Newsletter #88

Not much has happened since the last issue, apart from Everton’s FA Cup win and the mutual parting of Trevor Francis and Sheffield Wednesday FC.

I made the mistake of assuming that the end of the season would herald a period of relative inactivity on MCIVTA! Things have now quietened down again after the dismissal of BH and all the speculation which followed. We want to try to use this period to expand the WWW home page, and in particular those points at which it is relatively weak. The first article on our shopping list is detailed by Paul below. We need to flesh out our player profiles and the best way to do this is for us to collect opinions on players, together with anything else known about them. So, try and spare some time to write down your thoughts on the goalkeepers and Paul will collate them and produce a profile. This way we’ll get a broad consensus rather than Paul’s and my views on the squad.

There are now 279 subscribers.

Anyone out there fancy doing a ‘Why Blue‘ as I don’t have any in the pipeline? All offers welcomed.


Andy Hill has rejected a new 2-year contract and is now looking for another club. Apparently Middlesbrough were interested in him earlier in the season but as they’re now being linked with Gascoigne and Kanchelskis, their sights are probably set a little higher (no offence Andy).

No managerial appointment is expected until mid-June; Francis Lee returns from his holiday at the end of next week, not in 3 weeks time as reported earlier in the week.

The Mole


Graeme Souness looks set to accept the manager’s job at Turkish giants Galatasaray, which should rule him out of the City job :-)) Danny Bergara, former Stockport County manager, will be interviewed for the managerial vacancy at Norwich City tomorrow.

Colin Barlow issued a statement yesterday that the club were aiming to qualify for Europe next season and that the new manager would have the experience and pedigree to achieve this. Meanwhile, as a result of Everton’s victory in the FA Cup Final, Newcastle have failed to qualify for a UEFA Cup place and look set to enter the Inter-Toto Cup.

The Mole


GMR have reported that Garry Flitcroft is pondering his future now that Brian Horton has been sacked; he admired BH and thinks he was treated very badly. He doesn’t know whether he wants to stay at Maine Road or not.

Meanwhile, Clubcall are saying that Trevor Francis is now the favourite for the managerial vacancy :-(( This is worrying, since it is supposed to be an “official” source of information direct from the club. Hopefully it’s just a ruse to deflect attention from Bruce Rioch (please), who still hasn’t signed a new contract at Bolton. His current one expires in June (I think).

The Mole


According to the MEN City have already sold 10k of season tickets, which has put something like 2M into the club’s coffers. Not bad considering the crap season we had to endure. Last season City had 15k season ticket holders, but with the summer to come, City are expecting that figure to be broken. It’s amazing how year after year we always come back. I wonder if this year though there are rags turning to the Blues after last season’s dissappointments ;-))

I want to know when City will introduce a mental test, just to see how daft we really are ;-))))

BTW, yes I’m one of those who’s renewed his season ticket, 230 quid for the upper tier of the Kippax.

Martin Ford


I know American late night king Dave Letterman is on Sky, but don’t know if he is on at the same day as in North America. Anyway, last night for one of his spoofs, Dave and Paul (his musician, from Hamilton Ontario!) went to Wembley for a kickabout. Guess what song they played? That crap by Status Quo about some team from Stretford. No mention of Everton. Why not the England song or something a little more neutral? Surely the conspiracy doesn’t include Americans too?

On another point, if Kanchelskis is leaving United, surely he would be good enough for City’s right wing? Talk about a two finger salute to Fergie if he joined City.

Steve Barlow


There have been rumours that Frannie, not BH, was behind the signings of Uwe and Buzzer. More recently, it has been said Rioch doesn’t want the City job because of Frannie Lee’s hands-on approach. I have always considered this to be no more than media speculation. However, I am beginning to have second thoughts.

In the MuEN on Friday, it is reported that Andy Hill has rejected Frannie Lee’s offer of a new 2 year contract because “the terms offered are totally unacceptable.” Paul Hince suggests Hill may end up at Sunderland or Middlesbrough.

I have to ask why the hell is Frannie offering Andy Hill a new contract in the first place? Surely it should be up to the new manager, whoever he might be, as to which players stay and who should be sold! If the new manager wants to get rid of Hill, then he would be stuck with him had a new deal been agreed. Or is it the case, as has been suggested, that Frannie already knows who the new manager is going to be and has his approval?

On the playing side of things, my view is that to keep Andy Hill may hinder the development of young players such as John Foster. Hill has been a good servant for the club since signing for a bargain fee, but the time is now right for him to move on.

Colin Gorman


Firstly I would like to congratulate both Blackburn and Everton on their recent successes at the rags’ expense, but we have had another season fighting relegation and they have been to Wembley again and nearly won the title. I don’t know who Frannie has in mind to take over at Maine Road, but I think he will have a pretty good idea himself. My dad got it on good advice at Easter that Bruce Rioch would be joining us at the end of the season and the fella who told him recently confirmed this would take place once the play-offs are over. Let’s hope whoever it is can bring us the success that us long suffering fans deserve with European football coming back to the right side of Manchester.

Neil Pugh


Although we’re all under a cloud somewhat at the moment. I’m sure that the cup final was a real tonic all round 8-))

On a more positive managerial note, Souness has signed a one year contract with our friends Galatasary, so we won’t be getting him. A case of “the antichrist goes to Hell” 8-). BTW, Gala are in the UEFA cup next year, so another meeting with U****d might well be on the cards…

Dave Bradbury


Since there’s not exactly been a flood of responses to my request in MCIVTA 79 for people’s opinions on the strengths and weaknesses of our goalkeepers, I’m going to ask again! I’m hoping for a better response this time because (a) we seem to have had quite a few new people giving their opinions on other topics recently, (b) we’ve had a chance to have a look at Budgie in action since then, and (c) we’ve no matches/performances to whinge about instead any more!

So come on everybody, let me know your views on the strengths and weaknesses of Tony Coton, Andy Dibble, Martyn Margetson and John Burridge.

Paul Howarth

I’d suggest sending them to me first of all and I’ll pass them on to Paul. That way they can go in MCIVTA and everyone can see what the general feeling about these players is.



I know the BH issue has been done to death but I would like to say that I was sorry to see him go; he brought some wonderful players to Maine Road and produced some of the most magnificent football I have seen in the 19 years that have passed since I first saw City. The Tottenham and Blackburn games rank alongside the 5-1 Derby and the 6-0 against Norwich in the FA Cup 4th round in 1981, and look at our record against Newcastle in last year’s game at Maine Road and the CCCup this season. Rösler strikes me as being the most competent striker City have had since Trevor Francis. I remember seeing Trev play and he was a genius; it was because of that defenders were always trying to amputate his legs.

I feel very sorry for BH because there used to be a time when being a nice bloke was a job requirement; he was a victim of the commercialisation of football and the insatiable desire for success. A desire which any football supporter nurtures but there has to be a modicum of restraint in the pursuit of success for fear of treading the path that Swales took. The last thing I want to see at Maine Road is another parade of famous or vaguely famous managers trooped before the City faithful, being lauded as the new Maine Road Messiah only to see them sacked in less than three seasons’ time. Correct me if I am wrong but Reidy ranked as one of our longest serving managers under Swales, and he was hardly in the job very long when compared to other clubs. I remember the Rags clamouring for Fergie’s head after Hinchcliffe scored number five back in 1989. I remember the recriminations and accusations about tactical naïvete, misguided transfer dealings and rifts with the team. You don’t need me to tell you how wrong those accusations were proven to be.

I honestly thought that BH had the makings of a really sound team and Franny seemed to agree. I appreciate that Franny is anxious to get a return on his money but he should know as well as anyone that overnight success is a rare thing in the modern game. The big clubs are massive and the type of money that exists in the game is usually reserved for stock market floatations of medium sized companies, not investing in football clubs. The game is prime time entertainment and these days that means lots of cash is up for grabs but only a few clubs are truly in contention. The clubs I can see are M*n U****d, Blackburn, Newcastle, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Everton (have you seen how much money they have spent recently?); all these clubs enjoy big time backing from extremely wealthy individuals. To be perfectly honest I think City stand in the ranks of the hopefuls alongside Leeds, Forest, Villa, Sheffield and co. The most we can hope for in the next three seasons is a trophy or to finish in the top eight twice. City used to be massive and we used to be regarded as one of the finest clubs in English football, but twenty years of abuse takes a long time to put right.

I sound like the eternal pessimist, but that qualifies me to support no other team but City. I was offered a signed team photo of the 1978-9 Liverpool team (amongst the best teams of all time) by John Smith (the former chairman of Liverpool, may he rest in peace); I refused and asked him if he could get me City’s team photo. My great uncle tried to convert me to a Red by taking me to two Cup Finals, but it just was not the same after Tommy Hutchinson had made me cry with joy and then with sorrow. Manchester City is too inextricably wound up with my life for me to ever get in a lather about winning nothing; it is all I have ever known them to do. I am a third generation City fan, my grandfather saw City win everything in the 1930s, my father saw them win the cup in 1956 and 1968 and me, well I’ve seen them win sod all but I, like my forbears, can wait. City will jangle your nerves, make you hide from your friends or entertain you with such style that you wonder why they got hammered last week by a team that featured members of the local morris dancing troupe. I can hang on for success; the question is can the chairman?

Patrick Bedell


Well that’s one season down, just another 18 to go!!

OK, so I’ll admit I’m a bitter and twisted Blue, but the rags’ downfall has given me a good feeling. It’s great to see them stumble and fall, just a pity that we couldn’t have won something just to rub their noses into it. It had to come to an end after six seasons, but I’m sure they’ll come back just as good next year :-((.

Why can’t City have just one good season and out-do the rags? I’m fed up of living in the rags’ shadows.

I was quite pleased Everton won the cup as I’d tipped them from the early rounds, after Mystic Meg had predicted a club suffering inner turmoil would be in the Cup final (most thought she meant Spurs, but I knew better!!) However, what annoyed me was the way people concerned directly with Everton and the media kept going on about how long it had been since Everton had last won a trophy and the fans had waited long enough for glory. F*****g hell what would they have been like if it had been City!!!!!

Martin Ford


I think everybody is agreed on what City is generally lacking. Although we have played some fantastic football, reliability can only be achieved with the purchase of a consistently good 1st or 2nd goalkeeper and a good ball-winner in midfield. A top class defender should also help to solidify the defence.

I hope that we could go some way to achieving this if we manage to get Rioch as manager. Not only would we get Rioch, we would hopefully improve our chances in getting Stubbs and McAteer. Then all we would need is a goalkeeper and I feel that we would be some way towards being a top class side. The team I would like to see is therefore:

Edghill         Curle           Stubbs          Foster (or Phelan)
                McAteer         Flitcroft
Summerbee                                       Beagrie

Foster and Edghill would remain as defenders, letting Summerbee and Beagrie do all of the attacking alongside Rösler. Quinn and Kernaghan would be fantastic standbys if things weren’t working.

Well, that’s my humble opinion anyway!

Steven Speakman


Well they say that no news is good news but I’m starting to wonder if that’s true. The wheels don’t exactly seem to have been set in motion for any imminent signings of players or a manager for that matter. You never know, maybe some big news on its way eh? The only thing that I’ve heard in the last couple of days is that Trevor Francis is now being considered for the manager’s job (Please God, spare us from this fate worse than Dave Bassett!). Let’s face it Francis was a good player, but as a manager he’s crap!

Dave Ward


TITLE           Manchester City: My Team
AUTHOR          Mike Doyle
PUBLISHER       Readers Union Limited.
                P.O. Box 6,
                Newton Abbot,
                Devon TQ12 2DW
ISBN            Number not known
PRICE           Out of print

My copy of this autobiography cost me