Date: 3rd October 2017 at 7:49pm
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Elite. Premier League. Ambition.

Four words you wouldn’t use to associate with Birmingham City at this moment in time. Yet Xuandong Ren, CEO and club Director, uses them all regularly.

Ren – or Dong as he prefers to be known – speaks of the club’s burning desire to return to the big time.

Often, words can be cheap.

Talking the talk is irrelevant without walking the walk.

I don’t doubt that Birmingham City is an ambitious club. Join the queue. But the club have to start doing things the right way.

Blues are not a Premier League club in waiting. Currently, it’s an unorganised mess on and off the pitch. A divide in the dressing room is obvious to see and results have been disastrous. Blues are closer to League One than the Premier League.

Ren was beginning to sound like a fantasist – someone with ideas way above his station and a man with a severe lack of football knowledge. Then, bingo, he said the magic word all Bluenoses have been dying to hear.


With Steve Cotterill sitting by his side bursting with pride, Dong talked about the importance of stability.

Finally, he gets it.

Now I understand Xuandong Ren doesn’t hold a financial interest in the club but he is the only face we have. So he will take the flack and the glory (if it ever arrives) in equal measure.

His mention of stability may suggest a change in the club’s stance. Upon hiring Gianfranco Zola, the buzz word was ‘promotion’. When the Italian’s reign went tits up, Harry Redknapp answered the SOS. Then after taking the job permanently (a word that comes with a bitten lip in football) Redknapp was under instruction to lead the club back to the top flight.

It was only a matter of time before Redknapp’s reign was heading for the gutter.

Enter Steve Cotterill.

‘I haven’t been told I must get promotion this season, nothing like that’, said the new boss at his unveiling on Monday. ‘Firstly, we must concentrate on getting the club away from danger’, he continued.

Cotterill gets it.

And it seems that Ren, and other business heads in the hierarchy, are finally starting to understand that a successful club needs stability. Chopping and changing the man in the dugout isn’t always the answer. Nor is throwing needless cash about in every transfer window.

Of course, we could be going down this avenue again in a few months time. But maybe, just maybe, this could be a suggestion of things to come.

Only time will tell.


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