Newsletter #618

Apologies for the lack of an introduction – I’m sure the contents will manage without!

This one reaches 3,334.

Next game: Saturday 22nd July 2000, Linfield away


If you’re after all the gossip, news and views from Euro2000 as well your chance to have your say on the discussion board, then Eurofinals365 is definitely the place to be. Not quite as good as being there, but a pretty close second!

Eurofinals365 –


Bermuda Celebrates Shaun Goater Day

Five thousand Bermudians lined the island’s streets last Wednesday to pay tribute to a national hero. And the man in question was none other than Shaun Goater. The City striker and his wife Anita were driven in a cavalcade through the streets of his home town Hamilton before being honoured by a host of the island’s notables at a reception where the guest of honour was Prime Minister Jennifer Smith. And as a mark of respect not just for the former Bristol City player’s achievements in the English game but also for his work for young footballers in his home country, Bermuda will now celebrate Shaun Goater Day on 21 June every year.

Morrison Bids for August Return

Andy Morrison will be unable to return to pre-season training with the rest of his City team-mates in a fortnight’s time. But the big defender is hoping to be in first-team contention before the end of August. Morrison has had another minor operation on his knee – but is adamant that the problem doesn’t pose a threat to his career. “I am completely clear in my mind that the injury problems are behind me,” insisted the former Huddersfield player, “and I cannot wait to crack on, get fit and convince the manager I should be in the side.” The City skipper, who dismissed thoughts that he could be ready to move on to one of the several First Division clubs said to have designs on securing his signature, reportedly has an eye on the final pre-season match, away to Manchester United, as his possible senior return date.

Stars Put Through Their Paces

Manchester City’s players are due back to begin pre-season training on 10 July. But six Maine Road first-team squad members have been made to report back early. The Blues’ management team was unhappy with the fitness levels of some of the players towards the end of last season. Coach Willie Donachie, working with Eric Hughes of Sale Harriers, has devised a demanding programme to remedy matters. And Joe Royle’s right-hand man expects the extra work to pay dividends. “Their flexibility should improve noticeably,” promised the Scot. “It is a fact that these days, particularly in the Premiership you have to be an athlete in order to compete.” Terry Cooke, Robert Taylor, Lee Crooks, Tony Grant, Lee Peacock and Leon Mike are the men involved.

City Pair Set for Final Showdown

Australia will play New Zealand in the final of the Oceania Cup this week. And Manchester City have a foot in either camp. Danny Tiatto, who will report back for pre-season training two weeks after his team-mates following a busy summer, figured in the Australian side which followed the 17-0 win over the Cook Islands with 6-0 and 1-0 successes over the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu respectively. Meanwhile the Kiwis’ squad features City’s Chris Killen, who notched his first goals at full international level in the second of his side’s three games. Killen bagged a brace against Vanuatu as the New Zealanders came from a goal down to win 3-1.

Tabloids Claim City to Land Coleman

Fulham captain Chris Coleman could soon become Manchester City’s second close-season signing – if two Sunday tabloids are to be believed. The papers claim that the Blues are close to sealing a £3 million deal for the Welshman. Coleman is said to be keen to step up to the Premiership – especially as the Craven Cottage outfit are reportedly reluctant to improve his contract to match the wages the 30-year-old could earn at Maine Road or with fellow suitors Blackburn. The ex-Crystal Palace defender is one of several defenders still being linked with the Blues, with Rosenborg’s Bjorn Otto Bragstad, Bolton’s Mark Fish, Sunderland’s Paul Butler and Huddersfield’s Chris Lucketti also being mentioned as possible City targets.

Bolton Keen on Fish-Pollock Swap

The breakdown of Mark Fish’s move from Bolton to Charlton has revived speculation that Manchester City could move for the South African. And Trotters’ boss Sam Allardyce has admitted he’d be tempted to do a deal if the Blues offered Jamie Pollock in part-exchange. Allardyce claimed that City were interested in Fish last season, and with the 26-year-old determined to leave the Reebok Stadium for the Premiership, a move to Maine Road is now rated a possibility – especially as the Bolton manager rates midfielder Pollock highly. “Jamie was with the Wanderers before of course and was successful in a very good promotion winning side,” said Allardyce. “If City come into renegotiate the Mark Fish deal then it may be a possibility that we would want Jamie Pollock.”

Royle in Tactical Poser

Joe Royle could spring some tactical surprises when Manchester City return to the Premiership next season. The Blues’ boss says he’s prepared to be flexible with the formations he deploys, picking different strategies against different opponents. Royle is aware of the club’s tradition for wing play – but says that on some occasions, fielding two flank men will be inappropriate. “There will be games when we will play with our normal 4-4-2,” the City manager told the club’s official website at, “other times maybe a 4-3-3 and even if required three centre backs.”

Irwin’s Derby Testimonial Bonanza

Denis Irwin’s testimonial offers City the chance to pit their wits against their oldest rivals even before the new campaign kicks off. And the United full-back’s big night could attract a crowd of over 60,000 to Old Trafford. With the opening of the new West Stand’s upper tier for the August 16 game, the Reds will be able to accommodate in excess of 64,000 supporters – with the Manchester Evening News claiming a sell-out is expected. And with only 3,000 City fans likely to be allowed to travel for the sides’ corresponding league fixture on April 21, the paper speculates that as many as 10,000 Blues could make the trip for the dress-rehearsal three days before the big kick-off.

Peter Brophy (


The next meeting of the Branch is on Monday 26th June at 8pm in the Beaver Pub in Beverley. Members and new faces welcome. Come and chew over the new fixture list with fellow Blues… and maybe sup a beer or two at the same time 🙂

Geoff Donkin (


Manchester Bar in Benidorm (round the corner from the Scotsman/Scruffy Murphy’s), a must for all Blues on their holidays. It’s run by a fanatical Blue (from Salford) who only opened the bar a few weeks ago. He’s got loads of City memorabilia on the wall including the Blackburn ticket (his), autographed shirts, loads of play-off pictures and a City vs. United programme from 1957. The boss has had a season ticket non-stop for 42 years and he is dreading the start of the new season ’cause he’s stuck out there (must have been drunk when he decided to go). There are a few United bits and bobs on the opposite wall (with a massive Coca cola fridge in the way) because his partner (who never seems to be there) is a Rag.

Ged Donnelly (


I hope City realise what great potential this boy has. I watched Forssell play in his first game for Chelsea last year while in UK and I watched Chris play for New Zealand u23 vs. South Africa in Auckland last month. My personal opinion was that Chris had much better technique and a superior work rate, he also has that “mongrel” factor; he only wants to win and score goals and then more goals. He is now filling out and will be able to give and take. My only complaint is that I am a Chelsea supporter and Chris is not with them but as a very close friend of the family I can live with that. The whole family (parents John and Gaynor and sister Georgina) are in Tahiti at present; Chris had his 1st full game for the All Whites and scored 2 goals in a 3-1 win against Vanavatu, he was on the bench for the 1st game against Tahiti coming on later in the game.

Keep up the good work on MCIVTA; I wish Chelsea had a similar forum. Strange world the last game I watched at Wembley was the League Cup Final, Man City vs. WBA and we stood behind the City supporters’ goal.

John Geary (


“Blue (Da Ba Dee)” is by a band called Eiffel 65. Although awful 65 is more accurate. Their album is called “Europop” and features other terrible tracks in a similar vein. They are great philosophers, recently pointing out in interview that the song is not about feeling blue but about how sometimes your life can be described in terms of a colour. So a Nobel prize on its way to Holland then.

I went to and did a keyword search for “Goat”:

I came up with “Get You Goat” by “Shudder to think” (1992)

Also, Czech Jazz fusion king Jan Hammer (writer of the Miami Vice theme) had a track on his 1968 “Make Love” album called “Goats – Song”

Blues singer Sonny Boy Williamson also has a song called “Goat”

I doubt any of these tracks will become terrace favourites but I’d love to know if anyone has actually heard any of them.

JimSim (


After reading all the articles about “Boys in Blue” I thought I might remind readers that you can buy a CD from Cherry Red Records with this song on, also Funky City and many another dodgy songs by fans and players. It’s called Blue Moon – A Tribute (CDGAFFER 021). I know because I’ve got it and have made a few City fans cringe with it. The web address is

Andy Clowes (


King of the Kippax Online is bridging the North-South divide and has joined forces with Arseonline, an unofficial Arsenal site, for a special appeal to Blues and Gooners alike. It seems we have something in common. We all hate Manchester U#*ted.

Arseonline has a Rag joke page similar to ours; problem is, they call it a MANC joke page. Now, seeing as 80% of us Mancs are, in actual fact City fans, and given that MUFC is in actual fact, not in Manchester but in Trafford, KK Online pointed out to Marcus, the ArseOnLine webmaster, that by printing “Manc” jokes you insult the people of Manchester, and not necessarily the bandwagon-jumping, glory-seeking Rag scum that deserve it.

Although Marcus was quick to reply with his sincere apologies to the people of Manchester for the slight slip, he pointed out “Mancs” was the only word the Gooners used as it was the only one they knew, and asked “What word could I use instead? The people of N. London wouldn’t appreciate “Rags” like the City fans do.”

So, together, we are launching this appeal to come up with an original but extremely offensive name for Manchester Un*#ed and the millions of flies that hover around them. The person who comes up with the best word will be deemed the winner and will receive two tickets to City vs. Arsenal courtesy of KK Online and two tickets for Arsenal vs. City courtesy of ArseOnLine.

Please e-mail Marcus with your suggestions (

Always read the small print

The prizes mentioned above are genuine. Somebody will win 4 tickets. Unfortunately, the tickets will be issued after the games have been played and Marcus and I have used them. But, hey! it’s better than nothing.

Kind Regards-King of the Kippax Online. The fanzine for the fans by the fans.

Chris Deary (


I went with Macclesfield Blue, Rick Featherstone, to the excellent Gelredome Stadium (home of Vitesse Arnhem) in Holland this week to watch Slovenia vs. Norway.

Arrangements for Euro 2000 have so far been excellent (I’ve also seen Portugal vs. Romania at Arnhem, Slovenia vs. Spain at Amsterdam and Italy vs. Sweden at Eindhoven) and we arrived at the stadium bang on time and took our seats. Our interest in the first half was centred on our possible transfer target Bjorn Otto Bragstad, who was playing centre back for the Norwegians. He had a steady game against a moderate Slovenian forward line who had put the much fancied Spanish team under pressure in the previous game I’d seen. Bragstad’s first touch and distribution were both good and he looked big and solid in the air. Despite a pretty average game the atmosphere was kept lively by the Slovenian fans behind the goal who chanted and sang non-stop throughout the match – even receiving applause for one lively chant from the Norwegian fans!

Rick commented that it was a bit like watching the Blues away last season. Half time arrived and we stood up and looked around us. There, two rows back, was our own former (beloved?) manager, Frank Clark, complete with clipboard, clearly on a scouting trip – but who for? I asked him which of the players he fancied and said I liked the look of the Slovenian number 5, Marinko Galic (a bit like Perry of Spurs in stature and style of play). Frank said “You probably couldn’t afford him!” Unfortunately the second half was no improvement on the first and the game finished a 0-0 draw. Bragstad had another good half, distinguished by two excellent headed clearances under pressure. He reminded me of a much better version of Michael Vonk. He wouldn’t disgrace Maine Road if we do sign him and the quoted price seems reasonable. As we seem to be looking for a right sided player (Stone, Kanchelskis?) the Slovenian number 7, Djoni Novak, seemed pretty useful both times I saw him – don’t know who he plays for now but he would be worth looking at. I wonder what Frank thought of him?

Steve Muchall – Bonn Blue (


Noticed that Chris Killen made his full début in this game (and scored twice). Is he City’s youngest ever international player? Don’t know how old he is but his presence in our U-19 team offers a clue.

Andy Noise (


In reply to Richard Ellor’s question of temporary unfaithfulness, I must admit to having been unfaithful at 2 football grounds whilst following Manchester’s finest.

My first indiscretion was at the hands of Chester City. As they were my home town team it was quite handy to go and watch them when the Blues were away; this casual observation then took a nasty turn when I was approached about being a crowd steward. Due to the fact that you were paid for watching the match… I mean crowd and the fact that we had no bother, even when the might (sic) of Tottenham visited, it seemed an easy choice to a cash-starved student. As it was it ended up that for about half a year (1995) I was on duty at the Deva Stadium on days when City were at home! However, I always put my money on the Blues in the stewards’ sweepstake.

After this small err from the path of righteousness, I went to University where I was tempted by a team in red! Yes, after spending two years avoiding the depths of watching Lancaster I succumed to attending Christie Park to see the might of Morecambe during 1996. The only amusing aspect was this was post the recent ground improvements and many a Saturday was spent on top of the beach which had been mounded behind one of the goals. I do remember a linesman getting so much stick in one match that he swapped sides at half-time, though I drew some satisfaction from seeing an Altrincham victory. I seem to remember it was here that I lost my Alan Ball-esque flat cap :_(

The above indiscretions were however mixed with attendance at Maine Road and surely must be regarded as affairs. Presently my residence in Darlington has not been accompanied with visits to George ‘Safebreaker’ Reynolds’ team (better be careful in case he is reading this) – except on 3 occassions, twice to see Chester away and the Blues’ vital 1-1 FA Cup tie – witness yet another Dickov saving moment!

With apologies to all my Blue loving family – except for my Rag brother whom I’m slowly tempting to the Blue side! (I believe you can see him celebrating on the end of season video at home vs. Tranmere (I think)).

CTID, James Walsh (


I would just like to point out that for an “exiled” Blue that would like to be able to discuss MCFC and everything related to the club, the CSA City Centre Branch have a thriving MSN community with a message board and fixtures etc. but their greatest assets must be the humour and friendliness that is evident on the site. Please, check it out!

Ankan – CTID (


Just got back from my hols and am catching up on MCIVTA. In MCIVTA 614 Cathal Whelehan wanted to know the song Nick Weaver sings when he enters the dressing room. Well I saw Asa Hartford at Manchester Airport about to go to our respective holiday destinations and asked him. Anyway the song is a mickey take on Tony Grant.

“Oh Tony Tramp, Tony Tony Tony Tramp”. It’s a player joke – but if TG does play next year, we have a song already for him.

Andy Vallely (


Re Richard Ellor’s nice article, the only brief hiccup I had was when City dropped into Division 2 and the Blue sector of the family (daughter 2, son-in-law and me) decided although we’d still support City we needed a PL team to cheer on TV. Much debate ensued, Chelsea were in the frame because they play in blue but we eventually settled on Arsenal, as the only seeming way of stopping the polluted scum-encrusted tide from rolling in.

It didn’t work. After the first couple of games we got totally obsessed by the problems City were having adjusting to the high footballing standards of their new division and forgot to even turn on the telly! Historically I have a soft spot for Queen of The South and the result from Terregles Street is always the second one I look for on Saturday night. Best case of dual support came the year City won the Championship. I was working for Plessey on a temporary contract at the time, at Addlestone in Surrey. One of the larger-than-life characters in the place was a football-daft Leeds supporter called Graham Swift. He started a football team called “Northern Thickies” and we had regular matches against the “Southern Softies”, plus inter-departmentals and works games, not to mention lunchtime kickabouts, all Swifty inspired. He once went off on the spur of the moment to a Leeds midweek tie in Milan, forgetting to tell his wife! Well, one day Swifty comes in saying “Got a fiver to spare?” I assumed it was for charity so I divvied up, as did about 50 others. He comes back three days later and hands me a membership card for the Darlington supporters’ club, in my name. Apparently he’d seen a programme on telly about how Darlington were skint so he decided to recruit supporters. About a month later he comes in and says “What are you doing on Tuesday night?” I soon found out! Swifty had hi-jacked a couple of the firm’s minibuses and we went to Aldershot to watch Darlington play. We even had the right favours. Darlington played in the same colours as Swifty’s daughter’s school so he borrowed a load of scarves from her friends. The Aldershot lads were amazed that anyone would drive 250 miles on a Tuesday night to watch their team play!

Re the “Boys in Blue” controversy, I too have a curious fondness for this crappy old banger of a song but I’m not sure I’d want it re-instated. Too many weird memories of “we are the boys who are playing to win” drifting across the pitch after yet another spineless, inept defeat. Anyway, I can’t ever recall anyone singing-along to this song. And personally, I couldn’t stand 10cc. Anyhow, in the middle of all this pondering comes a big email, titled “How to Sing The Blues”. Ah, more of the same, I thought. But no,, it was a marvellous cod guide to “blues” (as in St. Louis) philosophy, covering such topics as blues names, blues death, blues clothing with gems like “Teenagers don’t sing the blues. Adults sing the blues. “Adult” means old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.” and “No one called Nigel, Piers, Tara or Camilla has the right to sing the blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis”. “A blues death is getting shot by a jealous lover, not a heart attack when you get your tax bill”. Plus the Pick-your-own-blues-name Starter Kit. I think City supporters know more about singing the blues than most. But if anyone wants the full story, give us a shout.

CTEWAEASR (City Till England Win An Egg and Spoon Race), Ernie Whalley (


Well at last we have all now got the City tracksuit My three daughters first, now today I have finally got mine. But hang on, where’s the crest gone off the pants? I run to the kids’ room – no good, they must have them on. I know, I’ll phone my dad. Dad, you got a city crest on you trackie pants? He looks down and says no! What’s happened here? The Kappa trackies had the crest on both top and bottoms. Now come on “le coq sportif”, you are with the greatest team in the world, get it right.

Keith Taylor (


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 (


Here is an article a daughter of a Leeds fan friend, and herself a big Leeds fan, did for her ‘A’ levels.

Worth sharing!

Watch the first five minutes of any match played at Elland Road and you’ll hear the repeated chant ‘Stand up if you hate Man U’. Then watch how many people (at both ends, home and away) rise to their feet – surprised? My friend was when I took her to her first live match recently. She’s like many of today’s football ‘fans’, whose knowledge of the game stems from watching the big matches on the T.V. and reading the sports pages of the tabloids where Manchester United can apparently do no wrong.

I tried to explain it to her – it’s not jealousy of recent successes; it goes back further than that. At the root of it all is the way the media has idolised this team even though they have done nothing to justify such adulation. The media has been worshipping at the altar of Old Trafford for many years. When Sir Matt Busby died there was a reported outpouring of grief in the football world and a minute’s silence was commanded at every football ground in the country. During this minute Leeds United fans chanted ‘There’s only one Don Revie’ – an obvious mark of disrespect but the point needed raising. Don Revie brought glory from nothing at Elland Road in the 70’s not unlike Sir Matt; but he was allowed to pass away with barely a mention of his name let alone a nationwide commemoration.

This media fixation with the team seems to have started in 1958 following the Munich air crash in which so many of the ‘Busby Babes’ were killed or injured. The performance of the survivors of the crash during the remainder of that season was followed intently by the media, and praise was heaped on them for their courage in the face of such adversity.

No serious football fan, myself included, would have any quibble with this – it was a great performance. But from that day onwards they have been able to do no wrong. There were greater teams than Manchester United during the period between 1958 and 1980. During that time they won a European Cup, 2 League titles and 2 FA Cups, whilst Liverpool won 7 League titles, 2 FA Cups, and 6 European trophies. Yet there was no campaign to give Bill Shankly or Bob Paisley a knighthood. Similarly Nottingham Forest and Derby County, when managed by Brian Clough, won 3 League titles, 4 League Cups, plus 3 European trophies. Again no formal recognition of great achievements.

So, great teams have won major trophies, including the most prized one of all – the European Cup, and done so when it was a competition only open to the Champions of each country, but the media never really gave them full credit. Indeed on the day following Forest’s win in 1980 the back page of the Daily Mirror didn’t even carry the match report. What did it have – you’ve guessed it, the report of Manchester United’s meaningless league match the same night! But after 31 years of failure, Manchester United finally realise the media’s dream of winning it for the second time and the press goes into overdrive with a campaign to have Ferguson knighted – the Queen even amended her honours list to accommodate him! Remember Bob Paisley won it 3 times and Brian Clough twice, yet they are allowed to pass into history without a second glance.

But we disliked them long before that, even during the days of their first European Cup victory. In that team Charlton and Best were idolised by the hacks for being great players, but then so were Hurst and Peters in the same era but their team, West Ham United, never achieved the kind of long-term fanatical media attention given to Manchester United. You may have noticed that I always call them Manchester United. That’s because the media don’t – they call them United, completely omitting the ‘Manchester’ prefix. It’s ‘United’ this and ‘United’ that, ‘United’ will win the league, ‘United’ have bought a new striker – but which United? The media assume you’ll know who they mean and, sadly, people do because it’s been drilled into them. They forget that there is more than one United – 4 in the Premiership alone, yet Manchester seem to have adopted the title with exclusive rights. Just listen next time they’re playing, you’ll see I’m right.

As the game became more popular, and television became the influential media form, millions of people who had never been to a game in their lives attached themselves to the Manchester United legend (or myth as I would prefer to call it). The inevitable happened. Real football fans became tired of having the words ‘Manchester’ and ‘United’ shoved down their throats at every verse end; sick of being told that they are the biggest club in the world; sick of being told that the self-dubbed ‘Theatre of Dreams’ is the best stadium in the world (a rumour that a visit to the Nou Camp in Barcelona would quickly put paid to) and sick of being told that they have the most fans.The truth is that a large majority of the ‘supporters’ have never even been to Manchester. Rumour has it that their biggest fan base is in Hong Kong. True there are many fans but are they really true supporters? They may have 3 home shirts, 2 away shirts plus shorts and socks to match but where were they when there was no silverware coming in their direction? Chances are, they suddenly took an interest in the goings on at Highbury or Stamford Bridge. And the club, in the eyes of the media, could do no wrong. Two examples will perhaps help to illustrate the double standards that appear to be in operation.

First, let’s take Eric Cantona, a player who was at Leeds and won us a League title then decided to join the media’s glamour team at Old Trafford. Had any other player lashed out at a member of the public as he did, they would surely have seen an abrupt end to their playing career. But no; after much deliberating, the FA decide that a spot of community service is in order and not just any old community service, why don’t we let the man do what he enjoys the most – teach football to a bunch of kids – now there’s punishment for you. If he’d done this whilst at Leeds what would the reaction have been? I’ll leave you to decide, but I’m sure you know.

Secondly let’s look at the boy David. On the 11th of October, the day after England played a friendly against Bulgaria, an article appeared in the Daily Mail with the headline, ‘Why we’d all be lost without our Mr Reliable’. Who was it referring to? Well, Mr Beckham of course. The fact that he never even played in the match obviously seemed somewhat irrelevant to the writer; the fact that England won without him even more so. I’m the first to admit that David Beckham is a quality footballer with more than enough skill, but to suggest that he is the heart and soul of English football is surely slightly over the top. Those linked with Manchester seem to have conveniently forgotten his act of insanity in the summer of ’98. His uncalled for frustration in France was fair enough, a split second decision and an example of the fact that we all make mistakes, that I have no problem with. But not making an immediate apology to those – us – who take the game seriously was appalling yet at the same time unsurprising (when the apology did come, it was to The Sun for around £130,000).

So we become increasingly bitter. The more the media circus hypes up this club the more we turn against them – even to the extent of wanting them to lose the European Cup Final to the Germans. We felt cheated when they won. They were outplayed both physically and tactically and just as we thought Bayern had saved the country from more endless Manchester United hype, the ref. decides to add on more time. Lo and behold in this extra time, MU manage to fluke a goal, score another and go on to win; cue half the nation to fall on its knees in utter dismay. We all knew what would follow and follow it did. So perhaps you can now begin to understand the dislike of this club felt by so many people. There is more than one United and it is about time that the media stopped treating them as the only team in England of any importance. The truth is that most of us who really care about football; the real fans who sit, week in week out, in the cold and wet through the mid-table battles and the no score draws, don’t care about Manchester United, we don’t want to know their every move nor do we see why we should have to. So we’ll continue to “Stand Up, because we hate Man U” – please join us when you’re next in the ground.

Joe Ramsbottom (


“I’m terribly sorry sir but I have bad news for you. There has been an air accident and your son has been killed”. How many of us have ever had to hear those terrible words? How many of us would ever want to? More to the point how many of us would then want to stand outside the houses of the victims and sing songs glorifying the death of those people? I wonder how the families of the victims of the PANAM 103 disaster (Lockerbie) or the Swissair 111 would feel? Or those families whose loved ones perished in the freezing cold waters of the Potomac river in the Washington air crash of twenty or so years ago? The similarities between what happened to the 737 that decided to belly up in a frozen river Potomac and what happened on the runway at Munich are uncanny. An overloaded aircraft with severe icing and a load of dead passengers, crew and busted airplane. The main difference, no sick bast*rd sings songs about the victims of the Potomac disaster!

Let’s get real here. The Munich disaster, as has been pointed out on numerous occasions, was a disaster for our club as well as the Rags. In footballing terms though not only did the Rags lose a promising team, but we lost a real hero in Frank Swift. In human terms the families of the crew lost husbands, wives and daughters, the press corps lost colleagues and friends (let’s not forget they were someone’s loved ones too). At it’s basest level, human beings died broken and twisted in the agony of broken bones and burned flesh. I hate Man United with a passion! I have spent the last twenty years having my nose rubbed in the dirt by every smug, opinionated Rag git that gloats in the demise of the club I love. I would gladly see the whole edifice that is MU(PLC) torn down, ripped up and ploughed under that sodden piece of wasteland that they call a pitch (let’s face it it’s been laid more times than a £10 a throw whore). However, I cannot, and will not stand on a terrace or sit in a seat, and sing songs about the deaths of other human beings, especially when those songs glorify the premature termination of the lives of innocent people who had bugg*r all to do with the club I hate.

All of those folks were, at the end of the day, doing what they did to turn a buck and keep their families in shoes, not out of some pseudo-spiritual love of MUFC! There is enough for us to point a finger at and mock in the Rags’ camp without resorting to the kind of songs that the Runway song represent. Their resident transvestite for one, their dumb-sh*t left back, the fact that most of their supporters have never been anywhere near OT let alone seen a real live game. Singing these songs we demean ourselves as human beings let alone as football fans. They belong nowhere in a civilised society. Let’s face it, for a person to remember Munich with any sort of understanding you would have to be fairly well along in life. It’s 42 years ago, for Christ’s sake! Most of the idiots I have heard singing the songs weren’t even born when the disaster happened, indeed many of them were not even born when we last had our glory days. So why do they sing Munich songs? Perhaps because they don’t really understand what it is they do. Maybe they just follow a herd instinct and don’t wish to appear foolish. I’ve got news for you folks! Not only do you look and sound foolish but if they ever make a remake of Deliverance I know where there are a few people who would make good extras! If the job centre ever starts advertising for village idiots… apply!

Munich isn’t part of our culture and I personally object to anyone trying to make it so. Man City is bigger and better than the small-minded view of the rivalry between the two clubs that the Munich stuff represents. “Stand up if you hate Man U” has a poignancy that I can applaud but singing about death and destruction has no place in a civilised society. I would echo Cathal Whelehan in MCIVTA 617, sing about Munich and you might as well start singing about Hillsborough or Bradford. I would like to add to that list Heysel and the two Leeds fans that died in Istanbul this summer. It is sick, depraved and frankly disgusting! Believe this, singing about Munich says more about the kind of person that you are than it will ever say about your allegiance to Man City! It does no service to the betterment of MCFC. So come on folks, we’re bigger than this, let’s have an end to what is a deep, dark, black mark on the character of the fans that we are. I will argue with any Rag that calls my club but I will not, and never shall, glory in the deaths of human beings. If just one fan refuses to sing this crap on the terraces this winter then I think this note is worth writing. Please let’s criticise the Rags for what they are and not for the untimely deaths of other humans. I want to feel pride when I hear thirty-odd thousand people singing together, I certainly don’t want to feel like crawling under a seat and hiding in shame. Munich is long gone, let’s consign these songs to the same history as well.

David Cash (


Last week while taking a ferry trip across the Strait of Malacca and after several cold beers I must say, I was wondering what will the City fans do this season to herald our return to the PL? Maybe a new craze similar to the inflatable bananas I thought? No, hold on why not inflatable full size Alan Balls complete with the ginger top and white boots, even the squeaky voice upon squeezing the head. I am not suggesting we mock the little man as personally I think Francis Lee was more responsible for our decline and not wishing to look back too much this may be a way of remembering him, especially when we visit Anfield. Well it is time for more cold beers and dreams of the good old days returning.

John Taylor (


It’s a fantastic attitude that City’s manager Joe Royle has. Joe has a true belief in his team and wants to go for a place in Europe. In the last issue I made comments I would be happy consolidating our position in the Premier League; I would hastily add that’s the least I would expect. Go for it Joe, go for it City, I know all us fans will be behind you. It’s the hallmark of a great manager, to be very positive.

Ernie Barrow – CTID (


I would like to add two very brief points to this debate.

Referring to Rags as Munichs and singing the Runway song is no different to calling a Liverpool fan a Hillsborough, a Bradford fan a Bar-BQ, a Jew a Belsen etc. Would the people who sing this song from the safety of the football stand be happy to use these expressions in everyday society? If so you are not welcome at Maine Road, or this country for that matter!

Liverpool FC used to give a regular rendition of this song at Man U games, until the Hillsborough disaster! This led to the Rags singing “Where’s you’re famous Munich song?” at them for a while. Please let it be civilised human behaviour that stops this singing and not some unimaginable disaster.

P.S. I think the idea of loose flyers in programmes is a great way of tackling this problem.

St. John Cox (


Whilst agreeing with the anti-runway song lobby, I have to reply to a couple of comments that were made regarding the Hillsborough tragedy. Are the folks who say they would be appalled to hear “Hillsborough” chants aware that Rags’ fans refer to Liverpool fans as “Hillsboroughs” whilst calling them “Should’ve died Hillsborough B**T**DS” and whilst doing this squash their noses to one side, imitating someone being crushed against a security fence. I’ve seen it done. I leave it with you. You decide if one is sicker than the other.

David Kilroy (


I have kept out of the Munich chant discussions of late, knowing that as a Red my views may well inflame the passions. However Cathal Whelan’s input, Tom Farringdon’s and Brian Connel’s show that there is a recognition amongst many City fans that the chant is not a part of “the beautiful game” itself, but an imported alien item. Whenever I hear the chants I feel the perpetrators are more to be pitied than scolded, as the vast majority were not even born at the time of the disaster. I can only confirm that the day after the event at my school the tears were equally shared between Blue and Red supporters and the rivalry was no less fierce in those days than now.

On an unrelated point, I read an article by Simon Barnes originally published in The Times. In it he quotes the philosopher/author (and former goalkeeper) Albert Camus who said, “After all that is why I loved my team so much not only for the joy in victory, but also for the stupid desire to cry on evenings when we had lost.” His point, that you do love a thing that brings you pain and misery. You would hardly bother with it if you did not. He goes on to say, “Those who watch football do so not for the glorious destination of victory, for many will never reach it. They do so because of the journey: the brief stroll of a single match, the lifetime march of following a team.” It strikes me that this descibes many a City fan. Ironically it also describes this Man United fan.

OK, here’s to a great season for both teams and I’m delighted that I will be over in England and in Manchester on the 17th November and at the game. Hope it’s a classic and everyone goes home safely and in one piece!

Best wishes, Leo Fewtrell – Wythenshawe Exile (


I’m sick of listening and reading the hype from our own media about the Premier League being the best league in the world. It is simply not true. The Italian and Spanish leagues are still a long way ahead of us and only a Rag might think otherwise (the ones that do actually think – less than 5% and mostly living in South East Asia).

England’s performance in Euro 2000 showed that the cream of English players from the Premiership didn’t have a clue how to control or pass the ball, mark and close down the opposition and create chances from open play. That is a very negative opinion so let’s have a look at what they were good at:


Ball Watching (Liberal Party)
Admiring Opponents’ Ability (Bring a Bottle Party)
Giving the Ball Away (Conservative Party)
Shadow Chasing (Neighbourhood Watch)
Tackling (Morris Men)
Flair (Morris Minor)
Tenacity (Fridge Door)
Possession (Diminished Responsibilty)
Deck Chair Positioning (Brighton)
Tactical Flexibity (and Hove Albion)
Motivation (Bed and breakfast)
Aggression (Candy Floss)
Creativity (Fish and Chips)
Originality (salt and vinegar)
Positioning (Erm… let’s try this)
Anticipation (16 year old Males)
Early Exit (16 year old Males)
Is That It? (16 year old Females)
Finishing (Wood Stain)
Pace (Puff Daddy)

I hope you all enjoyed Euro 2000 as much as I did.

P.S. Travelling-Thom or Tommo please forward your official email address, don’t send highly offensive emails without giving recipients a right to reply.

Peter Abbott (


Seeking ‘City Tattoo’ for 40th Birthday

The big four oh is looming and I am dreading it! The main reason is that it becomes a big family day out and is blown out of all proportion.

To do something just for ‘myself’ – I was thinking of getting myself a tattoo. Something ‘private’ just for myself, kind of a rebel thing, to show that there is still a bit of get-up-and-go left in the old dog yet!

I would love a City theme, the CTID theme etc. – something for the top of the left arm!

Any ideas out there? Any good sites to see featuring City logos etc.?

See you all on the 18th Nov… if I get tickets!

Basil Sheerin (


Well the draw for the season is out and as I said in a previous issue I am saving my pennies to come watch City humiliate those over achieving neighbours. First off it is at Maine road which is a bonus in itself and secondly it is being staged on my birthday which I think is great. Now I have never seen them play live (TV the exception) and have made a vow to be there for the first match between City and United. It is going cost a far whack to come over but my dilemma is how do I get hold of at least a couple of tickets for this match?

I realise they will be like hen’s teeth but if there is anyone out there that can obtain at least 2 tickets for me at a reasonable price I would be extremely indebted to them.

All the best.

P.S. Alan Colley you better start practising your elbow bending.

Alan H (


David Beckham Joke via Terry Wogan

David Beckham and Posh Spice are returning from New York and get into a taxi at Heathrow. The taxi driver tries to make conversation.

Taxi driver: “So where have you been then?”
DB: “New York”
Taxi Driver: ” And what did you do there?”
DB: “Shopping”
Taxi driver: “What else did you do there?”
DB: “Oh, we went for a fabulous meal”
Taxi driver: “That’s nice, which restaurant did you go to?”
DB: “I can’t remember – say the names of some London stations”
Taxi driver: “Waterloo?”
DB: “No”
Taxi Driver: “King’s Cross?”
DB: “No”
Taxi Driver: “Victoria?”
DB: “That’s it – now then Victoria what was the name of that restaurant we went to?”

David Lewis (


What’s the difference between Phil Neville (or Kevin Keegan, pick your own) and a pack of Blue-Tac?

One is a glueless kit…

David Kilroy (


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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 #618