On this day in 2008: Sven Goran-Eriksson leaves Manchester City
Sven-Goran Eriksson left Manchester City on this day in 2008 after just one season as manager.
Thousands of City fans had signed a petition in support of Eriksson, who was signed by Thaksin Shinawatra to a three-year deal days after the controversial Thai businessman and politician bought the club in July 2007.
But that didn’t save Eriksson, who had guided City to a ninth Premier League finish in his first job since quitting as England boss a year earlier.
Shinawatra announced in April that Eriksson would be substituted in the summer due to “an avalanche of poor results” and his decision proved unpopular with City players and fans.
City had made an impressive start to the 2007-08 season after investing in Elano, Martin Petrov, Vedran Corluka and Javier Garrido and victory over rivals Manchester United in Game 3 lifted them top of the table.
They remained in the top six for the rest of 2007, but fortunes turned in the new year and Eriksson’s side began to slide down the table – despite a 2-1 win at Old Trafford in February , who sealed their first league double against United since the 1969-70 season.
City traveled to Middlesbrough on the final day of the season, with fans hanging ‘SOS – Save our Sven’ flags outside at the Riverside, but the day ended in humiliation as City suffered an 8-1 loss, having had Richard Dunne sent off in the 15th minute.
Many claimed City players were indeed on strike in protest at Eriksson’s exit but the result was never going to help his cause despite City qualifying for Europe, albeit via the UEFA Fair Play League .
Three weeks later, Eriksson’s exit was confirmed and he was announced as Mexico’s new head coach just 24 hours later.
City announced Mark Hughes as Eriksson’s replacement on 4 June and later that summer Shinawatra sold the club to Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.