Moving In The Right Direction

31 Jan 2024 | 4 comments

There have been numerous off-field announcements from the club over the last couple of weeks, with the focus being on fan engagement and stadium sponsorship in particular.

As part of its evolving fan engagement strategy, the club announced more details about Blues Matters. This is a structured forum designed to bring supporters together with an opportunity, and a voice, to help shape the most important off-the-pitch strategic issues.

Blues Matters will comprise five strategic working groups that will meet throughout the year, with each focusing on a specific area of the club namely;

• The Women’s Team

• Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

• Heritage and History

• Men’s Match-day Experience

• South Asian Community Engagement

The working groups will include supporters recruited from the wider fan base.

Fans have until 11pm on 31 January to apply to join and contribute to these groups. Details of how to do so can be found on the club website.

The club also announced the launch of a new Official Supporter’s Club for disabled supporters. This will build on the excellent work of the two existing independent disabled supporter groups, AccessiBlues and the Birmingham City Disabled Supporters Association (BCDSA).

On the stadium sponsorship front, the club announced a multi-year partnership with Oak View Group (OVG) Europe Ltd. OVG is part of an American professional sports and commercial real estate company which is involved in the construction and management of sports venues.

This was followed by an announcement that the club had entered into a commercial naming rights deal with Shelby Companies Limited, which is majority owned by Knighthead Annuity & Life Assurance Company and certain other minority investors, including Tom Brady. The deal will see the club’s stadium re-named St. Andrew’s @ Knighthead Park. It also includes the creation of a new fan ‘entertainment zone ’@ Knighthead Park, and rebranding of the training ground at Wast Hills.

The deal has been cleverly constructed and is based on an annual sponsorship fee, a Men’s First Team performance-related bonus and a club wide social media performance-related bonus. It will deliver a total maximum payout this season of over £6m if incentives are met, and over £9m next season. OVG were involved in ensuring that the deal was at fair market value.

These deals will significantly help Blues Profitability and Sustainability position, both this season and next, and should help set the foundation for, hopefully, future success.

In the Trust’s view, both sets of announcements are to be welcomed and applauded. After the disappointments and frustrations of the past decade, the actions being taken by those now running the club certainly appear to be moving the club in the right direction. They are also entirely consistent with commitments made previously by the new owners to both strengthen fan engagement and also build and improve the club for its long term future.

It’s an exciting time to be a Blues fan.

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  1. Bill D

    Great to see that the owners recognised their error in appointing Wayne Rooney and we now have in Tony Mowbray the person that can drive Blues on improve the players and also improve results. Hopefully we can progress and challenge for a play off place next season. It’s a pity that the progress made under John Eustace was wasted but ironically we now have a very good and experienced manager. We have to be patient however.

    The progress off the pitch being made by the new owners was never in any doubt however and the club in that respect is operating at a far higher level now and the recent commercial and community initiatives are very impressive. The extra income generated should enable the club to attract better players and perhaps even keep our best home grown talent and develop better links with supporters.

    Good times are coming back. KRO

  2. Karl B

    From what I’ve seen, if the club focuses on those things, then the heritage and history bit will soon get re-written

  3. I roth

    Surely we are on the way up now. We have been the butt of jokes for too long. We need to show the owners that we can fill the ground and support the team.

  4. Steve L

    Thanks for the update. Even now in these calmer waters Blues find themselves in we must never forget the farce that went on before Knighthead got involved. keep up the Trust KRO

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