Wayne Rooney taken aback as Birmingham City sack him as manager

Former England star says three months not enough to judge his performance as Championship club wield axe after poor run

Birmingham City have parted ways with Wayne Rooney. Reuters
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Wayne Rooney expressed his surprise after he was dismissed as manager of Championship club Birmingham City on Tuesday, less than three months after his appointment.

Rooney was named 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.

The former Manchester United and England striker managed just two wins in 15 games following his appointment at St Andrew's.

Supporters called for Rooney's removal as the side slumped to a 3-0 defeat at Leeds on New Year's Day.

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 board would like to place on record their sincere thanks to Wayne and Carl for all of their efforts."

However, Rooney said that while he understood the importance of results, three months is not enough to judge a manager.

"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," Rooney said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

"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 manager."

Birmingham, however, are planning to move forward quickly.

Chief executive 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."

Updated: January 02, 2024, 11:51 AM