is a football (soccer) club from England.
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About Manchester City
Manchester City Football Club is an English professional football club based in the city of Manchester. They are currently members of the Premier League.
The first known competitive fixture was played in November 1880, when the side was known 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 Football League First Division twice, the FA Cup four times, the Football League Cup twice and the UEFA 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 with players such as Colin Bell, Mike Summerbee and Francis Lee.
Since winning the League Cup in 1976, the club has failed to win any major honours. The club's decline led to relegation twice in three years in the 1990s, spending the The Football League 1998–99 in the third tier of English football league system. The club has since regained Premier League status, the level at which they have spent the majority of their history. Manchester City is now believed to be the wealthiest football club in the world after its purchase by the Abu Dhabi United Group in September 2008.
It is widely accepted that 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. Prior to this, St. Mark's played cricket from 1875 and the side evolved out of that cricket team – the key organiser was Church Warden William Beastow. 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 Football League Second Division in 1892. Financial troubles in the 1893–94 in English football 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 Football League First Division.Wide-angle view of unoccupied stadium and football pitch. The facing stand has two tiers of blue seats. They went on to claim their first major honour on 23 April 1904, beating Bolton Wanderers F.C. 1–0 at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre to win the FA Cup; City narrowly missed out on a League and Cup the 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 F.C.. 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 F.C. in 1933, before claiming the Cup by beating Portsmouth F.C. 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 F.C., and won the second. The FA Cup Final 1956, in which Manchester City beat Birmingham City F.C. 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 F.C. 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 in English football, 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 F.C.. Further trophies followed: City won the FA Cup in FA Cup Final 1969, before achieving European success by winning the Cup Winners' Cup in 1970, beating Górnik Zabrze 2–1 in Vienna. City also won the Football 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 F.C., 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 F.C. 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 F.C.. 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 (executive) introducing greater fiscal discipline. City were promoted at the first attempt, achieved in dramatic fashion in a play-off against Gillingham F.C.. 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 in English football Division One championship, breaking club records for the number of points gained and goals scored in a season in the process.
The 2002–03 in English football 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 Manchester 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.
On transfer deadline day of the Premier League 2008–09, the club was purchased by 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 Brazil national football team Robinho from Real Madrid for £32.5 million. City finished tenth, and also reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup. During the summer of 2009 the club took transfer spending to unprecedented level, with an outlay of over £100 million on players Gareth Barry, Roque Santa Cruz, Kolo Touré, Emmanuel Adebayor, Carlos Tévez and Joleon Lescott.
Club crest and colours
Manchester City's home colours are sky blue and white. Traditional away kit (football) 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.
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 coat of 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 Praelio
, 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 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.
Players and staff
Since 2003, Manchester City have not issued the squad number 23. It was Retired numbers in football (soccer) 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 whilst playing for Cameroon national football team in the 2003 FIFA 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 parentheses):
- pre-1920: Billy Meredith (1894), Tommy Johnson (footballer born 1900) (1919).
- 1920s: Sam Cowan (1924), Eric Brook (1928), Fred Tilson (1928).
- 1930s: Frank Swift (1933), Peter Doherty (footballer) (1936).
- 1940s: Roy Clarke (footballer) (1946), Bert Trautmann (1949).
- 1950s: Ken Barnes (footballer) (1950), Roy Paul (1950), Alan Oakes (1958).
- 1960s: Neil Young (footballer born 1944) (1961), Mike Summerbee (1965), Colin Bell (1966), Tony Book (1966), Francis Lee (1967), Joe Corrigan (1967).
- 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):
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, usually in excess of 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 in 2005 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 have 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 (song)", 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 F.C. in the 2004–05 Premier League, yet in the same season City were knocked out of the FA Cup by Oldham Athletic A.F.C., a team two divisions lower.
Manchester City's biggest rivalry is with neighbours Manchester United F.C., against whom they contest the Manchester derby. Before the World War II, 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%). 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 lector 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 F.C. 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 in English football as the craze spread to other clubs (inflatable fish were seen at Grimsby Town), with the phenomenon reaching a peak at City's match at Stoke City F.C. on 26 December 1988, a match declared by fanzines as a fancy dress party.
In August 2006, the club became the first to be officially recognised as a "gay-friendly" employer by campaign group Stonewall (UK).
The holding company of Manchester City F.C., Manchester City Limited, is a private limited company, with approximately 54 million shares in issue. The club has been in private hands since 2007, when 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 Shinawatra also became directors. Former chairman John Wardle stayed on the board for a year, but resigned in July 2008 following Nike, Inc. 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. A year later, this investment was itself dwarfed by larger sums. On 1 September 2008, Abu Dhabi-based Abu Dhabi United Group 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 F.C.'s protracted bid to sign Dimitar Berbatov from Tottenham Hotspur F.C. for a fee in excess of £30 million. Minutes before the transfer window closed, the club signed Robinho from Real Madrid C.F. for a Progression of British football transfer record of £32.5 million. The wealth of the new owners meant that in the summer of 2009, the club was able to finance the purchase of several experienced international players prior to the new season, spending more than any other club in the Premier League.
Manchester City's current stadium is the City of Manchester Stadium, a state-of-the-art 47,726-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 in excess of £30 million 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 F.C.. 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
fourth highest in the FA Premier League.
- English football champions (first tier)
- - Winners (2): 1936–37, 1967–68
- - Runners-up (3): 1903–04, 1920–21, 1976–77
- List of winners of English Football League Championship and predecessors (second tier)
- - Winners (7): 1898–99, 1902–-03, 1909–10, 1927–28, 1946–47, 1965–66, 2001–02 (record)
- - Runners-up (4): 1895–96, 1950–51, 1988–89, 1999–2000
- List of winners of English Football League One and predecessors (third tier)
- - Play-off winners: 1999 Football League Second Division play-off Final
- FA Cup
- - Winners (4): 1904 FA Cup Final, 1934 FA Cup Final, 1956 FA Cup Final, 1969 FA Cup Final
- - Runners-up (4): 1926 FA Cup Final, 1933 FA Cup Final, 1955 FA Cup Final, 1981 FA Cup Final
- Football League Cup
- - Winners (2): 1970 Football League Cup Final, 1976 Football League Cup Final
- - Runners-up (1): 1974 Football League Cup Final
- FA Community Shield
- - Winners (3): 1937 FA Charity Shield, 1968 FA Charity Shield, 1972 FA Charity Shield
- - Runners-up (4): 1934 FA Charity Shield, 1956 FA Charity Shield, 1969 FA Charity Shield, 1973 FA Charity Shield
- Full Members Cup
- - Runners-up (1): 1986
- UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
- - Winners (1): UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1969–70
- Record League victory — 11–3 v.
Lincoln City F.C. (23 March 1895, most goals scored) 10–0 v.
Darwen F.C. (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 F.C. (26 December 1894), 0–8 v.
Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. (23 December 1933), 1–9 v.
Everton F.C (3 September 1906), 2–10 v.
Birmingham City F.C. (17 March 1893)
- Most League appearances — 561 + 3 sub, Alan Oakes 1958–76
- Most appearances overall — 676 + 4 sub, Alan Oakes 1958–76
- Most goals scored in a season — 38, Tommy Johnson (footballer born 1900) 1928–29
- Record transfer fee paid — £32.5 million to Real Madrid for Robinho, September 2008 (also current British record)