Mistakes and Changes

Copyright: Birmingham Mail


Mistake: an action or judgement that is misguided or wrong

Change: the act or instance of making or becoming different

Football: to frequently feel misery or despair 

Quite a lot of the time, it’s difficult to admit when mistakes are made. It’s in our human nature to show pride in decisions we’ve made and be stubborn in sticking by them. In order to counteract a mistake, change must be made. Change is a scary part of life, it will either prove successful or unsuccessful. However, sometimes it’s in the best interest for mistakes to be recognised and change to be thrust upon as a result of that mistake…

Mistakes seem to be the forefront of the last 4 months of Birmingham’s season. The board clearly thought keeping Rowett on as manager would be a mistake, and therefore rectified what they perceived to be a mistake waiting to happen. The appointment of Gianfranco Zola could be seen as a mistake, with just two wins coming under his tenure. Poor performances from the players, despite being a regular occurrence in football, show mistakes. Heck, even the league table is a mistake, as the current squad we have most certainly isn’t lacking to the point where we are fighting relegation from the Championship.

Of course, change in football has a lot more implications than the blind eye would first make out. Every decision made, from the appointment of a manager to the price of a pie in the concourse, affects the running of a club. There’s little doubt that Trillion Trophy Asia (TTA) bought Birmingham City with the intention of selling on for a profit. Paul Suen, one of the main men behind TTA, is synonymous with buying companies with financial issues, restructuring them, and selling them for a nice payday. As noted by Daniel Ivery of Often Partisan, the stock price of BIH has taken a slight downturn.

BIH Stock

As you can see, the stock price was sitting fairly steadily between HK$0.480 and HK$0.500 between January and February. However, in the middle of March, the graph drops quicker than Blues’ position in the league table. So obviously, things aren’t going quite so well on that front. TTA want to sell on at some point from 2018, when they are legally allowed to do so, but you feel something will need to change in order for Mr. Suen to add some revenue into his retirement fund.

Of course, finances and stock prices are completely out of the control of the Blues fans. Our club has been in dire straits since relegation from the Premier League in 2011, but TTA give us that sense of relief with the promise of money and signings, which they duly delivered on in the January transfer window. The focus of all football fans is on the results that happen on the pitch. 2 wins and 7 draws in 22 games under Zola is equal to gaining approximately 27 points across a season, 17 points less than the 2013/14 season where we survived with one of the last kicks of the season. Bottom of the table form, to put it simply.

We never have been, and hopefully never will be, a “sacking club”. Teams such as QPR and Leeds went through managers like there was no tomorrow, which inevitably proved that knee-jerk reactions and chopping and changing simply doesn’t work in the short run. However, sometimes a line needs to be drawn. Our form under Zola would make sense say, we had a Rotherham-esque squad and we were in the relegation zone before he took over. But we don’t and we weren’t. Something needs to change, and I believe this has to be managerial. Many of the reasons behind why I think this, you can find on my previous blog post back in February, in which I talked about Zola and weighed up different arguments to his management.

In reality, the fans who are expecting Zola to go before the end of this season are likely to be disappointed. With 5 games to go, I can’t see him being sacked or resigning at all. The off-season will probably be a busy one. Gianfranco is a man of pride, and will likely weigh up his options and decide if he can actually do the job next season he was put in place to do. If he personally feels he is out of his depth, he may walk away from St. Andrews. The board will have a decision to make, and may even opt to give Zola the start of a fresh new season to prove himself to them, as Panos particularly remains in support of the Italian.

It is a shame to see Zola failing, though. One of the nicest blokes in football, and an absolute legend on the pitch, with the feet of a wizard. You can’t doubt his passion for success and his care for Blues; but unfortunately for him, the fans, and the club, it hasn’t worked out and it’s time to move on and find a successor. The new board need to recognise their mistakes, and change them for the better. Do we really trust the owners to appoint the right manager should Zola depart? The Daily Mail are reporting that Slovan Bratislava manager Ivan Vukomanovic could be the next man at Blues, should they decide to move on from Zola.

Admit the mistakes. Make a change and rectify the mistakes. Don’t repeat the same mistakes, and more importantly, listen to the fans.

Keep Right On.


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