Triumph and Distaster

I fall far short of the stoicism lauded in the well known lines from Rudyard Kipling’s poem If:

“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same”   

I tell myself that football is only a game and not that important in the grand scheme of things but I don’t take any notice of my own advice.  A win makes me happy; a loss makes me sad.  Birmingham City’s win at Doncaster brightened my weekend and made me feel sure they would escape relegation. Their loss at Middlesbrough left me feeling they are doomed.  I know I’m not the only one; I hear fans who are just as bad or worse on the football phone in shows. The next three weeks are going to be tense.

I’m afraid that relegation could be a disaster. Blues’ experience of League 1 might be very different to that of Wolves this season.  We could, like Portsmouth, plunge right on down to League 2 and that might not be a walk in the park either.  Portsmouth is just 5 points above the relegation zone and contemplating the possibility of Conference football next season.  It’s a year since the club was bought by Portsmouth Supporters Trust and other supporters who individually invested amounts between £50,000 and £250,000.  This has brought some stability but not instant success; it is not going to be easy to move back up.

Both Wolves and Portsmouth have continued to attract crowds that are much larger than usual in the lower tiers.  At their home games on April 5th, the crowd at Wolves was 23,204 and at Portsmouth was 15,273.  Birmingham had a crowd of 13,875 for their last home game on March 29th.  Some Blues fans may return to St Andrew’s when we get new owners but there will be others who won’t.  I’m afraid that we are losing a generation of fans because their parents and grandparents have stopped coming to games and aren’t bringing them.

Of course, Birmingham City fans are not the only ones feeling a bit tense.  Spare a thought for Arsenal supporters who will be watching their team play Wigan at Wembley on Saturday, attempting to get through to the F A Cup Final.  Arsenal are favourites but I would imagine that they might be feeling a bit more nervous than they did 3 years ago when they turned up at Wembley expecting to collect the Carling Cup.

8 thoughts on “Triumph and Distaster

  1. Letsby Avenue

    Wonderful blog ..yet again.
    Other than those committed to disaster, or those committed to hope
    — most sensible supporters are like we are —
    – balancing on the pivot, with the strength of a Fairy. What does it take?
    A breath of wind to tip us one way or the other?
    A sigh, even?
    None of us know what the team will do tomorrow or the next day.
    Lee Clark gets the blame, whether he repeats the same winning line-up..and they lose –
    – or changes personel and they draw or lose.
    That’s his job and he is paid to take the responsibilty,
    Even though we have NEW support staff in management it hasn’t changed the erratic nature of our players. Away one week they are combined and home for the next game and it’s like they don’t know each other. How does that work?

    I think we are at the balancing point now, a sigh or a breath of wind can tip us either way.

    We have no momentum, in my opinion, this season has been stop-start-try-again-stop-start.
    Lee Clark has had to rebuild twice in one season. Jesse was refused a further loan and went off down south – Swansea and Fulham recalled their loans, played them once or twice and now they are on the bench. It might be financial, and that we couldn’t meet a percentage cost of their loans for the second half of the season…whatever…Lee Clark had to rebuild twice in one season, and that is the truth.

    NO OTHER MANAGER in the top 3 divisions has had to do that.
    2 Years running, rebuild, rebuild.

    A sigh or a breath of wind, will determine our future. In my opinion.
    A sigh sucks and a Breathe of wind blows us onwards.

    Let’s pray for a good breath.


    [ I always read you, and love your opinions….]

  2. chris

    That is the problem with Blues, boom and bust is no way to attract future fans when they can support a team across the city that even in these uncertain times across the Expressway are still relatively stable.
    Then I would say half the kids in the city who follow football don’t even support Blues or Villa, that is the awful celeb mentality society we live in.
    I heard a cockney the other night calling Moyes a loser for Manure’s problems, but I’d say the loser with no moral fibre is the caller who can’t even support a London club as he would rather glory hunt for a city 200 miles away.

    1. Mineheadblue

      Really good summing up and I completely agree.

      What a change of circumstances to Feb three years ago! Although I do find it difficult to spare a thought for Arsenal!!

  3. chris

    This is why we need a boycott of season tickets from now till August,
    to drive this lot out and get new owners (inc The Blues Trust) in before the start of the new season whichever division we are in.
    I understand the desire of some to renew, but just hold off till August.
    If we as fans don’t force the issue we will continue to decline and apathy will increase. They only want to sell part of the club and we could have this situation for another two years by which time not only will the club be in League One or Two but the fans may not come back.
    WE have to speed this process up and force their hand, WE have the power to do this.

    1. Stan031

      Just about sums it up – but isn’t that the excitment of being a Blues fan? There is never a dull moment (The obvious exception being home games of the last 2 seasons) its a real life soap opera not like them down the road – mid table mediocrity year after year….at least adversity brings discussion.

      Chris – not sure how boycotting the season tickets till August helsp anyone- maybe i’m missing the point here? Im a season ticket holder and I am honestly torn as to wether I will renew next year – not just based on the current ownership issue but due to the boring approach to football we have undertaken at home in the last 2 years.
      I’m not buying this rebuild, rebuild argument entirely -whilst I appreciate its not ideal the truth is have somemuch better players now than we will have next season, whatever division we end up in and he chooses not to start them at home!?

  4. phillip

    “IF you keep your head
    When others rush in panic
    Then You’ll be a man my son
    And whats more
    A Bluenose Fan”

    Apology,s to Rudyard Kipling

  5. Steve

    Chris, I don’t think you need to encourage anyone to boycott season ticket sales for next season. With the current state of the club, the absent board, the lack of communications and more of the dreadful same, then the value proposition of a Blues Season ticket is currently non existent. This season, my wife has asked me if I have a game on Saturday. I check the calendar and respond “oh s*** yes!” The match day experience has become a drudge and I am hardly likely after over 55 years as a fan and over 30 years as season ticket holder to buy myself another batch of 23 painful experiences. Until things change, I will be picking and choosing my games in future.

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