Newsletter #875

A 2-3 (Howey, Benarbia) defeat by the irksome Tottenham on a mild December evening. The game saw some good attacks from the Blues (as Spurs went 1-2 up we’d had 11 attempts on goal to their 5) and plenty of inept defending of their set pieces. Coupled with the usual substitution of Huckerby for Goater (at 1-3 down, please Kev 3 strikers would be better) we weren’t going to get anything from this game.

This issue sees opinion on the maroon strips, news from Wimbledon, requests and humour.

A very Happy Christmas to all you Blues; we shall be taking a short break and return for the New Year.

Next games: Aston Villa, home, 3pm Thursday 26 December 2002
Fulham, away, 3pm Saturday 28 December 2002


There have been some questions raised recently regarding the limited edition ‘maroon and white’ striped football shirt introduced by City a few months ago. As reported in last week’s MCIVTA, MCFC have stated that the limited edition number of 2,000 will not be increased, and yet, they have not fully explained why they produced such a small number of shirts.

It is not the first time either, that the club have done this. I was extremely angry that the club only issued in a limited number, the classic ‘red and black’ strip with Eidos sponsorship (the ‘George Weah’ as I prefer to think of it).

Is it possible for someone close to the club to clarify why a supposedly commercially focussed organisation would choose to do this? It makes no sense whatsoever, particularly for a club that purports to care about the interests of its supporters. You only have to look across the city to recognise how important football shirt merchandising is, where of course as many different design and style of shirts as possible are issued, as regularly as can be got away with.

Accordingly, I have to admit to now being deeply suspicious about the motives of City for issuing limited edition shirts, particularly as it goes against contemporary commercial business sense.

Despite what football clubs say about caring for their fans etc., when it comes to the crunch the people in charge usually don’t, and I think that this is the case here. If anyone doubts this, then please find someone at the club to explain why so many thousands of supporters should be denied the chance to wear specific designs of club shirt? In particular, please explain how I, as a City supporter, benefit from the decision to introduce a limited edition shirt? I knew the maroon striped shirt would sell like hot cakes, but refused to consider queuing up for it on principle.

My own explanation of City’s motives, reflect the fact that both of the limited edition shirts are in the ‘classic’ style, of which the club arguably have three designs:

  1. Sky blue and white (the ‘Franny Lee’) {note: must be worn with the ‘essential’ maroon and white banding on the socks!};
  2. Red and black striped (the ‘Neil Young 1970 FA Cup’);
  3. Maroon and white striped (1956 FA Cup special).

I also don’t mind the ‘continental’ diagonal striped (‘Malcolm Allison’) strips either and would peg these (pun intended) as City’s fourth choice strip.

I think the club know for a fact, that if they ever reverted back to sensible versions of these classic strips, then supporters like me will buy them, and buy nothing else. Point of fact, I’ve never bought any of the non-classic strips, preferring instead to wear the retro styled shirts. I think City know this, and are stuck between letting the team run out onto the pitch in a decent looking kit, and leaving themselves with the option to introduce ridiculous looking and hideously styled ‘non-standard’ shirts, as a money raking exercise.

I have never bought any of these shirts and never will either, and if I was rich enough, I’d also sponsor the club to have no sponsor’s name on the front of the shirt either. I wonder how much that would cost – anyone know the figure? I think the ‘First Advice’ logo ruins an otherwise well designed football shirt, and was sufficiently intrusive enough to prevent me from handing over the dosh.

To support my thesis on this, I also believe that City only introduced the new ‘eagle and stars’ club crest in order to attain a strict copyright control over the club’s merchandising and branding. The old City of Manchester crest belongs to the people of Manchester, and left the club powerless to prevent people from using with replica non-official shirts.

So there you are, I have a cynical view on the origin of the limited edition shirts, and await with interest any kind of official denial or a more credible explanation from the club itself.

It will be interesting to see what happens next season. I hope the rumours regarding the return to a more classic styled sky-blue home shirt are true. And you never know, City might even be holding back the ‘red and black’ or ‘maroon and white’ classics for the new shirt manufacturers to ‘clean-up’ with: if so, I’d be delighted to hand over the money.

Only at Manchester City, could end up with supporters arguing and demanding to spend their money on a brand new football strip!

Neil Haigh (


Just to let any (large or xxlarge) fans know, I got a maroon shirt at the City shop just last Friday (13th) and there was still quite a few left.

Hope you’re lucky!

Helen Murtagh (


The results of the FFC’s online “Wimbledon FC Relocation” survey ( were announced today, the outcome of which will send a strong message to domestic football’s governing bodies.

From nearly 2000 respondents, a huge majority (85%) felt that Wimbledon FC shouldn’t be allowed to move to Milton Keynes, and nearly as many would be very concerned if the move started franchising in English football. Half of the fans feel so strongly about relocation that they wouldn’t attend any matches on principle if their team moved 70 miles from its present location and 86% felt their attendance would be reduced in some way. Two thirds felt that relocation outside a clubs geographical locale could never be justified.

Of the Wimbledon fans who voted, 90% identified themselves as AFC Wimbledon supporters. Is this an indication of the difficulties a ‘franchise’ club would face in bringing the fans along with them?

“The survey shows that the relocation issue is central to fans’ interests. With such a large majority against relocation, the FFC’s survey has highlighted the alarm felt by fans towards this new departure”, comments Alex Burmaster, Director of Development at the FFC.

The FFC surveyed its members concerning Wimbledon FC’s relocation to Milton Keynes, without which, the club claim it would die. The Football League blocked the proposed move but an Independent Commission set up by the Football Association – at the request of the FL – then found in favour of the move. Angry supporters led by the Wimbledon Independent Supporters’ Association (WISA) expressed their outrage at the move, joined by other supporters’ groups fearing that this represented the start of franchising in English football – which the FA denies. Wimbledon supporters then established their own team, AFC Wimbledon.


The Football Fans’ Census’ mission is to provide an independent and neutral forum for football fans that is both an information resource and a platform enabling them to communicate opinion on issues related to the game.

The FFC exists as a neutral and independent organisation from all others that comprise football – the game and the industry. Fans are desperate to be consulted on the issues that affect the game and the FFC provides both a resource and a forum for fans.

Surveys and reports will include balanced comments from major influencers and decision-makers in the game – from the Prime Minister Tony Blair to famous football and public figures through to the fans themselves at the grass-roots level.

The forum, surveys and reports are the launch pad for the biggest ever fans’ census for the most talked about and passionate sport in the country.

There will be a future FFC survey on Salary Capping.

Tim (
Alex (


Although right now you have a lot to NASH your teeth at,
I wish you CARLOads of happiness.
Truly, WEAVER lot to be glad about.
HORLOCK will change, the SUN will shine,
For soon it will SUMMER BE.
I love your BELL-LEE and your TiatTOE,
EYAL always love you, and GOATER any lengths to make you happy.
HOWEY much, you ask? It never WIEKENS,
In my BOOK you are the best (but PARDOE me for mentioning his name!)
Whether we’re on the BRIGHT WELL-lit MAINE road or in a dark ALI
I will fight all your FOES
I will JOE them no MERCER.
We may be OWEN a lot of money,
We may have only WANCHOPE in the fridge,
And we may never have great RITCHIES,
But you’ll never be in rags, my ROYLE lady,
You’ll always have a good COTON your back.
I am over the BLUE MOON for you,
It’s true, I’m not MACKEN this up,
UWE really got a hold on me
You SWP me off my feet
You make me feel so YOUNG
TUE ART the best thing in my life.
And now this poem is DUNNE
It’s time for KIP-pax.
Love you lots, for ever an’ elka.



Can anyone help with contacts for City watching in Perth, Australia? Having moved here to the land of sun and crap sport, I “misplaced” my laptop with all my contacts here on. Please email me with any venues and ways of watching City here… before I go totally ferrel.

John Warrington (


Perth Blues please make contact with a view to bringing all Aussie Blues together.

Judi Ann (


Just recovering from a car accident and I’ll be just about right for the City game on Boxing Day. Looking for 3 tickets. If you’re away over Xmas and have 3 spare then please mail me.

Appreciate your help and glad to be here.

Harvey Aaron (


Desperately searching for a ticket for the Leeds game. Please email me if you can help.

Martin Josephson (


Can anyone tell me where I can get a copy of the derby programme? I’ve tried a number of different sources but no one seems to have any. Thanks.

Alan Arenson (


Q: Did you hear that the Post Office just recalled their latest stamps?
A: They had pictures of Man United players on them … and people couldn’t figure out which side to spit on.

Stephen J Webb (


Recent results from 17 December 2002 to 22 December 2002 inclusive.

22 December 2002

Blackburn Rovers      1 - 0  Manchester United     30,475
Liverpool             0 - 0  Everton               44,025

21 December 2002

Arsenal               2 - 0  Middlesbrough         38,003
Birmingham City       1 - 1  Charlton Athletic     28,837
Chelsea               2 - 0  Aston Villa           38,284
Leeds United          1 - 1  Southampton           36,687
Newcastle United      2 - 0  Fulham                51,576
West Bromwich Albion  2 - 2  Sunderland            26,703
West Ham United       1 - 1  Bolton Wanderers      34,892

League table to 22 December 2002 inclusive.

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Arsenal         19  9  0  1 24  8  3  3  3 15 12 12  3  4  39  20  19  39
 2 Chelsea         19  6  2  1 19  6  4  5  1 15  9 10  7  2  34  15  19  37
 3 Manchester Utd  19  8  1  1 19  6  2  4  3 11 12 10  5  4  30  18  12  35
 4 Everton         19  6  2  1 14  9  4  1  5  8 12 10  3  6  22  21   1  33
 5 Liverpool       19  5  4  1 15  7  4  1  4 13 12  9  5  5  28  19   9  32
 6 Newcastle Utd   18  8  0  1 18  6  2  2  5 11 18 10  2  6  29  24   5  32
 7 Southampton     19  5  5  0 15  7  2  2  5  7 12  7  7  5  22  19   3  28
 8 Tottenham H.    18  6  2  1 15  9  2  2  5  9 15  8  4  6  24  24   0  28
 9 Blackburn R.    19  4  3  3 14 11  3  3  3 11 11  7  6  6  25  22   3  27
10 Middlesbrough   19  6  4  0 18  8  1  1  7  4 10  7  5  7  22  18   4  26
11 Charlton Ath.   19  3  2  4 12 14  4  2  4  9  9  7  4  8  21  23  -2  25
12 Manchester City 18  4  1  3 11 11  3  2  5 11 14  7  3  8  22  25  -3  24
13 Birmingham City 19  3  3  3 10  9  3  3  4  8 13  6  6  7  18  22  -4  24
14 Fulham          19  5  2  3 13  9  1  2  6  9 16  6  4  9  22  25  -3  22
15 Aston Villa     19  6  1  3 15  8  0  3  6  2 12  6  4  9  17  20  -3  22
16 Leeds United    19  2  1  6  9 14  4  2  4 15 12  6  3 10  24  26  -2  21
17 Sunderland      19  3  1  5  6 11  1  5  4  6 15  4  6  9  12  26 -14  18
18 West Brom A.    19  3  3  3  8 10  1  1  8  7 19  4  4 11  15  29 -14  16
19 Bolton Wndrs    18  1  5  3  9 13  2  1  6 10 19  3  6  9  19  32 -13  15
20 West Ham United 19  0  4  6  8 15  3  1  5 10 20  3  5 11  18  35 -17  14

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0203.06]

[0] How do I contact MCIVTA?

Articles (Heidi Pickup) :
News/rumour (Don Barrie) :
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins):
Technical problems (Paul) :
FAQ (David Warburton) :

[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:

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

The music we run out to at Maine Road 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 #875