Newsletter #544

Joe Royle has dropped his interest in the young Cameroon striker, Suffo, stating that he’s no better than what we already have. Other than that, it’s been an extremely quiet week, the only other news being extensions to loans. City hope to get back in the winning groove at Prenton Park this Saturday; however, this game will probably be a lot harder than the respective league positions suggest.

Next game: Tranmere Rovers away, Saturday, 16th October 1999


Vaughan to Stay Another Month at Cardiff

City have agreed to Cardiff City’s request to keep on-loan defender Tony Vaughan at Ninian Park for another month. The Welsh club’s manager Frank Burrows has already conceded that there’s no chance of Vaughan moving permanently to Cardiff, and the former Ipswich player’s eventual objective is to regain his first-team place at Maine Road. However, he’s happy to enjoy senior action in South Wales if the alternative in Manchester is turning out for City’s reserves.

“Playing first team football in front of passionate crowds keeps you a lot sharper than kicking around in the reserves,”

he explained.

“I have enjoyed my spell here but getting back into Manchester City’s first team is still my objective. That’s what I want more than anything.”

Joe Royle is of the same view, agreeing that,

“People might say we are stretched with Nick Fenton and Tony Vaughan out on loan, but with the second month you have an instant recall and add to that the fact the reserves have only one more match this month, then I think it makes good sense for the players.”

Greenacre on Trial With Spireites

Chris Greenacre could become the latest City player to leave on a temporary basis – if he impresses on a two-day trial at Second Division Chesterfield. Greenacre played in only one senior game for City last term and has yet to figure for Joe Royle’s side in the current campaign. He has, however, made something of a habit of going out on loan, having enjoyed spells at Cardiff, Blackpool, Scarborough and Northampton. Manager Royle revealed that the 21-year-old is poised to add Chesterfield to his list, saying, “Chris is with Chesterfield at the moment and spending a couple of days training with them. They wanted to have a look at him before making a final decision on a loan period.” The Blues already have Jim Whitley, Craig Russell, Tony Vaughan and Nick Fenton on loan with other clubs.

Royle Gives Front Men Vote of Confidence

Joe Royle has confirmed that his decision not to pursue interest in Cameroon striker Patrick Suffo is a result of his satisfaction with the strikers already at Maine Road. “Patrick is a very decent striker who worked hard during his time with us,” said Royle of the 21-year-old who came to Maine Road on trial last week. “But he has gone back to Nantes and we won’t be proceeding with a permanent move. Any player I sign for City will hopefully improve the quality of the senior squad. But as promising as Patrick is, he is certainly no better than the strikers who are already on the payroll. I have been impressed with Shaun Goater, Paul Dickov and Gareth Taylor this season. The Americans have an expression on the lines of ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.’ My strike force certainly doesn’t need fixing so the sensible thing to do is to leave well alone.”

No Charge for Cooke Over Drug Test Farce

Terry Cooke has not been charged by the FA after failing to provide a urine sample for a random drugs test. The incident saw Cooke kept behind when his team mates left for the Worthington Cup tie at Southampton last month, much to Joe Royle’s anger. And now FA spokesman Steve Double has confirmed that the City winger will face no further action. “We have spoken at length to Joe Royle and have followed that up with a letter stressing the importance of players co-operating with our drug testing procedure,” reiterated Double. “However, in the case of Terry Cooke we accept that he didn’t refuse to supply a urine sample, he was simply unable to provide one – probably out of embarrassment.” The City manager felt that it was an acceptable outcome to an unsatisfactory episode. “Naturally Terry is relieved no action will be taken against him. There is no place for drugs in soccer and it is important that the FA have an effective drugs testing procedure, but I have to say the timing of their visit to Platt Lane was less than immaculate,” said Royle. “Terry was trying for three hours, and it is not easy to comply when there are three FA officials staring at you. It wouldn’t surprise me if Terry’s name came out of the hat again the next time the drugs testing unit visit our club.”

Ex-City Men Set for Moves

The two players at the centre of City’s record incoming and outgoing transfers are both set to move again this week. Lee Bradbury, the Blues’ costliest ever acquisition, is on the verge of rejoining his original club Portsmouth from Crystal Palace in a deal which will see Pompey hand over around one tenth of the £3 million fee Frank Clark paid to bring the former soldier from Fratton Park in the summer of 1997. Meanwhile, Georgi Kinkladze, for who Ajax paid the record fee received by City a year later, could well be returning to England. With Joe Royle declining to take up a first option to bring the Georgian back to Maine Road, the way is clear for Sheffield United to pursue their interest. The Blades may opt for a loan deal for the rest of the season before they commit to making Kinkladze’s move permanent. The joint chairman of their plc board, Mike MacDonald, is currently in Holland pursuing the negotiations. It’s being reported that MacDonald will loan his club the cash if they do end up paying the £2.5 million fee.

New Stadium to be “Awesome”

This week, I received an e-mail from someone who’s had the opportunity to view detailed plans for the City of Manchester Stadium. These are not publicly available, but apparently they bode well since they elicited the following reaction: “I’ve just had a sneak preview of the plans/drawings for the new stadium and it’s going to be absolutely awesome.”

Tranmere Away – Preview

After a two-week break, the Blues begin another frenetic period of seven games in 22 days with a trip to Prenton Park on Saturday. They’ll face the First Division’s basement club in John Aldridge’s Tranmere Rovers, with the Merseysiders having garnered only 8 points from their opening 11 matches. On their own patch, they’ve won only once in taking five points from the same number of games. However, they moved into the fourth round of the Worthington Cup with a midweek win over Oxford, and the 5-1 thumping of Premiership visitors Coventry in the previous round shows the extent of their capabilities. Manager Aldridge this week insisted his team are in a false position, but with the following three games being against likely promotion contenders in Birmingham, Blackburn and Ipswich, City can’t afford to let the ex-Republic of Ireland international be proved right on Saturday.

Peter Brophy (


The new Membership scheme gets you a ticket before they go on open sale. £7 per annum plus 2 passport type photographs. Rang City today to find that, unfortunately, it only gets you 1 ticket for 1 membership card (not guaranteed of course) so if like me you go to Maine Road with a friend or friends who do not support City, but like to visit once or twice a year, they too have to be members. A small consolation is that Spurs run exactly the same scheme but their membership costs £35 per annum.

John Shearer (


FA Cup tickets Direct

This is to remind you that the closing date for the Tickets Direct Scheme is Saturday 16th October. The scheme allows you to receive FA Cup tickets automatically once the draw is known. Payment for tickets would be deducted directly from your credit/debit card. This is an excellent way for season ticket holders to beat the queues!

Application forms can be obtained from the Ticket Office.

Manchester City Football Club – Ticket Office


I am managing a web-site auctioning lots of cheques from celebrities all around the world on behalf of “Child Flight”. This is a Manchester Airport-based charity that specialises in sending children with life-threatening conditions overseas for essential medical treatment and therapy. Being a Blue and knowing Mike Summerbee, I have arranged for a set of three cheques, payable to “A Friend Of Child Flight” in the sum of just “One Penny” to be made available for auction as a single set. These are from those great maestros of yesteryear, namely Colin Bell, Francis Lee and Mike Summerbee. We all know/remember the song “Hi Ho Hi Ho, we’re off to Mexico, with Bell & Lee & Summerbee…”. The item is framed and makes a great souvenir to hang in the home or office. The high bid on this lot currently stands at £30. The auction closes at precisely 12 noon next Sunday (17th October). View the website at “Charity Celebrity Cheque Auction” for more precise details and to view the cheques. All proceeds go direct to Child Flight to help these unfortunate children.


Peter Killick, Northampton, England (


After two lovely weeks lazing in the Spanish sun I have to say thanks to the people who gave me ideas where to watch the Ipswich game. I went down to the Clansman but he was shut. I ended up watching it in a bar called “Buzby’s” (I know I should have seen the phonetic connection). Why isn’t phonetic spelt the way it sounds? Anyway I have to confess to being responsible for our two defeats in East Anglia.

I have a bad record with City shirts. My laser blue, and the ghastly purple are always confined to cupboards on match days. Because if they are in view we always lose (honestly).

My sad tale starts with the Southampton game. The match had finished and I was travelling to the kitchen to replenish my liquid tranquiliser when I noticed the said purple thing hanging on a coat-hanger in the hall. “How long has that been there?” I enquired of my better half. “I’ve just put it there”, she replied,realising her mistake. A few chinese burns later and she informed me it was there for most of the game after she had kindly washed it (I’d been wearing it for DIY). On Saturday 25th I was in Manchester (up from the south coast) to fly to our holiday with my sister and B-I-L. Whilst shopping I bought the new Eidos shirt. This I proudly wore into Buzby’s the next day for the game, ready at last to lay my shirt hoodoo to rest (new shirt, new luck). After the game I vowed never again to wear (or have in view) the bloody thing when we played. Cut to Tuesday 28th. Whilst out for a stroll we passed The Clansman, which was now open, so we popped in for a drink. It turns out the owner Les actually went to the same school as me in Stockport so we had a drink and a few reminiscences. At one point he was talking to some Leeds folk, one of whom asked when our next game was. “Tonight at Norwich”, said Les.

Now my only excuse is that in looking forward to my holiday I hadn’t checked the fixture list. I looked down in horror at my chest, emblazoned with the EIDOS logo on my new shirt. “We’re going to lose.” I said, apologetically, to Les. “Why?”, he replied. I explained my curse. After a little wrestling I managed to convince him it was no good ripping the shirt off my back as the damage had been done. It was out on match day. As corrobarative evidence I made sure the shirt was hidden in a suitcase under the bed for the Port Vale game (what would have happened if I’d worn it?). So if you see a guy in anything but a City shirt on match day, please don’t assume he isn’t willing to shell out forty quid for the colours. Actually feel sad for somebody who has shelled out many times for something he can’t wear on the very days it should be worn.

P.S. I had an email from Ian Penney, the author of Blue Heaven, which I sent in a review for a few issues ago. He informed me that the book is out of print (which I think is a great pity because it really is a good read). If any Blues would like to read it and would pay for P&P I’m willing to lend out my copy, because as Blues I know you’d send it back.

Dave Kilroy (


As it is a very quiet week newswise – we still haven’t bought a striker (Ndah, Johnson, Asaba, Taylor, anyone, can’t leave it all to Goater!) – just thought I’d say something of conversation I had with Eidos top honcho Ian Livingston.

Through doing a games column for a magazine I went off to the Imax in Waterloo, London for the launch of the latest Eidos game Urban Chaos. It certainly kicked ass and is a surefire hit for Xmas. UC has a decent post-millennium apocalyptic story and great femme fatal star D’arcy who finds herself up against a nasty doomsday cult. The best thing about Urban Chaos is that you’re not stuck going through some tunnel all the time and you can roam over the decaying city as you like. Recommended! Tomb Raider 4 also looks good, although Lara doesn’t wear a city kit.

Anyhow, I got chatting to the genial Livingston and he explained that his sponsorship of City was just a pure indulgence and he was really glad that we didn’t end up with a knitting company name on the shirts. I took this with a pinch of salt until I spoke to one Eidos’ charming PR lasses, who explained that in the summer she’d received an urgent memo from Ian asking her to distribute a press release saying that Eidos was sponsoring City, before the next board meeting! Brilliant.

He also said that city need another striker, but I didn’t get much chance to talk to him other than that. Very nice bloke though, proof that millions don’t always ruin people.

Shepherd’s Blue Blue Blue


I’ve been hearing a lot lately about a certain song called “The fan of the Invisible Man”. Does anyone know what it’s all about, where it came from, if there is a full version of it or why it is associated with City etc.?

I don’t know why it appeals to me, it just seems interesting.

Many thanks, Paul Rawling (


In your last report (MCIVTA 543) Kieran Casey wrote that the similarities between Manchester City and the Boston Red Sox were spooky. He went on to note how there were (also) similarities between Bo Sox and City fans.

You could have knocked me down with a feather.

Tonight, my boys just finished up a three game whooping of the Cleveland Indians (back in 1990, the first team I ever saw play the Red Sox at Fenway – they lost then too hehehe), and now they move forward to dispose of the Yankees.

“What’s yer point?” I hear you say: well, only that I read Kieran’s letter wearing a Red Sox t-shirt (thanks mother in law) whilst drinking some PG Tips (thanks gran) out of my MCFC Super Blues mug (thanks mom). Ahem.

It seems Kieran is onto something.

CTID and “the curse of the Bambino” is lifted, Jack Buckley – Clayton, North Carolina <Jack10000days(at)>


Alright, for a start I am the one to whom Mike Wilson referred in his piece about the Yankees and Mets in MCIVTA 543. That said why the hell would anyone start worrying about comparing baseball and football teams? I developed a mild interest in baseball while living this side of the Atlantic because that’s all there was to see on the TV. Bermuda (where I was living at the time) being so close to the US that its (two shortly thereafter reduced to one) TV stations carried almost 100% American programming. Baseball never became anywhere near as important as football (or more to the point City) in my life and never will. Now living in the New York metro area the Yankees happen to be one of the two local teams.

I originally picked the Yankees to follow because they were the first team I saw when visiting the states, not because they were the storied franchise who had more money than everyone else. I suppose that could have been the Mets but it wasn’t. So f****n what. As a matter of interest I supported the Mets in ’86 against the Red Sox merely because there’s a much bigger rivalry between the Yankees and Sox than there is with the Mets. What’s more, as Kieran Casey rightly said, the Mets have plenty of money also. They signed a player this season on a $91m contract, so don’t give me this cr*p about poor relations. I wonder if their UK supporter(s) even knew that.

What I can’t understand is why anyone would start ‘supporting’ US baseball teams living in England. If I lived there I’m damn sure I wouldn’t give a toss about it, especially if I had spent very little time in the States. No doubt the advent of satellite TV has had an influence in the process but does that mean that everyone will also have to form an affinity with an Italian basketball team and one in Czech ice hockey? Seems to be a little sad when City isn’t enough. Why not follow a team in English ice hockey, Rugby League, Rugby Union or whatever? Then “eagerly awaited” victories will be that much “sweeter” because they can be enjoyed on a personal basis at the game not a few days later in the papers.

This newsletter (which I greatly appreciate and ‘eagerly await’ twice a week) is about City and football. Let’s not bore the pants off the readership any more with talk of unrelated sports.

CTID, Michael Warren – Redding Blue on BlueView (


I must say that I’ve always equated City with the Boston Red Sox too… and another connection is that there is reputed to be a ‘curse’ on them which, this season, seems to be lifting. To go 81 years without winning a trophy is heartbreaking, especially as they haven’t ever really been a ‘bad’ team, just unlucky and unable to prevent untimely self-destruction like when they led the final game of a World Series only for a fielder to commit an ‘error’ (for which read an own goal) which handed the World Series to the New York Mets. They have lived forever in the shadow of the New York Yankees, who seem to expect success and have been champions of baseball about 40 times in the last century. The Yankees are the team to follow if you want to be certain of winning something every few years. Sound familiar?

It’s tough to laud the Red Sox, however, as they have just beaten my team – the Cleveland Indians – to go through to the ‘semi-finals’ of the World Series against the Yankees. Cleveland themselves were a great side in the 1940s and last won a ‘trophy’ (i.e. The World Series) in 1948 but for the next 40 years were regarded as being something of a joke within baseball circles. That should give teams like ours hope; all it takes is the will to turn things around (which we obviously have at Maine Road) and pots of money (which we obviously don’t!).

Baseball’s a great game, with real passion and excitement (some of the time) but with vastly overpaid players who are bigger than the clubs they play for, and which is ruled by TV demands; now where have I heard that sort of description applied to a sport before?

Andy Jackson (


One of my friend are having a birthday party soon, and we’re preparing a quiz for him. He is a fanatic Manure Fan so we’re planing ask him some humiliating Man Utd / Man City questions. Does anyone out there knows some good ones – anything’s welcome – but I know the one with Dennis Law.

CTID, Niels B. Hansen (


Does anyone know where City shares can be purchased and at what price?

Warren Mittoo (


I’m off to New York on 24th of October for a week. Does anyone know a bar that will have footie news on? Or, is it the usual, down to the Internet Cafe to get the results?

John Stewart (


Why’s anyone Blue? It’s easy isn’t it, that special day when we won 5-1. The atmosphere was amazing, flags flying in the Kippax, and the whole ground was electrified in celebration. I was 10 at the time and already a City fan. I had been all my life, but that day was something special. I can’t imagine anyone there that day would ever turn their back on the club. The year was 1985, and we had just clinched promotion. It was supposed to be the start of a new era, but instead two years later we were back in the Second Division.

A bad start to the first season down followed by a good run (10 wins in a row?) being ended by an Eric Nixon punch (to Ian Wright’s head) saw us finish in mid-table. There was hope though, the youth system was producing, and the next season saw the likes of Lake, Hinchcliffe, Redmond, Brightwell, White, and other home-grown talent (along with some brilliant goalkeeping from Nigel Gleghorn), and a couple of close friends (Bish and Trev) fire us into the First Division on the heels of Chelsea.

The season started poorly in the top flight but for a day of light relief at Maine Road in September, and eventually the board decided on a solution. I can’t speak for all City fans but the Kendall era for me was the greatest test of my faith. In saving us from relegation he’d stolen the spirit, and destroyed the youth system. Reidy took over of course, but for me the damage was finally done. Yes, there were good years under Reid, but the end was coming. Only expensive signings were keeping us where we were, and the wages that came with them were crippling the club. Gradually it all fell apart and the rest you all know only too well.

Thankfully the Bernstein revolution has seen the youth system reinvented, and the future looks promising. We’ve now got a manager who likes to play it simple, and accepts the purse isn’t bottomless. The press have jumped on the bandwagon again, the crowds are amazing, and the team is beginning to roll.

Richard Neal (


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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 #544