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Premier League - McLeish quits Blues, favourite for Villa job

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Premier League - McLeish quits Blues, favourite for Villa job

Post  1892NUFF on Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:09 am

Alex McLeish has resigned as manager of relegated Birmingham City and is favourite to take over at bitter rivals Aston Villa.

The Blues claimed a first major trophy since 1963 by beating Arsenal to win the Carling Cup this year, but stuttered late in the Premier League season to go down on the final day. They will play in the Europa League next season as a result of the Wembley win.

McLeish's job was recently declared safe by acting chairman Peter Pannu, but he has decided to walk.

The Blues stated: "Birmingham City Football Club can confirm that Alex McLeish has resigned as manager.

"Acting chairman Peter Pannu received an e-mail resignation from McLeish earlier today while away on business in Amsterdam.

"No further comment will be made at this moment in time and updates will be released in due course."

McLeish may have made the decision to free the way to take over at Villa Park after Gerard Houllier left the club due to health problems.

He has been installed as 1/5 favourite by William Hill ahead of David Moyes (7/1), Simon Grayson (20/1), Gus Poyet and Claudio Ranieri (both 25/1).

Roberto Martinez turned down the Villa job last week to stay at Wigan while Mark Hughes, Steve McClaren and Rafael Benitez have all been ruled out at various points.

Former England boss McClaren is in talks with Nottingham Forest after they sacked Billy Davies on Sunday afternoon following a further failure in the play-offs.

McLeish quit his job as boss of the Scotland national team in order to take over at St Andrew's four years ago. He was unable to avoid relegation that season but won promotion the following season before finishing ninth in the Premier League, the club's best showing for 51 years, in 2009-10.

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