I’m not going to comment on what has gone on in Hong Kong and what it means for the future of Birmingham City. There’s no point in me writing about the Hong Kong happenings because anything I could produce would be mainly a rehash of what Daniel has put on Often Partisan1 and you’d be better off reading it there. And I’m not writing anything about the future of Birmingham City because I have no idea what will happen next but continue to fear the worst.
Instead, I’m going to write about some things that have encouraged me. The first is the news that the Football League has decided to ask the Government to allow Championship clubs to have safe standing areas, following a survey of its 72 clubs. I prefer to sit to watch football matches but I find this news encouraging because it seems to indicate that clubs are taking notice of what their supporters want. Surveys of supporters have shown strong support for the choice to sit or stand. The Football Supporters Federation report2 calls it “great news” for football fans.
I was also encouraged by CentreForum’s paper3 calling for greater transparency in football governance. Of course, there is a great difference between calling for something and getting it. But it’s good to keep drawing attention to the problems and making proposals on how the situation could be improved. And, if the Football Association and leagues won’t tackle the issues, then fans can apply pressure for the Government to do something. Ordinary football supporters don’t have a say in the way that the FA and leagues are run but we do have a vote in national and local elections so we do have a way of applying pressure.
Finally, I was pleased to read of the success of Ramstrust’s application to have Derby County’s stadium listed as an Asset of Community value4. While Blues were playing Derby I wished nothing but disappointment for their fans and was delighted when Blues snatched points from Derby at the death. But once the final whistle has gone, opposition supporters are friends and allies in the fight against all the money men who are ruining our beautiful game.