I recently came across this statement, made by a former chairman of Birmingham City F C:
“Having taken control of the Club I have to report that I find it in a desperate financial position, in fact on the verge of bankruptcy. Regrettably certain staff cuts have already taken place and other expenditure will have to be carefully reviewed to get us back on the path to solvency. I am quite satisfied that Ron Saunders is one of the best managers in the business, and whilst pressing creditors are our number one priority, he will have scope to wheel and deal in the transfer market within certain limits.”
I found this on YouTube.1 When I tell you that the link was provided by a friend who is an Altrincham fan and the clip shows content from 1986, you will know it’s not something that you want to watch. I watched it because I had never heard the gruesome details before. In 1986 I was on the opposite side of the world from Birmingham; my mom’s letters told me about family, friends and the weather but included nothing on football.
Ron Saunders resigned a couple of days after our cup defeat in 1986. Birmingham City was relegated to Division 2 that year and in 1989 it was relegated to Division 3 and sold to the Kumar brothers. A couple of years later the Kumars’ bank went bust and the club ended up in receivership. I can remember fans standing on the Kop chanting, “Receivers out!” Financial problems and illogical reactions to them are not new phenomena at St Andrews.
In the present situation I think it’s foolish to pay too much attention to all the rumours swirling around and to people who claim they know what’s going on. I’m sure that some who have investigated the current owners of Blues know more than they can publish but I’m inclined to believe the ones who say they don’t know what’s going to happen next or when it will happen. To quote Tatts2 writing about the current owners, “no-one really knows their mindset, intentions and tactics.”
- Birmingham 1 Altrincham 2 FA Cup 1986 Comment on Blues News progamme with Wheldon’s article starts at 8 min 50 sec into video
- Colin Tattum analysis: Blues’ takeover clouded as cash crisis deepens