Keeping An Eye On The Ball
Now that the dust has begun to settle on the shambolic launch and then almost immediate collapse of the European Super League, it is worth taking stock of the role played by fans during the short-lived fiasco.
The response from supporters was one of utter disgust and condemnation. And the response was pretty much universal. Certainly across England and, it would seem, Europe too. Ordinary rank and file football supporters, including those of the so called “Big 6” themselves, had reached the end of their tether. It has been a while since the football family last reacted with such fury.
It helped, of course, that other stakeholders in the game also reacted with anger and contempt. The media, other club owners, brave players and coaches, even the Government itself, all cried foul in protest. And the overall impact was dramatic. And, in the end, utterly effective.
But the contribution made by fans is worthy of particular attention. It was a game changer. And we must not forget that in the weeks, months and years ahead.
It would be foolish to think that all is suddenly rosy now that the owners of the “Big 6” have swallowed humble pie and returned to the comfort of their sprawling estates or luxury super yacht’s, wherever it is in the world those might be. Many excellent articles have been written this past week explaining how fragile professional football still is given the selfishness, incompetence and greed that pervades it. So we must remain vigilant and, as any accomplished defender will know, keep our eyes firmly on the ball.
The situation at our beloved club is an example in point. The current ownership of BCFC gave us all cause for serious concern before the ESL calamity, and those concerns remain still. Nor should we be blindsided because of the excellent work undertaken by Lee Bowyer, his staff and the players since he was appointed back in March. The turnaround in form has put a spring in the step of every Bluenose. But the owners and executive are still there. It is our view that the club remains in peril with them at the helm and we simply cannot afford to ignore that.
Of course, it should be acknowledged that running a professional football club in this day and age must be a very challenging task. It cannot be easy given the financial pressures that exist within the football framework, a situation made so much worse by the impact of the pandemic. The sums involved running a club in the Championship are huge and no matter how frustrated we might become as supporters, particularly when results are not favourable, we have to recognise and understand that. The challenge, however, increases significantly if those running the club are remote, unresponsive and seemingly unable to grasp the basic requirements of running a successful professional football club. In such circumstances, you have to wonder why on earth they persist.
But the ownership and executive of Birmingham City Football Club are persisting. So we, as loyal and committed supporters, must confront that and do our utmost to hold them to account and, indeed, to call them out if and when the need arises. It is crucially important that we keep our eye firmly on the ball that is the ownership and executive of our football club.
It is too soon to say whether the debacle of the ESL will lead to any significant change within professional football. But this past week there have been some encouraging signs that it might. The Government has publicly started to take an interest…albeit overdue…in football governance and the importance of the national game. Fan groups and supporter Trusts are suddenly receiving a lot more media attention and being given a platform to express their views. And, perhaps significantly, the idea of fan ownership models similar to those that already exist in Germany is gaining traction.
The Blues Trust is ideally placed to act as a conduit for dialogue between fans and the club, if ever the club decided to change its stance and engage with its supporters. Indeed, it is one of the reasons why the Trust was first established in 2012. Carson Yeung……remember him? The Trust is also actively engaged in researching and developing alternatives to the current ownership regime at BCFC should they decide to sell up and leave, or if the club suddenly found itself being forced into administration.
But to be truly effective the Trust urgently needs more members. We need to increase our numbers to improve still further our chances of making an impact with the club. We value each and every existing member and thank them for their continued support. But if you are a Bluenose, wherever you are in the world, and you are not a member of the Trust please consider becoming one. If you want to join and then support the team effort with your energy, knowledge and skills, even better. We very much want to hear from you.
It doesn’t matter if you are already associated with another Blues supporters group. We acknowledge them all and support the valuable contribution that they make, and we would encourage you to continue your involvement. The Trust is not competing with those groups, and has no wish to do so. The Trust’s purpose is to ensure fans have a true voice in the things that affect the club and how it is run, and with a strong and unified voice we give all supporters the best chance to influence change at the club.
Full details about the Trust, which is run entirely on a voluntary basis, can be found at bluestrust.org .
Blues Trust has partnered with the Tilton Talk Show to prepare an open letter to the owners of Birmingham City PLC and the Board, which was published yesterday. We are asking Blues fans to sign up to the contents of the letter that calls for the appointment of an experienced CEO to stop the rot of the 10 years of decline. The idea is to demonstrate to the owners that the vast majority of fans whilst backing Lee Boyer and the team are demanding change at the Board and CEO level.
To have your voice heard please read the details in the article and then complete the petition information. The more signatures the louder your voice so if you have 5 season ticket holders or people who watch the games then we need all 5 to sign. So come on lets #tiltontalkshow #BluesTrust #bcfc #KRO #getyourvoiceheard !
We are still taking votes on our petition so please do take part – the more fans to sign, the louder our voice. Here’s a direct link to the petition.
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