Newsletter #840

Plenty of excitement and anticipation as we look forward to the first home game of the season on Saturday against KK’s previous employers. Not the first time the teams have met in recent months, and what a great game that was. I am hoping they are tired out after Monday night’s goal extravaganza, but equally so looking forward to a great atmosphere and goals galore.

Tonight we have Don’s news summary – please note his change of email address if you have any snippets to send – with plenty of to-ing and fro-ing and reaction to last Saturday’s game. We also have view of the Leeds game, the Keane case rumbles on, a view from the darkside and plenty of requests for Blues far and wide.

Editing Notice

Sarah Longshaw has kindly volunteered to step in for issue 841 on Monday night, so keep those articles coming in please to the usual address at:

Next game: Newcastle United, home, 12.15pm 24 August 2002 (TV game)


General News

‘No’ to Winter Break: Last week, David Bernstein urged City fans to give him feedback on whether the Premiership should take a break in January. “In all the discussions which have taken place about suspending Premiership soccer for a month in the middle of the season, the one voice which hasn’t been heard is that of the fans. We intend to rectify that,” said Mr. Chairman. The M.E.N. this week has revealed the results of its online poll. So far, 148 voters were against the idea, while 116 agreed with the notion of a mid-season break. Hardly a resounding mandate, but presumably the votes will continue to be counted.

International Blues: On Tuesday, Mikkel Bischoff was voted Man of the Match when he appeared at centre half for Denmark’s under-21 team against Scotland. The game finished 1-1 at East End Park, Dunfermline. The following night a number of European countries held full international friendlies. Niclas Jensen played at Hampden Park, as Denmark beat Scotland 1-0. Kevin Horlock meanwhile was in Northern Ireland’s midfield for the 0-0 draw with Cyprus. The game was overshadowed by news that ex-Blue Neil Lennon had not taken the field on police advice, as he had received death threats from paramilitary organisations.

Reserves Trounced: Not a good start for the Reserves in this season’s Manchester Senior Cup, where they were thrashed 3-0 by Oldham Athletic. The débâcle included a goal by Oldham in the first 16 seconds, a Lucien Mettomo own goal and a sending off for Jeff Whitley. Worryingly Jon Macken and Gerard Wiekens had to be substituted due to injury. City’s team: T. Flowers, G Whelan, G Wiekens, S Jordan, L Mettomo, P Ritchie, J Whitley, J Macken, S Goater, M Vuoso, D Tiatto. Subs: T Loran, B Murphy, S Paisley, G Browne, L Croft.

Transfer News and Gossip

Keegan Picks Flowers: On Friday KK completed the signing of Leicester’s 34 year old goalkeeper Tim Flowers on a three month loan deal. Flowers has been given a free transfer by Leicester, but was still part of the Foxes squad. Flowers was on the bench at Elland Road last Saturday, as cover for Carlo Nash following Nicky Weaver’s injury setback. “I am delighted that Tim Flowers is joining us,” said Special K. “He is a player of experience and quality and it was good to get him in before the start of the transfer deadline at the end of this month. It was essential to get someone of his experience especially as we could not take a loan ‘keeper from the Premiership,” he added. “We have two very promising young goalkeepers in Kevin Ellegaard and Brian Murphy but neither of them at the moment are ready for the Premiership,” explained Keegan. “At this level experience in a goalkeeper is essential because the finishing in the Premier League is so lethal. You only have to look at the goalkeepers in this division to recognise that. There aren’t too many young ‘keepers knocking about in the Premiership.” Leicester boss Micky Adams said: “Manchester City are in dire need of an experienced goalkeeper and Tim fits the bill perfectly. He is happy to be helping out and going back to the Premiership and it is good for us because it takes a big earner off our wage bill.” Flowers’ most recent appearance at Maine Road was last season when he was on loan with Coventry, and City inflicted a 4-2 defeat on the Sky Blues.

Mears Fee Decided: Preston will have to pay Manchester City £175,000 for right-back Tyrone Mears following a tribunal held in Manchester on Thursday morning. Mears left Maine Road to move to Deepdale earlier this summer, but after the two sides failed to agree upon a fee, the matter went to a tribunal. Preston’s chief executive Tony Scholes said: “The fee set by the tribunal is at a higher level than I would have hoped for given the current state of the transfer market. However, it’s at a lower figure than Manchester City value the player and I guess that means that the tribunal have got it about right,” Scholes told the club’s website. Mears has yet to make his début for Preston following his move from City due to the fact that the youngster picked up an injury in pre-season.

Terry Goes to Bury: Canadian midfielder Terry Dunfield has joined Third Division Bury on a month’s loan. The 20-year-old made his début against Swansea last Saturday, helping the Shakers to a 3-2 victory. Bury boss Andy Preece said afterwards that “Terry looked a good player. We needed him to take charge and get us playing. He is brave. He pushes them forward and makes them get hold of the ball.” Dunfield took a knock in the game, and missed training on Monday, but is expected to be fit in time for Bury’s next game when they take on Hull City at Boothferry Park on Saturday.

Preston in for Kamasz: Josh Kamasz, the 16-year-old striker currently on trial with City, has been offered a similar trial by Preston North End. As the Blues have yet to decide on the youngster, Preston are now hoping he will try his luck with them.

West May be Best, But Could Go East: KK has decided to take a look at former Nigerian international Taribo West. West is without a club having been released by Kaiserlauten in the spring of this year, following a series of disagreements. The formidable centre half played two games for his country in the World Cup, against Argentina and Sweden, before announcing his retirement from international football. “Taribo is not here on trial,” explained Kevin Keegan. “We know what he is about and there is no doubting his ability. I am interested in looking at his fitness and will be doing that over the next ten days. He struggled a bit on Tuesday when he had to drop out of training towards the end because he felt his back but he is going to have those pre-season niggles and aches because he hasn’t played for a while. I know his agent very well and I suggested Taribo came and trains with us. He needs to get fit and whatever happens in a week or so, he will be much fitter.” If KK does wish to sign the player after this period, he will have only a couple of days to do so, as the transfer deadline in England comes into effect on August 31. West made a name for himself with French club Auxerre, before playing for both Milan clubs. He turned out for Derby County two seasons ago, and helped secure the Rams’ Premiership status that year. If the Boss Man fails to sign West, the Turkish press believe that Galatasaray will swoop for the Lagos born defender.

Just Like That: While City fans may have thought that Tommy Cooper was in goal at Elland Road last week, it seems that we could have had a custodian called Coupet in the side. Olympique Lyon’s ‘keeper Gregory Coupet has revealed that he was contacted by City during the summer, with a view to a possible move to Maine Road. The Frenchman was not interested in leaving his current employers, and City have made other arrangements. “There was contact with Manchester City but nothing was really clear,” he admitted. “Moreover, I didn’t really want that move. Mr Aulas [club president] was willing to keep me, and it was also my desire. We have a common ambition.” Coupet is in the French national squad for this week’s friendly fixture with Tunisia.

Ritchie for Sky Blues: Now that Paul Ritchie has been linked with every club in Lancashire, his people are having to look further afield for a club. Next in line is Coventry City, who are reportedly interested in taking the Scottish international on loan to Highfield Road. Ritchie, a former Scottish international team-mate of Coventry boss Garry McAllister, has featured in City’s pre-season games in Denmark but was not on the bench at Elland Road last week. Even further south from Lancashire is Portsmouth, and their manager Harry Rednapp is also supposed to be interested in Ritchie. The M.E.N. thinks that KK may be reluctant to let Ritchie go, following the first week spate of injuries to the City squad.

Kerkar Signs: Ali B’s mate Karim Kerkar has signed a three month contract with City. Kerkar impressed with a two goal performance in his trial game at Tranmere, and it was thought that Kevin Keegan would offer the Algerian a “pay as you play” deal. Instead, the 25-year-old has signed for three months, with an option to review the situation at that time. “That deal is now done,” declared Keegan. “He just has to have a medical and he will complete the formalities towards the end of this week. There will be a review in December and we will either extend the contract or he will become a free agent again and he will be in the same situation as he was when he came here. If he makes good progress then we will look to extend his stay. We will know him a lot better by then and he will know us a lot better too. I like him. He covers us for Ali and Eyal and it is now up to him to force his way in. It is obviously not going to be easy for him because I don’t envisage playing him in the same team as those two.”

Ex-Blues’ News

Curle to Yorkshire: Contrary to last week’s reports, Keith Curle has signed for Division Two side Barnsley on a non-contract basis. Curle had been training just down the M1 at Mansfield Town, but Tykes’ boss Steve Parkin stepped in to take him to Oakwell.

Time to Change Tactics, Kevin: World Cup winner and failed City manager Alan Ball has been giving us all the benefit of his wisdom again. The good news is that Ball approves of KK’s approach to the game. “City will always entertain – good luck to Kevin Keegan for playing this way – I would do the same,” opined the flat capped Oracle. “If you are a football fan you need to be given a treat whenever you watch your team – this comes in the form of attacking football. You can guarantee this from City. They will either storm the Premiership or find the going a bit tough at times but you can guarantee they’ll entertain and give full value for money. Finishing in mid-table would be a fabulous achievement for City – it’s very much a possibility but they do need to consolidate. I’m sure the amount of goals they are likely to score will greatly help the cause.” One player Ball likes the look of is SWP. He said: “Little Shaun is a fantastic footballer – he makes things happen. He is also a bubbly character with bags of enthusiasm and I’m really looking forward to watching him play in the Premiership. He has made great progress at City and could really do very well this time. He has bundles of energy, bags of talent and is a crowd pleaser.”

Bobbing to Grimsby: Viewers of Sky Sport on Saturday evening will have seem Grimsby Town’s forward Steve Livingstone being stretchered off the park after a clash of heads with Derby County’s Danny Higginbotham. Mariners’ boss Paul Groves is seeking a replacement for Livingstone, who may not play again after fracturing his skull. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Step forward our former striking sensation, Robert Taylor. Speculation is rife that Groves will give Bob a three month contract with the Blundell Park club. Taylor is already known at the club after spending a month on loan with Grimsby last season.

Reactions and Comments

Kevin Not Down: Kevin Keegan was upbeat after the 3-0 defeat at Leeds last Saturday, despite the scoreline. “I think we had a bit of bad luck, poor finishing at times and we have missed scoring by the thickness of the post. Leeds played well and we have shown a little bit of what we are about and I am pleased with my players’ attitude. I think we contributed to a very good game of football on a red-hot day. There’s plenty to work on but it would be wrong of me to not to say that there are some plusses. We’re away from home and when you see a scoreline at 3-0, I suppose up and down the country, people will look at it and think Leeds have had a great start and dominated this game and Manchester City are going to struggle. But I don’t think that would be a fair summary of this game. Obviously late on when we had some square pegs in round holes, they probably could have even beaten us more. But fair dos to my players, they never stopped trying, they never stopped battling, they never stopped believing they could get something. We will have to go back now and lick our wounds. We have created a great team spirit but we are still not quite sure what we are wanting to do with the system at the moment and I think that is understandable. We tried to play with one up today and get people with him and it worked in the sense that we did create a lot of chances. But it did not work in the sense that by not taking those chances we lost 3-0.” Leeds’ boss Terry Venables could afford to be generous, saying that “It was a very open game, too open for my liking. But more than blaming openness, I think you have to look at their contribution. Benarbia, Berkovic and Anelka – those three are going to cause a lot of teams a lot of problems.” He also conceded that 3-0 flattered his team.

Individuals Prospered: The Blues’ boss said that he was pleased with the performance of débutant Slyvain Distin, “I thought he was outstanding and the other new boys did well too. Chris Shuker had a chance and he is only twenty and he will do better. Foe had to play at centre back in the end, which is not his best position but did well. Anelka never stops trying to create something and he was up there on his own today but he did work very hard.” KK also thought that “Sun Jihai is an outstanding player. He forced his way into the side through his pre-season form. He has pace, strength and is learning very quickly, having played here in England before for Terry Venables at Crystal Palace. I like him very much which is why I put him in the starting line-up ahead of players like Richard Dunne.”

Monsieur Le Capitain Dit: Captain Ali was forthright in his analysis of the game. “I think we played fine in midfield against Leeds when we were in control for a long time but we must do better at either end of the pitch,” commented the Algerian genius. “We lost some concentration at the back and did not take our chances. That is not a criticism of individuals because we should defend as a team and attack as a team. That is how you are successful. It is not a matter of systems, it is a matter of collective effort and responsibility. There is a big difference between this level and last year in the First Division. We have to maintain a hundred per cent concentration all the time and make sure we close the ball down more quickly. If you give sides time and space in the Premiership they will punish you.”

Hopalong Howey: Steve Howey admitted that he should not have stayed on the pitch last Saturday after injuring his groin. He feels that this was the reason why Mark Viduka left him for dead when scoring Leeds’ killer second goal just before half-time. “I went for a tackle and blocked a shot from Harry Kewell, I didn’t feel any sharp pain or anything but just as I got up I realised my groin wasn’t what it should be,” he revealed. “Really I should have known there and then that it wasn’t going to get any easier so I should have possibly come off. I definitely think it was my fault for the second goal because I should have come off. I just wanted to see if I could get to half-time and get some treatment that may have allowed me to continue. There were only a couple of minutes left. In the end I would have had to come off anyway but I should have shoved myself up front or in midfield for a couple of minutes and let the lads know I was struggling. Viduka left me for the second goal and as the ball came through I realised the extent of the injury. That second goal was the turning point of the game and I hold my hands up. For them to score when they did was a huge blow.”

Squad News

Update on Injuries: There are fresh injury concerns for the Boss Man this week. Richard Dunne’s back problem ruled him out of the Republic’s friendly international with Finland on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Eyal Berkovic missed Israel’s friendly international in Lithuania on Wednesday after being taken off with cramp in both legs at Elland Road. There were also concerns over Steve Howey and Jihai Sun, following their withdrawal from the game at Leeds, but both are responding well to treatment. “Steve joined in the training today,” explained KK on Tuesday. “Jihai is set to return tomorrow so we have no injuries that will put anyone out for Saturday. I have pretty much a full squad from which to choose.” Keegan reported that other casualties are progressing well. “Shaun Goater, Jon Macken, Mattias Vuoso and Danny Tiatto will all play in the reserves so we will have a look at how they are and hopefully they will come through okay.”

Bluedolph Ready in a Fortnight: KK has told the club website that Peter Schmeichel is back in training and could be playing in two weeks’ time. Keegan said: “Peter has returned to training and has been doing very well indeed. He is the sort of person if the physio says six weeks then he will start to question it no matter how accurate the physio might be. At the moment he is doing well and a realistic target may be in the next couple of weeks. He has gone a long way to show us he is ready to train. We will then discuss when he is ready to go into a match.” If Schmeichel does make this schedule, he’ll be available for the September 10 clash with Arsenal.

Legal News

The Action Begins: Last Friday the club’s website carried the following announcement. “Following discussions today at Maine Road between the Football Club, Alfie and his legal advisers, it has been agreed to jointly instruct a leading firm of solicitors regarding the circumstances surrounding Roy Keane’s tackle on 21st April 2001. This action has been taken with a view to commencing legal proceedings against Roy Keane and his employers Manchester United Football Club.” Haaland was said to be considering suing for loss of status and potential earnings, while City would seek compensation for the loss of an employee through injury, the cost of Alfie’s medical bills and the reduction in his possible transfer valuation. Haaland will have to show that although Keane tried to remove his right knee cap, that this caused collateral damage to the left knee.

Alfie Fears the Worse: Saturday’s Daily Mail gave a chilling prognosis for Alfie. It reported that the Norwegian was flying to America for a consultation a leading specialist on knee injuries and a surgeon (believe it or not) whom Keane has used himself. The newspaper speculated that Haaland could be told that his career is over at the age of 29. Haaland said: “I’ve been through three operations and I’m still injured. I’ve had my leg scanned again and that should tell us whether or not I require more knee surgery. I don’t want to comment on the tackle. I can only state that the period since that particular match has been difficult. I’ve never been fully fit since that episode. I don’t have the details of the book, I don’t have the entire overview. I want to know exactly what he has said and what others have said before I make any statement. It was quite a dramatic episode but I don’t want to say more than that. I have never gone out to intentionally hurt an opponent. On the pitch you must be able to cop tackles. You dish them out and of course you get some back. It’s a game where you’re trying your best to win, but it has to be fair.”

Reaction From The Dark Side: The Reds commented that the matter had been handed to their lawyers and Sir Alex Ferguson was “surprised and angry”. Keane kept the captain’s armband for Saturday’s game with West Brom. “Until we have given it some thorough thought I can’t really comment,” said Reds’ chief executive Peter Kenyon. “It’s difficult to say anything until we have assessed it in detail.” An unnamed United director, meanwhile was telling the Guardian that, contrary to the speculation, their lawyers had not been allowed to vet the book. The publishers Penguin refused to allow the club to see it until the extracts had already been published in two newspapers. “Penguin’s lawyers checked it for libel but never looked at it from a football point of view,” said the anonymous source. “If they had let us see it, as we requested, none of this would ever have happened. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether we’re happy [with Penguin] or not.”

Someone Else’s Fault: Roy Keane’s ghost writer, Eamon Dunphy has admitted that his subject did not supply the quotes for the account of the infamous ‘tackle’, and that he employed “artistic licence”. Eamon Dunphy told the Observer that “We thought it would be a nice football book, that it would be no problem. But there is the passage about Haaland. I am as much responsible for that, as a writer, rather than Roy. There is artistic licence. I should take the rap. But he won’t let me. Fair play to him. No whingeing. No screaming. No ‘I didn’t say that; he made it up’. But I was paraphrasing. Still no whining. But we are talking about a man here.” Interestingly, Dunphy also claimed that the manuscript was read and approved by Keane and Sir Alex.

Headline of the Week: “BUDDY TIME FOR BLUES AND REDS” – The M.E.N., with exquisite timing, announces Budweiser’s deal with Maine Road and Old Trafford to supply lager to both venues.

Quote of the Week: “I’d rather buy a Bob the Builder CD for my two-year-old son.” – former Irish team mate of Keano, Jason McAteer, when asked if he would be buying the autobiography.

Don Barrie (


To underline the paucity of U.S. cable TV I ended up watching the Leeds game twice on Saturday.

Like other readers I am not all that depressed. For the following reasons.

  • Leeds should be one of the top 5/6 teams this year. I don’t thinkCity will take many points from this group of teams (Arsenal,Liverpool, Chelsea, Leeds, Newcastle and one other whose name escapesme) but they will do ok against many of the other teams.
  • It was an odd game. City had lots of chances. The downside is thatyou can brush off one game of missed chances but not more than one.So here’s hoping for the Newcastle game.
  • We all know Kevin is a little blasé about defending and my did itshow on Saturday. Perhaps the score is a good wake up call to thinkabout this aspect of the game. God knows what Arsenal would do to us.
  • I didn’t think anyone had a bad game, though one or two (Horlockand Jensen) had a very guiet game. Nash was a bit of a dither formost of the game. I thought Anelka was involved much more than he wasat Liverpool – though he did miss a great chance. However, there was acollective decline mid-way through the second half, before the thirdgoal.
  • City did get forward well for a lot of the game, against a teamthat is pretty tough at the back.

So, the way I look at it is that 3-0 brings some reality to the task this year. Kevin will have to ensure he keeps the spirits up the rest of the week. I suspect we might see a few changes for the next game.

On another subject – what is going on with this Keane book! I somewhat wish City and Alfie had left things alone and let Keane get on with being disruptive. But then you see the tackle and realize how malicious it was.

John Pearson (


It’s easy to criticise after the event, but from personal experience playing team sport, I am a great believer in the ideology that the best form of defence is attack (same as KK’s), within reason.

Why then, when we have a reasonable attack, do we play a lone striker? The argument that we are playing away, is nonsense. The pitch measurements are the same, the number of players in both teams are the same, all it requires is a level of performance from all concerned, isn’t it? Leeds were not great on the day; the difference is that they took (or were gifted) their goals.

City have proved in pre-season that they can score and create numerous chances, hence we must play 4-4-2 home and away. With a little more organisation at the back, Leeds should not have scored more than 1 goal, and a second striker might have resulted in us scoring at least 1 goal and changing the whole outcome of the match.

Their 1st was an excellent gamble by Barmby, that paid off. The other 2 were because our defence were caught flat footed. Look at all the good sides, they all play with at least 2 strikers. This would be my starting line-up:

Nash, Distin, Mettomo, Sun, Jensen, SWP, Benarbia, Berkovic, Foe, Anelka, Huckerby.
Subs: Dunne, Horlock, Vuoso, Kerkar, Macken.

Glyn Albuquerque (


You’ve all heard of Britain’s leading circus, held in the big top at the so-called Theatre of Dreams? I suppose the most successful act over the past few years has to be Taggart and His Performing Dogs. Numerous trophies attest to the success of Taggart’s training methods, and rumours of his retirement from managing his canine charges have proved premature, as he continues his unsmiling supervision of their day-to-day training. One grudgingly has to admit that these creatures can do amazing things with (and sometimes without) a football.

The public are on the whole happy to turn a blind eye to Taggart’s tantrums, and many drool at the speed and skill of the greyhound known as Giggsy or gasp in wonder at the miracles performed by the right paw of the wire-haired fox terrier Becks. Not all the animals, however, are known and admired for their skill. Some seem to have been introduced into the team with the sole purpose of amusing the audience. Faby, the French poodle, is sometimes difficult to control and charges around the arena, seemingly without knowing his own rôle in the act, and has the spectators falling off their seats. An exotic purchase from Argentina occasionally mesmerises with his party tricks, but hasn’t really blended in as Taggart had hoped, neither has the long-haired retriever from Chile, who causes great hilarity by hitting the ball to all parts of the seating area and has the spectators ducking and diving to avoid being hit. Not that the manager would admit that he may have made poor purchases, of course. Another expensive import has proved far more successful – the lurcher Ruud has done everything that Taggart could have dreamt of. The only possible criticism is that he has a tendency to fall over his own feet, flinging all four legs in the air and looking appealingly at the ringmaster.

Others in the squad include a couple of fairly reliable mongrels, known as Gary and Phil. Once or twice, though, this pair have made glaring mistakes that detract from the overall performance of the team in the ring. Taggart watches tight-lipped and mentally puts a black mark against their names.

Not a regular in the big top, but sometimes quite effective, is the Doberman pinscher called Butty. He has an unpleasant side to him that requires some stern words from the ringmaster, but that doesn’t appear to bother Taggart. In fact, Taggart (who had a rather rough reputation when he was a performer) seems to approve of those of his charges with a nasty streak. His favourite of all the animals is without doubt Keano, the rather frightening pit-bull terrier with the tendency to attack knee-joints. I’m pretty sure that Taggart is capable of holding this highly charged and slightly unbalanced creature on a tight rein, and I’m equally convinced that on occasion he will deliberately let Keano off the leash and allow him to cause mayhem in the ring. After this, he’ll put the beast on a short leash again and pat him on the head, murmuring a few words of praise. Keano is in the true tradition of the red Setters. The fierce little Rottweiler called Scholesy is apparently being schooled to take over from Keano eventually. Already he has shown the same disregard for the well-being of any creature between him and the ball.

The RSPCA have been fairly lenient in their attitude towards Taggart and his Performing Dogs. In the past they have been vociferous in their condemnation of Wenger’s Gun-Dogs and have banned some of the Frenchman’s performers for weeks on end. For some unexplained reason, this doesn’t seem to happen very often to Taggart’s lot. The one real exception occurred a few years back when a French dog went wild and attacked someone at the ringside. Now that was impossible to brush under the carpet.

There are those, particularly in the Far East, who wish Taggart and his Performing Dogs well in their search for yet more trophies. There are others amongst us who believe they’ve had their share and would welcome the arrival of a new act on the scene…

David Buxton (


None of your Hamburg correspondents have mentioned the high point of the entire weekend. In the dying minutes, as the game wound down and the heat took its toll on the players and the booze took its toll on the City fans, Hamburg made a substitution.

The giant screen displayed a picture of the sub and his name: Fukal. The Blues’ fans came alive with a spontaneous chant of ‘Fukal, you’re gonna win Fukal!’

John Clancy (


I was recently offered the chance to wait on the corporate boxes at MU. After much internal struggle, I thought I’d at least try it once. The work itself was reasonable – I had three boxes of rich fans and served them dinner and drinks. On hearing the accents of one lot, I asked if they were West Brom fans, which they were. I said it was funny watching them go past Wolves last year, and that I was a City fan. We both laughed over that, and I showed them my secret loyalty pledge (I had written ‘MCFC’ on my wrist in a discreet place – childish, I know but it made me feel better).

I was determined to be fair-minded about the job, despite being swamped by Redness and MU badges everywhere, but luckily(?) for me, the catering management turned out to be up to United standards.

First, they wouldn’t let the staff drink squash or coffee, but demanded lukewarm tap water only be served (waitresses usually get tiny perks like free soft drinks). Then they completely cocked up the drinks service with a weeny bar trying to serve drinks to hundreds of people. They also annoyed their own customers by making them wait for up to an hour to be able to pay their bills. Finally, the worst of all was the ‘staff area’. To maximise profit, they had turned every room in the area into a box or storage room and left thirty or so staff to sit… in a toilet… for their break. Sipping their water and stolen(!) coffee, crammed five to a bench in a ladies’ changing room with full flush facilities. I’m trying to get work at the City ground, to make a fair comparison, but somehow, they seem to be overbooked.

Heather (


I have one spare ticket for the Villa game on 28th at Villa Park. Ticket is for Trinity Road upper which is home fans only (so suggest no colours). Face value £28. Contact me at the address below.

Matthew (


The County Wicklow Blues will be meeting in Katie Gallagher’s Bar, Seafront, Bray this Saturday to watch City take on Newcastle. If you’re passing through or just another lone Blue in a sea of Red, why not join us for an afternoon of entertainment, chat and maybe even a lemonade or two? Let me know if you would like any more information or directions etc.

Damian Quinn, PRO, County Wicklow Branch, Manchester City FC OSC (


I will be travelling to most of City’s home games from Southport and was wondering if there are any other Blues who travel to matches who would be interested in sharing fuel costs, driving etc.? Also can anyone give me any information on local supporters’ clubs in the Southport area? Where and when they meet, contacts?

BOTRWC (Back On The Rollercoaster With City), Cliff Shelley (


Milton Keynes Branch will be holding their 1st meeting of the new season on Thursday August 29th at 8pm. The venue as usual is Great Brickhill Cricket Club.

If you would like directions to the venue or any other information about the MK branch, please get in touch with me.

Steve Maclean – Secretary, Milton Keynes branch, Manchester City FC Supporters’ Club (


The next meeting of the Centenary Supporters’ Association (CSA) will be held at Chorlton Cricket Club on Saturday 31/8/02 11:00am prior to the Everton game.

All existing members of the CSA and potential new members or branches are invited to attend.

Alex Channon, Chairman CSA (


I guess most pubs will be showing the Newcastle game on Saturday evening (7pm), though the guys at Molly Malones (behind Boat Quay) are keen on becoming the “official” City pub in Singapore, so that’s where I’ll be. The place to avoid is Father Flanagan’s, it’ll be full of plastic barcodes.

John Riley, Hong Kong Bluey (


I am a City fan in San Diego. I was just wondering if we had a supporters’ club over here? If not I am willing to set one up; what do you think? Get in touch.

Tommy Beale (


These days I am suffering in Istanbul and tremendously frustrated at not finding any television coverage of City’s matches (easy in NYC where I used to live, and not totally impossible in Atlanta) – do you know if anyone can help me please?

With many thanks, Simon Kennedy-Rose (


For those of us in the US wanting to watch City games, you can find a weekly schedule for Fox Sports World EPL games at this link:

Looks like the Newcastle game is being shown on Monday. It’s great to be able to see City on TV over here but the problem is I cannot remember the last time we won a game that was televised here… anyone know how long it’s been?

Paul Faulkner (


I had problems getting the audio for the Leeds match over my computer at the MCFC official site. I don’t know if any of you international folks have run into this before, but I found a website with the match broadcast. Got to and click on Capital Gold Manchester. If you haven’t used radio to keep up with the team, you should try it. It’s better than press only.

If anyone knows other sites with good radio for the international fans, I love to see them. Might be an idea for the supporters’ home page – a page with links to audio for City news and football news in general.

Russell Yates (

MCIVTA FAQ [v0203.02]

[0] How do I contact MCIVTA?

Articles (Sarah Longshaw) :
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 #840