MAY 2010 - Manchester City Centenary Supporters' Association-

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					          Manchester City Centenary Supporters’

                                                  Merseyside Branch

                                   Next Meeting: Tuesday 25th May 2010
                                   The After-the-Dust-Has-Settled Issue
One goal. In the end, effectively, that’s what done for us. One goal. Given the results on the final day, a draw at
home against Spuds would have seen City sneak home into the final Champions’ League berth ahead on goal
difference. Of course one could argue that maybe the Londoners wouldn’t have slipped up at Turf Moor if they’d
have needed to do better. But maybe City would have striven for more than the draw they secured at the Boleyn
Ground. Ifs, buts and maybes. Does it matter? Well, even if it does, we cannot rewrite history, not one line. But
we cannot expunge the regret, either. Heigh-ho. At the start of the season, maybe fifth (and a Carling Cup semi-
final) would have seemed acceptable. And it’s still not too shabby, really. But please God we haven’t spurned our
one and only chance to upset the ossified footballing order, our one chance to gatecrash the sanctified, and
sanctimonious, top four hegemony.

I don’t think we have.

Many people have suggested that no one could have imagined Liverpool having such a wretched season, and
that they are never going to suffer quite so badly again. I can (and buy me a drink and I probably will) adduce a
betting slip which shows mine and a couple of friends’ wager (at 250/1!) on the Scousers finishing seventh.
Inconceivable? Not then, and obviously not now.

  Full Premier League table (P-GD-Pts):1) Chelsea 38 71 86 2) Man Utd 38 58 85 3) Arsenal 38 42 75 4) Tottenham 38 26 70 5)
                                Man City 38 28 67 6) Aston Villa 38 13 64 7) Liverpool 38 26 63

Liverpool are facing a fraught immediate future, with the banks growing antsy at the extent of their burgeoning
debt, and a definite feeling of malaise is gripping Benitez’ ailing regime. Arsenal are trophyless for a fifth
successive season, and there has been ample evidence of the oft-rumoured lack of bottle on the part of Wenger’s
men. Manchester United are hardly the inexorable machine of yesteryear, and their day of crisis (Ferguson’s
departure) is fast-approaching against a backdrop of unrest and financial uncertainty. And whilst Spurs have
over-achieved tremendously to claw themselves into the Champions’ League, maintaining that level is a big, big
ask. In missing out on fourth place, City undoubtedly spurned a golden opportunity, but I just get the impression
that while the much-vaunted ‘project’ has suffered a setback, it’s not an insuperable one, and we will, we will, get

Such Panglossian optimism doesn’t come naturally, but I have been impressed by the swift, but measured, way
in which Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak moved to quash the inevitable hysteria surrounding Mancini’s future (or
otherwise) in the light of his team’s failure to achieve its immediate Champions’ League goal. Doom merchants
and those with an agenda against City, (which seems to encompass goodly sections of the media), have been
swift to pontificate how patience is thin, and the owners’ commitment something other than long-term, but this
flies in the face of all the evidence, really. Quote this back to me in two years’ time, if you must, and make me
look a proper nana, but I really don’t see it.

Righty-ho, we have the Champions’ League final, the play-off finals (should be a good punch-up between
Blackpool and Cardiff!), and then only the briefest surcease before the 2010 Coupe Mondiale. January signing
Adam Johnson has been rewarded for his fine club form with a place in Fabio Capello’s interim 30-strong squad,
but we shall see if he makes the cut when it is whittled down to 23. Similarly tenuous is Shaun Wright-Phillips –
perhaps even more so, as let’s be honest, his City season has not been tremendous. Joe Hart is back at City –
and quite rightly after their antics, Birmingham have been told to go whistle for next season – and is the anointed
heir to the goalkeeping gloves, really. After his injury against Tottenham, Gareth Barry is facing a race against
time to be fit enough for inclusion, but if he proves himself in this respect, his place is a shoo-in. No place at all,
though, for Joleon Lescott, after an injury-plagued debut season, but at least he features in the adverts for the
new England dress suit! Putting those photogenic features to good use…

Six other City players have been chosen in their respective nations’ squads: Carlos Tevez (Argentina), Nigel de
Jong (Holland), Robinho (Brazil), Kolo Toure (Ivory Coast), Vladimir Weiss (Slovakia) and Roque Santa Cruz
Whoever you are supporting, I hope you all enjoy the World Cup. How nice it will be to watch some of the finest
footballers in the world, and Jermaine Defoe, do their thang, whilst sitting back and pondering – hmm, should we
buy him, d’you suppose?....

Now, it’s Chairman Tony, with the latest news regarding our upcoming Good Works in respect of St John’s
Hospice, amongst other things. Please do respond to his call-to-arms in respect of donations and contributions.
Thank you.

                                             Mutterings in May
Hello, one and all, dear reader – it’s that time again – me muttering, Head Scribe uttering copious pearls, and you,
                                          I hope, reading and not dissenting.

Hardly seems ten months since we sat in the Stork, agreeing to disagree and variously contemplating our navels,

 Back then, I suggest, we would happily have accepted fifth place and the narrowest of escapes from competing
                                          in the Champions League.

                                        As they say – next year in Jerusalem.

 That we could have done it. That perhaps we should have done it, cannot be gainsaid and the seven draws that
   featured so large in the October/November and December period can be blamed for the fact that, never mind
  fourth, third would have been achievable. Never mind – it’s over and I’m pleased – about a number of things.

                                    • The arrival of Mancini replacing Mr Hughes
                                    • Our several performances against Yernited
                                    • Our home and away victories agin Chelsea
                                       •   Norah’s ninetieth birthday bash
       •    Our very successful Green Lodge Christmas Dinner, from which we were able to donate £301 to St
                                                    John’s Hospice.

  Cue 19 June 2010 and our fund-raising exercise on behalf of said Hospice. Those walking with me and the
   wheelbarrow from the Stork to St John’s should please gather at the Stork at 12 noon, imbibe a refreshing
whatever, courtesy of your Chairman, and set off by no later than 12.30, therefore anticipating a 2.30 arrival at the

So far as I am aware, walking with me with be Steve, Dave, Mark and Chris – others feeling suitably energetic will
                                          be most welcome company.

 Debbie and her two beautiful assistants will be i/c ambulance/refreshment wagon, available in either respect at
                                         the press of a mobile phone.

Meanwhile, President Norah, Margaret and Cara – and their beautiful assistant – will be manning our Pound Stall,
  from opening time, 12.30 onwards, hoping to raise dollops of dosh from the sale of CDs, DVDs and tasteful
 knickknacks. Books were to have been included but there is a Book Stall so any books I or you donate will be
                                      handed to the Book Stall to sell.

So then – what do I want from you, dear reader? 1p and 2p coins, how little or how much is not important – what
matters is that a lot of us give something with the inevitable result that ‘a lot’ is collected and any CDs, DVDs that
                     you feel are marketable and which will help us to achieve the overall target.

 The Summer Fair will finish no later than 4.00 – even earlier for those with World Cup watching priorities – and
         we can all, I hope, feel good about how we spent the day – helping others to help others.

 Our next meeting at the Stork is on Tuesday – five days hence, as I write, and it would be seriously helpful were
                             you to bring the aforementioned copper and saleables.

Have a great summer, superior holidays if you’re lucky enough to get away, and be ready for the start of 2010/11
                                  in great good humour, hugely optimistic.

                                        Smile please – you’re in Disneyland!

City’s forthcoming US tour is throwing up some intriguing-looking features. Latest confirmed fixture is a meeting
in Baltimore, on 31 July, with Jose Mourinho’s (for the time being!) Inter Milan. By the time the clubs meet, the
Nerazzurri could be European champions, of course, so this will be a testing outing for Mancini’s boys, as the
boss faces his previous charges. Also, Stateside, are games against Sporting Lisbon, New York Red Bulls and
Club America. These other games will take place in, variously, Portland (Oregon, I imagine, though there are
several alternatives!), Atlanta and New York.

Since last we met, City’s 2010/11 Seasoncard prices have been released, with a staggered renewal period for
each discrete section of the stadium. There has been widespread uproar from supporters in the North Stand who
are being forcibly relocated to accommodate an increased Family section, and we share their pain. A bit. More
commendably, a limited edition Valuecard was introduced, at a substantially reduced price of £250, the downside
being that these seats will be allocated hither and thither once existing seats are re-secured, or not. For those
who don’t mind where they sit, and are not particularly tied to sitting next to friends/family/probation officer, this
scheme is manna from heaven. On a personal note, I lumped on this like a good ‘un!

Not since Henry VIII parlayed his desire to get his sixteenth-century end away into a profound doctrinal schism in
the western Christian church has there been such an abyssal fracture in hitherto fraternal bodies as when
organised City fandom split off into rival factions. The Official Supporters’ Club and the arriviste Centenary
Supporters’ Association have vied for the affections of the City follower since the polarising dog days of the
Swales regime. From the outside looking in, one might imagine that with the ostensible crux of the breakup
having been six feet under for fifteen years or more, to continue with two organisations would be an
anachronism. If one were mischievous, one could suggest it is akin to two bald men fighting over a comb. But, in
the real world, positions become entrenched, and it often takes a monumental act of will to have a rethink. Well,
there has been a rethink. Members may recall that I recently canvassed opinion to establish a majority verdict
from the Merseyside Branch as to whether to support, or oppose, a motion to reunite (or merge, or amalgamate,
however you wish to pitch it) the rival organisations. Each Branch was entitled to one vote, irrespective of size,
and the general feeling of yourselves was positive. Subsequent to my submitting our view, I received, from
Howard Burr, the following email:

75% of the CSA Branches have voted on the Unification of the Supporters Organisations.

80% of those who voted are in favour of the Unification.

20% are at this stage opposed to the Unification.

Further meetings with the Club, CSA and OSC Officials will now take place and an update will be sent out in
due course.

Kind regards,

Howard Burr
Manchester City Centenary Supporters Association
T: 0161 292 2525
M: 07731 846 194

So, democracy spoke, and subsequently, this:

Following the majority YES vote to merge with the OSC Alex Channon and Howard Burr met with Kevin Parker and Alan
Galley of the OSC. Also present were Paul Lake and Danny Wilson representing MCFC. This meeting took place on
Wednesday 12th May.

Subject to ratification by the OSC both organisations will be UNIFIED in early July under the banner of MANCHESTER
CITY FC SUPPORTERS CLUB. There will be no other national MCFC supporters organisation recognised by MCFC.

More information will be disclosed in the near future but some immediate information is as follows:
• No Branch will be asked to merger with another Branch
• Branches will maintain their own individual identity
• Alex Channon will join a newly formed committee as CHARITIES OFFICER
• Howard Burr will join a the newly formed committee as MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY
• The newly formed committee will have a position for a DISABLED OFFICER - this position would be preferably filled
          by someone who is currently a member of the Disabled Supporters Association - Alex will be in contact with the
• The MANCHESTER CITY FC SUPPORTERS CLUB is fully endorsed and recognised by MCFC
• MCFC will give certain benefits to Members of the new organisation. This includes huge support for any charitable
          efforts undertaken, this immediately benefits our SIERRA LEONE APPEAL and in the future could benefit
          GHANA BABIES
• Preferential treatment in ordering match tickets via the Supporters Club for all games
• Possible subsidised travel to European games
• Travel insurance to all games if your Branch registers its travel arrangements with the travel club
• The Club want your ideas on future benefits and want to work closely with all the Branches
• Other benefits are in the pipeline from MCFC but not yet decided. You will be informed of these benefits when decided
The membership fees payable to MANCHESTER CITY FC SUPPORTERS CLUB are as follows:
• £4-00 per Adult member
• £1-00 per OAP member
• Free membership to all aged 16 and under
• Branches can decide their own membership fees
• Please note there is no cap on membership fees paid to MANCHESTER CITY FC SUPPORTERS CLUB
Should any individual or branch require further information they should contact Alex Channon or Howard Burr. Please
bear in mind Howard will be unavailable from Sunday 16th May until Tuesday 25th May due to family commitments.

Further meetings are to be organised and updates will be sent out accordingly.


Howard Burr
Manchester City Centenary Supporters Association
T: 0161 292 2525

We will have to mull over the implications of this for ourselves, I guess, chiefly in terms of future subscription
levels. I can’t see that we shall need to change bank details etc in respect of the name change, but I suppose it is
possible. Certainly a degree of harmonisation has been happening recently in respect of match tickets, with
recent applications for the United OT semi-final, and the home game against Villa, being conducted through
Kevin Parker of the OSC as middle-man…

If it’s summer, it must be time to pillage Aston Villa. If the papers are to be believed, City have recently tabled a
£20million bid for the Midlanders’ Mr Versatile, James Milner. In a definite case of déjà vu, this bid has been
rejected, but the player himself (who, by the by, looks, in an undefinable way, like he belongs in the 1930s,
somehow) is already making guarded references suggesting that his remaining at Villa Park is by no means
certain. Serious indication of intent, or just angling for a pay rise? Time will tell, I guess.

Perhaps more solidly based are the suggestions that Hamburg’s Jerome Boateng will be the next player to cross
from Bundesliga to blue shirt. If true, the rugged defender will be the third player to join from the Nordbank
Arena, following in the footsteps of Vincent Kompany and Nigel de Jong. Those two haven’t turned out too badly,
and Boateng comes with a solid reputation, and a place in the German national squad for the World Cup. A fee of
£11 million has been mooted. I dunno, seems reasonable, these days, for City anyway, but shouldn’t we have
previously insisted on a buy-two-get-one-free concession?!

Other dispatches from the silly season: Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been offered to Chelsea and ourselves for £40
million. Gee, thanks. Robinho is happy at Santos, and doesn’t wish to return from Brazil. We wish you well,
Robbie. You little shit.

To the surprise of, er, no-one at all, Carlos Tevez walked away with City’s Player of the Year gong. Young Player
of the year was Dedryk Boyata, who, as well as being Belgian, young, and, indeed, a player, showed impressive
maturity when pitched into the fray in such pressure-cooker games as the League Cup semi-final. Well done to
both, and I will wrap up with a couple of amusing comments from our player of the season from a recent Fans’

Fan: "Is it better at City than at United?"
Carlos: "I'd say, United has a level, a very high opinion of themselves. For me, City
has more street-cred."

Fan: "Carlos, do you still think Gary Neville is a moron?"
Carlos: "Yes I do!"

That’s it. Au revoir. Auf wiedersehen. Sayanora. See you all on Tuesday at the Stork.

                                                                                                 Contact details:
                       Secretary / Newsletter:       Garry Bradbury, 30 Oceanic Road, Old Swan, Liverpool. L13 1BP
                                              0151 259 7720 / 07526 209702 / /

                                       Chairman:           Tony Ralls, 7 Flowermead Close, Meols, Wirral. CH47 7BY
                                        0151 632 5068 / 07803 162797 /