LMA chief hits out at ‘impatient’ City
LMA chief executive Richard Bevan has criticised the impatience of
overseas owners in the wake of Mark Hughes’ sacking at Manchester
League Managers Association chief executive Bevan has also
revealed the Welshman was unaware of his fate prior to Saturday’s
4-3 win over Sunderland.
Hughes was dismissed by City on Saturday night and replaced
by Italian Roberto Mancini, the club’s chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak
revealing the decision had been taken in response to a run of just
two wins in 11 in the Premier League.
City’s woes stem largely from too many drawn matches, the
club having lost just two games all season – one of those an
unfortunate reverse in a thrilling Manchester derby.
Hughes’ demeanour during and after Saturday afternoon’s win
at Eastlands indicated he was aware of the board’s decision to
terminate his contract prior to the game, but that was not the
case, according to Bevan.
“I spoke to Mark last night and he found out immediately
after the game when he was called into a meeting and informed that
his contract was being terminated, but I think the decision had
probably been taken some time ago,” Bevan told BBC Radio 5 Live’s
“I think Mark and everybody else in this country realises
that you can’t buy trophies in one season.
“If they [overseas owners] feel that, then we’ll continue
with the sackings and we’ll continue with affinity lost to our
clubs in England, because I’m pretty sure the Manchester City fans
will be sorry to see Mark go.
“If you come in as an overseas owner, you need to embrace the
city, the supporters, not just the trophy cabinet.”
Saturday’s 4-3 win over the Black Cats moved City into sixth
place in the Premier League, a position in line with the board’s
pre-season expectations, and Bevan has accused the club’s owners of
shifting their expectations midway through the campaign.
“Mark is very realistic about the situation,” Bevan said.
“He knew the key goals he had to hit. His target actually was
the top six. He was very disappointed because they were on target
“For me, his reputation is still intact.
“Only two defeats – the fewest in the league – semi-finals of
the Carling Cup, to me it looks like the goalposts were moved and
the decision was made some time ago that he wasn’t to continue in
his role past today.
“I’m very disappointed for Mark and indeed the City fans.
“Mark would have delivered continued success without doubt if
more time had been afforded to him and his staff, but he’s left a
platform for the next manager without doubt.”
Former City player and director Dennis Tueart believes Hughes
was hamstrung by expectations and egos, but concedes the timing of
the announcement came as a surprise.
Tueart told Sportsweek: “The timing appears to be a bit
strange – we’re going into a new transfer window, just out of the
top-four positions in the league at the moment.
“It takes time to build, but the big problem Mark was always
going to have was [managing] a tremendous amount of egos in the
“His challenge was going to be blending and getting sides
motivated, and getting them to perform.
“Whilst he only lost two, he had so many draws. If he had
converted two of those draws into wins it would have been a
He added: “I’m hoping that they [the City board] have thought
through the strategy for what they are trying to get from Roberto
“While he has done pretty well at Inter, he’ll take a little
bit of settling in.
“I’m assuming they’ve made this change now so that Roberto
Mancini can do something in the transfer window.”