Manchester City Hierarchy Sold Roberto Mancini Down The River

To outsiders, it may appear that those who support Manchester City have overreacted in the past few days. If you feel that way, you simply don’t understand the culture that surrounds supporting Manchester City.

You can debate the merits of the Roberto Mancini sacking all day long. His record as a manager speaks for itself. However, his man management skills and unwillingness to be accountable in the media for missteps ultimately cost him his job. But whether or not Mancini deserved to be sacked is not the issue, though most City supporters would easily gloss over the poor man management considering his record.

To sack the manager a year to the day after the club’s greatest triumph and to allow rumors regarding Mancini’s position to undermine a FA Cup final is something that could irrevocably damage the relationship between passionate supporters and the club hierarchy. Understand, we are not front-runners but sentimentalists. We love the likes of Paul Dickov, Shaun Goater and Kevin Horlock because of the commitment they always showed for the club. The greats like Paul Power, Colin Bell and Mike Summerbee of course are important to our history but so are those gritty, spirited players who embodied the working class traditions of our supporters.

Mancini embraced City’s culture and heritage including his dawning of a club scarf regularly. The supporters in turn embraced him and were rewarded with three trophies in three years (yes we count the Community Shield), five trips to Wembley, and close misses in other cup competitions. This season, despite a media narrative created by some elites in London that City have a stronger and deeper squad than anyone in England, truly objective journalists understand Mancini was hamstrung.

A simple look at the bench Mancini had at his disposal much of the season when compared to Manchester United, Chelsea or even arguably Tottenham would indicate that while City have spent several hundred million pounds, the return on investment has been poor. It was not Mancini who overspent for several subpar players but in fact the football hierarchy at the club. Given that the club was not meeting expectations, Mancini was given zero opportunity to upgrade the squad in January, either to add depth or to chase the title. The fact that the manager has City second in the table despite lacking the flexibility in squad selection other teams around us in the table enjoy should have saved him his job.

City’s most decorated manager Joe Mercer was ultimately undercut by his brilliant yet conniving number two Malcolm Allison. Mercer had won the league; both domestic cups and a European trophy between 1968 and 1970 but by 1971 Allison had aligned with Peter Swales to oust Mercer and the existing board from the club. Swales would prove to be a disastrous chairman for City and the decline brought on by Swales takeover was only arrested by David Bernstein in the early 2000s. Sadly, Mercer’s accomplishments have become Allison’s accomplishments to many of our supporters, but given Mancini will not be replaced by someone within the club but someone from outside, means the reaction to his sacking will be much stronger than Mercer’s was.

Fans of more successful clubs can mock us, but for most Manchester City supporters, myself included, European success is not something we crave and European failure is not something we are bothered by. Participating in the Champions League we understand is lucrative for ownership but for us it is merely this quaint competition where our club can face off in an actual match against the likes of Bayern Munich or Real Madrid. Sacking a manager based on lack of European success may make sense for bigger clubs and may realistically be wise for the stated ambition of City’s ownership but it does not reconcile well with how the majority of supporters view the club.

We are not Real Madrid or Chelsea. We are a club that aspires to be great but not without honoring our history and family feel. This is a reality our owners need to remember in the future if they want to keep supporters feeling as strongly about the hierarchy of our club as we want to.

34 thoughts on “Manchester City Hierarchy Sold Roberto Mancini Down The River”

  1. These are the owners we have. They want results and they will settle for nothing less. We’ve seen the same formula at Chelsea and if that’s the way things are going to be here then so be it.

    That said, I agree with your article wholeheartedly. Mancini will forever be a hero for us. I want the club to take the positive momentum he gave us and move to the next level. We aren’t at Manchester United or Chelsea’s level of talent or success yet. Mancini has laid the cornerstone for that.

    Whoever will take the reigns next here now knows the deal. Win or you’re out. Mourinho would be perfect for this. I would love the Special One to take City to greater heights.

    1. I don’t want Mourinho anywhere near City. It would just be the Jose Mourinho show. Sounds like Pellegrini could be good for City.

    2. “Whoever will take the reigns next here now knows the deal. Win or you’re out.”

      Kind of sad that Fergie’s recent retirement hasn’t prompted club owners to appreciate longevity a little bit. No one can finish first every season. Why not practice a little patience?

      1. I agree completely. It’s not my sentiment or desire to see it this way. Mancini could have been manager at City for 26 years as far as I’m concerned. The man will always be a legend for us.

  2. No they did not sold him down the river. He just didn’t deliver. He did not even get out the group stages. City got better players than United yet they are 13 points behind them.
    He deferred blame every chance he got in the press by lamenting about the players he did not signed(main RVP). Lets not forget that he won the title on Goal difference. If not that Everton game where united gave up its 2 goal lead, City does not win the title and Mancini is sacked then.

    1. City got better players than United? Mancini’s goal was to sign RVP. Not only didn’t he get him but he went to United. You bring up the fact the City won the title on goal difference. How do they address that? They went out and got the league leading goal scorer and blow everyone out the following year.

      And sorry that he won the title on goal difference. Mancini wrecked United 6-1 at Old Trafford and then outmaneuvered Ferguson 1-0 at the Etihad. That’s where the season was won.

    2. City have nowhere near the squad depth of Chelsea nor United. Not sure where you say City have better players. Also it is worth noting if we had targets this year, every side around us upgraded in January (Chelsea with Ba, LFC with Coutinho and Sturridge, Spurs with Holtby, Arsenal with Monreal) yet the ownership did not give Mancini a single pence to spend. We sold Balotelli in January and DeJong at the deadline in August and failed to replace either.

      Squad depth so woeful that Lescott was put on as a striker late in the match on multiple occasions this season. That says all you need to know.

    3. Whether the firing of Mancini was good or bad, I must say, it sure was funny watching sh*tty crash and burn out of both cups.

  3. Mancini was hung out to dry by the Senior Management at City fact.

    He was no different a person or Manager when the club decided to give him a five year contract last July. If you are going to simply access things season by season then thats a recipe for disruption and constant .

    I think Soriano and Begiristain decided some time ago as soon as they had the chance they would be getting rid of Mancini.

    While Mancini was being ripped apart by the media and its still going on, the club did nothing. Disgraceful treatment of someone who has gone so much.

    I find it hard to believe that any genuine City fan would not feel Mancini has been shabbily treated.

    PS Paul Power a City great? Sorry cant agree with that one.

  4. “Fans of more successful clubs can mock us, but for most Manchester City supporters, myself included, European success is not something we crave and European failure is not something we are bothered by.”

    But that is the owners’ expectations. I understand where you come from, but the owners want instant success and they don’t mind spending tons of money to achieve it. If you know their way of doing business (and I understand it’s how things work too in Middle East with regards to national team coaches: instant success or you’re gone instantly), you shouldn’t be surprised.

    You also forget to mention that Mancini kept on moaning of the need to sign more players. Mancini doesn’t have any regards to FFP, he’s a Mourinho lite without success.

    Some of the failed transfer targets, while definitely not his fault, were stupid wishes: RvP chose to go to work under Ferguson, de Rossi loved Roma so much,etc, The owners gave him money, he just couldn’t maximize the money or find the right players.
    De Jong left because Mancini didn’t believe he has all-round qualities required.
    Part of being a good manager is the ability to communicate with the owner(s): you don’t bite the hands that feed you. Mancini failed to do so.

  5. We are not Real Madrid or Chelsea. We are a club that aspires to be great but not without honoring our history and family feel. This is a reality our owners need to remember in the future if they want to keep supporters feeling as strongly about the hierarchy of our club as we want to.”

    But you’ve become another Chelsea with the owners buying success instead of building and nurturing success. Would you agree with me ?

    1. At this point I would agree with you although the mocks of opposing fans that neither Chelsea nor City have any history are greatly exaggerated. Neither club is Liverpool or Arsenal but neither club was exactly Stoke or Fulham either.

      1. I had no intention of mocking Chelsea or City. As someone who has been following sports for a long time (the first FA Cup final I watched was 1987: Coventry vs Spurs), all clubs have history, regardless whether they have trophies to show it or not.
        My reference to Chelsea is related to the attitude of the owners: buying instant success.

        1. Oh I know that…didn’t want to imply you did but was actually making a point about much of the press.

    2. Sheik Mansour obviously doesn’t agree with you, and he is willing to spend $500 million (if not closer to $1 billion) each year to make his point.

      He wants Man City to be the #1 club sport brand in the world.

      Remember that Chelsea was NOT considered a “big 4” club not too long ago. Roman A. threw over $2 billion into Chelsea in order to turn it into a global brand.

      Chelsea now cares more about selling merchandise in Shanghai (judging by the number of times Simplified Chinese advertising is displayed at Stamford Bridge during each EPL match) then its old clientele.

      1. In England there is I would say a 95% chance you will root for the team your parents, family member or friends do. Outside of Europe skys the limits and guess what Football is a buisness is not the 60’s, 70’s, or 80’s anymore. There are only so many people in the UK and the team that someone will root for is most certainly determined before they are a twinkle in their daddy’s eye.

  6. Hate to say it, but Man City doesn’t care what long time fans think of anything they do or how you feel about the club. There’s not that many of you really. They also know matter what real fans, like yourself, will still support the team no matter what (see Chelsea for example)

    They’re more interested in being a global brand and they quite rightly know that 95% of people are bandwagon-type fans who will root for what ever team is the best. They’ll spend more than enough to dominate European football and that’s all that matters.

  7. Kartik:

    The Golden Rule: He who has the gold, make the rules.

    Sheik Mansour wants Man City to win EVERYTHING with flair while being entertained. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Mancini has been a whining pr*ck for years. Sheik Mansour was NOT amused.

    Mancini knew exactly what he was getting into when he took Sheki Mansour’s money and Mancini got exactly what he deserved.

    Failing to get into the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League for 2 straight seasons is unacceptable.

    Not winning EPL is unacceptable.

    Losing the FA Cup Final to Wigan was the last straw.

    If anything, Sheik Mansour could have given Mancini the sack on Saturday night. One suspect that Sheik Mansour waited until Monday evening, as Manchester United was celebrating in a motorcade, to release the news so that he can one up Manchester United.

  8. We. Our. How long have you supported City? You talk about their history like your a life-long fan. Where were you when they were in the old Division 3?

        1. What do u want? A letter from Peter Swales? Obviously you’re are big fan probably got a season ticket and all, DOH

  9. The more I hear about MCFC fans moaning about Mancini getting the sack, the more I realize they’re just not ready for primetime.

    An impartial observer with no horse in the race here, but watching Man City play was invariably an exercise in tedium. No width, clogging up the middle, real pedestrian stuff.

    1. Same as a lot of Chelsea fans: they whined when Roman sacked di Matteo but they unleashed their anger at Rafa, instead of RA.

      1. Roman A. can care less about the whining from the terrace as he is too busy counting $$$.

        Again, look at the advertising boards at Stamford Bridge. The simplified Chinese characters tell you all you need to know. Roman A. is more interested in selling official merchandise in Shanghai than to listen to the whining ticket holders.

        1. The fans in the stands are already fans what don’t you get about that and it’s not like all the damn ads are in Chinese.

  10. I don’t know, Kartik. I agree with much of what you’ve said here, but more often than not this season I found myself at odds with Mancini’s starting 11, formations, etc. For instance, while I agree that we are not nearly as deep as everyone suggests, the players Mancini DID have at his disposal he often did not use, or mis-used. Milner should have been an everyday starter (not just in the past month or two). Sinclair should have been given more opportunity (when healthy) to provide some width. Silva and Nasri should NOT have been on the pitch at the same time (that’s obvious to anyone that watched Nasri w/o Silva).

    1. Agree on Milner. His not starting every game is one of the great frustrations for me. Besides Zaba he’s been our top player this season.

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