Newsletter #823

Oh well, with the world cup over for England (never fails to amaze how the media can build up so much hype before we’re even within touching distance of the final only for us to come back to earth with a bump) we can now look forward to the pre-season friendlies for our first glimpse of the new City.

Tonight we have opinion on the new line-up, some interesting insights to our new home, a bit more club vs. country debate, some humour and requests.

Next game: Leeds United, away, 17 August 2002


With the recent addition of Foe, I was working out my favoured City team for next season:

                  Huckerby        Anelka
           Benabia                      Berkovic
Tiatto                                         Wright-Phillips
         Distin          Howey           Dunne

Looks pretty good to me although the defence may be a bit suspect…

Mark Bailey (


I’ve noticed a few postings lately about the new stadium and thought I’d offer what I know. I’ve been working as a Commonwealth Games volunteer within Logistics & Procurement. This gives me the virtual run of the stadium when delivering items to areas and rooms throughout the stadium.

Currently the stadium consists of three completed stands and a temporary end. The three completed stands all have three levels. Ground level is where the racetrack is and current lower level seating, Level one, is where the corporate boxes are and Level two, is the upper tier. There are an additional two levels to the west stand (the new main stand). Level minus one, is called the Mezzanine, and Level minus two, is where our main store’s area is located.

As soon as the games finish, the temporary stand will be pulled down, the track removed and dug out to a depth of approx. 8 metres. This will then make the Level minus two the new ground level (from the inside anyway) with another level of seating being installed along with the new permanent stand to give the stadium a consistent all round look.

On this new ground level the home and away changing rooms are situated, either side of the tunnel onto the pitch and opposite each changing room is a warm up area (currently being used as a stores area). The changing rooms are each fitted out with 22 open wardrobes along with shower room, toilets and a physio area. An underground entrance, which currently is being used for deliveries, services this level, but as a football stadium it will be where the away team coach will arrive.

The outward appearance of the stadium hasn’t appeared to change much over the past couple of months but internally there are changes happening daily with rooms being kitted out, temporary walls being erected and partitions put up to hide the unfinished parts where the new lower level will be. I’ve sat in a few areas in each of the stands to get a feel for the view and even with only two levels of seating the view from the top of the upper level is breathtaking. I can’t wait for the move.

Hope this has answered some questions.

Anthony Ward (


Would like to assure all City fans that the good old Gene Kelly will die when we get to the new stadium. I was lucky enough to visit the stadium recently for a Commonwealth Games rehearsal, and three sides are definitely covered. The roof is to go all the way round, and an extra tier is to be built.

In my humble opinion the ground will be awesome. My main impression though was how small it looked at the moment. It looks nowhere near as big as the academy. The facilities behind the stand were awesome; it looks as though there will be much more space for fans behind the stands.

One thing though, I think we need to start a campaign to save the Blue Moon Chippy. A rumour I heard the other week suggested that Burger King and Mackie D’s were what the council had in mind. I don’t know about you, but I have frequented the said establishment for years, and it would be a really sad loss were it not to relocate to the new ground.

Has anyone got any ideas how we go about this? I think it would be a tragedy if City became like Man Ure and the ground became all corporate. Bolton fans tell me that whilst they love their new ground, the thing they miss the most is the atmosphere around the ground. If we are not careful we could end up in the same boat, with a retail park and a MacDonald’s to visit instead of some friendly pubs and a great chippy.

Perhaps we should get Geoff Capes on the case!

Richard Lord (


I have been following the club versus country debate with interest and it was a relief to see the almost anti-England nature of some earlier contributions being redressed by some excellent thought in the last issue.

I’m with Jonathon Tod and his opinion that it’s great to have seen so many St George flags adorning houses and cars over the last few weeks because this nation simply isn’t patriotic enough. I consider myself extremely proud to be an Englishman and I can never understand why the PC brigade want us to be embarrassed about being English. I regard these people with as much contempt as the racists.

What we need is all good people like ourselves to display the flag at every necessary opportunity and, in doing so, we will gradually change the image and connotations of racism and hooliganism that have been associated with it for many years.

Personally, I’ve always been quite jealous of the Irish, in particular, who have always been fiercely patriotic without fear of accusation but then I guess the English tabloid press with their “Up yours, senors!” headline banners have got a lot to answer for.

As for choosing between City and England, I would always choose City but thankfully that’s a choice I will never have to make and I’m actually very proud that City have a reputation for providing many of the national team’s most passionate supporters despite rarely ever being represented by players on the field.

I have no qualms with the fact that many United players wear the three lions on their chest with great pride. If they are the best players the nation can call upon, they should have our unwavering support in such tournaments.

Whilst I agree that using affectionate nicknames like “little Scholesy” is maybe pushing it a tad too far, I have no axe to grind with the likes of Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt who are good Manchester lads whose only affinity with United is that they happen to play for them. In fact, I can actually state that I was quite proud to see an England midfield containing no fewer than three Mancunians – the third being Whitefield Blue, Trevor Sinclair – and not one of them was brought into this world as a Red.

Rumour has it that Butt was a Gorton Blue as a child and I personally know that Oldham fan Paul Scholes is married to a City fan, Claire Froggatt, because I spent the day in the Kippax with her at the 5-1 when we were both 14-years-old! Now how’s that for a claim to fame!

Her father is still a Main Stand season ticket holder and I am told by another Blue that Scholes was very apologetic towards his City supporting mates after he scored the winner in the 1995 Old Trafford derby. Perhaps it was this guilt that explains his penalty miss at Old Trafford last season!

If we can find it in our hearts to accept the likes of Terry Phelan, Andy Hill and now Jonathon Macken (all of whom were United fans as youngsters) then from an international point of view I don’t see why we cannot accept players whose only genuine affiliation with United is through employment.

As for making United players scapegoats for England downfalls, I’m actually embarrassed by the bitterness of some City fans to thrive on the national team’s misfortune and couldn’t regard any such person as a genuine England fan. So Mark Sweeney, I’m really sorry that this time it was David Seaman who made the vital mistake at the wrong time and not Butt or Scholes but, still, at least I can rest assured that you got over the Brazil disappointment a lot quicker than I did.

Finally, I’d just like to say that I regard Mr “Beckscum” as a fine player and a fine man (even if he isn’t the sharpest tool in the box!) and the future of the national team is looking much brighter under his leadership.

Of course, I’ve got no time for him whatsoever when he pulls on a United shirt but it’s at least satisfying to know that his estimation amongst the United fans has declined since the rest of the so-called “ABU” nation have taken him to their hearts. Judging by the United fanzines I occasionally get to read at work, there is a lot of growing discontent at his commitment to the England cause and they cannot handle the fact that he now shares affection with many of the people who made his life a misery after France ’98 when the United fans stuck by him. It’s almost like he’s two-timing them and they feel cheated. Put it this way, don’t be too surprised if they start turning against him if he puts in a few below-par performances in the not-to-distant future!

Anyway, the World Cup is now behind us and we can start looking forward to the exciting prospect of a weekend in Hamburg and arguably the most eagerly anticipated league season in the club’s history.

Mike Holden (


Ben Cavanagh asks whether it’s possible that as a City fan I could really hate Argentina more than United – well the truth is that I wouldn’t use the word hate to describe my feelings for either. Nor do I consider having a seething, loathing, vein popping, eye bulging, nostril flaring abhorrence of all things Red to be a prerequisite for being an extremely passionate Blue. As for my “little Scholesy” remark – this was not an affectionate nickname for a United player but rather for an England player – if using it somehow diminishes my credibility as a City fan in the eyes of some, or probably many, then it’s a terrible burden that I’ll just have to live with. For me, though I love City dearly, football is bigger than Manchester and its 2 teams and I’ll always get pleasure from watching good players whoever they play for, whether it be Scholes, Sheringham or the awesome Silkman.

Simon Hope (


Club vs. country – no debate! City to win the Premiership or England to win the World Cup, never mind that; City to win the Worthington Cup or England to qualify for Portugal 2004; I’ll take City every time! Would the dissenters who choose England first prefer to watch England or City if both, hypothetically, were live on TV at the same time? Personally I would watch the recorded highlights of England when I got back from the City match.

I’m fiercely proud to be English and when England are playing I support them with as much enthusiasm as I do with City, but City is so much more personal to me and has become even more so now that I am exiled in Cambridge. Every game is an away game now and It is still a fantastic feeling when you see so many other exiles travelling to wherever City happen to be playing.

The feelings that I had when we scored and beat Argentina are pretty indescribable but they are nothing compared to how I would feel if Anelka went round “Coco the Clown” to put us 1-0 up and Schmeichel saved a penalty to win the derby.

P.S. let’s hope that City find it as easy to win a trophy as England will to qualify for Portugal 2004!

CTID, Simon Mitchell (


Don’t want to mention the World Cup, but just wanted to put my bi-annual tuppence into the hat about the George Cross and the new signings in response to Jonathan Tod’s article t’other day.

I couldn’t agree more about reclaiming the national flags (because it’s the English and Union flags that have been abused in the past).

Anyway, signings – I’m a bit bemused by Schmeichel. I fully recognise the need for someone experienced and steady in that position, but I’m also very aware that at some point you have to bite the bullet and get a long term prospect in there. Arsenal have had to go through growing pains with Wright, and I realise they still play Seaman… I just think that we’re fortunate to have Nash and Weaver, and that they won’t hang around forever. I guess if he rotates ‘keepers it could be a masterful move.

I’m thrilled by the ambition that the boss has signalled by getting Anelka. On a footballing basis, I think Keane would have been a better bet – I’m not certain Anelka’s got the desire for a full league season, but his class is undeniable. My biggest concern is Goater – this has all happened once before, lads and lasses. I remember everyone saying Quinn wasn’t a proper striker, you can’t do anything in the Premiership with a lanky donkey… but he did more damage for Ireland in the World Cup than any other player, and he got, what? 40 minutes in total? I remember someone telling me that the season they came up, he “only” scored 12 or 13 or something for Sunderland… but the man had about 20 assists! He was virtually MVP for the whole league. The point is, you have to use the abilities of your players, and from that standpoint, Goater has really already proved himself – even in the Premiership. He hardly even played last time, and scored a goal every two starts. Embarrassments of riches are all very well, but just remember how much we would have given for someone who could stick the ball in the net the previous Premiership relegation season.

Anyway, best of luck to everyone for the coming season, especially my mate Gav (the man who first enticed me to Maine Road) and the lovely Alisha, devoted City fans both, getting married in a couple of months.

CTID, Jon Marshall (


John Smith’s Ad Competition – Have It! To me this ad highlights both the joy’s of Sunday league football (Roy Knowles/Chris Kenyon) as well as epitomising the philosophies of certain footballers.

Can I suggest that we all know Peter Kay (Have It) footballers and the comp is to decide which City fooballers are in which camp. The ad could be Ali Benarbia, Eyal Berkovic & Richard Dunne for the Row Z merchant.

So contenders for the Peter Kay rôle:

Steve Redmond
Richard Dunne

Any thoughts on the excellent ad which has encouraged me to buy more beer?

Simon Moorehead (


Just to let London based Blues and members of the London OSC know that I have now taken over from Andy as Branch Secretary and that Mark Eyre is the new Membership Secretary so if anyone wants to join the branch they can contact either of us via e-mail, details below.

Carol Darvill ( or
Mark Eyre (

MCIVTA FAQ [v0203.02]

[0] How do I contact MCIVTA?

Articles (Heidi Pickup) :
News/rumour (Don Barrie) :
Subscriptions (Geoff Donkin) :
Technical problems (Paul) :

Comments concerning this FAQ should be sent to David Warburton using the address:

[1] What are MCIVTA’s publishing 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] What is the club’s official web site?

The official club web site can be found at

[4] What supporters’ clubs are there?

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

[5] Where can I find out about the 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] Where can I find information about our new stadium?

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

[7] What match day broadcasts are available on the web?

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] Are City’s goals available on the net? has available for download, usually within 24-48 hours of a game being played, all the goals from City’s matches.

[9] What’s the music the teams run out to?

The music we ran out to at Maine Road during the 01/02 season was “Nightmare” by Brainbug and is available on the Positiva label.

[10] 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 #823