I was very tempted to haul out the whole Tale of Two Cities spiel, and I almost managed not to fail entirely. Because while supporters of Manchester City are somewhat pleased this week, those of Birmingham City are less so, by a substantial margin. Their club failed to get promoted to the Premier league. The worst of times indeed.
But it was a little sad for me too, even though I’m hardly a football fan at all (I’ve been known to watch the occasional World Cup match). But I was almost about to make the decision to think about getting in the swing of footy culture by avidly following a club in the next season. It would have made sense to follow Birmingham City – they’re the closest club to me. I often cycle past their training ground on Red Hill road. I’ve also got a penchant for supporting the underdog, and the Blues qualify for that tag on just about every level.
But alas, it’s not to be. I’ll now either have to follow them in the Championship League (which feels like a horribly second-rate way to try feel my way into this), or pick another team altogether. There are a few other Midlands clubs – Wolves, Aston Villa, West Brom – but none of them do anything for me. Ok, so I’m being pedantic – the whole sport does nothing for me, so that’s hardly surprising.
So I’ve had a quick look at the teams, and I think I’ll go for Stoke City instead. They’re in the bottom half of the table, have only been up in the Premier League for 3 or so years, and they’re the oldest club in there. Stoke-on-Trent isn’t too far away, and besides, something about the name gets me all fired up. So I’ll see how this goes. Not sure that I’ll join the fan club, and buy the kit, or anything like that, but I’ll at least follow their progress, and try to feign an acceptable level of interest. For the first time in my life, I’m looking forward to the football season.
Pity it’s just ended, then.