As a lifelong Birmingham City fan, I have supported my team through the highs and the lows.

The highs most noticeably coming ninth in the Premier League in the 2009-10 season, winning the League Cup in 2011 and playing in the Europa League also in 2011.

Since then lows have been a frequent reality of life, with the loss of players due to relegation in the 2010-11 season, missing out on promotion in the 2011-12 season and a further drop down the Championship in season 2012-13, to 12th, which caused a further loss of players. Not to mention the loss of manager Chris Hughton to Norwich in 2012.

The loss of top players again haunts Birmingham as the new season begins with the loss of Curtis Davies and Nathan Redmond already with the transfer window just beginning, along with the already sold Jack Butland returning to parent club Stoke City.

With 'star' striker Marlon King also rumoured to be on his way out questions are beginning to be asked of Lee Clark's ambition for a return to the Premier League for Birmingham or whether he would rather guarantee a mid-table finish.

There is still the argument that with the financial problems that come with the majority owner Carson Yeung faces charges in Hong Kong for money laundering and other teams doing poorly, such as Wolverhampton Wanderers suffering double relegation to League One, that actually Clark has done a good job in a season that saw Birmingham beat promotion achievers Crystal Palace 4-0.

Overall the drop in stature over the last four years has been alarming, but there are signs that the current squad is strong enough to stay in the Championship - and with signings such as Chris Burke and Paul Robinson, positives can be drawn from the last few seasons.

As long as Clark is able to bring players in with the money gained from the sales of Butland, Redmond Davies I don't envisage a serious problem. The only way is up.


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