Often Partisan

Positive Action

Lee Clark admitted to the Birmingham Mail that Blues are too close to the Championship relegation places for comfort following the heavy 4-1 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend.

In the piece published today, Clark said ““Definitely I’m worried. We are too close as it is to second or third bottom” when referring to Blues’ precarious position in the table.

While it’s true that I believe that you’re not a true Blues fan until you’ve seen them relegated at least once in this case relegation would be potentially one of the worst things that happened to Blues in a long time. I say this not so much because it would hurt to slide into the third tier for only the third time in our existence, but because I believe it would make the potential sale of the club even harder for BIH. As much as people say that they want “BIH out” someone has to buy the club from them – and relegation will make it a harder commodity for BIH to sell.

We have to be realists. I think some people are of the opinion that “anyone would be better than BIH” – an opinion I have to disagree with. Yes, we’re skint; yes we’ve had to sell all our best players and prospects and yes, we’re looking down the barrel of relegation but there are bright points. Blues aren’t in administration and aren’t in any major debt unlike Portsmouth were – our problems have been cashflow based and so should be erased in that respect if and when a new investor comes in. We’re not playing in another city like Coventry City because we own our own stadium – having seen the problems Coventry have had over the Ricoh I’m beginning to think that not getting a new council-built stadium was a blessing in disguise. It could be a lot worse.

Furthermore, as much as we’ve not heard much about a sale I’m reminded it could be because of the very real possibility that BIH are being cautious and not trying to show their hand. It makes perfect business sense to not communicate that one is desperate for a sale because that would only drive down the price that one could get for the club; as much as people want BIH to go they have a legal duty to their shareholders to get the best price they can for the club if they are to sell it.

So what can we do, the average fan? For me, I think the most important thing we can do right now is to support the team. Not just going to matches, but actually getting behind them – the Burnley game alone proved that a bit of noise and backing from the fans and the team plays better. A couple of home wins and Blues would be breathing much easier – and there is the knock on possibility that potential investors would think that we were a safer bet to buy. Would you rather buy a football club where the fans go to the ground or where they all stayed away? I know I’ve seen people talking about not putting another penny into the pockets of BIH but boycotts don’t work – and right now the team needs us.

If you’re determined not to spend money on the team, there is something else you can do to show your support. The Blues Trust are trying to get a handle on how much fans would be willing to put up to buy a stake in the club – you can register your interest here – and while I don’t think the fans will be able to raise enough to buy it outright I think it would be a positive signal of intent to BIH and/or potential investors that the fans are willing to put their money where their mouths were. Portsmouth did something similar and in partnership with “high net worth” individuals (HNW) were able to buy their club – something I’m sure Blues Trust are looking into themselves.

I can totally agree that times are tough right now but it’s my honest belief that the team and the club need us. I think we as fans can help the team stay away from relegation and as supporters can offer our help to reinvest and rebuild the club. I’m a big believer that positive action is the way forward – let’s prove that we are the great bunch of fans we have always claimed to be.

Talking Points sponsored by John Hicken Industrial roofing and cladding materials

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