Mark Hughes sacked by Manchester City: Roberto Mancini to take charge on £9m three-year deal

By Joe Bernstein and Rob Draper, Mail on Sunday Chief Football Writer Last updated at 1:35 PM on 20th December 2009

Mark Hughes was sacked by Manchester City - sparking angry protests from loyal members of his squad.

City, bankrolled by the oil-rich sheiks of Abu Dhabi, moved to axe the Welshman just hours after his team completed a 4-3 Premier League victory over Sunderland. Italian Roberto Mancini will be installed as the new manager on a £9million, three-year deal.

Hughes, who had been at City for 18 months, made an emotional speech to the players after the game, thanking them for their help and urging them to keep giving their all for City.

Manchester City manager Mark Hughes

Resigned to his fate: Manchester City manager Mark Hughes can see the writing on the wall

Many were left bewildered by the speech, being unaware that the axe was about to fall on the manager.

Goalkeeper Shay Given later led a deputation of players to protest against the sacking and remonstrate with chief executive Garry Cook in the boardroom. But the decision to dismiss Hughes was taken last week and the manager went into yesterday's match at Eastlands knowing that it would be his last whatever transpired, with Mancini already having been lined up to succeed him.

Cook and his football adviser, Brian Marwood, finally decided that Hughes was not the man to lead the club after City's dismal 3-0 defeat by Tottenham and were authorised by chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak to move quickly to announce a successor in former Inter Milan manager Mancini.

Guus Hiddink and former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho both turned down the opportunity to take over from Hughes, leaving Mancini, who had an outstanding record in Italy, as the most suitable available candidate.

Mark Hughes

The end: Mark Hughes waves to the crowd after the final whistle

He won the Italian League three times and the Italian Cup twice with the Milan club, having already won the Coppa Italia while working on a more limited budget with his previous clubs Fiorentina and Lazio.

Enlarge   Roberto Mancini

New manager: Roberto Mancini

Mourinho was sounded out last month but had indicated that he would not leave Inter in the middle of the season and is believed to want to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

Mancini will earn a £1m bonus if he manages to achieve City's goal of Champions League football and another £1m for every major trophy he wins at City. He will be given money to spend this January to improve the squad, with Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini likely to be targeted in a bid to shore up the defence.

He will also attempt to persuade Robinho to stay, even though Barcelona still expect to sign the Brazil forward next month. Of particular concern for City's owner, Sheik Mansour bin Zayed Al Hayhan, and the club's executives has been the team's defence, on which £70m was spent in bringing in Shay Given, Wayne Bridge, Joleon Lescott, Kolo Toure, Pablo Zabaleta and Sylvinho but which has defended abjectly this season.



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Wrong place wrong time never was the right appointment for such a high profile club and players

Click to rate     Rating   13

I hold no brief for Mark Hughes - but who are these people ? They are sixth on the Premier League - not exactly Accrington Stanley, is it ?
Only one team can win the championship - that's why the Champion's Legue is absolute cobblers. If you are not champions, why are you in the competition. Same, same the play-offs ...... if you've done enough over a season why should you then have the risk of losing a one-off against another team that didn't ?
Truly, football has gone beyond parody, has no idea how ridiculous it looks and sounds, and is being used as religion used to be - as Karl Marx once said, "The opiate of the masses".
Just about every MP supports a club - but you never see them with a meat pie and a Bovril. If they actually go, it's boardroom.
And don't worry about Mark Hughes - he'll get a big pay-odd. I would love to be a manager and get sacked every other year - with a good contract paid in full. Great career move !

Click to rate     Rating   18

Sad day for British managers.The owners don't seem to understand you need time to build and develop a team,ask your neighbours.

Click to rate     Rating   24

Well I predicted this last week in this very newspaper and the next big name to be axed will be Rafael Benitez, especially if liverpool keep dropping further down the Premier league table.

Click to rate     Rating   9

Can we get Sparky to Middlesbrough - PLEASE!!!

Click to rate     Rating   5

Mark Clattenburg sealed Hughes' fate when he ridiculously sent Bellamy off. He was desperately missed at Spurs. Sven Goran got the sack after quite a good season, Mancini will have a very short time to win something. One or two players should hang their heads in shame as well.

Click to rate     Rating   9

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