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The Manchester City chief executive rejects suggestions that the Italian should have been kept for stability's sake and is optimistic about catching up commercially with United

Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano has defended the sacking of Roberto Mancini, insisting that success cannot be determined by the longevity of a manager’s spell.

The departure of the popular Italian two games before the season ended was met with criticism by fans along with retiring rival Sir Alex Ferguson

The club are expected to announce Manuel Pellegrini as successor to the Italian and Soriano believes that teams can remain successful by providing the "excitement" of a new manager.

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"In football, teams have cycles and you can have managers who go through several cycles and managers who go through one cycle," Soriano told reporters.

"Obviously, we want the next manager to stay for a number of years but I think it would not be wise to speculate on the next manager being there for 26 years [as Ferguson did].

"Players need another way, another excitement, and managers also want to move but I think this is normal. Barcelona had two managers in eight years with Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola and were arguably the most successful club in that time."

Despite not sharing the same policies on managers as their local rivals, Soriano is aiming to emulate the club's commercial appeal, having announced on Tuesday a partnership with the New York Yankees to form a new Major League Soccer franchise.

"We are catching up [with Manchester United] very fast," he continued. "In the last few months, we have totally changed the commercial organisation. We have an office in London now and we are very successful.

"United have been very successful in the past but we are catching up and I am very confident. When I started in another club [Barcelona] in 2003, our revenue was £123 million [€144m] and United's was £251 million [€294m]. After three years our revenue was higher than United.

"Our revenues will increase and we are not worried about Financial Fair Play at all. We will compete with United and others in the market, commercially. We have humility, we are humble and we will take our time but look at the record – already City is number seven in the rankings."

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