Newsletter #1225

Despite my late completion of the previous issue, we still have enough material for a rather lengthy newsletter this weekend. It looks like the depression that has swept over the Eastlands has now come to a stalemate. Quite a few people have raised their voices in this issue, pushing for peace in the ranks. It’s nice to see the variety of opinions that’s been created by the abysmal end of this season. While some prefer to shoot from the hip, others have a more analytical approach to their writing. The variation makes it even more interesting IMHO.

Both the Chairman and Mr. Makin have explained their positions in the MuEN and other media this week. I don’t expect it to be a result of the recent bashing they have received in MCIVTA, although they were answering a few of the “hip-shooting” critiques. It’s worth stressing that the current Board are far from being the bloodsucking weasels that you can easily find in other industries (or Clubs for that matter). The facts are duly covered by Andy Carver further down in this issue.

Again the silly season is upon us and the current transfer talks covers almost half the squads of the relegated teams. Names like Melchiot, Jarosik, Butt, Gera, Dickov, Isale McLeod (who?) and more interesting Thomas Gravesen of Real Madrid have surfaced as possible transfer targets. I don’t know about the rest of you but if we could land Gravesen then I would say: don’t bother with the rest of the lot. However, I would prefer us to wait until after the World Cup, and then pluck a few of the upcoming starlets from that tournament. Watch out for the Ivory Coast…

Next Game: Wrexham (away friendly) July 19th 19:45 GMT


Transfer Gubbins and Malarkey

Sweeping Back: The press seemed to pick up and run with Bradley Wright-Phillips’ comments last week about getting Shaun back to Manchester. Over the weekend came news that SWP was being linked with a return to City in a year long loan deal, but reports have claimed it would mean City sending teenagers Micah Richards and Daniel Sturridge in the other direction. Whilst you ponder which side would get the best of that deal, here are Psycho’s comments on the Blues’ former pocket dynamo. He said: “We would love to get him in but it has been well documented that financially we couldn’t get anywhere near Shaun’s valuation, but if Chelsea are looking to put him somewhere on loan for the season we would be in the mix for that. The club has an affinity for him, Shaun has an affinity with the club and it would give us a great lift if he was to come back. That is no surprise to Chelsea because we talked in the window about that possibility and we have talked to them this summer already about that. We just want to be kept informed, even if it turns out they don’t want to let him go out on loan somewhere.”

Selling Now In-Steed: Fulham have announced that they are willing to sell Steed Malbranque this summer. Early candidates for the signature of the French midfielder are Liverpool, Celtic, and City. The Blues of course agreed a fee with Fulham last year for Malbranque, but the player turned down the move. A statement on Fulham’s website read: “Fulham began negotiations to renew the contract of Steed Malbranque in the summer of 2005. After protracted discussions an offer was made to the player and his agents at the beginning of May which amounted to the most significant financial package in the club’s history. Unfortunately Steed Malbranque has not accepted this offer and has in fact indicated that no offer would be acceptable at this stage, as he would like to leave Fulham next summer on a free transfer. This is obviously a situation that has clear financial implications and would be unacceptable to the club, especially as its position is to aim for a top-ten finish in the forthcoming season. Therefore Chris Coleman, with the support of the chairman and the board, is actively seeking a replacement for Steed Malbranque for the 2006-07 season and the club will listen to offers from all clubs for an immediate transfer.”

The One That Got Away: If only SP had listened to Steve Wigley last summer – according to the gaffer, his new assistant recommended a callow youth at his former club Southampton, one Theo Walcott. “Steve had worked with Theo and knew his parents well, and told me to buy the lad last summer,” said Pearce. “He said he would pay £3 million for him. I asked if Theo would get into our first team and he said he didn’t know, and that we would have to wait a bit. I looked at him with surprise that he would be willing to put up £3 million for a player who hadn’t broken into the Southampton side. It shows me Steve has an eye for a player and I wish I had taken his advice given what has happened subsequently. All of sudden, Arsenal paid £12 million and he is in the England squad. That was a surprise to a lot of people, but not Steve.”

Pearce’s Policy on transfers has come a little clearer. He wants to start bringing players in as soon as possible, preferably before transfer prices take a post World Cup rise. Pearce said: “It will have to be a very busy summer. Ten players have left the club, which seems a big number but when you narrow it down it is three first-team players, two fringe players and five youngsters. It is important for myself to do some business in the next couple of weeks and gets some players before the World Cup comes up and see what happens from there.” And so the press speculation began. Theory number one – SP wants to sign Paul Dickov, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Quinton Fortune this summer – and may sell Joey Barton to fund the deals. Theory two, courtesy of the M.E.N., is that City will go a-plundering the clubs just relegated from the Premiership. West Brom’s Hungarian midfielder Zoltan Gera got mentioned, while two of Birmingham’s squad are also thought to be of interest. Jiri Jarosik of Chelsea has spent the season on loan at St. Andrews, so the nightly journal thought that the Czech could be City-bound on a similar temporary deal. And Dutch defender Mario Melchiot is due to leave the Bluenoses on a Bosman transfer, so is naturally within City’s budget.

There Must be Somm Angel: David Sommeil has emerged as a summer target for Birmingham City and Sheffield United following his release by Stuart Pearce. The 31-year-old Frenchman was shown the door earlier this week and is now looking to kick-start his career after three years on the first team fringes. KK paid £3.5 million (ouch) when signing the defender from French side Bordeaux in January, 2003, but the player quickly fell out of favour. Sommeil made 17 senior appearances last season but failed to earn an extension to his contract, which expires next month. Elsewhere, SP is said to be pondering a raid on Aston Villa for striker Juan Pablo Angel. If true, Angel would be reunited with his former strike partner Darius Vassell. This rumour emanated from the murky depths of the Internet, so whether it is viable or not remains to be seen.

And The the Rest

‘Invisible Man’ Seen Upstairs: Last week the playing staff suffered Stuart’s shake-up. This week, as hinted at recently by SP, the coaching staff got a bit of a rejig. Steve Wigley moves from the Reserves to become first team coach, while his place with the second XI is taken by Academy coach Frank Bunn. “Steve’s spent a season with us and has done some sterling work as reserve team manager – particularly his bringing through young talent such as Micah Richards and also developing Stephen Ireland and Ishmael Miller. I believe he is ready for the rôle of first team coach,” said SP. “Frankie spent some time with us at Carrington during the season that has just ended and has impressed me and everybody else with his knowledge and attitude. He is aware of all the young players that are coming through from the Academy and I’ve seen him over the last few years working for the Academy and I’ve been very impressed with him and want him to step up to Carrington now.” But what, I hear you say, has become of the Jimmy Frizzell of the 21st century, Derek Fazackerly? He has been moved ‘upstairs’ to fill Arthur Cox’s old rôle from a couple of seasons ago. “Faz’s new rôle will see him dealing with agents, scouting and player co-ordination. It frees me up to get on to the training pitch a bit more. The criterion for this rôle was to have a vast amount of experience – and Faz has got exactly that,” opined Mr.P.

Northern Lights This Summer: A couple of pre-season friendlies for City have been announced this week. The Blues will visit Spotland on Saturday, July 22 to play Rochdale, then a week later, Saturday July 29, Valley Parade gets a visit as City take on Bradford City. Both games will kick off at 3pm.

It’s Good to Talk – And Listen: SP admits that he welcomes opinions on how his team perform, whether that opinion comes from experts or punters like you or I. “I’d like to think that I listen to everybody connected with this club, and outside it, because I am seeking knowledge all the time. I feel as though I have a balance in my life where I can kind of sit on the fence and take bits from everybody. I’ll go to a supporters’ club meeting, and if someone gives me an opinion on football I won’t walk away thinking, ‘what do you know?’ I’ll value their opinion. That person will watch the game from a slightly different slant to me and they might see something that I don’t, so I always like to value anyone’s contribution.”

The Blue Daniel: Danny Sturridge is keen to make the grade as soon as possible. The 16-year-old forward has already made an impression for the England Under-17 side and admitted that training with the City first team has given him a taste for more. “I just try to play to the best of my ability,” he told the M.E.N. “Hopefully the manager is watching so I may get pushed into the first team as soon as possible. He tells everyone if you play well, no matter what age you are, you will get your chance.” Perhaps Dan isn’t the man for Chelsea after all!

Making all the Right Noises: There’s an interesting Q&A session with Joey Barton this week on the PFA’s website. Barton is asked what his plans are for next season. His reply: “The season has ended and although it ended very disappointingly for us, as a team, my advisor is due to speak to City in the coming weeks and we will see what happens. The ball is in their court and I will see what they have got to say and I will make my decision based on that.” He also gave his thoughts on the hostility he faced from some City fans, following his transfer request. “You have to understand that supporters go out and work all week and pay a lot of money in some cases to support a football club. They contribute to our wages and if wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be in jobs. They are certainly entitled to their opinion and although some of them are very headstrong at times and say things they don’t always mean, it is their opinion and they have as much right as anyone to voice that opinion.” So will he be moving to a bigger club? “City are a massive club so there is no reason why I would want to go to a big club, as City are a big club. Hopefully we will invest in the right players in the summer to add to a good starting 16 that we have already got. It is a club that needs to be playing in Europe and has been success starved for the last 30 years. For the fan base they have got it is a travesty of justice, as they should be winning trophies. Once everything’s in place then it has got the potential to be right up there with the biggest clubs in Europe. Hopefully I can be there to be a part of it.”

Kiki’s Intensive Cares: Kiki Musampa believes he has benefited from his spell with City. The Dutchman has spent the last eighteen months on loan at the COMS, but has now returned to Atletico Madrid after the Blues decided against making the deal permanent. “After a year and a half in an intense league with a different style of play, you learn many things and become a better player,” said Musampa. “I don’t have any debt to the Atletico fans and if I return it would be as a different player.”

Don Barrie <news(at)>


Wayne Rooney looking a tad overweight
Rooney in fitness doubt for the World Cup…

Joel Perry <j.perry(at)>


I feel Sue Wallace’s summary of the current state of play somewhat on the depressive side. She sees cold war style sub-plots in everything that happens at City. One does begin to wonder why she bothers? If it hurts you that much then fine – do something else with your time.

The overall depressive nature of postings at MCIVTA in the last couple of years means I now open the email with dread. ‘What’s wrong with the world now?’, each time it arrives. When I look back on old issues of MCIVTA, the early days (has it really been that many years?) seemed to be laced with humour and anecdotes. Has MCIVTA gone the same way as the printed fanzines – starting out with humour, but eventually hijacked by the doom and gloom merchants?

What’s changed? I know there was just as much to moan about back then, if not more. Some of us seem to have lost the ability to laugh a little, and appreciate that supporting City is a way of life, but not one to be taken too seriously.

So what if the players don’t visit the supporters’ clubs like they used to? The majority of City fans don’t belong to a supporters’ club anyway. In a recent visit to Manchester I was able to attend a fans’ forum at the stadium – and anyone could ask any question – there was no Orwellian control, as Dave Wallace imagines there to be. I also turned up at Carrington, and was invited in to watch the training from the sidelines.

These experiences do not, for me, reflect the attitude of a club hiding behind darkened windows. Friends of mine who support other Premiership clubs don’t enjoy anything like the same access or treatment.

I suspect, like the rest of us, Dave is frustrated at the way the season has fizzled out – and therefore everything is all wrong with the world. However, since when has enjoying a (long over-due) cup run been ‘catastrophic’? Okay, we would have preferred not to go out lamely in a home tie, but these things happen, and we got a damn sight further than the year before. If the squad can be strengthened this summer, we can still look to improve.

Now I am not some deluded lost soul who always looks at the world through blue-tinted glasses – I know as well as anyone there are elements to the current game that many of us don’t like (and these are elements which are not exclusive City problems). But the game has always been a changing beast, and it will continue to develop with twists and turns – sometimes turning the wrong way. But it will always be just that – a game. A great game. And if you decide not to follow it for whatever reason, or decide to go to games less frequently, then fine, no one is forcing you. But for many of us, following City is something that cannot be questioned, no matter how many good twists and bad turns lie ahead.

Some foot soldiers may well retreat, as Sue puts it, and the Club will have to take action to try to encourage people back – with a bigger stadium I guess that was always going to be a challenge. But isn’t that all just part of being ambitious?

Dave Lee (40 years a Blue) <davidbluelee(at)>


Why is David Bernstein put on such a high pedestal? I totally agree that he did nothing short of a fantastic job as chairman of City and following the Francis Lee fiasco he was instrumental in bringing the club back from the dead.

However, for the record Miles (MCIVTA 1224) he sanctioned the majority of City’s transfer dealings under Keegan alongside Wardle and Makin and the rest of the board at the time. I remember him clearly justifying in the media how he felt City had to be “aggressive” in the transfer market, especially in their first season back in the Premiership. Make no mistake; it was that 12 month period from promotion to the first season back in the PL that City spent the majority of the cash that has left us in our current predicament.

It was the farcical signing of Robbie Fowler that brought about the end of “King Bernie” although we are forever thankful for his prudence when it came to negotiating the transfer deal from Leeds.

As for SWP, do me a favour. What else could the club do? We’re skint and some London club offers us what we now all appreciate was crazy money and we have to bite their hands off surely? I for one thought SWP would be a success at Chelsea – maybe he still will be, but he only has himself to blame for not making the World Cup squad – no sympathies from me.

Now, bringing investment into the club – where do we begin to start? Face it, Liverpool – a much bigger name in football than City – cannot even attract the right investment. What chance have we got? Sadly, billionaires are not queuing up to “waste” their money are they? I do keep emailing Bill Gates though but he hasn’t replied yet! The club needs to be smart and sell itself based on its support, potential and assets. As I said in the last issue, Spurs are currently a shining example of what City could achieve. They are spending cash based on the income that the club is producing. We shout from the rooftops that we are a top-earning club yet we punch well below our weight in the Premiership. Maybe we could start by getting better sponsorship and kit deals! After all we are supposedly one of the best selling shirts in the country!

On a final note, can we please give it a rest on Wardle, Makin et al. They deserve credit for helping City when it matters. Maybe it is time for them to stand aside but until something comes up what can we, them or anyone do? I know, bring King Bernie back because he wouldn’t have spent all that cash or sold SWP would he!?

What did I say again? Ah, never mind!

Graham Keller <gkmcfc(at)>


I enjoy reading the range of views on MCIVTA even if I often disagree. If they’re based on honest opinion, that’s fine by me. If they’re based on ignorance they are not much use to any of us. Joel Perry says “Wardle and his mates are creaming my club. Tueart and co, are sat there on their £500,000 salaries, milking my MY football club for every penny they’ve got and that’s wrong” Well it would be if it was true.

City are a public company and so the facts are there for anyone to see. If Joel bothered to look at the annual accounts he would see that John Wardle’s annual remuneration is a big fat zero – yes, he works for City for nothing. Dennis Tueart drew £27,000 last year and Bodek and Lewis (not sure what they do!) got £22,977 and £18,333 respectively. Only Alistair Mackintosh gets big money – £234,000 as Chief Executive – possibly more than he deserves, but still not £500,000. John Wardle’s loans to the club total £14.7 million – yes million – and are unsecured; his money is at risk. Admittedly he gets 5% interest for it, but if you were out for the money you could make your £14 million work far better than putting it into a financially unsound football club at a 5% return. You can nearly get that at the building society. Then there’s also the £4.5 million lent by David Makin, on the same terms. Without these loans City would be insolvent, enter the administrators, 10 point deduction, goodbye City. With another £47 million of debt also on the books (admittedly long-term structured and secured), where does Joel think the Board are going to magic up the funds he thinks they are withholding from Stuart Pearce?

My point is this. City may not be the best run business in the world, and it’s certainly not the best run football club, and with our fan base we should be in better shape financially and on the pitch, but that’s not because Wardle is in it for the money. It seems to me he’s in it because he’s a fan. If it’s money he wanted, almost any other business in the world would be more lucrative. It’s being a fan that’s led him to a lot of dodgy business decisions, like letting Keegan spend pots of money we didn’t have. He wants success for City as badly as we do, although like many others I’m not sure he and the rest of the Board are going it about it very well! But I do know I’d rather have a lifelong City fan as the chairman of my club than an American or Russian multi-millionaire who’s just shown up last week and wants to use it as a plaything.

I’m not related to Wardle or anything, in fact I’ve never met the man. It’s just I can read accounts a bit if I try hard. MCIVTA is great for keeping fans informed and providing a forum for debate – but let’s have the debate based on the facts. Plucking random figures out of the air and presenting them as fact to support an unsupportable argument doesn’t help any other readers understand what’s really going on.

Lecture over!

City til I die (of boredom this season…), Andy Carver <andy(at)>


I thought I’d better counter Miles Webber’s comment that in my last article I was ‘defending’ the MCFC board. Far from it, I can be as critical of them as anyone else here, and indeed, in my article I actually accused the club of having an ‘endemic lack of professionalism from top to bottom’! No, my article was directed at an apparent contradiction or hypocrisy that I have detected and I can’t seem to figure a way around it. Currently, I’ve heard plenty of people demanding that the board “… get their wallets out” etc, so that more money can be thrown more at MCFC, and yet at the same time, I’ve also heard supporters say that they’ve “had enough” and they are not going to be renewing their season tickets for next year. This is where I have a problem.

Now fair enough, we can all choose what we want to do with our (limited) cash, and I don’t blame any City-fan who has found (like me) that football seems to be an awfully expensive hobby at the moment. Yet it appears that it’s okay for we fans to ‘shut the till’ when we have to, but at the same time the board must keep on opening it, whenever we demand, and that just doesn’t sound right to me. And I ask again, how many fans here would want to see season ticket prices increase next year, so we can show that we are ready to ‘match’ the board’s ambition? Not many I suspect – in fact many people have not been able to renew their tickets even at last year’s prices!

As another example, how many people cannot stand the ‘corporate’ way in which football clubs are now run? And so we were all disgusted last season, when we played Boro in a totally new (and badly designed) away strip, purely as a marketing exercise, that clearly put us at a disadvantage in an important fixture, on our home turf? Just how crass was that? Yet by the same token, the board were doing exactly what they have to do, that is raise as much money as they can for the future of the club. Take the Barton situation: how many people would have chided the club had they not attempted to throw a vast chunk of (undeserved) money at Joey Barton – well they did, and yet he still threw it back in our faces. Perhaps we fans should all chip in to help the board match Joey’s ambition? Why not, and he’s bound to kiss the badge for us, and soon as we do. No, sooner or later, the club have to stop spending money they don’t have, on players who don’t need it. That time is now I’m afraid.

We cannot have it both ways, and I for one am not in a position where I can start to demand that other people dig deep into their pockets and spend more money on the club, whilst at the same time, I’m having to cut back as much as I can just to ‘stay in the game.’ I’ve renewed my ticket, but I’ve had to give up away games, and I don’t buy replica shirts, and I’d rather spend my beer money on match days in a true City pub, close to the ground, rather than at COMS itself. Not very helpful to our cause is it? That’s why I for one cannot point the finger at anyone else doing what they have to do, the board included. All I can do next year is give Stuart Pearce the total support he needs (and deserves) and I’m certain the board are stuck in the very same situation. That’s what I wanted to say.

Keep The Faith!

Neil Haigh <city(at)>


Alienation, says Sue Wallace. Sue doesn’t need me to speak for her as was clear from her missive. Let me chuck my tuppence in. Some of these things, on their own, are small stuff, but does anyone see a pattern?

  1. Contrary to what some expected… football 24×7 Boring
  2. The end of the traditional Saturday pub / footie / shout yerhead off. You could set yer week by it. Off back home after thematch for some more pub and mates [ah, but they wanted to changethe demographics to women, little kiddies and ponces who drinkwine spritzers crying about smoking and jumping up and down etc.).
  3. Boring, boring, Premier championship… pick 3 or 4 and the restare losers from the get go.
  4. Changing the name and structure of the entire English football league.
  5. Hiring a foreigner to manage England. The Ravens left the tower.
  6. The pathetic antics of the English squad.
  7. Outrageous money for, in the sum total of existence, kicking aspheroid around and making people go “oh, ah.” Guys, what you doisn’t worth s&#* really is it? Clothes, emperor, new leaps to mind.
  8. Your local team isn’t even from “the British Isles”… yeah, likeI can relate to some guy from Fujjian or some dude from Gabon.Get real, what do they know about the Lancashire Fusiliers,Boddies, meat pie, chips, peas, gravy, and mushy peas etc.This stuff is such a no-brainer. Scotland, Ireland, Wales, fine,fine…. it’s us with a funny accent and slight variations infood etc. (no offence)… alienation… please, what a surprise.Poor bl##dy working Tommy Atkins is forking over his cash to someponcy foreign geezer.
  9. Despite best spin efforts, and whether City players are “local”or not, I can’t help feeling they don’t really want to be atCity. Does anyone else get that feeling? I’ve had it for sometime… a few years actually. So I’m alienated from vastlyoverpaid foreign nancy-boys who don’t really want to play forCity and don’t give a brass farthing for me or “where I comefrom.” Must be me, obviously.
  10. Despite best spin efforts the new stadium is generic s***#. Ithas noNO character and will never have any. Maine Road was a hodge-podgeof this and that built up slowly over years. The stadiumitself told a story. What does the new place “say” to you?
  11. The constantly changing shirts / kits and transparent attemptsto pry money out of parents via kids. This has bugged me foryears, but it has gotten worse and worse. Pick something and stick with it.
  12. Changing the badge / crest / logo… more of the same.
  13. The obsession (more than mere enthusiastic interest) that Englishclubs have with “European football” and the fact there is justtoo much of it. Get a grip people.
  14. We all used to worry about debt… now debt is just business asusual. In fact, if City had money in the bank, some bright sparkwould call it dumb.
  15. Remember how easy it was to get into a match, even at the lastsecond? Sure, you had to work at some away games and home gamesfor them thar special occasions, but it was almost always do-able.Now? Please. Try getting tickets from overseas…what a joke!They don’t give a t***.
  16. Don’t even get me started on foreign investors. Some people wouldsell their grandmother if they thought she could turn a trick.

That’s it, I could go on but that’s it, I’m getting steamed. Bottom line is I don’t see myself in City anymore. That’s why the last time I was over with the wife and kids I couldn’t be arsed to go, something not too long ago would have been unthinkable.

City: your problem is you are part of a too-foreign moneybags really boring product, “English” 24×7 football, and, at the same time, you have become a branded, sanitized, generic purveyor of sloppy seconds. I do not identify with you because you have made it impossible.

Jack Buckley <Jack10000days(at)>


It would seem from the MEN this evening (17th May), that the current plan is to spend the summer buying players who are so devastatingly brilliant that their major success last year was to watch or help get their teams relegated.

Under the headline “Pirate Pearce”: “City are ready to raid the relegated Premiership clubs in a bid to strengthen their own position in top flight” we are told.

How exactly does buying players at Birmingham City and West Brom who weren’t good enough to stay up last season “strengthen” our squad?

Ah well, I’m sure Pearce knows what he’s doing. Perhaps it’s reverse logic, you know “last season we aimed for the top half and failed, so if we try to actively get relegated next season, we’ll somehow fail in our objective and stay up”.

Here’s to the summer.

CTID, Paul Robinson <paul(at)>


It may be sunny and warm in Northern California and I may have just finished watching Arsenal-Barcelona and imagining City playing in the final… but, and I say this as someone who sees only one live game a year, I am beginning to feel the same as some of the recent correspondents. There seems to be a sense of a missed opportunity – that being one of a more consistent, challenging club. I really do worry about next year and this worry is not altered by the names of players that the manager is after.

Was Dickov ever remotely Premiership standard in a consistent manner? He is now 33 and this is the type of player we are after! I even have mixed feelings about Wright-Phillips returning. He should never have left, he was told not to leave, he was warned about the rôle he might have at Chelsea and he didn’t impress the manager there. He has perhaps lost the only chance of playing in a World Cup Final – will he be content to rebuild his career at City?

I think I just don’t want to think any more about this and see what happens once the new season begins. But I do wonder if the club is looking closely at attendance figures, let alone some of the cogent comments being made by our colleagues on this mailing list. I can’t believe the Board can be satisfied with what happened this year or with the strength of the squad (never mind those who have been released, the worrying part is some who have extended their contracts) but we seem unable to find funds. I suspect Wigan will have more transfer funds available this summer than we do.

Oh it is all too depressing. Happy summer to everyone.

John Pearson <pearsonj(at)>


Following some recent articles, I would echo some of the sentiments regarding the direction the club seems to be going. What particularly caught my eye was an article about Shaun WP who has not managed to get into the England squad, probably because of lack of appearances in Chelsea’s first team.

There has been speculation that Chelsea might be prepared to loan him out to another club, and clearly City were in contention here. But it appears Tottenham may be favourites to get him – how good it that considering the connections and background with City!

It does make you question where we are going – after a disappointing second half to the season, surely the board must do something to restore the faith of supporters, and if we cannot even attract one of our old boys, this does not look good for the future.

[Well, Spurs are heading for the Champions’ League you know… – Ed]

John Ramsbotten <john.ramsbottom4(at)>


A contributor called Mark asks about a souvenir handkerchief he inherited. According to Gary James’s excellent “Manchester the Greatest City”, we had a goalkeeper called Walter Smith, who alternated with Jim “Naughty Boy” Goodchild. City also had a Sid Hoad.

All three were playing during seasons 1911-1915 when World War I brought a halt to league football. When the league resumed in 1919, Hoad was no longer there – either retired, moved on or a casualty. He had worn the No.7 shirt and had had long spells in the first team but as far as I can make out only ever scored one goal.

It looks as though your handkerchief dates from 1911-15.

I expect someone with more detailed records will give you a more accurate answer.

David Buxton <dbbuxton(at)>


Trying to forget this season so off to Germany…

Anyone else going to drive there like me? Any suggestions/pitfalls? Ferry advice/costs?

I am looking forward to this trip but would welcome any advice as I have never driven there before.

Mark Redgrave <leaguecup1976(at)>


I just created a league for the World Cup, called “City Fans.” If anyone wants to join they are welcome, though I was hoping someone else would have done it because I’m useless with buttons and beeps. It’s the same website as the one we’ve all (well, some of us) been playing all season in the MCIVTA league.

The Website main page is:

The league name is: City Fans

The code for joining is: 79931-16518

The league administrator is: Jack Buckley.

If you’ve not played before just create your account, follow the instructions and set up your team then at the end it will ask if you want to join a public league, create your own, or join a private one. At this point you should enter the details to join City Fans if that’s what you feel like.

Good luck and come on you Engerland.

Jack Buckley <Jack10000days(at)>

MCIVTA FAQ [v0506.02]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Svenn Hanssen)         :
News/rumour (Don Barrie)         :
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins):
Technical problems (Paul)        :
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]Svenn Hanssen,

Newsletter #1225