Following the recent sacking of Gary Rowett, former coach of Birmingham City, Gianfranco Zola, former Chelsea legend, has been brought on board as a replacement for him.
On Wednesday, the Blues had announced the sacking of Rowett. This was despite Birmingham’s seventh position in the Sky Bet Championship, three points behind Reading, who sit at third place.
The 50-year old signed the contract, which will see him as Birmingham’s boss for no less than two and a half years, unless he is also sacked before the end of his tenure.
His appointment, came on the heels of the new Chinese owners, who made three new boardroom appointments on Monday. The new owners had taken control of the club sometime in October.
A statement issued by the club had read,
“The club is delighted to announce that Gianfranco Zola has been appointed our new manager.”
Since leaving Qatari Club Al-Arabi club in June, Zola has been out of a job. He had been touted to be a strong opponent in the race to take over at Hull City, a deal which failed to materialize.
In 2005 after retiring from the game as a player, he went on to work with as Italy’s U21 coach. In 2008, he took over as West Ham’s Coach, and went on to lead Watford to the Championship play-off final in 2013. However, he resigned from the club in the next season.
He was in charge of Serie A side, Cagliari, but spent no more than 3 months there before he was thrown out. And in the last summer, he was appointed to coach Al-Arabi.
For his first match in charge of Birmingham City, Zola will lead his squad to play against Brighton, who are currently chasing the title.