Manchester City Football Club
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. Marks (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 Premier League status, putting
City back in the top flight, the division in which they have spent
the majority of their history.
Man City - The
Pride of Manchester
Manchester City F.C. was founded as St. Marks (West Gorton)
in 1880 by Anna Connell and two wardens of St. Mark's Church, who
also worked in the nearby iron factory, 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
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
be sure 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.
City of Manchester Stadium
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
Pearce's successor, Sven-Göran Eriksson, took over City in July
2007, a year after resigning as England's coach.
City won the first three games of the season (including the local
derby to Manchester United), with no goals against, but were finally
halted on the fourth game against Arsenal. However the team's rich
vein of form continued with the team winning ten consecutive home
games from the opening home win against Derby on the 15th August,
until the team lost to Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the Carling Cup on
December 18th over four months later. The team currently stand 5th
in the Premier League table with 35 points gained from the opening
19 matches of the season.
Colours and crest
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 04/05 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 Premiership teams who wore predominantly dark blue as
their first choice colours in the 05/06 and 06/07 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 07/08 season, white pin stripes appear on the home and
away shirts. The away kit is all purple in colour. There is also a
third kit, which consists of a white shirt with a sky blue flash
over the club badge, sky blue shorts and white socks.
The origins of the club's home colours are unclear, but there is
evidence that the club have worn blue since 1892 or earlier. One
prominent rumour places the origins of the sky blue kit with a link
to free masonry. 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 A.C.
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 Latin motto Superbia in Proelio,
which translates as Pride in Battle. 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
play 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.
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
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.It's Capacity 47,726 is the
5th largest stadium in the FA Premier League.
Manchester City have 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 2006/2007 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
Manchester City have 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 have been several fanzines published by
supporters; the longest running, and the only one still published,
is King of the Kippax.
Celebrity City supporters include brothers Liam and Noel
Gallagher of the Manchester-based rock band, Oasis. On 27–28 April
1996, the group played their first headline outdoor concerts at the
Maine Road ground. Highlights from the second night featured on the
video ...There And Then, released later the same year.
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 Premiership, 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. As travel became easier, support for
both teams became unusual and the rivalry developed.
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 come from Manchester
postcode areas; however United had a higher number of season ticket
holders living in Manchester, as they had more season ticket holders
overall. However, the report contained a caveat stating that the
number of City season tickets has since increased (the report was
compiled before City's move to the City of Manchester Stadium). The
study also found that City had the highest proportion of support in
the south and east of the city, and United had the highest
proportion in the north and west of the city.
Manchester post codes also cover Salford, a city in itself located
within the Manchester Urban Area.
In the late 1980s, City fans started a craze of bringing
inflatable objects to matches, primarily oversized bananas. One
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 2006/2007 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
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 premership
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 the summer of 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 the 6th July 2007, having
acquired 75% of the shares, Thaksin delisted 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 is chairman of the club, with former chairman and JD
Sports founder John
Wardle deputy chairman. Two of Thaksin's children, Pintongta and
Panthongtae are also on the board of directors.
Shinawatra's purchase of the club was backed by the promise of a
new era of investment in playing staff which, until Stuart Pearce
left the club in 2007, had been obviously lacking for some time, the
annual net outlay being smaller than that of many Championship
clubs. The first summer's spending on players amounted to
approximately £38m (estimates vary) and based on the team's
performance up to October 2007 has been spent wisely. It has been
argued by Eriksson in recent interviews
that the performance of the players thus far has increased their
perceived value, and as such the initial investment appears to
already be "in the black". However, Eriksson is quick to indicate
that the club no longer has any need to sell its best players. More
investment in the playing staff has been promised for the January
2008 transfer window although no figures have yet been put forward.
The club made a pre-tax profit of £16.97m in the year ending 31
||Marc-Vivien Foé (posthumous honour)
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.
Hall of fame
The following players are members of Manchester City's Hall of
Fame, and are listed
according to year of Manchester City first-team debut (year in
- pre-1920: Billy Meredith (1894), Tommy Johnson
- 1920s: Sam Cowan (1924), Eric Brook (1928).
- 1930s: Frank Swift (1933), Peter Doherty (1936).
- 1940s: Roy Clarke (1946), Bert Trautmann (1949).
- 1950s: Ken Barnes (1950), Roy Paul (1950),
Alan Oakes (1958).
- 1960s: Mike Summerbee (1965), Colin Bell (1966),
Tony Book (1966), Francis Lee (1967), Joe Corrigan
- 1980s: Paul Lake (1987).
- 1990s: Niall Quinn (1990).
Notable former managers
The following managers have all won at least one major trophy
with Manchester City (Totals include competitive matches only):
| Tom Maley
| Wilf Wild
| Les McDowall
| Joe Mercer
| Tony Book
- First Division (old format)
- Champions 1937, 1968
- Runners-up 1904, 1921, 1977
- Second Division (old format), First
Division/Championship (new format)
- Champions 1899, 1903, 1910, 1928, 1947, 1966, 2002 (7
times, record holders)
- Runners-up 1896, 1951, 1989, 2000
- Second Division (new format)
- FA Cup
- Winners 1904, 1934, 1956, 1969
- Finalists 1926, 1933, 1955, 1981
- League Cup
- Winners 1970, 1976
- Runners-up 1974
- European Cup Winners' Cup
- Charity Shield
- Winners 1937, 1968, 1972
- Runners-up 1934, 1956, 1969, 1973
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Winner
Runner up: Górnik Zabrze
- Record League victory — 11-3 v. Lincoln City
(March 23, 1895)
- Record FA Cup victory — 12-0 v. Liverpool
Stanley (October 4, 1890)
- Record League defeat — 1-9 v. Everton F.C.
(September 3, 1906)
- Record FA Cup defeat — 0-6 v. Preston North
End (January 1897)
- Highest attendance — 84,569 v. Stoke City
(March 3, 1934)
- Most League appearances — 561 + 3 sub, Alan Oakes
- Most appearances overall — 668 + 4 sub, Alan Oakes
- Most goals scored overall — 178, Eric Brook 1928–40
- Most goals scored in a season — 38, Tommy Johnson
- Record transfer fee paid — £13 million to Paris
Saint-Germain for Nicolas Anelka, June 2002
- Record transfer fee received — £21 million from
Chelsea for Shaun Wright-Phillips, July 2005
Vote on your favourite City
player past or present
and say why if you want
1st January 2008