It wasn’t the best start to a season but it’s too soon to look at the league table and panic. It’s true that we are only out of the relegation zone on alphabetical order; Birmingham, Blackpool and Leeds all lost by 2 goals and occupy 20th, 21st and 22nd places. But it is only one game and there are 45 more to play. At least Birmingham had enough players to put on the substitutes bench, which is more than can be said of poor old Blackpool. Both the Guardian and Joey Barton have predicted that Birmingham will be the bottom team in the Championship this season. I find this strangely comforting as I don’t have much confidence in their ability to predict.
I didn’t go to Middlesbrough but I will be there on Tuesday evening to watch the cup game against Cambridge United. If Birmingham can’t beat a League 2 side that has just been promoted from non league then I might start to worry. Cambridge players have nothing to lose and started their season with a win so I’m not expecting it to be easy but I am hoping for a win. Lee Clark attributed the poor performance at Middlesbrough to stage fright. I hope the team can put in a good performance on Tuesday that will settle their nerves before they play Brighton.
On Thursday I’ll be down in London, joining with other fans to demand ‘Affordable Football for All’. I am in the fortunate position of being able to afford a season ticket and the price for seniors at Birmingham is not extortionate. But strength comes in numbers and I want to support the many fans that can’t afford to go to games. The prices charged by some Premier League clubs are astronomical even though the increase in media rights payments meant that all 20 clubs could have let fans into games for free last season and not been any worse off than they had been the season before. Fans will be gathering at Marble Arch from 1 pm and marching to the Premier League and Football League headquarters in Gloucester Place. The Football Supporters Federation are organising it and there are more details on their site.