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Bruce Rioch

Bruce Rioch
Norwich Career: 1998-2000 (Manager)
Current Club:
Date of Birth: 06/09/1947 (Aldershot)
Nationality: Scottish


Bruce Rioch was named as one half of Norwich's new management team on June 12th 1998. As the new First Team Manager, Rioch would be responsible for team selection, tactics and the buying/selling of players. Brian Hamilton would be the Director of Football

Prior to joining the Canaries, Rioch had a distinguished playing career gaining 24 caps for Scotland. His first club was Luton Town, where he moved as a fourteen year old, and he turned professional in September 1964, making his first team debut later that month. His league debut came in November 1964 in a 1-0 home defeat to Southend. He scored 24 goals in 1967/68 as Luton won the old Division Four title. He moved to Aston Villa in July 1969 for a fee of £100,000, then a record fee paid by a Second Division side. He won a League Cup runners' up medal in 1970 when Villa lot 2-0 to Tottenham. He moved to Derby County in February 1974, winning a League Championship medal. He joined Everton in December 1976, but returned to Derby County in September 1977. After a dispute with the Derby manager, Tommy Docherty, Rioch had brief loan spells with Birmingham City in December 1978 and with Sheffield United in March 1979. He then left the Baseball Ground to play for NASL side Seattle Sounders, returning to England in October 1980 when he joined Torquay United as player-coach, working at first under Mike Green and then under Frank O'Farrell.

He played for Luton Town, Aston Villa, Everton and Derby County, where he won a League Championship medal. After a dispute with the Derby manager, Tommy Docherty, Rioch had brief loan spells with Birmingham City in December 1978 and with Sheffield United in March 1979. He then left the Baseball Ground to play for NASL side Seattle Sounders, returning to England in October 1980 when he joined Torquay United as player-coach, working at first under Mike Green and then under Frank O'Farrell. He eventually became Torquay's manager. He later achieved promotion with Middlesbrough and Bolton, these two periods separated with a two year stint at Millwall. His success in taking Bolton into the top flight from two divisions lower led him to be appointed manager of Arsenal. He had a rocky year with the Gunners and was eventually replaced with Arsene Wenger.

After working as coach to Stewart Houston at QPR, Bruce was appointed to lead Norwich back into the Premiership. This lasted less than 2 years. On 13th March 2000, after a run of poor results, Bruce agreed with Norwich to part their ways by mutual consent with Rioch claiming that there wasn't enough resources for him to do what he needed to do. Brian Hamilton took on first team duties until the end of the 1999/2000 season.

In June 2000, Bruce was linked with three top jobs before finally landing the vacancy at Wigan on 26th June 2000 replacing John Benson who stepped down as manager after the club's play off failure. Rioch was linked to vacancies at Leicester, Sheffield Wednesday and Bradford. Following Martin O'Neill's move to Celtic, he was listed alongside Dave Bassett (Barnsley), David Moyes (Preston) and Peter Taylor (Gillingham) as candidates for his replacement. Taylor was selected. He was then linked in The Sun on 14th June 2000 with the Sheffield Wednesday position with their chairman reported to have offered him the position. However former Bradford manager Paul Jewell was appointed to this post but Rioch was then linked to the vacancy at Valley Parade. Bruce was unlucky again here with Chris Hutchings appointed on 22nd June 2000. In October 2000, Bruce was linked with a return to Derby to act as First Team Coach with Jim Smith heading upstairs.

Mere days after Rioch signed Ged Brannon and bid 1.5million for Bobby Zamora, Wigan Athletic announced on 27th February 2001 that Bruce Rioch had stepped down as manager. "After a marvelous career in football things have unfortunately not worked out for Bruce at Wigan, and he has requested that he be released from his position. "Colin Greenall will now take over as caretaker manager." Rioch leaves Wigan fourth in the division two league table. Rioch was eventually replaced by Steve Bruce.

The weekend of 23/24 June 2001 saw strong rumours emit from Hampshire that Rioch was being lined up as part of a managerial dream team with current caretaker Stuart Gray at Southampton. In November 2001, Bruce helped out with coaching duties at Gresley Rovers as a favour to Rovers' manager John McGinlay who had suffered a family tragedy. Rioch and McGinlay knew each other from their days at Bolton.

A return to Derby was mooted in January 2002 with Rioch being an early favourite to succeed the sacked Colin Todd as manager at Pride Park. The following week saw him linked with the vacancy caused by John Gregory's resignation at Aston Villa. Rioch was later linked with the Ipswich vacancy following the sacking of George Burley in early October 2002. Rioch has already told BBC Sport Online he is keen to fill the gap left by the sacking of George Burley. "Obviously I would have an interest in the position at Ipswich Town," said the 51-year-old, who has been without a club since
acrimoniously parting company with Wigan Athletic in February 2001. The former Scotland captain was also interviewed and then short- listed for the job of national team manager - only to lose out to
Berti Vogts.

Bruce then resurfaced the following month when Aberdeen began searching for a replacement for Ebbe Skovdahl who was to retire. Rioch expressed his interest in the job as did his former Ipswich rival George Burley. However the post went to Steve Paterson of the Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Rioch returned to management on 26th June 2005 when he was appointed head coach of Danish Super League side Odense. His son Gregor is head coach of Danish side Koge. In his first season in charge, he led Odense to a third place finish. he has also been talent-spotting for Ipswich. In March 2007, Bruce quit as Odense coach citing homesickness as the major factor. “During the winter break I gave my future at OB a lot of thought, and concluded that I missed my family too much to extend my stay. Since then, however, I have realised that I miss my family and my home in England so much that it has been hard for me to focus on my job. I have therefore decided to go home now.” Rioch's assistant Michael Hemmingsen has been installed as manager for the rest of the campaign with former coach Uffe Pedersen becoming his number two.

In June 2008, Bruce returned to Denmark to take charge of AaB Aalborg. His first big priority was to try to qualify AaB for the Champions League which they entered in the second qualifying round. He successfully guided them into the group stage after defeating FK Modrica and FBK Kaunas. In the group stage, Rioch's side faced Celtic, Villarreal CF and Manchester United.

On 23rd October 2008, Rioch was fired by Aalborg, the team had only two victories from ten games and were second from bottom of the Danish league, Aalborg had also just experienced an embarrassing 6–3 defeat by Villarreal in the group stages of the Champions League. Aalborg's director of sport, Lynge Jakobsen, who suggested a difference of opinion was behind Rioch's immediate departure."Qualification for the Champions League was a success, but we have to say that our results in SAS Ligaen have not been satisfactory,"We have decided to stop now because we are no longer in agreement with Bruce Rioch about what is the best way to get satisfactory results in the coming weeks." Assistant coach Allan Kuhn will take charge of the team for the rest of the year.

At the end of May 2009, Rioch was linked with the managerial vacancy at Scottish side Hibs following the resignation of Mixu Paatelainen

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