Newsletter #971

Just when you think it can’t get any worse, along come trips to Newcastle and Poland. Last week’s 3-0 routing at St James’ Park, compounded by some of the more moronic elements of our travelling support who managed to ruin the trip for many, was dismal. Tonight’s “performance” in Poland was the icing on an already inedible cake. What caps it all is the fact that these handsomely rewarded yet uninterested players of ours cannot even be bothered acknowledging the travelling support. Let’s not have any complaints about the atmosphere on Sunday, chaps, if that’s your attitude.

We’ve match opinions, Don’s news round-up, plenty of views on what is happening and the usual requests.

Boro are the visitors on Sunday, let’s just hope whoever KK decides to play shows somewhat more interest and commitment in the game.

Finally, a big thank you to Don for standing in at the last minute for issues 969 and 970.

Next game: Middlesbrough, home, 3pm Sunday 30th November 2003


General News

Battle Royle Heats Up: According to the Daily Telegraph this week, Joe Royle’s long running dispute with City will have to be resolved in the High Court, after the club rejected an offer to settle from JR’s representatives. Royle is currently working on his autobiography, which may or may not contain some embarrassing details of his time at City. It is believed that part of the deal to included the chance for City to vet Royle’s book. This offer was rejected, and a City person was quoted as saying “We have nothing at all to fear from this book. It is ridiculous for a pay-off claim, which we are contesting in any case, to be linked with a book which can, of course, be published at any time.” The £750,000 dispute concerns the terms of the pay-off Royle received after he was dismissed at the end of the 2000-2001 season, two days after the last match. Royle claims he is due a sum based on his wage in the Premiership, while the City board maintain he was effectively a Division One manager when he was sacked. City believe they have already paid what they think he is owed – £150,000 – and allowed him to keep his company car.

Silence Isn’t Golden: As a philosopher once said, “I love a party with a happy atmosphere”, and as discussed in this very newsletter, City fans are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of home noise at the COMS. The M.E.N. reports that the Atmosphere Action Group (AAG) has been formed to look into ways of improving vocal support in the Eastlands ground. “Five hundred Lokeren fans were able to out-sing us and even though our attendances have gone up from 32,000 to 46,000 the atmosphere is just not there,” said a spokesman. “We haven’t got a problem with the new fans not being as vocal as some of the rest of us but it is no good when some of them sit in the singing end and complain to stewards that we are a nuisance. A few of us have got together to try and get some ideas together that we can take to the club and then work with them in trying to raise the roof when our boys in blue cross that line. One of our first ideas is to aim at getting all the singers’ seats together in blocks J211 and J212 and also the tier underneath. We hope too to get approval to sell horns. That may make some people smile but a friend of the group’s recently went to a German European match and said it made the hairs stand up on the back of his neck. Imagine more than 1,000 at once.” The AAG held its first meeting this week in Hollinwood. You can contact the group by emailing <Binghead(at)>.

Winning Run Ends: City Reserves could not notch a fifth straight win this week, as they succumbed 1-0 to Liverpool at Hyde United’s ground. An extremely young Blues’ team could not prevent the winning goal, a left foot volley from Robbie Foy, on 38 minutes. Team: Schmeichel, Matthews (Laird 65), Collins, J D’Laryea, Onouha, N D’Laryea, Tandy (Murphy 65), Negouai (Bermingham 74), B.Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Shuker.

Transfer News and Gossip

Keeping Czech Mate Poles Apart: [At this point the News Editor’s pun/clich