The world is becoming increasingly interconnected. As I write this, two Birmingham City fans are In Hong Kong to report on events there that relate to the club they support in England. (See notes 1 and 2 below).
Congratulations to Blues Trust and Often Partisan; it’s impressive to get a front page story in the Birmingham Mail. I’m sure that it has involved a lot of work and I hope it will persuade more fans to join the trust.
I just read an excellent article about a man who got involved in fan activism early in life. His name is Brian Lomax. When he was young he supported Altrincham and when financial problems threatened its existence he wrote a six-page letter to the local paper, pleading for someone to save the club. Two men read his letter and bought the club. Lomax was 11 years old at the time.
I just listened to Nick Conrad interviewing Robert Hughes, a Blues Trust board member. Robert made some good points. He said that the salary being paid to Peter Pannu is too expensive for a club with the kind of financial problems that Birmingham City has. It is also a lot more than Karren Brady was paid. Robert also said that we need new owners, not absentee landlords and that the owners need to invest their hearts and minds, not just their money.
When a Blues Trust Tweet asked if the Swans Trust model was the way forward for others, the first answer that came to mind was, “I hope not.” I was thinking of the reason why Swans Trust got started, which was that the club was in crisis mode. Following relegation to the Third Division it was sold for £1 in July 2001 and had several changes of ownership the next season. The club was in turmoil and the fans joined together to save their club.
I was pleased to read that representatives of Blues Trust were among those who met at the Championship Trusts Group meeting last Saturday. This group was set up by Supporters Direct as a network where members from different trusts can share knowledge and identify issues that are important for all football supporters. Representatives from trusts in the group meet several times a year and keep in contact between meetings.
Blues Trust continues to provoke different reactions from Birmingham City fans; some join and others jeer. I am one of those who joined so I’m not writing from a neutral standpoint. My name is Margaret Decker; I was involved in helping to set the group up and was interim secretary for a while. I had to stand down from that position when my life got too busy with other things but I still support what they are trying to do. I know more about the history of the group than most members do but don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes now. I’m writing as an individual member expressing my own opinion and not as a representative of the trust.
I can understand why Birmingham City fans want to know what’s happening in Hong Kong. The decisions made by Birmingham International Holdings will determine the future of our club so it’s natural to be interested. I’m as curious as the next person and regularly check the web to see if any more snippets of information have come to light.