Newsletter #727

This issue of MCIVTA is particularly significant, at least from my perspective, as it marks my last as editor. I’ve been editing/moderating MCIVTA for nigh on seven years now, which is astonishing, considering that all I intended back in ’94 was to get a dialogue going with some Manchester-based Blues. My motives at that time were in fact largely selfish, as I was living in Switzerland (hence the odd acronym for the newsletter) and City-related news was virtually non-existent.

Needless to say, MCIVTA has taken on a life of its own over the intervening years, and it’s been a great experience to have watched it evolve. One thing that quickly became apparent to me was the bond which existed between Blues, that unique sense of belonging, of nailing our colours to the mast and taking every last bit of flak that would come our way. The defining moment was the Horton débâcle at Old Trafford: you’d have thought that everyone would have shut up and retreated into their shells, but the wires were buzzing with Blues talking and metaphorically wearing their shirts with pride in the face of adversity.

For me, MCIVTA has been about talking to someone half way across the world that I would otherwise never have met; exchanging views with someone who I would never have thought to have spoken to if I had met them in the flesh; seeing friendships formed (marriages even!); but above all, seeing how a little bit of contact with fellow Blues and a little bit of news from Maine Road can rekindle people’s passion for City, and bind them closer to the club. How many of you out there have been back to Maine Road – after a lengthy absence – after reading MCIVTA? On a personal level, MCIVTA has brought me personal friendships, and a great sense of camaraderie and belonging. However, the best rewards have been the numerous emails from distant places, from people who have written to say that MCIVTA has brought a little bit of home (and pleasure) to them in their chosen exile.

I don’t want this to turn into a ‘luvvy’ speech, but I do have an obligation to thank a few people – mostly in chronological order. Thanks to Martin Ford who wrote excellent match reports in the early days – they gave MCIVTA a flying start. To Paul Howarth for contributing almost everything (at some point in MCIVTA’s history), but particularly his technical ability. To Svenn Hanssen for asking why we hadn’t got a web site and finding himself doing it the next day – and very well at that. To Adam Houghton, Steve Bolton and Geoff Donkin for doing the vital but hidden job of subscriptions. To Peter Brophy for allowing himself to be persuaded (didn’t take much actually) to write his excellent News Summaries (also to Paul, Geoff and now Michael Leafield). There are also people like Jeremy Poynton, James Nash, Dorien James, Stuart Reynolds, Ken Corfield, and numerous others who have pitched in regularly at some or many points over the years.

Although I’m resigning as editor, I will still be part of the MCIVTA team, so will hopefully continue to play a rôle in keeping MCIVTA going, however minor that may be. I’m actually handing over to someone that many of you will know – Heidi Pickup – she’ll no doubt do a great job as editor, as we all follow KK into the sunlit uplands of football. She did take a little bit of persuading but I wore her down in the end – it’s amazing what a little bit of flattery can do. Just to illustrate a previous point, Heidi actually grew up in the same village as I did, only 3 doors away; I hadn’t seen her for donkey’s years but recognised the name in MCIVTA!

Lastly, to all those people who have taken the time to write down their thoughts over the years and send them in – thanks.

So, over to Heidi, all articles from now on should be sent to:

Next game: Halifax Town away, Saturday 21st July 2001 (3.00pm)


General Stuff

Colisimo Finally Signs: It was announced late today that Simon Colisimo’s protracted transfer to City was nearing conclusion. The player is said to have been in talks over the weekend with Kevin Keegan, terms have been finalised and agreed and McVittee’s favourite P.R. guru Chris Bird stated this weekend “We (City) hope to have details of the deal finalised by the end of Monday”. Colisimo is City’s second signing of the summer, the first being Stuart Pearce, whilst in the other direction we have seen the end of the Maine Road careers of, Gareth Taylor, Shaun Holmes, Richard McKinney, Stephen Hodgson, Andy Morrison (eventually, see below) Mark Kennedy and Jim Whitley.

Wanchope in the Window: According to reports from the continent, Paulo Wanchope has been dropping serious hints about playing abroad. He told reporters in an interview after the Copa America tie against Honduras that he wanted to play in Italy or Spain. The Costa Rican who has already been linked with Valencia and Malaga is quoted as saying “In England, football is too rough and that’s why the club wants to sell me. However, before accepting offers, I will talk with the coach to know more on my future. I was contacted by Spain’s Malaga, but I would love to play in Italy as well.”

Wanchope Stars for Costa Rica: Want away (?) striker Wanchope was Man of the Match for Costa Rica in their 1-0 Copa America victory over Honduras this weekend. Paulo grabbed the winner with a header in the 64th minute. He then went on to treat the crowd to a spectacular one-man show. Following his match-winning goal he went close to scoring on another four occasions, he also became involved in a mass confrontation preceding a Honduras free kick in the latter stages in which he was knocked to the ground. Costa Rica now share top spot in Group C with Uruguay, who beat Bolivia 1-0.

Morrison Still Training: Former skipper and unwanted centre half, Andy Morrison has begun pre-season training with City. Morrison who has been linked with both Sheffield clubs, Barnsley, Bristol City and Motherwell, still has 12 months to go on his Blues’ contract but has so far been unable to agree terms with any of his potential suitors.

Cooke Gets Another Chance: Forgotten winger Terry Cooke is in line for squad place with City. Cooke had a meeting with KK and is prepared to fight for a first team berth. Cooke is quoted as saying, “The last eighteen months to two years has been an absolute nightmare. I have hardly played at all and it has been a complete waste of time”, he went on to say “After Joe Royle left I came in to talk to the new manager and he told me that everyone starts with a clean sheet and that I should stay and fight for my place. Along with the rest of the squad that is exactly what I wanted to hear, I am hoping this is a new start for me. Everything Kevin Keegan said to me was positive and I am really looking forward to the new season.”

City Youngsters on England Duty Again: Lee Croft, Dorryl Proffit and Shaun Cartwright all featured for England under 17s against Brazil. Brazil went on to win 2-0, meaning that England have now lost both of their competition games after a 1-2 reverse versus Italy in midweek.

Ins, Outs, Rumours: Nothing new on the transfer front, even the Sunday comics were quiet on the speculation front. The only close thing to a solid rumour is probably Paulo’s reviled agent Dennis Roach, hawking him around several Spanish clubs, despite denials to the contrary. Resurfacing rumours of a bid for Norwegian striker Bengt Saeternes. Saeternes is currently at Bodo Glimt, he is 26 and is being tracked by Southampton, though apparently in Norway there is speculation linking him with City. Veteran centre half (just what we need!) Des Walker was today linked with a move to City. Walker has recently been released by Sheffield Wednesday; fortunately City have quickly quashed the rumours. Another Maine Road casualty is kit man Ronnie Evans. Evans worked with Joe Royle at Oldham and came to City five years ago, where he spent his time working as part of the medical team.


Highly rated former City striker Alan Bailey has been released by Stockport County and is said to be having trials with Danish side AB Copenhagen. Bailey who made one appearance as sub for City in the Auto Washing Machines and Dry Cleaners Cup, versus Mansfield, looked set for a successful stint at County, including scoring a goal against us at Maine Road last season. Bailey has apparently been plagued by injury and will now try to make it abroad.

Unemployed winger Nicky Summerbee is now said to be tempting Huddersfield Town and Derby County into a move for his enigmatic services.

Michael leafield (


Apologies for the delay of this match report, but due to various e-mail glitches i.e. power cuts etc., this report is a little delayed.

With no transfer action for the Blues, it was nice to sit and watch two of City’s (hopefully) up and coming stars in action or the England Under-17’s in their match against Italy at the JJB Stadium. Having nicely positioned myself in the chair opposite the TV with notebook in hand, I started watching the game.

Most of the names (well alright all except Lee Croft and Dorryl Proffitt) were unfamiliar but it was interesting to see Croft being played wide on the right, and Proffitt up front on his own. There were only 2 minutes on the clock when the City duo worked well down the right, as Croft sent Proffitt beyond the Italian left-back, but his cross fell short of any attacking player. It took another two minutes for Proffitt to create havoc, this time down the left, before being fouled. Croft crossed the dead ball onto the head of Small who put it wide. Three minutes later Docherty (or it could have been Doherty) picked the ball up, skipped past about three challenges before feeding Proffitt, whose shot cannoned into Croft’s path but the ‘keeper saved well at Croft’s feet. On 13 minutes, Proffitt scuffed a half shot after being played in by Croft. Seven minutes later Italy had the ball in the England box! Italy were really struggling and the tormented left-back was replaced and extra cover was given to the new introduction in order to halt Croft’s constant progress. However, on 24 minutes Proffitt won an England corner. Croft took it, the ball was knocked back out to him, Croft then slipped inside a couple of challenges before unleashing a shot that hit the corner of post and bar.

Just like watching City, it came as no surprise that Italy should go ahead. On 24 minutes the Italian forward raced clear of a static defence, his well placed shot was only parried by the ‘keeper into the path of another onrushing Italian, and so it was 1-0. The goal was totally against the run of play but England were back level within 3 minutes. A long ball saw the Italian defender pause, thinking the ‘keeper would come for it, and in nipped Proffitt to steer the ball into the far corner for 1-1. Excellent finish by the City lad followed by a half-cartwheel celebration.

At this point, I gave up with the detailed notepad but the game mainly consisted of good England pressure with Italy creating little. However, on the stroke of half-time Italy again nearly retook the lead with a carbon copy of the first goal; fortunately the parry by the keeper was well cleared. So 1-1 at half-time, with Croft, Proffitt and Docherty really standing out for England.

The second-half started with Croft and Proffitt again working well down the right, but on 49 minutes (match was 40 minutes each way), Proffitt was replaced by Lewis Guy. A strange decision by England coach Les Reed (yeah Les who? Exactly!). With Proffitt off the pitch and England tiring, the game deteriorated, with England getting no change from the Italian defence particularly as Croft was being double marked. On 64 minutes, Wayne Rooney came on to play wide right and Croft drifted inside, yet 4 minutes later Italy were ahead. The Italian defender who had been at fault for the goal, stole in for a stooping header from a corner: 2-1. England were now chasing the game, Docherty had a good shot (cross according to commentary team – spoil sports) that the ‘keeper tipped over. The resulting corner by Rooney was nearly flicked in by Croft but the ‘keeper saved well. The ref blew the final whistle but Lee Croft still went home with the Man of the Match Vase/Bowl, one of those crystal glass shaped objects!

Final impressions were that Croft looked better wide right than he did in the middle (although I believe he plays as centre forward for City), whilst Proffitt has a keen eye for goal. Both players have plenty of pace and Croft is very strong on and off the ball; let’s hope they can live up to the potential that they showed here.

Sunday: vs. Brazil – England were totally outclassed, going down 2-0, but they played with a lot of spirit and did themslevs proud. Once again Croft shone, and Proffitt was a handful after coming on as substitute. Nigel Spackman commented on only one name when asked about players progressing to full international honours – Lee Croft; lets hope he’s right.

City Masters – A 7-2 defeat against Liverpool, a 2-1 defeat against Everton and 1-1 draw against Man Utd, saw City pick up the wooden spoon. Paul Walsh was the non-playing manager and the City team comprised the likes of Williams, Hartford, Biggins, Gleghorn, Power, Reid, Seagraves, McNab and 2 others (I’m sure I’ll remember them later). Fortunately Man U lost in the final to Liverpool especially as Stapleton had spent the whole of the commentry (Liverpool vs. Everton) moaning about the poor refereeing – they had McIlroy sent off for handling on the line; you see they may grow older but still without any grace.

James Walsh (


Thought people might be interested in how The Bish is getting on in the US. Here’s a quote from a friend of mine who lives in San Francisco and saw him play recently:

“… when the Miami Fusion (top of the Eastern conference) visited San Jose Earthquakes (top of the Western conference) last week, Ian Bishop (once linked to West Ham and Man City) was the best player on the park by miles. Not only that, but I didn’t see him break into a sprint at any point.”

Nice to see he’s being successful, even if it’s not much of a challenge!

CTID, Chris Jones (


Well there is less than a week to go to the big day. Everything is ready so as they used to say ‘Come on down’… People have until Wednesday to send for tickets; after that we cannot guarantee getting them to you in time by post. Don’t worry if you haven’t got tickets but still fancy seeing some of the City greats and contributing to the Neil Young benefit; please still turn up and pay on the gate. Every little helps and who knows you just might win one of the great prizes we have on offer. Oh and don’t forget: if you come, bring your party gear…

CTID, Dave Cash (


News Headlines 11 July 2001
ITV clinches carriage deal with NTL

In a move that is likely to upset some of its digital television executives, ITV has announced that it has agreed to make its new ITV Sports Channel available to NTL’s 2 million subscribers, writes Ann-Marie Corvin.

The deal will come as a disappointment to some ITV Digital executives, who had hoped that exclusive access to the channel – intended to challenge Sky’s sports content – would attract subscribers to its newly re-branded service. NTL’s agreement to offer the ITV Sport channel to its subscribers is also likely to increase pressure on BSkyB to win rights to the channel, which is expected to cost Granada and Carlton £150 million in its first year. A similar deal with Telewest is also said to be imminent. For £6.99 a month, ITV Sports Channel will show Champions’ League, Football League and League Cup soccer after it launches in August. BT will also offer its customers access to the channel after it announced alliances today with ITV and British Sky Broadcasting – in an attempt to stop customers defecting to cable television operators. It is expected to offer its customers access to ITV digital basic package of channels – plus ITV Sport and a range of pay-per-view football matches for £19.99 a month – £3 less than the normal price.

I hope this helps.

Paul Odusanya – CTID (


I went to see my family in the Seychelles at the end of June (Seychelles: an old British colony in the Indian Ocean – for those who didn’t know), and what do you think the first thing I saw in the middle of the capital Victoria? Yes, a Blue from Moss Side. As I was wearing my ‘Man City – the only football team to come from Manchester’ t-shirt, a guy came over to show me his Man City tattoo, saying he was from Moss Side. He said that he was on H.M. Gloucester ship which was in the Seychelles. If anybody knows a Blue on H.M. Gloucester who was in Seychelles in late June/beginning of July, please say hello from the Norwegian guy whom he met in Victoria.

Bjorn Hunt (


ITV Sport have recently announced their live Nationwide match schedules for the forthcoming season, with matches to be screened “predominantly on Sunday evenings and Thursday nights”.

This petition, which has been signed by 1,445 fans so far, has been set up to protest against the scheduling of live matches.

Supporters who rely on public transport face the almost impossible task of travelling home on Sunday nights, denying them the opportunity to attend. Away supporters will be faced with arduous journeys home after games that finish at 8.00pm on Sunday nights, as will home supporters who have to travel any distance.

Younger fans will not be able to attend games played on Sunday nights due to school commitments and so it goes on. We also have to now contend with matches potentially being scheduled for any night of the week, including the previously untouched Thursday slot.

These schedules have been devised without any consideration for supporters who still prefer to watch their football live rather than from the comfort of their living room. Fixtures for the subscriber rather than the supporter.

This petition is intended to show ITV Sport that we have had enough of being inconvenienced for the sake of television schedules. Only we can change this and we urge you to support this campaign in the hope that ITV Sport will listen to our concerns. If we do nothing, we can only expect this situation to get worse. The television companies will listen, but only if we show sufficient support.

The address of this page is:

Please pass it on to as many people as possible. For further information, please contact

Noel Bayley (


Last issue someone queried the confusion about not receiving ONdigital.

I live in Kent, a mere 40 miles from central London – hardly remote. According to the postcode checker on the ONdigital website, the service is not available for my postcode. Consequently not only can I not subscribe, I can’t even go down the pub to watch it.

Alan Holt CBMTOGB – City but miserable till ONdigital go bust(


As a subscriber to Telewest Active Digital (they cover a large area of the UK), I contacted them last week to enquire whether they would be adding ITV Sport to the programmes they offer already and this is the reply I received.

I refer to your enquiry regarding channel availability with our Active Digital packages. At present, we do not have any immediate plans to offer the new ITV Sports channel with any of our Active Digital packages. I can inform you that at present this channel will be exclusive to OnDigital customers only. However, we are constantly evaluating the channels to launch with the Active Digital service and all customers will be informed as new channels become available. I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and I can assure you that your comments have been recorded.

So it looks like the only way to be able to watch the lads on TV is to subscribe to OnDigital; not sure how I am going to sneak this one in past the wife!

Cliff Shelley (


In view of the comments by Geoff Watt and Gary James I feel I should enter the fray again, if only to point out that my criticism of Colin (sorry, Dave – an old mate) Shindler and my praise for Simon Hattenstone’s review was based not on the recent book (as I said, and as the two of you were quick to point out, I haven’t read it). You rather missed the point, lads. What I wrote was that (a) the review summed up Shindler’s turgid and self-indulgent writing style immaculately, (b) having read MURML, nothing would induce me to buy the new book and (c) given the irrelevant and opportunistic use of “United” in the title of the first book (an opinion shared by many City fans) I was amazed Shindler didn’t find a way of including “United” in the title. And that’s all.

I must say I find it ironic that Gary first misunderstood my submission, then used the misconstruction as a launch pad to fly his jaundiced opinion of reviewers. He might be cheered up to know that the late Evelyn Waugh (author of ‘Scoop’, ‘Brideshead Revisited’ etc.) once opined “when I was a young man and had to review books for a living I made it a point of honour never to give a bad review to a book I had not read. Now I find that even this simple decency is flagrantly breached”… oh and by the way, Gary. I’m not saying I agree with him.

Finally, the whole publishing game is a crazy business. I wrote a novel some years ago about a sports mad kid, growing up in a Manchester satellite town. It was turned down by two publishers on the grounds that it was too like Nick Hornby’s “Fever Pitch”, which had just come out. It wasn’t. My hero idles away his schooldays playing Owzat, a game known to the pre-computer generation and, in doing so, invents an imaginary cricketer who becomes an alter ego, whom he consults when faced with a situation he hasn’t come across before and can’t deal with. Eventually the alter ego lets him down. Besides which, the book was actually written (and submitted) before “Fever Pitch” but the publishers involved took so long to read the bl*ody thing, FP was published in the interim. If only I’d called it Manchester United F*ck*d Up My Adolescence

P.S. I really enjoyed ‘Manchester, The Greatest City’ – my only criticism, the lack of an index, which would have made it perfect. Looking forward to reading “Atkinson”.

P.P.S. On another matter, am I right in thinking that Joe Fagan of Liverpool who died recently, was a former City defender? If so, pity there was no obituary in MCIVTA. Anyone fill us in on his playing career?

Ernie Whalley (


I was interested to read John Mcfarlane’s opinion piece in MCIVTA 726. His evaluation of Joe Royle raises many points with which I take issue, but I do not have time to produce the kind of detailed reply I would like to. However, I particularly wish to comment on one statement John made – his appraisal of Shaun Goater, whom he labelled “a complete and utter failure as a Premier striker”. John further claims that his assessment is vindicated by an examination of relevant statistics, though he in fact cites none.

In no way would I seek to argue that Goater is a top-drawer Premiership front man. On the other hand, a striker’s primary function is to score goals, and in 25 starts plus seven substitute appearances in league and cup competition against Premiership opposition in the last two seasons, Goater’s tally is a highly respectable thirteen. This gives him an overall scoring rate against clubs from the top division which, based on information taken from the comprehensive Soccerbase website, is superior to the career records of a number of more vaunted top-flight forwards, including such star names as Emile Heskey and Francis Jeffers. I note that Liverpool were moved less than 18 months ago to pay £11.5 million for Heskey, while Jeffers has just signed for Arsenal in a deal which will eventually be worth £10 million. Goater’s transfer value is manifestly not in the eight-figure bracket, but the facts certainly fail to lend credibility to John’s withering conclusion.

I can therefore only assume that when John states of his verdict on Goater that, “The statistics will back me up,” he is ascribing his own bizarre and idiosyncratic meaning to that phrase. Alternatively, the next time he asserts that the weight of statistical evidence supports his argument, perhaps he should do so with reference to statistics existing outside his own imagination.

Peter Brophy (


This is really an idea for Ashley rather than an article, but here goes. With so many fixtures having been changed already, and the prospect of more changes to come, I was wondering whether or not it would be a good idea for MCIVTA to include an up to date fixture list at the end, along with the credits. I feel this would be particularly useful, if only so people could check the ridiculous kick-off times that are being thrown at us (6.15pm!).

Alastair Rainsbury “CTID” (


Super Kev of White Rock, close by the U.S. DMZ, keeps me (literally) posted about the goings-on at the Theatre of Follies and my pal, William, allows me access to his computer and MCIVTA on a regular basis. So I am well on top of things. Erm, not really. Sorry Joe, but I’m glad to see you go and thanks for the memories (and all the other clichés) and I’m sure that the vicious and hypocritical Board at City will make sure that your payoff is a figure that we, the supporters (i.e. the club) can only dream of unless we pick the right six numbers. You goof – you go.

Managers in all walks of life are paid well, with incentives, on condition that they manage well. If they don’t? So what’s all this blather about Bernstein and D.T. being hypocritical? This board rescues the club – our club – from the edge of bankruptcy and perseveres with an appointee who, given 15 games to keep us in division 2, gets us relegated to 12th position in division 3 before a promotion to the giddy heights of the Nationwide Division 1 via a third-place penalty shoot-out against mighty Gillingham. Cue hysterical euphoria all round! This, a few days after the Rags had completed the treble in Barcelona in the most dramatic fashion possible. What the hell were we doing down there in the first place?

Similarly, a second successive promotion – on the last day, of course – has been lauded as quintessentially the “City way of doing things”. So this gang of thugs in the boardroom throw millions of pounds in the maestro’s direction in order to keep us in the Premiership. So what does he do? He “invests” in 8 or 9 defenders, nobody in midfield and two “enigmatic” part-timers who think they’re doing us a favour by turning up for training. Inevitably, one of the most boring and tactically crude sides I have ever seen assembled to wear our colours took us – yes us – straight back down again. Deservedly so. And I am blo*dy angry and ashamed, even more than I was when I used to trek to watch Poyser’s pathetic squads perform their Laurel and Hardy gaffes in front of 12,000 masochists at Maine Road when, a few miles away, Alex Dawson and the Rags’ reserves were drawing twice that number for a Central League fixture. So, over 34,000 per home League game turned up this season to see this ungainly bunch of misfits lose a record number at Maine Road. So here comes the pink slip and all hell breaks loose. I was amazed at the number of people – most of them, but not all, City fans, who leapt to the defence of Royle. What is the matter with you people? Have you become so inured to failure and second or third-best status that you think a 3-year, 3-month term presiding over the expenditure of tens of millions on naff second-raters and two relegations is a satisfactory reward for your loyalty? Get real! As I stated, I am well on top of things – not.

As for Super Kev (Mark II) I was initially excited at the prospect that on my impending return to Albion and the hallowed precincts of the Academy (sic) win or lose, this coming season, I would see a side crafted in the attacking and entertaining traditions of this great club. So far, on the news received, my verdict is mixed. The Goat to go? On balance, I agree. Ditto Kennedy. Psycho in? Yup, if he plays he’ll terrorise the opposition; if he doesn’t, he’ll dominate the changing rooms. But whither Tiatto? Is he really a “natural” left winger? What wingers? One of the more depressing reports I read (in MCIVTA 724?) was that KK may narrow the playing area and play without wide forwards, content to place Huckerby in a right-sided midfield rôle behind two (which two) “strikers”. Look folks, I am not on top of things. I admit it. I am a Luddite. I’ve just been watching, for the umpteenth time, a video – a copy of which I ‘m donating to super Kev of White Rock fame – of the finest football match ever played. If you – especially the toddlers among you who think that City’s gestation started with the advent of the late great Joe Mercer – have never seen it, hurry down to the store and order the BBC “The Great Match” film coverage of Real and Eintracht in the 1960 European Cup Final at Hampden complete with the impeccably restrained commentary of Kenneth Wolstenholme: “and now I may be mistaken, but we’re in the 73rd. minute and I believe that’s the first offside decision awarded to either side” Wingers? They were all wingers when the situation demanded it. Note to Keegan. Please get the video, watch and inwardly digest. Then do us all a favour and be truly dramatic and have you ever thought of 5-3-2? Ah well, just a thought and will you please stop that cackling at the back and pay attention!

Dafydd Goronwy-Roberts (


I have read most of the MCIVTA comments about City on TV and they orient themselves to discussing ONdigital versus Sky TV. I would like to comment on a different aspect of the ONdigital package. I am a regular home City supporter, a season ticket holder and a traditionalist. I believe that I have bought a season ticket to watch City play at home on a Saturday afternoon. That is the commercial contract I would like to think I have signed up to. I am often away or have other commitments on week nights, but Saturday is “footy day” and is Maine Road day. I know this and my wife knows this, which is most important. In reality I know that the small print in the season ticket states that the Nationwide League can change fixtures and ask City to play on the changed dates. Sky making us to play on Sunday or Monday nights was abhorrent, but this pales by comparison with what ONdigital could do next season. It would seem that season ticket holders have no rights and no influence on the situation and are subservient to the few ONdigital viewers who are might be quite happy to tune in to a City game at 6:15 on a Saturday or an evening Thursday night game. Are there any people out there who go to home matches who share my views?

Bob Ollerenshaw (


This is an appeal to all subscribers of Sky Digital who would like to be able to watch Nationwide footy live next season to put some pressure on Sky. I, for one, originally subscribed to Sky mainly so I could watch City in away games I couldn’t get to and also other matches that may affect us. I pay over £40 a month and think it is bang out of order that I will only get the Premiership footy live.

There are rumours that Sky will come to some sort of arrangement and will show our games but I think a bit of pressure from the customers can help.

If you feel the same, please go to the link below and click on ‘feedback’ on the bottom right of the screen and let them know how you feel.

Lee Hayes (


In response to John Mcfarlane (MCIVTA 726) I do not think there is any evidence to suggest the Shaun Goater was a ‘complete and utter faliure’. The statistics (which don’t back him up) say that he scored 11 goals last season from 25 starts. A fully fit Goat playing in a team who could actually pass the ball to him would have made an impact in the Premiership last season. Conversely ‘Huck’ scored 2 goals (1 pen) from 11 starts, and indeed Huckerby has only scored 39 league goals in his whole career. Whilst the comments pertaining to JR do have some merit the criticism of Goater is unjustified and unsubstantiated.

Gary Spencer (


I was wondering if anyone knows of anywhere I can get to watch the Watford game from my sun-lounger in the Algarve. Oh and re. all the OnDigital confusion can someone just e-mail me (and all the other technological f***wits) and tell me what I’ve got to buy, how much it costs and where I can get it from. Thanks.

Bill B (


Have you seen any “End of Season review 2001”? If so, can you help me to buy some?

Best Regards, Patrick Edlund (


This is my story on how I became a fanatic of Manchester City. It was 77-78 and at the time I was a Liverpool supporter in a sense; let’s just say that they were the team that everyone followed. It was the League Cup semi-final vs. Man City. Despite the fact that Liverpool won over the two legs 2-1, I was fascinated by the strength in depth and elegance portrayed by a team deemed the poor relations of the Manchester revolution. I was hooked and immediately asked my parents for the kit at Christmas. My bedroom wall was soon adorned with the greats of the past, Nijinsky, Summerbee, Francis Lee and others.

Well, 24 years on and I’m still as fanatical as ever; videos, books, autographs, photos, scarves, hats, football shirts and kits collected from as far as the early days. I have been following City at Maine Road since the 1981 FA Cup Final. Despite living in Hull, I always managed to find the money for a trip down the M62 to watch my beloved City. Win, lose or draw it’s a passion that will die with me.

United may have the money and the stars but they will never have real, passionate supporters. It would be interesting to see how quickly their crowds begin to drop during a difficult phase. City have the support and through difficult times it remains constant. Perhaps Division 2 was a low point, perhaps returning to the Premiership was too early, but now we have the team to destroy the First Division and return by 2002. We all hold our heads high and will do so forever.

Michael Pollard (


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[3] Club Web Site

The official club web site can be found at

[4] Supporters’ Clubs

Manchester City FC recognises three supporters’ clubs: The “Official Supporters Club” (; the “Centenary Supporters’ Association” ( and “The International Supporters’ Club” (

[5] Fans’ Committee

The Fans’ Committee operates as an interface between supporters and the club. It has its own website, containing info about forthcoming meetings as well as minutes from previous gatherings.

[6] City of Manchester Stadium Progress/Web Cam

The latest information regarding the progress of our new home can be found at

[7] Match Day Broadcasts

Live match commentaries and archives of games, reports and interviews can be found here: GMR Saturday Sport is also available live online between 1-3pm, and 4.45-6pm at

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 #727