On one level Blues Trust are relieved that, finally, after much procrastination, the Football League have reached a decision regarding a suitable punishment for the Club’s Profit and Sustainability rules infringement. We absolutely accept that Clubs who break the rules as agreed must face appropriate sanction.
However, at each stage we have called on them to take the club’s future sustainability into account when considering what amounts to fair punishment. We are pleased that today’s ruling appears to draw a line under proceedings and allow us to move on to hopefully securing our Championship status and then using it as a platform to build next season.
Our principle objection has been the nature of this protracted, disorganised disciplinary process; so opaque as to make it difficult to justify this reprimand in any meaningful way. For the sake of clarity and consistency we urge the EFL to publish details of its methods as soon as possible.
This would do much to dispel the pervading impression that the EFL have sought to make an example of Birmingham City, which is particularly difficult to reconcile given the comparable financial difficulties faced by so many of our Championship peers.
We look forward to the League applying these new regulations to retrospective and current transgressors with immediate effect.
It is disheartening that, despite the endeavours of Blues’ fans, management and players over the last year, we will again find ourselves at the wrong end of table as the season draws to a close. There is work yet to be done – and lessons that absolutely must be learned – but this season has provided plenty of reasons for the Trust to feel more optimistic about Birmingham City’s future.