Birmingham City have announced that Gianfranco Zola has resigned as manager of the club following a 0-2 home defeat to fellow strugglers Burton Albion this afternoon.
— Birmingham City FC (@BCFC) April 17, 2017
Birmingham sacked current Derby County manager Gary Rowett back in December and appointed Zola soon afterwards. The club were seventh in the Championship when Zola took over, sitting just outside of the play-off places. However Birmingham are now 20th in the league, only three points away from the relegation zone.
Zola took charge of 23 games whilst in charge of Birmingham, but won only two of these games. He drew eight, and lost 13. This alarming slide down the league has left Birmingham, who were looking good for a play-off place earlier in the season, still not safe from relegation to League One with three games left to play.
Fans had been calling for Zola to be sacked for several months, but the club’s owners kept their faith in the former West Ham United and Watford manager.
In Birmingham’s game last week, a draw at already-relegated Rotherham United, Lukas Jutkiewicz and Emilio Nsue had to be calmed down on the pitch. It is understood that the players started pushing each other on the pitch and this row continued in the dressing room.
The calls for the owners to sack Zola look to have got too much for the man himself today, with Zola failing to do his post-match interviews and the club announcing his departure shortly afterwards.