Birmingham City Profile

Major Honours Football League Cup (2), Football League Trophy (1), Football Championship Champions (4)
Year Founded 1875

Club landmarks include winning the League Cup in 1963 and 2011, as well as reaching the FA Cup final in 1931 and 1956 and Inter-Cities Fairs Cup final in 1960 and 1961.

Birmingham City are an English professional football club based in Birmingham.

The club was formed in 1875 as Small Heath Alliance.

They went on to be renamed Small Heath in 1888, Birmingham in 1905 and, finally, adopted Birmingham City in 1943.

Birmingham City won the League Cup as recently as 2011, but they were relegated to the Championship from the Premier League at the end of that season.

They have remained in English football's second tier since, narrowly escaping relegation on a few occasions.

Birmingham City's early history

Birmingham City team photo from 1905

The club initially played their games at Muntz Street, turning professional in 1885.

In 1892, they were invited to join the Football League Second Division.

Then, in 1905, the club took up the name 'Birmingham', moving into St. Andrew's the following year.

Blues had some success decades in the 1920s and 1930s.

Frank Womack, who played for the club from 1908 to 1928, was an inspirational captain as they won the Second Division title in 1920/21. However, Birmingham subsequently struggled in the top flight.

In 1931, they reached their first FA Cup final, losing 2-1 to Second Division club West Bromwich Albion.

Birmingham were relegated in 1939 at the end of the last full season before soccer was suspended because of the Second World War.

Birmingham City's post-war success

Having taken up the club's current name, Birmingham City, in 1943, the team enjoyed a successful period under the guidance of Harry Storer, who was appointed manager in 1945.

With Storer at the helm, the club won the Football League South wartime league.

When the FA Cup resumed following the end of the Second World War, Birmingham City reached the semi-finals at the very first attempt.

Two years later, they won another Second Division title with a stellar defensive record of only 24 goals conceded in 42 matches.

Bob Brocklebank was Storer's successor, and, although he did not manage to guide the team clear of relegation in 1950, he brought in players who would form a key part of a successful Birmingham City side in years to come.

Arthur Turner took over as manager in November 1954, guiding Birmingham City to the Second Division title in 1954/55.

They sealed the triumph with a 5-1 win on the last day of the season.

In their first season back in the First Division, Birmingham City achieved a commendable sixth-place finish - their best-ever in the top flight.

The club also reached the FA Cup final but lost 3-1 to Manchester City.

Birmingham became the first-ever English club to play in a European competition.

They played their first match in the inaugural Inter-Cities Fairs Cup competition on May 15, 1956.

Blues reached the semi-finals, where they drew 4-4 with Barcelona on aggregate, but lost 2-1 in the replay.

They were also the first English club team to reach a European final in 1960 but were thumped 4-1 by Barcelona in the return leg after a goalless first leg.

They reached the same final the following season but lost 4-2 on aggregate to AS Roma.

In 1963, Birmingham City beat fierce local rivals Aston Villa in the final of the League Cup. However, two years later, they were relegated to the second tier.

Yo-yoing between the leagues

Birmingham City team photo from 1971

Birmingham City won promotion back up to the First Division at the end of the 1971/72 season and reached the FA Cup semi-finals in 1974/75.

At the end of the 1978/79 season, the Blues were relegated back to Division Two but bounced straight back up the following campaign.

This began a trend of Birmingham bouncing up and down between the top two tiers of English soccer.

They were relegated again at the end of the 1983/84 season, then bounced back up in 1984/85 only to drop down once again at the end of the 1985/86 campaign.

By 1989, Birmingham City had fallen down to the Third Division.

Their financial troubles deepened and the club were put into administration prior to David Sullivan buying it for £700,000 in March 1993.

By this time, they were back in the second tier (then known as Division One).

Relegation followed then promotion the following season.

Birmingham City subsequently stabilised in Division One before winning promotion to the Premier League in 2002 under the guidance of Steve Bruce.

Bruce helped Birmingham City consolidate in mid-table of the Premier League for the following three seasons, with the club finishing 13th, 10th and 12th respectively.

However, at the end of the 2005/06 season, they were relegated back to the Championship after finishing 18th.

Bruce took the club straight back up to the Premier League via automatic promotion at the end of the 2006/07 season.

Carson Yeung became Birmingham City's majority shareholder in July 2007 and Bruce left the following November.

He was replaced by Alex McLeish, who was unable to stave off relegation, but won promotion the following season.

The 2010/11 season saw Blues beat Arsenal 2-1 in the final of the League Cup - only to get relegated to the Championship later the same season.

They have remained in the second tier ever since.

Birmingham City's rivals

Birmingham City's main rivals are second city neighbours Aston Villa.

Blue also have rivalries with midlands sides Wolves and West Brom.

Former Blues managers Alex McLeish and Steve Bruce have both had spells in charge at Villa Park.

Recently, England international Jack Grealish was attacked by a Birmingham City fan while playing for Villa against Blues.

Birmingham City's finances

Birmingham Sports Holdings hold a 75% share of the club, while Oriental Rainbow have 21.64%.

Birmingham posted a pre-tax loss of £4.7million for the year ending June 2021, down from £18.3m the previous year, mainly due to the sale of teenager Jude Bellingham.

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