City planning the Maine move

Manchester City will safeguard the future of their Maine Road headquarters even if they seal a deal to move into the new stadium to be built for the Commonwealth Games.

The First Division club have been given a tentative offer to become "anchor tenants" in the 60,000-seater stadium to be developed across the city at Eastlands after the Games take place in 2002.

Even though City have welcomed the initial idea with open arms, they are also keen to confirm Maine Road will still have a part to play if the move takes place.

"Maine Road is safe as a sporting venue. We feel it would still be a viable sports arena even if we did go to the new stadium," said City's chief executive Colin Barlow, who harbours a sense of disappointment that the Sports Council chose Wembley ahead of Manchester as the site of the new pounds 210m-plus National Stadium.

"We were invited to become anchor tenants at the stadium when Manchester formulated its National Stadium bid last October and I was part of the bid committee," Barlow said. "It was an idea that appealed to us and it's something we will be continuing with even though Manchester was not awarded the National Stadium itself."

Maine Road has been the home of City since 1923 and despite once housing a crowd of 84,569 for an FA Cup tie against Stoke in 1934 - a British record for any game played outside London or Glasgow - the ground capacity is now 31,000.

The club also has a training complex at nearby Platt Lane, a development which helped win them the Community Club of the Year award last year, and they see no reason why their current headquarters should not continue to flourish if a move is eventually agreed.

The bitter blow of losing out to Wembley was cushioned when the Sports Council revealed they would be handing over pounds 60m for the new Manchester stadium.

Meanwhile, Phil Neal yesterday said that he is doing his best to cope with the pressure of being Manchester City manager - despite the constant speculation that he will be out of a job in the New Year.

Neal continues to put on a brave face even though the Manchester United No 2 Brian Kidd, the former Leeds manager Howard Wilkinson and the current Wimbledon manager Joe Kinnear are the latest crop of names to be linked with the club.

Kidd, who played for both Manchester clubs and was City's original target as the successor to Brian Horton 18 months ago, has become the favourite to take over.

City's plight near the foot of the First Division has placed more pressure on Neal, who said: "I can't afford to let the speculation get me down as the players don't want to see a miserable manager."

"It would be detracting from what I'm being paid for and it would be an injustice to the fans and the players," he said. "But I am aware and I am told about what's going on."

Neal has vowed to continue to battle for recognition at the club as he prepares for Saturday's vital derby fixture with Oldham. He added: "I was not the first choice but I am trying to earn my spurs to gain the post. I was brought here as a No 2 to Steve Coppell and was very happy to be so. But you cannot get disgruntled about certain names cropping up, although it happens almost daily. It's getting absurd."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor - OTE £10,000 Uncapped - Part Time

£7500 - £10000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness chai...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer - 2nd & 3rd Line

£25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The IT Support Engineer is needed to ass...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Officer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: It's an exciting time for this ...

Recruitment Genius: Junior / Mid Software Developer

£22000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones