Championship sides Sunderland and Birmingham City have shaken up their managers recently. Sunderland made a switch by choice after its boss had 12 weeks in charge. Birmingham City, though, changed coaches because of a health concern.

In Sunderland’s case, the club removed Michael Beale from his post after just nine weeks. Beale was leading the dugout for 12 games. That saw the Black Cats fall from sixth in the Championship table down to 10th. The former position would be good enough to reach the promotion playoffs for the second straight season. Instead, Sunderland is now four points adrift of the playoff spots with clubs like Norwich City, Hull and Preston North End above it. Each of those three is in good form.

As stated, Beale took over two months ago, and he replaced Tony Mowbray. Mowbray, who was the coach to guide Sunderland to the promotion playoffs last season, was a surprise sacking this season when Sunderland was sixth in the table. Birmingham City snapped up Mowbray after the failure of Wayne Rooney this season. With Birmingham City threatening relegation, Mowbray helped Birmingham City to 10 points in his six games in charge.

Now, Mowbray is stepping down for six to eight weeks from St. Andrews’ Stadium to receive medical treatment. The club did not specify what Mowbray’s condition was, but Mowbray commented that he must leave the club temporarily.

“Following my recent LMA Health Assessment I have received a medical diagnosis that will require me to receive treatment,” Mowbray said. “Undergoing treatment will necessitate that I temporarily step away from the technical area as manager of Birmingham City Football Club.”

Sunderland and Birmingham City guilty of strange moves with managers

Mowbray has played a role at both Sunderland and Birmingham as manager this season. When Sunderland sacked the boss earlier in the campaign, fans of the club questioned the move. Throughout Michael Beale’s tenure, supporters resorted to social media to voice their frustrations with the manager.

Regardless of their motives, Sunderland has transitioned into a club that is investing in youth as a long-term strategy. Continually switching the manager saps any form of consistency in tactics and development for many of these young players. Now, Mike Dodds is taking over on an interim basis. To add to the frustration of a lack of a consistent manager, Dodds is taking over as interim boss for the third time in three years. Traditionally, Dodds is the head of individual player development. Therefore, he has experience with much of the squad.

In Birmingham City’s case, assistant manager Mark Venus will step in for Mowbray while he is out. Thanks to Mowbray’s work. BCFC is no longer in active threat of relegation. There are six points of separation between Birmingham City and 22nd-place Queen’s Park Rangers, which is by no means overly secure. Moreover, challenging games against Ipswich Town and Southampton, two promotion candidates, are coming up.

Mowbray’s medical attention rules him out until April at the earliest. The close to the season upon his return could be crucial should results not go Venus’ way as interim manager.