I have a season ticket and rarely miss Birmingham City’s home games. But on Tuesday evening, life interfered with football and I didn’t go to the Millwall game. It sounds as though it was a good game to miss. It’s going to seem strange having no Blues game tomorrow but there are results to look for, including a couple of local teams in FA Cup games. I’m not one of those who believes that supporting a club means hating their local rivals so would quite like both Villa and Baggies to progress in the Cup. I also don’t particularly want either of the clubs to get relegated. But I am not distraught that Villa fans have had to contemplate the possibility of relegation; it’s good for them. Experiencing failure and humiliation makes the good times, when they come, seem so much better; Birmingham City fans know all about that.
My main concern, as always, is for my own team, how it performs and which league it plays in. And, at present, I think the Championship is the right level for us. That might change with new owners but who knows when that will be? I also don’t know what effect the recent £5bn TV deal will have on football in general. The effect on the Premier League is predictable. The Financial Times, commenting on Richard Scudamore’s opinion that you sell TV rights for what the buyer will pay, said:
“The reality is that Mr Scudamore is the shop steward to the league’s 20 club chairmen. He has some influence — for example, he has been able to cajole them to introduce some limited spending controls and contribute more to grassroots funding — but they will largely do as they wish. If previous rights increases are a guide, that will mean spending more on players in transfers and wages.”
In other words, the money will flow to those who already have a lot and the Premier League will continue to be uncompetitive, with only a few teams having any chance of ending up at the top. More TV games will mean less convenient times for fans who actually go to the games and ticket prices will remain high.
The huge amount of money involved will make ownership of Premier League clubs more attractive to some investors. I don’t know if it will also result in more investors interested in buying Championship clubs and trying to get promoted. A lot of Birmingham City supporters would be thrilled to have rich owners investing money in the club. I would prefer owners who cared more about the club’s long term future than on the profit their investment might bring.