The club in the second division of the Championship announced on Wednesday that former Manchester United and England star Wayne Rooney has been hired as the new manager of Birmingham City on a deal that will last for three and a half years.
Rooney, a former head coach for DC United, will take over for John Eustace, who was fired on Monday with the Midlands club sitting in sixth position in the standings, 12 points behind runaway leaders Leicester City. Rooney will replace John Eustace.
“In order to prepare myself for this opportunity, I have been building my managerial career and putting myself in environments that are challenging.” “It’s a project that makes me feel like I’m contributing to something bigger than myself, and I can’t wait to get started on it,” Rooney said in a statement.
“I have a certain vision for the way I want the club to play, and my coaching staff and I are going to put in a lot of effort to make that happen. We are going to establish a culture of success here together with an identity that will have Blues fans on their feet.
Rooney will be assisted in his coaching responsibilities by former teammates Ashley Cole and John O’Shea of both Manchester United and England. Cole and O’Shea will continue to serve as assistant coaches for the England under-21 squad and the Ireland senior team, respectively.
Last Monday, Rooney, who is 37 years old, resigned from his position as manager of the Major League Soccer (MLS) club DC United after the team failed to qualify for the MLS Cup playoffs for the fourth year in a row.
Rooney had a 17-month tenure as manager of Derby County prior to his time with DC United. During that time, his club racked up 55 points, which was good enough for survival at the time, but they were demoted to the third tier of the league because points were removed due to financial difficulties.
“Wayne has been preparing for an opportunity like this since he embarked on his coaching education while he was still a player at Manchester United,” Birmingham chairman and co-owner Tom Wagner said. “Wayne has been preparing for an opportunity like this since he was still a player at Manchester United.”
“He and his staff have the full support of the Board and everyone at the football club.”
Rooney finished his playing career at Manchester United having scored 253 goals for the club, as well as having won five Premier League championships and the Champions League while playing for the Old Trafford side. Additionally, he contributed 53 goals to England’s national team throughout his career.
18 points after 11 matches is a respectable total for Birmingham, who were promoted to the Premier League for the first time in 2011. On October 21, they will play their next game away, which will be at Middlesbrough.