Newsletter #919

The prospective transfer target rumours rumble on, with McManaman and Gillespie being the latest links. Only two weeks gone and we’ve already been linked with about 8. Don’t you just love this silly season?

Thanks to Sarah for compiling the news tonight, which covers the possible ins and outs, ex-Blues’ news and settlement of the Granville dispute.

This one goes out to 3,253.

Next game: to be confirmed


General News

A Rose By Any Other Name: How about adopting the nickname the “BLUE CAMP” for the new stadium (any comments would be appreciated via the editor)! Thanks to Nigel for this suggestion (he knows who he is) and to Stephen for sending it in.

Money’s Too Tight to Mention: New chairman John Wardle says boss KK is feverishly scanning the transfer market ‘looking at transfer options, Bosmans and loan deals’, but has refused to say how much the Boss has to play with. Amongst those believed to be on the possible shopping list are David Seaman, David James, Sunderland’s Thomas Sorensen and West Brom’s Russell Hoult as the search for a replacement for Schmeichel hots up. In addition, the club is said to still be in negotiations with Lyons in an attempt to thrash down a fee for Foe.

But Fans Must Pay Up Before the End of May: Manchester City are urging fans on the waiting list for season tickets to get their balance payments in before the impending deadline. Over 35,000 fans have taken up the option to buy a season ticket for the City of Manchester Stadium and the 9,000 ‘former waiting list’ supporters must now pay the outstanding balance. The move to the new stadium has made the ticket allocation even more complex but details can be obtained from the First Advice Ticket Line (anyone who previously held a Citycard will have this number indelibly printed on their brains).

City to Visit Scotland: Selkirk will host Manchester City at Yarrow Park on 2nd September (18:30 kick-off). The match is a tribute to ex-Selkirk, City and Hibs player Bobby Johnstone and the new “Bobby Johnstone Pavillion” will be opened officially by Bobby’s daughter. Hibernian will also be represented by the remaining members of the “Famous Five” (thanks to Alistair Wade for this).

Academy Stars Off to Bermuda: Manchester City’s boy Blues are preparing to embark on a trip of a lifetime – thanks to departing striker Shaun Goater. Academy boss Jim Cassell and Director of Football Dennis Tueart are taking an Under-18 side to Goater’s native Bermuda for two exhibition matches. One will see City’s highly-successful youth team play their Bermuda counterparts, while the other, at the National Stadium, will involve the Blues taking on a Shaun Goater Select XI. The Goat will divide his loyalties, playing half the match for his team, before swapping at the interval to play the remaining 45 minutes in a City shirt. Goater, who is set to leave City this summer after five years, has played a key rôle in organising the tour.

Who, When, Where: The new fixture list for the 2003/2004 season is due out on Thursday 19th June.

Transfer News and Gossip

Eyal Be Off Then: Eyal Berkovic is currently considering a move to Portsmouth after falling out with City. The Israeli midfielder, who was previously managed by RedKnapp at West Ham, wanted an extension to his contract which still has two years to run, and was disappointed when the club refused. KK who doesn’t want to issue any long term contracts in the current climate, is said to be willing to part with the midfield maestro for £1 million, as he is reportedly fed up with Eyal’s whinging!

Northern Ireland’s Keith Gillespie Sset to Join Manchester City: There is much speculation about where Keith Gillespie will be playing next year – as his contract with Blackburn ends several other Premiership clubs, including City, Bolton and Birmingham are all believed to be interested. Gillespie’s international manager, McIlroy, reckons he fits the bill for City as he is the sort of flair player that KK (who knows him from his Newcastle days) likes.

Parlez-vous Manc? KK is also eyeing up another French player, the highly-rated Lens midfielder Antoine Sibierski. The 28-year-old is out of contract and looks set to leave the French club this summer despite scoring 10 goals for them. City, Spurs, Blackburn Rovers and Atletico Madrid are all reported to be chasing the attacking midfielder.

Macca Back: Kevin Keegan is believed to be competing with Everton manager David Moyes in a bid to bring Steve McManaman back to England. The Real Madrid midfielder is growing increasingly frustrated with life on the substitutes’ bench at The Bernabeu. And with Keegan desperate to strengthen his midfield, the City boss is ready to step up his interest in the player when the transfer window opens. McManaman would relish the opportunity to link up with old friend Robbie Fowler, the two having played together at Liverpool and England.

Will He Stay or Will He Go? Crystal Palace’s new manager Steve Kember is reported to be interested in Darren Huckerby. However, while Kember may be keen to add the player to his squad, it would seem that the price may be too high, even for such a quality catch. Huckerby has already been ruled too expensive by Nottingham Forest, after they failed to win promotion from the First Division.

It’s a Dunne Deal? Sunderland skipper Michael Gray could be on his way to Manchester City, with Richard Dunne moving in the opposite direction. The City boss, a long-standing admirer of Gray, is prepared to offer Republic of Ireland defender Dunne and £1 million to get his man. Black Cats’ chief Mick McCarthy has told Gray he can leave the Stadium of Light, despite the player signing a new five-year deal in October.

Tranmere Sign Loran: Tranmere Rovers have completed the permanent signing of Tyrone Loran from Manchester City for an undisclosed fee. The 22 year old, who moved to Maine Road from Holland last summer, failed to break into City’s first team, had been on loan to Tranmere since December. Indeed, the former Holland under 21 who can play either in midfield or defence was instrumental in Tranmere’s play off campaign.

Ex-Blues’ News

Further to the piece about Jamie Pollock, comes this (thanks to Ralph).

Pollock Quits Moors – Mathie Quickly Named as Replacement: Newly-promoted UniBond League Premier Division club Spennymoor United was shocked by the loss of manager Jamie Pollock, who left the club due to commitments to his successful business venture. Pollock, who joined the Moors in January following the surprise departure of Tony Lee, had recently announced his retirement from the full-time game after training with Grimsby and coaching some of the younger players at the club. Pollock gained recognition as an England under-21 international, and served as a player and captain at Manchester City, where he helped gain promotion to the Premiership. In his first managerial post, he steered Spennymoor to automatic promotion from the UniBond First Division as runners-up to Alfreton Town, a terrific achievement considering the number of games the Moors had to play in a short space of time to catch up on their backlog of fixtures. However, Moors have moved quickly to replace the departed Pollock, by appointing experienced striker Alex Mathie as player-manager.

Brown & Out: Former City midfielder Michael Brown, has refused a new contract after Sheffield United lost to Wolves in the play-offs on Monday. Brown, who missed a penalty in the match, is hoping for Premiership football next season.

City Settle With Granville: Manchester City have settled their pay dispute with former defender Danny Granville, now with Crystal Palace. Granville claimed he was owed wages when he was sold during Keegan’s first season in charge. City say they were vindicated in an original hearing but later agreed to pay out 45 per cent of Granville’s claim, believed to be about £20,000 – after the player hired a legal team and took his case to the Football League.

Sarah Longshaw (


Can this be right that City are prepared to let Eyal Berkovic leave and yet are considering taking on the likes of Keith Gillespie and a massive wage earner like Steve McManaman?

Eyal when fit is as good a play-maker as anyone else in the Premiership and if only he was fit more often. If Eyal is to leave what about looking 20 miles up the road at Jay Jay Okocha to fill Eyal’s boots, another truly class player, but Keith Gillespie please no. Surely we need to be aiming higher than this? McManaman who I do think is a good player but again is he the type and quality of player to take us to that next level?

There is a player who I think would be an excellent acquisition if we could get him and I could be wrong here but doubt if any fee would be involved other than a signing on fee and his I would imagine high wage demands. That player is Mendieta of Lazio who last season was on loan to Barcelona and I could be wrong (again) but as far as I am aware he will be going back to Lazio when the loan expires.

Billy Watkinson (


There are a lot of reports that Kevin Keegan is doing his best to get Steve McManaman from Real Madrid to replace Marc-Vivien Foe. Steve McManaman has one year left on his contract at Real Madrid, and the club are trying to lower their wage bill. A stumbling block could be Steve’s wage which at Real is £65,000 per week. But Real might let Steve leave on a free transfer, which would make it very attractive for City to get Steve McManaman.

Steve played under KK in the England squad, and is a big friend of Fowler, who could also benefit from McManaman coming to City. It will be nice to see another English face in City’s team. As I have said before to all the doubters about Fowler, the best is yet to come (Fowler has talent) and McManaman could help this happen.

Another player linked with City is Gillespie from Blackburn, a winger who also played under KK at Newcastle. Gillespie is the type of player who is not afraid to take people on, and is a flair type player that KK likes for attacking football. A one year contract is the rumour, not all City fans might be excited about this player, but that will remain to be seen on the field. It’s a team sport and its getting all the jigsaw pieces to fit that makes that team.

However, talk of City bringing new players might sound exciting, but City still need to reduce their squad. Huckerby has come back because of Nottingham Forest failing to get promotion. Our famous Goat is still available, and we all hope it will be the best move for our “Blue Goat”, there is no hurry as long as the Goat is happy! Some other players will just be released because contracts will not be renewed.

It’s early days yet, and all City fans will be watching with keen eyes during the off season (a manager’s job is never done). As I write this nothing is concrete, but the McManaman deal would be great for City that’s for sure.

Ernie Barrow (


What is Ian Burgess thinking about (MCIVTA 918)? He rambles on about Steve McManaman and Joey Barton and Marc-Vivien Foe and makes no sense whatsoever.

I assume that as well as not knowing how to get to CoMStad from Bristol, he doesn’t know how to get news from Manchester to Bristol either. Ian: if Steve McManaman came to City it wouldn’t be because he shares a racehorse with Robbie Fowler. Do you seriously think Keegan is that stupid? Macca is one of the most gifted midfielders of his generation. He has won European Champions’ League medals. He is a team player. Something that by your own admission you don’t understand – hence your remark about MVF. Have a look at this season’s stats – go on, I’ll wait…

Who is the top scoring midfielder in the Premiership? No not David Beckham, whose six goals make a mockery of the press’s hysterical attempts to turn him into a footbaling god. Not Ryan Giggs; not even that other golden boy, Danny Murphy. No. It’s Marc-Vivien Foe with nine. Yes. Marc-Vivien Foe. The player loads of you love to hate.

Foe is a footballers’ footballer. A manager’s player. He plays an unglamorous rôle in the team, but an absolutely vital one. He breaks up the play. He doesn’t run around like an Aussie headless chicken like the fans’ favourite – who, thankfully was out for half a season or else we’d have come bottom of the fair play league.

If Macca comes to City it will be to replace our playmaker – moaning Eyal Berkovic. A great player on his day but one who seems to have a mental as well as a physical problem with injuries. If Eyal has two years left on his contract, Keegan should ship him out now whilst we can still get some money for him. If we gave Eyal a two year extension like he wants (of course he does), how many games do you think he’d play? He’s only played just over half our games over the two seasons at Maine Road and he been subbed in most of them. His recovery time gets longer and longer and I would bet a whole week of his enormous salary that in the final year of his contract he’d play less than 10 games. Not a great return for approximately £1.5 million a year. Macca meanwhile is still in his prime. He rarely gets injured and has played at the top of his profession (albeit sparingly over the past 12 months) for four seasons in the toughest league in Europe.

With both Foe and Macca in our midfield next season, I can see us making a serious attempt to finish top six – now if only we could find a decent ‘keeper…

Sarah Ferguson (


West Yorks have now been dragged into the 21st Century screaming and kicking . Our web site is now available albeit in its draft form at Would you please be kind enough to circulate its address in the normal way for people to bookmark. Hope you enjoy it.

Ian Barton (


North America can watch what “Fox Sports World” lists as “best match of last season”, the Manchester City versus United game will be shown again on June 2nd at 3pm (EST).

Go back to Maine Road and have fun! If you did not tape the game first time here’s your chance.

Ernie Barrow (


I know Uwe was only at City for a few years or so, but in view of his illness I can’t think of a better candidate for a testimonial than him.

He may not even need the money, but I reckon that a show of support and affection from 48,000 adoring City fans will bring him more strength to fight cancer than any chemotherapy.

How about we all e-mail City and ask the club to do the right thing by Uwe?

CTID, Mark McLaughlin (


I’ve been in ‘Sunny Bournemouth’ for a few years now and would be interested in starting or joining a City supporters’ club.

If anyone knows how I would go about this, or if anyone in or around the Bournemouth area is keen to get involved, drop me a line.

Thanks, Alex ( or


Just got a new mobile phone and thought I would get it ready for next season, it’s the right colour and not Vodaphone, just need it to sing the right song. So…

Probably a question asked a hundred times before… but does anyone have the ring tones for Blue Moon for a Nokia 3350 using “Composer” or a download? And finally does anyone have any decent City logos for a Nokia phone?

CTID, Adrian Carr (


I heard a journo talking on some sports programme about McManaman. He said McManaman must have the best job in the world. Paid £50,000 a week, lives in the sun, and gets to sit and watch Real Madrid every week.

Dave Kilroy (

MCIVTA FAQ [v0203.10]

[0] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup) :
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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. A good site for North American viewers is

[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.

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[Valid3.2]Heidi Pickup,

Newsletter #919