Newsletter #1330

Well, it’s all gone quiet over there! After the frenzy of SP’s sacking and the supposedly imminent takeover, everything seems to have gone a bit flat, and this is reflected in the fairly short newsletter today.

The only news coming out of City this week has been the departure of Distin to Portsmouth! Never saw that one coming! >rolls eyes< SD said a few weeks ago that he wanted to play for a club with ambition. Having turned down Liverpool to go to Pompey, I guess in the end it came down to the £60,000 a week he’s reported to be receiving in return for his three-year contract at Fratton Park! Now we know how Newcastle felt 5 years ago!

Tonight we have Don’s news, opinion on Number 8 and Distin, Frank and the manager’s replacement. There’s also a few links to some interesting articles that our readers have found on the web this week.

Heidi’s back from her hols for Monday’s edition, so please keep your articles coming to the usual address of <editor(at)>.

Keep the faith!

Next game: TBA


Takeover Talk

No Thai Break Yet: Reports in Thailand suggested this week that ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra had made a formal bid for City. There has been no such confirmation from the UK, however. “Thaksin has officially submitted his bid to buy the football club,” his lawyer Napped Pattama told the AFP news service. “There is not any official conclusion yet at this moment, but everything is proceeding well,” he said, adding that he had spoken to Thaksin earlier in the day. “By the end of this month, everything will be clear.” A leading Thai newspaper said that a £100 million deal had already been reached, but Noppadon said this was premature. “The deal is not formally or legally concluded yet,” he said when asked to comment on the Thai Rath report. The report also said billionaire telecoms tycoon Thaksin would become club chairman and that he wanted to bring in former Chelsea coach Claudio Ranieri to replace sacked manager Stuart Pearce. Thaksin would also put four Thai businessmen on the club’s Board and push for some Thai national team players to play in the club’s reserve teams, the newspaper said – goalkeeper Kosin Hathairattanakul was one of the players named. And in another report, it’s alleged that Thaksin would like to bring in Barcelona striker Javier Saviola as his star player. While the Argentine is mulling over pre-contract offers from Juventus, Atletico Madrid and Valencia, it’s emerged that Thaksin’s advisors have been in contact. Saviola would be available on a Bosman.

Co and Co. Are All On the List: The speculation on City’s next manager shows no sign of abating. Co Adriaanse, according to the Mirror, has told friends he’s on the brink of becoming the Blues’ new boss. Adriaanse, 59, last week resigned as coach of Ukraine club Metallurg Donetsk. Despite being a title-winning coach at Ajax, rivals Feyenoord have offered him their manager’s job. But he asked for five days to think over their offer while he discusses his future with City apparently. Adriaanse won the Portuguese title last season with Porto and is renowned for his work in developing unsung teams- a category, sad to say, which relates to City in recent times. Then again, it might be a German gaffer – some reports claim that former Bayern Munich boss Felix Magath has been in contact with City’s prospective owners. Thaksin Shinawatra’s advisors have been contacted by the German about the vacant manager’s post at Eastlands. Meanwhile, former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri has cooled reports linking him with the vacant post. Ranieri, who is currently attempting to guide Parma away from the Serie A relegation zone, is out of contract at the end of the season. “Nobody has contacted me from Manchester City,” he insisted. “I don’t know anything at the moment. I love the mentality and atmosphere of English football and want to work there again one day. There are a lot of Champions, a lot of good teams and the fans are fantastic. I enjoyed my time at Chelsea a lot. But my mind is 100 per cent on Parma right now.” Louis Van Gaal, Ronald Koeman and Gerard Houllier have already ruled themselves out of the running for the post. On the domestic front, Derby chairman Peter Gadsby is confident that manager Billy Davies will see out his three-year contract at Pride Park. Fulham, Leicester and City have been touted as potential destinations for the in-demand Scot, but Gadsby says he can sleep easy knowing Davies is committed to the job. He told the Derby Evening Telegraph: “Billy is on a three-year contract. He and his family have moved down here and he has got everything he wants – why would he want to leave? There will always be interest in a successful manager like Billy,” he added.

Not Good Enough for Sven: Even Sven-Goran Eriksson was asked if he fancied the job. Now it may have been a poor grasp of English, but his reply may not have won him many friends on the Blue side of Manchester. When asked if was a candidate for the City job, Eriksson told BBC TV’s Inside Sport: “No, I’m interested to have a good football team next season. There are other teams.” He also insisted City had not contacted him about the managerial vacancy, saying: “They haven’t phoned so…” The former England boss admitted he was hopeful of being back in management for next season, but he refused to reveal the identity of any interested clubs. “I can’t tell you that,” continued Eriksson. “Hopefully you will know it soon because if I’m going to take a job for next season it will happen in two or three weeks’ time. Otherwise it is too late.”

Transfer News and Gossip

Off Into the Distin-ce: As a wise man said recently – are City becoming a feeder club for Portsmouth? This week Sylvain Distin became the third player in less than a year to make the switch from the COMS to the South Coast. The first stage of the Distin departure saw the French defender announcing that he’d rejected City’s offer of a new contract and that he was leaving City to seek a fresh challenge. “It has been an incredibly tough decision but I just feel I want a fresh challenge,” he said. “I had five very enjoyable years at City and I wish them all the best but I want to play somewhere different.” Some reports claimed that City’s contract offer would have made Distin the highest-paid player in the club’s history. Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Pompey were considered likely destinations. And on Wednesday Distin was revealed to have chosen the latter. At his introductory press conference at Fratton Park, Distin gave his reasons for leaving City. “It was a lot of frustration at City and I think that now things might change, as you might have heard, with the takeover but the only problem for me was that I didn’t want to wait,” he said. “I’d been there five years, it was a long time and I didn’t want to wait. There is a change of staff but we didn’t know who was going to be there next season, who is going to go. It was just frustrating me and I just didn’t want to stay. It was a case of ‘do you want to stay,-do you want to go?’ and the answer to that was I wanted to go and after that, it was just a matter of deciding where.” And he feels a lot of sympathy for his former gaffer Stuart Pearce. “I met Stuart as a player just retired when I arrived and then he became a coach so I’ve got a really good relationship with him. He’s an honest man and it was difficult for him because he was learning his job. I don’t think he had enough time. I think financially it was difficult for him to bring in the right kind of players. He did the best with what he had. And I just wish him all the best.”

Hyp Replacement: Here’s a couple of likely candidates who may replace Distin. First, aging Liverpool centre back Sami Hyypia is being linked with a possible move to the Blues, according to reports. There’s one for the future – as well as being the Pompey feeder club, are City seen as a retirement home for distressed former Liverpool players? Hypia is 33. City are also being linked with the headline writer’s dream, Watford’s Danny Shittu. The 26-year-old defender, formerly of QPR and Charlton, enjoyed an impressive campaign for the Hornets in the Premiership, despite their relegation. He was a virtual ever-present. His performances in the top flight have already resulted in rumours linking him to West Ham, while he has been selected for Nigeria’s 2008 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Uganda in June after an absence of two years from the national side. A fee of £3 million has been mentioned.

Jordan Banks on a Club Nearby: Stephen Jordan, who was recently released by City, may not have too far to travel to his next club. Stoke City and Preston North End are neck-and-neck in the race to sign Jordan – released by Stuart Pearce at Manchester City just before he was sacked. Southampton have also enquired about the left back, their vacancy arising because of Gareth Bale’s imminent departure for Tottenham. Meanwhile, Watford manager Adrian Boothroyd is reportedly lining up a summer move for winger Ishmael Miller. The 20-year-old has made just three starts for City this season and Boothroyd is hoping to tempt the youngster to Vicarage Road with the promise of regular first-team football. However, according to the M.E.N., City would want a fee in the region of £1 million for their Academy product, despite his lack of first-team opportunities. The Hornets will face competition from newly-arrived-in-League One Leeds United, if they decide to move for Miller.

Who’s Scrapping for Barton? Joey Barton could be tempted by a move to Europe in order to get his. err, chequered career back on track. Italian giants Roma are thought to be interested in the England international (he is, lest we forget), while German side Hamburg and Spanish club Atletico Madrid are also rumoured to be in the hunt for the player. According to the Sun, the idea of heading overseas appeals to Barton because it would take him out of the media spotlight and potentially help him to resurrect his international career. Reports on Sunday suggested that Celtic were keen to lure Barton to Parkhead for next season. But speaking after Celtic’s 2-1 defeat to Hibernian on Sunday, Celtic boss Strachan rather brusquely dismissed the rumours: “It’s just a lie,” he succinctly commented. It’s hard to imagine Barton will go anywhere until a new manager is in place, and the legal situation over the Ousmane Dabo affair is settled. Former City manager Peter Reid has urged the club to keep Barton. He said: “When I played, there were a lot of fights between players on the football pitch, but fortunately for us it didn’t get out because there wasn’t the publicity there is now. I don’t condone violence in any way, but when you are a competitor with a competitive nature sometimes these things happen and when you have got to pay the price, you have got to pay the price. Joey Barton is a good footballer and I think there will be a few Premiership sides very, very interested if he became available. I would keep him.”

So, What’s Left to Report?

International Blues’ News: Michael Johnson played a full 90 minutes for England’s Under 19 side this week, a 2-1 defeat to Holland at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena. England coach Brian Eastick said: “I think Michael Johnson is an excellent player, he is clearly a very good footballer.” Johnson could still feature in Sunday’s game against the Czech Republic before he flies off to Spain for an Under 21 training camp. And Georgios Samaras can’t relax on the beach just yet – he’s been named in Greece’s squad for the forthcoming games against Hungary and Moldova, which are Euro 2008 qualifiers.

Six of the Best: Six youngsters have signed up on professional terms at the club this week. Ched Evans, Paul Marshall, Clayton McDonald, Curtis Obeng, Javan Vidal and Adam Clayton have all signed their first full contracts. Meanwhile Ashley Grimes has also a signed an improved deal, according to the club website.

Don Barrie <news(at)>


I hope everybody who made the effort to read the Times article linked by Dave Clinton (MCIVTA 1329) regarding Joey Barton’s ‘rehabilitation’ at the Sporting Chance clinic persevered with it until the end. It was worth it, albeit only to finally read a bit of sense in the form of the first reader comment:

“Unfortunately, the writer is trying unsuccessfully to hide the complete and utter failure of Sporting Chance to deal with Joey Barton’s demons.” (John White, London)

Indeed. Barton’s stay at Sporting Chance was in 2005 and his behaviour has, if anything, got worse since then. I quote the opening line of this fanciful piece of nonsense:

<“Recently, Joey Barton was involved in what the newspapers called ‘yet another chapter in the misdemeanours of the troubled young man’.”

Which I presume is the author’s way of saying:

“Recently, Joey Barton beat a team-mate unconscious after a minor training ground disagreement.”

As Dave says, it wasn’t written by ‘that’ Peter Kay – but it couldn’t have been funnier if it had.

Jaz Long <jaz(at)>


I think Distin leaving despite being offered a contract to make him the highest paid player ever in City’s history speaks volumes about the atmosphere surrounding City at the moment – obviously no one wants to be there. He was one of our greatest ever defenders and if we had no other ambition for the close season we needed to keep him at COMS.

We need a manager and new owners who know more than just about football – we have been neglected for too long by people who don’t understand City’s heritage and things that have made us great. Under Swales we were crap but we still had great players and memorable matches and the club, our fans and the atmosphere at our ground represented what was great about Division One football at the time. Our club used to have a bit of self-respect. Now it seems like our fans just fall for whatever tat the marketing department throw at us – we represent everything that is second rate about the Premiership. We can get a technically brilliant manager but unless the club’s priorities are straight at the highest levels – being true to our heritage and football principles – it’s just going to be a repeat of what we have had for the last 5-15 years.

Let’s get rid of the marketing department and all of the s**te branding, all the kitsch rubbish, our new badge and fake latin motto etc., and let’s try to build a team in the spirit of what City has always been about rather than trying to fit in with the principles of Premiership commercial-entertainment style football.

Ben Cavanagh <benjamin.cavanagh(at)>


If our club has real ambitions then let’s discount all the charlatans and comedians, and go for the best in the business!

Guus Hiddink is his name. He’s managed the best in the business, European Champions such as Real Madrid and all the big names baggage that goes with such a club.

He’s also done a Cloughie in his time and coached less glamourous clubs to those same dizzy heights with teams full of journeymen and a few stars, e.g. PSV Eindhoven.

Forget not his inspiring no-hopers like South Korea and Australia to unexpected feats of glory.

Pity we don’t have our own stadium any more to mortgage and fund the undoubted large scale operation that is needed, if you believe all the doom and gloom, but there again maybe our Thai friend could bring his big bucks to pave the way.

Guus would:

  • Soon winkle out the people who are only here to watch the bucks rolling intotheir bank accounts and relax and lean backwards.
  • Would encourage the vaunted Academy.
  • Keep any Prima Donnas in check (he’s managed the biggest).
  • Continue to stimulate even our most ordinary players (and we’ve a good few ofthem) to super-human efforts.

If we managed to get him on our side, we could also ask him to do a regular column on income tax advice in the MuEN, but that’s another story!

I’ve been cringing since SP’s sacking at the sackful of names that have been mentioned. The best are already taken up, that’s why they are still working. We don’t want to take anybody out of the dole queue, they’re not there for nothing.

Lure Guus away from Russia, he can’t be there because he likes it? He’d be more than a match for Red-Nose.

Blue Moon over Holland.

Dave Lyons <d.lyons(at)>


I just looked on the official MCFC website and went onto the ‘Vacancies’ link.

The only vacancies listed are for catering staff on match days.

No mention of the manager’s job, or the assistant manager’s job, or reserve team managers helper (Ian Woan’s six week position!).

Phill Gatenby <safestanding(at)>


Check out how City’s kit and sponsorship deals compare with other Premiership clubs.

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


Hello Fellow Blues,

If you want to see a fantastic potted history of our club, no doubt there for interested Thais, please have a look at this link. Well worth it and slightly depressing for those with a memory from 1981 on…

Enjoy and here’s to the next ‘up’ period (and a kindly investor’s millions).

Tom <transome(at)>


Here’s an article on Frank from the Guardian:

Phill Gatenby <safestanding(at)>

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Newsletter #1330