Mark Hughes sacked by Manchester City: Roberto Mancini to take charge on £9m three-year deal
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.
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.
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.
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.
Share this article:
Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not debate this issue live on our message boards.
The comments below have been moderated in advance.
The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.
We are no longer accepting comments on this article.