Manchester City

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Manchester City football club, nicknamed The Citizens, The Sky Blues and simply The Blues, was originally founded in 1880 as ‘St. Mark’s’. Their name was changed to ‘Ardwick Association Football Club’ seven years later before becoming Manchester City in 1894.

After a fire at their first stadium they moved to a custom made location at Maine Road in Manchester in 1923. After over 80 years there they once more moved, this time to the City of Manchester Stadium – a beautiful modern structure which houses 55,097 spectators.

Manchester City is currently owned by Khaldoon Al Mubarak and a survey in 2016 by financial organisation, Forbes, valued the club at $1.92 billion, making it the sixth richest in world football. By 2015/16 Manchester City were enjoying yearly revenues of around €463.5 million.

Manchester City have won the league title on four occasions. They have triumphed in the FA Cup on five occasions and the league cup on four occasions. They have their name etched into the Community Shield four times and won the European Cup Winners Cup in 1970.

City’s most successful period to date came in the 1960s and 1970s. Coached by Malcolm Allison and Joe Mercer they won four major trophies – the league, the league cup, the FA Cup and the European Cup Winner’s Cup.

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But their decline began in the eighties and they yo-yoed between the first and second divisions of English football on several occasions as money worries also blighted the club.

Then, in 2008, Manchester City were bought by Abu Dhabi United Group which was headed up by a member of the UAE royal family, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

This was and continues to be like a gift from the gods. And any Manchester City fan who wants to moan about the odd defeat these days should be quickly reminded of how much the club has been elevated over the last decade.

Before this new investment Manchester City was a mediocre team which was usually rooted to the bottom of the Premier League and fighting for survival.

But City are completely unrecognisable from that club now as they possess one of the finest squads in world football.

Their first statement signing was Brazilian sensation Robinho whose move was rushed through at the end of the summer transfer window in 2008.

A raft of world class stars soon followed with the likes of Yaya Toure, David Silva and Sergio Aguero forming the backbone of a team that would go on to dominate English football for years to come.

Manchester City won their first title of this century in 2012 in the most dramatic style imaginable. Manchester United were their main rivals for the trophy and won their final game of the season to sneak ahead of City in the title race.

2-1 down going into injury time at the end of the game Manchester City needed an unfathomable two goals to bring the trophy home. They did indeed score both goals, with the winner coming from Sergio Aguero in the 95th minute which sent the crowd wild in what has to be described as the most seminal moment in Premier League history.

With that goal Manchester City won the title on goal difference. They went from strength to strength after that and followed up their league title with another in 2014 as well as two league cup triumphs in 2013–14 and 2015–16.

They have found European success harder to come by in what is a notoriously steep learning curve. But in 2016/17 they did reach the quarter finals of the competition before being seen off over two extraordinary legs, by the bewitching attacking talents of French side Monaco.

Alan Oakes is The Citizens’ record appearance holder to date with 680 outings for the club. Their record goalscorer of all time is Eric Brook who hit 177 goals for City between 1927 and 1940. Second on the list is Sergio Aguero.

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