Wee Billy Davies a decent fit for the big job at Birmingham
Former Derby boss virtually comes with a play-off place guarantee
With the managerial merry-go-round hurtling around at such a pace that it’s more of a loop-the-loop rollercoaster, Birmingham – with their sketchy ownership situation and lack of funds – isn’t the ride’s most exhilarating seat.
Even so, their fans are entitled to be a bit disappointed with the calibre of candidates presented by the bookies. They are after all a club who spent more of the last decade in the Premier League than out of it, were in Europe last season and finished fourth in the Championship.
And yet the odds-on frontrunner is the – unpopular opinion alert – overhyped Lee Clark, who though fairly successful at Huddersfield never actually met his target of securing promotion to the Championship despite several near misses.
The second favourite is Mark Robins, whose CV is made up only of steady but unspectacular spells at sides a fair few steps down the ladder from Birmingham – Rotherham and Barnsley – then the potentially unobtainable Ian Holloway and Mick McCarthy.
It is the fifth name in the list that would intrigue The Spoiler most if we had the severe accent and knew enough lyrics to Keep Right On to pull off being a Blues fan: wee Billy Davies at an anything-but-wee 18/1 with Paddy Power.
The only of the Scot’s six Championship campaigns not to end in a top-six finish was one where he took charge of Nottingham Forest halfway through to rescue them from a relegation fight. All three of his employers – Preston, Derby and Forest – sunk in his absence.
And yet he doesn’t appear to attract that much interest, partly because of how dire Derby’s Premier League season was – though he was sacked before the worst of it – and also due to a reputation for being confrontational, last witnessed as he near-hourly bemoaned a lack of transfer funds at Forest.
It is arguable that his dissatisfaction there would prompt him to rejct a role likely to come with a skimpy budget, however he will also be aware of Alan Curbishley syndrome – how easy it is to be forgotten after more than a year out of work.