This week saw confirmation that Birmingham City head coach Pep Clotet will leave at the end of the season.
Since then, Birmingham supporters have been speculating as to whom they would like to see replace Clotet.
Bookmakers have, as usual, produced their own short-list, with one or two surprising names included.
Candidates for the Birmingham City Job
Instead, speculation mounted over his future despite his impressive take to management. At one stage last summer, it was even announced that he would leave The Valley. However, Bowyer later agreed on a new contract ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.
A year on and Charlton have been taken over twice. This week saw a consortium led by Paul Elliott finalise a deal. The Addicks are currently in the relegation zone, so there is a chance that Bowyer could opt for a less stressful environment.
Is that Birmingham City? They are now seeking their sixth permanent manager within three-and-a-half years. Also, this week saw former Leeds United Chairman Massimo Cellino linked with a take-over of Birmingham City.
A Former Manager to Return?
The vastly experienced Chris Hughton, who has already managed Birmingham, having held the post for a year, is also among the potential candidates. His sole season in charge saw him guide the club to a fourth-place finish in 2011/12 Championship.
Recently he took part in in a webinar with ModernSoccerCoach, during which he broke his silence over rumours linking him with a return to St. Andrews.
“What I would also say is when you are commenting on these things you always have to have respect for the club itself,” said Hughton.
“I had a wonderful time at Birmingham – it is speculation at the moment.”
He then praised Birmingham’s supporters for their treatment of him and his team.
Other Realistic Contenders
Other contenders are current Birmingham City U18s coach Paul Robinson. Although, the bookies see Birmingham’s current first-team coach Craig Gardner as more likely.
Neil Warnock, who is linked with most vacancies, is the second favourite behind Bowyer. Ex-Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic and ex-Middlesbrough’s manager Aitor Karanka are two other contenders. All three have achieved promotion on at least one occasion from the Championship, so could prove a good appointment.
Former Birmingham manager Steve Bruce is a longshot at present. He is the current Newcastle United manager, but that seems unlikely to continue for much longer. Newcastle are subject to a controversial take-over from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. Should this go-ahead, then ex-Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino is strongly rumoured to be replacing Bruce. Other managerial names are also linking to Newcastle, including Rafa Benitez.
Mark Robins, who is the current Coventry City boss, is also honourably mentioned. Despite being another club in crisis, Coventry have just been confirmed as League One champions – a remarkable achievement given that they are homeless. Coincidentally, they ground-share with Birmingham City.
Robins’ stock is rising, so there will be other clubs monitoring him. It’s doubtful, he will switch from Coventry to Birmingham given his club’s promotion. Although, he is already familiar with the St. Andrews’ dug-out.