Newsletter #1541

News tonight on the summer fantasy football season as any player worth their salt and with a price tag to match is linked with MCFC, the pre-season fixtures in South Africa and next season’s fixtures launch.

We have opinion on those transfer links, differences of opinion and requests.

Next Game: TBA


General News

Summer Spending: The Blues have already taken a hold of the transfer market only two days into the summer window with the singing of Gareth Barry from Aston Villa but Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarek has told fans to look forward to the rest of the summer because there will be “four to six” quality players following Barry through the door. Though Mubarek and owner Sheikh Mansour have already stamped their position on the issue of over inflated fees; the Chairman believes that the partnership of Hughes and Executive Chairman Garry Cook can only be a good thing and whoever they feel it is best to acquire will be targets for the summer: “We will shrink our squad and add four to six players. Key for us is that we trust Mark and any acquisition is based on his view. I’m frustrated with people assuming we are going to throw crazy money at deals, that we won’t understand true values and we can’t negotiate or get value for a player. We’ve had numbers thrown at us that are a joke. There are situations where a £10 million player will be offered to us for a ‘City price’ of £20 million. We just leave because at that point there’s no point arguing – if people are throwing crazy numbers at us, fine, deals won’t be done. Look at (City owner) Sheikh Mansour; he’s a very shrewd businessman who has conducted himself in a professional way. I will defend the value of every deal we have done. Look at our Robinho deal. If he went in this transfer window for the same price (£32.5 million) it would be a steal. Our deals to date presented fair value to the clubs we brought them from, fair value to us and are typical of the type of deals we are looking to make.”

On the back of FIFA President Sepp Blatter describing Real Madrid’s recent business as “progress”, Mubarek has conveyed his frustration as to why it is ok for Real Madrid to spend £149 million on two players without question whereas City were condemned for trying the bring one of the world’s best players to the club: “When we looked at Kaka, the numbers being thrown around were crazy, suddenly in the news you see ‘City are crazy’ and ‘City are irresponsible’. Why is it when Real Madrid not only talks about but actually closes two deals, like the ones they’ve closed with the numbers they’ve committed to, it’s fine?”

Experience is Essential: For a club that has made its name recently as a great provider of young talent, Manchester City Football Club has made clear its new aim: to mix the world’s most experienced professionals with the country’s best young talent. This was the reason behind signing Gareth Barry, Mark Hughes has explained. With the likes of Micah Richards, Nedum Onuoha, Stephen Ireland providing the academy aspect, Hughes has acknowledged that this transfer window will be one where experience will be key to the signatures he aims to capture: “We have a young squad, a lot of the players are young guys and sometimes their focus can be different from someone who is a bit further on in life. You need to add senior players to a group that is predominantly young like the one we have, that’s what we are trying to factor in when we bring players in. We are looking for players who have the mentality and the aptitude to take this club where we want to take it. Gareth ticks all the boxes in that respect; he has huge experience in the Premier League. I’ve been told he was the youngest player to reach 300 appearances in the Premier League, which tells its own story. He has done that in the hardest league in the world, and to be able to bring a player of that type here at this moment in time is crucial for us.”

Fixture Frenzy: The Premier League season’s fixtures for the 2009/10 season were released yesterday morning with Mark Hughes returning to his former club Blackburn Rovers on the opening day. Following a trip to Ewood Park, City will host newly promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers with former Blue Mick McCarthy managing the visitors. The derby days are September 19th where the Blues will travel to Old Trafford, with United visiting Eastlands in the return fixture on April 17th. On Boxing Day, Tony Pulis’ Stoke City will come to CoMS in search of points whilst the club’s final home game will be played on May 1st when Aston Villa travel north to Manchester. The season will end at Upton Park where hopefully three points will secure a top six place.

Vodacom Venue Change: Next month’s tournament in South Africa has faced a late change due to sponsorship fall-out. The Blues will still face the Orlando Pirates on the 18th July but rather than playing at the Newlands Stadium in Cape Town, the fixture has been moved to the Peter Mokaba stadium in Polokwane. The area of South Africa where the game will now be played has long been without top class football and it is believed that the visit of Manchester City will generate great excitement and a huge crowd. The club has emphasized that fans will not be left out of pocket with regards to any costs incurred by supporters travelling to South Africa that have been caused by the change of venue.

Squad News

National Hart: Following a tough second half to the season, Joe Hart is very excited to return to the first eleven, even if it is for his country rather than his club. Hart, who was dropped in favour of £5 million signing Shay Given last January, looks set to sign for Birmingham on loan next season but first he will play his part in England’s attempt to win the Under 21 European Championship. Having noted the young goalie’s potential as manager of City four years back, Stuart Pearce has allowed Hart to establish himself as the Under 21 first choice ‘keeper and Hart hopes to repay this faith with a trophy this summer: “It’s a big summer. I’ve had my feet up for a little bit because I’ve not been playing for City, so I’m looking forward to getting a few games under my belt. It would be great if we can bring home the trophy. It has been tough this year. It’s frustrating, but there’s only one person can play in goal and Shay’s doing that at the moment. I’ve had to deal with it the best I can. It’s not been ideal, but it’s not the end of the world. Sweden is a huge chance for us but it’s going to be difficult. We’re in a tough group and everyone thinks they have a good chance of winning it. There’s an awful lot to do, we just want to be in the hat. At Under-21 level you can’t rule anybody out. A senior national side might not be brilliant but their Under-21s can be very strong.”

I Meant What I Said: Since his £12m up North to CoMS, the former Aston Villa Captain, Gareth Barry, has been criticised for ‘taking a step down’ having left top six club Aston Villa for tenth place Manchester City. Barry spent the whole of last summer in the middle of a ‘will he, won’t he’ saga where Rafa Benitez spent three months attempting to take the 28 year old to Anfield. During that proposed transfer, Barry communicated his desire to leave in order to play Champions’ League football. Twelve months later, Villa have lost their skipper but not for one of the ‘top four’, which has caused outrage in the Midlands. Barry, however, has explained that there are endless possibilities at Eastlands and to be a part of this project could quite easily being him the European Football he seeks: “I believe Manchester City can be playing Champions’ League football while I am here, otherwise I wouldn’t have joined, but it won’t happen overnight and there is a lot of hard work to be done first. I fully understand why people raised their eyebrows about this move but I’m looking to the future and I’m confident that City are heading in the direction that I want to go. I’m certain that we can be challenging for major honours and I aim to play my part. I’ve been around long enough for people to know what to expect from me and I’m confident my performances will keep our fans happy. I learned a lot last season at Villa about just how hard it is to try and get a grip on that top-four place. It’s a lot of hard work and you have to stick together as a team. I said that if Villa had finished in the top four I would have stayed – and I would have kept my word. It was something we tried to achieve and it would have been wrong of me to leave had we done it.”

Transfer News and Rumours

Carlos Tevez: The Tevez saga continues to drag on with his agents claiming that conclusive talks shall begin this week. Tevez’s adviser Kia Joorabchian revealed that City are joined by Chelsea, Liverpool and clubs from Italy and Spain in their efforts to sign the Argentinean. United also haven’t given up hope of renewing Tevez’s contract but it is believed that only first team football will entice the striker to a club, something that Ferguson won’t promise. Robinho has implored his manager to sign Tevez, believing that the two players could create one of the league’s best striker forces: “We would definitely complement City’s attack. I hope my club make a move for him. It would be a pleasure to play with Carlos. He is one of the best players in the world and it is a shame he is not having more opportunities at his current club. If he leaves United – as I have been reading in the last few days – and if the interest of City gets confirmed, of course I will try to convince him to join us. I am sure we would make a fearsome duo up front. He is so fast and combative with great technique.” Talks are also ongoing with representatives of Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o but alleged wage demands of £180,000 per week after tax may prove to be a boundary that the Blues are not willing to stretch to.

Glen Johnson: A three way battle has reportedly begun between City, Chelsea and Liverpool for the signature of England right back Glen Johnson. The defender, who currently plies his trade at Portsmouth, would cost £18 million but is believed to favour a move to Anfield. Having been sold by Chelsea only two years ago, Johnson is thought to not want to return to Stamford Bridge whilst also wanting Champions’ League football. Johnson is effectively following the same stance as Gareth Barry and therefore City hope that the lure of the ‘project’ may be enough to bring the former West Ham man to City.

Didier Drogba: City may have a bottomless transfer kitty but a source close to the Ivorian striker has claimed that Drogba has rejected City’s interest because they can’t offer Champions’ League football. The rumour mill had stated that an £18 million move was on the cards as Drogba wasn’t the sort of player that new Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti favoured up front, but now the deal seems to have been ruled out: “City have never lost interest in Drogba but the vibes coming from the player are that he has settled down again and wants to stay. Chelsea can offer him Champions’ League football, which City can’t.”

Lee Grant: Drogba isn’t the only player linked with City who now won’t be joining the top ten side as Sheffield Wednesday manager Brian Laws has furiously denied that his star ‘keeper is about to move to CoMS in a £1.5 million deal. With City looking to loan Joe Hart out to Birmingham this season, Lee Grant was reportedly seen as the perfect replacement with a lot of potential. Laws has vigorously rejected any rumours of a move: “This is a load of rubbish. Lee has just signed a new contract. He is settled, and we have said many times he is not for sale. Manchester City have not made any contact with us.”

Joan Angel Roman: One player who seems certain to sign for the Citizens this summer is Spanish sensation Joan Angel Roman. The 16-year-old who plays for Espanyol’s youth academy is highly regarded as the next big thing to come from the World’s number one nation and City are keen to swoop for the youngster. Though a deal is expected to be done, Espanyol have said that the valuations held by both clubs differ greatly and due to new FIFA guidelines, City must agree a fee with the Spanish side before enticing the teenager to England: “Espanyol are still waiting to receive a satisfactory offer from Manchester City for the transfer of Joan Angel Roman. The English team have shown themselves to be interested in the midfielder, but must follow the FIFA regulations, which stipulate that the clubs must have an agreement between them for the move to take place. It is reminded that in England a player cannot be a professional until he is 17 years old, which means the only way is an agreement between the clubs.”

International Blues

City’s Samba Stars Struggle: Fantastic performances from Mohamed Zidane, Mohamed Shawky and co. ensured that City’s Brazilian boys struggled in their opening fixture of the Confederations Cup. Despite being 3-1 up at half time, two goals of which were set up by City playmaker Elano, Dunga’s Brazilian side re-took to the field a shadow of the team that Brazil once were. With one minute left on the clock, The Brazilians were awarded a controversial but excellent decision by English referee Howard Webb allowing Kaka to score from the spot. Brazil won the game 4-3, but if the Samba boys want to win a tournament that also includes World Champions Italy and the world’s number one side, Spain, then they are going to have to up their game. Robinho was replaced just after the hour mark having worked tirelessly with little reward at the same time as his City team mate whose two assists had led the way for his team. Robbie gave his view of the game: “We maybe lost our composure for a few minutes there but the most important thing was that we won. Egypt deserve a lot of credit for their fight back. In the next game against USA we’ll be working hard to make sure we don’t make those errors again, because we’ll be coming up against another quality team.”

Young Lions Roar to Success: Former City boss Stuart Pearce truly believes that his side are one of the favourites for this summer’s competition and a 2-1 win over a tricky Finland side will have done nothing to dent his hopes. Despite losing Michael Mancienne to a first half dismissal, Micah Richards scored the winning goal with a header from a James Milner corner. Though many will say the win was unconvincing, Pearce’s side won despite playing with ten players for an hour of the game and an injury list that matches any NHS treatment list for the day. Joe Hart played a part in his side’s victory despite being sent the wrong way on the penalty whilst captain Nedum Onuoha wasn’t risked due to injury fears. Stand-in captain Mark Noble praised Micah’s excellent goal effort: “Micah came up with a great header. We’ve not played Barcelona football but it’s still three points on the board.”

Ex-Blues’ News

Melrose New Place: Former City striker Jim Melrose had led a consortium into the buyout of Stockport County after months of uncertainty for the North West club. County had been under serious threat of ‘going under’ in this time of recession and finally the administrators have been appeased by a consortium buyout. Melrose now hopes to re-instate Jim Gannon as manager having seen him made redundant under the former regime.

Shinawatra’s Shock Return? Alternatively, however, another former Blue has refuted reports that he is set to return to the Premier League as an owner. Following the bid by Sulaiman Al Fahim for Portsmouth FC, it was reported that Thaksin Shinawatra was in the background of the deal but Portsmouth have been swift to deny this: “A representative of Dr Sulaiman Al-Fahim met with Premier League officials last week and confirmed he is the sole purchaser of the football club and this will be verified by his lawyers.” The Premier League has made their stance on the issue very clear: “At this stage the Premier League don’t know if he is involved. The Premier League have made it very clear we want to know who the shareholders are in the possible takeover. Before that can happen the people involved have to meet the fit and proper persons test. There has been a suggestion that possibly Dr Thaksin is involved, and if that is the case, the takeover will not be allowed to go through.”

Alex Rowen <news(at)>


I now anxiously anticipate the arrival on my desktop of your much loved newsletter. I actually thought this was aimed at me for a time. After growing up in Cheshire, I now reside in Slovenia… yes, just over the Alps!

Anyway, after reading the many rumours and transfer possibilities, I feel the question must be a simple one. Is this player good enough to play in a Top 4 club? If not, then what are we doing spending money on him?

In my opinion, Pato is one player to invest in, at whatever the cost. I’d love to see Robinho, Tevez, Eto’o with Ireland and Pato behind. Defence I’m not sure. I believe Onouha could be quite amazing, and his speed is awesome. Bridge, Dunne, errm who else is there? I’m also a huge academy fan, and I’d love to see Weiss and Sturridge (give him what he wants) the chances they deserve.

Kompany and de Jong make sense as defensive midfielders, and SWP on the right but again, can you see everyone in a Top 4 team?

Mark Hughes is he Top 4 potential? He’s got targets and we’ve had targets for many years longer!

Greetings from Slovenija – The Sunny Side Of The Alps.

CTID, Steve Fish <>


Let me update you on the latest stuff appearing in the Barça footy dailies.

  1. City have put in a firm bid for Eto’o of 30 million Euros. Evidently the majority of theBarça board want to proceed (helps them with Villa/Ribery/IbramV negotiations).
  2. Barça want to add Henry to City deal above to get more funds.
  3. Robinho is an option for Barça if the Ribery deal falls through. There is strongsupport from Barça’s Technical Director for this and they may approach Citywith a swap deal covering this and both above. They value Robinho at 25 million Euros.

These are not rumours. They are hard facts according to Barça club officials.

Patrick Knowles <pjamk(at)>


As I write this nothing has happened in the transfer market, the media is full of Santa Cruz and Crouch, with having a poll as to which of the two would you prefer? It looks like a mixed bag of results; some say neither of them, some for Cruz and others for Crouch.

I say put the money towards Samuel Eto’o, and leave Cruz and Crouch out of it, but if I had to pick one of Cruz or Crouch then I would pick Santa Cruz but only with you twisting my arm. I say go all out for Samuel Eto’o if we can reach a more realistic compromise about his wages.

The Chairman has stated that MCFC will not pay outrageous prices, but on the other hand MCFC have got to do just that if we are to get the top players into the club. Samuel Eto’o is with the present top club in Europe, Barça; it will take the extra cash to get him to come to MCFC who are not even in Europe next season.

It is not going to be easy to get a really top gun striker, the top clubs want to keep the best. I guess we would all like to see a team of players ready for next season, but with such large amounts of money in transfers, no wonder it takes so long, so many t’s to be crossed and i’s dotted.

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


To state that people “just continually just run down the club, manager, and players” (MCIVTA 1540)is demonstrably false. Who exactly is guilty of endlessly doing this with nothing but malice and spite? I do not believe any single contributor slags off everything and everyone and to dismiss their views as such shows a frightening mentality. I suggest it is a very dangerous (and quite erroneous) generalisation and a euphemism for “anyone who strongly disagrees with me”. It is pretty odious and very dangerous.

It is about as intellectually valid as stating “We are all British and therefore it is our patriotic duty to accept and support everything our British Government does without question and without hesitation.” Remind you of anyone?

Heaven forbid that we do not all entirely trust in the Manager to deliver the style of football we prefer and the success we crave. Blind faith is what we must all show, even in the face of experience. Why not demand that any dissenters will be shot? Where did this frightening lunacy spring from?

Please can we respect free speech without demanding all those that disagree be silenced or despatched elsewhere?

Why exactly must we show blind devotional faith in the face of growing disappointment? Why does everything look so wonderful when we are dramatically failing to live up to our promise?

Happily, if we put this specific debate to Mark Hughes, I feel sure I could guarantee whose side he would be on!

[Once again Martin it’s disappointing to see the same entrenched views coming out and some contributors need to just agree to disagree rather than trying to enforce their views! – Ed]

Martin Hunt <martinhunt(at)>


As you know City will be here in July, we already have tickets for the match in Pretoria, and we wanted to contact other Blues who might be here.

If any other Blues are based in SA or are travelling over for the tour, please get in touch.

John <rayrob(at)>

MCIVTA FAQ [v0708.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          :
News/rumour (Alex Rowen)         :
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 by 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 #1541