In July at the Football League’s annual meeting there was long discussions as to whether football should continue now Great Britain was at war. It was suggested that the possibility that leagues could continue under regular conditions was out of the question and therefore regional leagues should be formed to reduce expense and ease of attendance. There was also a decision made that no Cup or International matches would be played. 10% of gate receipts would be paid to the Football Leaue. 50% of that money would be distributed to national charities and institutions and the remainder would be given back to the clubs to distribute to local charities. There were many clubs who would not be engaged in any football activity at all and therefore players could guest for the teams that would play in the regional leagues. Initially Albert Allen of Glossop and Thomas Broad of Bristol City announced they would be available to play for Ernest Mangnall’s team. Luckily for The Blues they will retain most of their players, who have taken up local government posts. Possible the most notable absentee would be Ted Hanney who had signed on for The Army. It was a great start for City as they beat Stockport 3-1 at Hyde Road on the opening day of the season, then beat Liverpool 1-0 at Anfield then back at home Horace Barnes scored a first half hat-trick and City went in 4-0 up, however Bury drew level before a City winner six minutes before time made it 5-4 to the Blues in a very entertaining game. They carried on unbeaten with a 1-1 draw at Manchester United and a 3-0 win at home to Blackpool, a game in which Horace Barnes scored his second hat-trick in three games. City sat top of the table after beating Stockport Central 2-0 at Haig Avenue and drawing 2-2 at Hyde Road against Oldham, however second placed Everton leapfrogged over City as The Toffees beat The Citizens 4-2 at Goodison Park. Horace Barnes had to face The Manchester Munitions Court where he was accused of being absent without permission from his job as a munitions machine operator so he could play at Southport, he was fined £2. Barnes stated he would not return to the firm again as he had been so shabbily treated. A second defeat on the trot, this time at home, to Bolton who won 2-1 saw City slip down to fourth place with nine games played. A mixture of form on the road saw The Blues beat Rochdale 2-0 at Spotland but then lose 1-0 at Stoke. At Hyde Road City then beat League leaders Burnley 1-0 to move into 2nd place, just one point behind The Clarets after twelve games.
The Blues then lost 3-2 at Preston and drew 1-1 at Stockport.
City soon got back to winning ways with three further victories, 2-1 at home to Liverpool and 3-0 at Bury meant City moved into the Festive period still in second place. City would however be without the services of Fred Howard, the striker had scored four goals in the last four games however a football league committee made a decision to suspend him for 12 months following unsatisfactory evidence in a bribery investigation into a Manchester United and Liverpool game, where nine players were also suspended indefinitely. Christmas Day brought a 2-1 victory over Manchester United at Hyde Road. However on New Years Day The Blues lost 2-0 at Blackpool. City then hit the League summit as they beat Southport Central 5-0 at Hyde Road and Oldham 2-1 at Boundary Park. With six games left to play Mangnall’s side were on 27 points with Burnley and Everton just one point behind. City then beat Championship rivals Everton 2-1 at Hyde Road. It was then announced that former City great Billy Meredith had been given permission by his current employers, Manchester United, to turn out for The Blues having failed to appear in any of this season’s games for The Red Devils. He didn’t get a game straight away as City lost 4-2 at Bolton and won 4-1 at home to Rochdale, with three games left to play they still led Burnley by one point. The Blues lead at the top ncreased to three points as they beat Stoke at home 4-2. However in the penultimate league game of the main season Burnley beat City 3-1 at Turf Moor. Which left City in need of a win in their last game to guarantee the Championship. City won the League in style as they trounced Preston 8-0. They had 35 points from 26 games. A Subsidiary Tournament followed, The Manchester Guardian regailing it as ‘not intended to do more than fill up the fag-end of the season’. City were drawn in the Southern section with five other teams who would play each other on a ’round robin’ home and away basis. The section started with a 2-0 defeat at Stockport, and then a 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Hyde Road in a game which saw the return of Billy Meredith to the City side for his second debut, 26 years after first joining The Citizens and his first appearance for The Blues since 1906. Scottish Half Back Billy Henry was initially named in the City side to meet Everton a week later, however he enlisted in the Scottish Yeomanry and left for Scotland two days before the game, he wouldn’t play another competitive game for City. The game against Everton finished 1-1. Then Manchester United were beaten 2-0 at Old Trafford, at Hyde Road City drew 4-4 against Oldham and beat Stockport 3-2 a match where Private Lewis a soldier on medical duty in Manchester made a one time only guest player appearance for the Blues. With four games left to play Mangnall’s team were in second place, four points behind leaders Everton. The Blues beat Liverpool 2-0 at Anfield but then lost 4-3 at Oldham on Good Friday. Then Hyde Road’s highest crowd of the season, 25,000 saw City overcome leaders Everton 5-4 and with a 2-1 win over Manchester United at Hyde Road The Blues were Champions of the Southern Subsidiary Section on goal average from Everton, both clubs ending on 13 points. So City ended the season as The Football League (Lancashire Section) Champions and Southern Subsidiary Section Champions, The Liverpool Echo proclaimed ‘Manchester City are without doubt the team of the season, there is a balance about their side that is not found anywhere else in the English teams. In every department they are strong players of unselfish character, and instead of frail forwards relying on a great defence City nowhave forwards who can shoot hard and often. No wonder they have completed the double event.’ However as the War League matches were all classed as friendlies these ‘trophies’ would not appear on The Citizen’s offical honours list. City played one further match drawing 2-2 against Manchester United in a friendly at Hyde Road in aid of The War Charities. City’s success on the field certainly boosted their finances as a profit of £735.2s.3d was announced and meant The Blues carried forward a credit balance of £5,200 into the next season.

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