Newsletter #50

Well, it’s our half century issue and to celebrate it we’ve been stuffed by the Rags… yet again! I say ‘stuffed’ but this is a little unkind really. I listened to the game on BBCWS and City were unlucky, conceding a deflected goal rather late in the game which left no option but to attack and consequently leave holes at the back. A team like United have become more than proficient in situations like this and City paid the price. The expert commentator was Denis Law and he pronounced City to be ‘desperately unlucky, having played good football’. It seems the scoreline was somewhat unjust. This appears to be the story at the moment; we’re playing quite well but failing to beat teams. Being City fans has hardened us to these defeats; we have to put it behind us and avoid relegation at all costs.

Once again, apologies for the delay but I’ve been away at a workshop evaluating a high-tech addition to our lab and eating at the salesman’s expense 8-).

Next game Newcastle United away, FAC 5th round, Sun 19th February 1995



Oh the disappointment, the despair, the dejection. Another bloody derby defeat; just when are City going to win another derby? It’s been five and a half years since our last victory (the memorable 5-1); previous to that you have to go back to the famous Denis Law back- heel. I must have seen nearly 20 competitive derbies and I’m just sick and tired of watching the rags continually walking over the Blues. That’s enough of my moaning (there could be plenty more, but I’ll leave it), now onto the match.

City lined up as expected, with the team that finished against Southampton. United seemed to play Cole upfront and leave the other midfielders to support him.

City started with the better attitude and seemed to control the game in the opening stages but unfortunately they couldn’t test Schmeichel. When the only real test came, from a Walsh drive, Schmeichel was equal to it. Even though City dominated the opening stages it always looked more likely that the rags would score first. Kanchelskis had a header well saved by Dibble and McClair wasted a golden oppurtunity in the final few minutes, after City’s defence had been carved apart, by blazing his shot over.

City also had a scare when Philip Don awarded an indirect free-kick when Dibble made the mistake (if you call it that), of picking the ball up after Curle had made a brilliant sliding tackle and flicked the ball away. Now forgive if I’m wrong but the back-pass changes were meant to eliminate the deliberate back-pass; what Curle did was a great sliding tackle. How can you slide in and manage to deliberately play it back to keeper? Thankfully the shot was blocked by Ian B and went for a corner.

So half-time came about with both sides even, City seemingly shading the control whereas the rags had had the better scoring chances. The second half started with both teams playing the same; the major change came when Ferguson substituted Neville and replaced him with Scholes, Sharpe moving to left-back. This meant that Cole and Scholes were playing as a tandem strike force.

Within minutes of the change, the rags had gone ahead through lippy Ince. Cole played the ball through to Ince on the edge of the box and his deflected shot beat Dibble. It seemed almost inevitable that he’d be the one to score. City needed to get back into the game quickly or else the rags would run away with it. No matter how hard City tried they just seemed unable to break United down and it was left to long range efforts to try to turn the game around. Whenever City got the ball United pulled everyone behind the ball and defended in numbers; with City’s lack of movement and being out-numbered there wasn’t really any threat.

United all but wrapped the game up in the 75th minute. After playing the ball around for what seemed an eternity whilst being virtually unchallenged, the ball was eventually fed to Kanchelskis and his fierce shot beat Dibble at the near post. Dibble should have done far better but surely he should have been given more protection from his defence?

With the second goal, the game was virtually ended as a competition and the final insult came when Cole grabbed his goal. United broke down the left and Giggs’ cross into the middle was met by the unmarked Cole who stroked the ball home. That marked the signal for thousands of City fans to leave the ground, while it also marked the end of another derby, ending once again in defeat. It was so annoying, after starting so well I thought that City might stand a chance of getting a result but, once again, City flattered to deceive.

Even though City played reasonably well in the first half, they seemed unable to create any real clear cut chances whereas United seemed able to soak up the pressure and then hit City on the break. After half-time it seemed like United stepped up a gear and slowly but surely turned the game in their favour.

So, us long suffering fans have to endure another year of derby disappointment; how long will we have to rely on that heady memory of ’89 to keep our spirits up? Why can’t City get the upper hand in derby games; prior to ’89 you have to go back to ’74 and Denis Law’s backheel to record City’s previous win!

Final score 0-3

Martin Ford



I was really looking forward to watch City play on TV, especially since it was the derby. On Norwegian TV They had former City player Kåre Ingebrigtsen as a side-commentator; not too impressive, as he didn’t even remember the players’ names. The pitch was soaking wet and heavy rain poured down. The Kippax was divided into two parts by the police, as is normal on big games, especially in an unsheltered stand in a Manchester derby.

City started the game in a 4-4-2 formation, with Dibs in goal, Buzzer and “little” Brightwell on the sides and Curle and Kernaghan at centre back. In midfield, Gaudino was on the right with Ian Brigtwell and Flipper in the middle. Beagrie was on left wing. Up front were Rösler and Walsh. The rags lined up as usual, though Hughes wasn’t even on the bench. Cantona was in the Caribbean kicking an ITN reporter.

City took command right from the kick-off. A tremendous pace was put up and they really looked positive in the opening minutes. The ball went well between the players, and Buzzer looked especially well warmed up.

After five minutes there was a rumble in the United penalty area and two shots by Gaudino were blocked by United players. Walsh had a left foot shot from 16 yards fisted to corner by Schmeichel. The rags on the other hand enjoyed some really strong counter attacks, one seeing Kanchelskis’ header just cleared by Dibble. Ince got booked after kicking Walsh from behind and the crowd immediately started booing him.

In my opinion the left hand side of the City defence looked the weaker part. D.Brightwell was caught out of position and his passes weren’t always finding a blue player. Beagrie held the ball too much and often he was tackled, or played the ball over the line. At right back, Buzzer seemed confident when attacking but often he wandered way up the flank and didn’t look like getting home in a hurry. The crowd however were behind the players from the first minute: “If you hate Man.United. clap your hands.”

After 20 minutes the pressure was off and the game levelled. The communication between Dibble and his defence didn’t seem to work all the time, something Kernaghan disliked a lot. After 25 minutes Walsh won the ball from Kanchelskis and his cross found Rösler on the far post. His header nearly found Flipper in front of goal but the ball was cleared by Bruce. Shortly after, a United shot following a corner was blocked by Dibble. The players were aiming their shots. Rösler got booked for kicking the ball out of play; really an unnecessary thing to do, even if the decision looked suspicious.

After 37 minutes the biggest chance of the half came for United. Kanchelskis caught Brightwell out of position and raced clear on goal. Out of nowhere came Curle who ran up to the Ukrainean and slid the ball back to Dibble. Andy handled the ball, clearly an illegal thing to do, and an indirect free kick was awarded, 13 yards out. The free kick however was deflected by Gaudino and the corner came to nothing.

Buzzer had been the big surprise this first half. His running up the right flank brought many crosses and he more often went outside Sharpe and Neville than inside, clearly signalling a confident and in-form player. One of these raids brought us a free-kick. Flitcroft found Rösler unmarked and clear on goal. His header was poor and missed the goal but it was City’s best chance.

At half time I overheard Billy Bremner commenting on the game (on Swedish TV). He believed that if City didn’t score in the first 15 minutes of the 2nd half, United would come back and finish the game. How right he was to be. After the match they played a sequence where Francis Lee and Norman Hunter had a fist fight in a game between Derby and Leeds. Lee approached Bremner after the incident and asked him what had happened. Bremner told Lee that Hunter never touched him, whereupon Lee told Bremner to keep an eye on the Ref. because someone had just smacked his jaw.

The 2nd half started with Kernaghan having a terrible pass to Flipper intercepted and almost giving United the lead. Beagrie was booked after kicking Ince and McClair dribbled through the City defence. His shot was deflected by Kernaghan and left Dibble stranded. Luckily the ball slipped just wide. Curle had been looking rock steady all afternoon, keeping an eye on the invisible Cole and tackling hard on sub. Scholes a couple of times.

In the 59th minute however Cole went past Gaudino and found Ince in front of goal. His shot was deflected by Buzzer and once more Dibble was beaten. This time the ball found its way into the net and the rags got their lead. Up until the goal, City had most of the play and United were just defending themselves and looking dangerous whenever they got the ball. Now it became more and more clear that City looked tired. Ferguson read Horton like an open book and played three men up front. While defending well, they were always looking for more goals. It was pitiful to watch as Buzzer often looked more like a winger, leaving more pressure on our defence.

The Kippax were moving and the police had a busy job keeping the crowd separated. Kanchelskis had a good shot just wide in the 62nd minute and shortly after, Quinn replaced Beagrie. More and more often the ball was kicked up front and the wings were never used. The fine play by Summerbee was almost non-existent in the 2nd half. Only some good crosses from Flipper found their way to Quinn. One of them was headed down to Gaudino who had his shot blocked. Quinn managed to get booked after only 4 minutes and didn’t quite find his position up front.

In the 75th minute Kanchelskis took Brightwell for a ride and his shot in the near corner was missed by Dibble. This was clearly not what we needed, and three minutes later a United counter-attack showed us how it should be done. Click-clack, McClair, Giggs, Cole. An open goal. From now on it was only a matter of how many goals United would get.

The crowd went silent and the soaking City supporters on the Kippax started to leave the ground. They witnessed Cole having a shot blocked by Dibble and Quinn heading over the bar before leaving. Then the stadium was United’s and “We love you United we do” sounded all over Maine Road.

So what had I just seen? I saw Dibble and Kernaghan having trouble communicating. Curle looking very fit and rock steady. Summerbee having a great 1st half but not too good a defensive display. The Brightwell brothers were doing their job but David is no great passer. I saw Gaudino run fast and having a nice first touch. Flitcroft could use a break. He’s clearly ambitious and wants to run things on the field. Today he wasn’t quite man enough. Beagrie never impressed me and both Walsh and Rösler ran and ran, without getting paid.

To me it didn’t look like City played like a team. Francis Lee wants City to play attractive football with two wingers. This requires some team. City did not look like such a team. Individually they sure looked like quality players, but together they pulled in different directions, so to speak. If they start to think like a team and behave like a team, not like a bunch of individuals running around on a playground, we might get somewhere with the players we have.

The tactics also went way wrong and Alex Ferguson just held on to it until City had run out of steam. Playing three men up front in the 2nd half shows that he knew what he was doing. Surely there had to be opportunities, as long as City kept pushing forward? So my question is: How long is it before Horton gets the boot? Saturday’s loss was another step in that direction.

HREF=””>Svenn Hanssen


Quinny seems to be on his way to Sheffield Wednesday now! Trev Francis is said to be prepared to pay 2.5m for his services. On a positive note, BH is very interested in taking Matthew Jackson to Maine Road. Jackson is unhappy with the terms of his new contract and is keen to leave. Joe Royle is insisting that the terms are non-negotiable, so it appears the youngster will move.

Shane Kelly


Here’s the article from last week’s Pink that I think Jeremy Poynton was referring to in MCIVTA 49. It looks like we won’t be able to buy our way out of trouble this season.

A Financial Minefield

Francis Lee reveals on the eve of his first anniversary of chairman of Manchester City that he took control of a club which was no longer in charge of its own destiny, writes Paul Hince. The Maine Road supremo added that he was shocked at City’s financial plight when he finally won his bitter power struggle against former chairman Peter Swales.

Among the shocks waiting to hit the new chairman as he took his place at the head of the boardroom table twelve months ago were:

  • A club whose incoming revenue came nowhere near to matching its outgoing expenditure.
  • A club which didn’t earn revenue from either its own souvenir shop or its own Social Club.
  • A club which allowed the profits from catering on match days to go to an outside agency.

And 12 months into his reign as chairman, Lee is honest enough to admit that he still hasn’t finished the job and has only scratched the surface in his bid to put the Blues back on a firm financial footing.

“Everywhere I have turned this past 12 months, I have hit problems and it is going to take time to eliminate them and put this club where I want it to be financially. Our financial problems should not be understated. We reported a 5 million pounds loss at the Annual Meeting and on top of that we are committed to spending 10.5 million on building a new Kippax Stand. Since I became chairman we have spent 4 million on new players and that will rise to 5.5 million if we make Maurizio Gaudino’s loan a permanent transfer. Add those figures together and you will see that we have spent or are committed to spend around 21.5 million pounds while all we have recouped from the sale of players has been 2 million, following the transfers of David Rocastle and Mike Sheron. Those figures don’t frighten me and I don’t lie awake at night worrying about them.”

“But I feel it is right that our supporters should know the financial restraints we have to work under and perhaps they will bear them in mind the next time they start calling for us to lash out millions on new players.”

The Mole


This may not be the best time to mention this but the prices for season tickets for next season have now been announced, as follows:

Block                                    Price until Price until
                                         March 31st   May 31st
Main Stand Blocks B & C                    255.00      280.00
Main Stand Blocks B & C, Children/OAPs     180.00      210.00
Main Stand other Blocks                    235.00      360.00
Main Stand other Blocks, Children/OAPs     170.00      200.00
North Stand                                180.00      195.00
North Stand, Children/OAPs                 130.00      135.00
Family Stand                               135.00      150.00
Family Stand, Children                      90.00      115.00
Umbro Stand                                200.00      205.00
Umbro Stand, Children/OAPs                 155.00      185.00
Kippax Stand, Upper tier                   220.00      230.00
Kippax Stand, Upper tier, Children/OAPs    160.00      180.00
Kippax Stand, Lower tier                   170.00      190.00
Kippax Stand, Lower tier, Children/OAPs    125.00      145.00

These prices represent an increase since last season of 6.4% in the Main Stand, 6.9% in the North Stand, 7.6% in the Umbro Stand and 4.7% in the Family Stand. The biggest increases are in the Kippax Stand, where tickets could be had for 130 pounds before the end of January ’94, or for 150 pounds before the end of March (both tiers). Taking the 31st March figures as a baseline, this represents an increase of 23% for the lower tier and a whopping 58% for the upper [middle?] tier. I don’t think anybody will be too surprised by the Kippax prices, since it will offer a view and facilities comparable with the Main Stand; the cheapest seats are always going to be those at the ends rather than at the sides of the ground, all other things being equal.

Another point to bear in mind is that there will two less home league games with the reduction in size of the Premiership to 20 teams, unless of course we are relegated.

Paul Howarth


The postponed match against Spurs has been rearranged for Wednesday 22nd March, 7.45pm kick-off. Tickets for the original game are valid. Supporters with tickets who are unable to attend the rearranged game may contact the ticket office for a refund [This date has since been changed again, this time to Wednesday 5th April – Paul]

Membership cards are not required in order to purchase tickets for the forthcoming home games against Ipswich Town and Leeds United.

In the event of the FA Cup tie against Newcastle going to a replay, the game will be played on Wednesday 1st March. 7.45pm kick-off. Season ticket holders will have until 5.00pm on Thursday 23rd February to claim their seat. Newcastle will be allocated all of the Kippax Stand.

Paul Howarth


Another frustrating performance or what? The 2nd time I watch City on TV this season and at least I can say it was better than last time (Arsenal at home). Of course we all know that City always lose when on telly so perhaps we couldn’t expect any better. However, I think the match had its positive aspects – in my opinion we were unlucky not to be ahead at half time. Unfortunately our pressure didn’t create too many clear chances but Walshy could have scored if it hadn’t been for the big Dane.

What frustrated me the most in the 2nd half was the apparent lack of tactical knowledge of the back four. Have they never heard of playing strikers offside? Especially against quick ones like Giggs and Kanchelskis (and with the lack of speed of several of our defenders) it’s important to be familiar with the offside concept and how to deal with it as a defending side. All good things said about Curle, I can’t see that he organized his troops like he should do. Another disappointment for me was Gaudino; I think he was invisible in the 2nd half. Thirdly, Dibble of course was his usual unlucky self – Cole’s goal was the only one not to be categorized as “lucky” in my opinion.

Let’s not be too depressive though – we’re still in the Cup! I for one regard it as a big encouragement that we (at least occasionally) play some decent football for the first time in years. Let’s get behind BH and the boys – they really need it now.

Lars Ivar Naess


I’m sure there will be lots of things said about the game on Saturday and therefore much speculation about BH’s position. For this reason I would like to make only one comment on the game: extremely naïve tactics!!!! As far my other views on the game… well I don’t really think you can print them.

Now for the real reason I’m writing in, which is the so-called up-turn in crowd violence mentioned by James Nash in the last issue (the guy must be psychic!!). While recently there have been some minor scuffles (involving City, Villa, Chelsea and Milwall to name but a few) the whole situation has been over-exposed by the British press (surprise suprise!). When was the last time somebody got shot outside the ground? When was the last time someone got stabbed outside the ground? If anything like this were to happen in England we’d be banned from Europe for another 10 years (not really any concern to City at the moment). However, as it’s continental sides, I’m sure UEFA will do sweet FA against the countries concerned. You see, it’s viewed as a passionate game over there and that seems to be a good enough excuse, whereas over here we’re just yobs herded from place to place like cattle by the local constabulary.

Yes, there has been some fighting but they have been isolated incidents due mainly to the expectations of fans and some very poor referees. To blow the whole situation out of proportion seems suicidal. Saturday’s game was a classic example of this, with 20,000 City fans wanting a win and nothing less, tempers flared and due to the large numbers of rags in City seats a few scuffles occurred. Now that’s not bad for two sets of very passionate fans separated by a handful of stewards, and I’d like to see how a Milan derby could be played with the same segragation.

Finally I’d just like to comment on the number of rags in City seats. The number was immense and due to the large number of City fans probably selling their tickets to the highest bidder… call yourselves fans?????

Adam Houghton


Currently myself, James Nash and Sean Bechhofer are involved in a predictions league, based on City’s performances. It’s been suggested that it might be interesting to widen the competition, so does anybody want to get involved?

If I have a few replies then I’ll mail those interested and give them the rules and then we’ll decide upon a date to start the league.

Martin Ford


> Skippy
> Born in Australia, as was a certain intelligent TV marsupial! (MF)

Interestingly enough (or not as may be), he was born while his parents were on holiday there. He is not Australian, but very English. He’s also a very nice guy. I was at school with Dave and played soccer with him from 12 to 16 for the local team (called Almondsbury Rangers) and for the School (Ousedale). He was bloody good then. He lived (and still does) in a little village just outside Newport Pagnell in Bucks (place called Ravenstone). His father has been there for over twenty years and is a thatcher! Due to this connection I got my best ever seats at a MCFC match, in the directors’ box (well, enclosure anyway) sitting with Tony Book. Unfortunately it was a youth team game. I also managed to go out for a drink afterwards with Dave, Terry Cooper and Viv Anderson who were all staying at the same hotel. Ah great days. Why did Kendall sell him? Also, before he moved up from Luton, Norwich offered 1million for him and he turned them down (Pleat didn’t want to sell him). When City offered 750,000 about two weeks afterwards he took it like a shot because he wanted to play for City. I may be biased but I thought he had a pretty good spell at Maine Road and I was surprised when he moved to Leicester, especially after the Derby and the goal at Anfield. As an aside, while he was playing for Luton we managed to get four of our school side to play at Kennilworth Road on one day – three were in the band that played at half time!

Dave Bates


Re Neil Pointon …. DissaPointing … came from Everton with him I believe.

Re RAGS … Red Arrogant Gits as I think has been stated – but I also heard somwehere that they were branded that after WW2 when Uwe’s Grandpa bombed them into penury. I believe that bucket collections were held at Maine Road to save them from going bankrupt (anyone confirm this?).

Now .. why oh why did we do this 🙁

Jeremy Poynton or


Ian Brightwell — Bob : After his Dad, Robert Brightwell. A recent report of a City game in the Observer mistakenly referred to Ian as Bob(by).

Gary Flitcroft — Purdey : This was a nickname I heard him called when he first came into the team. At the time his haircut was remarkably similar to Joanna Lumley’s in the New Avengers.

Rags: I thought the origin of this (old) nickname was the fact that United had to share Maine Road after the war, hence they are poverty cases.

Phil Knight

It seems that ‘Rags’ is quite an old term for United but the acronym ‘Red Arrogant Gits’ seems to be a recent invention (by James?). [Ashley]


Re: Neil Pointon’s nickname of “Dissa”

Come on Martin, you’re not thinking! Put on your best scouse accent and say “Dissa” Pointon…

Paul Howarth

Also from Nev James (


I think that ‘Clever Trev’ (and similarly, ‘Tricky Trev’) are generic English nicknames for anybody called Trevor and were applied equally to the great Trevor Francis as well as the not-as-talented Trevor Morley. However, I remember Morley’s goal at Barnsley (an exquisite chip) and he was often referred to as ‘Zico’ from then on.

I think that ‘Bart’ as a nickname for Fitzroy Simpson is due solely to his name – there’s definitely no physical resemblance, is there?

You’re right Paul, my mistake [Ashley]

Paul Howarth


No doubt you are being swamped by replies to the request for an explanation for Pointon’s nickname, “Dissa” Pointon. People should try to read this quickly. I am sure it was no reflection on Neil’s performances for City. Perhaps his attempted kung-fu kick at Giggs though.

Also with respect to Paul Power, he was also known as Zico (more so than Gladys as far as I am aware). Again this probably reflects Paul’s legendary footballing talent rather than his tan and hairdo.

Paul Scholfield


To add to the list of nicknames:

I was watching Sky Sports and there was a day in the life of Brian Horton (mad eyes, for the way he looks at people). Anyway, he called Peter Beagrie “BEAKS” has anybody else heard of this one?

Oh and Adie Mike aka Kate (Kate Adie!!)

Catherine (Katie) Yeo


Feb 11, 1995   Arsenal         - Leicester        1 - 1
               Aston_Villa     - Wimbledon        7 - 1
               Chelsea         - Tottenham        1 - 1
               Crystal_Palace  - Coventry         0 - 2
               Liverpool       - Queen's_PR       1 - 1
               Manchester_C    - Manchester_U     0 - 3
               Newcastle       - Nottingham       2 - 1
               Norwich         - Southampton      2 - 2
Feb 12, 1995   Blackburn       - Sheffield_W      2 - 1

Total Feb 12, 1995

Blackburn       27    19   4   4    59  -  24    61
Manchester_U    28    18   6   4    51  -  21    60
Liverpool       27    13   9   5    46  -  22    48
Newcastle       27    13   9   5    45  -  30    48
Nottingham      28    13   7   8    41  -  31    46
Tottenham       27    12   7   8    45  -  38    43
Sheffield_W     28    10   9   9    37  -  35    39
Leeds           25    10   8   7    33  -  27    38
Wimbledon       27    10   6  11    32  -  47    36
Norwich         27     9   8  10    27  -  31    35
Aston_Villa     28     8  10  10    39  -  37    34
Arsenal         28     8  10  10    31  -  32    34
Chelsea         27     8   9  10    35  -  38    33
Manchester_C    27     8   8  11    35  -  44    32
Southampton     27     6  13   8    39  -  44    31
Queen's_PR      26     8   7  11    39  -  45    31
Coventry        28     7  10  11    27  -  45    31
Everton         26     7   9  10    27  -  34    30
Crystal_Palace  28     7   9  12    21  -  28    30
West_Ham        26     8   4  14    24  -  33    28
Ipswich         27     5   5  17    29  -  55    20
Leicester       27     4   7  16    25  -  46    19

With thanks to Riku Soininen


Thanks to Svenn, Phil, Martin, Paul (x2), Jeremy, Dave, The Mole, Nev, Lars Ivar, Adam, Catherine & Shane.
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.

Ashley Birch

Newsletter #50