By Matt Farr
Birmingham manager Gianfranco Zola has resigned from his post following a 2-0 defeat to Burton Albion – and Aston Villa fans are delighted.
The departure was confirmed by the club’s official Twitter account on Monday evening, shortly after the Burton defeat.
— Birmingham City FC (@BCFC) April 17, 2017
Zola endured a torrid time as manager of the Midlands club, winning just two of his 24 Championship games in charge, having been appointed as a replacement for the dismissed Gary Rowett in December.
The resignation from the 50-year-old comes with Birmingham just three points clear of the relegation zone with three matches remaining.
Aside from their own topsy-turvy campaign, Aston Villa fans have been thrilled at watching their rivals falter this season, and celebrated the departure of Zola like a triumph of their own.
Here is a selection of their messages on Twitter:
So disappointed in Zola's resignation, where am I going to get my entertainment from now 😂😂 #avfc
— Felicity Johnson (@FlicJohnsonGolf) April 17, 2017
Personally, I think Zola was doing a fantastic job… #AVFC
— Gary Belcher (@garyjbelcher) April 17, 2017
thank you zola #avfc
— Sammy 13 (@SamuelAVFC) April 17, 2017
We want you to stay, we want you to stay, gianfranco Zola we want you to stay #avfc
— Bendrix 🦁 (@Benjmeister85) April 17, 2017
— Richard Plant (@EffectedFungus) April 17, 2017
— Benito Carbone (@KungFu_Kyle) April 17, 2017
The timing of the resignation comes at a time when Aston Villa were also on the receiving end of a defeat, offering the Villa Park faithful reason to be cheerful.
Aston Villa lost 3-1 to Fulham at Craven Cottage, a defeat that also star goalscorer Jonathan Kodjia sent-off. But the ongoing woes of their rivals quickly saw the smiles return to their faces.
The two sides are set to do battle in the Championship next weekend, with 11 points currently separating the two sides in the table.
In other Aston Villa news, Tony Xia has responded on Twitter as a key man faces a spell on the sidelines.