Tuesday, January 11, 2011

11 January 2007 - Birmingham Plucks The Vine

On 11 January 2007, Birmingham City signed striker Rowan Vine from Luton Town. It turned out to be a bad decision for both of them.

At the time Vine made the switch, Birmingham were on the top of the Championship table, but had suffered injuries to their strike force of Cameron Jerome, Nicklas Bendtner, and Mikael Forsell, prompting manager Steve Bruce to look to the transfer window. Vine, then 24 years old, had gotten Bruce's attention by scoring three goals against Birmingham that season, helping Luton taking four points from the teams' two meetings. And he had a scorer's pedigree with 31 league goals for the Hatters from 2004 to 2007. He also sat near the top of the club's assist charts for those seasons.

Luton, who had paid close to £250,000 for Vine, made a generous profit on the move, receiving £3 million from Birmingham, including a £500,000 bonus when Birmingham were promoted to the Premier League at the end of the season. Vine, however, did not share the club's good fortune.

He scored only 1 goal in 17 league appearances for Birmingham and went on loan to QPR in October 2007. The loan became permanent in 2008, but after contrubuting only 9 goals in 69 league appearances for the Londoners, he went on further loans to Hull City and Brentford in 2010. His loan spell at Brentford ended in January 2011, so Vine is back at QPR, though it remains to be seen for how long.

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