Newsletter #1414

News today from Don of the chairman’s return and meeting with the manager, international call-ups, loan spells for Schmeichel and Logan and transfer rumours on the radar.

We have opinion on who is running the beautiful game, more big time Blues and a couple of requests.

Next up our trip to the Reebok, will the Bolton ticket pricing strategy result in some entertaining football?

Next Game: Saturday 22 March 2008, 3pm, Bolton Wanderers (away)


When Thaksin Met Sven:

Thaksin Shinawatra’s comments last week about ‘tightening the bolts’ caused a bit of a stir through the week. With the club owner due back in Manchester last weekend for the Spurs game and for talks with Sven, this extract from the Mirror was typical: “The first cracks in the previously cosy relationship between Manchester City boss Sven Goran Eriksson and chairman Thaksin Shinawatra have started to appear following the team’s slump in form… Eriksson yesterday responded to Shinawatra’s remarks with a thinly-veiled and sarcastic warning to City’s owner and chairman to keep his nose out of team affairs and allow the former England boss to get on with his job. ‘When the chairman comes, if he has some magic things ways to concede less goals and score more, then he’s more than welcome to tell me or tell the players,’ he said.” The paper even supplied a handy guide to the main protagonists in the ‘crisis talks’:

THAKSIN SHINAWATRA – Thai businessman and former Prime Minister of Thailand. Was in exile for 17 months until February, 2008, when he returned to Bangkok, during which time he bought City.
SVEN GORAN ERIKSSON – Former England manager, known for his, er, colourful private life. Started to rebuild his reputation at City but lapse in form is starting to hurt.
PANTHONGTHAE SHINAWATRA – Son of Thaksin and a prominent Telecom tycoon in Thailand. Set to enter politics himself.

It sounded like Sven had calmed down by the end of the Spurs game, and may well have been looking forward to the talks on Monday. “I don’t know whether the result makes things different but I don’t expect a difficult meeting. I expect Dr Thaksin to confirm what he wants to do in the future,” said the Swede. “It is important he tells us what he wants to do with the club in one year and three years.” The press reports reckoned that Sven would be having £30 million, £50 million or even £100 million to spend come the summer time. Apparently some news outlets were present in the room when the talks took place (or so you’d think). Quote: “Eriksson told Shinawatra yesterday he needs around £50 million to strengthen City’s squad for a push for major honours. Although Eriksson is unlikely to be handed that figure, the City boss can expect in the region of £30 million to add to the £50 million he has spent on players in his eight months in charge. Shinawatra is fighting to free up £800 million of his assets seized by the Thai military when he was ousted as Prime Minister. Eriksson believes he needs at least five new players this summer, including a prolific striker, a holding midfielder, right-sided player and ‘keeper if City are to challenge for the big prizes.” Thaksin was soon giving a positive impression of his discussions with the manager – he even set out his goals for the next few years. “First year top ten, second year top six, and third year top four to the Champions’ League. That is the strategy. We are number eight now so there is not much pressure to reach the top six but reaching the top four is a lot of pressure. There will not be huge amounts spent this summer but maybe the following summer. We probably need new players in every compartment of the side – striker, midfield and defenders – we cannot afford to have too small a squad or there will be a problem at the end of the season. We have to buy good players who can fit into the system that Sven in coaching. We will look across the globe for them and we have started to discuss which players.” Sven sounded equally confident. “The atmosphere at the meeting was very good,” said the manager. “I’ve had lots of meetings with him in the past, but for obvious reasons we hadn’t had one in the last five weeks. It was very a constructive dialogue. I think that Dr Thaksin understands football more and more as he watches games. We talked football as well as Manchester City. It is very clear what his aims are; namely to qualify for the UEFA Cup next year and the Champions’ League the year after that. It was very important that he said what he wants; not only to us but also to the fans. Now we know how to work and what type of players to bring in. Everything is clear and very good. What the chairman is seeking is ambitious, but it is a clear ambition and we now know the targets,” Eriksson said. “We hope that we can reach those targets.”

General News

Freddie Griffiths: A sad piece of news to start this section with – City’s physio through most of the 1970’s, Freddie Griffiths has died, aged 79. He was the man at the pitchside at the League Cup Finals of 1974 and 1976, and was instrumental in Colin Bell making his comeback following the King’s horrendous knee injury. Club secretary Bernard Halford said: “Freddie was first class at his job, a good friend and super at his job,” he commented. “He was an incredibly fit man – some would say fanatical – and a strict disciplinarian.” Joe Royle also paid tribute. “Freddie loved nothing more than a mission and when I arrived at the club it was his mission to get me fit,” recalled Royle. “He set about his tasks with demonic relish. The players christened the first sessions of the week, which he presided over, as `Hell Monday!” Many former players who Freddie whipped into shape are expected at his funeral, which takes place at Hyde on Monday though details will be finalised later in the week.

Knowing Me, Knowing Sven: Sven Goran Eriksson insists he’s happy at the club, despite the fact that he’s still living in a city centre hotel some eight months after taking the job with the Blues. But Eriksson claims his living arrangements in no way suggest he’s not fully committed to City over the duration of his three-year deal. “Where I live shouldn’t be a problem for anyone,” said Eriksson. “I signed a contract for three years and I’m committed.”

A Cup at the CoMS – At Last! The UEFA Cup Final takes place at the COMS on May 14, and the build up continued this week when UEFA President Michel Platini formally presented the trophy to the city in a ceremony at Manchester Town Hall. The trophy will be on display at City’s Museum from April 3rd until May 1st.

Dale Fail: City’s Pontins League team left it late, but they duly beat Rochdale Reserves 2-1 at the min-COMS. Dale included City old boys Nathan D’Laryea and Lee Crooks, but couldn’t prevent the home side from taking the lead through Robbie Mak on 24 minutes. Rochdale came more into the game, and duly equalised after 66 minutes through Jake Richardson. However, a couple of minutes before the end, City secured the win thanks to Ian Daley.
Team: Hartley, Paldan (Morris 79), Ramsey, Boyata, Brown, Tutte, Mak, Tsiaklis, I.Daly, Nimely-Tchuimeni (Weiss 73), Poole. Unused subs: Johansen, Chantler, McDermott.

International Blues’ News: More honours for a trio of City’s players – Nedum Onouha, Joe Hart and Michael Johnson have been named by Stuart Pearce in England’s under-21 squad that plays Poland at Wolverhampton’s Molineux next Tuesday night. Former City striker Ishmael Miller is also included.

Transfer News and Gossip

Hen Party? Here’s a sentence I thought I’d never write in my lifetime – City have been linked this week with an unbelievable bid for Barcelona ace Thierry Henry. The Daily Star Sunday says Eriksson is desperate to reach the Champions’ League and believes Henry – unsettled after his £16 million move to Barcelona last year – is the man to lead the Blues into Europe’s elite competition. Former Arsenal star Henry, 30, is unhappy at being dropped and subbed by Camp Nou boss Frank Rijkaard and is missing his young daughter in London since splitting with his partner. The French superstar would cost at least £10 million. Clearly underwhelmed at the prospect of such a move, Henry has denied any intention of returning to England. Speaking in Barcelona Daily Sport on Tuesday Henry simply said a return to England “is not a possibility”. Instead, Henry preferred to concentrate on his future in La Liga. He said: “Before I was playing with an injury and it wasn’t easy. I don’t know if it was the best thing to do but I wanted to play. Now I’m playing without pain, but there are always some problems.” He added: “We’re in the quarter-final of the Champions’ League, a step away from the Copa del Rey final and in a good place in the league, although it could be better. It’s certainly nothing to be crying about.”

Having A Deco at Other Players: If Henry might not be joining the part at the COMS, who might? The press have made plenty of suggestions. A Camp Nou colleague of Thierry’s has been mentioned – City are ready to compete for unsettled Barça midfielder Deco. The Portugal international is expected to quit the club in the summer and S-GE has the midfielder on his high-priced shopping list. Sven admitted he wants a midfield destroyer during the summer market. “When you play games like we have just played it is tough football, those sides do not give you time and space so may be we should look at that kind of player for next season,” he admitted. “It is too late for this season but having said that the players that we have need to cope with tougher styles better. Hopefully we have learned something from the teams we have played recently.” So now we have speculation that City will make an approach for Chelsea midfielder Steve Sidwell. The Times says City have expressed an interest in signing Sidwell at the end of the season. The midfield player moved to Stamford Bridge on a free transfer from Reading last summer but the 25-year-old has failed to make an impact. West Ham are said to be City’s main rivals, and are lining up a £5 million bid for the former Reading star. Whilst he hardly counts as a ‘destroyer’, Werder Bremen playmaker Diego is unsure of his future after being linked with both Chelsea and City this week. “The decision lies with the club. If Klaus Allofs and the president say that I stay, then I play on for Werder,” Diego told German paper Syker Kreiszeitung. “Speculations and rumours are normal in the football business, which annoy me. The only thing that bothers me are lies that are disseminated.”

Kone Heads for City? Wait, there’s more. Rosenborg star Yssouf Kone has revealed he would like to join Manchester City. The striker, who scored eight goals for the Norwegian side in the UEFA Champions’ League last year, admits it would be a “dream” move for him to the Premier League. “City is a dream that I have,” Kone told “Anything can happen. I will continue to work hard for Rosenborg when the league starts.” And the agent of Luka Modric has claimed that City and Chelsea are keen on the player but would have to pay Dinamo Zagreb £17 million. Marco Naletilic told Tutto Mercato Web: “Luka is a fantastic player. He is already among the best in the world. What seems certain is that you won’t see him in Italy. Dinamo Zagreb calls for at least £17 million, a figure beyond the reach of any team in Serie A. I think that for Modric the doors of the Premier League could open. Among many clubs, there are Chelsea, which have been following him for some time now. But there has been movement recently from Manchester City.” And Cameroon international Stephane Mbia claims he is wanted by City, Liverpool, Barcelona and the Stretford Reds. The 21-year-old is currently plying his trade with French side Rennes and will examine his options in the future despite the fact he will still be under contract for two more years at the Stade de la Route de Lorient. Mbia told “I’ll think at the end of the year if the big offers I’m receiving are still up to date. I’ve had contact from teams in England and Italy. There are contacts with Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and in Spain there is Barça as well. For the moment I’m not thinking of it and I will stay with Rennes. I’ll rely on people like general manager Pierre Dreossi, who knows me and my parents very well. Then it’ll be me who takes a decision.”

City’s Owen Goal: Time for a bit of speculation on players based in the Premier League. It’s at least a month since we saw this one – England striker Michael Owen could be on his way to City from Newcastle United, to rejoin his former national manager (Editor pauses to stifle a yawn). A prediction for next week’s news – England striker Peter Crouch could be on his way to City from Liverpool, to rejoin his former national manager. A slightly fresher rumour has City tracking Blackburn Rovers’ striker Roque Santa Cruz. The Times says if Rovers fail to qualify for the UEFA Cup, City could try to sign Santa Cruz again in the summer after having a £4.5 million bid for the Paraguay striker rejected in January. And Tottenham Hotspur boss Juande Ramos could be set to offload winger Aaron Lennon this summer. The Sun reports that Liverpool, Aston Villa, City and Portsmouth set to lead the chase for the 20 year old.

Summer Clearout: Time for a spot of speculation on who might be shunted out of the club, if this plethora of talent arrives as predicted by the press. A mini-clearout at the club is expected as Sven seeks to raise funds for his own transfer plans. The Daily Mirror says Sun Jihai, Andreas Isaksson, Geovanni, Rolando Bianchi and Georgios Samaras are on their way out. Also, Genoa president Enrico Preziosi remains interested in striker Valeri Bojinov. He said: “We wanted to bring him to Genoa, then he went to play elsewhere. But in the future, you never say never. Should he choose to return to Italy, we will try to sign him.”

Ex-Blues’ News

I Wish I Could Do That… Not a publication I normally quote from, but how about this snippet from the celebrity gossip newsletter Popbitch? “W writes: Old football pundit Rodney Marsh was on my flight to Tampa, Florida earlier this month. At the gate he seemed annoyed by a random bag search and the request to take his shoes off, so he started playing keepy-uppys with the shoes.”

After-Match Reactions and Comments

Needing Nedum: It was blindingly obvious why City got back to winning ways last Sunday – the Blues were obviously trying to impress their esteemed guests, who hadn’t been at the COMS this year. No, not Dr. Thaksin – I refer of course to your News Editor and his Papa, lording it up in the corporate section. OK, maybe not. But whatever caused the upturn, City came from a goal down to secure a 2-1 success over Tottenham Hotspur. Robbie Keane had fired Spurs into the lead on 32 minutes, but City rallied in the second period with Stephen Ireland levelling and then Nedum Onuoha completing the turnaround. Juande Ramos’ side broke the deadlock in superb fashion when Keane hit a brilliant first-time finish to leave Joe Hart with not a prayer. City restored parity in the 59th minute with Ireland, who appeared to be in an offside position, scuffing home from close-range. The home side’s comeback was completed on 72 minutes as Onuoha powered in Elano’s corner; however there was further controversy in the final moments when substitute Darren Bent had a goal questionably ruled out for offside. I was particularly tickled by the report on Setanta’s website, which opined: “Manchester City leapt to within eight points of fifth-placed Everton…” A leap? Everton must be kakking it… Anyway, back to the quotes. Sven’s view on the game? “I think we deserved to win. I think we created more chances than they did,” he told Sky Sports. “It was extremely important for us to win. We had gone three games without scoring a goal and getting only one point. I hope this is the turning point, and that we can play well for the rest of the season. I don’t think we played badly in the first half, but we needed to be livelier. I thought we had better initiative in the second half and we scored two goals.” Moments before City’s equaliser Ireland was due to be substituted, and Eriksson has spoken of his relief that the change failed to take place. “We thought about playing two strikers. But luckily we did not have time to do it, he scored, and we changed our minds,” he concluded. Sven is confident his January signings Nery Castillo and Felipe Caicedo and Benjani will be a success at the club. The Mexican starlet made his third start in Sunday’s win, while £5 million arrival Caicedo made his fifth consecutive appearance from the bench after joining from Swiss side Basel. Both players impressed Eriksson: “I thought Nery was very good and very lively, particularly in the first half. I think with a bit more luck he could have scored a couple of goals but he is still adapting to the Premier League. Caicedo came on and did well, too, and has done some things in training that have grabbed everyone’s attention.”

Now What Do I Do? Let’s hear from the goalscorers shall we? City’s match winner yesterday was supplied from the most unlikely source, namely Nedum Onuoha. And what a stonking header it was to secure the points. “I’m happy obviously, but I think I’m happier with the three points. A lot of people have been on our backs, so it’s nice to be able to put that behind us now,” said Nedum, before confessing that he didn’t quite know how to celebrate his goal, being his first ever in the first team. “It was quite strange because obviously it’s gone in, but it didn’t feel right, because it’s not something I’ve done at the Stadium before. When I got to the halfway line I turned around and thought maybe he’s disallowed it or something. Maybe it’ll come second nature to me one day. I had no particular celebration, I was just blowing kisses for the family, that’s all I needed to do. I think it was more important when the final whistle went to be honest,” he insisted. “During the game Tottenham are a dangerous team and you knew that they would have a chance or two. It was all about the team sticking together and making sure that it was the winning goal.” Stephen Ireland, meanwhile, scored the equaliser midway through the second half with a scuffed shot, but (according to a press release received at MCIVTA Towers) did enough to earn him a place in the team of the week in The Actim Index, the official player ratings system of the Barclays Premier League. Spurs were convinced that Stevie was offside, and the player was honest enough to admit that “I watched the replay and I guess I was possibly offside. But as the ball came to me I wanted to pull it into the corner but I didn’t get enough connection on it – I’ll take it though – I don’t care! We just needed the luck like that though. If you look at when we played them at White Hart Lane they had a couple of bits of luck so any luck we’re getting now we’ll take it.” Stephen confirmed how important the win was. “We had a bit of a break after the derby and I think that’s where things might have gone a bit downhill,” he said. “We’ve battled away with a few things not going our way and now we just need to pick up from here. We weren’t threatening the opponents’ goal often enough in recent weeks. I felt against Spurs we just went out and were hungry, we got the ball and wanted to win and create. I think our defence did really well, we restricted them to long-range shots, they didn’t really threaten. After the first goal we went from strength to strength.”

They Saw Nothing: A turning point in the game came when Tottenham boss Juande Ramos, in his wisdom, decided to take their best player Robbie Keane off on 66 minutes. Mind you, Keane’s strop at being substituted was quite impressive as well. The Spurs management were keen (no pun) to downplay the tantrum. “I think it is normal. Players want to play and they are disappointed when they are replaced,” Ramos said. “It is football. We have got a squad and we have people on the bench and we have to share out the minutes between the people available.” Spurs’ Number 2 Gus Poyet also said Keane’s reaction to being substituted showed that he was passionate about winning football matches for the club. The Uruguayan added: “We will look at that, but it showed he wanted to be on the pitch trying to do what is right for the team. He is a good character and one we want to be on the pitch.” So there we have it – it’s really a good thing to show dissent towards your manager.

Don’t Mention Europe: After last week’s attempt to motivate the team with the threat of entry into the summer lotto of the Intertoto Cup, Sven this week tried a different tack. He remained tight-lipped about City’s chances of European qualification. “This time we are not going to get carried away, it is Bolton away in the next game and that’s all to talk about,” the Swede told the club website. “Then we’ll see at the end of the season what’s happening. You are dragged into it because everyone speaks about it. Let’s be happy for the win and concentrate from Tuesday and Wednesday on Bolton. I’m not talking about Europe or the Fair Play or Intertoto qualification. We will concentrate on Bolton and that’s it.”

Squad News

Kas to Cov: Kapser Schmeichel’s travels continue. Having played in Manchester and Cardiff already this season (not to mention a smile and wave session in Bangkok last week), the Danish Under 21 goalkeeper has made a loan move to Coventry City until the end of the season. The 21-year-old stopper made the request for the temporary move in a bid to gain more first team experience, and new Coventry manager Chris Coleman was happy to oblige. Speaking to the official Coventry City website, Coleman said: “Kasper has shown this season that he has all the attributes to be a top class Premier League goalkeeper and I have no doubt he will be a very valuable addition to the squad. He has a great ability and strength, plus he has age on his side. The future is certainly bright for him.” Kasper meanwhile stated: “I can’t really say what I am going to bring to the squad. I just want to come here and hopefully do my best for Coventry. The only thing I can do is my best. I don’t think you can talk about anything specific I am going to bring – I am just going to give it my all. Consistency is huge at this level. The Championship is probably the most unpredictable league in Europe because on any given day, anybody can beat anybody. It is so tight. At Cardiff we put two or three results together and suddenly we were eighth after being 18th. That’s what you need – you need to put a run together and I am hoping that’s what I can do here. I can’t wait to get started. I am hoping that I will be playing and I am raring to go. Playing games is for me very important. Coming to Coventry in the predicament we are in, there is a lot of pressure. I usually try to stay cool under pressure and this is what football is all about. When you are in trouble, every game is a big game and we are just hoping that we can get the consistency we need.” On Saturday, Kapser kept a clean sheet on his début. In a 0-0 draw with Sheffield Wednesday at the Ricoh Arena, Schmeichel had kept his side in the hunt in the first half with a stunning stop to deny Wednesday’s Franck Songo’o.

Log Out: Shaleum Logan’s loan spell at Stockport County is over. The young full back has picked up what was a suspected torn thigh muscle that will keep him out for three weeks. It’s a huge blow for County boss Jim Gannon as Logan had played four games and County had won all four. Logan had played at both right back and on the right wing and had become one of the strongest players in the team. He set up Liam Dickinson for a headed goal in his first game in a County shirt. County also conceded just one goal in four games whilst Logan has been playing.

Parker Pens Trial Deal: The first player to benefit from City’s partnership with Thanda Royal Zulu will be 22-year-old striker Bernard Parker. He’ll be coming to City on a trial in the summer time. “We are not sure of the date but Bernard is definitely going at the end of the season. He will visit other countries and teams as well for more trials but we don’t have the details yet,” Royal Zulu spokesman Thabani Gumede told the Sunday Times. “Sven-Goran knows our coaches very well. Our technical staff recommended Parker to the English Premier League side. It is a good opportunity for the player and as a club we will not stand in his way. He has served the club very well for many years,” explained Gumede.

Don Barrie <news(at)>


So the FA Premier League, $ky and City cannot tell us when the Chelsea home fixture is going to be. It was originally due to be 5 April, then it is listed as 6 April at 4pm for $ky coverage. Not content with one inconvenient switch (ever tried going anywhere by train at weekends? Those engineering works are such fun), now Chelsea want it brought forward to Saturday again. All because we must bend over backwards for one of the so-called ‘big four’s’ involvement in that other money filching institution, the Champions’ League. Surely with all the money they have, Chelsea should rotate their squad and play it on Sunday?

Fans who have bought tickets, made social, work and travel arrangements in England and elsewhere are not given any consideration as Richard Scudamore and his money-grabbing Premier League continue to show us contempt. Of course we don’t matter do we? Especially as we’ve already paid for our season tickets and match tickets. They have our money so they don’t feel any responsibility to the fans or in business speak (because that’s how they see football) customers. I won’t say it’s shocking because it’s not a shock. It is tawdry, disrespectful, and if we’re going to use modern day business parlance again, very poor customer service.

The club will say that they are bound by contracts when they eventually break their silence. They can sit on their hands and say ‘it’s not us’, but that doesn’t wash. The clubs are collectively responsible for the contracts that they sign and they are responsible for their club and treating their supporters well.

The match is now less than 16 (or is it 17?) days away. We only want to know when the next home match kicks off so that we can make arrangements. It’s not a lot to ask is it?

It’s time for legislation. It’s time for the FA to look after the game as a whole. I hope that Lord Triesman, the newly appointed FA Chairman who has so far cut an impressive figure, especially over Scudamore’s appalling game 39 idea, uses his influence to get this government to do something about fixture changes and looking after the fans’ interests, because it’s about time someone in authority did. These clubs need to be more tightly regulated because as things stand, they have little or no respect or regard for the paying public. After all, without us, there would be no game.

Phil Banerjee <phil.banerjee(at)>


Courtesy of the undersigned (not me) on the MUEN website:

“One of the most interesting facts that I found was that the road itself Maine Road, was named in memory of the Manchester Regiment of volunteers that went to fight in the American civil war for the North. They were based in the State of Maine. The land owner at the time raised this army and when his family later built on Moss Side (it was of course farmland back in 1800’s) they named the new streets in honour of this regiment. The City ground of course took its name from the road it was built beside.”

CTID, John-Thai sandwich brigade

John Nisbet <nisbet1957(at)>


Great to hear that Sven is set on luring some big name signings to COMS. But I hope his signings are practical as well as effective. I still don’t think it’s a great ideal to bring in Brazilians, Mexicans and other South Americans into the hostile climactic challenges of typical Manchester weather. We have seen it with Elano. Starts off like a house on fire, but as the temperatures plunge, so does his form.

Would love to see Sven retrieve SWP from Chelsea. With Shaun on the right and Petrov on the left, Benjami would get all the support he needed. Insert an inventive midfielder and away we go. What we don’t need is some big name miscast like Henry.

We have a great foundation for the future, great goalkeeping, defence in depth and both Johnson and Ireland can only improve. We just need one or two quality players in key positions and we are all set for 2008-2009.

Come On You Blues, Keith Sharp – Toronto, Canada <keith(at)>


How about Pope John-Paul II? The following article appeared in a very respected media outlet in September 1995:

In the latest edition of Loaded (UK “lads” magazine), there’s a small piece about celebrity supporters of footie clubs. They run through various clubs and celebs, but finish with the amazing fact that City are followed by none other than the Pope! Evidently he took a shine to the Blues when they signed a Polish international in 1970. So come on John-Paul, don’t you think it’s about time you fixed it with the boss for a results to go our way?

Sean Bechhofer <seanb(at)>

Historical note: at the time, City had 1 point from 6 games under Alan Ball and were firmly rooted to the bottom of the league table. Despite an unlikely run of wins in November that led to Ball getting the Manager of the Month award, City still ended up getting relegated. So, either (a) there is no God, (b) he/she/it didn’t listen to the Pope, (c) he/she/it did listen, but decided that there was more virtue in suffering. A lot. For a long time (apparently), (d) Alan Ball was in fact not a football genius.

Mike Maddox <mwm2240(at)>


David Platt the Weatherfield psycho. Yikes.

Larry Higgs <larry.higgs(at)>


I was speaking to Noel Bayley, Editor of Bert Trautmann’s Helmet the other week, and we were reminiscing about things, and Noel reminded me of just a couple of really sad things I did around ten years ago now. The first was something called DOSLA (Division One Stats and Leagues for Anoraks), which was a weekly series of weird and wonderful tables based on matches played in the season we were relegated from the “new” Division One to Division Two in 1998. The torment it caused me meant it only lasted that season, but every Sunday night I used to spend hours compiling stuff using Microsoft Works, and then paste pages of tables and stats onto an email and send it out to a couple of hundred like-minded souls around the world (not all City fans I might add). The next season I did an equally sad thing and compiled a “Chant Analysis”, which actually appeared in an issue of BTH. I basically kept a count of how many times each song/chant was uttered during the season. If I ever manage to dig it out, I will post it on MCIVTA to show how very sad it was. Anyway when I read the recent debates about the origins of the “Invisible Man” chant, it gave me an idea for the website.

In the near future I will be replacing the “trivia” section of the website with “City Songs”, so I need as much input as possible from everyone out there. This is your chance to get your name in lights, as I will give a credit on the page to the supplier of any unique or long forgotten chants. The more obscure, the better. We City fans are amongst the most creative fans in the world when it comes to making up original songs and chants, so I need you all to get your thinking caps on, and send me your City chants. I need:

  1. All the words of the chant.
  2. The tune it was sung to if known.
  3. The “composer” if known.
  4. The story behind the song if known.
  5. When and where it was first sung.
  6. Any memories it brought / brings.

The only chant I ever started that got “lift off” was at the 1-1 draw at Palace in March 2000 (Robert Taylor’s majestic headed equaliser I think). There was a full house because Palace were in deep financial doo-doo and the club had basically begged their fans to support them with cut-price ticket prices. At some appropriate moment I shouted out “Here ’cause you’re bankrupt, you’re only here ’cause you’re bankrupt…”, and immediately another twenty joined in a reprise with me that spread to most City fans in the Arthur Wait stand after the fourth time around. I was quite chuffed. That’s the sort of thing I am after, so get typing now!

Please send any contribution to me at the email address below.

P.S. I think it was Don Price who supplied MCIVTA with the accepted origin of “Invisible Man”. Can he send that to me as I have deleted the issue it was in?

Cheers in advance.

Steve Kay <steve(at)>


The end of season Manchester City supporters’ Gentleman’s Morning will take place prior to the Fulham game at the British Legion Blackley. Tickets are £7.50; buy 10 get one free, the comedian is Franky Alan; t is a great event for anyone with a good sense of humour who enjoys a drink.

For more info or to book tickets please get in touch ASAP.

Don Price <donprice(at)>


19 March 2008

Manchester United     2 - 0  Bolton Wanderers      75,476
Tottenham Hotspur     4 - 4  Chelsea               36,178

17 March 2008

Birmingham City       1 - 1  Newcastle United      25,777

League table to 19 March 2008 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  30 13  1  1 34  5  9  3  3 27 10 22  4  4  61  15  46  70
 2 Arsenal         30 12  4  0 33 10  7  6  1 25 12 19 10  1  58  22  36  67
 3 Chelsea         30  9  5  0 29  9 10  3  3 24 13 19  8  3  53  22  31  65
 4 Liverpool       30  9  6  1 38 12  7  5  2 17  9 16 11  3  55  21  34  59
 5 Everton         30  9  2  3 27 12  8  3  5 20 13 17  5  8  47  25  22  56
 6 Portsmouth      30  6  7  2 22 12  8  1  6 22 19 14  8  8  44  31  13  50
 7 Aston Villa     30  8  3  4 25 18  5  7  3 27 21 13 10  7  52  39  13  49
 8 Manchester City 30 10  4  2 23 14  3  5  6 13 20 13  9  8  36  34   2  48
 9 Blackburn R.    30  6  5  4 18 15  6  5  4 21 22 12 10  8  39  37   2  46
10 West Ham United 30  6  5  4 18 18  6  2  7 15 18 12  7 11  33  36  -3  43
11 Tottenham H.    30  7  3  4 41 26  2  6  8 17 25  9  9 12  58  51   7  36
12 Wigan Athletic  30  7  3  5 18 14  1  4 10  9 28  8  7 15  27  42 -15  31
13 Middlesbrough   30  4  4  6 14 19  3  6  7 13 25  7 10 13  27  44 -17  31
14 Newcastle Utd   30  5  5  5 18 24  2  3 10 13 33  7  8 15  31  57 -26  29
15 Reading         30  7  1  7 17 21  1  3 11 18 36  8  4 18  35  57 -22  28
16 Birmingham City 30  4  6  5 20 18  2  3 10 14 28  6  9 15  34  46 -12  27
17 Sunderland      30  7  3  5 17 15  0  3 12  9 33  7  6 17  26  48 -22  27
18 Bolton Wndrs    30  5  4  6 18 15  1  3 11 10 30  6  7 17  28  45 -17  25
19 Fulham          30  4  5  7 19 26  0  6  8  8 23  4 11 15  27  49 -22  23
20 Derby County    30  1  4 10  8 25  0  3 12  6 39  1  7 22  14  64 -50  10

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0708.01]

[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 Points of Blue (formerly the Fans’ Committee)?

The committee operates as an interface between supporters and the club. Points of Blue appears 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] 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

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 #1414