Often Partisan

Peter Pannu’s Press Problem

Ever get that feeling of déjà vu? It’s not just a glitch in the matrix; Peter Pannu‘s statement of intent with regards to not selling players seems eerily reminiscent of something David Sullivan would say. Judging by the reaction on some of the messageboards, it’s gone down as well as something Sullivan would say towards the end of his tenure at the helm of Birmingham City. However, I think the question has to be asked – what can Peter Pannu say that would please Birmingham City fans?

I’m not in the Pannu fan club. To be honest, I’m yet to be convinced what is actual job is above being a mouthpiece for Carson Yeung. Mr Pannu is listed as “acting Chairman” of Birmingham City – yet we have a chairman, Vico Hui, who is based primarily in Hong Kong. He talks a lot about the club’s finances – yet he is no way responsible for them – indeed, it’s worth asking if Pannu is even 100% in the loop with regards to Blues finances. So yes, I’m a sceptic.

Let’s look at this logically. If the club just didn’t say anything at all, ie had a media blackout and left the press to find stuff out for themselves, would things be any better? I can’t say that it would; indeed, I think it would be worse. We’d be subjected to a lot of conjecture and guesswork from the mainstream media, who seem intent on labelling Blues as a crisis club. A lack of confirmation or denial would allow the sceptical side of the media to project an image on the club that it is in financial dire straits, and some people would see silence from the club as confirmation of the rumours as truth.

If Carson or Pannu came out and said “yeah, everything is fine, we’ve got pots of money” I think many wouldn’t believe them. We’ve already had the “£40million/£80million” line – why would anyone believe for a second that Blues are going to spend massive amounts of money. Many Blues fans seem to think Carson hasn’t got the proverbial pot to piss in. I think even if Carson produced a bank statement in his own name, with a balance with plenty of zeroes (in the right places), people would either declare it as a fake, or would question out loud where the money came from. Not only that, but people would point to our previous owners being very rich yet seemingly not spending much on the club.

As it is, Pannu has come out and said that we won’t be selling any players cheap. Again, it’s something we’ve heard before – but until September 1st rolls along and that promise has been kept, how many people are going to believe it. We all know the score – players want to play in the top flight, Blues are going to lose a ruckload of money by being relegated, so some sales are going to have to happen surely as a matter of course. “Cheap” is a subjective term – I’d say letting go Roger Johnson for £7-8million would probably be good business; others might say that was undercutting ourselves and we should hold out for an eight figure sum. You can start to see that Pannu and by extension Carson are in a bit of a no-win position.

Today is still only the first day of June; the season doesn’t start for nine and half weeks and the transfer window has a full three months to run. I’ve said a few times already it’s going to be a long summer – and a difficult one for the board. The only thing I can surmise from thinking about this is that actions speak louder than words. Words written in newspapers are there to sell newspapers; let’s not judge the club until something actually happens.

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3 Responses to “Peter Pannu’s Press Problem”

  • Letsby Avenue says:

    Peter Pannu apparently spent his first year in getting a degree in Fotball Aministration/Business in London, whilst also managing his job at Blues.

    He is often late off the mark in responding to media hype and insinuation about blues- so late at times that the rumours and fantasies have been regurgiated and repeated on blogs, forums and by other journalists that it seeems if you read the same thing in four or five different places- well, it’s gotta be the truth ennit?

    Peter famously defending himself earlier this year by saying how long it took him to find out details about some loan/share issue – because it was so complicated and was Hong Kong (different rules etc) that his retro-active PR was wetter than a soggy lettuce in attacked the fire that had been stoked up.

    Out-of-the-Loop ?

    He gives that impression. He is not as ‘hands on’ as Sullivan, who would respond with guns blazing before the ink of first journalist’s inference was dry. Peter seems to be ‘hands-on’ on a weekly basis. Long after the rumour has found roots, along comes Peter.

    I know we are dammed if we do or dammed if we don’t, and a lot of itis to do – imo – with the ignorance of journalists and lack of contact with the club by journalists before they publish – but from Peter I would hope for more pro-activity, more upbeat and more trust.

    Speak to the fans, through whatever outlets and build a network of supportive journalists and commentators.

    • almajir says:

      Your last sentence hits the nail on the head. When the board came to the club, they told us “we were all family”, and that they wanted to be inclusive, and in fairness to them they have tried – the supporters club forums have been a success and they seem to be communicating much better via social media.

      However, I think Mr Pannu is too insular. If General Krulak at the Villa can engage with the fans, so can Pannu. The facilities are there to do it – the officlal messageboard could handle a Q&A session, or maybe a webchat?

  • AR says:

    I for one would be bitterly disappointed if Roger Johnson went for anything less than £15million, especially if the going rate for Cahill is supposed to be £18-£20million. The same applies to Dann & Foster. Give PP a chance, he’s trying to defend a very difficult position at the moment,& as you say he is damned by some of the press & some so-called supporters whatever he says.

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