Monk remains dignified in the wake of Birmingham sacking claims

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Garry Monk has been replaced by caretaker head coach Pep Clotet. (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Garry Monk is refusing to enter into a war of words with Birmingham following the club’s claim he was sacked after a fall-out over the use of his own agent in transfer deals.

After City announced Monk’s departure on Tuesday, chief executive Xuandong Ren later revealed the 40-year-old was fired after being told he could no longer use agent James Featherstone in all the club’s transfers.

In an open letter to Blues fans posted on Twitter, Monk referred to the “disappointing comments” but opted not to respond further.

“I am aware of certain disappointing comments the club has made in the wake of my dismissal,” Monk said.

“Mindful of my contractual obligations, it is not my intention, certainly not at this stage, to engage with those comments.

“I would rather focus on the many positives I have experienced in my time with Birmingham City FC.”

Press Association Sport understands there were growing concerns within the club about the influence of Monk’s agent Featherstone.

It has been reported that according to Football Association data, Featherstone was involved in nine of the 18 deals Birmingham completed after Monk joined the club in March 2018.

With a move made to try to sign several of the Under-23 squad to Featherstone’s agency, Omnisports, the club was increasingly wary of a conflict of interests.

Monk also wanted to use long-time friend Featherstone for transfer deals, something which the Blues would not agree to.

Last season, Monk steered Birmingham to Sky Bet Championship safety despite a deduction of nine points for a breach of the English Football League’s profitability and sustainability rules.

“First and foremost, I want to say that the opportunity to manage your club was an absolute honour,” Monk added.

“Last season, our well-documented club issues brought massive difficulties before we had even got started and, although the challenges continued throughout, my staff, players and myself as the manager were all determined to remain focused on delivering an improved and competitive team with a clear identity, both for ourselves and the supporters, and a side that represented the values that are so dear to our fans.

“I believe that the sheer number of supporters that came to St. Andrew’s and travelled the length and breadth of the country to back the team last term is a testament to the improvements that had been made and the belief and unity we had all created together.

“In view of this, the fact that I am not being given the opportunity to build on those solid foundations is a huge disappointment.

“However, I come away with a great sense of satisfaction and pride at the work we have all done up until this point.”

Birmingham announced later on Thursday they were not actively seeking a replacement for Monk after appointing assistant, Pep Clotet, as caretaker head coach.

The club added the rest of their management team remained intact, with midfielder Craig Gardner joining them as player-coach.

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