The plight of the Second City’s leading rugby clubs has been thrown into sharp focus by Friday night's Bees-Moseley clash.
The Damson Park showdown pits two teams that have taken to this season’s Championship like a duck to a frozen pond.
While Bees are bottom of the pile, Moseley are just one place better off and – on current form at least – both seem destined for another end-of-season ride on the white-knuckle Relegation Rollercoaster.
As a result mumblings have resurfaced – among the chattering classes rather than at official level it should be noted – about merging the clubs to form a single entity.
Moseley Bees, Birmingham Moseley, Moseley & Birmingham & Solihull, BSM – choose your name, you’re guaranteed to upset someone.
Whenever this subject is mooted there is always grumbling from factions within either club, even though it seems to make sense on some levels. United we are stronger and all that sort of thing.
But in the current context what would the city be getting? Well the league table suggests not much.
Combining the records would result in two wins – as opposed to one each – and 14 points which would still leave the new creation in the bottom four.
Too simplistic? Clearly. So let’s look at their respective playing budgets. State secrets being what they are it’s difficult to ascertain the precise figures but if we work on the basis that Bees operate on around £300,000 a year and Moseley £0.5m, we have a starting point.
Let’s be generous and throw in £100,000 for the extra appeal of a club representing the whole city. By my maths that makes £900,000 and still less than around half the teams in the second tier.
Which probably leaves Moseley Bees or Birmingham Moseley worryingly close to the relegation play-offs and arguably back where we started.
And the cost? The loss of two independent identities and possibly the supporters who have fiercely protected that which sets them apart from the other lot?
Is it a risk worth taking? In my opinion maybe not at this stage, simply on the basis that a merger comes with no guarantee of success but with sure-fire damage and alienation.
However, if a Duckworthian businessperson with a vision and passion for the city were to step forward. That might be a different matter.