Today’s press conference is about the appointment of Roberto Mancini as the manager of Manchester City.
That said, there has been a lot of conjecture about the process of Mark Hughes’ departure. The Club made a statement about this on Saturday and it reflects our position. However, in light of some of the comments and characterisations of events I will take this opportunity to add a few additional points today:
1. Firstly, I want to put on the record again our thanks for everything Mark and his team did here and to reiterate the respect that the owners and everyone in the Club have for them. This has been a very difficult decision for the Board to make and not one that was taken lightly.
2. At the end of last season we set a target of a 6Th place finish, but following the accelerated player acquisition activity of the Club in the summer transfer window, the new target that the playing staff agreed with the Board for the 2009/2010 season was 70 points. The trajectory of recent results was below this requirement and the Board felt that there was no evidence that the situation would fundamentally change.
3. The owner, Chairman and I all worked to give Mark any resources that he might require to achieve that goal.
4. Some of the characterisation of events of the last two days is particularly disappointing considering the fact that in the last 15 months there have been a number of occasions where Mark’s position has been questioned by people outside the Club. The support that he was shown at those times and the resources that he was given was complete and extensive.
5. The Chairman has been nothing but transparent with Mark Hughes throughout his tenure and had communicated with him regularly over the last several weeks. In keeping with that behaviour, the Chairman got on a plane and came to Manchester to meet with Mark in person to explain the decision. Once the decision to change managers had been taken, the Board felt that the sooner that change was made, the less disruption there would be to the Club and the fairer it would be to Mark and his team.
6. The intention was to tell Mark immediately after the game on Saturday. That would give Roberto and his team a full week to prepare for the next game. Regrettably, and despite our best efforts, rumours of discussions with Roberto Mancini became public before the game.
7. Once Mark was informed, I informed his coaching staff and the players were then informed. That is why Kolo Toure and Shay Given were asked to attend a meeting after the game. There is no player rebellion and the playing and training staff have been going about their business this morning very professionally with Roberto and Brian Kidd.
8. The decision to end Mark’s tenure was a unanimous decision by the Owner, the Chairman, myself and the Board, as was the decision to appoint Roberto Mancini to the position.
9. Like any other business we have plans and targets; and we have contingencies for when those plans and targets are not being met. The decision to look at managerial options was taken only three weeks ago after the Hull game, but I think it is important for people to know that Roberto was only offered the job after the Spurs game; we negotiated on Thursday and finalised his agreement on Friday. He was not in the Stadium on Saturday as has been reported.
With the points that I have just made and the statement that the Club made on Saturday there is nothing more for me to add on the process of change we have gone through. You will find everything I have just said in statement form on the Club website. The Club has nothing further to add and I will not be taking questions on this subject.
I now very much want to focus on the reason that we have called today’s press conference - to introduce Roberto Mancini to you as the new manager of Manchester City. After a hugely distinguished playing career he has gone on to further success as a manager in one of the toughest leagues in the world, becoming in the process the most successful Inter Milan manager of the last 30 years. Because of this track record of success he is just the manager we need to take us to the next level.I know what your thinking blah blah blah, usual rubbish that we are expected to accept.
Mancini said all the basic things that you say when you take over at a new club, things like he is aiming for top four and that he is a winner whether it be on a training ground, home or away.
We just have to wait and see if his actions speak louder than his words.
There is an interview with Mancini available on the official site now, http://www.mcfc.co.uk/Video.