Despite their recent, much discussed and often lamented, points deduction, things have been looking reasonably positive in recent weeks at Birmingham City.
Having secured survival with relative ease in spite of the nine points they had taken from them due to exceeding Financial Fair Play regulations, there was a sense around St Andrew’s that the time had come to put that particular controversy behind them and look to build to next season, and capitalise on the promise that had been shown in the current campaign.
Prior to the loss of those points, things had been looking promising on the field at Birmingham, with the club showing signs of competing for a play-off place up until that deduction.
With that issue now out of the way in the current season, you felt as though Birmingham were ready to make a sustained push for the top six in the next campaign. That however, has all changed very suddenly.
According to reports in the Mail this week, Birmingham manager Garry Monk has become the latest name to be considered for the vacant managerial job at West Brom, something which will represent a huge concern to the St Andrew’s hierarchy.
By the time any approach for Monk could arrive in the summer from West Brom, The Baggies could have already guaranteed themselves a spot in the Premier League, with their place in the play-off long since secure.
If that is to be case, any approach to Monk will surely be difficult to the 40-year-old to turn down, and even if The Baggies do not win promotion, they will be one of the favourites to go up again next campaign, and being the man to take them back to the Premier League would be a big opportunity to Monk.
Should Monk depart, this would be a huge blow to Birmingham. Not only has he steadied the ship to keep them up twice in difficult circumstances since arriving a year ago, but he has also demonstrated his ability to take the club further than simply surviving in the Championship.
Given the timing of any approach Birmingham’s loss could be further hampered by the disarray their pre-season plans could be thrown into, as they would have to find a successor to Monk, who would then head into the transfer window and start of the season with only a few pre-season friendlies to get an idea of the way he wants to work with and strengthen his side.
Therefore, Birmingham once again find themselves facing a daunting situation that is out of their hands, and unlike the last time, the consequences of this one would be far less clear. They will hope they don’t have to find out what they are.