Rigg appointed Birmingham City Academy Technical Director

Mike Rigg: Technical Director at Burnley from 2018 to 2021

Mike Rigg: Technical Director at Burnley from 2018 to 2021

BIRMINGHAM CITY have appointed Mike Rigg to the new role of Academy Technical Director as they bid to return to Category One status by the start of the 2025/26 season.

Rigg, 53, is hugely experienced, having been Technical Director at UAE Pro League Club Al Jazira from 2021, as well as at Burnley, Manchester City, QPR and the Football Association of Wales. His time at Manchester City, from 2008 to 2012, coincided with that of Birmingham CEO Garry Cook.

Rigg will work closely with Birmingham’s Academy Manager (Football), Liam Daish, and Academy Manager (Operations), Louisa Collis.

Cook said: “Nothing is more important to the future success of this football club than the Academy. That is why we have appointed Mike Rigg, a senior, respected leader in the professional game. His goal is to make the Academy world class, attracting the best young talent and developing them into outstanding professionals and people.

“He will be given the time and the necessary support to make the Birmingham City Academy revered across the globe.”

Rigg added: “I spoke to Garry Cook and (Technical Director) Craig Gardner and they shared the plans and vision for the club. To be part of that, at a club with the history, traditions and potential of Birmingham City is really exciting.

"It is a really important time as we work towards Category One status. It is a significant challenge, but it is essential to attract and develop the best possible players.

“I have been fortunate over the past 20-plus years to see youth development on a global scale and the EPPP introduced by the Premier League in 2012 has created the best youth development system in the world. Ensuring we are at the top table is critical.

“However, youth development is something you have to consistently work on, seven days a week, 365 days of the year. Player recruitment, player coaching and development, education and welfare are all fundamental to what we do. We will be looking to make our Academy world leading in all these aspects in the years to come.

“The immediate plans will be to achieve Category One status but this is just the start. Our ambitions are to be recognised as a world class youth development programme.”

Birmingham became the first club to have their Academy forcibly downgraded in May 2022, having held Category One status for only a year. However, that was under the previous ownership of Birmingham Sports Holdings Limited, a Hong-Kong Stock Exchange-listed front for a collection of companies, headed by Cambodian businessman Vong Pech.

In the summer of 2023, the club was bought by Knighthead Capital, whose co-CEO Tom Wagner became Blues Chairman. Knighthead said returning the Academy to Category One was one of their priorities.

Read more on:

AcademiesBirmingham City

More stories

Sign up to our newsletter to get all the latest news from The Guru