The wheels of Birmingham City’s much-heralded “ten-point pledge” are in motion following recent images of St Andrew’s resembling a building site rather than a football pitch.
The installation of undersoil heating and the laying down of a new playing surface, at a cost of £500,000, are part of the club’s on-going New Year, New Start initiative, first unveiled at the turn of 2009.
A big screen, an improved tannoy system and the creation of the Gil Merrick Stand, something that the legend himself yesterday described as ‘marvellous’, are just some of the other morale-boosting measures due to follow as part of the pledge that, in truth, has steadily increased to more than its original ten points.
The measures are designed to help mend the damaged relationship between Birmingham’s hierarchy and supporters following years of neglect. Immediate promotion back to the Premier League was a start, but the Blues’ board have already realised that it will take more than just on-the-field achievements to get the club’s fans back on their side.#
Chairman David Gold is one such member Birmingham director that has realised that a football club is more than just merely competitive sport.
So focused on Birmingham’s battle against the yo-yo movement between English football’s top two divisions they have become, that the top brass began to overlook the very heartbeat of the 134-year-old club.
That is, according to Gold, until now.
“For so long people have sort of felt that we`re a club that is so focused on promotion, so focused on avoiding relegation that we put all of our money into those areas,” said Gold.
“And sometimes we forget the screen, undersoil heating, we forget things and listening to our fans.
“People say you`re not listening to your fans, well we’ve made a conscious effort to say ‘ok look guys, we’ve got to stop being paranoid about these issues and we must just look over there, step back and look at the broader picture’. And that’s what we’ve done.”
nBirmingham have announced that they have offered 18-year-old centre-back David Joyce a six-month professional contract.
Meanwhile Academy director Terry Westley will fly his players and staff out to Hong Kong later this month to take part in a seven-a-side tournament.