Big-spending Manchester City lost patience with manager Mark Hughes as they sacked him, saying that a run of two wins in 11 games was not good enough.
Welshman Hughes, a former player with Manchester United and Chelsea, was immediately replaced on a permanent basis by Italian Roberto Mancini, who will be assisted by Brian Kidd, the former assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford.
“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,” City said in a statement.
“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 (the owner) and the Board felt that there was no evidence that the situation would immediately change.”
Mancini, who led Inter Milan to three straight Italian Serie A titles, has no experience of working in England but City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said he had no doubts that they had the right man for the job.
“Roberto is a hugely experienced manager with a proven track record of winning trophies and championships,” he said. “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.”
Hughes took over in June of 2008, just two months before the club was purchased by Abu Dhabi United Group, who pledged to pump millions of pounds into the side, immediately splashing out 32.5 million pounds (about $52 million) on Brazil striker Robinho.