Outside The Box: Read it and weep — Roberto Mancini says goodbye to Manchester City fans with full page advert in Manchester Evening News
The Italian was sacked after three years at the club
Roberto Mancini has had hard-up regional newspapers hoping he set a trend for departing managers by paying to take a full-page advertisement in the Manchester Evening News to thank Manchester City supporters for their backing over the past three years, at a cost of some £10,000.
"You will always be in my heart," it said — though possibly not his Hart, after occasional run-ins with City's goalkeeper before Mancini was sacked last week. City fans will confirm his popularity with chants and banners at today's match against Norwich and are considering taking out a reciprocal advertisement in the Italian sports paper Gazzetta Dello Sport.
Moyes and the big boys
Meanwhile Everton, to their delight, have remained ahead of Liverpool all season and will finish above them for the second season running. That is another tribute to the stewardship of David Moyes, who nevertheless has one goal he would love to reach in his final match in charge at Chelsea this afternoon. Not once in his 45 away games against Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United or Liverpool, regarded as the big four for most of his time at Goodison, have Everton been victorious, apart from winning on penalties at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup two years ago. Hence his extra annoyance when Sylvain Distin's header at Anfield was controversially disallowed two weeks ago.
Davies' Waterloo sunset
Moyes is not the only manager to be leaving a Merseyside club after a long stint in charge. In fact, even Sir Alex Ferguson's 26 years at Manchester United cannot compare with the less well-known Jimmy Davies, who is retiring after 50 years as the only manager in the history of Waterloo Dock. Founded in 1963, the club became a force in local circles and reached the Liverpool Senior Cup final against a Liverpool reserve team in 2009. Davies, 71, has been confirmed by the Football Association as the longest-serving manager in the country, an accolade that once belonged to another Merseysider: Roly Howard managed Marine for 33 years, from 1972 to 2005.
Ebbsfleet await Kuwaitis
An update on the fortunes of Ebbsfleet United, who were mentioned here three weeks ago when the online group MyFootballClub decided to give up their 75 per cent share in the Kentish club. Members have now voted overwhelmingly to sell to a consortium of Kuwaiti investors led by the former Charlton chief executive Peter Varney, who are promising a six-figure transfer kitty, an increased budget and a new stand for the club, who were relegated this season from the Blue Square Bet Premier. Ebbsfleet are believed to have debts of more than £400,000 and they are currently being threatened with a winding-up order.
Not so jolly Jol
It is always dispiriting for a team to finish the season plummeting downwards, and it can often be a precursor to starting the next one badly. So watch out Martin Jol and Fulham, who this morning sit 15th, their lowest League position of the season.
Good cause of the week is the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, whose team, including Southampton's Danny Fox and Brighton manager Gus Poyet, take on a UK Parliamentary XI at Loftus Road on Tuesday, kick-off 10am. Clive Betts captains the politicians. Visit www.nickyswhisper.eventbrite.co.uk
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