Manchester City have banned newspapers at their training ground after being stunned by the negative publicity surrounding their appointment of Roberto Mancini as Mark Hughes’ successor.
The club believe the players may be unsettled by the banner headlines and have decided not to allow newspapers into the venue.
City have also have insisted they did not lie to fans over when they approached Mancini to become their new manager.
Mancini revealed on Monday he had met City chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak two weeks ago but club chief executive Garry Cook said negotiations with the Italian only began on Thursday last week – two days before Mark Hughes was sacked.
Cook did state the decision to consider replacing Hughes was taken three weeks ago but fans have contacted City to complain about the club’s conduct.
As a result, City have issued a statement saying Cook “absolutely” did not lie to fans.
The statement said: “Garry Cook and new manager Roberto Mancini together took to the stage to give journalists and, more importantly, our fans the complete picture of the events of the past few days and weeks.
“The outcome was characterised in way which has suggested that the football club and Garry Cook has lied to its fans. Manchester City would like to point out that this is absolutely not the case.”
The statement points out Cook stated during Monday’s press conference that “the decision to look at managerial options was taken only three weeks ago after the Hull game, but I think it is important for people to know that Roberto was only offered the job after the Spurs game; we negotiated on Thursday and finalised his agreement on Friday”.
Mancini, when questioned on when he was first contacted by the club, replied: “Two weeks ago, I met Khaldoon for the first time. But they called me the day after the Tottenham game. Not before.”
The statement adds: “In light of the fact that both Garry Cook’s and Roberto Mancini’s responses are consistent, it is with some surprise that we and our fans read some of today’s reporting.”
It is understood that Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has expressed support for Hughes in a telephone call to the former Red Devils striker following his dismissal.
Meanwhile, Nedum Onuoha has intensified Mancini’s immediate concerns about City’s injury list by being ruled out for up to four weeks.
Mancini’s first game in charge is against Stoke on Boxing Day and he is without two defenders in Joleon Lescott, who has just had minor knee surgery, and Onuoha, who has a calf muscle strain.
Shaun Wright-Phillips and Emmanuel Adebayor may also be missing for the home match.