Often Partisan

Happily Ever After

We’re less than a week away from the completion of what must be the longest-running saga in football – the takeover of Birmingham City by Trillion Trophy Asia. Yes, it’s true it’s going to be anti-climactic because it’s actually the shares in the holding company resuming trading with a different person at the helm – but this is it yeah? Happily ever after?

I’m going to come out and say it directly – I wonder what goes through some Blues fans heads. I saw someone on Facebook comment on Panos Pavlakis’ profile pic (try saying that drunk) that Panos was the Messiah. It’s not a comment out of nowhere either; regularly I see fans lather gushing praise over the club’s de facto Chief Executive Officer. Sure, he’s a nice enough bloke who is willing to actually speak to fans but the Messiah? Are we becoming that hyperbolic?

Likewise, the whole notion that next week is the end of all our ills I think is an unfounded one. The club is being bought as a by-product of a stock exchange move that sees the “Penny Stock King” Paul Suen Cho Hung take control of another listing. Judging by his previous MO he’s not doing it because he stood on the Kop as a boy – and I doubt very much we’ll hear anything from him directly either now or potentially ever.

Watching what is happening across the expressway (and to a lesser extent up in Wolverhampton) should be a lesson in being careful for what you wish for. Hell, I remember the protests against Sullivan and Gold when Blues were relegated against Blackburn – do you think those people would have been so quick out on the pitch if they knew what the next few years would bring.

Having hounded out an owner who spent £300million on their team, the mob across the expressway are now managerless again, in the lower reaches of the Championship having spunked another load of money in the summer… and they don’t look any better on the pitch. From what I hear the fun stuff hasn’t even begun to happen yet either; rumours abound from my contacts in Hong Kong that there may yet be further trouble ahead for B6.

The Paul Suen era will be just another chapter in Blues history – and I suspect it will be a short one. I’ve said this before that I don’t think it’s this coming ownership that is important but the one that follows it. I’ll go further than that and say that if I was one of the groups interested in buying Blues back in 2015 I’d be looking to put together something again ready for when Paul Suen moves it on – assuming he’s not found a buyer for it already. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has.

I won’t be popping a champagne cork come Monday morning to celebrate the end of the Carson era, or to congratulate the start of the Paul Suen era. I doubt anyone at BCFC will notice any difference either. However, just because it’s not happily ever after doesn’t mean it can’t be the start of a new, better chapter in Blues history.

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106 Responses to “Happily Ever After”

  • Colin Carberry says:

    “…rumours abound from my contacts in Hong Kong that there may yet be further trouble ahead for B6..”

    A bit cryptic, that, Daniel.

    • Des says:

      Great article! always loved that expression `spunked it up the wall` so graphic but such meaning! LOL you should try writing a novel, woops another one I meant!

  • Royinamillion says:

    Although we were assured by the new regime that ownership will not change for at least another 2 years I would not be surprised one iota if there is another (Chinese) buyer for Blues waiting in the wing to take over before the end of the current season especially if we are in the top two or six.

  • the badger says:

    Did Sullivan and the Gold actually invest £300mil of their own money in Blues???

  • Blue Boy says:

    The “Panos is not The Messiah” comment smacks of a bit of jealousy to me !

    Don’t worry, Daniel, Im sure he’s only borrowing it from you for a short while after which, normal service will be resumed.

  • Gerrard hehir says:

    Think he meant the yank for the vile. Because it certainly wasn’t gold and sullivan. Not that I wasn’t a fan of them though. They were great for our club and they left it in a great financial position,got what they wanted for it and then left it to Carson young. Don’t need to comment on him now do I. Well hopefully it is the start of something new, well at least we know we have a bit more of a financial backing now, don’t we?

    • chris says:

      I wouldn’t be so sure about financial backing, all he has done so far is cover debt & investment by the way of loans secured on St Andrews.
      I doubt there will be much more forthcoming over the rest of this season unless we sell someone.
      How much is left of that £13 million and the Gray money, once the last two seasons debt and E&Y fees are paid?
      Time will tell.

  • ChrisG says:

    With the agreement Paul Suen made about not selling the club for 2 years, am I right in assuming that if someone should make an offer in that time he will be able to accept the offer?.

  • WayCoolBlue says:

    Thanks Dan. Here’s to a bright future. KRO SOTV

  • Gerrard hehir says:

    I must add, that I know he’s not the messiah (he’s a very naughty boy)
    He is a breath of fresh air, just having him engage with us and not in a forced way like Dr who!!!!!!
    Which brings me to my next point about him. Lets just hope of our new guy does engage with us, then he won’t be either a. Forcing it big time and making most of us cringe with every stupid comment he makes . B. Not try to get any of there old managers. Kro sotv

  • BCFC83 says:

    It is difficult to see at the moment if this is going to be a good thing for the club or not. I don’t think Paul will be splashing any cash on us so could just be another two years of waiting around for something better but one thing is for sure I am glad Carson has gone and taken Pater Pan with him too!

  • Shane says:

    I think it’s quiet clear Paul Suen is going to come in put the club on a more even keel remove some of the uncertainty around who is going to arrive in the boardroom and what decisions they are going to make for their benefit from what I see it benefits Paul Suen if blues are competitive or better still promoted

    • WayCoolBlue says:

      Yep promotion could make him 60% profit or more. So he wont want to spend 100s of millions he wont want to be in the public eye flashing his cash like there is no tomorrow.

      The very limited amount of information I have seen on him from Dan and other sites show him to be a very shrewd Business man he spends money in order to make a profit he seems wise.

      So I expect him to use his money wisely. And make us competitive in this league. A competitive top 6 club is more reactive to buyers than one ticking over in the med table.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I think what we do on the pitch over the next six months could well dictate what TTA do off it so interesting times to come but yes I for one am just glad this saga is nearly over and the next ownership takeover will take a fraction of the time and be someone that will put us back where we all would like to be , in the premiership ( if not this season ) KRO

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think you’re right Dave. If, by January, we have a good chance of making it to the Premier league and all those millions, I think TTA would be mad not to at least have a crack at it. I’m not talking silly money, just a couple of decent additions to stop us crumbling like we did last season. Has to be worth a try when you think of the rewards.

  • AdamTrueBlue says:

    All this talk of Mr Suen and what he will do or bring to Blues, perhaps he has not one iota of care towards our beloved club and will drop us like a stone as soon as he has associated one of his other companies with the Bihl stock listing, then Bihl are free to discharge Blues within the two years because the constraint is on Bihl? Kro

  • Laurence says:

    Are you saying the Wolves owners FOSUN are dodgy?

    They seem the real deal and have been around, investing for years?

  • BhamCityJulian( says:

    Bloody hell Dan. You give moaning Brummies a bad name. :-)

    We got someone who has taken time, trouble and expense to acquire ‘us’. On the face of it he’s a clever and shrewd businessman who is honest and not an opportunist chancer like the other parties appear to be judging by their unwillingness to firm up their interest.

    Any whiff of bad vibes and Panos and Gary would have been long gone. Panos wouldn’t have put himself forward for the EFL role if he thought he’d be resigning from of being replaced at the helm and Gary would have send out ‘come and get me’ sound bites.

    Whatever TTA’s BCFC exit strategy I’ll wager it won’t be treading water or asset stripping

  • Art says:

    Interesting article Dan and it makes a great deal of sense.

    The takeover has never been about the football club it all about making a quick buck and the new owner appears to be the man to do exactly this.

    Sorry to say this is the modern way of running a football club .

    Foreign investors will never understand the family traditions ,passion and history associated with the supporters – it’s all about the money .

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Paul Suen is not buying BIH for altruistic reasons. He is purchasing it to make money, and there is nothing wrong in that.
    During his stewardship of the Company I hope that he will adequately finance the Club and sell it to a body who has the Club’s best interests at heart.

  • Faraz says:

    Hopefully if all goes well next week it’s the closure we all needed and put the Carson Yeung era behind us.

  • MA24 says:

    I want to know what the fun stuff is for our neighbours!?
    Thanks for keeping us updated throughout this long running saga!

  • Mitchell says:

    We will hopefully be stable from TTA involvement. More than that it is impossible to forecast.it would not surprise me if the future involves ‘tightening the belts’ and the thought of real competitive spending in order to reach the Premier League is wishful thinking. Top six is obviously the aim but will need the help of TTA investment to get there.Great if we get it but it would not be a great shock if we didn’t.

  • Mitchell says:

    Just an added thought Daniel.This dilution of Panos comes at a strange time. Yes the Messiah is a bit stretched but over the last two years he has been or supposedly been the main reason for EY etc. Without him where do you genuinely believe we would be at.

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    I think most reasonable thinking fans can see by now that Paul Suen isn’t going to be holding a big press conference and pledging millions to GR to have a crack at the Prem.He will build up the HKSE listing and sell us on when he’s ready.
    Overall we just have to be thankful that this sorry mess is coming to an end and we can all move on.Carsen is gone and we are looking a good side on the pitch.Waiting for an owner with money to spend on players doesn’t equate to success as the Vile are proving fantastically well.
    There won’t be any fanfare on the 17th but at last we can sweep all this crap under the carpet and concentrate on why we’re all Blues fans again and what a great start to the season we are having.Rowett seems to be getting the balance to the squad right with some young prospects coming through so exciting times ahead for the first time in a long time.

  • nicko says:

    What you said Daniel about b6 you are not far wrong i have heard people behind Dr xia are not very happy i to have a friend who works a lot in China Hong Kong he has heard things that makes him think another Carson young kro

  • Bluesy6 says:

    With all the interest in China at the present time regarding the growth of football in that country, it would not surprise me if the two year limit was also to give BCFC time to become a more attractive proposition with the intention of selling on to another Chinese owner at the end of the two years,

    just a thought

  • ChrisG says:

    I would imagine that TTA will concentrate more on building up BIHL than BCFC, thats not to say he wouldn’t want to build something up at blues, after all Paul Suen is a business man & he will want to get as much back for the club as possible considering he has already promised money for transfers & I think he’s already shelled out money on bills & debts BIHL had.

  • With the football scandals …and BLUES having gone through a rigid cleansing process TTA are driving a gold train ..They won’t want to sell yet though ,they will be looking for a big cheese ..and the lilywhite image will be a strong lure as it will be a risk free buy somewhat…

    • Hillfield Blues says:

      Agree.The club has been broken down forensically from the Yeung era in order to comply with HKSE regulations and is now squeaky clean with no skeletons in the cupboard.Massively attractive to potential investors you would think.

  • swissjonny says:

    Hillfield its a different world out there mate. Beneficial ownership is about as clear as the canal under spaghetti junction. Who was really behind Carsen? Who is really behind TTA ? How will we ever know? Its a never ending story my brother in blue. KRO

  • FlowerPower says:

    You’ve had it in for Panos since day one.

    Give him a break.

    Nobody considers him the Messiah! Or the mighty above all, it’s all said in good humour. Though you’ll happily manipulate that to have ANOTHER dig.

    • ChrisG says:

      Try reading Panos facebook page & some of the comments that people leave, you’d see that there ARE a lot of bluenoses out there that really DO think he’s the messiah

  • Another england manager over defensive for god sake ….

  • Agent Bruce says:

    Good summary. Panos is doing a good job but he is an employee. I suspect that nothing much will change in the short term but I do hope that we don’t eventually end up with a crazy owner. There seems to be many of them about in football at the moment.

  • Mitchell says:

    Today for me is how I can get my mind to dislike Brucie. Problem is I like him,and that’s it. Heavens help us-why Villa of all places. Must get over it and quick!

  • Colin Cross says:

    I think Hillfield 11 Oct 5.59pm sums the situation up perfectly.

    My analogy we have been dragged up from the bottom of a very deep pit where we were close to death; the life support has worked and we now have adequate oxygen to sit on a shelf nearer to the top of the pit, where we can survive for up to 2 years with enough food and water to strengthen us and prepare us to reach the ground, fully functioning.

    What happens when we reach the daylight (when Suen sells on) is the key factor that will determine our future. We don’t want the “bends” – have fake mOney pumped in so we spend crazy money and implode, we don’t want another Carson, so that we fall at breakneck speed back to the bottom of the pit.

    In my opinion what we desperately need next is an owner with enough money to buy the club and to invest sensibly in it, who will not cream sky cash off but invest it in the Club as teams like Stoke, Everton; Bournemouth and Southampton to varying degrees seem to have done very well in the medium and short term past.

    We have a progressive manager, an excellent academy and a fan base hardened in the face of adversity…time to progress to the next rung in the ladder

  • Martin says:

    This is good news on a number of points, BIH is cleaned up and a better managed company, BCFC is on the face on if making calm steady progress. Stability is key to any investment (unless you are in it for the fun) Our whole package GR PP and the rest of the staff is well rounded and profesional. This along with a top 6/10 finish to the season make the club interesting. If we can get bigger gates (at least now and then ) and show potential to fill the ground now i believe we are a much more trouble free investment for the right owner.
    Again guys footbal is now about Proffit and Loss more than anything else to owners.
    Us fans are the only constant along with good old St Andrews.

  • RBB says:

    I’ve read your posts for a while now Almajir and I’ve got to say that you come across so condescending and patronising when replying to fans comments. Lighten up a little !

  • So GR wants blues to be a football factory , or is it TTA s idea to make a big profit this way ; the biggest crieria of a good side is consistency , this will never be achieved with the changing of the guard at a football club unless it is done as most clubs do below first team level with the successful players promoted to the first team …for me the only reason why blues have not won a premiereship title is because of weak minded owners not being able to say no to a large offer for a player or for fear of going under if they don’t except . Blues have always Been a couple of players short of a good side …it sounds like TTA won’t be funding the club much but that we will be making our own way in life …kro

    • Mitchell says:

      Totally agree William. It is who we are and reality has always kicked in.Good,decent club with around 17000 loyal band of supporters who just about keep the faith with however is in charge. Unless mega rich diamonds come our way then onwards and occasionally upwards we go. When we win it is the best feeling I know so that is my drug to keep going down Stans.

  • Dave Mann says:

    McLaren back at Derby as manager . :-/ KRO

  • Kazakblue says:

    Due to tax scandal involving Southgate, is it the reason the Vile have not announced Brucie as Manager yet, maybe the FA are getting worried again over a possible scandal.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Maybe Southgate vile and Bruce England to swap ? KRO

  • Kazakblue says:

    Southgate to do another Middlesbrough with the Vile KRO

  • Dave Mann says:

    Yes please , if not Bruce can take them down . KRO

  • Dave Mann says:

    Apparently 6-30 is when vile will let Bruce manage there club .. Best of luck mate . KRO

  • Richard Granfield says:

    With a football manager there is a balance between knowledge/experience and motivation.
    The perceived wisdom is that young managers have a lot of the latter and very little of the former and older managers have a lot of the former, but waning motivation.
    Nobody disputes Bruce’s experience but it will be interesting to see how long his motivation lasts in the mad house in B6.

  • Mitchell says:

    I think Brucie will regard this as his last league job with the hope of an England call. Southgate will imo be short term and with no length of contract reported for Bruce at Villa it leaves the door open. In the meantime he will no doubt improve things at Villa and will attract enviable home crowds of 32000 plus. That is the key difference between our clubs.

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    A good manager Bruce is and always liked him.But there is no magic wand that’s going to make them shoot up the table and he’s got his work cut out.Its not like he can go and sign anyone till January and who would have thought that a champions league winning manager with big money to spend would be gone after just 11 games?.They are the poisoned chalice of football at the moment.

    • Bluey says:

      No magic wand required. Just motivation,man-management and a knowledge of the Championship. This is a 1st class appointment and i think we`ll see a different Aston FC club from now on.

  • Gerrard hehir says:

    I have to say, I think biasedness aside, brucie is a great appointment for the villa. Proven track record of getting you to prem. ( with who did he do that first). But with how the villa fans turn so quickly on anyone (Dont forget Di matteo didn’t have long) he is surely going to come under so much pressure, I just think a man of his stature shouldn’t want to put himself through it. Look at pulis. Made a name for himself now being a good solid manager in premier league. Why didn’t brucie just wait until right job come available in prem. On paper it’s about as good as a appointment villa could have made. But In reality, a rocky start and they will all be wanting his head on a stick. Just hope for our sake he doesn’t cole back to haunt us in couple weekends time. Yes I know our season doesn’t revolve around two particular fixtures. But trust me, I work with loads of villa fans love and i will be in for a right pasting if we lose. So where it wouldn’t make or break my season, it would put a smile on my and im sure all other bluenoses faces.
    Come on you blue boys. Lets hope brucie has remembered his tasks in perfect order hey?

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    It should be mentioned that TTA’s shareholding is now 81.15% for a couple of days before dropping to 60.72%

  • Mitchell says:

    If ever there was motivation for GR to galvanise our position in the league it is now with this Villa appointment. Yes, bluey is right in predicting a surge up the table with Brucie in charge and with his expensive forwards like McCormack,Kodja,Ayew,Adomah and Gestede he has no excuse not to. However,we are a decent squad with given the right formation-starting tomorrow we should continue to keep a sizeable gap between our rivals continue. Adams,Donaldson,Jukey and Cotterill-not to mention Maghoma are good Championship material on a par to most fancied teams. Tactical know how is required to match Brucie and I just hope Gary Rowett has it.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Sky sports just shown Steve Bruce press conference , the chairman said the last time Bruce was in Birmingham The proclaimers were in the charts with ” 500 miles” .. Shows is intelligence … Bruce , spoke well and is record against the vile when Blues manager was excellent , a bit worrying to be honest so potatoe head were after you and your mob from B6 so keep your guard up and let’s hope 2007 was only 9 years away and that on October 30th you and your vile club are treated to a defeat and humiliation that you use to dish out when our manager , let’s hope so anyway . KRO

  • Dave Mann says:

    Sorry “his” not “is” .

  • Mitchell says:

    Dave. I can sense your continued respect for Brucie and this goes for us all imo. Anyone but SB would have been acceptable and it will take a little time for him to be regarded as the enemy. Obviously Oct.30 th will change all that and imperative we come through that undefeated. I still feel if he had held out for a little longer he would have walked into any Premier job come the first sackings,but perhaps his Knowle based home has counted strongly.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Without question Mitchell , he lives local and the vile job was available , why not ? He has no reason to feel as though his connections with us should make any difference , he’s not a brummie and managed and played for our club , so what! .. Blues fans who call him judas should start supporting the club properly and stop having problems with his new job at the vile …no booing , no clapping for me on Derby day just a silent dig and face pulling , that’s all it should be . KRO

  • Gerrard hehir says:

    No one has called him judas! We’ve all said that we would have rather him not do it but no one has mentioned him being a judas! Even from what you read on here, you can see we all hold him with massive respect which I believe shows both how well he done, and what genuine supporters bcfc are lucky to have. Brucie top guy, great memories of him managing and playing for us. But he now manages our local rivals. So for now we cannot dwell on sb and what he once was for us. I’m sure he will continue to handle things with a air of dignity and pride. Now I believe us blues fans should do the same. Keep right on. Sotv

    • Dave Mann says:

      There are fans that have called him judas Gerrard , not on this site but on others and that’s what I was stating so let’s make that clear ok … As I said he’s not one of us so going to vile should not be a problem with us fans but you always get the few who think he’s betrayed us , load of codswallop if you ask me . KRO

      • Gerrard hehir says:

        I’m sure you wouldn’t need me to tell you that there’s always going to be some mindless fans that would say stupid things like that.
        But they are a minority.
        Your comment previous to mine, you would think we was all throwing silver at brucie or summit. What other sites then? Wherever I look there is a steady response from us all.

  • paule says:

    Done well for us but I don’t give a toss about him now, consentrate on Rowett and the team because Bruce won’t give a shit about us come derby day kro

  • Mitchell says:

    With the Villa job taken and McLaren at Derby-all this points to a rejuvenated GR. That is not to say he was ever interested in these posts but speculation must have got to him. Tougher,stronger character now required for Gary and what better way to really forge ahead than of tonight. Places up for grabs must ensure the starting eleven are at it from minute one. If I we’re GR I would desperately want an undefeated game going into TTA coming of age on Monday next.

  • Gerrard hehir says:

    What do you mean? Throughout the whole saga we haven’t even been playing? If the fans you travel with are calling him a judas then you might want to start travelling in a different car mate. I to have season ticket with blues and have travelled away so far twice this season. So I know a fair few bluenoses. I don’t see many being stupid over brucie going villa. I see more idiots from there side saying they don’t want him! Kro sotv

  • Dave Mann says:

    I said SOME fans Gerrard , a minority , don’t take it out of context and don’t get upset about it . .. and I don’t go by car mate :) KRO

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    Do you really think GR needs to be rejuvenated and show a stronger carachter Mitchell?.You could say that Rowetts efforts with his squad should motivate Steve Bruce imo.

  • Gerrard hehir says:

    Ooh don’t you. How very exclusive……………chauffer driven then? kro.

  • Dave Mann says:

    That would be telling . :) KRO

  • Gerrard hehir says:

    The bus then. Thought so. Now be a good boy and drink you’re milk.! Kro

  • Dave Mann says:

    Prefer a beer mate to be honest . :) KRO

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