FEAT-SEATS

City to start at Aston Villa

CHAMPFLAG

This morning has seen the announcement of the fixture list for 2017/18, and it’s decreed that City will start life back in the Championship against Steve Bruce’s Aston Villa. That game has already been bagged by the Sky cameras, and will be played at 5.30pm on Saturday 5th August, and gives us an immediate opportunity to appreciate Steve Bruce for the first time since he was forced out of City during Ehab’s 2016 summer of chaos.

City’s first home match of the season takes place a week later with the visit of Burton, while the first of ten Yorkshire derbies is on 21st October, away to Barnsley.

The Saturday before Christmas takes us to Elland Road, Boxing Day sees us host Derby, while the New Year fixture is Bolton away. Easter Saturday sees Aston Villa visit the Circle, while Easter Monday requires a trip to Wolverhampton.

City finish the season with a 12.30pm kick-off at Brentford on 6th May, a fixture preceded by Cardiff at home.

The lengthiest midweek away fixtures are Fulham and Millwall (kudos to anyone who does both), while tick ground enthusiasts will already be preparing for Tuesday 10th April and the visit to Burton.

 

FEAT-MOON

NEWS: Maguire joins Leicester for £17m

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Harry Maguire has left Hull City and joined 2016 Premier League champions Leicester in a £17m deal.

The 24 year old centre back has signed a five year deal at the King Power Stadium.

It is not an unexpected piece of business, with the player gaining rave reviews all season in a struggling side and becoming a cult hero with City supporters, but again it is disheartening to see big names leaving the club when a better investment programme by the ownership could have ensured the Premier League safety that persuades players like Maguire to stay.

Maguire joined City for £2.5m after a superlative display for Sheffield United against City in the 2014 FA Cup semi-final. He took a while to find his feet, with the likes of James Chester, Curtis Davies and later Michael Dawson ahead of him, and Steve Bruce seemed initially unsure. Eventually, he forced his way into the team and some stellar displays at the back, along with some extraordinary bits of individual defending and mesmerising runs from deep, made him a key figure and a very popular player last season.

He leaves the Tigers after 75 senior appearances which had him spoken of as a potential England player. It’s an astute bit of business by Leicester, whose Premier League winning duo of Robert Huth and Wes Morgan are ageing and slowing down. A percentage of the money will go to Sheffield United, who negotiated a sell-on agreement when Maguire signed.

For City, it opens further the yawning chasm in our defensive options, and new coach Leonid Slutsky will need to sign a number of reinforcements, with Maguire, Curtis Davies and Alex Bruce all departing in the summer. Whether he will get some or all of the Maguire cash from the Allams to sign adequate replacements is another matter entirely.

FEAT-MOON

NEWS: Davies leaves for Derby

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City have sold Curtis Davies to Championship rivals Derby County for an undisclosed fee.

The Rams activated what seemed a ludicrously low £500,000 relegation release clause, making the ‘undisclosed’ element of the announcement a bit pointless, in truth. Davies, 32, has signed a two year deal.

It brings to an end an eventful and mainly glory-filled four years with the Tigers for an excellent, committed defender and an erudite, thoughtful man. After joining from Birmingham City in the summer of 2013, he skippered City in an amazing 2013/14 season which saw a best-ever Premier League finish and a first FA Cup final, in which he scored the Tigers’ second goal in the 3-2 defeat to Arsenal at Wembley, and clamours for him to be recalled by England.

He then led us into European football but the wheels started to come off when injuries and disagreements with Steve Bruce led to his omission from the team as the Tigers were relegated. The signing of Michael Dawson both helped and hindered his cause, although the two became a strong, experienced Championship partnership with Dawson as captain.

Davies played in City’s play-off win at Wembley last summer and then made 29 further Premier League appearances under Mike Phelan and Marco Silva, famously tweeting the photo of the undersized team in pre-season when City had neither a manager nor enough fit players to begin a Premier League campaign.

In total, he played 145 senior games for City in six competitions, scoring seven goals, and conducted himself with professionalism, sportsmanship and no little humour. We’ll miss him and we wish him well.

It means that City now have to find a replacement for him, and defenders of his class, experience, ability and attainable wage bracket are not exactly common. So perhaps the appointment of a new manager or head coach might have become even more urgent…

FEATSilva

So long, Marco

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Unsurprisingly, Marco Silva has declined the invitation to manage City in the Championship, and is drawing to a close a brief but ardent love affair.

He didn’t quite manage his “miracle” of overcoming Ehab’s epic summer of negligence and keeping City in the Premier League, but to get as close as he did (while beating Liverpool and Manchester United) was impressive enough.

City fans are now condemned to watch him aim for greatness elsewhere, while we undertake yet another managerial search under the inept Allam family and fret endlessly about the future.

So long Marco, and thanks for trying. It was fun while it lasted.

FEAT-MOON

Pitch for Justice?

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Last month, two groundstaff at the Circle were dismissed by the Stadium Management Company amid claims about the quality of the pitch.

Those two men, Darrell Cook and Mark Harrison, aren’t happy that their 55 years of combined experience at The Circle, Boothferry Park and the Boulevard has been publicly dispensed with, and have begun a crowdfunding project to take the SMC to an industrial tribunal.

They want to raise £5,000 to instruct Gosschalks (coincidentally, some time sponsors of City) to commence action. Their story and the opportunity to donate can be found here: Pitch for Justice

FEAT-BALL

NEWS: Sky Sports inconvenience Palace travellers

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Big thanks to the people at Sky Sports, who’ve moved Crystal Palace v City to 12pm on Sunday 14th May.

As City’s penultimate game in a season that’s likely to be still in the balance by that date, it’s an obviously important fixture, and as such has attracted the broadcasters’ attention.

However – it’s also massively inconvenient for City fans. Leave aside the short notice, a miserable 4½ weeks that may have left supporters with unusable train tickets for Saturday 13th, or the need to leave East Yorkshire at dawn. It also means that public transport is no longer viable, as the earliest train into London arrives just 27 minutes before kick-off – and Selhurst Park is a fair distance from London Kings Cross.

City fans are naturally accustomed to being treated with contempt by their own club, but there’s no need for others to start doing the same.

FEAT-MOON

MIKE PHELAN SACKED BY CITY

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Mike Phelan has this evening been sacked by City.

The club are bottom of the Premier League following a summer of diligent, methodical sabotage by the Allam family, and Phelan – who has indeed erred on occasion but also got a ridiculously slender squad of middling Championship ability to be vaguely competitive and even sporadically entertaining, is that appalling family’s preferred scapegoat.

What a sordid, squalid, wretched shambles our club has become.

Thanks for giving it a go, Mike.

Fuck you Assem and Ehab.

FEAT-AllamOutposter300

HCST call for Swansea boycott

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It’s been advocated by many in recent days, including us, and now the most influential fans’ group, the Hull City Supporters’ Trust, has now recommended a full boycott of next month’s FA Cup tie against Swansea at the Circle.

Their full statement can be found here. We’ll be returning to this next week, and we heartily endorse their call to give this game a miss if you possibly can. An empty stadium will hopefully demonstrate what the future holds if the Allams continue with their refusal to sell the club to somehow who will run it properly.