Gary Rowett: Birmingham City appoint Burton boss as manager

Gary Rowett
Rowett played 86 games for Birmingham between 1998 and 2000

Burton Albion boss Gary Rowett has been appointed manager of Birmingham City.

The 40-year-old former Blues defender rejoins the Championship club in the wake of Saturday's club record 8-0 home defeat by Bournemouth.

Rowett succeeds Lee Clark, sacked last Monday after two and a quarter years.

Bromsgrove-born Rowett is taking his Burton backroom team of Kevin Summerfield, Kevin Poole and Mark Sale to St Andrew's - all of them former Birmingham players back in the 1990s.

Burton's head of academy Mike Whitlow will take caretaker charge of the Brewers, to be assisted by Ian Sharps and Lee Bell.

Having been appointed on a rolling 12-month contract, Rowett's first match in charge will be the local derby with Wolves at Molineux this Saturday (1 November, 12.15 GMT).

Financially-challenged Blues will go into the game against the Championship's joint leaders having slipped to second from bottom, as a result of Saturday's heaviest defeat for the club in 84 years.

Ex-Birmingham skipper and BBC WM pundit Martin O'Connor on former team-mate
"Gary Rowett has done well at Burton and I hope he can turn the ship around. The more goals went in on Saturday, the more confidence and pride seeped out of the Blues players. There was no leadership."He's got problems upstairs, but he will inherit a fantastic fan base. We're in the doldrums right now, but the hard work will start when he takes over."I'm sure the question Gary would have asked was 'Is there any movement in the loan market?' so that he can now bring in some new players with quality, desire, grit and drive. It needs a fresh impetus."

"I'd like to formally welcome Gary ahead of the start of a new era for Birmingham City," said Blues club director Panos Pavlakis, in a club statement.external-link "I trust all supporters will join me in giving their full backing to our new manager and his backroom staff.

"The board fully understands supporters' frustrations during what has recently been a very difficult period for the football club. As a result, the board will endeavour to improve communication with our loyal supporters moving forward."

Rowett, assistant manager at Burton to Paul Peschisolido before taking charge in March 2012, has twice led his side to the League Two play-offs.

And, in a season when he has already turned down one Championship job at Blackpool, he again has the Brewers handily placed this time round in third.

Burton chairman Ben Robinson told the club website:external-link "After the success Gary has achieved at Burton Albion over the last three years it was inevitable that there would be interest from other clubs.

"Gary is an ambitious young manager and the offer from one of his former clubs playing Championship football was one he wanted to take."

How Blues could do with that sort of money now
When Gary Rowett was sold by Blues to Leicester City for £3.5m in July 2000, it was the highest transfer fee the club had ever received.

Rowett spent two years with Blues as a player under Trevor Francis between 1998 and 2000.

After finishing his playing career at Burton in 2007, he then returned to the Pirelli Stadium as assistant to Peschisolido in 2009 before taking over when the Canadian, husband of former Blues managing director Karren Brady, was sacked.

Rowett initially took over as caretaker boss before being appointed on a permanent basis at the end of the season.

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