Date: 9th January 2007 at 4:57pm
Written by:

The club and Steve Bruce have moved to clarify comments made by the manager following our Cup draw against Newcastle.

Bruce was quoted about the poor attendance in the match and also mentioned that if people weren’t careful the ‘ordinary man in the street’ would be priced out of football. Something Blues fans have been saying for quite a while with the pricing policy at St Andrews that has already seen plenty of fans leave.

The statement on the official site says:

‘When I made the comments I did on Saturday evening it was in response to a direct question that was put to me by a journalist and was in no way a criticism of our supporters.

‘Our support is terrific and I am always appreciative of the backing that we get.

‘My comments were and are aimed at football in general.

‘I have friends and relatives who pay to see games all over the country, so I understand the mounting cost of attending matches.

‘Last Saturday’s FA Cup tie against Newcastle came on the back of a raft of fixtures over the Christmas and New Year period.

‘Against Newcastle the club priced their tickets at £20 and £10 in advance following an agreement between the two clubs.

‘This seemed like a reasonable amount, but in hindsight maybe it was still too much on the back of the Christmas period.

‘I do feel for the fans as I know they want to be at the stadium cheering their team on but simply cannot afford to do so.

‘For me, the 3rd Round of the FA cup is a special occasion and epitomises what the FA Cup is all about.

‘But I feel that the emphasis placed on the Premiership and the amount of coverage it receives inevitably takes it away a little bit of magic from the FA Cup. Having said that I thought that our match on Saturday contained everything that a good cup tie should.

‘I think that all of us in the game need to address the situation.

‘I believe we have to consider lowering salaries, everyone from managers, coaches and players because the gap between them and the fans is getting wider and that is not good for the game.

‘The thing that has made this game great is the support of the average working class man and we are in danger of pricing him out of the game.’

Steve Bruce
Birmingham City FC Manager