Garry Monk sacked by Birmingham after board row

Pep Clotet has been appointed caretaker head coach

Birmingham City manager Garry Monk
Image: Garry Monk has been removed from his role after 16 months in charge

Birmingham City have sacked manager Garry Monk following a dispute over the transfer policy of the Sky Bet Championship club.

Monk was opposed to the deal which saw Jota leave St Andrew's for cross-city rivals Aston Villa and Gary Gardner move in the opposite direction.

Sky sources understand the swap deal put strain on the relationship between the club's hierarchy and Monk, who has now been removed from his role after 16 months in charge of the Blues.

"The Board of Directors believe this to be in the long term interests of the club," read a statement released by Birmingham.

"We thank Garry for his efforts and we wish him the best for the future.

"Pep Clotet has been appointed caretaker Head Coach and the remainder of the coaching and backroom staff - including Sean Rush, Darryl Flahavan, Ryan Needs and James Beattie - stay in place.

"Pep takes charge of team affairs with immediate effect.

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"The Board of Directors are hopeful that over time the team can adopt a fresh and modern footballing philosophy, whilst maintaining the club's core values.

"It is our intention to drive the club forward and challenge for promotion."

Birmingham's statement also reflected on the "significant challenges" the club had faced balancing the books off the field, but maintained there would be improvements to the squad, with the owners "committed to continued investment".

The club said there would be a renewed focus on youth development "even more so than before".

The statement added: "We are certain these young players - as those in our first team already - will be hungry to succeed as we begin a new chapter.

"The board of directors feel that it is vitally important for everybody at the club to be sharing the same vision and commitment to the plans and processes."

Monk - the former Swansea, Leeds and Middlesbrough boss - had taken over at St Andrew's during March 2018, and guided the club to safety despite a deduction of nine points for a breach of the Football League's profitability and sustainability rules.

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