In a significant development for Birmingham City Football Club, former Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has been appointed as the new manager of the Championship club.
This announcement was made on Wednesday, marking the beginning of a new era for the club. Rooney has agreed to a three-and-a-half-year contract, stepping in to replace John Eustace, who was relieved of his duties despite guiding Birmingham to a respectable sixth place in the Championship this season.
Wayne Rooney, fresh off his departure from Major League Soccer side DC United last week, will now be entrusted with leading Birmingham City’s campaign for promotion to the Premier League.
The 37-year-old former star expressed his enthusiasm about the opportunity, stating, “I am absolutely delighted to be joining Birmingham City at such an exciting time. It is very clear that they have a plan and are committed to realizing their ambition for the club.”
Rooney continued, “We are fully aligned on what is expected. I have been building my managerial career, and 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.”
Joining Wayne Rooney on his coaching staff are former England teammate Ashley Cole, currently the assistant coach for England Under-21s, and John O’Shea, who serves as the assistant coach for the Republic of Ireland. Additionally, Carl Robinson and Pete Shuttleworth, who both worked with Rooney at DC United, will be making the move to St Andrew’s.
Birmingham co-owner Tom Wagner expressed confidence in Rooney’s abilities, saying, “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.”
Rooney’s previous managerial stint in the Championship was with Derby County between November 2020 and June 2022. Unfortunately, he was unable to prevent Derby County’s relegation to the third tier in 2022 after the club was deducted 21 points for entering administration and financial breaches.
During his illustrious playing career, Rooney was a sensation with Everton before joining Manchester United in 2004. He went on to become United’s all-time leading goalscorer and won numerous titles, including five Premier League championships, the Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup, and three League Cups.
Tom Wagner, reflecting on Rooney’s vast experience at the highest level, expressed confidence that it would reinvigorate Birmingham City, a club that last graced the Premier League in 2011.
Wagner stated, “His playing philosophy will help to realize the ambitions we have set for Birmingham City. Wayne has been preparing for an opportunity like this since he embarked on his coaching education while still a player at Manchester United. He and his staff have the full support of the Board and everyone at the football club.”
In July, US-based Shelby Companies Limited completed a takeover of Birmingham City, with seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady becoming a minority owner in the club. This development underlines the club’s ambition to secure a place in the Premier League.
Rooney acknowledged the club’s potential, saying, “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.”
The appointment of Wayne Rooney as Birmingham City’s new manager has ignited hopes and expectations among fans, as the club aims to make a triumphant return to the Premier League under his leadership.