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Birmingham backs McLeish for Premier League return

Birmingham City have said that Alex McLeish will stay on as manager despite Premier League relegation

AP, Ahram Online, Monday 23 May 2011
Alex McLeish
Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish (Photo: Reuters)
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Birmingham has decided against firing Alex McLeish despite the club's relegation from the Premier League and says it expects its manager to engineer an immediate return to the topflight.

Birmingham was relegated Sunday following a 2-1 defeat in its final match at Tottenham and acting chairman Peter Pannu says fans "have been let down." Pannu added that owner Carson Yeung had provided the club with 40 million pounds ($65 million) to help stave off demotion and that the "board will take stock of what went wrong this season." Birmingham's third relegation in six seasons came after the team scored just 37 goals in 38 matches. No team won fewer matches away from home than the two managed by the Blues.

In another context, relegation may have canceled the club's bid to sign Egyptian Zamalek’s midfielder, Mahmoud Abdel-Razik "Shikabala" as they reportedly offered him a bid to replace Aliaksandr Hleb, whose loan from Barcelona expires at the end of the season.

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