Sunday, 25 February 2007

MAKE IT BLUE!

BLUE IS THE COLOUR BROTHERS - MARCH 10.
Bluewatch - website and action group - are asking everyone to wear as much sky blue as possible on this date to make a very visible statement of support for the team. Either in fancy dress or normal clobber - just so long as it's sky blue. Bluewatch are urging fellow fans to bring as many scarves, shirts, hats, whatever, as possible, and Bluewatch will also be seeking permission from the relevant club, either Blackburn or Arsenal, for us to bring our flags, large or small to the game (good luck on that one guys, but don't hold out much chance for success with that request from either club - but good on yer for trying). remember - BLUE IS THE COLOUR - give it a go!
Blank Saturday yesterday with Chelsea entertaining Arsenal ‘s reserves today in Cardiff, so a case of watching and waiting. All eyes were on the Charlton v West Ham result, hoping for a draw, and Liverpool doing us a favour by beating Sheffield United. First off, on the box though, was Fulham v rags, who were fresh from the disgrace in Lille/Lens. Battered by Fulham they got a late winner, a deflected fluke from the ladyboy. Fulham were then denied a blatant penalty, so united kept their 9 point lead. We did say in a previous KOTK it would be eroded, which it was, unless the referees and linesmen kicked in, which they have.
By the end of the day Charlton won 4-0, cutting our safety margin down to 7 points, but we went up a place to 15th thanks to Liverpool’s 4 -0 win over Sheff. United, making their goal difference minus 16 compared with ours at minus 12, both on the same number of points, 30.
So Wigan v Newcastle on the Sunday, and it finished 1-0 to Wigan, putting them 1 point behind us prior to the big showdown next Saturday.
We do have 2 games in hand over the rest though – Chelsea (Carling cup winners 2-1) home and Arsenal away!!!
Meanwhile ex – Blue Ray Ranson is now in the frame for an £80M take over, and the boys are back from their Dubai break

Saturday, 24 February 2007

Excerpts from the latest issue of King of the Kippax




Excerpts from the latest issue of King of the Kippax:-
(BTW Emily Brobyn’s interview didn’t make it to this issue, but will be in the next one.)

PEARCE AND THE U21’S…… Now I don’t know about you, but when the tabloids first announced that Stuart Pearce would be the new England U21’s manager, not two days after Peter Taylor had tendered his resignation from the post on the grounds that the workload was such that he could not reconcile his national responsibilities with his domestic ones as manager of Crystal Palace, I immediately assumed that this meant that the Psychotic one would be leaving Eastlands forthwith, and that the last 18 months of nightmarish alehouse football would soon be nothing more than an unhappy memory, which, with appropriate counseling, I would eventually be able to convince myself never even happened!
Imagine my surprise then, when I realised that this was not actually the case, and that Herr Pearce, despite being in a job three times as demanding as that on offer down at Selhurst Park, and one which had a previous incumbent, Steve Coppell, banging on the doors of the nearest nuthouse demanding to be let in, after just ten days, fully intended to try and wear both hats on the grounds of honour and patriotic duty.
Under normal circumstances of course, I don’t suppose any of us would have begrudged Psycho accepting the offer of a post that clearly meant so much to him personally. After all, who could deny the vicarious surge of pride that coursed through the nation’s collective vein, when the man himself vanquished the ghosts of Italia ’90 with that nerveless penalty and bullocking roar against the Spaniards in the quarter finals of Euro ’96? Jumpers for goalposts? Marvellous, isn’t it?!
HOWEVER……as we are given to saying all too frequently on these pages, these are not normal circumstances. First and foremost, as described above, Manchester City manager is a job that could leave Father Christmas reaching for the whiskey and shotgun inside three minutes, never mind anyone with human failings. Secondly, we are slap bang in the middle of a season which could literally make or break the club, and having racked up a scarcely believable 14 ‘nils’ in the 26 games of the campaign to date, relegation is, despite our current ten point cushion over West Ham and Charlton, still a very real proposition, and any team which goes down with a £53m debt and a £34m wage bill, is royally f***ed, believe you me. Thirdly, whilst the supporters of Manchester City (probably 95% of whom are English, myself included) will doubtless root whole heartedly for Lamps, Stevie G and, yes, even that shithouse Rooney, when they are wearing the Three Lions, I suspect that virtually to a man their allegiance to the England national team ranks a very distant second to their allegiance to their club side. In short then City fans quite reasonably expect their manager to have his eye solely on the club’s interests at all times, and even if the England U21’s gig is little more than a two game deal, well, sorry, but that’s two games too many.
BURF

"THE ONLY ONE [CITY PLAYER] WHO HAS ANY REAL TALENT IS SAMARAS, YET HE
CONTINUES TO BETRAY IT BY CONSISTENTLY DISPLAYING ALL THE VIGOUR OF AN 18TH
CENTURY ROMANTIC POET, LYING WITH HIS HEAD IN THE LAP OF A TART, IN AN OPIUM
DEN"

That is probably the best passage John Burfield has ever written and I'm sure the great Stuart Hall had a chuckle reading that one. Burfield has been the best writer ever to grace the pages of KOTK and as I was reading
the article I silently congratulated him on another top class performance from Burf. When I reached the end of the article though there appeared to be an undertone suggesting that John was ready to pack his thesaurus away
and commit his wit no more onto the pages of KOTK. I sincerely hope I have misread this situation, and I'm sure John will read this if printed and I hope he knows I speak for all the readers when I say that losing John Burfield will be a severe blow to the fanzine [agreed – Eds]. So please John, don't give up! All the best to all at KOTK and to all the readers
Steve Heald

Impressing the crowd – but is it football? When I started at comprehensive school, I played basketball for the first time and found it an enjoyable sport. For one thing, I could play whilst wearing my Alf Garnett national health glasses, as there was no physical contact. At around the same time, I saw the Harlem Globetrotters in action on TV and was impressed by their skills as they wiped the floor with the opposition. For about a month I used to rave about the Harlem Globetrotters as if they were the Real Madrid of basketball, until that is a pal told me that they weren’t a proper basketball side and that it was all exhibition stuff. He also said that if the Globetrotters were to play against a proper basketball team, they’d lose. The next time they were on TV, I made a point of watching the opposition rather than the Globetrotters and I immediately saw what he meant. The opposition weren’t making a serious attempt at stopping the Globetrotters and were simply allowing them to show off their tricks to the audience. There was a recent Simpsons episode where Krusty the Clown bets all on the Globetrotters opponents, whilst the Globetrotter player is standing, spinning the ball on his finger, Krusty is screaming at the screen “Take the ball off him, he’s spinning it on his finger, take the ball!”
Any road up, what has all this got to do with the price of meat? I hear you asking, well David Beckham has announced his multi million move to the US of A and the Americans are about to find out that we have our own version of the Harlem Globetrotters in soccer. Beckham will play the odd game and impress the crowd with his keep up skills prior to kick off, free kicks and long punts downfield, oh and I bet he takes the penalties too. But the American crowds are about to see for themselves what we have known for years, David Beckham is a performer, but as far away from a real footballer as the Harlem Globetrotters are to a real basketball team, or the Spice Girls were to real musicians. T. Petrie

Expecting too much? It is no secret among City supporters that the promises of new and better days ahead as we left Maine Road for the new stadium have not been fulfilled and much has been said of that. Like many others I have kept the faith that in spite of what goes on behind the scenes one day it would all come good. I know that on occasions I have voiced my own particular concerns of the lack of a general sense of direction or, sad to say, leadership from within the club but I still clung to that faith. This is in spite of the fact that standard of performance produced for our delectation by the team / manager highlights a distinct lack of coaching preparedness resulting in a system more suited to the mid winter mud and water sodden pitches of Debdale Park in my youth. It would be churlish not to recognise the one area that the coaching staff have had a modicum of success, no doubt due in no small measure to the influence of Mr Wigley. We now have a defence that can kick the ball harder, higher and further than any other team in the premiership and will be even better when they learn to do it with some accuracy. Later the coaching staff may introduce a programme that concentrates on an individual’s ability to receive and control the ball in one movement and then pass it to a team mate wearing the same colour of shirt. Or am I expecting too much too soon? AL.

TRUST I’m not sure whether you know much about this but a group of supporters are trying to set up a supporters trust at City. I’ve met a number of the fans involved and it’s clear they have the best interests of the club at heart.
An open meeting has been planned for Sunday 4th March in Manchester (full details elsewhere in this fanzine) and it’s hoped there will be a good turnout. Many fans are worried about the direction the club is heading in, and there is also concern over the composition of the board. I support the idea of a supporters trust, not because I believe the current board are totally incapable, but because I believe they need some help. I don’t believe they have the necessary skills to run an organisation such as Manchester City FC.
I base this belief on the record level of debt, the lies about the debt being “manageable” (which was shown to be bullshit when we sold SWP) and the fact that we continue to have this huge debt despite having the 17th highest income in Europe.
With that much income we must have some serious outgoings and the money is clearly not being spent on win bonuses. Oh, and we can’t attract serious investment despite this being one of the chief responsibilities of’ Comical Ali’, our so-called Chief Executive. GED.

Monday, 19 February 2007

Distin- The Interview



When a university assignment required me to conduct an interview for radio, I set about obtaining a damn good interviewee. Who better than a City player who has been in and out of the headlines for months and months now? Here's a taster of the interview with Sylvain Distin, the full interview and supporting article will be in March's King of the Kippax!


EB: Obviously there has been much speculation in the media regarding your plans at City. What can you tell us about your future at the club?

SD: (Sighs). My future is tomorrow and tomorrow I will still be at the club so what is going to happen at the end of the season I don’t know. There is a lot of things that have been said but it’s not the first time. Every transfer window I am supposed to go somewhere but at the end of the day I play for City for five years now. People talk, people will talk, you just can’t stop that.





EB: Many people at the moment are campaigning for the cost of match-day tickets to be reduced as attendances drop across the country. How much of a difference does an atmosphere make to a footballer?

SD: A lot, a lot. Because when you are on the pitch and you see the stadium half empty, or half full it’s up to you (laughs), it’s not really enjoyable. So for us it’s different you know; you get free tickets for every game so you give your ticket to your family or your friends, but you have to think about some people who work hard to get a season ticket, to pay their season ticket. And I think they are part of the team too and they are really important in the way we react when we’re in trouble or any problem on the pitch, when you lose 1-0 or when you are 2-0 down and you got the crowd behind you it makes it easier, honestly easier. I remember Maine Road, for me I best in the best atmosphere there. It was (sighs) fantastic; you could be losing 3-0 but then come back to 3-3 because the crowd was behind us.




It's only a taster...but you have to buy King of the Kippax in March to read the full interview- what he really thinks of Psycho's England appointment and how he's dealing with the prospect of a derby cliff-hanger in April.


Emily Brobyn xx

FAC 1/4 Final.

So its another away day and this time its' a little tougher with the opposition being either Blackburn or Arsenal, depending on who wins the replay. I'm not sure which of the two I would prefer, Arsenal are by far the best footballing side I have seen this year yet Blackburn have shown that they are a team who are not frightened of roughing it up when thing are not going their way. Whoever the eventual opposition turns out to be it is not going to be easy.

Arsenal have been FA Cup opponents on three occasions, the first time being way back in season 1903/04 in a second round tie which ended in a 2-0 victory for City. The next time they met was in season when 1931/32 when Arsenal won the semi-final tie 1-0. the last time the two sides met was way back in 1970/71 in the 5th round at Maine Road which Arsenal won 2-1.

The record against Blackburn stands a little better, the two teams having played each other five times including one replay. That was in season 1906/07 when after managing a 2-2 draw away City lost the home replay 1-0. The next time they were drawn together was in season 1933.34 when a 3rd round 2-1 home victory was enough to see City into the next round and they eventually went on to beat Portsmouth in the final. Twenty five years passed before they were drawn together again in season1968/69 . On a very cold February night at Ewood Park two goals each for Tony Coleman and Francis Lee in the 5th round kept gave City a 4-1 victory, as in 1934 they went went on to eventually win the trophy.

So should we hope for Blackburn to beat Arsenal? If they do will that mean that history is about to repeat itself, are the signs looking good? The fantasist inside me says yes, the realist inside me says don't hold your breath.

Saturday, 17 February 2007

THE ALTERNATIVE TOP 14 … Questions to ask ourselves

THE ALTERNATIVE TOP 14 … Questions to ask ourselves
In 20 years time maybe all we will remember from going to the football will be scrunched up knees at Upton Park, wet backsides at Portsmouth and attempting to get a chant going whilst shifting about on a loose piece of wood at Sheffield Wednesday. Or maybe, somewhere in the dusty corridors of our minds, we will remember what it was like before accountants and image consultants got their teeth into our “beautiful game”:
1. Who do the clubs think we are? Forty-eight quid to get in to watch your team get a good panning at Chelsea. Train fares that are the joke of Europe, the same non-entity food in every ground, warm Budweiser at premium prices and every gimmick you can imagine to separate us from our hard-earned cash. Are we still seen as lab rats or now merely fodder for the corporate number crunchers?
2. Who do the players think they are? These are the young lads, who as skinny legged teenagers, didn’t know whether they’d be welders or shoplifters. Now they sit high up behind their tinted Hummer windscreens, splashing mud on passers by like egocentric non-entities, who think they are Ronaldinho’s next incarnation before they have even managed to make fifteen accurate passes to someone wearing the same-coloured shirt.
3. Who do the press think we are? Feeding us endless cheap drivel about Chelsea, Arsenal, United and Liverpool. The dumbing down of football to a level where face paint, a hat with bells on and this year’s calendar (containing the not at all guilty looking faces of at least three stars that already play for somebody else’s favourite team) is all you need to be part of the happy clappy community. Have we all been asked to leave our brains outside? Does anyone go back to the days before the Premiership? Did it all really exist or was it all a good dream?
4. Who do Sky think we are? Now these people are seriously deluding themselves with their confetti showered openings and carefully sponsored minutiae. The best thing to happen to football without a doubt, unless you are a supporter of, say, Portsmouth, actually want to see them play live and find that they are away at Middlesbrough on a Monday night, just for live tv. That last train home goes at six, remember.
5. Who do Budweiser think they are? A sense of humour’s a fine thing and Americans do have one, to a fashion. Budweiser, however, is unfunny whichever way you look at it, even if it’s from above an empty glass that you have just chucked over Peter Kenyon’s shiny pate. The adverts are a cringe, the beer makes you wince and the idea is as off-putting as finding a headless maggot in the apple you have just half finished.
6. Who do City think we are? If Manchester City was a vest it would be one with a hole in it, sweat stains all over and a lingering odour of death. Still can’t get yourself to chuck it out though, can you! Through all the ticket shambles, on-field disasters, defeats from the jaws of victory, ridiculous campaigns to part us from our money, we still stumble full of dread through the turnstiles.
7. Who do we think we are? What right do we have, after all is said and done, to harp on about the good old days, when so many new, in-the-loop football people are telling us we are living the halcyon days now. Maybe we are deluding ourselves. Sitting down in atmosphereless identikit stadia with a warm bud and a plastic hot dog might be the future after all. Just relax and let that extra loud rendition of we will rock you fill those boring pre-kick off minutes.
8. Who do football club chairmen think they are? Freddy Shepherd’s famous anti-Newcastle rant whilst reclining on a leather sofa in the Costa del Sol with his socks on the other side of the room just about sums these guys up. No class, no morals and far, far too much money when related to the brains they own.
9. Who do footballers’ agents think they are? This one’s the straw that will break the camel’s back, a mountain of vile-smelling filth just about to erupt all over the beautiful game and give it the aroma the behaviour of its players and their agents really deserve.
10. Who does Alex Ferguson think he is? For all his winners medals and successful battles, the man has, over the last two decades, brought a nasty, hypocritical and bullying streak to the top echelons of the sport. A bad loser and a cheat, a hypocrite and a bully, showing that mean and ugly does the trick every time, even at the ripe old age of 109.
11. Who does Sylvain Distin think he is? Want to play, sign, if not, leave. It really needn’t be too complex.
12. Who does Abel Xavier think he is? A drug cheat, banned, kept on by his club for compassionate reasons, finally makes a comeback, plays 5 games unspectacularly. Next? Demands a pay rise, as there are “other clubs interested in him”
13. Who does Graham Poll think he is? Fat man with a slight complex about himself. Is he hooked on the limelight, does he get off on rubbing himself against the stars, can’t he see the unedifying spectacle that he has become because of the dazzle off his immense shorts? 93rd minute. New corner flag? Go home.
14. Who do the money men think they are? Are we really seen as such lame, gullible simpletons that they can make it up as they go along and presume that we’ll swallow it all and ask for more? Do they have any idea how close to the wind they are sailing? The limit to this casual manslaughter is approaching and a whole lot of them are about to drop football into the abyss.
Simon Curtis
(The above appears in the current issue of King of the Kippax fanzine and is reproduced here to give a flavour of what the fanzine is all about)

Thursday, 15 February 2007

It's a Fix!!!!!!!!!!! PRESTON (AWAY) F.A.CUP 5TH ROUND SUNDAY FEBRUARY 18TH

It’s A Fix ~ Preston

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 18TH : PRESTON (AWAY) F.A.CUP 5TH ROUND

Last season in this round we drew unforgettably at Villa (23,847, 5,802 City) with Micah’s last minute equaliser, winning the replay at COMS 2-1, Samaras17, Vassell 49, but having a scary last 5 minutes after Davis’s goal, 33,006(3,218 Villa).
Previously we’ve made this round 9 times since our last Wembley appearance in 1981. Here they are to jog your memory, 2 wins and 7 very unlucky losses:-
03/-4 lost 4-2 at O/T
01/02 lost 1-0 at Newcastle
00/01 lost 4-2 at Liverpool
96/97 lost 2-1 at O/T
94/95 lost 3-1 at Newcastle
02/93 won 2-0 at home to Barnsley
90/91 lost 1-0 at Notts County
87/88 won 3-1 at home to Plymouth

Preston were formed in 1881 and were founder members of the Football League, but having a topsy-turvy time of ups and downs throughout the decades, even sinking to the 4th in the 80’s, but have recently steadied in the 2nd (Championship) and have made the play offs regularly.
They were division 1 Champions in 1888 and 1889, runners up 6 times, last in 1958.
Cup winners in 1889, making them the first double winners, and won it again in 1938 and were runners up 5 times, last in 1964 as a second division club.
They’re currently riding high in the Championship, in 4th place, with 56 points from 32 games with 10 wins 4 draws 2 losses at home and 6 wins 4 draws and 6 losses away.

Some names/connections : Proud Preston, Deepdale, Tom Finney, Tommy Docherty, Bill Shankly, Tommy Booth, Dave Connor, Mike Robinson, Neil Young, Jon Macken, Dickson Etuhu, Paul Simpson,..Revie plan in 1955 (0-5), Marsden plan in 1957 (1-6)

Paul Simson’s squad includes : Lonergan, Alexander, Chilvers, Wilson, Hill, Sedgwick, McKenna, Pugh, Mellor, Ricketts, Nugent, Ormerod, Whaley, Henderson, St Ledger, Dichio, Wilson….so a few recognisable ones there

Our form at Deepdale : Only 6 post war league wins up to 1966 season. We didn’t meet again until 98/99 when we drew 1-1 then our last visit in 01/02 when we lost 2-1 to that Jon Macken £5M goal from the half way line. Attendances ranged from 19,367 (’65) to 37,093 (’53) We also won 3-1 in a friendly a couple of years ago.

Our form at Eastlands (in the event of a replay) : Again only 6 post war wins up to 1966. In 98/99 when we met again it was a 1-0 loss, then in 01/02 it was a 3-2 win. League attendances ranged from 12,884 (’65) to 57,663 in ’52.

In The F.A. Cup we played them regularly, 7 times from 1897 to 1948, our last encounter in any cup competition, here they are ;
1897 1st round : 0-6 A 6,000.
1902 : 1st round 1-1 A 10,000 Abandoned
0-0 H 7,000
4-2 A 5,000
1903 : 1st round 1-3 A 8,000
1912 : 1st round 1-0 A 15,000
1915 : 1st round 0-0 A 14,000
3-0 H 19,985
1925 : 1st round 1-4 A 24,536
1948 : 5th round 0-1 H 67,494
So that’s 3 away losses, 2 away draws, 2 away wins, 1 home win, 1 home draw and 1 home loss – in the 10 meetings including replays.

Groundwise: No change to the wonderfully named Deepdale since our last visit. 3 fairly modern stands, though I don’t think we get the whole of the stand behind the goal, like we used to, and the old main stand is now closed. They’ve a statue/fountain of Sir Tom Finney depicting ‘The Splash’ famous photo of the early 60’s at Stamford Bridge at the front of the ground, and Tom and Bill Shankly are depicted in the seats in 2 stands plus someone I didn’t recognise in the other!. If you’re early enough the museum’s worth looking at, though Billy Meredith in united’s colours for the 1904 cup final is a massive boob, to say the least. (I’ve complained)

Comment: They don’t like Blackpool, Burnley, or Blackburn, or us for that matter, very much, and their logo includes a sheep so you don’t have to be too clever to dream up a chant.
Only ourselves to blame if we don’t make the 6th round!?

Stats : 46 pre-war and 46 post, make it 92 league meetings, and post war it’s::
Home : Played 18 won 7 drawn 2 lost 9
Away : Played 18 won 6 drawn 3 lost 9
Last pot : F.A.Cup in 1938
Last att : 21,014
Current home atts : 15,748 last week v Wolves (lost 1-0) Capacity : 22,250, 3,000 for us at £20
WWTWTWshite : Averaged 3,402 in 85/86
Away day zines : None?

Routemaster : M61/M6 junction 31A, and the ground/football museum is then signposted. Car park close to ground. Good pub is The Toy Soldier in Deepdale Retail Park
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Where to begin?



I am 44 years old and have been actively watching City since 1972. One of my first cogent memories is of my dad running around outside our house in Germany, bottle of 'Newcie Brown' in hand as the news of the win at St James’s Park came through. Probably unusually, my dad's family was half red half Blue. I was 'lucky' enough to be brought up the right way I suppose..........As we went on to win the FA Cup I got more involved and by the time of the West Brom League Cup triumph I was hooked.

We returned to England in 1972 and I have early memories of City being a big club, regularly beating United, whilst still managing to get beaten by teams like 2nd Division Forest in the cup of course, having players in every England (and Scotland) squad for a decade, Maine Road being a place teams feared to play at, ah halcyon days!

The 1975-1978 period was a golden era for me. What a team. We went away and played 3 or 4 forwards as often as not. Royle, Tueart, Barnes, Kidd up front, Doyle and Watson at centre half, Asa in midfield, big Joe in goal. The full backs weren't shabby either. I expected us to win every week. The end began when Malcolm returned and systematically dismantled the team. The 80's and 90's were a procession of mediocre seasons followed by poor seasons, there were more false dawns at City than the number of zeroes on Premier League players' pay cheques. It did not seem to matter, the football experience has always been about more than following a winning team.

The vast majority of my time as a Blue has been spent as a season ticket holder, first standing on the Kippax (oh happy days) then in the Main Stand, the new Kippax and now in the East Stand.

My love affair with City in particular and the Premier League in general will end at home to United. Why? Well, in no particular order:

1) A season ticket guarantees entrance but not if the changed kick off times mean I cannot get there. Work travel commitments often make Sunday kick offs impossible and Monday evenings very difficult. We've even had an 11:30 on a Sunday morning!

2) The most important spectator for a club is the TV fan. People who actually attend are low on the priority list. Hmmmmmm, “City away at Norwich. I know let’s play it on a Monday. Only a 10 hour round trip. I’m sure a day off work and getting to bed at 2AM won’t be too much trouble”. I’ve lost count of the number of games I’ve missed because the times have moved. Some of us have to plan our lives more than 4 weeks ahead. We've all booked holidays, flights etc only to see plans screwed up by a date change.

3) Atmosphere is gone thanks to all seated stadia. Big clubs need to tell HMG where to go. Why can I stand up at COMS for an Oasis gig but not for a match??? Why are clubs totally uninterested in bringing in safe standing? It can only be money. Why can I stand in many away ends but not at home? If the Germans can manage safe seating so can we. Many people I speak to would actually pay more to stand.

4) Today's players are completely out of touch with the fans. They only go out to VIP clubs and are protected from us by chains and bouncers. That's if us plebs are allowed in in the first place. God forbid that one of them had to actually talk to one of us. City, for example, have restricted (banned?) players from attending supporters club meetings. City now charge £50 for a signed shirt even for charities. As recently as the early 90's players would always appear in the social club stand a round or two and sign programmes etc. There are exceptions I’m sure but generally the players are aloof and in a different world.

5) Only 3 or 4 clubs will ever win the league again. I know that City have only been a major force for a 10 year period but we have won the league in my lifetime as have Villa, Forest, Everton, Derby, Blackburn, Ipswich and Leeds. There are effectively 16 clubs that are little more than cannon fodder for the big 3 or 4.

6) The gap between top 3 or 4 is getting bigger and bigger. Success is rewarded with more money which brings more success etc etc. Manchester United are nearly 30 points of teams from 8th down. There did not used to be 30 points between top and bottom. How is the game strengthened by giving the already powerful clubs even more money?

7) Players earn obscene amounts of money. An average player earns in a week what the average worker/fan earns in a year. 20 year old average players drive £150,000 cars and are millionaires after a couple of years. I run a company, I earn good money, I believe in a free market. I don't blame the players for taking what is on offer, I just think what's on offer is wrong. 22 man squads and a £30 million total wage bill might level the playing field.

8) Too much football on TV. A live game at 5:30 on a Saturday, for me the most acceptable time for a TV game ,and maybe one at 3pm on a Sunday is enough.

9) Too many cheats. Not enough action taken against them.....unless of course you're Bernado Corradi. How Ronaldo can even be considered as player of the year is beyond me. He is a cheat.

10) Refs have never been perfect but the current bias towards big teams is ridiculous. City fans have always had reasons for believing that United get more than their fair share of the rub of green but with the Sky Blue glasses nowhere in sight I know that Chelsea and Arsenal get decisions that e.g. City, Everton, Spurs, Villa and this week, Wigan do not. How did Scholes stay on the pitch against Spurs?5 bookable offence in a single game. Barton never gets a chance to commit 5 fouls he's sent off after 2. Rooney lunges 2 footed and stays on the pitch, Barton lunges and he's off.

11) The league is a foregone conclusion and the cups are going the same way. One of the big 3 or 4 will win the FA and League cups for 8 out of the next 10 years. I laughed for years at Scottish football, well the laugh's now on me.

12) Rich clubs buy players and do not use them, further weakening the smaller clubs. SWP is a case in point.

13) Expensive, middle of the road quality food and expensive, big brand, zero taste beer in the ground. Why no Manchester beer, no Manchester food?

14) Too many journeyman foreigners in the team. Too many journeymen foreigners in the league. Dabo, Musampa, Riera, etc etc. Does anyone believe they give a monkeys? Here for the coin and nothing else.

15) No continuity in the team. It is 5 out and 5 in most summers. It’s hard to get behind a team when half of it changes every year.

16) The Sky money should be spread around more. Some should go to the smaller clubs and youth development. Some should be used to reduce ticket prices.

As you may have deduced, I will not be renewing. It is possible that I'll not even bother going to City again after this season unless some of the above changes. I love football, I am a City fan but my game has been taken away from me and my team are irrelevant. Unfortunately I think this is true of every club bar United, Arsenal, Chelsea (until Abramovich leaves) and Liverpool.

Stalybridge Celtic, Mossley and maybe Rochdale, Bury etc will get my hard earned cash. I can turn up at 2pm, have a beer in the social club or a local boozer, talk to some fans (home and away), eat a decent pie, pay on the gate, watch 22 players play a game free of diving and be home for 6. (Remember when it was like this?). It won't be City, there will be non of the ecstasy and agony of being a partisan supporter but this is outweighed by the good side.

There are some positives coming from the club. City's £95 junior season ticket is to be applauded but it changes none of the above.

I hope something changes, I suspect it won’t. The vision of COMS with 25,000 in every week, except for when United visit, is going to come true some time soon. The club and all middle ranking clubs have to wake up or we will be just like every other league in Europe, a handful of clubs that can win something and a handful of clubs with full grounds. How much will Sky pay to broadcast games from 1/2 empty stadia?

I have thought about starting an internet campaign to try to get our game back. The problem is the only people who are really bothered about the state of the game are those of us who can remember what it was like pre Premier League. If it was actually possible to get a nationwide boycott of all games on a single weekend just to show what the game would be like without us maybe some of the clubs would wake up. As the recent boycott at Bolton showed, however, it is not possible to get people not to go. I have a dream of everyone turning up at the ground as normal but spending the whole 90 minutes outside the stadium, a demonstration of positive commitment to make a real point. It will never happen of course but imagine the impact.

None of the above mentions the fact that the football is stultifyingly crap. It would be nice if we played open flowing attacking football and if the opposition tried to do the same of course but the quality of football is not the reason I'm sick to death of the Premier League in general and City in particular.

Will MCFC give a toss if I don't renew? I doubt it. My seat is in the 2nd tier of the East stand, 5 seats to the right of the corporate seats, it will be snapped up in an instant.

City 'til I Die

Mike Strahand/The Blue Doctor

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

ONE LOVE

As following the Blues at the moment is just too depressing, we took ourselves off to the Lowry (art centre, not hotel) to see the exhibition called 'One Love' featuring the winners and also-rans of the Umbro Football Art Prize. Here at last was a win for the Blues. well, one Blue - Ben Kelly a City fan and winner of the first prize of £15,000! Congratulations, Ben.
The entries on view covered a large range of football experiences and artistic ability and technique. My personal favourite was 'One Nil to the Albion'. In terms of draughtsmanship it was superb - from the discarded copy of the Sun newspaper, to the picture of Diana on the wall, the sauce bottles, the Gorillaz poster, the wipe marks on the steamy window to, best of all, the passionate fan, unable to attend the nearby game, alone in the deserted cafe, urging his team to victory. I felt his passion. I've experienced his exclusion.
Other paintings which 'did it' for me were: Renata jansen's 'An evening match in Wyebank Township, South Africa' which was so warm and colourful, with perfect lighting; Ciaran Gallagher's 'Magical European nights on the Kop' which captured the magnificence of Anfield in full flow, I swear I could hear 'You'll never walk Alone' as the gigantic flag moved across the crowd; similar to this, but not so passionate was Derek Eland's 'At the match' ; then there was, in a totally different style, Roy Winderbank's 'Top Corner', a precise and detailed little recording of a muddy, puddled ground out in the styx with Sunday league players believing they'd give Pele a run for his money; and Jackie West's depiction of football crowds, as experienced from within - the dark closeness of strangers. There really were so many 'pictures' to enjoy. One group that especially made me laugh was by Paul Butler - three white boards painted with black gloss showing all the life, conflict and movement in a typical football crowd.
As I write this it occurs to me that my personal preferences are those which depict the sensations of the football fans, rather than the players or the football hierarchy. Interestingly, only one of the winners identified specifically with the fans - Higino Octavio's photograph 'Carling Cup football fans style'. Perhaps a down-to-earth, ordinary Football supporter should have been included on the judging panel? Maybe then some of the somewhat obscure, surreal choices might not have made it to the exhibition. Certainly some paintings seemed to have been painted for some entirely different reason, then given a football title in the hope of winning a substantial prize. And one entry, by Neville Gabie - a series of photographs of goalposts in all sorts of odd and exotic, or drab locations (and which I rather liked) seemed familiar - and then I discovered it was part of the inside cover of a FIFA book called 'A Hundred Years of Football' published in 2004.
Whatever - Art, like football, is all about opinions. I urge you to call in at the Lowry and take a look.

Monday, 12 February 2007

Welcome

Welcome to the King of the Kippax blogspot - and congratulations to Emily for being the first to post. And even more congrats to her for gaining an interview with Sylvain Distin. I don't suppose he'll give a straight answer to this, but I'd like to know what the 'heated debate' , which he appeared to be having with Pearce during the Portsmouth game, was all about.
And things are hotting up at KK Towers too this week as we prepare the next issue - no. 148 - of the fanzine.
All contributions should be in, or on their way by now - Friday at the latest.
Happy Birthday wishes to Andy Williams (no, not HIM). We attended his 60th Birthday bash yesterday - along with author Ian Penney, and the great Buzz Hawkins (Billie Bradshaw couldn't make it - think he'd been grounded or something - why do parents do that? Surely if you're P'd off with your kids the last thing you want is them moping around the house?). Entertainment came from prize winning comedy singer/songwriter Dominic Collins who amused us with songs like "Our new Ancoats Maisonette", "The nose picking song", "Can you lend me a tenner please dad?" and, of course, "Being a City fan" - brill.
KOTK Editor

Saturday, 10 February 2007

Quizzing Mr Distin

On Friday I am going to interviewing Sylvain Distin, so if any of you guys have any questions that you would like me to put to him (apart from the obvious 'why won't you sign your contract Sylvain'), please let me know on here before Thursday!
Keep the faith,
Emily Brobyn xx

Monday, 5 February 2007

Who We Are

In the beginning was the word and the word was violence.
It was 1988 and we didn't feel proud to be football fans.

And yet all the fans we knew were peace loving followers of the beautiful game, which was being corrupted by a mindless minority, and the national press was 'luvvin' it'.

The ordinary fan had no voice - except in the various football fanzines which were starting to fill the shelves of bookshops and newspaper stands throughout the land.
Manchester City had 'Blueprint', a worthy publication to which many of us like-minded souls contributed. But when it failed to hit the streets for the first game of the season Dave (our editor) lost his patience and, encouraged by fellow fans, he started 'King of the Kippax' with a £400 bankloan.

The name 'King of the Kippax' refers, of course, to Colin Bell, who was undoubtedly the king of City's most vociferous stand (at least it was until it was re-built and seated), but it also refers to the fans, who are kings ( and queens - can we say that?!) because they surely have blue blood in their veins.

The first issue went on sale at Barnsley in October '88. It sold out.
City fans clearly needed more than one outlet for their passions, frustrations, comments and comic remarks.
In the years that followed we moved from typewriter to Amstrad, to computer, to.. er..better computer, but our aims have remained the same - to provide a platform for City fans to air their views. These views are as varied as the fans themselves, and we've gradually built up a solid, reliable bunch of contributors who continually surprise and delight us with their writing skills, educated opinions and often 'off the wall' imagery. Some have come and gone, some have stayed for the long term, new ones join us all the time. We have campaigned, lobbied, teased and triumphed (well not often, admittedly), but we have always tried to stay loyal to our slogan - 'For the Fans, by the Fans'.


We accept no paid advertising, so the price of the 'zine reflects the cost of production, administration and distribution. Any profits are ploughed back in.In the Wallace household the fanzine is king. It takes up huge amounts of our time, and fills every spare bit of space in our home, but we love it, care for and do our best for it, as if it were another member of the family. It has brought us controversy, criticism, praise and some pain. Best of all it has brought us some wonderful friends and for that we are always grateful.