Can Birmingham City survive relegation?

Many football fans will be eagerly awaiting kick-off at St. Andrews tonight as struggling Birmingham City host Wigan in the Championship.

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Lambert: 'Let's roll up our sleeves and prepare for battle'

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has vowed to roll up his sleeves and "prepare for the battle ahead" as they recover from a difficult season which culminated in the club being put up for sale.

After returning from a meeting in New York with chairman Randy Lerner and chief executive Paul Faulkner, Lambert said he was "determined to get on with the job", despite the challenging times.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert says he is ready for the "battle" ahead
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert says he is ready for the "battle" ahead Credit: Nick Potts/PA

Lerner announced last week that he had instructed Merrill Lynch to handle the sale of the club, saying he believed it was time for fresh blood.

In a statement, Lambert said he was not aware that any sale was imminent.

These circumstances are extremely challenging... but we're going to roll up our sleeves, prepare for the battle ahead and do our best by the club.

The squad requires strengthening, that's self-evident, and it won't be easy within the current circumstances. But we'll look to identify players of proven quality to bring in and get ready for the start of the new season.

To the fans, my message is simple - this is your club and it's a fantastic club. Your support has made it into this.

The past two seasons have been tough and expectations, rightly, are high.

I'm determined to give it everything I have, the players will do the same and it is our collective strength as a club which, ultimately, will see us through.

Read: Lerner: 'In my heart I feel I can no longer do the job'

Aston Villa fans keen for swift transition of ownership

Fans at Villa Park are hoping for a swift transition of ownership Credit: ITV News Central

Aston Villa fans are calling for outgoing owner Randy Lerner to orchestrate a quick sale to a buyer who has the club's best interests at heart.

The American businessman announced his decision to sell the club on Monday, citing the need for what 'fresh, invigorated leadership'.

It is understood Lerner has valued the club at £200m - some £137m more than he purchased the club for back in 2006.

The Aston Villa Supporters Trust are anxious for him to move swiftly and released the following statement:

"We would like to place on record our gratitude for all he (Lerner) has done with regards to the infrastructure of the club and his significant investment in Aston Villa over the past eight years...

... AVST wish Mr Lerner the very best in his future endeavours.

We are sure all Villa supporters appreciate the great respect he has shown for the club's traditions and heritage during his time here...

... We are also sure that, with this in mind, he will make it a consideration of the utmost importance that these traditions should continue to be respected by whomever he passes his custodianship to...

... We would ask the sale is completed as quickly as possible in order that the new owner can put his team in place, and make the required changes to ensure Aston Villa become a competitive force on the field again."


Doug Ellis: New buyer 'almost certainly to be from USA'

Doug Ellis, the man who sold Aston Villa to Randy Lerner, gave ITV News Central an exclusive TV interview today telling Steve Clamp that he expects the new buyer of the club to also be from America.

He was speaking on the day Randy Lerner announced the club was up for sale, lamenting 'weekly battles'.

Read: Randy Lerner to sell Aston Villa

Aston Villa goes up for sale

Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner has announced that he has put the club up for sale.

Owner Randy Lerner has said he feels the decision is in the best interests of the club
Owner Randy Lerner has said he feels the decision is in the best interests of the club Credit: David Davies/PA

In a statement, Lerner said he has pushed his fates "well past the limit" by weekly battles and said he felt the decision puts the club first.

More to follow.


Birmingham City edge closer to relegation with defeat

Birmingham City are edging ever closer to relegation tonight after losing once again at home to Wigan Athletic.

Callum McManaman got the one and only goal of the game in the third minute to give Wigan the three points.

The result means Birmingham missed out on the chance of jumping out of the bottom three. They remain in the relegation zone in 22nd place on 43 points with just one more game left to play.

Their chances of survival in the Championship will now go down to the last game of the season on Saturday when they travel to Bolton Wanderers.

How the fans can help Birmingham City tonight

Dr David Fletcher, a sports psychologist, says Birmingham City fans need to be the "12th player" ahead of their match against Wigan tonight.

The Blues are currently in the relegation zone and have not won at home since October last year.

They are desperate for a win to keep their chances of playing in the Championship next season alive.

READ: Can Birmingham City survive relegation as they host Wigan?

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