Newsletter #896

A fairly brief edition tonight with continuing opinion on the Bernstein resignation, rumours of pre-season opposition and strip, and the Anorak’s form guide. We also have an update on a Why Blue with a happy ending.

Next game: Birmingham City, home, 2pm Sunday 16 March 2003
Countdown: 62 days


We are looking for a willing volunteer to stand in for editions 901 and 902 (27 and 31 March) as I venture over the Alps for the England game. If you fancy a go at editing McV (full instructions and templates provided) then please drop a line to me at the address below.

Heidi (


                Predicted       Average
                 Points          Form
Arsenal          84.00          14.000
Man Ure          79.50          14.333
Newcastle Utd    77.25          14.833
Everton          65.00          10.667
Charlton         64.75          13.167
Chelsea          60.00           8.000
Liverpool        56.89           8.333   Q
-------------------------------- Euro Qualifucation
Tottenham        55.25           8.167
Blackburn        54.50           7.667
Southampton      54.25           8.167
Man City         51.75           9.167
Aston Villa      49.00           9.333
Fulham           47.50           7.000
Leeds Utd        44.50           7.000
Middlesbro       44.75           4.500
Birmingham       36.75           3.167
West Ham Utd     34.50           5.667
-------------------------------- Relegation
Bolton           33.25           4.833
West Brom        26.50           3.667
Sunderland       20.25           0.833

So what’s happened since last time, well:

  1. Arsenal have consolidated at the top.
  2. Looks like the 4th chumps league spot is between Everton & Charlton.
  3. Liverpool have qualified as Worthless cup winners.
  4. The wheels have truly come off City’s charge. A defeat against Birmingham will see our average form fall by 2 points.
  5. West Ham will avoid relegation at the expense of Bolton and if their last 3 form continues they will finish comfortably mid-table.
  6. We may qualify from our lowly position via the Fair Play league.

Blue Anorak a.k.a. Richard Mottershead (


A very good source inside Maine Road gave me some interesting snippets of info. These are as follows:

Next season we will begin the season away from home for the 1st 2 games of the season; this has been cleared with the FA as City are now not sure that completion of the new ground will be ready. We have in fact done this on 2 previous occasions, the first being a request for a night game in the colder darker part of the season against Millwall, which we were granted, the second being a request to be at home against a team far away for our last game at Maine Road.

The rôle of the new chairman has been discussed and there is a name in the frame. This person is apparently from outside the present club structure and will act primarily as a figurehead rather than have a lot to do with the running of the club.

Oasis have been approached to perform a mini-concert at the end of last game of the season but as yet do not seem very keen on the idea. Another top name group have been lined up if this falls through.

The correct figure being made available to KK in the summer is circa £20 million and a portion of this appears presently be earmarked for Reiziger.

I’ll keep you all up to date as I find out any more.

(name withheld at author’s request)


I’ve recently been on one of the “End of an Era” behind the scenes tours of Maine Road – and very good it was too.

Being a bit of a nosey person, I took the opportunity to ask our guide a couple of things – not really expecting any “proper” answers. As far as I know, these are truthful responses…

Q: Do you know yet who the friendly to open the new stadium will be against?
A: Juventus

Q: When will the new Reebok kit be out?
A: Home shirt – around the end of May, start of June. It will have a “V” neck collar and looks really nice. The players prefer the neck. The away shirt will be out about a week before the start of the season – and will be red and black stripes.

So there you go.

Hugh (


City’s under 17s – the final picture:

Played 22 Won 20 Lost 0 Draws 2 For 67 Against 11 – Champions

Liverpool’s unbeaten record (with 6 draws) has fallen. Will City’s record ever be beaten?

Let’s also remember that many of this record breaking side also performed superbly in City’s FA Youth Cup win over West Ham on Tuesday night. Bring on Boro in the two leg semi-final. Happy Days.

The future is bright. The future is Blue.



Dear Mr Wardle

3 points above the worst Aston Villa side in living memory.
4 points above the worst Leeds United side in living memory.

UEFA CUP? Are you joking?

It’s been a great season, because we stayed up and because we took 5 points away from the Rags. KK is right to tell the players that we’re aiming high, because that way, when they under-achieve, at least you don’t get relegated. But you don’t create a European club in 2 seasons.

As for “I would love to be organising trips to the likes of Juventus, Barcelona or Munich for our supporters”… perhaps a position as Travel Club Manager would be more suitable? – the Chairman is the man who reigns in his enthusiasm for the good of the club. It’s a pretty odious job, because many of those around you, due to their enthusiasm and love of the club, can’t see the bigger picture. And it’s a nearly impossible balance to strike between safety and progress. Ask Doug Ellis, Franny Lee, Peter Ridsdale, David Sheepshanks etc. But the difference between the good chairmen and the bad chairmen is that those who succeed understand and have an aptitude for business. It is nice if they also have a deep understanding of football, but this is not a necessary requirement for the job. Everyone has been made graphically aware over the last few years that football clubs have to live in the real world. David Bernstein understands this, and has walked the tightrope with considerable aplomb.

I’m sorry, Mr Wardle, but from everything you’ve said, and all of your recent actions, I simply do not believe that you can do this job, or find someone to do it better. Finding boardroom team members is no different from finding playing staff – you only let someone go if you know that you have found someone better to fill the position. This is another rule of management of which the remaining board members seem to be unaware.

The actions of this week have taken a bright and successful vision of the future from the fans, and replaced it with doubt, uncertainty and fear.


Disappointed and fearful for the future.

CTID, Jon Marshall (


Great idea (as seen on the Manchester Online Website) to make the Birmingham match the fans’ bid to get Bernstein back. The writer suggested everyone turn up 15 minutes late (well at least we’ll have missed City conceding the first goal!).

Let’s show our ex-chairman just how much we appreciate what he has done (and how much we want him) – apart from getting some chants going – come on Kippax and North stands How about downloading the following poster from (Gif is high resolution, hence large – approx 800k). Alternatively, if you email me, I’ll send you the PDF (40k). Then wave it, print it on your T-shirt; display it in your car, hand it out on match day and let’s get our message across!

I also noticed, on the MCFC website, a request for fans to name a stand (at the new stadium). How about The Bernstein Stand, and in the style of the current Kippax, it would have to come with a Bird hanging from the top tier!

Sarah Longshaw (


Given that the Bernstein resignation seems to be the result of a dispute over fiscal responsibility, it is surprising that Kevin Keegan is being let off the hook by MCIVTA correspondents. Keegan, for all his managerial assets, has a mud-on-the-wall approach to spending – some has stuck reasonably well but too much has slithered into a heap of waste.

Robbie Fowler was a waste of money. He is a one-footed player who has lost the speed to compensate for his natural inefficiency. If every defence in the league agreed to freeze for a couple of seconds while he shifts the ball to his left side and positions himself comfortably, then he might stand a chance of scoring to expectation. There is much talk of him being a bargain at £3 million plus performance payments, or whatever it is, but nobody mentions the amount of money he is being paid each week. That is not only a patently ludicrous wage but one that, quite naturally, must irk his teammates and cause disharmony — a dangerous and destructive emotion for any team. No wonder Goater was so happy when he scored the equaliser at Old Trafford. It must have been sweet.

But even those more positively inclined towards the Fowler deal must agree that the limited funds available should have been spent strengthening the defence. I thought Keegan’s “firing” of Howey and Dunne during a radio interview was, to say the least, disingenuous. Surely it didn’t take the embarrassment at the feet of Arsenal for Keegan to realise what the rest of the world has known since last August: City’s defence sucks and, yes, fowards alone cannot win football games. He should have spent the Fowler money on defender(s), central or otherwise. End of story.

All the prejudice aside, football managers are notoriously free with other people’s money and they always have been. And who can blame them? Any manager (of football or otherwise) charged with producing results on a set budget always wants more money and will never stop pushing for more. But an effective company chairman (football or otherwise) is there not only to loosen the purse strings when needed but to know when they should be tightened in the interests of the company’s overall financial health. Keegan has a spending record that suggests he needs a strong balancing influence. Does Keegan realise that? I doubt it.

Let the dust settle and hope that the City board doesn’t self-destruct again in another front page soap opera. Bernstein has done the business for City and hopefully, he hasn’t been the victim of a Keegan-engineered coup. That, in the words of a MCIVTA correspondent, would really be putting the inmates in charge of the asylum – or was it foxes in charge of the hen house?

Whatever, it’s the road to ruin a.k.a. the First Division.

Chris Cobb (


I thought we were past the “cups for cock-ups” era. Let’s hope everything settles down quickly and the team does not suffer.

Mark Leahy (


I have a horrible Feeling that we are going to end up with egg on our faces over the boardroom shenanigans.

Power struggles are not what we need at this moment. Bernstein has kept a good rein on the club’s spending in the transfer market, releasing money when neccessary, and also, has kept schtum about how much is available to spend.

I am old enough to remember the Allison days when Swalesy practically gave him an open chequebook to spend on players but also told all and sundry how much he was giving. Result? Every player that was bought was bought at inflated prices.

It was only after Sky came in a couple of years ago that we cleared the debt that remained like a millstone around our necks after Allison went. So what’s the first announcement after the resignation? Kevin gets £20 million to spend!

I would have preferred a statement that said that we will not be buying any more players like Vuoso. How we laughed at Forlan but he’s got more goals than Vuoso had games.

We seem to have a knack for recruiting lazy b*****ds, or is it something in the system that turns them that way? In the past we had Frontzeck and Michael Brown, now we have Mettomo, Vuoso and where the hell is Macken?

DB got pilloried for his doubts over Fowler’s fitness. Well I saw him in the derby and if he was like that so far after the transfer what must he have looked like in the medical? He will come good, but DB did right in trying to find out what happens if he breaks down and as a result getting a discount.

He did a bit of all right over the stadium didn’t he? I believe the deal works out at nothing in rent for crowds up to 35,000 and half the money for crowd figures over that but I could be wrong. Not bad for a stadium that will rank with the best (or maybe not… are they going to extend the roof when they move the seats out over the present running track? The rain was bad enough sat ringside at the games and it has been known to rain at the odd match in the past).

Get rid of the dead legs to reduce the wage bill, and get DB back even if it means eating humble pie.

Talking of dead legs, I have been racking my brain to remember the ass who Royle bought from the Toon for a million… who was it?

CTID, Chris (


The next meeting of the Swinton + District’s branch of the CSA will be held this Thursday 13th March at The Folly Social Club, Station Road, Swinton. Guests include Managing Director Alistair Mackintosh so this is a good opportunity for City fans to ask direct questions to one of the key players in the recent boardroom changes. Entrance is £1.00 and all Blues are welcome.

I will have a spare ticket for the Birmingham game at face value for the first taker.

Regards to all, Alex Channon (


I did contribute a Why Blue some years ago but thought I would re-contribute as people are always asked to, and especially as I’m on a bit of an unexpected high today.

As a young boy I was a regular attender at Edgeley Park, home of Stockport County, on a Friday night (Friday night is County night) with my dear beloved long lost grandad. My hero was Ken Mulhearn, the all-in-green County goalkeeper. When he was transferred to City in a swap deal with Alan Ogley, I started to take an interest in City results. This interest grew stronger and stronger as my age progressed and I realised there may be something better than watching County’s then perennial fight against re-election. Remember those days? When it was re-election, not automatic relegation.

My first game came a few years later at Bolton in a League Cup game. What a frightening experience that was, in the days before crowd segregation, a crowd well in excess of the usual 1,500 at County and fireworks being lobbed between the fans. We lost 3-0. For some reason all these things didn’t put me off and I became a regular visitor to Maine Road, and in the 70’s most away games too. City at that time were the enigma they have always been. One week we’d beat Liverpool 4-0 at home and the next we’d lose 3-0 to Middlesbrough away. In fact I followed City one season where I think we had the best home record in the league and the worst away record. But you forgave the long miserable journeys home because you knew next week you would watch the real City tear somebody apart.

I have only seen City live at Wembley once and that was in the ’76 League Cup final against Newcastle. What a great day out for a young 15 year old. I still haven’t forgiven Ricardo Villa for his “greatest goal ever at Wembley” in ’81 that tends to overshadow Steve MacKenzie’s volley in the same game and Denis Tueart’s overhead kick in that ’76 final.

That ’76 final was also the day I learnt about a mother’s true love. I had stayed over at a friend’s house the night before the game, literally across the cobbled street from our house. When I returned home on Sunday morning my mum told me her dad, the aforementioned beloved grandad, had died on the Friday night. I screamed at her “Why didn’t you come and tell me?” She said “Because you couldn’t have done anything and it would have ruined your day”. Even now it makes me cry, literally as I type, to think of how selfless this act was, although I probably didn’t understand it so well at the time.

I remember in ’81 when I couldn’t get tickets for the final or the replay, I was living “darn sarf” by then, I took leave on the Thursday of the replay so I could drive back up north to watch the game. How bizarre is that? They have TV in the south. Anyway, on the journey up my car broke down in the middle of Stratford-upon-Avon. So, as any fan would do, I abandoned it and got a bus to Birmingham and a coach to Manchester, arriving at Victoria just in time to hear Dennis Tueart’s close miss for the equaliser on a taxi driver’s radio. God he was p****d when he realised I only wanted to listen to his radio and wasn’t going to give him a fare.

Through the remaining years we all know there have been a lot of downs and a few ups, but to the true fan those few ups more than counter the downs, and I think that is what has made being a City fan the brother(and sister)hood it is.

Oh yeah! Why the unexpected high? Following a long shot appeal in MCIVTA last week I have had an email from a Blue season ticket holder who unfortunately for him, and fortunately for me, cannot make the Southampton game. Not only does this reflect the power of this publication but also the fellowship of Blues that he bothered to write (I haven’t named him in case he doesn’t want me to).

Good luck to all fellow Blues and here’s looking forward to the continued development of the team and the new future at The City of Manchester Stadium.

Dave Kilroy (


8 March 2003

Liverpool             2 - 0  Bolton Wanderers      41,462

5 March 2003

Middlesbrough         1 - 0  Newcastle United      34,814
Manchester United     2 - 1  Leeds United          67,135

League table to 09 March 2003 inclusive.

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Arsenal         29 13  1  1 35 13  6  5  3 29 17 19  6  4  64  30  34  63
 2 Manchester Utd  29 12  2  1 28 10  5  5  4 19 17 17  7  5  47  27  20  58
 3 Newcastle Utd   29 13  1  1 27  9  4  3  7 20 25 17  4  8  47  34  13  55
 4 Everton         29  9  4  1 22 13  5  3  7 16 21 14  7  8  38  34   4  49
 5 Chelsea         29  8  4  2 28 12  5  5  5 22 19 13  9  7  50  31  19  48
 6 Liverpool       29  6  8  1 22 12  6  2  6 19 16 12 10  7  41  28  13  46
 7 Charlton Ath.   29  7  3  4 23 18  6  3  6 16 18 13  6 10  39  36   3  45
 8 Blackburn R.    29  7  5  3 20 14  4  5  5 15 18 11 10  8  35  32   3  43
 9 Tottenham H.    29  8  4  2 26 17  4  3  8 15 23 12  7 10  41  40   1  43
10 Southampton     29  8  5  2 19 11  3  4  7 11 17 11  9  9  30  28   2  42
11 Middlesbrough   29  8  6  1 27 17  2  2 10  8 15 10  8 11  35  32   3  38
12 Manchester City 29  7  1  6 24 24  4  4  7 15 20 11  5 13  39  44  -5  38
13 Fulham          29  9  2  4 20 11  1  5  8 13 24 10  7 12  33  35  -2  37
14 Aston Villa     29  9  1  5 21 11  1  4  9 10 23 10  5 14  31  34  -3  35
15 Leeds United    29  5  2  7 14 17  5  2  8 21 22 10  4 15  35  39  -4  34
16 Birmingham City 29  4  4  6 14 19  4  4  7 13 22  8  8 13  27  41 -14  32
17 Bolton Wndrs    29  3  7  4 19 21  2  4  9 12 26  5 11 13  31  47 -16  26
18 West Ham United 29  2  6  7 15 22  4  2  8 17 31  6  8 15  32  53 -21  26
19 West Brom A.    29  3  4  7 12 19  2  2 11  9 25  5  6 18  21  44 -23  21
20 Sunderland      29  3  2  9  9 20  1  5  9 10 26  4  7 18  19  46 -27  19

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0203.09]

[0] MCIVTA Addresses

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 6pm, 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] Where can I find out if City are live on satellite TV? provides a listing of Premiership games being shown on UK domestic and foreign satellite channels.

[9] 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.

[10] Do we have a Usenet newsgroup?

Yes we do: is our home on usenet. If you are not familiar with usenet, a basic explanation is available here:,289893,sid9_gci213262,00.html

[11] Do any squad members have their own web pages?

There are a number available and direct links can be found at

[12] Acknowledgements

Thanks go to John Arnold for providing the match day music information, to Ian Bell for pointing out the alternate live match commentary service and to Damian Quinn, Stephen Webb and Roger Haigh for the Satellite TV info.

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 #896