Former Wigan Athletic manager Paul Jewell was at the centre of other controversy after he criticised the female match officials.

Andy Gray was one of the last high-profile names to be charged with the sexism row, and Paul Jewell has become the latest one to be embroiled in this situation.

The criticism from Paul Jewell came after the 2-1 defeat Ipswich town suffered at the hands of Birmingham City, a result that leaves Ipswich town just two places above the relegation zone heading into the weekend’s match against Blackpool. Ipswich town were coming on the back of a poor run of form, which has seen the side drop alarmingly low down the table. The latest football betting online markets now place Ipswich as one of the favourites to go down.

Nikola Zigic opened the scoring for Birmingham City as early as in the ninth minute. However, Lee Martin helped Ipswich back onto level terms in the match when he scored in the 18th minute. After that, it was a game of cat and mouse, as both teams tried to take the lead with failure.

However, in the final few minutes of the match, Nikola Zigic stepped up to score a winning second goal. Ipswich then went into all-out-attack mode, and had a penalty appeal turned down, sparking a rage of anger in the Ipswich town boss, who later criticised the match officials – most particularly the assistant referee Amy Fearn.

“I think everyone to a man thought it was a penalty. Unfortunately to every man, but not a woman. Although the referee didn’t have a good view, I thought the lineswoman, or whatever she’s called, had a great view” Jewell said after the match. “It wasn’t given, and you know the rest.”

Probably better off having a bet on Norwich rather than Ipswich right now then (sorry tractor boys…!)


Jack Butland is the new name that is being whispered on the mouths of the fans of Birmingham City. This 18 year old lad has shown quite some skill on the training ground and has been selected by Chris Hughton to make his debut for Birmingham City very soon.

Jack has shown immense skills since his return from his loan spell at Cheltenham Town – a spell which has seen him become hot property in the January transfer window by other lower league football clubs keen to use his talent.

Manager Chris Hughton is confident that Butland will probably go out on a loan again once the windows open up as plenty of clubs want to sign a talented young goalkeeper.

Until then, Hughton is keen on keeping the young goalie at the club to see whether he can perform well enough to fight for the first-team spot, and prove to the fans that Birmingham are worth placing Championship bets on!

Having such young and talented players will help the team grow in the long run, and Hughton seems ready to gamble on some of the younger players in his squad, knowing that it could be beneficial for the team as well as players like Jack’s career.

Having personally seen him performing in the Under 21s with immense skill and technique, Hughton hopes Butland can improve further by taking part in the more intense training sessions of the first-team.

There is no hard and fast decision on Butland’s future – whether he continues to play for the reserves or heads out on loan again to somewhere like Tranmere Rovers – but one thing is for sure, Birmingham have an immense talent on their hands.


Birmingham city manager Chris Hughton has said that he is still confident that the club can make a challenge for the play-offs position at the least.

Chris Hughton took over as the manager of Birmingham City under difficult circumstances and he has been able to get the club to a respectable 15th place in the table. They currently have 30 points on the board with a more than sufficient nine points separating them from the relegation zone. Initially, relegation was a major concern for Birmingham City, whose financial situation is also not that great.

However, the chances of Birmingham city qualifying for the play-offs position seems to be fading fast, but Chris Hughton refuses to give in. Currently, a six-point gap exists between Birmingham City and the final play-off position.

Further, Birmingham also have two games in hand, which effectively puts them level on points with sixth placed Reading if they take maximum points out of their matches. Birmingham City fans would have been feeling extremely confident following the club’s recent match against West Ham United. Despite playing against one of the top clubs in the Championship, Birmingham city showed no fear and eventually came back to draw the match 1-1.

“Can we come from the pack? I hope so. We are not even halfway in the campaign yet. With the amount of European games we’ve had it feels as if we’re a very good way into the season. But we’ve played 21 games, we have another 25 league games to go. There’s an awful lot of football to be played,” said Chris Hughton when asked about his side’s chances of making it into the play-offs position. It would be interesting to see whether Chris Hughton makes use of the January transfer window to strengthen his squad.