Gary Lineker urged the BBC to delete a social media post about Wayne Rooney after the former Manchester United striker was sacked by Birmingham City. Rooney was relieved of his duties after just 13 weeks in charge of the Blues, who only managed to win twice in the league under his guidance.
Rooney took over at Birmingham when they were sitting in the play-off places but guided them down to 20th before his exit was officially confirmed on Tuesday. The BBC followed up by posting a mock-up of Rooney dressed in a three-piece suit, a reference to the hit TV show Peaky Blinders.
The image was posted alongside the caption: “By order of the Peaky Blinders, Wayne Rooney has been sacked by Birmingham City.” The post sparked a huge backlash on X, formerly Twitter, with angry fans branding it ‘cringe’ and a ‘bad idea’ before Lineker weighed in by offering some advice to his own freelance employers.
He went straight to the point in his two-word reply, with the 63-year-old simply writing: “Delete this.” Lineker’s request was promptly granted by the BBC, who removed the post shortly after his blunt message began to gain traction.
Rooney’s sacking leaves Birmingham searching for a new manager for the second time this season, with former boss John Eustace having been relieved of his duties back in October. The former responded to the news of his exit with a thinly-veiled dig at the Blues hierarchy, insisting that he was not given enough time to be successful.
He also confirmed that he will take a break from management before deciding on his next move, writing: “I want to thank Tom Wagner, Tom Brady and Garry Cook for allowing me the opportunity to manage Birmingham City FC and the support they all gave me during my short period with the club.
“Football is a results business and I recognise they have not been at the level I wanted them to be. However, time is the most precious commodity a manager requires and I do not believe 13 weeks was sufficient to oversee the changes that were needed.
“Personally, it will take me some time to get over this setback. I have been involved in professional football, as either a player or manager, since I was 16. Now, I plan to take some time with my family as I prepare for the next opportunity in my journey as a manager. Finally, I wish Birmingham City FC and its owners my best wishes in the pursuit of their ambitions.”