Birmingham have confirmed that head coach Pep Clotet will leave the club at the end of the current season.
In a statement the Sky Bet Championship club said the 43-year-old had made his own decision to depart St Andrew’s just six months after being appointed on a permanent basis.
Clotet said: “It’s been a really difficult decision to take because it’s a privilege to be part of the Blues family, but it’s the best step for everyone and it allows the club to continue to move forward with their vision and strategy.
“I’m very grateful to the club, its board and the supporters for placing their faith in me to lead the team this season and to face up to the challenges involved in what’s been a key transition under really demanding circumstances.
“It’s now time for us to focus on the remainder of the season and for the club to continue building on these foundations.”
Clotet joined the club as assistant to Garry Monk in March 2018, ascending to the caretaker role in the wake of Monk’s departure before being given the permanent job in December.
Pressure started to mount on the Spaniard after a string of poor performances, although a run of 13 games unbeaten prior to the coronavirus suspension appeared set to buy him time.
Birmingham will resume the Championship season in 16th place, eight points clear of the bottom three.
Clotet also earned credit for his commitment to the club’s young players, with six Academy players making their senior debuts during his reign, including their youngest all-time player, Jude Bellingham.
Birmingham chief executive Dong Ren said: “Pep will depart with our very best wishes.
“Pep came in as a colleague but he will leave as a friend with our gratitude.
“He has done a very good and thorough job for us and has been professional throughout, always putting the club before himself.
“It’s a decision that is filled with sadness for us both. We value Pep very highly and we know how much he loves this club.
“In the meantime, Pep continues to have our full backing and we are all determined to do everything we can to finish the season strongly and give him the fitting send-off he deserves.”