Billy Plutch

Welcome to the exploits of Billy Plutch, you know him, you see him wandering around at every City game, as in a daze, with a half formed opinion on every subject. He pre dates Twitter, but you would usually struggle to get 140 coherent characters out of him

October 17. Away Daze Pity about the Liverpool supporters complaining about no public transport home after their Boxing Day game at Leicester. If their club takes the Premier League billions, what do they expect? Some YCS members regularly face that dilemma for home games and have a lot further to travel home. Meanwhile, stay at home Liverpool fans are complaining that the game is only live on a new channel which means they need to pay another subscription.
August 27. Reduced Solidarity Sorry to hear of Bury's demise, but noted they received £450,000 from the Premier League solidarity payments, that’s £20,000 less than City used to get, apparently due to a reduction in TV revenues.
August 24. Like Father, Like Son Wonder goal from Harvey Barnes, but he’s still some way short of matching his dad’s exploits.
August 20. Greedy Pep Pep Guardiola claims Manchester City’s allocation of 40 Premier League winners’ medals is not enough. With a squad of 25, it seems more than enough to me. Who else deserves them? Chef, coach driver, bottom wiper or some of those fans whose seats are always empty at home games? You decide.
July. Can't Giveaway Good to see Manchester United having the same troubles at City in their struggles to offload unwanted players.
May. Chop, Chop Fulham are relegated after following City’s successful model for failure. Get a heap of players, chop and change the team every week and hope for the best.
April 3. White Hart Lane (Mark 2) Got to the new White Hart Lane for the opening game against Crystal Palace. I was front row, bang up in front of the players, give me an old fashioned ground any day, sight obscured seats well away from the Premier League prima donnas. Incidentally, hope Monks Cross is known as “The new Bootham Crescent”.
March 31. Joe Hart (Mark 2) Saw Jordan Pickford out for a fight in Sunderland, had to be calmed down by his friends, just like he is on the pitch. Anyone else thinks his on field antics mark him out as Joe Hart Mark 2?
June 8. Mid winter break or not? Given the fixtures have been squeezed up to fit in a mid season break (at a time when about half the PL clubs won't have a game anyway), I don't see much benefit. Reduce the PL to 18 clubs and free up 4 weeks? #PLgreed #FACup_coffin_nail
April 26. R FFS Just caught up with Channel 4’s new offering, “The Real Football Fans Show”. Opening sequence stated it was dedicated to fans of all Premier League clubs. Some misnomer.
January 23. Congrats Spurs England Woman appoint Phil Neville. Not sure if appointing the only male in an otherwise all female short list counts as applying the “Rooney Rule”.
January 8. Rooney Rule Well done England, they’ve decided to apply the so called “Rooney Rule” and look to interview a BAME candidate for coaching roles across all their 28 teams.
January 1. Happy New Year (or is it?) Worrying comments from Jason McGill in today’s programme.
October 14. Congrats Spurs Spurs have now won more games at their Wembley home than York City.
October 14. Louis Almond or Kevin de Bruyne? Plaudits a plenty for de Bruyne's 5 assists today against Stoke. The pundits are going over board, is he the world's greatest player they ask. Glad we didn't go over board when Louis Almond did the same against Bradford PA.
October 14. Mourinho. Miracle Worker Who'd have thought Jose would work a miracle at Anfield and make Liverpool's porous defence look like world beaters?
October 7. Pulling Power Interesting to read reports from Darlo that Adam Bartlett turned down a move to City to concentrate on his part time roles as Darlo keeper and Newcastle coach. Perhaps, our finances (and pulling power) aren’t as great as they once were.
September 7. Transfer Deadline #2 So the big boys vote to bring their deadline forward by 3 weeks. Another option might have been to move the start of the season to the close of the end of August and the existing transfer window (at the same time cutting the Premier League by 2 clubs, savings 4 fixtures, giving players a longer closed season and a less strenuous season).
September 5. The Tunnel Spennymoor - Another away ground with no segregation. Maybe we should re-open the tunnel behind the Pop Stand so we can change ends at half time. It seems that many NLN grounds have no segregation and if it was open, then City would always be attacking the home fans, removing that disappointment / jinx etc when we attack the Shippo in the first half.
September 4. Aidan Connolly If he really wants to leave the club (more later), then maybe he should just ask City to rip up his contract and then he can leave immediately. Being demoted to training with the kids will cost City his wages every week. I doubt we’ll get much (if any) money for him from the likes of Chorley or any other non league club who can buy him now. However, I just wonder if Connolly really meant he wants to leave or just doesn't want to play for Mills after the criticism he received.
September 4. FA Cup Hoping we got a real minnow like Pensitone Church or Shaw Lane Association in the cup draw, it would have been a throw back to the 1920s when we played the likes of Stockton Malleable and Horsforth in the cup. Guess what, we get Salford City, the highest profile team in the draw.
August 31. Transfer Deadline #1 Its not long ago that players entering the final year of their contract were sold at a pittance. Nowadays, it seems they go at full value, Chamberlain £35m and Sanchez reported bids of £70m. Work out how much Chamberlain would be worth if he had 4 years to go on his contract.
August 24. Caraboo Cup Stayed up to listen to the twitter feed of the Caraboo Cup. No feed. Seems it was delayed. Apparently it started over 10 minutes late, the draw 23 minutes late and finally finished 53 minutes after it was supposed to start. If The EFL can’t take the competition seriously, what hope do they have of the clubs taking it seriously? The EFL noted the decision to take the Round 3 draw to China was part of a “strategic plan to grow the EFL internationally and specifically boost profile and exposure”. Certainly the profile has been boosted with all the publicity as the draw has created farce in Thailand with Charlton drawn out twice and mix ups over home and away sides and now China as its restricted to twitter (and at a time when many real fans are fast asleep). Not sure how excited the locals in Thailand were when game such as Accrington Stanley v Preston North End or Bristol Rovers v Cambridge United or Fleetwood v Carlisle were drawn out.
August 6. Abba Penalties The new shoot out system was used today, earlier in the week when Arsene Wegner asked his players who wanted to take a penalty, they all replied, "I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do".
August 5. Day 1 Surprise Sean Newton's transition to midfield earned much praise last season, even Gary Mills spoke on several occasions on him being more valuable when playing further forward, so why start him in the back 3?
August 4. New Season Optimism? Don't want to be a killjoy (and I've said this before, like last season), but the quickest we've ever been promoted after relegation is 5 years, let's hope that's a record we break this season.
June 27. Leavers (1) Can’t get too excited about the tweets from Kyle Letheren and Scott Fenwick. In May, Letheren indicated interest from Scotland and the possibility of moving back up north whilst Fenwick was on a one year contract with a one year option. The FA have fairly strict deadlines for club informing players of contract options being taken up, so presumably, City had followed procedure (I nearly said done the right thing, which is something else) and the players knew their fate several weeks ago. I’d also suggest both were higher earners so were possibly beyond budget, especially if not considered first team starters.
June 27. Leavers (2) From City’s point of view, much more saddened by Sam Fielding not signing his first professional contract with City. Again another talented youngster failing to make the grade with City. From Fielding's viewpoint, given City’s record of youngsters making a positive impact in the first team, you can't blame him if he feels he has more chance of first team football (and making a career as a professional footballer) if he thinks he needs to move. What’s it say about the value of City’s youth system?
June 4. Retained List Whilst youngsters Alex Bruton and Tyler Walton have been told they’re released, there’s been no public news on the fate of the other senior players out of contract. Presumably Danny Galbraith, Robbie McDaid and Callum Rzonca, all exiled from the first team squad, will be released. Equally, no news yet on the other out of contract players, the likes of Scott Fenwick, Danny Holmes, Simon Lappin, Kyle Letheren, Adriano Moke and Lanre Oyebanjo. In previous years, a full retained / released, including details of which out of contract players have been offered new deals, has been issued almost immediately after the final game.
May 31. The Quiet Season Not much happened by the end of May. Expect a lot to happen at the very end of June or early July as contracts expire and pre season training starts. Sorry to see Vadaine Oliver want away, presumably he’s one of our higher earners having originally joined us on a Division 2 contract (and wages), so if / when he moves on, we’re in a weak bargaining position.
May 21. Big Brother Is Watching Grandad At Wembley During the first half, a friend got taken away by a steward. He’d been picked on camera up craddling his eight month old grandson in his arms. The steward thought he looked very cramped in his seat and escorted them down to the bigger disabled seats a few rows down. As a toddler, granddad had been taken to Boothamn Cresencet to witness the legendary Norman Wilkinson's last ever game for City (in the reserves) and was seeeking to maintain the family tradition of the youngsters seeing City's greats. Step forward Jon Parkin.
May 6. Guy Mowbray - who do you mean? Speaking on BBC's Football Focus on Sunderland's relegation, he said, “From The Premier League down to The National League … not every club but a lot of clubs who‘ve been relegated this season, its all to do with off the field, you cannot possibly be successful on the field if quite frankly you’re a bit of a shambles in the background."
April 14. Tickets #2 Thought I'd turned up at the wrong game today. Good start as tickets were only £14, but mine showed "York Town" as Solihull Moors opponents. 2 turnstiles on the way in and single file exit at full time. The less said about the bomb / building site of a car park the better.
April 1. Happy Clappers 3 Braintree 0 Never been a fans of the happy clappers at any football game, but it was quite emotional to hear the happy clapping coming from 3 sides of the ground today.
March 13. LOFT #2 Another Leyton Orient fans meeting tonight. Whilst not wishing Orient any ill, if the worst case happens and they have to start again from the bottom of the pyramid next season, it might just mean the 4th bottom in the National League this season avoid relegation.
March 11. End of season full time fitness Was today the first signs of the usual Conference end of season malaise amongst some of the lesser clubs, ones which maybe have small squads, small budgets, a number of part time players and maybe even small time mentality when mid table mediocrity is job done for the season. 2 late goals earned City a point at Sutton, let’s hope we see similar again this season.
March 9. Farewell Daniel Nti Many (me included) still think there is a good player in there waiting to get out. Given the turmoil at City, it can’t have been easy to step up a grade and make it. His National League North record shows he has something about him, within weeks with City, he was devoid of all confidence. Let’s hope he’s more successful at his next club.
March 7. Farewell Derwina He didn't last long and it all seems a bit strange. First a hold up and apparently the deal was off due to international clearance. Born in Amsterdam, if he really was, international clearance shouldn’t have been an issue. All international clearance involves is one FA telling another he’s free of contract / bans etc. and they pass his registration onto the next FA. You'll recall in the case of Simon Lappin, the SFA told our FA he was under suspension. Then Derwina departs and 2 days later we’re told that Derwina was signed on a trial basis on non contract terms. When the deal was announced it was stated he was here until the end of the season. It all doesn't add up, I’d rather know he was rubbish or had lied about his background or whatever, rather than have all the speculation flying around. Meanwhile the club website seems to have removed nearly all reference to him.
March 2. LOFT Best wishes to the Leyton Orient fans in their efforts to save their club. Its interesting to note the present owners came in to an annual wage bill of about £1.5m in 2014, at the time possibly about 20% less than City's wage bill. Inflated wages and loss of form have seen the club sink from Division 1 play off finalists to the bottom of Division 2 and facing relegation to The National League. It is a good job they're fans and not supporters otherwise they'd be LOST.
February 25. Paul Merson Solves All City's Problems Commentating on West Brom today, Merse was quoted as saying, "If you take away the top seven, they're top". So according to Merse, if you take away the top 23, City are top tonight. If only it was that simple!
February 18. Same Again? I Hope Not! Its that time of the year again as City slip further away from safety, the first cries of we will say up are heard echoing last season, just hope its a different outcome.
February 15. Richard Brodie - What A Waste Shame that someone who showed so much commitment to the cause first time around should see 2 contracts terminated in less than 6 weeks. Never the most skilful of players, he still had the talent to have made a better career for himself. The less said about the nonsense on the YP message board the better!
February 12. Survival Points Total Not sure I agree with those suggesting it will be a low number of points needed for survival this season. Invariably teams near the bottom will go on runs and get points when they've no right to get them. Aim for 52.
February 11. 2 Points Lost CITY 1 Maidstone 1. Great to be off the bottom of the table, but let's hope we don't rue the 2 lost points at the end of the season.
February 4. Nuneaton Gate Was I the only one to see the stewards pocketing people's tenner admission money? I counted it happen at least 3 times.
January 12. Welcome Daniel Parslow Let’s hope you have more success than other recent returnees.
January 11. Chelsea. Pitch Or Pool? Excavating 15 metres, what’s the chance of their new ground suffering from frequent flooding at the slightest drop of rain?
January 10. 2026 World Cup With a 48 team World Cup, 50% more games and 25% more matches, what’s the chance of a smaller nation ever hosting the competition again. Increasingly it will be the mega nations (USA, China & Russia) or combined bids (Euro 2012) that have the facilities to host it. #Soulless
January 8. Vadaine Oliver Welcome back. Trust we see the same ability and commitment we saw early last season that saw goals and reports of interest from Division 1 leaders Wigan rather than the lost soul who ended last season.
December 26. Tickets #1 No tickets, no segregation at North Ferriby. Apparently they don't own a ticket printing machine and refused City's offer to print tickets.
November 26. Bromley 3 City 0 Were our luminous voltage green shirts filled by stewards or players?
November 2. Old Cynic Call me an old cynic, but under Jackie McNamara, Robbie McDaid would have been berated as a youngster with very little experience and Simon Lappin as an old man looking for a last pay day. Welcome to City and may both your stays be long and happy.
October 1. City 3 Grimsby 0 Well done to our youth team who recorded their 3rd win (from 5 games) of the season this morning, that's more than the whole of last season.
September 30. Betting So Harry Redknapp has heard stories of players betting on matches and hasn't reported it to the authorities. The only solution is to ban betting on football altogether. For once, its easy for The FA and the powers to be to implement a workable solution. They hold the fixture copyright and licence the fixtures to the bookmakers. So, don't licence the fixtures and the bookies have nothing to bet on. Simple. It just the needs to authorities to say the word and accept their copyright will generate no income.
September 26. Agents & Intermediaries With clubs having their own heads of recruitment and scouting systems, they have absolutely no need to pay agents. The clubs can approach other clubs, agents and players and negotiate deals. The player should pay the agent, not the club. The players and their agents will still be able to negotiate deals, the only difference is that no money leaks out from the clubs to agents, the only leakage is commission from the players' salary to the agent.
August 31. Flinders Hope I'm never up before The FA, with such flimsy evidence, no one has a chance.
August 29. Wrexham 2 City 1 Wrexham lose badly at Dagenham on Saturday, calls for "Mills out", yet still over 4,000 turn up. Wish that would happen at York.
August 25. Letheren / Flinders Welcome Kyle Letheren. With Scott Flinders suspended, we needed another keeper. As ever The FA don't give much away in their initial statement. I thought City came out ok, an immediate suspension, presumably awaiting the appeal decision before making any termination decision. YCFC would be red faced if they sack SF only for his appeal to be successful. So far, I'd only say SF has come out of it badly. If he was sacked before the transfer window closes, he can join a new club immediately, if not, he'd have to wait for the next window to open in January. Whatever, we don't neded 3 keepers.
August 6. Wegner For England A new season and although we are not in it, I note The Football League has re-branded itself as The English Football League. For decades we were told we don’t need the English suffix as we were the first league in the world, now it seems we do. Why?
June 27. Wegner For England FA big wigs have the next England manager sorted. It is Arsene Wegner, they believe he's guaranteed a top 4 (or semi final spot) every time.
June 22. Concussion FA guidelines note clutching ones head is a sign of possible concussion. So how about being a bit more strict, when a player goes down clutching his head, take him off and do a mandatory concussion assessment. It might spot concussion, more likely it will reduce the number of cheats.
June 20. England 0 Slovakia 0 Once again the folly of 5 similar strikers let us down. No width and no big man in the middle. As for Jack Wilshere, he’s been back in training for 3 months, how long does it take to get fit?
June 20. Welcome Simon If I can count, Simon Heslop is our 6th summer signing on a straight 2 year contract. Let us hope we aren't repeating the mistakes of previous years.
June 11. Segregation Complaints about segregation at the England / Russia game. With each country receiving just 16% of the tickets, that means neutrals have more than 2 thirds of the ground and that's an open invitation for fans of the 2 countries to snap up extra tickets in "neutral" areas. UEFA, what a farce.
June 11. Midfield Magician? Plaudits for Rooney’s middle role, lots of long passes that found their man, but they were all cross field changing the point of attack to men in a bit of space. Where’s the incisive defence splitting pass into the penalty area?
June 7. FA Tribunal With Eva Carneiro winning her case against Chelsea / Jose Mourinho for her constructive dismissal and sex discrimination claim, I'm interested to know how the FA will put the case before its own tribunal. With lesser evidence required, a guilty verdict looks assured. Will it be Chelesea and / or Mourinho who gets a 5 match ban? Chelsea, bottom of the league after 5 games. Played 5; Not Turned Up 5; Points 0. Or will the FA bottle it?
May 14. Premier League Record Man U / Bournemouth postponed and re-arranged for 2 days later. Well done to The PL. The FA say FA Cup replays need 10 days to allow the police to organise themselves, so how does The PL take just 2 days?
May 10. Upton Park Punishment It is rumoured the old boys at the FA are coming down hard on West Ham for the troubles before the Manchester United game. They've decided on a draconian punishment for West Ham by banning them from ever playing at Upton Park again. To make it a double punishment, they're extending the ban to their other ground, The Boleyn Ground.
May 1. Rumours Or Silly Players I'd heard rumours of players wanting relegation to get Jackie the sack. If true, if must only have been a very small minority as so few are contracted beyond the summer. Silly players, play badly, get relegated, it hardly makes you desirable to other league clubs.
March 20. Joe Hart I note Demichelis is taking all the flak for the incident when Hart got injured, not sure he should take all the blame as Hart tapped the ball to him, more than 12 yards away, with Matrial around 10 yards away, ready to pounce. OK, Demichelis was slow, but he was under pressure as soon as Hart tapped the ball to him.
March 13. FA Cup replay farce The FA claim they need 10 days between an FA Cup tie and its replay to allow the authorities to make the necessary policing arrangements. So how come today, Arsenal are playing Watford in The FA Cup, just 5 days after their replay win at Hull? If they cando it for this tie, surely, they can do it every game.
Feb 21. Coin throwing I trust the culprits of the 2 disgraceful incidents in the weekend's FA Cup are soon caught and banned. Anyone remember when we used to have blanket collections at Bootham Crescent? The club designated 2 games a season for charity collections, St Johns Ambulance invariably being one as a thank you for the match day support they provided every game. A group of the chosen charity's team would walk around the pitch at half time with a large outstretched blanket. Fans would throw coins into it. The group was invariably supported by more people who would pick up coins which missed the blanket. It was a common sight to see keepers picking up the leftover coins during the second half. I recall, as time went by, the occasion became more of an occasion for aiming at the collectors (usually pensioners and children) rather than the bucket, hence the introduction of bucket collections in the 1980s.
Feb 14. Joleon Lescott He enraged Aston Villa fans (and more) when tweeting a picture of a Mercedes after the 6-0 defeat to Liverpool. He apologised saying the tweet was sent by accident whilst driving and the phone was in his pocket (February 14th 2016). Predictive texting at its best and therefore not a criminal offence. He and his defenders saved those for the pitch in the 6-0 home defeat to Liverpool earlier in the day. Wonder if the car does 0 to 6 in 90 minutes.
Feb 6. Subs Line up at Northampton included 3 of our 5 loanees on the bench. I always thought loanees were supposed to improve the team. PS Last time we had a player sent off, we collapsed at Portsmouth, so a small word of praise for not conceding any after we had Luke Hendrie sent off.
Feb 6. Liverpool £77 Fair play to those fans who walked out after 77 minutes in protest at next season's proposed price hike. But, can I remind them that they can get the same 90 minutes at Bootham Crescent for just £21. The choice is yours.
Feb 1. City - Feared By Managers Everywhere? So Teddy Sheringham loses his job after a defeat against us. There will be managers up and down the country looking for when they next play City and fearing the sack, after all both Yeovil and Newport had new managers in charge for the first time when they played us in January.
Jan 23. Bradley Fewster What's happened to him? I thought he looked the most likely of the pre Christmas loanees, now he's struggling to get a start, its not as though we're blessed with prolific strikers.
Jan 22. Farewell Marvin Best wishes for the future. Despite our large squad, let's hope we're not exposed in that position during the rest of the season.
Jan 20. Game Off (2) The City web site is advising that the Youth Team fixture against Lincoln City on 31st January has been switched to Haxby Road due to a frozen pitch at the Wiggington Road Training Ground. Game off for a frozen pitch with 10 days notice! We’ve either got some good weather forecasters at the club or York is suffering from a Siberian winter. PS 2nd thoughts, suspect the web site is nearly a year out of date.
Jan 19. Game Off So the NRSC game with Guisborough is off. With the reserves team’s mini 3 match league season having ended weeks, if not months, ago, another lost opportunity for the squad players.
Dec 19. Victory You'll note the TV links page has been updated from "The McNamara Days" to "The McNamara Era" after today's win. Looking forward to the next update to "The McNamara Years".
Dec 12. Youth v Experience Nigel W spectacularly turned around his first full season with astute signings of experienced pros (Lowe, McCombe and Penn included). Let's hope Jackie is equally successful with his youth signings.
Nov 21. Loyal Supporters? Anyone else disappointed by some of our young supporters at Orient? Can't argue with their vocal support, but not sure what happened in the first half, I was too busy watching the game, but they seemed to be fighting amongst themselves and generally giving the stewards a hard time, repeatedly standing on seats when told not to, smoking and standing in the aisles. If some had been evicted, they could have had no complaints. One had a go at a supporter of 60 years standing telling him "we don't need your kind supporting City", a supporter who still travels the length and breadth of the country, home and away supporting City, who in his spare time has been instrumental growing City support and fundraising. It all calmed down at 3-1, the youngsters went home after an hour, not sure if their mums had told them to come home when it got dark or whether they were cold and wanted to go somewhere warmer.
Nov 5. Scottish Prem? A lot of people are asking about difference in playing standards between Division 2 and The Scottish Premier. Consider Sander Puri, Wes Fletcher, Tony Straker and Danny Racchi have all played for us and up north and you'll soon realise that's not much difference. Before them, Graeme Law at Dundee and Steve Cooper, whose Airdrie side reached the Scottish FA Cup Final, had a top flight stints in Scotland. This season, last season's young loanee from Norwich, Carlton Morris is a Scottish Premier League regular starter with mid table Hamilton.
Nov 4. Welcome Jackie & Simon Anyone who heard Sophie speak to YCS members in April might have had an inkling as to the direction the board might take when appointing a manager. Still, pity Richard Cresswell didn't get a chance, maybe he was never in the running. However, with the direction Jason has pointed his new manager, Richard Cresswell can be crucial to the success of the academy. Wouldn't it be good to see a strong backbone of home grown players in our first team, and when they get too big for City, earning us a transfer fee. Jackie McNamara comes with a good pedigree, albeit without any Division 2 experience. Jackie and Simon, wishing you a long stay.
Oct 27. Cressie For Manager? If dress sense is anything to go by, I'm sure Jason will have Richard Cresswell towards the top of his short list. Although if you listened to Sophie when she addressed York City South in April and outlined the board's criteria when appointing Russ Wilcox, then maybe not.
Oct 26. Sad Day Farewell Russ, pity it didn't work out as well as it should have. Oliver, Berrett and Thompson; 3 Wilcox quality signings who all suggest better days should just be around the corner. PS Doubters, take a look back at the press message boards when Russ joined, almost universal praise, ditto Straker. How opinions can change.
Oct 17. F*c"in S%$t Someone communicating their view of City's abject display at Barnet. It is not known whether that summed up the whole match or the incident when one player, just beyond the half way line, to the left of the centre circle, picked up a Barnet clearance, sliced the ball across the pitch towards Marvin McCoy who then sliced it into touch, both slices losing us yardage and resulting in a Barnet throw in! You couldn't make it up. PS Impressed with the whole Hive set up, plenty of training pitches and stadium facilities.
Oct 6. John Stones Paint Trophy Good to see an England international putting some of his wages back into lower league football.
Oct 5. When Saturday Comes They emailed me a couple of weeks ago asking if I'd write a piece on the Stand Up petition at City. I did do so, but got a response from them essentially saying it wasn't the viewpoint they expected. Guess what, they didn't use it.
Oct 1. £14.08 - Average Ticket Price ... so says the annual Football League survey. £24 at Notts County last weekend. When was the last time you paid under the average?
September 26. Day Got Worse I was on the 17:32 train departure from Nottingham to St Pancras on Saturday September 26 in a carriage with just myself and 2 single female travellers. At Leicester (approx. 18:00), the carriage was filled with Arsenal supporters. Within minutes they started singing various anti jewish songs, mentioning Y***, Hitler, Israel and kill, accompanied by sounds of escaping gas. As one part of the carriage started the song, it spread widely across the rest of the carriage, so it wasn’t just a moronic one or 2, but dozens. On alighting at St Pancras, I hurried away from the people in my carriage but heard similar songs from Arsenal supporters further along the concourse, so presumably from other carriages. Also, I heard songs during the journey about Munich 58. You’d think travelling to away games, they’d be true / hard core supporters, I‘d call them something else. Glad I support a club where such behaviour isn’t tolerated and where fair minded supporters would challenge any bigots.
September 25. Rugby World Cup Not sure about the timings of Rugby World Cup games. After the first weekend, we immediately had 2 rest days. But, having missed Japan’s sensational win over South Africa, I made a note to watch Wednesday’s Scotland / Japan game. Bad mistake, it was a 2:30 kick off. Anyway, why Gloucester and their small ground? Surely a northern football ground would have offered more space. Note, the next weekend Scotland had 33,000 at Elland Road and Ireland had 89,000 at Wembley for Romania. A day later, we had one game which saw Namibia in the 8 pm prime time slot. Next day, one game, 4:45 kick off. Appreciate, we’ve only 20 teams and rugby players might need more time to recover, but the competition seems stop start. I don’t even think the weekend quarter finals are well scheduled. One at 1pm, 2 at 4pm and just one at 8pm. How much busier would rugby clubs be hosting a big screen quarter final at 8pm (rather than 1pm) or Scotland / Japan at 8pm rather than (2:30pm) or Argentina / Georgia at 8pm (rather than 4:45)?
September 1. Transfer Window No matter when it closes, there will always be a last minute frenzy as clubs try to force a deal through with a last minute take it or leave it offer. Moving it to before the start of the season only works if every country’s season starts at the same time. The English season usually starts 2 or more weeks earlier than most of Europe which would leave English clubs in the position of losing players to Europe but being unable to sign replacements.
August 24. Farewell Lindon Watch out for him joining a new club tomorrow.
July 12. Triallists In my day, their identities were withheld to stop other clubs poaching them. Against Middlesbrough, the one attracting all the attention had has name emblazoned across all the reports, the other, who hardly got a mention, remains nameless.
June 17. Euro U21 The Euro Under 21 Championships start today. We've Kane, Stones, Redmond, Chambers and Ings in our squad, so their season won't finish until late June. If they kick on and make the senior squad for Euro 2016, that's 2 seasons with barely a break. They'll be exhausted next summer in France before they start.
June 11. Overjoyed? Can't get as excited as others about Michael Ingham signing a new contract. No doubt he's a solid pro, good attitude etc etc, but many people have knocked his all round keeping skills in the past and with Jason Mooney we might not have the strongest keeping duo in the division. It might stop us signing a new keeper unless we can 1) sell or 2) terminate a contract; Option 1 - let's hope we have buyers queuing up, Option 2 - a cost to City. Meanwhile other decent keepers get signed up elsewhere.
May 3. Jose Mourinho - Sour Grapes? Make him City manager or make him England manager and I'm sure they'd be no complaints of boring football and 1-0 wins if we won the title or the World Cup
Apr 29. Player Contracts Lot of talk about paying up contracts of our out of favour players. But for every one we pay off, it effectively hits our profits (realistically increases our losses) and could mean a one for one reduction in squad size for next season
Apr 11. Vincent Kompany Interesting to read Vincent Kompany saying Financial Fair Play is handicapping little clubs, like York City, as well as Manchester City’s efforts to become a big club. new frontiers has said the same about FFP and York City several times. Whatever we do, we’re handicapped by a low starting base and we will always find it difficult to move forward financially given FFP constraints. See Jan 23 below re Cambridge
Apr 11. 11 Points Q: Where would we be if we had the 11 points we lost to late goals this season? A: On the fringe of the play offs. Given the dent it made to our confidence, maybe even in the play off positions
Apr 1. Michael Carrick Hurray, we've found our defensive midfield maestro. Michael Carrick, 34 in the summer, who has amassed the grand total of 33 caps since his 2001 England debut. Despite all his good attributes, he's injury prone and has previously turned his back on England. One for the future? I think not
Feb 10. Talksport Lying, dying on my deathbed listening to Talksport, they announce City are 2 up, a few minutes later, they announce we’ve had a player sent off. No name. Imagine what went through my fevered mind, it must be an unpronounceable name, Olejnik, maybe Zubar or had Femi Ilesanmi been recalled. Then, 2-2 and they announce Luton’s McNulty has been sent off, my suspicion deepens, and it must be our keeper. Jake Hyde didn’t even get a mention for his non sending off
Jan 23. Financial (Un)Fair Play Little Uns With Hands Tied Behind Their Backs? Cambridge gain around £2m from their cup tie with MUFC. What do they spend the money on? New players or ground improvements? Echoing shades of City in the mid-1980s, the answer is new toilets. This season, they will have projected to spend about 55% of their turnover (say £1.2m on a £2.2m turnover) on wages to stay within the limits. The windfall means it will be about 30% (£1.2m out of £4.2m). Yes, they could spend it all on players, but presumably those new players would expect wages to match and with a wage cap, its means there is no head room pay to pay big wages next season against next season’s modest income projection. That’s the reality of Financial Fair Play. With FFP rules, a club can only spend a set proportion of its income on players' salaries every season. Any windfall is effectively unavailable to spend big on players as there is no additional budget in future years to sustain the higher wage the bill. Buy big, offer big wages, but next season, they will not have the income to meet FFP. FFP is intended to stop clubs spending beyond their means but in reality it makes it almost impossible for little clubs to aspire to be big clubs. The big boys’ stranglehold goes on
Dec 26. Almost A First Reading the official YCFC web site report of our win over Accrington, I thought, for the first time ever, I'd spied a word on it which I didn't know, "saved from Michael Coulson's dicanioesque volley", scratching my head and re-reading it, I twigged it was a di canio esque volley.
Nov 29. Will Aimson Sad news about Will, grandson of Paul. He suffered a double leg break playing for Tranmere whilst on loan for Hull. The opposition? Portsmouth, but we can't blame them this time as Will suffered his injury in a collision with one of his own teammates
Nov 15. Good News, Bad News? Good news, Daniel Sturridge returns to training after injury. Bad news (take away the question mark), it brings his next injury a whole lot closer
Nov 2. Josh Carson Great news Josh is back, but let’s not expect too much too soon, he’s had a serious injury. Coulson had a similar injury and it took him several months playing before returning to his top form, psychological recovery can take longer than physical. Ditto Fletch
Nov 1. Goal of the Month Aston Villa have cancelled their October version of the competition. They didn’t score a single goal
Oct 26. Attack - Best Form Of Defence At 1-0 and in control, why did Chelsea sit back and try to close the game out at Old Trafford. It doesn't take a genius to know where United have their strengths and weaknesses. Put play into one box and it is obvious at which end goals are most likely to come
Oct 18. Chippie Closed Chippie closed again at half time I’m wondering if this is going to be the end of a half time obsession / odyssey that has lasted well over 40 years?
Oct 15. Russ Wilcox Glad we’ve gone for someone like Wilcox rather than the exotic wild cards that might have been ex Newcastle United winger Nobby Solano or Hungarian Csaba Laszlo (the ex manager of Hearts and Charleroi (Belgium))
Oct 15. Russ Wilcox 2 days to make an appointment, the same as it took to anoint NW. Fair play to the McGills, we've no time to hang around. PS I was going to write 20 reasons why Russ Wilcox will be good for City. One, of the last 3 of our managers whose surname began with W, 2 took us to the play offs and the other, Colin Walker, went on a club record winning spree. Two, you can't fault Russ' record in D2. Three, I'm still thinking .....
Oct 14. Manager Odds
7/4 Martin O'Neill Applied for the City boss’ job in 1980s and didn’t even get an interview. A new application might be looked upon more favourably
5/2 Russ Wilcox How come most of the names in the betting odds have recently been sacked? Usually at a level just above City
3/1 Neil Aspin Success at Harrogate and Halifax. Had something to do with the development and success of Jamie Vardy (Leicester) and Lee Gregory (Millwall), so seems to know a prolific striker when he sees one
4/1 Michael Ingham A club’s longest serving player (or captain) is invariably on the short list. He has played under enough managers for City and is ready to put all his learnings from their failings into action. Guaranteed to put everything into the job, in fact, he’ll probably never leave the manager’s office
9/2 Jason Mooney Tall, imposing, able to see the bigger picture without getting down to the detail
5/1 Yorkie The Lion A popular choice
8/1 Nigel Farage Recently galvanised nationwide forces to challenge the Big 2. Previous finance will be useful in ensuring the books are balanced
10/1 Dave Brailsford Took British cycling from world non entities to multi gold medal winning Olympians and 2 Tour de France winners. Supporter of the incremental gains principle, he might need to find a lot of incremental gains in some of our players. At least he should have a lot of bikes when he tells them they’re on their way
11/1 Tony Pulis Dour style may count against him after the Worthington years
12/1 Chris Brass Fans favourite with bags of lower league experience, including, including Torquay and Bury where he’s the brains behind their meteoric rise up the table this year that started with their New Year's Eve win over City
14/1 Louis Tomlinson He pulled out of a proposed takeover of Doncaster, no one blames him for that. He would (who wouldn’t?) surely find things much more to his liking a bit further north. A 2 mill investment was quoted at Doncaster, for that he can be player manager. Choose your position, we’ve plenty available
16/1 Paul Stephenson After a recent successful spell as Accrington caretaker manager, he is ready to offer a lifeline to Paul Gascoigne, his best mate from his teen years at Newcastle, as he plays the attractive football card
16/1 Steve Agnew Spotted at BC in July with Hull, so he’s definitely interested
20/1 Geoffrey Boycott Would offer plenty of straight talking and ability to pinpoint what needs to be done. Also see Tony Pulis
25/1 Greg Dyke Will be able to gain on the job experience of implementing his blueprint for the future direction of English football (and if he can get a Chelsea or Manchester City reserve (or eleven) down to BC, we won’t complain too much about B teams (as long as it is not Torres, we’ve plenty of non scoring strikers already)
28/1 Steven Gerrard Role might have come a year too early for him as he still just about gets a game for Liverpool, but he maybe swayed by a friendly and supportive board
33/1 Darren Edmondson 7 years as Workington manager shows he has staying power. If he brings his former assistant with him, we’d have an Edmondson / Viv Busby dream team
40/1 Smith / Busby / Crosby Dream Team #2. What do they say? Never go back
50/1 Barry Swallow With his previous successful spells as caretaker manager, he would have been a popular choice a few years ago. If only he could turn our free transfer signings of the summer into players we could sell at £100,000 each, his odds would shorten dramatically
66/1 Sophie’s Children Given some of the names in the betting, they must be worth a go
1000/1 Wilf McGuinness He once boasted of taking City from Division 4 to Division 2. Wilf, remember, never ever go back
2000/1 Luke Summerfield He must be good at something
Oct 12. Hodgson / Sterling Can't think what Roy has done wrong except for telling the truth
Sept 27. Frank Lampard Put him in his proper attacking midfield position and he scores 4 goals in 6 days. Pity Chelsea and England didn't do it. Ditto Gerrard. Neither are proper defensive midfielders where the key skill is tackling
Sept 18. Scottish Referendum Result Scotland don’t get out of the group, what else did you expect?
August 9. Big KO? I wasn’t sure about the merits of giving our January signings 2+ year contracts, but to date, they’ve all proved me wrong. However, with another batch of 2 year deals in the summer, we’ve got the backbone of our side for the next 2 years. Personally, if we’re signing free transfers, I’d suggest a one year deal with an option of a second year, make them earn a second year
July 30. Vanishing Spray Following successful trials at Southampton FC, the spray is to be introduced for the new Premier League season. Meanwhile Ray Hodgson has asked it be made available to England for use on the opposing keeper next time they have a penalty shoot out
July 11. Welcome Lindon Miekle Welcome Lindon, our 3rd Bosman signing of the summer. The players signed for City over deals offered by their previous clubs. Who, if any, was the last Bosman we signed? Are we splashing the cash?
July 8. Brazil 1 Germany 7 Just like watching Brazil. Let's hope we're not this season
June 25. Luis Suarez With his imminent departure, Liverpool have rushed out a Suarez best bits (not bites) DVD, it is 3 megabytes in size
June 19. Back Home Uruguay 2 England 1. With our best 2 defenders back home, what do you expect? With a temperate climate, we can’t even blame the weather, unless we overcooked ourselves in the heat of Portugal and Miami before we even arrived in Brazil
June 18. Oh Dear Told my 8 year old not to get too excited about England’s prospects and suggested he pick a second team just in case we got knocked out early. Having been to Spain last year the choice was obvious. Oh dear
June 13. Confused England? June 13. Sounds like the side picks itself, but not sure how or why. Baines at left back for his attacking capabilities and Welbeck, upfront on the left, for his defensive capabilities. No confusion there. Add in a right back whose strength is going forward, a defensive midfielder who can’t tackle, it looks like we’re in for a good run
June 12. Cream Of The Cr*p Welcome Anthony Straker, our latest summer signing. Released by Dagenham and Wycombe, Bosman frees from Tranmere reserves and Southend. Would you call them the cream of the crop (or something else)?
May 7. U23 League I am all for giving youngsters a chance, but we already have a Under 21 league, if youngsters haven't made it by then, don't think whole teams are going to make it by playing on to Under 23 level
April 27. Liverpool 0 Chelsea 2 If Mourinho was the England manager, could we win the World Cup?
April 26. Sophie Hicks and new frontiers Downloaded the latest issue last night and searched out a 50/50 seller to buy an extra ticket in lieu of paying for new frontiers. Guess who served me? Sophie Hicks, what a legend. Seems like it was all hands to the pumps for selling extra tickets
April 21. CITY 1 Bury 0 “We were playing against a set-piece team that love stopping the flow and tempo of a game and love destroying football. Look at their results, they are very good at it. It’s the gamesmanship, the stopping of the play, the late fouls, the professional fouls, it all adds up and you have got to have a really strong referee to stamp it out”, Dave Flitcroft, Bury manager after their defeat at Bootham Crescent. Sour grapes or what? I can almost take it as a compliment to our well organise side. Over the years, how many times have we had the players to do such things?
April 5. Fit & Proper Persons An independent QC concludes Massimo Cellino's recent conviction in the Sardinian court did not involve conduct that would "reasonably be considered to be dishonest", so go to court, get found guilty and be deemed not to be dishonest. F&PP test, is it worth it?
March 29. Self Fulfilling Prophecy After Chelsea's defeat at Palace, are Mourinho's players starting believe the manager when he says they're not going to win the title. Man for man, Chelsea are far superior to Palace, but maybe they listen too much to Mourinho
March 28. City On FLS We're featured on The Football League Show tomorrow, there goes our winning run
March 26. Premier League Expansion Hope Celtic’s latest title doesn’t re-open the debate for their inclusion in The English Premiership. Scotland refused to participate in the British Olympics football tournament, why one but not the other? Incidentally, listened to Devo’s first album again last night. As good, if not better, than it was when first released way back when
March 25. Bayern Clinch The Bundesliga A day later, Celtic the Scottish SPL. For years, we’ve heard top Scottish clubs saying they need more competitive league football to be competitive in Europe, wonder what Bayern think?
March 22. Chelsea. Premiership Favourites? Really, supposedly because of their easier run in against teams towards the bottom. Remember Stoke, Sunderland and Aston Villa. 3 easier away games, 3 defeats
February 18. Demichelis His red card is being appealed by Barcelona. They're desperate that he can play in the return leg.
February 12. Safe Standing Lots of recent talk about safe standing rail seats, a row of seats with a rail in front, so the seat occupant can stand if desired. With the rail in front, anyone seated will have their view blocked, either by the rail or the bloke in front standing up. Solution? No seat
February 6. Russell Penn His transfer fee was £20,000 according to The Western Daily News today. Why do we continually say the fee is undisclosed only for the actual fee to be revealed in the papers a few weeks later?
February 4. Horses Mourinho talks about horses. Not sure about big horses and little ones, but over the years, City have had more than our fair share of cart horses, shire horses and donkeys whilst the team has been liberally sprinkled with Shergars who go missing after a few games and show ponies who flatter only to deceive. As for mares, we’ve had far too many of them. Many of our players fade into oblivion (at or after City), never making the grade, at least they don't suffer the same fate as most racehorses, castration. Finally, I like my team to play with a skilful little front man, say Wilfried Pony
February 1. Chico Flores Apparently, after having his hair ruffled by Andy Carroll, Flores was rushed to hospital after the game where he spent 2 hours in the intensive hair unit
January 22. Capital One Cup Woes? What is worse for Man U, humiliation in the semi final at home to Sunderland or possible humiliation in the final against Man City in front of a world wide audience?
January 19. David Moyes Interesting to see how Roberto Martinez has taken Everton up a level (or more) since taking over from Moyes. A steady mid table club on the up. Equally, Ross Barklay suddenly catapulted to England saviour or Seamus Coleman, 3 years a steady right back, now being talked about as one of the Top 3 all time Premiership right back. Pity Moyes has struggled to have a similar impact at Old Trafford
January 14. Financial Fair Play The deadline for filing 2012/3 returns came and went on December 1st. As ever, no news on what they say, rumour has it one D2 club spent 95% of income on wages, way in excess of the 55% limit. Can we be told who? Sanctions anyone?
January 12. John McCombe 2+ year contracts for McCombe, Lowe and Penn. Stability yes, but none were more than Div 2 squad players at their last club. Let's hope we don't have to pay them off after 6 months in our stiffs a la Craig Clay (or heaven forbid, if we get promoted and seek a better class of player)
January 9. Ashley Chambers Farewell Ashley, following Adriano Moke, Simon Russell and Michael Gash down the well trodden path to Cambridge. Notice anything familiar? They all flattered to deceive at York and despite arriving at Cambridge with high hopes, they never really kicked on. Thanks for all the Wembley double season memories
December 28. Nicolas Anelka Never heard of the Quenelle before today. Makes me wonder what obscene gestures I've been doing all my life without realising
December 27. Shaq McDonald Moses Ashikodi Mark 2?
December 25. Christmas Cracker I pulled one! Q: Why can't a car play football? A: Because it has only got one boot
December 20. Ollie Banks Football League Young Player Of The Month for December, having scored 11 goals from midfield since joining Chesterfield at the start of the season. The same Ollie Banks we had on trial in July 2012 and deemed not worth a contract. Times like this when you wish we had a reserve side to nurture young talent
December 19. Mike Atkinson Farewell. If anyone has a foolproof method of bridging the gap between youth and first team football, answers on a postcard to Tom Platt and Tom Allan, c/o YCFC. PS Did you see the praise being heaped on Michael Duckworth this week, Hartlepool's rising new star at full back, an ex City junior. Times like this when you wish we had a reserve side to nurture young talent
December 15. SPOTY Sports Personality Of The Year - Andy Murray? Sports Personality - No; Sports Person - Yes
December 10. Snow Go Galatasaray / Juventus abandoned due to snow, the pitch was barely covered. Ridiculous. I also see UEFA have invented their own rule. Match abandoned, game restarted from the point of abandonment. Not sure who I wanted to win, Turks or Italy, never an easy choice. Just feel sorry for Donny (yes, really). They were leading 3-1 at Charlton after 26 minutes when their August league game was abandoned due to torrential rain. Come November and Charlton win the re-arranged game (the full 90 minutes) by 2-0
December 8. Desert Storm What do you get if you see a Hartlepool fan with sand up to his neck? More sand
December 7. Nelson Mandela I see Nelson Mandela’s death is being marked with a round of applause at all the premiership games this weekend. I wonder what has changed since Margaret Thatcher’s death in the spring when the footballing authorities deemed it inappropriate to mark a politician’s death, or are being less than truthful about their reasons
December 8. For Sale Manchester United lampshade. Looks good in the middle of the table
December 7. Breaking News (2) Man Utd 0 Newcastle 1. Following the departure of Uwe Rosler to Wigan, Man Utd have given Brentford permission to talk to David Moyes about their managerial vacancy
December 5. Richard Cresswell Best wishes for the future. From a scrawny teenager who struggled to make the team to England Under 21 in a year. Big money sale, long career, back to City and a big hand in helping us to retain our Football League status last season
December 4. Breaking News Man Utd 0 Everton 1. Man Utd have given Wigan permission to talk to David Moyes about their managerial vacancy
December 1. Match Fixing (2) Reports of 70 grand to arrange a red or yellow card are just plain silly. Do it for nothing, just back Lee Cattermole to get a card, it works every time
November 30. Match Fixing Everyone is bleating that is happening all over the place. Easy solution. As the bookmakers license the fixtures, all the authorities have to do is to refuse to license them and the bookies are stuffed. Easy? I suspect it would be if the authorities didn't want their copyright fee
November 24. Goal Line Technology I see it is gathering dust whilst every week referees the length of the country are being pilloried for making honest mistakes as games progress at one hundred miles per hour. Wes Brown, Kevin Miralles and Wayne Rooney all were involved in contentious tackles where the ref had to make a decision with one view at one angle. Give the ref a chance. He has one view, from one angle, so cannot make the same informed judgement that the TV studio can. After the game, it would be no admission of incompetence if they were allowed to say with the benefit of all the TV cameras, I would have made a different decision. However, let us not go down the route of rugby and TV refereeing. In rugby, it is one thing to review a try and made a judgement, it is entirely different in football to ask if it is a foul or not, on side or off or whatever. Also, have you noticed how in rugby it is a case of was it forward, check he was onside, check the grounding, check for obstruction, sometimes it seems the ref is afraid to make any decision
November 23. Ryan Bowman One consolation re his latest sending off. He will not play enough games to tot up 5 yellow cards and another suspension
October 28. World Cup 40 No doubt the idea floated to increase the World Cup to 40 teams is another bid to garner African and Asian votes which will only result in a more bloated competition. Equally, not sure which countries really have the infrastructure to support an enlarged tournament. I say, keep it at 32, but invite 60 qualifiers into world play offs to find the 30 to join the hosts and holders. That way, we will raise the quality. If they are good enough, we will see 10 African teams, not the usual 5. However, to keep it truly global, I would be happy to support a draw which guaranteed at least one country from each continent. Whilst I am at it, do away with the Euro play offs, just have 12 smaller groups, winners only qualify
October 19. Gary Mills Good to see his winning run at Gateshead continue. But, what has happened to Brodie? Did not make his mark at Gateshead pre Mills, nor on loan at Hereford and now he is on the bench at Gateshead
October 17. Ronnie Biggs Is added to England's backroom squad to advise Roy Hodgson how to prolong England's stay in Brazil next year
October 16. England Gives Brazil World Cup Boost Amazing how Brazil has suddenly grown in size over night now that England have qualified. All the popular papers and commentators seem surprised at just how big the country is, as if it has quadrupled in size overnight
October 14. Gareth Bale With the news of his potentially long term back / disc injury, makes me wonder just how thorough his medical was. They had a long time to spot it given the protracted transfer
October 13. Martin Allen He might be like Marmite, but I feel it is ridiculous he gets the sack despite being 17th and having won promotion last season, his first with the Gills
October 5. Torquay 0 CITY 3 City - World Beaters? No, you just need an organised side to win at this level. A side that knows what it is doing. Flair being an optional extra
October 2. Sunderland Replica Kit Discontinued The makers have stopped production of Sunderland replica kit following fan feedback which suggested they weren't buying it for fear of being mistaken for the players and the insults being heaped upon them
September 16. Manager Of The Month Awards Chelsea, having been expelled last season for not having a manager for more than a month, Mourinho has asked that Chelsea be re-instated now he is in charge
September 14. City - Top Of The League We are top of the Fouls Conceded table already
September 14. Recovery #2 CITY 1 Mansfield 2 - Things are getting better
August 24. Recovery #1 Bristol R 3 CITY 2 - Things are getting better
August 18. Tax Fraud? Police and Customs have started a tax fraud investigation after Arsenal accounts showed they had claimed expenses for silver polish for each of the past 10 years
August 17. Hartlepool Expect them to get into Europe this season, their new manager is an ace songwriter
July 6. Obit Scarborough is mourning the death of its first international, Albert Stebbings, he of 2 years National Service in France and 3 capped teeth
May 8. Latest Score Exeter 1 Baconmissedher 2
April 26. Nerves? Felt a whole lot more nervous at Wembley against Luton than against Dagenham.
March 19. Next Manager? 2013/4 - Richard Cresswell - Player / Manager? Any takers?
March 3. Twitterers I do not hold much store by what some ex Mills players have to say on the social media network today
March 2. Gary Mills Legend, farewell and eternal thanks for leading out of the wilderness and back into the Football League
February 16. Wilderness Could not face another 8 seasons in the Conference. Could City?
February 12. Scott Kerr See October 6, but he is not the only one who has not coped with the big step up. Big summer clear out?
January 26. Mark Lawrenson Admits On BBC1 Football Focus, Liverpool were lucky to get through their FA Cup tie with City in 86 on their way to winning the cup. He stated they were the recipient of a dodgy penalty at York and he and Hansen couldn't believe it when Keith Walwyn, big strapping striker, in his words, had a perfectly good goal disallowed when he brushed past Grobbelaar
January 24. Blanchett finances? - The maths Suppose wage of five hundred per week making total to end of contract approx 12 grand. Danny would get 9 grand after tax. Add in employer tax / insurance / benefits and total cost to City would have been 15 grand. Release from contract, offer Danny 12 grand tax free redundancy and each party benefits by 3 grand. Good luck Danny. All figures guesstimated. PS Liverpool will probably have done similar when releasing Joe Cole, press reports suggested Cole had received a 3 million pound pay off, saving Liverpool the same in wages that would have been due over the final 18 months of his contract. The pay off meant Cole could sign a WHU contract, probably at a much reduced wage at West Ham and not lose out financially
January 18. Nigel Adkins QPR win at Chelsea, Swansea win at Chelsea, but next up and Southampton can only draw. So it is bye bye Nigel Adkins. But I am sure there will be a decent job just around the corner for him
January 17. Tesco Burgers Wife had a Tesco burger for tea last night. She had the trots afterwards, but after a good night's sleep, she is stable now. Checked the sell by date on the packet, the burgers are off. Bit surprised to see it say "low in fat but high in Shergar". My burger gave me night mares
January 12. Chris Brass / MOTD Caught Guy Mowbray on MOTD bring Chris Brass and his own goal volleyed against his nose into the commentary when Jon Walters did similar before he headed 2 own goals
January 11. Boucaud Boucaud is on his way from Luton for about what we paid for him, so no sell on bonus
January 9. Jamie Reed So Jamie Reed is allowed to leave. Get a transfer fee and save the wages before his contract expires and he goes for nothing. Good business if he is not rated
January 8. Accounts #1 Reading The Press piece on our accounts cannot help thinking did they get some bits from this web site re the salary cap and Jon Parkin / Fleetwood?
January 8. Accounts #2 467k loss in a good season? What happens in a bad season?
January 8. Accounts #3 Dummies Guide To Acconting: Lessons 1 - Do not include 2 possible Wembley trips in your budget
January 1. Reserve Team Good start to the new year, more plaudits to David McGurk and Michael Potts. Would they have been restored to the first team sooner if they had had regular reserve team football in which to press their cases?
November 15. Dodgy Pitch Chuckled when I heard the commentators dissing the poor quality pitch within 10 minutes of the start of the England friendly. Remember the new Wembley?
November 15. Wilshere - The Saviour? Not getting excited with all the fuss about Jack being the future of England. 5 caps, the last over 16 months ago, someone who has got better the longer he has been injured.
October 27. Automatic Promotion? 2 away games in a week and no goals conceded. Automatic promotion if we can be a bit more decisive against mid table teams.
October 24. Up Or Down? Table settling down nicely, but just how good are City? Our attack has top 4 potential whilst the defence has its bottom 4 moments a plenty. Whichever comes out on top will determine how successful our season turns out to be.
October 23. New PFA? Heard about the proposed Federation Of Black Players. Will we all be fined 220,000 notes and banned for 4 games for uttering its name in full as was Terry for his use of the B word as in "F*****g Black C***". Nothing for the foul and abusive obscenties, just the B word.
October 22. Who Is Next? Doom mongers call for Chambers head. Guess what? He goes on a scoring spree. Then its back to Walker Out. Accrington - late winner, enough said. NEXT...
October 21. Racism - Boycott Noted some players taking a personal decision not to wear the T-shirt for a perceived lack of action by the authorities. Some have talked of boycotting FA organised matches. Given the Terry / Suarez fines are higher than any dished out by UEFA / FIFA, then can we expect those same players boycotting Champions League and international games.
October 20. Racism - Premiership - Get A Grip Noted the numerous T-shirt anomalies. 2 clubs (Spurs & WBA) both put another cause in front of Racism. One of their opponents stills wears the T-short, the other does not. Swansea take a decision not to wear and their opponents do likewise out of respect to the home side. Around the country, some players do not wear the T-short due to a T-shirt shortage. Surely if The FA and Premiership are serious, they would enforce the T-shirts and it does not take a genius to know that each club needs 18 to kit out the match day squad.
October 11. Tweeting Twits Noted the 60 plus messages on the YEP mesage board in reaction to the Coventry game. See September 30 below.
October 6. Welcome Back? Mixed feelings about the imminent return to action of David McGurk and Scott Kerr. Ty has been out about a year and was struggling (for whatever reason) before he went down. Scott couldn't get into a struggling Division 2 team before he joined us.
September 30. Chattering Classes Log onto the YEP message board to see the reaction to our win at Adershot. Has it been down all night? Just 20 messages.
September 28. FIFA 13 Its re-kindled my son's interest in City as they're back in the game now we're back in the league. First time he paired City against Premiership favourites, Chelsea, it was Chelsea 1 CITY 3.
August 25. Great Expectations? Not sure how to take 3-1 at Barnet. At the back of my mind was the 5-1 in 93, after 15 minutes it was at the front of my mind. Too many stray balls and not enough incision.
August 17. Season Kick Off - Go Go Go City The wait is over. With our front 6, we can take on the best in the division. Just hope the back 4 is up to it.
May 20. 4 Times. When was the last time we beat a side 4 times in one season? Answers on a postcard to Kenilworth Road.
May 12. Newport Day Out. Just finished brekky listening to R5 Live interviewing Newport fans. The sound just like we did 3 years ago against Stevenage, a grand day out at Wembley being the result that counts. Let's hope we do a Stevenage and win 2-0.
March 25. Mr Rich & The Terriers. Just caught BBC's documentary about Bedlington Terriers and their American tycoon sponsor. The Terriers squad featured 2 ex City midfielders, Steve Bowey and Stuart Elliott. The programme centred on the Terriers trip to their tycoon's home town of Buffalo in The States. They lost 5-1. probably what you'd expect from a team coached by another ex City midfielder, Paddy Atkinson.
February 9. Harry Redkanpp. "I am completely and utterly disorganised. I write like a 2 year old and I can't spell. I can't work a computer, I don't know what an email is. I have never sent a fax and I've never even sent a text message" - Harry in court last week. Do you want this man as the next England manager?
October 22. Lost In Hayes. Set out early for lunch in my favourite restaurant in Hayes. Shock, Hayes don't play in Hayes anymore. Train down to Woking, stroll, well jog, through the park and see some players warming up. Arrived, however the ground looks suspiciously empty, I wasn't expecting many from Hayes, but I saw none from York. Realised I was at the Westfield v Chobham game. Quick dash across the building works and into the ground just in time to see Jason's latest wonder goal.
October 21. Gary Mills - Top Man. Branch get to meet Gary Mills at the team's hotel prior to the Hayes game. At 6:30, we're there, no team. 7:00 - Team coach arrives, Gary dashes off, finds us, apologises for the lateness, checks in and is back enthralling us all by 7:15. He said he'd chat for an hour, ninety minutes later he said his goodbyes and went off for his supper. Top man.
October 17. Not The Draw We Wanted. Who said that after City were paired with Wrexham in The Cup. Suspect Wrexham remembering Wrexham 0 CITY 3.
September 30. Man U Club Shop. A week after our (Manchester United) controversial win at Anfield, I popped into our club shop before the game. We've now 3 kits on sale, our home, away and referees kit.
August 13. Small Squad. Gary Mills has outlined his desire for a small, lean squad. OK when they're all fit, but we start with 19 senior pros. Take just 4 out (injuries, suspensions or international call ups) and we're down to the bare bones. No chance to rest a tired player, let's hope we don't fade after Xmas.
August 12. New Strike Force. No truth in the rumour that following the riots Gary Mills is interested in Tottenham's young international strike force who proved elusive and fleet footed, able to hit the target with ease, namely Italian Grabbatelli and Eqyptian Mustapha Plasma.
July 18. 24th. Fixtures out and we're 24th in the table, checked every day since they came out and we're stuck firmly at the bottom. Upside? Undefeated!
May 24. Super Injunctions. Just got back from the film premiere of Saving Ryan's Privates.
May 21. Billy Plutch - Peacemaker. Found myself at Eastlands for the Conference Final, masses (well quite a few) AFC Wimbledon fans in front of me. The drink and warm weather having the usual impact when they spotted a group of Luton followers across the road. "You're s*!?and you've warm f^(% all". The Mad hatters responded with finger salutes. As I crossed the road, I took off my top to reveal my City shirt. As one, both sets of supporters turned their ire on me, "What a load of rubbish" they sang.
May 14. Billy Plutch - Peacemaker. Walking just outside Baker Street at lunch time, The Globe was packed full of Stoke supporters, the drink and warm weather having the usual impact when they spotted a group of Manchester City supporters across the road. "You're s*!?and you've warm f^(% all". The Blues responded with finger salutes. As I crossed the road, I took off my top to reveal my City shirt. As one, both sets of supporters turned their ire on me, "What a load of rubbish" they sang.
May 12. Ranks. Mixed feelings about his departure. GM knew what he was good at and used him to his strengths. With Jamie Reed as our 20 - 25 goal striker, Ranks could have provided the goals a second striker should provide. Ranks, best of luck.
March 9. What's the difference between Arsene Wenger and Fagin. When Fagin sends out the boys, they return with silverware.
February 26. Prat Of The Day. Ranks gives us a lead and within 10 minutes, one so called City supporter is hurling abuse at him.
January 1. Jon Parkin. Traffic reports state delays on the main road into Cardiff due to a wide load. Jon Parkin signs for Cardiff that day. Coincidence?
November 6. Don Valley. Well played City, but with a replay on Nov 16, we could be in for 4 games in 8 days. Good job we've a big squad.
October 25. Emmerdale. See we're playing Emmerdale on November 21. Its looking like a busy week for City. We've moved our game at Rushden to Thursday 18 for TV coverage, Emmerdale on Sunday and the re-arranged Southport game on Tuesday November 23rd. 3 games in 6 days. Crazy.
October 23. City Bid For Rooney?

Arriving at BC this morning for the bus to Kiddy came across a crumpled up piece of paper, it read as follows:

  • Fulfil Ambition - Pull a Conference club all the way up thanks to your own efforts
  • UEFA Financial Fair Play - Unlimited wage potential, we’re unlikely to be hamstrung by the new regulations since we’ll not be competing in any UEFA sanctioned competitions in the near future
  • New venues - Go back to your roots and play on proper football grounds, in front of real spectators, without a prawn sandwich in sight
  • Complimentaries - And seats available on demand if you wish to bring extra family and friends at the last minute (memo to Jason, bro, we’d better act quick if we want to use this as a selling point, they ‘re struggling to sell out OT nowadays, did you see all those empty seats at the Bursapour game, nearly as many as we have at BC - Sophie)
  • Lack of media attention - Play for a club where off the field media interest is centred on York Minster when we’re on television. And what media attention we have is very friendly, non aggressive and non probing
  • John Champion - And Roo on compare notes with John on the best way to wind up Fergie
  • Ladies of a certain low morale standard - They don’t exist in York
  • Paul Stretford - Allow your agent access to a whole new talent pool of young professionals eagerly awaiting the attentions of a top class agent
  • Gary Mills - A manager with whom you’re on equal footing. You can compare Champions League / European Cup medals on equal terms.
  • Ambitions - Your team mates will not lack ambition and will be as keen as you to succeed. They all know that if they fail at York, they probably won’t make it anywhere.

Know Your Dates / Sundays Off - A relatively fixed fixture list, play on Saturday, Sunday free for family life. No more having your diary fixed by Sky TV

October 22. Adam Smith. "Smith Returns To York? first thought, not another whinger returning.
October 22 Youth Team. With today's announcement of the release of Jamie Hopcutt and Dean Lisles, it once again begs the question of the value of our youth team. We got a fee for Adam Boyes, but you probably have to go back to Lee Bullock for the previous fee. David Stockdale, Bryon Webster, Christian Fox and others all flattered to deceive, but couldn't make a difference, before being released by City. Now, we're left with Andy McWilliams flying the flag for our youth graduates.
October 13. Welcome Gary Mills. Quiz question. When was the last time City appointed a manager who was currently managing elsewhere?
October 12. Tortoise. Saw 4 Scarborough fans playing football in the street with a tortoise and was about to phone the cops when the tortoise went one up.
September 25. Martin Foyle. Quiz question. All the reports on Martin Foyle's reign refer to a 20 month reign. Appointed in September 2008, he resigned yesterday, I make that 22 months. What happened to the other 2?
September 24. Knickers. Bought the girlfriend a pair of Liverpool knickers for her birthday. One problem, two yanks and they're down.
September 24. Martin Foyle. See September 1.
September 6. Wayne Rooney. And there was me thinking Wayne hasn't been scoring recently.
September 1. Richard Brodie. I wish we had a clear steer on Brodes, did he want to go or was he pushed, what's the fee?. Its all rumour and innuendo, no good for anyone. Perhaps there's more to it than has been made public.
August 31. Richard Brodie. I don't begrudge Richard his move, only wonder if, financially aside, has he bettered himself by moving to Crawley?
August 28. Financial Woes. Perturbed to hear of City's new financial woes, especially given that last season was probably one of our best ever in terms of unexpected income. Say 50 grand from the FA Cup run, 150 grand from Wembley plus higher home game attendances than expected. Where would we be if we'd had a bad season?
August 22. Paul Scholes. Paul Scholes. For someone who doesn’t like publicity, the subject of his availability for England is keeping his profile high. If he wanted to play in the Word Cup, why didn’t he tell Capello in good time that he' like to be considered for selection. After all, it was Scholes who made himself unavailable way back when. Supposing he is selected again, where do you play him? Interrupt the Gerard / Lampard central midfield axis, or play 3 attacking minded players in the same side in the same central position. Or put one of them out on the left. Or put Scholes in the defensive midfield role Some say his vision is ideally suited to it. Not sure about his tackling though. I say, stick with club football where a young imp like Darren Fletcher does his running and makes Scholes look class.
July 13. Mr Pessimist. Brodie 37 goals, meanest defence in our entire history, how do we improve on that in 2010/11?
July 6. George Purcell. Just googled him, apparently he's highly experienced, he's had a long career in lower league football, starting out at Barnsley in 1922.
June 27. Managerial merry go round. Hull want Leicester's Nigel Pearson. Leicester want Port Vale's Mickey Adams. Let's hope Port Vale don't want one of their successful old boys.
June 12. England kick off. Its the age old debate, how do you fit Gerrard and Lampard into a successful team? Over the years, Lampard has regularly outscored Gerrard and has played in a more successful side. So why is it always Lampard who has to defer to Gerrard?
June 2. Mark Sertori. England fly off to The World Cup. Who is that familiar face in all the pics? Its Mark Sertori, the ex City midfielder who is now a masseur working for England and Manchester City. Another, also not very good, ex City midfielder, Leo Bertos is out there playing for New Zealand. They follow in the footsteps of others who learnt all they know whilst with City and went on to grace The World Cup. Ex City keeper Paul Robinson represented England in both the 2002 and 2006 competitions. In 2002, Dean Kiely was in the Eire squad and at a squad meeting even volunteered for extra duties as a midfield enforcer when Roy Keane returned home early. Apparently, Mick McCarthy managed to keep a straight face whilst the rest of the squad fell about laughing. Go back to 1990 and John Byrne was in the Eire squad in Italy. Way back in 1974, Peter Lorimer starred for Scotland in West Germany. An honorary mention also goes to Russ Howarth, City's young keeper was in the England squad at the Euro Under 21 championships in Switzerland in 2002. On returning home, he, along with the rest of the squad were put on standby for England's world cup campaign in Japan a month later. Off the pitch, 2006 saw Steve McClaren grace England's bench alongside Sven. A few years earlier, Derek Fazackerley had sat in the same seat at Euro 2000 alongside Kevin Keegan. What chance James Meredith or Andy McWilliams or Richard Brodie in Brazil in 2014.
June 1. Checking through the Conference 3 up online petition, its amazing how many names I recognise as former New Frontiers subscribers and readers.
May 20. Can't argue much with the retained list. Release the reserves, keep the bulk of the rest. Adam Smith has had enough chances to prove himself and didn't. There's enough spaces now in our squad to find a decent right back and wide men. Note how Luton and Oxford have already been actively recruiting for next season, taking the best of the free signings before anyone else.
May 16. Success. England win Cricket's World 20/20.
May 16. Woke up this morning having dreamt we'd won 6-2 in the play off final. Only one problem, we were playing Chesterfield.
May 14. Wembley Ban YCS. For the second successive season, Wembley has banned York City South from making the society's annual player of the year presentation to the winner on the pitch before the last game of the season. Our disappointed branch chairman was heard muttering something about the merits of Spotlands as he hung up the phone.
May 12. Wembley here we come. Living only 3 miles from Wembley, maybe my view is biased, but I'm glad the final is at Wembley. The alternative is somewhere like Stoke or Leicester, home of previous play off finals. Probably a third of the attendance and a fifth of the revenue that Wembley produces. Just a pity about the kick off time for the thousands who need to get back to York.
May 10. With The Football League agreeing to The Premiership's new parachute payments proposal, it makes our Wembley date even more valuable. Not only do we get a share of the day's gate receipts, but also 150 grand from the parachute payments, not forgetting the 180 grand that goes to all league club's for their youth set up, increased TV money, increased this, increased that.
May 9. What a difference a year makes. Remember this time last year. City at Wembley, not the best of performances. After only a few months in charge, some were calling for Martin Foyle's head.
May 7. Definition of a hung parliament? No one is in charge to cock things up. Definition of a well hung parliament? We won't go there.
April 29. Note how the bookies make City the outsider of 4 in the play offs. All they've done is set the odds according to the league table. No thought of current form (or lack of it). Lazy s@ds.
April 16. Good job City aren’t flying to away games with Iceland’s volcanic ash in the air. I’m sure by the time we fly to an away game, it will have all blown over, or if not, it will have settled down. Apparently in Iceland there’s been loads of people walking into pubs and asking for a pint of lava with a head on top.
April 15. Lib Dem activist at work looking forward to tonight's leader debate. Not realising it was the first of 3, she was trying to work out why it was on ITV and not BBC, the only explanation Jill could come up with was the I in ITV should for independent rather than state funded BBC.
April 8. Play offs here we come. Given our form, I’d like to be away in the second leg when ties usually open up. Not bothered who we play, but pity anyone who meets Luton at Wembley. They took over 40,000 to last season’s Johnstone’s Paint Pot Final so almost certainly their fans will seriously outnumber their opponents. Nice for the finances but it will feel like a Luton home game.
April 7. Plea to Martin. I understand your concerns re putting City on youtube and giving our opponents an easy scouting job. But you must put tonight's highlights on. They'll scare the s@&t out of our play off opponents.
March 23. Trip to Kiddy was worth it for their PA alone. At half time we had Pulp "Common People" followed by Oliver's Army and finished off by The Farm's Altogether Now. All this topped off by a laconic deadpan announcer.
March 22 My head hurts. Eagerly picked up the morning papers to read about United's win over Pool and Chelsea's stumble at Ewood. I'm confused, when were they all relegated? The talk is of who will win The Championship. I thought it would be Newcastle, but the papers seem split between Man U, Arsenal and Chelsea.
March 6. Dear Blog, its looking more and more that my February 1st entry is coming true.
February 27. City lose. Foyle says he sensed something wasn't quite right in training. Come back Andy Ferrell.
February 6. Even our old boys are doing their bit to help us up the league. Chris Smith, well done for Tamworth's winner against Stevenage today.
February 3. Vanessa Perroncel - Chelsea's new home ground?
February 2. John Terry, one report praises his personal qualities, his reliability, honesty, fortitude which it says complement his on field attributes, bonkers bravery, faultless positioning and distribution. It could equally apply to his personal life.
February 1. Whilst its good that Martin Foyle has freshened up his squad on transfer deadline day by releasing Andy Ferrell, a squad player and signing a Division 2 player, I wonder what impact it might have on Richard Brodie who has lost his bosom buddy and on team dynamics with the split of the Fun Boy 2, own Ant and Dec.
January 31. Whatever the rights and wrongs (and they're all wrongs) of the John Terry case, it struck me as rather strange that a key factor in the decision as to whether Terry retains his England squad place is the viewpoint of Wayne Bridge. It seems that if Bridge is happy to play alongside Terry, then Terry retains his place. So, we're giving a player, who, when the popular press come to picking their next squad, view the deputy left back role as "anyone but Bridge", the power to de-select the England captain, one of the few England players who might just merit a place in a World XI.
January 13. Up and down the country, Division 2 and Conference centre backs have an extra spring in the jump, added bite in their tackle and thoughts of a big new contract in their mind. Following Sol Campbell’s leap from struggling Notts County defender to Champions League / Big 4 club, they’re all queuing up to be the next in line. Alan O’Hare to Manchester United, Jimmy Sangare to Chelsea and Luke Graham to Liverpool.
January 3. After his illness last summer, it was good to see John Hartson looking so well on the TV today.
January 2. Unable to make Stoke due to work, I avoided all FA Cup news until I sat down in front of the television to watch all the highlights, hoping beyond hope that City had caused an upset. First match on, the evening kick off, Reading v Liverpool. Reading score first and the muppet of a commentator blurts out, "Could this be the first shock of the day?". Muppet.
November 23. Muppets, after going to great lengths to have a low profile hearing and after over 3 months of preparation, the Subway 4 case is adjourned to January 14.
November 20. Getting nervous as the big day approaches. Monday 23rd, the Subway 4 in court. There appears to be a news black out, nothing's been said about it. Surely the court isn't afraid that it will be mobbed by rampaging, demented City fans trying to influence the court. Jorvik Reds, now is your chance to be the new Guy Fawkes. Or, I'll get my mate Chris at the MOJ to pump some happy gas through the building infrastructure. Or perhaps, he's already hacked into their computer system and deleted the case.
November 11. Not missing The Press' City coverage. Jump onto the club's web site, all I need to know delivered in an upbeat style. No put downs. And for the non biased, there are plenty of fan's web sites which cover City. All coverage that The Press used to provide.
November 10. In case you were wondering why there were no City players in England's squad to play Brazil, they, like Luke Young, had previously informed Fabio Capello that they'd retired en masse from international football. Michael Ingham is still available for Northern Ireland. Equally, recognising the importance of The Conference and the "persuasive powers" of Paul Fairclough in furthering their careers, the players remain available for call up by England C and their Welsh and Scottish equivalents.
November 9. Not sure if it was a fix or not, but over 50% of the respondents to our early season poll had City winning promotion via the play offs. No one was brave enough to put us down as champions, no one predicted us to make the play offs and not gain promotion. Later voters cast a more optimistic response. Sangere narrowly pipped Ferrell to be our player of the season.
November 7. Crewe Ker-ching. 18 grand in prize money and probably a five figure sum as our share of gate receipts from the 3,070 crowd today. Add to the 12 grand prize money and gate receipts from the Bedworth game and our FA Cup run has probably netted us over 30 grand already. Round 2 victors win a further 27 grand in prize money. Round 3 is a whopping lottery jackpot size 67 and a half grand. Not forgetting gate receipts and, whisper it quietly, television appearance money.
November 2. Just thrown The Press into the bin. Coat on and down the newsagent to cancel my subscription. First wobble and the paper is on City's backs again.
November 2. Congratulations to Coleen and Wayne Rooney on the birth of their first born. Have they followed the Beckham baby naming convention or have they started a new trend, using the names of cars from the lower end of the market. What’s next? Trabant Rooney or Punto Rooney. You’d have thought they could have gone a bit more upmarket. Mercedes or Ferrari Rooney for a girl or Enzo or Bentley Rooney for a boy.
October 31. Leicester announce Edgar Davids is not joining them. I can announce Cristiano Ronaldo is not joining York. He didn't answer his phone when we rang him with details of a contract that would more than match his Real Madrid contract.
October 17. Leaving home in Swiss Cottage this morning, I bumped into Alex McLeish outside Birmingham's overnight hotel. Chatted about Sir Alex Ferguson, that lead onto York City. When I told him about our 2 top scoring strikers, his eyes lit up. He pummelled me for info, even if he did refer to one as Michael Hash. - sent by Blackberry
September 20. Australia - Failures to the end. Already 6 down in the one dayers, the Aussies fail to stop England completing the first ever 7-0 rout in a one day international series.
September 5. Good job I deleted the Richard Brodie comment from 2 weeks ago (August 22).
September 1. What a cunning plan. Play both 20 - 20 games at Old Trafford with late afternoon starts. Late August / early September, they're bound to be rain affected thus saving Aussie blushes.
August 29. In the good old days of new frontiers, what went into print stayed in print. After my comments about Richard Brodie at Hayes, I can now hit the delete button and eulogise over the hard working, hard running Richard Brodie. I always thought he ran his socks off.
PS Did you notice his penalty, calmly placed into the very spot he'd practised at Hayes a week earlier.
August 23. 5:50. The Oval. The end of summer. For the Aussies, it marked the end of their winter as well as their Rugby Union side lost to New Zealand in The Bledisloe Cup over the weekend. What, if any, sports are they good at? Any pom for tiddlywinks? PS Their soccer must be in a desperate state having imported Daniel McBreen to pep up their premier division.
August 22. Hayes 1 - York 1. Having listened to our first 4 games on the radio, I was expectant. Either we had an off day or nothing's changed. Its easy to see why Brodie is on the bench, not sure what came first, loss of form or loss of confidence. His goal record and never say die attitude deserve a starting place. PS Hope there was a point about his penalty practice before the kick off. With just the subs on the pitch, he placed the ball on the penalty spot and calmly stroked it into his bottom left hand corner of an empty goal.
Meanwhile, Gash remains off the pace, lack of confidence or lack of pre season training and fitness? Whatever, the boo boys behind the goal won't inspire him. Son asked, why they swear so much, didn't know how to answer, but just glad 7 year old daughter stayed at home. Although thinking back a few weeks, when doing some English with son, I asked him, what prefix starting with the letter "S" do you put in front of standard meaning not very good. As he was thinking, daughter leant across the table and confidently answered with a 4 letter word starting with "S" in my ear. She obviously know it was a naughty word. The things they teach them in the playground nowadays.
August 21. Another summer day. The critics said we failed on Day 1, but even so, the Aussies failed much more spectacularly on Day 2.
August 20. Summer returns, at least for the morning and afternoon, not sure about after tea though.
August 15. What about Joleon "My heads all over the place" Lescott. I kept looking out for his head but it always seemed to be attached to his shoulders. I was expecting to see it pop up in unexpected places, maybe out of the trainer's bucket or as the subject of a spot the face in a crowd competition or even in a Manchester City shirt. Anyway, Everton 1 Arsenal 6, sounds more like score from a park game rather than the premiership.
August 8. Football season starts here. 82-5, Andrew Strauss, what sort of a football score is that?
August 7. Headingley. Test #4. In case you think its been a late decision to even up The Ashes by helping the Aussies, think again. Given their aversion to swing bowling, Headingley chopped down all the trees that surround the ground several years ago. Since then, its been a largely swing free wicket, unlike former days when the ball swung like a boomerang. Also, so the Aussies have less to whinge about if the weather remains inclement, we've improved the pitch's infiltration rate by 85% since May's one day international with the Windies was washed out, so we can't be accused of getting out of jail if it rains.
August 5. Did you read about those Aussies supporters fleeing back home. London travel agent offers loads of one hundred one way plane tickets to Australia. Queues out of the door and down the street were queuing up overnight to grab them. Can't stomach defeat, leaving behind our glorious summer for winter.
August 3. Back at Edgbaston, so kind of Strauss to give the Aussies a gentle all day net in the middle honing their batting skills. At the same time trying hard to make the dervish from t’far side of t’ills break down once and for all. At least it keeps the Ashes on a knife edge for a bit longer.
August 1. Take advantage of the Edgbaston rain to go up to Halifax for our last friendly. Shouldn't have bothered. The question of the day. Why is Mark Hotte is still playing football?
July 30. We're even breaking the rules now to help the Aussies. Brad Haddin goes down injured after the teams have bee announced. Strauss, good fella that he is, breaks the rules to allow Graham Manou to take Haddin's place. Maybe we should allow them 12 if we're trying to even up the sides.
July 28. With the ECB’s spin doctors organising a wet summer and heavy rain for Edgbaston to keep the Ashes on a knife edge (and to help to avoid any further defeats for the Aussies), what do the Aussies do? Whinge about the weather!
July 27. Someone suggested I should be more social. Cheeky chappy, I thought, I'll fart when I want. Then he told me about Twitter and how you post short messages known as tweets. Not sure if that would make me a twit or a twat for posing (sic).
July 20. Not sure what else we can do to make an even game of the Ashes. We field a side with our best batter and our best bowler both crocked. We set the Aussies a leisurely 260 a day over 2 days to win. And what happens? Australia fail again. What else can we do to give them a chance?
July 15. There's been a lot of talk recently about Freddie, the broken dervish from t’far side of t’ills, and his bowling not reaping the figures it deserves. Join the club Freddie, I've spent a lifetime watching City where our performances don't get the results they merit.
July 13. Desperately sorry to hear John Hartson's sad news. Not sure how cancer spreads from the testicles to the brain. But it might help to prove the old saying about a man's brain being in his pants.
July 12. We’re doing all we can to help the Aussies retain the Ashes. Having well and truly disposed of our successful 2005 captain, Michael Vaughan, we go to Cardiff, a neutral venue with Yorkshiremen Matthew Hoggard, Adil Rashid and Tim Bresnan excluded from the squad in favour of spinners who can’t spin and quickies who can’t take wickets. Even Australia did their bit to deny us. Having spent all winter debating which side has bowlers who can take 20 wickets in a match to secure victory, what do Australia do? They declare with 6 wickets down in Cardiff to deny us our chance of 20 wickets in a game. Then its onto Lords where England haven’t beaten Australia since 1934. Back in those days, 4 Yorkshiremen (Sutcliffe, Leyland, Verity and Bowes) were instrumental in England’s win. Ever since, we’ve gradually reduced the number of Yorkies in England’s team, but even so, think Sir Len, Raymond and Sir Geoffrey and you’ll notice it only takes one good ‘un to beat the Green Caps. Why we’ve even stopped playing them as a county since we beat them at Sheffield in 1968. Green caps, more Yellow Bellies.
July 1. Sorry to hear the news of Sheila Smith’s death this week. I remember back to the days of The Roof Appeal, New Frontiers and The Youth Development Fund and how she was very helpful, often going beyond the call of duty to help us to help the club.
May 31. Blues Strikes The Reds (or similar). I got my wish last summer when our summer shopping was largely done in early summer. Effectively we had first pick of the released dross, not the leftovers in July. I thought we were in for a good season. W Wr Wrong, Billy Plutch. This time, we did the same again. I’m underwhelmed at who we picked up. A winger who played for Oxford and Kiddy and wasn’t considered good enough for either this season, a left back released by Shrewsbury even before their Wembley play off game, low scoring and / or middle aged Conference South strikers. Not sure how many have the potential to play at a higher level. At least Clayton Donaldson, Andy Bishop (or even Nathan Peat) dropped down the divisions to come to York, hungry to make names for themselves. PS Chris Moore is back in York from his Parisian sojourn.
May 20. Déj?vu. I always knew there was a reason for learning French at school. Neal Bishop, whilst within his rights, has just walked out on Barnet without telling anyone and signed for Notts County. Just like he did 2 years ago when he walked out on City without telling anyone. Manners maketh the man.
May 14. What a pity York MP Hugh Bayley didn't put KKC as his second home. YCFC could have done with the money. Approx ?5K, it could have been a nice earner.
May 9. What an anti climax. And that's before the game! What a desolate sight greeted me waking up Wembley Way 30 minutes prior to kick off. Some people, a few traders, hot dog kiosks closed. The car / coach park came into view. Way over in the distance, I spied 51 YCFC coaches and a few cars, the car park was more concrete than vehicles. Its fuller for Wembley's Sunday Market! Inside, not too many familiar faces. I don’t think it took too much effort to work out who was behind the flares and the ejections from the City end. On the pitch it wasn’t much better. Clutching at straws, who knows what might have happened if we scored first, we had a couple of chances in open play and a penalty appeal turned down. But once Stevenage scored, they got on top and we didn’t have a look in.
May 7. Just finished my research into the Conference South play offs and the new team we’ll face next season. Down at Hampton & Richmond, the highlight of the game was a big clearance out of play getting stuck in a tree overhanging the pitch, so despite the ball not even crossing the line, play was stopped. Thank goodness, the little mascot wasn’t expected to climb the tree to retrieve the ball. At Hayes, the soulless, faceless part of London, Hayes & Yeading FC is located on the outskirts of the town, no pubs to recommend, only a wide choice of curry houses. If you fancy a point, Hayes Bowling Club is as good as any. Once at the ground, you’ll find just one entrance and no segregation. Pity when they merged, they didn’t relocate to Yeading, at least you could have a drink in the marina under the Heathrow flight path. However, its still worth a trip to support the boys, Its possibly the closest we’ll get to Wembley next season.
Nov 5. Bonfire Night. Roasting chestnuts on the bonfire or The Emirates to see Arsenal take on Fenerbahce. My choice? Pretty sanitised football, both teams were well organised, but with no spark, no width, no flair, no pace. Some might say that in many ways it resembled KKC. At least at KKC, the size of the stands doesn’t block the view of the fireworks outside the ground.
Nov 1. Search over. All the way to Australia to sign a Bruce. Come on down, Daniel McBreen.
Aug 29. With our start, I'm off on a round the world scouting trip for a new dodgy centre forward, I might be gone some time.
Aug 25. Looking forward to today's Premiership fixtures after 2 referees are dropped for making mistakes last week. On the basis of being dropped for making a mistake, I'm expecting most games to be 5 a side today.
Aug 24. Another season landmark reached. Walking out of the ground after our Forest Green performance, my son turned to me and mentioned the dreaded R word, its first mention of the season, in fact for 2 seasons.
Aug 24. Found it a bit rich of Fergie threatening to report Liverpool for an illegal approach for Heinze after their shenanigans for Tevez, they practically had him in for a medical when West Ham were adamant he was their player and not for sale.
Aug 11. Leeds win at Tranmere. I'm confused. After Ken Bates took Leeds into administration in May how come he's a director of the new Leeds, how did he pass his fit and proper person test?
Aug 10. Tevez joins Manchester United. Not sure how he did it but can we use 3rd party ownership to tie players to contracts to get around the Bosman ruling.
July 20. Dear Diary, I must be more regular this season. Just like Craig Farrell.
July 19. Where did last 2006/7 season go to? Did they really finish Wembley? I blinked and missed our new signing, Craig Farrell, score a hatful of goals.
July 18. Where did last 2006/7 season go to? Did they really finish Wembley? I blinked and missed our new signing, Craig Farrell, score a hatful of goals. I must have missed it as I trekked the country, groupie to the stars as Ted Chippington and I, Ludicrous, hit the comeback trial. How about a Desperate Bicycles reunion. Meanwhile RIP Sema 4.
September 24. My eldest is keeper for his school team. I promised him a pair of goalie gloves if we could find something City related. Off to the shops and we found “Stockdale?gloves, unfortunately they were full of holes, hiding behind them were the “Porter?range. Next to them was the “Endersby?range, my wife wasn’t very keen on them as they jumped off the shelf and groped her. They were sold out of “Evans?so we had a choice between “Kiely?and “Robinson? As my lad is about the same age as Paul Robinson when he played for City we went for his gloves.
September 23. Did a search on YCFC on youtube and the first 2 results were Nathan Peat and world class footballers.
September 19. Have to get my glasses changed. I thought I'd gone to see City, but those yellow shirts were more like Brazil and who was that coloured striker doing all those brilliant flick ons?.
August 19. What a day, I've seen 2 City away wins in a week, when was the last time that happened, I can't remember it in over 40 years supporting City.
August 19. Sat next to 3 middle aged Middlesbrough supporters on the train down to London this morning. They were off to Reading and were discussing Sunderland's game at Southend. One thought Southend was near Reading, one thought it was in Cornwall and the third was adamant it wasn't by the coast. They were last seen wondering around Kings Cross looking for a train to Reading.
Summer. Good day, so good I can't remember exactly when, must be the heat. Good to see Chris Brass again at Yorkie and Kirstie's wedding.
April 22. Working this morning so couldn't get to Stevenage. Thought I'd try a D2 game and drove up to Darlo to see their new ground. Had a pleasant surprise when Chris Brass was announced in the Bury starting line up, a rare appearance. He scored a great goal after only 8 minutes, back to goal, facing his goal, 8 yards out, he did an overhead kick hit, it bounced off his forehead giving his own goalie no chance. Darlo 1 Bury 0. He deserves better.
April 18. Why all the fuss about the Highbury squirrel? Or for that matter, the rats on the Old Trafford pitch (and some would say elsewhere at Scum United) earlier this season. We've had animals on the pitch at Bootham Crescent on many occasions. Now, now, I know what you're thinking, but that's down the A64 and the donkeys at The McCain Stadium. I was thinking of lions, seals, foxes and panthers, Barry, Jimmy, Christian and Emmanuel. PS What's the difference between the Highbury squirrel and Spurs, the squirrel has European experience.
January 19. Can't believe my ears when I read Arthur tonight. Criticism for Chris Brass for taking the pay off. He negotiated a contract and he's fully entitled to his money. He was a good servant for the club, first as a player and then as captain he held the team together through our dark days as we almost went out of business. Maybe he was promoted too quickly to manager, but he was the fans choice at the time. Good luck for the future.
January 13 2006. Postie dropped a thick glossy brochure on my doormat this morning for East London's latest buy to let bonanza. It seems that Leyton Orient are building a block of flats behind each of the four corner flags at their Brisbane Road stadium. The price list suggests that the higher stories are more expensive, reflecting the less likelihood of having their windows put through by stray shots and being further from the inaction. The flats with a view over the pitch are cheaper than those with no view of the inaction. The only other surprise is that they haven't plans to build on the adjacent vacant site that doubles as the home team's attacking penalty area. One block is assigned as affordable housing, yes it still exists in London, presumably with sky high rents in London, it works out cheaper for Orient to house their youth players at the ground in club property. But, as you can probably imagine if you've ever been to see City down there, there are no luxury roof top penthouse apartments. Even so, with a total sale price of about ?0 million, its nice little earner for Barry Hearn and the boys. I cast my vote, on several occasions, to have one block named "Derrick Downing Court" in honour of our (and their) left winger of the 1970s but my attempts at vote rigging provided unsuccessful. However, I do intend to buy a couple of flats so that I can hang our Yorkcitysouth flag out of the window next time we play them. In fact, I'll hang it out at every Orient home game just to keep our flag flying. Arsenal are doing something similar with Highbury, but offering an incentive of a free season ticket with every flat. No such incentives at Orient, which I suspect is a clever little marketing ploy.
November 24 2005. Sorry, not been around much recently, have you noticed how our form slumped at the same time, coincidence or what. Any way, having heard rumours of the signing of Terry Barwick, I was dead impressed when I saw Teletext's football front page headline, "Barwick Eyeing Wembley Euro Final", I know he's only signed initially on loan, but he sounds confident and impressive if he expects to lead us through the divisions to a European Champions League Final at Wembley, I wonder which of his new teammates will go all the way with him.
October 12. I know Billy Mc and Steve Beck are singing the praises of our Intermediates, but even I couldn't believe the crowds on their way to Trafford on Wednesday until someone told that England were playing down the road. Couldn't believe my eyes, England at Old Trafford again, I thought The FA were taking the games around the country, but they must be working from a Manchester A-Z.
October 1. Couldn't believe me eyes when I woke up and checked the club's little fixture list card this morning. There, handwritten it said, "October 1 Exeter (h)", who forgot to type it in?
September 12. Rush home from work to see climax of The Ashes. 2 Aussie batsman working off followed by a sombre looking England team to muted applause. We've lost again, I think to myself. Hours later I learn the truth, oh well, at least the cricket administrators can make as big a cock up as football's administrators.
September 10. Just back from another win at Forest Green, dizzy with success, but I'm worried. Billy and the boys (most if not all) are on one year contracts, they could walk at the end of the season, a bit like Aldershot last season, all their best players left and look at them now, struggling. Come on board, start getting Billy and at least some of the boys contracted beyond this season.
August 31. They say Newcastle fans are football crazy. 15,000 turned up to watch the ink dry on Michael 0-Win's new contract. Plain crazy if you ask me. O-Win leaves Liverpool for "success" at Real Madrid and jumps ship to Newcastle. No chance of any trophies until next July, Michael.
August 10. Been scratching me 'ead all day. Bootham Crescent is in central York, land locked and ripe for housing development. The board and council then push 2 other city centre sites as the preferred choice for our new stadium. Why? Surely they'll have all the disadvantages of Bootham Crescent and can you name any other club who have moved from one city centre location to another?
August 8. Unsure why Chris Brass isn't in Billy's plans. He's got to pay his wages whether or not he plays, so he might as well play and be in the shop window. We could do with an extra player, an experienced one at that.
July 8. Just finished my stint helping Billy tidy up the ground. I was tidying up his office, spent most of my time emptying Chris and Viv's old desks. Read more.
July 5. With Stevie Gerrard constantly changing his mind I think I'd prefer Greg Heald in our side. Do you fancy Stevie who doesn't know whether to stay or go, will probably get confused as to whether to pass to red or blue and will then get dispossessed whilst trying to decide whether to cross or shoot. Meanwhile, no nonsense Greg decides he doesn't fancy it and off he goes. Top man.
July 1. Training has started and we don't seem to have the 20 plus trialists of recent years training with us. It looks like Billy McEwan knows what he wants as isn't getting as many bad players through the door to see who is the least worse of the worst.
June 1. What a laugh at the "Colegate Trial". The Premier League set up (that took over 3 months) an inquiry and then the 2 main instigators (agents Barnett and Zahavi) are outside their jurisdiction. Its a case of having to call upon big brothers, The FA and FIFA, if they want to investigate them. Apparently the agents can operate in The Premier League but can't be controlled by them.
May 31. I see Rio Ferdinand is claiming it might take him 18 months or 2 years before he makes up his mind on his new contract. I don't remember him taking so long when he had the chance to jump ship at West Ham or Leeds. Or is it a case that it will take him 2 years to read his new contract.
May 15. Am I going soft or what? I'm starting to feel sorry for Fergie. Glazier tells him he's only got ?0m to spend. He'd be better off at Wigan who offered their manager ?5m to spend. For Fergie, is it a case of one yank and he's off.
May 13. Pouring over the Manchester Scumited take over got me thinking. McManus / Magnier are reputed to have made anything between ?0m and ?00m, that's probably more than City have turned over in our entire history. Probably the whole of Division 2 could live very nicely on the interest generated by that. I laughed out loud on the tube to work when I read the Independent Manchester United Supporter Association's spokesperson say, "This has come out of the blue, if we'd seen it coming we might have been able to do something different". How much notice do they need? Its been coming since they went to the Stock Market in 1991, the days of Robert Maxwell, recent events raised the stakes and the Takeover Panel's ultimatum of May 17 was less than a week away. If City's supporters were as well organised (and motivated), than we'd have no club by now and Bootham Crescent would to be York's latest Buy To Let investment.
May 8. Popped down to the New Den. Drinking before the game, at half time and at the end. Why can't we do that at Bootham Crescent? We could make a bar under the Pop Stand with access via the long lost tunnel.
May 7. Awaken at 7:30 (sic) by the thud of the latest When Saturday Comes on the doormat. Open it to find a pic of Norman Wilkinson and Billy Hughes, a strike partnership to strike fear (in more senses than one) into every opposing defence, No wonder we were so good in the 50s.
May 5. My old buddy, Josh is over from Kiwi land. He's going back tomorrow but he found time in his busy schedule to meet me for a drink. Its his first time in England and being a far away gooner, he'd tried to get tickets for a game before he arrived, their ticket office said they were sold out, but the nice lady he spoke to told him to go to Highbury when he arrived and she'd see what see could do. I said I'd take him to Canvey Island to see some real footy but he said no. I didn't see any footy that night as we lost 4-0. Anyway, Josh told me he went to Highbury on the day he arrived. The lady managed to find tickets for the cup semi and also the Spurs game. He was made up, especially as his hero, Kenny Sansom, was in the office. They got chatting and Kenny gave him personal guided tour of the stadium. "What you doing tonight?" asked Kenny, "Nothing", replied Josh, Kenny offered to take him to Stevenage to see the Arsenal Ladies. After the game, Josh chatted with one of the Arsenal players, a fellow Kiwi. "I know Charlie George, he'll be at Highbury next week, meet me there and I'll introduce you". A week later, Charlie gives Josh the same guided tour that Sansom had done. It gets better. David Dein was at the ground. He chats to Josh and invites him to go with the directors to see Arsenal at Chelsea. Somewhere in the story, Josh gets a phone call, "Josh, I'm very sorry, I couldn't meet you whilst you were in London", they chat for 20 minutes about Arsenal, goalkeeping and life in general, The caller? Bob Wilson, a boyhood hero for Josh, a young keeper in New Zealand. By the time I meet up with Josh, he's a week late going home. "What's your wife going to say when you get back?" I ask, "I can handle that", replies Josh, "but I'm not sure how I'm going to explain this", he says opening his shirt to reveal a new Gunners tattoo across his heart. Top story, true story, I thought it was only the little clubs who did this sort of thing.
May 3. Good to see Billy has pre season training starting on May 11. Only trouble is we don't have many players. Just hope he doesn't wait to July and August to make his signings like we've done in recent years when we've been left with the best (or should it be the least worst) of the rest.
April 30. As the end of the season approaches, I give you The Fourth Law Of Football Supporting, "The bigger the club you support, you more stupid you look when crying your eyes out after a defeat denies you the success you wanted".
April 27. Just read about 2 attempts to cut Chris Brass. Not so much of the friendly club evident here when we try to settle with him twice within weeks of his serious knee injury.
April 13. Now we can look forward to our 3rd annual player cull. One year contracts are a 4 edged saw. One, we only have rubbish for a year. Two, any one whose half decent can leave after a year. Three, no one whose half decent wants just a year. Four, it takes a lot of time for the boss to work out his best 11 when he’s got so many new players to pick from. As for the juniors, are the current 17 year old trainees any better than this season’s 18 year old first season pros? Whatever, I know Billy is up to the job.
April 12. Someone wrote on Arthur tonight that Chris Brass "should continue following his re-abilitation". I can think of far more worthy candidates for re-abilitation, especially after tonight.
April 12. What a night. Was it the first time I’ve celebrated after a City 6-0 defeat. At least we‘ve avoided relegation.
April 9. Day Jar Who or wot. Lose at Hereford and with other results going our way, everyone says we're safe. Just like 1999 I suppose when we entered the last week of the season needing to lose both our games whilst Lincoln and Wycombe both won their 3 remaining games. No prizes for guessing what happened next. Tempting fate or what.
March 25. What started as an Easter Extra finished with a blank. Early Good Friday train from Kings Cross up to York to see us play Aldershot. All quiet as I approached the ground, nothing unusual there. Gates locked at 10 to 3. No one told me they'd changed the date. Anyway, more to come. Back to London and off to Wembley the next day for the Northern Ireland game. Ground a building site. Who said they could rebuild Wembley and have you noticed how all the big England games are now played at Old Trafford. I thought they were being spread around the country when really its big games at Old Trafford and the crumbs for the rest. With German and Scottish fans trying to get Hamman and Baxter immortalised in the naming of the new Wembley stadium, how about starting "The John Woodward Walkway" campaign?
March 25. As for my dad. With no Good Friday football, he was tending the roses in his front garden when he saw a familiar car go by. It was Billy McEwan being chauffeured by Steve Beck. "It’s a holiday, no game, no training, what they’re doing going off together", he wondered as he jumped into his car to follow them. He ended up at Northwich for the afternoon, thinking he’ll be back in York by 6 he phoned me mum to tell her to get tea ready. Big mistake, after the game, Steve drives Billy drive to Burton to watch the evening conference game. What dedication, Bank Holiday, and Billy takes in 2 games. Top Man, or should that be Top Men, for Billy and Steve.
March 19. Billy's first signing. A new tractor, he'll probably be our fastest defender. A drainage machine as part of the deal, another bore.
March 16. Gary Pearson out. Calculator out. Reckon City have saved a grand by getting rid of injured Pearson. Possibly a win - win situation (rare for City) with a tax free redundancy pay off for Pearson and City save on national insurance and income tax. What price Pearson at Hartlepool next season? Who's next for a package, there were plenty on offer last season! And, if there's none, it must be because we can't afford the lump sums up front (the cash, not our strike force).
March 14. Saw the Welsh squad announced. Telephoned the Welsh FA and got their automated recording machine, "Dial One For Tickets, Dial 2 for Membership Details and Dial 3 if you want a game". With Robbie Savage announcing his retirement today, I suppose they must be short.
March 9. Tried explaining the offside law to my little cousin. The linesman must have about 5 pairs of eyes, the legs of Linford Christie and the combined brain of Einstein, Newton and Pythagaros. I've got a worse headache that I've had since I went to see Scarborough play last week. My cousin? he's waiting for cbeebies to explain offside.
March 5. Sick before the game with all those Yorkies, more chocs inside the ground, couldn't face the half time pie but was sick again when I saw there was no pie queue, guess everyone has gone for the free choccy and sick again at the final whistle with another home defeat.
February 10. Dash down to the ground straight after work to be one of the first to get Billy’s autograph. Long wait before he emerges with Steve Beck, "Billy, can I have your autograph", I shout, Billy obliges, whilst doing so, Steve’s phone rings, he answers it and asks Billy what he’s doing next Wednesday, and replies to his caller, "OK, we can do next Wednesday". It was the York Minstermen, quick off the mark to get Billy along to his next meeting.

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