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Fanzine Interview - A Million Miles Away.

With so many football blogs and websites up and running at the moment, it can be easy to forget that there are some decent fanzines out there - and also the influence that these fanzines have had.
Over the years, City have had some excellent fanzines produced - some up and running and some no longer being produced.
In the spirit of community-mindedness, here on Bitter & Blue we decided to profile a couple of those City fanzines - one which is unfortunately no longer up and running and one which is still going strong.
First up to be profiled today is 'A Million Miles Away'...

Bitter and Blue: How long has A Million Miles Away been up and running?

A Million Miles Away: Well, we were running for the start of this season and for two seasons prior to that.

B&B: Why did you decide to set a fanzine up in the first place?

AMMA: The original editor, Mike Fryer, was a working for Football365. He saw a gap in the market, and decided to go for it. Simple as really.

B&B: How much work is involved in producing each issue?

AMMA: Quite a bit. I did all the putting together of the fanzine, including designing the cover, editing, putting pictures together, getting it printed etc. A lot more than we first expected, and then of course I had to write my bits as well. It became a proper part time job really.

B&B: Do you see yourself in competition with other City fanzines, or more running alongside one another?

AMMA: Good question. We tried not to focus on United as much as possible. Sometimes that was just too difficult. We tried to be more pro-City, rather than just take the piss out of United or have a pop at Robbie Fowler for being fat and wealthy. In some respects I think we were in competition with the others, but there was never any malice. I love Manchester City, and I got pissed off reading other writers constantly having a go because we weren’t in the Champions’ League Semi Finals or winning every game. I think City fans are the ultimate romantics, but sometimes that has to be tempered with a little reality. I know we received a lot of good feedback from the punters for the stance we took.

B&B: What is the best, and worst aspect of producing a fanzine?

AMMA: The work involved and selling outside the ground when it was pissing down, are definitely the worst. The best? People saying they were looking forward to the next issue. That was a real buzz and it spurred you on. Seeing the finished product was always exciting.

B&B: Any amusing anecdotes, disasters that you’ve encountered when selling the fanzine?

AMMA: We once thrust a copy into a bewildered Ricky Hatton, We were probably trying to get free tickets to his next fight as we didn’t charge him.

B&B: Do fanzines have the power to be able to influence goings on at a football club?

AMMA: Not any more. I think in the days when Swales was in charge, they pretty much were the only outlet for alternative writing. With the advent of the internet, where you don’t have to fork out £1.50 to read somebody complaining. You do it yourself.

B&B: Where do you see the A Million Miles Away heading in the future?

AMMA: Online. I’m thinking about starting it up again but an online version. No profit, but then there’s no deadlines to meet, and I’m not pressured into getting 44 pages of copy together, in time to get it off to the printers.

B&B: Onto on-pitch matters, what are your thoughts on how City have done so far this season?

AMMA: I think we got off to a flyer at the start of the season, but like most clubs with a small squad, it’s slowed down. Maybe we’ll kick on again if we make a few signings.

B&B: What would you see as a success for City this season?

AMMA: A Uefa cup place would be nice. I would really love to win the FA Cup. That would be great.

B&B: How do you evaluate how Pearce has done so far during his time in charge?

AMMA: Very well. I think for us to be in this position after the demise of KK, he has to be applauded. I will always thank KK for everything he did for the club, but I think the game moved on since his time at Newcastle, and other clubs were wise to him. Provided SP doesn’t make any silly mistakes in the transfer window, I think we’ll do OK.

B&B: What areas do you see as needing strengthening during the transfer window, and who would you like to see brought in?

AMMA: The team! Seriously though I think we need a creative midfielder, and I’d love Malbranque in the team. It’s funny that he pulls up with a mystery injury just before the window opened isn’t it? Papa Bouba Diop as well. Danny Murphy has been mentioned and I think he would be a good signing as well. Another striker is important but I really hope we don’t sign Dean Ashton. 7.5 million for a player who’s hardly setting the championship alight is just silly. There’s not really anyone else who’s available who really sets my heart racing at the prospect of signing them.