A long, long time

Young fan

Young child at St Andrew’s

Tomorrow it will be two years since I wrote the first post for this blog, on February 24th 2013. On Friday it will be four years since Birmingham City won the League Cup, the high point before our plunge down and out of the Premier League. None of us had any idea of the bumpy ride that lay ahead. We were relegated in May 2011; Carson Yeung was arrested on money laundering charges in June 2011; his trial started in November 2012 but was adjourned until April 2013. So when I started this blog, it should have already been clear that the problems in Hong Kong were going to be protracted. But I was hoping that once the trial started and a verdict was handed down then the situation would be resolved. I am still hoping for a resolution to the whole complicated mess but not expecting anything to happen quickly.

Wanting things to happen quickly is characteristic of modern life. In football, if success doesn’t come quickly there will always be some supporters calling for a new manager or new players. There is a website devoted to the managerial merry-go-round; it lists casualties and the odds on who will be the next manager to be sacked. Gary Rowett did achieve success quickly at Birmingham City, which brought support from fans but also increased expectations. When he first arrived, most of us just wanted to avoid relegation but I get the feeling that some fans now want quite a lot more than that. We haven’t won a game since January 10th and the patience of the crowd seems to be wearing a little thin at times.

I feel fortunate to have been born before the age of the internet and instant gratification. When I was a child, we listened to the news on the radio or read it in newspapers. If we wanted to read a match report on a Saturday we’d stop by a newspaper seller in the city centre on our way home from the game or wait at the local newsagent’s until the van came and delivered a bundle of Sports Argus newspapers, hot off the press. That background helps me to take a more long-term view. Of course I would love success but stability and sustainability seem more important right now. I want the club to be around for a long, long time so that the kids in the crowd today can bring their kids and grandkids to games in the future.