Sullivan defends Birmingham record

Birmingham City co-owner David Sullivan has defended his record following their relegation last week and a furious reaction to the situation.

He told the Birmingham Mail: "I'll never forget Sir Alan Sugar telling Tottenham Hotspur supporters when they demonstrated against him that they were chasing away their best friend.

"That's how I felt Sunday. Yes, we have been relegated, statistically likely after promotion, by the narrowest margin of one point.

"Yes, we let Steve Bruce go and, yes, we took £3million in compensation.

"But the same people shouting against me and David Gold are the same few hundred who sent me letters begging me to sack Steve after he had lost six out of seven of his final games with the club.

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"These were the same few hundred who also sent me thank-you letters when we invested £9million in bringing Alex McLeish, James McFadden, David Murphy and loan star Mauro Zarate to the club."

One of Sullivan's fiercest critics was economics lecturer John Samuels, from the University of Birmingham, who claimed the club's ills were due to a lack of investment by the board.

But Sullivan is adamant the club invested heavily in the players and former boss Bruce should shoulder some of the blame for buying badly.

He added: "A lot of supporters were asking 'where has the money gone'?

"The wage bill alone last season was £30million and this does not include the cost of buying players - transfer fees, etc - and any costs of running the football club such as rent, rates, equipment, infrastructure and police bills, to name but a few.

"Since Steve Bruce was appointed and Alex McLeish took over we have spent £56million net on players (this figure does not include wages, National Insurance contributions, sign-on fees or image rights). We have spent five of the last six seasons in The Premier League.

"I like Steve and I do not want to disrespect him. But there were financial disaster buys. Clinton Morrison arrived for £3.75million, with Andy Johnson going in the opposite direction for free.

"AJ was then sold on by Crystal Palace to Everton for £8million. We got just £1.4million for Clinton when we sold him back to Palace.

"Millions of pounds of financial losses were made on the sales of David Dunn, Rowan Vine, Luciano Figueroa, Jesper Gronkjaer, Walter Pandiani and Robbie Blake."

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