It doesn’t feel like that long since the last season came to an end but already the new one is upon us. Players have returned for pre-season testing, three new signings have already been made; and potentially most importantly, Blues have finalised their backroom structure that had been ripped apart by the sacking of Aitor Karanka and his staff and the subsequent departure of former CEO Ren Xuandong.
The lack of new CEO at Birmingham City since the resignation of Ren Xuandong in May has left some fans concerned to the direction of the club. Despite being an unpopular figure with many, Ren was a visible face of the board and his departure has meant that for some it’s much harder to understand what is going on. However, I believe it’s not Ren’s replacement people should be looking at.
With the Championship season now ended for Birmingham City, attention turns to who will leave the club this summer and who will be brought in. The transfer window doesn’t really start until the new pre-season, but Saturday is the deadline for clubs not involved in the playoffs to submit their retained lists.
Less than 72 hours after the Championship season ended, Birmingham City announced that embattled CEO Ren Xuandong was to step down from his role with immediate effect. The immediate reaction online from Blues fans was of one of almost universal happiness that Ren is gone from the club.
If you’d have told me in the wake of the three-nil humping handed to Blues by Bristol City back in March that Blues would be mathematically safe with two games to go, I’d have laughed. Yet a 2-1 comeback win against fellow strugglers Derby County has done just that, putting Blues in a nosebleed 16th place to boot.
The accounts for Birmingham City Football Club plc and it’s UK parent Birmingham City plc became live on the Companies House website on Tuesday. Although we’ve already seen general information on how the club has fared financially from segmented parts of the Birmingham Sports Holdings accounts, these accounts give us a good chance to understand the specific issues the club is facing.
Sunday sees Birmingham City travel to the New York Stadium to play Rotherham United in a game that could have a massive bearing on both team’s seasons. The Millers’ defeat to Coventry City on Thursday night leaves Paul Warne’s men four points from safety with just two games in hand. Blues sit six points ahead in 19th with destiny very much in their own hands.
What’s in a name? Quite a lot if you judge the buzz on some Blues Facebook groups recently. News and pictures that Birmingham City have removed the former sign outside Wast Hills proclaiming the “Trillion Trophy Training Ground” has been met with thoughts that the club is being sold. Unfortunately for them, it’s not the case.
News broke on Thursday that Coventry City were close to agreeing a return to the Ricoh Arena having shared St Andrew’s with Birmingham City for two seasons. The return would end Coventry’s second recent spell in exile away from their home city – and more importantly for Blues give the St Andrew’s pitch a chance to recover.
Defeat to Norwich on Tuesday was not an unexpected outcome. The best team in the division away from home against a team that can’t buy a win at home right now were always going to be the favourites to pick up the points. However, manager Aitor Karanka’s comments in the aftermath show one of the chief problems the club faces.