Often Partisan

Pannu: You say it best when you say nothing at all.

With the news of the imminent return to these shores by Peter Pannu, there has been much discussion on Twitter and Facebook about the idea of Mr Pannu answering fan’s questions on Tom Ross’s radio show. I’ve been mulling over the whole idea for a couple of days, and I can’t see how it would work.

I put the question out on Twitter whether people would believe anything Peter Pannu said if he appeared on the Tom Ross show, and pretty much every reply I received was that that they wouldn’t. For whatever reason, Pannu is seen by many fans as symptomatic with what they think is wrong with the club, and because of that his credibility factor with a section of the fans is low. Throw in the fact that many people (including myself) see Tom Ross as being too close to the board and unwilling to criticise, and it becomes apparent that a Q&A session with Pannu would be worthless.

It’s a shame really, because transparency is a good thing – in my personal opinion the fans of the club have the moral right to know at least the thinking behind business decisions; I can understand that the nitty gritty of the business decisions need to be left to those in charge to live or die by, but if people can understand in simple terms why things are done the way they are, then maybe they’d be more understanding of the position Blues are in.

One major problem that has to be faced is that as a rule, people only hear what they want to hear and only like being told what they want to be told. For instance, Colin Tattum gets heavily criticised for not speculating on transfer gossip and the like; Tatts however is of the old school of journalism and prefers to concentrate on things he knows to be true rather than peddling the rumours set about by agents etc. Similarly, people want to hear about how Jasper Carrot, Jeff Lynne and Trevor Francis want to ride in on white chargers and “save the club” when the truth is that if they wanted to and were able they probably would have by now.

So it’s not only about the credibility of what Pannu says, but also the questions that are asked. I’ll be honest here and admit that even I’m not sure of what I’d ask him any more – because the only way some questions can be answered properly is to wait and see. To take an example from across the expressway, General Krulak used to engage with the claret and blue mob about their club; but there was never anything of substance and now the going is getting tough the Vietnam vet Krulak has gone. It would appear that openness and transparency is digital rather than analogue; you can’t be half-open, it has to be all the way or it’s not worth it.

People have told me that I should obtain an interview with Mr Pannu; I will be honest and confess that I have requested one from the Blues press office – but as you can imagine, as a humble blogger and not an accredited journalist, I am some way towards the back of the list of people to be granted one. I have however heard through the grapevine that Mr Pannu has indeed read Often Partisan – if that’s the case, and you are reading this Peter, I think the only one thing you could say that would make me personally happy is to affirm that the board are happy with the job Chris Hughton is doing and that the pressure to get the team promoted has been relaxed somewhat. Otherwise, it’s probably best just to get on with the job of running the club.

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40 Responses to “Pannu: You say it best when you say nothing at all.”

  • The Truth will hurt says:

    Perhaps the first question would be to ask exactly how much Pannu takes out of the club in wages, expenses, first class flights, cars, accommodation and cash?

  • willvbcfc says:

    I agree with you Almajir. As much as I love Tom Ross, he wouldn’t be hard hitting enough to get the answers we need out of the current board. Though really, we should be better informed through official media channels.

    I also have suspicions that Peter Pannu isn’t really privvy to a lot of the board level decisions, so he couldn’t answer many of the fundamentals. I’m not totally convinced that he is anything more than a poor guy stuck in the middle of the whole ordeal, trying to appease the fans and serve his employers at the same time.

    • The Truth will hurt says:

      Pannu is the only contact the club has with HK, and is in effect the sole operating Director. No-one at the club has any contact with Carson apart from Pannu, so Pannu can effectively do whatever he wants with impunity. If he says ‘Carson wants this that etc.’ nobody can actually verify this at all. There is no real ‘Board’ at all, it’s just Pannu.

  • alexjhurley says:

    Personally, I do think Mr pannu should do an interview.

    It’s clearly in the clubs interests to start generating some positive p.r. and already we have plenty to build on (Europe, decent football, reasonable family friendly prices, not paying Cameron Jerome 20k a week anymore to fall over when well placed etc ).

    Clearly a radio appearance or 2 won’t answer every question every fan has got, nor would it convince the cynics that pannu is trustworthy, but that’s not the point. The point is that a p.r. drive will help, it will start to win over supporters at the margins, and it will start to overcome the antipathy that has been growing towards pannu and Carson because of the wall of silence they have choosen to build.

    In short pannu needs to find a way to get people to like him again. He’s actually done a very difficult job post relegation very very well – the one thing we all seem to agree on is that we’ve got a better product on the pitch now – so pannu should be pointing some of these things out, rather than silently taking all the flack.

  • Dawn says:

    Is it really any of our business how much he takes out in wages etc…..can understand if he is “raping” the company but come on thats not really what we want to know and none of our business anyway-we want to know what is going to happen to our club what are they planning to do short and long term and do they really care about us now and if they do what are they intending to do to “fix” this great big mess they have got us into……..

    Great site btw :)

  • Carl says:

    I’m agree a couple of the posters above, Pannu has done a reasonable job since relegation in running the club – given the circumstances. Many people seem to focus their distrust on him but he’s not an owner with money, he can only run the club with what he’s allowed to juggle.

    As for people distrusting him on the basis of saying there would be no fire sale: 1) that was before CY was arrested and assets frozen 2) he may have been simply relaying what he was told.

    I’d be interested in a Q&A – but they’d be too many idiots calling just to vent their anger without articulating anything useful!

    • alexjhurley says:

      Agree. Also an interesting and moot point – the “fire sale”. I think pannu was true to his word about this, there was no fire sale – I.e. players sold quickly at knock down prices. We got fair value for everyone that went, and held on to a couple who would / could have gone. (zigic, ridgewell, foster remains our player).

      Cmon Mr pannu, stop letting these idiots run you down – its time to start sticking up for yourself for the good of the club.

  • Rathater says:

    I personally trust Ron Toss as much as our current board!
    ZERO %

  • skareggae72 says:

    Lets not foget the role of Steve McManaman,although im not really sure what his role is,although he clearly seems to have a close relationship with Yeung.
    A couple of minutes of googling brought up some old info that McManaman is paid a 5 figure fee(weekly?,monthly?)to advise and recruit players,and the info even stated that McManaman was looking to get his coaching badges and was hoping to move into management,anyone know if he actually has those badges now?.

  • smokinjon says:

    In my view the only questions that can be asked are those that Almajir suggests.

    As for what else is going on, time will only tell. There are no White Knights loaded with money interested in buying us and there is no money from HK coming in. We have what we have at the moment, ard nothing more bar a few potential loan signings, if the right players become available at the right time.

    As for blaming the board for our current situation, that is wrong. People think we are in this situation because the board did not back the club. Yet, millions were paid out in transfer fees, loan fees and additonal wages last year on players such as Martins, Hleb. Bentley, Zigic, Derbyshire, Foster, Beasaujour et al who (with one exception) did not perform to their high standards for the majority (or any) of the season.

    The Board did gamble on investment last year and we should have resonably finished mid table with the squad we had and, on past form at least, the attacking creativity in that squad. The fact we did not is more to do with under performance, bad selections and tactics, and an inability to treat injuries. Nothing CY Or PP could be expected to get involved with, surely?.

    The people resposible for our our current plight, McJudas and the underperforming players, have now gone. What we have now is a team that wants to play for us, and in the “right way” and a manager who wants to suceed. We should continue backing them, and only blame the board when they deserve the blame.

    KRO and SOTV

  • Gary says:

    At the end of the day these people are not tha same as us. They are in a plotical position and even in an interview situation there would be restrictions on what questions can be asked, and even if asked the question would be answered with a question or I will look into it, or no decision has been made. Give it up and get on with trying to help the lads on the pitch by getting behind them.

    Even if PP made promises that were not kept, which lets face it most people in his position tend to do (Shut you up until the next bit of scandal surfaces) what exactly does anyone think we can do about it.

    Take him out for dinner and you will come away a few quid lighter, non the wiser apart from feeling good about what you had heard. He would tie you in knots.


  • Swedish Bluenose says:

    I actually think it is a good idea with having Peter Pannu on the Tom Ross broadcasts. Our owner Carson Yeung is Chinese, but Peter Pannu is close to him and speaks good English. It could be very interesting to hear what he would say in such a show.
    I work with communications in China and I know how difficult the Chinese have to get the right messages out. But Pannu has a long experience of living in Hong Kong, like me, and that is living in both worlds.
    I have been a business journalist for more than 25 years. I have interviewed so many chief executives and also talked a lot to their spokespersons. It is often very interesting to hear the answers on my questions, because if you are well researched then you know what they are saying and often more interesting, what they are not saying.
    Someone mentioned Colin Tattum to be “the old school”. That is very rude, Tatts is the absolute best journalist covering Birmingham City and, actually, the only one I trust.
    In this new world with bloggers and twitters it is good to have someone that sticks to the rules of good journalism: when you publish something you should have sources to confirm that it is true.
    No wonder that everything that Tatts writes are immediately copied by bloggers and twitters.

    • Stratty says:

      Lol, Tatts has actually plagiarised from this site and stated the information as “his sources”….

      Although much better than Tom Ross, he still dances around his handbag and he failed to ask the real cutting edge questions when the time was right, a missed opportunity.

      I also live in the Far East and 90% of my business is done with successful Chinese entrepreneurs, so I have a cultural appreciation of they operate when compared to westerners.

      I feel that asking the board questions now is really trying to get them to admit and reflect on their failures and as you know this won’t happen or be accepted. They have f****d up big time and will stay quiet to keep “face”. The Chinese will stay rather than to admit failure.

      I also feel that Pannu is way out of his depth in this role, his comments “this is the reality of relegation” confirm this.

      The questions I would like answered are —

      1) Why did you not put relegation clauses in any of the players contracts when you negotiated them? (Surely they knew about this as they inherited contracts from the previous regime)

      2) What have you learnt from this and how would you do things differently in the future?

      In summary though, staying quiet is what they will do and probably their best tactic given the current sentiment towards them.

      Sadly I feel that we as fans will just have to get on with it and hope that they learn or they leave.


      p.s. Pannu should stick to presenting Masterchef!

  • Gary says:

    Why on earth would you want PP to answer questions on the Tom Ross show when he has just answered your questions in writing. These are straightforward facts and business common sense.I cant quite figure out what seems like a lot of Blues supporters want. Borrow money to buy players that do not guarantee anything apart from doing a runner if the going gets tough and worse for us bankrupt the club and send it into administration.
    Thank you PP. I hope a few others now understand your situation but unfortunately I doubt the majority even understood half of what you said.
    This is a good web site and fully deserving of your interest. Perhaps Tats might be a little envious. By the way what did happen between the two of you?


  • Gary says:

    Strange. it certainly rang true and begs the question why someone would do that. perhaps a political leak through the media back door. Put it back on with a heading to explain so that people can see it.

  • Gary says:

    Seemed very close to home though, and some of the grammar was convincing too. I dont think many people read it as there would have been a lot of responses. Wished I hadnt now.

  • Gary says:

    Check your web stats and see what region your visitors have come from this afternoon and evening, I am certain that whoever wrote that would be very curious to see what responses it got.

  • Mao says:

    Tom Ross’s questions would have us believe Blues are the new Man City, Pannu is the new Mother Theresa and Alex McLeish is an advocate of total football circa 1974.
    No one will ever know what they are up to because they don’t want us to know.
    Tattum would be the man to do it but Pannu doesn’t like him any more because he’s not a lap dog like Nursey I gather

  • Gary says:

    Tom Ross is a true blue all the way and he does wear blue tinted glasses, if his job didnt depend on it he would have a lot to say but as there seems to be a media block there isnt much for anyone to say. We just have to get on with it just like we did in the 60’s,70’s and 80’s when all we had was the Evening Mail reporting on what happened after the event rather than what might happen in the absence of any facts.
    Silence usually means all is not well, ask my wife and kids. We ask why it is silent because we care, but unfortunately all it does is wind us up the longer the silence goes on. We will know as soon as there is anything worth telling whether it be true, false or political spin to influence our thinking, We have no control over the situation and even if we were armed with the facts there would be powerless unless we had serious and surplus wealth.
    The owners of BCFC have made massive mistakes which was inevitable taking into account that the club was being run by people with little or no knowledge of the football industry. Experienced administration staff were let go and PP was either put in charge or put himself in charge of the running of the club. Ia m a very experienced businessman but would never take on a new venture without retaining staff with experience and know how in the industry, otherwise I fear my fate would be in my own hands just as it is with the owners of BCFC.
    I am however confident that lessons have been learned and we will move forwards under the clubs owners once the dust has settled.
    Football is more than just a business, people dont ask Tesco’s if they can get married or scatter the ashes of a loved one on their car parks.

  • Blue In Murcia says:

    Ask him why the hell Parnaby agreed a contract, passsed a medical, and was then not signed…. Disgrace!

  • Dawn says:

    Is ther any truthin the latest rumours regarding an extremely wealthy polish investor about to come on ?? being “discussed” on other well known blues forum??

  • PaulBaker says:

    Rumour has it that PP tore it up when he found out !

  • Tom Ross says:

    Peter has said he wont do the phone in after reading your blog. I am angry because although I enjoy your blogs and other stuff you do not speak for every Blues supporter.
    Your point that I would not ask the important questions is not true but merely your opinion but is irrelevant anyway because a phone in means the “fans” would be asking the questions and their mood at this time means they would not pull any punches.

  • Tom Ross says:

    I find some of the comments extremely interesting. I try to keep up to date with what is happening at Blues.. and ask questions. Unlike a lot of websites I have to be very careful about the laws of libel. That may not be of concermn to many but to me and BRMB it is. I don’t get caught up in the “wheres the money gone” attitude because I don’t know exactly what is going on at Blues.
    The financial situation is very worrying for any Blues fan. What are the answers. Most fans I speak to want CY to sell. Who to? No one is going to pay the 81 million he paid for it. Who are the other 80% of shareholders who own BIHL. How deep are the financial problems? What impact will CYs alledged money laundering charges have long and short term on Blues. and much much more do I want to know.
    However I also realise that the club had to make cuts especially when you consider how much of the yearly gate recipts is taken up by Zigic’s wages. Another question would be why was there no relegation cluase in his contract?
    We are all great players and great managers and yes great chairmen sitting here behind our computers without any responsibility for our actions..
    The one thing we all have is a genuine love for our club and yes deserve some answers.
    One final thing if PP or anyone else at the club came out and explained publicly just how bad financialy things were at BIHL then the Bank and creditors would get even more nervous and that could force even greater problems.
    I am told the club is trading OK with its biggest liability being 16 million pounds worth of loans that CY has made personally since taking over. I am also told that these are unsecured loans so if the club went under he would lose the lot.
    I am not frightened to ask the questions nor an I an apologist for CY & PP however I am also not an aggessive sensationalist. I beleived and still do that PP being asked questions by the fans was the best way to get the information the fans want to know.
    I also think that the club needs a better relationship with its fans that it currently has. PP & CY are the only men who can positively affect that

  • Bob Lang says:

    I have no sympathy for Tom ‘Hes a good mate of mine’ Ross. Your credibility went long ago when you started trying to impress everyone on radio with the number of people you’re mates with. No one is interested Tom. In these days of Twitter we can all claim to be mates with Darren Carter, chris Wood or other players/ex players on Twitter.
    Hand over the questions to a proper journo like Tatts or you (OP) do them.
    Pannu isn’t answering because he doesnt want us or the banks to know the truth.

    • Andy says:

      I have some sympathy for Tom,

      He lined up an interesting couple of hours of radio and then when this website questioned the wisdom of it all Pannu took the advice and cancelled his appearance.

      I think this is difficult for Tom Ross as for years he has be the main conduit between the fans and the upper management, unfortunately for him, the ease of self publishing on the internet (and the inclination of the powers at be to engage directly) means that for many fans he is no longer relevant and more hindrance than help.

      In much the same way that the internet poses serious problems for newspaper journalists it means that broadcasters will also need to adapt their offering.

  • Perry says:

    Does anyone seriously think Tom Ross is the right person to be doing this kind of interview anyway? The blike is an absolute disaster. Not once in the last 10 years has he asked anything in the way of an important question regarding the blues? You only have to look to the way McLeish left in the summer. Not one tough question was put to him anout the manner of his exit. Forget phone ins where Bob from Castle Vale gets to air his raciest views get a proper journalist like Tatts to do a proper interview asking proper hard questions.

  • Paul says:

    I agree with those stating that Tom Ross is not the man to carry out an interview if you want anything approaching insight into what’s going on at Blues. Only my opinion, but he is to investigative journalism what Jeremy Kyle is to psychiatric counselling.

  • Clifton says:

    The world of internet opinions Tom is one where you cant just hit the end call button – the fans have a new medium to express their voice … and it is not through you.

    Time to collect your Bronx Hat….

  • baldrick_the_cat says:

    I fully support OP’s right to state his opinion on the goings-on at BCFC. If you read the article properly, at no stage does he profess to speak for all the Blues fans

    Likewise, I am disappointed that a seasoned journalist like Tom would see fit to blab this to the world via Twitter/this blog – by doing it in this way it can only serve to fan the flames on the current tensions between the fans & Board.

    I value the contributions of OP, who has gone out of his way to try to uncover what is actually going on at the club, in the traditions of investigative journalism – for information & opinion, not sensationalism & rumour. More power to your pen, mate

  • Bluerinse says:

    Most of you are missing the point, it was a FANS FORUM, not a Tom Ross interview, and the fans were going to ask the questions live on radio, no editing or ducking the issues.

    Tom Ross is a well liked presenter who regardless of what is said on here, he keeps many fans up to date with the goings on at the Club. Most Blues fans do not TWITTER, FACEBOOK or read Bloggs.
    The fans on the internet forget that they are still a minority group.

    There is room in this world for all forms of fan communication and I’m sure TV and Radio are still the biggest.
    so its sad we don’t get to ask questions of PP, but its not the end of the world as I’m sure we would only hear half the truth anyway but it would of been good to get the measure the man!

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