Birmingham City has sacked manager Harry Redknapp following six straight defeats in all competitions. The 70-year-old took charge of the club with three games remaining last term, winning the final two to avoid relegation from the Championship on the final day. He later signed a one-year deal in May to stay on as Blues boss.
The former Tottenham and Portsmouth boss left St Andrew’s together with his assistant Kevin Bond, but coaches Paul Groves and Kevin Hitchcock are set to stay. He becomes the first managerial casualty of the Championship season this year.
“Unfortunately due to the poor start to the campaign which sees the club second from bottom of the Championship, we are left with no choice but to terminate the contract of the manager with immediate effect… We thank him for all his efforts and wish him good luck for the future. There will be no further comment at this time.” A statement from the blues read.
Redknapp has suffered six defeats from their first eight league games in 2017-18 despite having signed 14 new players during the summer transfer window. Saturday’s 3-1 home loss to Preston was the ex-West Ham and QPR boss’ final match in charge of the Blues.
Redknapp replaced Gianfranco Zola last season and had worked without asking for payment for the three final matches of 2016-17. Birmingham is 23rd in the table after their first eight league games, above only winless, newly promoted Bolton Wanderers. Birmingham’s next match on Saturday, 23 September is away to Rowett’s current side, Derby County.
Former Birmingham captain Martin O’Connor told BBC that he was surprised by the timing of Redknapp’s departure.
“If you don’t get results you’re always on the verge of criticism,” he said. “You can see where the board is coming from but he had just brought all these players in… Whoever steps into the fray has got a team that is not firing on all cylinders. It is going to be a tough job… They need someone long-term now, with a fresh pair of eyes, impetus and philosophy, to try and galvanise the team together.”