List of Manchester City F.C. managers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Jump to: navigation, search
Manchester City Football Club






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 longest serving manager was Wilf Wild


Early years 1880–1950s[edit]

Les McDowall who was City Manager 1950–63 and the longest serving manager in Manchester City's history, his tenure spanning 13 years.

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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3]

Under Sam Omerod the club achieved promotion to the First Division for the first time,[4] and five years later Tom Maley became the first Manchester City manager to win a major trophy, the 1904 FA Cup.[5] A financial scandal resulted in the Football Association suspending Maley and seventeen players in 1906,[6] 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.

1960 to 2000[edit]

Joe Mercer Way Pathway close to the Etihad Stadium. Dedicated to City's most successful ever manager

Les McDowall became manager in 1950, and managed the Blues for more league seasons than any other manager.[7] 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.[7] 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.[8] 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".[9]

During Peter Swales' time as Manchester City chairman the tenure of managers was frequently brief, as between 1973 and 1994 eleven managers were appointed.[10] 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.[11] 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.[12] Brian Horton arrived from Oxford to sceptical newspaper headlines of "Brian Who?",[13] but developed a reputation for attractive football.[14] 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,[15] who resigned on ill health grounds after 32 days as manager.[16] 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.

2000 onwards, the Thaksin era and the Abu Dhabi era[edit]

Current City Manager Manuel Pellegrini
Roberto Mancini, who led the club to Premier League success for the first time in 44 years in 2011–12

Under Royle's replacement Kevin Keegan the club changed division for a fifth successive season,[17] setting club records for the number of points gained and goals scored in a season.[18] 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.[19] After just one season with the club, Eriksson was replaced by Mark Hughes in June 2008. On 19 December 2009, Mark Hughes was sacked and replaced by Italian Roberto Mancini.

Mancini subsequently became one of the most successful managers of the club in the modern era, and the first to win major domestic trophies since the 1970s. However, after 3 and a half seasons in charge, Mancini was sacked on 13 May 2013 following defeat in the FA Cup Final versus Wigan Athletic.[20]

On 14 June 2013, Manuel Pellegrini was confirmed as the new manager of the club after signing a 3-year contract and is the third manager, after Roberto Mancini and Brian Kidd, to take charge of City under the ownership of the Abu Dhabi United Group.[21]


As of 11 May 2014. Statistics include competitive matches only, pre-Football League and wartime matches excluded. Caretakers are shown in italics.

NameNicknameNationalityFromToPWDLGFGAWin %Honours and/or notes
Hopkinson FrederickFrederick Hopkinson England18801882
Kitchen EdwardEdward Kitchen England18841887
Chew WalterWalter Chew England18871889
Furniss, LawrenceLawrence Furniss EnglandAugust 1889May 18932610412594638.46
Parlby, JoshuaJoshua Parlby EnglandAugust 1893May 1895592253212914637.29
Omerod, SamSam Omerod EnglandAugust 1895July 1902240111507943335446.25
Maley, TomTom Maley ScotlandJuly 1902July 190615089223932217959.33First non-English manager
FA Cup 1904
Newbould, HarryHarry Newbould EnglandJuly 1906July 191224593619139037637.96
CommitteeJuly 1912September 1912220020100.00
Mangnall, ErnestErnest Mangnall England9 September 1912June 19243501511178250045743.14
Ashworth, DavidDavid Ashworth EnglandJuly 192414 November 19255920132611312133.90
Alexander, AlbertAlbert Alexander / Committee England16 November 192526 April 19263113810805641.94
Hodge, PeterPeter Hodge Scotland26 April 192612 March 1932261122598057944746.74-
Wild, WilfWilf Wild England14 March 19321 December 19463521587112370356244.89FA Cup 1934, First Division champions 1936–37
Cowan, SamSam Cowan England2 December 194630 June 1947302064532766.67-
Wild, WilfWilf Wild EnglandAugust 1947November 194716556201831.25
Thomson, JockJock Thomson ScotlandNovember 1947February 195011535354512215630.43
McDowall, LesLes McDowall ScotlandJune 1950May 19635922201272451,0491,13437.16FA Cup 1956
Poyser, GeorgeGeorge Poyser England12 July 1963April 19658938173415913742.70
CommitteeApril 1965May 196551314520.00
Mercer, JoeJoe Mercer England13 July 19657 October 1971340149949751835843.82First Division champions 1967–68, FA Cup 1969, League Cup 1970, Cup Winners' Cup 1970
Allison, MalcolmMalcolm Allison"Big Mal" England7 October 197130 March 19737832212511910641.03
Hart, JohnnyJohnny Hart England30 March 197322 October 1973221156262250.00
Book, TonyTony Book"Skip" England23 October 197322 November 197372327328.57
Saunders, RonRon Saunders England22 November 197312 April 19742910910383334.48
Book, TonyTony Book"Skip" England12 April 1974July 1979269114758040530942.38League Cup 1976
Allison, MalcolmMalcolm Allison"Big Mal" England16 July 19798 October 198060152025639525.00
Book, TonyTony Book"Skip" England9 October 198016 October 19801001130.00
Bond, JohnJohn Bond"007" England17 October 19803 February 198312351324017115241.46
Benson, JohnJohn Benson Scotland3 February 19837 June 1983173212133217.65
McNeill, BillyBilly McNeill"Cesar" Scotland30 June 198320 September 198615663425122318340.38
Frizzell, JimmyJimmy Frizzell Scotland21 September 1986May 198742101220406123.81
Machin, MelMel Machin EnglandMay 198729 November 198913059274422517945.38
Book, TonyTony Book"Skip" England29 November 19895 December 19893003490.00
Kendall, HowardHoward Kendall England6 December 19895 November 19903813187463734.21
Reid, PeterPeter Reid England11 November 199026 August 199313659314619916643.38
Book, TonyTony Book"Skip" England27 August 199327 August 19931010110.00
Horton, BrianBrian Horton England28 August 199316 May 19959629333411813030.21
Ball, AlanAlan Ball England30 June 199526 August 199649131422497026.53
Hartford, AsaAsa Hartford Scotland26 August 19967 October 1996830581337.50
Coppell, SteveSteve Coppell England7 October 19968 November 1996621371033.33
Neal, PhilPhil Neal"Zico" England9 November 199628 December 199610217111920.00
Clark, FrankFrank Clark England29 December 199617 February 199859201722736033.90
Royle, JoeJoe Royle"Big Joe" England18 February 199821 May 200117174465126119243.27
Keegan, KevinKevin Keegan"King Kev" England24 May 200111 March 200517677396029922343.75
Pearce, StuartStuart Pearce"Psycho" England21 March 200514 May 2007[22]9634194310311135.42
Eriksson, Sven-GöranSven-Göran Eriksson"Svennis" Sweden6 July 2007[23]2 June 2008[24]45191115515842.22First non-British manager
Hughes, MarkMark Hughes"Sparky" Wales4 June 2008[25]19 December 2009[26]7736152612910146.75
Mancini, RobertoRoberto Mancini"Bobby Manc" Italy19 December 2009[26]13 May 2013191113384036017359.16FA Cup 2011, Premier League champions 2011–12, Community Shield 2012
Kidd, BrianBrian Kidd"Kiddo" England13 May 201314 June 201321014350.00
Pellegrini, ManuelManuel Pellegrini"The Engineer" Chile14 June 2013Present57416101565971.93First non-European manager
League Cup 2014, Premier League champions 2013–14



As of May 2014.

England England3710
Scotland Scotland82
Italy Italy13
Chile Chile12
Sweden Sweden10
Wales Wales10

*Trophies include all major honours and Community shields. Lower league titles and local cups not included.

Most games managed[edit]

As of May 2013.

Scotland Les McDowall592
England Wilf Wild352
England Ernest Mangnall350
England Joe Mercer340
England Tony Book269
Scotland Peter Hodge261
England Harry Newbould245
England Sam Omerod240
Italy Roberto Mancini191
England Kevin Keegan176



  1. ^ James, Gary (2006). Manchester City – The Complete Record. Derby: Breedon. ISBN 1-85983-512-0.  p233
  2. ^ Manchester City – The Complete Record, p20
  3. ^ Manchester City – The Complete Record, p234
  4. ^ Manchester City - The Complete Record, p235–6
  5. ^ Clayton, David (2002). Everything under the blue moon: the complete book of Manchester City FC – and more!. Edinburgh: Mainstream publishing. ISBN 1-84018-687-9.  p136
  6. ^ James, Gary (2005). The Official Manchester City Hall of Fame. London: Hamlyn. ISBN 0-600-61282-1.  p93
  7. ^ a b Manchester City – The Complete Record, p246
  8. ^ Penney, Ian (2001). Manchester City – The Mercer-Allison Years. Derby: Breedon. ISBN 1-85983-250-4.  p7
  9. ^ Penney, p144
  10. ^ "Peter Swales: Obituary". Independent. Retrieved April 1, 2007. [dead link]
  11. ^ "After all that ... this". Guardian. Retrieved November 26, 2007. 
  12. ^ Everything Under the Blue Moon, p172
  13. ^ "Brian Horton". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved November 26, 2007. 
  14. ^ Blue Moon Rising, p90
  15. ^ "Roller-coaster years". BBC. 2001-05-07. Retrieved 2007-10-14. 
  16. ^ Buckley, Andy; Burgess, Richard (2000). Blue Moon Rising: The Fall and Rise of Manchester City. Bury: Milo. ISBN 0-9530847-4-4.  p132
  17. ^ "Manchester City". Goal. Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2007-11-20. 
  18. ^ Manchester City – The Complete Record, p265
  19. ^ "Hughes becomes Man City manager". BBC Sport. 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  20. ^ "Roberto Mancini sacked as Manchester City manager". BBC Sport. 
  21. ^ "Manuel Pellegrini: Manchester City appoint Chilean as manager". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  22. ^ "Pearce sacked as Man City manager". BBC News. 2007-07-06. Retrieved 2007-08-18. 
  23. ^ "Eriksson named as Man City boss". BBC News. 2007-07-06. Retrieved 2007-08-18. 
  24. ^ "Sven-Goran Eriksson leaves Manchester City". Manchester City FC. 2008-06-02. Retrieved 2008-06-02. 
  25. ^ "Manchester City appoint Mark Hughes". Manchester City FC. 2008-06-04. Retrieved 2008-06-04. 
  26. ^ a b "Mark Hughes sacked as Man City appoint Mancini manager". BBC Sport. 2009-12-19. Retrieved 2009-12-19.