Newsletter #1241

So, Pearce finally got his man as the worst kept transfer secret in the north west was confirmed this week, with a big U-turn and another snub for Big Sam. Bolton somehow got £300,000-£400,000 out of the deal, which should keep Sam in chewing gum until Christmas.

Andy brings us tonight’s news on this and other transfer dealings, question marks still loom over Distin and Barton, and we’ve more fixture changes before a ball is kicked in anger.

Other opinion on transfers, the shirts, England and request for Fantasy Football League details.

Pre-season starts next week. Are we ready?

Next game: Wrexham, away (Friendly), 7.45pm 19 July 2006


General News

The Future’s Bright, the Future’s Blue: After a long campaign, our ‘new’ home will finally declare its allegiance as large blue illuminated letters are being mounted on the stadium declaring ‘Manchester City Football Club’. These signs will be on both sides facing outwards from the Colin Bell Stand and the East Stand. They are due to be switched on before the Thomas Cook Trophy match on August 12th.

And Now That It’s All Over: Stuart Pearce is hoping that his time as a World Cup pundit will prove to be time well spent since he had a ringside seat to observe the world’s finest coaches and their tactics. Said Pearce, “you are looking at teams and formations and how other managers line their sides up to win games and from an educational point of view that was more beneficial to me than watching players. If you cannot learn from the best managers in the world, who can you learn from?” Indeed.

Fitness the Key: City have been back training at Carrington this week ahead of the new Premiership season. David James and Claudio Reyna have been given extra time off due to their involvement in the World Cup. New signings Dabo, Dickov, and Hart joined their colleagues at the start of the week with Didi arriving later. Stuart Pearce’s objective is to get a fit and flying squad for the start of the season: “I think this first week we will assess the fitness of the players and we’ll be doing fitness tests on them and get them feeling the ball really, something they’ve probably not done for the majority of the summer.” and “The overall aim is to get them back as a fully fit squad ahead of that first game at Chelsea and obviously selection problems for me – so that’s what we’re looking for.”

Fixture Change: City’s away game against Blackburn Rovers has been moved due to the club’s involvement in the UEFA Cup. The game was due to take place on Saturday 16th September but it has been put back 24 hours meaning that the Blues will now visit Ewood Park on Sunday 17th September.

Bunn Relish: New reserve team manager, Frankie Bunn, has an ‘interesting’ fixture for his first home match as Manchester United come to Mini CoMS on Thursday September 14th. Bunn said: “Well it’s a tough start, but one we’ll all relish, particularly with the derby as the second game.” Someone should tell him just to do the same thing the first team have done against United at home for the past few seasons.

China Games: City’s two games for the pre-season tournament in China have been confirmed. Firstly, the Blues will play Shanghai Shenhua on Friday August 4th, kicking off at 8.30pm local time. They then take on Kashima Antlers of Japan on the 6th, with a 6.15pm kick off. Both games take place in Shanghai’s Hong Kou Stadium. Athletico Madrid are also taking part in the self-styled “World Series Tournament” so it will be a chance for Riera to quickly re-acquaint himself with his City teammates from last season.

Transfer News and Gossip

Last Man Standing: On Monday, Stuart Pearce stated: “We’re just waiting on one player at the moment and an agreement with the clubs should be in place this week and obviously we’re battling away for one or two others.” And just two days later…

Didi Sign or Didi Not? The confusing saga of Dietmar Hamann’s on-off transfer to City was finally concluded on Wednesday when he completed a free transfer and signed a two-year contract. However, despite there being no official fee attached to the move, there are reports that the club he was with for just one day will receive around £300,000 in compensation. Hamann, who will wear the number 21 shirt, must have set some form of record by actually signing for two clubs in the space of about 24 hours. The German officially left Liverpool to join Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday and then signed for City on the Wednesday (shades of Asa Hartford and Brian Clough?). According to Hamann, “I had agreed to join Bolton, but I quickly realised that going to them would not be the right move for me. I told Bolton my feelings immediately and they understood my decision.” He continued: “When I became aware of press reports suggesting that City were interested in me, I was excited at the prospect of joining this club and knew this is where I want to be. I am happy that the situation has been sorted quickly.” Sounds like Didi shares our own feelings about Bolton…

Sidney (Not Australia): City are rumoured to be interested in French international striker, Sidney Govou. Govou, who plays for Lyon, is keen to move to the Premiership according to his agent. City are supposed to be included in the list of interested teams, which also includes Fulham and Middlesbrough.

Dist-Out? Manchester City defender Sylvain Distin is set for fresh talks with the club this week over his future. Rumours are still around about a possible move to Portsmouth (© Willy McKay no doubt) for £2 million. Yet again, the club has stated that Stuart Pearce is determined to keep his skipper at City. According to one web source, a club insider said: “The future of Distin is a top priority for the manager especially now the players are due back for pre-season training at Carrington. It is significant and heartening that Distin has chosen his new number, which is 15 for the new season. He’s friends with Ousmane Dabo who has taken his old number five shirt.” Can we not afford new shirts for the new signings?

Any Room in a Crowded Midfield? Stuart Pearce says that Joey Barton still has a future with Manchester City. The midfielder has yet to sign the contract offered to him in January, but as far as the Manager is concerned the offer is still on the table and he wants the 23-year-old to reproduce the form that it warranted in the first place. “Last January we made Joey a very good offer”, said Pearce. “We felt as though he had done extremely well, his form had dictated that we offer him a better contract, and a very good one at that. We are still in the same situation, the contract is still on the table, there are no concrete offers from anyone and I would like Joey to stay at this football club, I have said that from day one.” However, the manager continued: “He did not cost us anything, and he does not owe us anything if you like.”

Stressful Time for Coppell: Reading boss Steve Coppell has hit out at City for revealing their interest in Reading’s 23-year-old Steve Sidwell. Apparently, Sidwell has talked to both City and Charlton, having snubbed a new contract. Coppell said: “I am disappointed I have had to read about other clubs talking about signing one of my players. But it is a fact of life that your players are subject to interest from the big boys.” It is rumoured that Stuart Pearce will make a £3 million bid for Sidwell subject to the outcome of talks with the player. Sidwell is apparently keen on a move, having rejected the Berkshire club’s final offer of a new deal, worth a reported £15,000 per week.

Let Sleeping Steeds Lie: City and Middlesbrough are supposed to be locked in a tug of war over Fulham’s Steed Malbranque. Our nemesis from last season has been excluded from training with the Fulham first-team squad after refusing to sign a new contract. Any potential fee is reputed to be in the region of £5 million.

And in the Other Direction… Stephen Jordan is reportedly a target for Chris Coleman at Fulham and also for Sheffield United.

And There’s More: French under-20 striker Garra Dembele, who is training with Newcastle, is supposed to have attracted the attention of various Premisership clubs including Charlton, Bolton, and City. Maybe he could sign for Bolton and then we could sign him afterwards?

Ex-Blues’ News

Bradley to Blame? Bradley Wright-Phillips has claimed it was ‘his fault’ he couldn’t hold down a first-team place at Eastlands. BWP is quoted as saying: “It is my own fault, I was given a few chances in the first team but I did not make the most of them. There were a lot of experienced players ahead of me, but I have no-one to blame but myself.”

Grim for Beagrie: Grimsby have signed former City midfielder Peter Beagrie on a one-year deal. The 40-year old arrived from Scunthorpe saying: “I finished playing last year at Scunthorpe and enjoyed the season and felt like playing on for another year.” He continued: “They [Grimsby] are going to play it through midfield, get the ball down, get it out wide and it is a lovely big pitch here at Grimsby.” Get ready for a few back-flips and confused full backs then.

Crooks in Lincoln: Lee Crooks is trying to win a move to Lincoln City. The former City midfielder has impressed their coach John Schofield after joining the squad for training. Crooks is currently a free agent, having been released by Bradford last season.

It All Goes Flat for Flitcroft: Former City midfielder Garry Flitcroft has retired from football. The 33 year old made just six appearances for Sheffield United last season. Blades’ manager Neil Warnock said: “Garry had always maintained we would see the best of him in August after a full pre-season programme, so this is a blow because Garry’s Premiership experience would have been invaluable to us next season.”

Squad News

Dabo Encouraged by Support: New signing Ousmane Dabo is looking forward to the new season in front of “City’s passionate fans”. He reportedly told Stuart Pearce that “he could not believe the support we had at this Club for a pre-season friendly and I had told him that they are like that all the time”, regarding Lazio’s visit in 2004. “I did not have to sell the Club to Dabo, Dabo was sold by our fans.” continued Pearce. Of the player, he said “He’s an experienced player, 29 years of age so certainly not over the top. He’s a holding midfield player with a good use of the ball, he will give us stability and a bit of experience as well.”

Dickov Battling for a Place: Apparently Stuart Pearce sees a bit of himself in the battling qualities of Paul Dickov. How strange, you never would have thought that, now, would you? Apparently this is what Pearce wants from his City team this season. “I think that you need people who have Paul’s mentality for football, because he’s a proper footballer,” says Pearce. “He is the kind of player who says, ‘I know what I am good at, I am going to do that and I am going to give everything to the cause’.” The manager continued to wax lyrical about the returning striker, “What I see in Paul Dickov, I associate with my myself. I was never the most gifted player in the world, but if you are talking about effort, will power and the desire to get there at all costs then I was up with the best of them on that.” No argument about that certainly.

Andy Longshaw <news(at)>


So the transfer wheeling and dealing is getting into gear, and once again I am somewhat impressed by what City have achieved, for nothing.

I wrote earlier in the year, stating that I couldn’t understand the negative reaction to City’s stated transfer policy.

At that time of course the club were saying things like “we have little or no transfer kitty”, “we simply don’t have the freedom to spend”, “have to sell before we buy” etc. The current silence at COMS seems to indicate that some more signings are in the offing; maybe not mega bucks deals, but good business for the club.

I’m pleased with what they have done so far, at no cost (other than wages) and it seems that Hamann and Dabo have more than a few months left. Which is more than we had with KK’s bargain bucket craziness (Seaman, Macca, et al).

It’s interesting that Big Sam is a little unhappy with the Nosey One’s change of heart, maybe because he is a real steal?

The fact that we have offloaded BWP is a big bonus, I’m very surprised we received any sort of fee. I think he has 2 goals in 42 appearances, definitely not SWP, but he was a nice, honest lad and he deserves success elsewhere.

From all accounts we have a number of very useful prospects coming through, especially up front. That’s why I’m pleased that Dickov is now on board. Love him or loathe him, one thing he has is determination. He will make a cracking coach and teach the kids that attitude is as important as talent, when it comes to success at MCFC.

So Mr Barton, it’s time to ask yourself a few questions. I think SP has made a statement with the new signings, and I firmly believe that any offer for the Mersey Muppet should be taken, bad apple and all that. I was only really ‘impressed’ by Barton on a few occasions, so I will wave him adieu with a little sadness, but it’s not like losing Bell, Gio, SWP or even the Goat.

As for other transfers, I think there will be a surprise buy in the low millions landing soon. They seem to be too quiet over at COMS.

I’m very hopeful for the coming season.

Keep it real, keep it Blue.

Andy Morris <andy(at)>


It’s not often I’m tempted to deviate from my status as Permanent Lurker and hammer the keys but Wallace Poulter’s arrant nonsense has to be challenged. Sorry Wal, but as a football analyst you are a great statistician.

Some of us of mature years may remember Franny Lee taking a penalty against the brought-back-from-retirement Bob Wilson. Bob, just recruited by the Beeb, had spent that morning analysing Franny’s penalty technique on TV. It seems that an hour or so later, following a training injury to the Arsenal reserve keeper, Bob had been recalled. Come the inevitable penalty, Franny put the ball down on the spot, ran up, leathered it and took Bob and ball into the net. Franny’s shout of “Analyse that, b*gger!” could be heard at the back of the North Stand.

The fact remains that no matter how much the ‘keeper studies the taker, if the taker hits it hard and accurate enough the ‘keeper has little or no chance. I don’t think Ricardo would have saved any of the Italian penalties last night (“Thank God”, says me £220 to the better!). But that’s a minor detail.

“Golden generation”, in a pig’s! Wal, who are these 6 world class players? Lampard did nothing. His 2nd half performance against Portugal was abysmal. Gerrard fine but he isn’t a Pirlo, Zidane, Ronaldino, or Figo. Rooney the Man Child. Ferdinand: I don’t think Cannevaro, Nesta, Lucio, Thuram and the German guy would lose any sleep. Paul Robinson good, but in the same league as Buffon, Lehmann, Kahn, Ricardo and the Swedish guy? Surely not? Ah, don’t tell me, it’s Crouch and Gary Neville. Hargreaves and the fragile Owen. I should have realised.

But it’s when it comes to Beckham that Wal really gets my goat. Here we have a player who is one footed, can’t dribble, can’t tackle, can’t head, doesn’t track back. Quality performer my arse. Accurate, sweeping passes? He put one good through ball and the commentators had an instant orgasm. The reality was he hammered the ball hopefully upfield and Rooney’s close control make the Duke look like a genius. The English commentators and Posh Spice have made Beckham. Sponsorship has made him virtually undroppable.

Sorry to be so savage but until you lads get real and stop exalting mediocrity England will never rise above beating Wales, Scotland and NI. Maybe they should reinstate the home champs. And yes, Sven is a total eejit. But now you have that overgrown boy scout McClaren. Too bad.

Ernie Whalley <bluevalentine(at)>


My 4 year old niece was at play group and all her little friends had football clothes to wear, but she was dressed as a fairy princess (her choice!). So, she asks uncle Dave:

“Where do the people get all the football clothes from?”

“I’ll get you some football clothes. Which do you want, the white one or the red one?” It’s World Cup after all and everyone’s gone a bit England mental.

“No, I want a nice blue one!”

Totally un-coached, Honest! Her mother’s from East Anglia and we’d decided to let her make her own choice, even though in reality, she’s genetically pre-programmed to a life of Blue misery?

I usually run about 3 shirts behind the team. Got me a nice First Advice top. So, I’m catching up. Or rather that has always been the plan. Now, my niece is the proud owner of my very first “purchased on launch day” City shirt and even though it’s a size 24 chest, I’ve got to say, I really like it. It’s the exact same colour of blue as my previous favourite, the V-neck SAAB number from the mid 80’s. Not sure what all the crying about the blue shorts is all about. It’s not the first time we’ve had blue shorts, try 1976 to 1985 for starters. And blue stays cleaner much longer than white. Ask any mother!

And if you’re wondering. I’ve renewed my season ticket, so I’m happy on 2 counts. The only thing I’m bothered about is the seriously messed up away schedule Sky have dumped on me and all the other away travellers. Now, there is an issue for people to get excited about.

Dave Lees <dave(at)>


Is anyone out there organising a MCIVTA Fantasy League for the forthcoming season, and if so could you please post details on McV?

I have my team all ready, but no league!

Many thanks, Jack Buckley <Jack10000days(at)>


Just to let everyone know that the website and my email address are back to normal following a change of hosting, which meant the site was unavailable for a day or so. The pages for the three new Premiership opponents, Sheffield United, Watford, and Reading have been added to the site, and the next task is to update the player pages with the close season arrivals and departures. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Steve Kay <steve(at)>

MCIVTA FAQ [v0506.02]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          :
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]Heidi Pickup,

Newsletter #1241