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Birmingham finally appoint a new head coach

Birmingham City have finally chosen to appoint a new head coach, replacing Pep Clotet who left prior to the end of the 2019/20 season.

He will come in as Pep Clotet’s replacement, the Spaniard left as head coach on the 8th of July following a 3-1 defeat by Swansea, after initially being set to see out the campaign.

The St Andrew’s side failed to win a game since the restart of the Championship season, picking up just three points from a possible 27 to finish two places and two points above the relegation spots.

That man is Aitor Karanka, a former manager of Middlesbrough between 2013 and 2017, taking them up by finishing as Championship runner up in the 2015/16 season.

Though he got the chop in March 2017 after being winless in their last 10 Premier League games and sitting in the relegation zone, three points from safety with 11 games remaining.

Just under a year later, he then took charge of Nottingham Forest, though in January 2019, he departed the club after having asked to be released from his contract; he left the team in seventh position, four points behind the play-off places.

Aitor Karanka has previously rejected an offer to take over at Birmingham in 2017, though he chooses to take over this time around.

He hasn’t been in the top six bookies favourites for the job until this week, with him topping the Sky Bet odds at 4/9. The manager had been in ‘advanced talks’ with becoming the new Birmingham boss two days ago, though at the time he was also in the running at La Liga side Valencia.


Middlesbrough – 13 November 2013 until 16 March 2017 – 171 games, 80 wins, 42 draws, 49 defeats, 46.8 % win

Nottingham Forest – 8 January 2018 until 11 January 2019 – 52 games, 16 wins, 19 draws, 17 defeats, 30.8 % win

Total – 223 games, 96 wins, 61 draws, 66 defeats, 43.0 % win


2013/14: 12th (half a Championship season)
2014/15: 4th (lost playoff final to Norwich)
2015/16: 2nd (promoted from the Championship)
2016/17: Sacked at 19th in the Premier League
2017/18: 17th (half a Championship season)
2019/20: 7th (half a Championship season)

He is recognised at Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest as a good manager who prefers to playing a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Karanka, who has signed a three-year contract, said: “I’m delighted to be joining a club with the history and fan base that Birmingham City has.

“I share the excitement and determination of everyone here to start working together on all the challenges that lie ahead.

“I want to thank the Board for their willingness and the strong interest they showed in making me the Head Coach of this project.”

Dong Ren, Blues CEO, commented: “I would like to give Aitor a very warm welcome to Birmingham City Football Club.

“We have followed his career for a number of years and throughout that time he has always been of prime consideration for the Head Coach position.

“So we are delighted that Aitor has now joined us and we look forward to working with him for the coming season ahead and future.”

There was a huge amount of reaction as Birmingham finally appoint a new head coach…

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