Newsletter #965

Tonight saw us earn a 1-1 draw against Groclin to take into the second leg, as we squandered two golden opportunities in the first half (Reyna & Fowler) after Anelka had put us ahead on 6 minutes. A poor second half performance from the Blues as Groclin fought back and put us under pressure.

We have a news round-up thanks to Sarah, John’s Leicester preview, squad opinion and news on the Foe appeal and auction.

Next game: Leicester City, home, 3pm Sunday 9 November 2003


General News

City’s Report of Accounts: Manchester City’s debts have soared to £50 million following a spending spree to keep the club in the Premiership. The wage bill during 2002-03 also rose from £24 million to £35 million as Keegan splashed out on stars like Anelka, Fowler and Sommeil. This accounted for 70% of the turnover, with the players being paid £30 million. But the strategy helped City to finish ninth in the Club’s last season at Maine Road and made operating profits of £1.7 million against losses of £5.9 million in the previous year. Pre-tax losses however, rose from £13.9 million to £15.4 million the year to May 31, as a result of player trading. The Blues’ overall debts increased from £30 million after the Chairman and his JD Sports business partner, David Makin, made a loan of £10 million to help fund player signings. Measures were also taken to refinance existing debts through bonds raised by overseas banks. City made interest payments of £2.56 million compared with £1.01 million in the previous year. Managing Director, Alistair Mackintosh said that the debts were not a cause for concern because ‘the debt is well-structured’ and secured against the new stadium, a long-term asset. City’s turnover rocketed by 75 per cent from £28 million to £49 million on return to the Premier League, thanks mainly to a £20 million TV income windfall. Turnover is expected to reach £60 million this year. Mr Wardle said it had been vital for City to remain in the Premier League and that had influenced the decision to continue investing in the squad. The financial results reflect the Club’s eagerness to work towards long-term, sustainable success, he added. The Club has moved to the City of Manchester Stadium, which it is leases from Manchester City Council. The Club spent £20 million on improvements to the pitch, catering and hospitality facilities and the superstore. Mr Wardle took over as chairman after David Bernstein quit in March following a boardroom wrangle, which also led to the departure of chief operating officer Chris Bird, who received a £120,000 pay-off, the equivalent of year’s salary, with payments spread over 12 months. City’s survival in the Premiership brought spin-off benefits, such as a boost in merchandise sales including the 250,000 replica shirts bought by fans around the world. However, all is not doom & gloom in these days of uncertainty in football. After all, just two days previously, Leeds United posted pre-tax losses of almost £50 million and is grappling with a £78 million debt mountain.

Tarnat Ready to Extend Stay: Michael Tarnat has indicated he is ready to extend his stay at Manchester City. The former Bayern Munich star, who turned 34 last month, signed a one-year deal in the summer with an option for another 12 months. However, as he claims he and his family are enjoying life in England he told BBC GMR “If they want to make it one year longer it is not a problem for me.”

Keegan gets a Carling Cup Swap: Kevin Keegan’s insistence that he would need to field a young team in the next round of the Carling Cup because of fixture congestion has won him a postponement of the match vs. Tottenham to Wednesday 3rd December. He claimed that although: “It is tough, the league and Europe is the priority and with the squad we have, the new stadium and all the fans behind us, mid-table is no longer good enough for Manchester City.” He added that he believed that maybe City have become one of the teams capable of getting into that big league at the top of the Premiership.

Robbie gets green light, not red card! Although plastered across some of the Sunday papers, Robbie Fowler, who was snapped holding two bottles of beer, smoking and kissing a pretty young blonde at a night club in Essex, had his boss’s permission to be out. Fowler, and friends, Danny Tiatto, Claudio Reyna, Trevor Sinclair, Jonathan Macken and Steve McManaman, asked Keegan if they could go to night club Route, after the QPR victory and three days before the Southampton match. However, Keegan has added that he thinks that some sections of the press have a vendetta against professional footballers and are looking for stories that just aren’t really there.

Rift? It depends on your definition! Rumours abounded this week of a rift between King Kev and his star French striker, speculating on why Anelka did not feature in the squad for Southampton, last Saturday. It appears that Nico did not want to join the team-building exercises (including clay-pigeon shooting and human table football) that Keegan had arranged – claiming a slight calf-strain. Keegan’s response then was to insist that his star player rest – a decision which was clearly not popular (and which seems to have fuelled speculation about Nico’s future with City). Apparently (and thanks to Kevin Duckworth for this) United are interested in signing Anelka for £20 million – a figure which has already been matched by Newcastle, although City are reported to be trying to persuade the striker to stay until the end of the season. The Guardian, however, reports that Anelka is still happy at City, has not fallen out with his boss and will back in the team on Thursday (tonight). KK also claims that there are no hard feelings (Seems like the press are making mountains again…!).

We’ave a’ injury crisis? Nick Weaver will consult the Blues’ physiotherapy and medical staff this week, to decide whether or not he needs another operation on the injured knee that has seen him missing from the squad recently. If the 24-year-old does require more surgery then he is likely to be sidelined until the spring.

Lancashire CC to quit Old Trafford in favour of Sportcity: There is speculation that Lancashire Cricket Club is to move to the east of Manchester, near to Manchester City’s stadium.

Negouai controversy: Christian Negouai has been again asked to provide a urine sample by testers of UK Sport, but the Guardian reports how the footballer is upset as he is a Muslim and has effectively been forced to break one of the main principles of Ramadan by having to break his fast to drink water. The player was previously fined £2,000 for missing a drugs test last season. Keegan is now to ask FA drug testers to re-examine their procedures for respecting players’ culture and beliefs.

Transfer News & Gossip

Green to turn Blue: Keegan is reported to be considering, Robert Green, Norwich City’s £3 million-rated ‘keeper, as a possible successor to David Seaman. Keegan has been given good reports on the 23-year-old, with a swap involving Darren Huckerby, currently valued at £1 million and on loan at Carrow Road, a possibility, if Norwich could fund a deal that includes his wages as well as transfer fee.

Or not! However, Canaries’ Manager Nigel Worthington has dismissed reports that ‘keeper Robert Green could be on his way to Man City with Huckerby moving in the other direction “Let me put that one to bed once and for all, it’s rumour, total fabrication. I’m not letting any of my players go in exchange of another player, regardless of the situation. That will not happen.” Green himself, also denies the rumours.

But is it all yellow? Huckerby is hoping to extend his stay at Norwich City when his loan deal at Carrow Road comes to an end. Huckerby is currently enjoying his spell in the limelight at First Division Norwich, and has made it clear that he does not see a long-term future for himself at Eastlands. Huckerby’s agent however, stated that he did not have a future at Carrow Road, claiming ‘he is a player with Premiership aspirations, which are unlikely to be met by Norwich!’ – although the player himself is not happy with the statement and has responded that he will decide where he goes – not his agent (watch out Dazza, you could end up at a big club like Preston – like Etuhu!). Wigan are now reported to be interested in Huckerby after failing to sign the Peterborough player, Leon McKenzie.

Shuker: Chris Shuker returns to Eastlands, after a three month loan at Rochdale, where he made a very favourable impression. Although Dale Boss, Alan Buckley was keen to keep the youngster longer, Chris returns to try his luck once more at City (thanks to Vince Docherty).

Nou Camp to Blue Camp? Manchester City boss Kevin Keegan is said to be interested in Barcelona captain Luis Enrique, although the player’s agent says that no approach has been made. The Spanish international striker will not be offered a new contract by Barça and can leave the Nou Camp on a Bosman in the summer. Newcastle are also monitoring the situation and reports yesterday had Enrique’s advisors informing City that he was after a financial package worth £35,000-a-week.

Eyal need to compromise: Portsmouth are being linked with a fresh move for Manchester City midfielder Eyal Berkovic. The Israeli has dropped out of the first team picture at City, despite withdrawing a close-season transfer request. Pompey boss Harry Redknapp is keen to sign Berkovic, but has told the ex-West Ham star that he will need to lower his personal demands.

Eidur’d Like to Come: According to the Sunday Mirror, Chelsea striker Eidur Gudjohnsen wouldn’t say ‘no’ if Manchester City came knocking in January. Gudjohnsen would have no problem moving to the North-West, having begun his English career with Bolton Wanderers.

Ex-Blues News

Brown on the move? Manchester City are monitoring Michael Brown’s situation at Sheffield United with keen interest. Rangers and Everton are among clubs being linked with the 26 year-old, who moved to the Blades from City. City are due 20 per cent of any sell-on fee.

Foe memorial match next week: Lyon stage a match next week to raise money for the family of Marc Vivien Foe, who tragically died in June, after he collapsed during a Confederations Cup match playing for Cameroon against Colombia. The match takes place at Lyon’s Stade Gerland on Tuesday, with the Cameroon National Team facing a side of players from Lens, City and Lyon, three of Foe’s former clubs. Arsenal’s French Internationals Thierry Henry, Robert Pires and Sylvain Wiltord are also listed, as well as former club team-mates of Foe’s, such as Sonny Anderson, Edmilson, Frederic Dehu and Anelka. Organisers hope to raise 200,000 euros to add to the 610,000 euros already paid by Fifa to help Foe’s widow Marie-Louise and their three children.

Kit – the key to the Crystal Palace: Kit Symons has been appointed caretaker manager of Crystal Palace after Steve Kember was sacked when Palace lost 5-0 to Wigan on Saturday. The former City, Portsmouth & Wales player was surprised but delighted to be given the chance.

Sarah Longshaw <news(at)>


Sunday’s game will be the 100th meeting between City and Leicester. Of the 51 matches played in Manchester, Leicester have won just six; however, they have won both of the encounters in the Premiership. There is a fair chance that this week’s game will attract the highest ever league attendance for the fixture and beat the 46,936 who turned out in April 1959. Only one scoreless draw has occurred in Leicester’s 43 visits for league games.

City at home to Leicester, 1895-2000

Premier League:         W 0  D  0 L 2;  F   0 A  2
Old Division One:       W 18 D  8 L 4;  F  81 A 39
Old Division Two:       W 9  D  2 L 0;  F  27 A  9
League Total:           W 27 D 10 L 6;  F 108 A 50
FA Cup:                 W 4  D  2 L 0;  F  14 A  4
League Cup:             W 2  D  0 L 0;  F   7 A  1
Grand Total:            W 33 D 12 L 6;  F 129 A 55
Hyde Road:              W  7 D  1 L 0;  F  22 A  6
Maine Road:             W 26 D 11 L 6;  F 107 A 49

First Meeting:          30/3/1895       City 1 Leicester 1       4,000
Latest Meeting:         4/11/2000       City 0 Leicester 1      34,279
Last Win:               17/1/1996       City 5 Leicester 0      19,980 (FA Cup)
Last Draw:              21/8/1985       City 1 Leicester 1      25,528
Last Defeat:            4/11/2000       City 0 Leicester 1      34,279
Last Clean Sheet:       17/1/1996       City 5 Leicester 0      19,980 (FA Cup)
Last Failure To Score:  4/11/2000       City 0 Leicester 1      34,279
Biggest Victory:        11/11/1967      City 6 Leicester 0      29,039
Heaviest Defeat:        24/3/1967       City 1 Leicester 3      35,396
Most Goals In A Game:   2/2/1935        City 6 Leicester 3      20,000
Fewest Goals In A Game: Twice           City 0 Leicester 0 (League 1, FA Cup 1)
Highest Scoring Draw:   31/3/1981       City 3 Leicester 3      26,144
Highest Attendance:     5/3/1966        City 2 Leicester 2      56,787 (FA Cup)
Lowest Attendance:      30/3/1895       City 1 Leicester 1       4,000

John Clancy <johnny(at)>


In a similar vein as the frustration expressed by Andy from California, are any Guardian readers becoming a little p**sed off with their coverage of City?

After City’s 6-2 battering of Bolton, The Guardian’s headline highlighted City’s defensive frailties and seemingly ignored all 6 goals. After beating QPR 3-0 we were apparently lucky. After the Southampton game all that could be said was Seaman looked very shaky and the game was lacklustre, no mention of Fowler looking more like the player of old or City’s complete control in midfield.

Now I haven’t been able to see anything but highlights of these games but after reading some complimentary reports in other papers, e.g. The Telegraph, that described City as professional and assured, I’m starting to think somebody at The Guardian has it in for us – is that rag owned by Murdoch as well?

James <jpg37(at)>


I could not agree more with you, Andy (MCIVTA 964). It is not just the Scots git though, if you listen to the commentary there are some very subtle negative comments during the game, especially against Chelski. Everything they did was skilful and everything City did was going to go wrong, according to him.

I don’t think that I am too sensitive because my Serbian and Columbian Buddies at work seem to agree. They cannot understand why the attitude is so negative towards the most interesting and exciting team they have watched. The Scots git can toss all the coins he wants, Rangers are still not good enough for the Premiership.



I feel this needs to be brought up as I’m becoming concerned. This week I saw City linked with a move for Norwich’s Robert Green (goalkeeper). When Weaver first picked up his injury, I heard a rumour from a supposed “insider” that Weaver’s career was over as the injury he had sustained was extremely serious. Since that injury, Weaver has not really made much of an appearance. There has been the odd quote from Keegan about Nicky “getting near” and the odd 45 minutes for the reserves… but are City trying to protect Nicky and pay him an extortionate salary for a couple more years before he retires from the game? Is his career over?

If this is the case, it looks like we are hoping that Seaman will come through the season unscathed. Otherwise Ellegard will be dropped in at the deep end. Is he ready?

I would like to see KK make a move in January for one of the ‘keepers we have been previously linked with – Sorensen, Poom, Robinson.

CTID, Andrew Ogden <Andrew.Ogden(at)>


There seems to be a lot of conversation going on about finances of our club. First of all I’m not native speaker so hopefully terms I