Newsletter #760

Tonight’s issue contains more on the Gillingham game; the team, the manager, and the season so far.

The great badge debate continues with the general consensus being that newer is not necessarily better, news on Nelly and a have a few requests (and if anyone can help on the photo then please let me know).

A weekend off for most of us as the international games are on again, giving us time to whet the appetite for Pompey.

Next game: Portsmouth, away, Saturday 17th November 12.30pm


Strangely this was my first visit to Maine Road since Gillingham last played there and it was an opportunity to take my dad, aged 89, to see City play live for the first time in perhaps 15 years. We were in HH so we had the ritual plastic mac dance to combat the drizzle.

My report on the previous Gillingham game described it as one of the most boring games I had seen, with all the moves being revealed in the first five minutes and then repeated ad nauseam for the rest of the game. Saturday’s game was quite different, with Benarbia creating space and time and Berkovic using space. With Tiatto, Huckerby, Wright-Phillips and Dunne(!) making runs at the Gillingham defence and of course Goater thinking it was his birthday, just waiting for loose balls in the area, City would have run all but 6 or 7 teams in the UK ragged for the first hour or so.

Sunderland and Leicester on TV later looked really poor in comparison. Next time maybe we will play so that Carlisle on a bad day would beat us, but that’s City.

Certainly promotion or not is in our own hands. Add Howey and Mettomo at the back and Wanchope when he’s fit and we have man for man 7 or 8 of the best players in the division when we’re on song.

So, a good day out and a sense that Keegan is the right man – I guess I hadn’t been quite sure before. Reading Why Blue’s I haven’t yet read one that says I’m a Blue because we win everything and have won 7 out of the last 9 championships. Indeed I think most of us would be embarrassed by that and the damage it causes to UK football generally. No, the unpredictability is part of being a City fan and I doubt whether we will ever know how City are going to perform next whilst Keegan is in charge – so that’s why I think he’s right for us.

So here’s hoping we have more performances like Gillingham and less like WBA and Stockport to win promotion.

David Lewis (


I was very impressed with City’s display against Gillingham. It was my first game at Maine Road for 18 months. The midfield played some lovely passing football, something that has been missing for years at Maine Road. The attack is pacy and the Goat will easily put goals away at this level. The defence is solid but we will always concede goals with our style of play. We should in most games score more than we concede.

I was a little disappointed with SWP. He certainly is a live wire and I am sure he is a handful on the pitch but my opinion is he will never score a lot of goals and he is too easily pushed off the ball; his physical size unfortunately is a little on the small size, God Bless him.

I am also confused about Richard Dunne’s rôle in the team. An attacking wing back he is not. He just does not look comfortable in that rôle. Does he ever work up a sweat?

In all my years supporting City, Maine Road has had a great atmosphere. I thought it was very subdued on Saturday. Are we being sympathetic these days to the smaller clubs’ supporters, thus allowing them to outsing us? I am looking forward to our move to the new Eastlands stadium.

CTID, Pat Dempsey (


For the first time in 4 years I am without any sight of City’s games, goals and adventures. For some reason Fox Sports World has decided not to show the Sky Sports show that shows the goals from the Nationwide (though I wonder, on reflection, whether Sky still has the rights to these games). So all I know is from what I read… so thank you Heidi and everyone for keeping the news coming on what promises to be, and already is, a madcap season. Can we repeat that wonderful season of 1957/1958 when our goals tally read: For 104 Against 100?

I was a little despondent as we entered October and results began to go against us but feeding the Goat certainly seems to be paying off so I look forward to more happy reading in these pages.

I do have one question which continues to perplex me. When City take over the new stadium, what will be the capacity and will this initial capacity be permanent or will there be an opportunity to add to it? Everything I read seems to suggest a different figure.

Best wishes to all, John Pearson (


I’ve been a bit quiet of late (thank God, say you) but Jon Davenport’s lucid explanation of the old/real MCFC badge has stirred me to pound the keys with my old vigour.

First, let me say I endorse (on the basis of TV/video/radio evidence plus press reports only, I have to admit) KK’s start to the campaign. The guys who said they’d be just as happy with a 1-0 as a 4-1 or indeed a 4-3 are, frankly, misguided. Caution has never been the City way, not in 47 years of supporting them. The best City teams in my lifetime have been the ones constantly going forward. The trouble with planning a 1-0 is it’s all too frequently turned into a 1-1 or, worse, a 0-1. Whenever we’ve had a manager who has gone out of his way to devise a City team who soak up pressure and play only on the break it’s had an embarrassing habit of blowing up in our faces.

Anyhow I’m not that hungry for success that I’d like to see a City team boring the arse off the faithful, the press, the neutrals and the opposition. Anyone who doubts should take a peek at the Man City page of Fromtheterrace and read the generous tribute paid by the Barnsley correspondent. I did and I felt proud that we could entertain in this fashion as well as play with devastating power and purpose. Furthermore, KK has given us Benarbia and Berko, two great footballers; revitalised Huckerby and Chop, brought on Etuhu and SWP, made an excellent defensive buy in Mettomo and a brave and interesting one in Psycho. And he’s still got faith in Dicky, like most of us in an odd sort of way. Not a bad start! I can’t understand the continuing fascination of Nicky Weaver, I think Nash is less error prone, as good a shot stopper, kicks better, throws better and marshals his defence/organises his walls much better. But hopefully our new Dane may be the next Schmeichel; better still, at 6’5″ the next Corrigan. For all this, I’ll put up with the occasional reverse – I’ll be exasperated of course but all part of life and City’s rich pattern.

A couple of minor points. We should maybe go easy on the Stockports of this world. Yes, it’s a dumb one-horse town (I was brought up there, I know) and their team is never going to win points for progressive football (unlike Crewe/Preston/Burnley/Forest bless them) but they don’t have much brass and it does our cause no good to be labelled as Division One’s equivalent of the wealthy arrogant Red sh*te. Let’s win friends on the pitch and be magnanimous off it.

Secondly, take it easy on Joe Royle even if he takes the club to the House of Lords. It’s every person’s legal right to sue the bejasus off his/her employer if he/she feels hard done by. It’s a legal contractual quibble, not a vendetta against club, team or fans. It’s simple Football Club (unscrupulous in the quest for success) vs. ex-manager (out to squeeze the most compensation he can out of his ex-employer). We know the rules: let’s let the court decide and abide by the judgement without condemning either party. As De Niro said (Goodfellas, I think), “you whack someone, you get whacked, don’t take it so personal”.

Lastly, to the real nitty-gritty. That badge. Jon Davenport’s description of the meaning behind the real City badge was spot on. Pride in being Mancunian, pride in being Lancastrian. It’s me to a T and probably quite a lot of us. But for some reason some dickhead of a design consultant was employed by a new board to give us something new, something “modern” that would sweep away all memories of the ancient regime. Sorry DB, but it’s a load of c**p. The old badge was meaningful, it had nobility, symmetry, a fitfulness for the purpose. Like the Union Jack, the Confederate Flag (hate the symbolism but love the design of both) the old MCFC badge was timeless. As a graphic it hasn’t dated, it’s still as valid and as modern as it was when it was designed. The Audi rings, the Alfa Romeo badge, the Ferrari prancing horse, other examples come flooding to mind. In contrast, the new City badge was years out of date even when it was designed. I wouldn’t have objected to something hypermodern, forward-looking, 21st century art, providing it represented decent design, had enduring qualities and truly reflected the club’s character and aspirations, that is what industrial/commercial design is all about. But the scrawny chicken and the flitter-glitter “Mussolini” stars is real sh!t, 100 per cent total kitsch, kid’s comic stuff. And, as for the motto. Pu-lease! In this day and age, 2000 and one do we have to have Latin and cod Latin at that? It looks like a crest designed circa 1955 for one of those schools for Ye B@st@rd Sonnes of Gentelfolk, those bogus-posh boarding establishments that proliferated (particularly in North Wales) to educate rich kids who failed the eleven plus when I was growing up.

And the motto? It would be nice to think that the motto is really “Superbia in Prolio” – superb among the proles, i.e. “Great in Div One” but even that would be too much to hope for. Alas I suspect “Proelio” is simply Roman slang for “pub”; I get it now, it’s a tribute to Kennedy and his mates.

Anyhow, yes it’s a horrid, naff badge and anything that can be done to bring back the real Manchester City badge should be done. Count me in. I’ll email DB tonight.

P.S. Motto for United’s next badge – “Quam venter serpentum inferior”, any Latin scholars out there? Suggestions for the design welcome but it has to include a bald frog reclining on a field of green, a ball and a bulging net.

Ernie Whalley (


He used to go to Parrs Wood High School and played for school team, Manchester boys and signed as a schoolboy for City when he was around 13/14 in 1971.

He was a very quick, bustling forward who should have gone on to make a career as a professional footballer. However, as with so many, he never made the grade. I am not sure if he went on to play semi-pro in the region.

Garry Smith (


If you desperately want to know which players drive what, all you need to do is have a look in the players’ and officials’ car park at Maine Road on a match day. Although MCIVTA is supposedly a City domain there’s lots of subscribers, not all City fans, and it’s possible players’ vehicles and registrations could get into the wrong hands so I reckon this debate should be strangled at birth.

Lance Thomson (


Kenneth Corfield’s very well created City diary took me back to 6th November 1971.

My recollection of Summerbee’s equalizer on that day, stood up in the North stand (seats were not in then) was that his shot was driven into the roof of the net from somewhere around the penalty spot or edge of the box after Stepney had punched a corner kick under pressure from Wyn Davies. I recall the goal was a superb strike after City had laid siege to the Rags’ defence for all of the second half in one of the most one sided derbies I had attended at that time. Also the atmosphere created because of the North stand was one of the best experienced at Maine Road.

Keep up the good work Kenneth.

Peter McDonald (


Vanda and I promised the folk that attended the curry night at TG that we would let you all know the amount of the contribution you all made to Neil’s tribute fund. First apologies that it has taken a couple of days longer than intended but pressure of work being what it is…

The raffle and football cards raised £152 towards the fund. More to the point, Neil and Carmen had a brilliant time and have asked me to extend their thanks to all the TG’ers for a great night out. The Q&A session was probably one of the best we have done and considering the limitations of the room was an achievement in itself.

Personally I’d like to thank everyone who attended for their support. We wanted a chance for everyone who supported us in the early days of the campaign to have a chance to see Neil. Many of the first e-mails telling us to go for it were sent by people in that room on Saturday evening.

Finally a big thank you to ‘Debs’; you do a great job organising TG and long may it continue to prosper.

Dave Cash (


I have to agree with the ‘Bird’ criticism! We now have a bird on the current kit courtesy of le Coq Sportif. Why do we need an Eagle thingy when we have a chicken?

I reckon that’s one bird too many…

Angus Jordan (


The latest issues of MCIVTA have given me a bit of courage to speak up about the club badge with the eagle.

It’s always been a disgrace and, after an initial spell where we stopped giving it a slating, the ball should start rolling again to get rid of it.

We should simply go back to wearing the Manchester civic coat of arms on the shirt. As the only league within the boundaries of the City of Manchester, we’re the only one entitled to, as long as the council doesn’t have reasons why it isn’t possible.

If it is, why the hell don’t we use that entitlement?

Marc Starr (


Interesting comments regarding a change back to the badge complete with ship and red rose. For those who have ITV Sport you’ll notice that it is this badge that they use in the backdrop when City are on. As an aside, does anyone else feel that the coverage of the First Division on ITV Sport is refreshing and quite earthy, with Matt Smith perfectly complementing Robbie Earle and Graham Taylor?

However, in discussions with a fellow City fan I was informed that the reason for the change was due to the Swales family having some form of rights over the badge, meaning that for every piece of City merchandise sold a fraction of the cost went to the family, hence the change in design. Personally I feel we should revert to the coat of arms for Manchester as worn in the ’69 Cup Final.

James Walsh (


I was interested to read contributions to the debate on City badges old and new. I attended a meeting of the Blues in Bandit Country (Stretford CSA) at which, City chairman, Francis Lee was a guest speaker. It was about the time that the change in badge had been made and one of the first questions he was asked was:

Why? – we all liked the old one, it was famous around the world, it contained the words ‘Manchester’ and ‘City’ so, why?

He replied that City’s old badge was being ripped off by everybody and anybody and that, because Peter Swales had let go of the copyright, not a penny of those sales was finding its way into MCFC coffers.

The new badge was, like it or loathe it, well protected and we could rest assured that any item purchased with it on would mean money for the club.

(Do the lads who sell behind the North Stand know this?)

Rick Eagles (


Due to clearing out a bedroom for my daughter I have to get rid of some magazines.

There are some MCFC magazines from issue 1 in an official folder. Some of the issues still have the stickers from a couple of seasons ago. If anyone interested in having them, let me know.

Glen McLellan (


The lads from 442 magazine have unearthed an old photo of 2 City fans going to the 1926 cup final. They are keen to know if anyone knows the story behind the picture or who they were (are) or are there any relatives about who know anything. In brief, the two guys are dressed smartly, carrying an umbrella and with faces painted black.

For obvious reasons I cannot attach this to McV, but if anyone thinks they might have some information and be able to help, please contact me and I will happily forward a copy.

Heidi (


What has happened to Mooney? Does anyone know?

Mike Brown (


Recent results from 5th November 2001 to 7th November 2001 inclusive.

7 November 2001

Birmingham City       0 - 1  West Bromwich Albion  23,554

League table to 07 November 2001 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  GD Pts
 1 Wolves          17  4  2  2 10  6  6  2  1 18  8 10  4  3 28 14  14  34
 2 West Brom A.    18  5  1  3 10  5  5  1  3 12 11 10  2  6 22 16   6  32
 3 Norwich City    17  7  1  0 14  2  3  1  5  9 16 10  2  5 23 18   5  32
 4 Crystal Palace  16  7  0  2 24  8  3  1  3 13 14 10  1  5 37 22  15  31
 5 Coventry City   17  4  2  2 11  7  5  2  2 11  7  9  4  4 22 14   8  31
 6 Manchester City 17  6  2  1 24  9  3  1  4 18 17  9  3  5 42 26  16  30
 7 Burnley         17  5  2  1 22 14  4  1  4 13 13  9  3  5 35 27   8  30
 8 Preston N.E.    17  5  2  1 19  5  3  3  3 10 15  8  5  4 29 20   9  29
 9 Millwall        16  5  1  1 18  9  3  2  4 11 10  8  3  5 29 19  10  27
10 Birmingham City 18  5  1  3 18  9  2  4  3 11 15  7  5  6 29 24   5  26
11 Portsmouth      17  4  1  3 13 10  3  4  2 14 12  7  5  5 27 22   5  26
12 Nottm Forest    17  5  3  1 12  6  1  3  4  6  9  6  6  5 18 15   3  24
13 Watford         16  5  2  2 20 12  2  0  5  9 12  7  2  7 29 24   5  23
14 Wimbledon       17  3  3  2 14 11  3  2  4 17 17  6  5  6 31 28   3  23
15 Bradford City   17  5  1  3 25 20  1  3  4  7 15  6  4  7 32 35  -3  22
16 Crewe Alex.     17  4  3  2  8 10  1  2  5  8 15  5  5  7 16 25  -9  20
17 Rotherham Utd.  18  2  5  2 12 14  2  2  5 11 16  4  7  7 23 30  -7  19
18 Sheff. United   18  3  3  3 11 12  1  4  4  4 11  4  7  7 15 23  -8  19
19 Grimsby Town    18  3  2  4  8 12  2  1  6 11 24  5  3 10 19 36 -17  18
20 Gillingham      16  4  1  3 17 10  1  1  6  7 18  5  2  9 24 28  -4  17
21 Sheff. Wed.     18  2  3  4 12 17  2  2  5  7 15  4  5  9 19 32 -13  17
22 Walsall         17  3  3  3 10 11  1  1  6  8 17  4  4  9 18 28 -10  16
23 Barnsley        17  3  3  3 13 17  0  1  7  5 21  3  4 10 18 38 -20  13
24 Stockport C.    17  0  1  7  5 17  1  4  4 13 22  1  5 11 18 39 -21   8

With thanks to Football 365


[0] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup) :
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Comments concerning this FAQ should be sent to David Warburton using the address:

[1] MCIVTA Deadlines

Deadlines for issues are nominally Monday and Thursday evenings.

[2] MCIVTA Back Issues and Manchester City Supporters’ home page is the unofficial Manchester City Supporters’ home page. Created in 1994, it is the longest running of the Manchester City related web sites. Back issues of MCIVTA are also hosted on the site.

[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: An alternate live commentary service, hosted by Yahoo, is located at: GMR Saturday Sport is also available live online between 1-3pm, and 4.45-6pm at

[8] 01/02 Season Match Day Theme Tune

The music the teams run out to at Maine Road this season is “Nightmare”, by Brainbug, and is available on the Positiva label.

[9] Acknowledgements

Thanks go to John Arnold for providing the information regarding match day music and to Ian Bell for pointing out the alternate live match commentary service.

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 #760