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We Were Really There: The Rebirth of Manchester City

by David Bernstein

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Twenty-five years before City's historic Treble, they were a national joke, relegated to English football's third division. The only trophies the Citizens were likely to win, said chairman Francis Lee, were 'cups for cock-ups'. Enter David Bernstein. When he succeeded Lee as chairman in March 1998, City had just been relegated from the Premier League and were about to be relegated again. During their season in the third tier, City fans sang choruses of 'We're not really here!' in mocking disbelief at how far their club had fallen. Without Bernstein's work in five critical years as chairman, it is impossible to see how City would have been an attractive proposition to the investors from Abu Dhabi, whose takeover in 2008 paved the way for the Pep Guardiola era and unprecedented success. This is the tale of the rebirth of a football club, told from the inside.… (more)
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Twenty-five years before City's historic Treble, they were a national joke, relegated to English football's third division. The only trophies the Citizens were likely to win, said chairman Francis Lee, were 'cups for cock-ups'. Enter David Bernstein. When he succeeded Lee as chairman in March 1998, City had just been relegated from the Premier League and were about to be relegated again. During their season in the third tier, City fans sang choruses of 'We're not really here!' in mocking disbelief at how far their club had fallen. Without Bernstein's work in five critical years as chairman, it is impossible to see how City would have been an attractive proposition to the investors from Abu Dhabi, whose takeover in 2008 paved the way for the Pep Guardiola era and unprecedented success. This is the tale of the rebirth of a football club, told from the inside.

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