I’m a bag of nerves when Birmingham City is playing but usually manage to cope ok the rest of the time. However, I’ve got the blues about the Blues at the moment. It’s not the run of dreadful results or the possibility of relegation that’s depressing me; my team has given me lots of practice in dealing with that sort of thing.
I’m sad because I feel as though I’m a dinosaur, a dying breed of football supporter who is out of step with the majority. One of my football heroes is not a player but a fan, Brian Lomax. I’ve mentioned him several times on this blog and I share his beliefs on football support. The following is a quote from what David Conn wrote about him following his death in 2015:
“I believe there are certain very important values in life and that football support embodies them,” he said then. “There is a sense of pilgrimage, of going to a sacred place; there is loyalty, sticking with something through good and bad times.”
He scoffed at the idea that football is merely an entertainment business, in which shareholders should be entitled to make money however they can.
“It’s about emotion, about sharing and comradeship, about the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. These are very deeply rooted human needs and I believe that that is at the root of people’s love for football and loyalty for their clubs.”
This feeling of being out of step has arisen because of discussions and news reports about the appointment of Harry Redknapp as manager of Birmingham City. I know that he has not been convicted of any crime but am concerned about his reputation. Some fans don’t seem to care about whether or not the stories of him accepting bungs are true. For them, success is the only thing that matters and they’d be happy with any manager who could inspire Blues to beat Villa. For such fans, it wasn’t our previous owner’s money laundering conviction that concerned them but the financial mess it caused for our club. They might have approved of a crooked owner who got us promoted.