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Roberto Mancini sacked

Mike Hewitt

After the silence, the axe fell - exactly a year to the day since he lifted the Premier League trophy:

It is with regret that Manchester City Football Club announces that Roberto Mancini has been relieved of his duties as Manchester City Manager.This has been a difficult decision for the owner, Chairman and Board to make and it is the outcome of a planned end of season review process that has been brought forward in light of recent speculation and out of respect for Roberto and his extensive contributions to the Football Club.

Despite everyone's best efforts, the Club has failed to achieve any of its stated targets this year, with the exception of qualification for next season's UEFA Champions League. This, combined with an identified need to develop a holistic approach to all aspects of football at the Club, has meant that the decision has been taken to find a new manager for the 2013/14 season and beyond.

Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak 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."

Assistant Manager Brian Kidd will take interim responsibility for the remaining two games of the season and the post-season tour to the United States.

In reality the only thing remaining was for the confirmation to arrive.

After a tumultuous weekend in which the FA Cup final defeat was played against the backdrop of mounting speculation regarding the Italian's future, a tetchy press conference suggested the end was nigh.

By announcing the decision late Monday evening (UK time) the club avoid the prospect of Mancini being a lame duck manager for the final two games, including Tuesday night at Reading, but also face a backlash from fans who clearly hold him in high regard.

Brian Kidd will take charge of the squad for the final two games of the season as speculation will inevitably turn to the man who will succeed him at City.