Middlesbrough begin legal action against Birmingham City and four backroom staff

St Andrew's, home of Birmingham City
Birmingham City are 20th in the Championship, while Middlesbrough are fifth

Middlesbrough have started legal action against fellow Championship club Birmingham City and four of Blues manager Garry Monk's backroom staff.

Monk, sacked by Boro after just six and a half months in charge on 23 December, was appointed by Blues on 4 March.

Blues also recruited James Beattie, Darryl Flahavan, Sean Rush and Ryan Needs, who were all with Monk at Boro.

But Boro say that a contract clause should have prevented them from working together again until 28 December.

The case is now scheduled to be dealt with in London's High Court between 22 June and 5 July.

Neither club chose to comment on the impending case when contacted by BBC Sport, while Monk did likewise at a press conference on Thursday.

Ex-Southampton, Blackburn and England striker Beattie joined the backroom staff at St Andrew's as coach after working with former Swansea, Leeds and Boro boss Monk in all three of his previous managerial roles.

Former Southend goalkeeper Flahavan, who also worked under Monk at Leeds and Boro, is now Blues' goalkeeping coach.

The case will also involve Rush, who was Boro's head of physical performance, and Needs, who was head of physical performance analysis.

Monk's other main backroom man Pep Clotet is not involved. Although he worked with Monk at Swansea and Leeds, he did not go with him to Middlesbrough and instead took up the role as boss of Oxford United, from which he was sacked in January.

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