Tag: Birmingham City

A Mess Of The Blues: Birmingham City’s Slide Continues

The Rao family at Blackburn Rovers have long since garnered the awards as the most gullible fallers for English Premier League (EPL) hype. But the original remain Hong Kong hairdresser Carson Yeung and his band of merry distant associates at Birmingham City. Yeung and Co, mostly “Co”, threw £81.5m at the two Davids, Sullivan and Gold, to take the Blues off their sleazy hands in 2009 – two less deserving causes for the money it would be hard to imagine. And if the Chinese arrival on the St Andrews stage was protracted and messy, their leaving of it is proving even more so. Nothing has gone right at the club since Yeung arrived and that has been down to a mixture of incompetence, more incompetence and Yeung’s own business past catching up with him. The last filed accounts for Blues’ parent company, Birmingham International Holdings Limited (BIHL), are so old they were written on parchment. And the auditors for both club and company, accountancy firm BDO, resigned from both roles, evidently preferring the calmer financial waters of Glasgow Rangers’ liquidation, having expressed more than the ‘usual’ “significant doubts” about BIHL’s financial management. Meanwhile, the team is closer than it has been for years to English football’s third tier, where Gold and Sullivan found them in 1993. Things could only get more risible if the sole bidder for the club...

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Match Of The Past: Birmingham City

We continue our series of historical videos of the clubs of the Football League Championship this morning with Birmingham City, and six matches from the years between 1975 and 2007. Our first match is a trip to Hillsborough for an FA Cup semi-final against Fulham in 1975, and our second match is from the following year, a trip to Filbert Street to play Leicester City in a league match from December 1976 which features a devastating performance from Kenny Burns. Much of the 1980s would be one to forget for supporters of the club, culminating in relegation into the third tier of the game in 1989, and our third match comes from their spell in the Third Division, but it isn’t from the league – it’s their 1991 Leyland Daf Cup Final match against Grimsby Town at Wembley. We finish off with two matches from the more modern era. The club won its way into the Premier League for the first time in 2002, and our fourth and fifth matches are ones that will live long in the memory of supporters of the club, a fiery first two Premier League local derbies against Aston Villa from the 2002/03 season. And completing our brief and far from exhaustive recent history of this club is a Third Round replay in the FA Cup from January 2007, which saw Birmingham travel to...

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Match Of The Midweek: Birmingham City 1-3 SC Braga

There was nothing concrete upon which to link Birmingham City winning the League Cup with their relegation from the Premier League at the end of last season, of course, but it didn’t stop some from asserting exactly this and it hasn’t stopped panicky-looking managers whose main ambition for this season is to finish seventeenth in the Premier League from effectively binning England’s second cup competition. Norwich City, Swansea City and Queens Park Rangers were all knocked out of it in the First Round, and it’s difficult to escape the conclusion that the first thing to cross the mind of al three managers upon the final whistle of their matches against against Milton Keynes Dons, Shrewsbury Town and Rochdale was, “mission accomplished”. If a club is to progress, however, European football should surely be the next step up the ladder and, considering that the Champions League is all bar out of the question for anybody apart from what we may come to know as The Pre-Ordained Six, The Europa League may be about as good as things are going to get for the foreseeable future for the rest of the Premier League. UEFA haven’t helped the “prestige” of this competition in recent years, though. In the way that those that run the game will always find a way to take the shine off the trophies that are meant to be...

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Singing The Blues: When Is A Conspiracy Theory Not A Conspiracy Theory?

Since I first ventured onto these hallowed pages back in about 1924, there have been those amongst the readership convinced that I’ve had to move aside my Aston Villa season ticket and “Champions 1981” coffee mug to get to my keyboard, whilst Peter Withe winning the European Cup via both posts from a yard and a half out plays on a constant tape loop in the background.  I’m nothing special, though – as many will agree, regardless of the context. The “readers’  comments” section of many a website, from here to the Guardian via even the Blues’ very own Birmingham Mail, has long had theories of conspiracies and agenda against the St Andrews club.  And after the events of ‘Survival Sunday’ (copyright, BSkyB), Blues are back in the Football League, where so many writers apparently believe they belong. So, let’s get this party started? Well, I can’t speak for Nick Harris or David Conn, or any proper journalists who have had the temerity to point out that relegation will seriously dent the already precarious finances of the second city’s eponymous club. But while I admit I was pleased to see West Ham’s plan to keep Premier League football out of the Olympic Stadium start so well, and I’m looking forward to Mick McCarthy’s Barnsley Irish brogue gracing the back end of the BBC’s Match of the Day programme again...

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Match Of The Week: Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-3 Blackburn Rovers

Survival Sunday, then – a name that was bestowed upon the final day of the season because most issues at the top of the table had been already been resolved. The third class passengers of the Premier League, therefore, have been bumped up to first class. Nature abhors a vacuum and the the last day of the Premier League season wouldn’t be the same without a news story. With West Ham United already condemned, there are five clubs playing to avoid the other two relegation places – Birmingham City, Blackpool, Blackburn Rovers, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic. Birmingham, Wigan and Blackpool all have difficult away matches this afternoon, but at Molineux, meanwhile, two of the clubs at the centre of the hubbub, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers, play each other. For both clubs, their destiny remains in their own hands. Either could lose this afternoon and still stay up. A win for either will guarantee their safety. A draw and the matter is out of either’s hands. As such, it’s a day for the furious contemplation of the league table, for mental arithmatic and for matches going on elsewhere to be as important – if not more so – than what is happening before your very eyes. If only the top of the table was this close at the end of the season. Molineux is tense, but it’s a...

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