Often Partisan

Poll Analysis

Yesterday I conducted a poll on the site to see what people felt was most important factor to look for in any new ownership regime at St Andrews. The poll received nearly 700 responses and a hundred comments, with some really consistent themes coming through.

Raw Data

In response to the question “What one thing is most important to you about the next owner of Birmingham City”

101 people (14.46%) said that the most important thing was the ownership of the club should be in British hands

172 people (24.69%) said that the most important thing was that a large amount of money be made available to strengthen the team.

328 people (47.07%) said that the most important thing was that a large amount of money be made available to strengthen the infrastructure.

96 people (13.78%) said that the most important thing was that a concerted effort was made to ensure fans had some role within the ownership of the club.

Poll analysis

Whilst I understand that many people thought that there was more than one key factor within the new ownership what I wanted to do was to try to distill down what people thought was important to the club – whether people just wanted another few glory years of trying to compete in the top flight or if people were looking for some sort of organic growth; and if people thought that British ownership was needed or was just a red herring.

I think the results show to a degree that a lot of people want some sort of return to stability whereby the club is run on a solid footing and where growth is something that comes organically. I wonder if the growing cynicism I see online “against modern football” is something that has taken hold with Blues fans too, as I thought the numbers wanting a massive investment in the team would be higher and I suspect that having seen what high wages can do to a team in fallow times it might be that fans are wary of going down that road again.

I’m genuinely surprised that so few people see fan ownership as important; for all the grumbles many have had about how the current regime have not been talking to the fans and how they don’t seem to be connected with the fans it appears that people don’t think it is as important that fans have a role at the top. I must confess that I didn’t vote for that option either despite being a believer in fan ownership – but that was purely because I think that fan ownership has to come from the fans as a grass-roots movement rather than being invited to take a token stake from a benevolent chairman.

I think the results also show that the British ownership thing might be a bit of a red herring; as much as some people rail against foreign ownership of football clubs I suspect many feel the same as I do that provided a club is being run in the right way – ie as a business, with proper plans for growth and investment in place – it doesn’t matter where the person at the top comes from.  That being said, I think it is better if there is a Birmingham-based figurehead at the top to at least be accountable to the fans if there is a foreign ownership of the club.


Having read through all the comments, the key words that keep cropping up are stability, investment and communication – the things that the club has been massively lacking in the last thirty months. Whilst I expected the comparisons to Swansea City it’s interesting people also looked at Southampton as a model. The Saints were in League One and in administration just four years ago but now find themselves riding high in the Premier League after being bought by Swiss businessman Markus Liebherr with the club now in the hands of his daughter Katharina after Markus died in 2010. Whilst it’s true the Liebherrs have invested substantially in the playing side it’s also worth noting how many players of genuine class have come through their academy/the ranks of late and how they have used that to help build the team.

Communication is a huge point; the perception that the current regime do not care about the fans due to the infrequency of communication from the board seems to be massive. I have to say that I agree in this and I think that any new owners would be wise to ensure that there is someone in high position based here in Birmingham – if only to give a focal point to the regime. Blues did have that for a while in Peter Pannu but for whatever reason – be it his role within BIH or the fact he seems almost scared of the fans Pannu doesn’t visit these shores very often.

The best comment though I think goes to Thongs, who said:

Just give me hope, without it football is futile.

which I think is all any of us can want. For all the talk of business sense, communication and stability how many people think back to that magical moment in February 2011 and remember what it was like when a dream was realised; when a forlorn hope became actual reality. Of anything a new ownership regime would bring to the club, I hope that their actions, whatever they are, bring renewed hope that good things can happen to the club and to its fans.

Talking Points sponsored by John Hicken Industrial roofing and cladding materials


41 Responses to “Poll Analysis”

  • Gianni says:

    It’s a natural thing to cling onto hope that the next lot will be better than the last.

    I see this as a reciprocating circle between fans, players and directors / owners being broken.

    Fans will come if the players show their all. Players will give their all if the fans are supportive, and are stable behind the scenes. Fans need clear communication from the board. Fans will support the board if they communicate, and have a clear vision.

    If any part of these three pieces start to fail, then the other 2 will also start to suffer.

    • Chris W says:

      In my opinion the players we have are giving their all and yet the crowds are still dwindling.
      Not sure what else, under the present circumstances, they can do, we have a bunch of young players, loans and bosmans who really do turn out for the badge, unlike the money crabbers who jumbed ship when they took us down.

  • JohnR200 says:

    Pleased that you had so many responses to your poll. I think that proves how much the fans appreciate what you try to do in expressing our thoughts.
    I did find it difficult to choose one answer to the poll and I opted for more fan involvement but I equally agree with those who voted for more money for the infrastructure.
    If you can include the Academy under the heading of infrastructure then I think that is a shining light in all the doom and gloom at #bcfc. Keep on investing in the Academy, as we know Southampton have done, and with new owners at some time in the future then I can see some light at the end of the tunnel. The only question is how far away is the end?

    • Blooflame says:

      Have to wholeheartedly agree. With young players being firstly how to hold the damn ball; use both feet; play in more than one positiion and learn to read the game stability will surely follow. Well rounded players will always improve in higher leagues, just look at Southampton,Swansea et al. We can do all that and better

  • Jaffa says:

    Talking of new owners,it seem’s to have gone very quiet Al.any news?

  • Jaffa says:

    Do you know if Palladini is still trying to buy the club.

  • Jaffa says:

    Sorry Al.just hoping that something is happening.

  • StevieW says:

    A good poll and some really good analysis.

    The lead result for money to be ploughed into the club infrastructure is a bit of a surprise to me as you cant have success and stability without a good product to sell and that means a good football team, create a winning product and the rest will fall into place if managed properly.

  • Lee says:

    Great poll Al. Unfortunately it’s all pie in the sky wishful thinking.

  • Art Watson says:


    It doesn’t surprise me there was little interest in “fan ownership ” as I think this reflects the nervousness in investing in a business being run by the current owners or similar people.

    I just wonder if this attitude would change under UK ownership?

    I for one would be prepared to invest under UK ownership but not foreign .

  • mark says:

    i believe Carson gave his thoughts on a certain matter though on bcfc…………..so. communication is limited on a need to know basis, why should it be any different??
    Players communicate at match days and join in with banter with fans…………What are these fans really after 15mil signing?? it is the fans who have dis-connected from the club not the owners…..

    • Art Watson says:



      The fans have dis-connected from the club because of the owners.

      • RichardW says:

        The current owners have precipitated this disconnect but the poll points towards a malaise with the way cash can be seen as a quick fix. Many people clearly want to see the club put back on its feet but for it to recover organically so that any progression towards the premiership (with its dubious mercenary ethics) is achieved with a sound base so that the fans can be encouraged that the club has a clear future.

    • John says:

      The owners disconnected from the club a long time ago. I think only two have ever been to St.Andrews,the rest probably don’t know where Birmingham is. At least 13,000 bluenoses turn up for every home game,which is commendable,considering the poor standard of football we have witnessed this season. When will people learn the demise of BCFC,is entirely the fault of the present owners. A group of people who lack manners and the ability to run a football club. For most of us,they cannot relinquish control, soon enough.

  • tmsblues says:

    Perhaps it all points to the the need for a return of a Gold and Sullivan type of ownership again. They ran things right generally and had the club on a sure footing. Yes they did well themselves but why shouldn’t they have done so.. it was their investment after all. As is often the case in football we undervalue what we have and think the grass will be greener elsewhere with a change of owners, managers and players alike. Well considered longterm investment planning is what’s necessary for any business success and most of all patience from supporters when the plan wobbles and things don’t work out to plan all the time!.

  • Lee Thompson says:

    I’m amazed that so many comments are asking for better infrastructure. It’s true that St Andrews desperately needs updating particularly along the Main Stand but surely this is not the main priority. That’s putting the cart before the horse! Investment in both the squad and the supporters must be the priority. Without a successful/entertaining team and a good level of support the stadium is unimportant.

    What I mean by investment in the fans is in ticket pricing, merchandise and food costs. Surely by getting more merchandise on the high streets, into schools etc there will be a greater take up. I see Vile merchandise all over the place, would much prefer some Blues stuff to peruse.

    Keep up the good work, Often Partisan and with a heart that beats strong we will Journey on.

    • Mac says:


      Infrastructure doesn’t just mean the ground. It means all the things the club has to take care of to continue to exist. BCFC is a business like any other, so the infrastructure would encompass commercial activities, facilities, budgetary controls and general and financial management. The actual team is the result of the infrastructure.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I agree. You build from the ground up. It doesn’t matter if we get back to the prem in one year or ten, solid foundations is what’s needed to keep us there. That’s what G/S/G left.. that’s what our Chinese owners ruined. It’s time to start again.

    • carlos says:

      “What I mean by investment in the fans is in ticket pricing, merchandise and food costs. Surely by getting more merchandise on the high streets, into schools etc there will be a greater take up”

      That, amongst many other things, is the infrastructure. It means getting things of the field and behind the scenes right. If the club is ran professionally behind the scenes, academy, scouting, corporate, merchandising etc the rest should follow.

  • Chris W says:

    A good poll and turn out.
    I think the majority of fans have the sense to not believe that we need someone to throw millions into the club and not have an infrastructure or plan B if things go pear shaped.
    The fans would like to be kept in form and face a brick wall of silence as we have now, the media have been hit with the same brick wall and had to rely on whispers or gossip which has left egg on a few faces and forced them to join the silence when they could have showed more endeavour in the search of truth and hard facts, something you, Dan, have done to keep the fans updated, Something other forums and blogs should learn from. OP is always the first point of call, then I scan others to see if they have any updates and invariably find nothing, or the odd link to a story you have covered, especially when you were in Hong Kong, that went for the Birmingham Mail too.
    Well done on all you have and are doing to keep the fans up to date.
    Are you planning some insight into Aaron McLean and to where the money came as we seem to have a very large sofa to keep finding these odd payments, though I don’t suppose the fans or LC are complaining.

  • mark says:

    Chris W – it is fans who need to re-connect, players have been trying their damn hardest really. The away fans for blues this season have been unbelievably brilliant……….
    Hopefully full voice tomorrow kids for quid at home…..lets get the stadium rocking…………

  • Smudge says:

    Like you OP I was surprised to see that fan ownership got the score it did. If new owners were to come in I would like to see a small fan group (blues trust or yourself), to act as a buffer between board and fans. This I think would create a good two way communication.
    Like most who voted I want to see long term investment in the infrastructure. I have said many times that owners are only caretakers it is only the clubs name that will live on. Hopefully the right people will read this blog/poll and act accordingly.
    Keep up the good work OP this is one of the best sources of information for blues news.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    I cannot understand why the highest percentage of people who responded to the poll chose to strengthen the infrastructure rather than the team!
    Everything IMO begins with success on the pitch………I for one wouldn’t want the best infrastructure in League 2, but could live with the least best infrastructure in the Premier League.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      With respect, I’m not so sure I’d agree. Portsmouth were in the Premier and won the FA Cup. Look at them now. It was all based on shifting sands. Although I’d prefer to have the club back in British hands, I think the infrastructure is the most important thing. Stability first, followed by progress year upon year.

      • Richard Granfield says:

        I think we need a definition of what is meant by “Infrastructure” in this context. I would define it as the club having a strong foundation. A strong financial foundation, a talented group of employees and an honest owner who has the club’s interest at heart.
        That said, if we have ambitions to regain our Premier League status, a large amount of funds need to be made available to the manager to redress the damage done since relegation.

  • sutton apex says:

    without fan involvement directors will always put shareholders dividends first – there must be some fan involvement to act as a moral policing of their club – football fans must realise this soon !!

  • david says:

    amajir this to you and the blues fans. I have known T ross for many years, during the Sullivan days I was in contact with david Sullivan for 7 years by phone and all the problems that went with it, spending money and who should we sign, so t ross and paladini forged a plan together to force the sale of Birmingham city, by that I mean, he paladini said he ad put a offer in to buy the club, then we ad pannu saying it was not true, so think about this one, if he paladini ad made this recent offer, do you think he would have learnt from the last episode with pannu, then t ross says the club will be sold, and puts paladini on the radio to force the sale of the club through the media, but it back fired on the both of them, there was never any deal with paladini for the club, but t ross is not going to tell you that, work it out your self, the best of all was he paladini said he cannot show the papers because of none discloser, that was there back up, so you will never know, its all a cock and bull story, that’s mr ross for you, all the best hope we beat blackpool, keep right on ,,, by

    • almajir says:

      Thanks for that. I think.

    • bluenoseb says:

      Cause everything that has come out of carson and pannu mouth from day has been a hunderd per cent true as well hasn’t it? For all we know tom and paladini could of both bin lying but if had to pick between the chuffers out in hong kong and paladini and ross who to believe it would be the latter due to form. We been fed continual bullsh*t from the chinese since they came in and are continuing to do so when they do choose to break silence, all paladini has said he has wanted and still wants to buy the club for over 18months and been as he has bought one before with a consortium and him as chairman i believe he wants blues and believe what he says. You got say fairplay to paladini perseverance if nothing else. And to be honest the fact that the only thing we have heard of carson in over 2 and half years(apart from him dan chewin fat on the leeds debacle) is him trying to deny about a 20grand meeting fee to save his already tarnished reputation, is nothing short of criminal considering all the other things he could of come out and stated about blues. Im sorry its been reported from various sources now that carson is and always has been the problem in the sale of blues, the fact the now hes holding on for the future of his ‘other’ business interests to get relisted is a joke. Were a football club arnt we? not a f*cking toy to help somones other business prosper and the verdict cant come quik enuf!

  • Jedda says:

    You’re right, that comment about hope sums it up perfectly. What keeps any football fan enthused/motivated is the hope there is the potential for improvement…that next week, next month, next season could be better than the last (even if it often doesn’t turn out that way!). That you can essentially build on what you’ve got and you’re just an inspired signing or two from the promised land!

    That’s why this regime is so dispiriting compared to what we’ve had in the past.

  • Tony says:

    British owners for me and I include Paladini in that.

  • Chippy Blue says:

    Anyone know if the fixed and intangible assets of the club (ground, name/brand etc, business admin and non-team staff) and its commercial activities (ticket revenues, sponsorship etc) can be separated from its team assets (team, management, academy etc) within FA rules? Just a thought but if so could the fans (Trust) acquire the former and JV with another party to operate the latter and finance it from TV revenues? In light of the success in getting the ground listed as a community asset, is it possible/desirable for all the long term assets to be under our control and allow the short term assets to be ‘gambled’ within reason by the JV party? Or have I had too many Friday afternoon beers and therefore fail the ‘fit and proper’ test?

  • Oldbluenose says:

    Due to being unwell, [ but not so much that I failed to cast my vote ] I was very happy with the outcome indeed, I have been banging that drum all along ,!!.

    There was a time I flirted with the idea of ” A “, Until I realsed that the very people who keep us afloat, Miz Shelton and co, would be the 1st people pushed out of a job, — Fine reward indeed for all their stirling work this last few seasons..

  • dave says:

    do you ever listen blues fans there was no deal between paladini and pannu, it was a smoke screen to force the sale of the club, in my honest opinion he dose not want to sell, because if and when he gets off with this court case he will put money in to the club that’s is dream, AMARJIR, keeps filling your head with rubbish, like I said I have known t ross for a long time, its all bulls..t, because I do not get involed in blues crap anymore, you have to realise these people amajir and t ross paladini have done a lot of damage, confusing the blues fans in to thinking things are going to happen that’s the media for you, THE TRUTH IS HE DOSE NOT WANT TO SELL, IF ONLY ON HIS TERMS, so keep your heads up, it will all come good one day, the media in Birmingham could bring in investers to buy this club, but what have they done, NOTHING, FEEDING YOU CRAP.

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