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From the Archives: The 1943-44 Board Report

Football has, of course, changed a lot over the years and one archive find perhaps illustrates this more than others.

The Manchester City FC 1943-44 Board Report shows the financial incomings and outgoings of a football club during wartime.

The Blues - along with most other clubs - were operating on a shoestring budget as the Second World War raged on.

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It was a triumph that there were any football clubs operating, given the rationing, damaged stadiums and loss of life.

Many players were serving their country in the armed forces, yet football managed to continue.

City had been residents at Maine Road for just 16 years when war broke out and in March 1941, United's Old Trafford ground was bombed during the Manchester Blitz.

The Blues were playing in the North Regional League and occasionally, Maine Road would host vast crowds, such as the 60,000 who attended the game against Blackpool.

But like food, money was scarce so little revenue was taken on the gates. 

Gate receipts totalled less than £11,000 for all of the games played at Maine Road in 1943-44 and player wages (including bonuses) was less than £5,000.

It would be another 12 months or so before the war ended and life returned to something close to normal, though it would take many years for Britain to recover fully.

The report - 75 years old and in fantastic condition - was kindly donated by City fan Michael Bairstow.

If you have anything you'd like to share, the archives team would love to hear from you – they could even end up in a special 125th anniversary official book that will be available later this year.


Do you have a Peter Barnes Trainer in your loft? Or a rare photograph in your garage? If you have any rare City treasures you'd like to share with the Club - we'd like to hear from you! 

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