Newsletter #1140

The continuing theme tonight is of course SWP’s departure, with the news surrounding that and plenty of opinion. We also look at the Cole signing, which is understandably generating a mixture of views.

Meanwhile, City’s pre-season friendlies continued as we moved from Cheshire to Thailand and we have match reports tonight thanks to Peter and Steve in Bangkok. On behalf of numerous Blues who’ve gone out there, a big thank you to Peter for all his news and information on this Thai tour, much more useful than the “official” channels.

We have some good opinions, and questions too, on the way forward and current situation.

Finally, tucked away at the bottom, is a request for Manhattan Blues who are gathering this weekend.

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


Next week’s news will be brought to you by Sarah Longshaw, as Don takes a break. You can send in your items, and rumours, to the regular <news(at)> address.

Finally, if anyone has any idea why recent editions of McV seem to be cutting off lines after 50 or so characters, please can they get in touch – I am flummoxed!



Swept Away

After weeks of speculation and rumour, Shaun Wright-Phillips has left City to join Chelsea. Events rattled along at a fair old pace, so let’s take this day by day, starting with Friday 15 July.

Friday: The club announce that Chelsea have made a bid for Shaun, but City reject the offer. The press speculate that the bid is between £18 million and £20 million. A club statement reads: “We have always stressed that we want Shaun to stay at Manchester City and Shaun himself has always been adamant that he is happy here as the club continue to build on the excellent progress made under the leadership of Stuart Pearce.” In the evening, SWP plays at Prenton Park in the friendly with Tranmere Rovers.

Saturday: Shaun doesn’t play in City’s second pre-season friendly against Macclesfield. He had to be taken home before the kick off at the Moss Rose ground. He felt unwell and after an examination by the club doctor was taken home. “Shaun complained of feeling unwell when he arrived at the ground,” explained club spokesman, Paul Tyrrell. “He was examined by the club doctor and had to be taken home so missing the game.” It is later announced that Shaun has asked for permission to speak to Chelsea – “Our chairman has spoken to Shaun on the way from the ground and Shaun has asked the club for permission to talk to Chelsea,” said Tyrell. “Shaun has expressed a desire for Manchester City to reach an agreement with Chelsea over his transfer.” Shaun’s phone call to Wardle left the Chairman “stunned” and it’s reported that Wright-Phillips was told he won’t be allowed to speak to Chelsea until a fee between the clubs has been agreed. The fear in the City camp is that Chelsea could reduce their bid as a result of the request. “What has happened today does not mean we will just cave in,” said Pearce. “The bottom line is we want the going rate for a player of Shaun Wright-Phillips’ ability. Whilst we are not in the position of keeping players who are unhappy, Shaun and his advisers need to be acutely aware we need to get our valuation for him. If we do not, he has rather a lengthy contract.”

Sunday: The club announces that it has reached agreement with Chelsea over the transfer fee for SWP. “As a result of Shaun’s request to speak to Chelsea we have conducted a series of complex negotiations with Chelsea,” explained communications chief, Paul Tyrrell. “A fee for Shaun’s transfer has been agreed and consequently we have granted his wish to talk to the other club.” Shaun is due to travel to West London on Monday to complete the deal. Stuart Pearce expresses some disappointment at the turn in events. “I know Shaun inside out and I am not cross with him – it’s a decision he’s come to with his advisers. I am a little bit frustrated with him but not annoyed. There will be an element of frustration among the fans if we lose Shaun but I think they’ll thank him, draw a line under it, get behind the team and move on. I know the pulling power of Chelsea but I am still disappointed because I know what he means to me and the supporters. If this happens I will have to re-ignite the players, get new faces in and move the team forward.”

Monday: The deal is done – Shaun Wright-Phillips signs for Chelsea in a £21 million deal. Interviewed in his new club’s shirt (that was hard to watch!), Shaun said “Chelsea are a club that are going somewhere and winning things – I just want to win a lot of medals and Chelsea are doing that at the moment and will do for a long time,” he said. “I just want to try and get some medals and be a regular part of the team. I want to play well for myself and for the fans, and for the coaching staff.” Wright-Phillips, who becomes the club’s second most expensive signing behind £24 million recruit Didier Drogba, has asked for squad number 24. He explained: “It’s the date my son was born. He loves football.” Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho comments: “He is one of the best players in England. He is young and he has space for development and he has the qualities that everyone is looking for in a modern footballer, he is quick, he is intelligent, he is creative, he can break by himself and shape the balance of the team.” SP, meanwhile paid tribute to Shaun while looking forward future purchases. “Shaun is an exceptional young man and an exceptional talent, and I called him up to wish him every success,” he said. “He’s welcome to call me for any reason. He could have gone on to become an established England international with us but his going, I believe, will make the squad stronger ultimately. I can bring in two or three new players who will strengthen us in a number of areas.”

Transfer News and Gossip

Very Old King Cole: City have spent most of the summer divesting themselves of ageing journeymen, so it was a great relief when the club made its first pre-season capture this week – Fulham’s Andy “Call Me Andrew” Cole, 34 years old in October. He comes to the COMS on a free transfer, on a two-year deal (The Daily Express claims that Cole is on 50% of his wages at Fulham, but has received a hefty pay-off from the London side). Two concerns might strike City fans about this signing – the player’s age and his earlier affiliation to Stretford Red Sox. Pearce has no concerns over Cole’s fitness: “Andy has played 100 games in the last three years and was sixth or seventh top goalscorer last season when Fulham struggled,” he said. “He has a top-class pedigree and I know our younger players can learn from him.” Of Cole’s former allegiance to the Dark Side, Psycho commented: “If the supporters see you put the shirt on and you played with pride and passion and put the effort in, they will buy into what you are trying to do and that is the same with Man City and any other club, and what you have done in the past is irrelevant.” Cole has flown out to Thailand to join up with the squad, and is expected to make his début against Everton on Saturday.

Filling the Gap: Dennis Tueart has confirmed that SP will be allowed to spend some of the Shaun Wright-Phillips transfer fee. Tueart revealed that the pursuit of “Call Me Andrew” was not affected by the Sweep windfall. And while some of that money will go towards clearing the club’s debts, Pearce can bank on being given further support in strengthening his squad. “Andy Cole wasn’t really affected by the Shaun Wright-Phillips situation because it was once Jon Macken had left that the manager identified that he needed a qualified Premiership goalscorer,” Tueart told BBC Radio 5Live. Tueart admitted that no-one at the COMS had wanted to see Shaun go, but insisted the club must now look to take something positive out of the move. He added: “When you lose one of your best players, initially there will be a little bit of a gap, but now the manager has to look at the balance of the team and improving other parts of it. Without question Stuart knows he has some money to go and spend in the transfer market, that was always the case anyway. We didn’t expect Shaun to go but obviously there are two things to come out of it; one is that it will put a little bit of finance back into the football club and the other is it will allow money to be released for Stuart to go out into the market. He has been looking around for a few months since towards the end of last season when we thought the budget would be very limited, now it opens up further options. I think it’s always exciting for fans when a manager goes out into the market and brings new players in because it gets them excited for the new season. The board and the chairman have said many times that we are still going forward as a football club and Stuart has the opportunity to go and recruit players that will help our cause.”

Forward Thinking: For some unknown reason, alleged City target Peter Crouch has opted to play in the Champions’ League – he joined Liverpool this week from Southampton in a £7 million deal. There are reports of MCFC interest in two other forwards, neither of whom is over a quarter century old. City are said to have expressed an interest in Crystal Palace’s England striker Andy Johnson and will wait to see how any potential bid from Seville, who are considering a move for the player, progresses before they act. Johnson, 24, has submitted a transfer request and publicly declared his desire to leave Palace despite the insistence of Simon Jordan, the chairman, that he will not sell the striker. Tottenham Hotspur have been the only team to make an official bid for Johnson, understood to be about £5 million, which was turned down. Failing that, Aston Villa’s Darius Vassell (25) is said to be another potential target – the Daily Mirror reckons the England international may be sold to subsidise a Villa moved for Barcelona forward Javier Saviola.

Nice in Nice: City have missed out on Nantes’ striker Mamadou Bagayoko, after the Mali striker opted to move to Nice. “Good clubs like Manchester City and Blackburn made me some propositions, but the price asked by Nantes was too high,” Bagayoko told France Football. “As the English League will not resume soon, the clubs were in no hurry. I didn’t want to wait. No Nantes officials showed me that they wanted me to stay,” he said. “It is true at Nice they really wanted me. I met the chairman, the sport director, and the coach who showed me an exciting project.” Bagayoko has not ruled out a future move to the Premiership, saying: “In some years I will try England, because you always have to have high aims. If I play in England one day, that will mean I achieved good things with Nice.”

General News

All Change! SP has been making changes to the rôles played by some of his coaching staff. Academy coaches Frankie Bunn and John Webb have been working with the first team squad. Speaking on the new look club website, SP explained that “We have had Frankie Bunn up with us from the Academy since the start of pre-season and he will stay with us until the weekend. We are having a look at him and it is an idea that I quite like bringing coaches from the Academy to join us for a period of time. It is a fresh face around the place and I have been quite impressed with Frankie Bunn when I have been at the Academy. He is enjoying himself with us and he fitted in well with us straight away. Juan Carlos Osorio is primarily the fitness coach and he is a very good one. We have had John Webb come here from the Academy to join him and supplement his fitness work,” added the manager. “I like breaking the squad down into small units on the training ground and I think sometimes the more coaches you have to give players that one to one advice then the better they become. I have no problems pitching Juan Carlos into that situation. It is just like having the adaptability in the squad we have it in the coaching set up as well.”

Ex-Blues’ News

Anelka to the Toon? The possibilities increase of Nicolas Anelka returning to English football after only half a year away. At least that’s what Newcastle manager Graeme Souness thinks anyway. “I know Nicolas is desperate to come here,” Souness said. “I’ve done a lot of checks on him and everyone is telling me he has got his head right. Last season was not great for him, but no-one can say that Nicolas Anelka is not a proven, top goalscorer.” Anelka’s stay in Turkey has not been the success he had hoped for after leaving City during January’s transfer window. Current club Fenerbahce insist Anelka is staying in Turkey, however. “No offer has been made to the player or ourselves,” said vice-president Nihat Ozdemir. “We didn’t buy him to sell him. We’re going to reach many big successes in Europe with Anelka. We constantly aim to improve our squad and therefore we won’t sell Anelka. Whatever the offer, we won’t let him go.”

Nic is a Cottager: City will definitely be facing one old boy next season, as former City full-back Niclas Jensen has sealed a return to the Premiership with a move to Fulham. The Danish left-back has signed a two-year contract with the Cottagers, joining for an undisclosed fee from Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund. After spending nine of his first 10 seasons at FC Copenhagen, interspersed by one short unsuccessful spell with PSV, Jensen joined City during the January transfer window in 2002. The 31-year-old played his part in helping them clinch a return to the top flight, and played for one more season before his switch to Dortmund. But the experienced defender now becomes Fulham boss Coleman’s fourth signing of the summer, following striker Heidar Helguson, goalkeeper Jaroslav Drobny and midfielder Ahmad Elrich.

Tandy Handy for Colchester? Colchester United boss Phil Parkinson has taken youngster Jamie Tandy on trial. Tandy, who was recently allowed to leave City, will be remembered for his involvement in the infamous Christmas party incident last year, which saw Tandy being struck in the eye by Joey Barton’s cigar. Parkinson is eager to add a natural wide man to his playing staff and has earmarked Tandy as a potential new recruit.

Reactions and Comments

Double Trouble: City began their pre-season build up with two games in as many days. Last Friday, City visited Prenton Park where an injury time goal by Steve Davies gave the home team the narrowest of victories. With most of the City press coverage focussing on SWP’s imminent departure, it was left to Tranmere boss Brain Little to sum up proceedings: “For most of the game we were having to work unbelievably hard. It’s a nice little bonus for us at the end but it’s not a major success for us. It was a completely different workout for us compared to what we’ve had which was the main thing.”
First Half Team: de Vlieger, Warrender, Thatcher, Sommeil, Dunne, Reyna, Sinclair, Hussein, Miller, B Wright-Phillips, Ireland.
Second Half Team: Schmeichel, Flood, Richards, Bermingham, Mills, Jordan, Distin, Barton, Croft, S Wright-Phillips, D’Laryea.

Next day, the tour of Cheshire took the City charabanc to Macclesfield, where a 1-1 draw was played out at a sweltering Moss Rose in front of an almost capacity crowd. City’s goal was scored by trialist Yasser Hussein with a simple tap-in. Macclesfield manager (and former City supremo) Brain Horton seemed pleased enough with his team. “It was a good draw and everyone enjoyed the game but it was about fitness really. They created a few chances in the first half after we had taken the lead with a super goal, created by Martin Bullock and brilliantly taken by Parkin. We’ve only been training for two weeks so to play against a Premier League side so early in the training was always going to be a bit of a test,” added Horton.

Brad’s Blunder: It’s hard to keep the Wright-Phillips boys out of the news this week – this time it’s Bradley making the back pages. It was his miss in the shoot out that allowed Ivan Campo of Bolton to score the winning penalty and send the Trotters into the Final of the Asia Trophy in Bangkok. City had taken the lead shortly before half-time when Joey Barton tucked away Trevor Sinclair’s cut-back. Bolton replied after the interval when Kevin Davies blasted home from Kevin Nolan’s cross. Sam Allardyce’s side face Thailand on Saturday, while City will face Everton in the third/fourth place play-off. Psycho was content with the kick about. “It was a good physical workout, and the main thing is that we’re injury free,” he said afterwards. “It was a decent performance, and I thought that Bradley coped really well. We saw Mikkel Bischoff out on the pitch for the first time in a long time, and he coped well. Trevor Sinclair also put in a really good effort.” Pearce praised the effort of BWP in playing as a lone striker all night, and refused to discourage his striker over the shot-out miss. “There’s no problem with Bradley, and I’m hardly in a position to criticise anyone when it comes to penalties! It’s very warm out there,” he continued. “To be honest the 60 minutes that some of the lads played was the equivalent of a full 90 minute match. Lads like D’Laryea, Richards and Bradley have never played in a stadium this size and in these conditions before, so it was a big step up.”

Squad News

Bad Back Means It’s Back to Carrington: Robbie Fowler has been joined City’s pre-season injury list, and did not travel to Bangkok this week. “Robbie has a slight back niggle, which is causing a touch of stiffness in his hamstrings,” explained the Gaffer. “It wouldn’t be common sense to drag him across to Asia on a plane for 14 hours.” Fowler joins Antoine Sibierski and Nedum Onouha on the treatment table back in England. Let’s hope it’s a big table. Fowler lost his seat on the plane, but may also have lost his squad number as well – idly watching the Sky TV highlights of the Bolton game yesterday, I noticed that Joey Barton appeared to be wearing the number 8 shirt as a squad number.

Don Barrie <news(at)>


Went to the first game last night of the FA Premier League Asia Trophy against Bolton. Unfortunately we lost on penalties but it didn’t detract from a great night out. You can read the match reports elsewhere – best one is at but here are a few random observations of my own.

The Day tickets, which range from about £27 down to £8, let you see both of the games, which kick-off at 5.45pm and 8.45pm. The temperature at 8pm was 34C and when I got home at midnight it was still 31C – the games stopped temporarily at about 15 minute intervals to allow the players to have a drink.

The Rajamangala Stadium, the national stadium, is very modern and surprisingly good. It’s fairly central Bangkok and located next to a large university complex – we got lost on the way though and didn’t move for 10 minutes at one traffic light. It’s a sports complex, I guess similar to our own, and next to the football stadium there’s the smaller indoor stadium, tennis courts and several small all-weather pitches. It was slightly unreal to be sitting on the grass outside the ground, eating Thai snacks in tropical temperatures, watching all these foreigners milling around in their team colours – Everton’s lot from the earlier game were mainly leaving and City and Bolton were arriving. There was a really laid back holiday atmosphere, everybody being very friendly and exchanging hello’s as they passed other fans. Have to be honest and say that I didn’t see many Bolton shirts but there were loads of holidaying City supporters – I even saw a few Thais in City shirts.

The stadium holds 65,000 and looked pretty empty inside but the reported attendance was 20,000. We (a friend who’s a Chelsea supporter and our wives, I thought I’d treat him to the game so he could see have the other half live) had tickets in the one stand with a roof, bought with the expectation of rain which never came, and were surrounded by Blues. The banter and the humour was excellent, a big thank you to the two shirtless Blues who sat behind us (one of you dropped your camera in the puddle) who had my party in stitches with your antics. I don’t think JJ Okocha will forget your p**s-taking in a while and we loved the “Uh-Ah Sun Jihai” chant (you had to be there).

The football was surprisingly good, lots of incidents, plenty of un-friendly challenges going on and played at a high pace. We played most of the night with a very young team and definitely had the first half but took a bit of a hammering straight after half time. 1-1 was probably a fair score but it was surprising that more chances weren’t converted.

De Vlieger played the whole game and looked very rusty. Dunne looked like he needs to lose a bit. Mills, Jordan, and BWP looked very fit already. Bischoff got a half and looked ok. Sinclair played wide right first half and Crofty played 2nd half; Sinclair was reasonable Crofty didn’t get much joy from Bolton (my money is on Trev to start the season is SWP’s spot). Willo played wide left 2nd half and got involved, Kiki 1st half and didn’t put much in to it. Great to see Sun Jihai back and getting stuck in. Of the established players probably Barton was the most noticeable. BWP was the player most up for it and really looked good. I particularly enjoyed seeing some of the youngsters I haven’t seen much of like Ireland, Bermingham and others and as to be expected they were up for it more than the old pros. Reyna had a half. Sommeil got on 2nd half. Eight substitutions were allowed and I kind of lost track of who came on for who but I reckon we used 7 subs. James and Distin were the noticeable players who stayed on the bench. Thought Stuart Pearce wasn’t at the game as there was none of his usual touchline antics but I spotted him 2nd half slumped back relaxing on the bench.

All in all an excellent night out, highlights for me were seeing so many Blues had made it, the wit and the antics of the boys around me and seeing our youngsters up close.

Now looking forward to the 3rd and 4th play-off against Everton at 5.45pm on Saturday. Everton have some decent support out here and the majority of Thai’s are wearing their colours, no doubt due to the local Beer Chang connection who is the main sponsor.

Starting XI: De Vlieger, Mills (R), Dunne (Captain) (R), Bischoff (R), Jordan, Sinclair (R), Barton, Reyna (R), Ireland (R), Musampa (R), Wright- Phillips. Replacements (R): Bermingham, Croft, Flood, De Laryea, Jihai Sun, Sommeil and Micah Richards.

Peter Carlisle <Peter(at)>


Bangkok Match Live – Summary

This was to be my first live match for 24 years. Where do the years go?

Having flown to Bangkok on Tuesday from Sri Lanka and made tentative arrangements to meet in The Dubliner pre-match, it was a pleasant surprise to find around 20 Blues already in the Pub and talking over old times. Paul and Jenny from New York, backpacking around Africa and Asia, guys from Saudi, Singapore and Steven from Bangkok who had suggested the meeting place.

Finally we had to make a move to the ground, which is an hour’s drive from central Bangkok by Taxi. Ticket bought from a tout outside the ground for a discounted price.

Inside and the second half of Everton vs. Thailand had just kicked off. Thailand the better team and deserved to win on penalties.

The City team came out and stood by the running track and watched the second half. No sign of SP. Was he here or away signing a striker?

No programmes available so it was spot the City team when they came out. Line up: De Vlieger in goal; back 4 of Mills, Dunne, Bischoff, Jordan; midfield 5 of Sinclair, Ireland, Reyna, Barton, Musampa; up front was BWP.

To be honest at the start City looked organised and created a couple of chances. Bolton were creating problems using the long ball into the box and exposing the missing height of Distin. The goal was well created by BWP and put away by Barton to give a well deserved lead at half time.

The second half was a disappointment. City made far too many changes and SP can only have been using this as a practice game rather than trying to win the match. At the finish only Barton, Jordan, BWP and the ‘keeper were out of the original 11 who started. Difficult to remember who came on, but it included Flood, Sommeil, Sun, Bermingham, D’Laryea, and Croft.

Bolton made far fewer changes and seemed more intent on winning than City. It was amazing that someone like Campo lasted the full 90 minutes and was influential in midfield for Bolton when the young lads seemed to be struggling. Experience tells and this could be a problem for City this season if they try to blood to many youngsters.

So to the farce of the penalty shootout and BWP ballooned the ball high into the night sky. Game over.

So to Saturday and Everton. Another game of many subs no doubt.

It is difficult to estimate how many City fans were present. At a guess I would say around 1,000. What did disturb me was the group who were congregated behind where the City players were watching the Everton match. Mindless chanting about Andy Cole was not what was needed. If this minority were so anti-Cole then I pity his reception at COMS.

SP was at the match but took very much a back seat. No animated running up and down the touchline, more a sit in your seat Keegan type approach. Bit disappointed. Was expecting more from the fellow.

Steven Davies <sgdavies(at)>


First and foremost – I am devastated at the loss of Shaun. Primarily because if we believe what we have been told, a player who we nurtured and brought up through our academy, and gave the opportunity to play Premiership football, has jumped ship at the first opportunity. It is sad to think that whilst we always thought Shaun was different, he’s turned out to be no different to Rooney, Parker, et al. Another ‘professional’ who’s left the club he had made his name at, to join one further up the Premiership ladder. Watching and listening since his move, it is even more heartbreaking to see the lad not make one mention of his time at City, or thank the fans for cheering, no roaring him on week in and week out. As they say, break a leg Shaun.

So what does the future hold for us? Well in typical City style, we’re left with more uncertainty than ever. Our squad is tiny, and with the season fast approaching it is going to take some seriously clever business if we are to start the season with a squad capable of challenging the top six as opposed to the bottom four. I am optimistic about a few things. Firstly Stephen Ireland and Lee Croft. Both of them have looked sharp in pre-season, and hopefully they will get a chance to play alongside the senior players (all five of them) in Thailand. I know I’m letting my heart rule my head, but Shaun is irreplaceable – so rather than buying someone who will never fill his boots, I want Pearce to give the rôle to Crofty. Barton got his chance and took it with both hands, and I have a feeling if we were to give Croft that same chance, he would do the same thing. Stephen Ireland looks to me to be in exactly the same mould as Scott Parker. A cultured, strong, attack minded midfield player. His range of passing is fantastic, as is his vision and accuracy. I believe he is already pushing Reyna for that midfield playmaker’s rôle. Come on lads – give us something homegrown to cheer about next season.

The club now finds itself in a strange position. We’ve just about established ourselves as a Premiership club. We now have a new manager about to start his first full season in charge, who has cleared a lot of the dead wood around the place – however, the fans are at their wits’ ends. We have systematically sold our best attacking players over the last year. We have not replaced any of them – and the same day that the heartbeat of the club is sold, we are told that we’re buying an over the hill ex-Rag, who is notorious for being unpopular amongst fans and players alike.

Hmm, now who’s idea of good PR was that? As City fans we expect a certain amount of heartache every season, but this year has been particularly bad. It is imperative that the board and Pearce show some skills in the transfer market, and some ambition in their spending, otherwise it will only take a few bad results for COMS to start feeling like a graveyard. I don’t mean to be a doom merchant but I’m just pointing out that we are a notoriously volatile bunch at the best of times, and these are not the best of times – they are close to the worst.

Of the finances – it is high time that Macintosh, Wardle, and Makin, stood in front of the fans and explained honestly what the club’s financial situation is, what our long term prospects are of investment in the squad, and what plan they are following to make sure that we are never relegated from the Premiership again. I had an accountant friend of mine explain last year’s financial report to me – and in essence we made a profit of around £6 million, which covered the interest/loan repayment we needed to make. By my reckoning, finishing higher this year, selling Anelka, SWP, Macken, and Wanchope, and releasing McMinimum, Bosvelt, and several other fringe players, surely will leave us with a hefty amount of money. Why is it every time I think about this, I can’t help but think it’s deluded to think the money will be invested back in the playing staff? More likely it will be pocketed by the board. Come on City, prove me wrong and spend well and spend wisely.

With a month to go until the new season, I’ve resolved to turn off Sky Sports and stop reading the newspapers. I have also resolved to stop thinking about City quite so much – because – well, let’s just say, I have a theory about asset stripping, big business, and the £21 million. It’s not pretty, and if City stay true to form, it won’t be wide of the mark either…

God’s own club? Well, if that is the case, it was certainly sent to try us…

[Some excellent points there Ahsan, and questions on people’s minds that deserve answers – Ed]

Ahsan Naeem <ahsann(at)>


Well SWP is gone, end of story. I have ranted and raved over the weekend but it is done. I felt we could challenge for the 4th Champions’ League place and win the League Cup again after 30 years (30!). For SWP I honestly think he has moved a year too soon for himself. 38 league games for a possibly successful City side would have nearly guaranteed him a place in England’s World Cup team and either a transfer to Chelsea for £35 million or play in the Champions’ League for City (win/win position for City).

Anyway, we move on. Andy Cole, well we will see. To challenge for anything we need 4 forwards so Fowler, Cole, BWP and one other purchase is necessary as you will always have one injured. Be interesting to see who else we do get.

In terms of our finances/debt, a few things. Anelka payment – was the money owed on him, and since received I think, in the accounts? If we have £44 million securitised loan, does that mean the capital is chipped away at every year, i.e. we don’t have a mega endowment policy that pays off £44 million in 20 years’ time? If you look at Sky Sports News, you see the list of players who have left – it is fairly easy to calculate that we are saving over £5 million or more a year in wages and the money we received for Macken and Negouai £1/2m-£3/4m? Taking out whatever we have to give/pay wages for Cole, we will have £3 million in wages sitting there before we touch SWP’s money.

In addition to helping our finances, let’s finish in the top 6 and win a trophy. This season could be important to give our youngsters another year’s experience in a successful team with a manager who viewed our cup performances as unacceptable (bl**dy right!), with effectively 2 new signings in Sun Jihai and Sinclair back in contention. It will be good to show what can be done with a successful youth policy blended with the right experience (Andy Cole???) rather than having to buy the world – Chelsea – or a load of old Bosmans – Bolton.

Finally, for our younger readers, read a detailed history of Man City and you will see the ups and downs (you probably have experienced too many in the last 10 years!) throughout our history and you will recognise that we could face a massive up now!

CTID, Mark Ballentine <mark.ballentine(at)>


The Chinese have a saying: “All things shall pass” – Only it is said in Chinese (alright, Mandarin for you pedants). It is analagous to “The King is dead, long live the King”

We will move on from the sad sale of SWP but a short grieving process is in order, especially at present as we see the newspapers show SWP being interviewed on Chelsea TV, SWP parading his new blue shirt, opinions from his dad, the fact that Jose texted him “Hi Shaun it Jose – Do you want the number 7 shirt?”, Wenger’s lament and the final turn of the stanley knife as it twists into our kidneys: we see “Don’t worry City fans – Pearce is interested in Andy Cole”.

It feels like being a teenager/20-something again being dumped by Angelina Jolie who has announced she is going out with new boy Walter (prince of the softies from Beano fame) and they are now seen as an item at the school disco/local pub/cinema/basically everywhere public in your postocde; but as a consolation prize Claire Short is giving you the ‘glad eye’.

It feels cathartic getting this down on paper and easier to move on. There are more important things in life. I am about to become an uncle and when we consider 30,000 people die every day in Africa, we begin to understand this argument and indeed football is so trivial in comparison,

Some may want an element of payback on SWP/Chelsea. Hopefully not but what goes around comes around and I suspect that Mr Abramovich is not of a philanthropic persuasion and I venture that not all his business deals may have passed the Persil test. Someone, one day may want to come and settle a deal, one dark night. No one gets to own 20% of Russia’s GDP by being a nice guy.

He may decide that football is not as entertaining after all when after another 6-0 home thrashing, his newly assembled Harlem Globetrotters of SW6 may become a tad boring and he may seek a new challenge. Moscow Dynamos, Sparta Prague, Manchester Storm.

His wife may decide that she wants to spend Saturday afternoons (Sundays at 4pm) shopping on the Kings Road and Mr A may decide to discard his interest in Chelsea and withdraw, leaving the players available in a “fire sale”. He may even buy the Kings Road.

We’ve seen empires crumble: Rome, Greek, Egyptian, British and of course Stretford as they contemplate £60 million per annum Interest payments.

Looking at SWP from a purely a dispassionate accountants perspective:

Revenue (Transfer Sale)                         £21million
Purchase Cost (Cost of Sales from Forest)       £0
Gross Profit                                    £21 million

All things shall pass.

Anyone who has tried to quit smoking will tell you how difficult it is as the chemical addiction occupies your every waking thought and the one area of success is to replace the negative with a positive (e.g. exercise, reading positive books).

And so we must turn to positives:

  • Bradley WP (better than Shaun in the long run)
  • Willo the Wisp (time will tell)
  • Joey Barton (more to come)
  • Lee Croft (can’t wait to see him fly)
  • Sylvain Distin (mean defence 1)
  • Richard Dunne (mean defence 2)
  • Sun Jihai (back in training)
  • David James (13 clean sheets)
  • Bob “Musampa” Marley (another 12 months on the left)

More to come from Jim Cassell and Co.

Let’s not forget when we beat the Champions’ League holders we finished the game with 5 Academy players on the pitch.

The future is a bright blue.

Phil Lines <philipjlines(at)>


It’s a little late but here are some of my opinions about the past season, recent events and next season.

Last Season

Well last season was a fairly average season (if such a thing could be said about City). We were plodding along not looking to get relegated and not looking towards the English Channel to see what other teams play across it. Anelka obviously leaving in January; I honestly couldn’t see him lasting until the cows came home. Then, like a bolt out of the blue, Keegan left. Like a train hurtling towards you from 50 miles away with horn that could wake the dead on Mars, nobody could see that one coming could they (see the proverbial cows above)?!? Then Stuart Pearce taking over the position with that typical City boardroom enthusiasm of well he might get the job or he might not, we don’t know we’re not saying anything, I’ll have to see if our magic 8 ball says what we should say, then we’ll let you know, but will we? I don’t (twenty minutes later) sorry what was the question? A position some at the club like at the moment (see the recent events section below); when he finally did get the job after steering us to the point of near European qualification before that Middlesbrough game (arrgh curse ye, next time Boro next time), it was greeted with much enthusiasm from City fans as we seem to have a manager, although untested, that has the cojones to be able to take us in the right direction. We suddenly gained a team spirit that got lost somewhere in Moss Side and finally we could look forward to a new season, confident that we can go ahead a make something of ourselves. We have a defence who can defend (note to City: don’t sell Distin to Villa, that would be mistake number two, see below), we have a midfield that can feed up to the front after eating from the back, but after that it seems to get a little hazy (see the Preview section). Some players have now gone: Bosvelt, McManaman (I wish that one was better) and Macken of note but will their vacant positions be filled…

Recent Events

We’ll what else would this section be about? In some ways it was kind of obvious it was going to happen, but I really wish that it didn’t. Chelsea the ‘massive’ club have the money; if they didn’t,mid-table would be their home, and they can pretty much buy anything these days. A word of advice though: it won’t last; you can’t have too much of a good thing now can you? But SWP has gone and upped sticks and gone to join the billionaires of St Petersburg of London, which doesn’t make me the happy bunny. If he was going to go anywhere then Arsenal wouldn’t have been all that bad. His boyhood team, they’ve just sold Vieira, would have made sense to me, but to join Chelsea I get the feeling he’s going to become Scott Parker mk2, yes Jose Mourino has ‘bigged’ him up but that’s obvious; he could have signed Luther Blisset and he would have done the same, but I still get the feeling that it’s a Chelsea tactic to identify players that they see as a threat to them and try to sign them so as not to derail their plans, which is crude but is business, but at the same time it’s people they are dealing with, not inanimate objects, so in most ways it’s quite cruel of them to do that. I hope that Karma is served on that one. But to surmise I hope that he has a good run and it would be nice if he had a similar ‘Gentleman’s Agreement’ that Robbie Savage had in his contract when he signed for Blackburn from Birmingham, at least for this season, I for one am sick of that sell-a-player-to-another-club-and-watch-them-come-back-to-haunt-us thing. Some positives to come out of the whole episode though is that it shows the above and beyond the call of duty excellent work that our academy have done to nurture players to a standard that they can command a £20-odd million price tag, especially in the fairly stagnant market we have these days. I just hope that it doesn’t become a trait of ours, but I suppose that’s what the coming season(s) will be for, to judge our approach to the game and show our real intentions. And although it looks like we’ve lost our generation’s Colin Bell, let’s hope he does a Denis Law (back heel, now that would be sweet, or would that be SWeeP?).

Other events recently among the SWP episode has been the signing of a former Swamp Stomper Andy Cole. I can’t see that much of a logic in that one but I’ll have to hold judgment on that one until the season’s underway. As a fellow contributor pointed out, look what we thought when Schmeichel signed. So we’ve probably got some money to spend now but who else should SP spend some of that money on? There have been rumours of Kanoute, which would be ok; he’s quite tricky and puts me in mind of Wanchope at times but with less ice, or his fellow team-mate Robbie Keane, which I personally would welcome; he’s a quick player and very tricky and would fit into our style of play very nicely, the pace we need to suit the tricky style of his namesake Fowler up front would be a good acquisition. But what kind of money will we have to spend? Well I could more than likely see it being a 50/50 or 60/40 (debts favour) of a transfer kitty to help us find some more players to add to the mix, so that could be about £8-10 million to spend, I think that Cole wasn’t that much so we’ve still got a sizable fund. I just hope we get our money’s worth out of whoever we decide to bring to this rollercoaster of football club we all love.

Season Preview

What, you’re kidding me right? How can anyone predic what City are going to do in any given moment, let alone an entire season? Buckle up, get in the chicken balti pies and prepare for another typical City season.

A contributor pointed out the website problems that they’ve had; I’ve had it as well. I was going to buy the new away kit until it came up with a different shipping address for someone in Southampton, so I thought erm maybe not, I’ll go and nip down to my local JJB in Edinburgh, and thanked my lucky stars that I didn’t buy it; the design is good but the quality is, well, not for the family orientated audience.

I also heard that those geographical cousins we never speak of, those of the Red persuasion are going to be sponsored by Auto-Windscreens next season, well they have got the Glaziers in charge.

Quote of the Month

“My magic words at half-time were f***, b*******, b******, cr@p and p***- poor” – Sunderland boss Mick McCarthy reveals his inspiring team-talk away at QPR.

Gareth Croke <garethcroke(at)>


The introduction of Andy Cole as a City player straight away after SWP’s departure was not the best timing. But it was not MCFC who were really at fault; the Andy Cole deal was already in process when SWP had his turn around about leaving City.

I have to look at the brighter side of Andy Cole joining City; he will be a good squad player, his experience will help Bradley and any other younger players, he comes to City on a free transfer and a 50% cut in pay. The way the Rags let Andy Cole go, maybe he would like to get his revenge on them, so I will support Andy Cole: good luck!

City still need to sign a first class striker. Several names will go into the hat, including Robbie Keane, who has a goalscoring ratio of one in every three games, and holds the record with most goals scored for Ireland. He is a couple of years younger than Kanoute who has a record of scoring one in every four games, so Keane gets my nod over Kanoute.

Andy Johnson wants Premier League football, and has been noticed by Sven to have been selected for England. Peter Crouch also selected for England, but Andy Johnson gets my nod over Crouch; he has the pace needed up front with either Fowler or Cole.

I still have my faith in Stuart Pearce and will support his decision. I guess my remarks in the last edition of McV were a little hasty about a donkey, but at the time I felt it warranted because of the timing after SWP’s departure; now we get the whole picture not told to us before.

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


In response to some of the recent comments about the website – the new one is being provided by TWI Interactive who do the official website for Wimbledon (the tennis, not AFC) and did the website for the Open golf at St Andrews last week amongst numerous other high profile sites. They also do the website for some shower called Manchester United, who are a football team apparently.

They are quite big on technology to send video to mobile phones judging by their Wimbledon coverage, which seemed quite good. We shall have to wait and see what our new site holds.

The announcement of the contract is here if anyone is interested: Interestingly it says the first phase will go live in July; we shouldn’t have too long to wait.

Nick Evans <evansn(at)>


Some of the comments made about the SWeeP departure to Chelsea astound me, especially Neil Haigh’s comment, “and I think MCFC are trying to pull a ‘fast one’ on us too. I love Shaun, and simply don’t believe the way this move is being presented to us,” For what reason and to what end does he believe MCFC are pulling a fast one? SWeeP was an employee of the club, and another club made a bid, he probably spoke to his agent and father on Friday night and then decided to go, so in the end he found another club that wanted to sign him and he wanted to join, just like working people do with jobs.

As an ex-employee of a Premiership football club, I think some fans need to get into perspective what players feel about the clubs they play for; 90% just like working people couldn’t give a monkey’s about you, they don’t care and never will and why should they? Yes, we pay their wages but it could also be said we pay the police’s wages and are they bothered about us? No.

The board did well to get an astronomical £21 million for him, which is fantastic business. SWeeP leaving will not make us relegation fodder, nor will it make us top 4 material. I think we have to be realistic; we are now just a team on the Spurs/Villa level. To break into the top 6 costs money, we’ve got none so buying players like Andy Cole on a 2 year deal free transfers (and he’s not been signed to replace SWeeP like so many people think) is also good business, so also, before slagging him off, give him a few games eh?

Also people on phone-in and message boards and also this newsletter seem to be getting glittery about Stuart Pearce; can we please also give the bloke a chance? He’s managed us for 8 games and seems to have a clue about tactics and formations; let’s not ruin what could become one of the best managers in City’s history given time.

Barry Thompson <Barry.Thompson(at)>


The fallout from the recent departure of SWP has left an empty feeling inside. It kills and hurts to see him wearing their colours but hey, life must go on and City must go on and the financial legacy (no matter what your opinion of the final transfer fee is) will benefit the club in the coming months, if not years.

He was a very special player and I feel lucky to have watched him develop as a player over the last few years. To think I used to think he was lightweight and couldn’t finish – he’s really maturing and I have no doubt that he’ll continue to improve at Chelski.

Some of what I’ve read on MCIVTA has surprised me – I mean we all know that in terms of attitude, effort and professionalism there are few to touch SWP. Can we really begrudge SWP the opportunities that Chelsea will provide? In terms of financial clout and squad quality they are the biggest and best in the Premiership and unless Bill Gates buys a Premier League club they should continue to dominate almost as U****d have done. I am in no doubt he will make a success of his time at Chelski when other players have gone out of the door. Yes, he won’t have it all his way but he will provide qualities that players like Duff and Robben don’t have and I’m sure that will stand him in good stead.

My only disappointment is how things developed over the weekend. The apparent sudden U-turn from SWP was a surprise and I felt City could have held out for a little more – after all he was under contract and we did say he wasn’t for sale. Yes he expressed a desire to talk to Chelski but £1 million extra from Friday’s offer?

I just hope Pearcy manages to put the money to good use – I’m not fussed like some about the Andy Cole situation – he deserves a fair crack, it’s not like we’ve used a chunk of the money on him is it?!

As for next season, who knows and don’t get me on about transfer fees, players’ wages and Chelsea spending a quarter of a billion pounds inside 2 years – please!

Oh and one final note: I wholeheartedly agree with people’s recent opinions about City having their full name on the badge – identity is a big thing in the global game – make the change City please.

Graham Keller <gkmcfc(at)>


The somewhat hysterical comments in MCIVTA 1139 from those who are “sickened” and “disgusted” over the sale of Shaun Wright-Phillips have shaken me out of my lethargy and prompted me to write for the first time in a while. I’m all for a bit of healthy criticism but, to judge by some of the reactions, the sky is falling and the City board are to blame.

If you lot are that fed up with the SWP sale, the Cole purchase, KK’s legacy, the service at the bar or even the club website revamp, why don’t you throw a hissy fit, sever your ties with MCFC and go setup FC City in the North West Counties League Second Division? I believe there is a precedent for such an action.

Yes, it’s bad news that SWP’s gone but I think a reality check is required. First and foremost, he was always going to become ‘Shaun of the Shed’ if Chelsea really wanted him. Eastlands will be a less exciting place for his absence but we will have our memories until the next star emerges. The team will be poorer initially but we have two good prospects in his position to help ease the transition and the team should actually have a better balance now. Our debt is much less of a dangerous size and there is less chance of us becoming the next Leeds United. Face facts, we got a good deal for Shaun – £21 million is a lot of money for a young player unproven at international level and £25 million was always an unrealistic target unless we could spark a bidding war. Andy Cole is not a replacement for SWP; he’s a replacement for and an improvement on Macken. Pearce is not stupid; he will also sign a decent international-class striker with some of the new-found cash. The Cole signing is good business for the club in another way since it shows we have a backup plan and are not desperate to sign an expensive mistake, i.e. Peter Crouch. Finally, the club is still moving in the right direction (upwards!) despite this inevitable hiccup.

We probably won’t win anything until a few years after Chelsea’s distortion of the football market resolves itself but that’s life right now. The wheel will turn eventually but, if you can’t face today’s realities in the Premiership, go to the cinema for some escapism instead.

James Nash <J.Nash(at)>


At least Paul Hince and the rest of the (whatevers) at the MuEN will be pleased we have finally sold SWP for whatever reason. How we City fans should have the temerity to want City to have decent players is beyond them. Lets make it hot for any reporters from this reprehensible rag at Eastlands this season. For they agitated all summer for us to sell SWP.

Tony Morehead <tonymorehead(at)>


Like many I was disappointed to see SWP go, and like many once we had turned down £20 million thought that we hang on for nearer £25 million. Then I got to thinking what if we held out for £25 million, that would have presumably been paid in instalments, or went back to Chelsea and said £21 million cash up front (probably the only club in the world in a position to do it). I’m not an accountant so won’t even try to work it out (I’m sure some of our clever readers who explained the debt scenario can), but on the face of it that would make financial sense. £21 million in the bank, or some other sums over a period of time. It may not even be the whole 21 but something that would give us the money sooner rather than later. Hence Chelsea don’t pay £25 million but we get the benefit as if they did. To support this it was reported on the club site that some “very complex” negotiations took place. I don’t think direct comparisons can be made between £21 million and £25 million, there’s a whole lot more to it.

Dave Kilroy <dave.kilroy(at)>


So, it is clear that SWP has decided to follow the money. Not surprisingly, monetary greed has got the better of him/and, his “advisors”.

City sold his services too cheaply – £25 million should have been closer to the mark. Since this was not achieved, this could be Wardle’s gravest error and, ultimately, the beginning of his demise.

Andy Cole: clearly, a proposed signing designed mainly to bring on the youngsters. Give the manager the benefit of the doubt on this one, at this early stage – stop the whining.

So, now forget about SWP and concentrate on the future – just let it go. A new season beckons – time to stop this negativity and to move on.

Graham <ride4311(at)>


It’s been a while since I contributed, but thought I’d put my tupenneth worth into the SWP debate.

I can’t blame Shaunie for taking the chance on what’s on offer at Stamford bridge, the lure of trophies (well come on, in all honesty more chance than we’ve got), the chance to be coached by Mourhino (no offence Mr P), surrounded by established internationals on the training pitch, nearer Erickson to impress him for an England place, plus the hike in salary, you can’t blame the guy – thanks Shaunie and good luck.

I don’t care what anyone says, the club couldn’t afford to turn down £21 million – now here’s the crux: if we didn’t owe “£60 million” we wouldn’t have had to sell him! So where does the fault lay (won’t say blame)? I think the board need to look inward at themselves and think long and hard about the future. And with the money that’s come in since the end of last season, I hope the club can still get players in and pay off a chunk of the debt.

  • £21m SWP
  • £1m Macken
  • £1m Negouni
  • £2m Anelka
  • £4m Prize money
  • £10m (conservative estimate) Season tickets

That totals £39 million. If the board can’t afford to run to club, pay off some of the debt and fund some transfers, we may have more troubles than thought.

Look on the bright side: Croft did a useful job in Shaunie’s absence so hopefully he can continue the good work on the right.

Martin Ford <>


I feel I have to write this after feeling physically sick at all the “I hope SWP does really well at Chelsea” in the last issue. Well football is all about opinion and I think it stinks.

I can understand why he would want to move:

  • Live in London near his family/friends
  • The money (don’t tell me he wasn’t tempted by the, at least, doubling ofhis wages)
  • =The medals, trophies

All good reasons. What I can’t take is the lying. Why spend all summer saying “I’m happy at City” and “I’ve no interest in moving” (right up to the Saturday this was going on). Then “I want to talk to Chelsea”! Why not be honest? I think the City fans and the club deserved more from him. He was going nowhere when we took him on. Forest had released him and we gave him the chance. He should have been upfront about it. Even “I’d like to be competing for medals and honours and would consider moving if the opportunity arose” would have lessened the blow.

What it comes down to this, he’s no different from Shrek, Gerrard and all the other greedy, lying modern day mercenaries (yeah I believe Gerrard stayed because he love Liverpool and not for the £125,000 per week, right!).

So for everyone who will be cheering him on when we play Chelski, let’s hope you remember that when the inevitable happens and he scores the winner and celebrates in front of the Chelsea fans. I personally hope he rots in the reserves like Parker (or Jeffers at Arsenal). I won’t be cheering him and I hope his career comes to a screeching halt. Face it, with Cole, Duff and Robben he’s going to be spending a lot of time on the bench. That’ll do his England chances loads of good, because as I recall he was already in the England squad when he was playing regularly for us! In fact wasn’t Parker in the squad a few years back? And Jeffers for that matter? Let’s hope history repeats itself.

Shaun, you weren’t even big enough to be honest with the fans who worshipped you. You’re a disgrace.

Gary King <gary.king(at)>


The “controversy” over the SWP move to Chelsea is getting a little tiresome. Once Shaun decided that he wished to go, we had no choice but to negotiate a deal and his father’s mutterings over the last few months must have been instrumental in Shaun reaching his decision, but who can blame him? Yes he was worshipped at City, and yes he may have gone on to be the next Colin Bell, but look at it a different way. The lad is only 23 and he carried a world of expectation on his shoulders. Now he gets the chance to play his football without having to shoulder the whole responsibility if things don’t go well. Added to that, he has just tripled his wages; which one of us would move jobs for that kind of pay rise with less responsibility, no matter how much we love our current employers? Shaun will now be competing against Robben and Cole for a place in the side and I think that he will do well. Good Luck Shaun.

For me, part of the reason he was so popular was the fact that he embodies City. He was always a bit of an underdog and when he could make it personally and began carrying the team, we felt that it showed that we as a club could compete with the big boys against the odds.

£21 million is a lot of money. If Shaun hadn’t gone then we would probably have lost Willo Flood and Lee Croft over the next year for a pittance, which would have been a lot more galling. I only hope his move doesn’t now give Bradley itchy feet. The £10 million into the transfer kitty will be useful, and Pearce’s buys will be interesting to see. Personally I’d much prefer Ashton over Crouch but I don’t manage the team. As for the debt repayment, it will make little or no impression on the finances of the club. There is absolutely no point in re-paying any of the structured debt as redemption fees would likely cancel out any interest savings. This is likely to repay the unsecured, interest free debt, i.e. Director’s loans. I don’t want this do sound too disingenuous, but the money will effectively go straight back to Wardle’s back pocket. That is not to doubt his commitment to the club, and he may well give it straight back at the first time of asking in January, should Pearce’s initial forays into the transfer market prove successful.

On the subject of money. Chelsea didn’t buy the title. They won it fair and square. Had we given Keegan £250 million two years ago, would we have romped home with as much style and panache? I doubt it. Chelsea are paying well over the odds for every player they approach, other teams just have to rely on old fashioned methods of decent scouting and youth development. We seem to be pretty good on the latter and I’d like to see some of the transfer funds being re-invested back into the youth. Our young kids could well be the lifeblood of city whether we play them or sell them. £21 million received for SWP is £21 million profit give or take development expenditure and balance sheet valuations, but it still feels like £21 million profit to me.

Thanks again Shaun and all the best.

Sean Cassidy <sean(at)>


Two things that can’t be bought and one which normally comes with large strings attached:

  • Loyalty
  • Passion
  • Flair

Well, SWP provided us with all three, not over a season or two but over 180 games. Nobody has ever been able to say Wright-Philips doesn’t care about the club or doesn’t work for the team. There’s that famous sledge aimed at the hapless Philip Tufnell when some Aussie wag at the MCG called to him, “Oi Tuffers – lend me your brain, I’m building an idiot.” Well Shaunie can you lend me your brain because I’m building a footballer. The guy was professional to the end and only a genuinely ‘bitter’ blue would have anything but respect for the way SWP has conducted himself.

My only feelings on the day SWP signs for Chelsea are gratitude (how many other clubs in the Football League or Premier League will ever have a talent like that play for their team?) and genuine happiness that SWP has flown the nest and will now join the elite. Of course a little part of me hopes that he hardly gets a game for Chelsea and comes back on loan to City – but that’s nothing personal – after all I’m still a Blue.

Thanks Shaunie for lightening up Maine Road and Eastlands over the last five years.

Avi Barr <Abarr(at)>


In SWP we had the lynchpin of the team around whom if we really had ambition and funds we should obviously have been building. Quite clearly clubs rarely sell a young player with 3 years to run on his contract unless they are desperate, especially if the valuation of that player is highly likely to increase over the next 12 months, which in the case of SWP is self evident.

I wish the player all the best; at the end of the day he needs to look after number one. In his position how many people would not take the chance to play at the very highest level with a tripling of salary and a very nice percentage of the fee? It will be interesting to see whether his exposure increases at Chelsea, where he will clearly spend rather more time on the bench than he would at City, and whether this really increases his chances of pinning down a regular England spot.

If blame can be laid anywhere I think it is with the financial (mis)management of the club. They have got themselves into this desperate situation because of the profligacy in which they funded Kevin Keegan’s (not entirely successful) transfer activity. This was something that was recognised early on by Bernstein but recognised far too late in the day by Wardle and Macintsoh.

I still believe Stuart Pearce is the man for this job and he now has some (still limited in terms of the gaps he needs to fill) transfer funds. He will need to spend at a far better “hit-rate” than his predecessor did or I suspect his tenure will not last the season. I hope I am wrong!

Sadly it all looks like the City rollercoaster is on a downward part of the track again. I hope it is not too deep this time.

Rob Barker <randr.barker(at)>


I must echo everybody else’s sentiments in wishing SWP all the very best for the future. He will hold a regular first team spot at Chelsea for sure, along with Lampard and Terry.

He cannot be blamed for wanting to play at the highest possible level, winning trophies and earning himself a fortune. Without doubt he will always love City, but to expect him to stay with us through good and bad is plain naïve.

Likewise, I don’t think City can be blamed. Okay, a few extra million would have been nice, but ultimately we needed that cash, and can survive without one star player. Personally I’d have loved to have kept SWeeP and Anelka, but football doesn’t work out like that for the ‘normal’ clubs who struggle to survive financially.

I do, however, hold real reservations about the signing of Andy Cole! Okay his record is impressive in terms of goal scoring but he is a hopeless, ageing ex-Rag! At least Schmeichel wasn’t hopeless!

I’d like to see us try to get Andy Johnson or Dean Ashton, and would sincerely hope that Bradley gets a decent chance this season and that Cole will be backup when injuries are a problem.

Anyway, let’s all stick together behind the team; this season’s going to be a long old ride – I can feel it!

Adam Davey <thelegend(at)>


We are all disappointed to see SWP go. However, let’s not give up the ghost already. Let us at least clarify the debt problem. The way I understand the debt, it is the same as my mortgage. If that’s the case then we should refinance at a lower rate of interest to reduce the payments just like I did. This will free up some ready cash and we should have all the cash from SWP to spend on decent players, not just half of it.

You cannot replace a player of his skill level and I am not sure that Andy Cole has the breakaway speed that Shaun gave us but he is smart enough to feed off Fowler, which Macken never did. Macken was not good enough for Premiership football and never will be;, he wasted more chances than anyone.

If all the injured players can complete this season, especially Sun and Reyna, we may at least create some chances. So let’s get behind the team we have, not what might have been.

The alternative is to have salary and spending caps and hope for parity in all the Premiership teams. You can only do that if there is no relegation à la American Football. We don’t want that! We like the excitement at both ends and God knows, as City fans, we experience it more than most.

Jim Heaviside <JHeavis502(at)>


It was inevitable that he would go. He will grace many a football ground before he is done and City should be proud that he is a product of the Academy. It is £21 million of pure profit and if we are to believe the club there are more promising talents at the club waiting to step into the team. Good luck Shaun and thanks for the fabulous work you did while you wore the shirt.

Mike Edwards<Cityfan2(at)>


I think like the rest of us I was really gutted to see Shaun leave. We’ve watched a raw talent turn into a near world-class player, each season he has got better and better and I’m sure that come this time next year he’ll do England proud in the World Cup (I just really hope he doesn’t miss out by doing a Scott Parker).

But on the bright side, in this climate I think we have got a fair price for him. Anything less than £20 million would have been a steal, any more would have been a bonus. Also you could see the team’s attitude in a number of games last season (in the KK era) was just give it to Shaun and let him do it, which wasn’t healthy. As people have already pointed out, it’s a position we have ample cover for – Crofty/Flood and you’d also argue Sinclair’s natural position (so maybe we can get some value out of him at last).

The only bitterness is the way the story broke about him supposedly feigning illness and then ringing the chairman to ask to speak to Chelsea; hopefully this is idle paper talk as opposed to anything of any real substance. Also where were Arsenal (Wenger apparently waiting for Chelsea to make the first move), a player they coveted for so long; if they bid against Chelsea (like Newcastle did in the Rooney affair) Chelsea would have been forced to stump up more cash.

Personally I feel privileged to watch a player mature and give me many memorable goals (most of my best memories of our new stadium are courtesy of SWeeP). He’s the first product of a youth system and there are potentially more like him for the not too distant future. I for one wish him all the best at Chelsea (except when he’s lining up against us).

Thanks for the memories.

Rich Fenton <rich(at)>


I’ve watched City for over 50 years and I guess I can say with hand on heart, nothing at City ever surprises me. Yes, Shaun has chosen to leave, and good luck to the lad; he owes us nothing. £15.5 million in wages, probably about a third as many games to play in, a home near all his family, European football and the hub of the England national team around him. Surely even the most biased City fan wouldn’t expect the boy to miss an opportunity like that, would they? £21 million is good money, only Chelsea would have paid that much so we should be grateful.

Yes, I am disappointed that Shaun won’t be seen in a sky blue shirt again but we’ve seen it all before and no doubt we’ll continue to do so.

My only hope is that our excellent young players will come through and establish themselves in the first team just as Shaun did; we need to get some identity into our team again and rid our club of the second rate stop gap signings that the management keep embarrassing us with.

Malc <Malcinblue(at)>


I would just like to say good luck to Shaun and say that he made me proud to be a City fan, but what a shame he will not be a City player playing for England with all those City fans cheering up and down the country when he comes on against… sorry, dreaming out loud.

I was lucky enough to be at the Villa game with my two young boys to see Shaun’s last goal and what a goal! It was a father and son moment that will last forever because it was the moment my boys became real city fans and not the Red scumbags that their peers want them to be.

From a sad but proud dad.

Alan Fox <alan(at)>


A belated comment on the transfer.

I have very mixed feelings. I suppose many of us thought he would go but hoped it would not be for another year. But there are a few things that sadden me about the whole story.

  1. In all the years I have followed this team of ours I can only remember twoother occasions when a player left City and I had a serious worried feelingthat we were moving backwards. Denis Law, when he went to Torino, and DennisTueart, when he moved to NY Cosmos. In both cases it looked like an admissionthat City couldn’t quite make the step up and I worry that this is happeningagain.
  2. Of course you can’t keep players if they want to go and I am the first inthe line to say I would liked to have seen Shaun remain, but it seems to havebeen on the cards for weeks that this was going to happen. Now we are in thesituation of getting less money than everyone thought and at a very latestage in pre-season. Why was Shaun allowed to leave for less than everyonewas talking about? 3-4 million is a heck of a lot of money for City so whythe rush to sell for so much less or did Chelsea realize that they had Cityover a barrel, knowing that Shaun wanted to go and City had little time toreplace him?
  3. So, it looks as if having the funds available for players who couldcontribute to this club for a number of years may be replaced with City’s oldstandby solution: buy a player whose best days are behind him and hope he’lllast a season or two. This comment is based on the rumour that Andy Cole mayarrive. Cole in his day was a goalscorer of real merit but is this reallythe kind of player to take City forward? It seems a very troubling message toplayers and fans that this is the best we can do in attracting players toCity.

Can you be realistically depressed? You almost wish that we should have accepted that he would leave and gone looking for players earlier with this in mind. That’s a tough position to be in but we don’t look in great shape at the moment, even with some players returning from injury and some young players who may make the first team squad. Good luck to the manager; I hope he keeps his spirits up and his defence intact.

Note: not a word in this message about the debt. I’ve given up trying to make any sense of it, even with the very instructive emails on this site in the past few weeks.

But what the heck, when does the season start, it can’t come soon enough can it?

John Pearson <john.pearson(at)>


Ian Ferguson summed up my mood to perfection: ‘No Ambition’. It’s just not good enough to accept the mediocrity that now appears to be board’s interpretation of good management. Whichever competition we enter next year, it should be to win, including the league. They however, have given us a mountain to climb with the statement that resounds from this naïve piece of business.

Good luck Shaun, I hope we see you’re wearing the blue of City again in the not too distant future. But I also hope you taste our dust as we beat you to the league and each cup.

Come on Stuart, show your pedigree and motivate what we have left, and stop buying s***e!

Dave Clinton <daveclinton(at)>


If selling SWP means £12 million less debt plus £9 million transfer kitty and that money is well spent – it has to be good business.

Robbie Keane yes but Kanoute no – he’s another Anelka type.

DGK <Merescotties(at)>


Gone and good luck. Be careful what you wish for.

Success will come your way and as City fans we will always have a piece of that. Asking to go was a bit c**p really.

If you’re ever on Fulham’s books and done f**k all, we might have you back on half wages :-))

Garry Higgins <balrog(at)>


Manhattan Blues will be gathering after work Friday, June 22 (5’ish and after), in midtown west to celebrate not being United or any of the other c**p teams.

All on the island are welcomed to toss one back. Look for the extremely handsome men in City tops, and feel free to wear your own City jersey if you want to look cool like the rest of us.

Location: Stout NYC, 133 W 33 St (btw 6-7th Aves)

Donny Schreier <donaldgregory(at)>

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