Newsletter #1133

The main City-related news this weekend are the continuing rumblings, rumours and counter-rumours that SWP is about to be snaffled by Chelsea in a c. £20 million deal. As usual there’s no smoke without fire, and the debate continues.

We also have views on the club’s current status, potential Polish targets, and how those US Blues are still into ‘Man City’.

Next game: West Bromwich Albion, home, 3pm Saturday 13 August 2005


In defence of John Wardle, I have heard nothing but a firm denial from the club. Please do not consider selling Shaun. The long term debt is funded on the back of loyal fans turning up week in, week out. Whilst the money may be tempting (to some), it goes against everything we have all been working towards over the last five years. Make the biggest statement of our intent that we have made in a long time and tell any potential bidders – there have been none yet – that he is not for sale. Simple.

SWP is our man and has to stay to be part of the exciting future growing at City. Nothing else will do. Any deal does not make sense financially, football or any otherwise for either party. The World Cup is looming and I would dearly love to see Shaun representing his country and City there. We will both have a good idea at the end of this season if Shaun can fulfil his ambitions at his club. Let the chairman, the board and the manager have the strength to support his and our potential futures. Shaun has represented all that is good about City and football. As one of the many loyal fans underwriting the structured debt, there is no other option but to keep our man.

Whatever you do, stay Blue!

Dave Clinton <daveclinton(at)>


Sorry chaps and chapesses, have to vent my annoyance on the SWeeP subject. I am reading over the weekend that a certain well known stepdaddy, has joined in the unrequested debate of his stepson’s moving “for Champions’ League football, as soon as possible”. I wonder if he is still on some form of retainer from his old club, especially as Wenger has said he is after 2 un-named “world class players”?

Let’s do some simple questions and answers:

Is staying at Eastlands going to adversely affect SWP’s chances of getting in the 2006 England World Cup squad? – No

Will he grab his chance in the England team? – Yes

Will he be the star of the England team? – Most probably

So, a simple investment question:

What will his worth be in around 12 months, bearing this in mind? Double? Treble? And with 3 years left on a contract!

Taking around £20 million now would be silly, as his worth will only increase in the near future – em we need to sell.

So to all the board and hungry bank people, and stepdaddy, he is happy so he stays!

P.S. The World Cup is bigger than the Champions’ League (what a contradiction, non-champions play in it!).

P.P.S. Mr Wardle says our debt is “manageable”. So JW and staff, manage it! Shaunny boy stays.

CTID, Steve Bennett <stevieb.3g(at)>


I looked at the fixture list published yesterday, looking for that inevitable “difficult month” or “difficult run of games” during which we could end up having a tough time. I don’t know about anybody else but when we go through such a period I am a depressed soul and given I don’t live too far from the home of Stretford Buccaneers, I naturally come across more of my fair share of uneducated bandwagon jumpers.

Anyway, back to the point of the article, I simply couldn’t find a run of games that frightened me. Now I think that this is a serious measure of how far we have come.

Even as recently as a couple of seasons ago the fixture list filled me with fear; now I am looking forward to it. Just hope we keep hold of SWP (or my daughter will kill me, because it would obviously be my fault he has gone – she’s at that age where she’s a trainee woman see!). We also need to get a decent striker for Robbie to partner; if so the future looks good to me.

Keep the faith, Neil Heitzman <heitzman_neil(at)>


Reply to Andy Morris: brilliant article.

The piece prompted me to the obvious – it needs a Blue with passion, ambition and a big credit line to get us back challenging for the league. Let’s not sell out to just anyone with cash or access to credit. If I could get my credit card limit up a bit more, I might have a shout myself. Any bankers out there want to lend me £12 million? I could have a business plan ready in 12 weeks!

Is it me, or have we accepted sixth place and a run in a cup as a great season? Why is that I get the feeling the club is lying back and accepting the mediocrity of the position the Premier League has dictated City own. Money is not the most important thing to any true fan, just see what is spent on travelling to watch City home or away as a proportion of income. Invest now in quality to complement our burgeoning youth production. It’s football that counts and that should be the be all and end all.

Whatever you do, stay Blue!

Dave Clinton <daveclinton(at)>


Reading about potential strikers who can join City, I could not understand how it’s possible that P. Crouch is valued at £5 million.

I invite all of you to take a look for the Polish players who can join and work hard for Manchester City.

This week the best Polish striker Maciej Zurawski (from Wisla Krakow) decided to move to Celtic. The 29 year old guy scored ca. 140 goals in Polish League, a few very important goals for national team (against England, Wales, Northern Ireland) and also against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in Champions’ League qualification. He spent two weeks in 2002 at Korea as World Cup player. He will join this summer Celtic for £2.2 million with ca. £10-15,000 per week as salary.

You know perfectly the next one – Grzegorz Rasiak who joined Derby County this winter.

I would like to stress there are a number of players in Poland who are young, very ambitious and hard-working. Their advantage is low cost and loyalty. Everybody remember Grodzisk – they have budget of £3.5 million per year but it does not mean there are poor players there.

As for other good targets, I would recommend striker Bartosz Slusarski (young and talented, fast and good header) – still at Groclin Grodzisk and midfielder – Ebi Smolarek (offensive player) – now at Borussia Dortmund.

One more remark – very good and young goalkeeper who can replace next year David James is Artur Boruc from Legia Warsaw.

P.S. Please. visit – Polish Man City site. You can find there English menu and some photos from my visit at COMS (game vs. Birmingham City).

Bart from Poland <bartosz_kurylo(at)>


A recent business trip took me over to Beijing – China. A mad experience in itself. Amazing place and steeped in culture and history etc. First visit so I really only had built up a ‘what to expect’ picture, via other people’s experiences, so therefore went with a pretty open mind. These places are never really believed until they are seen.

What I didn’t expect to happen was this:

In the middle of China’s capital, is an exhibition hall. One of 15 exhibition halls. Each hall the size of say, the Mini COMS. So when you’re on your feet all day long seeing clients and talking about pro-audio gear and what tours they’re on, blah blah blah they are bl**dy big these halls. The only respite being a cigarette in the 40 degree heat outside a hall entrance. Like I say, it’s work, you get the idea.

Until that is a young-ish Chinese lad comes up to me on our exhibition stand, and in very broken English, introduces himself as David. We have a kinda ‘difficult’ conversation about business – but I’m used to that by now, and having a Chinese grandma, I’m probably more suited to doing this, better than most!

It turns out that this guy had read the magazine I work for and noted that our offices are in England, and just per chance decided to come and find us at the exhibition. The thing is, this lad is a football fan. A huge football fan. And by pure coincidence a huge Manchester City fan. Gulp.

So here we are, to-ing and fro-ing with snippets of communication about our collective favourite subject. David or Wu Hongchuang to give him his Chinese name, refers to himself as ‘Chinese Sun Superfan’. Chinese Sun? Does sound like some Far-Eastern magical term. It’s Jihai Sun. The guy cannot contain his enthusiasm for our most ‘versatile’ player.

He tells me that Sun Jihai is so famous in China that his face has appeared on Coca Cola cans and as we heard on postage stamps. I tell him that he has been pretty sorely missed since the injury, but all is going well in terms of him recovering.

He tells me that City will do well under the coaching of Stuart Pearce. I tell him I bl**dy hope so! So, being a Blue, I suggest to David that if he met me at 1pm the following day, I would have some stuff for him.

So I met him, the next day with a couple of programmes and coincidentally the latest City mag, which had the pictorial breakdown of Sun’s career to date. Perfect! I carry stuff like this to read on planes ok?

I’m not kidding you, to see someone from a different cultural background, almost start crying with joy, was something to behold. I ain’t no softy either but it really was a warming feeling, given that something so simple for you and I to get hold of and take for granted would bring so much to a kid from a communist country was just, well, nice.

Obviously the internet has ‘smalled’ our world considerably, but there is something to be said for good old fashioned readables, although I sent him the link to Sun’s web pages from

There you go, a nice, heartwarming tale for the summer. I won’t however go into getting detained at Peking airport for 2 hours because of the non-likeness of me and my soddin’ passport photo.

Joel Perry – Far East Stander <j.perry(at)>


In reference to Donny Schreier’s (New Yorker) email, I am a Mancunian living in Florida. I have been here for 9 years now and still follow City passionately.

One thing I was excited about when I got to the States was getting a great City licence plate for my car. I ordered “MAN CITY” – how cool! Or so I thought. After getting many strange looks and sly comments from strangers (of which I couldn’t really figure out why) it suddenly clicked one day. I was pulling into a parking lot for a concert and the attendant was showing me where to park the car. At this point, he called his friend over, pointed to the front of my car, and they both started laughing! It was at this time that my totally heterosexual “MAN CITY” plate would have to be retired!

When I get round to it I think I will put MCFC UK on my car, but no one will really know what it means. For now I will have to make do with my window sticker, but at least that says Manchester City Football Club.

Also when I was visiting Manchester a while ago, I went to the club store and all I could find were shirts with MCFC or Man City. I ended up buying a 70’s retro shirt with the old classic logo on there; at least people know what shirt I’m wearing.

So to conclude, yes, our shirts should say Manchester City FC on there, then at least I won’t have to keep explaining who we are on this side of the world!

CTID, Steven Kersh – South Florida <Rudy502(at)>


I have a vague recollection of someone (Peter Brophy?) writing a brief explanation of the structured debt closer to when it was first issued (around MCIVTA 850), but couldn’t find the article, so I thought I’d add a rookie financial analyst’s 2p, having downloaded Man City’s most recent full-year financial statements from Ofex.

Chris Turner in his analysis notes that “the ‘net debt’ position that the club reports, incidentally, was £96 million at 31 May 2004, which basically represents the total borrowing of the club at that date”. While this is technically correct, £34.2 million of it is a finance lease, which – without going into the accounting intricacies – is essentially a prudent reporting of future obligations of the lease that the club have on the City of Manchester Stadium. To put it in an analogy, it’s a bit as if when you sign an agreement to rent your accommodation for the next two years you mentally add the total rent to your debt level so you’ll have a better picture of how much you owe other people. As far as debt as most people understand it (i.e. you borrow and have to pay it back) goes, as at the last financial year (FY) City owes the £62.2 million figure that is popularly reported.

Of this £62.2 million figure, £44 million is the structured notes facility arranged with the American investment bank Bear Stearns, in two tranches: the first £30.3 million being repayable over 25 years and the next £13.7 million being repayable over 15 years. The footnote disclosure accompanying the financial statements reports: “The notes will be repaid under a securitisation agreement serviced by future season ticket sales and matchday ticket sales”; in other words, what City fans spend on season and matchday tickets (much of the “so much more revenue” Andy mentions) goes directly towards repaying the principal and interest on this debt. The remaining £18.2 million of the debt is made up of a £7.7 million unsecured loan from John Wardle, a £4.5 million unsecured loan from David Makin (both these two appear to be at below-market interest rates), a £4.4 million unsecured loan, £1.4 million in other loans and £0.2 million in bank overdraft.

To start to answer the queries about whether and how much of the debt has been or can be paid down, I couldn’t find any evidence of the structured notes being callable; in other words, it differs from your average home loan in that if you win the lottery you can pay off your home loan but if City were to (touch wood!) sell SWP for £30 million, the noteholders wouldn’t want to be paid off quicker (prepayment means, among others, a reduction of the amount of interest earned over the life of the debt security), and our debt level going into next season would not be reduced to any less than roughly £42 million (silver lining: whatever doesn’t pay off debt can become transfer funds).

Over the course of the FY to May 2005, the club have had to pay off a total of £11.4 million of its debt. If this has been achieved, City’s debt should go down to £50.8 million in the FY to May 2005 financial statements. Whether this has been achieved – well, it would take a painfully detailed analysis to come to any reliable conclusion, but I reckon there’s a good chance that even if the funds from the sale of Anelka were fully applied towards paying off these immediate obligations, there would still be a shortfall, and, going by Chris’s cashflow analysis, one that the football business isn’t likely to have generated.

I don’t know if you’ll count it as a saving grace, but £4.6 million of the amount due in the FY to May 2005 is repayment of the loan extended by Wardle, and it looks possible that around £1.5 million of it, give or take an 0.1 or 0.2, is repayment of the loan extended by Makin. Or in other words, Wardle and Makin apparently want their money back (fair play, really), but as “friendly” creditors they are likely to want to accommodate the club as much as they can. Still, and without speculating on the financial positions of two men who have – it should be acknowledged – helped the club out, if I were Wardle I’d be listening to offers as well.

In conclusion – if anyone out there is still awake – from a financial point of view a securitisation such as this one City have got can be a good thing if it enables investment whose results are accretive and improve the overall financial standing of the club. It’s hard to say what would have happened without the facility (relegation? smaller crowds through the turnstiles?), but it does pain me somewhat to see the amortisation on player registrations and the losses on transfers. Nevertheless, the people who keep saying the debt is manageable do have a point: all things staying the same, the club shouldn’t be in imminent danger of going under.

Hopes that answers some of the questions. Would be delighted to read more experienced views. HK Bluey?

CTID! Hsien Min Toh <hsienmin(at)>


I know optimism is high amongst City fans on the back of last season’s final flourish under Psycho but I’d be wary of getting too giddy at the betting counter this summer because there’s not much value out there.

For example, the current best price of 5/2 on City finishing in the top six is extremely poor value, if only because the bookies hold your stake in their bank account collecting interest for nine months when you could be putting it to better use on a match-by-match basis.

However, there is one bet that looks great value for us all and it only takes nine weeks to settle – that’s the 18/1 Paddy Power are offering on the Blues to be top of the Premiership at the end of August.

When the fixtures came out last Thursday, I think we all concluded that the computer had been kind with our opening schedule and although there’s no such thing as easy opposition where City are concerned, I’m sure Psycho and the boys will be looking to build on the club’s record unbeaten Premiership run by getting off to a flyer.

Don’t hang about if you’re interested though because Paddy Power haven’t yet taken into account that United and Everton have already had to postpone their August 23 games against Wigan and West Ham (while Liverpool are almost guaranteed to re-schedule their game at Charlton) due to Champions’ League qualifying commitments. So those six clubs can only register a maximum of nine points in the opening month.

Meanwhile, with Chelsea and Arsenal coming head-to-head at Stamford Bridge on the weekend of August 20 that rules at least one of them (if not both) out of taking maximum points from their opening four games – so it’s fair to say we’ve got a terrific advantage over virtually half of the division.

Mike Holden <MikeHoldenMCFC(at)>


Does anyone know why the CityCard has gone up to £20 – what was it last year, about £13 or something? How can this be justified?

Imagine that in any other sector, you have to pay before you can buy anything. Nice work.

Andrew Goodman <andrew.Goodman(at)>


What memories that name provokes! Well, two to be precise, the first being journo Patrick Barclay proclaiming that getting Holden would be the key that would unlock winning the league for City. Not quite, Paddy 🙂 and secondly, his bizarre arm-whirling celebration when scoring a flukey winning goal against the might of Bristol Rovers away in the League Cup. How time flies!

Jeremy Poynton <j.poynton(at)>


In relation to Peter Carlisle’s tips for finding City news on Google (MCIVTA 1132), I was interested to note that if one types the word “city” into google, returns as the 2nd item on the results list! Unfortunately it was kept off the top-spot by City University London. I did this with – the worldwide site, but is the high ranking of Manchester’s football club (2nd) and Council (4th) the result of me working on a UK-networked computer?

Jon Pickstone <jonathan.pickstone(at)>


A couple of mates have pulled out at the last minute and are trying to re-coup the cost of the tickets (+ booking fee + postage). The tickets are general admission (pitch or level 1 seats). Call/email if interested 07968 581 491

Jon Fielding <jon.fielding(at)>


Can someone put my mind at rest – is it the case that we only get revenue from matches at the Blue Camp up to 36,000, and the council pockets the rest? If so, is the council roughly taking receipts from all those who get tickets for each match, rather than the season-ticket holders?

P.S. Great email on ‘Marketing Manchester’ and the badge from Donny Schreier.

Murray Withers <murraywithers(at)>


This year’s AGM will be held this coming Thursday, 30 June at 8pm at Great Brickhill Cricket Club. We would like to see as many members there as possible, so if you have nothing else planned, please come along.

Also, if there are any other City fans living in the Milton Keynes area, you are more than welcome to join us. Email me for directions.

Mads Hawkins <madeleine.hawkins(at)>


For Canadian based Blues, you may like to know that we have recently launched a new site:, which has replaced the site.

We have plenty of links, information and news on all the games worldwide and you find it of interest.

Walt Gomez <walter(at)>


Now that the Glazers are installed at the Swamp, does that mean that Man Ure are going to be a bigger pane than before?

Tony Moran <Tony.Moran(at)>

MCIVTA FAQ [v0405.02]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          :
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[2] What are MCIVTA’s publishing deadlines?

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[3] 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.

[4] What is the club’s official web site?

The official club web site can be found at

[5] 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” (

[6] Where can I find out about the fans’ committee?

The Fans’ Committee operates as an interface between supporters and the club. The Fans’ Committee has been relaunched as “Points of Blue”. It has appeared on the club website as a minor entry under “Fans Zone”.

[7] What match day broadcasts are available on the web?

The GMR pre and post match phone-in is available on the web at

Live match commentaries and archives of games, reports and interviews can be found 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. Useful sites for North American viewers are,, and

[9] 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

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

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

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[12] Where can I find match statistics?

Statistics for the current season are available from the club site, but for a more in-depth analysis try

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Try Wookie’s Lair:

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Newsletter #1133