Birmingham City head coach to leave at end of season

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Pep Clotet will leave his role as Birmingham City head coach at the end of the season the club have announced.

The Spaniard has been allowed to leave the Championship club to “explore other coaching opportunities”.

In a statement Clotet said: “It’s been a really difficult decision to take because it’s a privilege to be part of the Blues family, but it’s the best step for everyone and it allows the club to continue to move forward with their vision and strategy.

“I’m very grateful to the club, its board and the supporters for placing their faith in me to lead the team this season and to face up to the challenges involved in what’s been a key transition under really demanding circumstances,” he added.

The 43-year-old was promoted from assistant to caretaker manager after previous boss Garry Monk was sacked in June last year.

He was later appointed permanent head coach in December and guided Birmingham to a 13-game unbeaten streak at the start of the year, before the season was suspended in March due to Covid-19.

The Blues are 16th in the Championship table, eight points clear of the relegation zone with nine matches still to play, with the season expected to restart on June 20.

Chief executive Dong Ren says the decision “is filled with sadness for us both,” but he will leave the club with his “very best wishes.”

Ren added: “In the meantime, Pep continues to have our full backing and we are all determined to do everything we can to finish the season strongly and give him the fitting send-off he deserves.”

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