Lee Clark has said that it is imperative for Birmingham City to keep our young stars, which is easier said than done. The financial mess of the last few years has meant we’ve seen youngsters given a chance in the team but has also meant we’ve cashed in on some of them. The fact that Nathan Redmond plays for Norwich, tomorrow’s opponents, is a reminder of that. Young players can be exciting to watch but they are reputed to be more inconsistent than experienced players. That means both manager and supporters need to be patient and not give up on them when they have a bad game.
Some supporters are more patient that others. All fans want their teams to play well and win games. For some this is of the utmost importance and they won’t go to watch games if their team plays poorly and loses too often. For others, including me, a feeling of connection with the team is more important than success. I’d rather watch Birmingham City collapse to a miserable defeat than watch top teams put on dazzling displays on TV. That’s totally illogical I know and I don’t claim any moral superiority. I didn’t choose to be a supporter willing to watch dross rather than a customer who demands that the product is satisfactory; it’s just the way I am.
At times it seems that fans like me are dinosaurs, doomed for extinction in modern football. The game changed in 1992; Sky started to pump money into football and the Premier League was formed to suck up most of it. But that same year also saw a significant step in the rise of fan activism; the formation of a fan owned trust at Northampton. I’ve recently read a book that examines the relationship of fans to football clubs and charts the rise of punk football in the last 20 years, the movement that has redefined what it means to be a supporter. The book is Punk Football: the rise of fan ownership in English football by Jim Keoghan and you can read my review of it on the Blues Trust site.