Newsletter #1329

This edition includes yet more opinion on the takeover and the Manager’s position. Also a request from a Blue in France.

Keep your articles coming to the usual address of <editor(at)>.

Next game: TBA


Now that the manager has gone, the assistant manager has gone, the coaching staff are going, a number of first team players are being shown the door, followed by the chief scout and hopefully some of the board members, the question has to be asked why was this not done long ago?

The next job is to sort out the PR department. What an embarrassment they have turned out to be; any time a fan writes in complaining or points out something we are given short shrift and/or a lecture, but they can’t keep the players in check. Over the last few months everyone has been contradicting each other. In the end fans were cringing, waiting for the next lot of dirty washing to be aired in public. Well, let’s hope the next season isn’t as bad as this one.

Don Price <cathdonprice(at)>


I don’t wish to sound patronising, but can I ask Philip van Gass to read up on City’s 1996/97 season, in particular to the names of the various managers/caretaker managers we had that season. This will give him an understanding as to why Steve Coppell will never be a future manager of MCFC. And it has nothing to do with him being an ex-Red!

Phill Gatenby <safestanding(at)>


I was surprised to read that Philip van Gass thought that being an ex-Rag may cloud people’s judgement when considering Steve Coppell as a possibility for City’s next manager. That wouldn’t bother me in the slightest, like it didn’t bother me in 1997 when Coppell was appointed manager at City. What did bother me was Stevie boy doing a runner after 30 days because he was feeling peaky. Why don’t we re-appoint Frank Clark? The fact that he was useless shouldn’t cloud people’s judgement?

Jeff Roycroft <jeff.roycroft(at)>


May I reply to John Nisbet about offering Hoddle as a candidate. I was, and am, thinking purely on a football level. I liked the way his teams played, that’s all. I have no intention of endorsing his past comments, but who is there that hasn’t said something stupid in the past? I am sorry if my suggestion churned your butter, but it looks like we are looking at Ranieri anyway.

Europe here we come!

Stu Wells <kipp(at)>


I posted an article some time ago saying that after many, many years, I had not renewed my season ticket. I still have not done this and I saw in one of the papers last week that “Sven is in the running for City boss”.

God help us. The most charismatic bloke on the globe (not) running our team? Well it helps a lot with my decision about whether or not to renew. I feel completely despondent about the future and look forward to improving my golf handicap rather than wasting time going to (where did he get all his money from?), and this after 55 years of unquestioning loyalty. Maybe I’m growing up at last?

Christopher Ryder <christopherryd(at)>


Phillip Calderhead would do well to switch to the Mozilla Thunderbird/Firefox e-mail and web browser combo. It would retain his contacts and has its own, tuneable spam filters.


That Way as sung by Frank Shinawatra

So now, Stu ‘Pyscho’ Pearce
Has gone and faced the final curtain.
My friends, I’ll say it clear,
We don’t want Nigel Clough from Burton

We’ve lived a life that’s dull
Scored less at home than on the highway;
No more, no more like this,
Let’s do it Thai way.

Regrets, we’ve had a few;
Indeed, there’s loads that we could mention.
Five strikers who can’t shoot
And a midfield short of invention

Left wingers far too slow
To make some progress down the bye-way
So now, if you don’t mind
We’ll tread the Thai way

Yes, there were times, we went behind
To substitutions Stu was blind
And when we needed to attack
Your man would play five at the back
We won f**k all, like Clark and Ball
So let’s go Thai way

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried.
I’ve had more than my share of losing.
And now, as tears subside,
Console myself in heavy boozing

To think I did all that;
And may I say – not in a shy way,
But I’ll be on the dry
When we go Thai way

Oh what is Sam, what has he got?
A big long ball to win one-nought.
Let’s have Van Gaal or Tinkerman
To put in place a proper plan
All out attack, just for the crack
When we go Thai way

True Blues who like a little poetry, philosophy, humour and the occasional glimpse of tasty crumpet with their suffering should maybe take a look at aka “Izzet”

Ernie Whalley <bluevalentine(at)>


I used to have major doubts about Thaksin Shinawatra, but the more I understand Thai society and politics, the more my attitude toward him softens. I neither like him nor dislike him. Corruption charges have been brought against Thaksin by the ruling military elite who obviously has an interest in discrediting Thaksin. They haven’t managed to make anything stick yet, and it isn’t certain that they will.

While they throw stones at Thaksin, it should be clearly understood that seizing power by military coup is both illegal and undemocratic. Full stop. Thaksin has made the vast majority of his wealth from legitimate means (telecoms etc.). The military elite is grandstanding in Thailand. Their strategy is risky to say the least. The military may achieve small political gains from pedalling corruption charges, but if the charges against Thaksin stick, it may incur the wrath of the global business community who will worry about too much interference. The international community largely views Thaksin’s dealings as legitimate. These are worrying times indeed for Thailand’s economy because the uncertainty may lead to foreign investors withdrawing investment from Thailand.

Of course Thaksin is surrounded by his cronies and possesses his faults, including the human rights allegations, which sit very uncomfortably with me, but what is most interesting is the difference in Thai perceptions of Thaksin. My sister-in-law is from Chiang Mai in northern Thailand and she recognises the benefits Thaksin brought whilst in office: increased investment in the north, strong economic growth, much better access to education (particularly for women), and greater access to healthcare that all Thais, regardless of social group, now enjoy.

What I do find rather odd is that the opposition parties realised they were going to get trounced in the elections, so they refused to participate, citing corruption yet again. The election was subsequently annulled, which in itself is unconstitutional. Herein lies an interesting debate about democracy, power and legitimacy in Thai governance and politics. Putting aside the human rights and corruption allegations for a moment, my biggest initial fear is that Thaksin isn’t a serious investor and is using City to maintain his public and political profile. We’ll see. However, as a listed company on the Stock Exchange, there are key questions that City fans and the City would like answered prior to any potential takeover by Dr Thaksin and his associates:

Human rights issues continue to stain Thaksin’s reign as Thai PM. During Thaksin’s war on drugs more than 2,500 people were killed, not only drug dealers and their associates, but also drug users (i.e. innocent, vulnerable adults). Moreover, because of the state influenced violence, users with HIV+/AIDS were forced into hiding and prevented from accessing medical treatments for their conditions, many reverting to the unsafe practice of sharing needles and increasing the risk to themselves and other vulnerable users of contracting HIV/AIDS:

There are concerns that Dr Thaksin seems to be overriding City executives on the choice of a new manager. This is not entirely surprising given that Thaksin is first and foremost a politician. It is being widely reported that he is going against advice from club sources within Eastlands before an offer is made (e.g. Thaksin’s preference Mr Ranieri as the next City manager, against the wishes of the City board, apparently, who prefer other candidates). It suggests there may be no limits to Thaksin’s interference. Moreover, over the weekend it has been widely reported that Thaksin wants City’s reserve team to include Thai youngsters, regardless of ability. Whilst it is not unreasonable and entirely noble that young Thai footballers should benefit from a proposed takeover, this should not be at the expense of more able non-Thai players. If this is the case, then this deal should be kicked out. We have one of the finest football academies in British football, and in one act of stupidity, Thaksin wants to undermine this, furthermore it reveals how little he understands about football.

There are acute concerns that the football club may be run without any transparency and democracy whatsoever. Thaksin isn’t known for delegating authority. There are deep reservations as to whether or not the fans (including representative bodies such as the Manchester City Supporters’ Trust) will have any say in the way the club is run. Unsympathetic City fans are likely to be an obstacle to Thaksin and his political ambitions. It is rumoured that his London PR company, Holborn PR, are deluding themselves that a £50 million player fund will be sufficient to counter fans’ legitimate concerns.

Who exactly is the rebranded Dr Thaksin? What monies are being used to fund his purchase of Manchester City? At the end of May 2007, Thailand’s Constitution Tribunal is scheduled to hand down its rulings in the party dissolution cases brought against the Thai Rak Thai and Democrat parties, who were accused of electoral fraud. Let us not forget that Thaksin was forced from office following the sale of shares in the Shin Corporation to Temasek Holdings. He must answer charges of tax evasion, abuse of power and other charges in July 2007. With such distractions, one wonders how the present City board can entertain such a proposal from Thaksin, especially when there are other offers on the table.

Clearly, it cannot be discounted that we are once again being led down a blind alley by Mr Wardle and his associates. They continue to reveal their true colours by putting their own interests first. Mr Wardle may take the money and run, but I would urge Wardle and his board to consider what type of legacy they are leaving behind?

If Thaksin clears his name (or as is more likely cuts a deal with the ruling military elite in Bangkok), then and only then can City consider any offer involving the former Thai PM. I for one am not against the idea of the football club falling into Thai ownership. However, John Wardle and Shinawatra’s representatives should come clean now and answer any legitimate concerns that City fans and the City may have. If they do this, they can expect loyal and passionate backing from City fans. If they don’t do this, the risks – unwanted publicity, interference and lack of fans’ involvement – can only backfire against Thaksin and the club in the long term.

Martin Lever – St Petersburg Blue ( <citehboy(at)>)



I have attached a link to a review in today’s Times by Joey’s mentor at Sporting Chance, Peter Kay (no, not that one). Whilst this is a one sided review, it is a clear and professional insight into Joey’s character and reaffirms my opinion that we need more like him people striving for excellence at City. It also offers an insight into some of the shortcomings in our set up in comparison with England. Now is not the time to let Joey go. Now is the time to let the journeymen, gravy trainers and frankly those who have not got it to leave our club:


As for the proposed bid by ‘Frank’ Shinawatra (due deference to Johnny Baguette at Vital Football), this would be catastrophic for City. Ben Collins makes the moral point on ManchesterCity-mad:

We sold our soul with the sanction of the SWP deal. It would be a real twist of the knife if this man is allowed to call the shots, no matter how much money he brings in.

Manchester City is about much more than money. Finance is just one of the factors we have to consider. More important ones that have to be upheld by those running the club are: quality of football, development of our sportsmen and women of the future and the interaction with the communities with which we are involved in. I do not feel that this man has any of these interests at heart. If John Wardle truly believes the club should be placed in the custody of the right people, then this man should not be allowed to rig up his circus tent in our back garden. I really hope this is a ruse by a businessman wanting the most for his money. The Supporters’ Trust would be a better vehicle for supporters with professional expertise to run our club.

At present we appear to be at the mercy of Frank’s whim, according to Chris Bailey of MEN this morning. Further speculation about the questionable background of Frank’s advisor, Keith Harris (you couldn’t make this stuff up), is offered here from the world of share dealing:

Let’s hope he decides he has had enough publicity back home from this and leaves it to parties interested in putting the club first.

Whatever you do, stay Blue!

Dave Clinton <daveclinton(at)>


I came across this on a fans’ messageboard ,written by an American football (soccer!) fan.

For those becoming increasingly alienated from the game, you may relate to it.

This is the end result of a culture where money is the most important thing. Once that happens, then everything else will wither and die unless it represents the maximum profit for some investor. And I mean everything else: tradition, history, ritual, loyalty, everything that cannot be bought and sold has no value in such a society, unless some clever dick can twist and cheapen those things and turn them into a “brand”.

Brands can be bought and sold and they are the ultimate weapon of mind control in the capitalist system. Imagine something that has no intrinsic value but which, when applied to a basic commodity, will persuade consumers to part with more money for that commodity. They will actually want to pay more for your product. It’s positively brilliant. And today’s society is ferociously brand-aware. They will flock to consume top brands.

Some people talk of football clubs having a “brand” and as evidence they point to stadiums full of consumers, like Old Trafford. They see, they buy, the shareholders are happy, it all seems to be going just great. However, a brand is not the product. It’s just packaging, just a façade. People who work in branding know jack s**t about their product and care even less. They know about demographics, income bracketing, socio-economic strata, spending behaviour and distribution channels. They don’t know how toothpaste is made, or polo-shirts, or running shoes. These are the very same people who are now taking over football. It is their world that football now belongs to. Enjoy the packaging.

Phill Gatenby <safestanding(at)>


Just wondering how many Blues out there live in France? Please get in touch with me, as a few exiled Blues are looking at travel etc., and perhaps getting a branch off the ground.

Andy Webb <apwebb85(at)>

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Newsletter #1329