Often Partisan


The Blues Trust held a “Strategy Day” on June 21 to “generate fresh ideas, ensure we are aligned with supporter’s and member’s expectations and to involve more key individuals moving forward”.

Having seen some criticism of the Blues Trust of late I wanted to start some sensible debate about their current situation. As a member of the Trust I was invited to the strategy meeting mentioned in the first paragraph; unfortunately due to personal circumstances I wasn’t able to attend and gave my apologies. It was a shame I couldn’t go as I feel it could have been a good chance to find out where they were and what they were planning to do.

As a founder member of the Trust it’s difficult for me to say this, but I do get the feeling that the Trust has lost their way somewhat. I recognise that they are in a Catch-22 position; they cannot attract new members without being seen to achieve stuff but it is incredibly difficult to achieve anything without new blood. I know most of the board of the Trust very well and they are good people; season ticket holders who follow the club home and away and who have the clubs absolute best interests at heart. However, as I am finding myself with OP, I think they are struggling to commit the time that they want to the Trust because they have their own lives – family, work, and all that good stuff – to deal with.

What doesn’t help is that I still cannot tell you what happened at the strategy meeting as I’ve seen nothing about it online. For the trust to succeed they need to be much more on the ball about getting news of their plans and actions out there and right now that isn’t happening; their twitter feed hasn’t been updated since June 1 and there has been no newsletter emailed to members as of yet. I think they will find it hard to retain membership if they cannot stay on top of keeping people informed as to what is going on. Compare this to the Supporters Forum (which again, due to work pressures I was unable to attend) which was excellently reported on by Karl of Joys and Sorrows – that can be viewed here. I should add at this point that those who forwarded me questions via email and comments had their suggestions/questions forwarded to the club prior to the meeting and that they will have been looked at by the club despite my not being there.

I have the personal opinion that it’s part of a bigger malaise. Back in March I was looking to pull together a dossier for the Football League to investigate what was happening at BCFC; when I contacted Supporters Direct for their assistance I was basically told not to bother as it was pointless and instead help them with their political pressure to help change the governance of the game. While I have no doubt that is a worthy cause and is a good way of achieving change I couldn’t see how that would help the massive disaffection among Blues fans – and I think forcing that message has hamstrung the Blues Trust somewhat as they aren’t being given the support to campaign for their own club. As it happened I decided not to pursue the dossier alone for the simple reason that there was obvious machinations towards the sale of the club even back then; while that process has stalled somewhat I still don’t want to do anything right now that could endanger the club being moved into new hands.

I think the Trust are suffering a hearts and minds problem. There is  a vocal set of  Blues supporters online who are anti-Trust; that’s their prerogative and I would never say that they aren’t allowed to have that opinion. While I can understand that there is some reluctance to engage with these people online on the Trust’s part I think that there are some valid concerns that should be addressed; as much as criticism is hard to take sometimes it has to be done because it can help improve the situation.

I don’t want the Trust to see this as an attack on them. Far from it, I want them to succeed and I feel guilty because I can’t do any more than I have. I will openly state that I’ve been asked to join the board of the Trust in the past but I have refused due to the fact I run OP and that I need to be independent to report on what is happening – both good and bad. I hope that they can find people who can help push things forward but I think they really need to examine their communication and work on that to bring more people into the fold.

As a postscript, I should use this opportunity to confirm some news about Often Partisan – due to a new job I’m going to be moving out of the Birmingham area next month and I am afraid posts on OP may become a little more sporadic due to that. I am intending to carry on but I am very aware that I will have new pressures to deal with and that will affect the output on this site. Also – if you would like something to cheer you up, this morning I’ve published a very special post on the book website introducing a very special contributor to the book, Harry Harrison. Harry, who has  drawn the daily satirical cartoons for the South China Morning Post has drawn some exclusively for the book – and one for the website. You can see it here.

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50 Responses to “Communication”

  • Mrs Crosby says:

    Does this mean you’re not renewing your season ticket?

  • Thongs says:

    Silenced by Pannu…sad day.

  • Agent McLeish says:

    Is your new job a consultancy role in HK?

  • DoctorD says:

    Moving out of the Birmingham area? Not going to Wolverhampton are you?

  • Chris W says:

    Very interesting and well highlighted post Dan.
    Good luck in your new post even if it does mean OP may suffer a little.
    Some points you made regarding new blood getting involved seems to show some of the apathy that surrounds BCFC and it is a shame.
    I know many of us enjoy a bit of banter on here but getting physically involved takes time and in many cases money and if supporters are reluctant to go to matches they are even less likely to get involved off field matters.
    There are some good forums that provide useful information but like the Blues board the communication can be slow and sometimes sporadic, I must admit that OP does appear to give the best and often impartial news thread and is regular too.
    Hopefully this will continue but you have to but the wage payer first, good luck again.

  • williammorgan says:

    Sorry to hear you are cutting back Dan .,as I was just about to suggest that in being the best post in on the web that the only fault it has is that it doesn’t appear often enough ..perhaps a few headlines each time you print will keep the fans busy Dan KRO

  • Vicarpoof says:

    I wish you all the best with your new post Dan, you have certainly kept Birmingham City supporters all around the globe up to date with everything going on at the club both good and bad. With the positive news coming of Will Packwood signing a new contract and the other new players all wanting to pull on the Blue jersey let’s hope this is the start of a new era for the club. When you’re on the bottom rung of a ladder the only way is up. Let’s hope the home crowd make the difference in games this coming season. KRO & DNM!

    • Raymondo says:

      In addition to Will Packwood signing a new contract, Vicarproof, Amari’i Bell has done the same today. I think we are well and truly covered now. KRO I echo your good wishes to Dan in his new post.

  • dave mann says:

    all the best in your new venture dan but please keep us informed as much as its humanly possible because your sight is second to none and is great for breaking news and great banter amongst us fans and supporters ( there is a difference) .
    keep up the good work. KRO.

  • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

    Good luck with wherever life is taking you Dan and a big KRO from me

  • bluenose08 says:

    Dan good luck in your new venture and will still look forward to reading your posts as quality is better than quantity. kro

  • BluBoi14 says:

    All the very best in your new job Dan.

  • fingles says:

    Good luck Dan.

  • Art says:

    Massive thanks from me and know doubt all of the expats for your excellent blog and for keeping us well informed.Its not easy supporting the club when you live abroad but every day you have given us something to look forward to.

    Good luck with whatever you intend to do and wishing you every success.

  • Eric says:

    There are Blues “fans” who oppose virtually everything – very sad. For example, we had good owners prior to this crew but fans drove them out.

  • mark says:

    well upping -sticks the bloody cheek, brum not good enough, got a better offer lol

    well if want the good life you got to pay for it ask Carson….lol i will be emailing you regarding buying your book. Some time ago you also mentioned you were starting book 2 is this still correct?

    Daniel i hope your not going to write once every six months, it was bloody murder when you took your comments off lol

    May i this take opportunity to wish you the very best in your new role if chris w writes anymore i never bloody catch him imo kro

    • Staffs Blue says:

      Yep, he’s getting a transfer. £5k p/w ain’t enough. Or maybe he’s doing a Savage and moving to Blackburn… to be nearer home. :))

      • mark says:

        OBVIOUSLY staffs he got the same agent as zig and savage lol
        long as he doesnt transfer to the vilers….majority will still like him lol

    • Chris W says:

      I agree about the comments mark, thats why I’m trying to make up for lost time. As you say it was murder, the only place we could get any decent information especially from Hong Kong.
      Wherever you are settling Dan keep us informed as often as you can.

    • OftenPartisan says:

      Thanks Mark

  • mark says:

    PVOR st are doing well……lol

  • mark says:

    pleased bell and packwood have joined ours ranks the future looking bright……..lol

  • Brian Kenwrick says:

    Electronic Book ordered – will it be out by the 5th of July ? – wanna read it on my hols lol, anyhow good luck with the new Job – is it in Journalism ?

    • OftenPartisan says:

      I don’t think it will be – the whole conversion to eBook is hard. I’m working on it asap.

      The new job is in writing but not strictly journalism.

  • beegeeblueboy says:

    I thought it had been suggested that
    PtVoR was in fact Peter Pannu

  • river says:

    so r u changing the site name to “not so often partisan”? good luck Daniel and thanks

  • Blueboy88 says:

    Rats & Sinking Ships…….? :-)

  • Andy W says:

    Good luck with your new job Dan. And many thanks for your tireless and often misinterpreted efforts on our behalf.

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