What does Tom Brady know about soccer?
What does Tom Brady know about soccer? Absolutely fu…profanity aside, he admitted that he’s got a lot to learn. So just how wise is his investment and involvement in Birmingham City? Sure he knows a lot about ‘winning’ but does he understand that there are plenty of other clubs in the West Midlands that aren’t a total circus?
Birmingham as a city is known for a few things. A few of the more common attributes are the Bull Ring, the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Aston Villa, being the birthplace of heavy metal, predominantly Black Sabbath, and Ozzy Osborne. Birmingham City are way down the list. Questioning just how exactly Tom Brady has come to be involved with the club. Well, probably through his fellow American Tom Wagner. This secondary (and less well-known) Tom bought the club earlier in the year.
In his announcement video, Brady was quick to say that he was a serial winner. That is undebatable. While the metric is relatively unmeasurable he won a lot of accolades and Vincent Lombardi trophies. He proved that he was the driving force at the New England Patriots as Bill Belichick faltered without him. He took all his winning juices to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where, yep, he won the Super Bowl. Whether or not this mindset or winning aura can be translated to soccer or not, the Birmingham City fans can only dream of half the success Brady had across the Atlantic.
After yo-yo-ing in and out of the Premier League, the axe fell on Birmingham City. In the 2010/11 season, the club won the League Cup but was still relegated to the EFL Championship (the second tier of English football). Since then the club has languished in the same division and despite initially making a fist of going back up, they’ve truly stagnated. The attendances are the lowest they’ve been in decades.
Birmingham and the greater West Midlands area have a wealth of football clubs, all of which vying for local and wider support. Aston Villa is historically the biggest team in the West Midlands having played in continental football before and even re-claimed it for the 2023/24 season. Wolverhampton Wanderers might not be in Birmingham per se but still command a large part of the vicinity’s footballing appeal having also established themselves at the top end of English football. West Bromwich Albion might be the most direct competition in terms of being at the same level as Birmingham City but even the Baggies have been in the Premier League a few times in the past ten years.
Throughout his career in the NFL, Tom Brady had relatively little risk to handle. There’s no relegation and very little chance of either team he played for going out of business. Has the safe haven for American athletes truly prepared them for the unpredictability of English football?
Leeds United supporters all know too well about the perils of an American invasion at their club. After having Jesse Marsch at the club and multiple American players transfer to the team (including a woeful Weston McKennie). The result was that the team got relegated, the American fans suddenly unfollowed the club and now the club has the upheaval of trying to get out of the EFL Championship. Is this a blueprint for Birmingham City to follow? The transfer window isn’t shut just yet so they can always try to bring in some USA players.