Rooney fired as manager after 15 games at second-tier Birmingham
BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — England great Wayne Rooney was fired as the manager of second-tier club Birmingham on Tuesday after 15 games.
Rooney earned only two wins since his controversial appointment in October. Birmingham was sixth in the Championship when he started, and has fallen to 20th.
The club was taken over last summer by a company owned by American businessman Tom Wagner, and it got rid of popular coach John Eustace, who had been in charge for 15 months and steered the club away from relegation.
“Birmingham City has today parted company with manager Wayne Rooney and first-team coach Carl Robinson,” the club said in a statement. “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.”
Birmingham lost at Leeds 3-0 on Monday, and supporters called for the removal of Rooney, the former Manchester United and England striker.
NFL great Tom Brady became a minority owner of the club in August.
Rooney thanked Wagner, Brady and club CEO Garry Cook for the opportunity but said he wasn't given enough time.
“Football is a results business — and I recognize they have not been at the level I wanted them to be,” Rooney's statement read. “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.”
The 38-year-old Rooney added that it “will take me some time to get over this setback” but that he eventually will “prepare for the next opportunity in my journey as a manager.”
He had joined Birmingham in early October after one full season in charge at D.C. United in Major League Soccer. Rooney previously was manager of second-tier Derby.
Birmingham last played in the Premier League in 2011, the same year it won the English League Cup — one of two major trophies the club has captured in its 148-year history.
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