Incredible true story behind plan to merge Man City and Man Utd into super club

During the 1960s, plans were proposed for rivals Manchester United and Manchester City to merge and form a new super club.

The plans were reportedly discussed on more than one occasion, with the rivalry between the two clubs considerably more friendly 60 years ago than it is now.

Ultimately, though, the merger never occurred after United gave it little consideration and many at City strongly opposed it after plans were first proposed by City vice-chairman Frank Johnson in 1964.

However, it will likely always be the closest that the Manchester rivals have come to merging to form a new super club.

In 1964, City were a midtable Second Division side, while United had just finished as runner-up in the top flight.

While the pair were fierce rivals on the pitch, outside of their meetings their relationship was still friendly.

City had previously allowed the Red Devils to use their Maine Road stadium for home matches while Old Trafford was re-built following the Second World War as well as for European matches before floodlights were installed at the ground.

With City seen to be in the lowest point in their history at the time, Johnson had the idea for them to merge with United to give the city of Manchester one super club.

Will two professional English clubs ever merge again? Let us know in the comments section below.

During the 1920s and 1930s, City had been Manchester's premier club and were seen to have fallen from grace as they watched their rivals enjoy success under Matt Busby as they wallowed in the second tier.

In 2013, football historian Gary James discussed the merger plans and told the Manchester Evening News that: “The idea was killed by both clubs before it ever became public.

“I spoke to Eric Alexander whose dad Albert was chairman at the time, and he said Frank Johnson, who came up with the idea, often came up with crazy ideas.

“Another of his plans was to make the entire league regionalised into north and south.

“But City were at a real low in their history at the time. In terms of league position, it wasn’t as bad as 1998-99, but in terms of general morale, atmosphere and support it was by far the lowest point in the club’s history.

“In the late Nineties, we still had over 30,000 going to games, and that meant the club still had a high profile. In 1964-65 we were in the second division, support had dropped to a low of less than 15,000, and general interest in the club had also dropped.

“I always believed in the Nineties that City would come back, because of the strength of the support, but in those days in the Sixties a lot of people didn’t feel that way.

“At that time, a lot of the ‘town’ clubs like Bolton, Burnley and Blackpool, who had all been major powers, began to struggle, and clubs like Accrington Stanley and Bradford Park Avenue were dying.

"There was a feeling that this could happen to any club. In fact, all it needed at City was a plan and a vision, and to bring in the right manager.”

Ultimately, that is what happened as Joe Mercer was appointed as City boss in 1965 and immediately took them back to the First Division.

By his fourth year in charge, City were champions of England for the second time in their history.

Don't miss a thing with our football updates!

Want to be on the ball with all of the latest football news?

Well then sign up for the brilliant Daily Star football email newsletter!

From the latest transfer news to the agenda-setting stories, get it all in your email inbox – don't miss a thing.

How do you sign up?

It only takes a matter of seconds.

Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article and hit 'subscribe'.

And that's it, job done. You'll receive an email with all of the top news stories every single morning.

You can find out more information on our email newsletter on this link here.

They would also go on to win the FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup under the stewardship of Mercer.

Meanwhile, rivals Manchester United became the first English club to win the European Cup when they beat Benfica at Wembley in 1968.

Source: Read Full Article