Wayne Rooney has been sacked as Birmingham City boss after a disastrous 15-game spell.
The former Manchester United forward was brought in to replace John Eustace in October with the Blues then sixth in the Championship having made an impressive start to the season.
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He leaves with the club in 20th place, just two above the relegation zone, following a 3-0 defeat at Leeds on New Year’s Day which saw the Birmingham fans chant their desire for Rooney to “get out of their club”.
Wins over Sheffield Wednesday and Cardiff were the only bright spots as Rooney’s brief to play “no fear football” failed to materialise.
A club statement read: “Birmingham City has today parted company with manager, Wayne Rooney, and first-team coach Carl Robinson.
“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.
“The club’s board and management are fully aligned and will continue to drive transformation and take bold steps to rebuild Birmingham City into the organisation its fans and community deserve.
“The board would like to place on record their sincere thanks to Wayne and Carl for all of their efforts.”
Club statement: Wayne Rooney
— Birmingham City FC (@BCFC) January 2, 2024
Chief executive officer Garry Cook added: “We are committed to doing what is necessary to bring success to St. Andrew’s.
“Unfortunately, Wayne’s time with us did not go as planned and we have decided to move in a different direction.
“The search for a successor begins with immediate effect and we will update supporters when we have further news.”
The move leaves Rooney’s coaching future in question. He did a decent job at Derby County under difficult circumstances before moving to DC United where he again showed signs of promise before quitting following the franchise’s failure to make the 2023 MLS play-offs.
Eustace will be among the leading candidates to replace Rooney although co-owner Tom Wagner may reprise his desire to see a big name in charge and look elsewhere.
The club’s professional development coach Steve Spooner will take charge on an interim basis.