Saturday, 29 September 2007

LATEST ISSUE NOW ON SALE

The latest King of the Kippax (number 153) is now on sale. The last two issues sold out (but we have a few returns of issue 152 from outlets - so if you missed out please phone, or ask Dave) - so buy your copy early to 'avoid disappointment', as they say.
Also near completion, and due in the shops by November, is the latest KOTK publication CENTURY CITY - a hardback book about the 1957/58 season when we achieved the unique record of 100 goals for and against. It is more than a dry record of events as it covers that season from all angles and views it within the context of that era. Dave's ground diagrams, a feature of 'It's a Fix', are adjusted to reveal the stadia at that time; fans famous, not so famous, or even infamous, tell their own stories, as do some of the players. The book is packed with visual references which, just by flicking the pages, provide the flavour of the late fifties in football terms.
If you wish to pre order a copy before mid October for the discounted price of £12.95 inc p&p in UK (RRP £14.95) please write to the KOTK address with a cheque for that amount (payable to King of the Kippax). If you contact us before October 6th you can also have your name printed in the book.

As you can imagine, life has been hectic at KK Towers recently as we've worked hard to reach the deadlines for the book, whilst still maintaining regular production of the fanzine, so if we seem a bit distracted when we meet, or if we haven't been as attentive to this blogsite as we should have been (and we haven't) please accept our apologies. Family issues have also been paramount recently, which have added further complications. So many thanks to David Mooney who has kept this blogspot going with his postings, and Emily Brobyn who has given KOTK a mention on Facebook.
To everyone who's e-mailed or written to us recently and hasn't had a satisfactory response, please bear with us, we're trying to catch up.
Meanwhile, we're actually enjoying going to City again - even at stupid kick-off times like today's. So many thanks to Svenny for that - but PLEASE, Sven, take the cup competitions seriously.

Cheers, Sue

IT'S A FIX - Newcastle (Home)

8) SAT. SEPT. 29TH : NEWCASTLE (HOME) K.O. 12.45PM

Well, it should have been Boro at home but because of the club’s cock up with the end of season fixture owing to the UEFA Cup final being at COMS it’s now switched with Newcastle at
home, and spare a thought for those Northern Rock boys having to travel down early due to the 12.45 kick off time.

Formed in 1892, into div 1 in 1898, staying until the thirties. Back up in ’48, ups and downs in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, just missed the title in ’96.
Regularly won trophies until ’69, 5 league titles, 6 times F.A.Cup winners, Euro Fairs Cup winners ’69.
Names and famous fans are : Milburn, Gazza, Waddle, MacDonald, Ant and Dec, John McCririck, Tony Blair.
High profile connections include Wyn Davies, George Hannah, Peter Beardsley, Steve Howey, Stu Pearce, Sylvain Distin, Darren Huckerby, Andy Cole, Kevin Keegan, Antoine Sibierski, Joey Barton..

Sam Allardyce’s squad includes : Harper, Cacapa, Rozenhal, N’Zogbia, Baldy Butt (boo), Geremi, Milner, Owen, Viduka, Smith (double boo), Given, Martins, Ameobi, Barton, Duff, Carr…

Last season : It was a dull 0-0 draw at COMS in November, but we had a rare 1-0 win at St James’ Park in March with a Mpenza beauty in the 79 th minute as we hung on in front of 52,004 (2,129 Blues). Glen Roeder went, so did the good Shepherd (!) they got a new investor and big Sam came in plus a few signings so they’re expecting to do better than last season’s 13TH place.with 43 points

This season so far : Parker, O’Brien, Bramble, Sibierski, Onyewu, Moore, Bernard, Smicek, Gate have gone for £7M. Viduka, Barton, Rozehnal, Geremi, and Smith have come in for £16M. They’re currently in 9th place with 8 points from 4 games and one win one draw and no losses away from home, though they play at Derby tonight. .

Our form at home v Newcastle : We’ve lost only once (0-1 in 00/01) in the last 10. P/W attendances here have ranged from 10,215 (64/65) to 60,844 (F.A.Cup ’69). Best moments were 5-1’s in ’31, ’59, and ’75, 4-0 in ’76 and ’78. Worst 4-5 in FAC 3 replay in 56/57.

Wind ups: Where were you….

Comment : Michael Owen’s back with a bang, and he usually does well against us, so watch out. Also their away shirt is now sky blue but obviously not today!

Stats : 66 pre-war and 78 post make it our 145th league meeting, and p/w in Manc it’s :
Played : 39, won 21 drawn 11 lost 7
Lasr Pot : Euro Fairs Cup Winners Cup in 1969
Last Attendance : 40,571 (2,767 N/Castle)
WWTWTW Shite : Crowds down to around 10,000 in the early 80’s, but still averaged around 18,000
Current average :50,755

Friday, 28 September 2007

Caption Contest...

Answers in a comment!



The best one(s) get... uh... a pat on the back!

David Mooney

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Err... Could the last one out get the lights?

The attendance for the game against Aston Villa was the first below the 40,000 mark for a Saturday match since 3 March 2007 - (Man City v. Wigan). With the team being second in the league, it seems strange that attendances haven't picked up. There have been a number of reasons put forward by our fans for this and I'm going to look at them in an attempt to work out why.

1. Poor football under Stuart Pearce
A lot of people didn't renew their season tickets with the belief that last season's performances were poorer than they have been for a while. We could get into reasons why they were poor, but I feel I did that enough last season and my opinion that our club treated SP badly still stands.

However, we are no longer managed by Stuart Pearce, no longer are we struggling for money and no longer do we have players from the bargain basement. We're not struggling to put in the performances and already this season there have been times when we have played well and moved the ball as well as any team in the league.

So, why haven't those people who didn't renew come back? Stubborness? Possibly, although I doubt it. So I don't think this is the main reason that attendances are low this season.

2. Changing kick off times
Fair enough, some people do travel a large distance before the game, so a midday kick off could be difficult for them to get to. Especially if the game is on Sky TV and in a nearby pub. In these cases it's understandable that people don't make the trip.

However, these people are unlikely to be season ticket holders. Season ticket holders generally know and accept that kick offs are subject to change and will usually get to the game, whether it means getting up or leaving at 8.00. There are games that some people know they won't be able to make - for example whilst on holiday (booked before the fixtures were announced).

Kick off times are more likely to affect those who just buy the odd ticket, as they will be more inclined to just watch it down the pub or on Sky TV. This could be a main factor, as the majority of seats aren't taken by season ticket holders.

3. Ticket prices
This one's the biggie. Ticket prices over the last ten years have skyrocketed. Category A games (the big ones like United, Arsenal, Chelsea) for the North/South stand costs £30 for a single adult. For a family to sit there for one game (two adults, two children), it will cost £80 - anyone good at maths can work out how much an U16's ticket costs.

I admit I've gone to the extreme there, as most games are category B or C games, but we are by far and away one of the best sides in the Premiership for ticket prices. Wigan wanted £40 per adult for City fans - and most of us think that was because we usually fill the away end. It serves them right for expecting us to fill it and it was a good move by City fans to boycott the JJB.

Personally, I think that expensive ticket prices are the main reason why people don't turn out for games, because it is cheaper to actually watch the game on Sky or on the internet with that clever programme that lets you do it.

4. Games being shown on dodgy arab channels in pubs
I think this reason, combined with ticket prices, could be a factor. After all, the pubs offer the service for free (it may be illegal, but very few landlords are caught for it) because they want football fans into their establishments, spending money.

If you can go in and enjoy the atmosphere with other City fans, for the price of a pint, then it's easily better than forking out £30 to watch a game in the cold, in a half-full stadium. But I think this isn't a reason in itself. Add it to the fact that tickets are so expensive and the British weather so unpredictable (why the weatherman never says "your guess is as good as ours, really", I don't know).

5. Smoking ban
Are people really that addicted to cigarettes that they would give up their ticket? I am not a smoker, so I don't know to the extent people can be addicted. Maybe it's the fact they have to watch City for 90 minutes means they need a cigarette, I don't know.

Nevertheless, I have heard this reason quoted as to why some people don't go to the game, so it is valid to mention it. I don't think it carries much substance, though, because I'm sure most smokers are able to refrain from smoking for two hours.

So, what causes a dip in attendances?
Personally, I'd say a combination of ticket prices and the fact that games can be viewed elsewhere much cheaper - usually in more comfortable places - is causing people to stay away from Eastlands.

However, I don't think it's just City struggling with attendances. If you watch on Match of the Day, any stadium that isn't home to Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal or Liverpool seem to struggle to be filled regularly. So maybe it's a Premiership problem, rather than a City problem.

Nevertheless, lowering ticket prices (in my opinion) would draw more people in. Especially as income from ticket sales isn't as majorly important as it used to be.

Anyone with any thoughts on this matter, or a reason why you have given up your ticket, please do comment and feel free to let us know.

David Mooney

Monday, 17 September 2007

HOW WAS IT FOR YOU? City v Aston Villa

BACK TO WINNING WAYS

The portents of doom were out in force as prior to the game Sven and Micah were announced as the Barclays Manager and Player of the Month for August. Villa started well, but every so often we got a bit of free-flowing football and one great bit of interplay ended with Johnno smashing the ball into Carson’s face. At the other end we were struggling to cope with Villa’s height, but mini-Schmikes seems to have lost some of his uncertainty and elects to punch rather than catch as soon as the cross is hit. There were still too many last-ditch tackles for my liking but without Richard Dunne the defence held out and produced our fourth clean sheet of the season, though some of that was due to Tevez-style finishing from Carew, Moore and Agbonlahor.
The only goal of the game was started and scored by Michael Johnson and involved some excellent work by Elano. Late in the game Johnno was fouled in the box but elected to stay on his feet as he’s an honest player unlike the snivelling tart at the swamp. Bianchi, on as a sub could have sealed it but his shot hit a defender after he’d rounded the keeper.
Vaz failed for the second successive home game against his former club, and I believe that had we started with Rolo and Mpenza up front it could have been a more comfortable win.
So that’s twelve points from six games, not a bad return from a team yet to gel.

GED

Sunday, 16 September 2007

IT'S A FIX - Aston Villa

6) SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 16TH VILLA (HOME) KO 4PM

Ex Blue Martin O’Neill’s squad so far has lost : Hughes, Samuel, McCann, Henderson, Olejniik, Angel, Hendrie, Davis, Sutton, Ridgewell pulling in £8M, and they’ve spent £11.2 M on new players : Reo-Coker, Harewood, Lichaj, adding to ; Taylor, Sorensen, Mellberg, Laursen, Cahill, Bouma, Bardsley, Barry, Petrov, Young, Gardner, Moore, Agebonlahor, Taylor, Hughes, Maloney, Berger, Carew, Cahill, Osborne, Samuel, Sorensen

Last season : We had our customary win at Villa in a mid week November game, 3-1 with goals from Vassell, Barton and Distin in one of our best performances of the season (30,124, but only 1,355 Blues) Astonishingly we let them beat us at COMS last April, 2-0 Joey B missing a penalty at 1-0 down.
They finally got rid of Doug Ellis, Randy Lerner coming in from the USA, finished in 11th position with 50 points and 4 wins 9 draws and 6 losses away from home. They went out of the cup in the third round and of the Carling in the 4th.

This season so far: They’re in 11th spot from four games with 7 points and no wins and one draw away from home.

Our form v Villa in Manc: post-war attendances have ranged from 20,935 (85/86) to 52,869 47/48)
4 wins in the last 5 for us plus the cup tie at Coms., and they’ve only won 2 in our last 13 league and cup visits. In fact in our last 17 meetings home and away + 3 cup ties they’ve beaten us just three times.

Biggest games were winning the 1934 semi 6-1 (at Huddersfield), and the ’72 Charity Shield 1-0 at Villa.Park

Comment : Martin v Sven. We need to regain our winning ways against Villa, starting today, and ‘shit on the Villa’ does run nicely off the tongue.

STATS: 58 pre-war and 78 post, make it our 137th league meeting and in Manc P/W it’s:-
Played 39 Won 17 Drawn 11 (last in ’95) Lost 11.
Last Pot: League Cup 1996
Last attendance: 40,799 (2,847 Villa.)
WWTWTWShite? – Averaged 15,237 in 85/86Last season’s Average : 35,862

UPDATE

Blackburn away. Lost 1-0. So two weeks to get over it whilst most of the boys were away on International duty. Micah in particular starring for England with old boy SWP looking impressive too.
Stephen Ireland scored for the ROI then blotted his copybook with some cock and bull story about his grandmother’s dying instead of owning up that his girlfriend had a miscarriage and wanted him home. So whether he’ll play v Villa today we don’t know, probably not.
Paul Dickov had gone to Crystal Palace on loan, following on from Corradi to Palma, and Danny Mills to Charlton. There were no more incoming players.
Round and about the Prem starts to take on a familiar look with Arsenal going top after the 3-1 win at Spurs, making Jol’s position look even more dodgy. United won at Everton, Liverpool drew at Pompey and Chelsea drew at home to Blackburn, so the three of them are on eleven points.
Today we’ve got Villa at home. They’re hot from a 2-0 win over Chelsea the other week, so despite our usual (before last season) winning ways against them it’s going to be another stern test. If we win we go second on 12 points, a draw will keep us up there, but a loss will see us drop a few places - unthinkable before our next run of games which include, after Fulham, four homes on the trot.
This weekend sees us putting together KOTK 153, which should be out at Fulham, so it’s the last selling day for KOTK 152, and there’s not many left, so you’ll have to be quick to snap one up. Good luck.
Progress on the KOTK book ‘Century City’ is steady and it should be at the printers by the end of September, and hopefully be hot off the presses by November. Details of ordering for advanced copies will be posted on this blog and in the next zine and we hope you’ll support this venture of ours and enjoy a very different City book.
Dave

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

HOW WAS IT FOR YOU? - BLACKBURN ROVERS

NEIL SHAW reports:-

Anyone who takes a drum into a football stadium should be executed

Ewood, Ewood, bloody Ewood. Dark satanic smog infested Ewood. Irritating Ewood, irritating fans, irritating stewards. Arrive in a bad mood. Leave in a bad mood.
The journey is depressingly familiar. Three motorways and down the hill with the large pub at the bottom. If this is the heart and soul of real Lancashire then it’s my good fortune to live in the Peak District.
Blackburn personify the way that Mark Hughes enjoyed his football with speed, skill and a fair degree of nastiness. They are solid and streetwise, but often resemble the Leeds United of the early Seventies.
All our new signings have settled quickly, but Roque Santa Cruz looks a handful. Blackburn also enjoy a few attacking options compared to a City side which, when not firing on all cylinders looks a little lightweight.
The jury is still out on Steven Ireland. All flicks and feints, dummies and shimmies, but what does he contribute on the days when the opposition are too strong?
Ditto Kasper Schmeichel. City have only conceded one goal but in almost every game we’ve looked vulnerable from set pieces. Will we learn from our mistakes or will the Season meander into a series of defensive blunders with our keeper in no mans land?
As the kick off approaches the heavens open and in true Blackburn tradition we all get drenched...
It always pisses down at Ewood. It pissed it down when Rosler and Walsh slowed the Jack Walker juggernaut. It pissed it down when Anelka netted in the last minute and it pissed it down on both occasions last season. In fact apart from the Joe Royle promotion it’s not stopped raining in Blackburn for Twenty years.
Yet another away kit, but whether maroon, yellow, or some variation of red and black the performance is always the same at Ewood. Overpowered outmuscled and that twat banging his drum behind the other goal.
A needless corner conceded with Elano and David Dunn bickering in the background. Elano is probably innocent, but he’s quickly acquiring an unwanted reputation. This is England and skilful players are going to get kicked. Accept it and take the piss by scoring the winner.
Blackburn score from an inswinging set piece and then hit the woodwork from an inswinging set piece. Funnily enough Vidic hit the bar and Tevez almost equalized in the last minute from an inswinging set piece. Everyone makes mistakes, but only idiots make the same mistake.
I leave with ten minutes remaining. I missed late equalizers at Blackpool in '88 and Notts County in '98. I’m due another one, but not today.
When the fixtures came out we would have been delighted with five or six points after five games. Nobody expected nine points, but already the doom merchants are infesting the websites. City aren’t going to qualify, for the Champions League, but it’s a big improvement on last season. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it only took Sven three years at Lazio.

HOW WAS IT FOR YOU? - BRISTOL CITY

TOM PITT-BROOKE (AGED 14) submits his report on the game at Bristol City:-

Tuesday 28th August 2007

Bristol City 1 – 2 City
Orr (69)
Mpenza (17), Bianchi (81)

City came into the game knowing that this sort of tie would not have been given so much publicity last season, but naturally, given how the Eriksson effect is still fresh enough for the media, the Sky cameras travelled to Ashton Gate.
An incentive to watch the game on the box, perhaps, but the City contingent were in full force. And why not? Neutrals may not yet have realised it (their interests entirely focused on Sven) but City have developed into a club that anyone would enjoy to watch.
And I wish the journalists would stop talking about Sven for a minute (as much as I like to see them nervously backtrack over their comments twelve months ago, where the whole nation tried to rip his reputation to shreds), and wake up to the fact that City are now an impressive footballing side.
And although we fielded a less experienced team, with starts handed to Logan and Fernandes, we soon found out that our creative spark was not something that applied solely to individuals that we had signed, such as Elano, but was a mentality that had been transferred throughout the team.
Needless to say City came out of the blocks firing and fully deserved to take the lead on seventeen minutes. Steven Ireland, now liberated by the fact he is no longer playing in the shadow of Joey Barton, found Rolando Bianchi, who, in true Bianchi fashion, laid the ball off to the onrushing Mpenza.
The ball rocketed into the roof of the net to give City a deserved lead, Mpenza and Bianchi showing that they can be a real force in tandem with some devastating link-up play.
Confidence buoyed, the Belgian international was instrumental as the first half grew older. And from the City team in general, it was quite literally samba football.
Gelson Fernandes showed his potential with glimmers of talent. Calm on the ball and urgent off it, he was a potent force in the middle of the park and was one to catch the eye.
But he was not the only one eager to impress. It is a fact of life that a squad with players battling for places is healthier than a squad where everyone knows they will always get a game.
Michael Ball shot over from long range and Shaleum Logan, on his senior debut, hit wide after a mazy run. At the break it was still only 1-0, and City, despite their promise, had failed to kill off the game.

Creditably, Bristol City came back into it after the break and it was a more tightly contested affair. Suddenly it felt like a cup-tie, no quarter being given or asked by the home team and a newfound ferocity in a midfield that they hoped would supply star striker Lee Trundle with goal-scoring opportunities.
Bristol managed to overcome the deficit with a Bradley Orr strike from a free kick, and it brought the game onto a knife-edge.
But the goal did not rush the City side into a state of panic. Where previous sides would have wilted under the boisterous backdrop of the Bristol faithful, the new City outlook stood firm with Corluka and Onuoha (who was captaining the side) refusing to back down, knowing that the forward players had enough quality to produce goals from out of nowhere.

Sure enough, Bianchi was the man to grab City’s winner. A goal was the least he deserved from his imperious first-half showing, but this was no ordinary goal. From just outside the “D”, the Italian rifled home into the bottom corner to give City a lead.
“He comes from Italy, he plays for Man City” was the song, but that was only the tip of the iceberg. The song failed to mention his determination, first touch, ariel ability or eye for goal, attributes all of which he exhibited tonight.

So with a touch of class from one of the new boys, City progressed into the next round. The home side thought they had a late equaliser, but the flag was up against Michael Macindoe as City saw out the win.
The last time Macindoe played against City he was instrumental in plotting their downfall as the Blues crashed out on penalties to Doncaster. He almost grabbed the headlines again, first after being denied by the acrobatic Joe Hart, and second with his disallowed goal.
But in truth Macindoe had come across a different City side last night – perhaps more adventurous than ever before.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

UPDATE and IT'S A FIX - Blackburn

Bristol was OK. Nice, sunny day again, we’ve been lucky with the fixtures so far considering the crap summer we’ve had. Did an early one and had a wander round Blaise Castle on the way down. First bloke we saw had a rag shirt on, with Rooney on the back! Bristol, I ask you.
Good turn out of Blues, great first half performance. Bristol played like men possessed in the second half, but we shaded it with Bianchi’s strike. Their late ‘goal’ was flagged offside miles before it went in, so a good performance from our second string, and a brilliant save from Joe Hart winning a standing ovation from .... Kasper Schmeichel - that's what we want to see, genuine team spirit.
It went off outside, apparently, but had cleared up by the time we’d finished flogging KotK. Thought the programme was a cracker too.
Just heard we’ve drawn Norwich in the next round, who we usually beat. In fact if you’re looking for omens we’ve never lost in the league cup to them, and beat them on the way to Wembley in 1981 (F.A.Cup) and 1976 (League cup)
Corradi’s gone to some club I’ve never heard of on loan, and Danny Mills has gone to Charlton, also on loan!
Blackburn tomorrow, if we win we could go top again, and always a nice place to visit, with a big allocation for Blues at £20 a ticket, and a short trip. So no excuses for not going and singing your hearts out for the lads.

Mark Hughes’ squad so far has lost Gray and Todd, pulling in £375K, and they’ve spent £3.85M on Nielsen, Rigters, Samba one time City target Cruz so it’ll be interesting to compare him with Bianchi, to add to old boys Friedel, Mokoena, Savage (boo!), Gallagher, Pedersen, Roberts, McCarthy (another one time city target), Jeffers, Kuqi, Reid, Khizanishvili, Tugay, Bentley, Dunn, Warnock, Ooijer, Derbyshire, Henchoz, ….

Last season : They beat us three times. In the league it was a 4-2 defeat at Ewood in September, then a 3-0 home defeat in January, (36,590, 1,127 Rovers), and of course the infamous cup defeat in the 6th round in March when they were down to ten men and we couldn’t take advantage, causing many Blues fans to go apoplectic in the Darwen end.
They finished in tenth place with fifty two points and nine wins three draws and seven losses at home. They reached the semi final of the FA cup going out unluckily to Chelsea, but were out of the Carling and UEFA early doors. One time City target Benni McCarthy was top scorer with twenty four goals.

This season so far : They’ve progressed in the UEFA and had a good start – unbeaten in their first seven fixtures. Down as a grudge match by the media, as Sven nearly became their manager in 1996. Phew, that was a close one eh!..

Our form at Blackburn : Plenty of lows at Ewood -three 4-1 defeats in the early 60’s, but a few highs too with the most memorable being the 4-1 promotion clincher in 2000. 37,400 in 50/51 highest att and 12,900 lowest in 62/63
No real wind ups again, though they don’t like Burnley and Accrington Stanley are even more famous than they are these days.
Prior to last season's surrenders, in the previous seven league visits we’d managed three wins and one draw. So Sven v Hughes? C’mon Sven.

Groundwise: Once held 61,783, now 32,000 and no changes since our last visit. We’ll have the Darwen end, where the ticket prices are now sensible after last season’s boycott...
Recent KOTK problems with their stewards and Safety Officer were resolved last season, provided we didn’t sell in the ground. Fair enough, almost!.

STATS: 60 pre-war and 42 post war, make it our 103rd league meeting and at Ewood it’s:
Played 21 Won 4 drawn 1 Lost 16 (ugh!)
Last Pot: League (Worthy) Cup in 2002.
Last attendance: 18,403 (2, 807 Blues) league, 27,743 (7, 487 Blues) cup
Where were they when they were shite? – Av’d 5,826 in ‘85/86.
Last seasons average: 21,197
Away Day zine: ‘4,000 Holes’.
Route: Various , but country route is A666 through Bolton, ground on right about a mile after M 65 j 4.
Parking: Car Parks and on street, takes ages to get away.
Pubs: Fernhurst on Bolton Road, near the away end. The Golden Cup, Bear Hotel, The Navigator, near the station.

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