Blues talk up redevelopment plans

Initial £20million plans aimed at upgrading the Garrison Lane

stand at St Andrew’s were on Saturday unveiled by the club’s parent

company, Birmingham International Holdings. City have held talks

with Birmingham City Council about the possibility of moving to a

new location since Carson Yeung became the club’s owner in 2009,

but Pannu – Yeung’s right-hand man – admits an average attendance

of just under 25,00 does not justify moving to a larger complex.

“We haven’t categorically ruled out moving stadiums completely but

my prime concern is attendances,” said Pannu. “Our average

attendance does not justify building a stadium of 50,000 to 55,000

at this stage. “We have ample support from the local authorities

but, with current attendances, it is just not right to do that sort

of investment. “In any case, a lot of our fans want to stay put.”

Regarding the plans for the Garrison Lane stand, Pannu said: “There

is no timeframe. It could be as soon as two years. It could well be

beyond that. “Of course, if we are in the Premier League, is also

one of the considerations. “This is still at an early stage. This

could be self-financed or through naming rights. But it is

something exciting.” Meanwhile, Birmingham’s veteran keeper Maik

Taylor is winning his battle to be fit for the Carling Cup final.

The Northern Ireland number one suffered a torn knee ligament

during the FA Cup third-round win at Millwall but has returned to

full training this week and should be available for the clash with

Arsenal at Wembley on February 27. Taylor is needed to provide

cover from the substitute’s bench for Ben Foster. Blues manager

Alex McLeish said: “It is looking good for Maik in terms of the

final. “He’s done training this week and he’s on course to give Ben

the cover.” Taylor said: “It’s important for me to be back, not

just because of the final but because I want a strong end to the

season.”