I’ve been thinking about the question that Nat Peters asked in a recent post: “What type of owner would we want?” I’m sure that opinions will be divided on this.
Nat thinks that the question most Birmingham City fans will ask about a new owner is how much money he has and that getting someone as rich as the owners of Manchester City or Chelsea would be “hitting the jackpot”. Not every fan feels this way. David Conn, a Manchester City supporter, acknowledges in his book Richer than God that the people running the club really understand the football business and run it well. He also wrote, “A takeover by a sheikh, who inherited money too huge for a sane world, then poured it into City but came to only one match, was a hard thing for me to be thankful for.”
I think I might feel the same way if we ever get a really rich owner. Buying new players could help us shoot up the table but that would mean getting rid of most of the ones we have now. I like seeing young players develop and secure a place in the first team. I’m hoping that Will Packwood and Callum Reilly’s loan spells will help them do that. And when I read about Nick Townsend saving two penalties, I remember the first time he was on the bench, in the cup game at Yeovil. I’m not sure I’d feel the same connection if the players I know were replaced by a set of super stars that had just been shipped in.
I would prefer Birmingham City to have something more like the Swansea set-up. The Swansea City Supporters Trust owns about 21% of the shares and the club is debt free. Fans have a say in how the club is run and it has opted for sustainability and slow progress rather than seeking cash investments from people who don’t have a connection to the club. I like the position Swansea is in now but am not so keen on how it got there. The clue is in the title of their official history: From Graveyard to Ambition. A large club has to be on its knees for its supporters to have a chance of buying enough shares to get a say in how it is run. I wouldn’t like to see Birmingham City down at the bottom of League 1.
What I want or don’t want is not going to influence the drama being played out in Hong Kong. I can just choose how I respond. My choice to keep on going to games and supporting the team. I’ll be in my usual seat at St Andrew’s tomorrow.