Championship news: Ex-Sunderland, West Brom and Aston Villa man snubbed for Birmingham City job

Ex-Sunderland midfielder Craig Gardner will not take charge of Birmingham City this coming season in the Championship.

The former Blues, Aston Villa and West Brom man was odds on favourite to take the role vacated by Lee Bowyer. However, the Midlands club have opted for John Eustace as their new head coach.

Bowyer was sacked as Birmingham City manager recently with speculation surrounding a potential takeover of the Blues intensifying. Bowyer took charge at St Andrew’s in March 2021 and guided Birmingham to Championship safety during both of his campaigns in charge.

Aided by points deductions for Reading and Derby County, Birmingham finished in 20th place and ten points ahead of Peterborough who occupied the last relegation slot.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JULY 29: Birmingham City player Craig Gardner in action during the Pre Season Friendly match between Birmingham City and Swansea City at St Andrews (stadium) on July 29, 2017 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

However, the former Charlton manager received his marching orders recently. That lead to speculation that Gardner could be handed the role having taken charge of the club back in 2020 on an interim basis.

Gardner signed a three-year deal with Sunderland for an undisclosed fee believed to be around £8 million back in 2011. But the Birmingham City coach will now work under the newly appointed Eustace, who has agreed a three-year contract at St Andrew’s.

Speaking to BCFC.com, Eustace said: "I am very proud to be here. Obviously, I am a Birmingham lad and I know the potential of the Club and how important it is to the fans.

“We have underachieved in the past few seasons and a club of this size, with the support that this club has, we need to be aiming higher. I can't wait to get going, meet the staff and get my ideas across to the players out on the pitches as soon as we can.

"The big picture is to get us as competitive as we can, to build a team that the fans are proud of, to play exciting football and win as many games as we can. The first thing we have to do is get this squad competitive and ready for that first game of the season against Luton.”