This post is not really about Zola. It’s about my emotional rollercoaster this week, dealing with how the new owners of BCFC have treated the club, the fans, the manager.
Gary Rowett was a fabulous manager. He was making a great, solid club out of pennies in a difficult time for the Blues. He was fostering the youth well, giving chances to a lot of great young players, managing them very well. He stabilized a time of turmoil, and I can’t help thinking he’s going to make another club really stellar now.
Why was he sacked?
Lots of possible reasons. Perhaps philosophical differences with the new owners. Perhaps they didn’t believe he was capable of meeting their vision for the club – going up in the next couple of years so they can sell the club on a big profit. He doesn’t add glitz and glamour to the club. He’s not foreign or exotic, he’s a local servant with a great deal of know-how.
This isn’t about what Zola can do in the transfer window. This isn’t about the fact that they decided to squeeze in a new man just before that window in hopes he could make some changes straight off instead of waiting for a real excuse to make the change to save their own image. Maybe this was the brave thing for them to do, the honest thing. I don’t know.
This is about the fact that one morning I wake up and my manager, whom I really quite liked and respected, whom I looked forward to hearing from about young players, insights into how development is going, the growth of the future of the club – you know, the important things to long-term fans invested in a club for life – was suddenly sacked. And before I could even make sense of why such a thing might happen, he was replaced.
I’m not saying I’m angry with the owners exactly. I can understand their behavior, and I never expected them to be sentimentalists. They’re obviously not in this for the long haul, though, or they might have thought for a moment about how this might upset the fans – lifeblood of the club – to make such a sudden and mercenary move.
Wherever Rowett goes next, I wish him all the best. I truly think he’ll make a club greater than they are. I wish that could have been Birmingham City, but since it won’t be, I only ask that it’s not Villa.
And as for Zola, well, may he endeavor to fill the shoes he’s stepped into, and may he throw himself completely at doing his very best to win games with this club.