Birmingham City Story

  1. Birmingham City Story

    So, As I always do, I played my first game on FM with my beloved Birmingham City. I have spoke to a few friends and saw a few stories and I haven't seen a first season promotion story. Well, I just about did it, it was hard and came down to the last penalty kick of the play off final. I am in my third season now, still in the premier league, but I will do my best to re-cap my first two seasons leading on to this.

    I took over and as everybody knows, you have next to nothing to work with. Instantly I tried to offload Zigic, which didn't happen. So I tried a few other players...

    In August I sold Wade elliott to to Motherwell for 110k and Robinson wouldn't sign a new deal so left fairly soon.
    I signed Bolo Zenden, Mikael Forssell, Cristiano zanetti and Fabio Grosso, for much needed experience and depth, on cheap contracts. I signed Craig Cardner (sunderland), Dean Parrett (Spurs) and Joao Carlos (liverpool) On loan.

    With the wage budget slightly stretched, I kept on trying to re-negotiate contracts with all of the players, i.e. Ibanez down to 7k King down to 8k. This took a while, but there were only a few agents/players who wouldn't budge. This was key to the season being a success without the club losing more money.

    Unfortunately I cannot find the league table at Christmas, so I'll talk about my january transfers and then show the end of the season...

    I loaned Peter Lovenkrands out to Sheff Wednesday, for half his wages, which did help and I sold colin Doyle to West Brom for 160k.

    I signed Brad Jones from Liverpool for 22k and Rodney strasser from AC Milan for 190k at least half of that payable over 24 months. I also signed Eirik johansen from Man City for 5k as a youth and back up (Pretty pointless signing really!)

    It was looking comfortable up until March hot on the heals of second (Wolves walked away with the title) but i hit a very inconsistent run of form and ended up finishing 5th with 73 points, scoring 74 and conceding 51.

    I beat Derby 2-1 away and then 1-0 at home in the play off semi finals (unable to bring up the match report)
    So then I had Burnley in the play off final, which with the help of a certain Forssell (didn't score many, but all goals were important ones) I drew 2-2. It went to penalties and they missed their fifth, up steps Paul Caddis and shoots Birmingham City into the premier league!
    I actually couldn't believe what had happened after hearing about how hard the game is with Birmingham, possibly my greatest ever accomplishment on FM... Staying in the premier league might be harder.

    The club was taken over in January, no extra funds available, but debts were cleared by the end of the season.

    Season Player review -

    Top Goal scorer - Marlon King - 23 goals in 41 games.
    Player of the season - Curtis davies

    Ibanez and Davies were brilliant at the back, Caddis was solid on the right and Murphy on the left
    Spector was brilliant back up all over the back and midfield, but the best midfielder had to be strasser, bringing a bit of quality to the game with precise passing, high work rate, great tackling and popping up with a few goals.
    Chris Burke was a big let down, in both seasons, but couldn't sell him.

    Right so onto the prem...

  2. So with a budget of 9 million and only a slightly improved wage budget, I had a lot of work on to even think about finishing above 20th.

    July/August Players out -

    The best transfer ever... Sold Zigic to a relegated aston villa for 1 million! Recouped a lot of money for wages with that

    Lovenkrands to Peterborough for 200k

    Adam rooney on loan to bolton for 50k per month

    morgaro Gomis - 575k to montpellier

    Hayden Mullins - 24k to Hibernian

    Zenden, Zanetti and Grosso released

    Players in -

    Stefan Reinartz from leverkusen for 3.8 million
    Hrvoje Cale from Wolfsburg for 625k
    Zdenek Grygera from Newcastle for 150k
    Jay spearing from Liverpool for 6 million
    Wes Hoolahan from Norwich for 425k
    Ross McCormack from leeds for 3.7 million (second worst signing of the season)
    Kolo Toure on a free transfer

    Loan players -
    Mbaye Niang ST from AC Milan (goal machine)
    Riccardo Fioruccii AML ST Inter Milan (I think he is a re-gen)
    Daniel Marshall CB Inter Milan (Again i think he is a re-gen)
    Billy Sharp from southampton (Hardly played and termiated early cause of Niang)

    I thought I might have a chance with my squad, but it would take consistent tactics to pull of the wins I needed, alternating between 4-5-1 and 4-1-2-1-2. Both worked quite well and there were some very good performances almost immediately, but the results were hard to come by. Mybaye Niang ensured the results I did get. I was around 16th at Christmas.

    January Players out -

    Pablo Ibanez 500k to zaragoza

    David Murphy 475k to West Brom

    Players in -
    Loan - Kieran Gibbs
    Free In March - David Beckham (to give a lift and leadership in midfield)

    Somehow I pulled out a few upsets, still with Niang banging them in.

    I finished 13th with 42 points (11 wins and 9 draws) Scoring 56 and conceding 66

    Again this was an amazing accomplishment, but only from the signing of Niang.
    Fiorucci was a good signing as well, I wanted him permantly. A young player touted the next vialli. Strasser again gave me no choice but to play him. McCormack was a flop and Hoolahan hardly played, also a complete flop.
    Toure and Davies were strong at the back and Marshall was good cover.
    Reinartz took a while to settle in as did spearing, but they came into form towards the end of the season.
    The team played better with the signing of Beckham, even if he wasn't in the squad - Shrewd move.
    Top scorer - Niang - 25 goals in 35 games
    Player of the season - Again Curtis davies!

    Hoping for a better budget, I was confident of another successful year.

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