Often Partisan

Everything must go?

And so it begins. Reports that Craig Gardner has all but sealed his move to the Stadium of Light; reports of a Stoke joint bid for Scott Dann and Cameron Jerome. The great “everything must go sale” has begun and it’s set off some discussions on the forums, and I thought I’d write a quick post about the way I see it.

Whilst Sky has since reported that the joint bid for Dann and Jerome from Stoke has been rejected, Colin Tattum has tweeted to say that the clubs are in discussions regarding the bid which to my mind means that it could possibly happen. I have to admit, I’ve felt all along that Blues will be losing a few players this summer; it’s a financial fact of life that the Blues need to bring in some transfer income and lose some high wages to ensure the balance sheet stays in the black and more importantly that there is some cash in the kitty. What is key for the board right now is how they present potential sales to the fans.

What worries me is that the words “fire sale” could come back to haunt Peter Pannu. People have differing ideas as to what it means – for some a “fire sale” is just where a number of players are sold – which I think is going to have to happen. For me, what Pannu was trying to get across is that Blues are not in the position Portsmouth were 12 months ago where they had to get shot of players for whatever they could get for them. Blues can afford to play a little bit of hardball; they’ve got some good quality players and there is no sense in accepting any bid that comes in for our “crown jewels”.

It’s also important to remember that just because a deal is reported by the press as “x million”, that doesn’t take into account how the money is paid. It’s not even a question of a certain amount down and a certain amount based on various clauses; if the club are offered a deal for an amount in hard cash up front then this has to be seen as a better deal than a bit more spread over two, three or even four years – which is how many transfer deals get paid these days. If Blues are selling to ensure cash flow for this season, then they need to get money in the door right now; money later might not be good enough.

I know many fans want to see us bounce straight back up next year and think the only way that is possible is to hold on to all our current squad. I honestly can’t see that happening, as Blues need the money and some players want out anyways. It’s going to be a challenge for Chris Hughton, but if he can bring in some new talent on frees, or by picking up younger cheaper talent scouted from around the lower leagues or abroad then things could look up. We bought Johnson and Dann in from the lower divisions to be our centre half partnership in the top flight and they worked out just fine. We took Carr on from his “retirement” and he’s now a mainstay of our defence. If Blues can be shrewd in reinvesting money from selling, then things needn’t be as bad as they seem.



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16 Responses to “Everything must go?”

  • chris says:

    to me selling gardner is a fire sale, because as you said and as i have discussed with friends it means different things to all of us.
    to sell a 10 goal prem midfielder for a poxy 6 mill is far too cheap more like 8 to 10 mill.
    find another 25 yr old midfielder and i bet he goes for 10 mill plus.
    from what i have read it is blues who are pushing the sale as he doesn’t have a relegation clause so he would still be earning 20k a week.
    poor contract negotiations from the board when they signed him and short sighted when it could be the difference between promotion and years in the championship.
    last time we went down we took about a 10 to 20 mill loss and kept most of the squad , so why does most people expect us to sell more players this time than we did the first time McJudas took us down?
    or is it the fact yeung has wasted 30 mill on his poxy deals in china now we & the club are having to pay for his mistakes off the field.

    • almajir says:

      I think you’re being very unfair on Carson Yeung.

      For one, the Craig Gardner contract was handled by Michael Dunford. Remember him?

      For two, what poxy deals in China? Carson hasn’t actually spent a penny piece of BIH’s money in China; he’s proposed some deals but as yet nothing has gone through.

      The gap between the Premiership and the Championship has widened further than last time; we have more high wage earners than ever with the club (Zigic and Foster were both supposed to be on in excess of 50k per week, way more than anyone the last time we got relegated). It’s too easy to criticise the board when it seems all they’ve done wrong is back McLeish heavily with money for players transfer fees and their wages.

      • Giblets says:

        Let’s face it cy and the mystery backers havent got 2 yen to rub together. They bought what was an overpriced car and now realise they can’t afford to rum it and are busy selling off the alloys to pay for the petrol to run thing. By the way why did Dunford go ? I think he knew there was trouble ahead and these lot are a bunch of jokers. Negativity ? No chap , its realism and not blind faith in a board who have mo business acumen at all. Good luck to houghton as he is going to need it – on what criteria is Peter Pan expecting us to return to the prem straight away ? I just dont get it!

        • almajir says:

          How do you know that they don’t have 2 yen to rub together? (BTW, That’s Japanese currency, they use the Yuan in China)

          Why did Dunford go? Was it because he wasn’t really doing a good enough job and the board thought Pannu could do just as well?

          The fact is nobody really knows what Carson wants or his personal wealth. You’re making assumptions based on negative conjecture. Realism? Maybe to you, but it’s blinded negativity to me.

          • Giblets says:

            Dunford spent 6 years at Everton in same position , PP was old bill from HK – errrr ?
            Reassuring to hear ‘no one knows what Carsen wants’

  • JohnR says:

    Pannu/Yeung want Blues to get promotion at the first attempt but are stripping Hughton of the tools to do it. Keep as many of our so called stars as we can and give this season a real go, if that means that Yeung has to subsidise the club for a season so be it, don’t forget we are due a substantial parachute payment.

    My fear is that we let all the good players go and start the season with a team of Bosmans and loan players. The money they would get in for these transfers and the savings on wages would more than make up for the loss of income caused by relegation and that ignores the parachute payment. If I’m right it means that our finances are in a much worse position than has currently been reported.

    The way things are looking at the moment I don’t think we have any real chance of promotion this year. I just hope I’m proved wrong.

  • JK1875 says:

    I really enjoyed this article, even though I can’t help but disagree.

    Firstly, you write, “… Blues need to bring in some transfer income and lose some high wages to ensure the balance sheet stays in the black and more importantly that there is some cash in the kitty.” Well we are NOT in the black are we? So how do we stay somewhere that we haven’t been since Yeung first unsettled the club up in his failed bid 4 yrs ago? As for cash in the transfer kitty, for whom? We are pursuing journeymen Bosmans only.

    Then you argue that what matters most is the presentation spin that the board put on the dire financial situation! I am astonished that anybody outside of Yeung’s cabal considers the PRESENTATION of the club’s problem as being “key”! What IS “key” is solving those problems, what is “key” is admitting their failures and working to address them. Might I suggest the appointment of a full time permanent chairman who understands the intricacies of football? Or even a chief exec? Remember Dunford? What exactly went on there?

    Later you write “if the club are offered a deal for an amount in hard cash up front then this has to be seen as a better deal than a bit more spread over two, three or even four years” A little less cash upfront rather than more spread over time IS indeed better for somebody, but it is not better for “the club” nor is it better for the fans. Who does it suit? Could it be the broke joke that is Our Dear Leader? If so what does that tell us all about where the cash raised by the sale of the playing staff is actually going?

    This is not about semantics, this is about hard financial realities and a mind set which has pervaded the club and has run from the top all the way down.

    “We are family” was the line spun repeatedly by Our Dear Leader & his henchmen when they first arrived, beguiling many with talk of cash to spend, a future to build in the east and assurances of what a financial titan Our Dear Leader is back in Hong Kong. Well it turns out that Daddy has become a deadbeat in dereliction of his parental duties. Maybe it’s time to call the CSA?


    • almajir says:

      As I’ve previously stated, from what I understand the board got rid of Dunford as they believed that the role was duplicated, and that it could be done by Pannu. I accept people don’t think Pannu has done a good a job as Dunford might have done, but I would disagree.

      Also, why do people automatically assume Carson is skint? Just because there isn’t anything reported on his wealth here doesn’t automatically mean it. It might be that Carson doesn’t want to run Blues as his own personal play thing and wants it to run like a business. The simple fact is Blues spent a lot of money on players last season in wages and transfer fees, regardless of what anyone thinks, and those players didn’t perform. Relegation has cost the club a massive amount of money; the club is too dependant on Sky for income and because of that we’re suffering.

      • JK1875 says:

        The reason Blues are in financial trouble is because the man who you consider to have done a good job, Pannu, failed to build a contingency for relegation and failed to even bother to draw up a financial plan based on the highly likely proposition that BCFC would suffer relegation. Brady did not fall into such an obvious trap and nor would anybody with even the merest scintilla of business nous.

        I don’t care that Our Dear Leader is a broke deadbeat, I just wish he would stop pretending that he is a financial genius with a master plan which is about to come to fruition. Also the judgement of Our Dear Leader must be brought into question if, as you claim, he chose Pannu to manage the affairs of OUR club over the experienced & reputable Dunford.

        I do care that Pannu is running OUR club and that he has no knowledge and no experience in football. Even this wouldn’t be a problem if he had shown ANY signs that he was learning or ANY sign that he wasn’t a blithering poltroon.

        The real crime that these two interlopers have committed is making staunch and ardent Bluenoses defend their every mistake as a matter of club pride. THEY are not the club. WE are the club.

        They have managed to usurp the special affection in which WE hold OUR club and to transplant themselves where once was BCFC and to muddy the waters to such an extent that hardcore fans now concern themselves not with what the board are actually doing but how the board should present it to the fans; not with how the CLUB may best maximise it’s revenues but how much cash upfront can be garnered to pay ODL’s milk bill.


        • almajir says:

          “Failed to draw up a plan if we got relegated”

          That’s why we’ve passed the UEFA financial fair play test.

          It appears to me that the board have got a plan for dealing with relegation – it’s called selling a few players. You might not like it, but it’s the way it has to be. The reason why it’s important how the board present sales is because fans (such as yourself, it would seem) can’t seem to accept we can’t pay Premiership wages in the Championship.

          This is an argument that will go round and round in circles. You have the opinion that the board are broke and are doing everything wrong. That’s fine; you’re entitled to have that opinion. I however believe you’re wrong.

          • JK1875 says:

            I note with interest your somewhat indignant comments in reply to others questioning whether or not they had facts at their finger tips or were dealing in supposition and sensationalism.

            It seems however that in your last response to my comments you have descended to throwing unfounded allegations if not outright deceptions.

            You don’t know what I think. You could not have read what I posted because if you had you would have realised that I am not calling for increased expenditure, just as I am not calling for ANY expenditure at all.

            What I do want is competent and experienced administrators, honesty & increased transparency in the financial dealings of the club and for ODL to do what he said he would do or to clarify his plans.

            What i would like to see is fans engage their critical faculty and to stop conflating BCFC with ODL and Pannu.

            I would thank you to respond to what I have written not what you imagine that I have written or what you find convenient to reply to; or just don’t bother at all.


  • almajir says:

    As I said, this is an argument that will go round in circles.

    “Competent and Experienced Administrators”.

    This is a subjective term. The club haven’t gone bust, and the board seem to be at pains to ensure that that will not happen. Europe’s highest governing body regarding football has okayed our plans for this season and have given us a licence for European competition. That would say to me that we can’t be in as poor shape as some are making out. Julia Shelton (head of football administration) and Roger Lloyd (CFO) are both experienced and competent administrators with regards to football clubs; Pannu is a figurehead, a mouthpiece for Carson and should really be viewed as nothing much more.

    “increased transparency”

    I can understand why people want this, but it’s not going to happen; it’s not the way the Chinese do business.

    “Carson to clarify his plans”

    What would you like him to say? He said when he bought the club he was going to pump a shedload of money in and got roundly criticised. If he says the same now, he’s going to get the same criticism. If he says “we’re going to sell players and cut our cloth to suit the situation we’re in”, it’s no different to what we actually are doing, and he’s going to get criticised. He’s in a no-win situation and for me the best thing he can do right now is to keep schtum and get on with it.

    As much as it seems to pain you, Yeung is the guy who runs the club. Therefore right now he and BCFC are pretty entwined; it’s hard to talk about BCFC and it’s financial direction without talking about Carson. I’m not entirely sure what you want, and what you are looking for.

    Finally, regarding your last sentence – I’d like to remind you that it’s my website. If you do not like what I have to say, you are perfectly entitled to read something else. Please respect that fact.

    • JK1875 says:

      Do you want to revise your stance in the light of the latest news?

      Or will you continue to be “happy” with a club being run in such an opaque and incompetent manner?

      What is the point of building your fine blog and your fine reputation and then ignoring what is obvious and is staring you in the face?

      IF Yeung is convicted after he is charged tomorrow will he remain a fit and proper person? Will those fans that have been duped see the scales fall from their eyes? Will those responsible elements of the media start to do their jobs and actually investigate rather than swallowing the sh*te fed to them by Pannu & Yeung?

      I hope so but I won’t be holding my breath; more likely I will be shot as being one of the doomsayers that brought this on.


      • almajir says:

        He won’t be convicted tomorrow. He may be charged, but to be convicted you have to be tried by your peers in a court of law. That process takes a while.

  • alexjhurley@btinternet.com says:

    When Sullivan, Gold and Brady were in charge the “average fan” consistently berated them for not investing enough in the “sleeping giant” which the “average fan” then claimed us to be (although we clearly never were). Yet the books were balanced and over their 15 tenure we improved almost unrecognisably both on and off the field should have won the League Cup and finished 10th In the Prem. But that wasn’t good enough and the “average fan” pretty much forced them out with the disgraceful protests at St Andrews when we went down in 2008.

    How ironic that the “average fan” now appears unhappy precisely because Mssrs Yeung and Pannu have done exactly what the previous owners were so dispised for not doing – namely bankrolling the previous manager beyond the clubs means. The previous manager didn’t get enough out of the players at his disposal and we all know the rest. Now we have to balance the books and we should all thanks Mssrs Pannu, Yeung and the previous manager for ensuring we have considerable saleable assets AND absolutely no dead wood on long term expensive contracts. I’d call that effective contingency planning.

    When will people realise that we are always going to be a yo-yo club – the size of our support base dictates this and there’s NOTHING any owner can do about it regardless of the strategy they adopt. I love supporting Blues because life is never dull and being the underdog is part of our culture. For the “average fan” who’s never ever happy – why don’t you pi55 off and go and support Man U.

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