1978-79 | The self-implosion of Manchester City

A57 the snake

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That one was later I think when Franny was in the wings. 92-93 I think. Oldham is ringing a bell but only a tiny one. Swales tried to ban it as a “fire risk” even though at least half the Kippax were lighting and chain smoking B&Hs all game.
Ahh right Dave your memory is better than mine mate… sounds about right that probably about that time I erm ahem can’t remember one two things due to a social life intertwined with music and city . I’ve leave that for another thread ;) .
 

uweuweuwe

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That one was later I think when Franny was in the wings. 92-93 I think. Oldham is ringing a bell but only a tiny one. Swales tried to ban it as a “fire risk” even though at least half the Kippax were lighting and chain smoking B&Hs all game.
I remember the front cover from king of the kippax showing a bloke with candle in one hand and a fag burning in the other. Also seem to remember that swales hired security firm to stop people light candles, plus have a vague memory that it may have been Ipswich in a cup game that was abandoned due to rain.
 

Stevieatlasblue

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I mentioned the fighting in the original thread that’s linked above. You’re the first person to remember that. They were at the bottom of the tunnel and got absolutely pasted.
Yes some of them were also to the left of the Kippax choir and got a pasting.
 

Ian Blake

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I saw this topic being discussed in another thread and thought it deserved it's own.

From the appointment of Joe Mercer & Malcolm Allison in 1965, through to 1979, City had undoubtedly established themselves as one of the top 4/5 football clubs in England, as well as a player on the European stage too. The honours in the period included: The 1967/68 League Championship, FA Cup Winners in 1969, 2x League Cup Winners 1969/70, 1975/76 (RU: 1973/74), ECWC Winners 1969/70, multiple semi-finals, Wembley trips & consistent European football @ Maine Road. All whilst playing in front of some of the biggest gates the country had to offer. In 1975-76 City had won the League Cup & followed it up in 1976-77 by finishing a point behind champions Liverpool with a team consisting of experienced internationals like Joe Corrigan, Dave Watson, Asa Hartford, Dennis Tueart & Brian Kidd, supplemented by quality youngsters such as Peter Barnes & Gary Owen.

Now, what I'm getting at in this, is that it all imploded in a very short time frame. City had a disappointing 1978-79 season under Tony Book, despite a run to the QF's of the UEFA Cup. This was followed by Peter Swales moving Tony Book upstairs & bringing Malcolm Allison back to the club as manager, even after his first disastrous spell in the seat from 1971-73, when City had flirted with relegation at one stage, despite possessing one of the best sides in Europe. Swales & Allison then preceded over what can only be described as the self-destruction of the club. They sold practically all of the players listed above, replacing them with youngsters for grossly inflated fees, like Steve Daley, no where near the quality of their predecessors. This plunged the club into finical disarray, multiple managers & ultimately inevitable relegation. Above all of this though, is that it stripped the club of it's status as one of the countries finest, into a yo-yoing basket case of a club, with no silverware in 35 years, only fixed when Sheikh Mansour took over in 2008 with a lot of investment.

Personally I think the seeds of this go back to the early 1970's when Peter Swales, brought in to mediate a dispute between two factions of the board, one behind Joe Mercer & the other behind Malcolm Allison, on whether it was time for Malcolm to have the top job. Somehow, Swales politicked his was to the chairmanship & in-turn got Allison appointed. This is my understanding anyway but could be wrong. I think had the club remained under the stewardship of the Alexander family or similar at this point, our history would of been quite different in the 80's & 90's & certainly wouldn't of seen us become what we did, you could even argue our greatest team prior to the current day would have won even more.

I'd like to know if anyone has any insight into this period? maybe @Gary James or @petrusha? If so, how was the club handled so poorly & negligently?.

- - - - - - - - - - 10/11/21: Update with @petrusha's post - - - - - - - - - -
Speaking to Peter Barnes at the S'oton game and I said Alison coming back put us back 20 years..selling Owen and Barnes when they should have been the future = Alison's ego got in the way of footballing sesnse... i wan't to build my team b'sh*t ...Barnes was visibly upset recalling this ...Alison really had a lot to answer for..so many terrible stories...buying players over the odds....'tp give them confidence'!! ffs
 

JohnBlotto

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Speaking to Peter Barnes at the S'oton game and I said Alison coming back put us back 20 years..selling Owen and Barnes when they should have been the future = Alison's ego got in the way of footballing sesnse... i wan't to build my team b'sh*t ...Barnes was visibly upset recalling this ...Alison really had a lot to answer for..so many terrible stories...buying players over the odds....'tp give them confidence'!! ffs
I loved Peter Barnes when I was a kid. Gutted when he was sold. However like Gary Owen he didn't really do too much after leaving us. You could also say that he was a bit of an old fashioned winger and those were going out of style at the time. He was one of the players who Peter Taylor (Forest) criticised at the time as not being top class. So perhaps the sales (individually) had some logic to them. It was the purchases that were the problem, particularly as a lot of them soon became "Vuoso-style" unpickables and we pretty much ended up playing 78/70's reserves to a large degree. The interesting question (IMV) is whether if we had kept Robinson and Daley etc and survived 80/81 with Allison, we would have improved and avoided our 83 relegation and not further ruined the Club with the spending of the Bond era.
 

Stiff Little Wingers

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I loved Peter Barnes when I was a kid. Gutted when he was sold. However like Gary Owen he didn't really do too much after leaving us. You could also say that he was a bit of an old fashioned winger and those were going out of style at the time. He was one of the players who Peter Taylor (Forest) criticised at the time as not being top class. So perhaps the sales (individually) had some logic to them. It was the purchases that were the problem, particularly as a lot of them soon became "Vuoso-style" unpickables and we pretty much ended up playing 78/70's reserves to a large degree. The interesting question (IMV) is whether if we had kept Robinson and Daley etc and survived 80/81 with Allison, we would have improved and avoided our 83 relegation and not further ruined the Club with the spending of the Bond era.
I too loved watching Barnes and Owen. Barnes really was electrifying. I understand your argument about post a City but they were both part of a good WBA team for a while. My gentle riposte to you is you can only really go on what you saw/read about time at City - rather than afterwards. I think pound for pound, Gio Kinkladze was the most exciting player I’ve ever seen at City and he left some incredible memories for me - yet was hardly a success when he left.
As to how would we have done if Allison had stayed in 80-81, then you may have s point but I think we were too far gone in terms of morale and confidence and any improvement would have been too late
 

JohnBlotto

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I too loved watching Barnes and Owen. Barnes really was electrifying. I understand your argument about post a City but they were both part of a good WBA team for a while. My gentle riposte to you is you can only really go on what you saw/read about time at City - rather than afterwards. I think pound for pound, Gio Kinkladze was the most exciting player I’ve ever seen at City and he left some incredible memories for me - yet was hardly a success when he left.
As to how would we have done if Allison had stayed in 80-81, then you may have s point but I think we were too far gone in terms of morale and confidence and any improvement would have been too late
Good points. There did seem to be a real slump in morale as the season progressed, after some optimism around the good performances as the summer ended against eg Forest. Been good to see some games on the Big Match Revisited series 6 to see how Bond turned it around.
 

Stiff Little Wingers

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Good points. There did seem to be a real slump in morale as the season progressed, after some optimism around the good performances as the summer ended against eg Forest. Been good to see some games on the Big Match Revisited series 6 to see how Bond turned it around.
Yes the Big Match revisited is good.
I think Bond just brought some organisation, experience (with personality) and a fairly simple way of playing back to front in a controlled way. I suppose new manager bounce helped.
He also brought in a proper left back who ended up being a useful goalscorer - prior to that I think at one point Tommy Booth played left back. The midfield was more balanced and Tommy Hutch was brilliant on the wing.
 

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