Zola resigns as Birmingham boss after two wins in 24 games


Gianfranco Zola was previously manager of West Ham, Watford and Cagliari

Gianfranco Zola has resigned as Birmingham City manager following Monday’s home defeat by fellow Championship strugglers Burton Albion.

The 50-year-old Italian was in charge for just four months, during which time the team won only twice in 24 games.

Their 2-0 loss to Burton left them 20th in the Championship table, just three points above the relegation places with three games remaining.

When predecessor Gary Rowett was sacked in December, Blues were seventh.

Club director Panos Pavlakis explained their decision to dispense with Rowett, now in charge at Derby County, by saying that Zola’s “pedigree” matched their ambition to “move in a new direction”.

But the change of manager baffled many supporters and results on the pitch did nothing to win them over.

Birmingham have not won for nine games since beating local rivals Wolves in February, but the board issued a statement on 10 April giving Zola their full backing following a 2-1 defeat by Rowett’s Rams.

It is the second time the former Italy midfielder has resigned as boss of an English club, having quit Watford in 2013 after five successive home defeats.

More to follow.

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