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.
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 football season pretty much over, I wanted to turn my attention back to the ownership of Birmingham City. Although the departure of Ren Xuandong from his roles as CEO and Director of the club has been welcomed almost universally by Blues fans, I think there are still some reservations over how the ownership of the club will run the club going forward.
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.
As the old cliché goes, a week is a long time in football. That’s certainly the case at Birmingham City, where there seems to be positivity in the air despite a 3-0 defeat to Watford on Saturday. Although Blues remain just three points above Rotherham in 22nd having played four games more, there seems to be a feeling that Blues can get out of this that wasn’t there last Saturday.
72 hours waiting for 21 words. Just over three days after Birmingham City rolled over and had their tummies tickled by Bristol City, Aitor Karanka’s reign as Birmingham City came to an end. No “thank you”, no “good luck” – just a terse two sentences confirming the Spaniard had exited the building.
Based on results alone, it seems inevitable that the reign of Aitor Karanka had to come to an end. While it’s not been confirmed at the time of writing, practically every outlet has reported that the 47-year-old Basque has departed Blues. So what next?
Another day, another defeat. Millwall were the victors this time, beating Blues 2-0 at the Den on Wednesday night to condemn Aitor Karanka’s side to their ninth defeat in 13 league games. Blues lie one point behind Rotherham in 21st place, although the Millers have two games in hand. For any other club the assumption would be Karanka’s place is untenable – but there is no sign of change. What needs to happen?
It’s been a strange old week for Blues in the media. Less than seven days after taking a verbal beasting from callers on the Radio WM phone-in, Richard Wilford managed to record and broadcast an interview with Blues CEO Ren Xuandong. The 15 minute interview covered a range of topics and offered fans a small insight into the thoughts of Ren.
Saturday’s game against Luton Town isn’t a quite literal must win for Blues but from a figurative point of view failing to beat the Hatters will easily crank up the pressure on Aitor Karanka. The Spaniard continues to be bullish in press conferences before games but from a fan’s perspective it’s getting harder to believe that things are fine.