MANCHESTER — Manchester City sacked manager Roberto Mancini on Monday following his team’s feeble defence of the Premier League football title they won exactly one year ago.
Report by Reuters
Mancini, who had four years left on a five-year contract, has been reportedly paid £28 million in compensation by the club for the termination of his contract — although contrasting reports suggest that could be limited to £7m, the equivalent of a single year’s wages, by a clause in the deal he signed last summer.
He is already wanted by Monaco, the promoted French Ligue One side, who also plan to get rid of their own coach Claudio Ranieri.
Manchester United regained the title last month with four games to spare and City were then beaten 1-0 by Wigan Athletic in last Saturday’s FA Cup final.
City had also failed to progress from the group stage of the Champions League for a second successive season despite boasting one of the most expensively assembled squads in the world.
“It is with regret that Manchester City Football Club announces that Roberto Mancini has been relieved of his duties as Manchester City Manager,” the club said in a statement.
“Despite everyone’s best efforts, the club has failed to achieve any of its stated targets this year, with the exception of qualification for next season’s Uefa Champions League.
“This, combined with an identified need to develop a holistic approach to all aspects of football at the club, has meant that the decision has been taken to find a new manager for the 2013/14 season and beyond.”
Media speculation has been rife that Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini was being lined up as a replacement, but the Chilean denied late on Sunday that he had spoken with City and said no agreement had been reached.
Assistant manager Brian Kidd will be in charge for City’s remaining two games of the season and the post-season tour to the United States.
“This has been a difficult decision for the owner, Chairman and Board to make and it is the outcome of a planned end of season review process that has been brought forward in light of recent speculation and out of respect for Roberto and his extensive contributions to the Football Club,” the statement said.
Former Inter Milan manager Mancini joined City in December 2009, succeeding Mark Hughes, and that season led them to a fifth-place finish which was at the time their best ever Premier League showing.
The club splashed the cash before the next season, bringing in the likes of David Silva and Yaya Toure as they went on to finish third, qualifying for the Champions League for the first time, and beating Stoke City 1-0 in the final to win the FA Cup.
It was the end of a 35-year wait for a trophy and a tangible reward for the huge funds invested by the club’s Abu Dhabi owners.
“Roberto’s record speaks for itself and he has the respect and gratitude of Sheikh Mansour, myself and the Board for all of his hard work and commitment over the last three and a half years,” chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said in the statement.
“He has clearly also secured the love and respect of our fans. He has done as he promised and delivered silverware and success, breaking the club’s 35-year trophy drought and securing the title in 2012.
“I would like to personally and publicly thank him for his dedication to the progress that he has overseen and for his support and continued friendship.”