Birmingham City relegated to League One despite Paik Seung-ho winner

Birmingham City fans after the Sky Bet Championship match at St. Andrew's @ Knighthead Park
Birmingham City fans after the Sky Bet Championship match at St. Andrew's @ Knighthead Park -Credit:PA

Birmingham City have been relegated to the third tier of English football for the first time since 1995. On a day when they needed a result to go their way elsewhere, wins for Blackburn Rovers, Sheffield Wednesday and Plymouth Argyle meant Blues' 1-0 victory over Norwich City was too little too late.

As a result, Blues ended the 2023/24 campaign in 22nd place in the league, the final relegation spot, meaning they go down to League One with Huddersfield Town and Rotherham United.

That ends their 29-year stay in the top two divisions of the football pyramid and means they will next season take on the likes of Stockport County, Mansfield Town and Wrexham, who came up from League Two.

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While they beat the Canaries at a packed-out St Andrew’s, in truth their results away from home have been terrible, they end the season with just three wins on their travels from 23 matches.

That said there will be a feeling that this relegation was eminently avoidable. Blues were sixth when they controversially decided to replace John Eustace with Wayne Rooney.

The former Man Utd striker oversaw a headlong plummet down the table, with just two wins in 15 games before he was sacked and Tony Mowbray came in.

The experienced Mowbray seemed to steady the ship but his departure on medical leave thrust a reluctant Mark Venus into the hot-seat and no wins in his six games necessitated the return of Gary Rowett as an interim boss. Rowett also oversaw an improvement in defensive solidity and results but failure to defeat either Rotherham or Huddersfield away from home saw Blues run out of time.

All of which is a terrible end to a season that started with so much promise after Tom Wagner and Knighthead completed a much-needed takeover and has since unveiled grand plans to build a new stadium and put the club on a far more steady footing. All that will have to start from League One.

Blues’ last season at level three was in 1994/1995 when Barry Fry brought Blues back up at the first time of asking, not only winning the title but doing a league and cup double as they claimed Auto Windscreens Shields Trophy glory at Wembley.

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