A View From Down Under – Part Two

1 May 2024 | 0 comments

In Off The Post
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.

When I last wrote in 2021, my article received some kind and interesting responses. Given the club’s current situation, I feel moved to write again.

Last time I wrote about my memories of being a Blues fan, and of the parlous situation they were then in, whilst also celebrating the joy I have experienced supporting Geelong down here in Australia. Australian Football is a wonderful game, but it requires a little learning to fully appreciate it! But I digress.

I am writing before the end of the season because I feel, sadly, pretty confident that Blues will be relegated. There will no doubt be much wailing, gnashing of teeth, and finger pointing if that does happen. But I honestly believe it is not all doom and gloom and this very dark cloud may well be possessed of a silver lining.

Initially there will no doubt be much blame laid at the decision to sack John Eustace. He is clearly a decent man, and had the players working for him. Whether he was actually the manager who could lead Blues back to the Premiership we will never know. I think we do know that Wayne Rooney was not that man, and his relationship with Garry Cooke may well smack of nepotism.

But if it had worked we might well be saying “how great to have owners with good contacts”. John Eustace did not deserve to be treated that way but it is a ruthless business, and the mistake may well have been with the application of the plan rather than the intention.

But from my distant view the problems are older and far more deep seated. They stem from years of mismanagement, from owners who treated the club as a convenient cash asset, and who allowed successive regimes to sign a swathe of ordinary players on extraordinary contracts. I won’t name names. You will all have your own thoughts. But such lack of adequate supervision has created a wide range of problems which can only be solved by serious, competent, professional management.

Which leads me to my silver lining. Knighthead are clearly just that. They have already made significant investment and I am sure will not walk away now.  Success will take longer than they had hoped, but their business credentials are impeccable.

There remain a few imponderables.  Should the EFL take some responsibility for its clear failure of oversight in allowing the previous ownership to take control? Will Tony Mowbray be well enough to return? Will he want to work in League One? How many players will or should remain ? Only time will tell. I will continue to watch from a distance. But I have just turned 81, and my hope is that before I fall off the perch a team with Birmingham’s name to it will finally be back in the Premiership. And that the grand local derby can resume. Unless, of course, the Vile get relegated!


Les Littleford

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