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Will he stay or will he go?

October 22, 2014

I’ve got massive respect for Gary Rowett; absolutely love the bloke.

This respect for GR started growing after the 7-1 thrashing by Bristol Rovers, of all games. I expected GR to be scathing in his post-match interview. He was the opposite, straight to the point. He’d learnt a lot about this set of players, and he had plenty to think over.

I began wondering what Rowett could achieve with his own set of players. The answer? Consecutive play-off finishes, a trip to Wembley, and numerous cup shocks.

I attended the fans forum last month, an absolutely brilliant night, very positive, with Ben Robinson and Rowett answering every question asked – and in great detail.

Rowett spoke about being approached for the Blackpool job. He also spoke passionately about the amount of hard work and effort he has invested in this current team at Burton, how much belief he had in them, and what promotion would mean to him.

Now I think I remember this correctly, I’m sure I recall him saying;

“If someone gave me the choice of joining a Championship club now, or staying and winning promotion at Burton; I would choose staying here and winning promotion.”

We all applauded.

Which brings me on to today…

Ben Robinson doesn’t stand in the way of a manager, and has today given Birmingham City permission to speak to Gary Rowett.

Rowett played there between 1998-2000, knows people still at the club, and is held in high regard by the Blues support.

Birmingham are a bigger club than Burton, won the League Cup in 2011, and if their off-field issues get sorted they have the potential to be an established top-flight team.

But it’s them off-field issues that make me think this won’t be an easy decision for Rowett.

When Rowett turned down the Blackpool job, it wasn’t a massive surprise, but many Albion fans were saying it’s if/when Birmingham sack Lee Clarke we needed to worry.

I didn’t totally agree; as any Birmingham fan will tell you, they are in a state off the field, and no one seems too sure who the actual owner is… all of this can’t have really helped Lee Clarke.

Is Rowett going to want to go and work at a club like this?

He has the potential this season to earn promotion, a promotion he’ll have put his heart and soul into and is absolutely striving for. Will he risk walking away, only to be walking back into the Pirelli next season for a Burton Albion vs Birmingham City League 1 fixture?

Ultimately, I don’t know. None of us do.

If he does, then I’m sure we’ll all wish him well and thank him for 2 and a bit good season and some great memories.

But if he chooses to stay here at Burton… well this is the awkward bit.

Since Rowett went and spoke to Blackpool, our form has been a bit ropey to say the least. We’ve lost 6 out of our last 10 fixtures in all competitions. Now I know the heights reached at the start of the season couldn’t last for ever, but not gaining a single point out of home fixtures against Cambridge and Morecambe was nigh on unthinkable after that fantastic Sunday in front of the Sky cameras vs Portsmouth.

Was the fact that Rowett went and spoke to Blackpool a cause for uncertainty in the camp, and a factor in our inconsistent last 10 games?

What happens if Rowett says no to Birmingham, but then in a months time say another one of his former clubs, Charlton, lose their manager. The uncertainty starts again…

It doesn’t even have to one of his former clubs, say Barnsley or Doncaster run out of patience with their managers after their unsatisfactory starts to this season, and come calling?

It can’t really continue.

Like I say I’m a massive fan of Rowett’s, but ultimately I’m a Burton Albion supporter and want the best for my club.

Our manager talking to bigger clubs is, like Rowett says, testament to the great work everyone has put in here at Burton, but it can’t keep happening every couple of months.

Over to you, Gary.

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From → The Albion.

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