Tom Brady, Wayne Rooney and Birmingham relegated: How Blues return to League One with off-field comeback | Football News

New investor Tom Wagner and seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady were greeted with plaudits when they visited Birmingham City for the first time last summer, and after years of turmoil, things are finally looking up for B9 Be optimistic.

A last-minute penalty had just beaten promotion hopeful Leeds United, the second game of a five-game unbeaten start to the season. After 10 games, Birmingham beat local rivals West Brom 3-1 to finish fifth in front of their largest home crowd before the outbreak.

A dilapidated area of ​​St Andrew’s Ground that had fallen into such disrepair that the entire stand was closed last season has now reopened and is sparkling. The old broken shower in the family dressing room has finally been repaired. The players’ tunnel is decorated with inspirational quotes and pictures. Finally, the house felt like home again.

Highlights from the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham and Norwich.

“We are not here for the short term, but for the long term,” said new club president Wagner after their first home win of the season. “All our decisions are made with an eye on what is best for the club in the long term. ”

Football is never simple. Good times rarely last long and words come easily. But even with the unnecessary help of deja vu, it’s a phrase that will come back to haunt Wagner, Brady and Birmingham sooner than anyone could imagine.

Tom Brady was pictured posing with Birmingham fans at a local pub the night before his first visit to St Andrews in August

Despite beating play-off play-off side Norwich City on the last day, they are now relegated to the third tier for the first time in almost 30 years.

To paraphrase Birmingham fan Mike Skinner, how did it come to this?

That game against West Brom would prove to be John Eustace’s last in charge. It would be unfair to blame solely what happened next on the decision to replace him with Wayne Rooney, whose short career showed signs of promise but also worrying moments. But it sowed many seeds of destruction.

The new superstar owner appears to have a similar design for the role of head coach, thus bringing in one of the most recognizable faces in football this century. But suitability for the primary role of player-coach at Birmingham may not have been given as much consideration as it should have been. Soon, the results began to show this.

“The new boss asked for patience and trust,” recalls sky sports news Senior reporter Rob Dorsett. “Their rationale is clear: in order to compete with the big clubs, Birmingham need to broaden their commercial base and increase their revenue streams.

“Rooney, as a global sporting icon, and another of Brady’s idols, can help achieve this goal. New chief executive Gary Cook, who previously served at Manchester City, and director of football Craig Gardner believe Rooney can also help achieve this goal. This can be achieved.

Wayne Rooney says his main aim as Birmingham City manager is a return to the Premier League but he has only been in charge for 15 games

Rooney did, albeit not in the way his new owners had hoped. Just one win from his first nine games, combined with growing public doubts about his players’ aspirations, dampened the positive spirit around St Andrews. He appealed for patience as they were quickly replaced by boos – but even he couldn’t deny that he understood the fans’ frustration.

“My job is to improve them as players, so over the next six months we hope there will be changes because you want to bring players in but players will leave,” he said on one of the worst outcomes – said the dull 0 queen.

Six months is optimistic considering his drastic decline in dominance at Birmingham. Dropping from fifth to 20th in 15 games was enough to rattle Brady and Wagner and they had to do something.

There are clear similarities between Rooney’s appointment and that of Gianfranco Zola at his old club Birmingham City Trillion Cup Asia. Like Rooney, he replaced a popular manager – then Gary Rowett – who had the team fighting for promotion.

Sky Sports News’ Rob Dorsett explains why Birmingham chiefs decided to sack manager Wayne Rooney after just 15 games

Like Rooney, Zola was a complete disaster. Rooney left the team less than three months ago on a three-and-a-half-year contract that is said to be worth about £5 million.

Dorsett added: “It comes as a significant relief for Rooney, who has faced a baptism of fire and a series of injury problems that have hit his side hard. “But Birmingham turned to the experienced Toni “Mowbray’s safe hand. He can certainly steady the ship.”

Mowbray has been harshly dealt with in recent roles, having left Blackburn and most recently Sunderland, with both teams on the brink of the play-offs – so no one can say he’s unfamiliar with Birmingham’s recent woes .

He served as a firefighter in Coventry and Blackburn and made an immediate impact in both roles. Sure enough, 10 points from the next six games, including back-to-back wins against his last two teams, moved them back to 15th, six points ahead of the bottom three.

But then another moment struck — one that made Birmingham’s downfall more complicated than any one specific incident.

Tony Mowbray scored 10 points in his first six games before being forced to take an unexpected medical leave with a serious problem

Two days after he entered the dugout to orchestrate a win over Sunderland, Mowbray required treatment serious enough that he would ultimately miss the end of the season, but this has not yet been publicly disclosed.

“The club tried to bide its time in the hope that Mowbray would recover after a difficult period, but the decline on the pitch continued without a permanent manager,” Dorsett said after a disastrous point Said later.

“Management had no choice but to make another managerial change, with Reuter returning to the club to take charge of the final eight games in an attempt to salvage their season and avoid a drop into the First Division.”

The irony of Reuter’s return and the manner in which he took over a sinking ship at the end of his first spell in charge was not lost on him.

But Birmingham need to act quickly and Rowett has been out of work since being sacked by Millwall in October.

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Despite his tremendous efforts, he ultimately failed to keep the team in the championship game.

“Even with relegation, there’s still a strange feeling around St Andrews,” Dorsett added. “If you asked most fans if they would trade where they are now with where they were a year ago, most people would still let your hand go.

Last month, Knightshead unveiled ambitious plans for a brand-new 60,000-seat stadium and new commercial ventures, even as the club are in the midst of a relegation battle. They say these plans will remain in place even if the club gives up. Development plans will also continue into League One.

“It’s this promise of a brighter future that makes the short-term pain of potential relegation sweet enough for fans to endure.”

Of course, only Birmingham fans who were particularly keen on Shrewsbury and trips to Exeter would look forward to relegation to Division One, but after years of misery on and off the pitch, at least one of them now looks bright.

Wagner and Brady appear to be walking the talk, though some of their early blunt comments may have been premature. So even though their title reign is over, the club’s future still looks bright.

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