By Daniel Edu
Former Manchester United star Wayne Rooney has been appointed as the new manager of Championship club Birmingham. Rooney has signed a three-and-a-half-year contract to take over from John Eustace at St Andrew’s after leaving Major League Soccer side DC United last week.
Eustace, who was in charge for just 15 months, was dismissed despite leading Birmingham to sixth place in the Championship this season. Rooney is now expected to lead the team in their bid for promotion to the Premier League.
Rooney expressed his excitement about the new role, saying, “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.”
He added, “It’s a project that gives me a sense of purpose, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Rooney’s backroom staff at Birmingham will include his former England teammate Ashley Cole, who currently serves as the assistant coach for England Under-21s, and John O’Shea, the assistant coach of the Republic of Ireland. Carl Robinson and Pete Shuttleworth, who worked with Rooney at DC United, will also join the coaching team at St Andrew’s.
Birmingham’s co-owner, Tom Wagner, expressed confidence in Rooney’s abilities, stating, “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 previously managed in the Championship with Derby County between November 2020 and June 2022, albeit without avoiding relegation to the third tier due to financial issues.
Now, with a new opportunity at Birmingham, Rooney will be looking to use his vast experience at the highest level of football to help the club achieve its ambitions, including returning to the Premier League.
Rooney emphasized his vision for the team, saying, “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.”