Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I Love City - My Story

We hear from many supporters who given us their feelings, vent their spleen or tell us their story. Today we heard from Simon Cooper rather than say anything else, please read what he has to say, he sums up the feelings of many supporters:-

"I like many other people of my generation came from a broken home. When I say broken, I use that in the phrase of “my mam and dad were divorced when I was very young”. At weekends from the age of 8 years old my father a Salford blue would have the weekend with me and my brother to spend time with us and take us here and there.

The main event would be a trip to Maine Rd to see our beloved Manchester City. My old fella was a bus driver and used to drive one of the match buses from Aytown Street to Lloyd Street every Saturday. He would put me and my brother on the nearest seat to the drivers cabin while city fans packed the bus to go to see the boys in blue. The bus drivers had there own seats at the very back of the Platt Lane, and my old fella would smuggle us both in, and we would get a birds eye view of the match.

When I first started going, I didn’t see what all the fuss was about until city would score. My old fella would lift me and our kid about shaking us like rag dolls, screaming and shouting for joy. If my old fella was happy, then we were happy.
That’s when city became a member of me and my dad and my brothers family. We built up a love for them over the years, and as we both got older we got more passionate.

My mam was from Wythenshawe and was a red, as were all her brothers (5). Seeing the joy on our faces when my dad would drop us off she was more than happy for us to be blues. Now I look back the gap that was formed when they both split up was filled with Manchester City F.C.

City was my family, and through out the years I became very protective of the club. Some times over protective, leading to fights in school to defend something that I loved and whose name I would not have dragged in the gutter by anyone. This was football, but to me is just wasn`t. This was my club, from my town, wearing my colours. It was my family, my dads family and my brothers family, and my other city mates family.

Over the years through the highs and lows, that love has grown and grown, as it does naturally with most of us. When it was announced we would be leaving Maine Rd, I was sad but excited at the chance of 48,000 people roaring our blues on to the max in a world class stadium.

Much to my dismay that vision did not bear fruit for the first part of the season and I along with other passionate blues tried to do something about it. We met with with the club's board to discuss why people could not be seated with their friends who were sat next to each other at Maine Road.

We opposed the heavy handed stewarding that was not used at Maine Rd, asking why were these new methods being installed? We asked the club to create singing areas to which nothing prevailed.

We opposed the membership card as a money making scam to blead fans,(it was £20). We asked the club to move the away fans and many other things to improve the atmosphere. We asked about putting tickets on open sale sooner?

Nothing happened. We gave up (cloth ears).

At the one of the last Fans Committee meetings I attended , I and 3 fans of the Points of Blue panel told the club if they did not address all of the above, attendences would drop. One of the board (who I wont name, but will if I have to) said the club could not forsee that occuring with a season ticket waiting list of 8,000. I just felt sick. We and others on that panel knew the danger signs were in place, but all the club could see were figures and not the complaints we were hearing at work and in the pubs.

The following year the signs were there, Olympiakos 18,000. A friendly you say…..ok. Not to me, it was a sign of things to come. The new £20 membership card we felt would just tell the fans “the clubs taking the piss, we're no mugs”

West Brom gate 42,000, (3,000 Baggies). FIRST GAME OF THE SEASON. Where`s the 6,000 season ticket waiting list??? That means the club have lost 14,000 fans somewhere?? Where have they gone?? This year gates are down to 34,000 as we predicted.

No one can prove where they have gone, I believe they’ve given up on watching football and are simply voting with their feet. "Johnny come latelys" you may say, we don’t think so. I think they're all blues who can see when they're having their pants pulled down and ripped off. The amazing thing is THIS IS HAPPENING AT EVERY PREMIERSHIP CLUB. City as a club are FORCED financially to compete.

Overpriced tickets! Give us your money ! Watch the match and shut up! Then go home and watch the same thing on T.V.,enjoy the Premiership in the millenium.

What we are saying is don’t give up on football, it has survived without money before and it will do it again. You’ve just got to find it. The fans are the club not the landlords.

I would like to you all to appreciate the fans committee (Points of Blue panel). Every one of them has the courage and love to speak their mind to the club and give their own time up to do that. By right all of the supporters club chairmen should be there…because surely they represent the fans?

City fans need to build a structure that protects the Heart and Soul of the club that is slowly dying. Boards come and go, fans don’t.

Atmosphere affects the players Keegan said it and now Pearce has said it. The place is like a morgue!. You know it, I know it but now one cares enough to do anything about it, until now.

But if 48,000 blues don’t speak as one, nobody hears them. WE NEED TO SPEAK AS ONE!

We need to join together for the first time under one flag, that flag I believe is the MCFC Supporters Trust. This is a club representing the City of Manchester, Yet no one on the current board has lived or been brought up in Manchester. Do they really understand what being a Manchester City fan is all about?

For this club to move forward, all of us as fans have to join together as one. We now have the chance for the first time in our history to make a difference. Myself and the members of Bluewatch will be backing the Trust 110%.

Thanks

Simon Cooper
President of Bluewatchmcfc"

Send us your story to mcfcsupporters@hotmail.co.uk and we will publish a selection. For those of you who have already sent us stories etc don't worry, we haven't forgotten you and plan publishing more like this regularly.

10 Comments:

At 8:59 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blimey. What a call to arms. Bang on. I could not agree more. It is time that we reclaimed OUR club.

B Pye
Alty
CTID

 
At 9:11 pm, Blogger Bluesology said...

Simon's heartfelt statement says it all and is excellently and eloquently put

 
At 9:19 pm, Anonymous George Pare said...

Thank you Simon. After reading your story I have to admit that it reflected my own and I guess many other Blues' feelings towards the game in general and our Manchester City in particular.

I've been a season ticket holder for many years and I have to say that after driving up from Luton each home game (a self-imposed exile) and seeing increasing number of empty seats in such a wonderful stadium depresses me greatly.

Come on City, get the bums back on the seats.

 
At 9:35 pm, Anonymous Wigan Blue said...

We should get some good hotdogs and burgers when the Mafia take over. Unlike now when they run out of bitter and pies on a regular basis. These home matches must come as a total surprise to the catering staff.....

 
At 11:35 pm, Anonymous European Dreamer said...

Sorry but this is sentimental nonsense. Smuggled in as a kid in the good old day!!

Attendances at City have been much lower than they are now. I'm afraid some of the lost "14,000" are Johnny come latelys and the Premiership isn't as fashionable as it was a few years ago. Yes our football has been poor and this will also contribute to the falling attendances. But we never averaged anywhere near 48,000 at Maine Road even in the glory days, so I think we need to get a bit of perspective. People have more choice nowadays and can watch virtually any game either on Sky or on other satellite channels.

Cutting prices won't make a jot of difference because it will still be cheaper in the pub and more convenient too.

In fact with our financial lease obligations, having 34,000 full price sales is probably better than 40,000 at reduced prices even if the atmosphere is not as good.

Was the atmosphere really that incredible at Maine Rd in the all seater era. I don't think it was but it's easier to remember the good old days!!

I'm afraid fans opinions will count for less and less as TV income far exceeds that of the fans.

Your trust will not change this fact and I'm sure it is with good intentions but ultimately pointless

 
At 2:11 am, Anonymous Hampton Skratcher said...

European Dreamer, at least they're trying to do something unlike smug bastards like you who seem to enjoy pouring cold water on everything. If you have no words of encouragement, just piss off back to the MEN site with the rest of the suicide hotline mob.

 
At 1:56 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if European Dreamer thinks the trust is a waste of time, why does he bother reading it and posting comments? The Club is dying and something must be done now.

 
At 11:28 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the suicide hotline mob" great stuff from hampton skratcher! i take it the MEN commentaristas still haven't cheered up any. we should support this if only to stop them being quoted in the media as representative of city fans opinions. and incredibly they have already. i like what i am hearing so far.

 
At 4:10 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

European Dreamer if you think its the johnny come latelys who are deserting. Your wrong, i know of countless blues who have over 30 yrs service who have gone or considering the move from season ticket to citycard and choose their games. Weve seen the dark days and weve seen through Wardle and we wont be taken for granted anymore.FAILSWORTH BLUES THE RAILWAY HOLLINWOOD.

 
At 9:46 pm, Anonymous HODGE- M19 said...

This is the time for OUR fans to have OUR say with OUR club, our CITY. What the board must understand is that they are not only playing with our finances, they are playing with our emotions, they do not realise nor understand that to many people CITY is not just a business it is our LIVES. I can remember every emotion of Raddy Antic back in 83 leaving me in tears on the Kippax, to Simmo scoring the 4th against Charlton 2 years later and leaving me in the same state again. I KNEW THEN THAT CITY WERE FOR LIFE.

I am an exiled Manc, only living across the hill in Yorkshire. I make the pilgrimige to every game, I have had my season ticket since 1984, what upsets me now is that I see as so many others are commenting on is the number of empty blue seats, we no longer have a waiting list for season tickets??? So many people around me are not renewing there season tickets??? why one wonders? I certainly believe that the politics of the boardroom for sometime have been filtering there way on to the pitch. What we are lacking in a clear message from the board, direction, ambition, as fans we are observed as consumers of a product, do we have the right to take this product back and ask for a refund?, the answer is NO. But as consumers we do have the right to a voice, and we need a voice on the board, we need to be heard, and heard very quickly. How many are ready to do the roller coaster that we endured down to the 3rd Division again,or worse put ourselves at a point where being able to contest in the top flight is no longer an option. Should we have to?,certainly not. This is the first time that I have considered not renewing, it tore me apart, NO MAS NO MAS, but I am still here, and I am here because we can make this happen. One Fan, One Vote, One Voice x a full stadium, lets be heard, lets make this happen. HODGE M19

 

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