Manchester: The City Years

Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes

Born: Wrexham, 1st November 1963

4 June 2008 - 19th December 2009

Mark Hughes arrived at Eastlands in June 2008 as successor to Sven-Goran Eriksson, following a relatively successful spell in charge of Blackburn Rovers. Hughes initially made some astute signings, notably Vincent Kompany and Pablo Zabaleta who arrived from Hamburg and Espanyol respectively. Other signings, such as Tal Ben Haim and Jo, were less succesful although it was widely acknowledged that the Brazilian striker was somewhat forced on Hughes by chairman Thaksin Shinawatra.

City started the season with a 4-2 defeat at Villa Park, with the hapless Valerie Bojinov suffering a reoccurence of a cruciate ligament injury in the pre- match warm up, before the club rallied with successive 3-0 victories over West Ham and Sunderland. On September 1st, 2008 City were taken over by the Abu Dhabi United investment group, who immediately made large amounts of transfer funds available to Hughes, allowing City to break the British transfer record and sign Robinho from Real Madrid for £32.5m.

The club were again active in the January transfer window, with the signings of Wayne Bridge, Shay Given, Craig Bellamy and Nigel de Jong, but the season ended in disappointment as City finished 10th, one place lower than Eriksson had managed the previous season. Whilst City's home form was impressive, the team struggled away from Eastlands.

Following another busy transfer window in the summer of 2009, City started the season brightly and led the table after winning the first four games. However, City's form stuttered and the team went on a run of seven successive draws which effectively ended any hope of a title challenge. Hughes was dismissed after a 4-3 victory against Sunderland at Eastlands on 19 December.

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.