We Birmingham City supporters know that there’s precious little financial transparency in football. A court in Hong Kong is digging through the evidence to determine the source of the money used to buy our club. And while we wait for the verdict, there are a lot more rumours than answers to our questions.
Other supporters face similar problems. I’ve just read an article1 about Thames Sports Investments missing payment deadlines to complete their takeover of Reading F C. I could easily pinch some quotes from it for use in an article about BCFC. For example:
“Amongst … supporters there’s one subject that’s very much to the fore, but which is meeting with a deafening silence from within the club.”
“We might not have a direct stake in the financial ownership of the club, but we certainly have a clear and undeniable stake in its moral ownership, and by any measure we’re key stakeholders in the club’s history and welfare.”
Too many owners don’t treat supporters as key stakeholders and disregard their opinions. The rebranding of Cardiff City and Hull City are examples of this. Cardiff’s colour was changed from blue to red and Hull’s owner wants to change its name to Hull Tigers. Both clubs have supporters’ groups campaigning against the rebranding. A Cardiff City supporter writing about this, comments that “it is heartening to see that fans are prepared to take on football’s money men on matters of principle.” 2
Birmingham City fans have a lot of questions about the plight of our club. Maybe the most important question is the one we should be asking ourselves. What can we do about it? Inevitably the answer will split supporters. Some, like me, want to continue going to games and supporting the team. Others want to boycott home games. There aren’t easy answers to important questions.