Glorious Journey: A Deep Dive into the History of Manchester City

Photo of the Manchester City Owner

Manchester City Football Club, often simply referred to as Man City, is one of the most iconic and successful football clubs in the world. The club’s rich history is marked by triumphs, tribulations, and a remarkable transformation from humble beginnings to a global footballing powerhouse. In this comprehensive article, we will take a deep dive into the captivating history of Manchester City, tracing their journey from their foundation to their modern-day successes.

Foundation and Early Years

Manchester City was founded in 1880 as “St. Mark’s (West Gorton)” by Arthur Connell, who served as the clergyman at St. Mark’s Church, along with his daughter, Anna Connell in Gorton, Manchester. The club primarily consisted of members of the church’s cricket team who sought a winter activity to keep fit. They adopted the name Ardwick A.F.C. in 1887 and later became Manchester City in 1894 when they moved to their current stadium, Maine Road.

The club’s early years were modest, and they played in various lower divisions of English football. However, in 1904, Manchester City achieved their first major milestone by winning the Second Division and earning promotion to the First Division (now the Premier League). This marked the beginning of their journey into top-flight football.

Pre-War Successes

In the pre-World War II era, Manchester City had their share of successes. They clinched their first-ever First Division title in the 1936-37 season, under the management of Wilf Wild. This achievement was followed by an FA Cup victory in 1934 and a second FA Cup triumph in 1956. The 1956 FA Cup win is particularly memorable as it ended a 20-year trophy drought for the club. It should be noted that Man City’s top scorer this season was Peter Doherty with a total of 30 goals.

Post-War Struggles and Decline

After the highs of the 1950s, Manchester City faced a period of decline. The club was relegated to the Second Division in the 1962-63 season and remained there for several years. Despite their struggles, they managed to win the Second Division title in the 1965-66 season under the guidance of manager Joe Mercer and his assistant, Malcolm Allison.

The Mercer-Allison era marked a turning point for Manchester City, leading to a resurgence in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The Glory Years of Mercer and Allison

Under the managerial duo of Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison, Manchester City enjoyed a golden period in their history. They won the First Division title in the 1967-68 season and followed it up with the FA Cup in 1969 and the League Cup in 1970. The 1967-68 season was particularly memorable as the team secured the league title with a then-record 58 points.

However, the club’s fortunes began to wane following Mercer’s departure due to health issues and Allison’s resignation in 1973. Manchester City went through a period of instability and financial difficulties, culminating in their relegation to the Third Division in 1998.

The Revival and Modern Success

The turning point for Manchester City’s modern success can be traced back to the takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008, owned by  Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan,  member of the Abu Dhabi Royal Family and Minister of Presidential Affairs for the UAE.

Manchester City’s Owner

The injection of significant investment allowed the club to attract top-tier talent, both on and off the field. Key signings, including Sergio Agüero, David Silva, and Yaya Touré, helped transform Manchester City into a Premier League powerhouse.

Under the management of Roberto Mancini and later Pep Guardiola, Manchester City has experienced unprecedented success.

They secured their first Premier League title in 2012 in dramatic fashion, with Agüero’s last-minute goal against Queens Park Rangers etching itself into footballing history.

Since then, Manchester City has become a dominant force in English and European football. They have won multiple Premier League titles, FA Cups, and League Cups, and have consistently competed in the UEFA Champions League. In 2021, they reached the pinnacle of European success by reaching the Champions League final.

The 2022–23 season will be remembered as an epochal one in the annals of Manchester City’s history, signifying their most exceptional campaign to date. During this season, they accomplished an unparalleled feat, securing their third consecutive Premier League championship, prevailing over archrivals Manchester United in the FA Cup final, and clinching their inaugural Champions League title at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, where they emerged victorious against Inter Milan.

This remarkable series of achievements constituted a rare accomplishment in football – the coveted continental treble. The path to their Champions League triumph featured significant victories over perennial favorites and European giants like Bayern Munich, who succumbed to a 4–1 aggregate defeat, and Real Madrid, who suffered a comprehensive 1–5 aggregate loss at the hands of Manchester City.

Now question that many are asking, could Manchester City really accomplish the quadruple this season 2023/24?

Manchester City, at this point in the current week, is ramping up its pursuit of an unprecedented quadruple, despite it being only September and the 2023-24 season having just kicked off, with a little over a month passed. Under the astute leadership of Pep Guardiola, the team’s supremacy has scaled such heights that discussions surrounding the attainment of formerly unimaginable accomplishments have become commonplace.

Since Guardiola’s arrival in the summer of 2016, Manchester City has maintained a consistent pattern of redefining existing records, and they are poised to continue outstripping historical benchmarks until Guardiola’s tenure at the Etihad Stadium draws to a close.

Manchester City’s Manager Guardiola

The implications of this development within the sport remain a subject of ongoing debate. It’s essential to acknowledge that there could be lingering questions about Manchester City’s achievements, pending the outcome of the 115 charges against the club related to violations of the Premier League’s financial regulations. (It’s worth noting that Manchester City vehemently denies these charges and asserts they possess “irrefutable evidence” of their innocence.)

Nonetheless, what remains beyond dispute is Manchester City’s place among the pantheon of the greatest teams in the history of English football. Under Guardiola’s stewardship, their squad exhibits an extraordinary combination of talent and depth, capable of establishing or eclipsing any record or milestone.

No English club has ever clinched four consecutive league titles, a distinction that City could very well achieve this season, thereby surpassing the feats of legendary teams such as Huddersfield, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester United (who have accomplished this twice), all of which secured three consecutive titles.

Having achieved the remarkable feat of winning the treble last season – consisting of the Champions League, Premier League, and FA Cup – City is now setting their sights on securing the Carabao Cup, the only major trophy that eluded them in the 2022-23 season.

Erling Haaland transformed the race for the top-scorer title last season into one of the most uneventful Golden Boot competitions ever witnessed in Premier League history.

Manchester City superstar Erling Haaland

In the 2022/23 season, the Norwegian giant concluded with an astounding 36 goals in 35 matches, achieving this remarkable feat by recording four separate hat-tricks. This performance directly contradicted the forecasts of those who had suggested he would need time to adapt to English football in the prior season.

This formidable force from the Nordic region continues to stand head and shoulders above the rest, with no signs of his momentum waning as the 2023-24 campaign unfolds.

The latest update from El Chiringuito TV via TeamTALK indicates that Barcelona has agreed to a €35 million transfer deal for Joao Cancelo, which is an indicator that Guardiola is mentally prepared to complete Man City’s incomparable history this season.

Manchester City’s history is a story of resilience, revival, and relentless pursuit of excellence. From humble beginnings in Gorton to becoming a global footballing giant, the club has experienced numerous ups and downs throughout its journey. With a dedicated fan base, world-class talent, and ambitious ownership, Manchester City continues to shape the landscape of modern football, leaving an indelible mark on the sport’s history. As the club looks to the future, its storied past serves as a reminder of the enduring spirit that defines the sky-blue side of Manchester.


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