Often Partisan

Dreams, Nightmares and Stability

I don’t know if anyone else does this, but on the odd occasion I buy a lottery ticket I tend to look at the jackpot and daydream what I would do with the winnings. Pay off debts, buy things, travel – you know the sort of thing. Of course, come lottery draw time I rarely get a correct number let alone the jackpot and those dreams remain dreams but even so I think about it wistfully.

I’ve seen a lot of that in the last couple of days since the announcement about “indicative non-binding offers” and “British/North American consortiums”. I think it’s only natural for Blues fans to dream of multi-zillionaire owners – especially when one considers that Blues have been struggling for investment for some time. Already I’ve seen all kinds of names bandied around with people looking at the mega-rich and hoping that they’re going to rock up to St Andrew’s with a chequebook and an insane desire to recreate their “Football Manager” Champions League winning side in the flesh.

Equally, I’ve also seen the equivalent of people who claim the lottery is a waste of money – the pessimists. People who are sceptical that there is even a bid in play, that anyone is interested in the club and see all this news as a cynical ploy to help push up season ticket sales when they finally come out on Friday. Instead of daydreaming they’re having persistent nightmares of money being suctioned out of their pockets by a faceless Hong Kong/Chinese company and won’t be happy until BIH has literally been ridden out of town on a rail.

I’m in neither camp personally. I know that the bid exists and am confident that it is progressing in the manner it should but I’m not wildly excited by who might be buying us. I can’t help but think about all the people who have complained about how David Sullivan et al should have checked out Carson Yeung/Grandtop more thoroughly before selling to them and hoping that BIH are doing that. I know BIH need the money and will be fairly anxious to push the deal through but I do hope that will not be at the expense of ensuing that the people coming in a) have the capital to invest in the club for a sustained period of time and b) have the right people in responsible positions to manage the club when they come in – particularly as the Owners and Directors test employed by the PL/FL seems so ineffective.

I can accept that having money and being willing to spend it are two completely different things and that it may be difficult to ascertain if a new investor will be willing to stick around for the long haul rather than “pump and dump” but I think it should be imperative for BIH – particularly as they will have to work with them for a while that they ensure that the people coming in are “football” people and understand just how unlike a regular business running a football club is. What I don’t want is a situation a couple of years down the line where we’re in trouble again because of a fresh controversy and having watched the goings-on at Leeds from afar I do worry that that could happen to us.

What it comes down to is I think for some people “anyone is better than BIH”; I can’t agree. Despite all the financial woes the club itself isn’t in a bad position – almost debt free and with a very streamlined operation – and it could be a very good investment for someone if they are prepared to put in a bit of time and a fair chunk of cash. Is it too much to hope that our next owners will look to stabilise the club for a while?

Talking Points sponsored by John Hicken Industrial roofing and cladding materials

96 Responses to “Dreams, Nightmares and Stability”

  • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

    I want and as a club we deserve a new owner who will put at least £20mill into the squad. If we believe that whoever buys it will be pursuing a business model rather than a hobby then I see no alternative course of action for them. We need at least that to turn us into promotion contenders and Lee should be given the opportunity to manage with the new funds if and when they come.

    • fingles says:

      Lee should be given…………… I’m out!

    • stu123456789 says:

      I wouldn’t give Lee £20 to buy players. The players he has paid a fee for are some of the worst i have seen at St Andrews

    • Pete says:

      £20m? We deserve it? Get a grip. You know what I would like more than anything next season. Two things…. 1) Stability again. 2) Proper support and fans, who help the team and do not hinder it. I do not think there is any coincidence in our negative, lowly support that as soon as losing a game has berated the team at home and the woeful form we have had. I blame Clark and I blame the board for certain aspects- but support is the area fans could have made a difference, yet this is has been woeful at home.

      It think this is best summed up by a fans ringing up Tim Ross in April, and the one who I quote said about a Zigic substitution “I normally boo Zigic, but even I did not want him taken off.” What does this say about our fans? What does the nerves our fans have had tell us? The reactions when going a goal down and trying to lift the team? I know this will wind people up and it is not meant to provoke those genuine supporters, BUT how can the fact we have lost 15,000 fans off our gates and the ones left leave the place like a morgue means our fans deserve this. I look at Portsmouth and Rangers and think they deserve more. What have we done?

      My son cannot understand when I explain it used to be really exciting and passionate at the club. That is the one thing we have had control of and many have just used this as a reason to stop supporting. How can this show us as fans who support through thick and thin and deserve more? Is there any club who wont think they deserve more? Probably not, but many of them can evidence better support than we have shown.

      So Paul- my honest views is we have been sadly lacking. Just give me stability and proper support again.

      • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

        Spot on.

        You need investment to achieve that. To the tune of £20 mill imo

        • Pete says:

          Paul- you clearly do not read my point. If you think we deserve more and the only way we can have decent support is by being big spenders- then we do NOT deserve it All you seem to want to do is shout that you are a better fan than everyone else and then insist that we should have a billionaire backing as it is not fair if we don’t. A non-selling culture and a couiple of million will mean the club is now stable, but the fans need to come back if we are meant to have half decent fans. Not just those who turn up for a cup final or play offs.

  • Thongs says:

    “but I’m not wildly excited by who might be buying us”

    The key phrase here.

    Who is then?

    • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

      How can Dan be wildly excited when he doesn’t know who is buying us?

      • Thongs says:

        I agree, strange comment if he doesn’t know. I don’t know but i’m excited. Are you excited Paul?

        • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

          As soon as I see your name on here I get excited

          • Thongs says:

            You’re not alone. But in reality change from what we have must also be raising your pecker. it would be odd to prefer to keep the status quo…i.e. going nowhere!

          • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

            Have you ever seen Dan in a state of wild excitement before Fongy? My pecker has been fully raised since news of the bid broke.

            You’re right about Status Quo, nice guys but not for me.

          • Thongs says:

            Yes I have seen Dan wildly excited…..we go way back. There was pizza involved though.

          • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

            You love him don’t you?

          • Thongs says:

            Only physically…..jealous?

          • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

            A bit although he hates me with all his heart. Anyhow I’m no match for an adonis in a thong bringing pizza.

  • fingles says:

    I am not sure if you are writing this having some knowledge of who the consortium is or just expressing your thoughts like the rest of us with fingers crossed.You indicated some time ago the ‘nationality’ of 5 bidders,but nothing more, and no indication since if those 5 were actually the bidders or if that changed. We are all in the dark still.

  • mark says:

    Or we can go glazer family way rip Mr glazer……millions in loans massively in debt in real time their fans moan but would any of those utd fans turn back the clock…..IMO bet they wouldn’t………

  • Blue&White says:

    Until it’s signed on the dotted line then we can both hope and also worry. Lets wait and see what happens and judge the new guys as and when.

    I can imagine there is a lot to be done in terms of the sale agreement – as buying 25% now is one thing… but god forbid if we ‘did a Burnely’ and got promoted on a shoestring, BIH might then want a premier league price for whatever bits are left 12 months down the line.

    I know it’s all ifs and buts at the moment but lets just hope (in the words of a famous song) the soothing light at the end of the tunnel, isn’t just a freight train coming our way!!!

  • Luke Bowen says:

    Good post Dan.

    I think it comes down to aspirations – what do we want for the club? Probably, for most of us, the answer to this is to not be left behind the clubs we see as our rivals – obviously Villa, the Baggies, Stoke and so on.

    The negativity towards BIH isn’t necessarily because of the way they run the club, although the lack of communication is frustrating. I think it’s more to do with the results. When we got relegated with McLeish, we shouldn’t have been – the squad was perfectly capable of surviving and Carson will probably feel that he’d provided enough money to ensure survival. If we’d stayed up that season, who knows what would have followed – all the maths would be very different.

    So now, regardless of who’s fault it is, the club needs to re-boot – some new money, decent young talent and, IMO, a manager with a plan.

    I know some people want the Sultan of Brunei or similar to come in with squillions of dollars, but I don’t. I know Chelsea fans who freely admit that their club has bought success and that it therefore counts less.

    • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

      All clubs buy success.

      • Luke Bowen says:

        If you do it whilst turning a profit, it’s not buying success. If you accept massive losses in the name of a league title (like Blackburn, Chelsea, Man City, PSG, Real Madrid…) it’s buying success. I’m no fan of Michel Platini on most things, but I agree with him that this use of a football team as a billionaire’s play-thing is devaluing the sport and is tantamount to cheating.

        • Andy says:

          The fact is that the game has changed and the stakes are different – the figures showing wage bills against club turnover prove this.

          In modern football success can only be bought at a high price. If we want success (and surely that’s what we all want), we need to accept that the club needs to be bought by someone with LOTS of money who is willing to throw it into a black hole. Depressing but true…

          There’s only one way to make a small fortune running a football club – start with a big fortune.

          • Luke Bowen says:

            That depends on what your definition of success is. No massive debts at Swansea, for example.

          • Andy says:

            Fair point. Success as a concept is subjective and would change over time.

            For me, right now, I would say success looks like Premier League football and beating the Villa. From there, you would be looking at a Europa place, winning domestic cups, and beating the Villa. Then Champs League place, competing for winning the Prem, and beating the Villa.

            As you can probably tell, I am one of the Lottery daydreamers Dan refers to.

          • Chris W says:

            Burnley didn’t buy success, whether they survive on a shoestring in the Premiership remains to be seen, but they don’t have huge debts.
            Would Blues supporters be happy with promotion and a season or two struggling, or would they be happy competing equally with everyone else in the league, growing slowly without amassing debts or high wage bills?
            KRO+DNM

        • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

          That’s not what you said though

      • Chas says:

        Here you are Paul, I agree with you comp-lately on this.

    • Mr Blue Sky says:

      Carson didn’t provide any money.
      Strikers generally keep you up, McLeish was left with Jerome who the season before had spent time on the subs bench.
      Even if we stayed up, the huge hole in our finances would have required a sale of key players.
      BIHL didn’t run the club, they ruined it.

      • Luke Bowen says:

        And Zigic. And Martins.

      • Chas says:

        Carson did supply money. Just think back to the Players we had at Wembley but then were injured or forgot how to play. He might be accused of a lot, but not funding players isn’t one of those things.

        • Flying Doctor says:

          The money was provided by Sky, not Carson

          • Luke Bowen says:

            That’s the point. If the board reinvests a large amount of the revenue back into the team to try to protect that revenue stream, but then gets relegated anyway, you fall into the abyss. Some of the decisions they made were wrong, but I’m pretty sure they thought they were reinvesting enough of the revenue to survive. I can remember the boys on MOTD repeatedly saying that season that our squad was too good to go down.

          • Chas says:

            Thanks Luke. Poster moan about CY pocketing the money but forget about these Players who had to be paid.

      • tmsblues says:

        I am no supporter of the present regime as their amateurish and often negligent approach to running the club is clear. They lacked basic business acumen and therefore we’ll considered plans too. However re relegation… I would say that On the contrary cy did spend and in an effort to preserve prem status he threw money at it just to maintain his dream. In the end the mgt and players let him and us down and the dreamer had no plan b!

    • Agent McLeish says:

      Errr, the negativity with BIHL is ONLY due to the way the club is run. The results are a consequence of this.

      • Luke Bowen says:

        I’m not sure that’s right. Hindsight is often a game of opinions and ours differ.

        I can’t accept that we got one point less than Wolves (in 2010-11) because of the ethos of the board. Football is all about margins. For example – we drew 1-1 with Wolves at Stans that season – if we’d won 1-0, we would have survived. Was Wolves’ goal the fault of the board?

        If the club had continued to survive, the numbers would all look very different now and, I think, we would be a happier bunch.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of the current owners, but I can recognise that they were as much victims of bad luck (and a dose of naivety) as they were the culprits of mismanagement.

        • Chris W says:

          If we had survived and CY invested on the success of the League cup he would still have been up on laundering charges and the last two years would have still happened. Difference is we would probably have had higher wages, possibly deeper in debt and administration would have more likely have happened.
          Events over a season decide the fate of a clubs league status, if Doncasters game with Charlton had not been abandoned and the result stood, 3-1 to Donny we would have been relegated.
          The players thought winning the cup over Arsenal made them invisible, towards the end of the season and, similar to our home form this season, the players or managers could not find a solution to halt the form.
          KRO+DNM

          • Oldburyblue says:

            They certainly played like they were invisible….they couldn’t find each other with passes, that’s for sure!

          • Chris W says:

            :-) should have been invincible, but you are right so many passes went to no one during both campaigns.
            KRO+DNM

          • Luke Bowen says:

            That kind of ignores the difference in revenues between the Championship and the Prem which, for teams that are near that threshold, is the whole point of just about everything.

          • Chris W says:

            Not trying to compare revenues Luke, whether we had stayed in the premiership or not CY was still being investigated for laundering and as such would still have been charged and sentenced leaving us in the same position.
            We would have still had high earners to sell and maybe sustained our existence longer but the end would still be the same, no money and BIHL being forced to sell.
            KRO+DNM

          • Luke Bowen says:

            No. Dan made it clear throughout the excruciatingly long legal battle that no money was being taken out of the club to support Carson, his personal debts or his legal team. Our revenues would have been significantly higher had we remained in the Prem, independent to and regardless of Carson’s situation.

          • Chris W says:

            Our revenue would have been higher but so too our wages, we would have had to maintain 5 or 6 Ziggy’s wages plus.
            Once CY had his assets frozen he was unable to finance any investment and could not find anyone else to invest.
            Not sure where he got the money for his trial, probably from the triads, and don’t care.
            If he had been a good honest owner with a sound business acumen things may have been different, we are in this current predicament because of CY’s unlawful activities regardless of league status.
            KRO+DNM

          • Luke Bowen says:

            Teams can and do survive in the Premier League whilst making an operating profit, i.e. revenue is greater than cost. It is perfectly feasible that, had Blues survived, they could have continued to operate as a competitive team,without the need for any additional funding from CY. His assets being frozen would not have had an impact so long as the club had remained profitable. Relegation meant that costs outstripped revenue and CY’s financial predicament then came into play. If you believe that it is necessary to continually inject new money into Premier League teams just to keep them going, then you obviously disagree with one as-yet-unnamed US investment fund manager.

          • Chris W says:

            If you look at the transfer budgets of the Premier clubs, managers given £100+ m to buy players, just to compete for the Champions league places. Then look at those who had zero to a few million budgets, Hull, Norwich, Cardiff, Albion. There were a some successes, Swansea and Crystal Palace both invested reasonably without going into debt, but Blues will never have the fan base of Sunderland or Newcastle, both generate millions from revenue but both owners failed to invest last season and were lucky to finish where they did, and both clubs fans deemed their seasons a failure.
            There always has to be investment, even at home you have to improve by decorating, gardening, updating, this is all investment, as long as it is sustainable if things go belly up, redundancy or a burst pipe, at home you insure against such problems, in football you cannot.
            KRO+DNM

          • Luke Bowen says:

            I agree.

        • tmsblues says:

          Absolutely right it was the mgt and players who failed not the board.

  • Mineheadblue says:

    We just need to know! FOR GODS, SAKE DELAY NO MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • mark says:

    Daniel I nearly thought I won the lottery last week but I was 6 number out lol

  • Chris W says:

    A fine article Dan expressing your thoughts as most of us have done over the past week.
    You obviously have access to more information than we do, but get the feeling you are as much in the dark to what is actually happening or with whom, doubt you are on top Peter Pannu’s dialling list for inside information.
    Over the last two years BIHL has lost too much credibility to remain in control of BCFC, no investment, best players sold for a song, all the delays with accounts but more importantly the contempt they have shown to the people who put their hard earned cash into the club, the supporters.
    I liked what the GSG regime did for the club; they plucked us from the jaws of Administration, upgraded the ground and made the club financially stable. As in any relationship we are never going to agree, but they did not deserve the fallout that ensued, they sold the club to someone who was prepared to pay well over the top, that was not the their fault, anyone would snap the hand off if someone offered twice the value of something’s worth.
    Once again we need to steady the ship and rebuild, obviously we are going to have to compete immediately, therefore the wage structure needs to be increased to a competitive level, we need our own players so a transfer kitty has to be in place.
    When the supporters see this happening then season ticket sales, sponsorship deals and advertising will instantly increase and the belief will return.

    KRO+DNM

    • Oldbluenose says:

      Once again Chris, I fully endorse your comments, mate.

    • tmsblues says:

      Spot on in relation to stability and steady growth. However the USA money if it is there will come from investors looking for a return. They will not be really interested in Bcfc as fans but just as a means to an end.

    • Leon Tostevin-Green says:

      Chris I would hope the new owners would enjoy themselves as well. Get something out of the club develop the youth setup as well as GSG style cold hard cash.

      • Chris W says:

        If things go well on the pitch, supporters will but their money into the club, it will encourage investors and then they will make money so yes, they will be happy too.
        Whatever happens has to be an improvement on what we have at the moment, many are already planning a relegation party and we don’t even know the fixtures.
        KJRO+DNM

  • Big Al says:

    BIH deserve some credit for supporting the development of the Women’s team. Imagine if the blokes had achieved what they’ve done!?

  • Richard Barron says:

    I hear the same from fans of our neighbours. Everyone thinks they are going to become the new Man City – not going to happen. Now the FFP are here; the days of owners bankrolling their clubs to success are over otherwise there will be penalties. Just a stable Premiership side enjoying cup runs, and maybe another European adventure will do me fine.

  • Oldburyblue says:

    I would prefer long term investment but to be honest wouldn’t mind what Dan calls “pump & dump” as long as the new owners were able to sell, making a big profit, simply because of the success brought to the Club during their tenure. Owners, managers and players come and go. WE are BCFC not them.

    • Thongs says:

      “Pump and dump”…”s***” or get off the pot”…I think Dan is trying to compete with SHA’s STD’s toilet reports.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    A investment entity I know about in North America specialises in acquiring or investing in smaller and middle market companies that have meaningful opportunities for growth.
    They realise that they are not industry experts, that is the job of their management team partners (British consortium in our case).
    Their aim is to re-capitalise a company and help it grow to the next level. Their motivation is that they make money with the help of their management partners when the company grows and develops into a more valuable company. They then have the option of selling their interest at a profit.

    • Oldbluenose says:

      Let us hope and pray that our new owners [ if it comes to pass ], will adopt the strategy you outline, Richard.

    • AussieBlue says:

      Spot on Richard. That’s how private equity and hedge funds work. There is always an exit strategy – at a good return.

    • tmsblues says:

      Absolutely right Richard if there are venture capitalists from the USA involved that’s how they’ll operate.probably on a 5 year plan when they have the option to exit. They will be tough taskmasters for the managenet to please and so mega budgets are unlikely. However their objective is to grow the company to the next level ie the prem and then most likely exit!

  • What Do I Know..... says:

    The company I work for is now owned by an American Investment Group and was previously owned by a UK Investment Group. These groups all work to a 5 year plan and invest money to improve the base model they buy. The people who purchased the business I work for at the start of 2014 has already purchased 3 other companies to add to our network. So In football terms I would expect that if it is an investment group backing the GB consortium that they would invest on the playing staff & club facilities before looking to sell at a profit 5 years down the line.

    • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

      Are you trying to tell us that the investment company who own your company may be involved mate?

      • What Do I Know..... says:

        No not at all. People were discussing long term strategy. I was just trying to clarify how investment groups work.

        • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

          Ah OK. I don’t think that model would be such a bad thing as they would have to invest to get us into the prem to make their dough. Yep that’ll do me.

          • What Do I Know..... says:

            Totally agree. Athough their aim may be to make it like “Derby”. Fill the stadium and invest in youth and it is still worth a damn site more than it was before without HUGE investment.

  • david village says:

    We have dream ..but we also have a future that needs some success in it to make us
    Feel that democracy works …life is like a child ..if a child was born grown up then the
    relationship wouldn’t be as good ,as the growing up period is what makes a relationship strong as we age together …as a club is only as strong as its income .l
    had a premanition that the new owners will be football men or fans with a very wealthy
    family of backers that treat every one like family and pride thereselves on giving good
    value ,all are successful in life …so come on peter pannu let’s get this deal done as we
    are building up steam and ready to roll …keep right on

    • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

      Dreams can come true mate

    • Chris W says:

      Fair point, the income has to come from the fan base and not selling potential starlets for a loss or on the cheap just to survive.

      Blues has a fan base, look at Bolton after the season we have endured or Wembley when we enjoying some success.
      Unfortunately, under both regimes relationships strained, both for different reasons but the main factors were a lack of investment. The former not wanting to go into debt, the latter to stave off debt.
      In the modern format owners need to bond with the supporters, realistic prices, I thought last season was excessive for what we had to endure, the £10 tickets were a bargain, competitive wage structure to entice the right type of player and entertaining football that gets the supporter on the edge of the seats.
      It is not about winning every game, as much as we all like too, but the way we lose, when we do, a team that fights for the badge, too many times last season when we conceded first heads dropped. On two occasions did the supporters show any dismay by booing the players off, but that was more frustration with LC than the players themselves, for the main supporters chose to stay away, it is those who need to be enticed back, not an easy task under the current circumstances.
      KRO+DNM

  • mark says:

    I believe Matthew sadler available?

  • BluBoi14 says:

    “I’m in neither camp personally. I know that the bid exists and am confident that it is progressing in the manner it should but I’m not wildly excited by who might be buying us”.

    This concerns me!

    Assuming the info you have is correct, I’m hoping these negotiations end in stalemate, thus opening the door for other interested parties.

  • Art says:

    First priority must be a new manager!

    A new manager will want to bring in his own players.

  • ian says:

    bcfc ladies was formed in 1968, think carson was learned to cut hair at the time.

  • EddieBirmingham says:

    18 – 26 – 32 – 36 – 40 – 45
    and José Mourinho

  • Brian Kenwrick says:

    and so now we know who the preferred bidders are

  • Oldbluenose says:

    Jeremy Wray, ex Swindon Town chairman, — Quoted in the Mail, as part of the group seeking purchase of Blues, ?.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Mail reporting that former Swindon Town Chairman Jeremy Wray is heading the British consortium. Wray is the brother of Betfair co-founder Edward Wray!

  • Luke Bowen says:

    Hope he doesn’t bring Di Canio with him…

  • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

    What was that you were saying yesterday Dan that of course there are NDAs in place :)

  • Richard Granfield says:

    If Wray’s consortium is successful, Paulo D’Canio his manager at Swindon will be odds on to become manager!

    • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

      Paulo would be a good fit in so many ways but unfortunately he’s a fascist and as such I couldn’t countenance him at the helm of my club thank you.

  • Gary says:

    You’re not excited by who could be taking us over that sounds bad in other words they are not going to be much better than these people that are in charge now.The thing is if blues want to attract fans back they need owners with a decent amount of money that are prepared to spend a bit too whether we like it or not that’s the way fans want there teams to be these day’s. But if nobody seems know who this possible mystery buyer is how do you OP I know you won’t say who you think it is but why are you not excited about them taking over there has got to be a reason mate any chance you could say.


Personalised Gifts for a Bluenose
Haircuts and League Cups
Open Tax Services
Corporate Solutions UK
PJ Planning
Rodal Heating

Archives