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Royle: I always knew Man City a massive club



Manchester City hero Joe Royle is delighted seeing the club back at the top of the English game.
Royle asserts he always knew City were destined to achieve greatness again.
“I never needed telling how big the Club was; I played in a top side at Maine Road," he told the club's website.
“Colin Bell, Asa Hartford, Peter Barnes, Gary Owen, Mike Doyle, Dave Watson, Willie Donachie, my friend Big Joe Corrigan in goal and others… Anyone I've forgotten, I'm sorry!
“We were a top side who finished runners-up to Liverpool by one point and we all felt that the problem was that we had to replace Colin Bell after that horrendous injury.
“(When I took charge), I came in for the last 12 games and the whole Club was a disaster. There was a rumour from one week to the next about new owners – who was going to take over next, whether we'd go bankrupt…
“There were around 54 professional players that time had forgotten that weren't going to take us anywhere. In the first board meeting on deadline day, we sat in the boardroom, getting players out on frees or on loan. I think we got 12 out.
“One day, at the training ground at Platt Lane, I was gently asked by the groundsman: 'Would you mind not using the pitch today as we have to prepare it for a Community Final on Sunday?' That was the state of the Club. We were skint!
“It was a state of play we didn't want, being in the third tier of English football but we had to deal with it.
“The fans stuck with us. The question was: if we didn't go up straight away, would the fans start feeling it? 28,000 at Maine Road is a staggering record.
“There were the defeats to York away, Wycombe away... awful! We came with a gallop at the end and went into the game at Wembley in form – just short or natural promotion but that wouldn't have been City!
“Now, the Club has taken on a more successful time. I still see supporters and they say they loved that time in that division.
“It was wonderful but I wouldn't want to do it again!

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