Often Partisan

Guarded Optimism

Peter Day of the Soccer Management Worldwide consortium told the Birmingham Mail last night that they were “ready to do the deal”  to buy a stake in the club. However, there is a strong indication from Hong Kong that there may be added complications to the deal due to the HKSE apparently making preliminary enquiries about various aspects of BIH’s corporate governance.

I have to admit that like many people, I’m a little bit tired of the long drawn out saga the sale of the club has become. It seems like every time we take a step forwards, two are taken back as more hurdles are placed in the way of a sale and I can understand those who are sceptical that even a part sale of the club will take place. After being confident towards the end of the season just gone that a deal was going to happen I feel more pessimistic than ever that we will have new investment by the start of the upcoming season.

SMW are confident that they can do a deal; they have done the bulk of the due diligence they require and are positive with respect to the level of financial backing that they have. Peter Day told the Mail

“We are ready to do the deal, as and when, subject to the price being agreed,”

having already made an “indicative, non-binding offer” for a 24% stake in Birmingham City PLC, the UK parent of the football club which BIH owns 96.64% of. In lay terms, that means they will have agreed a rough ball park figure but will now want to refine that properly having seen all the pertinent financial information – and of course there is always the chance that bid could be rejected – BIH only ever confirmed receiving the offer, nothing more.

Having thought about it, I don’t think the HKSE would block the sale completely; judging on past performance with respect to the lifting of the suspension of trading in BIH shares it’s evident that the HKSE allowed it in the end but only after making BIH jump through a few hoops and I suspect that is what will happen again; ie the sale won’t be blocked but just delayed a little further and maybe there will be more twists and turn to come in the saga.

What all that means in real terms is that Blues will have to continue as they have been; six players now have come in (Grounds, Hall, Gleeson, Thomas, Edgar, and Gunning) with potentially another four to follow in the coming days; Clark is very much trying to get a full squad together in time for the start of pre-season. There is an emphasis on bringing in players on permanent deals due to the issues with loan players being recalled last season and I think Clark will work with a much more compact squad, forcing him to be more consistent in his team selection and relying on youth rather than panic signings.

I actually think this is positive in some ways; if Clark can get them pulling together and at least competing in the division, then maybe investment will come in time to kick on in the second half of the season and the club can work towards a more stable footing. As much as I’ve seen criticism of who Clark has brought in they are all a good age (26, 22, 25, 27, 27 and 23 respectively) and all have the potential to grow in stature and value with the club – which will benefit it in the medium to long-term.

I’m also feeling more positive about SMW. Day’s words seem circumspect and guarded; rather than go for the hyperbolic and excited approach like Paladini did which masked his complete failure to even agree a ballpark figure with BIH – regardless of what Paladini says, no announcement was made to the stock exchange. Day appears to be trying to do things in the right manner and that speaks well for SMW. I’m still sceptical with respect to their backing as there was a lot of gossip in some quarters about where they were – or more to the point weren’t – getting their funding from but I think we will have to wait and see if the deal progresses further before making a judgement.

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233 Responses to “Guarded Optimism”

  • DoctorD says:

    One general positive thing is the overall upturn in the UK economy. It’s a pojnt worth bearing in mind.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    My prediction is that Gavin Gunning (in particular) will quickly become a fan’s favourite. He is quite a character, has pace,sound in the tackle and has a ferocious shot with his left foot.
    I welcome all the new signings to the club and urge all fans to keep an open mind and judge them only when they have seen them play.

    • Staffs Blue says:

      I was reading the Dundee United boards the other day and, the concencus was that he’s a good player, but a bit of a loose cannon, a mentalist, a bit like Robbo I would assume. :-)

      • Chris W says:

        He only received one straight red and four yellows in the league so not too bad for a defender, he may teach Robbo a thing or two.
        KRO+DNM

  • Kaje says:

    The players are all of the right ages, but my major concern is that IF the takeover goes through before the window closes and money is made available, Clark will have already filled the team with League One standard players and won’t have the squad room to bring in 3 or 4 quality signings.

    • Tony says:

      Kaje That is my concern too.

    • geraldsquires says:

      pirlos 35 is he not

    • OftenPartisan says:

      Sorry, but thats bunk, players can always be farmed out on loan/released.

      • Kaje says:

        I disagree that it’s ‘bunk’. He would hardly tell three or four of the free signings that they’re not needed this season as we can now pay transfer fees! Likewise, we don’t really have anyone from last season young enough to send out on loan without being really unfair on them!

    • Pete says:

      What should he do then- not sign anyone in the hope he can get someone in Jan if a deal goes through in the next 4 or 5 weeks? He can always improve the squad later, which is what managers always try and do.

      • Kaje says:

        My point is that he may not be able to improve the squad later due to having already signed a glut of players. We may be in a position where we have the money of a Championship club, but be unable to spend and be stuck with pre-signed League One players.

        • Pete says:

          And my point is still what is he supposed to do? We ar where we are and he is doing the right thing, so why moan about what is not happening yet. Just support the club, team and manager. He is buying what he can. If the position changes he will be allowed to buy maybe.

          • Kaje says:

            Once again, you’ve missed my point – evidenced by your final line. He won’t have squad space to buy if he continues to fill it with League One frees.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            As far as I’m aware, squad numbers haven’t been finalised, so there’s plenty of room for manoeuvre within the squad. Some of the kids could spend a few months out on loan.

          • Kaje says:

            Which kids? To farm Hancox, Reilly or Packwood out on loan would be grossly unfair following last season’s form, and the rest would be sent out on loan anyway as they didn’t play much of a part this season.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            We were left with 16 first teamers this summer, including Packwood, Reilly and Hancox. Take away Zigic, Burke and Packwood, that leaves 13. There’s no guarantee that Eardly and Green will be ready for the new season, that leaves us with 11.. plus kids. Pretty obvious we need to get players in, with only a few weeks to go until PST.

          • Pete says:

            A) Packwood is not on our books. B) Reilly and Hancox are rightly part of a our squad on merit. C) We have practically no squad. D) Would it do harm for Arthur, Grey, Brown, Fry, and maybe even Reilly to go on loan to a league one or champ club to get experience. This is what football clubs do- but you seem to be oblivious to this.

          • Pete says:

            And once again- you are missing the bigger picture. You have two choices- do not buy anyone in case you get limited money later and know you will have a squad insufficient at competing OR buy now and deal with the probs later if there are any. HE HAS TO PLAN FOR THE SITUATION HE IS NOW IN, NOT WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN AND WHAT MIGHT THEN NOT BE ALLOWED IN HYPOTHETICAL WORLD!!!
            But just because they are bosmans you have already written them off by the sound of it anyway….. great….

  • Tony says:

    Must admit to being totally perplexed by this latest development, I was under the impression HKSE Could not prevent a sale, who are they do dictate that?. If BIH sold blues in one fell swoop then they would lose their listing ok fair enough thats up to BIH what concern is it of hkse, and why two years after the event do they want to step in now
    Seems like one enormous con trick talk about pedantic this is now farcical or more farcical than ever, how do people do business in that place?. sick and tired of it now.

    • AussieBlue says:

      Tony,
      BIHL are well and truly on the naughty step with HKSE. One of the privileges of being publicly listed is accessing public funds. As such, there are stringent rules and acts to adhere to. BIHL have breached these many times, such as not filing accounts, and were suspended. Now they’re trading again, the HKSE has them under the microscope for compliance…so they do have the power to say what can and can not happen…in the interests of shareholders in BIHL first and BCFC fans second (or 10th)

      • Tony says:

        OK Aussie I do of course bow to your superior knowledge. Many thanks

        • AussieBlue says:

          No worries Tony and I bow to your love of the Blues. It’s really frustrating for all of us but, not to put too fine a point on it – our beloved Club is now merely an ‘asset’ of BIHL (almost its only one), to be used (or abused?) in order to salvage BIHL’s HKSE listing, put money back into the coffers to service debt, and permit this previously poorly managed public company to move into other business activities. I do however take heart in that a line in the sand appears to have been drawn, enabling the football club to prepare for next season (‘Business as Usual’ as Dan wrote); while keeping arm’s length from the awful situation in Hong Kong. I also applaud the HK authorities for taking action that should reveal all of the hidden truths. There’s a fork in the road ahead; let’s look forward to keeping right on that one!

  • geraldsquires says:

    they were the prefered bidder were they not? this clearly indicates that a bid will not be the sticking point here rather the means of payment shall we say

    • Staffs Blue says:

      This was my thinking. Surely SMW must have been, at least, close to the figure BIHL were asking, for them to even be granted permission to do the due diligence? Otherwise, why would either party waste their time and effort?

      • Steve says:

        As i said the other night.BIHL denied that SMW were the preferred bidder.Maybe because the others were so far away they allowed SMW due dilligence.Even SMW said that they hadn’t agreed a price.

        • Staffs Blue says:

          … and like I said, if they weren’t at least close on a price, why bother at all?

          • Steve says:

            And as i said.the others were miles away.The fact is they were not announced as preferred bidders.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            If they’re offering the most, then I would think that BIHL would prefer them. If the deal goes through, it matters not a jot. If it doesn’t, then BIHL obviously have a different agenda. F’knows what that would be.

          • AussieBlue says:

            Different agenda could be Daydreaming, Staffs? I honestly don’t think they know what the heck they are doing when it comes to running, promoting or selling a UK football club. I’d go for cock-up theory over cunning conspiracy theory where BIHL is concerned. Everything they touch turns to sheepshite.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Absolutely no idea where a football club is concerned. Maybe they’ve realised that there are some things you don’t gamble with.

          • AussieBlue says:

            True and it also smacks of the ‘gang mentality’ i.e. “We bosses; you do what we say, no argue!” They can not countenance innovative individual thinking from the rank and file; can not understand when decent players/managers/ staff walk because they are not prepared to work together with them and can not believe it when the power they thought they had is diminished by the rule of Law. We can not mention specifics here of course.

          • Chris W says:

            To be honest Staffs, the way BIHL have gone about the whole business concerning BCFC even they don’t know what the agenda should be. Do they know what an agenda is in the first place?
            KRO+DNM

    • OftenPartisan says:

      They were never announced as a preferred bidder so I’m going to go with no.

  • Chris W says:

    It is good that we will have a team we can call our own, hopefully they will gel and form a formidable force collectively.
    I still think we will need an half decent striker in the team but Novak and Thomas or Green could well do the job. It also looks that LC is aiming to play the ball forwards rather than the big hoof it and hope.
    As for the sale, even when new owners walk in there will be various skeletons leaping out. It is curious as to why HKSE have waited so long to take up this investigation. It will be interesting what other sanctions they can or will impose. It would not be in HKSE’s interests to block the sale I don’t think. The sooner we are rid the better for all concerned.
    KRO+DNM

    • Staffs Blue says:

      It pleases me no end to know that we won’t be playing hoof-ball now Zigic has gone. Neither Novak, Green or Thomas are target men, they work better with the ball to feet. I know the pro-Zigic fans will say that he was the same… but at 6′ 8,” the tendency was always to hit it long. Hopefully that will change now.

      • Chris W says:

        That was my point when Zig played, big hoof and hope, he never was that kind of forward. But as you say that became the norm to aim for him, unfortunately he never had the players off him.
        The more I look at the style of player the more I am looking forward to seeing them play as a team. With a couple of experienced loans and a decent striker we could be an exciting prospect.
        Might even have a flutter on a play-off spot, it will be down to consistency, tactics and an element of luck.
        KRO+DNM

        • Staffs Blue says:

          If we get that decent striker (i.e. a Donaldson) I’ll be looking for a top half finish. Anything else would be a massive bonus.

          • Pete says:

            Think wide players and a stable side will be ley, before we can hope for this.

          • Mr Crosby says:

            Will be lucky to finish 5th from bottom.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            It helps to counter pessimism with a bit of optimism. I think we could finish top half, you don’t. Neither of us are right… yet!

          • Chris W says:

            With what we have at the present I am going to be conservative with a mid table finish, anything above will be a bonus.
            It all depends on how quick they can adapt to the speed of the Championship and gel as a squad. The latter has to be first and foremost, if they work for each other they can compensate for the other.
            KRO+DNM

  • CHRIS G says:

    I think people need to stop getting ahead of themselves be a little bit patient this season whether we are sold or not, I think this year it’s gonna be about survival & consolidation & anything else will be a bonus. LC has acted quickly to shore up what was a very leaky defense last year & I for one think we will have a pretty capable squad come august. If we do have some new investment come in we still have the january window to bring in a couple of “quality” signings if needed.

    • Chris W says:

      A fair comment and I agree that LC has worked well to bring in what he can afford with the constraints he has. All we can ask is they give 100% for the club, as did the majority last season. LC and the supporters were let down by many so called experienced players who were only there for the money.
      These players are obviously here because they want to play for the club and LC.
      Time will tell but as you say we need to be patient.
      KRO+DNM

      • Staffs Blue says:

        Good posts both. I think this season, with a squad of, predominantly our own players, I think they’ll be a closer-knit, more loyal band of brothers. Can’t wait to get started.

  • bluenoserob says:

    i am“ready” to spend a wild weekend with Kylie, but it doesn’t mean its gonna happen any time soon.

  • Mark Galloway says:

    I can’t agree that the player acquisitions are positive. They are not Championship standard and Clark is not the sort of manager to get he best out of sub-standard players.

    Betting odds are generally in line with reality and we are tipped to be in the bottom 6 already.

    Relegation threatens and all these shinanigans will, in my view, make the outlook bleaker by the day.

    Our football club is being destroyed before our eyes and there is nothing we can do about it I’m afraid.

    Coventrybluenose

    • Art says:

      Great post!

    • Richard Granfield says:

      Have you seen Blues’ new signings play? If not, on what do you base your judgement?

      • Mark Galloway says:

        I have seen Wes but none of the others. The fact that we have these players on Bosmans is suggestive of poorer quality as we simply can’t offer the wages others can and no one else has been in for these players.

        KRO

        • Staffs Blue says:

          A lot of Bosmans aren’t poor quality, they’ve just come to the end of their contracts and want a fresh start. As far as I’m aware, every player Lee Clark has brought in this month, the clubs they’ve left have wanted them to stay. That doesn’t say poor quality to me. But, we’ll see in August. Until then, judgements are meaningless.

          • Tony Knight says:

            Too true, Staffs Blue – Shinnie, Randolph, Novak (?), Adeyemi were all Bosmans I think.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I think all the players we brought in last season (other than the loans) were Bosman’s or frees, except for Caddis.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Whether you pay £5m for a player, or nowt, there are never guarantees that a signing will come off.

        • river says:

          no one else has been in for these players???? get ur facts right mark

    • Chris W says:

      Mark, we all agree they may not be Championship players, but they are our own players. They may not have played in the Championship but, like all players, they will want to prove they can play at any level.
      Until we see them as a unit we cannot truly comment on whether they are good enough or not. As for LC not being able to get the best out of a player, I would say his record in player development is pretty good. I am not keen on LC, as with the players he is our manager and as such I will support him.
      WE start the new season with a clean slate, last season most commenters agreed we had to give the players and coaches 10 to 12 games to access where we were. We never looked promotion candidates but were more than capable of mid table. We all know how it ended when the loans were recalled.
      There are things that can be done,as been mentioned many times by different people.
      The main thing we can do collectively, is get behind the team.
      KRO+DNM

    • mark says:

      Destroyed before our eyes I think you got the wrong club we happen to be debt free mate……relegation threaten another doom monger, we have not kicked a bloody ball yet. We could in fact have a bloody good season never thought of that?

    • Steve says:

      To be honest,i don’t know enough about these players to make a judgement.Unlike a few on here that seem to know everything about them and think we’re in for a decent season.Wikipedia is a great tool. The signings don’t fill me with excitement,especially Wes Thomas,but we’ll have to wait and see.

  • Geoff S says:

    Mark

    This is just a thought but, if it was your home that was being destroyed, would you say there was nothing you could do about that?

  • williammorgan says:

    I to feel optimistic that the sale will go ahead , I do not have an information source like Dan has ,but dans information has not gone unnoticed in HK ,.and I believe that people over there are starting to judge this farce as bad publicity for the good that is in HK,……WE HAVE A DREAM and I believe that the people in power will let the sale go ahead ,but will lean heavily on BIH if it doesnt

  • williammorgan says:

    Years ago there was a squad of players mostly tall but all graffters and all hungry for success they took the league by storm even the prem they called them the crazy gang ….do not judge a team. until it has had time to gel

  • Staffs Blue says:

    Word in the BM is that Lee Clark has been given the go ahead to break the £5k p/w barrier to land Clayton Donaldson.

    • Chris W says:

      Though it is good news the club are prepared to do that it won’t go down well in the dressing room I shouldn’t think.
      He is 30 and been around the lower leagues but seems to know where the net is and could easily pop in 10/15 goals for us given the right service.
      KRO+DNM

      • Staffs Blue says:

        A 15 goal striker would be a novelty for us. We’ve not had a striker who knows where the net is for a while. Personally, I think 10-15 goals is worth the extra few grand.

        • Chris W says:

          Though I agree with you on all points Staffs, He is 30 and hasn’t played above Division one level so I would think £5k p/w would be ample for him, with maybe a added incentive of pounds per goal. plus it would keep the dressing room sweet too.
          KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Tbh Chris, I always think strikers should be paid for goals… and if they don’t, just get a basic wage. But, if he gets the goals to push us into the top half or more, I wouldn’t begrudge him an extra grand or two.

          • Chris W says:

            Before all this silly money that was how players were paid, bonuses for goals, assists,clean sheets and saves, depending on position. There were also fines or penalties for bookings and sendings off too. The basic rate wasn’t that great back then, so players looked for individual sponsorship deals and so the soccer agent was born.
            If they produce the goods I don’t begrudge anyone the money, but unlike certain players we have had recently, it should be earned on merit and performance and not what some agent negotiates so that he gets his share too.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Couldn’t agree more. And the sooner we rid the game of agents, the better. It might never happen, but it should, for the good of the game.

          • Richard Granfield says:

            I respect your point regarding agents and it has got out of hand.
            The counter argument is that footballers are not the most intelligent of men and in the old days they were exploited by their clubs. In the 50’s prior to the abolition of the maximum wage there were many 1 club men (notably Tom Finney) only because their clubs refused to release them. There needs to be a happy medium found for player transfers.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            On the opposite side, the PFA have always been available to represent players in contract negotiations. As far as I’m aware, they still are. The players would be well represented I would have thought. But, the players use agents to screw every penny they can out of a club…. and subsequently, out of the fans. I’ll never agree with agents.

          • Chris W says:

            Have to agree Staffs, it is because of agents the fans pay over the top prices and the higher up the league the more the agent gets.
            It use to be that the player paid the agent fees then some agent decided a club should pay for the privilege, the club was desperate for that player and so the circle began and I believe that club was MUFC.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            No surprise there then!

          • Chris W says:

            The loyalty carried on into the 60’s and you still get the odd one or two today, Giggs for one.
            Bit like divorces, it is too easy nowadays and people are not willing to work at making it a success. If a club such as Blues are only willing to pay a fixed salary, the players, Burke in our case, look elsewhere.
            Though the maximum wage was so low, any players looking to move on obviously money was not an incentive or a motive. In those days, it was about ambition and virtually every team competed on a level financial field wages wise, bonuses paid on performance and a team’s success, individuals opened the local supermarket or turned on the Christmas lights. Now it is about Champions
            League, Premiership and TV money while individuals look at lucrative sponsorship deals.
            As for intelligence, all it needs is for the FA to write up a
            standardised contract for all parties to agree.
            Why make something so complicated, you work in a factory as a labourer and every labourer gets the same basic wage and pro rata up the scale with added bonuses for performance, timekeeping and attendance, what could be simpler.
            KRO+DNM

          • Raymondo says:

            I once had a chat with Bob Hatton in the lounge at St Andrews when he was working for a local radio station as a commentator and he said that in his day he only had 12 month contracts at Blues and he had to score around 20 a season or he would probably not have his contract renewed. No mention of agents in those days. What would he be worth if he was in his hayday now?

          • Staffs Blue says:

            The forward line of Francis-Latchford-Hatton would be priceless today. 2 of them went on to be established England internationals. A million for Francis seems laughable now, but it was a record back then. He’d be worth at least 50 times that much now

          • Chris W says:

            Thats how it should be, most contracts today are not worth the paper they are written. Managers now sign rolling contracts, something I believe Ron Saunders started when at the Vile, it is for their protection in the event of being sacked, hence we still have LC.
            How many players sign 3 or 5 year contracts only to be sold at the end of a season, admittedly the buying club have to pay the difference.
            KRO+DNM

          • mark says:

            From the utube footage of him, I like him already, head play off both feet, excellent penalty taker , love his love me attitude, could possible be a crowd favourite, and he wearing my favoutite number ……i say bring on kro

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I said the same when his name first cropped up. He plays with a bit of a swagger and scores all kinds of goals. If he got of to a good start, he could become a crowd favourite very quickly.

      • beegeeblueboy says:

        If you’ve gone £1000 pw to £3000 pw you’ll be happy enough

        • Chris W says:

          Maybe but apart from the high earners we had a wage cap last season of £5k p w, I think only the academy players were on less.
          KRO+DNM

  • Raymondo says:

    I feel that we are getting there, little by little, and that the future is going to be better than the recent past. Those amongst us who unrealistically expected LC to buy a team of promotion winning championship players on on a shoestring budget and then moaned when he didn’t should come down from the cloud they were on.
    I also feel that (probably) the same people who now expect the sale of BCFC to go through like lightning and if not will moan again should have some sort of reality check. Cloud Cuckoo Land seems to be a well populated place! KRO.

  • mark says:

    Looks like Clark could be getting hold of Clayton donaldson…..

    • Staffs Blue says:

      I posted that about 8 hours ago mark lol

      • mark says:

        I know staffs sorry never meant to steal your …. All these signing are making me really optimtic about the forthcoming season,……

        • Staffs Blue says:

          I’m looking forward to it more than I did last summer. Lots of new faces and all our own (except Hall.) Got to be better than half a team of loanees.

          • mark says:

            Damn right, I still believe he may still dip in the loan market but only in emergency….

          • mark says:

            Myself would not mind pirlo lol

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I think we could see a wide left player come in on loan eventually (Ibe?)… plus maybe an up-and-coming young striker from the Prem, to give us options.

          • mark says:

            He cannot be rule out ibe unless there better offers? Would not mind the man utd young striker back he can only get better with his spells with us and BAlbion last season…

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I wasn’t that impressed with Lingard tbh. But I think Ibe was growing into us with each game. Maybe he would fancy another spell at St Andrews.

          • mark says:

            I’m sure you agree with me got to be on a season loan with no call back lol

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Loans are a double-edged sword to be honest mark. On the one hand, we have the Bartley/Burn situation, where they’re recalled when we’re playing well. Then there’s the likes of Ferguson and Allen, who we were stuck with even though they weren’t contributing a lot. Swings and roundabouts I think.. just pot luck that you get a good ‘un.

          • Chris W says:

            Nothing wrong with the odd one or two to add strength or say a striker, who cost the earth normally, like Macheda.
            KRO+DNM

          • Chris W says:

            Thats my feeling too, a team we can call BCFC. They will be more committed and appreciated too.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Yep, That’s the hope.

    • beegeeblueboy says:

      Depends how clever his goals are. Plenty of lower league strikers get their goals individual defenders errors or disorganisation defences associated with lack of pace and slowness of thought. Such strikers just don’t these opportunities as they go up a division. We know that from Barry Fry days. Will he be a Steve Claridge or one of the countless others?

  • mark says:

    What I like about Clark he is getting players also in that can assist the team by playing in varied positions which also not alien to them……
    This should be embraced players who have the ability to play more than one role…..

    • Chris W says:

      Again covering his options should he need and stop playing square pegs in round holes, he is also working knowing that if and when new owners arrive he may be out of a job.
      As I have posted many times I am not a great fan of LC, but he is working to improve the squad and looking to learn from his errors of last season.
      New season, new start, so a new chapter in our history We need to get behind him and the team as we cannot do anything regarding new owners.
      I’ll leave the decision regarding actions against current owners to individual consciences?
      KRO+DNM

      • Staffs Blue says:

        I think after last season, when we were left woefully short at centre back and left back, Clark is deliberately covering all these positions with as fewer players as possible, because of limited funds. Makes perfect sense. Just with Edgar, Grounds and Gunning, we have all the defensive positions covered, that’s without Hall, Robbo, Hancox, Bell, Caddis and Eardley.

        • Chris W says:

          Maybe he does listen to the fans, he may even read OP, and it is possible he realises his mistakes. He just wasn’t in a position to do anything about it until the summer.
          I am looking forward to seeing them play after they return from Ireland.
          Bring on the new season, I’m getting excited already… :-)
          KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I said the same the other day. I’m excited for the new season to start.

          • AussieBlue says:

            Me too mate. I like the ‘separation of powers’ that has occured where the football club is allowed to prepare its own agenda, albeit with a greatly reduced budget.

  • Raymondo says:

    Sorry about the accidental transfer of Aussie Blue’s picture Dan – hope I’m noti n trouble!

  • Blooflame says:

    I have to ask why are they hanging on with white knuckles? What’s to hide? It looks as if they would rather collapse rather than sale. The more it drags on the the less the value, common sense would dictate get what you can now!! By mid season, should the Status Quo remain (and Status Quo look like they’ll be around for ever!!). Perhaps I’m feeling impatient but I do worry for future of the club

    • beegeeblueboy says:

      I don’t agree with your comment all. How long have you been saying Admin is imminent I wonder

      • Staffs Blue says:

        Spot on. We’ve been close to admin for 2 or 3 years, according to ‘people ITK.’ Well, we’re still waiting… and it’s still no closer. The Chinese are pretty thick, but even they’re not stupid enough to lose everything.

      • Steve says:

        I don’t think we’ve ever been close to administration.

      • Blooflame says:

        for a long while beegee. How can anyone be optimistic just for the sake of being an optimist? Failure again and again to make financial deadlines; no money to buy players;threats of litigation if anyone makes a statement accusing the board of impropriety. That last one…the free speech we enjoy, that’s what I believe in and that’s why I can say what I think will happen if this sale doesn’t happen. This cannot continue indefinitely.

      • Blooflame says:

        Well BeeGee there’s no money mate, that’s unsustainable. I hope you are right and I’m wrong, but the financial fiasco that pervades cannot continue at a club that wants to stay in business.

  • beegeeblueboy says:

    Let’s hope these ex League 1 guys don’t do a Shinnie. To me he revelled in the trappings of his elevation and rested on his laurels.

    • Staffs Blue says:

      For me, Shinnie was the biggest disappointment for me last season. He seemed well out of his depth. I hope that, with a season under his belt to get used to the Champs, we’ll see a better player this season. We can but hope.

      • Chris W says:

        It was a big move from the Highlands to City life so I can understand the difficulty of a young player settling in. I do believe that we will see more of him this season and like Matt green he will be like a new signing.
        KRO+DNM

    • Tony says:

      He was just not quite good enough

  • beegeeblueboy says:

    Got shake Darren Carter’s hand in Costa yesterday to thank him for that penalty. Nice lad.

  • Raymondo says:

    Whatever our new team is going to be to start the season, if they give 100% for the shirt they’ll be accepted by the fans until better players can be found in the future, if needed. Some people already have us relegated before the season has started. Let’s be optimistic and not listen to the portenders of doom. LC is doing the best he can and could not have done more, IMO, especially when his own job is threatened. Truly we must KRO to the end of the road. What a good song for Blues supporters. Thank you Harry Lauder!

  • river says:

    I for one am extremely happy with the signings LC has brought in.Now we are at a basic pay scale with realistic players wages we can start building a young hungry squad minus any overpaid hasbeens who are clearly there just for the money.Well done LC its just what we needed a fresh start through and through,i am looking forward to the new season full of optimism and hope.I am dying to see Gleeson run the show in centre mid with Donaldson finding the back of the net on a regular basis and the new defenders look great signings reminding me of the dann Johnson partnership.i do follow the lower leagues regularly and have watched all the signings shine in their perspective clubs feeling that all of them could quite easily step up a league (or 2 in the case of Gleeson).So bluenoses we are on the verge of a new era at st Andrews and im very excited and I know a lot of fans don’t like LC but he will come good im sure, hes a winner,was as a player and will be as a manager given time to gain experience.i think these last 2 years have given him a vast amount of experience and im sure we will see a vast improvement this year.KRO SOTV

    • mark says:

      At last a positive post lol keep it up me river…..quality….

      • river says:

        just sick of all the negative posts mark we need all those stayaway fans back this season WE ARE BIRMINGHAM CITY and should have the biggest crowds in the league

        • Steve says:

          We didn’t sell out in the Prem.Things won’t improve until we get new owners.I completely understand those people that don’t want to support the current board. I get pissed off with certain posters on here that criticise the stay away fans. It’s their choice.And if this blog was all shiny happy people it would be a boring place.

          • mark says:

            I get pi**ed off with this negativity of stay away fans join the club……

          • Steve says:

            I said I understand people that don’t want to go. Why would I join the club ? What you don’t seem to understand is that the board love people like you. Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

          • mark says:

            The board might do but I support my team bcfc through thick and thin times how about you?? When their time comes that’s up to them…what are you going to do stand outside the stans with your protest board!, me I watching me team playing..

          • Steve says:

            I missed 2 games all of last season so don’t question me. That’s home and away. Who are you to question who does and doesn’t go the game. Get your facts right in future. Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

          • mark says:

            well done to you Steve try and lighten up instead acting like a grumpy man…might see you there then i will give you a wave…..

          • Steve says:

            Nothing to do with being grumpy. Its to do with realism. You predicted a thumping win in a packed stans every game last season and you were wrong every time. But you criticise everybody that disagrees with you. It doesn’t make you a worse supporter because you’re not a happy clapper. Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

          • mark says:

            steve get over mate, its all about opinions, so because i disagree with you i am happy clapper so be it, for once Tony was funny in his comment. while you are getting wound up, im rolling around the floor in laughter….exactly dont you just love it…

          • river says:

            I didn’t criticise the stay away fans I said we need u back st Andrews aint the same without u remember that feeling of stepping through the gate into the stadium seeing a full house?amazing !!!

        • Staffs Blue says:

          I’m of the opinion that people have the right to choose whether they want to buy a ticket and go to St Andrews or not. If they want to stay away, it doesn’t matter what their reason is, it’s their choice and they shouldn’t be criticised for it. But, by the same token, people who stay away don’t have the right to criticise those who do go. It’s still a free country thank God.

          • Chris W says:

            I agree Staffs, and the same should apply to those who decide to pay on the day or renew/purchase a season ticket. It is everybody’s right to chose.
            KRO+DNM

      • Steve says:

        Positive doesn’t mean reality.

      • Steve says:

        Keep it up me River ?

    • Staffs Blue says:

      Wouldn’t disagree with any of that mate. 8)

    • Shirley Blue says:

      How can you make comparisons to Roger Johnson and Scott Dann to what we have signed in the last few weeks? Johnson and Dann both cost big money and were already highly rated Championship defenders when they came to us. We have signed Bosmans on low wages one of whom was turned down by another club on medical grounds. I hope they all do well but we are shopping at Aldi’s now compared to M&S back in those days.

      • river says:

        put yourself in a players boots and do u think u would play better with ur own fans being positive and right behind u that 12th man or would u play better with ur fans full of negativity pileing on the pressure?

  • Staffs Blue says:

    We haven’t made a signing since Thursday. What’s going on? :-D

    • Steve says:

      The board have seen what he’s doing with their money.

      • Staffs Blue says:

        It was meant as a bit of humour Steve. It never ceases to amaze me the straws that Clark haters will grasp onto. Oh well, never mind.

        • Steve says:

          So was my comment staffs. Cheer up. You know my views so don’t be surprised by them. Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

          • Staffs Blue says:

            That’s very true. I just wish folk would try to be a bit more positive and not try to turn every blog into an Anti-Clark campaign. That’s my twopenn’orth anyway.

          • Steve says:

            Fair enough. My two penneth is the best thing that can happen to Blues is that new owners come in and sack him. He’s the luckiest man in football because he knows he won’t be sacked at the moment. He must be dreading the takeover as much as we are looking looking forward to it. Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Your opinion is duly noted. Again. :)

        • mark says:

          There production line full of them staffs lol

      • Chris W says:

        They are looking for another sofa to search…:-)
        KRO+DNM

    • mark says:

      There a strong possibility that Clayton signature will be done and dusted tomorrow…..

  • mark says:

    Not sure about another striker Clark appears to be interested in obviously his age 34 Aaron wibraham is he worth it on a free or he just another journeyman???….

    • bluenoserob says:

      hes scored 3 goals in his last 53 matches.and at 34 i cant see that he will be able to work as hard, up and down the pitch as blues players will need to do , if we are to compete with much stronger teams.

      • Staffs Blue says:

        Wilbraham is a similar player to Heskey, Henderson, etc. I can’t see what use he would be to us, exept for experience. It would be a NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! from me too I’m afraid.

    • Steve says:

      NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • mark says:

    I wonder if Clark noted any WC stars who may be free??

    • Staffs Blue says:

      To be honest mark, I’ve been thoroughly bored with it all so far… but one player who has stood out for me, was Costa Rica’s Arsenal youngster, Joel Campbell. He has speed and a very quick pair of feet.

      • bluenoserob says:

        i remember the last two world cups ,watching games and thinking we might sign a player from one of the teams . might be a few world cups before that happens again.

      • mark says:

        Yes staffs he does look a quality player…

      • Steve says:

        It’s been a decent WC so far Staffs.

        • Staffs Blue says:

          Apart from the Dutch performance, it’s been tedious for me. Sorry.

          • Chris W says:

            Best game for me too so far.
            The Costa Rican game was a turn up and made the England group interesting, they only need a draw to go through now. I can’t see anyone getting anything off the Italians and if we don’t beat Uruguay it will be an early plane home.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Other than Pirlo, who was, stupidly, afforded way to much room, I don’t think the Italians were that great. We made them look good. Yes, the Costa Rican’s looked good once they’d scored. But on the whole, I’ve not been that entertained.

          • Tony says:

            For me Hodgson made two glaring mistakes He should have talked John Terry out of retirement, also if your not going to play Rooney in the middle them don’t play him at all. Hes a centre forward, no good sticking him out wide..LLalana for me has to play, he is capable of something a little bit different, something we do not have.
            The Italians seemed to have so much time on the ball, and we are still trying to maintain a quick tempo After all these years we still have not learnt.

          • Chris W says:

            I don’t think Rooney should have been selected. He has never performed on the WC stage and I can’t see this one being different. I do agree you can’t stick him out wide, and it was evident early on that was where they were threatening and nothing was done to address it.
            We should play our own football and let the opponents worry about us instead of trying to up the pace.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            As a lot of people are saying, if you don’t play Rooney in the middle, why play him at all? I think either Sterling or the Ox should be wide right, with Rooney and Studge in the middle.

          • Chris W says:

            To be fair Staffs, I don’t think he cares. This will be his last WC and after South Africa and his attitude I would have left him on Robben Island. He has never had the right attitude to represent England. I’d go Lambert and Sturridge against Uruguay with Wilshire running midfield.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I personally don’t like or rate Rooney. He’s not been the same player since he broke his foot. But, the people that matter do, so if he’s going to play, we may as well play him in a position where he won’t spit the dummy.

          • Chris W says:

            Why play him, we have better, who I do believe, really want to succeed this world cup.
            Roy Hodgson as ditched or forced the old school out, the exceptions are Gerrard, Lampard, Milner and Rooney, all of whom will be replaced before the next Euro’s, and we both agree that you have to have a mixture to be successful, but you also need them to perform wherever they are asked to play and it isn’t somewhere he hasn’t played before… Oops! sound like LC :-)
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Bad boy! :)

            I agree, I think Rooney should have been ditched at least 2 years ago. Lambert gives us a better option, why not play him, with Lalana on the left.

          • Chris W says:

            Definitely worth a punt, see if you can Skype Roy
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Forget this daft 3 up front. Play Ox on the right, Lalana on the left and play either Lambert or Welbeck up top with Sturridge.

          • Chris W says:

            Personally I would go Lambert, I think this WC has come too soon for Welbeck
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I think Ox-Chamberlain, Sturridge, Lambert, Lalana would have more impact than with Sterling, Rooney, Sturridge and Welbeck.

          • Chris W says:

            I quite like Sterling for his exuberance and “No Fear” attitude, he may be a little undisciplined but exciting, and prepared to run at defences. Ox has the experience but tends to be that too careful or safe when playing for England.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            For me, Sterling doesn’t produce enough. Yes, he’s quick and tricky, but if there’s no end product, it doesn’t amount to much. For me, his best moment against Italy was that ball across the box from the left hand side. Unfortunately, our strikers were too stupid to anticipate it. If he adds that final ball to his game, he could be a fixture for years to come.

          • Chris W says:

            It would appear that Ox is injured and a doubt for Thursday so it could well be the same unless Roy grows a pair and drops Rooney. From reports the only pundit to say he SHOULD play is Ian Wright, most are sitting on the fence.
            I would leave Welbeck on the bench for Lambert. I fear that despite all we know about Suarez, he will be our downfall and an early exit will follow. As with Blues, we England never do simple. Why did I get the impression that Roy Hodgson was any different…
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Absolutely spot on re Terry and Rooney. I think you can add Ashley Cole to that list. As it is, I’d be tempted to play Shaw at LB, with Baines in front of him. I must be the only one that wasn’t that impressed by Sterling. Yes, he’s quick and tricky, but there’s no end product. I can remember one cracking ball into the box… that no one was quick enough to react to. But, he reminds me a lot of Redmond.. all pace but couldn’t cross a bridge.

          • Tony says:

            Yes Cole aswell forgot about him, also I’m beginning to ask questions of Gerrard never been convinced as to his worth.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I don’t think you’re the only one who is asking what he actually contributed to the match against Italy. It certainly wasn’t a captain’s performance.

          • beegeeblueboy says:

            If Uruguay beat Italy we might regret not being them because we thought a draw was sufficient

    • bluenoserob says:

      and would take 5k a week , maybe an iran player.

    • Steve says:

      Carlos costly

  • Art says:

    Can’t understand why the fans who don’t support Clark are constantly accused of being negative.Clark has done nothing to install a positive attitude and perhaps those who accuse me of being negative can explain why I should be positive.And to those who think he may have learned from last years experience -just look at least weeks press release -“I want Birmingham to play like Newcastle did under Kevin Kegan”..yet another foolish statement from a manager who is clearly out of his depth.

    Sorry to sound so negative.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      I totally agree. Statements like that just suggest either he is thick or thinks we are all thick. Having just come off a record of two home wins all season to make any comparisons to the Newcastle team he played in is just ridiculous. I don’t expect him to be too downbeat but keep it real. Next season is going to be another major struggle against relegation that is for certain.

      • Staffs Blue says:

        Keeping it real, as you say, I take it to mean he wants to play free-flowing, exciting football. Obviously we’re not going to emulate Newcastle from back then, I doubt anyone could nowadays… and we’re definitely not going to, not with freebies and loans, but that doesn’t mean we can’t play good, exciting, attacking football. It’s certainly what I want to see.

      • Steve says:

        did they ever win anything ?

    • tmsblues says:

      I think Clark means he wanted us to play like Newcastle did at st James park cos we were blooming awful playing at st Andrews park! It might also help a lot if he let Kevin Keegan pick the team cos Clark’s couldn’t pick a spot!

  • bluenoserob says:

    http://www.sporcle.com/games/babymonkee/football-birmingham-city-record-transfers

    if anyone has a spare moment , click on the link and have a go at this quiz

  • Art says:

    Avoiding relgation with the last attack of the season appears to have brain washed the Clark fan club.

    • river says:

      the clark fan club?? im a BIRMINGHAM CITY fan and who ever is in charge ill back if I like em or not that’s the diffrerence between old school and the new generation u spoilt brats lol

      • Art says:

        Yes that’s right -the old school easily recognise a good quality manager.lolxxxx

        • river says:

          ok who would u have replace him speaking realistically ? and who would u sign that would come and play for us?

          • Art says:

            Under new owners Chris Hughton would be my man and I’m sure with a couple of his own players combined with his managerial and tactical skills he’d get us out of this division.

          • Chris W says:

            Chris Hughton walked out on us and one of the reasons were the current owners. We are not getting new owners anytime soon so we might have get use to it. The question was who realistically? Add to that who would anyone buy with the current wage restriction and transfer fund of £NOUGHT?
            KRO+DNM

          • Art says:

            At the moment the question is academic because the current owners will not sack Clark and for financial reasons he will not walk out.The point Is you could give Clark £15m to spend but it won’t change his butterfly management style or his cavalier tactics.Yes he’s passionate but this alone will not get us out of this division.

  • AussieBlue says:

    BIHL shares have dipped below 13 cents HK for the first time since re-listing. This is in an otherwise rising Hang Seng index. Seems the HK market is also fed up of the delay and on-off sale situation and is also losing patience. All the same, someone keeps buying sizeable wodges of shares…could be computerised trigger buying (if shares hit ‘X’ cents – Buy) but there is a standout buyer picking up a million here, a few million there. Keep in mind there are 5.5 billion shares on issue though. If it’s one concern, as Dan says, if they hit 5% they have to declare an interest but there are a thousand ways to disguise that using different companies and brokers to buy.

    For us, I’m afraid it’s ‘delay heaps more.’

  • Staffs Blue says:

    i think, with only 3 players over the age of 27, the average age of the squad this season, is around 25. That seems about right imo.

    • mark says:

      All hunger to do well, no-one on extortion amount of money, the right all around age group…cannot wait…..kro

      • Staffs Blue says:

        Clark is looking to put together a younger, quicker, more mobile squad. That can only be a good thing… especially speed going forward.

        • mark says:

          Staffs with this in mind hopefully Clayton signs today, looks like we beaten off all our rivals for his signature. He tall,has pace, mobile by looks of him, has equally has eye for goal…
          Hopefully we see what matt green can do ?? It like having a new signing in itself imo

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Donaldson, Thomas and Green could scare defences to death with their speed this season. Can’t wait.

          • beegeeblueboy says:

            But will they scare them with their skill? :-)

          • Staffs Blue says:

            As long as they can burst through and stick the ball in the net, that’ll do for me.

          • beegeeblueboy says:

            And moi!

          • Chris W says:

            I can see Novak playing deeper this season, probably in place of Burke so he can chip in a few goals too.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            He did a cracking job out on the left last season… a position he hadn’t played before I might add, so Clark got that right. But, I’d prefer a natural wide man on both flanks this year tbh. I have a sneaky suspicion he might go 3-4-3 this season. Just a gut feeling.

          • Chris W says:

            LC can get it right sometimes, like the team he lacked consistency. Having lost Burke we don’t have too many wide options at the moment, Gray or maybe a loan like Ibe can be found. Not sure if LC will be that ambitious 3-4-3 I think he will be more defence minded given the goals we shipped second half of the season with more 4-1-3-2. depends on how they all form partnerships and settle as a team..
            KRO+DNM

  • mark says:

    A least we don’t have Jeremy Pearce lol

    • Staffs Blue says:

      Looks like he’s gone for the cheap option again at the Baggies. That guy will never learn. Still, at least they’re financially sound.

      • mark says:

        I think they will always be with him at the helm…lol lot of baggies fans bought their St thinking TS got the job?
        A least we know our manager will still be at the helm lol


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