It seems that Birmingham City have a Newcastle United connection. The Championship club appointed former Newcastle manager Chris Hughton as their manager last summer, and Chris took the plum job of Norwich City manager a few weeks ago, replacing Paul Lambert, who went to Aston Villa.
Lee Clark – while at Huddersfield Town
And news reports are now suggesting that former Newcastle player and coach Lee Clark, the former Huddersfield Town manager, will be named as the new manager of Birmingham City in the next 24 hours.
Le is now 39, and did an outstanding job at Huddersfield, after he was Assistant manager with former Newcastle manager Glen Roeder at Norwich City.
But Lee was surprisingly fired earlier this year in February, and the previously sacked Leeds United United manager Simon Grayson took over.
Simon guided them to promotion from League One by winning the play-off for the third promotion place, when they beat Sheffield United 8-7 on penalties, after the game had ended 0-0 after extra time.
This is really a step up for the Wallsend-born manager, who played 214 times for Newcastle with 23 goals in two spells with his home-town club – from 1991 through 1997 and then from 2005-2006.
Lee is said to be signing a rolling yearly contract with Birmingham City, after he has been assured that transfers in the summer will be possible.
Birmingham filed their financial accounts late and missed the March 1st deadline, and had a transfer embargo imposed on them at the time until further notice, but Clark has been assured the limitation on transfers will be lifted.
A Birmingham statement at that time read as follows:
“Birmingham City Football Club can confirm that it has been made subject to a transfer embargo by the Football League. This is due to not hitting a 1 March 2012 deadline for submission of the company’s June 2011 financial statements to the League.”
It remains to be seen if Birmingham are out of the woods yet, regarding their financial problems, with Chairman Carson Yeung still facing charges of money-laundering in Hong Kong.
We wish Lee all the very best in his new management position – he may need some luck and good fortune.
Lee’s record at Huddersfield was outstanding, and in 178 games he managed, the Terriers won 87, drew 51 and lost only 40, for a win percentage of 48.9, and a loss percentage of only 22.5.