“As far as the club is concerned, neigh; as far as football is concerned, the whole business stinks. But do you know what hasn’t changed? Us. The fans.”
As you go through life, it’s a long, long road. There’ll be joys and sorrows too. But we journey on, and we sing this song. For the boys in royal blue…
Times are tough over in Small Heath at the moment. Just today we’ve learnt that Dein and Ren have been bickering over who knows what (probably who gets the last bit of caviar) and the big bossman has laid his financial cards on the table in an interview with the Birmingham Mail. Let’s just say he wasn’t holding a pair of aces.
A few months ago, I demanded the head of Steve Cotterill (figuratively, not literally. I’m not a monster). Then after a few wins, I talked about reversing that decision. Now, drowning in a well of apathy, I’m calling on every single bluenose to stick by him.
Was I wrong to suggest his sacking? Possibly not. Would it be wrong to shout about it again? Probably not. But would it help things? Definitely not.
There are things in life that we cannot change. We should never have allowed crooks to take control of our club. We should never have appointed Zola. We should have stopped the transfer of Ryan Shotton. I should stop placing wild accumulator bets on Paddy Power. These things are all beyond our powers to prevent. OK, maybe the gambling isn’t, but as far as the club is concerned, neigh; as far as football is concerned, the whole business stinks.
Money and the quest for power have ruined the game. We are at the mercy of television corporations whilst 18 year olds are being paid more in a week than we may earn in a lifetime and competing over who has the most likes on Instagram. Owners use football clubs as status symbols and venues to entertain their business partners, whilst charging £50 for shirt that looks almost identical to last years kit.
But do you know what hasn’t changed? Us. The fans. We are the same bluenoses that stood on the terraces through freezing winter nights with a Bovril. We are the same loyal supporters that perched on cold, hard benches in the railway stand. It was us that sat in hours of traffic in a desperate attempt to reach the Millennium Stadium before kick off. We were there when Obafemi Martins put the ball in the Arsenal net and we were there when the inevitable happened and we slumped down to the Championship. Throughout all of that, we sang. And we must keep on singing.
I Tweeted earlier; “Dein, Dong, this club is dead”. Well we ARE the club, and we will bring it back to life!
It looks as though there are no new transfers on the horizon; fine. Despite the slight upturn in results, we seem likely to go down this season; no sweat. The renewal of Grounds’ contract may be the best piece of news we receive all year; happy days. Us fans, us real fans, we’re not going anywhere and by God I hope we sing our hearts out all the way down to League One.
I’m sick of writing doom and gloom and I’m tired of the in fighting between us all online. We’re Birmingham City and we’ll fight ’til the end. If the board don’t care about us, stuff ’em. If the players won’t give their all for us, sod ’em. If Villa want to laugh at us, excuse my French but f*** ’em. And if we go down to League One, then we’ll be the loudest, proudest bunch down there.
So regardless of what happens against Preston on Saturday, when the boys return to St Andrews on Tuesday I implore you all to lift your heads up, fill your lungs, and belt out Keep Right On with pride and passion. Our away support has been consistently phenomenal and well regarded by every team we’ve visited whilst smashing attendance figures and lighting up stadiums with deafening noise. We need to replicate that fervour at home too.
And when Cotterill walks out, clap him. He may seem clueless at times, but he’s all we’ve got. Nothing we say, or do, or argue over is going to change things at the moment. Maybe years ago when a fan’s voice meant a bit more it may have, but those days are gone.
Short of lacing up our boots or donating money to the club, we cannot affect the direction we’re heading. We can, however, be better than fickle supporters at other clubs. We can play our part to raise the spirit of things and we can be the greatest damn fans in the Championship. Then maybe, just maybe, we’ll be treated to another Caddis style, season saving header and get the opportunity to prove ourselves again next year.
By Mark Watson