When Manchester City were rubbish: How the 1998/99 season changed a football club’s destiny

The Manchester City players line up during the penalty shoot-out during the Nationwide Division Two Play-Off Final match against Gillingham played at Wembley Stadium in London, England. The match finished in a 2-2 draw after extra-time andin the penalty shoot-out Manchester City won 3-1 and were promoted to Division One. \ Mandatory Credit: Alex Livesey /Allsport
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Manchester City have been the dominant force in English football over the past decade, but things could easily have turned out a lot differently. 

There have been numerous Sliding Doors moments throughout English football history. What if Azerbaijani linesman Tofiq Bahramov had signalled ‘no goal’ in ‘66? What would have happened if Stuart Pearce had chipped a Panenka penalty past Bodo Illgner at Italia ‘90? What if Mark Robins hadn’t scored against Nottingham Forest in 1990 and Manchester United had sacked Alex Ferguson?  

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Nick Moore

Nick Moore is a freelance journalist based on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. He wrote his first FourFourTwo feature in 2001 about Gerard Houllier's cup-treble-winning Liverpool side, and has continued to ink his witty words for the mag ever since. Nick has produced FFT's 'Ask A Silly Question' interview for 16 years, once getting Peter Crouch to confess that he dreams about being a dwarf.