Watching Birmingham City play on Saturday left me feeling utterly miserable. Their game on Wednesday evening, against Burnley, reminded me why I love football. What made the difference? The result certainly helped; a draw is better than a loss and a last minute equaliser meant we ended the game on a high. For two women I passed as I walked back to town, it meant extra effort attempting to control a group of very excited young children. They explained that the kids had been hyper since that last goal. I was just glad to see kids who weren’t crying at the end of a game.
The crowd helped too. Attendance was 16,695, including 1,593 away fans, which was a couple of thousand more than recent home games. And it managed to sound like a much larger crowd for the last 25 minutes, after Emyr Huws’ great goal. Some fans left before the end, as some always do, but many stayed on for a few minutes after the final whistle to applaud our players off the field.
And among the crowd there were bound to be some who felt they’d contributed a little slice of luck by some deed such as wearing lucky socks or just by coming for the first time in ages. I met a man at the game, see picture above, who had come from Australia. He was planning to be at today’s game too so if it’s as good, or better, than our last game he should consider himself a lucky man.
While the rollercoaster continues on the pitch, things off the pitch continue at the speed of a glacier. Something may be happening behind the scenes but it’s hard to see any progress. There’s been a lot of comment on the situation but neither the Football League nor the Premier League intends to do anything. The Football League said that Birmingham City was in the Premier League when Carson Yeung was accepted as a fit and proper person to own a football club. The Premier League says it followed the rules. I liked David Conn’s comment* on that; he said, “For the Premier League to argue that the rules were all followed when Yeung took over rather evades the point that the leagues themselves, which means the clubs, have made the rules.” It is time that the rules were changed.
*Carson Yeung and the takeover that was a riddle wrapped in a mystery: Warning signs over former Hong Kong hairdresser should have been heeded before he acquired Birmingham City