Often Partisan

Christmas Come Early

Birmingham City go into the festive season doing something that they’ve not spoken about openly for some time – renewal of player contracts. With the financial uncertainty that has mired the club in recent years Blues have been forced to hold off on renewing deals but that seems to have changed this year with Rowett talking in the press how he’d like to hold on to Darren Randolph as an example.

I have to admit, it’s a breath of fresh air. One of the biggest issues we have had since our last relegation to this level is the continued financial short-termism. We’ve seen Blues sign players on short term contracts to add “depth” to the squad and then barely played. We’ve seen players loaned in to add “depth” and “quality” to the squad and then barely played. We’ve also been in the position in the last two years that the club has had to be careful in what it has done financially due to not knowing if it would survive relegation until the last minute.

So why have things changed so dramatically? Blues might be doing well under Rowett but there is half a season to go and I think it’s too early to say with absolute defiance we won’t end up in a relegation battle. Likewise, the financial situation at the club is as tight as it’s ever been – despite the club confirming it is looking for players in the window the club is stripped to the bone in the way that it is run and I think it would struggle to become any more streamlined.

I think what it comes down to is the financial prudence Blues have employed since the end of last season. By keeping wages down as far as they have, the days of wages being 100% of turnover should be long gone this season. Rather than spend to the limit and leave themselves no wiggle room, the club seems to have held back a little bit of reserve to aid things in January. Furthermore – I think we will see the departures of some players who just are not part of Rowett’s plans – and the money we will save on their wages plus any transfer fees hopefully will be pushed back into the club.

While the results on the pitch have impressed me, it’s this looking into the medium and long term that gives me most faith in Rowett. Rather than being a bit scattergun in bringing in players to fire-fight a crisis, his signings have been measured and have given a different dimension. Now by looking to secure the players on which he can build a strong team, Rowett is doing what he can to ensure that not only will we be well clear of relegation come the final stages of the season, but that we will have planned ahead to do better next season.

Normally I’d talk about what I’d want Santa to bring me for Christmas from a Blues perspective but he came early this year bringing us our v-neck jumpered champion. Hopefully things can sort themselves out off the pitch too and we can start to think positive about our club more often as time goes on.

Merry Christmas to all of you who read the blog out there, may Santa bring you the presents you wanted and may you have a fun and festive time with those you love.


67 Responses to “Christmas Come Early”

  • JohnR200 says:

    Dan, thanks for all your hard work over the last twelve months keeping us so well informed on all things Blues. Without your blog we’d be completely in the dark.
    A very happy Christmas to you and yours.

  • Gibbsy says:

    Well done on 12 months of a very informative blog and getting the book out, which is excellent. Have a great Christmas

  • Louise says:

    Never posted on here before but just wanted to add my thanks and appreciation for the information you have given us all, have a good one yourself and keep the info coming whenever you can!!

  • ChrisG says:

    Merry Xmas Dan & a massive Merry Xmas to all the hardworking staff at BCFC who’ve worked hard to keep our beloved club afloat & to all the Bluenoses that read this blog.

  • Tony E says:

    Thanks Dan for all your efforts this year and a very Merry Christmas to you and yours. Let us hope that 2015 finally brings the curtain down on the current ownership issues of the club and we ,at least, never see that man Mr Pannu either back at the club or in Birmingham.

  • Max Rogers says:

    Merry Christmas. Maybe the last game of the season fancy dress should be a Rowett. V necked off it!

  • Pete Flamingo says:

    just want to echo the thanks and best wishes above – good work sir.

  • Oldbluenose says:

    Wishing all Bluenoses, a very merry x/mas, Thank you, Daniel, for all your sterling work and the information you give us, [ There would be a scarcity without you ].!!.

    Back to Blues, Methinks that Gary Rowett, will not do too much this January, but come next Summer,?. [ God willing ], then we will see a few changes.

  • alex apaul says:

    As someone who reads this site on a daily basis, just wanted to say ‘thank you’ have a great Christmas and new year.
    Alex Paul.

  • Tim andrews says:

    well said Dan. Have a great break & catch you in the new year

  • Ian says:

    Dan I echo what others have said. I appreciate all your updates and knowledge that you share. I only wish as you do probably that it was a little more positive :)

    Merry Christmas mate.

  • nicko says:

    yes well done dan merry christmas to all blue noses onwards and upwards kro

  • Blueboi14 says:

    Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year Daniel. And thanks for the info provided; it’s so appreciated.

    And a Happy Christmas to all fellow Bluenoses.



  • Peter says:

    Merry Christmas Dan and thank you for keeping
    us updated in the past year.

  • Colin says:

    Thanks for all the info, have a good one

  • fingles says:

    Have a great one Mayor.

    PS I am enjoying your book.

  • BluenoseMolly says:

    G’day Dan, avid reader of your blog but first time post, keep up the brilliant work mate, get more information from you than from any other source down under. Longtime expat wishing all you bluenoses the best for Xmas and the new year. Cheers mate !

  • mark says:

    we will win against the rams and forests which i have treble on but we will fall against the spartans…..
    hoping for a wicked xmas come on you blue boys fill yer boots…
    A big merry christmas to you Daniel hope santa brings what you requested….you never know you might get a christmas card from pp……anything can happen……

    To all bluenoses a merry xmas AND HAPPY NEW year…………

  • Dave Mann says:

    I echo everyone’s comments on here and wish all blues fans wherever they are a very merry Xmas and hope fully a great Boxing Day aswell.. Guys, don’t always take me seriously on all issues I raise .. I will shake the hand of any derby fan I see even if they are sitting where they really shouldn’t be!, .. When I go to all away games I always chat and socialise with has many supported from all sides that I can .. I make it an issue to shake the hands of as many home fans as I can when I go on my travels with blues and will even by then a drink like I did at Blackpool and Huddersfield so I won’t let our great supporters down and will keep our proud record going… See you Boxing Day , merry Xmas! Lol&kro

  • webbyblunose says:

    Merry xmas happy New Year Daniel

  • StaffsBlue says:

    What a rollercoaster year it’s been, in BCFC, BIHL and here on OP. There’s rarely been a dull moment has there? But, with Pannu disappearing over the horizon (hopefully) my lasting impression at the end of the year….. is Mr Ivery in his Santa suit. Cheers mate. ;)

    MERRY CHRISTMAS and A HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone!!!!

  • Darren says:

    cheers Dan and merry Xmas

    Best blues site by a country mile keep it up

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Ahh.. I see, could be the email address. Sorry about that.

  • Bcfcrob1988 says:

    Merry Christmas dan, thanks for all the hard work. Hope the new year brings you the happiness and success your efforts deserve mate

  • StaffsBlue says:

    What a rollercoaster year it’s been, in BCFC, BIHL and here on OP. There’s rarely been a dull moment has there? But, with Pannu disappearing over the horizon (hopefully) my abiding image at the end of the year….. is Mr Ivery in his Santa suit. Cheers mate. ;)

    MERRY CHRISTMAS and A HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone!!!!

  • rhees says:

    Merry Christmas to all and esp Dan, thanks for all Dan we would be completely in the dark and frustrated with out you having your input daily is something I look forward to read.
    Have a good one

  • DoctorD says:

    Happy Christmas to all Blues fans and a big thank you to Dan…one of the country’s top football bloggers!

  • steve says:

    All the best Dan,you’ve kept us more informed than anybody else has.And that includes the local press.For the first time in the last few years,we can look forward with a bit of optimism. Merry Christmas and a happy Blue year.

  • Raymondo says:

    Thanks for all your your help Daniel your have been our extra arm. A merry Xmas and a very happy new year.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Ime out of here now so merry Xmas to all of you.. Love you all really…chas, tony, staffs, marky mark, bluenosesol, you are all majestic .. Thanks for the memories…?and mark , your the fan of the year… Love you pal … cheers guys your worth it!!!lol& kro

  • bluenose08 says:

    Merry xmas dan to you and your family and hope you get what you wish for in 2015.
    merry xmas to all the staff at st Andrews and all the fans kro.

  • Hudsontheblue says:

    First time poster but consistant follower of OP! Thanks for all your hard work Dan! Merry Christmas Bluenoses. Long live the Rowett revolution. KRO

  • bluenoserob says:

    Dan , I would like to echo all the praise from the regulars.When all these troubled times are over I know many blues fans will look back and think that you more than anyone (sept maybe Gary Rowett) helped to steer us through .I, like many ,came to OP at the beginning of these dark days and while sometimes the news you have brought us has been hard to take its still been a massive help.Thanks Dan.Happy christmas..

  • paule says:

    Happy Christmas to all Blues fans & hope you have a wonderful new year hopefully with new owners.

  • pedantic pete says:

    Thanks Daniel. Happy Christmas to you too.

  • Art says:

    Thanks Dan for being the eyes and ears for the ex-pat community..

    We live in all parts of the world but still miss the excitment of going down the Blues and supporting our family club.

    Happy Xmas to you and all Bluenose’s wherever you are.

  • Johnny Boy says:

    Hi Dan, another first time poster but long time reader of your excellent blog. Congratulations on what you have achieved this year and for fighting the Blue Nose corner. Here’s looking forward to a better 2015 with GR. Best wishes to you and all your readers

  • micko says:

    “Virgin” responder to this site. Lifelong bluenose – since the days when Gill Merrick was manager. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, Mr. Ivery for all of your work in keeping us informed of what the f**k is going on with my beloved club.
    I raise a toast to you! More power to your elbow in 2015.

  • kiwipete says:

    A very merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you also Daniel.
    From a hot New Zealand, hope to catch up with you in April.

  • dan from devon says:

    Thanks Daniel for a very imformative 2014 all the the best to you and your family i

  • Tony says:

    May I add my thanks for the unstinting efforts you have made Daniel in bringing us the news on Blues,you really are the only source of information available and I for one am very, very, grateful.
    It has reached a point when it is a waste of time visiting other sites not that I ever have (not even once) The standard of journalism you show is exceptional, I do not know what your new job involves but may it bring you all the success you wish in life I can think of no one who deserves it more. In conclusion seasonal greetings to all Blue noses both contributors to this Blog and the great outside world, to all mankind in face
    (except the vilers they can rot in hell)

  • Happy blue says:

    Merry Christmas and happy new year to all. Great blog. Woke up today and the best present I have is guarded optimism concerning the blues and looking forward to football rather than worrying about administration etc.
    Have a great year and c u tomorrow.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Feliz Navidad (Yes I am on holiday in Spain) to Dan and all the posters on O.P.
    I propose a toast that 2015 will be a prosperous and successful year for Gary and the lads.

  • Gav1875 says:

    Just four words ….

    Thank you very much!

    Without trusted and loyal persons like you Dan our club is nothing, you go above and beyond for little reward, apart from being appreciated.

    We salute you my friend and a big thank you form ALL BLUENOSES.

    Wherever we end up if we are together and unified, fighting until the end (team and fans) then I am happy and above all proud!

    KRO to one and all.

  • jan says:

    happy Christmas Dan.hope your feeling better,all the best for the new year and a big thank you for all your hard work.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I hope everyone had a good Christmas Day… but the REAL Christmas festivities start at 3pm today. :))

    I’m hoping we snatch the win against Derby, but I’ll go for a 2-2 draw.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Oh well… sh*t happens. We regroup and go again on Sunday.

    • mark says:

      Tbh staffs we were outplayed IMO, funny another player clark bought in done the damage for rams….. We took a point last season from 3-1 down…… But today we were virtually out of the game…like you say let’s hope this blip all could change on sunday!!!

      • StaffsBlue says:

        We were lucky to be fair, it could easily have been 4 by half time. The midfield seemed non-existent today, which left the defence overworked. I think the team needs freshening up a bit. But, we’ve come back well after one defeat… let’s see if we can do it again.

        • mark says:

          totally agree staffs, even morrison got a run around not one of his best games….but they can all look at themselves in this game, i would find it hard to pick anyone of them for a score above 5…
          forget tactics forget formation beaten by a country mile by a much better team………their movement was far quicker out the blocks and they were worthy of their score line.. …..we appeared to still be in the dressing room warming up…..

        • mark says:

          On the Contrary to that, it maybe fool hardy by RG to make too many changes with SUNDAY game so close, maybe one or two changes at the most…..to many changes may over cook the broth imo……these player who didn’t show up today may have a chance to redeem themselves…….

  • Tony says:

    No great surprise really, you can achieve a lot with organisation, and a little belief, there is however a limit and we reached it today.
    Derby were far superior in every department, they dominated and looked a very good side it has to be said, they have better players than we do.
    Having said that we can play better than that, Morrison had probably his least effective performance for us, Grounds was poor, as were the entire midfield. Agree the side wants shaking up a bit now, if we were to finish where we stand at the moment I would be happy, A lot of players are not good enough if Rowett can strengthen in the window I think he should.

    • mark says:

      what they did was a professional job on us……….obviously steve had worked his tactics and formation, and got his spot on……….

    • StaffsBlue says:

      What Derby did, was make the game very simple, as it was meant to be. Their passes nearly always found their man and they attacked at speed. Caddis and Grounds were torn new ones and the centre of defence couldn’t cope with the onslaught… but then, neither never had much help from midfield. For all the service Donaldson had, he might just as well have been the 8th man on the bench. Let’s see how we fare against Forest. I think Rowett will know exactly what he needs to do in the window by then.

      • mark says:

        i must say there must be a lot of gobsmacked fans out there who must have thought this could not HAPPEN to GR………there always a acid test…..is how GR CAN turn around a beating, he done it once after the hammering we took against bournmouth……oh and they are top of the league i might add….
        from what i saw of forest they are on the fall, their manager getting stick,team not that impressive probably a nice time to play forest .Derby were up for this and they took it…no arguments from me….

  • Dave Mitch says:

    was at the game yesterday – the joys of the British weather – first half Derby showed how clinical they are and they might win the league and we were awful. Grounds, don’t watch the ball, tackle, so no real issues re the long term Rowett plans as we were much better in the second half.

    but i have an issue. i’ve seen it here and on other sites. the attendance was great, super to see so many people there. seems like others think different? i’ve been at st andrew’s since the 71/72 season and my late Dad was there as a child and his Dad before him. I am out of the UK most of the time and attend whenever i’m back. other people have their reasons for not being there for every game. but when i see 16 year olds on facebook calling people who’ve been fans since the 50s60s70s80s “fickle fans”, i really do want to tell them to shut up. less sniping, people, please. let’s stand together as we usually do. moan over. here’s to 2015 and continued progress on and off the picth. KRO

  • Blueshark says:

    A couple of thoughts on Derby.

    Firstly it was great to see a virtual full house again and the ground was rocking despite a 9th minute Derby goal. It just emphasises the potential of the Club if only we can get settled ownership and some modest success on the pitch.

    Second, defeat was no disgrace against the best team Ive seen at Stans for 3 years. Young Will Hughes ran the show and looked every inch a premier league player (I understand Diverpool have first refusal).

    Third, we look weak when teams attack us with pace. Gray and Cotterill dont work back enough and Grounds and Caddice are too exposed. Can Edgar play in a back 3?

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I’ve been wondering the same myself. A back 3 of Edgar, Morrison and Robbo/Hall, would push Caddis and (maybe) Hancox forward, as none of our full backs are great defensively.

      I also wonder, with a possible offer for Graeme Shinnie in the pipeline, where that leaves the likes of Mitch Hancox and Amari’i Bell. They should really be pushing for the first team by now. I know Bell is out on loan at Swindon, but after having a good start, he’s been on the bench for weeks now.

      • mark says:

        staffs when i saw Graeme Shinnie in pre-season he impressed me, imo if the previous manager was still with us he probably would gone back to get this player….. So there no surprise GR is interested in him because one he can play in other positions, and at early age to be captain possible shows he got the mental strength to combine both(playing and taking responsibility)

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