Often Partisan

Protest and Safety

Birmingham City today issued a safety notice ahead of Saturday’s game with Huddersfield Town. The notice confirms that whilst the club have no issues with protest against the board at the game that certain rules and regulations have to be followed.

The announcement, which can be viewed here states that offensive material on banners will not be allowed into the stadium and that the migration of large numbers of people around the stadium isn’t allowed under ground regulations. As one can imagine, this has caused a stir on social media with many Blues fans up in arms over what they see as an affront to their freedom of speech from the under-fire board.

A club insider confirmed to me this afternoon that the statement has not come from Peter Pannu or anyone at Birmingham International Holdings, but has been written by club staff mindful of the rules that are imposed on the club by the footballing authorities. I have been assured that there is no intention at all to stop any peaceful protest and that the statement is more to ensure that any protest that does occur doesn’t get out of control causing damage to the stadium, the fans or the club’s reputation. The club are bound by various rules as a result of the Taylor Report into Football and as such the restriction of movement on large amounts of people within the stadium comes from regulations imposed on the club more than anything else – and are more to ensure the safety of all fans than for the sake of it.

I’ve said repeatedly on here and I will repeat again that any protest has to be peaceful and should have no effect on the club staff or the team – who in reality need our support as much as anything else in these troubled times. There is no reason for the nationality of the holding company to be brought into any chants and I cannot stress strongly enough that there is no place for racism at St Andrew’s.

I’ve also been assured that the suitably amended “Delay No More” banner (with the offending Chinese script censored) will be allowed into the ground. As much as people think the censoring of the Delay No More banner is wrong I can understand why it has been done and I personally think in the long run it’s probably for the best. I have no doubt other banners will be allowed in – provided they don’t have offensive language on them – and that they will be allowed to be displayed.

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63 Responses to “Protest and Safety”

  • bluepete says:

    I agree with everything you say Dan. I’ve heard that leaflets from Blues Trust are being handed out tomorrow to ask the fans about investing in Community Shares?

  • jassyblie80 says:

    Spot on. We don’t need any offensive language to get our points across.
    When the banner was displayed during the last home game it created a real buzz and the crowd got behind lee Clark & the boys. Hopefully this happens again tomorrow.

    It’s good to see the club have cleared up the issue and will allow the censored banner in (which is better IMO )

    Keep right on

  • Oldbluenose says:

    A delicate situation here, — but I think most fans would not wish to harm our club in any way.

    Your article is the only one I have read that makes plain it was NOT under orders from Hong Kong. Rather the governing of health and safety that the club MUST abide by.

    • Staffordshire Blue Nose says:

      What we can’t have is the issue we had at the Blackburn game when we were relegated. I’m all for freedom of speech but…. and I will say it again be careful what you wish for, most fans wanted rid of Sullivan and Gold and where singing from the roof tops when they went. I think there is a positive message that main land China business’s are buying into Blues, because China is the fastest growing economy in the world. I understand why all us fans are frustrated with Peter and Carson because they made massive mistakes with contracts for players, perhaps they trusted the managers to much? We paid big wages for “good” players who never lived up to their reputations whilst in the premiership, Bently was on £50k a week…… Played one decent game. CH was given a bit of cash to bring in King and that almost worked to get us promoted so when he went the board thought lets trust LC to do the same by bringing in “senior” players to get us promoted on good wages (happened before with TF which went wrong but the board at the time who bailed us out) who bought in has beens at best. We are where we are now and all we can hope for is staying up this year and lets try and kick on next. I will be there tomorrow but won’t be joining in any protest against the board because its pointless, when was the last time “sack the board” won???? KRO

  • spoinkop says:

    what you say is correct they or eastern brothers are allowed to throttle the life out of our club,and be very nice and not loyal bluenoses to take it all in until we are no more.as I have said before.let us all do our talking with our feet,all our banners displayed outside the ground, and not attend any matches,until they finally get the message and sell the club to somebody with view to the future and cares for the blues as the rest of us.Cliff. (spoinkop)

  • bluenoseb says:

    To me this just lights the fire even more for the fans to protest, I agree with there should be no racism because that will make us look stupid but if sumthing in English means something else in another language tough sh*t! We are after all playing in an English league arnt we? Did the protests break any regulations at the derby game, and have lost count the amount of times I have walked from the family stand to tilton or vice versa over the years either during the game or at half time, to use different bars or change seats and know one has said anything but now all of a sudden were confined to the seat were allocated. Well in that case no point in opening up the bars or kiosks at half-time is there.

    And as someone pointed out on another forum its says it all about the club well the crap leadership that runs it that this statement about health and safety in the ground was twice as long maybe more than the statement regarding the sale of 12% of blues the other day. Pathetic!

  • jassyblue80 says:

    My wife isn’t in to football or really know much about the situation, so I’ve just explained it to her… She said to me that it sounds like the only option left is to not go the game. 30 mins later of me trying to explain (without much success) as to why I wouldn’t do this I have the sinking feeling that this is becoming more and more likely for lots of people :-(

    If they take away the rights to protest what do we have left…

    I find it hard to see a day I won’t go but can see people’s point in not going…

  • KeepRightcroydOn says:

    Thanks for making enquiries with the club and clarifying their statement
    I have to say that I think the statement is clumsy and could have been better phrased. There is a bit of ambiguity in it which leaves most fans understandably wondering if there is an ulterior motive behind it. It’s not surprising that it has got them going on social media.

    • Bluenosesol says:

      I am afraid that communications from the club have been poor for ages now irrespective of whether it is of UK or Far Eastern origin. We should be used to it!

  • andy says:

    The protest is against BIHL not the Chinese, any group from China who wished to buy the club or invest in it should be welcomed, so to offend those in China by chanting or having offensive messages displayed is somewhat moronic. Remember it is BIHL that the protests are about, not the rest of the people in the far east.

  • Chris W says:

    Basically BCFC and the club officials are covering themselves and pre-warning those who are bringing in that they won’t allow anything offensive, racist or provocative. Something you have already covered in your blogs.
    They are just highlighting the rules and regulations that we all adhere to without a second thought.
    Hopefully the stewards and police restrain from strong-arm tactics against those who bring in the banners and everything goes peacefully.
    Why not ask if they can display the banners behind the railway goal along with any Huddersfield banners, get there first and directly behind the goal they will appear on all coverage, from corners to goals. For that matter behind the Tilton goal and everyone move back a couple of rows.
    KRO+DNM

  • Berkshire Blue says:

    For me the litmus test will be what happens to the “Made in Birmingham, Destroyed in Hong Kong” banner

  • Mrs Crosby says:

    The relationship between the fans and owners is so badly broken it’s no wonder the fans see this as a red rag. Especially as it echoes comments made to Tom Ross by Peter Pannu a few days ago. I initially was surprised to see it also appear on social media as well as bcfc website, then wondered if there was possibly someone inside St. Andrews who purposefully wants to incite fans reactions? But like you say this would serve no purpose unless they actually sympathise with fans? If they’re going to enforce the ‘foul and abusive language leading to ejection from the ground’ then I’ll be sitting on my own in the tilton with my kids by half time. The trust had gone. We’ve been let down so many times.

  • sappy sad says:

    lets hope the new chairman makes the realisation that the
    lack of information causes mistrust against the board .we
    have tried men to get this club to the top without success
    perhaps its time a woman tried …but who is interested in
    and in talks with buying BC if all the 24% of shares have been sold

  • Mario says:

    Be careful everyone security will be increased tomorrow we might even see the black shirted “security” firm around little tatto and his big men. The demos won’t be tolerated by our club just be careful everyone carrying banners these people in Hong Kong are not to be messed with

  • Tom says:

    Thank god you can take a sensible viewpoint on this. Fans don’t like it but this isn’t about free speech it’s about safety. A lot of fans on forums jumping to idiotic conclusions without reading the whole statement properly and not taking in all facts…

  • Mrs Crosby says:

    Problem is Tom, they haven’t quoted or adhered to these regulations until fans decide to protest.

  • Blooflame says:

    Clearly Pannus’ hand is in this. “The regs” is a pretty convenient smoke screen to use to suppress genuine protest. I doubt very much if anyone would do anything that would jeopardise a seat at the blues for life!! The message must go out and Pannu doesn’t call the shots here by quoting “regs” by proxy. The board is too thick skinned to just go. If the profile is raised and made newsworthy, it will or should attract attention. My personal belief is some underhand practices have been happening (Personal belief) – if that were the crux of protest and it were highlighted I believe they would sell to the next bidder. I think there has been enough pandering to “Carson” and “Peter”, they have both brought uncertainty and misery to this club, those who lead should stand up and do just that.

  • andy says:

    Just taking flags in, without poles, is no big deal. U see supporters of other clubs do it all the time. Coventry supporters do it even now. So long as there is no malice then I just don’t see what the issue is here.

  • Tony says:

    Health and safety is a fraud,

  • Art Watson says:

    The only form of effective protest with the current owners is to boycott the games.

    The clubs main source of income is generated by the fans who are being given the mushroom treatment from PP-“keep them in the dark and feed them bullshit”

    The fans have the power to get rid of these people -the sooner the better

    • almajir says:

      Art

      You’ve been spouting this line for a while but as I keep repeating, IT’S NOT TRUE.

      The club’s main source of income is from TV income and parachute payments. Then it’s from commercial/sponsorship. The fans make up 1/6 of the club’s income – and I would estimate over 80% of this has already been received in season ticket payments. If fans don’t turn up the only people who will get hurt are the team from a lack of support and the fans who are missing the games.

      I think recent events have shown administration isn’t going to happen for the club or for the holding company any time soon.

      If you want to not support the club, fine. But please, please stop this bullshit about the fans propping the club up because it’s not so.

      • Art Watson says:

        Dan,

        That’s just your view and one I do not share.

        Compared to last season how many times has the club appeared on TV -resulting in lost revenue and this will deteriorate because the club in its current state will not attract a big audience.

        How long will the parachute payments continue?

        And yes you are correct seasons ticket sales are helping to prop up the revenue but given what’s happened this season do you honestly think the demand for ST will be as good next season..look at the current home attendance!

        Long term you can’t run a football club or any other business without a customer base Dan and there has to be a demand for the product..At the moment Blues are not an attractive product,gate receipts-sponsorship,commercial revenue,parachute payments and TV income are all heading south and I will repeat what I said …without its customer base there is no business ..this is not bullshit it’s a statement of fact and frankly I think I’m better qualified than you are Dan to state this.

        If you owned a company which is losing substantial sums of money you have a number of choices.

        -invest to make a profit.
        -close the company.
        -sell the company.
        -receivership.

        Unless the current owners invest substantial sums of money the club will continue to make a loss and at some stage will drift into the lower divisions.The owners will not risk losing their initial investment so the fans can play a key part in bringing closure to this nightmare by boycotting the games.

        What’s the alternative Dan -what’s your plan?

        • almajir says:

          That’s just your view and one I do not share.

          One that is backed up in black and white in the accounts.

          Compared to last season how many times has the club appeared on TV -resulting in lost revenue and this will deteriorate because the club in its current state will not attract a big audience.

          As I understand it, we get tv revenue based on a split of the pot – not just for appearing on tv. So that’s shot down.

          How long will the parachute payments continue?

          One last payment of £8million next year – which is more than gate reciepts for a year.

          And yes you are correct seasons ticket sales are helping to prop up the revenue but given what’s happened this season do you honestly think the demand for ST will be as good next season..look at the current home attendance!

          As much as you won’t believe me, Art, there is a bedrock of support I’d estimate at 5k-6k who will buy regardless, who you will never convince to boycott.

          Long term you can’t run a football club or any other business without a customer base Dan and there has to be a demand for the product..At the moment Blues are not an attractive product,gate receipts-sponsorship,commercial revenue,parachute payments and TV income are all heading south and I will repeat what I said …without its customer base there is no business ..this is not bullshit it’s a statement of fact and frankly I think I’m better qualified than you are Dan to state this.

          What makes you say that Art? How do you know what my qualifications are? Do you know what I do for a living? Besides – you make an assumption that there is no customer base. This is misguided in the extreme. There is and always will be a customer base, it just might be smaller at some times than it is at others. If a club is set up on a basis where it spends what it earns (which BCFC pretty much does, bar Zigic, who’s gone in June) then that’s not an issue. That’s not bullshit either, that’s just common sense dude.

          If you owned a company which is losing substantial sums of money you have a number of choices.

          -invest to make a profit.
          -close the company.
          -sell the company.
          -receivership.

          Actually, no. You can cut costs (Blues have) and try to improve revenue streams by diversifying monetary streams – something else BCFC have done. As you’re in Cyprus you don’t see how the stadium is in use seven days a week as people hire out rooms for training and such like. You don’t see the work that goes into making the company profitable. I’m here in Brum and I DO see it.

          Unless the current owners invest substantial sums of money the club will continue to make a loss and at some stage will drift into the lower divisions.The owners will not risk losing their initial investment so the fans can play a key part in bringing closure to this nightmare by boycotting the games.

          What’s the alternative Dan -what’s your plan?

          My alternative? I think the club has to be sold – but it will only be sold in their time, not ours. The best thing we can do is make it an attractive proposition to buy by backing the team and by encouraging people into thinking that there is money to be made here. We might stultify a bit, we might get relegated – this is Blues, this is what happens. It’s not going to go into admin though – the holding company will not allow that – and as such we have to accept that for now we can’t do much but pressure them into selling. Boycotting games only hurts the team and the fans. Again, I repeat, you’re in Cyprus and sadly you’re divorced from it on the ground. I noticed it when I was in HK, you can’t feel what is happening unless you’re here in Brum. I’m sorry you might not like that, but those are the facts.

          • bluenoseneil says:

            Dan,

            Great response to a post largely formulated from idle speculation and nonsense.

            As I said on a post yesterday we are FANS first an foremost and that’s how we should behave at each and every game we attend.

            I don’t sympathise or side with CY/PP but likewise I don’t try and be an armchair businessman or know-it-all on behalf of Blues and some of the dross I read on here is laughable.

            Thank god we have you to deal in FACT. And on that basis I would respost your comments again here as an entire article to clear the site of stupid speculation and comment….however as some people don’t read or skim read OP I fear it falls on the proverbial deaf ears again…

            KRO Dan and keep up the sterling work mate, we really do appreciate it!!

          • Paul Carter - a lover of BCFC he says:

            Brilliant Dan

            This Art character has been telling us all to boycott when he doesn’t even live in the UK (so he says) which makes it easy for him to boycott really. I’ll say it again such is his continued and repeated urge to organise boycotts has often left me feeling he may not actually be Blues. Maybe anothe club? Anti on every point. Lee Clark hater, trying to whip up unrest and always having a pop at me for urging fans to get behind their club.

            We who are Blue will never boycott. It makes not a tuppeny damn to us who owns or runs the club. This we cannot affect. All we can do is show our love for Blues by turning up. The essence of being a football fan.

            Obviously I don’t aim these points at those unemployed, low income, sick or overseas. Pointing that out before someone pulls me. Had a bloke at work telling me £12 was too much the other week. Next breath he’s mouthing off about ‘crap’ signings. Laughable.

          • almajir says:

            I think to say Art isnt blue is beyond the pale mate

    • Chris W says:

      As has been pointed out by several on these comments, none more so than Dan, the only people who will suffer from a boycott will be those who are trying to keep the club functional and the team.
      Maybe come the summer and EVERYONE refuses to renew their season tickets, all the advertisers and sponsors pull out then you MAY have some effect. However, in the real world it will not happen.
      Protests, peaceful and non-racist is a start, if we can gain respect and media coverage then it will grow and begin to have a bigger impact.
      KRO+DNM

  • BlueBlues says:

    The time has arrived, get down tomorrow and support the boys in blue and the banner boys. Let PP know we will not be bullied into silence. Please let our protest be peaceful and done in the blues way loud and proud

    If you only go to one game this season let it be tomorrow because what a great statement it would be to any potential investors or buyer to se St Andrews full

    KRO

  • bluenoserob says:

    I don’t as a rule ,like to blow smoke up your ass Dan but your 100% right ,now is not the time to loose our heads.we have to back our team until the end of the season and play our part in keeping our team in this league,CY it seems isn’t going to sell any time soon .so let’s get behind Lee and the boys and help them win some home games.

  • Timmy says:

    Why should all of the protest be well-behaved and peaceable?

    • Chris W says:

      You been drinking, I want what you are on?
      KRO+DNM

      • Timmy says:

        Yes, I have, actually. It’s good. You should try it.

        I wasn’t suggesting people should grab advertising hoardings and attack police horses like it’s 1985. I was asking if everything has to be sanitised and safe for the kiddies.

        • Chris W says:

          I do and I too like it thank you.
          Keeping things within the law and respectful carries higher values and is more likely to be heard in the right places.
          KRO+DNM

    • AussieBlue says:

      Timmy: “Why should all of the protest be well-behaved and peaceable?”
      Is that your best defense in front of the Magistrate then mate?

    • almajir says:

      Because if it isnt its illegal.

  • blueboysblue says:

    Of course this site incited all these problems as I have read earlier incitements to take the banners to the stadium when they first appeared in the street. Pannu had done so much to prevent the football club from collapsing and got Bihl trading now…. so many innocent naïve ignorant people here …. go support the boys. Carson maybe …but you guys get it all wrong… think again carefully what Pannu said on the radio, I now agree with all he said after that interview. I have changed my opinion about him and will join the increasing chorus of people now supporting Pannu and thank him for his work both here and in the UK

    • almajir says:

      Thanks for your support…

      • Mrs Crosby says:

        How anyone can accuse you of inciting all these problems is missing the point. You have done a fantastic job keeping fans informed on events both here and in far east. I find the insults directed to fellow blues fans by blueboysblue very offensive. Can’t he be ejected?

    • mr_crosby says:

      Thanks Peter, nothing like blowing your own trumpet eh.

  • Bluenosesol says:

    I suppose I will go through the “enough is enough” loop and then renew my season ticket, but the new chairman will have to put a hell of a lot of thought into our pre-season/next season strategy and if we continue with financial stalemate and/or communications blackout, then I really do fear a large number of fans will not be renewing next season.

  • Gibbsy says:

    But there is no mention of offensive or controversial flags in the Ground Regulations on the BCFC Website, this was added just for the message yesterday http://www.bcfc.com/tickets/ground_regulations.aspx

  • Tony says:

    If you want to bring about change then some things unlawful have to be considered, after all the law is in place to to keep you in your place.
    The law once said only the landed gentry could have a vote, the law also said women were not allowed to vote ,these things were changed because of protest that could not be ignored, protest that were no way lawful at the time.
    Please dont throw the health and safety thing at me, that ridiculous monster is designed to allow public bodies to escape their responsibilities.

  • Art Watson says:

    Dan/Paul,

    If you guys are happy to see STA turn into a Corporate Hospitality /Management Training Centre that’s fine but some of us actually have ambitions to see success on the football pitch.As for some of your comments Dan again you are making the wrong assumptions.

    – Utilising the office facilities for management training is nothing new .KB introduced this at least 7 years ago before I left for Cyprus.I know this to be true because I spent many weeks using this facility.

    -the last set of published accounts confirms a substantial loss and also seriously questions the short term viability of the club.The club is being shored up by “Micky Mouse” loans and share acquisitions.Are you seriously suggesting Dan that based on current levels of income the club can survive and actually make a profit and where’s the evidence that would suggest the current board will invest large sums of money to strengthen the team TO GET A SUCCESSFUL TEAM!.If you are suggesting this why is the club losing money?

    – Long term no business can survive under a nil spend cost cutting policy which I know has been the case for some time now and how long do you think the hard core supporter will tolerate this? I witnessed the Ken Weldon regime destroy the fan base with his cost cutting exercise and gates fell to around 8,000 and yes I was amongst those Mr Carter.

    Paul’s response comes as no surprise-anyone not attending games for any reason is not fit to voice an opinion and if he had is way should be “hung drawn and quartered.”..his infantile comments can never be treated seriously.

    Let’s agree to differ Dan as I really do respect the great work you do.

    • almajir says:

      I want to see success on the pitch too mate – but boycotting the games ain’t going to achieve that in the short, medium or long term.

      • Art Watson says:

        Don’t worry Dan after today’s abysmal performance another 500/1000 fans will be missing at the next home game..

        11 home games without a win-any other would have been fired or walked by now.

        • almajir says:

          Seeing as you’ve got your crystal ball out Art, can you give me the euromillions numbers mate? Ta :)

          • Art Watson says:

            Don’t need a crystal ball Dan,

            I was a fanatical fan under the Kumars and Weldon .I sat in the main stand watching workers take out the light bulbs to save costs.whilst paying good money to watch a crap team.I travelled 100mile one day to watch a home game which had been called off at 11am-the club didn’t even notify the radio stations so a few thousand away and home supporters turned up none the wiser.

            Seen it all before at STA .

            Dark days and reminiscent of what’s going on at the moment.

            It’s a shambles.

          • almajir says:

            But you are using the past to extrapolate a future event. I disagree with you in that we’re down to pretty much season ticket holders as it is. The only real difference is how many awa fans turn up – you might think 500/1000 will be missing but the truth is it won’t show in the gate figure cos every ST holder is counted regardless of if they go or not – and I think it’s impossible to accurately state how many people are in the ground without the attendance figure.

            I’ve seen dark days. I remember a gate of under 3,500 because people wouldn’t pay £13 for a league cup ticket (we beat Macclesfield 6-0, it was first round second leg). The true definition of a fan is someone who is there in times of misfortune – think about those fans who were proud to be one of the 6,000 or so hardy souls when we were in receivership. I have no doubt when the cycle has ended and we’re back on the up loads of fans will claim they were there now – and that the were loyal. That’s why a boycott will never work Art.

        • Art Watson says:

          “manager”

  • Stephen Powell says:

    Well, I made a small comment on here but seems the internet police don’t like my thoughts and I thought we lived in a free speech country

    • almajir says:

      Stephen

      You are posting on a private website – my private website. I have the absolute right and discretion to delete comments as I see fit – see the comment policy. I thought your comment bordered on racist, so I deleted it – that may have been harsh on my part but it’s my site, my rules.

      Freedom of speech means you have the right to publish on a site or medium of your own any criticism of my decision. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean you can post what you like on my website without recrimination.

      In short – leave nationality out of it and you’ll be okay. If not, don’t bother.

      Thanks

  • Johnners says:

    I was at the game yesterday. It was sad. Not the result or the performance but the way that an elderly guy in the main stand charged forward at the final whistle, frothing at the mouth like a rabid dog, and letting forth a string of expletives aimed at Lee Clark, as the manager walked down the pitch to the dressing rooms. ‘F*** o**, Clark, just f*** o**. And you can f*** o** whilst you’re at it. Yeh, f*** o** you f****** f*****’. The veins in his forehead looked like they were about to burst and his adam’s apple was bobbing up and down in irregular spasms. I’m looking at this guy and I’m thinking ‘I don’t remember seeing a reaction like this at the cinema when the film was crap or in the theatre when the actor forgot his lines or at work when the boss makes a poor decision.’ What is it about football that turns old men into blithering, abusive, mindless morons? So this is the real sadness of our cub – fans with no dignity, no respect, no unity, no sense of perspective, no trust, no sense of humour, no honour. That is really sad because who wants to be part of that?

    • DoctorD says:

      Because when you see a play or film, it’s not “your” play or film. A football club is bound much more closely with your own identity.


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