Exclusive: Mark Hughes sacked as Manchester City boss after emergency meeting with Roberto Mancini taking over

Sparky's City tenure ends as owner's patience runs out...
By James Daly

Manchester City manager Mark Hughes has been sacked with former Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini stepping into his shoes.

A statement on the club's official website, www.mcfc.co.uk, from chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak announced Hughes' departure at 18.30 on Saturday, shortly after a 4-3 home win over Sunderland.

The statement read: "Manchester City Football Club can confirm the appointment, with immediate effect on a permanent contract, of Roberto Mancini and are also pleased to announce that Brian Kidd will join Roberto as assistant manager.

Khaldoon added: "A return of two wins in 11 Premier League games is clearly not in line with the targets that were agreed and set. [Owner] Sheikh Mansour and the Board felt that there was no evidence that the situation would fundamentally change.

"This is a particularly difficult announcement given the personal investment over the past 15 months on all sides and we would like to put on record our respect for and thanks to Mark Hughes and we wish him the best in his future career.”

Emergency meeting

Goal.com UK sources had previously revealed the players were rushed into the Eastlands changing room for a team meeting to announce Hughes' departure.

The City boss failed to turn up to the post-match news conference ahead of a statement from the club, seemingly sealing his fate.

The last time a dramatic last-minute meeting was called was minutes before Sven-Goran Eriksson was fired as City boss in April 2008.

Goodbye wave

At the final whistle Hughes made his way into the centre circle of the pitch and waved to the stands, a gesture translated by many as a goodbye message.

It was reported that defender Kolo Toure was told to relay the news that Hughes was getting the chop during the afternoon to his team mates.

Italian newspaper Corierre dello Sport reported that the deal was worth €4m (£3.5m) a season for three-and-a-half years.

But rumours are circulating that Mancini is only serving as interim manager while the club tried to convince Guus Hiddick to take over full time.

The Main Mancini | Roberto takes over from Hughes

Deep pockets

Hughes took over from Eriksson in the summer of 2008 but his reign as Manchester City boss has been ruled by dealings off the pitch more than those on it. He was boss when the Abu Dhabi United investment group took over the club.

Suddenly his pockets were filled with millions as City became the world's richest club and he made large dents in the finances with the signings of Gareth Barry, Roque Santa Cruz, Emmanuel Adebayor, Carlos Tevez and Joleon Lescott.

But despite the string of Premier League stars coming in, his side has struggled this season, drawing more games than any other team this season.