On this day (7th May) in 2000 Manchester City achieved promotion by beating Blackburn 4-1 on the last day of the season. As with most things City did back then, the journey to promotion had not been as straightforward as fans hoped it would be.

“We will not be going to Blackburn to defend or looking for just one point, that would be inviting disaster.  We will be playing to take three points.  Legends are born in games like this and particularly at a massive club like City with the fan base we have.  Someone can be a hero, not just for a day but for a long time.”  These were the words Joe Royle used in the build up to City’s crucial match with Blackburn on the final day of the 1999-2000 season.  He wanted to send a strong message to the rest of football that City were determined to return to the Premier League, and return they did.  The game with Blackburn was extremely tense at times, and there were a number of occasions when everyone connected with the club felt that Blackburn would be added to the names of Luton and Liverpool in the City cock-up list.  However Royle’s City showed resilience and success followed.

Here is my review of that game and the 1999-2000 season. To read the rest of this piece then please subscribe below:

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The Span of Success

Following Manchester City’s victory in the League Cup last Sunday (April 25 2021) I’ve updated the table showing the span of success (above) – i.e. the number of years between a club’s first major success (FA Cup, League, League Cup, European trophy) and their most recent.

Despite the win City remain third behind Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers, though the gap with Blackburn is narrowing year on year at the moment.

Tottenham missed out on not only winning a major trophy last Sunday but also on leapfrogging City, Blackburn and Liverpool to take top spot! I doubt it would’ve made national headlines if they’d topped the span of success table though.

Okay, the span of success does not show how many trophies each club has won or how frequently that club has experienced great eras of success, but it does demonstrate how wrong those people are who believe certain clubs were unsuccessful until recent years, or those who think certain clubs have always been giants. The column on first major success helps to show when some first became significant (often after transformational investment).

While you’re here… You can now order my new book, Peter Barnes: The Authorised Biography, and get your name printed in it (if ordered before May 15 2021). All orders before May 15 will also have their copy signed by me & Peter Barnes. To order see:

Peter Barnes Biography – Order Now