Newsletter #716

A fairly lightweight week on the MCFC front, but internationals saw good results for both England and Ireland, with our very own (but not lightweight) Richard Dunne on the score sheet for Ireland in Estonia.

This issue contains an Irish thread with news, opinion, fun and frolics in Dublin, and something of interest for all you Blues Down Under.

Finally, Ashley slips back into the editor’s chair from Monday, so contributions back to him please at:

Next game: to be announced


General Stuff

City Players on Duty

The giant centre half scored the opening goal for the Republic of Ireland in their 2-0 over Estonia. The goal, a mighty strike from about 4 yards, was Dunne’s 3rd in 10 internationals. Mark Kennedy again missed out on even a place on the bench. Shaun Holmes played approximately 70 minutes for the Northern Ireland under 21 set up in their 0-4 mauling by the Czech Republic. Holmes was then named as an unused sub in the full team’s defeat last night. Youth prospect Rhys Day, who was close to a first team call up at the end of the season, captained the Welsh under 21s in their 0-1 defeat to the Ukraine.

Over 30 Applicants for Fitness Coach Position

Juan Carlos Osorio apparently beat off 30 other applicants for the conditioning coach position. It seems that Dennis Tueart initially stepped up the seach for someone who could boost the players’ fitness several months ago. Tueart chaired a committee which included first team coach Willie Donachie, Paul Connolly, a sports psychologist and Mark Bellamy, an independent fitness adviser. Of the initial applicants, eight including Osorio were put through an interview. Apparently of these three were invited back and asked to carry out case studies on certain Academy players. Osorio finally came on top after this seemingly thorough procedure. Tueart is quoted as saying “We were very impressed by him. It was important we appointed the best qualified who will relate to the players in a football sense. He is proficient in his field and knows that it is not just a case of getting the players fit, but fit for football.” Osorio now has to wait for a work permit before starting with City.

Training to Return to Platt Lane

Keegan has decided that the club will leave its relatively new training facilities at Carrington for a return to Platt Lane. Joe Royle originally moved the players to Carrington last season, feeling that the facilities were superior. However, Keegan has decided that Platt Lane is more than adequate and this additionally means that fans will now again be able to watch the players train when pre-season begins again in July. Reports that Keegan moved the training away from Carrington to prevent ManUre from copying our successful tactics are unsubstantiated.

More Praise for Keegan

Former City youth prospect and Fulham’s Welsh international Chris Coleman has continued with the plaudits for City’s new boss. Coleman told Sky Sports that he thought that Keegan and City were a good match in the respective passion of the manager and supporters and that he would back Keegan to bring us up at the first attempt.

Farewell to Maine Road Plans Begin

As everyone should be aware, the days are ticking down to the move away from Maine Road. After the Commonwealth Games in 2002 we will move to the City of Manchester Stadium at Eastlands. City have asked for ideas on how to say farewell to the ground. City Fans’ Committee member David Scally is looking for ideas from all supporters on how to celebrate this event. I initially have the idea of a ritual sacrifice to the Gods of certain former under-performing players, ideally people with the surnames Frontzceck or perhaps Brannan or Clough, or maybe even a particular Mr Ball. Now as my ideas are probably not legally viable then I suggest if you have any more moderate ideas then E-mail with your suggestions.

To find out more about the Fans’ Committee and how you can become involved visit

E-Mail the Bish

Ian Bishop appears to be enjoying himself at Miami Fusion, playing alongside the lesser talented likes of Carlos Valderama and so forth. Fusion’s Ray Hudson states that Bishop is the best midfield player in the league. He goes on to say “He’s like Atlas with the Fusion on his shoulder” he added, “He’s our bedrock. He’s the cornerstone. We didn’t need a flamboyant, tricky player, we needed an engineer”. Hudson hopes that Bishop can go on to play for the Fusion for a further 3 years. Now you can contact The Bish direct via Miami Fusion Official Web Site; you can e-mail him at

Doubts Over Halifax Friendly

Keegan has been reported as writing to Halifax Town over concerns about the condition of the playing surface at The Shay. The match, due on July 21st, is currently the first of City’s pre-season friendlies. A confirmed list of friendlies will be posted as soon as confirmed by the club.

Former Blues Detained by Police

Michael Hughes and Tommy Wright were amongst five of the Northern Ireland party detained by police after an incident at a nightclub after the 3-1 defeat by the Czech Republic in Prague.


Andy Morrison is still high on several clubs’ wanted lists. The 30 year old, now free to discuss terms with other clubs, is now set for talks with Motherwell. Morrison has also been rumoured to be ready for talks with Second Division Stoke City. Stoke’s chief executive John Rudge is reported as saying “He’s got the kind of leadership qualities required at this level and has been there and done it for Man City. There might be a slight question mark over his current fitness, which is something we will have to investigate when we talk to him.” Other clubs reported to be still chasing him include Bristol City, Burnley, Cardiff City and Sheffield United.

Burnley and West Brom appear to be still interested in City’s occasional playmaker Tony Grant. Grant 26, doesn’t appear to have made the impact at Maine Road and as one of Joe Royle’s signings could be on his way out for a nominal fee. Burnley are probably keen on linking Grant with another ex-Blue Gareth Taylor, who should agree terms with the Clarets shortly. West Brom had the midfielder on loan last season and he was such a success that this led to his return to City, with Joe Royle hoping he could emulate his loan form for us.

Burnley are also rumoured with an interest in Shaun Goater. As reported recently Shaun is said to be a little unsettled with the departure of Royle and may be keen to move on.

Despite the full international call up, Shaun Holmes still seems certain to sign for Wrexham on a nominal fee before pre-season begins. The player is said to have agreed terms and all that is needed are the formalities of signing the contract. Wrexham boss Bryan Flynn is confident of arranging this on Friday, June 8th.

Ex-Blues’ News

Latest contender for the Wigan job is former Rag and part time Blue, Sammy McIlroy. McIlroy is currently under fire as Northern Ireland boss and has managed several North West clubs successfully in the past.

Terry Phelan has not had his contract renewed by promoted Fulham. Tranmere Rovers are said to be interested in signing the former City glass waving left back.

Michael Leafield (


Richard Dunne played the full 90 minutes for the Republic of Ireland in their 1-1 home draw against Portugal. Apparently Richard had a solid game and marshalled the defence quite well.

That he was there for 90 minutes against Portugal is just about true. As regards playing it remains questionable? As an Irish Blue, a long suffering one at that (given the fact that the population of Ireland is 4 million and 3.5 of them over here seem to support the Rags), my first suggestion to our new saviour Mr N.N. (Nevink Neegak) himself is to get this guy to lose about 28lbs during the summer. If we hope to regain promotion first time out it won’t be as a result of Richard Dunne’s current playing form.

Chris Hand (


Hello all,

Thank you to you all for your massive (sic) support for the campaign to get Fox Sports to show the Nationwide Division One Football League next season. Due to the massive support from you all, and from the Manchester City Supporters’ Club, I have received notice from a number of sources that Foxtel have informed them that, due to the “overwhelming support” for the acquiring of the rights, they are now officially “putting it into consideration”.

This is great news. However, we have only made them realise that there is a big market for this program, and for that reason they are seriously considering whether or not to carry the League next season.

The next step for us, as stated by Foxtel Feedback, is to direct our requests to Fox Sports, at the following email address: Let them know why you want the Nationwide on Fox Sports!

As I mentioned before, your support has been magnificent. We, as a group of Nottingham Forest supporters, have combined together to such an extent that we have got the attention of Foxtel. The next step is for us to drive that home to Fox Sports by re-iterating our support for the Nationwide League to be shown on Foxtel next season. We have their notice – now let’s show them that we are serious in wanting to watch City (and Forest) on Fox Sports next season!

If we can get even 30 members to email, then that will be a massive step towards getting coverage of City (and Forest) matches on Fox Sports next season. Imagine the effect of all 140 NFSDU members petitioning!

Even if you are not contemplating getting Foxtel, your support for the concept of Nationwide coverage on Fox Sports next season is of massive importance. Fox Sports is widely available in pubs and clubs, so it would still be possible for you to go down to your local and catch a game!

In conclusion, thank you very much for your support of this campaign. If you can send another email to, then I would sincerely appreciate it. Your email could be the difference between Fox Sports covering the Nationwide next season, and them not covering it! Let me know how you all go!

Hope to hear from you all soon.

Todd Street (


Although living in Manchester I have been attending the Dublin branch end of season party for 7 years now, with various different friends over the years and had a great time every year.

It was the branch’s 26th anniversary do and was back at the usual place of Wynn’s Hotel after the change of venue last year to the Royal Dublin Hotel for the big 25th anniversary do.

Bit low key to last year’s biggy but still well attended.

Flew over with my mates Alex, Deb, Val and Paul on Saturday lunchtime and was greeted at the airport by Paddy Murray (see previous MCIVTA’s – yes the guy in the Blackburn ticket scandal), who took myself and Paul to Lansdowne Road for the Ireland vs. Portugal game. Twenty Irish punts for an international match against great opposition (probably about £16 in sterling) was a bargain.

Met my friend Bartley Ramsey in the pub up the road from the ground and the KK discussions began, along with the review of the season.

Sat in the temporary seats behind the goal which were great for stamping your feet on the wooden flooring and making a big noise. The atmosphere was great. Sat there proud in my City away shirt cheering on ‘Dicky’ Dunne and Big Niall but hid it away when I confess to cheering at Roy Keane’s goal (I know I know – it was just an instant reaction). It was nice to be able to shout ‘City Reject’ to Figo as well.

Arrived at the party at 8.30 and found out we were sat with Mark McCarthy (MADMCC) and his wife Cally from Donegal and Steph from the Reddish or City centre branch (not certain). Readers may know Mark from his website True Blue Gren Style or from Blue View.

Chris Bird and David Makin were there representing the club and hung around ’til after the food to do the branch presentations and raffles. Luckily the food arrived quite late so they were there for a while otherwise I think they may have done an early disappearing act. Last year at the 25th Anniversary Do, Chris brought Dennis Tueart with him and as soon as they were fed they were off to another meeting with Cherry Orchard and were impatient as to when the food was arriving so they could leave.

I feel it’s a real shame that out of all the on/off the field staff we have a Maine Road, the club cannot send someone who is willing to stay all night, especially when the branch pay for accommodation. The do really gets going later on.

Chris/David brought over a City shirt signed by Kevin Keegan for the branch raffle at the AGM and I hate to say that I hope the ink was washable as branch committee member Joe Traynor took the shirt home in a bag with a bottle of red wine. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination…

Star of the night was Mark McCarthy’s mum and dad who were never off the dancefloor and Mark’s dad at one point was on his knees dancing in front of my mate Alex and in his best Irish accent, told her ‘You’re a Real Woman’. She ran for cover.

I’d like to thank the branch for their hospitality and see you all again next year.

Deb Darbyshire (

HUMOUR – Top 100 Quotes of the Season Part II (75-51)

75) “I told the lads that they’d played well. It was just a travesty having so much of the game and creating so many chances to be five behind” – Hibernian boss Alex McLeish laments some appalling luck against Celtic.

74) “Bradford showed last night they love me and the fans confirmed today they love me as well” – Benito Carbone arrives at Valley Parade to great acclaim before failing to produce the goods – why change the habit of a lifetime, eh?

73) “I would like to have Brooklyn christened but I’m not sure which religion yet” – David Beckham has some thinking to do.

72) “I certainly wouldn’t put money on myself. Working as a national manager is out of the question” – Sven-Goran Eriksson, just before he became England boss. Hopefully he’s not a betting man.

71) “If Mihajlovic says anything bad, I will kick him” – Leeds’ Olivier Dacourt prepares to face the Lazio defender alleged to have racially abused Arsenal’s Patrick Vieira.

70) “David Beckham. Just because of his play and not because he’s a beautiful boy” – Paolo di Canio reveals the identity of the best English footballer he has played against.

69) “Being manager of this club is like wheeling a trolley around Sainsbury’s. You want to go one way, the trolley wants to got the other” – In case his earlier gurgling about cartoon cats and mallets wasn’t enough, Crystal Palace manager Alan Smith proves his love for flowery metaphors.

68) “I hope you’re finished ‘cos I’m off. End of conversation” – Vinnie Jones’ response to Stuff magazine’s entirely reasonable question: “Can you foresee a time when cars will be made of cheese?”

67) “Yeah, I was a bit anxious when I got to the stadium, but in all fairness if I hadn’t been anxious I’d have been worried” – Young Leeds goalkeeper Paul Robinson before making his European début against Besiktas.

66) “People say footballers have terrible taste in music but I would dispute that. In the car at the moment I’ve got The Corrs, Cher, Phil Collins, Shania Twain and Rod Stewart” – F365 columnist Andy Gray displays immaculate taste in music.

65) “Historically, host nations do well in Euro 2000” – BBC pundit Trevor Brooking shows remarkable foresight.

64) “What is written on the back pages of certain newspapers passes me by like an ill wind which I respect not” – Southampton chairman Rupert Lowe stops just short of saying ‘And a hey-nonny-nonny’ when getting medieval on The Sun’s case for suggesting that Glenn Hoddle was Tottenham bound.

63) “This is a time of low confidence in the safety of meat, I feel” – Arsenal utility man Gilles Grimandi shares his views on the foot and mouth crisis.

62) “I honestly don’t think we’ve had any luck all season” – Leeds boss David O’Leary, whose ‘babies’ made it to the European Cup semi-final, has clearly forgotten about Dida throwing that one into the net when Leeds beat Milan.

61) “He cut his finger and I think it’s the one he flicks his hair back with. He might even have broken a nail” – Leicester boss Peter Taylor provides an update on midfield hardman Robbie Savage’s fitness.

60) “I have a little book in which I have written down the names of all those who have upset me. I know I will get them some day” – David Beckham reveals a hitherto unknown mean streak. And now he’s got a Travis Bickle-style mohican! Be afraid!

59) “If you’d have met her, you’d probably understand why he did what he did” – Jack Charlton gives his hugely enlightened view on Gazza beating up then-wife Sheryl.

58) “It is like finding a woman with beauty, intelligence and lots of money” – Wimbledon boss Terry Burton has an eye for Fulham goal machine Louis Saha.

57) “Whoever comes in to replace me must understand the Watford ethos” – Outgoing Hornets’ boss Graham Taylor on that famous Watford ethos.

56) “I don’t give two hoots about what Mark Lawrenson says. Have you quoted me on that? I hope so. Old Mister Lawrenson knows nothing. I haven’t got a problem. He’s a very intelligent man. But what is it he does again? Television is it? How long was he a manager at Oxford? Two minutes? That says it all” – Sunderland boss and wordsmith Peter Reid shows he doesn’t have to use swear words to make a point.

55) “I’ve got a team of bigheads. They think they are better than they are. It was a hopeless performance. I think our players like to look good in their red and white away shirts but they have no idea about football and I’m getting sick of it” – Rangers’ boss Dick Advocaat reacts to his boys’ capitulation to mighty St Johnstone.

54) “How many players do they need before they can start challenging for the title? If Sol Campbell leaves, 11” – Ex-Spurs manager Ossie Ardiles lays into his former employers.

53) “Darius Vassell has that burst of killer speed which sets all sorts of rabbits loose in defenders’ minds” – Aston Villa boss John Gregory. Rabbits!?

52) “I always find the people who do criticise are middle-aged, pot-bellied, really scruffy hacks” – Former Leicester (and just about everyone else) striker Stan Collymore.

51) “We are unbeaten in eight games in which Stan (Collymore) has started only one. Draw your own conclusions” – Leicester boss Peter Taylor gives it to us straight.



Contributions: Ashley –
News & Rumours: Michael –
Subscriptions: Geoff –
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]Heidi Pickup,

Newsletter #716