BCFC: The Transfer Rush

Birmingham City announced the first signing of the 2024 summer transfer window on Tuesday afternoon, bringing keeper Ryan Allsop back to his boyhood club from Hull City for an undisclosed fee. After a summer of anticipation is this where the floodgates open?

We are Birmingham

I have to admit, I was getting impatient for the news of signings. I know from asking people at the club that pre-season starts on July 1 and with that in mind it seems important to me to start getting players into the club.

However, even though Blues will be spending this season at least in League One, I can’t help but think that this summer is a huge one to get right.

Financial constraints are somewhat loosened, a new boss is in the hotseat and the squad is ready to be filled. What are we waiting for?

Clean Slates

As much as we’re all excited to see what players can be tempted to The Project™ this summer, one of the most important jobs Chris Davies to do first is to assess the players he already has available to him.

While many players have been released and maybe more will be transferred out, it’s only logical that Davies needs to work out exactly what he has to work with as a baseline.

Importantly, Davies has to assess not only the skill level of players at his disposal, but the mentality as well.

I’m sure many people would agree with me that for a fair chunk of last season it felt like there was a poor level of mentality and commitment from at least some players in the squad.

And while some of those players have moved on, I think it’s imperative that Davies sits down with players to work out who is willing to be part of the next part of the Blues journey and who needs to get off the rollercoaster.

It’s at about this time the whole “clean slate” concept comes in.

We saw it a lot last year. Manager / coach comes in, declares that the squad have a “clean slate” from what has gone on before and the opportunity to make their case for inclusion in the matchday XI.

As a concept, it’s not something I’m completely against.

Managers and coaches will have favourites based on what they’ve seen, and those who aren’t in favour will find themselves on the sideline.

If a new guy comes in, it’s only natural to want to give everyone a fair crack of the whip to show that they can impress.

However, I think it’s a concept that has to come with caveats.

Last season was, for want of a better word, a shitshow.

While I understand that people will have their scapegoats for who they want to blame from a coaching perspective, my personal opinion is that many players need to take a good look at themselves.

With this in mind, as much as I think Davies needs to go into his assessment with an open mind, I also think that the time for clean slates is over.

I think it’s imperative that players are told that in no uncertain terms that the performances of last year cannot continue into this season, and that regardless of whether they think that they had any blame for last season they accepted that they have to be better.

As a coach of many years standing I’m willing to trust in Davies that he can make a decision of whether a player is going to shape up or not, and I’m absolutely willing to back him if he decides a player needs to be moved on.

Once Davies has a better idea of who he is keeping, it will be easy to make decisions on what positions Blues need to recruit for and in which priority order.


This summer has been an interesting one as a Blues fan. Normally when a team has been relegated there is a gloom hanging around a club and fans can be agitated as to what is happening with their team.

At Blues it’s been different; there is a palpable sense of excitement even though the club will play next season in League One.

Season ticket renewals have been high and there have been an impressive number sold to new and lapsed fans.

That excitement has ensured that there has been some impatience from some quarters with regards to new signings.

For example, as Rotherham United completed a bunch of early signings there were moans from some quarters that Blues hadn’t been in for the same players.

It’s also pushed expectation levels up higher than they have been for some time.

Despite Ryan Allsop playing the majority of league games last season for a team that finished seventh in the Championship, I’ve seen some fans question if he is the right player for Blues in League One next season.

This all feeds back into something I’ve talked about consistently since long before the season finished – that this summer was going to be a high pressure one for the recruitment team at Blues as well as Technical Director Craig Gardner.

This pressure is only added to by the changes in the recruitment staff thanks to the departures of Frank McParland and John Park.

It means new staff will have to come in and hit the ground running if they are to have any effect on this transfer window; otherwise Blues will have to rely on the work done by previous staff to bring in the players needed for the season.

It’s also clear that Davies will have a big say in who is signed for the club.

In my eyes this means that there may be some changes as to who Blues pursue in the window; as Davies might decide that previous targets don’t match the criteria he is looking for.

Hopefully the signing of Allsop indicates that Blues are at a point where they have identified who they want and we’ll see more signings completed in the near future.

It’s also interesting that like the process to bring in Davies, there is much less chatter about who will sign for the club.

While this is frustrating for those who enjoy the “ITK” type posts on social media, I think there are benefits as to not getting involved with public battles for players.

I’m interested as to how long Blues can continue this radio silence approach, particularly as the season and the end of the transfer window draws near.

The last week has really felt like things are coming together at Blues.

The announcement of Davies as manager along with season ticket and kit releases have got me personally into a position where I’m getting properly excited for the new season.

And as much as I want Blues to get on with signing players, I do have this strange feeling that Blues are doing everything they can to sign the right ones in the right way.

Is this the summer where the club really does get things right?