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Wednesday, 12 December, 2001, 15:03 GMT
Birmingham unveil Bruce
A High Court injunction requires Steve Bruce to work out his notice at Crystal Palace
Palace were unhappy at Bruce's decision to quit
Birmingham City have confirmed Steve Bruce as their new manager on a five-year contract.

The former Blues' defender switches places with Trevor Francis, who was appointed to Bruce's old post at Crystal Palace after being sacked by Birmingham .

Bruce's appointment follows a long and acrimonious wrangle over the terms of his release from Palace.


I am excited at the prospect of the remainder of what I hope will be a very successful season
Birmingham joint-owner David Sullivan

Bruce had tried to resign as Palace boss in October in order to take over at St Andrews.

But he was suspended by the London club, who were unhappy at his decision to leave to go to Birmingham.

Palace won a temporary injunction preventing Bruce from leaving the club without serving a nine-month notice period.

  Steve Bruce timetable
15 October: Trevor Francis sacked as Birmingham manager.
28 October: Bruce says: "I'm extremely happy at Palace."
1 November: Palace rebuff official approach from Birmingham.
2 November: Bruce's resignation rejected by Palace owner Simon Jordan.
22 November: Palace win High Court injunction preventing Bruce from quitting.
30 November: Trevor Francis confirmed as Palace's new manager.
12 December: Bruce confirmed as Birmingham manager.

The bitter dispute went to London's High Court where a judge ruled that Bruce must stay at Palace until 14 January when the case was due to return to court.

But a week later Palace appointed Trevor Francis as their manager, who was sacked by Birmingham to make room for Bruce.

Bruce will bring in his coaching staff of Mark Bowen and John Benson, also on five-year contracts.

The trio worked together at Crystal Palace and Wigan.

They will step into the places vacated by departing caretaking management duo of Mick Mills and Jim Barron.


He's the ideal man to pull the club together to get them out of the First Division
Former Blues' boss Barry Fry

Birmingham City's joint-owner David Sullivan said: "We are delighted to have installed Steve Bruce as our manager.

"I have been very low while our on-going search for a new manager has progressed but it has now been well worth the wait.

"I am excited at the prospect of the remainder of what I hope will be a very successful season."

See also:

02 Nov 01 |  Eng Div 1
A man in a hurry
12 Dec 01 |  Birmingham City
Francis unhappy with decision
11 Dec 01 |  Eng Div 1
Birmingham 1-0 Crystal Palace
12 Dec 01 |  Football
Bruce goes back to basics
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