Sky Bet Championship: Birmingham have been backed to recover by Trevor Francis
Birmingham legend Trevor Francis hopes the Midlands club can get back to where they belong sooner rather than later.
Last Updated: 13/02/14 12:47pm
Since winning the League Cup at Wembley three years ago, Blues have been relegated from the Premier League and currently sit 18th in the Championship.
And it is the club's well-documented problems off the pitch which have been the biggest concern and source of frustration for supporters, who voiced their discontent during a protest at a recent home match.
Majority shareholder Carson Yeung, who has had his assets frozen and is awaiting the verdict of a money laundering trial in Hong Kong, last week cut ties with the club to focus more time on his ongoing court case and to satisfy one of the requirements for the resumption of trading of suspended shares in City's parent company on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Acting chairman Peter Pannu has painted a brighter financial picture for Birmingham moving forward, with an announcement made on Wednesday that an unnamed Chinese company had agreed to buy a 12 per cent share in City.
And Francis, who bagged 133 goals in 328 appearances for Blues during the 1970s before becoming Britain's first B£1million player, hopes it is the start of a brighter future.
He said: "What is happening with the chairman doesn't have a direct effect on the manager himself. What does have an effect is that the club are not able to help him in the transfer market.
"It has an effect among supporters because they are fed up with lack of leadership from the top and as a result of that there is a definite apathy which has engrossed the whole football club.
"Supporters are very loyal, turn up with lesser enthusiasm than you would wish for and as a result of that it has a direct effect on the team, especially when they are at home.
"Away from home it is not so apparent, but at home people are not going and those that are, are going with no great expectation or enthusiasm. So that where it is affecting the club."
Francis also has words of praise for Birmingham boss Lee Clark as he battles through the tough times impressively on a budget capable mostly of merely free signings and loan players.
And he admits Championship survival this term would represent a positive campaign.
"Lee Clark has had a lot of loan players who have gone back to their clubs so he has had to bring in a few more," Francis added.
"He is doing as good a job as anyone could ask for because they are difficult times at the football club, so success for Birmingham this year is staying in the league and if he can achieve that then that will represent a good season."