Gary Rowett has already addressed becoming Birmingham City’s next manager

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As far as Gary Rowett is concerned, he will not be the next manager of Birmingham City after Tony Mowbray’s exit.

That was, at least, the case on the final day of the 2023/24 season. Rowett, called in for an eight-game spell to save Blues from the peril of relegation to League One, rescued 11 points out of 24 but it wasn’t enough to escape the drop.

The former permanent boss’ return ended in immense disappointment as results elsewhere condemned Blues to the English third tier, even after themselves beating Norwich City 1-0. Rowett was as upset as anyone about the relegation but he admitted it wasn’t his job to lead the club back up to the Championship.

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“That was the situation originally, it was never anything else, it was can you come in for eight games and can you save us?,” Rowett said on May 4. “It just felt the right thing to do, I can’t really explain it. I think the connection I had with the club when I was first here, it’s hard to lose that.”

From the outside, Rowett’s return was always a case of why. Any relegation on a CV - even when coming in for a short stint - is never a good thing, especially when it’s for a club as big as Birmingham. But Rowett felt it was worth being the man in the firing line if it meant there was the slightest chance of staying up.

“We tried to make the best of it, I knew the risk when I came in of what may lay over my shoulders,” Rowett said. “I knew there was every chance that for eight games I could end up being the person in this chair with a relegation but that’s why I took it, because I wanted to help the club and do my bit. I’m really disappointed it hasn’t quite been enough.”

Gary Rowett is unlikely to be offered the Birmingham City manager's job permanently.Gary Rowett is unlikely to be offered the Birmingham City manager's job permanently.
Gary Rowett is unlikely to be offered the Birmingham City manager's job permanently. | Getty Images

With Mowbray now confirmed to be stepping away from Birmingham permanently after several months of forced medical absence, there’s plenty of talk as to who the next manager will be. Rowett’s name has been mentioned but the ex-Millwall boss never expected his temporary return to lead to anything long-term.

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“As far as I’m concerned, it’s over for now,” Rowett said, once again on May 4. “If the club want my opinion on some things, of course I will try and help them with that. But I’m sure they’ve got enough people with enough experience to mull over what they need to do next. I’m sure there’ll be a period of quiet and reflection and then I’m sure like most summers a period of action.”

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