Tuesday night was a good night to be a Blues fan. The weather held off, the team finally managed to break its scoring duck and Tony Mowbray secured the first home win in the league for Birmingham City since November 25th. All in all it made for a good warm up for what appears to be main event on Saturday when Sunderland roll into town.
Despite all the work going on around St Andrew’s in recent months, there has been consistent gossip among Blues fans about the potential for a move to a new stadium. This has been fuelled by people talking about the redevelopment of Birmingham Wheels Park and the potential to build there.
Birmingham City released an update to fans on Thursday evening, confirming plans to proceed with the next stage of repairs of the St Andrew’s Stadium. The update confirmed that work would be done to remove the pre-cast concrete units from both the lower Tilton and Kop during the World Cup break.
The continued efforts by senior staff and board members to regain the trust and confidence of Blues fans continue apace. On Wednesday afternoon pics emerged of the exterior of the Kop stand being covered in new acrylic wrap featuring images of past players and past glories.
The second article in my series looking at where Birmingham City have spent money in recent years focuses on St Andrew’s stadium. The stadium has been the centre of news throughout most of the current regime’s tenure due to the sale of the stadium to Birmingham City Stadium Ltd to get around P&S rules; the closure and partial reopening of the Tilton and Kop stands due to structural issues and the ground share deal with Coventry City FC.
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.
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.
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.