Birmingham City confirm managerial decision amid Wayne Rooney speculation

The former Manchester United striker is expected to take charge at St Andrew's.
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Birmingham City have confirmed they have parted company with manager John Eustace, amid speculation that Wayne Rooney is about to take over the managerial role at St Andrew’s.

The ex-Manchester United forward left his position as DC United boss on Saturday following 15 months in charge of the MLS side, and said he felt it was the ‘right time’ to move on. Rooney also claimed he had nothing ‘lined up’ but reports over the weekend claimed he is about to become Birmingham’s new boss.

That speculation will only increase following Eustace’s exit from the Blues. In a statement on Monday, Birmingham said: “It is essential that the Board of Directors and the football management are fully aligned on the importance of implementing a winning mentality and a culture of ambition across the entire Football Club. With this in mind, Birmingham City has today parted company with Head Coach, John Eustace.

“Eustace departs after 15 months in charge, having helped to stabilise and strengthen the Club on the pitch following his appointment in July 2022. In his first season at the helm, he guided the team to a 17th-place finish, securing Sky Bet Championship status with three games remaining.

“During his time at St. Andrew’s, he galvanised the squad to deliver a number of memorable moments in testing circumstances. The Club would like to thank John for his contribution. His dedication and work ethic was evident throughout his time in B9 and he will always be welcomed back to St. Andrew’s.

“A new First Team Manager will be announced in the coming days who will be responsible for creating an identity and clear ‘no fear’ playing style that all Birmingham City teams will adopt and embrace. The Club will be issuing no further comment at this time.”

The decision to remove Eustace is particularly surprising given the excellent job he he did while in charge of the Blues. Despite a backdrop of off-the-field turmoil, Eustace ensured Birmingham retained their Championship status last season, guided the club to a 17th-place finish and their highest points tally since 2016. After 11 matches this campaign, Birmingham currently sit sixth in the Championship.

After years of stagnation, Birmingham were the subject of a US takeover by Knighthead Capital Management LLC, with ex-American Football star Tom Brady becoming a minority owner in the club in August. The by the American owners to replace Eustace has been mixed - at best - among the club's fanbase.