Often Partisan

At the End of the Road

I’ve been asked by quite a few people how I personally feel about what is going on at Blues with all the speculation about transfers and lack of money. I’ve had to think about it for a long time; I’ve wavered between utter defeatism and strange optimism, and I thought I would try and nail it down with this article.

Let’s face facts – as Blues fans we’ve been spoilt in recent times. In the last ten years, we’ve spent seven in the top flight. In the twenty three years of my lifetime before that, we’d only spent six seasons in the top flight, and four in the third tier of English football. As much as the current crisis is painful, it’s not anything we haven’t done before. I remember wondering for a while if I’d have a club to support when the Kumars went under, and I remember some of the rip-taking from Villa fans at school cos I supported such a crap team.

Of course, that doesn’t mean we should accept mediocrity, but it means we should be conditioned to it. I think it hurts more because of that afternoon in North London; the feeling that the sun had broken through the clouds, and that the really good times were coming to Birmingham City. Relegation and the subsequent financial difficulties have not just been a kick in the nuts, but a sledgehammer blow to the heart. Seeing that team that brought us home silverware picked apart by Premiership teams – and lower Premiership teams at that is a bit of an insult.

But I also remember the complaints of last season. The team was too slow, too defensive – and in the last six games of the season too gutless. It’s understandable that the players are skittish about the thought of playing for a cash-strapped Championship side however you can’t help but think if they’d tried a little harder in the latter part of the season we wouldn’t be a Championship side. Unfortunately, it’s us poor fans who get lumbered with a club on it’s knees whilst those that caused it can seemingly swan off somewhere else to play top flight football and earn top flight money.

Is it fatalistic of me to think, ah well, so be it? Is it wrong for me to hope for a season where we don’t go bust, where maybe one or two of our young starlets maybe comes through and plays regularly in the first team? It’s sad to say my biggest regret about us getting relegated is that I won’t be able to watch games I can’t get to on a dodgy internet feed. Of course I want Blues to do well, to win things but I didn’t start supporting them because they were successful. I’m a believer that the test of a fan is how they react to the bad times – I’ve been encouraged that Blues have still sold in excess of 11,000 season tickets. It’s awesome that despite the team seemingly falling apart I know lots of fans making the trips to the away friendlies because they want to support the Blues.

So how do I feel about the Blues right now? I think our club anthem sums it up better than any words I could come up with now could. Blues fans, after all, will be there – at the end of the road. That’s all that matters.

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35 Responses to “At the End of the Road”

  • Ed says:

    fantastic blog, really uplifting. As an 18 year old, since my Dad died 3 weeks before the cup final, I need my fix of like-minded Bluenoses to chat to on various forums and blogs! Great stuff. KRO.

    • Richard Cooke (The Grumpy Old Git) says:

      Ed,

      Sorry to hear that you lost your dad at such an early stage of your life, your dad will never be replaced but I hope the void can be partially filled by us Bluenoses on forums and who send messages, we only have one common factor, the love of OUR club. When I lost my mom my depression was uplifted by our day out at Wembley last February and I still consider that I have a family that will always endure, us fans, going to support the team through thick and thin. It takes a special person to be a Bluenose, you should consider yourself fortunate to be among a body of people who have had to go through so much yet still stoically continue to support them.

      KRO

  • Polanski says:

    Spot on, well said. I’ve been alive for a similar time and followed Blues the same, and yep it’s bad, but it’s been worse – Kidderminster Harriers anyone?

    The perspective of Wembley does make it worse, but that day will remain forever. It wouldn’t be Blues would it, if we had won the cup and just consolidated nicely into mid-table Premiership boredom.

    A season of consolidation with some younger players coming through would do – I just hope we don’t follow the words of the song – Blues go down, Blues go down, Blues go down – too literally in the next few seasons….

  • GrumbleGob says:

    Nothing to add to that at all. Not even sure why Im commenting. Absolutely spot on. Thank you.

  • Sandycal999 says:

    Well said
    I too have supported the Blues through thick and thin (& through anorexic times too) and as our anthem states “There’ll be joys & sorrows too” but I hope and pray that we still have a club to support at the end of the season.
    Come what may though I’d rather be a relegated True Blue than support any other team.
    Born Blue, live Blue, die Blue… then spend the afterlife convincing God that BCFC is the one true religion (“,)

  • Colin Carberry says:

    Hit the nail on the head yet again. Nice one.

  • Alan Lewis says:

    All this is probably spot on but did we dare to think that the good times were coming at last ? I’m true Blue yes, but I’m also getting older and less well. I’ve bought my season ticket and my Grandson’s so he can carry on, but am I subjecting him to a life of broken dreams and promises as I have had ?
    The Carsen Yeung thing is worrying ! Sullivan said he would investigate potential buyers and only sell to someone who could take Blues to ‘another level’ mind you he never said in which direction !!!
    Now Carr aparently wants to leave AFTER signing a new contract after relegation. I must say I really think we have hit an all-time low this time and I’ve been around for a few of those !
    Still, after having my moan, I’ll be there, where ? At the end of the road of course. KRO

  • chris clarke says:

    Well said and as the song goes “come wind rain sleet or snow family tradition says i have to go its in my blood and i don’t care if the blue’s are playing i’ll be there ” kro

  • fabian1875 says:

    top draw article as usual

  • Blakey says:

    Top blog. So well put. I don’t support Birmingham City for the glory. That when it comes (once every blue moon) is just a bonus. If I wanted trophies I’d be a glory hunting man utd fan. I support the club and which ever 11 lads pull on the shirt no matter what. I’ve got my season ticket and shall be there august 13th block 13 singing my heart out for the boys in royal blue KRO!

  • kimberley blue says:

    Just heard on Talk sport that Carr might now be going as well.
    Feel like I am now paddling in the sea just of Lands End

  • Dave Shaw says:

    Excellent! I really enjoy your comments which are always carefully written, balanced and to the point. Keep up the good work.

    I’m a fourth generation Blues fan and whatever happens I won’t be going anywhere else.. KRO

  • Darren says:

    Nows the time to really get behind the boys in royal blue, backing them vocally in every game.
    I will be there no matter what division were in. K.R.O

  • Masaccio says:

    I think we have to remember that the board need to sell anything and everything to keep their finances going. We are the only item they have that can generate cash at the moment and they will continue to milk it until it’s either dry or they move on to something else. Personally I’d like to see CY in jail for a long time and Peter Pannu and the board removed as they don’t have a clue how to run a football club in the country/climate (financial not weather), example, giving a board place to an 18 year old child. This isn’t desperate it’s a complete disregard for us fans and the history of the club.. Transparency and communication are two words I keep hearing when blues are discussed at the moment, unfortunately we’re getting neither from the current owners.

    I’ll go to the games and support whatever team is left to play, it’s becoming a bit of an Ealing Comedy at the moment but I won’t be spending any money at the club shop or other facilities.

  • john says:

    Whats wrong with all you people. Think BIG get BIG instead of going on about Joys & Sorrows. I too was at Wembley and had a fantastic day with my boys that we’ll always remember.
    At the moment we are the laughing stock of England, never mind the Midlands.
    I’m getting fed up with this ‘we’ve done it before’ attitude.

  • hammy says:

    remember chelsea??? 30 minutes from oblivion…..and in steps abramathingy…..

    look at liverscouse….

    look at blackburn…..

    it can happen….and i think it will for us too…..

    mr mittel is ready to walk away from qpr cos they wont invest….he has family here in brum….and he considered buying us before…..

    my point is……ALL WE NEED IS NEW AMBITIOUS OWNERS…..

    until we get them, were looking up a cows arse…but they are out there, and i bet you anything you like somebody out there is keeping an eye…..

    so, ladies, keep the faith, ouir blood is blue, KRO…..and most of all….SOTV…..

    now, im off to hereford……

  • GoodyBlueShoes says:

    Great blog. Despite all the negative scenario at the club at them moment I truly believe there are exciting times ahead. Strength of character will help us through along with a little bit of luck and somebody with a few quid in their pocket. Character we have in spades both as supporters and in the teams I have followed for the past 47 years. Luck? well I believe you make your own. Cash? Don’t worry fellow bluenoses, somebody out there is looking to invest right now, of that I am sure! What else are we going to do – Give up? I think not.

  • Bluehobba says:

    Yes well said.. Weve all been there through thick and thin and the coming season is no different except the staff. Optimism is the same. Doom and gloom will never really go away just hidden behind a good performance, a good win or signing etc. We all have Blue blood and roll on the first game. No matter what happens off the field, Blues will turn out in force like they always do and I for One will concentrate on the playing side rather than finances. Its bad enough worrying about work let alone the Blues finances. Off to Oxford next week to cheer the boys on KRO

  • Mike Bledsoe says:

    Nice post Ive followed Blues since 70s went with my brother and his workmates from Rover have followed them ever since money was not an issue in those days but today it makes you wonder what the future holds for any team to survive in the Premeir and football league a foreign investor.At least Blues fans got the Cup this year Keep Right On

  • BD says:

    I have only just found your pages and spent almost 22 hours reading everything, it is an absolute dream, what a great job you are doing.
    You speak the same language; you feel the same hurt and sing from the same song sheet.
    That is the praise over now down to business.

    I saw my first match way back in 1963, I was lifted over the heads to the front of the Tilton, and we drew 0-0 with Fulham.

    I have to admit to shedding tears up and down this country following my beloved Blues.

    I have witnessed great players in the Blue and White, some clowns and entertainers, been there and got the ticket to prove it. Bertie Auld and Frank Worthington, and … well I won’t embarrass the clowns…
    Brilliant managers and tacticians, some big name money grabbers and Barry Fry,
    Although I do not agree with our last manager’s actions, I think he knew more of what was going on and jumped while there was a lifeboat available. he was our most successful to date and if he had A) had an earlier change in tactics about attacking with two up front and B) dropped Jerome to give him chance to gain some much needed confidence in the reserves, then we wouldn’t be in this present situation, and could have coped with Yeung’s position.

    We have had some great attacking teams with a dubious defence or vice – versa.

    We will come through this, one way or another; possibly, if your information about the PR of China is true then it will be sooner and not too late.

    Keep up the good work

    KRO

  • Berkshire Blue says:

    Good blog that encapsulates the range of feelings around Blues right now. I’ve followed Blues for 45 seasons and I’ve found this the hardest relegation due to it’s juxtaposition with the League Cup win, when it seemed we were destined for better times. My first Blues memory was the 7-2 aggregate League Cup semi final defeat to Third Division QPR which really was a good indicator of some of the things to come. Despite the current difficulties I console myself that many of the most enjoyable seasons eg. 71-2, 79-80 and 94-95 have been outside the top flight. Come on you Blues!

  • tismyk says:

    I think most of you are living in cloud cuckoo land if you think things are going to get better,
    they may but not for a very long time, Blues are in serious financial trouble more so then we are led to believe.

  • Dirty Bertie says:

    You have to be a pessimist to be a Blues fan, it’s in the job description, but:

    Season ticket sales are good despite the chances of returning to the PL immediately being bleak, plus the rest, why? With CH the football should be better and we should win a lot more matches. We’ll certainly have plenty to moan about. And, next to supporting Blues, that’s what we love to do most.

    This is an intelligent, informative site almajir, let’s not get too mawkish, sentimental or overly pessimistic.

    Wadya think of this bloke Trollope? Is Calderwood coming, or not?

  • john says:

    What a load of bollox, fed up of hearing the same old tired fans season in season out.
    If you went to a restaurant for years and then the food started going bad you wouldn’t go back. Need I say anymore?
    Get better and I’ll go back.
    Can’t afford to waste my money.

    • almajir says:

      There’s a word for that, and you won’t like it: Fickle.

    • Connor says:

      Feck off to the v*lla then, you won’t be missed.

      • john says:

        Typical dumb Connor, you cant see the wood from the trees. As for Almajir, I was probably following Blues before you were born son. Get a reality check, nothing Fickle here, realistic is the word you are looking for.
        CONNOR, YOU ARE INDEED WHAT MAKES THIS CLUB A LAUGHING STOCK. Have watched week in week out over the seasons ‘FICKLE ‘ fans coming into the ground 10 minutes into the game pissed up high on charlie, not watching the game, shouting obsenities at the away fans, go up to the bar 10 mins before half time, come back 10 mins into 2nd half, continue shouting at away fans whilst stood up blocking view of others, then leave before end.
        My friend, I get there home and away with my kids in plenty time, conduct myself properly, watch the match and leave when the players have warmed down (to get tips for my youth team).
        Almijar, don’t ever think about calling ME fickle, look at yourself first.

  • Bluenose John says:

    Stuff it, at least there is never a dull moment with the Blues. Just think about the supporters of the Big 4 designer clubs; never happy unless they get their divine right to a trophy; always expecting to beat lesser mortals thus getting no joy out of the majority of wins; talking bollocks about their latest planned signings who are being paid bigger telephone numbers than the last star now out of fashion.

    And how exciting is Premiership football, half the clubs will park the bus most of the time ( and as Vile fans will find some managers do it all the time ).

    Blues may be a flawed club but it is OUR club.

    As Henry V, the well known Royal Bluenose put it

    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;

  • viperblue says:

    I hope the talk of Carr going is just that “talk”
    CH has had time to talk to the players and set out his hopes & objectives
    So if after this Carr feels he must go then the future really is bleak
    unless he is told a new young full back is coming in and Carr will
    only be getting the odd game then that may have made him look for a new club

  • Mark says:

    Often Partisan mentioned investment from HK or China recently in order to help quell the protest groups. Where is it please?

    • almajir says:

      Let’s get this straight. Often Partisan reported the possibility of investment in BIH, quoting a report in a HK Newspaper.

      The article in question stated that “it may be clutching at straws”, but it was hope. No promises made.

      So far, no further news has materialised. It’s not possible to report on something that doesn’t exist.


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