As the proverb1 says, hope deferred makes the heart sick and those hoping for a quick sale of Birmingham City F C will have had their hopes dented by the announcement2 yesterday that a change of ownership is not imminent. I am not expecting a quick fix to the club’s problems; the sorry saga could drag on for a long time yet. This belief arises not from any inside information but just from my generally pessimistic view on Blues related stuff; a lifetime of disappointment has taught me to curb my expectations.
I also know that real life can be a lot messier than a TV programme. The plot doesn’t have to make sense and doesn’t have to come to a conclusion in a fixed time. I’m not going to elaborate on this point because there’s a brilliant cartoon3 about sports that explains it far better than I ever could. (Click here or on the link at the bottom to see the cartoon; it is good and far superior to my ramblings.)
Blues supporters who want to preserve their sanity should ignore the rumours and just enjoy the games. And so far the games have been enjoyable for those fans that have gone with realistic expectations. The team has been assembled on the cheap so we shouldn’t expect polished performances. This season is going to be struggle but, if the players are prepared to battle and the crowd are willing to support them, we can still have some fun.
The cup game against Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday evening started out with a rather scrappy first half but developed into a proper cup tie. Plymouth brought 668 supporters with them, the home crowd support was decent and I didn’t hear anyone moaning in the seats around me. The club got the ticket pricing right; attendance was similar to the corresponding game last year.4 The Kop sold out so they used the Kop corner with some spilling over into the Tilton. It did seem weird having all the home fans crammed along one side but I can understand why the club did it that way. It’s cheaper to provide staff for one stand than for the whole ground and cash flow is a problem. I do have confidence in the BCFC staff based here in Birmingham. Though I am not expecting a quick fix for all the problems, I am hoping for a new owner who will put the club on a sounder financial basis and will retain the staff who have kept the club going in these difficult times.