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By ESPN Staff

Stuart Pearce on City: 'Times change'

England failed to claim a single point at the European Under-21 Championship
Stuart Pearce said Man City nearly went broke before selling Shaun Wright-Phillips in 2005.

Former Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce admits the club's current riches are a far cry from his spell in charge.

Pearce, who is now the Nottingham Forest boss, reflected on the deep financial trouble City were in before Shaun Wright-Phillips was sold shortly after he took on the role full-time in 2005.

It is almost unimaginable now to think of the big-spending, title-winning Citizens being in such dire straits, but that was the reality according to Pearce at the start of a testing two-year reign.

"The club had sold the club shop, sold the ground to council, we were paying on the never and never for the [Nicolas] Anelkas of this world," he told the Daily Mirror.

"It really was a case that the owners said, 'Unless Wright-Phillips goes, we go.' On the Monday morning they pressed the button and Chelsea put 21 million pounds in the bank which bails the club out [but] which puts pressure on me because you are selling your goal-scorer."

During his first full season at Eastlands, Pearce led City to a 15-placed finish, nine points above the relegation zone, before he was sacked after they narrowly avoided the drop by four points and finished 14th in 2006-07.

Since then Pearce has managed the England Under-21s, had a temporary stint with the full national squad and coached Team GB during London 2012 before finding himself at the City Ground.

Meanwhile the Abu Dhabi United Group's 2008 takeover at City, and subsequent cash injection, has turned them from bottom-half dwellers to table-toppers.

Pearce added: "The club has gone from strength to strength and now they are a world power and spending 150 million pounds on a training complex. Times change."

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