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Celebrity Football Managers

Jonathan Freedland takes the Long View of celebrity football managers, comparing Mourinho and Guardiola with the Manchester giants of the 1960s.

As pre-season training gets underway and transfer business goes on a-pace Jonathan Freedland takes the Long View of celebrity Football management. The new season will see the clash of several of the world's greatest managers lead by Jose Mourinho of Manchester United and Pep Guardiola of Manchester City.

It was a similar story in Manchester back in the mid 1960s. Matt Busby had been at United since the war building championship winning teams and a formidable reputation. City were languishing in the second division. But with the arrival of Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison, City found a combination to challenge their Manchester rivals. And it really was a case of the Managers being the all important figures. When England won the world cup in 1966 it was Joe Mercer who'd just lead City to the old 2nd Division championship who was part of the BBC Television World Cup panel, endearing himself to the nation by referring to Pele as Peely.

Jonathan is joined by a former City player Paul Hince, Dr Colin Shindler, a screenwriter, academic and fanatic City fan, Sarah Collins who covers the city's sport for BBC local radio and Paul Gilroy of the League Managers Association. They discuss the then and now and the curious way in which - in these two eras - it was the Managers who were in the limelight. Much has changed, not least in terms of global reach, money and the international flavour of the Premiership, but at heart it's the same - the men on the pitch will be playing, and did play, in the shadow of the Celebrity Managers.

Producer: Tom Alban.

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28 minutes