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Birmingham CEO Garry Cook explains decision to sack John Eustace after backlash from fans

Birmingham CEO Garry Cook explains decision to sack John Eustace after backlash from fans 24 hours after the announcement was made.

The Blues parted company with head coach John Eustace on Monday after 15 months in charge.

The Championship outfit currently sit sixth in the table after winning 3-1 against rivals West Brom on Friday.

The American-owned club are now being linked with Wayne Rooney, who has just left his role as coach of Major League Soccer side DC United.


A letter to Birmingham City supporters from Garry Cook, CEO.

Yesterday morning I met with John Eustace in Birmingham and shared the reasons for the decision to part company. I thanked John for his hard work. I also told him that every Blues fan will be forever grateful for keeping the Club in the Sky Bet Championship last year. Tom Wagner expressed to him when they spoke later in the day that if we had been relegated, Knighthead would not have invested in Birmingham. John will be forever remembered for this fact. I speak for all at the club when wishing him the very best for the future.

There is never a good time to make such a decision. You need to process all of the opinions and reach the best outcome for the future. Tom Wagner has been very clear with the ownership’s ambition for Birmingham City. It is to make the Club a beacon for sporting excellence and to proudly be at the centre of Birmingham’s community. There is a plan and every decision we take is with the Club’s best interests at heart.

John had clear ambitions and goals for the season. Unfortunately, following a series of meetings over a number of months, it became clear that there was a misalignment with the leadership of the Club. When this happens, the best thing to do is to part company.

The timing of the decision allows the incoming manager sufficient time to evaluate the playing staff ahead of the January and summer transfer windows.

In a short period, the Owners, Board Members and Club leadership have overseen the start of a transformation that not even the most optimistic Blues fan would have considered possible. And this is just the beginning.

A tired and derelict St. Andrew’s is in the process of being transformed. We are investing and delivering a high-performance infrastructure to enable all of our teams to compete at the highest levels. By the end of the year, nearly 30,000 supporters will be back in the stadium. We have invested in Premier League quality pitches and facilities at St. Andrew’s, EPIC and Wast Hills Training Ground. We are investing in our medical department and we are making important strides to improve the fan experience in hospitality, ticketing, and the Blues Store.

The recruitment of talent is vital. The team is now supported through data-enhanced decision making, with a player identification system in place enabling them to unearth hidden gems that strengthen the team and plan effectively for future transfer windows. In addition, we are increasing our investment in the Academy which is a cornerstone of the Club. This will ensure that we continue to attract and develop the best young players in our region.

We have built a facility at St. Andrew’s called The Alliance which enables us to showcase who we are to global brands interested in becoming our partner, driving much-needed revenue into the Club that will be reinvested. And we continue to improve the matchday experience by adding mobile kiosks so fans have easier access to pre-game and half-time refreshments. We know our supporters have long deserved more and we are committed to making additional changes.

The Owners and Board Members are ambitious. They are driven to help make Birmingham City a football powerhouse. It will not happen overnight. It is a step-by-step approach. We are well aware of what has happened at Blues over the past decade. We believe we have moved on from those dark days giving hope and aspiration to existing and new fans. Our intent is to be judged over what we do in the years to come and be ambitious with the new story that we are writing.

Creating a winning culture in an organisation that has been on its back foot for a number of years is not easy. My executive team are aware that we are aspiring to be world class, but it takes more than words. Birmingham City Football Club needs world-class professionals across every department, to enhance our performance on and off the pitch. Experienced people who know how to be successful and are driven by winning. We are not going to stop identifying and adding such talent to help us realise our ambition.

I do not expect our fans to agree with every decision we take. All I ask is that you keep in mind the Owner’s and the Board’s commitment to the long-term success of the Club and the desire to create a new and exciting future, the likes of which Birmingham and Birmingham City have never seen before. We cannot keep looking back and referring to what happened in the recent past, we must look forward – the future is bright and we are on the rise again.

Keep Right On,

Garry Cook

So, the Birmingham CEO Garry Cook explains his decision to sack John Eustace after backlash from fans, this is the response online…

@ChrisCOB_OB: Can’t knock the board, move on respect it and as they’ve taken a risk on our club and want the best for it. Gotta respect it and look forward 💙

@danperks05: You know what Garry fair enough, we move forward

@zdpj_: No complaints with this whatsoever. Time for everyone to back them.

@LeeW1875: Spot on!! As the Brummie coat of arms says…. “Forward” we don’t look back anymore!!!

@KieranBcfc89: “World Class Professionals across all areas”………. Wayne Rooney as manager 😵‍💫

@NorthBSHA: Fair play to him, we’ve gotta back them despite what we all think

@BluenoseDanny: A lot of this would make sense if it wasn’t Wayne Rooney coming in…

@DarkoSats: If we want a winning culture at blues then I hope you hold the high standards you have set for every manager you hire.

@R_1875: I would 100% agree with this if he was going to bring in a manager with prowess and winning experience at this level or higher, but he ain’t…

@ElliottG1810: Would like to see Eustace’s statement

@shaw_dje: Can’t fault that response. Embrace the new era of the club. Time has gone for bashing the board. Now we have to get behind all of the team from top to bottom. If changes need to made then we have to trust in the process and the project. As always #KRO #BCFC #SOTV

@DarrenSmith1975: Fair play to him for coming out and explaining the decision, hopefully it turns out to be the correct decision only time will tell, but it is difficult to stop looking backwards when things have been like that for a long time, hopefully this time things change for the better KRO

@Kieranbcfc2: Fair play, given us the communication we desired. Still unsure Rooney is ‘World Class’ but will obviously back jt. Utb

@nathancarty112: Still not convinced on Rooney however I respect Tom and everyone’s judgement they obviously want best the statement was probably a very good idea I will back them to move the Club forward kro #Bcfc

@Zanif3sixteen: Whether you agree or disagree, at least there is comprehensive communication with us. Something we’ve asked for for a long, long time

@_JamieDonaghy: I’m sold. Get Rooney in 🙄 In all seriousness, although I believe Eustace deserved more time, I’m not against the change. Prior to the Huddersfield game, our form had been woeful and probably the reason for his sacking. I just don’t see Rooney as the answer. I hope I’m wrong.

@JimDeanAsh: We’ve come a long way from owners offering fans fights in car parks. This is the communication we wanted and asked for. This is a statement of intent. I’m fully behind Tom Wagner, Garry Cook and the board to crack on. The vision is clear. #BCFC

@CallumInsull: Clearly no messing about from the board. While most fans don’t agree with the decision, Garry Cook acknowledges this and we move on as a club. Communication is all that’s needed. The future is bright, up the Blues. #BCFC

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