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Monday, 7 May, 2001, 20:51 GMT 21:51 UK
Roller-coaster years
Joe Royle was unable to work his magic this season
Joe Royle was unable to work his magic this season
BBC Sport Online's Howard Nurse chronicles six roller-coaster years for Manchester City.

Kevin Keegan's arrival as City's new manager is the latest in a long line of changes at a club where life is never dull.

City fans have grown used to the volatility that comes with supporting the Maine Road outfit.

Just look at their record in recent years.


1995-96, 18th in Premiership

Alan Ball
Alan Ball was unpopular at Maine Road
Six seasons ago, Manchester City fell foul of the Premier League's reduction in teams from 22 to 20.

Alan Ball was appointed manager in July 1995 but his spell in charge was to last little more than 12 months.

City were cruelly relegated on goal difference and joined Bolton and QPR in Division One.

1996-97, 14th in Division One

Alan Ball was sensationally sacked in August after a series of demonstrations which saw fans calling for his head.

It took a couple of months for City to appoint former Manchester United player Steve Coppell as his replacement.

Francis Lee and Steve Coppell
Steve Coppell (r) only lasted six games
But after just six matches in charge, Coppell resigned, claiming that the pressure was affecting his health.

It was the shortest ever reign for a Maine Road manager. Coppell later enjoyed success at Crystal Palace.

Frank Clark arrived late in 1996 after an indifferent three-year spell in charge of Nottingham Forest and he too found it tough going.

1997-98, 22nd in Division One

The decline under Clark continued and City were left facing the drop by Christmas.

The 3m signing of Lee Bradbury from Portsmouth was a flop which angered chairman Francis Lee.
Frank Clark
Frank Clark was unable to deliver the goods

Not surprisingly, Clark lost his job in February 1998 and was replaced the following day by Joe Royle.

Royle slowly picked the club up but despite a stirring last-day win at Stoke, he failed to save City in the three months he was given to pull them out of the mire.

1998-99, 3rd in Division Two (play-off winners)

Royle got City moving again and a late season surge ensured a play-off berth.

But Gillingham appeared to have sunk them with a 2-0 Wembley lead only for Paul Dickov's late show and Nicky Weaver's display in the penalty shoot-out to send City up.

1999-2000, 2nd in Division One

There was no stopping City now.

Royle's men surprised many by finishing as runners-up to
Joe Royle runs to hug Mark Kennedy
Mark Kennedy helped City to promotion in May 2000
Charlton to complete dramatic back-to-back promotions.

City finished just two points behind Charlton thanks to a phenomenal home record which saw them win 17 times at Maine Road.

2000-01, relegated from Premiership

The ups and downs continued.

Royle's men survived just one season back in the big time after failing to beat Ipswich in their penultimate match. City must face up to life back in the Nationwide League.

What now for City?

The club have parted company with Joe Royle and appointed former England boss Kevin Keegan as his successor.

A new and uncertain chapter in the club's history, the fans can look forward to the move to a brand new ground.

City will adopt the City of Manchester Stadium which will host the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

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