Football: Fans increase the pressure on Clark

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The Independent Online
Eleven months into his reign at Maine Road, the pressure is mounting on Frank Clark with Manchester City sitting just outside the First Division relegation zone.

Supporters had to be dispersed by mounted police on Tuesday after the 3-2 home defeat by Port Vale, as they staged a demonstration against the chairman, Francis Lee, and his board.

Mark Bittner, a member of the club's official supporters' committee who have monthly meetings with directors and Lee to voice their worries, said yesterday: "It's got to the point where you have to say: `Where on earth do we go from here?'

"I can honestly say I have never seen a team as bad as this in City shirts. We have got worse and worse and worse and there doesn't seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel."

Bittner says he is speaking for many fans who are becoming unhappy with Clark's management. "What happens when we start playing the good teams in this division? My love is for Manchester City. I don't really care if Rupert Bear is in charge as long as we do well. But the quality has gone down and down, and these are the players Frank Clark has bought.

"My feeling is that it is time for Clark to go, for the club to admit they made a mistake.

"Brian Horton may not have been ideal, but there was a time in the last three years when we were fifth in the Premier League under him, with Franny as chairman. Now we are fifth again, but fifth in Greater Manchester. We are behind United, Bolton, Stockport and Bury."