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Birmingham City sack manager Rooney amid winless run

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Wayne Rooney has been dismissed as the manager of Birmingham City after less than three months in the role, the second-tier Championship club said on Wednesday, after a winless run left them hovering above the relegation zone.

Rooney was appointed Birmingham manager in October when the club were sixth in the table, but they have since fallen to 20th place, six points above the relegation zone.

After Rooney took charge, the club lost nine of their 15 matches, winning only two. They have been winless in their last five outings.

“Birmingham City has today parted company with manager, Wayne Rooney and first team coach Carl Robinson,” the club said in a statement.

“Despite their best efforts, results have not met the expectations that were made clear at the outset. Therefore, the board feels that a change in management is in the best interests of the Football Club.”

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Rooney took over from John Eustace after resigning as coach of Major League Soccer (MLS) club DC United, signing a three-and-a-half-year contract.

“I would like to thank Tom Wagner, Tom Brady and Garry Cook for the opportunity to manage Birmingham City FC and the support they all gave me during my short period with the club,” Rooney said in a statement.

“Football is a results business – and I recognise they have not been at the level I wanted them to be. However, time is the most precious commodity a manager requires and I do not believe 13 weeks was sufficient to oversee the changes that were needed.

“Personally, it will take me some time to get over this setback. I have been involved in professional football, as either a player or manager, since I was 16. Now, I plan to take some time with my family as I prepare for the next opportunity in my journey as a manager.”

The club said its professional development coach Steve Spooner will take charge on an interim basis.

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Prior to his stint with DC United, Rooney had a 17-month spell in charge of Derby County where his team collected 55 points — enough for survival — but were relegated to the third tier after a points deduction amid financial trouble.

-Reuters

 

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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