Stadium Issues

1 Sep 2021 | 53 comments

A couple of weeks ago the Trust issued a statement lamenting the situation with regards to the stand closures and requesting a full explanation and an apology from the club.

We want to update members on what has happened since then.

We have written to the club with a series of questions and offered our help to resolve and communicate issues.

The questions we have posed include the following:

  • Although the problem was originally flagged in December 2020, there must have been inspections in prior years. For prior year inspections, was the potential for future problems flagged up and if so what did the club do about it? What regular maintenance work has been carried out on the stands?
  • The club has had over 8 months to resolve the problem before this current season started. What has happened over those 8 months? When were the contractors selected and appointed to solve the problem? When did remedial work start on the stands?
  • At the supporters meeting on the 3 August, fans were told that the work was on track – yet the club must have known that there was a risk that the safety certificate would not be forthcoming. Why weren’t fans warned of at least the possibility that the stand would not be ready?
  • In brief what were the original issues found, what further issues have been found and when?
  • What was the expected lifespan for the original parts?
  • What is the proposed timetable to fully rectify all the issues?
  • Has availability of cash been a consideration in the pace of repair work and is it a constraint on the future plans?

So far, we have not received a response to these questions.

We are concerned that as well as preventing fans attending games or massively inconveniencing them, the closure is also leading some fans to question whether it is worthwhile continuing being season ticket holders. It is frustrating that the club haven’t responded yet and do not seem to understand the strength of feeling from the fans on this and the need for open communication and some detailed answers. We are also concerned about the ticket ballot with several fans approaching the Trust with stories of poor customer service and tickets not being delivered in time etc. We trust the club will be promptly refunding any fans who were unsuccessful in the ballot, had tickets cancelled or tickets not delivered.

We are surprised and disappointed that the club have not issued any public statements of late to keep fans updated. We would hope for an announcement on the Derby game soon and urge the club to address these issues when they make this announcement.

Blues Trust

Membership

Want to be a full member with voting rights?

We have options for 1 and 2 years at £5 per year.  There is also a 5 year membership for £20 so you get 5 years for the price of 4.  See information and options here.

By making comments on the above article, you agree to Blues Trust retaining your email address should we need to make contact with you for admin purposes.   Let us know at admin@bluestrust.org if you do not wish us to do this.  We will not give out your email address to any 3rd party sources.

53 Comments

  1. james mcgrogan

    Is it possible to close the Railway end to away fans.If not what about putting away fans in the mainstand at the Tilton road end.At the end of the day the silence is not unexpected.Do the Birmingham council have any information.Can they do anything to persuade the board to be more pro-active as they do represent the citizens of Birmingham.I would emphasise that a better atmosphere would be generated if the blues supporters had the whole of the Railway end and two thirds of the mainstand.Lets hope Troy Deeney has a stash.

    Reply
    • WayCoolBlue

      They’ve applied for that before in the past to put away fans in the main stand upper tier and lower tier. But it was refused because they come out onto the main road. Which means fans would merge together at the end of games.

      Reply
      • james mcgrogan

        they can hold back the fans.They meet now anyway by the main road on the hill before McDonalds.Also a lot fewer fans home and away .warn away fans expect to be held in ground for at least 45 minutes.There are always a way .

        Reply
        • WayCoolBlue

          It was the police that objected to it and the council due to police objection rejected it.

          But it’s been a long time since and maybe different people have different opinions 👍🏻

          Reply
    • Linda Magner

      I don’t think they can put and fans in the area without a barrier or health and safety certificate in place. Blues Trust are waiting for Birmingham City Council to respond to a request we made about the repairs but nothing so far.

      Reply
  2. Michael Knowles

    Very well done on the excellent letter to the owners.
    How involved were the previous owners- Gold and Sullivan ? Can you remind me if their responsibilites included work on those two closed stands. I simply cannot remember.
    Where does insurance fall into the challenge?
    Clearly many things have gone well recently to make up for terrible failings previously. However this is awful and certainly demands an urgent response and action.
    Is this part of an obscure master plan?

    Reply
  3. Michael Knowles

    The stadium is now owned by a new entity.
    Can we ask if they have made a comment about the situation and the funding ?
    When the property was purchased, surely a full survey was undertaken and any associated costs agreed.

    Reply
    • Graham Parrish

      Surely blues cannot comment until the work is complete ? If they give a date and work which is out of their hands isn’t completed on time they get more abuse.
      They are partly in the hands of the contractors who may have found more problems that had been found and budgeted for initially.
      Every firm in the country that depends on a fully fit workforce and supply issues with materials and then deliveries are in the same boat.
      They also can’t demand a date for the safety certificate that also depends on availability of the issuing officer.
      A lot of red tape and holidays have not helped.
      The trust I feel is more interested in promoting themselves than genuinely helping the club. Yes just my opinion.
      Our country has become a blame society in which every other person wants compensation. For something or anything !
      Again just my opinion.!

      Reply
      • Tilton Rod

        You are entitled to an opinion Graham and there may be some truth in the reasons you put forward for the ongoing delays. You appear to have some knowledge of the construction industry.

        But as a paying customer is it beyond reason to expect to be kept informed of what is happening? Not every minute of every day….just occasionally? As a courtesy if nothing else? I think it is called customer service and it is important, particularly when things are not going well.

        I’m also struggling to understand your criticism of the Trust. Read the article again. And then read previous articles posted by the Trust. They make the point several times over that they have reached out to the club…on our behalf…offering help to resolve and communicate issues. I’m not sure who else you would have perform such a role?

        I don’t necessarily disagree with you about a blame culture creeping into society. But as a very frustrated season ticket holder, I’m not interested in blame and I am not seeking compensation….just the honouring of the contract that I entered into with the club when I paid £485 in good faith for something that is not available!

        KRO

        Reply
      • Mitchell Bray

        Graham Parrish’s vitriolic comment about the Blues Trust is totally out of order. Yes it is your opinion but nasty and senseless. Any decent individual would reflect on this and possibly issue a belated apology.

        Reply
        • WayCoolBlue

          Not really. There is nothing nasty about his comment. A lot of people share those views these days.

          Reply
      • John Ramsay

        What a load of rubbish, anybody would think you work for the football club. How you can defend them is beyond my comprehension. Don’t talk about blame culture it is a question of PR and keeping their paying customers informed.

        They have had 8 months to repair the top tiers of the stands ( I understand that there are bigger issues with the lower tiers) and at the beginning of August they said at the fans forum the stands would be ready for the opening match. Then chaos ensued. Since then not a word, no update, nothing. Then you question why the Trust seek answers and suggest the Trust are only interested in promoting themselves. I have no words for that.

        I for one are glad they have the fans interests at heart and fully support their actions although not for one moment do I expect the club to respond. The club are treating the fans as mugs and the vast majority of us are angry and frustrated beyond belief.

        Reply
        • wayCoolBlue

          It’s only a load of rubbish if you disagree.

          Reply
      • Big Blue Kev

        Agree with a lot of your comments made. Especially the self promotion. I would just like the club to issue regular up dates and even show images of the problems so fans can fully understand the situation it comes across of what are they hiding. This problem I know they inherited but certain heads of departments I feel have failed in their jobs of keeping the board and owners informed fully. We all know what we think of the owner and certain board members

        Reply
      • Michael Knowles

        I was a little surprised to read your comments Graham. Of course you have an opinion. However the Trust letter requests information which it has a right and responsibility to request. They have not entered the blame game. They represent supporters who feel let down and maybe out of pocket.
        Something is badly wrong when a stadium is half capacity at the start of a season. There has to be accountability so why not ask a few questions.
        We live in the U.K. due to honesty and openness – I think!
        Owners of most football clubs are being questioned about many financial matters. About time too.
        This ground situation is a nonsense and needs clarification please.

        Reply
    • Linda Magner

      Unfortunately we understand that the lease includes a BCFC repairs and Maintenance responsibility

      Reply
    • Linda Magner

      Hi Michael
      It was a question that we asked at the fans Forum. The reply was that the agreement of the rental included maintenance and repairs so BCFC are responsible under this agreement

      Reply
  4. Andy Munro

    I think you have asked all the right questions although not holding my breath on the answers ! The only question I. would add is the excellent question posed by James mcgrogan on seat allocations for away fans
    One other point is who issues the safety certificate and couldn’t we ask them for more info and if it’s the council can’t we ask for disclosure under the freedom of information act.

    Reply
  5. Sausage n Egg

    The lack of clarity towards the fans at best shows incompetence ,at worst it shows contempt . Which it is I do not know . What I do know is the good that has come out of the club since our little friend got elbowed has in large part been undone . Other clubs have far older grounds than us and it just pisses me off to see them fully open when on TV? Are they all ran better than us ? I would say yes they are! Until someone is in place who knows the importance of the club to the fans along with a working knowledge of running a football club nothing will change.. Subterfuge and dishonesty still raises its ugly head and I will not be so ready to accept anything that comes out of the club( again)I will however fully back LB because I think he is going to need all the help he can get… When something good happens ( not often ) our people in charge are all to willing to take credit and tell us how wonderful they are.. When the proverbial hits the fan they go into stealth mode and we get flannel then nothing! Nada! Zilch! While we are at it they still have not had the common decency of issuing an apology.. Let alone an explanation. Perhaps our values are better than those in power?

    Reply
  6. GH

    Well done to the Trust – please keep pushing them for answers and importantly, action! KRO.

    Reply
  7. Eric Jones

    On September 4th I am coming for Victoria Canada to England for family, friends and football being a Bluenose since 50s. Sadly I will travel 6,000 miles and likely see no Blues games at St. Andrews. It is sad to think that repairs should have taken place during Covid when no fans were allowed in the ground. Felling positive about on field activity but not so positive about owner accountabilty. KRO

    Reply
  8. Les Littleford

    As you will be aware from previous correspondence I live in Australia, so I can only watch on from a distance.

    Is there not some corporate watchdog – an ombudsman or anti corruption commission- who can demand answers from the club ? Surely they have some corporate responsibility in the management of the business and should be held accountable.

    From my distant perspective it looks like simple – but massive – mismanagement. And such a tragedy when actual football matters seem to be going so well.

    Reply
  9. WayCoolBlue

    A lot of these questions have already been answered.

    The stadium work and parts pre-existing was supposed to last 40 years

    The stadium safety inspection was every four years.

    The stadium passed its previous four-year inspection but failed this time.

    A small problem was found they removed parts of the stadium and discovered more problems bolts that were missing and I’ve never been fitted from the previous rebuild Something else that is already been explained.

    It’s most likely
    This is down to the Company hired to upgrade the stadium by Sullivan and gold.

    Reply
  10. John Cave

    Thanks, Very informative. Keep pushing them.

    Reply
  11. Big Blue Kev

    Welcome to the party. For the trusts information, the club have started replying to groups/individuals re their own questions raised which are similar. As we can all see on the field QUALITY re off the field a SHAMBLES in certain areas (We have the owners which the majority of fans I would say are aligned in what we think) but we may need to look closer to home at who was responsible for managing the Stand repairs project and who is responsible for managing Communications for the club to the fans Have they not also failed the fans.

    Reply
  12. Mitchell Bray

    I have personally been to the ground this morning. Apart from block paving outside the main stand entrance where a friendly pair of paving contractors spoke to me- there is nothing to be seen either outside or inside. Must mention that at 11am the pitch looked amazing with it being cut. Beautiful I would go so far to say.

    Reply
    • Sausage n Egg

      Tea Break or early dinner? 🍽☕️

      Reply
  13. reno

    they are announcing the ballot today for the derby match get ready for more mayhem

    Reply
  14. Mitchell Bray

    Today’s little rumour that the stadium work won’t be done until Xmas is quite honestly farcical. Nobody knows anything. That is why the likes of myself continue to secure a proper source e.g. management to actually confirm the state of play. Looking at mini plastic barriers, the odd nut and bolt proves nothing. Anybody bothered enough should visit for themselves.

    Reply
    • WayCoolBlue

      Me and my wife own a Manorhouse in Worcestershire it’s our house but part of the house and gardens are open to the public.

      We came across structural issues these issues had to be put right before we could re-open to the public.

      We only live in the first floor of the house bottom quarter the rest of the house is enormous.

      We was given an initial repair Period of 3 weeks this turned into three months three months turned into six months because they kept finding new problems.

      So I know first hand how frustrating this can be it was a complete year before we finally got to re-open to the public and still we are waiting for liability insurance.

      Because it ran out halfway through we couldn’t renew it whilst we had no safety certificate.

      And then we had to change our insurer because the initial insurer increased the payments for the insurance so it was actually one year five months before we reopened.

      We didn’t take our first guests until after that time. So it is quite possible that the work will not be complete until Christmas. For Birmingham to get the stands sorted.

      The amount of redtape during these things is ridiculous.

      But we should not be blaming the current owners for this issue.

      We should get behind them the players and the staff and we could also see if there’s anything we could do to help. Maybe raise funds because money is tight at the club.

      Reply
  15. Mitchell Bray

    Why on earth has Troy Deeney raised the possibility of the old parts of the ground and asbestos. This is self destruction at the highest level. Even Almajir is now writing about it. Just get the club to issue an update of stadium repairs.

    Reply
    • WayCoolBlue

      The asbestos was found behind the cladding of the new part of the ground not the old part.

      The cladding is of the wrong type it is not flammable as it is asbestos but you cannot use this in a public building these days and you shouldn’t of used it when it was used.

      These issues was all found due to a very small issue that failed to pass inspection and removing parts of the stadium they discovered a lot of things was wrong.

      They keep finding new things that are wrong Who ever Gold and Sullivan hired to do this job I’ve done a very poor job it’s only been highlighted now due to the initial small issue.

      It was not possible to get the work done during Covid trying to Bring in construction companies during that period was near on impossible for major construction work. Only government approved construction work was allowed to be completed.

      I have been through this issue myself with my house which is open to the public.

      By the time we actually opened almost 2 years at past. This is not something that the club can give a date on they could perhaps say I’m doing this work we found this problem I’m doing this work this problem has been found and they could keep escalating it but I think that is only going to worry fans more.

      It’s hard to get your head around but unfortunately this is what it is there’s not much we can do about it.

      But why not get behind the club why not all club together and help raise funds to get this issue sorted as quickly as possible why not if we are supporters of the club we can get behind it.

      Reply
      • Sausage n Egg

        Many of us have already donated funds .. our season tickets that we can’t use ….

        Reply
        • WayCoolBlue

          Believe it or not season tickets are like a fifth of a percent of costs to running a football club. These are issues completely unexpected and out of the blue they are extra costs that the club just does not have the money for this is bye-bye all our signings have been free transfers and loans to hold back money for repairs. And I imagine it will have a knock-on effect to the next season. I’ve heard that the third stand will be open for the derby game because it has been completed.

          Reply
          • Sausag n Egg

            I am fully aware of the costs thank you very much.. My hard earned money has been going to the club for many years via ticketing and commercially.You are obviously happy with things which is up to you.. But if i get kicked in the nuts I am not one for saying “have another go I enjoyed that”The fans were in my opinion deliberately misled monetary gain taking place over honesty and respect. As stated previously I will be behind the team and LB.. I will not however be tolerant of the clowns that purport to run the club or there disciples

  16. Smithy

    Waycool. Are you some deluded know all. Fantasy land your living in.You speak as if you are really part of the club.Very transparent i am afraid. Almost bordering on being a Walter Mitty. We see through you.

    Reply
    • WayCoolBlue

      I have relayed every think that I know so far from reading things and taking things in. Most people on here don’t know anything because they have not read the information they’ve started shouting about things and not give the club any time to sort things out. And the link there is proof that it was coming as they said it would. 🤣

      Reply
    • Jimmo

      I think it’s probably you who is living in the fantasyland if you really believe in your response to someone else’s opinion.

      Reply
  17. Mitchell Bray

    Just coming in here on two issues. Firstly it is good news about the third stand being ready for Derby game.(thanks to Troy Deeney statement earlier this morning). Secondly Sausage N Egg is spot on as paying for a season ticket is enough to show you are investing in the club- to suggest extra crowd funding to support stadium repairs is quite simply naive.

    Reply
  18. reno

    see what happens on wednesday if the council gives the safety ok for the upper tiers in the tilton and kop to be open.fingers crossed.

    Reply
    • WayCoolBlue

      Yep lets hope so but I’m not holding my breath I know what the council is like.

      If for any reason it doesn’t happen people need to remember this is not the clubs fault it’s not the current boards fault and they should not be jumping down their throats.

      Because that’s not going to help matters.

      Reply
  19. reno

    latest update looks like its good news for the upper tilton opening up but kop looks like it will be closed for an few more weeks.

    Reply
    • WayCoolBlue

      Yeah there’s a lot of people just trying to pile on the crap and unfortunately blues trust is one of them.

      And also Blues focus. And Daniel at almajir.net and we are Birmingham.

      All of them are out to destroy any progress the club makes by turning the fans against them and bringing all the problems or any issue to the forefront.

      Where in truth every cloud has its problems. Every cloud makes a sneaky deal or two.

      And our club is now different but all is these people do is highlight these issues it was Daniels fault he got a nine point deduction because he investigated things and reported it.

      Are used to support these people but not anymore I’ve seen through them and I have proof that this is their objective. Believe me they do not care about us.

      It’s like a witchhunt

      Reply
  20. Smithy

    Again senseless comments from a bitter individual. Get help.

    Reply
    • Jimmo

      What he/she says is correct . There are a lot of people out to remove this board regardless of who is in charge.

      Because they have their own agendas.

      Reply
    • Jimmo

      There is a great deal of sense in his/her comment. Nothing senseless about it. I think not just you but a lot of people are in denial.

      Reply
  21. Sausage n Egg

    You don’t like the Trust yet here you are posting your inane drivel … If I disliked a fan page and disagreed with its beliefs I wouldn’t give it credence..you should thank them for letting you post your venom. As for Dan ? I think he does great in informing us what is going on behind the shroud of secrecy that surrounds the club I very much doubt he gives a flying F what you think as I’m sure he has bigger fish to fry.

    Reply
    • Smithy

      Sausage N Egg. Well said.We echo your sentiments.

      Reply
    • Dean

      No better way to get your point across them to post it directly on the website where it comes from.

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This