December 14, 2016 / 6:23 PM / 7 months ago

Birmingham City sack manager Rowett

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Football Soccer Britain - Newcastle United v Birmingham City - Sky Bet Championship - St James' Park - 10/12/16 Birmingham City Manager Gary Rowett ahead of the match Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Craig Brough Livepic

REUTERS - Chinese-owned Birmingham City sacked manager Gary Rowett on Wednesday after he spent more than two years in charge, saying the decision had been taken for long-term strategic reasons.

The English Championship (second-tier) side are seventh in the standings after beating Ipswich Town 2-1 on Tuesday, with former City defender Rowett, 42, in charge since October 2014.

The club said in a statement there was "genuine sadness" at Rowett's exit but new owners Trillion Trophy Asia (TTA) were "determined to lead the club to a bright and exciting future.

"Supporters can rest assured that the decision has been taken with a strategic, long-term view and with the club’s best interests at heart," it said.

City said TTA had been involved with the Midlands club for more than 18 months and had reviewed all playing and non-playing matters during that period.

It added that money would be made available for a new manager to spend in the January transfer window.

Trillion completed a takeover of the club in October, with shares in Birmingham International Holdings resuming trading after being suspended for nearly two years

Birmingham restructured after ex-chairman Carson Yeung was convicted of money laundering and sentenced to six years in a Hong Kong jail in March 2014.

Hong Kong businessman Paul Suen agreed in June to buy about 60 percent of the company.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris

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