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Royle Autobiography - part 2.

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A lot in the book will be centred around the acrimonious departure of Royle following relegation from the Premiership, which ended a roller-coaster three and half seasons under his stewardship.
The sacking of course led to the Royle taking the club to court on a technicality over his sacking - the dispute being whether we were still regarded as a Premiership club at the time, winning damages before the club had this overturned on appeal.
Royle maintains that despite the relegation, he never envisaged losing his job:
"Bernstein had been nothing but supportive and indeed complimentary to me throughout my roller- coaster three and a fraction seasons at the club and this was still the case as he and I sat for several hours in the restaurant on Rusholme's famous Curry Mile talking over the events of the season, as we parted company late that Thursday night I had no inkling of the fate that would befall me the following Monday morning.
Nothing was said that gave me any reason to feel that I was about to lose my job. "

I don't know of any City fans who have ever argued against the decision to sack Royle. Of course, there is a debt of gratitude to him for the way in which he helped the club recover from the dark days of division 2 back into the Premier league after remarkable back to back promotions.
I believe that Royle may not have been mistaken in feeling a certain amount of job security throughout the season as he had obviously built a strong relationship with the board and perhaps it is likely that it was only because Kevin Keegan became available (after undoubtedly being sounded out by the club) which resulted in Royle being sacked.
I personally believe that Royle had taken City as far as he could, and looking at the position of the club now (to which Keegan deserves a lot of credit, despite the sour final days) I don't think we would be in this position under him.
Royle also largely escaped criticism for the relegation to division 2. Yes, he inherited a shambles of a club on and off the field which had become a laughing stock but he still had a third of the season to get us out of trouble which he couldn't do. It has been easy to pin the relegation as the culmination of the previous couple of seasons freefall under previous managers (with a strong emphasis on the plural).
It is a shame that his time at City ended on a bad note, but in truth most endings do don't they? The board were extremely misguided in the timing of his sacking and didn't cover themselves in any glory with a messy and very public court case to claim back the compensation, but equally in the long run it left a bad memory of Royle's time at the club and took away from a lot of the good times and work that we saw during those eventful three and half seasons.