It emerged a verbal agreement on Mancini’s three-and-a-half-year contract was reached on December 2, as City beat Arsenal in the Carling Cup, but the board wanted to delay the appointment until after tough games against Chelsea, Bolton and Tottenham.And perhaps equally as bad, are reports that Hughes was not given a straight answer when he challenged Garry Cook over the growing speculation that swept around the club on Saturday:
Mancini, set to earn £10million during his time at City, will begin his reign with fixtures against Stoke, Wolves and then Middlesbrough in the FA Cup.
"Am I being sacked?" Hughes asked the sheepish-looking chief executive. Cook was non-committal. The man who had told anyone who cared to listen that Hughes was the best young manager around did not have the decency to tell him the truth. Hughes had to wait until after the game to be told to pack his bags during a ten-minute conversation with al-Mubarak, the man who had driven through Mancini’s appointment.Perhaps it is a little naivety on our part to think underhand shenanigans are not part and parcel when concerned with the machinations of a football club, but ADUG have always portrayed themselves as different from the average owners.
They have always stressed the importance of the values they possess, but as more and more emerges about how the sacking of Hughes (and his staff) was conducted (and exactly when it was decided upon), the more badly it reflects on all concerned.