Gold defends Birmingham against Bruce complaints

Birmingham City chairman David Gold is unhappy with claims from Wigan Athletic boss Steve Bruce they lack ambition.

"Of course as a club want to achieve more, of course we want to better ourselves," the chairman told the Birmingham Mail. "But we will also continue to run Birmingham City Football Club in the right manner, in a prudent manner.

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"After we were relegated, it wasn't as if Steve had no money to work with and build a new squad. You have to cut costs and sell some of your better players because of the massive financial shortfall. But we generated money for Steve by moving on Emile Heskey and Jermaine Pennant, and the strategy paid off.

"Look at it, half the blinking Football League is littered with great football clubs in peril, like Coventry City, Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest. Steve has to remember that Dave Whelan sold his business for cash, and he also expects his managers to balance the books, to all intents and purposes. I believe that if we can survive - and I am optimistic - then we will come back stronger and more resolute next season.

"Promotion cost us an awful lot of money in bonuses, to players, staff other clubs - about £10 million. Many of our deals for players are structured so that we pay, say, £2 million down, then £1 million or £2 million on promotion or, indeed, staying in the Premier League.

"So that first season back in the Premier League you are somewhat stifled for income. The second season, you can alter your strategy somewhat and Alex McLeish is already planning ahead for the future to bring more quality to the squad.

"We paid £5 million for James McFadden in the last window, we had a bid of £5 million for Gary Cahill accepted. I really don't think that Steve can claim his chairman is more supportive or ambitious than us. It stands to reason that you can't always go the extra mile as a club because if you do it season on season, you will end up bust.

"I am as angry, upset and as disappointed as David Sullivan, my brother Ralph and Karren Brady about what we have been hearing and reading from Steve. Throughout the six years he was here, I don't think there wasn't a single player we didn't back him on.

If he wanted someone we pursued him. That didn't always mean a deal could be agreed, or the player would come. But we never said an outright 'no'.

"And also, what is overlooked, you do expect your manager to buy wisely and well, to mould the players in a way that gets the very best out of them."

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