Birmingham City – Season 1: Club Introduction

When I started Mezzala FM back in May of 2023, my focus was solely on publishing guides about Football Manager. 

But thanks to Google’s new policy, my website has seen its organic traffic hit oblivion, which made me realize that I never had a dedicated audience who’d come back and enjoy my content. 

Mezzala FM is simply the site where people get their guides, and forget. 

Well, things are about to change. And I’ve decided to invest more time in telling my FM stories and engaging more closely with the community. 

So here’s to a new start. 

Disclaimer: The gameplay is from Football Manager 23, using the updated 23/24 season squad.

If you know me from X(formerly Twitter), you’re familiar with my fascination with managing Championship sides in FM. To me, it’s the best league one can manage in FM with ample challenges and a crazy 46-game ride. 

Image of EFL Championship tier list for Football Manager 24
My tier-list ranks each Championship club based on how “fun” they are to play with.

And for this save, I’m going to pick a random one. 

Okay, I’m yet to manage Birmingham(not random) in FM, so let’s go with that one. 

But why Birmingham?

Birmingham City: Club Overview

Well, first of all, they have an insecure financial status, which I love in a club when taking charge of. 

Secondly, they have good facilities, so I won’t have to worry about spending big on infrastructure for a while. 

FM24 club overview of Birmingham City.

For a regular Championship side, Birmingham has a massive social media follower base, with 13,000 season ticket holders backing the club. My job as the manager is to maximize the club’s revenue by filling out those 19,400 stadium capacity.

Here’s a general overview of Birmingham City in Football Manager 24:

Professional StatusProfessional
Predicted Finish18th
ReputationNational
Nickname The Blues
FinancesInsecure
StadiumSt. Andrew’s
Stadium Capacity30,016 all-seater(19,400 capacity used in normal matches)
Training FacilitiesGreat training facilities
Youth FacilitiesGreat youth facilities
Junior CoachingGood academy coaching
Youth RecruitmentAbove average youth recruitment

Board & Supporter Expectation

The club and board expectations are simple. They want me to play entertaining football, and go attacking with my playing style. 

A top-half finish should easily see me keep my job. My main concern will be about my squad’s ability to play attacking football

Board ExpectationSupporter Expectation
Sign players under the age of 23 for the first teamPlay entertaining football
Play attacking football
Develop players using the club’s youth system

Finances

A quick look at the finance screen shows me that the club has an overall budget of £3 million. That’s nowhere good considering the massive wage budget is going to drain it down in no time. 

Birmingham City board has given us a transfer budget of £600,000 and a wage budget of £346,000 p/w.

Judging our Insecure financial status, I’ll have to rely on free transfers and sell some players for a good profit. We’re in for some tight financial management!

Squad

Alright, let’s have a look at our squad. 

Birmingham City Squad contracts and wages in FM.
We have an aging problem with our squad that I need to address. Also, cutting off some deadwood won’t hurt our finances!

It’s a squad of 23 players in total, with an average salary of £12,990 per week/ which I’ll hopefully reduce down to £11,000 p/w near the end of this transfer window. 

One big concern about the team is the age. Currently, 7 of our 23 players are past their 30s. This is something we’ll have to work with. 

From a general assessment, we got really good quality and depth in the midfield and on the flanks. 

Players like Krystian Bielik, Ivan Sunjic, and Juninho Bacuna can compete against the top Championship clubs. 

Koji Miyoshi, Siriki Dembele, and Oliver Burke are just the quality wingers we need for our attacking football. 

Our 31 year old striker Scott Hogan is a potent goalscorer with Tyler Roberts providing solid depth for the striker position.

John Ruddy and Neil Etheridge are good enough to cover for me in the GK position. 

The only concern about this team is the lack of depth in the Center-back position, which we need to work on. And maybe also invest in a backup striker as Lukas Jutkiewicz won’t be good enough for the style of play I want to adopt. 

Youth Prospects

Unfortunately, having a squad full of quality midfielders means we won’t be able to give enough chances to our 2 youth midfielders who’re already first-team candidates. 

Birmingham CIty first team candidates.
George Hall and Brandon Khela are two impressive midfielders on the rise. Birmingham produces some real talents in the middle of the pitch.

So I’ll look to loan them out to a Sky Bet One side for this season for regular first-team football. 

Hopefully, they’ll be ready to step up for us from next season.

Goals for the Season

Okay, so from my initial observation of the team, I’ve set the following goals for Birmingham for the first season:

  • Reduce wage budget and improve finances.
  • Reduce average squad age.
  • Finish in top half of the Championship.
  • Be competitive in cup matches

Completing these 4 simple tasks should be enough for the first season. 

In the next post, I’ll set up my tactical style of the team and make some transfers to get us going for the season. 

See ya!

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