Birmingham - Veteran
English manager Harry Redknapp has replaced Gianfranco Zola as the boss
of Birmingham City, the struggling Championship club announced on
The 70-year-old former Tottenham Hotspur takes charge with
Birmingham three points above the relegation zone after a dismal four
month spell under Zola.
Redknapp's most recent managerial post was with Jordan. He last worked in English football with Derby County as an advisor.
Zola stood down on Monday, declaring "I sacked myself".
The 50-year-old was a controversial appointment by the club's Chinese
owners after they sacked Gary Rowett, who had Birmingham well placed to
challenge for a place in the play-offs, in December.
However under former Italy international Zola, the Midlands club
suffered a dramatic slump in form that saw Birmingham manage just two
wins in 22 matches.
Following Monday's 2-0 loss to Burton Albion, after which Zola
resigned, Birmingham are just three points above the second-tier drop
zone with three matches remaining.
Redknapp's first game as Blues' boss is Saturday's Birmingham derby at Aston Villa.
His last spell in the Championship saw Redknapp guide QPR to
promotion. Redknapp has also managed two other London clubs in West Ham,
for whom he played, and Tottenham Hotspur.
He has also been in charge of three south coast clubs, starting his
managerial career at Bournemouth and later twice taking charge of
Portsmouth either side of an ill-fated stint at their bitter rivals
It was with Portsmouth that Redknapp enjoyed arguably his greatest success when they won the 2008 FA Cup.
Zola, speaking following Birmingham's home loss to Burton at St
Andrews. said it had been his decision alone to cut short his
two-and-a-half year contract.
"I sacked myself," he explained. "I decided to give in my
resignation. I am sorry because I came to Birmingham with huge
"Unfortunately the results have not been good and I take full
responsibility. It is not that I like quitting, but Birmingham deserves
Zola, in his third management spell in England after stints at West
Ham and Watford, added: "If I feel I cannot help the players, why stay?
If I cannot help the team, it is better I leave and let someone else do
"I feel very bad and very sorry. We worked with a lot of meaning, but
unfortunately it didn't produce the results. It is all very