On the pitch it’s not been the best week for Gary Rowett and Birmingham City, who lost 2-0 to Burton Albion on Friday evening.
The game was a complete right-off from start to finish, with nothing seemingly able to go right for the City manager and his men on the night.
But off the pitch, there has been plenty of cause for real celebration. Why? Because for the first time in seven years, Birmingham City are now a club free from the clutches of Carson Yeung.
We could spend hours writing about the former owner and his part in the more modern era of the club’s history but we’re not here to do that. Today we’re here to look forward for perhaps the first time in years.
The protracted takeover of the Blues was completed by Chinese firm Trillion Trophy Asia at the beginning of last week and with the club’s parent company BIHL now trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Birmingham City finally have new owners.
It’s a real mix between a fresh start and business as usual for the Blues, who won’t garner the financial firepower as some of their Championship rivals, despite the new owners.
Yet even so, this takeover seems very real and extremely authentic. There was no glitzy press conference awaiting Trillion Trophy’s Paul Suen and his colleagues. There was no red banner to cut with a bombardment of local press there ready to take questions. There was no signing of the official contract. And whilst some supporters may have wanted a glimpse at their new owners, Birmingham City fans just don’t care. They just want that security and now they have it in their grasps.
For Birmingham City, this is all about safety. For too long, the club has teetered on the edge of administration with financial worries constantly casting a cloud over St Andrews. But with £12million now ready to invest in the club as a whole, the finances – at least in the short term – feel extremely solid indeed.
As mentioned earlier, Birmingham City won’t be rubbing shoulders with the finest in the Championship straight away, rising straight to the top just because of a boardroom change.
This takeover is about keeping the hard work going and echoing the past few years of grit and determination. Say what you like about the Carson Yeung era, the constant lack of money and, at times, the despair of the supporters, but Birmingham City are still going and have plenty to shout about.
Manager Gary Rowett has done a terrific job of turning the club around despite the lack of investment, and now with owners that back his vision, his job could begin to get easier.
Birmingham are now no longer a club that have to sell their best assets for tuppence. The cut-price sales of Nathan Redmond and Demarai Gray can now stay in the past because they just don’t need that sort of finance to survive anymore.
The club is looking and feeling solid and respectable, the owners are in and ready to go and things are looking optimistic on the pitch.
This is a Birmingham City that could be set for a fully-blown revival and after the events of the past seven years, their supporters don’t half deserve it for “keeping right on til the end of the road”.