A day after Lee Boyer’s departure was announced, Birmingham appointed John Eustace as their new coach.
Eustace, 42, who has been assistant coach at QPR and has been with the Republic of Ireland since March, has agreed to a three-year contract with the championship club. The management change at St Andrew’s comes amid uncertainty over the proposed acquisition.
Eustace told the club’s official website: “I’m very proud to be here. Of course I’m born in Birmingham and I know the potential of the club and how important it is to the fans. We’ve achieved so little in recent seasons and a club of this size needs to reach higher goals by supporting this club.”
“I can’t wait to get started, meet the staff and get my thoughts across to the players in the stadiums as soon as possible,” added Eustace, who is due to join his players in a training camp in Portugal before the start of the season. “The big picture is making us as competitive as possible, building a team the fans can be proud of, playing exciting football and winning as many matches as possible.”
Eustace made over 400 appearances during his football career, which included spells at Coventry, Stoke, Watford and Derby, and began his out-of-league coaching career at Kidderminster. His coaching staff will be confirmed in the coming days but Paul Harsley will retain his role as senior coach for the development of the team.
Boyer was sacked on Saturday after 16 months in the job after the Blues finished their league campaign in 20th place. The decision comes because the club’s owners want to sell. Lawrence Pasini, the former owner of Watford, was in talks about a deal but missed a number of deadlines.
None of the statements mentioned the club’s ownership status as Boyer was sacked after his performances on the pitch last season. “Despite a promising start to the campaign, results over the course of the season have fallen short of expectations and the Board believes the change in management is in the football club’s best interests,” a statement read.
“As a player and as head coach, Lee’s commitment and dedication has never been in doubt, and we will always be grateful for his contribution both on the pitch and in the dugout. He will always be welcome back at St Andrews.”