The Football League Paper - - ADAM VIRGO -

BIRM­ING­HAM’S new own­ers showed com­plete dis­re­spect for Gary Rowett when they re­placed him with Gian­franco Zola in De­cem­ber.

They didn’t care about where the club was when he took over from Lee Clark. They didn’t care how hard, or how skil­fully, he’d worked to get them into play-off con­tention. All they cared about was hav­ing a big name lead­ing the team out.

Now, with no wins and just three points from six games un­der the ex-Chelsea striker, that de­ci­sion has blown up in their faces big time.

If I was a sup­porter, I’d be fu­ri­ous be­cause ev­ery­thing was in place at Birm­ing­ham. A good sys­tem. Great spirit. Play­ers who re­spected their man­ager.

With the bud­get he’s had, Gary couldn’t go out and sign ready-made play­ers. He had to find rough gems, then bring the best out of them through good coach­ing and man-man­age­ment.

Is Clay­ton Don­ald­son as good as Dwight Gayle? No. But he’s done a great job for the Blues, and that’s thanks to the or­gan­i­sa­tion and be­lief in­stilled by Rowett. Now it seems that’s all been lost.

And what for? A man­ager with one play­off fi­nal to his name who last worked in the Mid­dle East and is out of touch with the Cham­pi­onship?

They’ve made a mas­sive rick and the play­offs now look miles out of reach. That’s a shame for the fans, but it’s ex­actly what the Blues’ own­ers de­serve.

UN­LUCKY: Gary Rowett

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