Newsletter #480

An ‘almost’ week for the Blues; it looked like JR had pulled off a decent loan signing in the form of the Hammers’ Aussie winger Stan Lazaridis, however, when all looked done and dusted, Stan changed his mind and undertook to fight for his place at Upton Park. As for results, this week’s were a little better than those from last week: Fulham took a point at Bournemouth and Millwall were beaten by Wrexham.

This issue has everything on the news front, courtesy of Peter; a presentation (lecture) on City; the ‘Anoraks’s form guide to Division 2; the answer to the ‘Pardoe’ song; musings on the moral demise of OT from Noel Bayley; and opinion, particularly on racism.

Here’s to 3 points this Saturday.

Next game, Northampton at home, Saturday 6th March 1999


Lazaridis Turns Down Loan Move

It looked like Joe’s well-documented search for a loan signing was close to conclusion earlier this week, but after agreeing on Tuesday to move to Maine Road on a month’s loan, West Ham winger Stan Lazaridis told the City manager he wanted more time to think about the deal. This, of course, was only a prelude to a change of heart, with the Australian international winger electing instead to fight for his place at Upton Park. The news was certainly a disappointment to City fans if the Blue View reaction was anything to go by, and Joe Royle also expressed his regrets. When news of the possible signing broke, several Australian-based BVers spoke in glowing terms about the player’s skills, while the prospect of Lazaridis and Terry Cooke operating on the wings whetted the appetites of many (including Joe) – it would have been the first time since Brian Horton’s tenure that we approached games with a game plan based on attacking width. The view was that even our goal-shy strikers might be able to find the net with the service they’d have been likely to receive from two decent wide men! Now it seems that Royle is back to square one in his player hunt, though he’s vowed to keep looking for the right man.

Tskhadadze Make Or Break

Kakhaber Tskhadadze’s setback in his recovery from a knee injury has led to speculation that the player’s career may be in jeopardy. He’s now gone to see a specialist in Germany and looks set to have another operation, with Joe Royle saying that the Georgian’s knee will have to be rebuilt. At any rate the player won’t be back in training before August at the earliest. Here’s hoping he has better luck this time than with the previous attempts to treat the problem.

Royle Denies Taylor Bid

Gillingham striker Robert Taylor hit the headlines this weekend by scoring all of his team’s five goals in their rout of Burnley at Turf Moor. And the presence of City scouts at the game led to speculation that Joe Royle was weighing up a bid for the 27-year-old ex-Brentford striker, who scored almost as many goals in one afternoon as his namesake and Sean Goater combined have managed in City’s forward line in the last four months. In fact, Royle’s spies were present to run the rule over Burnley since the Lancashire side provide City’s opposition next Tuesday in a league clash which is crucial to both sides, and in any case Taylor has reiterated how happy he is at Gillingham.

Heaney Misses Second Chance

Neil Heaney has been frustrated in second chance to earn a loan move to Bristol City. After earlier hopes of a deal were scuppered by a training injury, the Robins were intending to run the rule over Heaney in Wednesday night’s reserve game at Burnley. If they’d been impressed, they were reportedly prepared to take the player on loan to help in their Division One relegation battle. The game was postponed, though, and there’s no word as yet whether Heaney will have another chance to press his claims.

Confusion Over Bradbury Fee

City record buy Lee Bradbury’s proposed move to Birmingham City seems to have broken down this week as Crystal Palace, the club he joined when leaving City just over four months ago, went into voluntary liquidation. And there’s even an unconfirmed rumour that Palace’s financial woes are compounded by the fact that they still owe City the fee for Bradbury – reported at the time to have been £1.5 million but now in some quarters said to be a down payment of £1.2 million with more payable depending on appearances. I hope this isn’t true – one report I read this morning said the Eagles’ creditors may receive as little as 10p in the pound and speculated that their whole squad is on the transfer list for knock-down prices. Still, I do also feel a little sorry for Palace fans. I thought Francis Lee’s takeover of City had ended in disappointment but I find the events at Selhurst Park this season bewildering. To go in only eight months from promising big-money buys, appointing the coach who recently took England to the last four of a major tournament and speaking of possible cooperation with Juventus to the brink of insolvency almost defies belief. Incidentally, those of you are worried about the health of Venables’ successor in what, on the face of it, would appear a highly stressful situation will be pleased to know Steve Coppell is bearing up and has vowed to remain at Selhurst Park!

Burton Duo On Trial

City recently gave a trial to two teenagers from Midlands non-league side Burton Albion, though it’s not been reported whether there’ll be any further interest in the pair. Aaron Webster and Reuben Francis had been spotted by City scouts, and had their manager’s approval for their bid to step into league football. So who is this up-and-coming manager intent on helping City secure young talent? None other than Nigel Clough, who obviously isn’t bitter at the way his career in top-class football came to a complete halt at Maine Road. On the other hand, he probably has no right to be resentful – he earned a reported £6,000 per week for almost three years in which all he was expected to do to pick up the cash was amble lethargically round a field on 38 occasions. If Nigel’s going to pay us back by finding us promising 18-year-olds, we should ask for nothing less than Michael Owen!

Joe Goes Against The Grain

While most Blues were no doubt praying in vain for a resounding Inter triumph at Old Trafford in the Champions’ League on Wednesday, Joe Royle rejected the partisan approach. Royle told the Manchester Evening News that he hopes that United go on to win the European Cup, admitting that some Blues will regard him as a traitor for saying so but expressing the view that a triumph for the Reds would be good for English football. On the whole, I think fans hate these magnanimous statements, and I remember when Colin Hendry enhanced his status as a Blue hero by saying he’d like to see Barcelona beat Alex Ferguson’s side in the 1991 Cup Winners’ Cup final. The Blue View consensus was that Royle must have decided he should be nice to Ferguson in the hope of securing a better deal for Terry Cooke.

Division Two Midweek Results

Stoke’s chance to arrest their decline against the division’s bottom team was denied them by a waterlogged pitch at Moss Rose while, contrary to what I told you in the last MCIVTA, fast-improving Wigan seem not to have been scheduled to play Lincoln this midweek after all. Even so, there was still Division Two action on Tuesday night with an impact for City. Bournemouth edged a further point clear of us by drawing 1-1 at home to Fulham (whose scorer, Kit Symons, is another man not altogether fondly remembered at Maine Road) and the Cherries are now two points ahead of us with one game in hand. Fulham, now four points clear of their nearest rivals Preston, are seventeen beyond us, a big enough gap for it to make sense for City to hope that Kevin Keegan’s team now beat all of our promotion rivals and storm away with the divisional title. Meanwhile, Millwall, who could have moved level on points with City had they won at Chesterfield, in fact lost 2-1. The result means that the Londoners are three points behind us having played two more games while the Spireites are two behind us from the same number of matches.

Northampton Preview

Also on Tuesday night, our opponents for this coming Saturday were in action, and hopefully they’ll perform as badly at Maine Road as they reportedly did in their 2-0 home defeat by Wrexham. Manager Ian Atkins led the Cobblers to last season’s play-off final, where they were unlucky to lose to Grimsby. However, this season has been an unmitigated disaster for them, and Atkins, a hero only twelve months ago, may now have trouble staying in a job if results fail to improve. Northampton are currently third from bottom, with 29 points from 33 games, though with a miserable tally of only two home victories they’re better away from Sixfields – they have twice as many wins on their travels. Even so, with City in good form and able to select three of the players suspended last weekend, this should by all rights be a home banker. However, with our tendency over the years to falter against the lesser lights, I’m looking at this one with more trepidation than the portents should allow for. Fingers crossed that the misgivings aren’t justified.

Long Way From Wembley For Officer Dibble

Andy Dibble, former City and Wales goalkeeper and a Wembley hero in 1988 for Luton, has suffered a decline even more spectacular than those two clubs for whom he featured in the top flight and who are now in Division Two. Dibble has been on a three month loan at League of Wales team Barry Town, but has just returned to his rôle as number two custodian at Altrincham, who themselves are a little down on their luck after falling from the Conference to the Unibond League. While there was no disgrace in Dibble playing second fiddle to Tony Coton at Maine Road (Coton was once voted the country’s best ‘keeper by the PFA membership), for him to be unable to dislodge Alty’s Stuart Coburn seems to be a mark of just how far his performances must have dipped. As any fans who saw some of Dibble’s performances towards the end of his time at Maine Road will testify.

Peter Brophy (


We would like to advise supporters that Season Tickets are now on sale for the 1999/2000 season.

Price details and further information are available on the club website. The direct URL for the Season Ticket page is:

Colchester vs. Manchester City, Saturday 20th March

Tickets for this fixture are now sold out. Supporters are advised not to travel without a ticket.

Ticket Office – MCFC


The was a good article in The Independent back on Monday 11th January about former City apprentice Ricky Hatton who has switched codes from potential on field fisticuffs to ‘legitimate’ scrapping within the ring.

Apparently Ricky, 20, from Stockport, is one of the hottest up-and-coming boxers in the country and remains a City season ticket holder.

The article states that both his father and grandfather played for the club – anybody able to expand on this?

Tim Edmondson (


I’m doing the presentation this Friday. It’s an English assignment at college… We were meant to talk about a subject we were interested in, and I thought what better than Manchester City! I just thought I’d send the presentation I gave in… opinions welcome to the address below.

Manchester City Football Club has probably been the butt of more jokes than any other club. This fact is owed in part to some improbable statistics which make up their history.

Which is the only club that has scored and conceded 100 league goals in 1 season? Manchester City in 1958. Only one club in the history of the football league has been relegated the year after winning the First Division title. And the name of the club? Manchester City, they achieved this dubious accolade in 1937. In 1928, Portsmouth and City were going head-to-head on the last day of the season for the last promotion place: City won 8-0 and yet still finished lower thanks to an inferior goal average of 1/200th of a goal. And of course, most of you will remember the club that has had the most managers in the shortest period of time: City had four different managers in 3 months.

City were always the dominant team in Manchester up until the time when an ex-City player took over the reigns at Manchester United: Matt Busby. Everyone knows about the Busby Babes, the Munich Air Disaster and their European Cup win, but it must be remembered that City were also a very good team in the 1950s, 60s and early 70s under managers like Les McDowall and Joe Mercer. In this period, City reached the FA Cup final in 1955, won the competition in 1956 and 1969, won the Charity Shield in 1968 and 1972, won the League Cup in 1970, won the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1970 and reached the semi-final the following year and most significantly were crowned champions of the old First Division in 1968, just 2 years after being promoted from Division 2 as champions. I will now show some footage of what is regarded as City’s golden period in their 105-year existence.

In the 60s, in the days of Colin Bell, Francis Lee and Mike Summerbee, City were scoring goals like these all the time, and, as previously stated, this culminated in the 1st Division championship in 1968. But yet 30 years on, Manchester City find themselves languishing in the 3rd tier of English Football, £15 million in debt and without a trophy in 23 years: The fact that the game has undergone such radical restructuring recently, in the post-Sky, post-Bosman era, now means that it will be very difficult for Manchester City to regain their position in the top half of the Premiership: But how did this decline happen?

The current period of decline can probably be traced back to 1973 when, by chance, Peter Swales became chairman of one of the biggest clubs in England: he went into a pub and saw two City directors arguing about the takeover of the club. Swales stepped in as a peacemaker, and soon afterwards, he got the job. He himself later admitted, “I had no bloody idea, none whatsoever”.

Swales eventually became the longest serving chairman in English football. If the length of time served is a measure of success, then his appointment was a master-stroke. If however, more demanding criteria are required, then it can only be seen as a disaster. To summarise the facts, under Swales’ Chairmanship City won the League Cup (in 1976) but were relegated twice and went 18 years without winning a trophy.

After Swales’ appointment in the 70s, what became a theme of one of the standing jokes against Manchester City began; there were 5 changes of managerial regime in 7 years: the first manager brought in was Ron Saunders, to toughen up the discipline at Maine Road, but 12 months later, he was sacked for being too tough. This period started and finished with Malcolm Allison in charge. As Allison put it, he was keen to return home, but his second appointment, which some people called the second coming, for various reasons lasted just 1 year.

As soon as he became manager, he began to sell many experienced, good players, such as Asa Hartford, Brian Kidd and the great Peter Barnes. He mainly focussed on young hopefuls at the club, for example Nicky Reid, but he also spent money on bringing in young players. He broke the transfer record in signing Steve Daley for £1.44 million, but hardly anyone had heard of him even now the name Steve Daley is synonymous with Manchester City supporters with ludicrous overspending and failure.

The 1980s for Manchester City were very disappointing, except for two Wembley final appearances and of course the 5-1 victory over the struggling Manchester United. The 80s were characterized by the usual managerial merry-go-round, this decade we achieved 7(!) including Billy McNeill, whose 3-year stint makes him the 2nd longest serving City manager post-war. But even after 3 years he had to go: we had just been promoted and it was necessary to invest in quality players to ensure survival in the top level: we signed Perry Suckling, Trevor Christie and Robert Hopkins, and who’s heard of them?! The manager had got it wrong once again: City had just won the youth equivalent of the FA Cup. Players like Ian Brightwell, David White and Andy Hinchcliffe should have been the future of the club, as well as Paul Lake, who was tipped to be a future England captain. But a combination of bad luck, bad management and injuries ensured City could not get the best out of these players.

And so onto the 90s: a main feature of this decade was the selling of all our best players for a minimal amount of money: many examples can be quoted, such as Steve Lomas (now captain of a Premier Division club), Colin Hendry (plays for the top club in Scotland and is captain of the Scottish National team) and Andy Hinchcliffe (a Premier division player on the fringes of the England squad).

Peter Reid, bought as a player by Howard Kendall, became player-manager of Manchester City after Kendall’s departure. There were signs that City could finally achieve things after finishing 5th, 5th and 9th in successive seasons now those performances would probably mean entry into European competition. Reid was a good manager as far as tactics went, although he was not as astute in the transfer market, with £5 million being spent on Keith Curle and Terry Phelan. However, the fact can’t be taken away that City were going places. In 1993, Reid fell out with Swales, and therefore had to go. Soon after, Swales went as well under increasing pressure from the Forward with Franny movement. Finally, after 21 years, Swales was ousted and Francis Lee was the new chairman, an ex-player who had made his fortune in toilet paper. Off the field, Francis Lee did make some improvements, with the merchandise shop being updated and some financial input coming in to the club, but what can’t be forgotten is that Francis Lee turned a middling First Division club into a struggling Second Division club. This was mainly through his choice of managers; his first appointment was his mate Alan Ball; why he was appointed is a mystery, his record speaks for itself: he had guided no less than 5 clubs towards relegation: Portsmouth in 1987, Blackpool, Stoke City, Exeter and Southampton and the same fate was to occur to City. After Ball was sacked, there was the fiasco over Steve Coppell who resigned after just 6 games, claiming City was having a bad effect on his health. That is one thing City supporters agree with him on. Finally, the big name manager we were promised turned out to be Frank Clark. He wasted about £6 million on useless transfer deals. He broke City’s transfer record on signing Lee Bradbury for £3 million, and enough said about him the better!

The problem with City at the moment is that we have got into a losing mentality, especially in the last 4 years. Every time the opposing team makes an attack, almost every supporter in the crowd is expecting the worst. This is typified by Nick Leeson. He is probably the most infamous embezzler of the 20th Century: he wore a City shirt on his way to jail, saying that it took the edge off the crime!

So, is there any hope for the future? Well, City have just achieved a 10-match unbeaten run, but it is in the Second Division, and we are still struggling to make the play-offs. However, it is a start. I think that under Joe Royle, mid-table security in the 1st Division can be expected, but that is still a long way off the Premiership where a team that can command 30,000 supporters every week should be.

The best thing about City is the fans: firstly their loyalty, and secondly their sense of humour that they have had to develop to keep their sanity. Thank you.

Any questions?

Jon Abel (


Not a good week for the Blues – still we didn’t lose. If we had beaten Chesterfield it would have put 5 points between us, whereas a defeat would have put us 1 point behind them. These ‘6-pointer’ games are absolutely vital during the end-of-season run in!

Our lack of goals is starting to affect us badly. Yes our defence is mean and is now the joint best in the league (along with Fulham) – but it’s goals scored that count in this league. If we could have converted half our draws into victories then we would be challenging Fulham for the title instead of struggling to qualify for the play-offs. Let’s hope that Joe can get a striker on loan who can start converting those draws into victories.

Team        Pld GS Pts L6 Final  L6    Ave L6    Final    Pos
                       GS  GS    Pts    Pts      Pts
Fulham       32 50 69  10 73.33 (13)14 12.25 (99.67)101.67 =1
Preston NE   33 63 65  13 91.17 (10)10 11.50  (85.33)86.67 =3
Walsall      33 45 61   7 60.17 (11) 8  9.50  (86.67)78.33 =6
Gillingham   32 53 58  16 90.33 (11)14 12.25  (82.50)90.67 =2
Bournemouth  31 51 54  10 76.00 (11) 9 11.00  (81.17)76.50
City         32 39 52   8 57.67 (14)12 13.00  (86.00)80.00 =5
Chesterfield 32 37 50   7 53.33 (10) 8 10.50  (72.67)68.67
Wigan        31 45 49  13 77.50 (12)15 13.50  (78.00)86.50 =4
Millwall     34 39 49   8 55.00  (7) 7  7.75  (62.33)63.00
Stoke        30 38 48   7 56.67  (4) 4  4.00  (59.33)58.67

Figures in brackets indicate last weeks values
Pld = Played
L6  = Last 6
GS  = Goals Scored
Ave = Average
Pts = Points
Pos = Final Position


  1. Fulham will be champions with over a hundred points!
  2. We will play Wigan in the play-off semi-finals.
  3. Three teams (Wigan, Gillingham and Fulham) now have better ‘Last6’ form than we do.
  4. Both Walsall and Bournemouth slipped up a bit this week.
  5. We must beat Preston and Gillingham (away) and Wigan (home) and hope other teams lose a few games to stand a chance of finishing second.

RTRCWMC (Riding The Roller-Coaster with Man City), Richard Mottershead (


My memory of the song was:

Hey ho, hey ho it’s off to Mexico
With Bell and Lee and Summerbee
Pardoe, Pardoe, Pardoe, Pardoe

or the Hey hos were replaced by two Pardoes.

God, they were the times. I remember a game in the spring of 1970 watching with a pal and his dad. City were not doing too well and from behind me came the voice of my mate’s dad: “Mexico – Ha… it’s too bloody hot for them here.”

I am regularly checking the remaining games and trying to work possible points haul. I can’t see automatic promotion, but play-offs are a real possibility – which makes it all the more likely that we will all be finger nail free come May.

Best wishes, John Pearson (


By Noel Bayley – editor of Bert Trautmann’s Helmet

I remember queuing up about twenty years ago, forty pence in my hand to get into the Stretford End. Yes, that’s right, the Stretford End. In those days, we still called the place Old Trafford. It was just another ground where you could pitch up on the day, pay in, have a laugh and go home. Then, the souvenir shop was tacked onto the facade of the Scoreboard End almost as an afterthought, but all that’s changed in the intervening years. The Theatre of Dreams it is now, just an annex of the Megastore. The football is almost incidental to a merchandising operation which sees hundreds of carrier bag-clutching dolts filling the trams back to Piccadilly on a daily basis.

So why was I at The Sty (as it’s now known)? After all, no one hates them more than I do. A friend of mine from school was a Rag (as they are now known) and occasionally I’d go with him. It was no big deal really. I’d stand with him in the hope of seeing them lose. It never happened of course in what, probably half a dozen times, although I did see Trevor Francis rattle the bar for Forest once and on another occasion Captain Marvel broke his leg. Come to thing of it, that probably happened on several occasions! Anyway, I remember the pride in John McCarthy’s voice as he pointed out the Worcester Reds, the Cockney Reds and the lads from Ireland. “Fans all around the world,” he’d say and how right he was. I don’t see him often now, but I did see him in the pub shortly before Christmas. “Can’t get a ticket now,” he complained, in the time honoured fashion. “What comes around goes around,” I replied, “It’s all those Worcester Reds, Cockney Reds and the lads from Ireland…” Even when I pointed it out, the irony was lost on him as he dwelled on how it used to be. Not any more mate! Local lads all, they’ve had their club stolen, hijacked even, from right beneath their noses by day trippers from down South, weekenders from Europe, package tourists from the Far East. Maybe a few more of the locals should have shown up at that infamous Wimbledon game a few years ago when they barely scraped a crowd of 20,000 together!

Only yesterday lunchtime, I nipped out for a spot of lunch and what did I see? Football fans over for the big game. You can always tell the Italians; they’re the ones exploring our city with eyes widening, guide books at the ready, wearing their team shirts and scarves. Likewise, you can always tell the Rags; they’re the ones exploring our city with eyes widening, guide books at the ready, wearing their team shirts and scarves! I kid you not. Yesterday I chanced upon four Inter fans in St. Ann’s Square. The usual, “United are a bag o’ shite, mate” line would most likely have been misunderstood so I opted for a simpler: “Hope you win tonight. United are not very good.” They understood that at least, but alas, it wasn’t to be. Undoing my coat on my way back into work to reveal my City t-shirt, three Rags walked by. They smiled at me, I smiled back. They let on, they were Irish. “Hope you lose tonight, lads!” I said, continuing to smile. Alas, you know the rest.

It made me laugh knowing that the away fans would be at home before half the home fans, but that’s the way it is now over there. It’ll never happen to us though. City have got hundreds, probably thousands, of fans scattered around the country and around the globe too. I know several of them and I have met many more, but City will never sell out to the Kuala Lumpur market, for example. We might be virtually bankrupt, but unlike the Rags we’re not morally bankrupt. However, I do think City’s huge crowds this season have been as much to do with a sense of local pride as anything else; a case of “We’ll show ’em.” The Rags might be the media darlings, but City have been hard to ignore this season, despite our lowly position. BBC and Sky must be well p****d off and so must fans of Premier League clubs such as Coventry and Leicester, West Ham and Wimbledon when they run their fingers down the tables in Sunday morning’s papers and see another 30,000 crowd at Maine Road because I know it fills me with pride and I suspect that nearly 30,000 other people feel the same way.

Noel Bayley


A little the worse for wear after a game for the BFC Tokyo and several pints of Kilkenny in the Dubliners, Shinjuku, I got talking to one James Jolly, Swedish Blue and grandson of the landlord of the City Arms in Manchester. Despite having worked in Malmo for 2 years, the conversation was conducted in English – he’s half Manc anyway, emphasising the point that even some of the Blues who weren’t born within the sound of Helen’s bell still have proper ties to the area. There’s no real point to this story, other than that yes indeed, it truly is a small world (thought I’d better get at least one cliché in).

Andy Hoodith (


I forwarded the article about our seat allocation for the Preston game to a Preston fan I am working with at the moment and got the following reply…

Crazy eh! Our ground capacity is actually over 21,000 (oooohhhhh!) but all North Enders reckon you should have been given the Pavilion Stand and Paddock à la Arsenal in the cup match. North End say it was the Police that stated, because of City’s past (bad) character (?!?!) they should be given more tickets. Sounds like bollox to me.

Anyway, the end result is you have the newest stand in the ground with the best acoustics (i.e. you’ll sound louder than the rest of the ground) and everyone is expecting you to wreck it (especially when you have to go home with no points and a much worsened goal difference)!

Yours in fear

Simon Cox (


Chris Palmer (


In response to ‘name witheld by request’ and his/her calls that we should all stand up and be counted in the fight against racism on the terraces, I can can assure him/her that they’re not alone. As a result of unfortunate geographical location and student monetary restrictions, I haven’t held a season ticket for 3 years, but in the season that I was in the Kippax Street, and in subsequent seasons as a more occasional visitor, I have heard people told to shut up or watch what they’re saying when it comes to race issues. I must confess, I haven’t ever reported anyone to the police. But I don’t remember ever having heard a racist comment that hasn’t been vilified by someone. I also don’t remember anyone telling the person that found the remark offensive to shut up.

However, I can imagine that the very different atmosphere of an away end, in the midst of the most ‘committed’ supporters may result in people acting very differently from at Maine Road. Perhaps people’s views, whether bigoted or not, are more likely to come out in this situation. Also, where fans are penned in to a corner stand (or a small, rotten, stinking end with school bench seats, like at St. Andrews), the impetus for ‘sticking together’ against the opposition may lead usually rational people to side with a racist. As an infrequent away supporter, I’m not qualified to comment on this definitively. Obviously this is completely unacceptable, and should be stamped out by the fans. I am fortunate in that in my experience of City, it is most of the time.

Jon Marshall (


Re. the Anonymous article bemoaning racist remarks from City fans. I think the person in question is taking too much upon his own shoulders if he thinks there’s anything he can do to stop racism. Racism is a cultural concept. The reason the supporters he overheard making racist comments are racist is nothing to do with which club they support and everything to do with the fact that football – despite the recent bourgeoisification of the game – stills draws strongly from the same classes in society where racism of the overt, thuggish kind is rife. A point I’d like to make is that there a lot more ways of being racist than to make comments about ‘soot’. I’d like to draw your attention instead to what I may call ‘white-collar racism’ whereby, for instance, Bosnians or Albanians or Kurds escaping from extremely dangerous and life threatening situations are deemed to be economic migrants (or some other term or phrase that implies they only want to rip-off the UK).

I would ask Anonymous what he thinks the policeman should have done? Arrest them or eject them from the ground? Neither would in any have altered their values. If it changed them at all it would deepen their beliefs. I can understand it’s unpleasant to be in earshot of people making repugnant comments but after you’d got them ejected and there was blissful peace within earshot would you have concluded there was a problem solved or a problem swept under the carpet?

Steve Fovargue (


I symphathise wholeheartedly with the person who wrote the article in racism in the last McVittee. I read an article in one of Monday’s papers about how a young black boy wanted to die because of racist taunts at school – he even tried to get himself run over and then tried to scrub himself white with a scrubbing brush. Unfortunately this kind of racism is endemic not only in our police force, but also in society as a whole. It’s no good just reading about it and commenting how awful it is – people should be prepared to do something more about it. Thankfully I have never had to face racism myself, but I spent some of my most formative years in South Africa and as such I am acutely aware of it. Trouble is, most people who have never suffered it cannot begin to understand the pain and torment it causes and because it does not affect them they ignore it.

Those of us who walked out of the TG2 Friday night bash because of the racist ‘comedian’ stood up for what we believed in. I don’t want to rehash all that again, but something which was never mentioned in McVittee at the time was that, when several people were standing up to air their views about this so called ‘comedian’, others were telling them to shut up and sit down and let the comedian get on with it. This is IMHO a form of passive racism. By encouraging the ‘comedian’ to carry on, they were reinforcing the idea that it’s okay to make racist jokes. This should not be socially acceptable.

These same people probably read the article in Monday’s McVittee and shook their heads and tutted. It’s not enough to be a passive bystander – you have to make your feelings known. Or maybe you just don’t feel strongly enough about the issue in question – which means you could be contributing (possibly unwittingly) to the problem. The more people who speak out about racism, the better. It doesn’t mean you have to march up Oxford Street with a banner, it can be done in a much more subtle way.

So next time someone tells you a racist joke or makes a racist comment, don’t laugh about it – tell them they are out of order or that you don’t want to hear it. See, it doesn’t take much does it?

Alex Bracey (Miss) a.k.a. MLI


Manchester has made great strides in becoming a racially just and fair city. Manchester City Football Club’s Moss Side ground lies in the heart of one of the city’s most racially diverse communities. City has for many years promoted an equal opportunities policy and continue to be involved in a range of community based initiatives aimed at bringing together club and community.

In light of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry, it is with great regret, therefore, that Manchester City fans have been involved in a number of incidents which have brought the issue of racism to the fore. There has been an apparent increase in racially motivated chanting and abuse directed at black players at both home and away games. Then there was the racially motivated violence against Asian businesses following the Millwall game. We shouldn’t forget of course the idiotic overtly racist comments made by that alleged ‘comedian’ at TG2; some called it ‘comedy’, some called it racism.

As we approach the millennium football enters its ‘new age’. We all have a duty to make football stadia an environment where people can watch a game free from racist comment and bigotry. Why should a person be assigned a subordinate position in society by dominant groups on the basis of socially-constructed markers of phenotype, origins or culture?

If we are to rid football of racism and encourage heterogeneity, then we must stop turning a blind eye and stand up to the bigots. Ultimately, that change must come from within. I for one will not tolerate racism (even if it is disguised as ‘comedy’) in any way, shape or form, and I will continue to challenge those who propagate and perpetuate stereotypical racist attitudes.

Will you?

Martin Lever


I totally agree with Anonymous’s view regarding racial abuse. I, and hopefully the club, has no room for these sad people. I have heavily criticised Goater and Taylor for their inept efforts at scoring, but I have never even considered the colour of their skin. In fact I believe the sooty one (poor attempt at satire) shows more inclination to do so. My point is, if you want to complain then do so on apparent ability, not colour (although I am a subscriber to the belief that booing gets you nowhere anyway).

Secondly,I have changed my view to pay-per-view. Firstly, £7.95 is a lot less than those who can, and do, attend matches will be paying. I pride myself that we pull in circa 30K crowds, but I’m only one of them irregularly, and have been one of the whingers that someone is going to charge me a few quid to be part of it.

  1. As I have said already, those who can be there every week do so and paytheir money. Why do we think (us exiles) that we have a divine right to doso for less (to my knowledge no City fan has ever been forced intoexile)?
  2. If Sky choose to ask those who want to watch these games to pay thenso they should, because it actually gives an opportunity that wouldn’texist otherwise. If I don’t pay the money I will get the same as if Skydidn’t exist i.e. nothing. If I pay the money I get to see a game Iwouldn’t have ordinarily seen. Whether I was a regular or not, becausegetting a ticket would have been difficult.
  3. Pay-Per-View will never fully replace what we have because it is onlyrelevant to the supporters of the teams involved. e.g. I watched Newcastlevs. Arsenal on Sunday but I wouldn’t have paid £7.95 to watch it. Andneither would you unless you were a supporter of either team. Ragdoch willrealise this is not the way to go. Meantime, we get to see our team in gamesthat matter to us, but would not normally be shown, at a price that isactually less than we would have paid to not be able to get a ticket.

CBIC, David Kilroy (


If anyone has a spare ticket for the game against Colchester, which they would be willing to sell to me, I’d be over the blue moon. Although I live locally, the home team have sold out except for family enclosure, and my wife won’t let me take our 10 month-old son.

Paul Muschamp (


Hello Blues out there,
I’m trying to compile some facts for a report on City for a Cologne-FC fanzine. Therefore I’d like to get to know more about:

  • the most famous players in history
  • the ground-development in the Nineties
  • important matches in history
  • the best City-teams
  • good pubs near Maine Road
  • why Lee left
  • apart from the result, what made the 5-1 so special to you
  • the rivalry with Stretford United
  • why is City the team from Manchester?
  • the creativity of the City-fans
  • the social background of the club

Thanks very much for your help and all the best for City.

Carsten (


To be included on Monday.


Contributions: Ashley –
News & Rumours: Peter –
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 #480