Often Partisan

What next for Birmingham City?

Before we go any further, let me warn you: this isn’t a “news” type post. There’s going to be tonnes of that flying around in the next few days, and I won’t be blogging fast enough to keep up with that. Instead I’m going to be a little bit egotistical and use this post to jot down what I’m thinking right now about Blues, and what I think of the future. Speculation and conjecture ahoy, basically.

I’m still a bit shocked by the McLeish departure. It’s all so sudden; things had been cantering on nicely, we’d made a couple of signings, got pre-season sorted and was looking at a few other players. Then all of a sudden, Tatts breaks the news on twitter that Eck is going and the shit hits the fan. As anyone who tried to log onto this site yesterday evening will tell you, it wasn’t up – the sheer weight of people accessing this site, and smallheathalliance.com (who I share hosting with) just killed it. Twitter was aflame with Blues and Villa fans going apeshit at the thought of Eck making the journey across the expressway. I don’t think it’s as cut and dried that he will go to the Villa; for one I think the Blues will demand some compo, and for two I think Lerner will get spooked by the sheer backlash. However, if he goes ahead with it I forsee a certain ginger Glaswegian becoming the most hated man in Birmingham.

Throw in the news that two players – Danny Koevermans, who I mentioned on the blog yesterday, and Senegalese midfielder Morgaro Gomis were due into Birmingham today to have their medicals, having agreed personal terms on Bosman deals – and you have to wonder what the hell McLeish was doing with his timing. Pannu is out of the country in Amsterdam (maybe to tie up the Koevermans deal?) and McLeish sends him an email saying “I’m off”. Something doesn’t stack up right. I can’t believe we’ll go ahead with these transfers, and I wonder what Chris Burke and Marlon King are thinking now?

The word came from Tom Ross via Twitter that Peter Pannu wasn’t going to allow McLeish to talk to any other club as he’s still under contract with us – no doubt there is a notice period etc – and that Pannu is going to consult lawyers. Does the club think Eck has been tapped up? The management is in a bit of a mess as it is; Montgomery hasn’t quite gone yet as he’s still sorting out his severance despite being “sacked” a couple of weeks ago. It also has to be asked if we’re going to lose Andy Watson, Peter Grant and Dave Watson. I’m particularly worried about Dave Watson going; he’s been apparently the reason we’ve had some excellent keepers in the last couple of years, and he’s going to be sorely missed if he follows Eck out the exit door.

Interestingly, there isn’t anything in the Chinese media about McLeish going. I easily found news stories of King and Burke signing over the last few days, but there is nothing about today’s events online in China. The share price in BIH is currently 30% ish down on what it was just before we were relegated, and with upheaval amongst the board there you have to wonder how far up shit creek we might be, and how paddle-less we’ve become.

I try to be an optimist. I try very hard to believe that the club is moving in the right direction, but the last week or so has tried my faith, and is continuing to do so. Regardless of what Eck does next, the Blues board need to be assertive and sort out our situation as soon as they can; pre-season training starts in three weeks and our league campaign in seven. My biggest fear is that of an exodus of players following Eck out the door. That would condemn us possibly to a season of mediocrity in the second tier; a far cry from that heady afternoon in London in February.


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3 Responses to “What next for Birmingham City?”

  • JohnR says:

    I completely share your concerns about what the future holds at Blues. The reason why i thought we would keep the majority of our better players was because of McLeish. Now he’s gone Iike you I can see them all heading for the door. I have exactly the same thoughts about Dave Watson.

    This is a massive test for the Board and Pannu in particular. Do they have the ability to run a football club and make the right decisions. I never thought I’d say this but at a time like this we need the likes of Sullivan, Gold and Brady.

    I’m not looking forward to the next few weeks.

  • Wingman Blue says:

    Agree as well. Things don’t stack up. Someone, anyone, needs to get a grip of this – if Eckx had not gone, we’d have heard clarification by now, so he must have. If the ship ain’t steadied soon, we’re gonna lose all the quality players, and we’re in the Championship for years to come….

  • […] I said that if Eck took the Villa job he’d be the most hated man in Birmingham. I still stand by […]

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