Club Update: February 2022

Club Update: February 2022

20 February 2022

Birmingham City is able to issue the following Club Update.

With January business finalised and the critical end of season run-ins fast approaching, we wish to update supporters on various developments and activities across the Football Club.

It has been a busy winter period at St. Andrew’s and Wast Hills Training Ground, with both visible improvements and behind-the-scenes progression taking place.

Our football staff continue to operate around the clock in support of their players to remain competitive on matchdays, with the Academy staff working to reach new levels of performance aligned to the Club’s Category 1 status.

We have also welcomed a number of key staff to the business including Matt Richardson (Head of Academy Recruitment), Pete Tierney (Head of Academy Performance) and former Blues Captain Martin O’Connor who returns as our Loans Manager.

Many of you will have seen this work in action by attending recent fixtures and will have, therefore, come into contact with the many non-football staff that work at the Club. They as much as anyone want Blues to be a success and are doing everything they can to make your experiences with the Football Club a positive one.

We thank you for your continued support, home and away, and from around the world.

Stadium Update

Following receipt of the most recent report on the Stadium, the Club are finalising terms with a highly reputable structural engineer who will oversee the next stage of the repairs. Their remit will be to liaise between the Club and contractors to determine the best and quickest possible solution, with safety and practicality at the forefront of every decision.

At present, access remains limited to beneath the lower tiers due to excessive spoil in situ from the Stadium’s previous terracing.

In light of this, we are exploring various ways to gain further access in order to uncover the full extent of the necessary repair work. These options include, but are not limited to, the removal of the existing seats and lifting of the current pre-cast concrete to carry out the necessary works.

Therefore, until the full extent of the repairs can be accessed and realised, the Club cannot, at this stage, provide an accurate timeframe on a date for completion.

Further details on the lower tier repairs will be made available to supporters once confirmed.

In addition, the Club are also exploring the possibility of installing safe standing for sections of the lower tiers at St. Andrew’s.

Our supporters have made it clear that safe standing is an initiative they would welcome and as a Club we have listened to those calls and will further the conversation in the coming weeks.

Managing Director, Ian Dutton

We were delighted to reveal experienced member of staff, Ian Dutton, as the Club’s Managing Director, in a new position that assumes control of business operations across the Football Club with the Board's support.

The 37-year-old most recently worked as the Club’s Chief Commercial Officer, having previously fulfilled the position of Commercial Manager and the roles of Football Sales Manager and Commercial Sales Executive dating back to 2007.

With a comprehensive knowledge of the Football Club’s operations and the subtleties to make it a success going forward, his new remit will encompass Facilities Management, Safety and Stewarding, as well as Blues’ Commercial operations, Retail performance, and Marketing, Media and Brand activities.

Equality, Diversity, Inclusion Strategy

Over the next few months, the Club will be focusing significantly on the implementation of its Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) strategy, aiming to create a diverse and inclusive culture to positively impact staff, players, supporters, partners and the local community

The Club’s EDI Lead Officer will be Ciara Gallagher, who switched from her position of Club Secretary to Governance and Regulatory Manager last summer. She will be working with the Board to implement the strategy and will be responsible for the creation of the Club’s Equality Action Plan.

In addition, internal and external EDI working groups have been formed, to support staff with their views and concerns, whilst the Club is also working towards achieving the EFL’s Equality Code of Practice by the end of the season.

Furthermore, the Club has now signed up to the FA’s Football Leadership Diversity Code, with the aim of increasing diversity and encouraging equal opportunity.

Communications Strategy

The Media, Marketing and Brand department have been working in conjunction with the Club’s hierarchy to strengthen the transparency and regularity of its outwardly facing communications to bring fans closer to Blues, intending to maintain these open channels of communication.

Such an approach began in January when the Club met with supporters and local media representatives to discuss a broad spectrum of issues that can be viewed here.

Subsequently, Club officials have hosted further meetings with supporter groups, canvassing opinions and listening to concerns as a means of gauging fan sentiment. This has run concurrently with meeting members of the media, keeping them reliably informed to project accurate messaging on key developments.

Stadium Frontage

Following supporter survey feedback, the Stadium’s external appearance was highlighted as a matter of concern and those who have visited the Kop side in B9 in recent weeks will have noticed initial changes to improve this aspect at St. Andrew’s.

The new artwork installation to the frontage was completed in time for Blues’ hosting of Sheffield United in the Sky Bet Championship a fortnight ago, with two productions of the globally recognised ‘globe and ball’ crest displayed proudly and flanked by iconic faces from the Club’s illustrious history.

This was completed alongside fresh coats of paint being applied to areas of the building and around the ticket office exterior.

We will continue to assess areas around the ground that require further work and hope supporters will notice visible changes in the weeks and months ahead.