Saturday, November 28, 2009

Win a chance to go to the Derby!

Interesting link this one on the Official Site — Etihad Airways are giving two City fans from around the world the chance to catch the Derby at Eastlands in April.
Are you a City fan living outside the UK? Would you like to "come home" to the City of Manchester Stadium for derby day?

Or do you live in the UK and have friends and family living around the world who you’d love to bring home to visit for the City v United game in April 2010? Well, here’s your chance!

As part of the "Coming Home" promotion, Etihad Airways, Official Sponsor of Manchester City, are offering fans the chance to fly to Manchester for the biggest game of the season.

Send us your reasons WHY we should pick you as a winner to fly two people home from anywhere in the world. The prize includes return flights for two people from any of Etihad’s 57 worldwide destinations, three nights’ accommodation, VIP hospitality at the game and executive seating.
Looks like a great competition, and we'll definitely throw our hats in the ring. If you have any ideas or suggestions as to what would make a good video, let us know. I do guarantee that Blue Roo will make an appearance somewhere...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Liverpool v Sydney Blues live screening details

We're expecting a massive turnout this Saturday night for the clash between Liverpool and Manchester City.

Liverpool have a decent support base at Cheers (it's still an Irish pub after all), so we need as many of the George Street Hooligans there as we can muster. Kick off is at the relatively viewer friendly time of 11:45pm.

If possible, please bring beach balls, preferably in red if you have them. We're looking to wind-up the Dipper fans, and that goal against Sunderland is still as funny now as it was last month.

Gerrard may be a chance to play, but nevertheless Liverpool will still be without Torres. So we're a good chance of picking up points at Anfield for the second season running.

We'll have numbers arriving from around 10pm, we're going to try to secure the tables at the centre-right of the downstairs amphitheatre again (where we were for the Derby).

Hope to see you all there!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sydney Blues in the Scunthorpe programme

The September website article about us was also in the match programme for the Carling Cup match against Scunthorpe. We were able to get our hands on a copy.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sydney Blues on BBC Blue Tuesday this week!

In a bit of a coup for the Sydney Blues, we've been invited to appear as guests on the international edition of "Blue Tuesday" on BBC Radio Manchester. It will be our second appearance on the BBC this year, after Brendo flew the flag before Derby Day earlier in the season.

I've decided to take to make an executive decision, and it'll be me taking on the responsibility for this interview.

We'll be talking all things Manchester City — the season so far, the takeover, the level of support Down Under, and of course, responding Tony Coleman's comments last week.

I'm not sure if it's streamed live over the internet to Australia, but the whole show will be available for listening on the BBC iPlayer later in the week.

It'll be a good bit of publicity for us, assuming I don't make an absolute tit of myself.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

1st Annual MASSIVE Australian Blues weekend!

This is an idea that came out of drunken ramblings one night at Cheers, but the more we think about it and have talked about it, the more we like it. We kept schtum for a little while, but now we can announce the details of the first of many Australia-wide gatherings of Blues.

We're encouraging as many of our friends from interstate to get involved. If you're interested, please contact either myself or Brendo.

Here is Brendo's letter to you all.
Dear Blues,

Greetings to everyone from Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, to our friends ‘Across the Ditch’ and everyone in between. Hopefully you are all enjoying the fine start to the season that the lads are putting on and have all got your heartbeat back on track after the match against the clock. It’s been a great year so far and the early signs are that silverware is not too far off.

So to celebrate the great things happening on the field and the great things happening in the supporters club locally, it is with great pleasure that I extend to you an invitation to the 1st Annual Manchester City Australian Supporter’s Club weekend. Over the past few years the supporter base in Australia has exploded and we now boast quite healthy groups in many corners of the country.

The idea behind the weekend is to gather once a year in one City for a weekend of fun, sight seeing, food and of course, football – all in the company of our Blue companions. For this season the Sydney Supporters Club has taken it upon ourselves to welcome you all our fair City for what looks to be a great weekend.

The Details
The proposed weekend is the 19th,20th and 21st of February, 2010. This is the weekend of our home match against Liverpool FC and is sure to be an important match in the race to the finish. This time was chose to give fans enough time to book flights and hotels, and to organize numbers for group events we have planned

Day Time Friday 19th: Arrive in Sydney
Sydney’s airport is located very close to the CBD with a train, taxi or shuttle bus taking 15-20 minutes depending on traffic and the location of your hotel. The CBD has plenty of hotels at reasonable rates. We are currently looking into group discounts so the more, the merrier!

Night Time Friday – Ten Pin Bowling
By the lights of Darling Harbour the Blues will converge to enjoy a drink, a game of bowling and a chance to meet with everyone. At the venue will be big screens showing live sport (presumably the cricket) and music. The venue is totally kid friendly for those with families in tow (or grown ups who like video games).

Following the Bowling you can head to one of many bars in Darling Harbour, stroll through the scenic wharfs and take in the street entertainment or head into the city for live music, cinemas and yes, more bars!

Day Time Saturday 20th – Bus Tour/Picnic
The group will be meeting around midday for a scenic bus ride aboard our very own blue vintage double-decker bus! We will take in the sites of the city and finish with a BBQ in Hyde Park and a kick of the football (whichever shape you choose!)

Evening Saturday 20th – Dinner/Match Day Event
With the game upon us and the butterflies in the stomach we will head to the Bowlers Club of Sydney where a buffet dinner, audio visual presentations and special guest Simon Hill from Fox Sports will be joining us*. Here will be a chance to gather together, have dinner, sing a few songs and get ourselves ready for the big game.

Depending on game time** the match will either be screened in the Bowlers Club, or at our sponsor Cheers Bar. If the match is shown at Cheers then unfortunately children under the age of 18 will not be permitted, however they are more than welcome in the Bowlers Club.

*Subject to work commitment **Subject to club operating hours.

Sunday 21st – Victory Day!
Hopefully we will have all celebrated long and hard into the night as the Blues triumph. Some of you may return home this day and some of you may be staying longer, but here is the end of the weekend. Hopefully you have had a fun time, made some new friends and got plenty of ideas for when your City host the Australian Blues!

I realise some people may be reading this, thinking it is a little crazy to fly somewhere to watch a match on a TV. Whilst this may be true, you can’t deny that it is a great feeling when City scores and you are surrounded by Blues. What we want to create is an annual event that gives us all a chance to see the country, meet new friends and enjoy great football, great weather (something the English fans don’t have) and the camaraderie between the City fans.

Please pass this letter on to City fans through Supporters Club, web forums, facebook and any other means by which you find City fans.

Expression of Interest
Please send an email to myself, Brendan Smith, or Matt Coleman via Facebook, marked with your name and number of people who are thinking of attending. We would like to finalise numbers within the next month, so that costs can be minimised. There is no commitment to money at this stage, just an expression of interest. Later next week another letter will be sent with an outline of the expected costs.

As stated earlier we are trying to organize group bookings for flights and hotels, but if anyone has any contacts they can suggest for these elements that would be appreciated.
Thank you all for your time in reading this and for the effort you have all put into building the respective branches of the City Supporters Club. I look forward to meeting you all in February and enjoying a great weekend.

Forever Blue,
Brendan Smith
Let us know what you think, and hopefully we see a few more faces at Cheers tonight.

Friday, November 6, 2009

City terminate SeatExchange deal

Announced on the Official Site:

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Club would like to inform supporters that the Seat Exchange service has been regrettably terminated. All transactions that have taken place for the Burnley, Hull and Chelsea games will be honoured by the Club.

Supporters who have yet to receive confirmation of their ticket for any of the above games are advised to contact Supporter Services on 0870 062 1894 option 2 or email
This leaves me in a bit of a predicament.

Access to a guaranteed seat was the main advantage of getting involved with the Sydney Blues. The SeatExchange "service" was one of the reasons I justified getting a Seasoncard, as I could recoup a bit of the money outlaid for the games that either myself or other Blues could not attend.

However, from the first match it was painfully apparent that there were problems with the system.

The service was unavailable for the first home game against Wolverhampton, and when I finally used it for the Arsenal match, I was less than impressed.

The ticket, valued at the retail of £38, was sold for £33.63. Which I could live with — I thought that cut sounded decent, especially when considering they charged the buyer an additional 15% on that retail price (£43.70 all up).

However, I received an email twelve days later that this would not be the case.
Unfortunately there was an error with some of the automated seller emails sent out recently to season ticket holders, who sold their seat for this fixture. The email may have quoted an incorrect refund. We apologise for this.

Please find below confirmation of your sale and the correct refund you will receive, payable 14 days after the fixture.

If you have any questions, please feel free to send us a message via the Contact Us link at the foot of each page on the website.

Thank you for using the Manchester City Seat Exchange!
Consequently I received a cheque for £19.52. However, the biggest complaint came from those selling junior season tickets... people selling tickets for over forty pounds on the website received a refund of just £4.43.

SeatExchange posted the following response on Bluemoon after several complaints:
The reason for the difference exists because the Club has also determined that Seasoncard holders should not be able to profit from the sale of the ticket, but buyers should also not be able to purchase for less than the matchday price to ensure that the service does not affect sales from its own Box Office.

Furthermore, whilst the difference between the selling price and the purchase price is shared with the Club to pay for the operation of the service, the portion retained by Seat Exchange also goes towards offsetting the significant sponsorship fees we pay to support the Club as an Official Partner.

Seat Exchange provides a number of benefits to supporters and the Club, including giving Seasoncard holders greater value by being able to sell their seat for matches they cannot attend, and giving supporters the opportunity to buy additional tickets, even when areas of the Stadium or the entire match has sold out at the Club's box office.

Seat Exchange also contribute to the Club through our sponsorship fee, by sharing revenues from the secondary ticketing service itself, facilitating additional concession revenue from seats that would otherwise be empty, and increasing Seasoncard sales and renewals.
Now the first paragraph is completely reasonable — Seasoncard holders shouldn't be able to profit from selling individual games, nor should people be able to buy the ticket for less than face value. Fair enough.

The second paragraph is the one that leaves you scratching your head. "Offset the significant cost of sponsorship"? That cost is all part and parcel of being a sponsor! You pay the club a certain sum of money to advertise on the website, at the ground and in the programme, and as a result of the increased exposure, you should see an increase in sales to match that investment.

The difference between the sale price and the refund (as shown in some cases, around 90% of the purchase price), should have gone to the football club, or an equivalent charity, such as City In The Community — not to pay for the company's sponsorship of the club.

So in a way I'm glad that the arrangement has been cancelled, as SeatExchange were cowboys and rip-off merchants... however, without a service that allows me to recoup some of my season ticket investment, I'll have to consider cancelling it for next season.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ex-City player Tony Coleman slags off Australia

If you haven't heard it before, the "Blue Tuesday" show on BBC Radio Manchester with Paul Lake, Ian Cheeseman, and the delightful Emily Brobyn is an entertaining and informative look at current Manchester City issues. It's well worth the weekly listen.

However, last night's in particular was very intriguing, not only for the discussion about Munich chants, but also an interview with 1969 FA Cup winner Tony Coleman.

Mr Coleman (no relation fortunately) spent the best part of three minutes alternating between grunting and slagging off Australia and its people. Which is a shame, because I would have liked to hear more about what it was like to play in the last City side that won the FA Cup, but nevermind.

You can listen to it here on BBC iPlayer (about 41 minutes in), I'll try to isolate a recording of it too.

Here's what he said, make up your own mind:
Ian Cheeseman: You are the most elusive of the sort of 1969 team, that particular team, because of the fact you live in Australia, how did you end up living there and not staying in this country?

Tony Coleman: My wife wanted to go and live with her sister and her mother, because they'd gone over there a couple of years before... and because I love my wife I'd said "yeah I'll give it a chance" but I've never settled there. They don't like us there as a race of people, the English. And I was fed up with fighting with them and that... they're the most bigoted race I've ever come across.

Georgie Best hit the nail on the head. George Best came out as a guest player for Brisbane United, and I went to see him, and I said "what do you think?" and he just laughed his head off. It was printed in the paper, he said "they're neanderthals, and they don't like anybody but themselves."

IC: Strong words those aren't they... how long have you actually lived there for?

TC: Twenty-five years...

IC: So why stay that long?

TC: I'm not staying anymore, I'm divorced now, my children are grown up, so next year, I hope, when I reach pension age, I'm allowed to go to Thailand. I bought a home in Thailand, so I'm going to live in Thailand. And Australia can pfffft (raspberry/fart noise).

Oh yeah, I hate it, I've never settled down since I've been there. It's just, I don't know... it's just a big huge desert, you know what I mean, everyone sort of lives on the coast, but in the middle, there's nothing there you know.

And the way they treat the Aborigines when you see them in the shanty towns... people wouldn't believe it was a civilised country, they really wouldn't.
Gee Tony, sorry you feel that way. The reason you probably didn't get on with anyone here is not because you're English, it's because you're a miserable bastard.

I hope the sale of your medals goes ok. In fact, I'll chip in with the first bid of $463. That's enough to get you a Jetstar flight from Sydney to Bangkok. One-way.

We're not all bad down here mate, shame you couldn't get over the massive chip on your shoulder to see it.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Carling Cup Quarter Final Draw

It's Arsenal reserves at home.

Although we didn't have much trouble against the Arsenal at home last time, it's a tough draw. But really, all opponents at this stage of the competition are going to be tough. Could have been better, could have been worse.

Is now the year we break our quarter-final curse? We've gone out of domestic cups at this stage in some pretty dire ways in recent history (Blackburn and West Ham spring to mind), but this is a new City. The eyes need to be firmly on that prize.

The full draw is as follows:

Blackburn v Chelsea
Manchester City v Arsenal
Manchester United v Tottenham
Portsmouth v Aston Villa