John Eustace

9 Oct 2023 | 36 comments

     Courtesy of Blues TV

Blues today announced the departure of Head Coach John Eustace after 15 months at the club. During his time at Blues, John had secured safety from relegation last season, when we were bookies’ favourites for the drop, and led Blues to sixth place in the table before the current international break. Whilst his teams were not always the prettiest to watch, Blues were invariably competitive during his tenure, and he did an awful lot to stabilise the club during very difficult times.

The Trust would like to thank John for everything he did at St. Andrew’s.  We are sorry to see him go and wish him all the very best for the future.

The new owners are clearly ambitious for the club, and have set about improving the club in so many ways. It is perhaps not surprising that at some point they would want to bring their own coach in.

However, the timing of the change is far from ideal as it risks disrupting the momentum and team spirit that Eustace had created. Also, the statement put out to announce the decision this morning hinted at a difference in philosophy and was not as gracious to John Eustace as it perhaps might otherwise have been.  If there have been disagreements between the parties, they have been well hidden. Hopefully, in time, they might become known more widely so that supporters can better understand the call that has been made.

Nevertheless, the Trust hopes that the new appointment, whoever that might be, receives from the club the time and space needed to properly develop a side we can all be proud of. And, crucially, with full support from the fans to achieve that.

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  1. John P

    I was never John Eustace’s biggest fan as he never seemed to have had a plan B when plan A wasn’t working; however, he doesn’t deserve this and as has already been widely speculated it slaps of 2016.

    I have no doubt that John will be offered work before the end of the international break and I personally wish him every good luck wherever his future takes him.

    In my opinion the owners have treated him badly and can only hope they make the right decision when it comes to replacing him.


    • Peter W

      The decision stinks. Wayne Rooney is unproven and will turn out to be a disaster. Back to square one for the Blues.

    • Stewart Woolley

      Am shocked how poorly this has been managed I was under the assumption this board was to listen to the fans ….I think the vast majority don’t want Rooney ….but time will tell..JE is a a nice guy I want to thank him for what as done in extremely difficult circumstances I wish him well

      • Roy

        Why try fixing something that as not broken

      • Robert.Rowlands Rowlands

        Sorry to see you go all the best for the future. Wayne Rooney poor choice club .

      • Tommy Bamford

        Spot on stew

    • Ron

      Completely agree 100%

    • Mohammed Manir

      Out of order @ the way they’ve dealt with him. 2 wins in 4 day’s taking us into the international break and they do this. I just hope it doesn’t turn into a banana skin situation.

      Or maybe he wanted to go and they’ve got some compo for him. It will all be revealed soon enough. I really hope this doesn’t come back to bite us.
      BLUE ARMY!!

    • Gra

      It’s all about the money. Winning promotion is worth hundreds of millions to wagner and cronies. There not there because they love your club bluenose, drinking with the away fans. What a joke. I hope your club does get there one day ive got a lot of bluenose mates that deserve better after the last shower that owned you. Utv sotc

    • Tony

      2016season all over again the team were playing well for John, bloody disgrace to have sacked him, what’s Rooney ever done as a manager

  2. Peter Bates

    First of all thank you John Eustace for all you done for our club in difficult circumstances it is much appreciated,I just want to say Mr cooke and Mr Wagner prepare for a very big backlash if this decision goes wrong ,I think if you appoint Mr Rooney you haven’t looked at his football stats he has a 28% win rate at two clubs and couldn’t get playoffs in a pretty poor league,we know he is a big name in football but not in management I personally think appointing Rooney is a big mistake at least put the vacancy up for grabs ,I will support the players always have but this decision stinks and I am just one of many many fans who feel the same ,good luck John and kro mate .

    • Rob

      Couldn’t have been put any better.

      • PWW

        Just proves how much Tom Wagner and his cronies know about the game. Who will be next to go ? Craig Gardner ?

    • Brenda Brown

      So sad so sad why why why if they wanted rid of JE why didn’t the board do it when they took over. Another 2016 when sack Rowett repeating itself once again. Thank you JE for what you have made this club we proud of you. Hope someone comes begging for you before the international breaks over as blues board has done the dirt on you from Brenda a true supporter of you and bcfc.

  3. Bill

    It would be very nice for the owners to inform us why John Eustace was dismissed. It could not be about results. It takes time for new players to be integrated and it seems this was just beginning to take place. Any new manager is going to have a tough time especially if results don’t go well. The goodwill that had been built up by the new owners has been damaged by today’s news especially as we’ve been here before. So some honesty is called for.

    • Lee Harvey

      Well. Said utter shocked 6th in table just beat the baggies crazy

      • Steve Reynolds

        Come on Mr Wagner lets hear your comments because your CEO spokesman is making a complete pigs ear of this situation. READ the comments and understand that the supporters don’t want Rooney as manager. No success. No pedigree. No hope of taking the team forward. Do the right thing and interview some proper managers. Cannot believe the bad timing sacking a good up and coming manager.

    • Brian

      A decision based on vanity nothing else certainly not football. Feared this was going to happen . I knew Tom brady was trouble. They know nothing about football its just an old pals act brady is a friend of Rooney they are no better than T.T Asia get out of brum this going end in deaster

  4. Stan Moye

    How totally bizarre. I suspect this has been rumbling on and gaining momentum behind the scenes for a few weeks. If JE’s departure had happened after the Watford, Preston and Norwich games, l would have possibly understood it. But having won our last two matches and played some of our best football, the decision leaves me very mystified. Much of the good work by the new board has been undone in my opinion, and it leaves a taste of mistrust. So much for understanding and communicating with supporters.

  5. Mark R

    A huge thanks to John Eustace, who has done a fantastic job at Blues, despite not having that much to work with for much of his tenure.
    I echo Peter and Bill’s comments in that it would be helpful to understand WHY this decision has been made at all, and WHY NOW, just as it seems all the hard work JE and his staff have put in over the last 15 months is starting to bear fruit. And that’s without several key players being available for selection.
    I don’t relish the prospect of Rooney, or anyone else for that matter, being at the helm instead of JE right now.
    However, at least understanding the rationale for this decision will start the process of accepting it.
    My only guess is that the owners want a more well known name in charge to enable Blues to attract better players when we have the financial means to compete for them.
    However, we are unlikely to be in this position (financially) anytime soon, so why not give JE till the end of the season, especially as it looks like we have a real chance of a top 6 finish?
    So in other words the reason for this decision is a mystery to me!

    • Paul Hunter

      Going back to trillion when they sacked roweth ,totaly absurd no ambition hello div one

  6. Roy Smith

    I remember Blues being 6th in the table when the owners sacked the manager to replace him with a “sexy” new boss who’d play attractive football, that manager was Rowett, and it all went really well for the following few years didn’t it? The difference between Zola and Rooney is that Zola was a likeable bloke.
    Just when I thought the Adults were back in charge at St Andrews, this.
    Thanks John Eustace for all your efforts, and good luck with getting owners who are more appreciative next time.

  7. Mitchell

    Have to trust our owners over this. Apart from Leicester City we have a real chance this season. We need change by not allowing injured players sitting out weeks on end. Maybe this area of ‘inactivity ‘ has irritated our wage paying owners. Nuf sed.

  8. WayCoolBlue

    I think this is a disgusting and disgraceful way to treat a manager that has done nothing but good for our club. We were in sixth place doing very well. And the new owners better hope that this works out well because if it doesn’t there in for the biggest backlash of their life.

  9. Robbie Blue

    When the takeover of bcfc was first making headlines part of the story was that Mr Cooke was taking over as CEO and that he had connections within the game and that he wanted to install his own managerial and coaching team. I do not believe that he has ever wavered from that desire. I think that John Eustace has done a really good job, but after every defeat there have been criticisms of his mistakes in team selection, tactics, in play substitutions from many of the fans. I personally would prefer it if Ruddy didn’t clear the ball upfield, sometimes out of play and more often to an opposing player. That, however, is the instructions given to him by JE. Could it be that Mr Cooke is not a fan of that tactic and he would prefer a coach that believes in playing out from the back and retaining possession. We were lucky that the referee was not on the baggies side otherwise we may not have won the game and the feelings of unfairness towards Eustace would not be as strong as they are. Is there ever a good time to sack a manager, especially one, who is constantly surrounded by rumours about his future. Just because we have had a similar experience with Zola, it doesn’t follow that it will happen again. If the new owners have made a terrible error I trust them to sort it out. Have faith.

    • Dave o

      Blues fans give the new owners a chance there trying to take use to next level,plus last time you all moaned about good owners gold and sullivan they sold us to China

  10. Mick Connolly

    I hope all you moaners and groaners are happy now. On this website there’s been a lot of criticism of John Eustace over the last month or so because we didn’t win in four games. Just be careful what you wish for.

  11. Russell

    A well written comment piece by Blues Trust, carefully choosing their words given their need to build an ongoing influential role with the new owners and Senior Management. Just as enlightening is what they didn’t comment on.

    Whilst John Eustace was unlikely to be a long term incumbent given his lack of ‘global presence’ and social media profile, I very much hope that the American owners understand that future success is built upon much more than that, particularly for the role of Team Manager.

    If John Eustace didn’t fit their profile, then they should have made the change before the season started or, if results were not good enough, later in the season. I would then expect the appointment of an individual with a decent track record of experience and success. I suggest there will a number of current Premier League Managers looking for a new opportunity by the New Year!

    The name currently being tipped to replace John fills me with dread – if this becomes reality, I’m surprised that Garry Cook has not been able to compile a shortlist of more appropriate candidates and not just one whose name is recognisable in North America.

    Not a great day for the Club in my view. So much positivity which has now been put in jeopardy, be it with players, staff, fans and seemingly many football journalists. A full explanation is owed to all stakeholders (and the Trust) so we can all understand their rationale and hopefully regain confidence in their decision making.

    …….and finally thanks to John for all his efforts and best of luck at your next club.

  12. m Watts

    Only Knighthead know the level of funding they will be able to make in January and then next summer. They would have had this in mind and want to get their choice of coach / manager bedded in. Again, depending on funding, talks will be talking place now with clubs, agents and players. You have to play the long game to secure the better ones.

  13. Peter Bates

    I don’t think everyone has not been critical of John Eustace at some point and I think at times he was too loyal to out of form players ,but this is about someone managing our football team for being high profile Gary Cooke and Tom Wagner will get seriously criticized if this decision fails ,and I think Mr Rooney will have to get us promoted to call it successfull and I don’t think he is capable of that not on his stats I also think the owner and the CEO have not taken supporters feelings into this decision

  14. Tmsblues1

    There’s regrettable circumstances are very similar to the Rowett departure. At that time the owners commented that they were aware that the manager was talking to other potential employers. Has Eustace been found to be discussing his future with Rangers?!

    • Trevor

      No fear football ! These Americans need to know that if you try to do that without absolute top players you will get hammered. This will be just like Zola. Bottom three by January. Rooney sacked. Evesham Blue.

  15. Lewis Judge

    Well that’s 24th place in the championship secured now we’re back to being a laughing stock again knew it was too good to be true.

  16. Richard Hunt

    24 hours on and still disturbed by events. The cyber worriers who no doubt never go to games have won the day, congratulations. The new man being talked about will fail, he will only have a small % of support from fans and regardless of what these owners think, will make it almost impossible for him to succeed, but he won’t be successful because he just isn’t good enough, simple as that. A full statement is needed from the owners to supporters, otherwise I feel we are in for a massive turn against them and not for them as we have been from day 1. This is a massive mistake which will lead us to a relegation battle and turning against the owners which doesn’t quite fill me with the feel good factor I’ve had since they came in

  17. Bill

    Like many other Bluenoses I am dismayed at the dismissal of John Eustace and the antics of the Blues owners. Together with Craig Gardner the club on the pitch was being steered in the right direction and the new owners were sorting things off it as well. Things were looking up. New players were being integrated despite a long injury list and a settled team beginning to be put in place.

    When the club was taken over there were fine words and compliments made by the new owners. They stated that the club is an ‘Alliance’ but this seems rather hollow now as well as improvements ‘taking time’. The recent announcement does not indicate patience. No doubt with more changes rumoured on the playing side things will change further. Change is not a bad thing however but it has to be justified to stakeholders and carefully managed. Contradictions in long term policy avoided. During my business career I was involved with dozens of reorganisations, disposals and acquisitions in a fast growing business and if I had handled them in this way I wouldn’t have had much of a career.

    I hope the recent events work but in order to do so any further changes have to be handled in a more subtle manner. From the dismissal of John Eustace it seems that the initial idea that they were happy to give the current team management a chance was untrue and perhaps they were waiting for Wayne Rooney to become available.
    This is what most people are either consciously or unconsciously believing.

    The situation does not breed confidence in the ownership of the club and as far as I am concerned all the ‘hype’ in the world is meaningless unless it is believed and I’m afraid I will not be taking anything the ownership say in future at face value.

    Knightshead Capital have to be ruthless to be as successful as they have but football clubs in the U.K. are not like a business. They owe their existence to the support of fervent local people and this is a lesson that has yet to be learned by the ownership.

  18. Stephen Jones

    Not ROONEY big mistake he couldn’t manage a heard of sheep. Get someone with experience why now JE was doing a good job. Thank you JE best of luck for the future.

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