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Manchester City Football Club is an English Premier League football club based in Manchester. Founded in 1880 as St. Mark's (West Gorton), they became Ardwick Association Football Club in 1887 and Manchester City in 1894. The club has played at the City of Manchester Stadium since 2003, having played at Maine Road from 1923. The club's most successful period was in the late 1960s and early 1970s when they won the League Championship, FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup under the management team of Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison.
After losing the 1981 FA Cup Final, the club went through a tumultuous period of decline culminating in relegation to the third tier of football in England in 1998 for the first time in their history. The club has since regained top flight status where they have spent the majority of their history. In 2008, they were bought by the Abu Dhabi United Group, spending millions of pounds on top class players. Success soon followed. In 2011, Manchester City made a breakthrough and qualified for the lucrative Champions League and won the FA Cup. In 2012, the club won the Premier League with a last-minute goal from Sergio Aguero, beating rivals Manchester United to the title on goal difference and ending their 44-year wait for the English football championship.
In August 2008, the club was purchased by Abu Dhabi United Group. The takeover was immediately followed by a flurry of bids for high profile players; the club broke the British transfer record by signing Brazilian international Robinho from Real Madrid for £32.5 million. City finished tenth, and also reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup.
During the summer of 2009, the club took transfer spending to an unprecedented level, with an outlay of over £100 million on players Gareth Barry, Roque Santa Cruz, Kolo Touré, Emmanuel Adebayor, Carlos Tévez and Joleon Lescott. On 19 December, it was announced that Mark Hughes had been replaced as manager by Roberto Mancini. City finished the season in fifth position in the Premier League, narrowly missing out on a place in the Champions League, and compete in the UEFA Europa League in season 2010–11.
Prior to the start of the 2010–11 season, Man City completed the transfers of Jérôme Boateng, Yaya Touré, David Silva, Aleksandar Kolarov and Mario Balotelli. James Milner signed during the first week of the season. Edin Džeko joined the club during the January 2011 transfer window. On 16 April 2011, City reached the 2011 FA Cup Final, their first major final in over thirty years, defeating derby rivals Manchester United in the semi-final to set up a meeting with Stoke City. They won the final 1–0, securing their fifth FA Cup and their first major trophy since winning the 1976 League Cup. On 10 May 2011, the club qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the first time with a Premier League win over Tottenham Hotspur. On the last day of the 2010–11 season, City passed Arsenal for third place in the Premier League, thereby securing qualification directly into the Champions League group stage.
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