Newsletter #1886

Well if it wasn’t for the having to face the pitch for 90 minutes on Saturday it was a rather pleasant experience! The Southampton fans were bouncing and the City fans, well, it was like days of yore with the team playing hopelessly but the City fans belting out songs to the death.

Sadly one feels it now is the death of our hopes of retaining the title but we must pick ourselves up for the not insignificant matter of a 5th round FA Cup tie against old rivals Leeds, who are likely to be captained by the inimitable former-Blue, Michael Brown.

Lots of commentary on the Southampton game as you can imagine with the focus being on team selection, individual players and the filing of a missing person’s report for Nasri.

Enjoy it if you can!

Next Game: Leeds United, Etihad Stadium, FA Cup 5th Round, 17 February 2013, 14.00


I hadn’t seen City for too long; before Thaksin took over, I think, so when my Saints-supporting friend Roger suggested we went to the City game at St. Mary’s, I leapt at the proposition.

Yes, it’s my fault! That was an appalling performance, with a lack of will, energy and bite. That’s not to say the Saints weren’t good; they were excellent, pressed us out of the game in midfield and broke again and again with speed and menace, whilst we trundled around like a pack of park footballers (sorry, park footballers amongst our honoured crew). Roger listened to TalkSport the next day and said it was City fan after City fan calling for Mancini to go.

Now wait a minute.

We’ve not had a great season (yet). However, we are second in one of the hardest three or four leagues in the world and still in with a good shout of the Cup. We’ve got a young manager – Mancini is 48, compared to Ferguson’s 71 and Wenger’s 63. Indeed, I think that maybe apart from Mourinho (no thanks; yes, he will win us stuff, but he sows discord wherever he goes), Roberto has an extraordinary record for a manager so young. He’s a winner, and is quite as driven and bonkers as Ferguson.

On the basis of a not so great season after our best in decades, we sack the guy who brought this about? For heaven’s sake. We want to build a dynasty here, not return to the manager a year syndrome that has bedevilled us for so long. How much did Ferguson win in his early years? He too was afforded an extraordinary amount of money for a manager in those days. Whilst the sums look piffling compared to the figures we now see in football, United spent huge amounts for a club in Ferguson’s early years. Nor did they sack him once they had started winning things, if he failed to deliver.

No. Let’s use this as a much-needed kick up the backside; hopefully Mancini, Khaldoon and whomsoever will sit down and look at what we need to rectify what has happened this season – and that is NOT to sack another manager, unsettle the players, get used to another playing style. We have something fantastic going on at City and something it is still in its infancy.

Let’s not throw it away now eh?

As ever, the City fans were fantastic. I was in the Saints end, and have a story to tell about that. I heard the bloke behind me talking to what I imagine was his grandson about City. Turned round and he had a City shirt under his coat. We got chatting, and he told me he played for us in the 60s. Also mentioned Chelsea. Very knowledgeable about the club and the players of the 60s, talked about training, where they went for runs. Clearly knew South Manchester and North East Cheshire well; he said he left when Mercer and Allison took over.

Now, I thought he said his name was Derek Kevan. I knew the name; didn’t think I had seen him – my Maine Road attending started at the late age of 16, when my rugby playing father finally decided (post ’66 World Cup) to allow me to go to Maine Road – but he knew all the players of that era, and those who preceded it. Ken Wagstaffe. Johnny Crossan and so on.

So when I got home I looked up Derek Kevan on Wikipedia to find out he died a few days earlier!

Did I meet a ghost? I must have misheard his name, or he was pulling a very fast and very good one! Who else might it have been? Over to you all!

Jeremy Poynton <jeremy.poynton(at)>


City gave the worst showing in Roberto Mancini’s reign, and crashed to this expensive defeat at Southampton, which effectively ended our Championship hopes.

The fact is that Southampton showed quality, pace and most significantly desire. Qualities that City inexcusably didn’t display in this game. Roberto Mancini also made two huge selection mistakes. James Milner has been our best player in recent matches, and by far our best player against Liverpool, and yet he was only a substitute.

To win football matches nowadays you have to show desire, press and play at a tempo, otherwise you are relying on a lot of luck. James Milner is the kind of player that has the hunger and excels at the pressing, quick tempo game, and for Roberto Mancini to pick the inconsistent, and at times, cowardly, Samir Nasri in his place was a basic error of judgement. This selection sent out all the wrong signals. Furthermore, Kolo Touré is a centre back by trade. Why did we have a midfield player, Garcia, who is not as quick as Kolo, playing there instead of him? It was a poor day for City’s players and for the manager.

For Southampton’s first goal Barry was uncharacteristically caught in possession twenty five yards from our goal and we were in trouble thereafter.

Gaston Ramirez’s shot was saved by Hart but the ball broke back to the underrated Puncheon who drove in (and made a fool of himself with a rather immature “ner-ner-ner-ner-ner” celebration before a ritual in the corner flag in which he simulated wiping his behind – a reference to a game last month when he was caught short and forced to leave the field).

Hart should have saved Lambert’s shot that was straight at him, but instead of making a regulation catch he spilled the ball and Davis scored his 2nd goal of the season (the other was against City too).

In truth a third goal looked more likely but we got back into the match when Dzeko won a header on the edge of our box and Zabaleta ran the length of the pitch to receive Silva’s clever lofted pass and cross to the Bosnian. The ball was slightly behind Dzeko but he cleverly scooped the ball over Boruc and into the net.

City though could have been three or four one down before the break if Southampton been more ruthless, and if Martin Atkinson had awarded the home side a penalty when Yaya leaned into Rodriguez. To be fair, Rodriguez was more intent on winning a penalty rather than playing the ball and went down rather easily, so Southampton cannot complain too much.

Southampton’s deserved third goal came shortly after the break when Barry turned a searching cross into his own net with his weaker right foot. What he was thinking is anyone’s guess, because he wasn’t under any real pressure, and he looked mortified. Barry’s own goal worryingly knocked the stuffing out of City. Save for Barry playing Agüero through and his cross shot being deflected just wide by Boruc, we never really looked like scoring. Dzeko had a sight of goal but elected to turn away and pass. We were second best too often. Second to the ball more often than not. There was nowhere near enough belief shown that was could turn this round. These players should know better and do better.

They are Champions. They need to show that they are Champions and play with more pride.

Mancini will always try to change things for the better, and he tried 3-5-2 with Kolarov and Maicon on, but it was still far too easy for Southampton. In truth they strolled to victory, which is not good enough from our point of view. They should at very least have had to work much harder. The bald truth is that most of our players need to take a long, hard look at themselves.

There are youngsters like Denis Suarez and Marcos Lopes who are champing at the bit for first team action, particularly the former. They surely cannot do any worse than Nasri who has blown chance after chance at City this season, and for all his ability, does not have the application to stay at the top. In contrast, James Milner will reliably always give his all to the cause. Even on an off day he would have contributed far more than the disgracefully disinterested Nasri. David Silva didn’t play well at St Mary’s but he tried: he just had a bad day. When you consider the effort that David Silva puts into a game, and in years gone by, playmakers such as Ali Benarbia (even when past his best) and Eyal Berkovic, Nasri does not compare at all favourably.

Vinny Kompany’s absence is no excuse for this abject defeat. Neither is Matija Nastasic’s nor is Carlos Tévez’s (personal issues). Nor can the fact that some players only arrived back into the country on Friday from international duty be used as an excuse, as unhelpful as that is. Most players seriously under-performed and most showed a lack of desire. Southampton pressed us all match and worked very hard. They moved the ball and kept possession like Premier League veterans. It is a shame that they sacked Nigel Adkins who got them promoted in successive seasons and had them in good form when he was unjustly sacked. Southampton were a credit to themselves and will surely stay up on this form. City could learn a lot from them about how to play the game and win matches.

With City now 12 points behind the lead, and a mere 4 points in front of Chelsea, we are in a battle for 2nd place, and if we don’t arrest current form, possible 3rd/4th. Our game with Chelsea takes on added significance and our players need to dust themselves down and return to their normal effort levels. Leeds will be no pushovers next Sunday. Vincent Kompany’s return cannot come too soon, but all the players need to find much more.

Southampton: Puncheon 7, Davis 23, Barry (o.g.) 48
City: Dzeko 38

Att: 31,798

Ratings (or lack thereof):

I don’t want to crucify these players, many of whom have served us so well, but it is important to be objective in an assessment of their performance at St Mary’s.

Hart: Followed up his poor showing against Liverpool with an even worse one against Southampton. Spilled Lambert’s shot which was a regulation save, for the Saints 2nd goal, and his distribution was diabolical yet again. It is likely that Costel Pantilimon will play in the FA Cup next week in any case, but Joe cannot complain if he is dropped from the League game after. Joe Hart has served us brilliantly well since he came back from Birmingham but no one is too big to be benched. That said, maybe two weeks is plenty of time for him to reflect, refocus and come back stronger for the Chelsea game: 4
Zabaleta: Caught well out of position for our first goal, but in his defence he was pushing up anticipating an attack rather than us uncharacteristically surrendering possession in a dangerous area. Redeemed himself by creating our goal with his desire, strong run and penetrating cross, and never dropped his effort levels. If only others did the same: 6
Garcia: Struggled against Southampton’s pace, strength and mobility. They ran past him with frightening ease: 5
Lescott: Outpaced and struggled against Southampton’s mobile forwards. Subbed: 5
Clichy: Deceived by Lambert for Saints’ 2nd and struggled with the burly striker and Puncheon’s pace all evening. Never gave up though and cannot be faulted for effort: 5
Nasri: An absolute disgrace. How he was selected over Milner is a total travesty. Save for one good cross, he showed nothing else. Showed very little desire to win, and he cannot complain if he finds himself featuring less and less, and moved on this summer. His substitution should have come much earlier than it did: 1
Yaya: Dreadfully off form with some predictable passes that were easily read. His return sadly didn’t give us the boost that we expected: 5
Barry: Had a very poor game. Caught in possession for Southampton’s first goal and scored a crass own goal with his weaker right foot. Forgiveable though, because he never hid and was none of the few that showed pride and desire to drag City back into the match. His pass for Agüero almost brought another goal back. This was an off-day for him though and his evening was compounded at the end when he played Milner’s throw-in straight back into touch: 4
Silva: Played his part in our goal with two clever passes, but whilst he cannot be faulted for effort, he was far from his best and struggled to impose himself: 5
Dzeko: Took his goal well but other than that his link play was not as good as it can be. He also passed up a chance to shoot in the second half when chances were at a premium: 6
Agüero: Gave his all as ever and was nearly rewarded with a goal in the 2nd half. It’s a pity that he didn’t get the service he deserved or a match of effort from too many others: 6
Milner (for Nasri 54): He showed more desire and quality and won more tackles in his 41 minutes on the pitch than many others did in 95. He should have started, and indeed, he should be one of the first names on our team sheet: 6 (Our best player)
Kolarov (for Lescott 65): Little service out to him on the flank, and his one cross found traffic: 5
Maicon (for Silva 72): Also suffered from a lack of service, but at least he showed desire: 6

Man of the Match/best Oppo: Ricky Lambert: Showed good quality, mobility, strength and a winning attitude all match. All credit to a very good professional who has worked his way up from the lower divisions all the way to the top: 9

Refwatch: Martin Atkinson: Could have awarded the home side a penalty in the first half, and got most decisions right, for once: 7

The City fans that attended this game were a credit to the club and the noise came over loud and clear in the TV coverage. Makes you proud even when the team didn’t.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


It may be a touch early for the inquest to begin but I agree with what seems to be an emerging consensus regarding the squad quality. Unfortunately we lost good players in the summer and replaced them with not so good rather than brilliant ones (United did the opposite).

Mancini seemed to be acknowledging and frustrated about this in the summer close season and in the last transfer window presumably we could not get and/or justify bringing in reinforcements.

However, my concern is as much regarding squad morale. From a supporter observation I always saw Nigel de Jong as a motivating happy character. Even Mario seemed to add some spice and fun to the club and perhaps in a strange way he will be missed by the players. Whatever is the case, the players were flat on Sunday and I hope that it was not due to having been away on international duty and not relishing a return to club action!

I am now looking and hoping for some inspiration and surprises from other players in the club who have yet to have been given a chance such as John Guidetti who by all accounts played very well when out on loan. We are also supposed to have been bringing in brilliant young players from various parts of the world. If we do not or cannot bring these players into the first team, what is the point of all the other teams/players that City invest in?

Come on City, keep the pressure on and gain second place at least! It will still be a great achievement and a good platform for 2013/14.

Mike Roberts <mikegroberts(at)>


As I was watching the game between Saints and City, I said to a friend, “I have been watching City play for so many years, that I have become immune to this kind of performance.” Hold on I said to myself, “This is a new era, this should not be like this.”

The worst game by City that I have seen in recent years. Mancini tried to give some kind of excuse, but did say that it was not a valid excuse, that most of the City team did not get back from international duty until Friday, the day before the game.

What troubles me is the report that Robert Mancini has gone from 40/1 to 5/4 odds to be sacked in a matter of four days in Sky betting.

Does someone know what is going on behind the scenes at MCFC? The results and the way the team have been playing in the last few games does not help Roberto Mancini.

It concerns me that it all appeared that Mario Balotelli engineered his way back to Italy, and to his boyhood team of AC Milan; the first season he spent with City was a very good one, then this last season, not a good one, along with his off pitch behaviour. If Mario had been playing well I feel City would never have let him go, or insisted on a higher transfer fee.

Roberto Mancini never wanted to lose Mario, always kept faith in the fact that Mario would turn his game around for City; it never happened. Did the club make the decision for Mario Balotelli to leave against Roberto Mancini’s wishes, and has this affected what is happening to our manager?

The game against the Saints had no preparation, for there was no time to do it, with players arriving back on Friday, and the long trip down South. Nevertheless, there is no excuse for this as these are professional players, who know each other by playing together all the time.

What the bookies are doing with their odds does not really mean that Mancini will leave; on the other hand it does not look good.

Whatever happens, I take a quick look back at what Mancini has done to help City win the FA Cup, the Community Shield and league title; only a very good manager could have done that in such a short time.

Now City must re-group for the important game against Leeds on Sunday; we can still win the FA Cup, and a top four finish in the league to compete in Europe next season.

I can’t say “In Mancini I trust” this week, but I don’t want to see him leave Manchester City!

Come on you Blues!

CTID, Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


Well City blew their title hopes in spectacular fashion, with one of the worst performances I have witnessed for many a season (albeit on Sky).

As soon as the team was announced, I thought why Garcia at centre back when we have Kolo Touré back? Well it all went pear shaped from the very start. Bar 3 or 4 players, nearly everyone else was way below the level expected from the Champions. I know Mancini is a perfectionist and expects so much from all his players, but you have to question his thought process coming into this match. He complains that some of his international players have played for their countries in mid-week, and only just got back, so why play them? After all what is a large squad there for? Why did he not use Scott Sinclair – surely he must be fresh? Why not use Pantilimon, he was more than useful against Stoke? Everyone knows that Southampton use a very high pressing game, and therefore you need players who are committed with good engines on them.

Too many of our players looked jaded, and second best to nearly every ball. When are Mancini and his large coaching staff going to see this? When a player is fresh, he is more likely to give his best, but when you have been playing a lot, you tend to stroll through matches, just doing enough. Any player returning from international duty does not need to train before the next match, but ensure that he is fully rested, and maybe just a session with the masseuse… after all, they at the top of their game.

As much as I think Barry is a very good player and a key player in our midfield, he has been playing every game in the absence of Touré (and surely Mancini must see this?), and he had the mother of all shockers on Saturday… and yet he played on. Hart, for all his wonderful shot stopping, and good displays, has been very erratic and made numerous errors this season, yet Mancini is not brave enough to take him out of the firing line, thus giving him a kick up the backside. Hart’s distribution is terrible to say the least, and that from an international goalkeeper is poor; just look at the amount of times he kicks the ball out of play; what are the coaching staff doing about this?

As I and nearly everyone who has contributed to this forum has said, our pre-season purchases are coming back to haunt us. I remember one pundit saying “When you are on top, that’s when you need to strengthen even more, to stay there!” How true is that? I don’t know to what extent Mancini’s opinion was utilised, when the 5 players City were looking to purchase were discussed. Compare these to the ones Newcastle bought, then think of the strong position we were and our spending power, when it comes to attracting players. Where and who are our scouts? Any City fan could have told you that what we really needed were 3, maybe 4 players at most, but in key areas, central defence, an attacking midfielder and perhaps a pacey winger. Guess what we did: replaced a battle hardened war horse in de Jong with a donkey in Garcia, an overpriced, injury prone, average player in Rodwell, a promising but very young defender in Nastasic, 2 absolute “past it” players in Maicon and Wright!

Now if Reading or WBA or Wigan had purchased these players, no one would have batted an eyelid, but surely not the Premier League Champions? How on earth can anyone at City think these players have made us stronger? Why get rid of Johnson and replace him with someone you refuse to play; at least Johnson occasionally scored some great goals. Javi Garcia (might have had a couple of decent games) is so ponderously slow, you cannot fathom how he is going to make it in the Premier League, just look how poor he was at centre back on Saturday, what must have been going through Kolo Touré’s mind?

Samir Nasri was a player I really admired when he was at Arsenal, and more than once he scored some brilliant individual goals, yet at City he is a shadow of himself. I don’t know if he is intimidated by our other superstars, or asked to play differently by the coaching staff, but he should be the guy who mirrors someone like Mata, Hazard or Oscar, after all he has the talent! We have to get this guy playing to his potential, as he can be a match winner; there is an over-reliance on David Silva being the creator, and when he is off form we look average. We have too many holding midfielders, we need to press high and attack teams. Second place is the best we can hope for right now, and even that could evade us if we don’t get over this recent slump in form, what with Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs all breathing down our neck. How we could do with a player like Gareth Bale, someone with pace and energy and goals from midfield… and logically we had the money to get someone like that, instead of wasting almost £50 million on rubbish!

I really hope the City management and staff analyse this humbling defeat and ensure it does not happen again in our remaining 12 Premier League matches, or else we might even miss out on a Champions’ League place (you have to be pessimistic right now!).

Come the summer, City will need to re-assess their re-building, by moving on the players who have not added anything to this team, and bringing in “quality” replacements in the areas required. If Tévez goes, I would love to replace him with Suarez (like for like); we need someone in the mould of Bale (very hard to find), a quality attacking midfielder, and a very quick and tricky wide man.

Come on you Blues… get back on track.

Glyn Albuquerque <GlynAlbuquerque(at)>


Well the worst performance of Mancini’s tenure and the self-destruct button wasn’t just pressed but danced upon by the majority of the team. As regards the goals, the first was a free kick to us near the half way line and this is something that has bothered me all season. We never send the centre halves up and try to put the ball in the danger area; every time we play a sideways or back pass to the centre half and go for the patient build up, so basically we never actually create a chance from a free kick in that area. All opposition teams will know this and therefore know it is quite safe to give a free kick away as they know nothing will come of it in an attacking sense.

Goal two and Joe Hart makes an error Taibi would be proud of. This season Joe is just not making the saves that win leagues, the type that when the ball goes in the net everyone says the goalie had no chance, like Gerrard’s 30-yarder. It might sound harsh but that is just the type of shot that when you are on top of your game you get your fingers to and pull off a wonder save (like Villa and Wigan away last season).

As for the third goal, well, after last week when Zaba nearly put past Hart you would think lessons would be learned but no, Barry under no pressure whatsoever decides to pass back to Hart; why he can’t put his foot on the ball, turn and take it away himself I don’t know? Please can someone explain to me why players feel the need to pass back to the goalkeeper to punt the ball 60 yards when they could actually kick it forward 60 yards themselves? Is it because it’s ok for the ‘keeper to give possession away but not an outfield player as there is no other reason!

My player ratings for Southampton:
Hart – 2 Very poor, hard work and better concentration needed. My worry is he’s subconsciously believing his own publicity.
Zabaleta – 6 Not his best game but 100% commitment nonetheless. Why was he not captain in Vinny’s absence?
Clichy – 4 Poor game from Gael, can’t think of a worse showing from him in blue.
Garcia – 6 Tried his best in an unfamiliar rôle that obviously doesn’t suit him as he’s not fast enough or aware enough but unlike others did at least try.
Lescott – 5 As the most experienced defender, he needed to show leadership but didn’t. Substitution was mystifying to say the least.
Barry – 0 Probably worst performance of his football never mind City career. Overrun in midfield and second own goal of the season when under no pressure. Offered nothing going forward or in defence.
Nasri – 0 Ditto as Barry, offered nothing in attack and couldn’t be bothered tracking back. You can count his good games this season on Abu Hammsa’s bad hand! The type of player who gets managers sacked, how he ever starts ahead of Milner or even Sinclair is beyond me.
Y.Touré – 0 Stand in Captain, why? Obviously still sulking about ACN exit, just looked like he didn’t want to be there. World class player made to look like a mug by Saints players giving more effort, not for the first time against so called weaker opposition this season. Never looks happy as a defensive midfielder.
Dzeko – 3 Scores a few goals but unless the ball hits the net why is the next touch after his always by the opposition? No fight or body strength, weak in the air when challenged. A rich man’s Lee Bradbury.
Agüero – 5 At least tried; to see him running past a disinterested Dzeko to close a defender down shows the difference in attitude. Not much came off for him but was up front virtually on his own.
Silva – 5 Tried to create but with no real support from his partners in midfield, it was an uphill battle. Crowded out by Southampton’s hard work.
Milner – 6 Tried hard to get things moving in midfield. How he didn’t start ahead of Nasri is beyond belief.
Kolarov – 2 Mancini’s go-to sub. Can only think that it’s in the hope we get a free kick near the area as he offers nothing else. In the NFL would be brought on to take a kick then go off again.
Maicon – 2 Didn’t do much wrong (or right).
Mancini – 0 Baffling team selection. Garcia at centre half when a centre half on the bench (K.Touré). Nasri before Milner? Got rid of Johnson as he didn’t work hard enough yet picks Nasri whose work rate is less than Johnson’s ever was?

Substitutions – Lescott taken off, leaving on Garcia as centre half says it all; his spirit must now be broken. Reminded me of Pearce putting goalkeeper James up front instead of forward Macken. Kolarov and Maicon meant we ended up for the second game in succession with 4 full backs on the pitch. Why we bought Sinclair is a mystery as he would rather put 2 defenders on before him even when we are 3-1 down and in need of goals. As I said, baffling.

Mike Cooke <mikecooke321(at)>


Second place is our new relegation!

Many readers will not understand rugby, but England have virtually replaced their whole team and are doing rather well. Interesting article in guardian sport on Saturday about the revolutionary coaching team they have set up. Mike Catt is quoted about trying new ideas: “if we try out an idea in training and the players don’t like it then it’ll be dropped. The players drive it all.”

Mancini’s failed efforts at 3-5-2 have cost us very dear this year and we have never played once as well as we played last season. There has been tension that was never necessary.

The purchases have weakened the squad, except for the vital signing of Nastasic. Seems we have to tinker even when ticking over beautifully.

Trouble is Mancini may well be fired for this mistake and then we end up back in a lottery, bit like Chelsea perhaps?

Martin Hunt <martinhuntctid(at)>


Roberto Mancini has shown his disagreement on club spending, and says it should be up to the owners. This was all led by Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal who want clubs not to spend more than they earn.

Well United have a stadium that holds double some clubs’ attendances for earnings, whilst Arsenal have the highest earnings at the Emirates Stadium; how can this be fair?

I think that this all started with the American owners who see this going on in the American NFL, who only have one league so it makes it easy, with selection system for players with draft choices and with far fewer games.

The Premier League competes with leagues from Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Holland and more across the world for the best players, for restrictions to be met will be very difficult for fair play.

Right away it is not fair because of the size of the stadiums for fair earnings!

Clubs have to find more sponsors, to find extra money, and yes it’s possible prices could go up, and the standard of football in general could be affected!

I stand right with Roberto Mancini on his stance to get the players that the owners want to buy, and right now MCFC have to pay more for players than other clubs; the money helps lower clubs with sales.

In Mancini I trust!

This is a link for readers to find out the more about the new fair play rules, what do you think?

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


It’s February and that can only mean one thing, apart from pancake Tuesday and Valentine’s Day – Issue 204 of King Of the Kippax fanzine is at the printers and should be in the outlets at the National Football Museum and Aleef Kiosk (corner of Cross Street and Market Street) on Friday.

It’s yet another bumper issue, 52 A4 pages with a front cover saying tara to Mario and hello to erm, nobody. This issue includes recent and future games, daily diary, Scott Sinclair, magic of the Cup, Exile on Maine Street, Albert Johanneson, FFP, match ticket prices, Gecko graffiti artist, Tears in May, farewell to Mario, plus all the usual regulars.

It’s priced at £3 and can also be bought from King Of the Kippax, 25, Holdenbrook Close, Leigh, Lancs, WN7 2HL for £4.50 including P&P.

Sue Wallace <dw001e8104(at)>


On Friday 8/2/13, the MCFC Mid-Sussex Supporters’ Branch held their annual ‘Legends Night’.

This event has grown over the years with various City dignitaries such as Tommy Booth, Dave Watson, Richard Edghill, Paul Lake, Gary Owen, Peter Barnes, Glyn Pardoe, Fred Eyre and many others gracing the event with their presence.

This year saw Tommy Booth, Joe Corrigan, Paul Lake, Kevin Kennedy, TV star John Stapleton and Branch President Gerry Ryan (ex Brighton) in attendance along with a 120 guest`s including a large contingent from the Failsworth branch on their way to Southampton.

Obviously, this year, we also had the added attraction of the Premier League and Community Shield trophies with us for the night. A great photo opportunity for City fans and their kids, of whatever age, was provided and made great use of. The proceeds of these photos will be passed to Paul Lake in his capacity with CITC.

A showing of the City DVD from last season got the evening going with great cheers erupting for the 1-6 defeat of the Scum at the Swamp. The 3-2 win against QPR also drew mass cheering when we secured the league.

A Q&A during the evening, hosted by celebrity City fan Susan Bookbinder, led to healthy discussion about the future of the club (probably somewhat altered after Saturday`s result!).

As mentioned earlier, we had approximately 120 people attended this year’s Legends Night. It would be interesting to hear if any other branch, outside the Manchester area, has been able to match this event?

Thanks, once more, must go to John Joyce for pulling the event together. Every year, ably assisted by the committee and other branch members such as Rod Cummins, Julie Joyce, Heidi Robinson, Mark Seacombe and Daryn Buckley, the branch puts on a fantastic evening dedicated to City and each year John promises to better the one before!

Thanks to all those who attended on Friday night and for the many ‘thank yous’ forwarded to the committee for their work on such a great and unforgettable evening.

Peter Dutson, Branch Chairman <Peter.Dutson(at)>


Last week four greedy clubs: Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur got their own way when nine other Premier League clubs joined them to vote to restrict spending on transfers and wages: a move that will benefit those four clubs and Chelsea particularly as they have the highest revenue streams and profit margins. With more money to spend, their chances of being top dogs and continue to ride the Champions’ League gravy train is much enhanced. They will have the edge when it comes to paying out transfer fees and wages.

After much horse trading the proposals were watered down a little (clubs will be allowed to lose up to £105 million over three years) in order to get the two thirds majority, but they will restrict clubs like our own with our smaller revenue streams. It is all about the clubs with the biggest profits – and it is no accident that they have the highest ticket prices – enshrining their positions at the top of the tree.

Only six clubs voted against the proposals: Aston Villa, Fulham, Manchester City, Southampton, Swansea and West Brom. Reading in true spineless Liberal Democrat style, uselessly abstained. What’s the point of abstaining when you have a vote? It was not enough to stop the two thirds majority driving in rules that are detrimental to the game and will cost fans more money (despite the whopping increase in TV money). Yet these rules don’t make sense other than to directors who want to cream off a profit, but these directors of the middle ranking clubs who have voted for these anti-competitive proposals are not serving the best interests of their clubs. The turkeys who voted for Christmas, including clubs like Everton, Newcastle and Sunderland, will never be allowed to try to challenge the top of the tree again because of the restrictive spending rules that they have voted for. They can never hope to attract a buyer like Sheikh Mansour who could take a club on and improve it immeasurably. They have effectively signed up to a future of mediocrity and created a reinforced glass ceiling to prevent them from reaching the top table (i.e. challenging for the title and the Champions’ League). The directors of these famous clubs have failed them with their short sightedness. These proposals, though not as restrictive as Platini’s so called “Fair Play” rules (also inspired by the European G14 clubs like Arsenal, Bayern and Manchester United), which will only allow clubs to lose £45 million over three years, are damaging to our game.

It is an outrage that directors of clubs like United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham will be able to take money out of the game whereas Sheikh Mansour has put money into the game. These Greedy Four clubs have banded together on Arsenal headed note paper (Arsenal used to have a Etonian so-called “respectability” about them) to encourage the other clubs into signing up to these restrictive and anti-competitive regulations that are bad for the game. The Glazers, Stan Kroenke, the Fenway Sports group, and Daniel Levy must be licking their lips at their enhanced prospects, both on the pitch and financially. They have also succeeded in hobbling the competition.

How can Arsenal lecture anyone about “fair play” with their disgustingly high ticket prices, which have priced out many of their genuine fans, leaving behind a rump of spoiled little brats with a sense of entitlement? How can Arsenal preach about “fair play” when they are charging the most expensive ticket prices? Incidentally, they are charging Everton fans £35.50 for their visit to Arsenal, having charged Manchester City fans £62 to see our team play at the Emirates (and win!).

Sheikh Mansour, who puts money into the game, cannot spend his money as he likes. How ridiculous! In what other sphere of business are people stopped from investing up front in their business? United of course conveniently don’t mention that they invested hugely (for the time) on players like Bruce, Pallister, Webb, Phelan, Ince, Donaghy, Keane and McClair in the late 1980s and early 1990s to build their team that went on to become Champions. Let it not be forgotten that the late Louis Edwards bankrolled 1960s Manchester United (and his company at the time of his death were under investigation of allegations of bribery and of selling condemned meat to Manchester schools – there were also serious allegations that United had been bribing parents of young players they wished to recruit). Modern day, over-hyped, cheating Manchester United are a by-product of ill-gotten gains. Win-at-all-costs bullying is their trade mark and Ferguson executes this plan to the letter.

Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham have never been altruistic in their outlook. They all were very happy to push through United’s initiative for clubs to keep all their home gates in the 1980s, and along with Everton in the mid to late 1980s before $ky came along, the “Big Five” were happy to hoover up the majority of the TV money. How they can possibly claim to have the interests of the game at heart trying to stop clubs spending to “avoid another Portsmouth” as they put it is a bit rich. If they cared so much about Pompey they’d club together to bail them out now, rather like Bayern Munich did for Dortmund not so long ago.

The fact is they don’t care about anything other than making a profit. Nothing new there. It’s just that now they have driven another nail into Football’s coffin, and the drive for clubs to compete will force up ticket prices even higher.

Once upon a time clubs like Manchester City, Liverpool, Leeds, Derby and Nottingham Forest came out of the Second Division and won the league. All those clubs were built up and thrived in Europe (Derby being cheated by a bent ref in a match against Juventus though). It’s been hard for clubs outside the top four $ky cartel to compete since $ky and the Champions’ League came along with the inequitable, self-perpetuating cartel trousering most of the cash. These so-called “fair play” regulations will take away the dreams of anyone outside the biggest profiteers, especially the likes of Forest, Derby and even a club with big support like Villa. They won’t be able to spend to keep their players if they do build a side slowly because the best players will be cherry picked by the richest clubs.

What of Manchester City? City may have got to a competitive position in the nick of time but I wouldn’t bank on us staying there. Currently Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham all generate bigger profits. How convenient for them. All is set “fair” for them…

City’s challenge is to compete on the pitch without pricing the genuine fans out. Hopefully City can achieve both aims.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


Just thought I would drop you a line and let the MCIVTA readers know about a weekly podcast that I occasionally contribute to. It was started by Nicky Summerbee and is called Summerbee’s City.

It’s recorded weekly and includes reviews of recent games, alongside previews and other issues and discussion points that are City related.

The address to listen to current and future episodes is

Thanks in advance.

Steve Cox <cox.stephen68(at)>


11 February 2013

Liverpool             0 - 2  West Bromwich Albion  44,752

10 February 2013

Aston Villa           2 - 1  West Ham United       30,503
Manchester United     2 - 0  Everton               75,525

9 February 2013

Tottenham Hotspur     2 - 1  Newcastle United      36,244
Chelsea               4 - 1  Wigan Athletic        41,562
Norwich City          0 - 0  Fulham                26,816
Stoke City            2 - 1  Reading               26,737
Sunderland            0 - 1  Arsenal               46,402
Swansea City          4 - 1  Queens Park Rangers   20,529
Southampton           3 - 1  Manchester City       31,738

League table as at 15 February 2013

                    P  GD Pts
 1 Manchester Utd  26  31  65
 2 Manchester City 26  24  53
 3 Chelsea         26  27  49
 4 Tottenham H.    26  14  48
 5 Arsenal         26  21  44
 6 Everton         26   8  42
 7 Swansea City    26   9  37
 8 West Brom A.    26   1  37
 9 Liverpool       26  10  36
10 Stoke City      26  -5  33
11 West Ham Utd    26  -9  30
12 Fulham          26  -6  29
13 Sunderland      26  -6  29
14 Norwich City    26 -15  29
15 Southampton     26  -9  27
16 Newcastle Utd   26 -12  27
17 Aston Villa     26 -25  24
18 Reading         26 -15  23
19 Wigan Athletic  26 -21  21
20 QPR             26 -22  17

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1886