Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola has been appointed manager of Birmingham City on a two and a half year deal, report the club’s website.
The club’s website quote Club Director Panos Pavlakis expressing his delight at Zola’s appointment: “We are delighted to welcome Gianfranco and his backroom team to the Club.”
The former Italy international has been in football in some form for 32 years, and Pavlakis revealed this was one of the key reasons behind his appointment: “”Gianfranco has a wealth of top-level experience as both manager and player and we are extremely excited about his appointment.”
Zola’s most notable job in management was his spell at West Ham between 2008 and 2010. He oversaw 80 games during his time at Upton Park winning 23, drawing 21 and losing 36. In the 2009/10 campaign, the Hammers finished in 17th place, merely five points clear of the relegation zone. It was a disappointing season and it subsequently cost Zola his job.
Zola has gone on to manage Italy U16s, Watford, Cagliari and his most recent side Al-Arabi. Zola was sacked after finishing eighth in the fourteen team Qatar Stars League. Despite his shortfalls in Qatar, Birmingham have faith that he is the man to take them forward.