Simon Jordan: Criticizing Wayne Rooney is unfair; Birmingham City’s owners reaped what they sowed with a thoughtless appointment

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Birmingham City’s owners have got precisely what they deserve but it comes as no surprise to me.

When they appointed Wayne Rooney, I said from the outset that it was a poor appointment from autograph-hunting new owners without any substantive thinking.

Well, he delivered 10 points from 15 games, took Birmingham from sixth to 20th in the Championship and is now out of a job. 

A season has been wasted and I’m not in the least bit surprised. We were told they would play ‘no fear football’ but one thing they clearly feared with Rooney was relegation.

I don’t want to bash Rooney. He was a remarkable footballer and fair play to him for having a go at management. But what were his credentials? What was the criteria? The motivation? The blueprint?

Wayne Rooney’s appointment was poor from Birmingham’s autograph-hunting new owners

Rooney was a remarkable footballer but there was nothing to suggest that he was the man that Birmingham City owners (pictured) should hire as manager

Rooney was a remarkable footballer but there was nothing to suggest that he was the man that Birmingham City owners (pictured) should hire as manager

What is it Birmingham’s owners thought they saw that suggested he was the man? He must have delivered one hell of an interview, or was his appointment the management version of a shirt-selling exercise?

While Rooney’s managerial career has been dissected, analysed and written off since his sacking on Tuesday, the focus really should be on the intellectual capital guiding Birmingham. 

Criticism of new owners is often about not having the right people advising them and, in Birmingham’s case, that was former Manchester City chief executive Garry Cook. 

He was supposed to be the experienced head guiding the new owners, yet his sage-like advice was to alight upon Rooney and wax lyrical about his capabilities and the reasons for his appointment at the time. 

Apparently he was potentially still in favour of keeping the better half of ‘Wagatha Christie’ in situ.

Rooney took Birmingham from sixth to 20th in the Championship and is now out of a job

Rooney took Birmingham from sixth to 20th in the Championship and is now out of a job

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You really have to question Cook’s thinking there. Rooney is a famous footballer who had had a couple of tilts at management. 

Neither were particularly successful and certainly neither warranted the opportunity to get the Birmingham job.

It’s always difficult for new owners but they really should have left it alone and watched John Eustace, Rooney’s predecessor, play out.

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