Birmingham City

Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images

Redknapp claims innocence for Birmingham’s overspending, deduction

Leave a comment

Harry Redknapp claims that he is not at all responsible for the nine-point recently handed to Birmingham City as punishment for “breaching profitability and sustainability rules” in the EFL Championship.

[ MORE: Mourinho “preparing” for next job; expects to start “in June” ]

Despite managing the club for five months, from April to September 2017 — a period in which the Blues signed nine new players (six for transfer fees, three on free transfers) and saw the overall wage bill continue to rise — Redknapp has washed his hands of the entire situation and believes “I don’t think any of the signings were mine” — quotes from the Guardian:

“There were three lads from Brentford that came in [Jota, Harlee Dean and Maxime Colin]. They were all good players but they weren’t on my shopping list. I’d never even see any of them play, they were brought in by other people above my head.

“We brought in Isaac Vassell for $1.3 million [from Luton] and he will be worth massive money in my opinion. He was an absolute bargain, but I can’t even take credit for that because he was nothing to do with me, to be truthful. I don’t think any of the signings were mine. I was taking [John] Ruddy on a free transfer from Norwich and instead they brought in David Stockdale from Brighton. The director of football [Jeff Vetere] wasn’t brought in by me either.”

Only, with regard to the signing of Spanish midfielder Jota, Redknapp had the following to say hours before his signing was made official, per Guardian columnist Daniel Taylor:

“I’m hoping it will be done. It’s not done yet. I just identify them, then it’s up to other people to get them in.”

[thinking-face emoji slash upside down smiling emoji]

While Redknapp is hugely disingenuous in accepting zero responsibility, those in charge of the various clubs at which he has run up massive debts managed could try something entirely new: tell the man, “No.”

Birmingham City to get nine-point deduction, unexpected relegation battle

Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images
2 Comments

From very comfortably mid-table, to a handful of points away from the relegation zone — that’ll be reality for Birmingham City once the English Football League hands the EFL Championship side a nine-point deduction for “breaching profitability and sustainability rules,” according to a report from the BBC.

[ MORE: Report: Man United stars lined up for exit ]

The Blues, despite losing four straight league games, currently sit 13th in the Championship — seven points off the promotion playoffs, and 14 clear of the drop zone — but will find themselves in 18th with eight games still to play.

The penalty stems from losses in excess of $17 million per year over a three-year period, which is outside the acceptable window under EFL rules. Birmingham will, however, avoid any additional penalties, including transfer embargoes.

[ MORE: Ranking Premier League Player of the Year candidates ]

The club recently revealed a loss of £37.5m from July 2017 to June 2018, a direct result of player wages rising from $29 million for the season to just over $50 million after a flurry of transfer activity in the summer of 2017.

Birmingham will be the first club to be punished under the EFL’s profitability and sustainability regulations, put in place at the start of the 2016-17 season

Fan who punched Grealish jailed; gets 10-year stadium ban

3 Comments

The justice system in the UK has acted swiftly, as the fan who punched Jack Grealish on Sunday has already been sent to prison.

Paul Mitchell, a Birmingham City fan, pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced to 14 weeks in prison. He has also been banned from going to any football stadium in the UK for the next 10 years and was fined $458.

Mitchell, 27, ran onto the pitch during the second-city derby in England’s second-tier on Sunday and punched Aston Villa star Grealish.

The Villa captain was knocked to the floor, but then had the last laugh as he went on to score the winning goal in a 1-0 victory.

[ MORE: Grealish reacts to being punched ]

Birmingham City have released a statement on the fan being jailed.

“Birmingham City Football Club welcomes the sentence handed down to Paul Mitchell by Birmingham Magistrates today. What he did was unacceptable and has no place in football. The Club can confirm that Mr Mitchell is banned from our home ground, the St. Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium, for life. And nor will he have access to purchase tickets for away games involving Birmingham City Football Club, or have tickets purchased on his behalf.”

“The Club has also banned another supporter for life for a series of vile and malicious Tweets on social media, relating to Jack Grealish and his family. The individual in question remains the subject of an ongoing investigation by West Midlands Police.”

Click play on the video above to watch the shocking incident, as three separate incidents involving fans running on the pitch took place over the weekend in the UK.

Glasgow Rangers James Tavernier was confronted by a Hibernian fan in Edinburgh on Friday, while Man United’s Chris Smalling was barged into by an Arsenal fan who ran onto the pitch at the Emirates Stadium in celebration on Sunday.

Grealish reacts to attack by pitch invader, match-winning goal

1 Comment

Jack Grealish was on Cloud Nine before he was face down in the 18.

The Aston Villa man was handed the captain’s arm band for a Sunday derby at Birmingham City, and incredibly proud of it.

[ MORE: Liverpool-Burnley recap ]

But early in the Second City Derby, a pitch invader attacked Grealish from behind. The punch in the side of the face floored Grealish, and teammates rushed to his aid.

“I was just unaware at the time,” Grealish said. “I was walking into position and I just felt a whack around the side of the face. Obviously there’s rivalry in football but I don’t think there’s any place for that really.”

Grealish would get the last laugh, scoring the lone goal as Villa kept its promotion playoff hopes alive and leapt over Birmingham City on the table.

“I just tried to get on with my job in the end and I think I did. It was unbelievable to get the winner in front of the fans after what happened. … It’s the best day of my life to come here for the first time, captain Aston Villa and score the winner. It’s what dreams are made of, especially being an Aston Villa fan.”

As for the managers, Villa boss Dean Smith ripped the security at St. Andrew’s while Blues manager Garry Monk said that “one idiot does not reflect Birmingham fans and I’m sure they don’t condone it as well.”

Birmingham City apologized to Grealish and Villa, saying the act has “no place in football or society.” The club said in a release that the fan will be banned from St. Andrew’s forever, and that it will back the fullest enforcement of the law.

Pitch invader sucker punches Aston Villa’s Grealish

4 Comments

There’s been an absolutely stunning and sickening scene at St. Andrew’s, where the Second City Derby has become a second-class story.

That’s because a Birmingham City fan charged onto the pitch and sucker-punched Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish from behind.

[ MORE: Grealish, clubs react | Championship Focus ]

The fan was immediately met by Villa players Conor Hourihane and Glenn Whelan.

It’s disgusting stuff, no hyperbole, and will certainly result in criminal charges.

Both clubs are on the outskirts of the promotion playoff picture.