Birmingham City season starts today

The English Championship kicks off

Rex Features/

Football starts in earnest across the pond this weekend as the 2021-22 Championship season gets under way. The Premier League won’t begin until next weekend, which means that the team everyone loves to hate (i.e., Aston Villa) have another 7 days to stew over losing Jack Grealish to Manchester City before they attempt to avoid relegation without him. Even with £100 million in the bank.

The Blues, on the other hand, have immediate business to attend to. They open the season with a fairly tough fixture: away at Sheffield United. United were relegated from the Prem last season, so both Sheffield teams are now in the Championship. They had struggled to stay in the top flight for two years, but finally succumbed. That doesn’t mean they don’t have a relatively strong team by Championship standards, though. But the Blues have been active this off-season and have a much revamped squad and are looking forward to a full season under Lee Bowyer, whose appointment late last season saved them from relegation.

Today’s game – the last game of the day in the Championship – kicks off at 2:00pm Central, and can be listened to on the BluesTV app for free (I think) or watched on a PPV basis for the princely sum of £10 per game (about $14). That’s if you can figure out how to signup for an account, as it seems to demand a UK phone number even though international accounts are allowed. If I work it out, I’ll let you know.

OK, I worked it out. To get the BluesTV system to accept your registration (which has to be done through the website), enter your phone number with a leading zero (e.g., 02051234567). Also enter Alabama as a county. However, the audio stream is not free, but requires a £5.49 ($7.62) monthly subscription or £49.99 ($69.36) annual pass.

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