English Championship football club Birmingham City has announced that two stands at its St. Andrew’s home stadium will remain closed until at least September 10 due to a delay in repair work.

The club had hoped to partially reopen the Kop and Tilton stands in time for its first home league game of the 2021-22 season against Stoke City on Saturday, but the discovery of further necessary repair work means the stands will be closed for this weekend’s game.

Both stands will also be closed for the match with Bournemouth on August 18 and the League Cup clash against Fulham on August 24.

Birmingham is now working with contractors with the aim of reopening both stands in time for the game against Derby County on September 10.

Season ticket holders in the Upper Kop and Upper Tilton will automatically be entered into a ballot for the remaining available seats in the Gil Merrick and Main Stand for the Stoke City game this weekend.

Fans unsuccessful in the ballot will be guaranteed a ticket for the game with Bournemouth on August 18.

Supporters will be issued a pro-rata refund – paid within 30 days – for each fixture they are unable to attend, while fans successful in either ballot that do not wish to take up the offer of a seat in the Gil Merrick or Main Stand are entitled to a full refund.

Anyone holding a standard match ticket for either the Stoke or Bournemouth games will have their ticket cancelled and given a refund within 30 days. Due to limited capacity in the Main Stand and Gil Merrick, the club said it will prioritise relocating season ticket holders.

“We are hugely frustrated to have received this news at such late notice,” Birmingham’s board director Edward Zheng said. “Tickets were sold on the understanding that fans in these areas would be able to attend our fixtures and I cannot express enough, our disappointment at not being able to have you all back.

“But I also know that this frustration pales into insignificance when it comes to the anger and disappointment you will all be feeling. Safety is our number one priority and I can assure supporters that the necessary work will be done as quickly as possible in anticipation of the safe return of our spectators.”

The ballot process launched last night (August 11) with all 7,311 season ticket holders in the Upper Kop and Upper Tilton automatically entered.

Once the Bournemouth tickets have been allocated, any remaining tickets will be allocated at random to successful fans from the Stoke ballot.

All season ticket holders will be entered into the ballot as an individual, with the club saying it cannot guarantee that each member of a group will be successful. However, if a supporter under the age of 11 is successful in the ballot, then the adult associated with their account will also qualify for a ticket.

Image: fitzyt/CC BY 3.0/Edited for size