Championship previews | Birmingham City
Real Championship football fans give the Paddy Power Blog their honest previews for the new season. Here’s Blues fan David Brown (@DavoBirmingham) on how financial problems are hindering Birmingham’s push for promotion.
State of play: After finishing 12th last season, we sold our goalkeeper (Jack Butland), our best defender (Curtis Davies) and our England U21 winger (Nathan Redmond). We’ve also told our top scorer (Marlon King) he can leave on a free transfer to reduce the wage bill – such are the club’s financial problems with owner Carson Yeung on trial for money laundering.
The squad has been filled with free transfers and loan signings, and no one knows if any of them will be any good. Expecting anything better than a mid-table finish would be unrealistic.
How’s the gaffer? Lee Clark bewildered many of us at times last season with erratic team selections, inconsistent tactics, questionable man management, and occasionally baffling interviews. But he seems to be learning as he goes along and is a genuine bloke who has an unenviable task given the club’s financial plight. Fans will get behind him if he can get the team into the top half of the table and consistently playing the free-flowing football he promised.
Terrace hero: Nikola Zigic. The only player left from the Carling Cup winning team of 2011, a legend for his goals against Villa and Arsenal, and a likeable person who, by all accounts, loves playing for Blues.
Big-time Charlie: Also Nikola Zigic! His £60,000-a-week contract is a major sore point, he scored just nine goals in the Championship last season, and he infuriates some supporters when he gets beaten in the air despite being 6’7”.
Worst away ground in the Championship and why? Blackpool. The town’s a dump, the ground’s a dump, and the away section is beset by view-obstructing pillars and the gale-force winds off the Irish Sea.
Which Championship side have the best away fans? Leeds United. They led the league in away attendance again last year and always bring a rowdy 3,000 to St Andrew’s.
Who is your dream Championship signing? Anyone who actually commands a transfer fee would be nice.
What is your best terrace chant? One of the finest anthems in the world of football: Keep Right On.
- Will Nikola Zigic get the goals? Birmingham are 8/1 to be promoted and all the latest Championship betting is right here
- Take a look at the next Championship team here