Sports editor Lucy Blitz reports on Wayne Rooney’s appointment as new manager of Birmingham City FC.

Sports Editor and Writer. Mainly talking about the WSL, the Premier League, and all things cricket.
Images by @Bcfc on Instagram

Former England captain Wayne Rooney has been appointed as the new manager of Birmingham City FC, following John Eustace’s departure earlier this month. 

Rooney signed a three-and-a-half-year contract on Wednesday 11th October, marking the first major change made by new owners Shelby Companies Limited (SCL) since their arrival in July. The championship side are six games into a new season that marks their thirteenth year of attempting to find a way back to the top flight.

Rooney wants to get the team ‘back where it belongs’.

Speaking to BBC Radio West Midlands, Rooney spoke of the ‘challenge’ and the ‘opportunity’ that the Blues face, adding that he wanted to get the team ‘back to where it belongs’. The former Manchester-United player is taking up his third management job, arriving in the West Midlands after a spell with American team DC United that began last year. His departure was mutually agreed with management after the Washington-based team missed the Cup play-offs for a fourth year running. 

Rooney’s coaching career began with Derby County in 2020 after joining as a player-coach, in which time he saved the team from relegation, only to face a chaotic following season that witnessed a 21-point penalty and a transfer embargo.

Birmingham City parted ways with John Eustace on 9th October, despite the club’s positive start to the season, with a statement citing ‘the importance of implementing a winning mentality and a culture of ambition’ across the Championship side. The Blues currently sit sixth in the table heading into the international break and will return to face Middlesborough away from home in what will now be Rooney’s first game in charge. 

Having sat in the Championship for over a decade, City are the longest-serving occupants of the league and have danced with relegation numerous times during their stay – most famously in 2014 and 2017.

The Blues’ new owners will be hoping that Rooney can meet expectations, as the eleventh manager to arrive at the club.

The club made headlines earlier this year after American owners SLC took the reins in July, quickly followed by the news that seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady had become a minority owner of the Championship side in August. The announcement came after several American stars made investments into English football clubs, including the likes of LeBron James and Justin Thomas.

The Blues’ new owners will be hoping that Rooney can meet expectations, as he is the eleventh manager to arrive at the club since they last held a place in the Premier League. However, speaking with Richard Wilford, the former-Everton star explained that he has no problem with the pressure’ he faces, instead relishing the opportunity to ‘build Birmingham back up’.

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