Newsletter #1432

Tonight we have views on seasoncard refunds, the team up for sale, and what Frank really said in Dubai(!). We also have Alan searching for a MCIVTA reader and an update on the Ghana appeal from Alex. Lastly, we have a rather odd suggestion for our next manager!

Don is away this week so Sarah has stepped to do his regular news section. Heidi is still on her hols, but keep your articles coming to the usual address of <editor(at)>.

Next Game: TBC


All-Stars Outshine City: City suffered a surprise defeat to Thailand Premier All-Stars at Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok. Ecuador striker Felipe Caicedo struck his first goal for the Blues but the All-Stars responded with two goals in eight minutes at the end of the first half and the hosts added a third midway through the second period.

And City Suffer Second Defeat: City were trounced 3-1 by a South China Invitational XI in Hong Kong, following Saturday’s identical scoreline at the hands of the Thai League All Stars in Bangkok. Sven’s future has been under constant speculation, but the Swede should learn his fate after owner Thaksin Shinawatra’s review when the squad return to Eastlands on Friday. When asked about his future with the club, Eriksson replied: “No comment. I’m disappointed that we lost, but the most important thing is that we tried to play good football.”

The Future’s… Uncertain (From Sven at Least)

Will He? City owner Thaksin is conducting a review that has resulted in speculation over the future of the former England boss, whose first season as a Barclays Premier League manager resulted in a ninth-placed finish plus a UEFA Cup place next season after qualifying through the fair play table. That European place could yet earn Eriksson a reprieve from Shinawatra and enable him to retain much-coveted players like England defender Micah Richards. When asked what his relationship was like with Thaksin after the game – a question that the club attempted to block – Sven smiled and replied: “Good.” And now it seems that the Club has decided to try to stop second guessing the Thai tyrant as it seems that although they have discussed summer transfer targets, Sven’s future will be uncertain for some time yet. Sven’s agent however, believes that a decision could be imminent.

Won’t He? Ranieri Adds His Support: Eriksson has received support from a sympathetic Claudio Ranieri who is backing the Swede to remain at Eastlands. Ranieri, who was given just a season by Roman Abramovich before he was replaced by Jose Mourinho in June 2004, is adamant Eriksson can lift City into the Barclays Premier League’s top four. “Nobody can take a team and immediately bring first position,” said Juventus boss Ranieri. “I think (given) this year, another year and a third year – Sven would get the team in the first four.”

And Richards Pledges His Support: ‘We all love him, and would love him to stay but it is out of our hands. We don’t know what is going on and it is quite hard to comment because I don’t really know’. Richards has not travelled: “I have not gone to Thailand because of my knee injury” – whilst speculation about his future continues with reports linking him with a move to United.

Who Knows? Whilst the Sven saga draws on (I for one am losing interest), it is rumoured that today could be the Swede’s last game in charge as City take on a friendly in Hong Kong against a South China Invitational XI. Proceeds from the second and final game of the tour (since when does 2 games constitute a tour?) will be donated to the China earthquake appeal. Reflecting on the season, Sven says “I think as a club – the players, the coaches, everybody – we had a good year, a very good year. The start of the season was fantastic, maybe too good to be true. Second half, we were not as good as the first half. Looking totally, I think it was a very good year.” However, all the good work could count for nothing if Sven does not get the chance to see out the remaining 2 years on his contract!

No Home Advantage: The Premier League has confirmed that City have been entered into the first qualifying round of the competition via the English Fair Play League (although the club finished sixth in the Fair Play table, that was above any team who had not qualified for Europe). Unfortunately however, the club will not be able to play the home leg of their tie at the City of Manchester Stadium because the pitch is to be relaid following the Bon Jovi concert on June 22. With Old Trafford ruled out as an alternative venue, the Galpharm Stadium, home to Huddersfield Town, is being considered.

Sun Admits He’s ‘No Idea!’: Manchester City defender Sun Jihai is hoping to secure a new deal at Eastlands this summer (please no!). The China international is out of contract, but is optimistic that he can add to his five seasons with City. Sun joined the Blues in 2002 in a £2 million move from Dalian Wanda and the 30-year-old has gone on to make more than 150 appearances for City. “I’d love to play in England and I’d love to play football for Manchester City,” he said. “But I’ve no idea to be honest.” Meanwhile, Sun has been so moved by the images of the earthquake that he has pledged his support in whatever way he can!

Club Back Quake Appeal: As the scenes of devastation from Sichuan province go on, the Club has backed Sun Jihai’s determination to help those suffering in China. Club spokesman Paul Tyrrell said: “We can announce that our chairman has said that Manchester City will donate the proceeds that we have received from our visit to Hong Kong to the China earthquake emergency fund.”

Barton Behind Bars: Former Blue bad boy, Joey Barton has been sentenced to six months in prison for assault and affray. Speaking after the sentencing, the PFA pledged to continue helping Barton with his anger management (not that it seems to be having much effect!). Barton`s previous misdemeanours include stubbing out a cigar in the eye of a fellow player, running a Liverpool supporter over in his car and being sent home from a pre-season tour after an altercation with an opposition fan. Barton was still out on bail over his alleged assault on former team mate Ousmane Dabo.

Ins and Outs of the Rumour Mill


  • Giovani Dos Santos who wants out of Barça on a permanent deal (also wanted bySpurs and Chelsea).
  • SWP – allegedly happy at Chelsea.
  • The Citizens are reportedly set to sign £15 million-rated Pablo Zabaleta from LaLiga side Espanyol according to press reports. The Argentinian wideman made 32League appearances for the Catalan club this season and scored just once.However, at 23 the player has already won 4 international caps and impressed inhis 3 seasons in Spain. The Espanyol star began his career with San Lorenzomaking over 60 League appearances before securing a 3 million euro move to Spainin 2005. In his short career he has already won the Copa Del Rey with hiscurrent club, the Copa Sudamericana with San Lorenzo and the FIFA U20 WorldChampionship with Argentina in 2005. Zabaleta holds a Spanish passport so wouldhave no problems with the red tape that sometimes hold up South Americanarrivals to the Premier League.
  • Meanwhile, Scolari seems reluctant to accept the Poisoned Chalice. Manchester Cityhave stepped up their attempts to lure Luiz Felipe Scolari to the club, althoughthe Portugal coach is thought to be demanding £3.9 million a year to take over asmanager from Sven-Göran Eriksson. City have offered Scolari a package worth£3.2 million a year, but despite making another approach to the Brazilian lastweek, they are reluctant to offer an improvement on those terms and want ananswer by the end of the month. Scolari has been told by representatives ofShinawatra, the (current) City owner, that the club may stick with Eriksson,although Scolari’s advisors believe that it is a tactic to pressure the formerBrazil coach into making a quick decision. Scolari is unsure about the prospectof taking over at City and his massive pay demands are being construed by someas an attempt to deter the Barclays Premier League club (and it is rumouredthat should Scolari get the job, he is keen to bring Real Betis ‘keeper Ricardowith him).

City Bid for Russian Striker: Andrei Arshavin will consider a move to Manchester City once Sven-Goran Eriksson’s future is decided. The Russian international, who helped Zenit St Petersburg win the UEFA Cup is on the market for £12 million. Arshavin set up both goals as Zenit beat Rangers 2-0 to clinch their first European trophy.


  • The whole squad, which a number of the Sunday papers claimed had been put up forsale (probably the only way the Chairman could ensure instant success – sell thewhole lot and buy Chelsea/Real Madrid).
  • Grimes – Millwall have agreed the signing of young midfielder Ashley Grimes fromManchester City. The 21-year-old worked with Lions boss Kenny Jackett during his spell asyouth-team coach at Eastlands, and will put pen to paper at The Den on July 1. Grimeshas not managed a first-team appearance for City during his time at the club,but he spent a month on loan with Swindon early last year.
  • Richard Dunne – the captain still hasn’t put pen to paper and is rumoured to beon his way to Spurs/Newcastle/Sunderland depending on which day of the week itis and which paper you read.
  • Ireland – also believed to be a target for Keano.
  • Isaakson – out of contract this summer and wanted by Fulham.
  • Richards – going to United for £25 million!

Shaking all About… Meanwhile Petrov is happy/not depending on what you read, while Elano is keen to stay, and Bojinov is reportedly unsettled.

Sarah Longshaw <news(at)>


So people still insist on believing whatever cr*p is written in the newspaper – latest victim being Kevin Williamson (MCIVTA 1431) in relation to the ‘entire team up for sale’.

Take a step back people, and for God’s sake wait for MCFC to make an announcement. MCFC are now suing the Daily Express and any other media that insists on running that story and any other factually incorrect headline – suddenly it’s all gone quiet.

Believe it or not Sven hasn’t been sacked – maybe he will be in the future or maybe he won’t but as I have said on this platform recently, if any other manager had the same dismal record as Sven over the last few months (6 wins from 24 games) plenty of people reading this fine newsletter would have (and, incidentally have) called for the manager’s head!

Whilst I agree that Sven is a very decorated manager, for whatever reason he just can’t manage it where English tournaments are concerned or major tournaments. Nothing so far with MCFC and nothing with England.

However, 2 managers that some people mysteriously don’t want have achieved exactly that. Big Phil had managed to win World Cups and certainly had the better over England (managed by Sven) and The Special One has managed to win the biggest tournament in Europe in the Champions League whilst domestically winning the Premier League. Both therefore should be welcomed should Frank dispense of Sven’s services.

If Frank wants to get rid of Sven then no amount of protests will change his mind; after all, it is his money. If you spent a lot of money and bought something – then you wanted to change something because you think (rightly or wrongly) that it will make it better – would you let anyone change your mind? Probably not.

The time to protest is if Sven gets the boot and Frank appoints McClaren, Allardyce or some other unsuccessful moron.

Let’s see what pans out over the next few days/weeks.

Keep the faith.

Andrew Keller <akcity(at)>


In told you so mood.

Those out there who were quick to deride me and others with enough experience to have seen it all before.

Thaksin Shinawatra is not investing any of his own moeny in us, is making us a laughing stock and wants us to be the Manchester United of Asia and then the world. Open your eyes, listen with your ears, the sooner this guy is gone the better. It’s not City and it’s an embarrassment.

Those of you who contacted me at the time to sell shares and urge him in should now be realising your naivety and folly. Let’s get City back and live for one common cause. If that means relegation, I don’t give a f**k. First and foremost we are Manchester City and always will be.

We will do it the City way, which is fair and playing attacking football. If we have our pride then we don’t have anything. At the moment we may as well support Bolton!

Whatever you do, stay Blue!

Dave Clinton <daveclinton(at)>


Ray, I called the ticket office – as like you – I am aghast at what’s going on…

I was informed by an arrogant ‘telephonist’ I must apply in writing for a refund. To which a more than arrogant me replied; ‘well I didn’t have to apply in writing to buy it – put some measures in place, I won’t be alone with this line of enquiry’.

He said we could get a refund if that was what we really wanted. Head or heart, head or heart?

However, seeing Richard Dunne in the Met, Didsbury on Sunday – and rather jokily suggesting we needed him to stay.. .and, un-prompted, him saying; ‘I don’t know what the hell is going on, none of us do…’, doesn’t inspire me to keeping it.

What annoys me is reading this morning headlines on the MEN: ‘JUST SORT IT OUT’ pertaining to United’s lack of city screens. They’ve all got sodding telly’s right? Stop moaning. Our plight is fundamentally more pressing I’d have thought? Makes me sick.

You can bet your bottom dollar if United lose on Wednesday there’ll be a similar outcome to that of the Rangers’ fans. Violence, urinating in the streets of my city, the odd copper being attacked. It will be all okay though, because after all they’re United.

Never dull though – and definitely makes you a stronger person.

Up the Blues.

Joel Perry <j.perry(at)>


It’s been sad to read so much tripe written about the Frank/Dr.Evil vs. Sven affair here these last few weeks.

The same people who refuse to believe a word written in the British press as a rule, now choose to believe anything about Frank so long as it fits their narrative. Especially troubling and troublesome are those “City fans” who have suddenly discovered Frank is a man with a questionable past. Now he has contradicted their will (as expressed by dubious petitions and polls… ask me, I’ll be happy to tell you how dubious and untrustworthy), they vent about this abuse, and that graft, and the other corruption.

Memories are short when it comes to Sven and his time and doings as England manager.

I wonder why no-one has mentioned Richard “Tort” Dunne’s award yet? Could it be they are troubled by an award given by the Official Supporters to a man who (if you believe the newspapers…) suggested placing City in financial and legal harm? Or perhaps it could be that according the MEN poll, only 20% of City fans agreed with the verdict of the Official Supporters that Dunne was player of the season, an award given just days after his suggested tortuous mutiny. Then again, that poll was as open to abuse as the MEN “Support Sven” poll and the “big” petition. Still, I suppose you can have your cake and eat it, and the Richard Dunne vote did confirm that someone really is clueless about football (as well as the art of persuasion).

The Daily Express report about selling the entire first-team squad was first aired via telephone with a Daily Express reporter (not Richard Tanner) on Setanta, and was refuted the next day on City’s website with the suggestion of legal action if the story was repeated. Believe what you like, I’m sure you all will. That Daily Express report (the one written by Richard Tanner) contained classic journo “it is understood” language and 90% of it was a catalogue of old rumours and allegations which were there only to bolster the headline which was, in fact, the conclusion. The piece appeared at the very moment reports (true or not?) were appearing that indicated not as many City players were as unhappy as we had been led to believe; the story as a whole was moving onto the back burner, City fans were taking a breathe, and, funnily enough, in newspapers and on blogs, forums and websites, people of all stripes were showing signs of stopping and actually thinking. The timing alone ought to have a caused some pause.

As to the seasoncard/season ticket: I have yet to read a single threat (I shake in my handmade Italian leather loafers) from anyone who says, “I have been a season-ticket holder for 5 years/10 years”. It’s always (always) 20 or 30 or 40 isn’t it?

The serious allegations against Thaksin viz. fraud, embezzlement, killings, “disappearances” and so on were not sufficient (and, apparently, are not necessary) for some “City fans”. What has proven more than enough is the mere belief Frank is about to do something (so they think, after all, to this point, where is the proof?) they just don’t like. I have read in a number of places “City fans” state they are going to ask for a refund. I have also read some of them admit they do not know how to go about it, and some who were refused a refund when they try to get one over the phone(!), which refusal caused the rattle to follow the dummy.

I cannot imagine why someone who subscribes to this newsletter, and who claims to have been a City fan and season-ticket holder for “30+ years”, is actually writing to ask how to get his money back. Here is a hint: call the ticket office and perhaps now you can familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions. Don’t worry, I did your job for you (in part) from 3,000 miles away. However, before I called City to double check what I thought was implied and common sense, I checked on line and this is what I found: On the online application it says “By renewing your Seasoncard you are accepting the terms and conditions of the Seasoncard and agree to be bound by the Stadium regulations.”

When you buy your season card you are accepting the terms and conditions under which it is sold to you. These T&C are not the same as the Stadium Regulations (on-line here which are mentioned on the seasoncard itself.

Generally, as a matter of law, you are held to have read and understood the T&C when applying for a ticket for public events. The existence of T&C does not even have to be mentioned on any ticket as the buyer is held to understand T&C exist (simply by being alive) and also apply to him, even if the ticket does not mention T&C. It is not as though the T&C are going to require any dispute to be settled in court in Geneva whilst applying Japanese law for crying out loud, and if it did, it would get struck down (blue penciled) as soon as City tried to enforce it with the rest enforceable (severance clause). If the buyer had any qualms before entering into the contract he could have asked for a copy of the terms and conditions, and, even if the contract may be termed one of adhesion (take it or leave it), that does not mean courts will not enforce them on the basis of a pejorative characterization by a disgruntled fan: after all, a seasoncard is not the same as a take-it-or-leave it when life is in danger, or loans are offered in times of extreme stress. In other words, please don’t whine about unfair terms and conditions when you want to get your money back as, a. you should have asked for terms and conditions, and b. it’s hardly the stuff of unfair advantage and duress.

This is what I found out from City over the phone: an application (in your own words) for a refund must be made to the ticket (box) office in writing with proof of ownership. MCFC reviews each application on its individual merits.

To my mind, this issue of “merit” implied that an application may be refused (again, T&C). Perhaps the lady I was talking to was wrong or overstated the case. However this is what I was told and it is pretty much what I expected. I hope that City are permitted to refuse refunds “on the merits”, or, are permitted to subtract an amount (liquidated damages type of thing) from the face value to cover admin costs.

Whether the application has to be by certified mail, or whether it takes 30-60 days to process I have no idea, I did not ask. I have no idea what the deadline is for applications to obtain a full refund or to what extent partial refunds are available once the season has begun, I did not ask these questions either.

Good luck.

Jack Buckley- Raleigh, North Carolina <Jack10000days(at)>


Does anyone still think that Sven will be sacked? It maybe a rhetorical question but please think about this.

I am reading postings on this forum from fans that frankly seem to believe everything that’s written, especially when there is little foundation to a lot of these stories.

We’ve got people giving their season tickets up because they’ve never experienced such a farcical situation from the current regime! Sorry, but that’s ridiculous isn’t it? How long have these people been following City? It’s often been farcical at City hasn’t it!? That’s what my mother says and she dates back to the end of the war when things were still in black and white! Swales, Lee – anybody remember?

We’ve also got people believing ridiculous tabloid rants like the “whole squad is up for sale”.

Now I will happily take my slice of humble pie but I’ve genuinely come round to thinking that the whole ‘Sven is going to get sacked’ c**p is precisely that. c**p. I know that there’s no smoke without fire and that the regime could perhaps use a refresher course in PR. Incidentally – if you believe the press – they did precisely that last week and employed a PR firm!

My take on the current uncertainty is this. Thaksin announced some weeks ago that a complete review of this season would take place at the end of the season – from the top down including all players and management staff. That’s it. Communication hasn’t been the best – he’s spent a lot of time away and there have been quotes and mis-quotes. I’ll admit I was worried myself right up until about a couple of days after the Boro débâcle. But surely Sven would have been sacked within hours/days of the end of the season and not be taking the team away on an end of season tour? Wouldn’t he? We all share the disappointment of a very poor second half of the season. At times the team has capitulated and seemingly had no idea of what it was doing. Only Sven can take the rap for that, but it doesn’t make sense that he will be sacked to me.

I’ve said before I don’t give a monkeys about who owns the club, sadly we are not in a position to have an idealistic solution in terms of club ownership. We aren’t United or Barcelona so can’t call upon an unprecedented global level of support to keep the club afloat.

If I’m off the mark (at the moment I’m no more right than anybody else), then yes I’ll be disappointed. Yes I’ll be a little fed up. But I will be there first game of the season as usual pledging my support for the team because I count the last season as a massive step in the right direction and I’m sure that will continue to happen whoever is in charge of the team.

Graham Keller <gkmcfc(at)>


Watching Sky Sports News, Sven-Goran Eriksson’s agent Athole Still said “What is happening to Sven is just plain ludicrous”, adding “I honestly do not know what is going on, and Sven does not know either, it’s just plain crazy but we all should know something in a matter of days”.

In show business there is a saying that there is no such thing as bad publicity. Well the publicity that MCFC have had with this crazy pantomime, no one can tell me that it has been good.

No wonder we have the “Theatre of Comedy”, but this is definitely not funny, it’s stupid.

Most of the football world, never mind the City supporters and fans think that the owner Thaksin is a mad hatter, he has put himself into a position that will be hard to get out of; maybe he is surrounded by badly informed advisors?

Whatever the outcome, he has treated Sven in the worst way, and Sven has been the gentleman waiting for a decision, a decision that might only come to keep Sven as manager if Scolari will not accept (or perhaps someone else).

Sven likes his job at City, and has not finished his job, he certainly will never have difficulty in finding another job, and with a more tolerant owner, and who has more knowledge about the game.

Sven stays quiet so he can be rewarded if he has to go, who can blame him? I still hope for the best, that of course is that Sven will stay, and our owner Thaksin gets his sanity back, so the manager can start thinking about next season, and start to move players in and out.

Today, May 21st, the Times newspaper reports that Thaskin is still trying to get Felipe Scolari. He has offered him £3.2 million but it is understood that Scolari is holding out for £3.9 million –

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


I live in Cape Town, but have been a City fan for as long as I can remember. Indeed my dad was born in Kippax Street in 1910.

I always have a squiz at the MCFC web site for up to date information. However, please take a look at its content at the moment. It resembles the Rangoon Daily Mail!

There is absolutely nothing about the management problems.

Rumblings of a dictatorship.

D H Wood <dhwood1(at)>


Keynote Speech by Dr. Thaksin Shinawatra

Chairman, Manchester City Football Club
Former Prime Minister of Thailand

The BusinessWeek’s Middle-East Asia Leadership Forum

The CEO Challenge:
Sustaining Growth, Expanding the Boundaries

Dubai, 16 April 2008

Excellency Forum Chairperson, Distinguished Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for the generous introduction and the kind words.

It is such a great pleasure and honour for me to have been invited to speak at this prestigious forum and to be amongst such an august gathering of business leaders from all parts of Asia. I am very grateful to the Government of United Arab Emirates and BusinessWeek for the opportunity, not only to address this gathering but also to be part of the debate amongst the exclusive group of political and corporate leaders on leadership and growth sustaining. And since I’ve already washed my hands from politics, I do wonder if politics is the reason for the invitation. If I’m not mistaken, I think they had probably thought that it would be quite interesting to hear a confession of a Thai who is crazy enough to buy an English Premier League football club. That’s why they have me!

But for whatever reason, let me also offer my congratulations to BusinessWeek and the organizers for the choice of venue. None could have been more appropriate than this most vibrant, modern and exuberant city of Dubai for the debate on sustaining growth and expanding the boundaries – the CEO challenge – to take place. The speed of the growth and its increasingly becoming a booming centre of business makes Dubai just the right place to host this debate. The city and its growth are the prime testimony of what visionary leadership can produce.

Distinguished Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today is not the first time we just heard of the challenges to leadership faced by the rapid global changes. Neither is it the first time we heard the debates and discussions on how to overcome those changes and bring about real and sustainable growth in today’s business world of globalization. And most definitely, today will not be the last time we hear about them.

Looking around the world, I don’t believe there is any major business school anywhere in the world these days which does not offer a course or a syllabus dealing with change leadership or change management. Nor is there any major headhunter, both in developed and some developing countries, who would not look for change leadership as qualification for an executive position. [Garry Cook from Jordan-Nike?]

Nonetheless, human beings have grown to live with changes and uncertainty since time immemorial. Charles Darwin’s famous theory expounded that only the ones most responsive to changes could survive. So many words of wise men and women in the past hundreds of years, including religious philosophers, remind us that uncertainty is the only thing that is certain. So changes and certainty has been with us all along.

But what is new is that in this borderless world which we call globalization, changes seem to take place with faster speed than ever. The pace of changes today is quick, constant and incessant. Their causes are no longer simple. Their repercussions are no longer single-fold. Their effects are no longer geographically bound. Their impacts are to require adaptive responses of similar velocity.

That much, I am sure, is something all of us well understand. But what we are seeking instead is how to develop the skills – leadership skills – to adapt responses to changes fast enough and appropriately enough.

To meet today’s challenges of global environment of change, turbulences, instability and uncertainty, we need leaders not only with charisma but also knowledge, wisdom and talent. These leaders must be able to make proper decisions at the right time – a decision that they know must be taken today not tomorrow, a decision that if not taken today, they will regret it tomorrow.

They must be confident to make a decision with global literacy and accumulation of intellectual wealth. Only decisions based on intellectual wealth and accumulated knowledge can successfully meet the challenges of today’s global constant changes and uncertainty. Only decisions based on such accumulated knowledge and wisdom can cope with changes and enable leaders to ride on every wave without sinking.

Therefore, change leadership is leadership that never ceases to learn and never gives up the learning process. It is this learning process of each individual that decides leaders’ limits and their ability to manage changes.

Since global changes and uncertainty today are more complex and intertwined, likewise acquiring knowledge is no longer a single disciplinary exercise but a multi-disciplinary complexity. New germs and viruses causing all kinds of new diseases are often found to be products of new but more complicated breed of all kinds of old or existing germs and viruses. Terrorism in many parts of the world is no longer an endeavour of a single motive group but a convergence of different groups that form themselves into a new breed of terrorism collaboration. A one-sided approach no longer works. Economic competitiveness is not the race between those who try to produce the cheapest but between those who can produce the best with multi-skills and multi-technology.

Economic competitiveness is no longer just a matter of trade and market but that of more complex financial system with new instruments to cope with all the time.

To remain on top, both leaders and their organization must embark on their own learning process to make themselves global literate and keep themselves well prepared.

They must be prepared to live with volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. But leaders must learn to turn volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity into vision, understanding, clarity and agility. This is what Bob Johansen calls the VUCA world – V-U-C-A -in his book, “Get There Early”

Change leadership must be capable of being visionary and understanding of the global age to take a holistic approach to deal with changes and their complexity. Today’s leadership must appreciate the quintessence of vision and agility. At the same time, they must dare to be different. They must dare to risk making their own changes ahead of those that have been predicted. They must be more daring beyond their average peers. They must be ready to drive even with a little of craziness to be out of the box and innovative.

Distinguished Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Look at this vibrant but otherwise a desert city of Dubai. What can one find? A first class golf course in a desert; highest buildings standing on the desert ground foundation and most exclusive hotel and residences in the ocean, to mention but a few. A major financial centre, and a tax haven. Attractions to all classes of world top businessmen and everyone from around the world. Dubai just has everything for everyone. These success stories derive from the vision, the understanding, the agility, and the daring guts of leaders to think out of the box and do things differently based on knowledge of the global environment.

The success story of the city of Dubai is an example of decisions taken with visionary holistic approach of leaders to cope with and overcome changes. It is an example of how men are capable of doing anything, even things that nature has not intended them to be. It is an example of success because leaders just dare to be different.

When I was Prime Minister, Thailand was struck by the spread of two unprecedented and severe contagious diseases that could have been devastating both to the nation’s health and tourism. First was the SARS disease – or the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. People took precaution by wearing masks everywhere. Psychologically, mask-wearing exacerbated the situation. Imagine yourself watching pictures of people wearing masks everywhere in the street, it must be quite apprehensive.

I swiftly studied and tried to understand the nature of the disease. It was confirmed to me that while the disease was humanly contagious, it could only be transmitted through exchange of body fluid. It was confirmed that the spread of the virus was not air borne. I decided to pay a visit to Bangkok Airport as the fear of the disease was growing. I was not wearing a mask and none in my party wore one. I met and talked to people at the airport, most of whom were still wearing masks. I explained why I wasn’t wearing one and how to prevent the disease and why masks – wearing was not necessarily an effective preventive measure. All was shown on television.

It worked a miracle. It was only the following day when many people who saw the news of my airport visit suddenly and willingly stopped wearing masks. When no picture of the Thai people wearing masks was shown any more, soon tourists were back. Medically, we spared no efforts in preventing and combating the disease. But as leader, I must think out of the box and make a decision to restore the situation back to normalcy or almost normalcy as quickly as possible. My decision worked because it was made from knowledge, not fear nor emotion.

To restore further confidence, I called for a Summit of a rather unique kind – the East Asian SARS Summit in Bangkok. A summit that exclusively dealt with a particular disease might not be so common in international relations book of practice. But it worked and helped further restore public confidence.

Then we were hit again by the spread of the avian or bird flu. The quick spread of the disease and the excessive fear of it would threaten not only tourism and public health but would be disastrous to the poultry business. Chicken, birds and poultry were destroyed in their countless number. People just stopped consuming any chicken or poultry. The real threat was not the disease itself but the public perception of it.

Once I studied the disease and was ascertained of its nature and its spread, I visited a fried chicken restaurant and had fried chicken for lunch in front of the camera. I went to show how to cook chicken well and safe. I explained to the public that chicken and eggs cooked at 80 degrees Celsius and above would be safe from avian flu virus and would be safe for consumption. Public confidence was restored. The poultry business was affected but never so devastatingly.

So as leaders, we must be innovative and daring in making unprecedented decisions as long as they are based on fact and knowledge. We must also induce our organization and those we lead to do the same. As Prime Minister, I often spent a few minutes talking about new books I had read in the weekly cabinet meeting before starting on the agenda. This motivated cabinet ministers to keep abreast with me in their continuous learning process. Many of them had the books further read for them so that at least they felt they were not left so far behind their Prime Minister. It was useful for me as well to have cabinet ministers who are leaders in their own right equipped with knowledge, understanding, vision and agility.

Before concluding, I should have a few words on my acquiring the chairmanship of Manchester City Football Club. It must have appeared to be something so uncommon to do for an ex-Prime Minister. I have always been a football fan. When I was Prime Minister, I had thought of bringing global vision to the thinking of Thai kids, letting them learn the value of creating global brands through the game and the business of football, a sport that is close to the heart of so many Thai kids. So I had spent time studying the idea and possibility of acquiring an English Premier League Football Club before. The idea was that a League Club owned by Thai would attract youths to every aspect of it, be they the games and matches, the skill and performance improvements in the sport or its business.

So when the military coup made me unemployed, without a job, without an organization to lead and belong, so I went back to that idea again. It may be a totally different kind of business I have ever done in the past. But as a leader who learns and is adaptable to change, I am optimistic that if I do my best, the Club will stay in the limelight of the English football league and make its supporters proud. For Thailand, it will also benefit the Thai kids the way I had originally expected.

Talking about optimism, let me end by recalling a quotation from Sir Winston Churchill who said, and I quote, “I am an optimist because it does not seem too much use being anything else!” I hope, as leaders, you all are.

Good luck and thank you very much for your kind attention.


Source: MCFC Thai website:

I expect this will be dismissed as mere propaganda. In any event, lead, follow, or get out of the way.

Jack Buckley <Jack10000days(at)>


If anyone is interested in the fair play league table it can be found here,,12306,00.html After 36 matches City were 5th (1199 pts), Everton 6th (1197) and Fulham 7th (1191).

Roger Haigh <rogerhaigh(at)>


Can I thank the people who have already promised me in excess of £90 for the Manchester City Babies in Ghana, this is a good start. Can I also thank the new site for their enquiry. I hope to keep this appeal going for as long as possible.

Our season is now over so there should be some spare football cash knocking about. Can I suggest City fans perhaps send me the cost of 1 home match day programme, ie, £3.00. If sufficient contribute that amount we will have made a huge difference to 3 junior football teams and helped spread the good name of Manchester City FC.

Cheques should be made payable to MCCSA and forwarded to me:

Alex Channon
‘Penalty Spot’
81 Milner Street
M27 4AS

Kind regards to all.

Alex Channon <alexchannon81(at)>


At least now he’ll know what it’s like to play in the hole.

All together now…

Three stripes on his shirt
Dabo’s nose still bleeding
30 weeks of hurt
Hasn’t stopped me cheering

He’s going down
He’s going down
Barton’s going down…

And this is before his trial in Manchester for the Ousmane Dabo incident.

Phil Lines <philipjlines(at)>


Through MCIVTA I contacted a guy initially regarding an auction of Colin Bell’s stuff, I later promised some old match programmes if I could find them.

I have changed jobs and lost all of the contact details, if you’re him please get in touch, I have found the programmes!

Alan Barnshaw <alanbarnshaw(at)>


Sorry, but I think Sven should go.

I think the time is right for Steve Coppell.

[I think SC has recently signed a new contract at Reading, thankfully! – Ed]

Chris Phillips <scewphillips(at)>

MCIVTA FAQ [v0708.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Madeleine Hawkins)     :
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[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]Madeleine Hawkins,

Newsletter #1432