Often Partisan


By the time you read this, Demarai Gray may not be a Blues player any more. As I write it there has been no official confirmation of him going anywhere, but it’s known he had a medical on Saturday at an unnamed Premier League club (apparently Leicester) and there is at least one other club (apparently Everton) interested in him.

Why is Demarai Gray being allowed to leave for so little?

I’m going to be honest here and say I’m a bit bewildered by some of the reaction on social media and on forums. I’m going to restate a couple of points now – if you already know this I’m sorry, but it does seem to have passed some people by and this is for their benefit.

Firstly, the whole idea of a release fee clause. If another club matches this clause with a bid then Blues have to accept the bid. No ifs, no buts; and of course, clubs are not going to bid a penny more than this as they don’t have to. Thus it doesn’t matter how many clubs get involved, we’ll only receive a maximum of what the clause is – reported to be £3.75mil. Any auction is only good for Dimmy in terms of wages and not for Blues – as it prolongs how long this is going to take and means we have less chance to spend the money.

Secondly, the clause is that low simply because Dimmy would not sign a new deal without it. Dimmy signed a 2.5 year deal in December 2013 and despite Blues were in talks with regards to a new deal in December 2014 according to the Birmingham Mail but he didn’t sign it until July 2015. The fact it took so long to agree should point to how difficult the deal was to sort and how the cards were stacked in the winger’s favour; had he not signed it he would have been able to leave for a tribunal fee in the summer – or even worse, for free abroad.

Will Blues be able to spend money they get from the sale of Gray?

This is the $64,000 question. Gary Rowett has said that

“As always, with things like this, some money will go back into the Club to strengthen the Club financially as well. And some money will certainly go to strengthening the team.”

He went on to say:

“I think we will use that money wisely. I don’t think it’s necessarily wise to go out and spend all that money on one replacement. I think we can strengthen in certain areas we need to.”

What this says to me is that he won’t get all of the money to spend on players. I’m ambivalent about this; after all, if money is invested in improving the club as a whole or so that we don’t have to borrow so much from Trillion Trophy Asia (we’re due to borrow £7.2mil from them this season, secured on the ground) then I’m okay with that.

However, I do believe this is the time for actions rather than words. Panos Pavlakis said in the programme notes on Saturday that:

“You don’t get progress and development by spending millions… You cannot be reckless”

along with:

“And our supporters can rest assured that.. every single penny they spend goes back into the club “

which says to me that he is going to sanction money being spent on transfers but not huge amounts. Again, I’m fine with that myself – I agree that being reckless is a bad thing.

However… I think it’s of vital importance that if the goodwill towards him and Rowett is to continue that Blues must be seen to shown intent. If Blues sign players with Premier League experience, who are on Premier League wages and are hungry for a chance to prove that they are Premier League quality then I suspect people would be happier than if we signed players cast off by a lower league club or who have been ditched by a team lower than us in the division for not being good enough – even if those Premier League quality players were brought in on loan initially.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but what I don’t want to hear is excuses. I don’t want to get to February 2nd looking at players thinking what might have been; I don’t want to be told “well, there’s always the loan window.” Blues are in a good position in the table and apparently are in a good position financially – it’s time to make good use of both and kick on lest we fall away again.

It’s times like these that people show their mettle – and for me it’s this month that proves that Panos Pavlakis is more than just someone who tweets pithy comments post-game and poses for pics with various business bods in the bars and clubs of Birmingham. If we don’t get the right players in – even if Rowett does dither, dally or decides that he doesn’t like anyone available – I suspect that goodwill is going to disappear quicker than Peter Pannu when asked for his expense receipts.

Talking Points sponsored by John Hicken Industrial roofing and cladding materials


70 Responses to “Dimmy”

  • Bluesfan says:

    Well said I agree with everything you say.

  • kazakblue says:

    Happy New Year Dan to you and your family, excellent content and very clear to everyone what the reasons are behind a supposed low transfer fee.
    As you have pointed out before, let’s not go down the road of having DG back on a loan until the end of the season, let’s move forward and quickly.
    Good luck to the lad at whichever club he goes to eventually, just hope there are not any loose splinters on the bench, KRO

  • Dean says:

    How much are we projected to lose this year?

    No point in ending up in an embargo like Bolton and Forest.

  • alex hurley says:

    Spot on Dan. There’s life after Dimmy, and good luck to him, but we MUST strengthen accross the squad quickly.

    One other thing. People think the fee is low. I disagree. As has been pointed out, he’s got bags of potential but has delivered relatively little. Leicester are buying potential and nothing more. I think the thick end of 4 mil is good (not great) business.

  • Jaffa says:

    let’s hope we can get another Tesche or Fabbrini and have a go at getting into the playoffs.

  • kazakblue says:

    I believe both Tesche and Fabrini started on the bench for their respective clubs at the weekend, maybe not playing well or just coming back from injury or suspension

  • ChrisG says:

    At the end of the day blues are still very much in a recovery situation at the moment & I suppose it’s only right that a certain amount of any transfer fee received should go back into the club. I’ve seen reports this morning that GR wants to extend the loan of James Vaughan or even make the move permanant which for me would be a good bit of business.
    I don’t know if anyone knows the answer to this but should Dimmy move on will there be a sell on clause because of his age?

  • Richard Granfield says:

    A player I would like to come to Blues is Jordon Mutch. He doesn’t seem to be getting much game time at Crystal Palace and his career seems to be drifting. He has only just turned 24 and would bring the range of passing from midfield we sadly lack at the moment.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Gray’s gone. Let’s get over it and move on. The dosh could get us 2 or 3 decent players, ones who can actually improve us.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I second that Richard , he should now be a Mutch improved player and only 24 . Kro

  • Farmerfizz says:

    Luke Gambin is a similar player to Dimmy. Plays for Barnet and he’s only 22 years old but we’d prob get him for buttons. Great little tricky player who can beat a defender and cross the ball. Never played championship level but well worth a punt in my humble opinion. I’d rather sign young hungry players from the lower leagues than overpaid premier failures. Talking of over paid premier failures it will be interesting to see who the Vile sign to try and get them out of this league next year!

  • StaffsBlue says:

    My choice would be Luke Freeman of Bristol City. Ex-Arsenal youngster with a great left foot. Can play wide left, or behind the striker. Wasted at the bottom of the division.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      Best opposition player I’ve seen at Stans for a long time. I suspect he wouldn’t be allowed to leave until the summer as Bristol have boat loads of cash in Lansdown and he ‘ll be vital to their survival chances.

  • The trouble in dealing in bargain basement is prices don’t get any lower and their are less good players at that price , the only chance we have of getting a bargain is if a player falls out with his manager or if a team has a glut of players in the same position , which their ain’t many of , so if gazR doesn’t like what’s on offer what do we do , carry on with what we have got and risk going back down the slippery slope (, that’s not blues way) especially as we have just let a very promising young player go ,or step up a gear and buy a player at the next level , (“tesche) as an attacking central midfield player , + his wages, and the trouble with being a friend in need is that your friendship starts to recede ,it going to be a hard call again ,even with some money ,as we are at a higher level now than a year ago , do you think that all court cases could be over by the summer window DAN , as all this Dallas type power games are starting to get my back up again ,

  • Sara says:

    Is a return for Kyle Bartley an option? Doesn’t seem to be getting much playing time. Strong defender but also able to head a goal at set pieces.

  • Blue Steve says:

    1 goal 1 assist all season. I think 3.75 million represents good value. I would prefer a left winger that will look up and hit a cross – rather than one that is going to check onto his right foot and beat his man 2 or 3 times only to eventually get tackled.

  • Tony says:

    Agree with every word Dan says, One thing is for certain Once Gray goes then he goes, we do not want him back on loan, I Think that would inhibit the progress of the side with the new men in.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      ^ This.

    • AndyW says:

      I agree Tony. I’m sad to lose a player of his clear potential, but our season will not fold in on itself because he has left. And Dan is right. There needs to be some rapid sign of intent in respect of improving the squad in the key areas that require it. We have to maintain a positive approach to moving forward, which keeps the terraces and the dressing room in the same mood.

  • Matt says:

    I don’t think anyone can moan about money been spent? you see teams spend fortunes and achieve nothing but you see teams like Burnley and Bournemouth promoted on a shoestring! Rowett has shown he can see a player. I spoke to a Wednesday fan who said Maghoma was class, he just had no end product but if Rowett got 18 goals from him at Burton a 10 goal a season winger in the Champ is not to be sniffed at… correct me if I am wrong but I think it was Francis who signed Rowan Vine for £1M and got one goal from him! Rowett is a class act and his back room staff are just as valuable, I fully expect 3 better players than what we have before February and I am still quietly confident that Koby Arthur will be class and Viv Soloman Otobar can be better than Gray! Who knows come may we could be seeing the same miracle and same type of battlers that Steve Bruce took to Cardiff!

    • almajir says:

      Bournemouth spent a fortune on wages alone last year. It was not the fairytale some people make it out to be – they go down they’re in trouble with FFP.

    • Waycoolblue says:

      Bournemouth blow the backend out of their back account to get to the prem and still have more than 7mil of debits to pay off!!!! and they have a average wage of 57k per week. if they don’t stay up they are in BIG!! treble.

    • Andrew says:

      Bournemouth spent money to get where they are no comparison with BCFC. Rowan vine was a Brucey signing for £2.5 MILLION! which rose to three due to promoton. he was played out wide though due to competion in the likes of bendtner jerome dj cambell forsell and even andy cole all getting infront of him. but yes ONE goal for that money is pitifull. although mcshefferey scored 18 on the other flank which made it ok.

  • Forever the Optimist says:

    GR’s interview said it all Saturday.
    Others in the team are assisting more and scoring more than Dimmy and he needs to add that to his game. Shame , but, onwards and upwards!
    No doubt he’ll look at the stats of any replacement and be as shrewd as ever.
    Dwight Gayle not getting much game time at the minute again.
    Would love to see Tesche and Gayle sign.
    KRO Blues

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    Although DM is a talent Leicester are buying him on his potential.Can beat a man but his crossing was not the best and you got a good game out of him in every 6-7.
    I just hope they get on with it and get it done instead of it dragging on as it will hinder our business in this window otherwise.

  • Debbie says:

    Spot on Dan! I’m hoping fans who follow you now understand the business side of Dimmys transfer. Your comments about Panos echo my thoughts exactly! He talks a good talk let’s see if he’s prepared to back it up. I’m actually feeling excited about being a Blues supporter these days! KRO.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Reading between the lines in Rowetts last few interviews, it seems that he wants more goals and is, maybe, looking to alter the system a bit to play two up front. It’s possible that we might see the midfield strengthened towards that aim.

  • Kaje says:

    Superb as always, and I agree wholeheartedly!

    I also think we not only need to buy for where we need to strengthen, but also for where we are short on bodies. We should have done this in the Summer, but were left web excuses and then the injuries hit.

    In an ideal world, I would like to see us sign a quality central defender, a goal scoring striker, and an attack minded central midfielder (not an attacking midfielder) at the very least – with a body or two extra in for increased competition (and security) at both full-back positions.

  • Matt says:

    I think some of the criticism Dimmy got was a bit unfair. On his day he could beat most full backs in the league at 19, he was inconsistent but Leicester are paying for the potential. I wish him all the best, its just a shame he couldn’t progress under us. Saying that however, I would rather we spend the money on other players that could enhance us rather than loaning him back. Maybe the likes of Callum Mcmanaman or Dwight Gayle? Also signing Jon Toral would be a great one, him and Maghoma have really pushed on in the last few weeks.

  • KC says:

    Brown not in u21 squad today. Is he injured.?Assume not away with England u20s as nothing going on at moment.

  • Strettonbluenose says:

    The January transfer window is notorious for high prices because there is a shortage of talent wanting a move and many of the buyers are desperate. There’s a possibility that Blues won’t find a suitable player and it will be pragmatism not excuses. I simply don’t agree with “buy somebody, anybody or else”. Of course I’d be chuffed if we got a brilliant player at a bargain price but we shouldn’t pressure the club into bad choices. I trust Rowett and will accept what he says, either way.

    • Andrew says:

      Leicester are getting a bargain if he turns out half what Redmond or Butland are like. both those players were sold for meager millions and are worth prob in excess of 10 to 15 mill each today

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I see Roger Johnson has signed for Charlton. 18 month contract too.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    The one thing I don’t want at the end of the transfer window, is to feel totally underwhelmed. Give us something to talk about. I can’t remember the last time I felt excited over a signing.

  • Waycoolblue says:

    I believe we get the full fee up front OK £3.75mil is a pittance in terms of Football. We need the deal to be a clean brake and money up front!!.If so I would like to see us make a play for Tom Bradshaw its believed he as a £4.8k clause in his contract we can do to Walsall what as been don to us. There Was something said about us having scouts out in Germany I have no idea but could this be for a left back?. Something ells we could make Toral a permanent deal he only as 8 months left on his contract apparently and way way!! Off the Arsenal first team and would be a perfect buy for Blues a £350k bid could get him here we could what in till he is available on a free but then run the risk of other clubs beating us to him .We need a CM Playmaker we only have Gleeson with that ability so no real cover for him a lone may be. I would hope we can cover the sort of deals here in my opinion they are realistic.

  • WalmleySteve says:

    Agree that spending a bit of the Gray money on the Club’s infrastructure wouldn’t go amiss – let’s start with a scoreboard that works, a new PA system and a new microphone for the PA chap.

  • Jonathan Garrettj says:

    Well written Dan,I’m hoping GR already knows who he wants and has then lined up,as for dimmy,I wish him all the best,let’s hope his legacy is giving blues the financial clout to pay a bit more on wages,thus enticing good quality players to the blues,it is important we don’t stand still,we need to strengthen, and everybody knows where, I’m sure GR does,too,one thing in our favour this season,and a good selling point for the club,is that we are challenging for the playoffs,hopefully this will attract players,thinking they could be pitting their football skills against premiership players next season,up the blues KRO

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Older supporters will remember John Roberts who played for Blues between 1972 until 1976 whose death was reported today aged 69.
    John was a typical British type central defender who won a First Division winning medal for Arsenal in 1971.
    RIP John Roberts.

  • Andrew says:

    Think the focus should be on the positives dimmy brings to the team rather than the financial value of him as an asset. If we lose him then its fair enough and we always looked likely to. But we will lose a good attacking player and i think that teams will possibly try to attack us more in the knowledge we don’t have a danger man quite like him for them to worry about. If hes gone we need replacements of the same quality.

    • ChrisG says:

      Sorry Andrew but I think we have a ready made replacement in VSO, I also think he will be much better than Dimmy once he’s settled in, he’s shown glimses of what he’ll be capable of over the last couple of games.

      • Andrew says:

        Viv looks good and may well be equal or better and even magoma has come on. but I think you miss the point I’m trying to make is that we are losing a good attacking option. I really don’t think you can have too many.

  • KC says:

    So he has finally gone.However we benefit from the Gray money, with actions and subsequent individual and collective results demonstrating this one way or the other, it is still a sad day. My dry January will be delayed another day.

  • southcoastblue says:

    I’m not against selling Dimmy and I don’t blame him for going. I’m sure he’ll be on much bigger money and good luck to him. But it makes me sad that we had to sell him so early in his career. It’s not like the old days where we sold our best players for big prices to the top teams or the recent past when we had to sell players just to keep the club afloat. This shows the huge gap between the haves and the have nots – we’re a decent chamionship outfit with some chance of promotion and we still couldn’t keep hold of a nineteen year old kid who is a good prospect but nothing like the finished article!

  • I hope GR signs montell Moore as I believe he is just what we need to cheer the fans up in this long drawn out sale of the club ,also bring brown in as sub now and again ., kro

  • oldburyblue says:

    Congratulations must go to GR. I think his continual “bulling up” of Gray has worked. If the £3.75 fee is correct I think we did very well. Gray COULD kick on, but my money would be on him disappearing into obscurity like so many youngsters before him. The sales of Redmond and Butland were far bigger losses IMO.

  • Shirley Blue says:

    Great move for DG to a good club with ambitious owners. I have to admit I have got a soft spot for Leicester because it wasn’t for them being very professional and beating Doncaster on the last day of the 2013/14 season when they were already promoted we would very likely still be in Football League Div 1 now.

  • andy says:

    I never agree selling your youngsters, Birmingham are making a habit of that and destroys the future for the club. It is soul destroying but I get the impression Blues were never in a position to keep Dimmy, the kid and his agent saw to that.

  • RichardM says:

    Another example of an agent putting his own financial interests before his clients long term interests, young footballers are easy prey for these parasites.

    I don’t think Gray is anywhere near ready for the Premier League, and I hope that he doesn’t get too discouraged if he has to be patient to break into the first team – he really has his work cut out now.

    Moving forward I heard we have been linked with Connor Washington at Peterborough, 9 goals in 8 games in the 1st and looks a half decent prospect….

  • atko says:

    Would love to see Andros Townsend back here on loan. Seems he is out of favour at Spurs these days & he needs to be playing regular football with the Euros in the summer. Whether a deal could be done remains to be seen but he had a great time first time around. Worth a go in my book.

  • Urbaneguerilla says:

    I’ll be honest, I think £3.75m is a decent return for someone who has looked to me to be coasting this season. His meagre stats don’t lie and Rowett’s comments about him seem to suggest he’s not unduly worried by his departure.
    I think the boss’s decisions have been largely sound so I’m ambivalent about him leaving and I wish him luck, but I’d rather have someone who is hungry to prove themself than someone with an eye on staying injury free and getting a big move. I would suggest GR feels the same.
    So good luck Dimmy and let’s see what the future brings. I suspect Mr Rowett has already set the wheels in motion to replace him.
    Personally I haven’t been looking forward to a window so much in years. Imagine improving what we have with some good, hungry characters. Very exciting.

  • mark says:

    well well well i said last year that one of our young guns would be sold for big money, lol
    5 million shouldn’t have not be sniff at when first bought to the table………..

    Good luck to gray, he may spent more time on the bench than he thinks….

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