It is shaping up to be a hectic week around St Andrews with the Blues currently doing a lot of soul searching amongst players and at boardroom level following their 3-0 loss against Bristol City.
The Blues’ 3-0 defeat at home against Bristol City was another poor display that saw them punished for making far too many individual errors. The recriminations began after the game with club captain Harlee Dean even suggesting that maybe the players were not good enough following their poor run of form. While Aitor Karanka was quick to bat away any questions he would walk away from his job.
The defeat against Bristol City leaves Birmingham in a very precarious situation at the bottom of the Championship table. The Blues are still two points clear of Rotherham United, but the Millers now have as many as four matches in hand on them in the end-of-season run-in. It is therefore going to be a massive task for the club to survive this term from here.
In what has been a hectic period for the club we round-up the latest news surrounding Birmingham, including Karanka’s fate being sealed…
Karanka heads for exit door following dismal run leaves them in major trouble
When Karanka was appointed as manager in the summer it seemed that the Blues had opted for a safe pair of hands who could potentially solidify the team and give them a chance of making some progression this campaign. However, that has simply not happened and the Spaniard could only win eight of his 36 league games in charge.
Various reports emerged throughout the day yesterday that Karanka was set to leave the club following a run of just three wins in 19 matches. That news has yet to be officially announced by the club. However, if and when the Spaniard leaves he will leave his side in massive trouble and in a real relegation battle for whoever has to take over.
There have been issues on and off the field that have not helped matters for Karanka, but he has been given some backing in the market to bring in players. However, most of the signings he has made did not work out for whatever reason. This latest departure sees him follow a similar pattern that he did at Nottingham Forest where he also left without completing a single season in charge.
Xuandong Ren could face the axe from his role at Blues along with Karanka
Birmingham’s hierarchy are thought to be considering whether or not they should also part ways with chief executive Xuandong Ren as they look to make changes in the light of the expected news on Karanka’s departure. That comes after growing fan unrest over his performance in the role and his decision making that has proved to be costly at times for the club.
Ren has been involved in making the day-to-day decisions at the club for a while now and he has been responsible for appointing the likes of Pep Clotet and Karanka which have not worked out for the football club at all. He has had limited success with a lot of the decisions he has been making throughout his time at Birmingham.
Telegraph reporter John Percy believes that Ren is under pressure now as director Zhao Wenqing, who is thought to have been responsible for the decision over Karanka, now also turning his attentions towards the club’s chief executive.
Marc Bowen interested in taking over from Karanka
Birmingham are believed to be wanting to line-up a new potential manager before their midweek meeting with Reading on Wednesday. One man who has now emerged as an early contender for the job is former Reading manager Mark Bowen who is reportedly interested in taking over from the Spaniard.
Bowen is prepared to take over at Birmingham on a temporary basis until the end of the campaign and then hopefully make that with a view to a more permanent deal in the summer. It would be an appointment that would come a little out of the blue and you feel it would take time for supporters to get behind this one.
The former Reading boss did perform reasonably well in the role with the Royals and he does have a lot of coaching experience having worked at the likes of Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City, QPR, Stoke City and Fulham. He is keen to get back into the dugout after he left his first managerial role with the Royals.