Often Partisan

The Show Must Go On

Birmingham City are strongly tipped to complete the signing of Brentford striker Clayton Donaldson in the next couple of days to take the number of pre-season acquisitions to eight. Manager Lee Clark is said to want at least another two signings prior to the players reporting back for pre-season training on Monday.

I was asked this morning by a Bluenose friend how the club could continue as normal as they have been – offering players two-year deals, getting the pitch relaid and so on and so forth bearing in mind the club is seen to have “no money”.  I know it’s a subject that has been done to death but with a dearth of other news on the horizon, I thought I would talk about it. For those who aren’t interested, here is a video of Clayton Donaldson scoring goals at Brentford for you to salivate over.

I think the first thing to examine is the “no money” angle. Some people say that they have no money when they are down to their last few grand; for others no money means that they literally don’t have tuppence in the world. In relative terms, Blues are pretty cash poor for a football club; the maximum wage we are reportedly offering new signings is £5k per week (compare to Federico Macheda picking up a reputed £35k per week at Cardiff; apparently even Morgaro Gomis was on £10k per week at Blues). However, that doesn’t mean we have no money at all – just that we’re operating to a strict budget. As long as we stick within a wage budget (said to be around £6.25mil this year as opposed to £24mil the first season under Lee Clark) the club is okay.

To use an analogy, it’s like having to make cut backs at home because your wages have been reduced. While you can’t eat out at the fancy Serbian restaurant that gives you one amazing meal every so often, or drink in the Scottish bar that was amazing a couple of years back but seems to have faded somewhat you still have to function somehow – even if is going to the “WES” bulk discount supermarket. Yes, it might stick in the craw to have to regularly watch a midfield with Olly Lee in it but at least it’s still a Championship club; there hasn’t been the ignominy of administration and there (thankfully) hasn’t been the attendant slide down the leagues like at Portsmouth. Despite what some say, the club isn’t close to administration and will be able to continue operating at this reduced capacity for the foreseeable future – but while that sounds bad in the short-term it means the club isn’t saddled with rising debts, which makes it an attractive purchase.

Although I don’t believe that a sale is forthcoming any time soon (as in before the start of the season) I can see that there is stuff going on in the background that will eventually culminate in a sale. It’s worth noting that the controversial consultancy agreement signed by Carson Yeung to pay Peter Pannu extra money on top of his wages elapses in September; there are rumours that Pannu may find more than his consultancy agreement ended at that point but I have no way of verifying that at this moment in time.

In short, it’s a “show must go on” situation at the moment but there will come a time when maybe the club will be back once again in the limelight for the right reasons. We sing every game “keep right on to the end of the road” and we’re nowhere near the end of it yet.

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106 Responses to “The Show Must Go On”

  • david7 says:

    What’s going on in the Due Diligence stakes? Any idea as it’s gone very quiet.

    • Raymondo says:

      I think it’s now Known as the Overdue Diligence Stakes.

    • OftenPartisan says:

      I said a while back that there was complications… ;)

      • Pete says:

        Dan- I agree and see all you say. The concern I have though is if we are an attractive proposition- how come we are having the quality of prospective buyers that we have? I would imagine we are more attractive if we were lacking complications with the ownership in %’s but with £10m debt to take on.

    • Staffs Blue says:

      As I’ve said before, if I was going to hand over millions of squids to our present owners, I’d want to make absolutely 110% certain that I wasn’t throwing my money away. You can’t blame them for making absolute certain. We have most of our squad in now, so a takeover won’t affect that side of things much… not until January anyway.

  • Neil says:

    Love the restaurant analogies, great work!

    This is the only source of info i trust nowadays, the official message board is just plain depressing and irritating in equal measures.

    Thanks. KRO

  • Mineheadblue says:

    Ah, the roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd!!! At least come September the pudding trolley might be a plum pudding lighter…….

  • Auld Bertie says:

    Well the club will shortly have a further £349 in its coffers when I renew my season ticket this morning. This will no doubt upset those fans who believe that ST renewal only serves to enlarge PP’s wallet but at just over £15 per match, and a free ST for my young nephew, it’s a no-brainer for me. Not expecting anything other than another relegation struggle this season but hey ho it’s all part of the rich tapestry of being a
    bluenose.

    • mark says:

      yeah bertie i sure pp rolling around the floor laughing his head off, as some might think…………..

    • dave mann says:

      could not have put it better myself Auld Bertie , good on you mate cuz with my three ST aswell were all getting behind the team and the manager..not the owners!!! KRO.

    • hammie40 says:

      Well said Auld Bertie. We have already renewed out ST and we go to every away game. We need to Support LC and The Boys. get the atmosphere down ST Andrews rocking again like it used to be. The players we have signed may not be the most gifted but as long as they give 100% in a blue shirt that is all we can ask for. Carson Yeung and Peter Pannu would love all the fans to stay away lets prove them wrong and fill the ground again and make the away teams not want to come down to our turf. KRO

      • Mark Gibbs says:

        I agree, I renewed my 2 season tickets a week ago, this is Blues it will be still there long after this is forgotten and I am getting withdrawal symptoms already!

  • Oldbluenose says:

    Well at least, ?. There does seem to be no reason to panic, reassuring to know that as a club, we seem sufficient to ” soldier-on ” without biting our nails about the lack of info concerning Wrays, [ seemingly ] abortive buy-out,?.

  • dave mann says:

    thats a great way of putting it dan and as a club were after tighten our belts, miss out on a few luxuries here and there and stick to what we can afford until that little wind falll arrives sometime in the near future of a cash investment….clayton donaldson will be a great signing as hes got better with age as a lot of strikers do, hes 30 now and is best seasons have been the last two, the though of him up front with duffy on the right and another wide left player to come sounds pretty good to me so let the show go on
    and lets all keep right on, again KRO.

  • Kazakblue says:

    OK Clayton, tell the new bride that the honeymoon is now over and the jet lag has worn off, get yourself down to LC’s desk and sign on the dotted line, some good goals there.
    Maybe I will get panned for this by certain people, but I have decided to buy a season ticket also, may only get to 2-3 games per season due to working commitments, but I have a warm fuzzy feeling about the upcoming season, and no, it’s not due to the available cheap vodka out here, unfortunately we are on a dry camp. KRO

  • mark says:

    finally a move on the united front kro

    • Staffs Blue says:

      Ahhh… we’re finally going to sign Wayne Rooney then? But is he worth £5 p/w? ;)

      • mark says:

        sorry staffs it was noted on here more fans buying their st, dont you just love it;-0 regarding rooney we are still short of £295,000 PER week you got to laff

        • Staffs Blue says:

          I’m a happy clapper mark… didn’t ya know? :-D

        • paule says:

          Bought my four season tickets yesterday even though i Said i wouldn’t, kids gave me stick & what would i do without Blues on a Saturday, so there’s another £900 to help the cause.

          • mark says:

            well done you paule happy stans….i personally would like the scenes of bolton at the stans……. i HOPE all the fans who do go whether by st or pay as you go lets re -act our away scenes lets fill our stadium with our support and put our stamp one team one club one voice kro

          • Chris W says:

            Thats the important thing Mark, atmosphere, whether its 1 or 10000, the supporters have to play their part too. We did at Bolton, as at most of the away games, the noise never stopped along with the party atmosphere. It needs to be replicated at St Andrews, too many games last season I thought I was in a graveyard and the players sensed it too.
            KRO+DNM

          • Pete says:

            Exactly the point I have been making on here. I believe the fans have played a big part in our poor home form. Support is meant to be regardless of results.

      • river says:

        £3 per week

  • mark says:

    I hope you Daniel are getting yourself down the stans this season instead of hiding behind your work lol

  • Staffs Blue says:

    As I’ve said before, there’s nothing we can do about the takeover/investment, except sit tight and let those people in the know (the real ones) get on and do their stuff.

    What we can influence, is the atmosphere at StAns. Get behind the team, make the new signings feel welcome and make them glad they chose this great club to continue their careers.

    As for Donaldson, the lad really knows where the net is. I don’t care what division you’re in, or how much you cost… all you can do is put away the chances that come to you. Ask Rooney.. Sturridge… Welbeck.

    • dave mann says:

      ime exited about donaldson staffs but what worries me is the graveyard for strikers that weve been associated with for god knows how many years at st. andrews…come to us and cant it a barn door…ope ime wrong on this one!!!! KRO.

      • Staffs Blue says:

        That is actually very true. One I remember clearly, was Robbie Blake. Had a great scoring record at Darlington and Bradford, but rarely got a chance here. Maybe it’s the Gypsy’s Curse. Maybe we need Barry Fry’s Gypsy’s kiss again.. lol

        • Chris W says:

          Rowan Vine was another, £2.5m and only scored once if I am correct.
          KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Yeah, from Luton wasn’t he? It is strange how few strikers have been successful at Blues since the days of F-L-H. You can count them on one hand almost.

          • Chris W says:

            Yes he was quite prolific at Luton, think you are overdoing it with one hand Staffs, one of the reason we needed a decent keeper as we couldn’t score at the other end.
            We have had decent strikers but never played to their strengths, bit like Ziggy, he plays, we go route one, makes him look a donkey.
            Yet another lesson LC to learn, play to players strengths.
            KRO+DNM

          • Oldbluenose says:

            Chris w, How often has that been said regarding Ziggy, but it always happens, — Hoof it up, — Panic stations rather than good sense.

          • Chris W says:

            For me it is one reason for both club and player to move on.
            We seem to be moving to an new era now, hopefully for the better and I can’t really see Ziggy fit in with the new players, (Preparing to be slaughtered for that comment), but that is only my view on how I see things developing this season.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I think it was the players who resorted to route 1 with Zigic, not Clark. It was the get-out ball for players who wanted to pass the buck. Clark has always preached a quick, up tempo, front-foot game, not route 1. The players just weren’t up to it. May be now they will be. Time will tell.

          • Chris W says:

            LC never came out and told them not too, as you say easy option.
            Even so, I still think it is time to begin a new era and thank Ziggy for some memorable times, it will also remove that easy option.
            I am filled with optimism for the new season, but still only settling for a low finish simply because I don’t think we will get too many points early in the season. We have some tough openers especially away from home.
            KRO+DNM

          • mark says:

            yes in agreement regarding what Clark preaches one decent cross proved that at bolton…

      • mark says:

        dave i am sure he will have a quite spell, but he also makes assists, this season i personally would like two strikers on song, hopefully a combination can be created during our friendlies?

        • Staffs Blue says:

          If our midfield are good enough, I’m hoping we can go 4-4-2 this season. But, I have a sneaky feeling about 3-5-2.

          • mark says:

            Clark appears to like 352 me no objection as along as the players implement their jobs…..i wonder who might get the captain armband this year?

          • Staffs Blue says:

            It’s bound to be Robbo. But, I’d make Robbo club captain and choose a team captain too. Someone like Edgar, or Caddis.

          • mark says:

            might not be clear cut , cannot fault robbo commitment and desire…… but we do need a strong person who can stay on the pitch and avoid suspensions if possible and rally.the troops. by the dressing room euphoria at bolton caddis would be a good call………….

          • tmsblues says:

            Clark likes 523, 235, 4123, 2422, and any other combination he pulls out of his lottery hat each Saturday. Even if he got the formation right he’d pick the wrong players !

          • mark says:

            you forgot the 622 262 361, but the new players they can slot to varied positions so he may just have what staffs mentioned 442 or 451…. it would be lovely to see a 442 at home something to get the fans going………..now that we got tigers in midfield………who will possibly bite lol

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I thought 0121 was the Birmingham code? Sorry, I just thought I’d join in the daftness. :)

          • mark says:

            staffs you are 7 short now stop been silly..it all about the formation lol ;-)

          • Staffs Blue says:

            We’ll only be playing Duffy, Donaldson, Thomas and Cotterill. With that pace, we won’t need a defence. lol

          • Geoff S says:

            A bit lighthearted, I know, but shouldn’t that be only 6 short on the basis that only outfield players are counted in any formation?

          • mark says:

            Geoff I forgot Doyle in attack as well lol

      • mark says:

        Chris Sutton springs to mind…..dave

  • Chris W says:

    The good news is we are functioning and in a positive way forward unlike last season.
    Donaldson signing will add some fire power where we have been lacking, along with Green and Novak we shouldn’t struggle for goals. Defensively we have added height and with some pace down the flanks, strength in midfield things are looking good for the new season. Hopefully they will all gel and get those points totting up.
    As for the sale, lets hope there isn’t any underlying issues that will come and bite us, with no news coming from HKSE, BIHL or any of the other bidders should we be worried by all the silence?
    KRO+DNM

  • mark says:

    excellent new pitch relaid bet that cost more than dollar, players on two years contract, excellent facilities in Ireland for pre-season brilliant hotel.. how rosy do you want it lol

  • ian says:

    i’m wondering how long bihl can last without this new investment, and i don’t mean bertie’s £349

  • tmsblues says:

    With a total club budget of around £8m it’s worrying that we might survive or even get lucky as the Chinese gamblers would like and so they decide to stay in control for yet a while. That means that all our financial input sts merchandise etc to the club continues to line their pockets for some time to come. If we can operate within our current means and avoid league one Bihl have no urgent need to do a deal with anyone !! It’s worrying….. What if LC gets these freebies playing well .. Oh dear ?! Wake me when it’s over !

  • Gary says:

    David Cotterill is set to become Birmingham City’s eighth new signing of the summer, Sky Sports understands.

    The Wales international is out of contract at Doncaster Rovers and enjoyed a hugely succesful 2013/14 campaign, getting into the PFA League One Team of the Year.

    However, Cotterill is now set to follow in the footsteps of former Rovers team-mate Marc Duffy – who only last week linked up with Birmingham.

    Now Cotterill is due to have a medical at St Andrew’s before signing a two-year deal and becoming Lee Clark’s latest recruit.

    • Staffs Blue says:

      I’ve always been impressed with Cotterill.. speed, trickery and never-give-up attitude. Lee Clark is certainly injecting pace and tempo into the squad.

      • Chris W says:

        Got some experience too, both Premier and Championship level.
        We don’t really need anymore midfielders now as he will give us 11 midfielders on our books.
        KRO+DNM

  • dave mann says:

    as it stands if the two signings come of in the next couple of days. ( 4-2-3-1)
    randolph.
    caddis ( capt) edgar hall grounds.
    adeyemi gleeson.
    duffy novak cotterill.
    donaldson.
    that is one hell of a change of personal than from that memorable day at bolton.
    only 4 from that squad in the team.
    just an idea but theres plenty of other formations we could play!!. KRO.

    • Staffs Blue says:

      I’d be interested to see how that side would perform dave. Has a solid feel to it.

    • Chris W says:

      Looks like we will have another new team, there is still Matt Green and Wes Thomas up front.
      Novak can push up on attack and with height at the back we shouldn’t be back tracking as much as we were last season., just after remember all the names again.
      KRO+DNM

  • Blueboy88 says:

    In summary , like the country Birmingham City are in the grip of severe austerity measures.

    So we must all be in it together…

  • williammorgan says:

    4+4+2 or 3+5+2 doesn’t matter I like 4+3+3 ….but the aim of any team should be to score on average 2 goals per game ..when you achieve this you are half way there..a lot of managers build from the back ? wrong the other side ain’t gonna score Many goals from their own half ..LC has given this years squad more pace so we will have less chance of being caught out on going forward ..what we need then is to arrange our defence to reach a target of one goal against and less on average ,without loss of goals up front ..altering the system with injuries and loss of form at times ..this budget blues are having to work to is a total insult ..and just shows how poorly run in HK blues run …

  • Gary says:

    Just been watching David Cotterill on YouTube he scored some really good goals hope we get him he actually looks a good player I think Clark might just be getting a half decent team together hope we get Donaldson too.

    • Staffs Blue says:

      I’m extremely impressed with the players we’ve bought and been linked with so far (except Wilbraham.) I think for the little we’ll actually be paying them, Lee Clark has obviously sold them on his vision and brought a lot of decent quality in. I know some people poo-poo the fact that we’re signing League 1 players, but we’re not in the Prem anymore and the snobbery that goes with it doesn’t help. Good times might come again one day, but we are where we are at this period in time, we have to get used to it and support OUR team.

      • Gary says:

        I agree with everything you say staffs blue don’t want Wilbraham not sure about Thomas either though I suppose we have to give him a chance.

        • Chris W says:

          I’m of a similar impression with thomas, however with the right players around him he might be successful, he is strong has has pace as we saw when he was on loan.
          KRO+DNM

        • Staffs Blue says:

          He gives us pace and strength. We could have done with a bit of that last season Gary. The lack of shots on goal in a lot of games last season was ridiculous. I think Thomas, Green, Novak and Donaldson (if he signs) should rectify that.

          • mark says:

            Tbh though staffs Novak should had more goals if wasn’t for the bar and post beening our leading scorer?lol

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I think he was trying to take the paint off, to give the apprentices something to do.

      • mark says:

        Staffs cotterill scored against us was a good goal….last season

    • Oldbluenose says:

      Gary, Official on Blues website, — We got him.

  • Gary says:

    It says in the mail wright up about Cotterill that Donaldson could be signing sometime today hope so.

  • Tony says:

    Had decision to make ST or new car, only ever one winner

  • Shirley Blue says:

    Can I just remind everyone getting excited about the most recent signings that Doncaster Rovers actually got relegated last season. Yes that means they were actually worse than us if that’s possible. I am not having a go at LC – he is getting the best in he can but let’s have some perspective on it. I hope all the new players step up and do well. At least they are our players even if you can sometimes get better quality with loans.

    • Staffs Blue says:

      I’m sure that if the chance came along, a lot of fans would have Redmond and Mutch back. But by the same token, they must be inferior too because Norwich and Cardiff were relegated. I’m sure a lot would welcome Hughton back as manager too, but…

      • Kazakblue says:

        Morning Staffs,
        how most of us old timers would love to see palyers of the ilk of Geoff Vowden, Johnny Vincent, Phil Sumerhill, Barry Bridges, Bob Latchford, Bob Hatton, Trevor Francis and Kenny Burns back in the Blue shirt, I sometimes think this so called wonder league of the premiership has wasted and disgarded so much talent, not overseas talent, but home grown in the still United Kingdom (For the moment).

        • Staffs Blue says:

          Absolutely! Most of our best talent in the past didn’t cost millions. But, with young British talent not getting a look in because of all the foreign imports, how are they ever going to develop? This is why the England team is crap now. But it was always going to happen. Scotland filled their leagues with foreign players years before us and look what happened to their football. Every year future stars came down from Scotland, you’d be lucky to find one a year these days.

          • Chris W says:

            The answer is really simple Staffs, but it will never happen, every team around the world must have a limit on foreign players on the pitch at any one time, two or three.
            Excluding the home nations Blues first team squad contains four players from overseas, if Packwood re-signs.
            The FA, Sky, FIFA and the government should all look at themselves for allowing the game to decline the way it has.
            Instead of allowing such freedom of players they should have set a standard, instead of the money pot going to top clubs it should be divided evenly across the board and wages, as with the lower leagues, should come from gate money.
            The FFP being introduced is too little to late, but at least someone has began to realise there is a problem.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            It really does sound simple doesn’t it? The trouble is the FA, PL and FIFA are far more simple… and not in a good way. All these bodies need a major shake up, but when you have the likes of Blatter and Platini telling us what to do, the future looks bleak.

          • Chris W says:

            I remember playing for a coach whose only team talk was ” It is a simple game, don’t try to make it difficult, pass to a teammate while we have the ball the other side cannot score. But more importantly enjoy yourselves”
            Admittedly that was school level, as for Blatter and Platini both have egos and work against each other rather for the good of the game and both organisations have been subject too underhanded tactics that have hit the headlines recently.
            KRO+DNM

          • Geoff S says:

            I wonder if making overseas players the main scapegoat ignores the fact that, between them, successive governments and the owners of most professional football clubs in this country have seriously underfunded youth football for many years.

            I also wonder if Platini and Blatter were replaced with some of the time-serving, out-of-touch cynics at the English FA and FL, we would see much difference.

            If Blues were still in the Premiership, would signing the Cissés, Dugarrys, Forssells, Benitezes and Lazararidises of this world be a problem?

          • Chris W says:

            I’m not making overseas players a scapegoat geoff, but was it not Arsenal who a couple of seasons back boasted 11 overseas players.
            Yes governments have failed to address grassroots football but so have FA, FL and FIFA. the latter three feathering their own nests as they go.
            It is not an issue that will see change overnight but someone somewhere needs to begin looking at the plight especially after such a woeful world cup from our national teams.
            KRO+DNM

          • Geoff S says:

            I wonder how much ridiculous amounts of money have to do with the Arsenal thing.

            It is perhaps worth remembering there were not all that many overseas players playing in English professional football in the 1970s but, unlike now, England did not even qualify for the World Cup finals in either 1974 or 1978.

          • Chris W says:

            We didn’t qualify in 1994 either, football clubs in the form of the FA, FL, UEFA and FIFA control football not the governments as you seemed to blame in your original posting.
            Arsenal were just an example of teams using overseas players over homegrown.
            KRO+DNM

          • Geoff S says:

            Ridiculous amounts of money (and very unevenly spread throughout football) may possibly explain the Arsenal thing but don’t forget there were only a comparatively small number of overseas players in English professional football in the 1970s and England did not even qualify for the World Cup in 1974.

          • Geoff S says:

            Apologies for 2 similar comments – I had a computer glitch and thought the first comment had been accidentally deleted…

        • Chris W says:

          A lot of people said it would happen but were told differently. It might be great to see some foreign players but to what cost to the game we invented.
          You only have to look at the national teams to see that there is very little talent coming through simply because they are not allowed to develop anymore.
          It is all about money today, the likes of Mutch, Redmond and even Butland had their heads turned by money, maybe Butland was sold because of other reasons too but he could have still said NO!
          We saw with some of the loans last season they were not interested in playing for us, they were with top clubs and on top wages.
          As much as I am against it but the idea of a super league will see a breakaway and just maybe, the fans will see the game return to some sensibility and an even playing field.
          KRO+DNM


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