Editorial: Not A Game

Blues started the new football year on July 1 with news of two departures. Che Adams departed for Southampton for £15million while it was confirmed that Michael Morrison has moved on having failed to agree a new deal. With so many holes to fill in the tea, how are Blues going to go about doing this?

Birmingham City FC

I don’t want to go into details about who we’re chasing or how close they are because my friends at We Are Birmingham can do a much better job.

However, I think methodology is important – particularly after the shenanigans of last summer which saw Blues trying to sign players (and succeeding in the case of Kristian Pedersen) despite operating under transfer restrictions.

Last summer was everything that has been wrong with Blues at late; a manager given a budget of £10million plus despite the club being embargoed; players being chased despite Blues not being able to register them and a humiliating climbdown ahead of the new season.

This year should be better; the sale of Adams which has been confirmed along with the potential sale of the stadium should ensure that profit and sustainability rules are easily adhered to and Blues are operating this summer embargo-free.

However, with Blues now being managed by a “caretaker Head Coach” who has the role permanently for now, one has to wonder just who is identifying players and doing deals.

As far as I can see, the main people with input in who Blues are to sign are the board – namely Ren Xuandong, Edward Zheng Gannan and Shayne Wang Yao.

Although all three are newcomers to the English game they’ve had a year to meet people and make connections – and I have no doubt they’re now using those connections to get a list of targets together who are possible signings.

They’ll have assistance too; the scouting department never stop working while senior staff like Kristjaan Speakman will also have some input into what Blues should be looking for player-wise.

However, based on everything I’ve seen the final decision will be made by the board.

This makes sense – after all, they are the ones that the owners have entrusted with the purse strings.

The hope has to be that they will learn from their mistakes.

From everything I saw of last summer, the biggest problem was that there was a breakdown in communication.

The board – and Ren in particular – wouldn’t listen to advice from their staff on how to operate, which led to Blues being deducted nine points in March.

Although there is no danger of sanctions this summer, that cannot happen again.

If Blues are to be successful in the new season, it’s absolutely certain that we have to do well in this transfer window.

The only way this can happen is if everyone works together to nail down the best players to take Blues forward – which means the board taking on board the advice of those who have been in the game longer.

I can imagine that for someone in the role of CEO of a football club it would be easy to play out fantasies of Football Manager.

However, this isn’t a game – and it’s not something that can be quit and restarted if things don’t go right.

The last couple of weeks have been difficult for Blues fans but they could all be forgotten with the right signings and the right start to the season.

It’s imperative now that the board park their ego somewhat and make sure that they have the tools in place to make that happen.

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