Newsletter #870

Our Youth Team progressed to the 4th round of the FA Youth Cup with an excellent game and 3-0 win over Wrexham on Wednesday night. A pity that more didn’t turn out (but it was bitterly cold) as they missed a treat.

Tonight we have a great match report on that game, thanks to Gavin and Don’s weekly news round-up with continuing rumblings from our sceptical media.

There’s also plenty of opinion and a bagful of requests. We also have a request for help with McV as Geoff our Subs Man will be ‘retiring’ so if you fancy joining the team then read on and let him know.

Up to Sunderland on Monday night for our PPV game, so anybody making the journey or sitting in relative comfort and watching the game please think of a match report.

Next game: Sunderland, away, 7.45pm Monday 9 December 2002 (TV game)


General News

KK Blames the ‘Net: On Saturday, Kevin Keegan was still bristling with anger over the earlier erroneous reports of his demise as City boss. He stressed that his contract ran until the end of the 2005-2006 season, that he intended to see it through to the end, and he reckoned that unofficial websites were the source of the gossip. “Despite the rumours, I’m still here,” he said. “But it does worry me when the press are scouring the Internet looking for stories. Maybe a fan of another club has put something out that is complete untrue and you are not accountable for that. If the press want to say something like that, I can sue you for libel [or “sue for liable” as the Evening News website reported], claim damages and get an apology but on the Internet, it is very difficult. There are a lot of good things on it but also a lot of rubbish.”

Pay Per View Confusion: I hope I’m wrong, but it’s now being reported on that pesky Internet thingy that City’s away trip to Sunderland on Monday evening, December 9, is to be shown as a “pay per view” game. This is somewhat surprising, as there had been no word from Sky that the match was intended for this format until this week. The game is now being mentioned on Sky TV as part of the “Christmas Season Ticket” offer (which are all PPV games). So it looks like UK based City fans will be paying a bit extra for the privilege of watching the game.

Team of the Year: City have been voted Team of the Year for the region. The Blues scooped the honour in BBC North West’s annual sports awards, which are decided by the voting public. They beat off competition from England’s 100m relay squad in the Commonwealth Games, Worthington Cup winners Blackburn Rovers, Sale Sharks Rugby Union side and St. Helens Rugby League club. Darren Huckerby accepted the award on behalf of the Blues.

Ideas for Maine Road: The M.E.N. reports this week that local residents have been gathering opinion on what should happen to Maine Road after City’s departure next summer. An open day was held at the Platt Lane training ground to give locals a chance to put forward their ideas, while the Maine Road Residents action group (MRRAG, and not “Mr Rag” as I first read!) has revealed the results of their opinion poll. Five thousand questionnaires were sent out, and the M.E.N. reported that 32% want the old ground to stay as a sports stadium, 62% voted for a retail development, 45% housing, 42% for leisure facility and 42% for youth facility. The more observant amongst you will notice that this adds up to 223%, which makes election results in Florida sound fair and just, so it can only be assumed that some residents hoped for a combination of these options. Julia Wickett, the secretary of MRRAG said: “My concerns are that if the stadium stays it will never be used to its full potential and the area will decline. A combination of redevelopment will provide the area with a new lease of life – it is run down enough as it is.” Another resident told the Evening News: “Maine Road has a lot of potential. I think it should be used as a college to treat sports injuries. There’s nowhere like that in Manchester. I also think that there should be some room for private housing to bring new people into the area.” Sale Sharks had expressed an interest in moving to Maine Road but the Sharks’ Chief Executive has said that he was searching for a new ground “with a blank sheet” and many rugby fans are concerned that Maine Road might be too large for their requirements.

Youth Cup Triumph: The FA Youth Cup tie with Wrexham was finally played on Wednesday evening, after Sunday’s postponement because of a waterlogged pitch. The Young Blues cruised to a 3-0 victory, courtesy of goals by Jamie Tandy, Karl Bermingham and Dorryl Proffitt. City will travel to Peterborough in the next round, to be played some time in January. Team: Westwood, Warrender, Collins, N D’Laryea, Onuoha, Flood (P Murphy 87), Ireland (Proffitt 60), J D’Laryea, Bermingham (Wright-Phillips 87), Croft, Tandy. Subs not Used: Schmeichel (GK), Logan.

Transfer News and Gossip

Money to Burn: The dust has begun to settle over last week’s rumours of KK resignation, although the M.E.N had a good go at keeping the controversy going by claiming that there had been a big spat in the boardroom between Chairman Bernie and KK’s man Dennis Tueart over the transfer funds available in January. KK was reported to be “increasingly disillusioned” with the board’s attitude. The newspapers were equally accurate when guessing the sums available to the Mighty Kev – the estimates ranged between