Back on December 14 2016, Championship side Birmingham City confirmed that they had sacked manager Gary Rowett.
The Englishman took over at St Andrew’s a few years earlier after impressing greatly at Burton Albion, helping take the Brewers away from the foot of the Football League to the League Two play-off final in 2014, albeit he wasn’t able to lead them to promotion.
Nonetheless, the 44-year-old continued his fine work at Birmingham between 2014 and 2016, with his sacking very much coming out of the blue, and certainly riling several Blues supporters on Twitter…
bucnh of clowns the lot of you. Any answers as to why?
— Kieran (@kierancorcoran1) December 14, 2016
this has gotta be a joke!!!!
— Charlotte (@charl2018) December 14, 2016
The day Birmingham City lost the plot. This is ridiculous and after everything Gary has achieved in a short space of time.
— Blues Forever (@ahawkins628) December 14, 2016
wonder why i support this club sometimes what an utter disgrace wish gr good luck in the future 1 of the best managers ever seen here
— Luke Harper (@LukeHarper777) December 14, 2016
Just when I didn’t think 2016 could get any worse
— Keeping Right On – BCFC Fan Page (@KeepingRightOn) December 14, 2016
Really shocked by the decision to part company with Gary Rowett. He has done an amazing job for our club. Gutted
— Lisa Green (@LoobyGreenbags) December 14, 2016
biggest test of owners, need updates and reasons if you want trust placed in you !! 3 days to make it right or empty ground for Sky !
— Mick Hart (@Bluebrum13) December 14, 2016
WHY HAVE YOU DONE THIS
— Drew (@_drewrafton) December 14, 2016
THIS BETTER BE A WIND UP
— High Energy Brownie (@VivaBrownie) December 14, 2016
And given the excellent job Rowett did during his time at the Midlands club, alongside the fine work and the jobs he has got following his departure from Birmingham, those Blues fans were absolutely right to be fuming with the club’s frankly absurd decision.
Ultimately, the 44-year-old earned the role at Birmingham after excelling at Burton, and he continued that fine work at the Pirelli Stadium into his role at St Andrew’s, taking over the Blues in October 2014 with the club sat second-bottom in the Championship, and having just lost 8-0 to Bournemouth in their most recent league clash.
Yet Rowett steered the club away from danger by expertly leading them to the dizzy heights of tenth place come the end of the campaign, with his team going on to lose just eight of their 32 Championship matches under the Englishman that term – it was quite the transformation.
Yet what was even more impressive was that Rowett’s men backed that up the season after by again finishing in tenth place – this all after spending very little money during the summer, and indeed losing star man Demarai Gray in the January transfer window to eventual Premier League champions Leicester City.
And the Blues were again well-placed to challenge for the play-offs when Rowett was relieved of his duties in December 2016, what with his team having beaten Ipswich Town the day earlier to sit seventh in the Championship – the club haven’t been that high since then.
And with Gianfranco Zola coming in and doing a woeful job, leaving the club with three games of the season left and relegation a distinct possibility, the decision to part with Rowett was baffling to begin with, and became even more absurd as time went on.
And to underline just how highly-rated the 44-year-old is in the management game, he took over at promotion-chasing Derby County in March 2017 and led them to the play-offs last season, before joining recently-relegated Stoke City during the summer in their quest to secure an immediate return to the Premier League.
Thus, while Birmingham have stood still and on the whole struggled since Rowett’s departure, the man himself continues to raise his stock and make a name for himself in management (even if his time at Stoke hasn’t quite got going yet).
As such, as if it wasn’t clear enough on the day that sacking Rowett was ridiculous, it has been made to look even more absurd as time has gone on.
Birmingham fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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