Mancini replaces Hughes at City
Manchester City boss Mark Hughes has been sacked and former Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini has been hired after the 4-3 defeat of Sunderland.
City's chairman, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, and owner, Sheikh Mansour, had grown increasingly disillusioned with City's poor form, having watched Hughes' side win just twice in eleven league games.
In giving reason for the decision on City's website, Al Mubarak said: "Prior to the current season beginning, with significant investment in players and infrastructure in place, the consensus between the board and coaching staff was that appropriate agreed targets should be set for the 2009-2010 season.
"The targets were agreed as a result of the player acquisition strategy of the club being radically accelerated in the summer as a result of very favourable conditions for any buying club. It was also based on the fact that the infrastructure of the club had been overhauled completely at great cost in order to create the best possible environment for the team.
"A return of two wins in 11 Premier League games is clearly not in line with the targets that were agreed and set. Sheikh Mansour and the board felt that there was no evidence that the situation would fundamentally change. This is a particularly difficult announcement given the personal investment over the past 15 months on all sides and we would like to put on record our respect for and thanks to Mark Hughes and we wish him the best in his future career."
The statement also confirmed the appointment, with immediate effect on a permanent contract, of Roberto Mancini, while Brian Kidd joins the team as assistant manager.
"Roberto is a hugely experienced manager with a proven track record of winning trophies and championships,'' it read. ''His experience and track record speak for themselves. What is absolutely clear is that Roberto believes in Manchester City's potential to achieve at the highest level and importantly in his own ability to make this happen. My hope is that our incredible fans will join us in welcoming Roberto to the football club."
Hughes oversaw City's 4-3 victory over Sunderland on Saturday but he is thought to have known about his sacking before the game, and appeared emotional at the end of the match, apparently waving goodbye to the home supporters.
City are up to sixth in the table but the 3-0 midweek drubbing by Spurs was the final straw for the owners, who are keen on an overhaul in order to keep the club's Champions League qualification hopes alive.
The agent of Guus Hiddink revealed on Friday that City had been in contact with the Dutchman, while Jürgen Klinsmann and Jose Mourinho had also been linked with the job.
Mark Bowen, Eddie Niedzwiecki, Kevin Hitchcock and Glyn Hodges have also left the club and further appointments will be announced in due course.