Championship New Boys: Birmingham City
Birmingham City are next up as Vital QPR outlines the R`s new opponents as another season in the Championship commences.
Facts and Figures
Founded: 1875 as Small Heath Alliance
Ground: St. Andrews - 30,009
Manager: Alex McLeish
Football League Second Division: Champions - 1893, 1921, 1948, 1955
Football League Second Division: Runners Up - 1894, 1901, 1903, 1972, 1985
Football League First Division Playoffs: Winners - 2002
Football League Championship: Runners Up - 2007
Football League Third Division: Winners - 1995
Football League Third Division: Runners Up - 1992
Football Association Cup: Runners Up - 1931, 1956
Football League Cup: Winners - 1963
Football League Cup: Runners Up - 2001
All time attendance record: 66,844 v Everton, (FA Cup 5th Round, 1939)
Record league victory: 12 - 0 v Walsall T Swifts (Division 2, 1892)
Record league defeat 1 - 9 v Sheffield Wednesday (Division 1, 1930)
Record Buy: Emile Heskey - £6,250,000 from Liverpool.
Record Sale: Jermaine Pennant - £8,000,000 to Liverpool.
Following the appointment of Steve Bruce, the ex-Manchester United led them to the promise land of the Premier League at the first opportunity, with Preston North End midfielder Darren Carter scoring the winning penalty in a penalty shoot out against Norwich City at the Millennium Stadium.
After staying in the top flight at the first attempt with some memorable wins, notably against Aston Villa with the unforgettable Enckelman incident, the Blues finally succumbed to relegation in the 2005/06 season as injuries and poor form, accompanied with an unbelievable run of results by Portsmouth saw to it the Blues dropped down to the Championship..
Bruce wasted no time rebuilding the squad in the summer of 2006 with 15 players leaving to be replaced by signing such as Cameron Jerome and Gary McSheffrey. It proved to work as the Blues bounced back at the first attempt, taking the runner up spot.
A memorable season saw them take an FA Cup scalp of epic proportions beating Newcastle United 5-1 at St. James` Park. Their cup form had threatened to derail their Championship but four straight league wins over Southampton, Leicester, Wolves and Sheffield Wednesday, did the business for the Blues as they fairly cantered over the line, leaving Derby to the playoffs.
This proved to count for nothing, as following a disappointing start to the Premier League season, and with a take-over looming large, manager Steve Bruce left the club to join Wigan Athletic in November, ironically enough, comfortably leading them to safety following their sacking of Chris Hutchings.
Bruce was succeeded by Alex McLeish. But the former Scotland manager couldn`t prevent the Blues from sinking back to the Championship at the first attempt, and the Blues have it all to do once again.
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