Birmingham City have sacked Aitor Karanka after less than eight months in charge, the club have confirmed.
Karanka departs the Blues with the club in a perilous relegation battle, and with a win record of just 21% as manager.
Saturday’s 3-0 drubbing at home to Bristol City was seemingly the final straw for the owners, who will now be looking for a new man to guide the club away from the bottom three.
Karanka arrived at St Andrew’s back in July 2020, taking over from Pep Clotet after another disappointing previous season which saw the Blues finish in 20th position.
Birmingham fans didn’t think it could get any worse, and with Karanka having experience of winning promotion to the Premier League during his Middlesbrough days, the expectation was he could bring the feel-good factor back to the blue half of the second city.
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That’s not the way it’s panned out though, and despite a recent upturn in fortunes on the pitch, the humilating drubbing on home soil against the Robins yesterday has proved to be too much.
The Spaniard has left City in 21st position, with the team directly below them – Rotherham United – being just three points behind them with four games in hand, which has prompted Karanka’s sacking, but according to John Percy of The Telegraph it wasn’t owner Xuandong Ren who made the decision, but another director in the form of Zhao Wenqing.
It has taken days for the club to confirm Karanka’s departure, with Lee Bowyer expected to join his former club as manager after leaving Charlton.