Newsletter #1750

As the team return from the USofA, it’s the players making the headlines with Balotelli still under scrutiny tonight and the “has he or hasn’t he?” signing of Aguero from Atletico Madrid.

We’ve also got a look at the club’s lack of customer service tonight.

In all the excitement of summer transfers, software upgrades and us actually having a British summer I have totally missed my 10-year anniversary of editing MCIVTA. How time flies!

Having just looked back at that issue (MCIVTA 728) we were looking ahead to the move to the new stadium, KK was the manager, our unsettled striker was a Costa Rican and the TV fixture changes were driving people mad.

So to everyone who’s kept writing in over the past 10 years and friends made and met up with over that time, a big thank you and let’s raise a virtual glass or two!

Next Game: Irish XI, away, 2pm Saturday 30 July 2011 (pre-season)


So Balotelli got yanked off the park at LA by Mancini for a back heel:
Apparently it was because he didn’t show the opposition enough respect. I assumed it was because the lazy idiot missed an open goal.

I thought in friendly games, people liked this sort of showboating.

When I was small, I used to love to see the Harlem Globetrotters do magical things with the basketball. Maybe that is why you don’t see them nowadays. Because they don’t show the opposition team the proper respect.

Give the kid a break!

John Howes <john(at)>


“My apologies for the delay in getting tonight’s edition out: software upgrades and my technical phobia are not a productive combination!” from MCIVTA 1749 – your apologies are not needed. Your task must be a headache.

On t’other hand, there is one rather obvious person who should be saying sorry: Yes, Mario, it was just a friendly but I mean c’mon! You vowed to keep yourself under the radar this season but it hasn’t even started yet and here you are again: public clown.

Now I understand that there are many folks who back him up but IMO it’s not his age, it’s his lack of grey matter and anger at the world. I’m sick of hearing “If it was anyone else…” because it never seems to be anyone else.

And where exactly is all that talent that makes the circus worthwhile? I’ve seen nothing more than the occasional glimpse (FA Cup final admittedly) to justify to the rest of the side-show. If he doesn’t truly turn up for us this season, then expect him gone to the next mugs.

Cheers and sorry for the downer, right now I’m happy watching us beat India in the cricket.

Steve O’Brien <bodsnVimto(at)>


After going back and checking out the Balotelli incident against LA Galaxy, and I did look at it several times, I now admit that I feel that I was wrong and that Balotelli did think that he was offside!

I at the time was upset that we had left a certain goal go amiss, which we really did, but by mistake.

This is for Mario: in Italian – “Giocare al Fischio”, in English – “Play to the whistle”. Still for Mario in Italian: “Buona Fortula per il Futuro!” In English: “Good Luck for the Future!”

Come on you Blues!

P.S. If my Italian is not perfect, don’t blame me, blame the Italian wine!

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


I’ve been a long time fan and reader of MCIVTA but have never wanted to contribute until now…

I totally agree that Balotelli has had some very bad moments and made some very poor decisions; his ‘Kung-Fu’ kick instantly springs to mind.

But to be calling the guy a fool just because he tries a backheel in a game that means absolutely nothing (except trying to improve fitness levels) is a bit of an overreaction in my book.

I’m not trying to portray the guy as a saint but isn’t football supposed to be entertaining? If he had scored that backheel, what then? You’re not telling me that during a season there are not loads of these little showboats that happen. Most don’t come off but some of them do and when they do, we wink at our mates sat next to us in the stands or cheer at the sheer audacity of what we just witnessed.

Now if he had done that in the semi-final of the FA Cup, then I would also be rightly up in arms and asking for his head on a platter. But it wasn’t – it was in the Herbalife World Challenge. We should be more disappointed that one of the rules in that competition is that you cannot have a draw, you have to have a penalty shoot-out… I mean what is that about?

Let’s not follow the media in their ‘Anything that is slightly different’ witch hunt. I personally don’t want Balotelli to stifle his flair, I want him to let loose every now and again. If that is in a pre-season friendly then I don’t think it’s harming anyone.

Mike Balaban <mbalaban(at)>


I sent the below e-mail to the club recently on a subject that I’m sure there will be a wide variety of opinions on.

Dear Sirs,

I, like many City fans, am enjoying the club’s renaissance after many of the last 30+ years often in the doldrums. The future is an exciting time to be a Blue and all of us are grateful for the time, money and effort expended at all levels that is transforming our beloved club into one of the top sides in England and Europe. I’m sure the long-term success on and off the field that has been hard worked for by many, many people and so long craved by the supporters will soon come to fruition.

Without wanting to appear unappreciative or un-supportive of all the work that is going into moving the club forward at what often seems an unbelievable speed, I felt I had to write to voice my concerns about the production of yet another home kit. I understand the marketing of the club is vitally important in the business of expanding the club’s revenue-earning potential but in all this rapid evolution we must never lose sight of our identity.

Manchester City’s traditional home colours have been for the vast majority of the club’s existence blue shirts and white shorts. The new home kit moves away from this by introducing blue shorts. Apart from very brief spells around 1977-79 and 2006-07 (if my memory serves me correctly) we have never in recent memory had anything other than white shorts with blue shirts as part of our home kit. These are our colours and are part of our identity. The change agreed by the club with Umbro is extremely disappointing and, in my opinion, a very poor decision. Umbro are back once again as City’s teamwear manufacturer after a number of manufacturer changes (and horrible designs by Reebok I must add) and I had hoped that they would not look to change our kit just to try to sell something different. Some of Umbro’s designs before the change to Kappa under the Francis Lee regime in the late 1990’s ranged from absolutely awful to just plain unimaginative. Regrettably, despite being only recently rejoined the club again they seem to have run out of new ideas already on how to produce interesting and different designs whilst keeping our true colours. Umbro were also responsible for the blue shorts of 35 years ago! The just-replaced last home kit was a modern replica of the early 70’s kit which, despite the plagiarism, looked really good and was one that many fans identified with. With the new shirt the change of the blue to a paler one from the last couple of shirts is also another poor decision that again echoes Umbro’s lack of ideas – the ‘Blue Moon’ soundwave on the shirt and the ‘fake’ collar are quite frankly embarrassing gimmicks that add very little to the design.

After the launch of the new away kit in the popular red and black and after the now sadly discontinued retro-inspired third kit from last year, I had high hopes for the next home kit (two new kits in one season again after keeping the ‘new’ third kit for only a year may I add) but sadly Umbro’s lack of imagination has quickly shone through. Since rejoining with City all they have done (apart from making the costs of the shirts £10 more expensive to buy than Le Coq Sportif and introducing new kits at a Manchester United-esqe rate) is simply reproduce modern versions of popular older kits which, although very successful, is hardly imaginative and once they are now challenged to come up with something new have failed miserably and detracted from the true identity of Manchester City. Sadly it appears the ‘new blood’ within the club have also missed the point in agreeing to this disappointing new design. The all paler blue kit makes us more like Coventry City than Manchester City, which is a terrible statement. We are Manchester City and have traditional colours to identify us. We should never forget, dilute or veer away from this. If anyone at the club isn’t clear on this they should be swiftly reminded.

I proudly wear my ‘new’ red and black striped shirt but until we return to our true home colours identity will keep my hard-earned money and stick to wearing my FA Cup final shirt.


N. Higson.

Now I wasn’t expecting too much of response but something from the club feeding back on some my comments might have been appropriate. However, I was simply informed that the club’s retail sector is operated by a separate company Kitbag, and my email had been forwarded to their customer service department. No comment, a simple brush off referring to a perceived retail complaint rather than being in the slightest bit interested in the point I was trying to make, which in the main was certainly not a retail one.

So there you have it, it seems the club has truly moved away from listening to what fans might say and sold its soul, happy to just accept whatever Kitbag or Umbro serve up for them to wear. So much for the new regime keeping the history and soul of City close to heart or even appearing to care one bit. Soulless, how disappointing.

Neil Higson <neil.higson(at)>

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Newsletter #1750