Birmingham City, Plymouth Argyle and Sheffield Wednesday could be handed relegation boost

John Eustace was sent to the stands on Saturday after an incident with Coventry City. (Image: Getty Images)John Eustace was sent to the stands on Saturday after an incident with Coventry City. (Image: Getty Images)
John Eustace was sent to the stands on Saturday after an incident with Coventry City. (Image: Getty Images) | Getty Images
One of Birmingham City’s relegation rivals could be without their manager at the weekend.

A former Birmingham City manager might be powerless to stop his team from avoiding the drop from the Championship on Saturday.

Ex-Blues boss John Eustace was charged with misconduct by the Football Association (FA). It involved an incident with Coventry City’s Kasey Palmer after half-time with Eustace sent to the stands after being accused of pushing the midfielder. 

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An FA statement read: “John Eustace has been charged with misconduct following the EFL Championship game between Blackburn and Coventry on Saturday, April 27. It’s alleged that the Blackburn manager acted in an improper manner around the 50th minute. He has until Friday, May 3, to provide a response.”

As part of his sending-off, he was unable to speak to the press post-match. Should he admit the charge then he could potentially face a touchline ban and a fine. 

Blackburn face champions Leicester City on the final day of the season potentially needing a result to stay up. Eustace, sacked by Birmingham has his Blackburn team in 19th but they might need a win should Birmingham beat Norwich and both Plymouth Argyle and Sheffield Wednesday get something. 

A touchline ban prohibits a head coach or manager from being on the touchline where he is unable to communicate to his players during the game. They can only communicate via a mobile or runner. 

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For any manager that receives a touchline ban they can speak to the players before the match and after. Keith Downing is currently Eustace’s right-hand man and could be entrusted to oversee proceedings on the weekend. 

"We will obviously speak to the powers that be," assistant head coach, Keith Downing said to the Lancashire Telegraph last weekend. 

"We'll see what happens. We will be there if John is there by our side and if he's not, we'll be well prepared and he will be around the place still.

"He is very influential, he's been very positive around the place, he's a very good leader. We will miss him if he's not there.

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"But he will lead from behind the scenes and he's done that since he's come in. He'll be ready, it's as simple as that."

Eustace’s potential absence could be a boost for Birmingham City and others, however. His potential inability to speak to players during the game could mean that results elsewhere prompt them from playing for a draw to needing a victory in a moment. 

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