Great post..I have no idea why Clough at City was not on the cards..watched The Damned United again as it is now on iplayer..Sheen was totally brilliant in it as was Stephen Graham as Bremner...the man was a genius and would have loved him at City at that time..he sadly had a big "gob" and most boards in that era were not welcome of that.Outside of Mercer and Pep, totally the one guy we should have had on board.Don Revie was a name that was bandied around when I started watching City. When Les McDowall left was probably too late to get Revie. At the time City had been in decline for some years and relegated while Leeds were on the way up.
However a couple of years earlier, had City dumped Les, he may have been an option. He played for City more than any other club and won his only playing honours with City.
While Revie won trophies with Leeds, his playing style was not the best. He was far too dour and encouraged thuggish play. Having said that, most of his team - in particular Eddie Gray, Peter Lorimer, and Allan Clarke - could play if they chose to. On balance, I think we dodged one there.
Brian Clough could well have fitted in and did departure from Derby occurred at much the same time as Allison leaving for Palace. Clough would certainly have come to City in preference to Brighton.
The question would have been how the relationship with Swales would have worked out. Swales only became chairman in 1973 and I can see Clough wiping the floor with the Cuban-heeled one especially if he was delivering on the field.
Ferguson was not really a viable option to survive at City. He took four to five years to start winning things. He would never have lasted that long with Swales who by then was well established at City. Ferguson would not have survived at United for that amount with subsequent chairmen.