Championship side Birmingham City have held talks with former Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Warburton about taking the top job at St Andrew’s, according to a report from Football Insider earlier this week.
The 59-year-old is currently out of work following QPR’s collapse in the latter stages of the 2021/22 campaign, with officials at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium opting against renewing his contract in the English capital.
With this, he is available for hire and the fact Blackburn Rovers aren’t in the race for his signature may have cleared the pathway for the West Midlands outfit to approach him.
Quiz: 24 facts every Birmingham City supporter should know about their club – Can you score full marks?
However, journalist Alan Nixon believes current incumbent Lee Bowyer has been told to carry on by officials in the West Midlands despite intense speculation linking him with an exit from the second-tier side following the end of the 2021/22 campaign.
But it’s business as usual at St Andrew’s as things stand, though a takeover could be a game-changer for Bowyer with a UK-based buyer thought to be closing in on a deal to purchase the club, something that will be music to many of their supporters’ ears.
A lot could change at the club this summer because of this and bearing that in mind, we’re weighing up whether a potential approach for Warburton would be a good one for Blues.
Is it a good potential appointment?
This would be an excellent addition for the club. He may not have the connections to the second-tier side that Bowyer has – but he has shown he can make the most out of a limited budget and elevate sides up the second-tier table.
Analysing his time at QPR, he came in at a time when the club wasn’t in the best shape and managed to transform them from a side on the decline to one actively competing for promotion.
It remains to be seen whether he could do the same with Birmingham but at this stage, they just need someone who can guide them to a comfortable finish in midtable and this is something Warburton would be able to do alongside Craig Gardner.
Gardner’s recruitment alongside Bowyer has been pretty much spot on and with a similar calibre of loanees and additions, the 59-year-old would be able to get a tune out of those players.
Already having experience at big clubs like Nottingham Forest and Rangers, coming to Birmingham wouldn’t faze him and he has a decent managerial track record too despite being let go by his last side at the end of 2021/22.
What does he offer?
He has a lot of experience under his belt and it would be no surprise if that was to benefit him if he did arrive in the Midlands – and much of this experience has come in the English second tier which is a big bonus for Blues.
At QPR, he was also able to get the best out of some of his players and certainly seems to have an eye for shrewd transfers with Lyndon Dykes and Rob Dickie’s arrivals at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium back in the summer of 2020 proving to be a particular highlight of his reign in the English capital.
His recruitment at Brentford was also very good and has experience of being a Sporting Director from his time at the Bees, so will probably make recommendations to the club’s board on how the second-tier side should be run and how it should communicate with supporters.
Considering how unhappy many supporters are with the current off-field situation, this potential advice on restructuring could prove to be valuable for the long-term future of the club.
And the different things he can offer come back to one theme: stability.
That is needed more than anything else in the West Midlands right now and if he can guide the second-tier side to an improved finish next season, then you can definitely say he’s done a good job following several campaigns of battling at the lower end of the division.