Rooney hit hard by ‘setback’ after Birmingham City sacking
London, England (AFP) — Wayne Rooney said it would “take some time to get over this setback” after he was sacked as manager of English Football League Championship side Birmingham City on Tuesday after a series of poor results.
The 38-year-old former Manchester United and England star was appointed in October but oversaw just two wins in 15 matches with a 3-0 loss to Leeds United on Monday, their ninth defeat under him, proving the final straw.
Birmingham — who have NFL legend Tom Brady as a minority shareholder — is fighting relegation, slumping to 20th from sixth since Rooney took over.
“Despite their best efforts, results have not met the expectations that were made clear at the outset,” a club statement said.
“Therefore, the board feels that a change in management is in the best interests of the football club.”
Rooney replaced John Eustace, who was sacked just after he had guided Birmingham to two successive wins which propelled them into the play-off places.
“Football is a results business — and I recognise they have not been at the level I wanted them to be,” Rooney said.
“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.
“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 a manager.”
Rooney’s chequered managerial career is in stark contrast to his stellar playing days.
He was credited with doing a decent job at Derby in tricky circumstances.
He saved them from relegation in 2021 — by a point — after four months in the role.
However, his first full season in charge (2021-22) the club was penalised 21 points for being in administration and English Football League breaches, while they were barred from dealing in the transfer market.
Although they made a decent fight of it, they were relegated to the third tier League One and Rooney left in June 2022 with the club still in administration.
His next destination was the USA, joining Major League Soccer club DC United, where he was once a player, in July 2022.
They finished bottom of the Eastern Conference, but they improved in the 2023 campaign, finishing 12th.
His overall record, though, as a manager is unimpressive with just 41 victories and 73 defeats in 152 matches.