The ownership of Birmingham City has been up in the air for some time, but it was recently announced that investment was on the way. As yet, the investment is still to arrive, and new manager John Eustace has suggested that Birmingham are still not close to making any more signings, much to his dismay.
Birmingham, for many, are one of the Championship teams expected to struggle this season. But, after a 0-0 draw against Luton, who were high fliers in the division in 21/22, there were signs that the impending Eustace revolution could lead to brighter days. However, up to press, that remains on hold until the takeover situation at St Andrew's is resolved.
So far, new faces at Birmingham include John Ruddy, who joined from Wolves on a free transfer, with the thirty-five-year-old keeper going straight into the starting XI against Luton. Krystian Bielik, Auston Trusty, Przemyslaw Placheta and Dion Sanderson have also arrived on loan to add numbers to what is one of the smallest groups in the second tier as things stand.
On Saturday against Luton, four of the new arrivals started, but there was the inclusion of youngsters such as Alfie Chang and Jobe Bellingham on the bench, leading to concerns over how the squad would cope when injuries hit. Eustace is also keen to do business correctly at St Andrew's, by sanctioning the departures of the likes of goalkeeper Neil Etheridge and former captain Harlee Dean.
Etheridge, Dean, and other high earners such as Lukas Jutkiewicz heading for the exit would certainly free up a lot in terms of the wage budget. Neither of the trio started the first game of the season, with Dean not in the matchday eighteen, Etheridge on the bench and Jutiewickz coming on as a 78th-minute substitute for Troy Deeney.
Eustace will now be hoping that the takeover situation can be resolved and the club receive the necessary financial investment to enable it to be competitive in the 2022/23 campaign, even when injuries and suspensions begin to hit. But it’s going to have to happen soon as the transfer window closes in less than a month’s time.
The former QPR assistant manager will also be hoping that he can have Bielik, who arrived on loan from Derby County for the season, at his disposal sometime soon. He arrived at St Andrew's with an injury and is now thought to be a couple of weeks away from working with the group. The next fixture against Huddersfield, and potentially the one after away at Cardiff City, will come too soon for the Polish midfielder.
If new homes for Etheridge, Dean and Jutkiewicz can be found, it could enable Eustace to begin his Blues revolution, regardless of whether the EFL sanctions a partial takeover of the club before the end of the current transfer window. And that could be enough to make them a competitive outfit on the pitch until January, at least.