Two and a half years ago, there were thousands queuing up to get hold of the 31,500 tickets allocated to Birmingham for the Carling Cup Final and many were left disappointed when they were sold out. But most of those fans won’t be coming to St Andrews this season. Some can’t come because they live too far away, or are ill or can’t afford it. Others are disheartened by the state of the club and the state of football generally. There always used to be hope that one day your club could rise to the top of the top tier. Now there are a few rich clubs that stay at the top and that hope has faded for the fans of all the other clubs.
I go to games because:
- I prefer watching live football to watching it on TV
- Lee Clarke is doing his best in a very difficult situation and is giving a chance to young players and players from lower tiers. I want to support them.
- I don’t believe that the money I spend on my season ticket makes any difference to how much Mr Pannu will get; he’ll take his salary regardless of how many tickets are sold. I just make a small contribution towards the cash flow needed to pay players’ salaries and keep the club ticking over. I want the club to remain a going concern because I don’t believe that administration is necessarily the gateway to a better future. (Ask Coventry City fans about that.)
- I want a new owner who cares about the club and will run it in a sustainable way. Any sensible business man who is thinking of buying the club would look at the support; the higher the attendance the more saleable the club.
For any that don’t go because tickets are too expensive, I’d like to suggest you look at the prices for the cup game against Plymouth on Tuesday evening. If you have kids it’s a chance to show them that football is not just a TV show; switch off and go to the game. You won’t see any famous football stars and you won’t get a choice of stand to sit in as they are only using the Kop for that game. But it’s a chance to see live football at St Andrew’s at a very reasonable price. You might just see something special. In August 2010, I was one of the tiny crowd of 6,431 watching our Carling Cup game against Rochdale and I saw 16-year-old Nathan Redmond make his debut for the club.