City dump Hughes for Mancini
City have released a statement confirming Hughes, who has lost just two games this season, has had his contract terminated. Former Inter Milan coach Mancini was at today's English Premier League game against Sunderland, which saw City beat Sunderland 4-3.
City chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak said in the statement: "Prior to the current season beginning, with significant investment in players and infrastructure in place, the consensus between the board and coaching staff was that appropriate agreed targets should be set for the 2009-10 season.
"The targets were agreed as a result of the player acquisition strategy of the club being radically accelerated in the summer as a result of very favourable conditions for any buying club," the statement continued. "It was also based on the fact that the infrastructure of the club had been overhauled completely at great cost in order to create the best possible environment for the team.
"A return of two wins in 11 Premier League games is clearly not in line with the targets that were agreed and set," the chairman continued. "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."
The statement continued: "We 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.
"Roberto is a hugely experienced manager with a proven track record of winning trophies and championships. His experience and track record speak for themselves," al-Mubarak added. "What is absolutely clear is that Roberto believes in Manchester City's potential to achieve at the highest level and importantly in his own ability to make this happen. My hope is that our incredible fans will join us in welcoming Roberto to the football club."
City have also confirmed that Mark Bowen, Eddie Niedzwiecki, Kevin Hitchcock and Glyn Hodges - all part of Hughes' coaching staff - have also left the club. Hughes waved to all four corners of the ground after today's 4-3 Barclays Premier League defeat of Sunderland.
Black Cats' boss Steve Bruce sympathised with Hughes, his former team-mate at Manchester United. He told the post-match press conference: "When things are not going well there is a clamour for the manager. I don't think anyone is surprised by these things anymore. It is ridiculous. You are not going to encourage any young person to try and take this up. What is the point?
"What are the stats? Managers last about 18 months in the Championship," Bruce went on. "It is longer in the Premier League but that is because of the amount of time Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and David Moyes have been in their jobs. I am disappointed for Mark Hughes. Really disappointed."