In October 2017, it was reported that Birmingham City had entered into a strategic partnership deal with Unio Esportiva Cornella, a team playing in the Spanish third tier. In this first article of a series looking back at the way the current regime have run Blues, I’ve taken a look at what that partnership did for Blues – and at what cost.
Back in August, I’d hoped that by the time of the October international break we’d be close to knowing when the final work on the Kop and Tilton stands would be at St Andrew’s. Yet here we are not even sure that the upper part of the Kop will be open for the visit of Swansea on October 23.
On Thursday Birmingham Sports Holdings announced to shareholders the end of year accounts for the company for the year ending June 30, 2021. The accounts reflect a year where the business has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic with revenues vastly reduced. However, the sale of Jude Bellingham in particular ensured that the company were able to reduce losses to a more manageable level.
It’s now less than 48 hours until Birmingham City play Derby County and Blues season ticket holders still don’t know if they actually have a ticket for the game or not. Although we’ve had confirmation from the club that the works for the upper Tilton stand have been verbally signed off, it appears that a paperwork issue is now holding up the final sign-off of the safety certificate to open that part of the stand.
It’s less than a week now until Birmingham City play Derby County and there still has not been any announcement with regards to the works to the Kop and Tilton stands. Fans with seasons tickets in the affected stands are still unaware if they will be able to take their usual seat for the Friday evening kick off and with time running short once again the rumours are in overdrive.
It’s a bipolar existence being a Birmingham City fan sometimes. On the pitch things look much improved and on Saturday the team scored five goals in the league for the first time in nearly six years in a thumping 5-0 win over Luton. Off the pitch, the rumour mill is in overdrive with whispers of financial meltdown doing the rounds in a vacuum of information.
Birmingham City have confirmed in a brief announcement that work on the Tilton and Kop stands has not been completed in time for any part to be open for the opening two home games of the season.
Birmingham City’s Chief Operating Officer Lungi Macebo confirmed at a Supporters Forum held on Tuesday afternoon that the work on the Kop and Tilton stands at St Andrew’s was both more extensive and more expensive than first thought. The rumour that work on the lower tiers has not been started was confirmed; with repair costs of more than £2.5million to be shelled out.
It’s been quite a busy transfer window for Blues so far, with eight signings having been made this summer. Judging by social media there is still an appetite for more from many Blues fans – and Lee Bowyer has hinted that he’d like to bring a couple more in. I wanted to look at how much space there was in the squad for more signings and maybe get a hint of who has to go.
Would it be a proper summer transfer window if there wasn’t at least one team in trouble with the EFL? This year’s Championship bad boys are Derby County, who have a stiff embargo, a suspended points deduction and the threat of further punishment hanging over them as we head into the new season.