Newsletter #1430

Don’s latest news tonight on the end of season with reaction to the Boro fiasco, and no further decisions made despite the rumours abounding. There are call-ups to the international squads for some Blues as we move into silly season with the transfer rumours.

Meanwhile, the team have arrived in Thailand for the post season publicity tour and games and we have the usual requests.

I’m off for a fortnight and Mads is kindly stepping in as editor for the next four issues, so keep those articles and opinion coming to the regular editor(at) address.

Next Game: Saturday 17 May 2008, Thai League XI, Bangkok (friendly)


General News

Fair Play to City – Again: The world of MCFC is a strange place to be, for sure. In amongst a third week of Sven-leaving speculation, came news that England will have an additional club in next season’s UEFA Cup after topping Europe’s fair play rankings. The place will be awarded to the best-behaved Premier League team that does not automatically qualify for European competition next term, a route followed by KK’s 2003 City team you may recall. And going into the last round of Premier League games on Sunday, City were fifth in the good behaviour table and the clubs above them – Tottenham, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool – have already qualified for Europe. So as long as the Blues didn’t get any red cards, then they should have claimed this dubious Euro prize. Oh dear, Richard Dunne got his marching orders at Boro, and there was plenty of speculation that City would sink below Fulham in this table, and the UEFA berth would go to the West London club. At the time of writing, a decision from UEFA was expected on Friday May 16. Can’t wait.

England Has a Hart: Joe Hart must have impressed England coach Fabio Capello, because the 21-year-old shot-stopper has been called up to his country’s two summer friendlies, against the United States and Trinidad & Tobago. Before joining the seniors, however, Joe played for England’s under-21 team, who played Wales at Wrexham tonight (Thursday). And he kept a clean sheet as well – the game finished 2-0 to England.

Trouble at the Final: The UEFA Cup Final was played at the COMS on Wednesday, with Zenit St.Petersburg beating Glasgow Rangers 2-0. The match was overshadowed by fan misbehaviour, however. Police revealed that a Russian fan was stabbed on Wednesday night outside the COMS, while Gers supporters also clashed with riot police as angry scenes came after thousands were left outraged when a screen meant to be showing the game in the Piccadilly Gardens fan zone failed to work. The unpleasant scenes marred the good-natured party atmosphere that had characterised the lengthy build-up to the match – one of the most important games in the Scottish club’s history. More than 100,000 fans were estimated to have gathered in the city centre, turning it into a sea of red, white and blue. Assistant Chief Constable Justine Curran of Greater Manchester Police repeatedly spoke of her “disappointment” at the minority of fans whose violent behaviour had overshadowed the day. She also defended the response of the police and preparations made by Manchester ahead of the event. “It has been a largely peaceful day in Manchester full of carnival and celebration and well over 100,000 people have been in the city and behaved themselves,” she said. “But I’m really disappointed that has been spoiled by pockets of disorder that have broken out in the city centre. A minority of thugs have overshadowed what should have been a great occasion. I’ve watched them commit damage, assault my officers and I’m really sickened and disappointed,” she added.

‘Where in the World is Sven Goran Eriksson’ News

Big Phil’s Bitter Pill: If Thaksin was planning to appoint Phil Scolari as the next manager, he may have to think again. Scolari has distanced himself from the job this week. He said: “Portugal offers me everything I need. I have no agreement with City.” The Brazilian has also revealed his admiration for S-GE. Scolari added: “I like him as a person and as coach. He is a gentleman.” So who might the good Doctor turn to in his bid for Sky Blue perfection? The Sunday Express Says that recently sacked Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard is a target. The claims that Rijkaard has always been on Shinawatra’s managerial wish list (of course he has!), while the Sunday Telegraph reckoned that City could offer Jose Mourinho a way back into management as a move to Italy or Spain appears unlikely.

Nothing is Confirmed: Before the game at Middlesbrough, S-GE spoke publicly for the first time about the possibility of his losing his job at the COMS. On the prospect of leaving the club, Eriksson said: “It is a possibility, of course it is. It is not a secret to anyone in the world of football. But we will see, nothing is confirmed. Let’s play the last game and have a little bit of patience. The fact is we will probably know next week.” A UEFA Cup spot would be as good as it gets for City at the moment, according to Eriksson. He believes the big four are out of reach and said: “In our case it is not realistic we should qualify for the Champions’ League. We are good but not that good. We do not have a squad up to the standard of Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester United. Everyone who knows a little bit about football will agree to that. If you are being realistic I think where we are is where we deserve to be after one year.” And he insisted that he’d would still like to remain in the post. “I don’t think there’s any doubt about that,” said Eriksson. “You’ve been seeing me twice a week more or less and you know from the press conferences we’ve had there are no doubts about that. I like the club, l like the fans I like the players we have, I like the project. It’s very important to know one thing – it’s a big football club, great players, great staff, great people. That’s reason enough to be happy as long as you’re in the job. I know there’s been a lot of speculation but that’s speculation and not a problem. The facts we’ll know next week. The speculation has gone on more than this week so this week is no different to the week before. The players are working hard and we want to finish with a good game.”

Red Sven? Sven’s comments did nothing to stop the links with him returning to Benfica for a third spell in charge of the Lisbon club. Benfica spokesman Ricardo Maia said: “At the moment our coach vacancy has been centred on Eriksson. More details about our future coach will be announced next week when the Portuguese league and the Premier League finish.” A statement on Benfica’s website added: “Following media reports, the club can confirm it has had preliminary conversations with Mr Eriksson to fulfil our main coach vacancy. So far we have not discussed any contract details, such as duration or salaries.” And Benfica’s caretaker coach Fernando Chalana said he would be pleased to have S-GE succeed him at the club. “I’d be happy if Eriksson came,” Chalana told O Jogo newspaper. “The directors make the decisions. I’m here to serve Benfica. But if Eriksson comes, I think that he is a competent man, who won titles, a good professional. He knows Portuguese football well and if he comes I’ll be happy.” Chalana served as a player during both of Eriksson’s former spells in charge of Benfica, between 1982 and 1984, and 1989 and 1992.

No More Uncertainty: Following the débâcle at Boro (of which there’ll be much, much more later), Sven said he wanted to meet with Thaksin as soon as possible to discuss his future. Eriksson told BBC Sport: “I don’t think anyone knows what is going on. I hope for everyone at the club, and for me, that we can resolve this within hours or days – to live in uncertainty for so long is bad for everyone. If you think about the future and players coming in, we have been standing still for many weeks, which of course is not good,” he explained. “There is an uncertainty and that’s not good for anyone,” said Eriksson. “I want to be told whether or not I am the manager for next season as soon as possible. If it’s the owner’s opinion that I am not the right man, I’d like him to say that face to face.”

Down Mexico Way: And a new potential employer has popped up – Spanish CNN reported on Monday that he’d agreed terms to succeed Hugo Sanchez, who was sacked in March. Mexican national team director Gillermo Cantu insists his association are still searching for Sanchez’s successor, but stopped short of ruling out Eriksson. “At the last board meeting it was decided that the appointment of a new coach would be handled with care, and we are still working on getting the best option as soon as possible,” said Cantu. “I can also confirm that, despite what has been said, Jesus Ramirez will be on the bench for the upcoming matches against Belize. Nothing has changed. In addition, what has been said on television has not been repeated on any other international network, most of all England and Portugal, so for the moment we do not know where this has come from.”

After-Match Reactions and Comments

Stop All the Clocks: As you know, this Summary never lets its personal feelings seep into these hallowed paragraphs. So, in order to cope with the worst result I can remember in my 37 years of watching City, I’d like instead to quote from an episode of an old TV show Ripping Yarns relating to a football fan reacting to a terrible result for his team – from an episode entitled “Golden Gordon”. I quote verbatim:

GORDON (with anger dulled by years of inevitability): Eight-one! Eight bl**dy one!

Then, quite slowly, he lifts the living room door off its hinges and smashes it on the floor. He picks up a chair and smashes it to pieces on the table, turns to the mantelpiece and, finding nothing nice and breakable on top of it, pulls it from the wall bodily and hurls it across the room. He wrenches a cabinet off the wall, emptied of its normal complement of football treasures. He rips down the curtains. Then his anger still unassuaged, he leaps on the pile of rubble again, jumping up and down on it until he has no more strength. Then he turns his piteous gaze on his long suffering wife.

GORDON: Eight-one… To Brighouse! They’re a team of old age pensioners. A tortoise with its legs tied together could dribble round that centre half. The centre-forward wears spectacles! During the game! Eight goals… four of them from back passes to the goalkeeper… oh… (He holds his head) It was the worst… it was the worst… Oh! (He gives an anguished howl of pent-up anger)

MRS. OTTERSHAW (softly): I’m sorry love.

She proffers him the clock she’s holding – a warm and selfless gesture. He accepts it with a weary but grateful nod and hurls it through the window into the street outside.

Sven Says: “It started badly with Benjani injured after just a couple of minutes. Then a penalty and red card to our captain so it was a really bad start to the day even though we were in the game until they scored to make it 3-0. After that we didn’t have the mental strength to come back. It was only one way after that – it was one of those days where Middlesbrough scored beautiful goals and it is not very often you can say that and I never saw it coming. Our goalkeeper couldn’t do anything about any of the goals they scored and it was not the goalkeeper’s fault, but it was a bad day, no excuses at all after 3-0. We were somewhere else – not here. It is bad for everyone, bad for the fans, for us, our image – the Club as a whole.”

Southgate Says: “The irony is we’ve created so many chances throughout the season and not scored. Against City we’ve scored with virtually every shot. It was a mad day, really. From our point of view I don’t think we’ve had a lot of good fortune this year and we seemed to get all our good fortune and all of our goals in one day. Certainly the turning point was the sending off and then the important goal for us was the third – once we got the third that really broke their spirit and then all of the circumstances that are surrounding them weighed heavily on them. But we scored some brilliant goals and played some really good football. The result doesn’t mask anything for me. I’ve got all the players in on Monday. I’ve not had an opportunity to talk to them after the game. We’ve had various conversations through the year and we’ll sit down and have a good chat.”

Transfer News and Gossip

Who’s Next? It’s never a good sign, I feel, when the vast majority of the transfer speculation concerns players leaving a club – rats and sinking ships come to mind. So this week we have stories like: Valeri Bojinov’s agent cannot guarantee that his client will still be at City next season, if Sven goes. “At Manchester City there is a particular situation, in England we need to know if Eriksson will remain or not, he is the coach who wanted Valeri,” Gerry Palomba told Calcio Mercato. “After the tour in Thailand, the fate of many players at Manchester City will be decided.” Bolton Wanderers’ boss Gary Megson wants to sign Stephen Ireland in the summer, apparently. A fee of £4 million was mentioned. And Arsenal are being linked with a knockdown £1 million move for Richard Dunne this summer. The Republic of Ireland international could be available for the bargain price if he uses the FIFA regulations that would allow him to buy out the remaining year of his contract. Newcastle United are also keen on Dunne. And one of the only rumours involving a player coming to the COMS is wrapped up in a swap deal. Tottenham are lining up a £10 million deal for Joe Hart – with Paul Robinson going in the opposite direction. What a thrilling prospect. Meanwhile, City’s homesick Thai duo Suree Sukha and Teerasil Dangda are hoping to end their loan spells with Swiss Super League outfit Grasshopper Zurich. City signed the duo along with fellow Thai Kiatprawut Saiwaew shortly after former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra took charge at Eastlands last year, but all three were denied work permits after signing three-year contracts. Thailand internationals Suree and Teerasil were sent to Switzerland on loan, but have yet to feature for the first team, while Kiatprawut is on loan at Club Brugge in Belgium. “It is difficult for me to improve because the standards of the reserve side are similar to that of a third division club in Thailand,” right-back Suree told the Bangkok Post. “I don’t know anything about my future. Teerasil and I are very lonely because our apartment is far from the city.”

No Sun in Burnley: Sun Jihai has admitted that he may be forced to end his six-year association with the club this summer. The China international is out of contract at Eastlands at the end of this season, but believes he will have no problem finding another club in England. “No-one has told me or my agent that the club would not extend my contract. So, before the final decision is announced, nothing is guaranteed,” he told the China Daily. “Six years and 150 matches. How could you have such a record if you have no ability? I am only 30 and still feel at my best. My first choice is to stay at Manchester City, but clubs in the Premier League and Championship are very interested. A Premier League club even faxed me the draft contract. But I cannot tell you which club. Fans do not have to be worried about me. I can 100 per cent stay in England if I want to.” Championship side Burnley were strongly linked, but Clarets’ boss Owen Coyle has insisted he is not interested. “I don’t know where those stories have come from,” he said. “I’ve certainly not spoken to Manchester City or Sun Jihai. I’m looking for good players to bring to this football club, and there will be an element of one or two of them being of a more experienced type. But where possible, I’m looking to bring younger legs into the football club.”

Squad News

Say It Ain’t So, Joe: Joe Hart has reportedly turned down a new deal at Eastlands. The England Under-21 star is said to be unhappy with the club’s offer to double his money to £10,000 a week. And with Kasper Schmeichel on the verge of joining Coventry and Swede Andreas Isaksson free to look for a new club, the ‘keeper ranks at City could be virtually wiped out this summer. Hart still has two years to run on his current contract but any unrest could be seized on by Premier League rivals – with Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez thought to be an admirer. A source close to Hart (at a wild guess, his agent?) is quoted in The Sun as saying: “After the season he has had it was a real slap in the face. He was appalled by what they offered.”

We’re a Good Team, Honest! At least someone’s optimistic for the future. Darius Vassell thinks that next season will be even better for the team than this term. And he paid tribute to the progress made on the pitch. “I didn’t know what to expect when we came back for pre-season, to be quite honest. There were a lot of new faces, new languages around the place, and I was injured so I did not know what might happen. I’m pleased with the way it turned around for me and I’m looking forward to starting off more strongly next season. If you look at the season as a whole compared to last season we should all be happy. We’ve improved and done better than was probably expected, so that has to be a positive. We spoke before the season and the priority was to try to get into Europe. It was a long shot, but if we went at it with that kind of mentality we never knew what might happen. With the way it is now we should be pleased, and it is definitely something we can build on. All teams in the Premier League know that they are going to have ups and downs, and we started out in August playing some good football. We didn’t do so well in the second half of the season, but we’ve still ground some good results out when we needed to and that’s the sign of a good team.”

Note – Unfortunately I’m away next week, so won’t be able bring you news of Sven’s presumed departure. But fear not, Sarah Longshaw will be bringing you all the good stuff – so keep sending any news pieces to Sarah, at the usual address.

Don Barrie <news(at)>


Sorry, more groans.

The Dr threw a street party 12 months ago saying he had a five year plan: Year 1 finish in top 10, Year 2 qualify for Europe and so on. City are in the top ten and could end up in Europe in Sven’s 1st year, granted through the back door but in Europe nonetheless.

The Dr may be a good businessman but he doesn’t appear to have a clue about running a football club.

I think most Blues would agree that Sven has done a good job in getting City into a top 10 finish, not all his signings have been a success but he had little time to put the team together last summer, and he’d hopefully get a better quality squad to pick from in the next season.

City fans were beginning to believe that the club was going to have long term stability under the helm of a manager who had brought credibility to a club that was in the doldrums and now looked to be going forward and able to attract better quality players than in previous years.

If his services are now dispensed of after the most successful season City have had for many a year the new manager will come in with new ideas and start from year 1 all over again. Once again city will have shot themselves in the foot and probably lose some of their treasured possessions e.g. Joe Hart, Richard Dunne, Micah Richards, etc.

I do hope I’m wrong and Thaksin does a U-turn regarding Sven if it’s not too late.

Fed up Blue – Steve Alcock <Salcock(at)>


The Manchester City players arrived safely in Thailand to a very warm welcome, with Eriksson staying tight-lipped about his future until after his meeting with Thaksin.

Team activities during their stay in Thailand, include the opening of a Manchester City FC store at Shinawatra 3 Building. Meanwhile, MCFC stopped handling Thaksin’s media relations on Monday, outsourcing it to Britain’s largest public relations company, Bell Potter.

Maybe Thaksin wants to improve his relationship with the Manchester City fans, which has turned sour since the rumours started about Eriksson being sacked; if Thanksin wants to improve his relationships it’s very simple: keep Sven.

Gambling in Thailand is illegal although there is a state lottery that is legal. According to the Bangkok Post, 320 million Baht is gambled in Thailand each year and broken down as 110 to Gambling dens, 92 to underground lotteries, 51 on football matches, and 38 on the legal state lottery, which adds up to 401 million and not 320 million as reported by the same newspaper. Money conversion is (100 pounds sterling = 6256 Thai Baht and 100 US Dollars = 3245 Thai Baht).

The Thais like to gamble so many travel to neighbouring Cambodia to the casinos, which are legal in Cambodia and Laos. What bothers me in the newspaper Bangkok Post (Thursday May 15) is that Dr Thaksin Shinawatra wants to open a casino and entertainment complex in Koh Kong province in Cambodia; all this is unofficial says the newspaper.

Is Thaksin Shinawatra’s involvement in legal gambling bad as an owner of an Premier League football club? Is it allowed by the FA? It is reported that gambling is a big business in S E Asia, that being legal, and not legal.

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


This is just a short note to greet all of you from Mexico. But let me tell you a bit about us. We used to live in England – Guildford and Horsham where from this last place we met our very good friends, the Glossops, who are strong and proud Man City supporters. Therefore, Maximiliano our 8-year-old boy (the British one in the family), became a Man City supporter.

Maxi was registered as partially sighted due to his Congenital Nystagmus condition. Nevertheless he is a happy, lively and footbally boy, who strongly supports England’s national team, Mexico’s national team, Monarcas Morelia team (Alejandro’s hometown football club) and yeah! of course he is a Man City supporter.

It’s not easy for us to get even through the Internet Man City products, but our friends have sent a video and a T-shirt from their boys. I have to tell you that Maxi has memorised that 2001 Season MC video, although it’s the only British football video he’s got he doesn’t get tired of keep watching it over and over again.

So, last February 22nd, Maxi was 8, and he absolutely wanted his party about MC theme. But he just could be dressed up on Man City uniform, and we decorated his cake with MC badge!

So here it goes, hopefully people over there enjoy it.

The Aragon Fragoso Family <lauraelenafragoso(at)>


Any Hong Kong Blues going to the game on May 22 and wanting to meet up for a beer or two, before/after as it’s an early kick-off, please get in touch. Email below or mobile 95794051.

What about starting a HK Branch Supporters’ Club?

Regards to all at MCIVTA who do a magnificent job!

Tom Derbyshire <bluemoonbn(at)>


A Ghanaian friend of mine, Peter Amoabil, has set up a football club with 3 junior football teams that go under the name of Manchester City Babies. The football club is desperately short of funds to buy football kit and such a basic thing as footballs for training. I am currently trying to raise funds so Peter can buy equipment for his football teams.

Peter Amoabil, a trainee teacher in his homeland, does not have the means to raise money in his own country so I am asking your readers if they can help me with my efforts to subsidise his teams. I am requesting financial donations, no matter how small, to help the under funded children in Ghana play the game they love so much.

Cheques should be made payable to MCCSA and forwarded to me, Alex Channon at:
‘Penalty Spot’
81 Milner Street
M27 4AS

Please mark the cheque on the back or envelope, Ghana Appeal.

Kind regards, Alex Channon <alexchannon81(at)>

MCIVTA FAQ [v0708.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Madeleine Hawkins)     :
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 #1430