Wayne Rooney sacked by Birmingham City after just 15 games as manager

Wayne Rooney has been sacked by Birmingham City after just 15 games in charge of the Championship club.

The former England and Manchester United striker was appointed in October with City sitting sixth in the table but under Rooney the club’s results nosedived and they now find themselves in 20th.

Rooney won just two games out of his 15 in charge, losing nine, and City’s fans turned on the 38-year-old following a dismal 3-0 defeat to Leeds United on New Year’s Day, calling for his immediate sacking.

Rooney was heralded as a statement appointment by Birmingham’s new ownership group - which includes former NFL quarterback Tom Brady - when he replaced John Eustace and the former Derby County and DC United coach was expected to have the club challenging for promotion to the Premier League.

But Eustace was popular with the Birmingham fans and Rooney failed to get those supporters on his side as the club dropped down the table, with the former England captain sacked after just 83 days in charge and City now fighting a relegation battle.

Rooney released a statement shortly after his sacking was confirmed by Birmingham on Tuesday morning and appeared frustrated at a lack of time after he was sacked following just 13 weeks in charge, a spell he said was insufficient.

“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.

“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.

Wayne Rooney managed just two wins in 15 games as Birmingham manager (Getty Images)
Wayne Rooney managed just two wins in 15 games as Birmingham manager (Getty Images)

“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.

“Finally, I wish Birmingham City FC and its owners my best wishes in the pursuit of their ambitions.”

A Birmingham statement confirmed: “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.”

Birmingham’s CEO, Garry Cook, said: “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.”