Often Partisan

Poll: What do YOU want from the next owners of BCFC?

The back page of the Birmingham Mail today is given to an interview with Paul Devlin where the former Blues winger implores Birmingham City President Carson Yeung to sell the club.

Rather than talking once again about why the club should be sold or about what is going on with regards to the sale, I wanted to ask a question of readers. With all that is going on with regards to people wanting a takeover, what do people want from the next ownership.

To this aim, I have placed a poll on the website to run until midnight tonight. The question is simple – what one thing do you want most from the next owners of the club. I appreciate that people may want more than one of the answers but what I am interested in is what is most important to fans – be it British ownership, fan ownership or investment in the club/team.

The poll is in the right hand sidebar.

I’m intrigued to see the response; I have an idea of what people will go for but as I don’t want to skew results I’m not going to say what I think that is or what indeed I want most. I will round up the results tomorrow morning along with my ideas; hopefully I will also be able to include some of the insight from regular commenters too.

Talking Points sponsored by John Hicken Industrial roofing and cladding materials

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103 Responses to “Poll: What do YOU want from the next owners of BCFC?”

  • Graham says:

    what’s the point?

  • taffy says:

    Stability

  • Mike Heath says:

    In 1 word ,honesty.

  • thongs says:

    I don’t care who owns the club whether they are benefactors, or there to solely to make profit, whether they are British or foreign, rich or poor, black, white or yellow, big or small, gay or straight….none of this matters.

    Just give me hope, without it football is futile.

    oh and a new manager!

  • Dan says:

    I want to see an owner who recognizes the simple fact that we are a small football club. No money-making -maschine. I want an owner who brings relative financial stability and investment, but seriously I want no money-sugar-daddy. I want an owner who will work with the club longterm to build-up from scratch developing an unique style and a squad full of home-grown talent (well, we kind of have that already). I don’t care if this takes a decade to achieve, but I’d like to see people with a PLAN at work. Look at Borussia Dortmund and their history ofer the last decade. That in a smaller version – I’d love that.

  • BlueBlues says:

    I want my club back in the hands of people who communicate to supporters and care about us. I do not want the endless storeys and news articles about the state of our finances. I want to see news about investment in the ground and players. In our words I want new owners ASAP

  • Chris says:

    Champions league football ;)
    But releastically I think first, what we should all want and hope is stability for the club and investment to go into the playing side. Although we may not be a big club, I still think we belong in the premiership and with recent times in the league we know that we can do well and be successful we have got a big enough stadium and fan base to be a premier league club so why shouldn’t we aim for it? In the long term I would also hope we knock down the main stand and re build a new stand which increases the capacity and also brings in more income for the club due to hospitality etc. But going back to my first point I think if an owner came in and brought stability to the club and provided investment we could quite possibly get out of this, we’ve got an excellent youth academy who keeps on providing good players and due to being the second city we can attract players from other clubs. But a must is that we have owners who care I’m not asking for British owners as that’s not always possible and I know it may well be Chinese/HK but so be it. Cardiff city have got East Asian ownership and where are they know in the premiership? And if it wasn’t for this change of the colour of the kid I think Cardiff fans would be labeling there owner in very high regard.

  • RVH1T says:

    Owners who genuinely care about the club and its fans are my top priority.

    • John says:

      Quite right RVH, i don’t care what nationality they are, I just want them here, running the club,hands on. Someone who shows a passion for the club. Not someone in a far distance land who’s only concern is how much he can i take out of the club. If the club is successful and is making money,then they are welcome to take rewards. Someone who becomes a Bluenose !

  • OTTOVAGINA says:

    Dan

    Didn’t we have that with the Golds and Sullivan? and fans STILL weren’t happy, be careful what you wish for especially at Christmas.

    KRO + DNM

    • carlos says:

      Gold and Sullivan weren’t interested in the infrastructure of the club, they ran it with short termism in mind, even scrapping the academy at one stage.

      • chas says:

        13 years is some blooy short-termism in the life of a Football Board, isnt it. Otto is perfectly correct. A large percentage of our Fans are only happy when they have something to moan about.

        • chas says:

          bloody, not blooy

          • carlos says:

            Do you not understand short termism. It means they ran it from one financial year to the next, achieving a profit at each set of accounts. That’s why they operated with loan signings ie they rented players out rather than commit to a fee and a contract. Very good business practise but does nothing for the long term benefit of the club. The last time they got us relegated, they spent the whole of January trying to loan Cahill, but he got fed up with their attitude and went to Bolton, even though at the last moment they offered him a permanent contract. We ultimately were relegated. Then Brady had the temerity to brag in her Sun column the following autumn that Blues made an £8m profit that year. Great business people, awful custodians of our club as was proven when they sold us.

          • Chris W says:

            What would your have preferred, they paid extortionate wages with long term contracts and made a £8million loss each year.
            When they left we were in a sound financial position, similar to what we are now, the only thing we are lacking under the present regime is investment.
            KRO+DNM

  • Jaffa says:

    Investment! And someone with a brain who will steady the ship

  • Sullivan says:

    I want to see us win a major trophy

  • fingles says:

    Preferably UK based,but not essential. Middle Eastern may connect with the local population in Small Heath, which would be good.

    Obviously need to have some wealth.

    Owners that will recognise the job the staff have done and reward them with secure jobs and a pay rise.

  • Will says:

    Investment in the first team, investment in the youth set up, our own owned training ground, the stadium to be completed and a smile bought back to our faces

  • Mineheadblue says:

    I agree with the comments above. I want us to be able to be able to buy the odd player in the windows, good, sensible additions who will do a job and not be overpriced or overage. I want us to be able to keep our young talent and not have to offload to balance the books. I would also live to see the old stand re-developed.
    I also want to see good dialogue with fans and local media.

  • Gibbsy says:

    Dan,

    Can you make it a bit easier to get to the Poll by placing a link to it, I have been all over your website trying to find it, or am I just thick and all you want is comments on this article?

  • RichieRichBCFC says:

    RICH ARABS!

  • Gary says:

    We are not a small club we are a big club but blues have had that many false dawns over the years fans have had enough and stopped going we have the potential to be a massive club I think Tom Ross is right sky & money has ruined football but I would love us to have owners like man city just to see if the media would talk about blues like they do with the top teams.

  • Chris W says:

    Someone with a business acumen, who realises the club is about the supporters and is willing to invest without jeopardising the club when things go wrong…. i.e. relegation.

    Difficult to answer with just point Dan but that is about the best in one sentence…

  • StevieW says:

    Honesty, integrity, visibility, stability and a commitment to do what is right by the club to achieve success and profitability.

    All this accompanied by serious investment.

    Nationality is of no concern but a UK owner would be great as long as the bove is achieved.

  • ray says:

    British based owner with Trevor Francis as general manager and Tom Ross as club spokesman.

  • nick ingam says:

    Honesty, transparancy, commitment to the Blues cause, simple as that! Would hate us to become another Man City, that’s just soulless. I much prefer the Southampton model, or even the Blues a la 2002 – 2009, that was pretty succesfull!

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Absolutely agree with all that.

    • Enckelman says:

      yes, I would hate to win the premier league too.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        There’s always Man U, Man C, Arsenal, Chelsea. Plenty of choice.

        • Enckelman says:

          Chelsea spent more money than Man City to reach the top..there’s no way no one would not be happy with someone throwing money at the club because they think we will become ‘soulless’..It’s made Man City and Chelsea into a global brand and a club to be proud of. But a billionaire buying us is very unlikely.

  • Paul says:

    Someone to bring stability and a steady hand at the tiller. Who puts the club on a sound financial basis. the comment from Dan quoting Dortmund is good, a 10 year plan would be good e.g. Swansea.
    Kro

  • gloria says:

    to get fans and trust involved so we no were club is at not left in dark listerning to media gossip

  • chris says:

    On here and elsewhere e.g. Devlin’s comments, people want investment, but most investment means debt.
    How many clubs have to have financial troubles and fans moaning about the debt’s their clubs are left with before fans wake up and see that the two are linked.
    How many times do we hear invest in the team, buy this player or build a new stand, then fans moan when the clubs cut back to run their clubs on a sensible basis like villa are trying to do but their fans just seem to forget they are 70 million in debt, clueless!
    The only way Blues will get investment of any note will be a rich owner and with that comes everything we have seen before and the cycle will just start all over again.
    Will that rich owner just loan the money to Blues just like Yeung?
    Or, will he just want it back slowly once the club is in the Prem, but what happens if we never get there or if he dies?
    The amount an owner can put into a championship club is being limited anyway under FPP.
    I think it is £5 million this season and next season and thereafter it is £3 million, which these days will buy very little.
    So the investment Blues fans hope for may not amount to much under these rules.
    How many British rich owners have bought into the Championship recently? They all seem to be foreign, which isn’t always bad just worrying about their intentions, their actual wealth in reality and not on paper and understanding the fans viewpoints.
    Another avenue for investment is 10,000 on the gate which would produce £4 to 5 million, but would that just go in players wages and that cycle starts again of paying players too much.
    The other investment is sponsorship and corporate which with positive new owners may increase somewhat.
    Most clubs in the Championship are running at a loss, whether recently relegated, promoted from league one or scrambling to get promoted.
    Any steady ship type club is probably in the bottom half of the table, except Blackpool but then they have parachute payments.
    Until clubs limit wages, the fans will continue this cycle of boom and bust while the players have the last laugh.

    • Andy W says:

      I agree Chris. For me, it’s not about where owners are from or how much money they have. It’s about whether they know and understand the British football culture, understanding what it means for the supporters, and being able to manage a successful business within that framework. And that does not necessarily mean having to splash out ridiculous sums of money for players and/or their wages.

  • Dean says:

    Swansea City model rather than the sugar daddy Cardiff City model please.

    Second in the poll is ‘money to strengthen the team’. When we’re up against that train of thought what future is there?

    • chris says:

      Swansea now are only 20% owned by the fans, a businessman now owns the club so the cycle just starts all over again if greed or bad management creeps in.
      The biggest reason they kept within budget in the championship and got promoted was the manager and his coaches plus obviously the board that appointed him.
      They are no different to WBA who run their club in similar fashion and both boards seem to pick their next manager to coach the team to play in a certain way rather than just pick a big name manager or one season wonder.

      • B25dave says:

        not entirely sure what you are saying here Chris ?

        Swansea City has 7 Shareholders the Trust owns more shares than the Chairman but the Board consists of Supporters and Businessmen and the Trust gets to vote on EVERY major issue that arises.Each year they are given the opportunity to increase their holding,and also hold the right to veto any sale of Block shares.The Trust received a dividend of £400k this year and has reinvested that back into the Club.

  • Blueboy says:

    Almajir, Dan, Mayor, The Saviour, Lord Almighty !
    I am never ceased to be amazed at the ego you have become since reading your blog. The manner in which you respond to posters questions or heaven forbid, if someone dares has an alternative view, is unbelievable.
    However, this has now moved another level in believing that just by giving your opinion on what you want from new owners will result in all of your ‘followers’ being sufficiently influenced to skew the results of this poll.
    Unbelievable – a legend in your own mind !!

    • almajir says:

      Anyone who knows me properly would know that egotism is probably the least of my issues.

      Its a scientific priniciple. I want to know what people’s views are without them reacting to mine -and as the article is going to be the first thing they read if I include my view they will definitely see it.

      Thing is blueboy, no one makes you read the site, no one forces you to listen to my opinion. If you don’t like it, don’t read it – simple :)

  • NDF says:

    I want to be able to go to work, to the pub or to social occasions with my head held high as a blues fan. Similarly my son wants the same sort of confidence when going to school.

    All we have had for a number of years have been knock backs and ridicule due to the problems behind the scenes at the club. To be fair we have been spoilt by a great but short spell in the premiership, victory at Wembley and an unbelievable foray into Europe but why shouldn’t we aspire to repeat those events of the recent past.

    Investment by a credible owner will hopefully rescue the club and those stay away fans will come back and recreate the atmosphere of those glory days.

  • B25dave says:

    The current economic model of English football simply does not allow the vast majority of owners to break even, never mind make a profit, we need Ownership that is planned for the Long term and not simply to re enter the Premier League and sell on ( that is my personal view of Mr Paladini and his backers intentions. )
    A sustainable approach with a Business Head and a Supporters heart would be my wish

  • RichardM says:

    Swansea City model would be nice – I just think given the apathy that exists at the moment are there enough of us, with enough funds to achieve it right now?

    Essentially I think the Southampton example is a better guide – new owners with enough money to steady the ship, but with the sense to conitnue to plough money into the academy, rather than wasting it on overpaid, over-priced foreign players in the hope of short-term success and promotion to the Premiership. I’d happily bob along in the Championship for another three or so years, until we had developed the youth that would give us the chance to have a fair crack at the Premier once more.

  • fletch says:

    investment in players and stop selling our young future stars like butland and redmond…. and in time please finish the ground

  • tony says:

    Carson has released a statement, have you seen it Dan?.

  • Gianni says:

    great idea Dan, but why only have the ability to select a single option?

    I know it’s a poll, but some of the answers are not mutually exclusive.

  • RJ1875BCFC says:

    UK based, honesty, and some one who can take the club forward.

  • bluedean1875 says:

    Dan as I have said all along and when we had the 1st few meetings of the Blues Trust the only way forward is to have the fans have some ownership. Look at Barca and Real Madrid. Look at the 2 teams that played in the CL final last season (along with the majority of German Teams). Look closer to home. Swansea. They should be the blueprint for any club

  • Blooflame says:

    Absolutely everything to be put into improving, nurturing and training the youth. Bring in P.E. teachers and encourage them to coach in a particular way, they can then help bring in the talent and if it hasn’t already been done form a BCFC little league. The young players should be used more often in games, they can only improve. Tired of excessive wages being paid out to sub standard players in a sub standard league. More importantly, we need a manager and staff who can coach and who can command respect.

  • Enckelman says:

    Concerning the poll results so far..How is money towards the infrastructure top priority when we already have a great infrastructure? We need players to move forward.

    And why do people care if the owners are British or not?

  • Ricky says:

    Just want our club back, full house, all our fans cheering again. Not fussed whether it’s the prem or championship.

  • ForevertheOptimist says:

    Optimism…..

  • Bluenosesol says:

    Stability, investment and a 5 year plan are a given. Based on recent history I want to see Presence of the owners, communication with the local fans and media, empathy with the suporters and their trials and tribulations, respect for the greatness of the club and its history and the importance of the club in the life of the community especially it’s loyal supporters, but most of all, Premiership football!

  • Andy says:

    A genuinely rich foreign investor is pretty much the only way any club like Blues can hope for anything more than a bottom half of the prem / yo-yo existence.

    Past that, it’s all about investment in the team. A well-managed team of good (and invariably expensive) players is what brings success. Success will bring a full ground will follow and then the club can look at improvements in infrastructure.

    In the UK, fan ownership of clubs has not led to success and I don’t think it would make a positive difference at Blues – money is the answer. IBesides, I would say the closed ears of CY/PP wouldn’t bother 99.9% of bluenoses if we were successful.

    As for a British owner – it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. As long as they genuinely have the money, want to invest it in the club, and aren’t morally dubious (c.f. erstwhile Man City owner Thaksin Shinawatra’s alleged human rights record), I don’t care who owns it.

    • B25dave says:

      you dont work for the Premier League or the Football League do you by any chance they also dont care who owns a Football Club

  • ziggy says:

    Great question…

    1) Transparency – at least with the previous owners accounts could be viewed by the shareholders of which there were many.

    2) Run the club like a business – and bench-mark against clubs like Southampton (today)

    3) Sustainable platform – which fans can see youth development

    4) Offer season ticket holders real offers…

  • peoples repubic of finlan says:

    I want Michael knighten remember him trying to buy man u doing keepy uppies on the pitch?

    • TBone says:

      The same Michael Knighton that bought Carlisle, sacked the manager, promoted himself to the job instead and subsequently got them relegated?
      Strangely enough their fans have formed a Supporters Trust in order to protest against him too.

  • pierre says:

    invest in the academy,training facilities,scouting(especially lower leagues)
    all this was done by Southampton years ago and are now reaping the rewards.

  • The Flying Pig says:

    An owner who brings the pride back to the Club and treats the fans with respect.

    Any prospective owner who would even consider changing the colour of our shirt should not bother; the very fact that such a heinous crime would be considered shows absolute disregard for the supporters who are the most important part of the Club.

    My heart says give us a super-rich owner; my head says give us something akin to the Swansea model.

  • Saltash Blues says:

    A open house no secrets lies or hidden agendas some one with the financial clout and vision to take the club forward , including the youngsters from grass roots level like we are doing now and treating the supporters with respect so we can grow our fan base again , if this new owner exists we can all fall in love with our beloved Blues again and all the winter doom and gloom can melt away and we can concentrate our efforts on the pitch and supporting our club , we want prem football again and more silverware ! -fingers crossed.

  • Keep the faith says:

    Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. We have all enjoyed watching the development of some of our young home grown talent . Our desperate situation has enhanced the chances of our kids. New owners will be welcome if they continue to trust in our own and supplement this with better quality additions. We can compete if we invest in our own. Keep us local and in touch with our supporters.

  • Alex T says:

    I was going to vote for British ownership, but then we had that already and it was still frustrating due to the above comments re. short termism.

    It would have been better if there was an option for ‘Local Ownership’, as I think that local investors/fans (Trev Francis and Jasper Carrot….. Please god, let it happen!) would have more of a long term view.

    In the end, the only way we will become successful is if we have the infrastructure to help the kids come through, so that we only need 2 or 3 marquee signings to have a sustained successful team, as is the German/Spanish model

  • Ainsley says:

    I’d just like the club to be stable, and able to steadily improve

    • debbie says:

      you and me both Ainsley. I do not care what nationality the new owners are. All I ask for is that they are honest, truthful and have some communication with the fans. If they have not got a bottomless pit to spend then be truthful from the start and tell the fans, after all we deserve to know what is going on in the club. Also communicate with the fans, face to face not through some of the media who the majority of them do not like us anyway. And if there is money to spend on players let the manager choose his first choice or second choice players not his 5th, 6th or even lower choices. Also we always spout that we are not a selling club, then lets prove it from the off, not just to get the season tickets renewed with empty promises of how many players we are NOT going to sell. And then find out that our best players have been sold, or that they are on the verge of being sold. Give the manager something to work with other than out of contracts/ loan players/. or free agents. I think Lee Clarke has done wonders with his two hands tied behind his back. I am fed up of other clubs laughing at us and all thinking we are a mickey mouse club. So who ever comes in please, please, take the position serious, Bring in T.F in some role and lets start making people sit up and think blimey Birmingham are back in business. And we then can laugh at them instead of the other way around. KRO

  • JamesG says:

    Definitely think owners that seem to care for the fans, that obviously don’t go too overboard with it and run themselves into oblivion but aren’t motivated purely by greed. Where profit is a bonus and for potential future investment.

    British based would be a bonus so when things are going wrong we could have someone to vent our fury at but if not is it really the end of the world I’m not too sure?

    But saying all that I’m not of the mindset that things would be amazing if we got rid of Carson vs by some miracle he gets off and puts money into the club. It would all depend on who was to buy us as well after rather than hopping from the fire into the frying pan.

    Honesty and transparency would be great as well. A board that understands it’s a business based on fans and it means more to us than money!

  • Kazakblue says:

    Sorry for late comment on this, but if it came to a supporters representative being on the board with a full vote allowed, I know Who would get my vote, Almajir, would anyone disagree ?

  • TonyE says:

    For me the most important factors are 1) Stability, not entering each transfer window worrying who would be the next player sold. 2) Communication, a chairman/owner who is UK based and who periodically addresses the fans (not like Sully always in the press having a go!). 3) Hope, don’t expect or want a Man City type take over, just a feeling that things were getting better.

  • DoctorD says:

    What we all crave is

    1) stability on and off the pitch
    2) modest investment in the team and infrastructure
    3) regular communication from director level to fans

    Blues should at least be a solid team in the top half of the Championship, ideally pressing for play-off spots.

  • tmsblues says:

    There’s perhaps too few choices in the poll but I guess any investor committed to improve the team and structure throughout would be welcome. Lurching from one cash-flow loan to the next is no way to continue. CY will definitely not allow the side to enter admin. That would represent a serious loss of ‘Face’ which the Chinese really value. So he will keep finding short solutions until he can get a stock market listing again. Its a stock market listing and a guilty verdict (if it happens)that will be ‘game changers’!
    A well heeled leader and long term Blues supporter(s) would be the most welcome new owners.
    Seems we got a Brucie bonus today I reckon in signing Aaron McLean. I’ve seen him a few times up here in Hull and like his style. He’s fast and a finisher that can reprove himself again in the Championship with Blues.

  • bluedean1875 says:

    Not sure if this has been even mentioned. Why not ask Paladini to get involved with the Blues Trust. Maybe offer a future share in the club to the Trust. I’m sure if he did or any potential group looking at a takeover, getting on the Trust’s/Fans side would put more pressure on Yeung to sell

    • almajir says:

      Why ask him to get involved though? I think the trust would be better working in partnership with any new owner but as a distinctly seperate entity – and I would wait until someone actually is in the bidding process for real than talking to them.

  • mark says:

    My fear is cy wont sell and we will tread water just keep surviving

  • Tony says:

    Dan by your comments above I take it you do not believe Paladini was serious about his offer?.

  • Roger Jones says:

    What do I want from the next owners?

    Courtesy to communicate regularly with the fans.
    Respect for decent morality
    Transparency, so we can feel involved with our club
    Realistic ambition to succeed in the Championship and have a long-term strategy to become a Premiership club, ie. not quick fix with overseas Zidic-type players
    Emphasis on local youth and British players

  • Euston 9.18 says:

    I see the savings under the mattress have delved into again,Mclean on loan.

  • Tonytiler says:

    Not a consortium. Not knowing who owns the club or who is financing it .

  • Steveg1875 says:

    I am amazed and disappointed that so few seem to think fan involvement matters. It seems clear to me that this is why we have no clout and say in matters at present. This would be my priority, but would love a billionaire to come in and throw money at the club long term and structurally!

    I’m not offering to lead anything, I just don’t have the time, but would happily put my small financial contribution forward and vote as appropriate if a scheme were put forward. A team of Redmonds Butlands, Reillys and hungry players to complement would be a wholly satisfying approach and in my opinion an achievable one.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Blues have signed Aaron McLean on loan until 1st January.

  • alexjhurley says:

    I have a 5th option. I.e. somebody who will grow the club organically I.e. what peace has done st Albion, what Sullivan gold & Brady did for us initially.

  • mark says:

    THE undisputed and still reigning champion delivers knockout blow he is still the daddy………………….kro

  • mark says:

    i do not believe the Italian going to get up from this one im afraid………….

    well-done cy helping bring other player hopefully can do the business with duka…………………… on saturday,

  • mark says:

    now it about time the fans started turning up in their numbers and getting behind their team, instead of trying to keep finding excuses all the time…………………

  • sappy sad says:

    To be like richard branson


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