Newsletter #570

That Leeds result seems to have had a strange effect on the readership of MCIVTA, curiously compelling people to write in ‘en masse’. Consequently, this is quite a large issue, with the vast majority consisting of opinion about the Premiership quality of the team, and Richard Edghill in particular. The main news this issue is that Brown has departed for pastures new for a rather meagre £400,000; the good news (maybe) is that we can all see him again on the 22nd when he lines up against us for the ‘Blades’. Talking of ‘Blades’, ex-SUFC striker Gareth Taylor has also been the subject of a £400,000 deal, but chose to turn down the chance to move to Fortuna Sittard in Holland.

…and big surprise, the ‘Beckham – lingerie’ jokes have started to flow!

Lastly, a plug for the opening of the High Peak Supporters’ Branch next Tuesday (my local) with Super Kev and Chris Bird in attendance. So, if you live in the Whaley Bridge, New Mills, Disley, Chapel-en-le-Frith area (or further afield), why not come along to the Jodrell Arms in Whaley. An unmissable chance to lobby the appropriately named Chris Bird for the restoration of the Kippax seagull!

Next game: Fulham at home, Sunday 16th January 2000


City Lose Top Spot

Charlton deposed Manchester City from top spot in Division One on Tuesday evening. The Londoners won their game in hand 3-2 at Wolves to move a point clear of the Blues. After falling behind to a Havard Flo goal, Alan Curbishley’s side hit back to lead at the break thanks to Richard Rufus and Martin Pringle. Charlton extended their advantage in the second period through John Robinson. Although Steve Sedgeley reduced the arrears and the home side then enjoyed a spell of late pressure, the Addicks held on to take the points. The result means that if Charlton win at home to Crewe on Saturday, City will begin Sunday’s game against Fulham four points off the lead.

Taylor Turns Down Fortuna Sittard

Gareth Taylor has rejected the chance to join Fortuna Sittard on a club trip to Spain during the Dutch season’s mid-season break. The Dutch club was prepared to pay £400,000 for the transfer-listed striker’s services but he has chosen instead to seek a move closer to home. Taylor almost moved to Holland once before, when he was on the verge of joining FC Utrecht a couple of years ago. However, while he was keen on the idea of playing in Holland then, family considerations were behind the his decision not to pursue the switch to Sittard. “I would have been happy to go [to Utrecht] but times are different for me now,” he explained. “I’ve got a family now and it would have meant a big upheaval for us. I did a bit of research on Fortuna too and they’re not exactly setting the world alight in Holland. The move just wasn’t right for me. I’m keen to stay in this country, and hopefully something suitable will come up.”

Mixed Feelings for Blades-Bound Brown

Michael Brown has agreed a three-and-a-half year contract with Sheffield United after the Blades and City agreed a £400,000 fee for the player. The player will sign subject to a medical but the former England under-21 man admits to having mixed feelings over leaving Maine Road. While he’s happy to have a chance to further his career at Bramall Lane, the 22-year-old feels the City management didn’t give him a chance to prove his worth. “There have been no arguments between myself and Joe Royle,” reflected Brown. “It is simply that he does not rate me as a player. I am gutted to be leaving, I never ever wanted to go but now I have got to get on with it. I have enjoyed my month at Bramall Lane. It is reasonably close to where I live, they are a good set of lads and the fans and the manager have made me feel completely wanted.” Brown will have an early chance to show Royle what he’s lost when City play at Bramall Lane a week on Saturday.

Wiekens Banned for Blades Fixture

The Blues could face a defensive selection crisis for the trip to Sheffield United on 22 January. Andy Morrison won’t be ready to return by then and defender Gerard Wiekens will miss the match through suspension. Club captain Morrison is stepping up his comeback bid and will spend next week at Lilleshall for a week of intensive rehabilitation work. His comeback date is pencilled in as 5 February, when the Blues visit Nottingham Forest. Meanwhile, Wiekens has been handed a one-match ban after picking up his fifth booking of the campaign when City visited Crewe on 3 January. Joe Royle does, however, still have options for the Bramall Lane trip – he could give Nick Fenton a first start of the season, switch Richard Edghill and bring in Lee Crooks at full-back or even recall the transfer-listed Tony Vaughan.

Jobson Relaxed Over New Deal

Richard Jobson’s contract at Manchester City expires at the end of the season. But despite speculation that the veteran defender is about to enter contract talks with the Blues, Jobson says he’s just happy to be playing. A serious injury saw the free transfer signing from Leeds miss the whole of last season through injury and given his advanced years, many thought he wouldn’t feature again for City. But after playing 28 successive games this term, the 36-year-old said, “I’m not getting too carried away and when you get to my age you can’t look too far ahead. The main thing is that the team are doing well and everything is going well on the pitch.”

PFA Buys Painting by City Fan Lowry

The PFA has paid £1.9 million for original painting by City fan L.S. Lowry. The work in question, the artist’s famous depiction of a football crowd, will go on permanent loan to Salford’s Lowry Centre. The ground selected by Lowry as his setting was Bolton Wanderers’ former home at Burnden Park – chosen because it was nearer to his home. Of course, a certain other stadium was in fact nearer to Lowry’s Salford base, but his staunch support for Manchester City reputedly made him refuse to set foot in Old Trafford.

City vs. Leeds a Big TV Draw

Sunday’s meeting at Maine Road of two clubs part-owned by BSkyB saw the broadcaster achieve high viewing figures in homes receiving satellite and cable channels. The match drew an audience of comfortably in excess of 1 million domestic viewers despite being shown two hours earlier than the 4pm slot normally regarded as the Sunday football prime time. The figure doesn’t include those who watched in bars and pubs since there’s no reliable method of assessing this number. Not surprisingly, the majority of viewers were male and in the 18 to 54 age range.

City Concentrate on the League

Last weekend’s Cup defeat means that City have only the one potential route to glory this season, and the Sky cameras will again be in attendance as the Blues attempt to return to winning ways in a vital game against Fulham this Sunday. Paul Bracewell’s team were altogether more successful in the FA Cup fourth round, beating Wimbledon 3-0, but went out of the League Cup in midweek on penalties at Leicester – it’s to be hoped Wednesday’s extra-time exertions will take their toll at Maine Road. While the game is vital to City, Fulham also need the points to boost their play-off ambitions. The Cottagers are currently only in eighth place and owner Mohamed Al-Fayed has big expectations.

Peter Brophy (


People were talking about this been a test about how far this City team had come, I on the other hand saw it as a fun day out against top quality opposition. I thought we