Manchester City

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Posted by bender 04/19/2009 @ 19:12

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News headlines
Manchester City dismisses report of bid for Barcelona's Lionel Messi - The Canadian Press
MANCHESTER, England — Manchester City dismissed reports in the Spanish media on Wednesday that it made an offer to sign Barcelona striker Lionel Messi and he turned the club down. The reports said City had made an 150 million euro (C$236 million) deal...
It should be top four or bust for Mark Hughes at Manchester City ... -
Manchester City manager Mark Hughes deserves another season in charge at Eastlands. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA Question of the week: why has Khaldoon Al Mubarak only set his sights on a top-six finish after promising Manchester City more hefty...
Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Hull's Premier League ... -
For Hull: It's got to be Phil Brown's half-time team-talk at Manchester City. Luckily, his players seem to have finally forgiven their manager for humiliating them just in the nick of time. Craig Fagan's equaliser at Bolton will prove to be the turning...
Redknapp sets Pav target - SkySports
His last outing, against Manchester City on Saturday, saw him stomp down the tunnel after being substituted, but he insists that reaction was not directed at the club's management. "When the press interpreted my leaving the field after the substitution...
Chelsea set to offer Ashley Cole new long-term contract -
Photograph: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images Chelsea are set to offer Ashley Cole a long-term contract in an attempt to ward off interest in the England international from Manchester City and Barcelona, the Press Association has reported....
Manchester United To Give Hull City an Easy Ride: You're Havin' a ... - Bleacher Report
Now the press has been saying that it is not right for Manchester United to field a team of kids against Hull City when other "bigger" more "famous" clubs are needing them to be fair. However, you have to look at the people saying such nonsense....
Manchester City Home, Away and Third Kits For 09-10 Season - EPL Talk
by The Gaffer on May 20, 2009 · 1 comment A picture has been leaked of Manchester City's new home, away and third football kits for the 09-10 season. Designed and manufactured by Umbro, and featuring new sponsors Etihad Airlines emblazoned across the...
Manchester City Deny Making Lionel Messi Offer -
Lionel Messi will not be joining Manchester City as the club have no plans to make any move to try and sign him... Champions League: Bayern Munich - FC Barcelona, Lahm. Messi, Ribéry, Ze Robero (firo) Manchester City have taken the unprecedented step...
Manchester City misfit Bojinov sets sights on Serie A return - Daily Mail
By Christopher Davies Last updated at 11:59 AM on 20th May 2009 Manchester City's injury-plagued striker Valeri Bojinov admitted he would like to return to Serie A. Bojinov spent five years in Italian football with Juventus, Fiorentina and Lecce before...
Elano happy to stay at Man City - BBC Sport
Manchester City midfielder Elano has given a strong indication of his intention to remain at the club. There had been speculation the 27-year-old Brazilian international could leave City during the summer. Elano told BBC Radio Manchester: "My life is...

Ownership of Manchester City F.C.

The Ownership of Manchester City F.C. traces back to 1894, when Ardwick A.F.C. dissolved and were reformed as Manchester City Football Club Ltd.

The holding company of Manchester City F.C., Manchester City Ltd, is a private limited company. The club has approximately 54 million shares in issue.

In 2007 UK Sports Investments Limited, a company controlled by the former Prime Minister of Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra, took control of the club in a takeover worth £81.6 million, purchasing shares from all major shareholders. Prior to the Thaksin takeover, the club was listed on the specialist independent equity market PLUS (formerly OFEX), where it had been listed since 1995. On 6 July 2007, upon acquiring a 75% share in the club, Thaksin delisted the club and re-registered it as a private company; on later acquiring 90% of shares Thaksin was able to "squeeze out" remaining shareholders and acquire the remaining shares.

In September 2008 the Abu Dhabi United Group acquired the club when Thaksin Shinawatra was unable to access his funds in Thailand, frozen by Thai courts as he faced corruption charges. The new owners, even before the deal was finalised, signified their intentions by making offers for a series of world-class players on transfer deadline day. The takeover was completed on 23 September.

The modern day Manchester City Football Club became a registered limited company on 16 April 1894. Shares in the club were owned by a number of club figures, who all had one share each. An early board member was newspaper owner Edward Hulton, who held influence at the start of the 20th century.

Peter Swales became chairman in October 1973, and held the position for more than 20 years.

In 1994, Swales was ousted from his chairmanship by former City player Francis Lee, whose paper business F.H Lee Ltd. had made him a multimillionaire. Lee's takeover was preceded a long anti-Swales campaign by supporters, who had formed a movement named Forward With Franny backing his attempt to gain control of the club. Lee gained control of the club by purchasing £3 million of shares at a price of £13.35 per share. Upon becoming chairman, Lee made a series of extravagant claims about his plans for the club, announcing that "This will be the happiest club in the land. The players will be the best paid and we'll drink plenty of champagne, celebrate and sing until we're hoarse". The club floated on the OFEX exchange in 1995, valuing the club at £8 million.

In 1996 Lee appointed his friend Alan Ball as manager, but the appointment proved unsuccessful and the club were relegated. Lee stepped down in 1998, with the club on the brink of relegation to the third tier of English football, a fate which Lee had dismissed at the previous annual general meeting by saying that he would "jump off the Kippax" if the club were relegated. He was replaced as chairman by financial director David Bernstein.

In November 1999 broadcaster BSkyB purchased a 9.9% stake in the club for £5.5 million, plus a further sum for media rights. The deal was part of a series of acquisitions by BSkyB which included a similar stake in Leeds United. A share rights issue announced at the same time as the BSkyB purchase saw JD Sports founders John Wardle and David Makin increase their stake and become the club's largest shareholders.

Bernstein resigned on 5 March 2003, believing that differences of opinion regarding player transfers had undermined his ability to lead the club. Bernstein had favoured a fiscally conservative transfer policy, but manager Kevin Keegan and major shareholder John Wardle wished to spend heavily on new players, such as Robbie Fowler. Wardle became temporary chairman, taking the position on a permanent basis two months later. Bryan Bodek, who had been a board member since February 2000, was appointed as his deputy.

In December 2006, the club issued a statement regarding a possible takeover, prompting press speculation about potential buyers. On 24 April, former Manchester City player Ray Ranson announced interest in making an offer for the club, though the club denied press reports that a bid had been made. On 1 May 2007, it was announced that former Thailand Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra had been granted access to the club's accounts. However, the deal was thrown into doubt when Thailand's military government froze £830m of Shinawatra's assets after they investigated allegations of corruption made against him. On 21 June, the Manchester City board accepted an £81.6 million offer for the club from Thaksin Shinawatra and advised the shareholders to accept the bid. On 6 July, Thaksin finally acquired a 75% share in the club, enough to take full control of the club and delist it as full owner. One of his first moves was to schedule a press conference to announce former-England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson as his new manager.

In August 2008, it became increasingly likely that Thaksin would fail to retrieve his frozen assets from Thailand. His wife, Pojaman Shinawatra, was convicted of acquiring large tracts of land for grossly-underpriced values and sentenced to three years imprisonment on 31 July 2008, and following this news, Thaksin's own court dates approaching, and Pojaman's bail, a visit by the Shinawatra family to the 2008 Beijing Olympics led to them using the opportunity to leave the country for London, where they then applied for political asylum in the United Kingdom. This led to the Thai courts issuing an extradition request to the British Government, and the courts beginning to try them in absentia, effectively ending any hopes of the money being released and further affing the possibility that Thaksin would come to breach Premier League rules on club ownership, which prevent owners convicted of corruption charges from retaining control of their club. In response to this, Thaksin offered to resign his position on the board, an offer which was rejected by Garry Cook, Man City's Executive Chairman, and also began attempting to sell minority stakes in the club for investment. After being rejected repeatedly with counter-proposals to buy majority stakes numerous, it was then announced on 1 September 2008 that the club were in talks with the Abu Dhabi United Group to sell Thaksin's entire stake, a deal which was agreed later in the day.

As part of the takeover, Dr Sulaiman Al-Fahim, a board member of the company and the man both leading the talks and mooted to be the new Chairman, promised a top four finish within three seasons, indicating that he would give a show of his intent by capturing at least one world class signing, naming such players as Mario Gomez, David Villa, Dimitar Berbatov and Robinho as in his sights, having made bids for all four on behalf of his new club already. With the deal for the sale of the club going through on the last day of the summer transfer window, negotiations were forcibly limited, but while a deal for Berbatov was accepted by the club but not by the player, with a few minutes remaining in the transfer window, Manchester City were able to confirm the signing of Robinho for a British transfer record £32.5 million, concurrently the fifth largest transfer fee in the history of football.

The period of due diligence ended on 21 September, with Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, owner of the Abu Dhabi United Group, and Thaksin Shinawatra agreeing the transfer of the club on 23 September. As part of their new board, Dr Al-Fahim's presumed position of co-Chairman was conspicuously filled by Khaldoon Al Mubarak instead, with Al-Fahim's loose-tongued comments about buying an all-star team cited as the reason for his demotion, his comments having produced much negative media backlash and having gone against Al Nahyan's more long-term and rather more restrained plans for the club.

In the months following the takeover, Thaksin held the position of honorary president, but was removed from the position in February 2009 after a Thai court convicted him for corruption. The following month, the club ceased their operations in Thailand.

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Manchester City F.C.

Manchester City crest

Manchester City Football Club is an English professional football club based in the city of Manchester. They are currently members of the English Premier League.

Originally formed in 1880 as St. Mark's (West Gorton), they then became Ardwick A.F.C. in 1887 before changing their name to Manchester City F.C. in 1894. The club has won the League Championship twice, the FA Cup four times, the League Cup twice and the European Cup Winners Cup once. The club's most successful period was during the late 1960s and early 1970s, when they won several major trophies under the management team of Joe Mercer and his assistant Malcolm Allison, and with great players such as Colin Bell and Francis Lee.

However, the club has not won a major honour since 1976. The club's decline led to relegation twice in three years in the 1990s, meaning they spent one year in the third tier of English football. However, the club has since regained top flight status, the level at which they have spent the majority of their history.

Manchester City F.C. was founded as St. Mark's (West Gorton) in 1880 by Anna Connell and two churchwardens of St. Mark's Church, in Gorton, a district in east Manchester. In 1887, they moved to a new ground at Hyde Road, in Ardwick just to the east of the city centre, and were renamed Ardwick A.F.C. to reflect their new location. Ardwick joined the Football League as founding members of the Second Division in 1892. Financial troubles in the 1893-94 season led to a reorganisation within the club, and Ardwick were reformed as Manchester City F.C.

City gained their first honours by winning the Second Division in 1899; with it came promotion to the highest level in English football, the First Division. They went on to claim their first major honour on 23 April 1904, beating Bolton Wanderers 1-0 at Crystal Palace to win the FA Cup; City narrowly missed out on a League and Cup double that season after finishing runners-up in the League. In the seasons following the FA Cup triumph, the club was dogged by allegations of financial irregularities, culminating in the suspension of seventeen players in 1906, including captain Billy Meredith, who subsequently moved across town to Manchester United. A fire at Hyde Road destroyed the main stand in 1920, and in 1923 the club moved to their new purpose-built stadium at Maine Road in Moss Side.

In the 1930s, Manchester City reached two consecutive FA Cup finals, losing to Everton in 1933, before claiming the Cup by beating Portsmouth in 1934. The club won the First Division title for the first time in 1937, but were relegated the following season, despite scoring more goals than any other team in the division.

20 years later, a City team inspired by a tactical system known as the Revie Plan reached consecutive FA Cup finals again, in 1955 and 1956; just as in the 1930s, they lost the first one, to Newcastle United, and won the second. The 1956 final, in which Manchester City beat Birmingham City 3-1, is one of the most famous finals of all-time, and is remembered for City goalkeeper Bert Trautmann continuing to play on after unknowingly breaking his neck.

After relegation to the Second Division in 1963, the future looked bleak with a record low home attendance of 8,015 against Swindon Town in January 1965. In the summer of 1965, the management team of Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison was appointed. In the first season under Mercer, City won the Second Division title and made important signings in Mike Summerbee and Colin Bell. Two seasons later, in 1967-68, Manchester City claimed the League Championship for the second time, clinching the title on the final day of the season with a 4-3 win at Newcastle United. Further trophies followed: City won the FA Cup in 1969, before achieving European success by winning the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1970, beating Górnik Zabrze 2-1 in Vienna. City also won the League Cup that season, becoming the second English team to win a European trophy and a domestic trophy in the same season.

The club continued to challenge for honours throughout the 1970s, finishing just one point behind the league champions on two occasions and reaching the final of the 1974 League Cup. One of the matches from this period that is most fondly remembered by supporters of Manchester City is the final match of the 1973–74 season against arch-rivals Manchester United, who needed to win to have any hope of avoiding relegation. Former United player Denis Law scored with a backheel to give City a 1-0 win at Old Trafford and confirm the relegation of their rivals. The final trophy of the club's most successful period was won in 1976, when Newcastle United were beaten 2-1 in the League Cup final.

A long period of decline followed the success of the 1960s and 1970s. Malcolm Allison rejoined the club to become manager for the second time in 1979, but squandered large sums of money on unsuccessful signings, such as Steve Daley. A succession of managers then followed – seven in the 1980s alone. City reached the 1981 FA Cup final but lost in a replay to Tottenham Hotspur. The club were twice relegated from the top flight in the 1980s (in 1983 and 1987), but recovered to finish fifth in Division One twice in succession under the management of Peter Reid. However, this was only a temporary respite, and following Reid's departure Manchester City's fortunes continued to fade. City were founders of the Premier League upon its creation in 1992, but were relegated to Division One in 1996. After two seasons in Division One, City fell to the lowest point in their history, becoming the first ever European trophy winners to be relegated to English football's third tier.

After relegation, the club underwent off-the-field upheaval, with new chairman David Bernstein introducing greater fiscal discipline. City were promoted at the first attempt, achieved in dramatic fashion in a playoff against Gillingham. A second successive promotion saw City return to the top division, but this proved to have been a step too far for the recovering club, and in 2001 City were relegated once more. Kevin Keegan arrived as the new manager in the close season, bringing an immediate return to the top division as the club won the 2001-02 Division One championship, breaking club records for the number of points gained and goals scored in a season in the process.

The 2002–03 season was the last at Maine Road, and included a 3-1 derby victory over rivals Manchester United, ending a run of 13 years without a derby win. City also qualified for the UEFA Cup through the "Fair Play ranking", earning the club's first entry into European competition in 25 years.

In the 2003 close season the club moved to the new City of Manchester Stadium. In March 2005, Kevin Keegan left the club, and Stuart Pearce took over as caretaker, leading his side to an eight-match unbeaten run at the end of the season as they just missed out on European qualification. Pearce was rewarded by being given the manager's position on a permanent basis. The 2005–06 season started brightly for Manchester City; the club held a top-six position until November. However, form deteriorated in the second half of the season and City finished 15th.

In the 2006–07 season City struggled to score goals, particularly at home. The team created a new record for the fewest goals scored at home in a season in the top flight (beating Sunderland's 14 in 2002–03 and Woolwich Arsenal's 11 in 1912–13), scoring only 10 goals (having missed two penalties in the last two home matches) as City finished in fourteenth place. The season's troubles culminated in the sacking of manager Stuart Pearce and his coaching staff.

Eriksson was replaced by Mark Hughes two days later on the 4 June 2008.

On transfer deadline day of the 08-09 season, the club pulled off a massive coup by beating Chelsea to the signing of Real Madrid's Brazil star Robinho for a British transfer record-breaking £32.5 million. The season started reasonably well, but a string of defeats left the team just above the relegation positions at the end of 2008. Better league results in 2009 (at home if not away) saw the team into the top half of the table by the end of March, and they also reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup.

Manchester City's home colours are sky blue and white. Traditional away kit colours have been either maroon or (from the 1960s) red and black; however, in recent years several different colours have been used. In the 2004/05 season, the team wore a white shirt with purple shorts and white socks, while the following season, the away kit was all navy blue. During the 2006/07 season, they sported an all-black (with grey trim) second strip. However, when away to Premier League teams who wore predominantly dark blue as their first choice colours in the 2005/06 and 2006/07 seasons, the team generally changed to a third kit, which was yellow shirts with black shorts and socks. The club tried to justify the use of yellow as a Manchester City colour in an article in one of their match day programs, by saying that it was used in 1950s & 60s. The colour they were referring to was, indeed, amber with a maroon trim - and was very rarely used.

For the 2008/09 season, the home shirt is sky blue, with a thick white line running from the collar to under the arm, on the left side of the shirt. On the right side of the shirt, a slightly darker shade of sky blue runs from the collar to the waist, with a navy blue trim. The crest and sponsor are centrally aligned. The away kit is a return to the popular red and black stripes. The shirt features black sleeves, and thin white piping between the black and red vertical stripes. There is a speckled watermark on the red stripes. The third shirt is a first for City - orange. The official name is 'blaze orange', and features the same design as the home shirt, yet with one navy blue sleeve, and luminous yellow trimming.

The origins of the club's home colours are unclear, but there is evidence that the club has worn blue since 1892 or earlier. A booklet entitled Famous Football Clubs - Manchester City published in the 1940s indicates that West Gorton (St. Marks) originally played in scarlet and black, and reports dating from 1884 describe the team wearing black jerseys bearing a white cross, showing the club's origins as a church side. The red and black away colours come from former assistant manager Malcolm Allison, who believed that adopting the colours of AC Milan would inspire City to glory.

The current club crest was adopted in 1997, a result of the previous crest being ineligible for registration as a trademark. The badge is based on the arms of the city of Manchester, and consists of a shield in front of a golden eagle. The shield features a ship on its upper half representing the Manchester Ship Canal, and three diagonal stripes in the lower half, for the city's three rivers. The bottom of the badge bears the motto Superbia in Praelia, which almost translates as Pride in Battle in Latin. Above the eagle and shield are three stars, which are purely decorative.

City have previously worn two other crests on their shirts. The first, introduced in 1970, was based on designs which had been used on official club documentation since the mid-1960s. It consisted of a round badge which used the same shield as the current crest, inside a circle bearing the name of the club. In 1972, this was replaced by a variation which replaced the lower half of the shield with the red rose of Lancashire. On occasions when Manchester City plays in a major cup final, the usual crest is not used; instead shirts bearing a badge of the arms of the City of Manchester are used, as a symbol of pride in representing the city of Manchester at a major event. This practice originates from a time when the players' shirts did not normally bear a badge of any kind, but has continued throughout the history of the club.

Since 2003, Manchester City have not issued the squad number 23. It was retired in memory of Marc-Vivien Foé, who was on loan to the club from Olympique Lyonnais at the time of his death on the field of play playing for Cameroon in the 2003 Confederations Cup.

Manchester City has a large fanbase in relation to their comparative lack of success on the pitch. Since moving to the City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester City's average attendances have been in the top six in England, though in the 2006/07 season City's attendances fell slightly, to an average league attendance of approximately 40,000. Even in the late 1990s, when the club were relegated twice in three seasons and playing in the third tier of English football (then Division Two, now Football League One), home attendances were in the region of 30,000, compared to an average for the division of fewer than 8,000. Research carried out by Manchester City estimates a fanbase of 886,000 in the United Kingdom and a total in excess of 2 million worldwide.

Manchester City has a number of supporters organisations, of which three have official recognition: the Official Supporters Club, the Centenary Supporters Association and the International Supporters Club. There has been several fanzines published by supporters; the longest running is King of the Kippax and it is the only one still published.

The City fans' song of choice is a rendition of "Blue Moon", which despite its melancholic theme is belted out with gusto as though it were a heroic anthem. City supporters tend to believe that unpredictability is an inherent trait of their team, and label unexpected results "typical City". Events that fans regard as "typical City" include City's being the only reigning English champions ever to be relegated (in 1938), the only team to score and concede over 100 goals in the same season (1957–58), or the more recent example that City were the only team to beat Chelsea in the 2004/05 Premier League, yet in the same season City were knocked out of the FA Cup by Oldham Athletic, a team two divisions lower.

Manchester City's biggest rivalry, inevitably, is with neighbours Manchester United, against whom they contest the Manchester derby. Unlike some other football rivalries in some other cities, such as Glasgow and Seville, the rivalry between City and United does not have its origins in religion and before the Second World War, when travel to away games was rare, many Mancunian football fans regularly watched both teams even if considering themselves "supporters" of only one. This practice continued into the early 1960s but as travel became easier, and the cost of entry to matches rose, watching both teams became unusual and the rivalry intensified.

A common stereotype is that City fans come from Manchester proper, while United fans come from elsewhere. A 2002 report by a researcher at Manchester Metropolitan University found that a higher proportion of City season ticket holders came from Manchester postcode areas (City 40%, United 29%). Within the City of Manchester itself the proportions were 17% City, 7% United. United had a higher number of season ticket holders living in Manchester postcode areas, as they had more season ticket holders overall, and the report contained a caveat that the number of City season tickets had since increased (the report was compiled before City's move to the City of Manchester Stadium), and following stadium expansion United have more than doubled their number of season ticket holders.

In the late 1980s, City fans started a craze of bringing inflatable objects to matches, primarily oversized bananas. One disputed explanation for the craze is that in a match against West Bromwich Albion chants from fans calling for the introduction of Imre Varadi as a substitute mutated into "Imre Banana". Terraces packed with inflatable-waving supporters became a frequent sight in the 1988/89 season as the craze spread to other clubs (inflatable fish were often seen at Grimsby Town), with the phenomenon reaching a peak at City's match at Stoke City on 26 December 1988, a match declared by fanzines as a fancy dress party. In the 2006/07 season, City's FA Cup run to the sixth round of the competition saw the re-emergence of the inflatables craze, with hundreds of yellow and blue bananas being brought to cup matches.

In August 2006, the club became the first to be officially recognised as a "gay-friendly" employer by campaign group Stonewall (UK).

The official mascots of the club are the space aliens "Moonchester" and "Moonbeam", puns on the club's anthem Blue Moon.

They also have been voted the most loyal fans in the Premier League by the BFFA (British Football Fans Association) just above the teams Liverpool and Portsmouth.

The holding company of Manchester City F.C., Manchester City Limited, is a private limited company. The club has approximately 54 million shares in issue. In summer 2007, the major shareholders agreed to sell their holdings to UK Sports Investments Limited (UKSIL), a company controlled by former Thailand prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. UKSIL then made a formal offer to buy the shares held by several thousand small shareholders.

Prior to the Thaksin takeover, the club was listed on the specialist independent equity market PLUS (formerly OFEX), where it had been listed since 1995. On 6 July 2007, having acquired 75% of the shares, Thaksin de-listed the club and re-registered it as a private company.. By August UKSIL had acquired over 90% of the shares, and exercised its rights under the Companies Act to "squeeze out" the remaining shareholders, and acquire the entire shareholding. Thaksin Shinawatra became chairman of the club and two of Thaksin's children, Pintongta and Panthongtae also became directors. Former chairman John Wardle stayed on the board for a year, but resigned in July 2008 following Nike executive Garry Cook's appointment as executive chairman in May. The club made a pre-tax loss of £11m in the year ending 31 May 2007, the final year for which accounts were published as a public company.

Thaksin's purchase prompted a period of transfer spending without precedent at the club, spending in excess of £30 million, whereas over the previous few seasons net spending had been among the lowest in the division. Another initiative in the early months of Thaksin's ownership was the establishment of a network of partner clubs, with relationships with clubs in China (Shanghai Shenhua), South Africa (Thanda Royal Zulu), Russia (FC Moscow), Switzerland (Grasshopper-Club Zürich), Thailand (Chonburi) and Australia (Perth Glory).

On 1 September 2008, Abu Dhabi-based Abu Dhabi United Group Investment and Development Limited completed a takeover of Manchester City. The deal, worth a reported £200 million, was announced on the morning of 1 September. It sparked various transfer "deadline-day" rumours and bids such as the club's attempt to gazump Manchester United's protracted bid to sign Dimitar Berbatov from Tottenham Hotspur for a fee in excess of £30 million. Minutes beofre the transfer window closed, te club signed Robinho from Real Madrid for a British record transfer fee of £32.5 million.

Manchester City's current stadium is the City of Manchester Stadium, a state-of-the-art 48,000-seater stadium situated in East Manchester ("Eastlands") and leased from Manchester City Council after the 2002 Commonwealth Games. The stadium has been City's home since the end of the 2002–03 season, when the club moved from Maine Road.

Before moving to the stadium, Manchester City spent about £35million on upgrading it and lowering the field of play from ground level (where it was during the Commonwealth Games) to below ground level, adding an additional tier of seating around the entire pitch and also building the new North Stand. The inaugural match at the new stadium was a 2-1 win over FC Barcelona in a friendly match, with the first goal at the stadium scored by Nicolas Anelka.

Manchester City have also used several other grounds during their history. After playing home games at five different grounds between 1880 and 1887, the club settled at Hyde Road and stayed for 36 years. After a fire destroyed the Main Stand in 1920, the club decided to look for a new site, moving to the 84,000-capacity Maine Road in 1923, which was nicknamed the "Wembley of the North" by designers. On 3 March 1934, Maine Road hosted the largest-ever crowd at an English club ground, when 84,569 attended an FA Cup tie against Stoke City. Maine Road was redeveloped several times over its 80-year lifespan, though by 1995 its capacity was restricted to 32,000, prompting the move to the City of Manchester Stadium. Its capacity of 47,726 is the 5th highest in the FA Premier League.

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Manchester City Region

The Manchester City Region is an area of England centred on Manchester. It was one of eight city regions defined in the 2004 document Moving Forward: The Northern Way, as a collaboration between the three northern Regional Development Agencies.

The Manchester City Region encompasses fifteen local government districts: it includes the cities of Manchester and Salford plus the adjoining metropolitan boroughs of Stockport, Tameside and Trafford to the south and Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale and Wigan to the north, together with High Peak, Congleton, Macclesfield, Vale Royal and Warrington. The inclusion of these five areas would add 656,355 inhabitants to the 2,562,200 already in Greater Manchester creating a City Region of 3,218,555.

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Manchester City F.C. seasons

The Manchester City team which won the FA Cup in 1904, the club's first major honour

This is a list of seasons played by Manchester City Football Club in English and European football, from 1891 (when the club, then known as Ardwick, joined the Football Alliance) to the present day. It details the club's achievements in senior league and cup competitions, and the top scorers for each season.

Manchester City were formed in 1880 as West Gorton (St. Marks). At this time organised League football did not exist; ordinary matches were arranged on a largely ad-hoc basis and supplemented by cup competitions. No complete record of the club's matches prior to 1891 survives. In 1890, the club entered the FA Cup for the first time, but withdrew in the second qualifying round. The following season they joined the Football Alliance, and in 1892 were elected to the newly-formed Football League Second Division. In 1894 the club restructured, changing name to Manchester City in the process.

The club first reached the highest division of English football in 1899. Since then City have undergone a further 22 promotions and relegations, though the majority of their history has been spent in the top division. They have won the League Championship twice, the FA Cup four times, the League Cup twice and the European Cup Winners' Cup once. As of the end of the 2006–07 season, the club have played 4770 competitive matches in total. In that time the club have spent 78 seasons in the top division of English football, 25 seasons in the second, and one season in the third.

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List of Manchester City F.C. managers

Stuart Pearce, Manchester City manager from 2005–2007.

This is a chronological list of Manchester City managers, comprising all those who have held the position of manager for the first team of Manchester City F.C. and the club's predecessors West Gorton (St. Marks) and Ardwick. In the Football League era the club has appointed 34 managers; including pre-league managers and temporary caretakers more than 40 men have held responsibility for team selection.

The most successful Manchester City manager in terms of trophies won is Joe Mercer, who won four trophies in six years. Mark Hughes is City's current manager, replacing Sven-Göran Eriksson, who was sacked in June 2008. .

In the era before league football, the position of manager involved many secretarial duties, such as arranging fixtures and the upkeep of the club's ground. Few accounts of the club's off-field affairs in the 1880s survive, and it is unclear who managed the club (then known as West Gorton (St. Marks)) between 1882 and 1884. The club's earliest managers were also players; the first three known managers (Frederick Hopkinson, Edward Kitchen and Walter Chew) all played in West Gorton's first recorded match in 1880. By 1889 the club had moved to Hyde Road and renamed itself Ardwick A.F.C. Under the management of Lawrence Furniss, the club joined the Football League in 1892 as founder members of the Second Division. Furniss became chairman a year later, and he and his successor as secretary-manager Joshua Parlby were responsible for Ardwick reforming as Manchester City F.C. in 1894.

Under Sam Omerod the club achieved promotion to the First Division for the first time, and five years later Tom Maley became the first Manchester City manager to win a major trophy, the 1904 FA Cup. A financial scandal resulted in the Football Association suspending Maley and seventeen players in 1906, leaving Harry Newbould with the task of assembling a makeshift side at short notice. In 1912 Ernest Mangnall joined City from local rivals Manchester United, but was unable to replicate the success he had enjoyed with the Reds. Upon Mangnall's departure in 1924 the roles of secretary and manager were separated, with David Ashworth appointed manager and Wilf Wild as secretary. This arrangement continued during Peter Hodge's time as manager, though the roles merged again when Wild became manager in 1932. Wild became the club's longest serving manager, winning the FA Cup and League Championship during his fourteen year tenure. By the time Sam Cowan replaced Wild the roles of secretary and manager were separated permanently. Cowan lasted only one season, and was replaced by Jock Thomson. He gained promotion, but did not make a lasting impact at the top level.

Les McDowall became manager in 1950, and managed the Blues for more league seasons than any other manager. Known for his tactical awareness, McDowall's implementation of a system known as the Revie Plan resulted in two FA Cup final appearances, a defeat in 1955 and a victory in 1956. McDowall resigned following relegation in 1963, and his assistant George Poyser became manager. Poyser proved unsuited to the manager's role, and was sacked in 1965. Joe Mercer was appointed, and the club's golden era began. Mercer became the club's most successful manager in terms of trophies won, winning the League Championship, the FA Cup, the League Cup and the European Cup Winners' Cup in his six years at the helm. Over time Mercer's assistant Malcolm Allison sought a progressively larger say in non-coaching matters, and in October 1971 he took sole control of the first team, with Mercer becoming "general manager".

During Peter Swales' time as Manchester City chairman the tenure of managers was frequently brief, as between 1973 and 1994 eleven managers were appointed. The first of these was Ron Saunders, after ill health had forced Johnny Hart to leave the post. Saunders was sacked after only six months, and club stalwart Tony Book took over. Book managed the club for five years, winning the League Cup in 1976. Malcolm Allison, who had rejoined the coaching staff in January 1979, made an ill-fated return to the manager's role later that year, a spell noted more for financial excess than on-pitch success. A further six managers (John Bond, John Benson, Billy McNeill, Jimmy Frizzell, Mel Machin and Howard Kendall) were appointed in the 1980s, with none lasting more than three years amid a series of promotions and relegations. An upturn in results occurred during Peter Reid's management, the club achieving consecutive fifth place finishes, but a deterioration in Reid's relationship with the board signalled the end of his spell at the club. Brian Horton arrived from Oxford to sceptical newspaper headlines of "Brian Who?", but developed a reputation for attractive football. Swales was replaced as chairman by former City striker Francis Lee. Lee wanted to bring in his own man, and in the 1995 close season he replaced Horton with Alan Ball, whose sole full season resulted in relegation.

In the 1996–97 season, even the turnover rate of the Swales years was surpassed, with five managers (three permanent appointments and two caretakers) taking charge of first team affairs during the course of the season. The third of these was Steve Coppell, the shortest serving manager in the club's history, who resigned on ill health grounds after 32 days as manager. The final of the five, Frank Clark, saw out the season but did not last much longer, losing his job in February 1998 with the club on the brink of relegation to the third tier of English football. Joe Royle was unable to prevent relegation, but subsequently achieved successive promotions to restore top flight status, though relegation a year later resulted in his sacking. Under Royle's replacement Kevin Keegan the club changed division for a fifth successive season, setting club records for the number of points gained and goals scored in a season. Keegan remained manager for the club's move to the City of Manchester Stadium and beyond, making him the longest serving manager since Tony Book.

On 6 July 2007 Sven-Göran Eriksson became the first Manchester City manager from outside the British Isles, replacing the sacked Stuart Pearce, who had served for two years following an initial spell as caretaker.

As of 11 May, 2008. Statistics include competitive matches only, pre-Football League and wartime matches excluded. Caretakers are shown in italics.

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Source : Wikipedia