Often Partisan


Birmingham City crumbled to their fifth successive defeat last night against Wigan Athletic in a result which now leaves their Championship destiny out of their own hands. A solitary goal from Callum McManaman within 150 seconds was enough to see off Blues, who will now head to the Reebok on Saturday hoping their away form (coupled with results elsewhere) will save them.

This morning it will be 211 days since Blues last won at home – and with it being the end of the season it’ll be at least another three months until that hoodoo can be broken. Blues’ sequence of 18 games without a win at home is apparently  now a joint all-time Football League record in any division (although I’ve not been able to verify that yet). It’s a pitiful home record that I think has drained the life from the club and it’s a testament to the fans who went last night that they still supported the team and applauded them at the end.

I hate to say this, but I had a premonition around the time of the Blackburn game that we wouldn’t pick up another point at home and if I’m honest, I don’t think we’ll get anything at Bolton either. I think this is what sickens; we’ve been so far out of the bottom three for so long and we’ve just fallen into the dropzone through not being able to buy a win from anywhere – as a friend described to me last night on Twitter we’ve sleptwalked into League One. It’s got shades of the 2011 relegation about it – we had chances then to get ourselves out of it but gutless performances and management condemned us to going down. I think we have to accept that the majority of our players aren’t good enough for this division either and that has been borne out by the mistakes that have been made on the pitch.

The big question now is how this affects the sale of the club. I’m reasonably confident that the club will still be sold should relegation happen; all that will change is that BIH will get a lot less money for the club. It’s my belief that the figures quoted in the press as current bids – £19-23mil would be cut by 75% and BIH could end up with maybe a downpayment of just £5mil with the rest dependent on performance on the pitch – one hell of a comedown from the £32mil Carson was insistent on last November.

Relegation is not the end of the world but it is hard to take – and unless the people owning the club set things up right (whoever they turn out to be come August) it might not be a solitary season in the third tier. If Blues do indeed go down I think a lot of things will need to be looked at from the top down – and I think one of those things will be to look at the playing staff and the over-reliance on short term loans because I do think that has been a major contributing factor. It’s not quite over yet – but the fat lady is certainly going through her vocal warm ups.

Talking Points sponsored by John Hicken Industrial roofing and cladding materials


78 Responses to “Relegation”

  • Graham says:

    Anyone thinking we’d get a result last night needed to take their head for a wobble. I’m hopeful we’ll get something at Bolton, more so than I was at getting a result last night.

    • Big Al says:

      And yet this is the team that Blackpool and Millwall beat and who were clearly tiring and in a bad run of form.

      • Paul says:

        Depressing I know, but lets stay positive. I,m 50 next year, i,ve been here before. Ken Wheldon, the Kumars, 8000 crowds in Division 3. Yes, now is as bad as then without a doubt, We have been stripped of our riches and hung out to dry. But, theres one last chance. Leicester put a party on for their fans with a win and Blues nick a draw. KRO

    • The Francis Fake says:

      The downward spiral started the match after the Carling Cup win I believe we are a win at Bolton away from breaking this cycle. If the results go the wrong way on Saturday then the trend continues. There is no way 5 bidders will be involved if we go down. We might be lucky if we can still secure a takeover in Div 1. The Chinese will have to accept a much lower price or face the prospect of administration which will mean 10 point deduction next season. Fantastic support last night Blues do not deserve this heartache. I am just hoping that for once on the last day of the season we can avoid relegation for a change as it has become a dreadful trend over the last decade where other teams get the right result and we don’t.

  • Quaggerz says:

    It’s all dependant on how much money the new owners will be willing to spend (if we are condemned to league one), because we will be going down with half a playing squad, one that probably isn’t a mid-table league one side.

  • Birmingham tim says:

    Last night was both thoroughly depressing in terms of football, but utterly uplifting in terms of the support. At least if/when we go down, a lower sales price might allow more investment in the club.

  • Luke Bowen says:

    As the Godfather of Electro-pop, Gary Numan, once said – “I don’t believe in miracles…”

    • Richard Granfield says:

      As “Hot Chocolate” sang “I believe in miracles”(You sexy thing).

      • Luke Bowen says:

        Whilst it’s true that I am sexy, I’m afraid that I find it inappropriate that you address me as such. We’ve never even met. Flattering, though…

        Saturday beckons. Numan also sang, “Everything comes down to this.”

        • Richard Granfield says:

          Numan also sang on his album “Jagged”, “Pressure”, “Fold” and “In A Dark Place”.

          • Luke Bowen says:

            And not forgetting “Lost” and Lee Clark’s favourite “My Last Day” from Splinter.

            My personal favourite is “A Prayer for the Unborn (Andy Gray Remix)”, but that doesn’t seem relevant here and the name Andy Gray might not go down too well here either. It’s a shame it wasn’t remixed by someone called Trevor Francis. Or Keith Bertschin.

  • mark says:

    its going to make Saturday a very interesting day hopefully the final day we get our wish by 2pm…………..kro

  • mark says:

    Daniel i have noted in your blogs several times that they might sell! they are looking to sell but nothing is full on concrete that they will!!………if we were to go down why would they??? the rest of the big earners will definately be shown the door……….maybe our youngsters will be too good for league 1.

  • Mineheadblue says:

    Dan, do you believe that the Chinese will still try to sell the club in tranches if we go down? Also, do you think it likely that any buyer would agree to this and who would hold the bargaining power?

  • Matt says:

    Ah well, that’s that. Hopefully it’s the last we see of Lee Clark. Randolph, Caddis, Hancox and Reilly are the only senior players I want to see at the club next year. Build from a fresh, around some of our good young players, as loans are not reliable. Fair play to Emyr Huws though, I thought he was fantastic yesterday and played with his heart on his sleeve, top lad.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Here is the decline…..Feb.’11 Carling Cup winners…….May’11 relegation……..June’11 all investment ceases……..July’11 our best players start to leave………May’12 lose in Play-Offs………May’13 finish mid table…….July’13 all our best players have left…….May’14 relegation????
    What does the future hold?

  • Dave Partridge says:

    It was on the cards wasn’t it? Only 14 points won at home, a tactically inept manager who has not once held his hands up and said ‘I got it wrong, sorry’, and bunch of overpaid kids from Premier League clubs who don’t really give monkeys? The atmosphere was the best thing about last night and a credit to all. The Football League need to urgently address the criteria of their ‘fit and proper persons test’.

    • Chas says:

      Dave, you cant say that Macheda and Huws didn’t give a damn,. Macheda did more work last night that Burke did in the three games I watched, and the Man Ciy lad wasn’t far behind. He didn’t have to play with a forehead full of stitches. Says a lot about both of them that they tried so hard.

      • Dave Partridge says:

        Not on about those pair, Macheda would’ve finished the season as our top scorer had Clark had listened to anybody. It’s the rest of them that don’t know how to fight for anything because they’ve been living the life of luxury since the age of 12.

        • Chas says:

          Oh, OK.. Fair does..

        • Chris W says:

          Can’t speak for the Blues players but living near a championships Academy ground, you would not believe some of the cars, top of the range Vogues , couple of Porsche, even a Bentley… not a Ford or a Vauxhall in sight.
          These young players should be taught values and have respect for those who pay good hard earned money to watch them. They don’t even stop to sign autographs these days.


    • Chris W says:

      You do make some very good points but 2 of all our loans can walk away knowing they did the club proud, Huws and Macheda certainly gave everything for the club and supporters and the majority of the crowd appreciate that.
      LC has never once taken responsibility for his, sometimes bizarre, decisions and again last night it was “The players”, and not “My team”, as he always states when they have won.
      As so often this season, the last 10 minutes the players showed more fight, something they should be doing for the whole 90 minutes, too tittle too late again.
      LC just does not have a clue on who or how to stop the rot, Mullins was never going to be the answer, someone said he was the best player on the pitch, for an experienced player I thought he looked less than average, and as with all the other players , couldn’t get rid of the ball quick enough.

  • Big Al says:

    I’m afraid I cannot forgive LC for being so stubborn with his tactics. To not at least try the Ziggy/Macheda partnership in a 442 from the start of a game, the way every single Blues fan would’ve given the record-breaking failure of his own system, is unforgiveable. If you asked a Villa season ticket holder to take the reigns and sabotage the club in a manner that demoralises everyone, they could not have done a better job.

  • Luke Bowen says:

    Assuming we do go down on Saturday and that the summer sees new owners and a change of management, who (realistically) would we like to see come in as manager?

    Can I start the bidding with Malky Mackay?

    • Dave Partridge says:

      Had a think about the last few managers and what they brought to Blues…

      Barry Fry: A million players, a laugh and a couple of promotions

      Trevor Francis: Hopes, dreams and a Worthington Cup Final

      Steve Bruce: Promotion to Premier League and Christophe Dugarry

      Alex McLeish: Promotion and the Carling Cup

      Chris Hughton: Our European odyssey

      Lee Clark: Worst home record in the entire Football League, inept tactics, bagful of excuses

      Who could we afford to bring in? Mackay is a fair shout but I doubt it, Gary Rowett?

      • Luke Bowen says:

        Bit rose-tinted on the Alex McLeish comment – you forgot to mention two relegations and signing Zigic’s contract. One of the best things he did for Blues was going to the Villa.

        How about Chris Hughton (as manager)?

      • Chris W says:

        With new owners a lot of the good managers would line up for the job, ideally someone with Championship experience who is prepared to drop a league as Kenny Jacket did.
        Someone who can work within a budget, not necessarily a tight budget, it has to be realistic for the division but ambitious enough to obtain and maintain promotion.
        Would Chris Hughton come back, I doubt it.
        Paul Jewell could do a job and has the relevant experience

        • steve aerobic says:

          Chris Hughton?? Who would want that Judas back? Next you will be suggesting Big Eck.

          • NickyWicky says:

            Look you have to go with a proven manager and McCleish and Houghton did a decent job for Blues what about Ian Holloway?

          • Chris W says:

            I never suggested Chris Hughton, someone else did.
            My thoughts were for Paul Jewell, but anyone has to be better than Clark. He has had 2 years, he bought in the players we could afford but failed to motivate them.
            He failed in every department but more importantly he failed us, the supporters,

          • RichardM says:

            Other than his time at Wigan, his record as a league manager (Derby, Ipswich) has been pretty damn poor, no thanks to Paul Jewell. I’d like Karl Robinson at MK Dons, though right now I suspect the MK Dons job looks more appealing!

          • Chris W says:

            I was looking at managers available with experience. I am not in favour of touting managers who are in a club and besides, do we want to be wasting money in contract buyouts.
            Most managers in work are relatively happy and working, those that have failed are usually on TV as some expert or other, Paul Jewell, Billy Davis, Ronnie Moore, Michael Laudrup who have experience with clubs on tight budgets.

      • Chas says:

        The Bloke from Leeds after they sack him?

  • DoctorD says:

    Clark really is a liability and should be kept totally away from the players before Saturday. Sadly another defeat is on the cards at the weekend. There’s no point even hoping for anything else; it ain’t gonna happen.

  • Steve says:

    Just heard Blues training ground locked and security there this morning any ideas???

  • Jaffa123 says:

    We all want to blame Clark but reality hit me last night when Shinnie came on.He is the type of player that all Clark has been able to bring in.Average at best.It’s the owners who are to blame for this mess.Surely they will now sell.

    • Agent McLeish says:

      Agree completely. It is obvious that the purchase by CY/BIH was never for football reasons. The club that was once in the prem has been devastated and laid to waste by BIH,

    • Tony says:

      Jaffa it was Clark who picked the side, and what an unholy mess he made of it
      the man is hopelessly inept. Nothing to do with the situation in HK.

      • Agent McLeish says:

        “Nothing to do with the situation in HK” you say? My friend you are very, very deluded.

        • Tony says:

          You are the one who is deluded Agent, hk didnt pick left backs to play centre half, of right backs to play midfielder. or leave our most potent goalscorer on the bench. Get a grip for christ sake

          • Agent McLeish says:

            Tony, you are so full of crap I’m going to call you the Toilet.

          • Tony says:

            Answer the point I raised cretin, and then join your equally deluded mate Mark in the padded cell.
            Pair of morons

  • Agent McLeish says:

    Daniel, regarding the sale of the club, do the deluded BIH still think that they can sell a percentage of the club and still cling onto it? Or do you think they will have to sell outright? Surely no sane person would by into a partnership with the muppets at BIH?

  • The Flying Pig says:

    Well, well; how thoroughly depressing it is to be a Blues fan this morning. The light at the end of the tunnel is almost extinguished; finding any positves is bloody difficult. However…
    Just before kick off last night, I spoke with a chap putting up his Norwegian flag in block 13. He had travelled over for the game and he told me that he has a season ticket and had managed to get over for 6 games this year. The way he touched the Blues badge on his chest as he told me how “it gets you right here” said in those few words everything that is great about the Blues. The support last night was Premier League [not play-off level as our Manager said].
    Most of the conributors will be able to say we’ve been here before and I’ve no doubt that we will in the future have more joys and sorrows to which we can look forward. Such is the life of a Bluenose.
    i thought the players gave it everything last night, but you only had to look at the movement from the oppostition to see they were different class to us. There’s not much LC can do about that. The way they were still working so hard to close us down and the fact they had a game plan [which included, it seemed, fouling Ziggy at every opportunity] and everyone seemed to know what they had to do was another glaring gulf between the teams. It is for this latter reason that LC has to go.
    I’m going to bolton still hoping we can get out of it – a point will be enough!! If we are going down, then let’s make sure we go down singing loud and supporting our team.

  • beegeeblueboy says:

    This just shows what terrible businessmen BIH appear to be. A few million spend on three or four key positions even with Clark in charge would have more than protected their investment.

    I’m pretty much of a view not to renew my ST while BIH and Clark are still here

  • Richard Granfield says:

    If Blues are relegated, presently on 43 points, we can’t complain. Last season Peterborough were relegated having gained 54 points and Wolves 51 points.

  • Macca says:

    Very sad, but very predictable. We need to force a sale. No-one renew season tickets to starve the club of cash. This will force a quick sale or administration. When the owners have gone, everyone who calls themselves a supporter should either buy a season ticket or at least attend a few games. I believe this is the only way to get
    the club back. It breaks my heart to have to say this and I wish there was
    another way, but I can’t think of one. The club is dying of neglect.
    We are fighting for our clubs existence.

  • RichardM says:

    Men against boys last night, they tried their hardest, no complaints from me for their endeavour, but again I’m left questionning LC team-selection and tactics.

    Surely, SURELY Zigic and Macheda up-front should have been the starter, using Ibe’s pace on the left. We only started to pose a serious threat when the both were brought on in the second half.

    I don’t like Spector at Centre-Back either, to me he’s a liability in defence, why do we have (in my opinion) a better CB in Martin twiddling his thumbs on the bench. Why did it take this long to recall Mullins after Robinson’s suspension? Why persist with Thorpe who was clearly not ready for this level?

    Why Allan (frozen out for 8 months and suddenly resurrected, in the midfield – as if he gives a toss) over Reilly, Howard or even Olly Lee? I’ve a lot of sympathy for LC given the constraints he’s had to work with – but I’m worried that he will more than likely still be in charge some August – and whatever division we’re in he’s not the man in my opinion. I’m praying he proves me wrong on Saturday.

  • Duncan says:

    We could win 5-0 on Sat and still go down. Passion and hard work count for nothing if you are a useless tactician and manager. How on earth can he be allowed to make decisions on releasing young players with his track record. I’m not going to build up hope and set myself up for a fall come Saturday, my liver can’t take it. KRO wherever the road leads us.

  • Chris W says:

    LC once again talks the talk and failed to do the walk. Once again his ineptness was there for all to see, even the players were taking no notice in the end.
    A brilliant atmosphere, the supporters bought everything they could, I was disappointed that 2 or 3 players just trudged off at the end of the game, but at least those that stayed out were still applauded.
    What ever the result at Bolton things need to change rapidly and drastically as from Monday, starting with LC clearing his desk and moving out.
    Administration should take the sale of the club out of the hands of BIHL as soon as possible or BIHL sell the club in total.
    They will be lucky to get £10 Million in reality, should we be relegated.
    Unfortunately, as happens, the players who got us relegated will move on, probably to Championship clubs.
    As much as I keep telling myself because we have been so good away from home we will be fine, I just cant get my heart racing to believe it. I go to Bolton fearing the worse anything better will be a bonus, hopefully the journey home will not be as long as the journey there.

  • Oldburyblue says:

    In hindsight it is sad to admit that the people calling for a boycott at the beginning of the Season were right. They have missed nothing by not coming.

    • Gary says:

      Apart from abuse by certain regular posters lol, I still hold with what I said at the beginning of the season, I will not put money into Pannu and co’s greasy little mitts, when we have new owners I will gladly renew my season ticket, with the current shower never, I work far to hard to see my money disappear into the likes of Pannus pocket

  • ZarateImissyou says:

    Well, quite sure we go down now.
    But we should make the best of it, like Southampton did. They made a great youth programme and also gave their youngsters first-team football. Now they are back in Premier League and if anyone wants any of their young players, they have to pay more than our club is worth at the moment.
    We DO have young players to build on! And more talents coming up.

  • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

    Are we down then? We will win at Bolton and stay up.

    • Luke Bowen says:

      A rabbit goes into a bar and says to the barman, “Have you got any carrots?…”

      • Blueboy88 says:

        the barman replies “can’t you see, this is a bar – we have beer, wine and spirits, but no carrots”
        “Awww” said the rabbit and ran out

        Next day, the rabbit returned to the bar and said “have you got any carrots?”
        the barman replies “I told you yesterday, this is a bar – we have beer, wine and spirits, but no carrots. If you don’t clear off, I’ll nail your ears to the counter”
        “Awww” said the rabbit, grabbing his ears running out of the bar

        Next day, the rabbit returned to the bar and said “have you got any nails?”
        “NO!!” Said the barman.
        “Good” said the rabbit “so, have you got any carrots?”

    • Mr Crosby says:

      Like we would get points last night?

  • Blueboy88 says:

    Men against boys last night.
    We only posed a threat in the 2nd half with the long ball to Zigic & Ibe’s introduction on the left.
    Credit to all the Blues supporters at St Andrews, they stayed with the team all night.
    Clark looked an utterly demented & tortured soul on the touchline.
    For his own good health he should walk away after Bolton regardless.
    New owners are our only salvation now. KRO

  • stevepenns says:

    Relegation could be good as whoever buys the club will pay a lot less and therefore have more money to invest in players – about £15 million – just a thought !!

  • Kazakblue says:

    On Monday I was in Hong Kong, and travelled over to Stanley Market on Hong Kong Island, near to Repulse bay and heading in the direction of Central was a beautiful black Maybach limousine, very shiny and clean, and I almost thought it was Peter Pannu in the back, could not really see inside to clearly, as the red Toyota taxi was speeding along the narrow roads towards Stanley. The reason it made me think it was. Peter Pannu on the way back from possibly visiting his boss in Stanley jail was the registration of the Limo; PP 7, or maybe it was coincidence. Reckon those Maybachs, even second hand are pricy, how many of the writers on here have a Maybach ?????

  • Andy W says:

    As I left the stadium last night, I turned to my brother and said “At least there’s one positive…..” He looked at me rather puzzled and speculated on the performance of the odd player, and I said “No………the only positive is that it’s over”. And those of us who have been to each and every one of those home games will I suspect know what I mean? When all the excitement dies down, and we reflect in the summer, I’m sure we will all see the situation for what it is. The league tables rarely lie. We are where we are because we deserve to be. We have been a poor team of misfits and inexperience, with a manager who has had little to work with but is still out of his depth when having to deal with our circumstances. Maybe going down is what needs to happen? Maybe we need to get rid of the disease before we can heal and get stronger. We have some good youngsters, not yet experienced enough for the Championship, but maybe have a chance to flourish in the lower division. There are some managers around who might like the challenge of new owners, maybe some money and a chance to mould a team for the future of their own making? There are examples for us all to see? BCFC will still exist, and we will continue to support them in our own chosen ways. But one thing is certain, without change at owner/boardroom/managerial level, it will be more of the same next season, regardless of the division, and I’m not sure I can stomach much more.

  • bluenoserob says:

    soon as i saw the wigan line up i couldnt see us getting anything , the quality of their playing staff compared to us shows how far we have fallen , its so sad.oh and they have a proper manager as well.

  • bluenoserob says:

    hey dan , do you think staffs blue still cant see us going down? , there is a man of faith if ever there was one.

  • glosblue says:

    Is there a single Blues supporter who doesn’t think that the team which finished the match last night should have been the starting line-up? If LC’s plan was to hold Wigan to 0-0 up to half time and then bring Ziggy on for the 2nd half, it fell apart after 2 mins. We were a bit lucky it was only 0-1! I’ve tried to support what he’s tried to do for most of the season but I agree he has to go now even if by some miracle the results go in our favour on Saturday.

  • Andrew says:

    Been saying this for weeks now that blues wont gain enough points to stay up, i hope im wrong but its looking bad now.

  • Griff says:

    I really feel for the Blues fans. I live up in Yorkshire now and with family/work commitments, I only get to a hand full of games. My mate, a Leeds fan tried to reassure me that we’d get the points we needed from them. Despite the home record, he said Leeds were worse than they were the season they went down to league one. He went to the game and could only offer his sympathy to me after it. The worst team he’d ever seen he said! Nothing to suggest they were capable of beating anybody! He said then that he was sure we were doomed and wouldn’t pick another point up. Oh well, we’re going down again…. But I’ve never been as proud to be a blue nose as I am now (I’m 46). Hopefully all the malignant crap like LC, the owners and most of the playing staff won’t be there next year and others can go about rebuilding this great club. Hold your heads up high and be proud people. The club may be in tatters but it’s easy to support one of the big clubs that never have to deal with this gut wrenching despair. You fantastic supporters don’t deserve this. And we’ll be back!

  • Andrew says:

    The fans last night were awesome and what a turn out, considering our blight i just did not expect it but i suppose its a given being last home game an all. They were in good song too! so we did our bit by singing the roof off for the entire game and not once but for a few short 3 minute spells did blues show they were in the game or even made it a contest. Carson had nothing to do all game as it was mostly in our end. from the start we couldn’t string consecutive passes together. whereas wigan were just playing short 1 touch passes that we had no answer to all game, looking like a premiership team. blues were awful, generally just dallying on the ball and spector is a good player in my estimations but he isn’t a center half. The team has no rhythm, crosses set plays and corners were disorganised, the heads were gone. none of them fight for each other as half the team hastly walked for the tunnel as full time went and the few that stayed ie zigic spector randolph were left clapping a stadium full of fans dejected and let down.

  • Zuludave says:

    We will batter Bolton and stay up.

  • Steve Downunder says:

    I am sending positive vibes from Aus to my beloved Blues. Surely the Foxes will beat DRovers so a draw will be enough? Whatever
    happens it’s is in the hands of the gods now so lets hope they are
    in a good mood. KRO

  • Blooflame says:

    Talk of what Manager one prefers is just that…talk. Until there is a serious management team in place and some structure you’ll end up with Managers and “chancers” like Lee Clark. BCFC would be a cold corpse but for the life support machine that is time.Managers want to know about stability of the club and what he has to spend. This question alone should have warned EVERYONE about his motives of joining what was clearly a sinking ship. If there are several groups bidding, how about coalescing into one Supergroup and give the club half a chance?

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