Newsletter #598

Fingers crossed for the Easter weekend! MCIVTA will be going out as usual next Monday evening, so for those of you who are attending the two matches and have access to the Internet at home, please consider doing a match report. If anyone could do a Portsmouth report by 9.00pm on Monday (a tall order I realise), please let me know and I’ll hold MCIVTA back.

This issue has Peter’s news, lots of comment and opinion, 2 Why Blues, and… surprise, surprise, lots of ticket requests!

All the best, Ashley.

Next game: Tranmere at home, Saturday 22nd April 2000


Weekend Display “Not Good Enough”

Manchester City’s draw at Grimsby on Saturday was notable for a disappointing performance from the Blues. And according to new boy Spencer Prior, the players are well aware that the display was below par. Prior scored his second goal in as many games to give the Blues the ideal start at Blundell Park. But City allowed the Mariners back into the game, and the ex-Derby defender knows better form will be needed in the season’s last four fixtures. “If we play like that for the rest of the season, there’s no way we’ll go up,” he candidly told the Manchester Evening News. “We let ourselves and our travelling supporters down.” However, striker Shaun Goater believes the events at Grimsby may provide a “reality check” to focus the squad on what needs to be done to win promotion.

City Reserves Clinch Title

Manchester City reserves have clinched the Pontin’s League Premier Division title. The Blues second string won 4-1 at Grimsby on Tuesday afternoon to give them the three points they needed to put them beyond the reach of Huddersfield at the top of the table. Robert Taylor played for the whole game as he continued his fitness bid, while Andy Morrison also provided boss Joe Royle with some good news by lasting for 80 minutes of the Blundell Park encounter. Taylor and fellow-striker Lee Mills, who could be in competition for a place on the bench in Saturday’s first-team clash with Tranmere, were both on the mark for City. Jamie Pollock and Gary Mason completed the scoring.

Royle Tight-Lipped Over Transfers

Rumours have already started to fly about possible Manchester City close-season transfer targets. But Joe Royle is refusing to be drawn on his summer recruitment policy. The Blues were linked last week with Aston Villa midfielder Alan Thompson, while the Sheffield Wednesday pair of midfielder Danny Sonner and defender Peter Atherton have also been mentioned. However, Royle has made clear he won’t discuss prospective signings until his team’s promotion fate is decided. Meanwhile, Newcastle, Arsenal and Manchester United have all recently been linked with City goalkeeper Nicky Weaver but there’s been no change in the firm “hands-off” line coming out of Maine Road.

Bishop Talks Put On Hold

Manchester City have been in contract talks with Ian Bishop for several weeks. But the midfielder hasn’t signed a new deal – and now he won’t do so until the end of the season at least. The 34-year-old had reportedly been holding out for a two-year deal rather than accepting the club’s single-year offer. But now Joe Royle has decided that the Blues have other priorities as the end of the season nears. “We haven’t spoken about Ian Bishop’s contract and we won’t be speaking about any players contracts now until the end of the season,” the City boss explained to the official club website at “We have bigger fish to fry at the moment.”

City to Pass Up on McGregor?

Mark McGregor, who has twice had trial spells at Manchester City, is out of contract in the summer and is set to leave Conference club Forest Green Rovers. But although the striker impressed at Maine Road, Joe Royle may not make a move for the £150,000-rated 21-year-old. McGregor is reportedly keen to move to the Blues, but Joe Royle’s interest in Altrincham’s Kevin Ellison has led to speculation that he may be denied the opportunity. “Manchester City would have been a dream move for him,” said Forest Green boss Frank Gregan. “But if it isn’t going to happen, I’m sure he’ll find another good club. We are resigned to losing him.” As their top scorer is under 24, the Gloucestershire outfit will be entitled to a fee – although it may be tribunal-assessed. Bristol Rovers and Cardiff have also been linked with the player.

Ex-City Trialist’s Blades Chance

Striker Patrick Suffo failed to earn homself a move to Manchester City earlier in the season. But now another English club is eyeing the Nantes forward. The 21-year-old spent a week at to Maine Road in the autumn, but the Blues elected not to pursue a reported £1 million transfer. However, the Cameroon international is now set for a two-week trial at Sheffield United and will be hoping for better luck at Bramall Lane.

Striker Bids to Stake His Claim

Robert Taylor is returning to fitness and has played twice for the City reserves in the last week. And the autumn signing from Gillingham is hoping to persuade Joe Royle that he has a rôle to play as the season nears its close. Since moving to Maine Road, Taylor has added just three goals to the tally of eighteen he managed for the Gills at the start of the campaign. And the ex-Brentford man has been dogged by a series of illnesses and injuries. Now, however, the 29-year-old says he feels close to peak fitness after shedding over half a stone in weight, and he could be handed a substitute’s rôle for the visit of Tranmere on Saturday. “It is going to be hard for me to get back into the side,” he admitted, “but hopefully there will be a rôle for me. I am as sharp as I have been for ages.”

Prior Looking to Maintain His Standards

Spencer Prior has played Premiership football for most of the last seven years. And the Southend-born defender knows that if he can maintain top-flight standards in the last four games of the First Division season, he’ll have a good chance of returning to the highest level next term. The recent signing from Derby has made an immediate impact at Maine Road, with the Blues conceding only two goals in five games since his arrival. And after notching only five league goals in 326 games with his previous four professional clubs, he’s even found the net twice since switching to the Blues. The 28-year-old says he’s determined not to let his performance levels fall after dropping down to Division One, telling local radio station BBC GMR, “I have my own standards, which I have to maintain.”

Morrison Return to Boost Blues?

Manchester City have missed the influence of Andy Morrison for almost six months. But the Blues’ skipper could return to senior action before the end of the season. Morrison returned to training at the start of the month after missing with a knee injury since the October visit to Port Vale. But the big defender’s comeback is going well, and he played for 45 minutes of a reserve friendly at Altrincham last week and for 85 minutes of the second string’s match at Grimsby on Tuesday. Now local radio station BBC GMR reports that City’s influential captain could boost manager Joe Royle by being available for the last couple of games in the promotion run-in.

Goater – Crowd Can Lift Us

Manchester City hope to put last week’s poor performance at Grimsby behind them when Tranmere visit Maine Road on Saturday. And Shaun Goater feels the backing of the home support could help to put the Blues’ promotion charge back on track. With City having picked up only one win (at bottom club Swindon) and seven points in their last six away games, victories in the last two home games of the regular season could be vital if automatic promotion is to be secured. And the Blues will be hoping for a repeat of their commanding form in the last two Maine Road games against Bolton and Crewe. Top scorer Shaun Goater feels that, as against the Trotters and the Railwaymen, the City support will play its part. “It’s is a good thing that we will have the support to back us a hundred per cent,” the Bermudian front man told the club’s official website at, “and we will give a hundred per cent too.”

Ticket Quiz Set for Repeat

Grimsby Town’s ticket quiz successfully prevented the infiltration of areas for home fans by travelling Manchester City supporters when the sides met on Saturday. And now the idea seems to be catching on. The Mariners hailed their ticketing policy after only two fans in a crowd of over 8,000 were ejected when the Blues visited Blundell Park. And now Cambridge United are set to launch a similar policy for the Easter Monday clash with Preston at the Abbey Stadium.

Thousands to Miss Out on Blackburn Tickets

Manchester City still look set to be involved in a tense promotion battle when the final day of the regular Division One season comes round. And tickets for visit to Blackburn will be like gold dust. The Blues have been given an allocation of 6,157 for the Ewood Park clash on May 7. And not surprisingly, these have sold out swiftly. With Rovers insisting that no further tickets will be made available for away fans, touts will be sure to do excellent business, but thousands of fans from Manchester will still miss out. However, at least if anything is riding on the fixture, Sky cameras are certain to ensure fans can see the action second hand.

Bernstein – City Thinking Global

Manchester City are desperately hoping to be competing in next season’s Premiership. And the Blues know they’ll have to think big if they’re promoted – with link-ups with overseas clubs likely to be one item on the agenda. The Blues’ focus is currently on making sure promotion is won, but David Bernstein knows that City will have to think big if they’re in the top flight. The City chairman admits he’s monitoring the proposed tie-up between Leeds and Oldham, although the Blues may look to avoid potential conflicts of interest by seeking an arrangement with a foreign club – like Manchester United have with Antwerp. “I can certainly see the sense of such a link,” said Bernstein. “If we make it into the Premiership and have access to those extra resources all those sorts of things will be open to us.”

Chairman Respects Game’s Tradition

David Bernstein has been outlining his fears about football’s future as more and more money pours into the game. And the City chairman has pledged that while he’s in charge at Maine Road, the club will not forget its grass-roots supporters. Speaking to the Westminster branch of the City supporters’ club, Bernstein illustrated his concerns by talking about the FA Cup, which he feels has been treated “with disdain” by the football’s powers that be. And he feels that this isn’t the only area in which the football’s traditional fabric is being disregarded, citing a number of other factors including spiralling ticket prices. It’s a trend with which he’s uncomfortable, and he observed to the meeting, “A lack of respect for the game’s traditions may come back to haunt us.”

Andy Plans Promotion Party

Bar owner Andy Holmes looks likely to be thwarted in his plans to return home from American Deep South for the climax to the Division One promotion race. But the 33-year-old has special plans for a celebration if his beloved Manchester City succeed in their Premiership quest. A native of Ashton-under-Lyne, Holmes is now the owner of the Churchill’s bar in Savannah, Georgia. But, like many exiled Mancunians throughout the world, he’s unable to forget the Blues – and he spends hours on the telephone and on the Internet gathering news of the team. And while he had originally hoped to be present at Maine Road for City’s last home game of the season against Birmingham at the end of April, he’s instead turned his thoughts to planning a memorable party to commemorate what will hopefully be promotion for the team. “I’m already making plans,” he told the Manchester Evening News, “including food colouring to make the beer blue.”

City Ladies Follow Reserve Lead

Manchester City’s ladies team made it a double Championship celebration for the Blues on Tuesday. The clinched the national women’s league first division title, emulating the club’s reserve side earlier in the day. The City second string had won 4-1 at Grimsby in the afternoon to clinch the Pontins League Premier Division crown. And the ladies notched a commanding win of their own by thrashing Bolton 6-1. The result means that the City ladies will next year take their place in the women’s Premier League – a feat their male counterparts will hope to match shortly.

Kinkladze Completes Derby Switch

When crowd idol Georgi Kinkladze left Maine Road two years ago, many Manchester City fans hoped the Blues would one day use their first option on the player to bring him back to the club. But those hopes have now been dashed. Kinkladze’s £5 million move to Ajax quickly turned into a nightmare, with the Georgian soon consigned to the Amsterdam club’s reserves on a permanent basis. This season he joined Derby on loan and the switch has today been made permanent for an undisclosed fee. When the player headed for Holland in 1998, there were reports that City would be entitled to a percentage of any sell-on fee received by the Dutch outfit – although it’s as yet unclear whether Joe Royle’s transfer kitty will indeed be supplemented with funds from this source.

Warrington to Offer New Reserve Venue?

Super League club Warrington Wolves are set to move to a new home in 2002. And the rugby outfit have admitted that after the relocation, they’d love to host the reserve-team fixtures of one of Manchester’s big two football clubs. Over the last few years, major football clubs have begun to play reserve fixtures away from their main stadium, and the Blues now host second string fixtures at Hyde while United use Bury’s Gigg Lane. But the Wolves want a piece of the action as they bid to maximise use of their new facility. “It’s logical to look at this kind of share scheme,” Chief Executive Peter Deakin told the Manchester Evening News. “Having United or City play in Warrington would be ideal.”

Double Fitness Boost for Tranmere Clash

After picking up injuries in last weekend’s trip to Grimsby, Gerard Wiekens and Mark Kennedy were rated doubtful for the clash against Tranmere on Saturday. But the latest news on the pair is more hopeful, with Joe Royle saying the Blues now have “no major injury concerns”. Wiekens sustained a back injury while Kennedy damaged an achilles tendon against the Mariners, but both should be fit to give Royle almost a full squad to pick from for the visit of John Aldridge’s team. Of the senior squad, only Andy Morrison and Lee Peacock aren’t available for first-team selection, although the skipper is now on the comeback trail while the ex-Mansfield striker is already back in light training.

Strength in Depth for Easter Programme

Strength in depth could be a crucial factor in the Division One promotion race, with all the contenders now facing three matches in the space of a week. And Joe Royle has been boosted by the recent returns to fitness of Robert Taylor and Lee Crooks. Royle has already named a twenty-strong squad for the Easter weekend games against Portsmouth and Tranmere. And the fit-again pair, along with Tony Grant and Shaun Wright-Phillips, have been added to the sixteen players on duty for the recent games against Bolton, Crewe and Grimsby. Meanwhile, the City boss is also hoping to keep his players in peak condition for the run-in with an intensive aerobics course. The Blues already undertake demanding physical training work with fitness coach Ed Baranowski.

Weekend Opponents in Midweek Action

Manchester City are in action against Tranmere Rovers in a crucial promotion battle on Saturday. And the Blues will be hoping that a midweek engagement takes its toll on the Merseysiders. John Aldridge’s men face relegation-threatened Port Vale on Tuesday evening. And with the Rovers’ manager admitting that several of his players looked tired in last Saturday’s defeat at Swindon, Joe Royle will be hoping that the Vale clash has exacerbated the problem.

Tranmere Safe Ahead of Maine Road Visit

Tranmere Rovers represent the Blues’ next obstacle on the road which will hopefully lead to automatic promotion. And the Merseysiders come to Maine Road on Saturday mathematically safe from the spectre of relegation. John Aldridge’s side beat Port Vale 2-1 on Tuesday night, a result that leaves Vale’s former City boss Brian Horton facing a first taste of relegation in a 30-year professional career. And at the same time, the win moved the Birkenhead outift onto 53 points – a point more than the maximum total for third-bottom Walsall. And the Blues will be hoping that Tranmere’s position of mid-table safety leaves the Wirral club’s players with little incentive in Saturday’s clash between the teams.

Midfield Worries for Aldridge

Tranmere Rovers beat Port Vale on Tuesday despite fielding a weakened midfield. And the Wiral club may once again be under-strength in the middle of the park when they visit Manchester City on Saturday. Nicky Henry, who played under Royle at Oldham, has been sidelined for the rest of the season after being involved in a car accident. And Alan Mahon and Jason Koumas also missed the match against Vale and may also not have recovered in time for the visit to Maine Road. But Aldridge will be hoping that stand-in Richard Hinds, normally a defender, carries on against the Blues where he left off in midweek. “He went in and adapted very well,” said the Rovers’ boss. “He is one of those players that can play in most positions, which we need at the club.”

Rovers Ready for Tough Test

Tranmere Rovers travel to Maine Road on Saturday to present City’s next hurdle on the promotion course. And the visitors’ manager has been impressed by the Blues’ performances this season. John Aldridge say he’s looking forward to experiencing the atmosphere generated by a 32,000 crowd when his team visits Maine Road. But the former Republic of Ireland man has already made the trip more than once this season. “I have been there a few times this season to watch City,” he explains, “and they have really impressed me. Joe Royle has got some good quality players together who like to play football and they play football very, very well.”

Peter Brophy (


Well if Joe Royle thought that the last 10 games would be a “season within a season” then the last 4 are definitely going to be a “season within a season within a season”. In the immortal words of Mike Harding (don’t ask):

“E’d bitten ‘is nails right down to t’quick, so ‘e bit ’em down to t’slow”

So for anyone who thought the end of season run-in was going to be a formality now that we’ve regained 2nd place, then the message from last weekend is pretty clear:

G   et
R   eal -
I   pswich
M   ight
S   lip

Steve Maclean (


How I agree with the comments made by Geoff and Gary (MCIVTA 597). Quite a few of us are getting mightily sick and tired of those constant detractors. Last Saturday there were several around us swearing and cursing at just about every player on the pitch and even those on the bench. We also get it at home games where individual players are slated and “shouldn’t be on the pitch” (to put it mildly) with comments quickly forgotten if they set up or score a goal, or do some excellent defending.

What do they think they can achieve by this? Honestly, these “supporters” would be better off sat at home, have a few beers, shout at the tv/radio, not waste their money or time and leave the seats to people who genuinely want to go and (performance allowing) enjoy the game.

It serves no purpose other than to give the opposing team and supporters an advantage and quickly destroy the confidence of our own players as has been sadly reported only too often by the players themselves.

We all have the odd “bad day at the office” but are fortunate not to do it in front of so many thousand people. I know we pay our money and have expectations but surely we go because we support the team? Support is the operative word. The atmosphere for the Bolton game was superb, so come on and get right behind them for the next few games.

Oh and one last thing – for the guy who was enjoying himself singing out loud but alone “you only fish when you’re singing”, whatever you’re on, can we all have some please?

Heidi Pickup (


This is a very belated thank you to all of you who filled in my City questionnaire last year. I am particularly grateful to those of you who passed copies on to friends and family – excellent effort! Thanks also to those who volunteered to meet for a drink. I decided against this in the end, mainy due to the time and expense which that would have involved, and I have plenty of interesting material to use through the questionnaires. I got 50 back which I think is a pretty decent return. I am just finishing my dissertation now and I have quoted some of you – hope you don’t mind! A few of you mentioned that you would like to see my dissertation when it’s finished. I will happily send you a copy (providing it gets a decent grade) if you drop me another email.

Thanks again for all your help. At the risk of tempting fate, hopefully I’ll be bumping into some of you at Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs etc. next season. This is not the best time to be studying for final exams!

Pat Moore (


I am doing a vote for this season and I would like everyone to vote at

Chris Craddock (


So there we are last week, me and the Beav, in our little local hostelry, The Georgetown Saloon in deepest darkest Connecticut cowboy country (you think I’m joking but you should see them all in their cowboy boots and hats). We are about the only two Brits who go in the place (actually there is one more ‘regular’ from Birmingham but he never buys anyone a drink so he doesn’t count).

We are sat there having a beer and overhear an English accent belonging to a man at the bar picking up a take-out food order. Not being the shy type Beav turns straight round and starts talking to him, asking him where he’s from in England. The bloke, quite a friendly type, says “Blackpool and London”. On hearing this I say to him “Blackpool? Well you do look like Stanley Matthews.” The chap says “Well that’s my dad”. Thinking he was joking I said “Yeah right”, as you do, but he crossed his heart and said “No really”. We had a chat for a few minutes and he told us a bit about his dad.

Turns out he really is the son of Sir Stan and lives in the town next to ours. Seems a decent guy and he said he would come and join us for happy hour one night.

Michael Warren a.k.a. Redding Blue/RB (


Look, the point is, we are City till we die. My 66-year-old father, my 6-year-old daughter and I went to watch City play Crewe and beat them 4-0 in one of the most entertaining and one-sided games I have ever seen. Frankly, I was delighted, because my daughter is still at an impressionable age, and I need all the help I can get to persuade her that there is only one football team worthy of her support! For me, it was the fulfilment of an ambition I hadn’t realised previously, as I hadn’t appreciated the possibility of the three of us being at Maine Road together, given my father’s poor health and my daughter’s interest in small animals, giving sufficient opportunity for my ambition to be realised. But for anyone in the Main stand (block HR) you may have noticed the collective hug (and flag waving on my daughter’s part) as each goal was scored, albeit you may not have appreciated the collective significance for me.

26 years since City lost to Wolves at Wembley in the League Cup final (me and my dad in tears). 18 years since my father’s first heart attack. 9 years since my wife’s first miscarriage, less than 12 months since City nearly finished us all off against Gillingham. The point is, had we lost last May, we would now be near the top of the 2nd Division, with 30,000+ fans turning up each week. Frankly, because we have no choice – it is our birthright, or our choice through some bizarre set of circumstances or other, to be City fans. And come mid August, whether we are playing Sunderland or Stockport, we’ll still be there, regardless. Let’s hope it’s Sunderland (and let’s hope we beat them) but if it’s not, let’s not forget why we support City, and it’s not because we are glory seekers. Tranmere, Portsmouth, Birmingham and Blackburn stand in our way, and if they stop us, they won’t stop us, because what is important is our support, not our apparent success (our support is our success, if we want it to be). Blue Moon, I saw you standing alone, without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own.

Come on City! Come on City! Come on City! Come on City! but if you lose, we’ll still be there.

John Roughton (


Paul Stevenson raises a very fair point about ticket distribution and the much vaunted “attendance tracking”. Can anyone explain how this is supposed to work? A few years back when we finished the season at Stoke City, having been to two-thirds of the away matches, I missed out on the match vs. Stoke because I was “only” a mere fourth year season ticket holder. Then last year as a regular I was unable to get tickets for some matches at the smaller grounds because I could not get to Maine Road for 4.00 am to start queueing. So I was pleased when the new broom at the club announced that a system of attendance tracking was to be set up to give priority for ticket application to people who regularly travel away. At the start of the season this had to take the form of asking for ticket stubs as the system would need some time to build up data. Hence my Bolton ticket stub proved very useful for getting tickets to Ipswich, Walsall etc. Now we are a full season into this tracking system and a big match looms at Blackburn and guess what? Tickets will be sold on the basis of a ticket stub from Wolverhampton and a regular season ticket. If you have a fourth year season ticket and have not missed a match all season, you are behind approx. 10,000 regular season ticket holders, some of whom have not been to an away match all season. Come on Man City, show some loyalty to those fans who travelled to Ipswich for a 1pm sunday kick off or to Norwich for a midweek game. Here endeth the rant.

Jim Curtis (


I believe that Jack Millington has got it wrong. When Man United beat us 5-0 and Kanchelskis tore us apart (in Brian Horton’s reign) I believe our left back was Brightwell (not Ian, but his brother, David). Brightwell had scored a screamer the week before but everyone thought that Phelan should have been restored to the team because he was considerably quicker than Brightwell and might be more able to cope with Kanchelskis’s pace: everyone but Horton that is. I seem to remember that Simon Tracey was the goalkeeper that day, but I could be wrong (the same one who played for Sheffield United this year).

Anyway what all that has to do with Edghill I don’t know! Edgy might be loyal, but he’s no captain. We’ve begun to look good since Prior came and sorted out the defence (very much like Andy Morrison did last year). I agree with Jack though – if we go up we’ll need a new right back. Someone who doesn’t give the opposition the ball. Incidentally, I’m still one of those who believes that the whole Terry Cooke episode has been so badly handled. It would be good to have him back even if he only played in the second half when the opposition is tiring. It would also take the pressure off Kennedy and allow him to roam a bit more!

Ian Burgess (


It looks like I’ll have to start this one.

It’s apparent to me that we all know that Edghill is not the greatest right back on earth but wouldn’t it be great to annoy the boo-boys by giving as many votes as possible to our much maligned Edgie!

I know that Weaver and Jobson should come way ahead but the (sometimes overtly racist) taunting of Richard requires a positive response. I was one of Goater’s doubters but have recognised the vast ball control improvement and incisive running (not discounting goalscoring – 26!) he has made this season and so to send the best message to our misguided brethren let’s make the 1 and 2 for player of the season a couple of unpopular guys! Shaun for his fantastic goalscoring and never say die attitude and Edgie for not saying F*** Y** City fans and never giving up in the face of unacceptable abuse; a True Blue player.

P.S. We are a Premiership club in all but (present) position ’cause City doesn’t mean Bradford, Coventry, Birmingham, Norwich or anything else to anyone in the country. It means Man City; the only team from Manchester!

CTID, David Blyth (


Only 4 games to go, every one crucial as we all know.

Something we can do without for the final 4 games is any cat-calling or booing to any City player; if a player is not playing up to par, he needs to be cheered on, not the opposite. And, if a player’s performance is really off, have faith; Joe Royle will replace him in due course.

From this point on cheer and cheer Cuty, they need encouragement all the way. Anything other than cheers will make a player even more nervous, we do not want that.

Come on you Blues, you can do it – have faith!

Ernie Barrow (


I’d just like to say that I agree with Chris Loveridge when he says that we should put in a bid for Suker come the summer. He is a quality player who has an awesome goalscoring record at both club and international (nearly a goal a game). It’d be fantastic to see a player of his quality on the Maine Road turf, and by far better than Lee Mills who has not proved himself for us (fair enough he’s been injured) but he’s only scored around 5 goals for Bradford this season, and if the Premier League is where we’re heading then surely we need proven players. As for Lee Dixon, he is old. He may still be good, but he is far the wrong side of thirty and would probably want a lot of money. I’d like to see us stick by our own players (i.e. Richard Edghill).

Ed Bodey (


Being one of the 25% of season ticket holders who have not received the form re the play-offs, I just wonder if the ticket office will ever get its act together? Seemingly, the distribution of the forms is via an agency in Stoke who have had to make a second mailing to attempt to sort the problem. However, the problem, so I was told, is that they were confused when there was more than one season ticket at the same address. Have they never heard of families?

Now that the manager of the ticket office has left, surely they must get their act together as quickly as possible to avoid another débâcle if (and hopefully it won’t happen) we go into the play-offs.

Nathan (ticket office customer relations supremo) any comments?

Brian Leigh (


A group of us are going to the Tranmere game and are then immediately off to Pompey after the game. However, one of our number failed to get a ticket for the Tranmere game. Is there anyone out there who has a spare ticket?



Can anybody confirm whether or not the Birmingham game will be screened at O’Neill’s in Holborn? Unless the tension has got the better of my knackered brain, I’m sure there was a Blue with an “in” at said bar. I blo*dy hope so, because I’ve promised a Gooner and a Hammers fan a taste of what real supporters sound like! If it’s on, hope to see as many exiled Blues there as Poss. If not, any other London venues would be appreciated.

CTTSGUTNBEBY (City ‘Till They Stop Giving Us Total Nervous Breakdowns Every Bl*ody Year), Mark Dale (


Are there any tickets for Blackburn out there? This is a plea for two tickets for the Blackburn game. If anyone has some to spare please contact me at the address below.

Phil Taylor (




Matthew Parry (


Having lived in a one horse town all my life (Boothstown), football was never really that high on my agenda. In the late sixties when I was about 15 I even used to go to the odd game at Burnden Park because all my mates used to go. Just going through the motions I suppose, because my heart was never really in it.

Anyway, in around 1970/71 a new estate had just been built near us (Standfield Estate, I actually live on the estate now) and I got friendly with this lad called Phil Bagnall who moved up there. All the family were big Blues and Phil kept going on at me to go with him and his dad to Maine Road. I kept putting it off saying I had better things to do on a Saturday afternoon (like hanging around on the precinct). So one day I thought o.k. I’ll come with you to the next home game. It was a night game against Chelsea (I think) 1972, and Tommy Booth scored with a header and City won 1-0. It was a long time ago and if this is not quite correct, can someone put me right? I can’t remember if it was a good game or not, but I bloody well enjoyed it. Anyway, that night I began a love affair that has been going on ever since. From then on, me and “Baggy” went to all the home games on the No:26 bus from Boothstown to Greengate arches, then we had to dodge the Utd fans to get to Aytoun Street (next to Picc. Gardens) so we could catch the match bus (No:76x I think) to Maine Road, and the same to get back home again. It was a bit of a drag, but it was worth it. We used to thumb it to some away games if they weren’t too far, Liverpool, Everton and Midlands grounds were our limit.

Although there are quite a few Blues in Boothstown now, I think me and Baggy were the only ones back in the early seventies. I haven’t seen Baggy for a few years now, although I believe he only lives in Eccles. If anybody knows him, put him on to me, I would be very grateful, I owe him one for getting me hooked on this unbreakable habit.

Alan Colley – City Til’ I die, Boothstown (


Recent results from 6 April 2000 to 19 April 2000 inclusive.

18 April 2000

Tranmere Rovers       2 - 1  Port Vale

League table to 19 April 2000 inclusive.

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  GD Pts
 1 Charlton Ath.   42 15  2  4 35 14 12  6  3 41 24 27  8  7 76 38  38  89
 2 Manchester City 42 15  2  4 45 17  8  8  5 24 20 23 10  9 69 37  32  79
 3 Ipswich Town    42 14  3  4 36 17  8  9  4 28 21 22 12  8 64 38  26  78
 4 Barnsley        42 14  4  3 46 21  8  6  7 38 40 22 10 10 84 61  23  76
 5 Huddersfield T. 42 14  5  2 43 16  6  6  9 17 24 20 11 11 60 40  20  71
 6 Birmingham City 42 14  4  3 35 16  6  6  9 26 27 20 10 12 61 43  18  70
 7 Wolves          42 13  5  3 40 20  5  6 10 17 26 18 11 13 57 46  11  65
 8 Bolton Wndrs    42 12  5  4 40 25  5  8  8 20 23 17 13 12 60 48  12  64
 9 Fulham          42 12  6  3 29 12  4  9  8 16 24 16 15 11 45 36   9  63
10 Blackburn R.    42 10  8  3 31 15  5  7  9 21 29 15 15 12 52 44   8  60
11 QPR             42  8 11  2 27 19  6  5 10 28 31 14 16 12 55 50   5  58
12 Norwich City    42 10  5  6 24 21  3  9  9 18 25 13 14 15 42 46  -4  53
13 Tranmere Rovers 42 10  7  4 33 24  4  4 13 20 38 14 11 17 53 62  -9  53
14 Sheff. United   42 10  6  5 35 21  3  6 12 20 45 13 12 17 55 66 -11  51
15 Portsmouth      42  9  5  7 33 22  4  5 12 18 37 13 10 19 51 59  -8  49
16 Grimsby Town    42 10  7  4 26 23  3  3 15 13 40 13 10 19 39 63 -24  49
17 Nottm Forest    42  8  9  4 27 18  4  3 14 20 34 12 12 18 47 52  -5  48
18 Crystal Palace  42  6 11  4 31 23  5  4 12 22 39 11 15 16 53 62  -9  48
19 Stockport C.    42  7  8  6 28 28  4  7 10 18 33 11 15 16 46 61 -15  48
20 Crewe Alex.     42  8  5  8 23 26  4  3 14 16 35 12  8 22 39 61 -22  44
21 West Brom A.    42  4 11  6 21 25  4  7 10 17 32  8 18 16 38 57 -19  42
22 Walsall         42  5  6 10 23 33  4  7 10 26 39  9 13 20 49 72 -23  40
23 Port Vale       42  6  6  9 26 27  1  8 12 21 37  7 14 21 47 64 -17  35
24 Swindon Town    42  4  6 11 21 35  3  5 13 13 35  7 11 24 34 70 -36  32

With thanks to Football 365


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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 #598