Manchester: The City Years

Frank Clark

Frank Clark

Born: Highfield, Gateshead, 9th September 1943

30th December 1996 - 17th February 1998

After a successful playing career with Newcastle and Nottingham Forest, Frank Clark moved into management at Leyton Orient in 1983, and in 1986 he became Orient’s Managing Director. In June 1993 he replaced Brian Clough as Nottingham Forest manager, and stayed for three years.

His first few weeks at Maine Road were difficult, however, he did start to improve performances on the pitch and make changes behind the scenes. These were not always popular – former manager Tony Book and caretaker Phil Neal were moved on, as were others with a proven Blue pedigree.

Clark’s first season ended with City in their lowest ever position at the time, yet many supporters felt it was to Clark's credit that the Blues finished that high. Had the season continued to follow the pattern set by Ball, then City would have been relegated. Sadly, Clark’s improvement had only been a temporary one as the following season was one of struggle. Clark left in February 1998 claiming there was a vendetta within the Club, however the truth was that City were hurtling towards relegation and something had to be done.

Clark later became more involved with the League Managers’ Association and wrote his autobiography. He claimed to have been the victim of internal fighting at the club, and felt he deserved more time, however supporters believed the change should have been made a little earlier to allow his successor time to salvage the season.

All history and statistical material has been produced based on the research and writing of Manchester football historian Gary James ( It is maintained by Ric Turner & Gary James. All text remains the copyright of the original contributors.

Gary's book, Manchester - the City Years: Tracing the Story of Manchester City from the 1860s to the Modern Day, is available to order on Amazon.