Newsletter #1269

Here goes for the last issue before normal service is resumed! It’s been a great experience and something I would be happy to do again. Having said that, I now realise that quite a bit of work goes into MCIVTA and will be forever appreciative of Heidi, Don, Paul and the rest of the team. I’ve been getting MCIVTA for a long time (certainly since Alan Ball was our manager and the infamous Andy Dibble was in goal) and it’s been a great read and a reliable source of good City info and chat – long may it continue.

No more match views, but following my request, we do have some reviews of the online service that are interesting. Also a dissenting voice to the doom and gloom about at the moment. Otherwise it’s another fairly sparse issue, I’m afraid.

Tonight’s News Summary comes courtesy of Sarah Longshaw, who has kindly stepped in for this issue, with news of City’s youngsters, a possible stadium naming deal and a fixture date change amongst other things.

The issue of ticket prices is one that is currently bothering me a lot and I think it’s going to come to a head sooner or later as the cost difference between going to the game and watching it on TV becomes ever greater. Do Sky, or any of the broadcasters, care about the prospect of showing games from half empty stadia? Needless to say, I could go on at great length about this, but will restrain myself for now!

Next game: Wigan Athletic, away, 12.45pm Saturday 21 October 2006


What’s In a Name (a revenue stream it would seem)? There’s a strong rumour doing the rounds that the naming rights to CoMS have been sold. According to MCFC Supporters’ trust “two separate reliable sources” have revealed that the naming rights to the stadium “had already been sold for £3 million a year to a former sponsor.” One possibility is Eidos, whose co-founder Ian Livingstone is known to be an avid City fan. Livingstone, the Company’s product acquisition director, was the person behind the 1999 shirt sponsorship deal. It’s also unclear whether any sponsorship money would go to the club or Manchester City Council, or for how long the deal is supposed to be for. The Club have, however, denied this.

Date Change: Manchester City have confirmed that the home game against Spurs has now been moved back by a day to Sunday, December 17th, with a kick-off time of 3.00pm due to Spurs’ involvement in the UEFA Cup.

Pearce Warns Against Ticket Greed: City boss Stuart Pearce has warned Premiership clubs not to cheat the public as fans begin to turn their back on the top flight. Traditionally, the Blues have one of the largest and most loyal away followings in the country, but for Saturday’s trip to Wigan, City have sold only 1,800 of a potential 5,000 allocation. Although some fans have undoubtedly been put off by the club’s poor recent away form and the game being live on pay-per-view TV, there is also a sense of rebellion at the £35 ticket charge, which is £10 higher than last season. While Pearce is not singling out City’s north-west rivals for specific criticism, he does feel a problem exists that needs to be addressed “I have a lot of sympathy for the amount of money being charged,” he said. “Clubs know that historically, our fans have always travelled in numbers.” Although Wigan fans who are not Latics members are being charged exactly the same price as City supporters to attend the game, Pearce is concerned about the desire of some clubs to increase ticket prices specifically for visiting fans, which he does not believe is right. “Sometimes clubs push up the price of tickets for away fans, which I cannot see the sense in,” he said. “In some ways, it is cheating the public. Visiting supporters should be charged exactly the same price as home fans.” City’s smaller away following means there will probably be less than 20,000 at the JJB for Saturday’s derby.

Bert Backs Cech to be Back: Bert Trautmann has backed Petr Cech to recover from neurosurgery and regain his status as one of the world’s premier goalkeepers. The City legend is talking from experience having suffered a broken neck before playing on in the 1956 FA Cup final triumph over Birmingham City at Wembley. Now in his 80s, Trautmann is still an avid follower of the English game, and warned people not to expect too much too soon when Cech finally returns to action, probably sometime next year.

Youth Triumphs: City’s young reserve side put in a fantastic performance and earnt a 2-1 victory over a very strong Sheffield United second string on Tuesday night. Frank Bunn described it as “a great result against a starting line-up that wouldn’t have disgraced a Championship side.” City had been 1-0 down at half time and had to fight to come from behind, but Bunn revealed afterwards: “The lads didn’t let their heads go down and we went about them in the second half and were rewarded with the quick two goals”. It was Paul Marshall who equalised on 50 minutes, with his third goal in just one and a half games. The Academy midfielder replaced Marc Laird, who was making his comeback following a hernia op. And within 10 minutes of the second half City had made it 2-1 as Kelvin Etuhu again showed his finishing ability as he put away a one-on-one with the ‘keeper.

And Will Continue to Feature… As midfielder Michael Johnson took his place on the bench last Saturday, he became the latest player to come off the Platt Lane conveyor belt and into Stuart Pearce’s first team squad, re-iterating the importance Pearce places on the Academy. “Credit to the Academy system, they’ve certainly kept the Club afloat with the Shaun Wright-Phillips money and I think you’ve only got to look at the likes of Micah Richards and Stephen Ireland for example. We need players like that to come through our system at this Club.” And with another local prospect, Ishmael Miller’s exciting performance against West Ham giving the fans something to shout about, the Blues’ boss reflected: “I think it gives the supporters and the football club a big lift if you can get someone from the Academy system through.” He also added how he tracked the progress of former Academy graduates such as Croft, Flood, and Bradley Wright-Phillips, all of whom were sold this summer. And Pearce believes the Club’s future is in safe hands with the talent being produced at Platt Lane.

But Tranmere Youngsters Get the Better of Our Reserves: Tranmere Rovers Reserves beat Manchester City Reserves 3-1 at Prenton in a Pontins Holidays League Division One West clash. The City consolation came out of the blue on 87 minutes and was credited to James Poole.

Stuart Set For Strike(r): Olympiakos hitman, Michalis Konstantinou, and MK Dons’ Izale McLeod are the latest names to be linked with City’s already not insignificant strike force (except in terms of results that is).

No Defence: Meanwhile City could be left short at the back – with Portsmouth and Newcastle reportedly about to rekindle earlier efforts to land the “still un- re-signed” Sylvain Distin.

The Laddie’s Not For Turning: Meanwhile, Stuart Pearce has come to terms with the fact that there will also be interest for Micah Richards, who is highly regard as one of the prospects for the future. Although Richards signed a new four-year deal in the summer, Pearce admits it could be hard to keep him if a bigger club shows an interest. “We’re not actively looking to sell Micah. I like him as a player, I’ve backed him from the time he was a 17-year-old and we think he has got a bright future at this club, but it does concern me [that he could get his head turned].” (and were we not “not actively looking to sell SWP” either – look what’s happened there Micah!)

But Jones Could Be Right on Track: Billy Jones, Crewe’s recently transfer-listed defender, could be a possible replacement The 19-year-old, who is out of contract at the end of the season and has rejected an offer to stay at Gresty Road, has been watched by City scouts.

And Claudio Reyna Could Be On His Way: City’s American international has endured a difficult time at Eastlands since arriving from Sunderland for £2.5 million in the summer of 2003, due in no small part to a number of injury problems. Now, as he is out of contract at the end of the current season, it is being reported in his homeland that the midfielder will be leaving City to return to the States with New York Red Bulls in January. Reyna has started sixty league games in his time in Manchester, netting four goals in the process.

Lacklustre, Lacking in Goals, and Generally Awful! Pearce has pointed to a lack of firepower as the reason behind City’s lacklustre 0-0 draw at home to Sheffield United (hence the reason for the reported scouting of more strikers?) “I’m very disappointed. We didn’t show enough fire or creativity to win the game, a draw was probably a fair result on the run of play. We had the odd opportunity to score, but I feel we have to do more in the Premiership to win matches.” The good points – “Joe Hart’s got a start under his belt and the captain was good, as was Richards, plus we have kept another clean sheet at home but we have got to do more at home to win against the likes of Sheffield United, and that’s no disrespect to them.”

All’s Fair in Football… Hatem Trabelsi is predicting a bright future for the team mate that he is competing against for the right back spot. The Tunisian World Cup star started on Saturday, on the right of midfield, but a tactical switch at half time saw him move to right back, where Micah Richards had played before the break. Richards, who moved over to left-back, has clearly impressed Trabelsi: who said: “Micah is young and I think he can be the future for this club and for England. He’s a very good player and it’s good for the club when you have two players in competition for a place. Maybe I have more experience than him, but I already see a very good player there and if he can learn a few more things he could be a great player.” The former Ajax man is happy to play in either position: “I started out in football in midfield, it does not really matter which position I play in. It depends on what the Manager asks me to do, sometimes it will be right wing and other times at right back, but I don’t have a problem with that.” The draw with Sheffield United was Hatem’s first appearance in front of the home support, but he is determined to see a better result when City make the short trip to the JJB Stadium next Saturday. “We have great players in the team and I think we can do much better, we just have to forget about this result and concentrate on the next game against Wigan.”

The Boy Done Good: Joe Hart’s Manchester City début has been picked out as a bright spot from Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Sheffield United by Stuart Pearce. The 19-year-old who was called upon after Nicky Weaver picked up an injury during the week did not appear fazed and Pearce feels that there is more to come from him. “He’s a 19-year-old boy going out in front of 40,000 people – that’s not easy. That experience and games like this will help him, we bought him because we feel that he has a bright future and the more games like that he gets under his belt, the better for him. Joe’s been on the bench for every game this season, which is a bonus for him with the goalkeepers we have, but now he’s made his début, which is fantastic for him.”

Rising to the Challenge: Richard Dunne, who took over City’s captaincy from the dithering Distin, this summer has admitted that his manager has played a huge rôle in his growth as an individual. “It is great for the manager to have such faith in me,” the Republic of Ireland defender claims. “Hopefully, I will improve as the skipper and the performances will also get better and better. I have changed as a person and a player in the last three years. Hopefully, the captaincy and becoming a dad earlier this year will only add to that. I am not a captain that shouts a lot but I aim to lead by example. I take great pride in the job and Manchester City as a football club.”

Injury Ins and Outs: Vassell is stepping up his return to fitness and could be back this weekend against Wigan. Meanwhile, Onouha could also return after shaking off a couple of niggling injuries, but it’s bad news for Sun Jihai who has had a further setback with his hamstring.

Sarah Longshaw <news(at)>


Does everybody else quickly scan through the boring financial reports?

If you are not renewing your season ticket because of the up and down nature of the team you aren’t a real City fan anyway and somebody else will appreciate it.

Stop moaning about getting away from the game, you are lucky to go to a game.

Stop moaning about your treatment at the game, treat others as you wish to be treated.

We let 2 real goal scorers go so we will have trouble scoring. At least we are not letting in many (or any at home).

[I understand that the financial reports aren’t to everyone’s taste, but I will defend Colin for the work he has put into trying to make sense of it all, and I know some do appreciate the information – Euan]

CTID, J Heavis <JHeavis502(at)>


I tried and two of us viewed the match live vs. Sheffield. It cost £2.30 and it’s the best deal I’ve had for a long time. Apart from a few short frozen episodes and a short break in transmission, the coverage and commentary were fine. For the price of a pint it’s a winner and almost too good to be true! What’s the catch?

Peter <peter.birbeck(at)>


This is in response to the request for feedback on I have used it three times this season to watch matches that were not available on my US cable system. Matches that used to be available on pay-per-view for $20 are now on Setanta, which I can’t get.

When more than one Premier League match is available, the one shown on the site is chosen by vote. We seem to have mastered the art of placing enough votes to win comfortably every time – I’m not sure how long that can continue but it’s been very handy so far.

To watch a game you need to be registered on the site, and matches are paid for using PaylPal (not sure if there are other payment options). I watch the streams using WinAmp, which works very well, but there is also a web player available.

The stream starts a few minutes before kick-off, which can be a bit nerve-wracking if you’ve paid your money and you’re still not getting anything two minutes before it’s due to start.

The quality is decent but not as good as watching on television. It’s not easy to tell the players apart or follow the ball accurately in wide-angle shots, for example. The games seem to be from an Arabic satellite channel – at least the ones I’ve seen – with English commentary (Sky?), relayed from someone’s TV tuner (he sometimes changes channels during HT). The service is not 100% reliable, for instance the sound was turned right down for one game, but compared to my experiences with TVAnts and PPLive it’s well worth the £2.30 for a match. You can also pay £10.00 and get unlimited games for 30 days, but be warned: I just noticed that the subscription is automatically renewed every month if you don’t cancel it. I’m sure this is a ‘grey area’ at best, so who knows how long we’ll be able to use this site. For now I’m happy to give this bloke my money in exchange for a simple and reasonably reliable way to watch City when matches aren’t on TV.

Martin Price <mprice2(at)>



You asked if anyone watched the Sheffield United match on the site. I watched it, much to my sorrow and pain. Technically it was ok, any streaming Internet site will have the odd pause whilst the buffer refills, and this site was as good as any. The actual pictures are via an arabic site (Al Jazerah?), and the commentary is the usual Sky Sports team. It cost £2.30 (by Paypal) but you also got the other two live Sky offerings included in the price (i.e. Wigan vs. the dark side, and the 5.15 offering, which I didn’t watch).

I can’t be bothered commenting on City’s display or I will get high blood pressure and start using words not suitable for polite company.

Jack Millington <jackblue(at)>


I subscribed to the game for £2.30. In fact for that you got all three games on Saturday. Two from Sky and ours from a Midlle East station. So for £2.30 I got a game that wasn’t on Sky and a PremPlus fixture that would normally cost £7, not that I would have paid that much to watch Reading and Chelsea.

The quality was OK. English commentary, again courtesy of Sky. For a super clear picture you need to watch it in the original sized screen. You can go to full screen but it gets quite grainy. However, it was still watchable and I persevered with this ’cause I can’t watch small screens.

I’ll certainly subscribe again when the game isn’t on Sky. They are covering this week’s game against Wigan but I’ll be taking the Sky option.

Dave Kilroy <dave.kilroy(at)>


Ever since I discovered MCIVTA I have been an avid reader and find it keeps me up to date and informed about what is happening in the club. The recent financial articles have been very enlightening and though I don’t pretend to fully understand all of what is being said, the broad picture is somewhat worrying.

What I am really writing about is to find out if there are any City scouts operating in my area and if so how would I contact them and get them to run their eye over a young chap I think could do a job. I live in Ireland about 55 miles north of Dublin and the young chap in question is a Brazilian immigrant playing in our local league; I know it sounds a bit far fetched and realise the gulf in class between what I watch live and the Premiership is huge but really this kid deserves a look. I know that a couple of League of Ireland clubs have shown some interest so he must be doing something right. Anyway, if you think it would interest anyone or if you can get a contact name you can pass on my details?

[Anyone able to offer John any pointers? I tend to think that the Premiership clubs are pretty hot these days on spotting talent so ought to have snapped him up by now if he was considered good enough, but I might be wrong – Euan]

John Hetherton <jhetherton(at)>


Just to let any City Mac users know, there is a Dashboard widget for us Blues on the .mac download site courtesy of top man Ed at Sports Monkey…

I happened to see some other ones mailed on Sunday to ask if they planned a City one; by today it was done…

For you PC luddites, never mind!

[I gather this hasn’t been uploaded just yet, but should be online any time soon – nice to see something for us Apple Mac users! Euan]

CTIB, jimcfc <jim_parsons(at)>


16 October 2006

Fulham                2 - 1  Charlton Athletic     19,179

League table to 18 October 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   8  3  0  1  8  2  3  1  0  9  3  6  1  1  17   5  12   19
 2 Chelsea          8  3  1  0  7  2  3  0  1  6  2  6  1  1  13   4   9   19
 3 Bolton Wndrs     8  3  1  0  5  0  2  1  1  4  4  5  2  1   9   4   5   17
 4 Portsmouth       8  3  0  1  6  1  2  1  1  6  2  5  1  2  12   3   9   16
 5 Arsenal          7  2  2  0  8  2  2  0  1  3  2  4  2  1  11   4   7   14
 6 Aston Villa      8  3  1  0  7  2  0  4  0  3  3  3  5  0  10   5   5   14
 7 Everton          8  2  2  0  8  4  1  2  1  5  4  3  4  1  13   8   5   13
 8 Reading          8  2  1  1  5  4  2  0  2  4  4  4  1  3   9   8   1   13
 9 Blackburn R.     8  2  1  1  7  6  1  2  1  2  4  3  3  2   9  10  -1   12
10 Fulham           8  2  1  1  4  4  1  2  1  6  9  3  3  2  10  13  -3   12
11 Liverpool        8  3  1  0  8  2  0  1  3  1  7  3  2  3   9   9   0   11
12 Manchester City  8  2  2  0  3  0  0  1  3  3  9  2  3  3   6   9  -3    9
13 Middlesbrough    8  2  0  2  4  7  0  2  2  4  6  2  2  4   8  13  -5    8
14 Tottenham H.     8  2  1  1  4  3  0  1  3  1  7  2  2  4   5  10  -5    8
15 Newcastle Utd    8  1  1  2  5  6  1  0  3  2  6  2  1  5   7  12  -5    7
16 Sheff. United    8  1  2  1  4  4  0  1  3  0  6  1  3  4   4  10  -6    6
17 Wigan Athletic   7  1  1  1  3  4  0  1  3  4  7  1  2  4   7  11  -4    5
18 West Ham United  8  1  1  2  4  5  0  1  3  2  7  1  2  5   6  12  -6    5
19 Watford          8  0  3  1  5  6  0  1  3  2  7  0  4  4   7  13  -6    4
20 Charlton Ath.    8  1  0  3  3  6  0  0  4  3  9  1  0  7   6  15  -9    3

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]Euan Bayliss,

Newsletter #1269