Former Manchester United star Wayne Rooney has been appointed as the new manager of Championship club Birmingham.
The announcement was made on Wednesday.
Rooney agreed a three-and-a-half-year contract to replace John Eustace at St Andrew’s after leaving Major League Soccer side DC United last week.
Read club statement below:
Birmingham City Football Club is delighted to announce the appointment of Wayne Rooney as Manager, agreeing terms on a three-and-a-half-year contract.
He starts with immediate effect having recently left his position as Head Coach of Major League Soccer side D.C. United.
Rooney is supported by his former England international teammate Ashley Cole, the current England Under-21s assistant coach, John O’Shea, the assistant coach of the Republic of Ireland men’s national team and Carl Robinson and Pete Shuttleworth who both assisted Rooney at DC United. Shuttleworth was also part of his coaching team at Derby County.
Ashley Cole and John O’Shea will retain their coaching roles with their respective national sides.
Maik Taylor will remain at the Club as Goalkeeper Coach.
The 37-year-old began his full-time managerial journey with Derby County in January 2021. The former England striker steered the Rams to safety in the Sky Bet Championship having taken charge with the club in the relegation zone.
Battling a 21-point deduction in his first full season in charge, Rooney assembled, guided, and galvanised a group of players, primarily from the Academy, to reach an impressive 55 points whilst simultaneously combating multiple club-related issues. He resigned from his position in June 2022, taking the reins in D.C. three weeks later.
Birmingham City Co-Owner and Chairman of the Board, Tom Wagner said: “Wayne is a born winner. We believe, with the support of his coaching staff, the Club, and our supporters, he will take Blues forward on the next stage of our journey. His playing philosophy will help to realise the ambitions we have set for Birmingham City.
“Wayne has been preparing for an opportunity like this since he embarked on his coaching education whilst still a player at Manchester United. He and his staff have the full support of the Board and everyone at the Football Club.”
Birmingham City Chief Executive Officer, Garry Cook, said: “We are incredibly excited by Wayne’s arrival. When the opportunity presents itself to appoint a manager who shares your ambition and is both a student and a great of the game, then you act. This is what we have done.
“We are confident that his appointment, supported by his hand-picked coaching staff, will culminate in a young, attack-minded team that will excite our fans. The timing of the appointment will allow Wayne to evaluate the playing staff and work with Craig Gardner on the squad’s recruitment needs ahead of the January and Summer transfer windows. This is a defining moment for the Football Club.”
Rooney commented: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining Birmingham City Football Club at such an exciting time. It is very clear that they have a plan and are committed to realising their ambition for the club. We are fully aligned on what is expected. I have been building my managerial career, putting myself in challenging environments, to get me ready for this opportunity. It’s a project that gives me a sense of purpose and I can’t wait to get started.
“We have some exciting young players in the squad, and some who are still to break through into the First Team, alongside a core of experienced senior professionals. I have a clear way that I want the team to play, and my coaching staff and I will work hard to implement it. We will create a winning culture here with an identity that gets Blues fans on their feet.
“I’ve played at St. Andrew’s and Birmingham City fans were always loud and passionate about their team. It was a really difficult place to come as an opponent and now I get to experience what it is like to have them behind us. My job is to elevate the Club to the next level and I can’t wait to get started. I know what the expectations are and our job is to deliver.”
Welcome to Blues, Wayne!