Birmingham City’s chief executive departs ‘with immediate effect’ days after season’s end

Xuandong Ren

Birmingham City’s chief executive Xuandong Ren has departed, less than 72 hours after the season ended.

Ren has been a divisive figure for his four years at the Championship club. A parting of the ways has looked inevitable since February when the club’s owners, Birmingham Sports Holdings, issued a statement to rebut comments Ren had made in an interview about the club’s finances.

In a short statement, the club said: “Chief Executive Officer, Xuandong Ren, has resigned from his position at the Club with immediate effect.

“The Board would like to place on record their sincere thanks for his service and contribution.”

Birmingham City managed to maintain its Championship status, having picked up 7 wins in 14 matches from mid-February. But they had the second-worst goal difference in the division, which highlighted some of their on-field problems.

Off-the-field has also been leaky, losing nearly £30m in each of the last two completed financial years and Ren’s previous comments suggest the 2021 accounts will be similar.

It is now 10 years since the club was relegated from the Premier League, during which time Wolves, Aston Villa and, until recently, West Bromwich Albion have all enjoyed successes in the top division.

However the Blues have not finished higher than 18th in any of the last five seasons, the only consistency being the way the club has flirted with relegation.