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.
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?
Two consecutive days of share price rises have pushed the stock market capitalisation of Birmingham Sports Holdings to £378M as of close of play on Friday. It seems an insanely high figure for a company which makes the majority of its revenue via Blues. In today’s piece I’ve taken a deep dive into just what else BSH does to try to make some sense of what is happening.
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?
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.
After being given a great chance to properly secure their place in the Championship next season through other teams not picking up points, Blues threw it all away with another dismal display on Sunday. Despite a tinkering with the formation and the recall from furlough of Steve Spooner, Blues looked abject against a Stoke side who probably should have scored a few more.
Wednesday saw Blues concede three goals at home for the fifth game in a row, ensuring that for the second time in a month Pep Clotet and the BCFC board agreed to part ways – this time with immediate effect. Now, for the third time in four seasons Blues face trying to bring in a manager to stop the rot and prevent them from falling into the relegation trap door.
Birmingham City crumbled to a 3-0 defeat to Huddersfield Town on Wednesday night at St Andrew’s. The defeat leaves Blues still only seven points above the relegation zone with Hull City to play Middlesbrough this evening. While it is likely that Blues are safe this season, bums around the second city are definitely starting to squeak.
Blues limped to their sixth draw in eight league games at St Andrew’s on Saturday against Hull City. A woeful first half saw Blues 2-0 down in quick order, and even though Gary Gardner and Dan Crowley managed to pull Blues level within 15 minutes of the restart it took a late Gardner header for Blues to snatch a point.