Manchester City FC is an English professional football club based in the Bradford district of Manchester.
Its men’s football team plays in the Premier League, the highest level of league-football in the country and the reigning champions of the competition. In 2019, Forbes ranked it as the 5th most valuable football club estimated at $2.69 billion.
In all, Manchester City has won 8 top-flight league-titles along with 6 FA Cups, 8 League Cups, 6 FA Community Shields and 1 European Cup Winners’ Cup. The club has enjoyed its most glorious period over the past decade, becoming the most dominant team of the Premier League and currently ranks 5th amongst the most successful English clubs.
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The traditional colours of Manchester City are sky blue shirts with white shorts and are often called the Blues or the Citizens. The club crest features a shield with its upper half depicting a ship on the Manchester Ship Canal and the lower half contains 3 sky blue stripes symbolizing the 3 rivers inside the city – the Irwell, the Irk and the Medlock.
Since 2003, the club has played its home-games at the City of Manchester Stadium, which is currently known as Etihad Stadium. It has a capacity of 53,400 making it the 5th largest Stadium in the country and the 10th biggest in the United Kingdom. Previously, the club used Maine Road as the home-ground from 1923.
The biggest rivals of the club are Manchester United, the most successful team in the country, against whom it contests the Manchester derby. In a stereotypical sense, the Blues season-ticket holders usually belong to the city proper. Its other major local rivals are Bolton Wanderers, Oldham Athletic and Stockport County.
In its recent glory years, City has shared an intense but amicable rivalry with Liverpool. The two clubs have directly battled on the field; both domestically as well as in Europe and have won the last 5 premier League titles between them. City has also kindled a growing rivalry with Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in the last ten years.
Manchester City was founded in 1880 as St. Mark’s (West Gorton). It later became Ardwick Association Football Club in 1887. It joined the English Football League in 1892 before changing its name to Manchester City FC in 1894. The club used Hyde Road Football Stadium as its home-ground during this era.
The Early Decades
Manchester City won its first trophy by clinching the Second Division title in 1898/99. The club finished its maiden season in the First Division in 7th position. However, in 1901/02 the Blues ended the season in 20th position and tasted its first relegation back to the 2nd tier.
City returned to the First Division within a year and finished 1903/04 as runners up. The club also picked up its first piece of major silverware by beating Bolton Wanderers 1-0 in the final of the FA Cup. It stayed at the upper end of the league for much of the decade before being relegated at the end of 1908/09.
Once again, Man City was able to earn an immediate promotion by winning the Second Division title for the 3rd time in 1909/10. City stayed in the top-flight for the next 15 years, taking the runners-up spot in 1920/21. The club was relegated from the First Division for the 3rd time in 1925/26.
Manchester City earned another swift promotion by winning the Second Division title yet again in 1927/28. By the early 1930’s, City had established itself as a consistent side in the top-half of the First Division. The club had also ended as runners-up of the FA Cup in 1932/33, losing the final 3-0 to Everton.
The club reached the final again in 1933/34 and lifted the FA Cup for the 2nd time with a 2-1 victory over Portsmouth. At the end of 1936/37, the club claimed its first top-flight league-title by a 3-point margin over Charlton Athletic. But in the very next campaign, the club ended on 19th spot and was relegated despite scoring the most goals.
The Post-War Era
Manchester City remained in the 2nd tier during World War II when the Football League was suspended for 7 years. When it resumed activities after the War in 1946/47, City won the Second Division title for the 5th time to earn its promotion back to the top-tier of English football.
City earned a few top-half finishes in the First Division before ending the 1949/50 campaign in 21st spot and therefore was relegated once again. However, the team was able to get an instant return pass to the top-flight after taking the runners-up spot in the Second Division for 1950/51.
After avoiding the drop for the next few years, in 1954/55 Man City finished the league in 7th position and reached the FA Cup final, losing 1-3 against Newcastle United. In the following 1954/55 season, the club reached the final yet again and beat Birmingham City 3-1 to win its 3rd FA Cup.
Having remained in the top-flight until the end of the decade, Manchester City was relegated from the First Division in 1962/63 after ending up on 21st position. The club was going through a beak spell with home-attendance dropping down to a mere 8,015 against Swindon Town in 1964/65.
The Golden Age
For the start of the 1965/66 campaign, Manchester City appointed Joe Mercer to the role of the manager with Malcolm Allison as his assistant. Under their leadership, City earned promotion back to the top-tier by winning the Second Division title in their first season in charge of the club.
On returning to the top-flight, City ended 1966/67 in 15th position to preserve its top-flight status. But in the ensuing 1967/68 season, he club took a gigantic leap upwards by finishing 2 points ahead of arch-rivals Manchester United to win the First Division title for the 2nd time in its history.
In 1968/69, Manchester City made its maiden appearance in the European Cup but was knocked out in the 1st Round by Turkish side Fenerbahçe SK. The club also ended down in 13th spot in the league-table. Yet the team went on to clinch its 4th FA Cup title with a 0-1 win over Leicester City in the final.
Despite finishing the next season in mid-table, City managed to win its first League Cup title with a 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion in extra-time. The club also picked up the 1969/70 European Cup Winners’ Cup by defeating Polish side Górnik Zabrze 2-1 in the final, which remains its only triumph in Europe.
The most memorable moment of the period is the 1-0 victory over Manchester Utd in 1973/74. Former United striker Dennis Law scored the only goal for City to confirm relegation for his old club. City capped off this golden era by winning its 2nd League Cup in 1975/76 with a 2-1 win over Newcastle United in the final.
In 1976/77, Manchester City finished the season as runners up in the First Division, losing the title by a single point to Liverpool. After finishing in 4th place in the following campaign, the club dropped down to the mid-table before being relegated after ending 1982/83 in 20th position.
City returned to the top-tier after a couple of seasons after taking 3rd place in the Second Division for 1984/85. It spent the next couple of years in the First Division until it ended the 1986/87 campaign in 20th spot to be relegated once again. The club returned to the top-flight by finishing as runners up of the Second Division in 1988/89.
The Citizens enjoyed a decent spell in the early 90’s finishing in 5th spot for consecutive seasons in 1990/91 and 1991/92. For the following campaign, Manchester City was one of the founding members of the Premier League but its fortune slipped downwards and was relegated at the end of 1995/96.
Manchester City went through its darkest hour in 1997/98 as the club suffered further relegation after finishing on 20th spot in the First Division. It started the next season in the 3rd tier for the first but managed to earn an immediate promotion via the playoffs after ending in 4th position in the Football League Division Two.
City was able to earn successive promotions by finishing as runners-up of Division One in 1999/2000. But it was relegated immediately from the Premier League after taking 18th spot in 2000/01. Nevertheless, the club earned an instant promotion after picking up the First Division title in 2001/02.
The Contemporary Period
In 2007, ex Thailand Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra bought Manchester City and enlisted it as a private company until his assets were frozen after corruption charges in his country. On 1st September 2008, the Abu Dhabi United Group completed its takeover instantly making it one of richest football clubs in Europe.
Moving to the Top
Before the start of 2009/10, Manchester City spent over £100 million on new players as it earnestly began its journey to summit of the Premier League. Roberto Mancini was brought in as the new manager in December and the club ended the campaign in 5th position.
The Blues progressed further in 2010/11 by taking 3rd spot in the Premier League and earning a spot in Champions League for the first since its inception. City also reached the FA Cup final and defeated Stoke City 1-0 to lift the trophy for the 5th time, its first major silverware in 35 years.
In 2011/12, City went toe to toe with Manchester Utd for the league-title with the Blues gaining the upper-hand in the latter. In the most dramatic end to the season, it still needed to score two injury-time goals to snatch a 3-2 comeback win over Queens Park Rangers on the final day and win the Premier League on goal-difference.
The following season was a lot less harmonious as City surrendered the Premier League title to Manchester Utd. Roberto Mancini was dismissed from his role before the end of the season with Manuel Pellegrini being named as his replacement before the start of the next campaign.
During the maiden season under the Chilean manager, Manchester City picked up its first trophy of the season by defeating Sunderland 3-1 in the final of the League Cup. The Blues later added another one in 2013/14 by regaining the Premier League title by a 2-point margin over Liverpool.
Despite the glorious start, Manchester City could not build upon the success and Manuel Pellegrini was sacked at the end of the 2015/16 campaign. He was replaced by Pep Guardiola and even the highly decorated Spanish manager had to endure a difficult first campaign with the Blues eventually taking a 3rd spot in 2016/17.
In 2017/18, Guardiola bagged his first trophy with the club by defeating Arsenal 3-0 in the EFL Cup final. City went on to break numerous records en route to the Premier League crown including the highest-ever points total of 100, which left its closest challengers Manchester Utd a colossal 19 points behind.
During 2018/19, City beat Chelsea 4-3 in a penalty-shootout following a goalless-draw in the final of the EFL Cup. The Blues also kept hold of the Premier League by tipping Liverpool at the end of a titanic tussle between the two sides. It hammered Watford 6-0 in the FA Cup final to complete an unprecedented domestic treble for the club.
Manchester City resumed its trophy haul in 2019/20 courtesy of a 1-2 victory against Aston Villa in the EFL Cup final to win the competition for the 3rd consecutive year. But in the Covid-19 interrupted campaign, it was unable to prevent Liverpool from winning the Premier League by a massive 18-point margin.
In 2020/21, City clinched the EFL Cup for the 4th time in a row by defeating Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 in the final. It also regained the Premier League title and booked its maiden appearance in the UEFA Champions League final. However, it went down to a tame 0-1 defeat to Chelsea in Lisbon and the trophy remains elusive for the club.
Manchester City lost its grip on the EFL Cup in 2021/22 but had opened up a 13-point gap at the top of the Premier League. But some inconsistent form in the latter half of the campaign had drastically cut short its lead. Eventually, it managed to win the league by a single point over Liverpool to take its 4th league-title in 5 years.
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