Manchester City owner buys historic FA Cup trophy at auction

Manchester City FA Cup 2021Goal/Getty

There have been accusations of the wealthiest Premier League clubs spending their way to success - however, Manchester City have gone one step further, and have literally bought the FA Cup.

City's owner, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, has purchased the trophy which was awarded to the winners of the world's oldest domestic cup competition between 1896 and 1910.

The trophy was available at auction, and after being purchased by Sheikh Mansour will remain on display at the National Football Museum as a donation from City.

It had been an exhibit in the museum - which is in Manchester - since 2005, however in September 2019 it was removed by its former owner and put up for auction, with fears that it could be taken abroad by a new custodian.

It is the oldest piece of surviving silverware in English football, and in design is similar to the FA Cup currently awarded to the winners in the modern game, albeit taller and with thinner handles.

The trophy is of historic significance to Manchester City, as it is the first piece of major silverware the club ever won after they triumphed in the 1904 FA Cup final, beating Bolton Wanderers 1-0.

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak told the club website: “This cup is a visible reminder of the rich and long history of English football to which Manchester City is inextricably entwined.

"Winning this actual trophy in 1904 was a turning point for the club and for the city of Manchester in that it firmly cemented football in the heart of its community.  

"Sheikh Mansour’s view is that a trophy of such cultural significance must be shared with the people of Manchester, the English football family, and all of those who love the English game. The National Football Museum is in a unique position to do that.”

Manchester City will begin their attempt to win the modern edition of the FA Cup this weekend, as they begin their competition in the third round with a home tie against Championship club Birmingham City.

Pep Guardiola's side have won the cup on six occasions in their history, most recently in 2019. The current holders are Arsenal, who have lifted the trophy a record 14 times.