The club's most successful period was in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when they won the League Championship, FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup under the management team of Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison.
After losing the 1981 FA Cup Final, the club went through a period of decline, culminating in relegation to the third tier of English football for the only time in their history in 1998.
Kevin Keegan replaced Royle as manager in the close season, and achieved an immediate return to the top division as the club won the 2001–02 Division One championship, breaking club records for the number of points gained and goals scored in a season in the process.
City also qualified for European competition for the first time in 25 years.
The takeover was immediately followed by a flurry of bids for high-profile players; the club broke the British transfer record by signing Brazilian international Robinho from Real Madrid for £32.5 million.
Performances were not a huge improvement on the previous season despite the influx of money however, with the team finishing tenth, although they did well to reach the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup.
Continued investment in players followed in successive seasons, and results began to match the upturn in player quality.In the 2003 close season, the club moved to the new City of Manchester Stadium.The first four seasons at the stadium all resulted in mid-table finishes.City were co-founders of the Premier League upon its creation in 1992, but after finishing ninth in its first season they endured three seasons of struggle before being relegated in 1996.After two seasons in Division One, City fell to the lowest point in their history, becoming the second ever European trophy winners to be relegated to their country's third league tier, after 1. After relegation, the club underwent off-the-field upheaval, with new chairman David Bernstein introducing greater fiscal discipline.The club were twice relegated from the top flight in the 1980s (in 19), but returned to the top flight again in 1989 and finished fifth in 19 under the management of Peter Reid.