Chair’s Blog – June 2024

17 Jun 2024

A lot has happened in the past month, both at Blues and more generally in the world of football.



But it would be remiss not to start this blog without mentioning the shocking news that Matija Sarkic (seen with former chair Cliff Horrocks in 2022) has passed away suddenly at the age of just 26. The news was announced on Saturday 15 June. Born in Grimsby, the Montenegrin goalkeeper represented Blues during the 2021/22 season after joining on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers. He only played 23 times for the club until a shoulder injury curtailed his season, but such was the level of those performances that Trust members voted him their player of the season.

His untimely death is a stark reminder of what really matters in life, and certainly puts the passion that we all feel for our football club firmly into perspective. Everyone at Blues Trust is extremely saddened by the news, and we extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to his family and friends at this dreadful time.

At Blues we have seen the appointment of a new manager, ongoing development of St. Andrew’s @ Knighthead Park including the installation of new screens, the announcement of season ticket prices and the launch of the new kit.

Despite relegation to League One there does already seem to be an air of palpable excitement ahead of next season, enhanced by the appointment of Chris Davies and the potential he brings.

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Season ticket pricing seems to have been mainly well received by fans, with just under half of seats being offered at or below last year’s prices and most others not increasing by more than 5.1%. The club reports that demand in the first few days since season tickets went on sale has been exceptional.

The one problem area has been with season ticket holders who have been informed that their seats are being repurposed for the new season. This has meant that they have been displaced to make way for increased hospitality seating, including some occupying Club Class seats.

Whilst it was flagged at the last Open House meeting with the club that the number of hospitality seats would be increasing, it was not made clear exactly where this would be. A number of fans who are affected are, understandably, put out by the announcement.

The process of reallocating those affected seems to have been well handled by the ticket office based on feedback received to date. The one area which people felt could have been handled much better though was earlier consultation from Blues. This is something the Trust will be raising with the club.

Read more from Blues Trust:  New Manager: New Optimism For Birmingham City?

More widely, the recently announced general election brought an end, for the time being at least, to the Football Governance Bill that was making its way through Parliament. Blues Trust, alongside other supporter groups from across the country, co-signed a letter to the major party leaders calling on them to include a commitment to re-introduce the Football Governance Bill in their election manifestos.

With the publication of the manifestos this past week, it is encouraging to note that all three of the major parties – Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat – have committed to re-introduce and pass the bill.

The ongoing lack of agreement between the Premier League and the EFL on financial distribution, and Manchester City’s current and unprecedented legal challenge to the Premier League effectively wanting more control over money, illustrates one of the important reasons why an Independent Regulator is urgently needed.

Neil Cottrell

Chair, Blues Trust

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