Newsletter #613

A very thin issue tonight, so it’s perhaps appropriate that I don’t have the time to write an intro. Nothing of substance on the transfer front, just a plethora of rumours, almost all of which are likely to be baseless.

Any Why Blues out there?

Next game: Saturday 22nd July 2000, Linfield away


I’ve just arrived home to find out that the summary I mailed to Ashley from my work mailbox apparently hasn’t arrived. I don’t have time to write it all again, so I’ve just recapped it briefly.

The Manchester Evening News and official City website are both reporting that David Bernstein and Peter Risdale of Leeds are close to agreeing a fee for Alf-Inge Haaland. Joe Royle hopes to speak to the player and his agent soon, with the City manager’s task being to persuade the Norwegian that a regular first-team place at Maine Road is preferable to a bit-part rôle in the Yorkshire club’s Champions’ League campaign.

Bolton have denied any City approach for defender Mark Fish. A rumoured swap deal would supposedly have seen Bolton receive £1.8 million plus Jamie Pollock in exchange for the South African.

Another rumoured arrival this week was Chelsea’s Chris Sutton – but speculation over a £4.5 million swoop has been denied by City. The Blues were said to have moved ahead of Spurs and Leicester in the race for the ex-Blackburn player’s signature.

Joe Royle will reportedly watch the Chile vs. Peru match on June 29 during his South American trip. The City boss will be running the rule over the away side’s £3 million-rated midfielder Roberto Palacios.

Two want-away Aston Villa defenders have also been linked with moves to Maine Road. However, with Ugo Ehiogu and Gareth Southgate said to be interesting some of the Premiership’s top clubs, it seems unlikely either man will end up with City.

City also continue to be linked with another man looking to leave Villa Park, midfielder Mark Draper. Meanwhile, Fulham’s Chris Coleman and Bjorn Otto Bragstad of Rosenborg are still being touted as alternative targets if the Haaland deal falls through.

Blackburn are said to be eyeing City target Eidur Gudjohnsen – and ready to tempt Bolton with a swap deal involving ex-Wanderer Nathan Blake. But the Icelander is keen to play in the Premiership, and is therefore thought to favour a move to Maine Road over Ewood Park.

Jeff Whitley has been involved in a minor road accident. The midfielder was a back seat passenger in a car being driven by a friend but sustained only minor cuts and bruises.

City fans hoping to travel to away games next season will find tickets at a premium. The biggest away allocation in the Premiership is 4,200 at Coventry – and the Blues have taken more than this number to seven away games since the turn of the year.

City have rejected an approach from Oldham rugby league club to play at Maine Road while the Boundary Park pitch is restored. The Blues will be working on improvements to their own playing surface during the summer.

Peter Brophy (


The South West Branch of the OSC are holding their AGM in the Beacon Lounge of the Civil Service Social Club, Plymouth at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday 10th June. Prospective members especially welcome. Videos, City raffle and cold drinks all part of the day’s entertainment. For further information contact the Branch Secretary at address below.

Andy Foden (


Many issues ago, at the commencement of last season, I hazarded the proposition that, if City were to continue to progress, the key lay in minimising the number of draws (i.e. attempting to convert ties into wins) even if it entailed a greater number of games ending up in the loss column. The point – albeit an obvious one – I was trying to make was that a draw, home or away, represents a loss of two points to a contending team but, conversely, a point gained for a struggler. Despite Div. 1 standards being considerably higher than Div. 2 (98-99), a quick review of the past two seasons seems to support the thesis.

(a) At home, in Div. 1, City conceded only 2 draws compared with 6 in Div. 2. They lost an identical total at Maine Road (4) as they did in Div. 2.

(b) Away, in Div. 1, City conceded 9 draws compared with 10 in Div. 2. They lost one more – 5 – compared with Div. 2.

(c) The maths is simple: overall, one “extra” defeat was more than offset by the reduction of draws – 16, overall, in Div. 2 – to 11 in Div. 1. The “net” of 5 were translated into 10 extra points minus a deduction of 3 in respect of one additional defeat. Net points gained, therefore, 7, which made all the difference between a 3rd place total of 82 for a Div. 2 play-off spot and a total of 89 for a Div. 1 second place automatic promotion.

Next season is a completely different proposition and, having set fire to my recently acquired anorak during the euphoria following the Blackburn win, I will content myself with the prediction that City will finish next season with a very respectable 64 points.

Dafydd Goronwy-Roberts (


Thanks to all those of you who registered your vote for Nicky Weaver on He won! The voting was:

1st    Nicky Weaver                       3324 votes
2nd    Richard Wright-Nightmare           3156 votes
3rd    Dean Kiely                          292 votes

Weaver! Weaver! Weaver!

Steve Kay (


I was in Spain when City beat Blackburn. My mate and I watched the game in a bar called El Sid’s in Moraira on the Costa Blanca. In addition to the City fans who were there there was a Pompey supporter. When Ashley Ward’s chip hit the post and rebounded into Nicky Weaver’s stomach – he said “you can’t lose”. And how right he was.

We also went to a restuarant called Don Simon. Here we were served by the owner who had a sort of Spanish/Lancashire accent. After our meal we met his wife who, believe it or not, was from Oldham (and probably spoke Spanish with a Lancashire accent). She told us that she knew Joe Royle when he was manager at the Latics. She said the players really admired him. She told us that he was a really decent chap. In fact he shortened his holiday in the USA to attend her dad’s funeral (he had been a Latics supporter). She thought that was fantastic. So if any City fans are in the area near Moraira do drop into Don Simon’s restaurant I’m sure Mrs Don Simon can probably tell you more stories about the human side of Joe Royle (incidentally, I asked her to ask Joe to get Terry Cooke back on side – and he has! – although I think that was before I asked!).

Ian Burgess (


Next season sees the predictions competition being played for ‘Cold Hard Cash’ as part of the fund-raising strategy of the Essex & Suffolk branch of the CSA.

Entry into the competition is £5.00 per prediction sheet and is open to any MCIVTA reader who wants to have a go.

Our target is 100 entries with 50% being paid out in prize money, which would give a payout of £250.00 and will also raise £250.00 for the branch this would enable us to subsidize travel to games and junior tickets etc.

With 50% being paid out in prize money, the more people who play, the bigger the pot and the more prize places. These will be confirmed as soon as all entries are in.

There will be a weekly update in MCIVTA, so you can see how you are doing.

Those interested can drop me a line and I’ll send you the prediction sheet and the details. The sheet will be in the form of a Word Document attachment; let me know if you want a hard copy mailed instead.

Closing date for entries is 30th July 2000.

Paul Gallagher, Secretary, Essex & Suffolk CSA (


I never thought of making it public, but the recent article in MCIVTA praising City’s selling of merchandise on the internet was too much to bear. Two months ago, with summer sun approaching, I thought I should order two caps for my son and myself using City’s merchandise service on the Internet. I placed the order on April 14, and it took them two weeks to write a letter asking me (? usually, it is vice-versa) to give them a call to confirm my card details, which I did. Unfortunately, Romanian is not internationally spoken and I came to a point where I had to spell all my contact details. My telephone bill if doing that would have rocketed, and since the City caps are not golden plated, I suggested that I would e-mail them my details. This was agreed by the lady on the MCFC line. Then I had to wait for another three weeks to get a letter (why not an e-mail, sooner?) telling me that “sorry the item is not in stock and the stock will not be replenished”. Any overseas City fans having a better experience?

CTID, Valentin Cudric (


Logging on to Blackstar to order the City season video I found the following:

Manchester City FC – End Of Season Review 2000
The boys are back in town and back where they belong. Revel in a season full of excitement and drama, culminating with their promotion to the Premier League.
Format: PAL Video Home System Cassette
Category: Sports:Football
Availability: This item has not yet been released.
Released: 5th Jun 2000 (Pre-ordering)
Suggestions: Customers who bought this also bought:
1. Chorlton And The Wheelies Vol. 1 (Pal VHS)
2. Chorlton And The Wheelies Vol. 2 (Pal VHS)

I suddenly feel very very old.

Stephen Moston (


Just a note to let anyone know who has a mobile, you can receive free updates of England’s scores via your phone. Register at You can also receive City’s updates as well!

CTID, Ian Renard (


I have a feeling this has been discussed before in these pages, but it was a long time ago and I never got much time to read MCIVTA at the time. The subject of Munich chants came up recently. Friends asked me if I join in with Munich chants. The answer was categorically “no”. This cuts out quite a lot of chants for me; Oh Terry Cooke…, The runway song, We all follow the City, Just a town full of Munichs, and so on. I just don’t sing along. Not that I do anything to stop it. That would be impossible, given the huge numbers of people (the majority?), who do sing along. Let’s face it, Munich chanting is such a normal part of our City culture that none of us bats an eyelid when the chants start up. We’re just so used to it. It’s like bad furniture – you learn to live with it over time. I know, when we’re sitting by our computers in the summer, it’s easy to be thoughtful and sane. During the beery tension of a football match it’s perfectly possible for otherwise nice, friendly people to say or shout some unpleasant things. But still, a plane crash, for heaven’s sake… Any comments?

Daniel Marcus (


All players who are about to move on without putting in a written transfer request state publicly that they’re happy where they are, thus ensuring they don’t lose their share of the transfer fee. For me, this adds fuel to the Haaland fire.

What are the odds on BlueSQ?

James Egan – Saudi Blue (


The City web site might have won awards but it has its problems! The chief one is that they do not seem to want to receive constructive feedback, despite what they say, because the feedback links do not work! Consequently I am writing this to MCIVTA in the hope that someone with some influence on the official website might read it and do something about it.

If you are out there Mr Man City web site designer:

  1. Why does the feedback page go to an address which cannot be found?
  2. Why, even if it did work, do you put off people from commenting byasking for some very personal information first; information that manymight find impertinent and put them off proceeding?
  3. Why, and this is the reason I was trying to make contact in the firstplace, don’t the news items have “next item” and “previous item” buttonsrather than having to go back through the news headings page every time? Asmall point perhaps but it would improve the design and usability of thesite considerably.

Don Shore (


I am in the process of organising a trip back to the UK for the family in September and October and will have a week in Italy on the way in and a couple of weeks in the US on the way home. Whilst the airfares have been booked, the incidentals such as accommodation etc. are waiting on the fixture list for next season – when are next season’s fixtures due?

Also, I have been bragging to all and sundry that thanks to Mcvittee, I could travel anywhere in the world and have a beer with a Blue!

If there any Blues in Italy (Florence / Bologna / Venice) to the US (Orlando / LA / San Francisco) who would fancy a pint or two later in the year, drop me a line.

Graham Hines – Perth, Western Australia (


Contributions: Ashley –
News & Rumours: Peter –
Subscriptions: 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 #613