Often Partisan

Burke, Ziggy and Robbo to stay?

The Birmingham Mail today reported that Chris Burke and Nikola Zigic are in line to be offered new deals to stay with the club along with captain Paul Robinson. Both Burke and Zigic would have to take pay cuts in the current climate – Zigic especially so – but it’s understood both want to stay at the club and could potentially sign.

I have often confessed my admiration for Nikola Zigic; on meeting him at the player awards on Sunday I told him we needed a statue to him outside of St Andrew’s (which he politely laughed at and told me that he was just part of a team), so you can imagine that reading he might stay was a nice tonic for me this morning as I woke up hungover. I know Zigic has divided fans because of his massive wages but I believe he has a talismanic presence – he always seems to score important goals and I think he “gets” the kind of people Blues fans are.

While Burke may not have hit the highs as much this season as he had previously, I think he’s an important player for us and if we can hold onto him I think he could continue to be an important player – particularly once new owners come in and we (hopefully) have better players around him. From what I know Burke is settled at Blues and is happy to stay with the club – whether that will remain the case on reduced terms I don’t know but it would be good for the club to not lose players who make up the experienced spine of the side.

I’ve seen people point to things like this as evidence that Clark and / or BIH are here to stay; the truth is that these deals prove neither. Clark is manager whether people like it or not and until that changes he will continue getting on with his job – that’s what he is paid to do. Similarly, the board have to continue running the club until the time when someone else comes in to do so; that may well not be far away but it would be negligent to let everything go to rack and ruin (well more so than it currently is) until that point.

What I think it does show evidence of is that there still is an element of care at the club – as I’ve said previously the club only have to tell players who they wish to retain by Saturday, not the terms and it could be that players are offered lower terms initially which could then be possibly renegotiated upwards when the club is agreed to be sold. The club has a month to offer terms so it gives them some wiggle room to make the best possible offer to the players that they want to keep; the decision right now on who to keep will be much more to do with footballing reasons (ie is the player good enough/right for the club) than for financial ones.

I don’t want to add speculation of what is happening to the fire but I will say that I’m feeling more and more positive that there is light at the end of the tunnel; that change is coming and that we won’t have much longer to wait. Let’s enjoy the fact we stayed up and take every bit of good news as positive and not look for the downsides in stories.

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65 Responses to “Burke, Ziggy and Robbo to stay?”

  • Kazakblue says:

    Big Man, whatever is offered, sign on the bloody dotted line, no true Blues fan want’s to see you leave, divided opinions of course, there always will be, but you are a talisman for this club, stay where you and your family are happy.

  • Kazakblue says:

    Dan, could not be much of a hangover, can’t find any spelling mistakes, try again tonight :))

  • Teebone says:

    Would love Ziggy to stay, if not only to get the crowd going, nobody can deny he lifts the place in one way or another. Burke I think we should let go, he has been a great servant to the club but you could see at the end of the season he is not the player he once was, we need pace in the team to get behind defences and don’t think Burke is that player. We need fresh blood on both wings, Ibe proved that raw pace alone scares the life out of teams.

  • Chris W says:

    My feeling are “If things don’t alter they’ll stay the same” and that goes with the playing staff too. Last season I thought Burke was poor and the team became predictable. Teams snuffed out Burke, in doing so they snuffed out any threat we had, he was showing his age and not beating the players for either speed or skill. When Ziggy played it was route one football, big heave ho! up to the big man, He is a skilful player when the ball is played through him with support.
    Ziggy can score goals, he has scored vital goals for us, but for me he has to change his work ethic, in the same way the team has to play to his strengths. For all my criticism of Ziggy he is a likeable fellow and has taken Birmingham to his heart, and I would like to see him stay as he does offer us alternatives, but it won’t stop me being critical if he becomes lazy as he did throughout games last season. My opinion, and we all have one of those.
    Whoever runs the club, we cannot afford to pay high wages until some stability is back in the club, fans begin to return and we develop a winning mentality.
    I feel that you know more than you want to let on Dan, that is understandable given events of last season, I have no doubt that this will be the first place we will see anything positive.
    Thanks for an interesting season and allowing fans to interact with the comments section, it really brings the fans together, even if we don’t all agree and long may it reign. Keep up the good work.

    • bluenose08 says:

      great post couldn’t agree more !!

    • Andrew says:

      ziggy will always be a hot and cold player. some of the greatest footballers have been this way

      • Chris W says:

        I wouldn’t put Zigic in the same class as Pele or Puskus, they were great players, Messi is a great player, Zigic, good when he chooses to be.

    • Andy W says:

      I agree with you Chris. Dan Is right in my view, that LC has to get on with the job whatever is happening behind the scenes otherwise we could well be left high and dry and it appears this is what he is doing. I must be honest, whilst I thank them for what they have achieved with us, both players I felt did not achieve anywhere near the consistency that they have previously shown, and I got the feeling that they had both just run out of steam, and given their ages is that so surprising? I am all for retaining experience but they have to be able to keep pace otherwise we become vulnerable and predictable. I think they may well stay with us, but I don’t think they will be the first names on the team sheet if a new manager takes over? But it’s nice to see a little bit of loyalty?

      • Chris W says:

        Unlike Robbo I think both Zig and Burke are in positions where we need youth with pace, I’m not saying they can’t do a job, but Burke especially, has become slow and predictable.
        Robbo was a leader on the pitch but seriously needs to watch his discipline as I feel his last suspension almost cost us relegation. His other two definitely cost us points.
        We need to rebuild now, but with our own players and not rely on loans, maybe one or two when we need alternative options as we used Ibe.
        Hopefully we won’t be so injury hit next season and Matt Green can show us what he can do at this level, we certainly lacked options up front, as we lacked a goal scorer of any note.

    • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

      Agree with all that.

  • Adam McDermott says:

    Would love Big Zig to stay, spoke to him on the school run and he’s a really nice genuine guy – I get the feeling he really loves BCFC and also the city – for his exploits in the Carling Cup he should certainly be remembered as a legend IMO.

  • Alan Francis says:

    Is there any news on Will Packwood?

  • Richard Granfield says:

    I had a dream last night that Blues was taken over by a rich British consortium and they had resigned Butland, Mutch, Redmond, Gardner and Martins.

  • Shirley Blue says:

    Not necessarily. He is 33 so pretty much at the end of his career. If his family are settled here (eg kids in school) why move if he can agree a deal. He has made his money over the last 4 years if not before. I don’t think he would accept £5k per week – it would probably be more like £15k. I have seen him in Solihull town centre a few times – there are worse places to live than some of the nicer parts of Solihull!

  • Southern Blue says:

    I think I read somewhere that he was keen to apply for UK citizenship and needs one more years residency to apply – so financial reward over the next 12 months may not be his main motivation. Does he still need to apply for a work permit though as Serbia is outside the EC. And would he get one as he hasn’t played for Serbia for a while?

    • EveshamBlue says:

      Good point about residency. Never met a footballer who wasn’t interested in his pay packet tho. Realistically I think it is clutching at straws to think Zigic only cares about Playing for Blues

  • Steve says:

    I think Ziggy will stay as he only needs another year to get residency i think.I think Burkes wife wants to go back to Scotland.Hopefully they will both stay. I don,t see the fuss about Olly Lee.Is Clark just doing his mate a favour?

  • Andrew says:

    best news all season, i mean it. irreplaceable at this level

    • Andrew says:

      burke is only questionable one, robbo although best years are long gone and i have never truly taken to him, has the ability to drive our team. like a carr. just good to have around the club i believe even if he don’t play much.

  • paule says:

    Personally i would love to see the big man in a Blues Kit next season, i also believe if the club gets sold & we can bring better quality players in we will see a better Zigic, this season it seemed like we had no ideas other than hoof it to Zigic & hope for the best. I would also be happy to keep Robinson & Burk but I’m afraid if Clark stays it will be the 1st time for as far back as i can remember i wont have a season ticket.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Zigic is a multi-millionaire, he doesn’t need to work again. After 4 years of receiving £60/65k per week I am sure he could struggle by with £5k per week.
    He will be 34 in September so there will be few suitors after his services.

  • mark says:

    Clark ethos working for the team glad the players are buying in to this……

  • Chas says:

    I am a bit late, due to not being able to get to the Poota, but if those three sign(Ziggy mainly) I will be happy.

  • Peter Skett says:

    If Ziggy has personal reasons to want to stay in Birmingham and is willing to take a pay cut (it would have to be substantially less than he’s been on) then it would be great to keep him. I think most of the criticisms leveled against him have been around whether he was value for the vast sums he was being paid. Make that more realistic and he would be good to keep. And given his goal-scoring record, who is going to want to take him on at higher wages?

  • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

    Id like to thank Lee and his staff for sorting the mess that is our contract situation out. Like him or loathe him he is a mans man who carries out the functions of his job diligently. He was even at the kids cup final a couple of days after Bolton. The passion that he clearly has for our club means a lot to me.

    • Tony says:

      Lee and his staff are a short time away from being sacked, Passion is a bit like patriotism last refuse of the scoundrel.

      • Stevei says:

        Utter nonsense Tony.

        • Art says:

          Clarks managerial record at STA.


          I think Tony has got it right and hopefully Clark will move on soon.

          • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

            Every decent player sold
            Working with loanees and kids
            Fans deserting in droves
            Rise of the anti Blues internet fan
            Director taking a £million a year out of club
            Owner/Major shareholder given 6 years nick

            Amazing job Lee. A mans man and a True Blue

          • OftenPartisan says:

            Nine home wins in forty six.
            Worst ever home season by points, wins attained and defeats
            Lowest ever points total to stay up (46 games)

            Sorry Paul, that’s not good enough. Carson doesn’t pick the team, Pannu doesn’t play players in the wrong positions and the fans don’t tinker with tactics every week. Clark might have worked under restrictions but he didn’t make the best of what he had either.

          • mark says:

            Daniel try looking forward instead of the past, hopefully Clark will have a wonderful season next season. He already getting prepared for next season….. hopefully not as many loanee and injuries as last season or players been ripped from us by their parent club only a few too mention..Hopefully this bring a consistent team selection..What people who fail to realize some of our young players were experiencing championship football and to them personally this was a massive learning curve….. i have read lots of articles by Clark who has basically beat himself regarding our results….. noted not once what the players let themselves down, with wrong decisions making, individual errors, maybe not playing at their 100% for what ever reason injuries to certain players…. imo i believe Clark sent them out well drilled, it is the players who failed to follow their instructions given…….once they are on the field of play very little a manager can do if they collectively as team or as individuals fail…it the.players who make the consistency. only three or four players were at their best this season..hopefully now they are battle harden…. .kro

          • OftenPartisan says:

            I don’t believe Clark will be manager next season

          • mark says:

            so Daniel playing caddis in midfield didn’t work?? is that your personal view he wont be here, or have you got facts he wont be
            Two ways Clark can leave sack or paid off….my gut feeling he will want another crack at it, and why not imo

          • OftenPartisan says:

            No, it didn’t mate – he wasn’t good there most of the time. You’ve got a blind spot for the positive – remember all the times you said Carson would walk free?

            Think about it. New owners this summer (that will happen), new start? I can’t see anything else.

          • mark says:

            sorry Daniel Carson opinion was was own opinion…….and yep he’s made appeal so you can never say never….to your question.
            players sometimes need time to apt to playing in different position sorry to say this cannot happen over night….it may take a season or two…….
            again new owners under a supposed dis-closure, know one know what agreements are thrashed out…..all hearsay until anything concluded…..we dont even have a time-scale buddy…

          • mark says:

            and neither did the players Daniel they are professional footballers some paid very well, maybe players attitudes came into Clark’s radar…and i would back him 100% regarding this issue…..

          • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

            When you have the squad we have and the budget we have you end up where we did. At one time we were 9th, couple of losses we were 15th. Sub standard players produce inconsistency. Of course the home record was pants but this was a very challenging season. Lee kept us up which is all I expected. When you were giving up publicly via your blog he didn’t. KRO Lee.

          • Art says:

            With respect Paul we survived by the skin of our teeth during the last match of the season in the 93rd minute-prior to then we lost 5 games on the bounce…in my opinion he must be the worst manager in the clubs history and the board will do him a personal favour by sacking him.

            Finally….do you honestly think that Clark has the fan support which will be key to the financial situation next season.?

          • Art says:

            I think you have catalogued beautifully the reasons why Lee Clark should move on.

          • AussieBlue says:

            Says it all Paul!

    • Art says:

      Pity he’s not a manager of men!

  • Tony says:

    Zigic is a big game player he scores important goals, some one said he had limited ability, well if his abilities are limited god help the rest of them.

  • Asif says:

    I would have liked it if howard was given a deal. Rate him in this league. Glad the big spenders have gone. Regarding zigic he is a lege. But sentiment aside i wouldnt keep him. Unless he accepts wages in line. I hope clark can get in bosmans asap. Or the board relieve him and het someone in asap.

  • mark says:

    well well a few fans still giving out the bile………fantastic news hopefully all three agree their payments in line with blues pay structure…………..oh dear good to see the happy happy crew in tonight lol………Like before Clark our great leader take no notice of the few silly comments calling for your head utter jealousy because they cannot pick on some else just yet lol……you carry on working extremely well in bcfc interests…..kro

  • mark says:

    it is wonderful testament to Clark that he is getting the best out the big man since he told the player who’s boss. Great to see Ziggy thoughts are about the team ethos rather than himself…..Clark’s done very well to instill this into the big man game…..
    if we can sign him up for cheap as chips and he avoid injuries he can still be a great assets to bcfc

  • Raymondo says:

    When does anything ever turn out exactly as we proposed or predicted? It will be different again next season. Let’s hope it’s for the better. Out of darkness cometh light. K R O.

  • FatRaz says:

    I’m from the States and have never stepped foot in England. So when people don’t understand why I love Birmingham City FC so much and don’t support an MLS club or at least a “Bigger” club I am at a loss since I feel like I didn’t so much choose the Blues as much as Blues chose me, so to speak. So from now on I will just quote Paul Robinson….. “This club gets into your blood…….” and be done with it. His love of the club is a testament to the passion and resilience of Bluenoses everywhere. Glad he was signed back.

    • AussieBlue says:

      FatRaz…you’ve nailed it there cousin! I did grow up in Birmingham but now live in Australia. You can’t beat the spirit and character of The Blues. The fans are a world apart from most other big-city clubs because they’ve had to live with only very occasional major successes; a passing parade of owners and a nasty whiff when the wind blows from Witton way. Yes, it does get in your blood and stays there. It sometimes gets up your nose too but can easily be forgiven! Keep Right On…..

    • Chas says:

      I was on the Underground in New York a few years ago ,wearing my Blues hat and a Young Bloke asked me if it was BCFC . I asked him how he knew and he said he followed English Football and looked for Blues results as we had signed the Yank forward (whose name I forget.).We get around pretty well for one of the lower Teams :-)

  • AussieBlue says:

    Dan, couldn’t you find a shorter player to recommend for a statue outside St Andrew’s? Paul Caddis is a good foot shorter than Nicky and would cost less in materials. ;-)

  • Royalblue says:

    Hi Dan,

    Enjoyed the blog as usual. I would love Zigic to say for another year on the right money. He brings a different element to our attacking play and opposition defenders hate the sight of him! He scored one and made the second of the goals that kept us in the Championship just like the cup final win. I take some small comfort from the depressing state of the club that at least some efforts are being made to hold on to a few of our better players. Of course that does not mean will keep them as we have no idea what terms they are being offered.

    I took most heart from your final paragraph and you alluding to to something positive happening in the not too distant future. I hope so. We need new owners in as quickly as possible. Clark or his replacement need as much time as possible to rebuild our threadbare squad for next season to make sure we are well clear of the relegation places come next May.

    Let your heart beat strong and all that

  • beegeeblueboy says:

    It would cost more to replace Burke and Zigic like for like than you might think. One a talismatic match winner and the other the only outlet for our wing play. If we could get them for a combined £30k-£40k it would be good business

  • Threadman2 says:

    Call me an old cynic, It feels like a ruse to influence season ticket sales , after the home campaign we’ve just “endured” I suspect s/ticket sales will be down and with no money to spend for the foreseeable future so using the old “in talks with a prospective signings” trick hard to swallow, the next best is to have us believe a cult hero like big Zig will take a fifty grand a week pay cut! I hope he stays, but I’ll believe it when I see it .

    • Chris W says:

      I think the “To stay” headlining is a bit premature. The club are going to offer them new contracts, now whether they sign them or not is another question.
      I would prefer to sign someone like Ibe than Burke, he let himself and the club down a few times last season, I got the impression he and a few others didn’t want to play either for LC or the club so inept were there performances. Could be wrong, but that is how I saw things at some games.

  • Rick says:

    Remember when we had Marlon King? He was on of the best strikers i’ve seen, he may have been a bad person but he knew where the net was. I agree that we need an agile, fast striker, as Ziggy dosen’t really cut it in those areas.

  • Owen Alexander says:

    It is vital we keep Ziggy, the service was shocking for the lad last season and when people say he was ‘lazy’ I think it was more frustration at his team mates. I am a man that does not like change, like Dan, and it will be a sad day when Ziggy departs. The moments and emotions he has caused me are unreal, the carling cup final, the 4 goals at Leeds, the contribution to keep as up at Bolton. Really nice, down to earth guy aswell who has BCFC in his heart well and truly. I honestly think Ziggy is the best striker in the league other than Austin, Ings, and McCormack, and I am not just saying that, I mean it. He isn’t too far off the 6 million price tag we paid for him in 2010, he has lost a yard of pace but the technical side of him is still there, he just needs the players around him, a fast hitman in particular which Matt Green will offer next season I assure you. I also agree with people in favour of releasing Burky as he has lost pace. But fellow bluenoses should really take a closer look at our young local lad Damarai Gray. Honestly should be given a chance next season as I think he has a VERY bright future ahead of him. He has shown remarkable development recently and I think he should be thrown in the deep end despite being just 17, he is fast, can beat a man, reminds me of Redmond in many ways but of course he is not the finished article. I am also shocked to see people slating into Lee Clark on here, I don’t really know whats going on in there head but that is a ridiculous thing to say like “not purchasing my season ticket next year”. He showed passion and commitment when things got tough and brought in good loanees I thought when we needed them in the form of Macheda, Huws and Ibe. Would be mad to get rid of him! I have full respect for Lee Clark and I hope he remains at St. Andrews for the foreseeable future. I think people are forgetting that we are still on a tight, if not tighter budget than last season but I honestly trust Lee Clark in rebuilding the team. I think he will bring in some sturdy Bosman transfers (Grounds and that dutch geezer? can’t argue with that) and hopefully a lot less loans like others said unless LC thinks we need them. Hopefully a new investor will give us a but to work with and then we should be in good stead for stability in the Championship (maybe more depending on the calibre of owner). I may be acting a bit too upbeat but those goals by Ziggy and Caddis could have saved our club- I call bright times ahead!

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