Birmingham backs McLeish for Premier League return

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.