Often Partisan

The P Word

After Birmingham City concluded back-to-back wins for the first time this season in the Championship by beating Nottingham Forest 2-1, the optimists have re-emerged online and I’ve seen people dare to mention the P-word. Is it possible?

Birmingham City currently lie in 16th position, with 37 points from 30 games. There are ten points separating Blues from the play-offs and six from relegation. Blues have taken eleven points from seven games since Christmas as their form has perked up, but is it enough impetus to push them that much higher up the table?

Sadly, statistics would point to Blues not making it. Looking at the last ten seasons of the Championship, it has taken an average of 73.4 points to make it to 6th spot, with eight of the last ten years requiring between 73 and 75 points for a team to make the play-offs. To make that points tally Blues would have to double their current points tally with just one-third of the season left – potentially ten or more wins for a team which has only won nine times in this division so far this season. As much as I’d like to believe that a newly-confident Blues team will sweep all before them I honestly cannot see it happening.

However, all is not lost. Looking at 22nd position over the last ten years, the average points total for the highest relegated team is just 45.8 with a band of scores between a lowly 40 last season and 52 in 2007-8. For those of you scared of relegation that would mean Blues would have to take less than eight points from their remaining sixteen games to go down with one point a game pretty much guaranteeing safety. As bad as Blues have been, I can’t see that happening either – and before anyone even hints of suggesting it, administration is now off the table this year barring an unforeseen major catastrophe. The A word was only ever on if Blues couldn’t pay their bills and sources inside the club assure me that that will not be the case for the remainder of this season at least.

So, for all intents and purposes it looks very much like the 2013-14 season will see Blues once again in this division after a season of midtable mediocrity. Whilst some will look at that as a failure on Lee Clark’s behalf it’s not the end of the world. Yes, the parachute payment will drop to eight million next year but with so many players out of contract at the end of the season there will be a chance to wipe the slate a little cleaner on the wages front and despite the humongous wad that Nikola Zigic will remain on for one further season Blues will look an attractive prospect to new owners – one with less debt, less deficit than before and maybe a new look for a new assault on the division.

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73 Responses to “The P Word”

  • Aussiebrum says:

    What a well thought, articulate post Tom. Now please finish your homwork and go to bed.

  • BluenoseDownunder says:

    Playoffs aint gonna happen for us but the good news is we will hopefully be playing Vile next year – KRO

  • crotcher88 says:

    impetus is strengh believe

  • Dave Timms says:

    Reading were 16th in the league this time last year.

    I’m just sayin…

    • Stephen Carr's hairdresser says:

      After 30 games this time last year, Reading and Blues were both on 51 points and in the top 6.

      But I know what you’re saying. Who would have thought Bradford would be in the league cup final?


  • Murph says:

    Well it’s a weird season this year , I think Cardiff and Leicester are the two up , then Watford and hull , think palace and boro are catchable ! Think we have them both to play so if we did beat boro who are in free fall at the minute we would only be 7 points off playoffs !? Like I said everyone is capable of beating each other so I think we have a great chance if we can get every one behind the team with belief and our fantastic passion !! Kro

  • Paul Davis says:

    Im sorry guys but I think we should just concentrate on getting safe cause as far as promotion is concerned then we are a million miles away. We are simply not good enough and its gonna take a while before we are. I desperatley wanna see the good times back at our club but we have to be realistic and concentrate on rebuilding.

  • swissjonny says:

    Its lovely to dream and theres nothing wrong with it.However lets be realistic and be happy with a mid table finish,no administration and hopefully some new owners in the summer.It would be nice to come back to football next season with a real feeling of enthusiasm and not the dread of the next negative headline.Feet on the ground and heres to a brighter future.Not forgetting that we may have a real Midlands derby to look forward to!

  • bluenose 11 says:

    do we want to get promoted this year???? that might sound a bit controversial and as mich as i would llove to be watching premiership football at blues if we got promoted would this see carson and co try to cling on to the club that bit more and therefore take their foot off the gas in their search for new owners. personally i want them gone

  • Graham Woodward says:

    No chance!

  • eddie says:

    lets not bother following BCFC anymore, we can just read your statistics instead and you can work the table out for us.
    I hope non of the players are reading this post.

    don’t bother trying to achieve anything lads, 8 points will do it, theres no point pushing for wins, its all worked out above.

    Typical negative Blues support

    • almajir says:

      Negative? No, just realism. I hope that they can do it and of course I’ll be there supporting them trying to get them to win but I don’t think it’s at all likely.

      • eddie says:

        why bother then

        • almajir says:

          You know what Eddie, you’re right.

          I mean, we’ve won one major trophy in nearly 140 years, we’ve consistently bounced around the divisions – I’m going to give up because we might not get promoted this year.

          • eddie says:

            I mean why bother this year.
            you’ve got it all worked out above.

            I’m just sick of negativity in my club.

            How about a positive spin.
            4 years ago we got promoted to the Prem along with Wolves,
            since then we have finished 9th in Prem,
            won some silverware and I got to see BCFC play in Belgium.

            now considering where we are now and where Wolves are now, I know whos had the better time from it all.

            yes, we always go up and down the divisions,
            but this has been a great bit of BCFC history,,
            yet the negative stories just don’t stop.

            theres no administration.
            all our players aren’t sold.
            we’re not going to get relagated
            CHEER UP and KRO

            I’m in my 40s now and my Grandad had a season ticket most his life and never saw as much as I have in the last 4 years. it’s not all bad.

            why c

          • eddie says:

            *why can’t we push for play-offs

          • almajir says:

            Why can’t we?

            We can, but unless we win pretty much most of our games – 11 or 12 out of 16 (and we’ve won 9 from 30 so far) it won’t happen. FACT.

          • eddie says:

            so your saying, give up this season, theres no point

          • flossydog says:

            eddie says:
            February 6, 2013 at 8:36 am
            so your saying, give up this season, theres no point

            No, what’s wrong with you? He’s clearly giving you games played/games won statistics and pointing out that, based on those statistics, it seems unlikely that we will get promoted this season.

    • Cleggy says:

      Eddie, you’ve completely missed the point of this article. Give it a rest.

  • andy says:

    It will be nice to see a late push and be clinging onto the tails of those teams looking to make the play offs, but im also looking forward to seeing the slate wiped clean and Lee Clark building his own Birmingham team for the future.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Promotion is out of the question,whereas ten years ago we signed Dugarry now we sign former non-league players.
    Ten years ago we were a solid Premier League team backed by Messrs Sullivan and Gold,today our owner has just had his house repossesed and is standing trial in April.
    We need to bide our time and get new owners who will invest in the team before we even think about promotion.
    The present squad would be lambs to the slaughter in the PL.

  • SirTait says:

    Mayor. Please don’t use my FACT trademark. It hurts me. FACT.

  • DoctorD says:

    Here are the games to the end of the season

    Feb: Charlton (away), Watford & Wednesday (home), Peterborough (away)
    March: Hull (away), Blackpool & Derby (home), Boro & Palace (away)
    April: Wolves, Milwall (home), Leicester, Bristol City (away), Leeds (home), Ipswich (away)
    May: Blackburn (home)

    If I’m optimistic, I could see us getting 20 points from that lot, no more.

  • Mark Y says:

    If you study the league table it looks as though a gap is developing between the top 5 and the rest. Most of the other teams in the top half with a couple of exceptions are currently out of form and we are only 6 points off 7th. A lot depends on Middlesboroughs form as far as defining the points tally required to reach play offs this year. If Middlesborough continued to accumulate points at the same rate then 6th place may be attainable with 70 points this year. In this scenario Blues need 33 points from 16 games and 2 points per game is normally defined as championship form. I think 6th place is possible statistically for Blues but the question is are they good enough to maintain this level of form over 16 games. I think for the first time this season there is a sufficiently positive vibe in the squad to mount a challenge and also the injury situation is better than for some time. I genuinely feel we can finish much higher up the league but I feel we need to concede less possession to the opposition and we need to avoid giving away so many silly goals to sustain championship form for the remainder of the season.

    • tmsblues says:

      In a league where anyone can beat anyone it makes for good competetive games every week and ‘hope’ for all teams. This in many ways makes it a lot better league than the Prem to my thinking where its a battle generally of the ‘haves’ and the’ have nots’. Problem is at this stage of the champ season those at the bottom end are now showing some form. Haven’t you noticed that after our recent run of form we are still only 6 points off the drop or just 1 point better than a few games ago!! As it stands the relegation safety point looks like it will be higher this year. We should focus on safety at 50 points asap first then hope for a play off place thereafter.

  • James says:

    Regardless of the outcome it makes a nice change to be hopeful, as opposed to the down right misery we have all felt since September.

    All our major stars are still playing in a Blue shirt, we have won 2 on the bounce and with the cash from Butland we should be able to avoid administration. Oh, and the vile are giving us a good laugh with their amazing youth policy.

    Who knows what will happen in May. As our chances of going up are not too disimilar to winning the lottey…… Maybe just maybe……..


  • Kevin Kelly says:

    Before the two back to back wins if you asked anyone to take “mid table mediocrity” I for one would have snapped your hand off! Realistically we have been very inconsistent averaging 1.21 points at home and 1 point away over first 28 games of this season, extrapolating that I seen us finishing 18th on 51 points avoiding relegation. As it stands today lying 16th I would take the end of the season NOW and say well done LC and Co. on keeping Blues in this division. We live to fight another day and hope for a swift sale and to usher in a set of Owners with long term tenure in their mind, not the quick ROI. Kro!

  • dino tiltoni says:

    We are all excited now that we’ve won two consecutive games, especailly Eddie! It was hardly surprising that we beat Forest, perhaps one of the poorest sides we’ve played at home this season who were a shadow of the team we played at the City Ground in September.I look forward to the Valley on Saturday and hope we can get a point.

    Aljamir’s right, mid table is where we should hope to end up and considering the back drop that will be an achievement. I still worry that Marlon will be loaned out to another Championship side (Leeds?) and that’s why Wes Thomas was suddenly thrown into the team. He did look a bit out of his depth. Let’s hope we finish the season solvent and in this division all ready for the next roller coaster ride with new dodgy owners.

    Sorry Eddie, I think your Grandad had as many ups and downs as us!

    • nicky wicky says:

      Forest were lying in 10th place. If you haven’t noticed there is a pattern, that blues seem to play better against the the team at the top end of the table. we beat boro, brighton, drew with palace and have only really struggled against cardiff.we shouldn’t have lost to hull!

      • John says:

        The general concensus was that we were the better side against Cardiff. On saying that,I thought the Forest game was poor,played by two poor teams. But I took heart from the fact,that although we played poorly,we should have won by a bigger margin.We missed at least two sitters and although Forest were a very low standard team. If we can win games,playing like that, who knows what we can do,if we improve. kro

  • StevieW says:

    Pie in the sky for sure and the only stats that now interest me are the ones on the final day of the season. That will decide my mood.

    Mid table would be a very satisfactory outcome considering.

    Then the future what will it hold for us?

  • Evesham Blue says:

    I’ll settle for Blues stopping up and Vile and the Dog Heads getting relegated :) Oh and McJudas getting the tic tac. All is possible..

    It makes me laugh these fans who think we will go on a championship winning run of form to get in the playoffs.6 points – it could still go pear shaped

  • Ed says:

    Blimey 2 wins and we are champions, don’t forget, loose the next 2 and we are back at the bottom. Lets just finish mid table, get new owners and rebuild next season.

  • Dave says:

    as good as a play-off place would be for the club considering everything ewe’ve been through (and push our value up a wee bit) let’s just see where we are at the end of february shall we….? there’s four games between now and then and just because we win two games on the trot for the first time this season, suddenly everyone’s getting delusions of grandeur. Two games don’t suddenly change the season. Although we’ve looked a lot better the past few weeks – and the transfer window hoodoo is behind us now – we’ve been shocking for most of the season, which is why we’ll just about manage a top ten place.

    There’ll be no takeover before the end of march anyway – if BIH finally releases their creatively managed accounts. What worries me is that Carson survives his trial and decides he’s going to stick it out for a few more years to get his money back.

    • nicky wicky says:

      It’s stillpossible to make the play-offs,but people should keep their feet on the ground take each game as it comes and pray for a win. Reading went on a long run this time last year so why shouldn’t blues now they’ve sorted out their defensive problems maybe?

      • Dom says:

        If we went on the run Reading went on from 30 games in we would finishon 75 points, still a point behind the 76 points we finished on last season. If we can get 12 wins, 2 draws and only 2 losses in our lat 16 games it would be amazing but even when i’m being optimistic I just can’t see it happening.

  • Ali Duncan says:

    I enjoyed the positive summing up of this post. If we consolidate, stay in a situation where financially we’re operating as normally as possible, clear out the older hands on bigger salaries and be attractive to new buyers then it’s been an ok season.

    On a personal note I’ve had some great times this season so even if the football hasn’t been Champagnesque quality (how often is it in B9?) I’ve seen, at times, some good football, had a few laughs, chalked off a couple of new grounds and seen a couple of quality results away from home (Leeds & Brighton)

    It’s all about expectation levels and some are higher than others – isn’t that what makes football so exciting – opinions and the subsequent debate of those opinions.


  • Evesham Blue says:

    What happens if CY gets convicted? That wont be a bed of roses for Blues either. Not sure how that leaves us?

  • Evesham Blue says:

    The thing is these back to back wins didnt really create much more breathing space for us. Barnsley and Bristol seem to be picking up as well. It just brought more teams into the mixer. The Dog Heads for instance are dropping into it rapidly.

    If we hadnt won these games? I think the transfer window closing and the A word banished – it has made us more optimistic. The feel good factor is back and the upturn in performances has coincided with Burkey coming back to form.

    I am more convinced now that we can actually rebuild in the future.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      Not much breathing space but a massive increase in confidence and with 3 winnable games this month (two against those around us) that could really help us seriously kick on and pull away with a couple of wins.

  • Evesham Blue says:

    Another stat is Barnsley are currently 3rd bottom and have more points than games played. 31 from 30. Could be a year when the point a game stat might not be enough to stay up. Also, considering that there is only Cardiff running away with it – the quality of this league this year is pretty much of a muchness so lower points might get you into the playoffs and teams may get relegated on higher points tallies.

    Last year West Ham who finished 3rd were far better than the other teams in the playoffs. This year there is a scrap for the second automatic.

    Couple of wins could push us up to the top half on the edge of the playoffs. Couple of losses could drop us in it again.

    It could go either way really but I think the momentum has swung our way again.

  • oldburyblue says:

    Heart says I’d love a miracle to happen and we got promotion this year. Head says it would be a disaster. With no money we will be playing with basically the same squad next year. With the best will in the world we would get hammered week-in, week-out in the Prem. That’s not being negative…just realistic.

  • SirHarry1875 says:

    Im going to enjoy watching us try and get higher up that league and if we get 7 points from the next 9 available then we are in with a shout.

    I dont think we will make the play offs but on Saturday it all felt like a different experience from the train journey to Bordesley, the Pub, the game etc. You could tell that there was relief and everyone was more relaxed because the window had closed. I am a lot happier now and i am determined to enjoy the ride that is Birmingham City. Lets just see where we go and enjoy it because its certainly more than our enemies across the City will do!

  • ForevertheOptimist says:

    Good to see the optimism is back, just got to make room for the realism.
    Almajir is spot on.
    Great to see some positivity from Blues,the players and the fans.
    A bit of a run maybe?, a win flurry to the end of the season?, some regrets over what might have been……all very well but we are still in transition and lucky to have sold Butland to keep the dingles from the door.
    Mid table finish would sum us up ….average at best and inconsistent at worst.
    However with the boys in pink and baby blue up that certain creek without that certain instument it will be interesting to see how events fold over the coming weeks.
    Imagine….we avoid admin, we finish top half, we get new owners and the Vile come down to the the Midlands Championship…I’ll take that this season.
    KRO Blues

  • Paulo says:

    I doubt very much we be promoted. It just isn’t going to happen. Don’t get me wrong, if we have some more wins and a lot less losses, then my admiration for Clarky will grow, as I want it to. I do want to see the whole team really band together and go on a run and see that LC is just as much part of the team as he is their manager.
    On the back of two back to back wins, it’s a bit early to speak the P word, but I hope we survive and be taken seriously in this league, especially next season. We have got good players, and they are good enough to get us up to the top end of the table (as I have said before) but we have to accept that we concede many more goals. The tough bit is to start from the off, and set the pace. The rest ….well, we all want the same thing, even LC and the team.

  • Atahualpa is a BlueNose says:

    Good summary with this blog almajir.

    After the season we have had to date, I believe that it might actually be a blessing in disguise if we can just get a settled team and start a regular pattern and understanding between staff and players. On the very small off-chance we got promoted – what would PP and CY do and think?? Would they hold on to try and get some more money back as oppose to selling?? Raise their valuation of the club??

    The dynamics and permutations would increase many-fold. This is before mentioning we would not have it easy and more than likely be one of the favourites to come straight back down.

    I for one am more than willing for us to stabilise in the Championship this season, and then take stock in the summer. Release the players we do not want/require, sign up those that we wish to keep, maybe get new owners of the ‘right’ sort, secure new additions to the team and squad – truly feel heartened when I hear LC mention how he wishes to build around younger, hungry players and how he has a list of solid potential players, and then let us crack on all round.

    I could not get to the Trust meeting on Saturday but did get to the game. I think PP tried to pre-empt things by his statement regarding McLeish and how we only needed to sell Butland. The club might have expected something to happen in the Kop car park because they had alot more security and placed their personnel along the reception entrance and the fence between the GM and the Kop – which is not usually the case.

  • chas says:

    And to add a further bit of good news, it turns out that Butland’s Transfer included a 20% sell-on clause..Things are looking rosier each new day..

  • Bluenosesol says:

    Still plenty of tickets left for the Charlton game! For anyone who hasnt been its a nice friendly and safe venue. One of the better venues in the championship and at £25 one of the cheaper ones.

    • dazabcfc says:

      I’ll be there, looking forward to charlton away cuz its a new away ground on my list. Takes me to nearly sixty away grounds since early 80’s, anyone beat that?

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason he says:

    You’re right to bring it up but I’ll stick by my prediction of finishing just below mid table which I for one will class as a decent season given all the turmoil.

    Our best hope of a promotion push is to get all the internet warriors to get off their arses and start supporting the club. For those of you have forgotten what that means it means going to the games not spending your life on Blues websites. The bigger the crowd the more chance we have of winning plus any potential buyer will be buoyed to see such a vast customer base.

    People who can afford to go but don’t are a massive part of Blues problems.

  • sam says:

    To quote Jim Royale.. promotion my arse……….. i’ll still go down and hope we win as always but mid table all the way. A nothing season but we haven’t been able to say that for a few years have we.
    Be interesting to gauge peoples feelings on LC come the end of the season, don’t want to sound boring but I have always liked his positivity and retric about fans n club but have also questioned some signings and tactics too. I think he will have had a season unlike any other in his careeer for numerous reasons and we’ll see his real worth next season.
    KRO Peer, Peer we love Dean Peer!”

  • Bluehobba says:

    One game at a time starting with 3 points from Charlton, onwards and upwards, Every game should be treated like a cup final #KRO

  • jimbo says:

    Right, now people are excited let’s get down to st Andrews and make some noise, generate some cash flow and get behind the team. Who knows what can happy, who was it that said “it’s a funny game”?

  • tony says:

    Realistically after all the crap we’ve suffered tis season and the doom and gloom then mid table,no administration,the vile relegated(bonus)it’s a better prospect than most of us thought possible 6 games ago.Lets hope we consolidate and watch wolves sink without a trace then cy and pp are gone before next season leaving us optimistic for next season.

  • macca salop blue says:

    Let’s be realistic, we’ve just come off the back of 2 wins on the trot for ages…full stop. If we win the next 3 on trot then I may start to believe in miracles. I do recall 2001/02 season mid March, we played Wolves at home who were top and 15 points clear of us in 12th place. , they were 2nil up at half time, final result was 2-2,then they only won 1 from last 9 games, we won something like 8 from last 10 games, we went up via playoffs they cocked it up big style. You can never say never, and it would be an amazing feat if we did it. After the turmoil of whats going on I’d be happy with mid table place. Just being realistic. I don’t want to build my hopes up and end up disappointed.

  • Bluenosesol says:

    Reilly called up for Ireland U21’s, Burke has a cracker tonight for Scotland, Butland pushing the England No 1, Ziggy an often present for Serbia, Redmond an England U21 regular, Bloodyhell, we are brimming with internationals, must be as good as anyone in the Championship! Cardiff are run away leaders but struggled against us home and away. Lets do the business against Charlton, follow up with home wins against Watford and Wednesday and who knows where we can finish?!

  • Paul Carter want's shooting he says:

    On his game Ziggy is the best striker in this division

    • NooBloo says:

      i presume you havnt seen the lad Jordan Rhodes play yet then. if he gets the slightest sniff of the goals then more often than not, it is in the net.

      I really like Zigic but i have seen milk ”turn” quicker than him

  • jazzzy786 says:

    Lol nice to see ppl being positive for a change. Getting enough points to stay up is the first requirement and only then should we be looking to see how high we can climb. Promotion is possible but I haven’t seen anything this season to convince me that we can go on a long unbeaten run.

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