Manchester City is one of the best clubs in the world, but it wasn’t always like that. In fact, it was a long grind to the top. Just as, not so long ago, betting on Manchester City was far less popular than it is today.
We dive into history, look at recent developments (Sheikh Mansour!), best players and why betting on Manchester City makes for interesting opportunities.
History of Manchester city FC
It is commonly thought that Manchester City’s successes only came with big oil money. Nothing could be further from the truth, however. The club was founded back in 1880 as St. Mark’s (West Gorton).
Then renamed Ardwick Association Football Club in 1887 and Manchester City in 1894. With which, betting on Manchester City was also officially a fact.
The first small success came in 1899 with the Second Division title. Later in 1904, they won the FA Cup. This made them the first club from Manchester with a major prize.
After that big prize, Manchester City were accused of all sorts of financial irregularities. That eventually led to the suspension of as many as 17 players in 1906.
Among them was captain Billy Meredith, who promptly left for Manchester United. The results also declined and in 1909 City was relegated. The club immediately became Second Division champions again, but until WWI they were not at the top.
New stadium, another FA Cup win
In 1920, a fire destroyed the stadium’s main stand at Hyde Road. Manchester City moved to Maine Road in 1923, where they would stay for 80 years.
In the 1920s, City would finish second in the First Division once more (1920), lose an FA Cup final (1926) and get relegated (also 1926). A club relegated and taking the cup in one year. As you can imagine, the odds for betting on Manchester City cup wins have been favourable.
Under Scottish coach Wilf Wild (from 1932-1946), Manchester City picked up three major prizes. In 1933 and 1934, the club reached the FA Cup final, winning it in its second year.
Come 1937, City became national champions again, but inexplicably relegated the following season as number 21. Then in 1955 and 1956, they reached the FA Cup final again, winning again in the second year. That win was special because City goalkeeper Bert Trautmann kept on playing while ignorantly suffering a broken neck.
European success Manchester City
The 1960s and 1970s were again typically a period of ups and downs. In 1963, Manchester City was relegated, with promotion back in 1966.
Two seasons later, the club suddenly became national champions again. That being in the year that arch-rival Manchester United under Matt Busby became the first English club to win the European Cup I. At the time, an outright winner bet produced a very nice return when betting on Manchester City.
In 1969, a weak 13th place in the league followed, but they did win the FA Cup and the Community Shield again. In 1970, City won the League Cup and had their first European success.
As an FA Cup winner, the club was allowed to go to the European Cup Winners’ Cup for the first time, and they won it straight away in the final from Polish club Górnik Zabrze.
From dark period to foreign takeover
In 1976, Manchester City still won the League Cup and the Charity Shield and in 1977 narrowly finished second behind Liverpool. However, then followed a long dark period that included relegation twice in the 1980s.
The late 1990s was an even lower point: relegation from Premier League to First Division in 1996 and relegation to Second Division in 1998. Bizarre, when you consider that less than 20 years later, betting on Manchester City in the Champions League was a reality.
In 2002, the club was back in the Premier League for good. After several years in the right-hand row, a (mainly financial) turnaround came for Manchester City in 2008. In August 2008, the club was taken over by Sheikh Mansour’s Abu Dhabi United Group.
They immediately threw a lot of money on the table for new players such as Robinho, Roque Santa Cruz, Kolo Touré, Emmanuel Adebayor, Carlos Tevez and Sergio Agüero. Of course, friend and foe alike had their doubts about that. Bought club or not, everything was starting to gain momentum. Not in the least, betting on Manchester City.
Successes under Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini
From 2011, all financial investments were turned into football success. That year, under coach Roberto Mancini, they won the FA Cup after, among other things, winning over rival Manchester United in the semi-finals.
The following year, Mancini also led the club to the Premier League title, its first national title in 44 years. From then on, City were one of England’s perennial top clubs.
Mancini’s successor Manuel Pellegrini also won the Premier League and the League Cup twice between 2013 and 2016. In his final season, he also took City to the semi-finals of the Champions League, in which they narrowly lost to eventual winner Real Madrid.
Pep Guardiola: chasing the Champions League
In the summer of 2016, Pep Guardiola was hired as coach. The success coach had already won many prizes with FC Barcelona and also with Bayern Munich. However, with the German club, he failed to win the Champions League. That prize became his big goal when he was appointed at Manchester City.
The Spaniard has won many prizes since his appointment: four times Premier League, one FA Cup, four times the League Cup and twice the Community Shield. However, that one prize remained out of reach. From 2018, City were stranded in the Champions League quarter-finals three times.
2020-2021 saw the biggest chance, but Chelsea were too strong 1-0 in the final. Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid were the better side in the fantastic 2021-2022 semi-final over two games, 6-5.
One thing is certain. Thanks to Guardiola’s successes, betting on Manchester City is high on the list of many punters.
Club icons Manchester city
Manchester City’s first superstar was Billy Meredith. Player from 1894-1905 and 1921-1924 (after 15 years at Manchester United). His compatriot Billy Lot Jones from Wales was one of the contributing players from 1903-1915.
In the 1920s, the foursome of Tommy Browell, Horace Barnes, Tommy Johnson and Frank Roberts guaranteed many goals.
In the late 1920s came a number of players who would go on to win the first national title in the 1930s with coach Wilf Wild. These included Eric Brook, Bobby Marshall, Fred Tilson, Ernie Toseland and the later legendary coach of Manchester United – Matt Busby.
Top players under Joe Mercer
Just before the successful period in the late 1960s, we must of course mention German goalkeeper Bert Trautmann (1949-1964).
The helmsman of that peak period was coach Joe Mercer, who led the club from 1965-1971. Under his leadership, the club won the First Division, Second Division, FA Cup, League Cup, European Cup Winners’ Cup and the Charity Shield.
His key players of the time were Glyn Pardoe, Neil Young, Mike Doyle, Mike Summerbee, Tony Book, Colin Bell, Tommy Booth and Joe Corrigan.
Last 20 years
After decades of disappointing results, Manchester City came all the way back to the top level in the past 20 years. In the early days, this included cult hero Paul Dickov, Dutchman Gerard Wiekens, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Richard Dunne.
The successes under Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini came with players like Vincent Kompany, Joe Hart, Micah Richards, Pablo Zabaleta and Carlos Tevez.
Players who especially experienced the Pep Guardiola era include David Silva, Yaya Touré, Sergio Agüero, Fernandinho, Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, John Stones and Ilkay Gündogan.
Looking back at 2021/2022
Manchester City won the Premier League for the fourth time in five years last season, with just one point more than rival Liverpool. Nice of course, but in the Champions League things went south again.
In the semi-finals, they won the first game 4-3 against Real Madrid. In the return, City gave away a 1-0 lead in the closing stages and the entire match in the extension (3-1 loss).
Despite not having won the cup, City is one of the favourites for the final victory every year. Something you see reflected in the bookmakers’ odds when betting on Manchester City.
Looking ahead at 2022/2023
The club’s big goal is still to win the Champions League. Pep Guardiola has plenty of top players at his disposal with Erling Haaland being the absolute standout.
Phenomenon, beast, breaker of records. Winning the Premier League remains wonderful, of course, but of secondary importance. Don’t be surprised if Pep takes a well-deserved sabbatical if he pulls it off.
In the FA Cup and League Cup, ‘B players’ are likely to make their appearance, due to a busy season as always. You can bet on Manchester City in all the competitions they play in.
Manchester City FC was founded in 1880 as St. Mark’s (West Gorton). The club was later renamed Manchester City in 1894.
Manchester City’s team colors are sky blue and white. They are commonly referred to as “The Citizens” or simply “City.”
The “Manchester Derby” refers to the matches between Manchester City and their city rivals, Manchester United. This rivalry is one of the most anticipated and intense in English football.
The “Pep Guardiola era” refers to the period since Pep Guardiola’s appointment as manager in 2016. Under his guidance, Manchester City has achieved remarkable success, winning multiple Premier League titles and domestic cups.
Manchester City’s fan base has grown significantly over the years, including a mix of long-time supporters and newer fans attracted by the club’s successes. The global appeal of Premier League football has contributed to the diverse fan community.