The firing squad: Mancini is gone… but who are the City bosses who called for his head?

May 15, 2013 5:17 pm 0 comments Views: 58

The writing was on the wall for Roberto Mancini, even before his failed attempt to win the FA Cup for the second time in three seasons.

When the Italian climbed the steps at Wembley after watching his team lose 1-0 to Wigan on Saturday, he was met by the firing squad. The City officials who collaborated to end his reign at the club.

Mancini, who led City to their first League title in 44 years last season having clinched the FA Cup the year before, remains extremely popular with the majority of Blues fans but burned too many bridges within the club, making his position untenable.


The brass: Roberto Mancini faced the men who orchestrated his downfall after defeat at Wembley

The 48-year-old has publicly criticised players Samir Nasri, Joe Hart as well as freezing out Joleon Lescott this season, but his relationship with those above him turning sour proved fatal.

As Mancini vacates his position – with Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini lined up to replace him – Sportsmail looks at the men who orchestrated his demise at the Etihad.

Out: Mancini was sacked after failing to win a single trophy this season Out: Mancini was sacked after failing to win a single trophy this season

Roberto Mancini
Roberto Mancini

Harsh? Mancini left his London hotel today following last night’s announcement of his sacking

Sheikh Mansour – Owner

The deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates’ company, Abu-Dhabi United Group, acquired Manchester City in 2008. After Mark Hughes‘ sacking in 2009, Roberto Mancini was their man for the job.

The Abu-Dhabi-based Mansour spends little time in Manchester, having only attended a couple of matches, and, although he will have been consulted over Mancini’s dismissal, largely leaves the day-to-day running of the club to his board of directors led by Khaldoon al-Mubarak.

Rare appearance: Sheikh Mansour's company bankrolled the club's takeover in 2008Rare appearance: Sheikh Mansour’s company bankrolled the club’s takeover in 2008

Khaldoon al-Mubarak – Chairman

Mancini’s relationship with the man at the top of the executive tree endures to this day. After Mark Hughes was sacked three-and-a-half years ago, the Italian was Khaldoon’s pick to succeed the former United striker. Sacking a man he gave a five-year contract to less than a year ago was not in Khaldoon’s long-term plan.

But Mancini has found few allies other than the chairman, both in the dressing room and the boardroom, with Spanish duo Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano growing dispassionate with the Italian.

Khaldoon replaced Thaksin Shinawatra as chairman in 2008 after the Mansour-led Abu Dhabi takeover was completed.

Last ally? City chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak's relationship with Mancini endures to the day Last ally? City chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak’s relationship with Mancini endures to the day

After Mancini’s sacking, the chairman said: ‘Roberto’s record speaks for itself, and he has the respect and gratitude of Sheikh Mansour, myself and the board for all of his hard work and commitment over the last three and a half years.

‘He has clearly also secured the love and respect of our fans. He has done as he promised and delivered silverware and success, breaking the club’s 35-year trophy drought and securing the title in 2012.

‘I would like to personally and publicly thank him for his dedication to the progress that he has overseen and for his support and continued friendship.’

Ferran Soriano – Chief executive

The man who wielded the axe. Mancini was believed to have last night been told by Soriano that his services were no longer required at the club. The former president of Spanair, like Txiki Begiristain, spent time as a Barcelona director between 2003 and 2008.

The 45-year-old joined the club in August 2012, replacing Garry Cook as chief executive after his offensive email to ex-player Nedum Onuoha’s mother.

Soriano, who has for the most part kept quiet behind the scenes at the Etihad, was joined by Begiristain in October 2012 and the pair have grown tired of Mancini since taking up their posts in Manchester.

Writing on the wall: Ferran Soriano (centre) is believed to have informed Mancini of his sacking last night Writing on the wall: Ferran Soriano (centre) is believed to have informed Mancini of his sacking last night

After Begiristain took over as director of football, Soriano said: ‘Given the scale and importance of this challenge, we want to commit our very best people to it.

‘I am delighted that Brian Marwood will take leadership of the CFA initiative and I am equally very pleased to welcome an individual of Txiki Begiristain’s calibre to the club.

‘I have no doubt that together, and in support of Roberto Mancini and the wider football club, they will be a formidable team.’

Brian Marwood – Managing director of the City Football Academy

Marwood isn’t likely to shed too many tears at seeing the back of Mancini. The 53-year-old former footballer was publicly slated by Mancini when the Italian appeared to blame him for poor transfer dealings last summer.

After missing out on top targets like Javi Martinez and Robin van Persie, Mancini ended up with Scott Sinclair, Jack Rodwell, Javi Garcia and Matija Nastasic.

Blamed: Brian Marwood (centre) was blasted by Mancini earlier in the season for failing to land the desired signingsBlamed: Brian Marwood (centre) was blasted by Mancini earlier in the season for failing to land the desired signings

When asked about this before Van Persie signed for United, he blasted Marwood, who was drafted in by Mansour in 2009.

Mancini said: ‘Van Persie is not our player. He is an Arsenal or United player.

‘These questions you should ask other people. I don’t know what I can say. After three or four months… nothing. You should talk to Brian Marwood for this. Not me. Talk to Marwood please.’

Txiki Begiristain – Director of football

Begiristain has undoubted pedigree when it comes to football administration. The ex-player joined former Barcelona colleague Ferran Soriano in Manchester in October last year.

Before that, he took up the position of director of football at the Catalan giants in 2008 and worked alongside Soriano, overseeing one of the club’s most successful periods under Pep Guardiola.

Begiristain is believed to have scoured Europe in recent weeks for Mancini’s successor after an unspectacular title defence that saw Manchester United romp to their 20th League crown.

The Spaniard, who also played 22 times for his country, was understood to be in his homeland to talk with Manuel Pellegrini’s people, with City due to make an official approach for the Chilean coach today.

Txiki Begiristain
Ferran Soriano

Barca boys: Txiki Begiristain (left) and Soriano have grown impatient with Mancini at the club

Deal breaker: Begiristain oversaw Yaya Toure's contract extension at the Etihad Deal breaker: Begiristain oversaw Yaya Toure’s contract extension at the Etihad

As well as being the driving force behind bringing Pellegrini in, Begiristain’s role is to oversee recruitment, development and training of players at the Etihad.

Upon joining the club, he said: ‘I am very much looking forward to working with Brian Marwood, Roberto Mancini and Ferran Soriano in continuing to build a football team and philosophy which will serve Manchester City well in the near and long-term future.’

John Macbeath – Non-executive director

Macbeath, a chartered accountant, spent his early career in the oil and gas industries before moving into aerospace and the defence sector. Macbeath was the stand-in chief executive after Garry Cook left the club and before Soriano took up the mantle.

Simon Pearce – Non-executive director

Pearce joined the club shortly after the takeover in 2008. He is executive director of strategic communications affairs for the executive affairs authority of Abu Dhabi.

Patrick Vieira – Football development executive

The former Arsenal, Juventus, Inter and City midfielder stepped into his newly-created role at the club after retirement from his playing career in July 2011.

The former France midfielder, who was Mancini’s first signing in January 2010, reports to managing director of the City Football Academy, Brian Marwood, and helps to deliver the club’s community projects both in the UK and abroad.

Patrick Vieira
Patrick Vieira

New boy: Patrick Vieira was Mancini’s first signing at the club in January 2010

Patrick Vieira

Get More Right To Your Inbox!