Newsletter #1257

Technical trials, tacklegate and last minute transfers all feature in Don’s news round-up tonight.

We have a starter on the financial debate, opinion on ticketing and DMB and a request for a good cause.

The young Pontins reserve team got battered 4-0 by Blackpool on Wednesday, with young Logan suffering a broken leg after a nasty crunch.

Reading on Monday, enjoy the weekend!

Next game: Reading, away, 8pm Monday 11 September 2006 (TV)


MCFC Phone Home… David Warburton found this item on the website, which explains how City are planning ever more ingenious methods of making punters part with their cash. “Manchester City FC introduces mobile ticketing. Manchester City are expanding their trial of using fans’ mobile phones as tickets when they play Arsenal this weekend. A select group of top customers have been supplied with modified near-field communication Nokia phones fitted with RF chips that enable the user to purchase electronic tickets and then operate turnstiles at the ground using special readers. The system can also be used for targeted advertising and promotions, such as offering discounts to fans who arrive early, and providing wallpaper, ringtones and club merchandise. The scheme will then be rolled out from Christmas, though it will only work with the modified phones supplied by Man City. It will be interesting to see if this is something that can be extended to other clubs, and if some kind of standard emerges. It would be a tad inconvenient needing a different phone for each ground.” Not wishing to be sceptical, but if City fans come across fellow Blues at the COMS hitting their mobile phone into the turnstile scanners and cursing, you’ll know how well this new scheme’s working.

Not Enough: The press have squeezed another few inches out of the Pedro Mendes/ Ben Thatcher affair this week by quoting Mendes’ opinion on the punishment given to the City full-back. “Manchester City have banned Thatcher for six games and that is not enough for me,” said Mendes. “But if that is how they see the incident then it is the way it will be, and my opinion does not change anything. I already said that I was ready to give my version of events if I was asked, but nothing will happen. I believe Thatcher will be regretting what he did – if this lesson has been learnt then we have gained something for football.”

You’ll Never See Psycho in the Daily Express: Mr Pearce just can’t shake off his punk days – a MCV punter’s seen him again, attending the gig of a certain primeval punk poet. Harry Stopes writes: “I spotted Stuart Pearce in the audience at The Lowry last night, watching the great John Cooper Clarke. JCC noticed him too and pointed him out to the audience.”

Andy’s Handy Hand Out: In the aftermath of Andy Cole jumping ship to Portsmouth last week, comes a few little digs between Cole and his former employers. While not in the same league as the unseemly spat between William Galas and his former club Chelsea, there have been a few less than complimentary utterances in the press over Cole’s departure. Sky Sports talked to Psycho, who wasn’t giving too much away to start with. “He talked to me four days before the window was due to shut,” said SP. “I said to him ‘What can we do to make you stay at the football club? Can we extend you on an appearance situation going beyond this year?’ That wasn’t enough obviously and he decided to leave the club. My initial viewpoint was ‘You are not going anywhere’, to be fair. I had two and a half days of telling him he couldn’t go anywhere, but the scenario and the situation that developed from it was that at the end of the day I probably couldn’t stop him going anywhere so I just had to swallow that one and get on with it.” More details of this “developing scenario” that lead to Cole’s hasty exit soon came to light, with SP suggesting that Cole’s people had implied that Cole might retire immediately if his sudden desire to join Pompey wasn’t fulfilled. “There were suggestions that the player might retire if I didn’t let him go,” said Pearce. “After that was suggested to me what choice did I have? In the terms of negotiations it was mentioned that this deal was too good to turn down and it might be a case of the player retiring if we did not agree to the transfer. That came from the agent. It was a bit disappointing and as soon as you hear that then you just move on and say ‘right, okay’. We decided, myself, the chairman and the chief executive to take the money on the player and move on.” However, a spokesman for Proactive Sports Management, who act as Cole’s agents, stated: “It never was the case that either Andy or us on his behalf threatened that he would retire. Manchester City had no offer on the table until very late in the 11th hour. When they did produce an offer it came nowhere near to matching that made by Portsmouth.”

50p-Head Sold For… Just a quick recap on a couple of deals that were completed on transfer deadline day, and that occurred after last week’s News Summary appeared. The least anticipated move had to be Newcastle United’s signing of Antoine Sibierski on a one-year deal for an undisclosed fee. Yes folks, the Toon paid money for him. Sibs had been mentioned recently as a potential makeweight in a deal for Olivier Thomert, but when that deal with Lens fell through, Newcastle stepped in. The 32-year-old scored 11 goals in 92 games for City having been brought in from Lens by KK. The Frenchman began his career at Lille, where he bagged 17 goals in 97 matches before going on to Auxerre and then Nantes in 1998. Sibierski had a year left on his City contract.

On Da Marc: We did report that American World Cup star DaMarcus Beasley was on his way to the club on a season-long loan deal from PSV Eindhoven – this deal was duly completed last Thursday. Beasley played a vital rôle for PSV when they progressed to the Champions’ League semi-final in 2005, and the player has been capped 57 times by his country and appeared in all three of the USA’s games at the 2006 World Cup. SP said of his new recruit: “DaMarcus has got vast experience and he’s only 24 years old. He’s played Champions’ League football for PSV and for the USA on many occasions. I think in some ways a loan deal gives us a chance to have a look at him see how he copes with the Premiership. It’s a great opportunity for him and anyone coming from abroad in to the Premiership at the moment can see it’s now the best league in the world without a doubt.”

Donny not so Sure: Doncaster Rovers Chairman John Ryan sounded a bit less sure this week about hometown boy KK becoming Rovers’ new boss. “I have not spoken to him yet but it might be a challenge for him if he is interested in coming back into football,” Ryan told BBC Radio Five Live. “You never know with Kevin. Kevin is his own man and he’ll make his own mind up. He’ll probably tell me to get lost but that’s life. He’s from Doncaster, he used to support Doncaster Rovers as a child and I know he’s always had a bit of affinity for us, so you never know.”

Bedding in at Ballymena: SP thinks that the trip to Northern Ireland for a friendly with Ballymena United was useful – it helped some of the new boys get to know their new teammates, for instance. “When you do bring new players in you can’t expect them to fit in straight away, you have to give them some time do that. At some clubs, new players may not see the light of day for six months but I can’t afford that luxury, they have to get on with it from day one. We have to realise that they need time to bed in, but I think the Ballymena game was paramount for us with the two-week break.” He also paid tribute to the City fans that turned out for the game. “Wherever we travel, we get the supporters with us, it’s what the club is all about. It’s the people’s club and we have a fantastic following wherever we go. It does not matter if it’s the other side of the world in China or an hour’s flight away in Northern Ireland, our supporters always come and watch us. The fans make the football club.” And the manager hopes that the uplifting experience of beating Arsenal can continue into the next Premier League game at Reading. “There’s been a feelgood factor around the club after beating Arsenal, we have to make sure that’s enjoyed but put to bed come Monday when we start building up to the game against Reading,” he says.

Tales from the Front Line: Bernardo Corradi has set his sights on a first City goal, while he feels the win against Arsenal can act as a launch pad for the season. He said: “Losing at Stamford Bridge can happen to anybody, but since then we have had a good point from Portsmouth and now the win against Arsenal, so our belief is high. It’s great to beat someone like Arsenal because you are on such a high when you come back into training you don’t feel so tired. It is a lift.” He added: “I hope to get more chances to score, but that’s OK because sometimes you have to work for the team and other times the team has to work for you. I am happy to be here and be part of the team.” A younger member of the squad, Ishmael Miller, is pleased with the progress he’s making this season. “I’m delighted. There’s been three games and I’ve been in the squad for two of them”, said the 19-year-old. “Everything’s going in the right way at the moment. I’ll keep plugging away to try to get my starting place in the team by grafting hard and doing as much as I can. I’ve just got to keep going forward and impressing hopefully. The Manager has given me plenty of encouragement. He’s told me what I need to do to get a starting position and make sure I’m in the squad week in, week out. I’m just trying to do those things and obviously it’s going to make me a better player and give the Manager a better player for his squad and hopefully I can do things for the club.” After a couple of upbeat messages from the players, comes word of a disappointing injury. Darius Vassell has been ruled out for at least two weeks with a knee strain. The former England forward suffered medial ligament damage during the Arsenal game, and SP has revealed: “It’s a blow but one of those things you have to expect during the season. Vass is at home resting at the minute and we hope that the injury will not require surgery.”

Don Barrie <news(at)>


There has been a lot of interest in and debate about the club’s finances over the last few years and about the only thing that is clear about these is that they are not clear to most people and many would like to understand the accounts and our overall financial situation better. Questions such as:

  • Who owns the club and can I become a shareholder?
  • Just how much do we owe, to who do we owe it and are our debts really manageable?
  • What happened, in financial terms, when we moved from Maine Road into CoMS?
  • How much money, if any, do we actually make each year and where does it go?
  • Just what do all the figures mean and how, if at all, do they impact our performance on the pitch?

I’m not a financial wizard and I don’t have any insider secrets or “smoking gun” that will blow the lid off City’s finances but I do know a little bit about these things. I cannot advise you whether to buy the shares or not as I’m not authorised to give investment advice so you will have to make your own minds up. However, I would like to try to de-mystify some of the figures and issues around the finances. I am planning about 6 articles and the first one is around the issue of the ownership and management of the club. The latest accounts will be out next month and I’d like to do what I can to help people understand these. Watch this space.

Colin Savage <colin(at)>


I just thought I would add my two-pence worth to the ticketing debate. I live down South and wanted to attend the Reading game with three mates, one a London Blue and the two others mates of mine who are neutral but fancy coming along (potential future supporters).

I only attend about 6 games a season, but when I found out we could not sell our allocation I called up to buy four tickets at £32 each. I was told that in order to do this I would have to pay £3.50 for three access cards (I already have one) plus £1.50 a ticket booking fee. I would also have to supply the names, addresses, and date of birth of all three of my friends. Thus an already hugely overpriced £32 ticket becomes £37. When I asked why City were making it so difficult for me to give them £128 I was told that it was important for City to have a record of everyone who attends each match and which seat they are in case of any trouble.

I was told though that if I came to the ground I could fill in a form and get the tickets with no booking fee or fee for the access cards.

I thus got my brother to go along to the stadium as he lives in Manchester. He filled in three made up names and addresses and was given three new access cards. He also got four tickets to the match and charged them to my credit card, despite the fact that all he had was the card number and the expiry date, the credit card remaining in my wallet down South.

Two points:

Firstly, why are City making it so difficult for people to attend matches at a time when attendances are falling? My brother and mother have given up their season tickets this year for similar reasons; when my brother called City to change the position of their seats in the ground he was told he would have to write in and request the seats he wanted. My brother had had enough at this point and just did not bother renewing his and my mum’s ticket. Why the person at the end of the phone could not have looked at a computer, established which seats were free and allocated the appropriate ones to my brother and mum is beyond me; after all they can do this quite easily in my local cinema for four screenings a day!

Secondly, why do all football clubs introduce all sorts of rules and regulations in the name of hooliganism, when to the average punter it just seems like a way to squeeze a few extra quid out of everyone who attends a match and an excuse to employ a bunch of losers with nothing better to do on a Saturday than impose farcical rules on those attending matches (other examples that spring to mind regard standing during matches, where you can and can not have a drink, the idiot steward preventing Distin giving his shirt to a kid in the crowd at Charlton last season and the ever increasing regulation you have to go through to get a ticket). For far too long fans at all grounds have been treated like idiots who can be treated as such while the clubs relieve them of large amounts of money. This is just about acceptable if you are a shareholder and you sell out of tickets home and away every week. Surely City must realise that they need to start treating their fans like successful businesses treat their customers if they are going to arrest the worrying decline we have seen in attendances over the last few years.

Please can you withhold my name as the last time it was published it led to too much e-mail traffic on my work account?

JC c/o <editor(at)>


A fine article by Dillon Allie in the last edition of MCIVTA. I add my faith in DaMarcus Beasley.

I would like to add that the Manchester Evening News is a fine newspaper. However, the Manchester City FC section of the site and the comments made there are not always made by City supporters. I was warned by a friend some time ago that many Rag supporters go in there pretending to be City supporters and make bad remarks about the City players, manager, and club.

If a stranger to the newspaper reads these comments they of course would think that City supporters are a little hostile against their own players and club.

I go into that site because I want to make comments that are true and fair about our proud club; when we lose I get as upset as any other City fan, but within reason, I like to tell those pretenders to stop their moaning etc. and please I am not trying to say that I am always right. But we need to drown the Rag pretenders out, this is our City!

There are of course real City supporters who go into the same site who are fair and just critics who, when upset, will tell it as it is, for as we all know not everything is great, and we are all wanting so much to see City win a trophy.

My message is do not believe everything you read: are the comments made by genuine City fans? So take it with a pinch of salt.

The game at Reading, Beasley to cross the ball over for Corradi to score the first goal!

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


If you have what it takes to push yourself to the limit, why not join us for the second Marie Curie Cancer Care Zipwire Event at the City of Manchester Stadium – it promises to be an unforgettable experience.

It takes place at the ground on Saturday October 21 and Sunday October 22.

To take part, we ask a £10 registration fee and that you raise as much sponsorship as you can. If you can’t persuade your friends and family to take part too, then they can come and watch!

Marie Curie Cancer Care provide high quality nursing, totally free, to give terminally ill people the choice to die at home supported by their families.

We thank you for your help in funding this special service.

If you’d like any more information, please don’t hesitate to give me a call on 0161 255 2809 or 07787 574 837.

Jemma Halman – Community Fundraising Manager, Marie Curie Cancer Care


League table to 03 September 2006 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Manchester Utd   3  1  0  0  5  1  2  0  0  5  1  3  0  0  10   2   8   9
 2 Portsmouth       3  1  0  0  3  0  1  1  0  4  0  2  1  0   7   0   7   7
 3 Aston Villa      3  2  0  0  4  1  0  1  0  1  1  2  1  0   5   2   3   7
 4 Everton          3  1  0  0  2  1  1  1  0  3  1  2  1  0   5   2   3   7
 5 Chelsea          3  1  0  0  3  0  1  0  1  3  2  2  0  1   6   2   4   6
 6 West Ham United  3  1  0  0  3  1  0  1  1  2  3  1  1  1   5   4   1   4
 7 Liverpool        2  1  0  0  2  1  0  1  0  1  1  1  1  0   3   2   1   4
 8 Bolton Wndrs     3  1  0  0  2  0  0  1  1  1  3  1  1  1   3   3   0   4
 9 Manchester City  3  1  1  0  1  0  0  0  1  0  3  1  1  1   1   3  -2   4
10 Fulham           3  1  1  0  2  1  0  0  1  1  5  1  1  1   3   6  -3   4
11 Wigan Athletic   2  1  0  0  1  0  0  0  1  1  2  1  0  1   2   2   0   3
12 Reading          3  1  0  0  3  2  0  0  2  1  3  1  0  2   4   5  -1   3
13 Newcastle Utd    2  1  0  0  2  1  0  0  1  0  2  1  0  1   2   3  -1   3
14 Tottenham H.     3  1  0  1  2  2  0  0  1  0  2  1  0  2   2   4  -2   3
15 Charlton Ath.    3  1  0  1  2  3  0  0  1  1  3  1  0  2   3   6  -3   3
16 Middlesbrough    3  1  0  1  2  5  0  0  1  2  3  1  0  2   4   8  -4   3
17 Arsenal          2  0  1  0  1  1  0  0  1  0  1  0  1  1   1   2  -1   1
18 Watford          3  0  1  1  2  3  0  0  1  1  2  0  1  2   3   5  -2   1
19 Sheff. United    3  0  1  0  1  1  0  0  2  0  3  0  1  2   1   4  -3   1
20 Blackburn R.     3  0  1  1  1  3  0  0  1  0  3  0  1  2   1   6  -5   1

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0607.01]

[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 Radio Manchester (née 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 Plus Markets Group web site 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] I hear there is a TV programme specifically about City?

InsideMCFC is broadcasted by ChannelM. It is available on the SkyDigital (ch.203) and NTL (ch.26) platforms as well as being transmittedtraditionally within the Manchester area (ch.39). In addition, theprogramme is available to watch via the web. More details and schedule:

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 #1257