awaited match of the season. “City won’t be looking forward to coming here,” reckoned Shakers’ recent goal hero Peter Swan. “We have won our last two games and we will go into Friday’s game full of confidence.”


“We just don’t give opposition players time on the ball and it will be no different against City. Every single one of the players at this club is pulling in the same direction at the same time,” continued the 30 year old defender turned striker. “I have played at a few clubs in my time but I have never known anything like the team spirit here. Usually you find a couple of players in a side who do not fancy it that much but not here. It’s all down to man-management. We work very hard and have total respect for the manager. We will need the fans right behind us on Friday because City are sure to have a massive following. We reckon we will rise to the occasion and I am sure the spectators will too. They were brilliant on Sunday.” Boss Stan Ternent began preparing for the Sky televised contest by refusing to let his men have a day off on Monday. “The recent events in Paris and London made it a strange week and we needed to get back into our routine,” he said before praising the supporters’ reaction to the minute’s silence for Diana, Princess Of Wales. “The lads had the hump because they are not getting a day off but we need to keep ticking over and we were a bit below our best against Tranmere.”

N.B. If anyone’s stuck for a pub before or after the Bury game, I can recommend the Tap and Spile – a real ale pub five minutes walk from Bury centre and ten minutes from Gigg Lane. I’ll certainly be in there anyway! Turn left out of Bury tram station, turn left again on to Haymarket Street and keep walking down past the town hall and clock tower. Cross over the main Manchester Road and down Manchester Old Road; The T&S is the third pub on the right. I expect there may be one or two Bury fans in there, but as they have only got one or two fans in total, that’ll probably be it; the rest seem to go in the Pack Horse which is nearer the ground.

Noel Bayley, editor of Bert Trautmann’s Helmet (


About 25 supporters from the Scandinavian Branch gathered for the opening of the Oasis tour. Everyone was in a good mood and dressed up in their lovely blue shirts. We heard all about what Oasis did at the Maine Road gig (like : “Everybody say ***k Man United!”, and things like that). So we hoped we would experience something like that in Oslo. Norway is full of S**** supporters now, as they have got 4 Norwegian players.

Anyway, all I can say: The gig was crap! Liam stood like a statue, didn’t say a word between the songs. The only sign of being a rebel, was when he spit his gum. Otherwise he was just sitting when he was not singing. I had brought my big Man City flag with me. OK, he noticed it, but all he did was to raise his thumb, and not even saying a word about the huge amount of blue shirts he saw. It was also too loud, I still can hear the waves in my ears. They were just crap (wonder if I’ll go to the next Simply Red gig next time?)!