Birmingham City fans have started an online protest against the club’s current owners.
Many of the St Andrew’s faithful took to Twitter this morning (January 14) to express their frustration with the current regime - Birmingham Sports Holdings - by using the hashtag #BSHLOUT.
The message started appearing on the social media site earlier on today with many Blues fans now demanding for a change of ownership.
Since Blues were relegated from the Premier League in 2011, the club’s difficulties on and off the pitch have been well documented.
Under the ownership of Birmingham Sports Holdings, the club were found to have breached profitability and sustainability rules in 2019 after incurring losses of nearly £48.8m in three years, and were subsequently docked nine points.
They avoided a second points deduction in 2020 despite losing an appeal to the EFL over a misconduct charge.
The club have also been forced to close the lower sections of the Kop and Tilton Road End at St Andrew’s due to structural issues, and with Lee Bowyer’s men currently sitting in 18th place in the Championship, fans are concerned about what the future holds.
BirminghamWorld spoke with a fan and representative of one of the protest groups to find out the main reasons for today’s Twitter campaign.
‘It feels like the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off’
Blues fan Mark, a spokesman for the Blues Fans in Protest Twitter group, said the #BSHLOUT protest is the result of things ‘coming to a head’ on and off the field, with the club constantly struggling near the bottom of the Championship.
“The fans haven’t been happy for some time,” he said.
“But one thing that has to be remembered is that the owners have put a lot of money into the club, it’s not that they haven’t put money in, but that money has been really badly spent.
“There was a lot of spending when Harry Redknapp came in (2017), and we had the nine point deduction, but after that it was looking like we were going to move forward, and then we had a transfer embargo and Gary Monk left.
“We got Aitor Karanka in which was a really good move that everyone was really happy about, but that didn’t go well and he had to go, and now we’re paying the price for a legacy of chaos.
“At the moment it feels like the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off.”
Mark says one of the biggest problems the fans have with the current board is a lack of communication.
“St Andrew’s isn’t in good shape either,” Mark said. “The lower tier is closed but no one has told the fans what’s happening.
“The atmosphere is now limited because we don’t have those tiers and that’s before we get to the fact that the squad needs improvement and we’re struggling again.
“A lot of the fans feel Lee Bowyer is doing a good job in difficult circumstances at the moment, but ultimately what we want is owners that care about the club.
“I think there has to be a dialogue with the owners. There needs to be dialogue between fans and the club which isn’t happening at the moment.
“The club needs to be sustainable, but we’re looking at clubs like Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough who are spending money on their squads and pushing for promotion but Blues aren’t doing that.
“We’re languishing near the bottom of the Championship and have escaped relegation three or four times by the skin of our teeth under the current owners.
“Blues should be pushing for promotion and pushing for the Premier League and be in a similar position to West Brom.”
Mark said he’s concerned that if things don’t change then it could have a lasting impact.
“The legacy is really important,” he said. “My dad took me down to Blues when I was about 7. And I became a Blues fan, and you want that to keep happening and to have a vibrant fan base, and you want people to enjoy the games and inspire their kids.
“We’ve had a year of really poor football so what’s the incentive for youngsters to go along and really get behind the club, and that’s a big worry.”
What are Blues fans saying on Twitter?
BirminghamWorld has contacted Birmingham City for a comment.
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