Thursday, June 07, 2012

It's All Over

Norwich City have called a press conference for 2.30pm when they will formally announce Chris Hughton as their new manager. It marks the latest low point in Blues' frankly gob-smacking decline since winning the Carling Cup 17 months ago. I don't want it to affect it me, but it does. All I know is, things will get a whole lot worse before they get better, and a return trip to the dark days of the late 1980s and early 1990s beckons.

I'd like to lash out - blame the current owners, blame the previous owners for selling up without doing due diligence as they promised to on whoever came in (never mind the hidden losses left in the accounts for the new owners to discover after overpaying for the club in the first place). I'd like to slam Hughton for walking out on us, and taking his backroom staff with him, and - as is likely - to return to cherry pick the best of our remaining saleable assets, even though he's clearly been left with no alternative. Expect many more departures in the coming weeks, and there won't be any coming in because we're operating under a transfer embargo.

Fans at many football clubs - as I'm constantly reminded - are going through this, but I suspect none of them can conjour up quite the tale we've managed, with relegation three months after winning our first major trophy being followed by Carson Yeung's arrest - and subsequent asset freeze - blowing two huge holes in the club's financial waterline. Fast forward 12 months and we're under a transfer embargo due to a failure to release the club's accounts for the last Premiership season, with no sign of them ever appearing, meaning the embargo will remain in perpetuity. I'm guessing Pompey fans will probably chime in here, but at least you got to enjoy both a trophy win and European football without getting relegated in the same year.

Will Blues survive? Rumours of a potential takeover persist, but who will we be sold to? Basically the first one who makes an acceptable offer (or any offer), which doesn't exactly inspire confidence, does it? From the frying pan into the fire I suspect.

It's a high price to pay for daring to win the Carling Cup, and - however much I enjoyed it - takes the shine off it, in a way only Birmingham City can do. No wonder the Birmingham Evening Mail is full of doom-and-gloom stories - maybe they're not kicking us when we're down, but tapping into the masochistic side of being a Bluenose. Even the European adventure feels tainted by our subsequent failure to gain promotion. Ho hum, no doubt I'll be looking back fondly on this moment this time next year if the bad luck continues - will it be a season of struggle, relegation to League One, or even the end of our very existence?

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