Newsletter #1135

Boardroom dilemmas, finances and transfers are all on the agenda tonight. We also have opinion on European action, and advice on bringing up ‘baby’ Blues and the usual requests.

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


In answer to Andy Morris’ questions in latest edition re: David Bernstein/John Wardle:

For what it’s worth, my opinion of Bernstein as a chairman of the club was very high. He is an astute businessman, an accountant by qualification if memory serves me right, and was just the right calibre of person to go cap in hand to the City [of London] to wheel and deal and get the club’s debt structured as it is now. You really would have to know your financial onions, as it were, to consider securitised debt as he has done for us, and as a mere lender myself, I know only the basics of such structures.

Yes I was disappointed to see the relationship between him and the rest of the board break down, a power struggle if ever there was one, and we all know how and why that happened, and no need to regurgitate it.

John Wardle also has my utmost respect; as a local businessman in my home town, he grew his empire to a national sports store chain and also used his personal wealth to help secure the future of MCFC. A reluctant owner of the Chairman title he may be, but I do believe is receiving good financial advice from those around him.

To quote Andy Morris: “If John Wardle really isn’t interested in the day to day running, a phone call should be made to the man who showed that the running of a football club (on a part time basis) isn’t impossible, it just takes the right man.”

Then why please pray tell have both Wardle and Makin firstly resigned from the board of JD Sports and secondly – more recently sold their shares in the company, on the basis that they want to devote more time to running Manchester City FC. They can’t exactly take their directors’ loans out of City just now (unless they allowed some form of takeover) so the sale of their share in JD has realised them the cash they need either for personal reasons – or, let’s face it, to possibly invest some back into MCFC at a later date. I don’t believe either of them would go throwing good money after bad in a rush now though, lessons have been learned already over the last couple of seasons with that huge transfer kitty that they gave KK.

And finally, please, please, all of you read Ho Tsien Minh’s account of the club’s debt structure. Explained brilliantly.

We are not in danger of financial ruin! John Wardle has said this till he is literally blue in the face! The majority of City’s debt is long term securitised – like a mortgage, just like you and me have. You don’t all turn round and say: “ooh, I’m £100,000 in debt”! You simply admit to having a monthly commitment to your lender of X amount. And that is exactly what this means to City. There is nothing wrong with pulling the purse strings a little tight for a while considering just how much money has been frittered away on bad signings. It’s also a good test of SP’s transfer skills to see who he can bring in on little or no cash being new to the managerial rôle. Look at Bolton – they rarely pay transfer fees and just pay the wages and manage to link themselves to all calibre of international players, and sometimes get them to sign!

An example we should try and follow now and again. It’s definitely not a buyer’s market out there in the current climate.

Because the ground is held leasehold, we have managed to secure the debt based on long term income, the income that can be described as the most secure source – i.e. ticket sales/season tickets. If we average out say 25,000 season tickets per year, it is fairly easy for the club to borrow against these projected income figures and so not have to repay it all in one great lump sum. Of course the new international financial reporting standards require us to show all of our debt, however long it may take to repay.

Fairly easy to understand, even for the most non-financial brains I would have thought.

Back to Bernstein’s return to the club – I only wish that those bridges could be rebuilt and he could return to the board someday as our financial adviser, in any capacity.

P.S. For God’s sake please would the press (and especially Sky Sports) stop referring to SWP as “Ian Wright’s adopted – or step-son”… he’s his son and that’s that. My auntie is adopted, but I don’t refer to her as my ‘adopted auntie’. She’s my auntie. Always has been and always will be, and it’s the same in the case of SWP and his dad. I’m sure he doesn’t call him “step-dad”… just a small irritant! 🙂

Helen Hardman <hellsbells_mcfc2003(at)>


Having read the interesting analysis of our financial situation over the last few issues, I am very worried about the sale of SWP.

Firstly, with the majority of the debt unable to be paid off earlier, only a fraction of the money from the sale of SWP would actually go to the repayments (probably less than the prize money, TV money and European money we’ll get with him still in the side!).

Andy Morris mentioned the loans from the directors are the first to be paid off. So the directors will get all their money back in one hit if SWP is sold.

So there you have it – selling SWP has very little to do with reducing debt, and a whole lot to do with the directors getting their money back very quickly.

Paul Calder <pc_Sydney(at)>


Just a quick rant really. SWP is being told that to further his career, and to make him an England first team player, he should play Champions’ League football. Having done a bit of research, I came up with this list of players:

Defoe, Jenas, Dyer, Given, Downing, Robbie Keane, Paul Robinson, L. King, Carrick, Andy Reid and lots, lots more.

Why is no one saying to them that they should be playing Champions’ League football? The reason they are international players is not because of the Champions’ League, it’s because they are all top quality players playing regularly in the Premiership.

Let’s not forget Scott Parker, 12 months ago a real England international prospect and now look at him, going to the mess that is Newcastle to resurrect his career.

Not only that, but now Everton are in the Champions’ League, does that really mean that the likes of Gary Naysmith, Alan Stubbs, Steve Watson and Kevin Kilbane are instantly going to become better players? The obvious answer: no.

SWP is a world class player and will continue to be as long as he has regular first team football in the Premiership. He loves it at City and we love him. If the City board have any real ambition they will keep hold of SWP no matter what kind of money is thrown at them.

Free the Goat! David Springthorpe <SlothMCFC(at)>


I read on Teletext that Newcastle are getting a bye to R3 of League Cup as the organisers predict they will qualify for UEFA Cup by dint of doing well in the InterToto Cup.

Which begs the question: Why are City not in the Intertoto Cup? This is a legitimate tournament and would save the need for some of the pre-season friendlies, which will start around the same time. Some of the teams in the earlier rounds are exceedingly weak so surely we could put in ‘a blend of experience and youth’ (I love that cliché!) and get through to the UEFA Cup. And apart from which, if the Club knocked out the tickets at a tenner a pop maybe 20,000 or so might go along on a sunny summer Saturday? Revenue!

I read each week a lot of rumour about transfers. A few thoughts pop up:

Why oh why are we trying to buy a goalkeeper? We have got rid of two in the past few months and still have four good ones, if not more!

Surely all we need to buy, really, is a forward? The team looked fine at the end of last season… no, we will not win the League, but we must be looking at 6th, 7th, 8th. Consolidation, with a bid for UEFA Cup and a cup run, will surely be great? We have so many good young players, SP knows and respects them (they surely must love playing for such an international legend?!) and they showed during last year how good they all are.

Save the money! Trust in youth! And get a decent international striker, either on a Bosman or loan. Say a 29 or 30 year-old… a new Uwe Rösler, if you like!

Finally, Kevin Phillips. Only £1 million… could we not have managed that?

Have a good summer! Thanks by the way to all those who emailed me with help and advice on the selling of the season ticket issue. Gosh, it was a hard thing to do! I hope to attend occasionally and full-time again in a couple of years… meanwhile, may all your match reports be good and funny ones, and full of positives. The early fixtures bode well: anyone fancy 5 out of 5 in the Premiership (look at game 5…)?

Mike Bains <mikebains(at)>


I heard one of the directors of TNS on the radio when they had been drawn with Liverpool saying something along the lines of, “of course, we have had European football with Manchester City a couple of years ago but that is nothing compared to Liverpool”.

Absolutely right; City closed the season on a run which included beating Liverpool, so there is no comparison. And anyway, if they think Liverpool are so superior then they must be thinking they’ll ship more than the 8 goals we put past them!

Mark Stangroom <mstangroom(at)>


Stephen Phillips wonders how to get his son to become a City fan. I’m not sure about how to do it for the first child, but as a second son I know that once he has the first son indoctrinated the second will follow.

Why am I a Blue? Jealousy, pure and simple. I remember being very small and getting very angry over my elder brother getting taken to his first match, and in doing so I became a Blue.

I’m sure that my brother will remember it differently (and he’s a subscriber so will probably write in to correct me), but I recall that he was taken along with by my dad and one of my dad’s friend Russell so that Russell would be out of the way so that a surprise birthday party could be set up. I was promised that if I still wanted to go to a City match, I could go at the beginning of the next season.

I have no recollections of my actual first match, just of the overwhelming atmosphere on the short walk across from my house to Maine Road. I think it may have been 2-2 but the score didn’t matter; by then I was already a Blue.

Nikhil Gomes <ndg24(at)>


In reply to Stephen Phillips who wants some advice on how to bring his son up as a Blue. Well, we managed to succeed in bringing our two sons up as dyed-in-the-wool true Blues. They are now aged 36 & 30 and would never dream of following any other team. Our younger son is now bringing his 5 year old up the same way, which, so far so good, is succeeding.

We never allowed that other team or the ground to be mentioned in our house in their presence during their formative years. We took them to Maine Road as early as possible so that they knew that was the place to be. Believe me, Stephen, it isn’t difficult so long as you keep dressing him in blue and keep on talking about City all the time – as you probably do in the season. Make sure he recognises the badge as early as possible. Good luck, it isn’t too difficult!

Dot Keller <dot.keller(at)>


The piece called ‘Fatherly Advice’ in MCIVTA 1134 prompted me to tell the world about my daughter who was swapped at birth (at least I think that’s what happened).

All my family and my late husband’s family have always been Blue. So you can imagine how, when my daughter (at least I’ll call her my daughter for lack of proof) grew up being a Rag. Nothing I did or said would persuade her to change her mind, so I promptly disowned her (I couldn’t have anything related to that side of the City to cross the front door step).

She went on to produce 3 lovely grandchildren, Hayley, Daisy and Mason. Hayley who is now 8, took after her mother being of the Red persuasion until I volunteered to take her out every Sunday morning. We would go shopping and to garden centres and to the City shop, etc. I always made sure we spent quite a long time in the car. My mum also came with us and I used to sing all the Goat songs e.g. Feed the Goat and Hey, hey hey baby, I wanna knowowowowow will you feed the goat.

One day, after I’d returned the said granddaughter to her mother, I received an abusive phone call from her saying ‘I suppose you think you’re funny do you?’ to which I replied ‘why?’ Apparently, Hayley had decided she would teach her mum the ‘new’ songs she had learned that day, and wouldn’t stop singing them.

Last year in February, I had the great pleasure of getting married at COMS and my granddaughters were bridesmaids. When it was Hayley’s birthday in July, I asked what she wanted as a present to which her disgusted mother informed me she wanted a City shirt. She is now a Junior Blue and will not hear one bad word about our beloved team, and especially her idol, SWeeP.

My daughter has accepted this providing she can come to matches with me and she doesn’t have to take her herself. So, to Stephen Phillips, all you need to do is take your son out in the car and sing to him. It may start raining but you will have a Junior Blue.

What topped the season for me: my son-in-law is a Chelsea fan (always has been -he’s not a glory hunter) and the look on his face when we beat them was unforgettable.

Clare Watson <BluebearCTID(at)>


Stuart Pearce says he hopes to have one or two new signings by Thursday of this week. I would like to see Nathan Ellington (striker) from Wigan come to MCFC, and David Sommeil go to Wigan as a part exchange; almost a perfect deal. Also heard that Lua Lua is available; I am not impressed in getting him.

Rumours are that Steven Gerrard will leave Liverpool, the team to go for him are Chelsea (£30 million); if that happens then I would expect Chelsea to drop out of trying to get our superstar Shaun Wright-Phillips.

MCFC targets for next season:

  1. A top six finish
  2. A very good F A Cup run
  3. Win the Carling Cup

That should help bring down the MCFC debt.

P.S. Will the MCFC Official site please bring out the new season’s (2005/06) wallpaper/screen saver fixtures list similar to last season’s. Also come out with new wallpaper/ screen savers; they are all about leaving Maine Road, and the Goat.

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


From the desk of Richard Lane (MCIVTA 1134).

“I’m not embarrassed by Man City at all and have many shirts and T-shirts that say it on there. It’s just that with a T-shirt you can have the opportunity to explain whereas when you are in a car it’s a bit more difficult to stop and extol the virtues of being a City fan…”

I have to admit this had me scratching my head: embarrassed to be a City fan? I never even considered the possibility of being embarrassed about them, and wonder why it was necessary to state that you weren’t as if there is some sort of reason you should be. And then to justify your lack of embarrassment with the fact you have T-shirts with the words “Man City” on there. Did I miss a memo or something? When has wearing your colours or being a City fan ever come with a dose of guilt or embarrassment?

And in the unlikely occurance you won’t react poorly to this, why are you justifying the virtues of supporting City to anyone? The only people that wouldn’t understand before explanations are those who couldn’t give a t**s in the first place or Rag b*****d fans.

Nic Ranson <bluemanx(at)>


The AGM will be held on Thursday 7 July at 8pm at The Witch Inn, Sunte Avenue, Lindfield. Members / non-members / potential members are welcome. Please e-mail me if you need directions.

Rod Cummins <rod.Cummins(at)>


The AGM, and next meeting, for Denton OSC takes place on Monday 11th July, 8.45pm at Denton Con Club. All welcome as usual.

Heidi <editor(at)>

MCIVTA FAQ [v0405.02]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          :
News/rumour (Don Barrie)         :
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins):
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FAQ (David Warburton)            :

[2] What are MCIVTA’s publishing deadlines?

Deadlines for issues are nominally 6pm, Monday and Thursday evenings bu email. Unfortunately we cannot accept email attachments.

[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

[11] Can I buy shares in the club?

Yes you can: Shares in Manchester City PLC are traded on OFEX. The latest prices can be on found the OFEX web site (registration required) or in the business section of the Manchester Evening News.

[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

[13] Where can I find a list of City-related websites?

Try Wookie’s Lair:

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 #1135