Stoke announce Gary Rowett as new manager on three-year deal
By Lyall Thomas
Last Updated: 23/05/18 6:35am
Stoke City have announced the appointment of Gary Rowett as their new manager on a three-year contract.
The 43-year-old completes the switch after the newly-relegated Potters paid the £1.8m compensation clause in his Derby contract.
Rowett said: "This has come around quite quickly, but I am absolutely delighted to make the move to such an ambitious football club.
"It has had amazing stability over the years, has been established in the Premier League for some time and the challenge for me now is, of course, to get Stoke City back into that division as soon as possible.
"The Championship is a unique league and there are certain elements that you need if you are to be successful.
"You have to be robust enough to face 46 games, have the correct mentality to approach going to varying grounds - ones that aren't what Premier League grounds may have been like - and you have to be ready to match the quality of opponents too because the standard of this league has gone up enormously.
"We have to make sure that the guys who report back for the first day of pre-season first and foremost want to be at Stoke City, and that they are willing to put in the desire and effort, that not only I want, but what Stoke City and the supporters of this Club want as well."
Peter and John Coates said: "We are delighted to be able to move so quickly to secure Gary's services and we are now looking forward to working with him towards our objective of returning to the Premier League as soon as possible."
Sky Sports News reported on Monday Stoke had approached Derby for permission to speak to Rowett, whose side were beaten by Fulham in the Championship play-off semi-finals.
Owner Mel Morris was reluctant to let Rowett leave but it is understood his position softened after acknowledging it would be difficult to stand in Rowett's way in the face of Stoke's financial clout.
The duration of the contract was thought to be a sticking point, with Rowett wanting four years, but it has not proven to be a deal-breaker.
Rowett began his managerial career with Burton Albion in 2012 and put them in two League One play-off campaigns, including the 2014 final against Fleetwood, before being picked up by Birmingham City later that year.
He put the Blues on course for the Championship play-offs before being controversially sacked and replaced by Gianfranco Zola in December 2016, which preceded Birmingham's plummet towards the relegation zone.
The former Cambridge and Leicester defender took over at Derby in March 2017 and was linked with the Stoke job in January this year while the Rams were second in the Championship, before they ultimately finished sixth.
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