Reasons To Be Cheerful

7 Jul 2021 | 5 comments

In Off The Post

The following article has been written by one of our Trust members.  They are the opinions of that person and not necessarily those of Blues Trust.  Would you like to contribute a discussion point of your own about Birmingham City Football Club?  If so, we would be delighted to hear from you.

Twelve months ago, Blues Trust wrote an open letter to the owners of BCFC calling for changes to address the numerous issues the club was facing.  These included developing a sustainable strategy, instilling some stability with long term appointments and strengthening the senior management team.

A lot has happened in the last year, but at last there seem to be a number of positive things happening that bode better for the future.

Firstly, of course, we now have a manager who ‘gets’ the club and who will hopefully be given time to develop the team.  Lee Bowyer made clear in a recent interview that he sees success this year as a mid-table finish, giving a platform to build a promotion challenging side in the future, and that he had impressed upon everyone the importance of gradual progress.  Ideally, progress towards that goal this season will see the manager rewarded with a contract extension to help build the continuity and stability required.

Secondly, there have been several changes at the top with CEO Xuandong Ren leaving and the appointment of Craig Gardner as Technical Director.  The club is also promoting a new collective leadership style at the top, with the Senior Management team playing a more active role according to Edward Zheng’s statement at the weekend.

The appointment of Craig Gardner is an important one.  The formal recognition of the need for a Technical Director brings some much-needed expertise to guide the club on football matters going forward.  Additionally, Gardner seems to have a strong relationship with Lee Bowyer enabling joined up player recruitment.  Already the club has moved to overhaul the player recruitment process and appointed dedicated in-house scouts, as well as starting to develop a plan for how best to exploit the academy’s new Category 1 status.  Initial first team recruitment has been steady with Woods, Graham and Aneke joining, suggesting a greater focus on sustainable value-for money recruitment rather than some of the big (and often scattergun) splurges of recent years – but that is no bad thing.

Finally, there has been a marked improvement in communication from the club with regular announcements and updates including an update at the weekend from the Board.  It would, however, be good if it was to start engagement directly with fan groups to enable more of a two-way dialogue with supporters.

Pre-season is often a time of optimism for football fans but there are genuine grounds for thinking that it is, at last, moving in a positive direction.  That is not to say that everything is rosy: it has lost some players that it would have preferred to have kept; the ground is now majority owned by a third party and repairs are not yet completed; and there is still much to do to address some of the damage done in recent years.  However, the recent progress on a number of fronts means that there are plenty of reasons for Blues fans to be cheerful ahead of the upcoming season.

Neil Cottrell


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  1. Brian King

    This could be another false dawn, I’m telling myself don’t get carted away. 3 free signings and a lone player who’s yet to show any signs is getting into a permanent starting spot. However we’v got Lee Bowyer spreading light and wisdom along with fair slice of know how. Craig Gardner given it is best which I have no doubt will be sufficient and more. A Chinese gentleman who is not too scared to come out and put his cards on the table. Let’s get behind them all and say congratulations blues you’re on your way KRO.

  2. WayCoolBlue

    I’m pleased with the changes at board level Craig Gardner is doing a great job so far.

    And just because the signings are free does not make them bad signings you do not have to spend millions to get good signings into the club. Woods in my opinion will be a massive improvement on our midfield and also help us retain possession.

    Glad we did not sign Prichard I’m not even sure that he was ever in the running in the first place it was probably just a lot of media hype but glad we have not signed him he has been useless the last two years not just useless to his own club but useless as a person breaking Covid rules.

    And getting into fights with team members. We are good to stay clear of him.

  3. R Smith

    Let’s be honest, we are in a financial mess still and so free signings are going to be the norm for us. As long as the newcomers are hungry and fit into a sensibly built squad that’s no disaster.
    Credit for the new communicative approach from the club, and a more sane attitude to running the club.
    Hope Lee remembers that great day at Wembley and plays strong teams in the cups, after all we all like a bit of glory. Some wins against Premiership teams in the cups and a mid table finish and I’ll be happy. That said if England can get into a Euro semi final, seemingly the age of miracles is not over so why can’t we get into the top 6?

  4. Bill

    The changes that have happened recently are very welcome. The financial situation is still a problem though as it is with most clubs in the Championship.
    It’s important that the new management team is given some time to move things on on all fronts and to remain patient. The team seemed to have seriously under performed last season but to expect them to play with the same intensity as they did at the end of last season for the majority of the coming one would be asking an awful
    lot. Hopefully the new signings will help in that respect. It’s vital that we all Keep Right On….

  5. Stan Moye

    I’m really pleased with the positive vibe coming out of the club. The communication from the board has improved, and the personnel changes are sensible and very welcome. The transfer business so far appears very astute. Whilst there’s no such thing as a “free” transfer,
    the club has shown it knows where it wants to strengthen, but will not put the club in a worse position financially trying to do so. Well done to the board, Lee, Craig and all the support staff. We’re lovin what we’re seeing, can’t wait for our first home game. Come on you Blue Boys.KRO

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