Former Celtic manager Tony Mowbray steps away from EFL club

Former Celtic boss Tony Mowbray has reluctantly stepped down as Birmingham City manager. The 60-year-old had to step away from the club due to health concerns; however, Mowbray wants to recover from surgery and spend time with his family after the shock of the health scare.

As announced by Birmingham City on Tuesday morning, Mowbray confirmed that he had taken the decision as The Blues look to rebuild in EFL League One.

“As people will be aware, I am currently undertaking a period of extended convalescence following significant and unexpected surgery earlier in the year which required that I take a period of medical absence.

“Throughout this period, I have watched every Birmingham City game along with every training session, whilst I have remained in positive and constructive dialogue with Tom Wagner, Garry Cook and Craig Gardner.

PAISLEY, SCOTLAND – SEPTEMBER 26: Gus McPherson coach of St Mirren and Tony Mowbray coach of Celtic issue instructions to their players during the Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier league match between St Mirren and Celtic at St Mirren Park on September 26, 2009 in Paisley, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

“Over the very recent days, it has become apparent to me that I will not be fully fit to resume my duties as Manager of Birmingham City in the timescale that would allow the Club to best prepare for the forthcoming season and therefore, I have regrettably decided to step away from my role at this time.

“Once I have fully recovered, it is important to me that I then spend some quality time with my wife and my boys before I fully commit to work.

“I am extremely grateful to Tom Wagner for the genuine warmth that he has shown towards me during what has been a challenging time, not only for me personally but also for the Club. I firmly believe that under Tom’s stewardship coupled with the football expertise that Garry offers, Birmingham City have a very bright future ahead.

“I would like to thank everybody associated with the Club who has supported me during these unprecedented times, and I would like to especially thank the Birmingham City supporters for your affection, your kindness, and your support in the relatively short period of time I have been with the Club. Whilst I step down as Manager of Birmingham City, I now become a Blues fan and I wish everybody at the Club nothing but absolute success in the future.

“Once I have fully recovered and have spent some quality time with my family, I intend to make a return to football management at the appropriate moment. I hope that the privacy of my family and I will be respected at this time. Thank you for your ongoing support, Tony.”

The central defender turned coach played for Celtic four nearly four years in the early 1990s and was the popular choice for the job having enjoyed impressive spells at Hibernian and West Brom. As we know now, Mowbray’s tenure was short lived.

Mowbray’s football at times was very attractive and was the Celtic way. However, defeats to lesser oppositions and failing to win the big games meant that even without the 4-0 humbling by St Mirren in Paisley, he would have found it a tall order to retain his job.

Mowbray and Celtic were an unfortunate marriage at a time where Celtic began to cutback. Unlike Strachan’s sides, who were pragmatic and could win ugly, Mowbray’s sides forfeited defensive robustness for pretty, attractive football and ultimately, results will be hindered by this. He was, and still is, highly regarded by the Celtic support as a man – even if his managerial tenure was disappointing.

About Author

Born just as Celtic were stopping the Ten, Lubo98 follows Celtic home and away and helps run his local Celtic Supporters Club. He goes to all the games and is a Law Graduate. Has a particular fondness for Tom Rogic among the current Celts and both Lubo and Henrik form his earliest Celtic memories.

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