Nickname(s) City, The Citizens, The Sky Blues
Founded 1880; 135 years ago
as St. Mark's (West Gorton)
16 April 1894; 120 years ago
as Manchester City
Ground City of Manchester Stadium
Owner City Football Group
Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak
Manager Manuel Pellegrini
League Premier League
Manchester City Football Club is a Premier League football club in Manchester, England. Founded in 1880 as St. Mark's (West Gorton), they became Ardwick Association Football Club in 1887 and Manchester City in 1894.
The club has played at the City of Manchester Stadium since 2003, having played at Maine Road from 1923. The club's most successful period was in the late 1960s and early 1970s when they won the League Championship, FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup under the management team of Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison.
After losing the 1981 FA Cup Final, the club went through a period of decline, culminating in relegation to the third tier of English football for the only time in their history in 1998. Having regained Premier League status, the club was purchased in 2008 by Abu Dhabi United Group and has become one of the wealthiest in the world.
In 2011, Manchester City qualified for the UEFA Champions League and won the FA Cup. The following year, they won the Premier League, their first league title for 44 years and the first Premier League title for any club that has played in the third tier of English football since 1980. In 2014, they won the League Cup and a second Premier League title.
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 but City became the first club in Manchester to win a major honour. 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.
|The Manchester City team which won the FA Cup in 1904|
A group of thirteen men, eleven in association football attire typical of the early twentieth century and two in suits. A trophy sits in front of them
The Manchester City team which won the FA Cup in 1904
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. During the 1934 cup run, Manchester City broke the record for the highest home attendance of any club in English football history, as 84,569 fans packed Maine Road for a sixth round FA Cup tie against Stoke City in 1934 – a record which still stands to this day. 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. Twenty 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 and beating their close neighbours Manchester United into second place. 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 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.
Chart of yearly table positions of City in the Football League.
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. Under John Bond, 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 returned to the top flight again in 1989 and finished fifth in 1991 and 1992 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 co-founders of the Premier League upon its creation in 1992, but after finishing ninth in its first season they endured three seasons of struggle before being relegated in 1996. After two seasons in Division One, City fell to the lowest point in their history, becoming the second ever European trophy winners to be relegated to their country's third league tier, after 1. FC Magdeburg of Germany.
After relegation, the club underwent off-the-field upheaval, with new chairman David Bernstein introducing greater fiscal discipline. Under manager Joe Royle, City were promoted at the first attempt, achieved in dramatic fashion in a play-off 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 replaced Royle as manager in the close season, and achieved 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 European competition for the first time in 25 years. In the 2003 close season the club moved to the new City of Manchester Stadium. The first four seasons at the stadium all resulted in mid-table finishes. Former England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson became the club's first manager from overseas when appointed in 2007. After a bright start performances faded in the second half of the season, and Eriksson was sacked in June 2008. Eriksson was replaced by Mark Hughes two days later on 4 June 2008.
By 2008, the club was in a financially precarious position. Thaksin Shinawatra had taken control of the club a year before, but his political travails saw his assets frozen. Then, in August 2008, the club was purchased by the Abu Dhabi United Group. The takeover was immediately followed by a flurry of bids for high profile players; the club broke the British transfer record by signing Brazilian international Robinho from Real Madrid for £32.5 million. Performances were not a huge improvement on the previous season despite the influx of money however, with the team finishing tenth, although they did well to reach the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup. During the summer of 2009, the club took transfer spending to an unprecedented level, with an outlay of over £100 million on players Gareth Barry, Roque Santa Cruz, Kolo Touré, Emmanuel Adebayor, Carlos Tevez and Joleon Lescott. In December 2009, Mark Hughes – who had been hired shortly before the change in ownership but was originally retained by the new board – was replaced as manager by Roberto Mancini. City finished the season in fifth position in the Premier League, narrowly missing out on a place in the Champions League, and competed in the UEFA Europa League in season 2010–11.
Manchester City against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League in 2011
Continued investment in players followed in successive seasons, and results began to match the upturn in player quality. City reached the 2011 FA Cup Final, their first major final in over thirty years, after defeating derby rivals Manchester United in the semi-final, the first time they had knocked their rival out of a cup competition since 1975. They defeated Stoke City 1–0 in the final, securing their fifth FA Cup, the club's first major trophy since winning the 1976 League Cup. In the same week, the club qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 1968 with a 1–0 Premier League win over Tottenham Hotspur. On the last day of the 2010–11 season, City passed Arsenal for third place in the Premier League, thereby securing qualification directly into the Champions League group stage.
Strong performances continued to follow in the 2011–12 season, with the club beginning the following season in commanding form, including beating Tottenham 5–1 at White Hart Lane and humbling Manchester United by a 6–1 scoreline in United's own stadium. Although the strong form waned half-way through the season, and City at one point fell eight points behind their arch rivals with only six games left to play, a slump by United allowed the blue side of Manchester to draw back level with two games to go, setting up a thrilling finale to the season with both teams going into the last day equal on points. Despite City only needing a home win against a team in the relegation zone, they fell a goal behind by the end of normal time, leading some of United's players to finish their game celebrating in the belief that they had won the league. Two goals in injury time – including one scored almost five minutes after normal time had elapsed – resulted in an almost-literal last-minute title victory, City's first in 44 years, and became only the fifth team to win the Premier League since its creation in 1992. In the aftermath that followed, the event was described by media sources from the UK and around the world as the greatest moment in Premier League history. The game was also notable for former player Joey Barton's sending off, where he committed three separate red card-able incidents on three different players in the space of only a few seconds, resulting in a 12-game ban.
Manchester City in 2013
The following season City failed to capitalise on the gains made in the first two full seasons of Mancini's reign. While City rarely seemed likely to drop below second in the table, they posed little title challenge all season. In the UEFA Champions League, the club was eliminated at the group stage for a second successive season, while a second FA Cup final in three seasons ended in a 1–0 defeat to relegated Wigan Athletic. Mancini was dismissed two days later, ostensibly as he had failed to reach his targets for the season, but BBC sports editor David Bond reported that he had been sacked for his poor communication and relationships with players and executives. In his place was appointed the Chilean Manuel Pellegrini. In Pellegrini's first season, City won the League Cup and regained the Premier League title on the last day of the season.
Club badge and colours
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. 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 A.C. Milan would inspire City to glory. Allison's theory worked, with City winning the 1969 FA Cup Final, 1970 League Cup Final and the 1970 European Cup Winners' Cup Final in red and black stripes as opposed to the club's home kit of sky blue.
The current club badge was adopted in 1997 as a result of the previous badge 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 eagle is an old heraldic symbol of the city of Manchester; a golden eagle was added to the city's badge in 1958 (but has since been removed), representing the growing aviation industry. The shield features a ship on its upper half representing the Manchester Ship Canal, and three diagonal stripes in the lower half symbolise the city's three rivers – the Irwell, the Irk and the Medlock. The bottom of the badge bears the motto Superbia in Proelio, which 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 badges 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 circular badge which used the same shield as the current badge, 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 badge has not been 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. For the 2011 FA Cup Final, City used the usual badge with a special legend, but the Manchester coat of arms was included as a small monochrome logo in the numbers on the back of players' shirts
PlayersAs of 19 August 2014.First team squad
Manuel Pellegrini with the Premier League trophy after the victorious 2013–14 season.
First Division/Premier League
Winners (4): 1936–37, 1967–68, 2011–12, 2013–14
Second Division/First Division
Winners (7): 1898–99, 1902–03, 1909–10, 1927–28, 1946–47, 1965–66, 2001–02
Third Division Play-offs
Winners (1): 1998–99
Winners (5): 1903–04, 1933–34, 1955–56, 1968–69, 2010–11
Football League Cup
Winners (3): 1969–70, 1975–76, 2013–14
FA Community Shield
Winners (4): 1937, 1968, 1972, 2012
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
Winners (1): 1969–70
Main article: List of Manchester City F.C. records and statistics
Record League victory – 11–3 v. Lincoln City (23 March 1895, most goals scored) 10–0 v. Darwen (18 February 1899, widest margin of victory)
Record FA Cup victory – 12–0 v. Liverpool Stanley (4 October 1890)
Record League defeat – 0–8 v. Burton Wanderers (26 December 1894), 0–8 v. Wolverhampton Wanderers (23 December 1933), 1–9 v. Everton (3 September 1906), 2–10 v. Small Heath (17 March 1893)
Record FA Cup defeat – 0–6 v. Preston North End (30 January 1897), 2–8 v. Bradford Park Avenue (30 January 1946)
Highest home attendance – 84,569 v. Stoke City (3 March 1934) (remains the record home attendance in English football)
Most League appearances – 561 + 3 sub, Alan Oakes 1958–76
Most appearances overall – 676 + 4 sub, Alan Oakes 1958–76
Most goals scored overall – 177, Eric Brook 1928–40
Most goals scored in a season – 38, Tommy Johnson 1928–29
Record transfer fee paid – £38 million to Atlético Madrid for Sergio Agüero, July 2011
Record transfer fee received – £21 million from Chelsea for Shaun Wright-Phillips, July 2005