Last season couldn’t have got much more bittersweet for Birmingham fans, with a Carling Cup win against the betting odds painfully offset by final-day relegation to the Championship.
However, their Championship title odds suggest they have a good chance of bouncing back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
The Blues are 8/1 third-favourites to win the Championship crown, behind Leicester and West Ham at 7/1.
Should Birmingham win the title at these odds, new customers who had a successful wager would be in line to win £225 if they used their £25 free bet for opening a bwin account.
Birmingham’s big trouble last year was scoring goals – they managed just 37 in their 38 league matches.
This was the least in the division by three, with top forward Nikola Zigic grabbing just five goals in 37 appearances.
Indeed, leading scorers Manchester United hit the back of the net more than twice as many times as the Blues.
While Birmingham’s defence was slightly more impressive than their attack, it was not sufficiently good enough for them to pick up enough points to stay in the league.
All this means that Birmingham manager Alex McLeish has made signing a new striker his first priority, with Marlon King already brought in to freshen up his attack.
King spent last year at Coventry having signed a 12-month contract at the Ricoh Arena upon his release from prison, bagging 12 league goals for the Sky Blues following his 18-month absence from the professional game.
But of course, Birmingham’s fortunes will not be turned around simply by signing a new striker.
This is something McLeish is likely to be aware of, having had prior experience of English football’s second tier – he guided the St Andrews outfit to the Championship runners-up spot in 2009.
However, the Scot will have a hard job building a team capable of challenging for promotion as Birmingham’s precarious financial position means they are unlikely to be able to keep hold of their existing stars, with Roger Johnson, Scott Dann and Craig Gardner among the players linked with a move away from the club.
It is perhaps for this reason that Birmingham are behind West Ham and Leicester in the Championship title betting market, although with the wily McLeish in charge it would be foolish to discount them from the running.
New customers can register here to claim a £25 free bet.