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Mowbray Takes Leave of Absence Until Pre-Season
Tuesday, 19th Mar 2024 23:50

Birmingham City have confirmed that Blues legend Tony Mowbray is taking a formal leave of absence until the start of pre-season ahead of 2024/25 with Gary Rowett coming in as interim-manager.

Former Town skipper and coach Mowbray stepped away from his role as boss at St Andrew’s a month ago in order to undergo unspecified medical treatment.

His assistant, another Blues legend, Mark Venus, took over but now, with the Midlanders fourth-bottom of the Championship and out of the relegation zone on goal difference alone, the decision has been made to bring in Rowett, who was previously in charge at Birmingham between 2014 and 2016.

A club statement reads: “Birmingham City Football Club can confirm that manager Tony Mowbray will take a formal medical leave of absence until the start of pre-season 2024/25.

“The club has appointed interim-manager, Gary Rowett with immediate effect for the remaining eight games of the Sky Bet Championship season.

“Rowett has significant managerial experience in the division and previously managed Birmingham from October 2014 to December 2016.

“The decision was taken to act at the beginning of the international break by the board and leadership team in conjunction with Mowbray who played a role in the identification of Rowett as the right manager to take the team forward till the end of the season.

“The medical leave of absence will allow Mowbray to focus 100 per cent on being with his family and making a full recovery following his recent health challenges.

“Assistant manager Mark Venus will also take a leave of absence with immediate effect and rejoin the club at the same time as Mowbray.

“First-team coaches Ashley Cole and Peter Shuttleworth and goalkeeper-coach Maik Taylor will remain at the club as part of Rowett’s coaching staff.”

Birmingham co-owner and chairman Tom Wagner said: “The board and club leadership fully support Tony’s decision to take time to focus on his health and his family.

“We continue to wish Tony and his family the very best. Based on Tony’s decision to take some additional time away, we agreed it is in the club’s best interests to appoint Gary Rowett to lead the team forward from the touchline for the final eight games of the season. Gary is an experienced leader and has our full support.”

CEO Garry Cook added: “The team is in a challenging position. A strong leader is needed to guide the players through to the end of the season.

“Tony wanted to be part of the solution, so together we agreed to identify an interim-manager. Gary Rowett was the number one choice.

“We are pleased to welcome Gary back to Blues. He has the necessary experience and the requisite passion for the club and our loyal fans. Gary will be provided all the support needed to keep the club in the Sky Bet Championship.”

He continued: “We all look forward to welcoming Tony and Mark back to the club before the start of next season and continue to wish Tony a speedy recovery.”

Speaking last week, Venus said Mowbray was doing well having undergone surgery just prior to Birmingham’s 3-1 defeat at Portman Road late last month.

“He's making good progress and we can't get him back quick enough,” he said. “He's making good progress and hopefully he'll be back in the future. There's no timeframe.

“I'm not sure how to describe it but we've missed him immensely, enormously. He is a leader and a motivator and a driver.

“I think undoubtedly when you have someone like that at the front, you miss him. I'm giving it my best shot.”

Photo: Matchday Images

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north_stand77 added 00:00 - Mar 20
Wishing Tony all the best, a great player for us and a good man. Get well soon.

Vancouver_Blue added 02:41 - Mar 20
And to think Birmingham were in a playoff spot when they stupidly sacked John Eustace and brought in Wayne Rooney. The board of directors should be sacked. Anyway speedy recovery Mogga.

johnwarksshorts added 07:26 - Mar 20
Hope Mogga makes a full and speedy recovery.

Europablue added 07:38 - Mar 20
With the way that club is run you need an experienced manager to grind out results.
It was a terrible situation for Venus to try to deal with, everyone knows that they are just waiting for the manager to get back.
It's the right decision based on results and how important it is for the club to stay up. I only want Birmingham to stay up because of Mogga.
Mogga just concentrate on getting well soon.

Bazza8564 added 08:37 - Mar 20
Clearly Moggas illness and recovery need to be free of the stresses of managing a football club and it's good to see Birmingham have done this. But as Vancouver Blue says above, letting Eustace go was a huge cock up!

Flamencaman added 14:29 - Mar 20
Only thing that matters is Moggas health speedy recovery Tony, one of the best

Gforce added 18:53 - Mar 20
Get well soon Mogga.
Good luck in the interim Gary.......Please make sure you beat the budgies on the final day !!

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