Newsletter #1226

City have signed two players this week. Our own talented striker Daniel Sturridge (16) put pen to paper, ending the commotion surrounding his possible move to Chelsea. Great news for City and great news for Daniel who will continue to develop his skills at a club where he may actually be given the chance to prove his worth. The other signing was another youngster: Joe Hart (18) is an English U19 goalkeeper from Shrewsbury that will cost us £1.5 million if he eventually makes it into the first team.

To me these signings are just as exiting (not) as the players that moved out a week or so ago. Not really Premiership material, but “Building for the future™” kind of stuff. Supposedly we even paid £600,000 up front for Hart; might that money have been better spent? And where’s Kaspar Schmeichel (18) going to fit into this equation?

According to the news we can look forward to the re-appearing of two former Manchester players; Paul Dickov (33) and Quinton Fortune (29). Dickov, the former Manchester City player, has left Blackburn after rejecting a new contract offer, while Fortune “the former Manchester United ace™” is apparently pondering if his future lies with City or Bolton.

Again, two signings that would give me all the reason in the world to go and redecorate my bathroom and watch the paint dry rather than witness the new and improved City kick off their first game come August.

We really need something truly exiting to happen during the summer!

No I am not suggesting that Joey Barton should have an intimate encounter with Monica Lewinsky and a (lit) cigar. What I really want is for Stuart Pearce to make three exciting signings: One in each area of the field. It could even be the “Three Gees”; Gardner, Gravesen and Gera – and SWeeP on loan in addition. That would make an impact I guess.

Lots of opinions in this issue. Down at the bottom you’ll also find the minutes from the “Points of Blue” meeting that was held on May 9th.

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


In reply to the query in the latest issue about what good strengthening from relegated teams will do, I’ll add the following. For a variety of reasons I ended up following West Bromwich to write reports for a well known site. As such I’ve studied them in depth for 3+ seasons. Gera is beyond good. If there is any way we can snap him up we should do so immediately. Greening is an ex-Rag and has a tendency to drift out of games. However, when he is playing well, and that’s more games than not, he’s a quality Premiership left winger/midfielder (behind Cole and Downing but ahead of Hargreaves et al) and would be a very nice addition. The third player I’d have us grab in a heart beat is the young Polish goalkeeper Kuszczak. Still learning but a quality player.

And that in a nutshell was West Bromwich’s problem this year. Only 3 players to give a monkey’s about. Sure, the youngster Curtis Davies got some ink, but I’ve not seen enough of him to be convinced. If we were looking for a solid squad player for the defence Neil Clement would also do but that really is a last player in a squad kind of deal.

Like I said, Gera is a fall down obvious pick up if we get the chance. Cult hero within 5 games. But ironically he’s not the best player West Bromwich has had these past couple of years. That I’m afraid to say was Kieran Richardson who went on loan for the year from the dark side. He got a surprise call up from England in the Spring of 2005 and it was no more than he deserved. His play was off the charts. It’s funny to see Ferguson misuse him at United. It is not an exaggeration to say that they would have given Chelski a lot more worries if Richardson had been slotted into the Scholes rôle.

Lastly, I was looking over a season review earlier tonight. And in truth all that happened this year is we did a Charlton. No, not Bobby! Sheesh. A Curbs Charlton. And that almost certainly is down to size of squad over the length of the season. We also have the wrong type of players to support Samaras. Given the above of Gera down the right and Greening down the left and their excellent ability to cross accurately, I could see Samaras have a monster year with his head. I’m dating myself but I see shades of Paul Mariner with this kid…

Wallace Poulter <WPoulter(at)>


Ok I’m only 35, I’ve been going since I was 12 and I travelled home and away for a good 15 years. It’s pretty easy when you’re single, but when you get a family as you all know it is near impossible to attend as often due to other commitments and money.

What makes attendance easy to give up on is to compare it to how it used to be; there’s no comparison! So you move on. By the sound of things, 18,000 of us have moved on or are about to?

What kills me is people complaining and then getting slated for it with replies such as “what do you know?”, “Good riddance, you can’t be a true blue” etc.

Point of the matter being, these once hard core Blues are the life and blood of Manchester City and are hurting so much they cannot attend anymore, basically because it hurts so much to see something they loved not exist anymore.

What you ask? The day of the match! The crack! The buzz, the adrenaline rush, the smell of atmosphere, the hairs standing up on the back of your neck due to the volume of the crowd on derby day half an hour before the kick off, being able to sit/stand with all your mates in the same part of the ground, the freedom to slag the opposing players to choruses of laughter from your own fans, pay on the gate admission on the day so you can get there at the last minute, being able to have a beer on an away coach legally, being able to use any language you want living in a democratic environment, having the choice of a stand that accommodates for the working class (Kippax, North Stand, Platt Lane), middle class (Main Stand), and most of all being part of a “Manchester City Football Club”.

I fear the lunatics have taken over the asylum. I believe a Bournemouth fan, a Liverpool fan, and a only recently City fan do not know the meaning of being a true Manchester City fan. I cannot fault them for effort but I do believe they need to open their ears and eyes more before they cannot wait to shut them.

Crowds are dropping, we’ve only sold 25,000 season cards, we owe £50 million still! The only answer is for the club to get the fans more involved. How? Send a mixed delegation of the board and fans groups to a Shalke 05 game in Germany and meet fans and officials to see how they co-operate to make every match day an experience of colour and volume (sold out every week with pay on the gate 55,000).

Donate £1,000 every home match to supporters’ clubs and fans’ groups to co-ordinate putting colour and energy into the crowd i.e. free flags, banners, card mosaics and large banners.

Lobby other clubs and openly back safe standing for City fans who want it. Work with fans’ groups like in getting safe standing seats introduced. Go to the European Courts of Human Rights… be a leading club in the fight; others would join. Support your supporters!

Slash prices to £10 to £15 adults, juniors and OAPs £5 to £7. Every match this price throughout the season. Ok it’s cheap but no empty seats (more catering sales/programme etc.).

I stated 3 years ago that if city had a 70,000-seater stadium with cheap admission prices they would fill it every week if the prices were low enough and I still believe that (it works in Germany and Holland).

Scrap the membership cards, re-introduce pay on the gate admission for one stand.

Give fans the vote for the old badge or the new badge (we didn’t get a choice). Become a club with everyone an active member.

That’s my philosophy. Maybe I’m wrong but what the hell have we got to lose? As City fans, no matter what our individual opinions, we are all of the same colour. The fans need one body that meets monthly, bringing together the fanzines, OSC, ICSC, branches to work together.

Quick questions – ask yourself this:

Question 1: When you were a kid how many mates did you attend the match with?

Question 2: How many times do you see big groups of young kids today at the match?

I believe the seeds that once you and I grew from are not being planted in the same numbers anymore. If they are, they are being planted in front of the T.V. or in the pub. Where’s the next generation coming from? God help us!

All in all I still love City as you all do but until I see the thing that made me addicted to them in the past then I will pick my games and manage my Sunday league team.

Simon Cooper <actionmcfc(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 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.

John Ramsbotten <john.ramsbottom4(at)>


You should all stop moaning! Being a City fan is not about expecting success. There is no thrill to constantly winning, that would be like knowing you will live forever. No excitement in that. It’s the ups and downs that make it all the thrill ride that it is. If you don’t like that kind of life go somewhere else. Stop whining and get ready for next year’s rollercoaster ride. I have been enjoying this ride for 57 years and will never even threaten to change my allegiance. I was born a City fan and will die one, no matter where I live, I will always want to see them play whenever I can, no matter what. I have stood in the rain at Huddersfield and in the sunshine here in California (by the way, if you only watch one live game a year and you live in California it’s because you are cheap or too lazy to get up at 4.00 am on a Saturday – there are 3 live Premiership games every week here in the season, not to mention all manner of other league games on live).

J. Heavis <JHeavis502(at)>


As John Wardle has stated, if last season was in reverse, we started bad and finished good, instead of starting good and finishing bad, then many would have thought it to be a good season. But in reality it finished bad, so many of us were very unhappy with the way our season ended.

Up until Christmas we all were dreaming of a place in Europe, only to see a collapse in form, and the dream become a nightmare.

Looking back, I think that the main reasons for our lost form was down to the many injuries that all came pretty much at the same time to many of our top players. We must remember that it is not easy for an injured player to come back into the team showing right away the form before an injury. Some of our young stars did not come back to play any games before the season was over.

The press hounded our manager Stuart Pearce about the England job, for at the time City were riding high. Stuart Pearce told the media that he should not be considered because of his lack of experience, but we all know how some of the press can be; many would not let go of the story until the lost form by City. So this was a bit of a distraction to our manager, who never asked for it, but who can be proud of the fact that he was being considered for the England manager’s job.

Then we have the saga of the non-signing of Joey Barton, who suddenly thinks that he is another Gerrard; the only true comparison is that Barton and Gerrard both play in midfield and that they both come from Liverpool.

Joey Barton does have the fighting spirit to go forward, but he has to improve with his passing, and has to become a consistent form player; this is not to say that Joey Barton will not improve. The non-signing by Barton was also a distraction to the team.

But not all was gloom at City, we have the fast growing up of Micah Richards, a player who is going to be a star, and in my humble opinion will be a better player than Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Come September Daniel Sturridge will be of age to sign professional forms. Arsenal might have Theo Walcott but we have our own young star that City must hang on to at all costs.

The youth team came so close to winning the FA Youth Cup only to lose in the final in a game that they could well have won against a Liverpool Youth side. Many more young stars are on their way to making a first team appearance; we have that to look forward to.

City have a new and promising striker in Samaras, who in the words of Stu is “a diamond that is rough, and with time, will shine”.

The Express newspaper reports that Sylvain Distin will sign a new 3 year contract for MCFC. This is good news if true, for we saw how Distin and Richard Dunne played so well together in central defence.

Next season should be an exciting one but I or anyone else would be a fool to even try to predict the outcome at this stage, We all know that the club has intentions of signing maybe about 6 or 8 players to strengthen the squad. Even Stuart Pearce does not know who they are right now, he only has his wish list and is working hard to find the players that will fit into his team at the budget given to him by the MCFC board. John Wardle and David Makin, the main shareholders of MCFC, have promised Stu the support that he deserves, but within reason of a budget that the club can live with.

MCFC still has some top stars at the club, and with the right additions the club can be a force to be reckoned with.

The future is not gloom and doom but exciting! Come on you Blues!

P.S.! Great news: Daniel Sturridge has signed a split three year deal with MCFC, yippee!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


At this time of the year I usually look back and devise my less than serious annual awards for the thoroughly undeserving folk at Manchester City. Among past winners are Kevin Keegan, who won the “Talking to His Collar Out of His Rear End” Award, in recognition of his weirdly averted gaze during interviews, while at the same time his utterly dependable “colemanballs” made John Prescott sound mildly articulate. A visiting winner was Alan Smith, who collected the “Johnny Weissmuller Delayed Action Diving” Award – the only man I’ve seen make minor contact with a City player in the centre circle and then fall in the penalty area – and then get the penalty (Francis Lee – you have a lot to answer for!). I suppose Stuart Pearce could be a contender for the “Andy Gray Enthusiasm at All Costs” Award – our Gaffer rants and gesticulates like a whirling dervish in the technical area, but, like Andy, makes absolutely no difference to the outcome of the match. Just look at our abysmal record in the last quarter of the season! This brings me to the point of this letter (more mature readers are no doubt thinking that I’m beginning to sound like Ronnie Corbett).

Some of you may have seen the Heineken Cup (European Rugby Union) Final on television over the weekend, in which the Irish Munster team beat the French Biarritz. It was an engrossing, nail-biting encounter, with Munster on the back foot two minutes after the start, when Biarritz were awarded a completely illegal try. The “scorer” stepped into touch twice before crossing the line. An English linesman two yards behind missed both transgressions. Hmm! Anyway, Munster did not allow this blatant injustice to poison the atmosphere of the match. Instead, they fought back, fairly, and won. There were comments to the effect that Munster’s win was all the more amazing, bearing in mind that as a team Munster cost roundabout zero, while Biarritz was recently assembled at a cost of €10 million. Ten million euro for a team! It wouldn’t buy you a halfway decent Premiership midfielder. But here’s the rub. In terms of sporting excellence, the match was incomparable, and this comes from a Leinster man (me), whose team was mercilessly thrashed by Munster in the semi-final.

The Munster team played the match with pure guts, massive strength and no little skill. But mostly it was heart and pride that got Munster across the line. There was more heart and pride displayed by any one Munster player in the 80 minutes last Saturday than in the whole Manchester City team in the last 10 games (even allowing for City showing some interest in the result against Arsenal). Here were genuinely tough and skilful sportsmen – no prima donnas, no diving, no cheating – giving 100% effort and seriously earning their money. Here were men who had no need to kiss the badge on their jerseys (what a sissy gesture) – the jerseys lay across the broad of their backs, hard won, and worth dying for. Here were men playing for a European title in a foreign city, but still in front of thousands of supporters who knew them personally. John Hayes is known as “the Bull”, after the character in “The Field”. Some of his neighbours held aloft the best sign I’ve ever seen at any sporting occasion – “Go For It, Bull – ‘Tis Your Field!” Gerry Flannery will be pulling pints in his father’s pub in Limerick for his neighbours and supporters again, when the fuss dies down. A tiny provincial city, Limerick, is the mighty heart of rugby in Ireland, but that mighty heart put 60,000 Munster supporters from all over Ireland – and further afield – on seats in Cardiff last Saturday. The players, for their part, appreciated and acknowledged that many supporters had scrimped and saved and denied themselves all other pursuits to support their team, in Ireland, England and France. This is what playing for and supporting your team is all about.

All of this leads me to believe professional soccer players, including City’s, have become seriously detached from reality. If you look at the money that was paid out by the club to our team over the past 12 weeks, and what was given in return – in terms of passion, commitment and return – you must ask yourself: are we, the supporters, the targets of a mighty p*ss-take by the players and their pond-life agents?

When is the current insanity going to end? The answer is when the punters who pay for it all – you and I – say “enough!” But saying “enough” by itself will change nothing. Only action will. And any action taken must be directed separately at City and the Premiership. Not renewing season tickets will help get the message across to City. Forget about the City procedures for buying tickets weeks in advance – if everybody just turns up on the day, the tickets will be there. And if the fans don’t turn up, the club and the players will soon get the message. With regard to the superstore (or super-rip-off), make your supporter’s jersey last at least 3 seasons. As for the Premiership, cancel your Sky prescription – this is where most of the Premiership money come from. “Match of the Day” sufficed for years, and is still good. Make Saturday “football day” again. Ignore all matches played on Sundays – take the missus and the kids out instead. Will all this bankrupt City? No chance. But it will give our Board a wake-up call, and they in turn will wake up the rest of the Premiership.

All of the above is reminiscent of “Workers of the world unite” – perhaps that should be “Supporters of the world unite” – but the solution is in our hands, or more accurately, in the money in our hands. Keep it there, until we start to see some value for it. In the meantime, there are lots of other sports looking for your support. Of course we true supporters will never desert City – we just won’t be so easily taken for granted in future, that’s all.

CTID, Tony O’Leary <aoleary(at)>


What a difference a few games make. Right before the Wigan débâcle we were heading for the FA Cup semis, European qualification in the league, and everything was sunny and rosy. Of course, we all know what happened then, but it’s interesting to compare the end of this season with the end of last season. I’ve noted this before, but I’ll say it again; we were pretty lucky to get so many points at the end of last season, and probably at the beginning of this season as well. That stretch seemed to give us all an unrealistic sense of where we were as a club. Perhaps the recent bad run is doing the same thing.

First of all, players don’t become bad overnight. The same players we all thought were on the verge of something great before Wigan are probably about as good now as they were then. Samaras is still a great, if raw talent, for instance, though you might not believe it based on some of the recent comments. I think the whole team was just flat at the end of the season, especially since there was no danger of going down. It might annoy you as a loyal fan, but it’s only human nature to ease off in this way when nothing’s on the line (except their jobs, I suppose, although with our current buying power, that’s not such a threat is it?). We should also remember that Cole missed the entire run-in (he was very influential early on, and will be coming back next year) and Barton was out for a long stretch (I know many will disagree, but if we let him go for a measly £4 million we need our heads testing – and by the way, if he goes to Arsenal, he’ll be an England regular within 2 years -. I’ll eat humble pie in May 2008 if I’m wrong!). I could go on, but my point is that as long as we fail to hit a luck/confidence driven purple patch (like Spurs and Blackburn this year, or Bolton or Everton last year, etc.), we can’t expect to finish in the top 6. Similarly, as long as we avoid an unlucky/panicky losing streak (like an extended version of this season’s tail end), we shouldn’t expect to be in the bottom 5 either.

Based on the kind of players we can afford/attract, next year will see us once again floating around in the ‘pack’, along with the clubs mentioned above (I would be very surprised to see Spurs and Blackburn repeat their final positions next year). But who exactly is in the ‘pack’? well, I thought I’d try to figure that out statistically, so I took the final league tables for the last five years and found the average position of each team currently in the Premiership (only teams in the Premiership for at least 3 of the last 5 years counted, and the position was averaged over the number of years in the Premiership – so City’s four positions since we came up, 9, 16, 8, 15, were added up and divided by 4). The results seem to support my argument for an essentially random scramble in the middle of the table.

Arsenal, 2.0; ManU, 2.0; Chelski, 2.8; Liverpool, 3.8; Newcastle, 6.6; Spurs, 9.4; Blackburn, 10.4; Everton, 10.8; Bolton, 11.0; Middlesbrough, 11.0; Villa, 11.2; West Ham, 11.3; Charlton, 11.4; City, 12.0; Fulham, 12.2; Birmingham, 13.3; Portsmouth, 15.3; WBA, 18.3; Sunderland, 19.0.

If you plot these data you get three horizontal sections, with just a few teams on the steep slopes in-between. From Spurs to Fulham, there are 10 teams separated by 3 league places over 5 years! (9 teams separated by less than 2 places if you ignore Spurs).

This is what I consider to be the ‘pack’.

So how does a team jump from the ‘pack’ into that elusive top bracket and stay there? Right now, the only answer I see is money. Lots of it up front and lots of it streaming in all the time. Newcastle and Leeds managed to stay in the top group for a few years by spending a lot up front, but they couldn’t sustain the spending and loss of elite status followed. This strategy also includes the potential loss of Premiership status and even a club’s existence as Leeds knows only too well. It’s tempting to think that a year or two of success against the odds will allow a team to generate the revenue to jump into the elite bracket, but I think this is unlikely due to the massive amounts of cash needed (you need to be able to buy several 10 million pound flops without it limiting your future spending).

In my opinion, the only way City (or any other ‘pack’ team) can join the elite would be for the league to institute a salary cap. The next question would be at what level to set such a cap. Too high and nothing much changes, too low and teams would experience an essentially random sequence of success and failure (see the NFL for details). I’m sure I’m biased by my 39 years as a City fan, but for me, a suitable cap would be at a level comfortably affordable by the richest 10-12 teams. This would give an advantage to the ‘bigger’ teams with a traditionally larger fan base (see what I mean about bias!), but it would handicap the big four teams enough to level the playing field at the top. And such a salary cap would be low enough that a smaller team really could build their way up to it with a few good seasons featuring talented youngsters and good coaching, without jeopardizing the club’s future. An added bonus would be that it would drive down player salaries, allowing a reduction in ticket and merchandise pricing.

On an unrelated topic, I think many fans have been too hard on Danny Mills. Okay, I’ve only seen about ten games on TV this year, so what do I know? Well, I know that his much vilified ‘error’ against Liverpool wasn’t nearly as egregious as was suggested in MCIVTA at the time – I took a good look at it from many angles on the FA Premiership website and the problem stemmed from no one covering the middle. Mills was left with the choice of staying with his man and letting the Liverpool midfielder (might have been Gerrard) attack the 18-yard box unchallenged, or leaving his man and trying to challenge for the ball in the middle. I think he made the right choice under the circumstances, even though the end result was bad. So why was there no criticism of the central defender(s)?

I suppose it’s a case of action versus inaction. If you actively do something that results in a disaster it seems worse than if a disaster happens due to your inaction (for example, buying a crap player seems worse than not buying a good player, but the overall result might be the same).

Okay, I’m done.

Mike Maddox <mwm2240(at)>


Some good debate and opinions. Perhaps it’s just that we are all tired of a season that just seemed to fizzle out. What I would like to ask is with regards to SWeeP. Even if we had to sell him, surely we could have had a clause written in to the contract that dealt with either buy back or a loan. At this moment in time there is only one loser and that’s SWeeP.

Sam Duxbury <member(at)>


So the gloom and doom merchants have decided that the likely re-signing of Paul Dickov signals a complete lack of ambition on the part of the board and a ominous sign that Stuart Pearce doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing. No doubt these were the same people bombarding MCIVTA around the same time last year when we were selling our soul by signing the over the hill ex-Rag Andy Cole, who was commonly known on the City Internet message boards as Andy ‘f**king’ Cole until he started banging them in of course. The same Andy Cole who was our player of the year. The same Andy Cole who’s season -ending injury coincided with our descent down the table. I’m not claiming Dickov is going to come in and make the same contribution as Andy Cole but it’s time to look at the bigger picture.

Dickov was never given a chance under Keegan and would have if given the chance scored more goals for us than Macken, Vouso and Fowler, a combined £16 million, ever got for us. He was top scorer and player of the year in the First Division the following season and banged in 15+ goals for a relegated side the following season, which also more than any of blue that season other than Anelka. He was top goal scorer at Blackburn the year before last and despite an injury-hit season, still contributed goals for a side whose league table position confirms were superior to City.

If all our strikers are fit, Dickov will be behind Samaras, Vassell and Cole. All 4 players have different attributes and provide different options. At the back end of the season when just Vassell and Samaras were fit, we looked clueless and predictable. I for one got fed up of relaying on poor old Sibi coming on to change the game with this mythical aerial ability of his. I’m not bashing the lad; as the Ed correctly pointed in the last issue, he does whatever job he is asked to do without stropping off in the huff but he’s simply not a forward. Also Dickov is a fighter, something we don’t have enough of. A team with Paul Dickov in it does not lay down and die like we did on so many occasions away from home this year.

Our best 11 when fully fit is a top 10 side, Our squad on the other hand is not up to the standard as our disastrous slump after Xmas showed when we picked up a few injuries. Up front is possibly our strongest area and I don’t want to see our limited transfer funds been squandered on another striker when we have Sturridge and Ishmael Miller coming through, so taking on an experienced striker for nothing on a short term deal makes sense. Dickov and Cole at their respective ages may not be a lot of things but no one can disagree that they are model pro’s and the sort of players that Miller and Sturridge can learn a lot from.

Dickov was a wonderful servant to the club in his previous stint at City. No one could doubt his commitment and love for the club. Not to mention giving me the best moment of my City-supporting life. He should be at least given the chance to prove himself once again. If the signing of Andy Cole should have taught us anything it’s that we should just wait and see before predicting another season of doom and gloom for us of the back of a possible iffy signing.

Ross Cameron <rosscamero(at)>


I could not believe it when I read that City have bought another goalkeeper, irrespective of how young he is, and that he might be one for the future. Over the last 4 seasons how many goalies have we signed, and how many have played more than a handful of matches in the first team? None! nearly all have just warmed the bench or been injured or been sent out on loan or eventually sold, or let go on a free! We have spent £600,000, a sum that would have been better spent on an outfield player.

All I keep reading recently is that Chelsea are strengthening their already “strong” squad with “high class” signings, Arsenal and Liverpool also adding to their formidable squads, and what happened to City, nothing so far. I just hope we do not go for either ageing “over the hill” players or average Bosmans as what we need is real quality, and I appreciate those players come at a premium and are probably out of our spending League. However, Arsene Wenger seems to have good scouts in France, as he seems to pick up young talented African players and turns them into quality Premiership players à la Toure, Eboue, Fabregas; why can’t City do the same? All we picked up from France was Sibierski, an average player.

I hope SP is using the likes of Claudio Reyna, the USA captain, to cherry pick the best American players that are not with big European Clubs right now, so that we get them on the cheap.

IMHO I would like to see us chase the following players if at all possible: wide right – Lua Lua; left midfield – Malbranque or Arca; up front, Henri Camara; left full back – anyone other than Thatcher, maybe the South Korean left back; central midfield – Gravesen, perhaps Andy Reid from Spurs, or Boateng from Middlesbrough, Quincy Owusu-Abei from Arsenal.

Well that’s my opinion; no doubt we will be linked to a fair few players that SP had not even considered. I am sure SP has a list of every player and position that he needs, and with a little bit of luck we will see the jigsaw taking shape over then next few months, hopefully with some sensational players – fingers crossed!

Glyn Albuquerque <glynalbuquerque(at)>


Here is an interesting link to an interview with Alistair Mackintosh, City’s CEO, where he talks about the financial structure at the club. Interesting he says “Chelsea gave us £24 million” when talking about the sale of SWP. It has been well documented that we sold him for £21 million – maybe someone can shed more light on this?

Mike Stoddard


It is necessary that I apologize, without reserve, for the screed that appeared over my name in the last issue.

Time and again I have been warned by my good lady never to write when I am angry. Not only will the tone cause offence (even if the content does not), but any (otherwise) cogent point made, or issue raised, will be obscured or discounted even if discerned through the harangue.

I was in a terrible mood for various reasons that are of no concern.

Again, I am sorry to all City fans.

Sincerely, from the rubber room, Jack Buckley <Jack10000days(at)>


Present for Club – Alistair Mackintosh, Sara Billington.
Present for Fans – Dave Miller, Dave Wallace, Colin Broadbent, Kevin Mckenna, Mary Birley.

Stadium Branding

Planning consent given for two neon signs above reception areas to Colin Bell and East Stands. Club hopeful they will be in place for the start of the season – but they can’t promise.


It is now possible to buy chip-coded paper tickets on the day of the game from the SportCity kiosk, thus meaning an access card is not absolutely essential.

Credit Card Canvassers

Club appears to have acted, as no recent complaints.

Pre-Season Friendlies

It was requested that stronger publicity be given in terms of these fixtures in order to ensure fans have clear and adequate notice. What is already known is that City will play in a Shanghai tournament at the beginning of August and that the Thomas Cook Trophy game is on August 12 at 3:00p.m. Other friendlies are:

Wrexham    (July 19 - 7:45pm)
Rochdale   (July 22 - 3:00pm)
Port Vale  (July 26 - 7:45pm)
Bradford   (July 29 - 3:00pm)

The reserves play Altrincham (July 27 – 7:45p.m.), Hyde (August 5 – 3:00p.m.) and Northwich (August 9 -7:45p.m.).

It was requested that reserve team fixtures be given more publicity, but the club say that the constant moving of these games makes this difficult.

Premier League Requirements

Confimed that it is a Premier league requirement that stadium clocks do not count down stoppage time. It was also their ruling that the multi-ball system be abandoned due to exploitation by some clubs.

Pre-match Access to Other Tiers

Allowing fans to move between tiers has attractions both in terms of customer service and potential increase in concourse revenue. However, current Health & Safety and design issues will prevent any immediate changes. As a long term possibility, it was not entirely dismissed.

Fixture Changes

PoB stressed that apart from the product on the pitch, this was for many the biggest source of disillusionment. The Club are fully aware, as they too receive many complaints from fans who have incurred substantial financial losses for games they can no longer attend. The discontent can be passed up to the Premier League, but the club has no direct dialogue with Sky on this subject.

The club are also aware via their own data that season card non-renewals are highest from those fans living some distance from Greater Manchester and the above frustrations are obviously a factor in this.

PoB have asked that possible fixture changes be given greater prominence on the website and in the programme and magazine.

Season Cards

The club are correct when they state that there is a waiting list for specific seats. They have never pretended that there is a waiting list for new Season Cards.

Current Season Card renewals stand at 26,000.


Whilst the consensus appears to be that the product on offer at CitySocial was good, slow service and poor marketing (e.g. faded menus in display at entrance, no reference to its existence in store) undermined its potential. Club was appreciative of constructive comments.

The museum entry fee has increased slightly, but the club have not noted any downturn in visitors.


Confirmed that it is Club policy to produce a new away kit every year. The new home kit will be available on 6 July.

Delegate Meeting

Many fans who attend the initial agenda-setting PoB meeting felt that the subsequent lunchtime delegate meeting with Club officials was inaccessible. The Club were keen to preserve lunchtime meetings and asked PoB for re-consideration as there were only usually three meetings a year, which it should be possible to plan for.

‘Points of Blue’ will probably next meet in Sept/Oct.

Dave Miller <djm68(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 #1226