1908/09 SEASON REVIEW
City made three main signings before the season started, Charlie Burgess joining from Stoke. Bill Bottomley from Oldham and goalkeeper, Herbert Broomfield from rivals Manchester United
The Blues opened the season with a good 1-0 win at Hyde Road against big spending Sunderland. However apart from a 9-1 defeat of Northern Nomads in a friendly they failed to win again in September, drawing 3-3 at home to Blackburn and 0-0 at Bradford then losing 2-1 against Manchester United at Hyde Road and 6-3 against Everton at Goodison Park.
Moving into October and City enjoyed a 5-2 home win against Leicester Fosse, and the early Division 1 table showed the Blues in 12th position after six games.
City’s away form was certainly cause for concern as they lost 3-0 at Woolwich Arsenal, back at Hyde Road however They beat Notts County 1-0, but back on their travels they lost 2-0 at Newcastle and then finished October with an excellent 5-1 win at home to Bristol City. The Blues moved into November still in mid-table with ten points from ten games.
November started predictably with a 3-0 defeat at Preston, followed by a 0-0 draw against Middlesbrough at Hyde Road and then a further away defeat, 3-1 at Sheffield Wednesday, however at the seventh time of asking The Blues won on their travels beating Liverpool 3-1 at Anfield.
City then trounced Bury 6-1 at Hyde Road, but the awayday hoodoo returned with a 4-0 defeat at Sheffield United, before another home win, 2-0 against Aston Villa.
After over a year out of the City side through injury, a now fit Willie Banks was transferred to Portsmouth.
The Festive period began with a 2-1 defeat at home to Chelsea on Christmas Day, however on Boxing Day City got their revenge beating Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge and two days later they beat Nottingham Forest 2-0 at The City Ground. It meant City moved into 1909 in seventh place in Division 1, nine points behind leaders Everton, but only six points off the relegation zone.
1909 began with a 3-2 defeat at Blackburn, then at a fog enshrouded Hyde Road City beat Bradford City 4-3.
City spent a week in special training in Matlock prior to the FA Cup First Round tie at Hyde Road, however they lost in a 4-3 thriller against Tottenham, the game was tinged with controversy as Thornley and Blair were left out of the City side over arguments over player bonuses however no further punishments were exercised against the players.
Back in the League Manchester United completed a double over The Blues beating them 3-1 at Bank Street, but back at Hyde Road City disposed of Everton, 4-0.
City failed to win a game in February, first drawing 2-2 at home to Arsenal, then losing 5-1 at Notts County and 2-0 against Newcastle in Manchester.
Moving in to March and City had a free weekend due to their early exit from the FA Cup so they travelled to London to play a friendly at Queens Park Rangers, however the gane was postponed just a few minutes from kick off due to snow storms.
City then lost 3-1 at Leicester, beat Preston 4-1 at Hyde Road, lost 3-0 at Middlesbrough, then at home beat Sheffield Wednesday 4-0 and Liverpool 4-0. The Blues were still mid-table, where they had been all season, there were just six games left to play.
City then bought forward George Wynn from Wrexham.
Easter however brought two defeats, 2-0 at Sunderland on Good Friday and 1-0 at Bury a day later, City had slipped down to 13th but were now only five points off the relegation zone, with four games to play they still looked to be safe.
Despite beating Nottingham Forest 2-1 at Hyde Road, The Blues then lost in their last home game, 3-1 against Sheffield United and with two games to play they had been dragged into a relegation fight where any one of eight clubs could fill the dreaded 19th position in Division 1.
The Penultimate game saw a 2-1 defeat at Aston Villa, there were now just three teams fighting against relegation, Bradford were 2nd bottom on 32 points, Liverpool were 3rd from bottom on 34 points and City were 4th from bottom also on 34 points.
The Blues lost their last game of the season 1-0 at Bristol City, however both Liverpool and Bradford still had to play their last game, the scousers though had moved over City on a minutely better goal average.
A day later Bradford beat Manchester United and were safe having a superior goal average to City, it meant that Liverpool would have to avoid defeat the next day, this they did, beating Newcastle and so despite being mid table for virtually the whole season City were relegated on goal average with 34 points from 38 games. The club would subsequently report a loss of £1,814 for the season.
Although the board looked at the players bad form and lack of signings as a reason for relegation they also highlighted that it was possibly that as City were a club who ran themselves by the book that was the major reason they were relegated. They raised concerns to the Football Association that when trying to sign players they had been approached asking for terms that it would have been illegal to accept, then only to find that a day or two later these players were picked up by some other club.
City played two end of season friendlies, winning 4-2 at Merthyr and 4-2 at Munster.