There were some similarities between the two teams when Birmingham City played Norwich City on Saturday. None of the attacking players made good use of the few chances that came and both defences were hard to break down. The resulting no-score draw was not the most entertaining of games but there were some positives. Jonathan Spector fitted into the defence very well and, although Nathan Redmond and Cameron Jerome looked dangerous at times, they didn’t score against us as former players often seem to do.
Off the pitch, the ownership situation at the two Cities couldn’t be more different. Norwich is owned by people who have a connection with the club. The joint majority shareholders, Delia Smith and her husband Michael Wynn Jones, attend games. If you look at the list of key people on the Canaries website, you will see that several of the directors, including Stephen Fry, are described as fans of the club.
The important difference between the people who run Norwich and those who run Birmingham is not that the former are British and the latter are Chinese; it is not a matter of nationality. The vital factor is connection with the club and concern for its long term future. I doubt that the Norwich fans who control that club would have been interested in being involved with any other football clubs. Carson Yeung just wanted to buy a football club; he didn’t have any previous association with Birmingham City. If and when new owners arrive at the club, we shouldn’t judge them according to their nationality but by their motivation. I believe the ideal owners would be people with a connection to the club and/or the city, who care about the club’s long-term future rather than how much money can be made. Unfortunately, both British owners and foreign owners sometimes care more about their own interests than what is best for their clubs.