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Gary Rowett returns to Birmingham on interim basis as Tony Mowbray takes medical leave of absence | Football News

Former Birmingham City manager Gary Rowett has returned to the club on an interim basis.

The current boss, Tony Mowbray, has been away since mid-February while he receives medical treatment for an unnamed illness.

Birmingham confirmed Mowbray will take a formal medical leave of absence until the start of the 2024-25 pre-season.

Rowett was in charge at St Andrews between 2014 and 2016, and has been out of work since leaving Millwall in October.


“The Board and Club Leadership fully support Tony’s decision to take time to focus on his health and his family,” said Birmingham City co-owner and chairman Tom Wagner.

“We continue to wish Tony and his family the very best. Based on Tony’s decision to take some additional time away, we agreed it is in the club’s best interests to appoint Gary Rowett to lead the team forward from the touchline for the final eight games of the season. Gary is an experienced leader and has our full support.”

Birmingham currently sit 21st in the Championship table and level on 39 points with 22nd-placed Huddersfield Town having lost five and drawn one of their last six league outings. They are next in action on Friday March 29 against QPR, who sit just one point above Birmingham.

In a club statement, Birmingham noted how Mowbray played a role in identifying Rowett as the appropriate candidate to lead the team for the rest of the season.


Assistant manager Mark Venus will also take a leave of absence with immediate effect before returning at the same time as Mowbray. First-team coaches Ashley Cole and Peter Shuttleworth will stay as part of Rowett’s staff, alongside goalkeeper coach Maik Taylor, Birmingham confirmed.

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“The team is in a challenging position,” said Birmingham chief executive officer Garry Cook. “A strong leader is needed to guide the players through to the end of the season. Tony wanted to be part of the solution, so together we agreed to identify an interim manager.

“Gary Rowett was the number one choice. We are pleased to welcome Gary back to Blues. He has the necessary experience and the requisite passion for the club and our loyal fans. Gary will be provided all the support needed to keep the club in the Sky Bet Championship.

“We all look forward to welcoming Tony and Mark back to the club before the start of next season and continue to wish Tony a speedy recovery.”

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