Birmingham City boss: Eustace sacked due to 'misalignment with leadership'

CEO Garry Cook says the timing of Eustace's sacking is to allow the new manager time to work ahead of the January transfer window. Credit: PA

The chief executive of Birmingham City says John Eustace was sacked as the club's head coach after it "became clear that there was a misalignment with the leadership of the Club".

In an open letter to supporters, Garry Cook said that Eustace had "clear ambitions and goals for the season", but "following a series of meetings over a number of months" it was apparent that the ambitions of the owners and the coach did not match. He said, "when this happens, the best thing to do is to part company".

Eustace was sacked as head coach of the club on Monday after 15 months in charge, and despite the side sitting 6th in Championship.

Eustace's team had just beaten West Bromwich Albion 3-1 at St Andrews in a Midlands derby too.

When he took over the club last season, they were among the favourites for relegation. But he helped them to finish 17th, and comfortably avoid the drop.

In his letter, Garry Cook acknowledges Eustace's achievements last season, stating new owners Knighthead, led by American businessman Tom Wagner, would not have invested in the club had it been relegated into League One.

Cook said; "John will be forever remembered for this fact. I speak for all at the Club when wishing him the very best for the future."

John Eustace applauds fans following his side's 3-1 derby win over West Bromwich Albion Credit: PA

The letter also mentioned the timing of the decision, saying it "allows the incoming manager sufficient time to evaluate the playing staff ahead of the January and summer transfer windows."

Cook also told fans that the ownership would continue to invest in facilities, and ended the letter acknowledging the backlash from many fans to Eustace's sacking.

He said; "I do not expect our fans to agree with every decision we take. All I ask is that you keep in mind the Owner's and the Board's commitment to the long-term success of the Club and the desire to create a new and exciting future, the likes of which Birmingham and Birmingham City have never seen before. We cannot keep looking back and referring to what happened in the recent past, we must look forward – the future is bright and we are on the rise again."

Since leaving Birmingham yesterday, Eustace immediately became one of the favourites to take over at Rangers, who sacked Michael Beale last week.

While Wayne Rooney remains the clear favourite to take over at Blues. The club says they will make an announcement on the new manager in the coming days.

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