Aston Villa, Sunderland and Man United figure 'saddened' by Birmingham City relegation

Steve Bruce managed three out of the four West Midlands clubs in the Championship and the Premier League. (Image: Getty Images)Steve Bruce managed three out of the four West Midlands clubs in the Championship and the Premier League. (Image: Getty Images)
Steve Bruce managed three out of the four West Midlands clubs in the Championship and the Premier League. (Image: Getty Images) | Getty Images
A former Aston Villa and Newcastle United manager has reacted to Birmingham City’s relegation.

Former Birmingham City manager Steve Bruce has admitted he is saddened by the club’s relegation to League One.

Blues will be playing in the third tier of English football next season after finishing 22nd. Birmingham beat Norwich City on the final day but the damage was already done as the other teams in the relegation battle won their games.

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Birmingham, who have been placed as favourites to win promotion next season must now think about how they will approach this summer. More than 10 players are out of contract and they must submit their retained list to the EFL by the Saturday, May 18 deadline.

Speaking to BW, the three-time Premier League winner said: “I've got a huge affinity for Birmingham and I'm absolutely saddened that they're in League One, especially with new ownership and the club desperately needing it. Unfortunately, the decisions that they've made haven’t worked. So it's back to the drawing board.

“I think they've got terrific owners who look as if they're in for the long run, which is vitally important. Bounce back and dust yourself down. Surely they're too good to be in League One, but we know that you can get trapped in there as well, so they've got a big job ahead. I'm devastated for everybody connected with the club. Their results are the first I look for.”

Bruce played and managed the club when they were in the Championship in 1996 and twice won promotion as a manager during his time at St Andrew's. He went on to manage their inter-city rivals Aston Villa for a two-year spell and was also in charge of Newcastle United and West Brom. He has been out of work since being relieved of his duties at the Hawthorns in October 2022.

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In an interview with talkSPORT earlier this week, he spoke of his desire to return to football, either as a manager or in a different role. He said; “I am looking to try and do something, whether that is back in management or go back to work in some sort of capacity, I am not quite too sure.

"But we will see, we'll see if the phone rings over the summer. But certainly I'd like to try do something."

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