Often Partisan

Don’t Believe The Hype

One of the hardest things about writing articles for this blog is writing about something not happening. If there is something reported in the media that’s going on, I can link to it and cite my sources; however it’s an impossibility to prove that something isn’t happening because of a lack of information. With this in mind, please bear with me with this article.

There are a lot of rumours going around various forums about an impending takeover of BCFC; this has been fuelled by rumours of the accounts being looked at by various interested parties and of talk of people being taken to St Andrews on Saturday by Peter Pannu. I’m going to confess here and now that I cannot see how these rumours have any credence, and as such I’m not going to talk about the specifics of them too much.

Whilst I’m just a fan like anyone else who reads this blog, I’ve been asked by a few people via various methods if I know “what is going on.” The truth is, I don’t know much more than anyone else does. I’d go as far as saying that right now there is a real paucity of information out there, and that it’s my personal opinion nobody but Pannu and Carson truly know what is going on with the club. With this in mind, I have to take a position of scepticism when someone comes out with non-public domain information on a forum without any explanation as to how they’ve obtained it.

As you may know, I scan through the Chinese newspapers from HK and the PR China on pretty much a daily basis. Right now, there is very little mention of Carson and/or Birmingham City barring repetition of information we already know (ie the court case, and the refusal to allow Carson to travel). I will readily admit that there are often things happening behind the scenes that aren’t reported and as such it cannot be accepted as 100% fact that nothing is happening because nothing is being reported; however, gossip does abound in the newspapers before news breaks and I only have to look at the talk of possible investment from a Guangdong real estate developer that was mooted in the press over there (and blogged about on here) before the news broke that Yang Yuezhou (a real estate developer, born in Guangdong) brought his Yuan into play.

Right now, there is a lot of understandable antipathy towards the current board, and as such I think it makes for a fertile breeding ground for rumours of investment because people want to believe that someone is out there to “save us” as it were. Personally, I’m not actually convinced Blues need saving –  it would be nice to have a new investor take an interest and put in some cash, but as much as people criticise Carson I believe it will be hard to find another owner who has such passion for the game. Whilst there maybe someone out there who sees Blues as a viable business opportunity, will they want us to succeed as much as our current owners do?

In short, what I’m trying to say is that people shouldn’t pin their hopes on a new investor that may well not be out there. I’ve heard via the grapevine that Carson will only accept a massive offer to sell the club; would a new investor be prepared to pay over the odds for a club that is in the second tier, doesn’t have much in the way of assets and that can barely half fill it’s stadium currently? And if that did happen, would a new investor be the answer to all the problems the club is seen to be facing right now? Again, there is absolutely no guarantee of that – because it’s not just about money being invested, it’s about the intentions of any owner or investor for the club. I’ve said this many times recently, but it does seem to me the only thing we can do as fans is wait and see, and back the team in the meantime.

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24 Responses to “Don’t Believe The Hype”

  • Intheknow says:

    People won’t like this blog, far too much sense and not enough guess work, ‘in the know’ crazy rumours and libel. Some of the stuff I see on other forums is embarrassing and without any credence of fact but still fans want to believe like Fox Mulder

  • Bluenosesol says:

    All fair comment Almajir, but the prevailing uncertainty continues to escalate the disaffection of the fan base and even to an extent the undermining of the team’s potential. Pannu we assume is an intelligent man and his failure to engage to provide a positive perspective on what is really going on will encourage the supporters to assume the worst and to clutch at straws. Despite all the positive slant on the passionate and hard working aspects of Pannu, for me his performance this season to date has been appaling, from the pre-season “little boy lost” response to Carson’s situation, to the promise of no fire sale and ending up with his “dark side of the moon” approach to PR, the fans and the media. CY’s situation and the club finances are not going to resolve any time soon and in the meantime, many fear that the escalating demise of the club shows no sign of abating.

  • thomas hallberg says:

    I must give credit to often partisan. As a supporter from Sweden we really don’t hear much about the club and after Seb has left it became even more quit. But reading these lines really gives us a chance to know what there is to know. Internet is great, in the seventies it was really hard to get eny news about the club at all. You had to read “old english newspapers” at the library to keep yourself updated. So all my credit goes to Often Partisan.

    And at last as a Bluenose I will always support the team never mind what happens…
    And I agree that we all should get in behind the team and give them all the support we can.

  • Harry Meadows says:

    Another Good read, thanks!

  • JohnR says:

    Too much secrecy and silence from the Board. Putting the finances to one side take another example the Stuart Parnaby deal. As he had a medical and agreed terms I assume CH wanted to sign him. As soon as Pannu returns the deal is off, a coincidence or did Pannu veto the deal.
    Andy Walker refuses to comment saying it’s private. But with so much speculation about why won’t the club comment? i don’t think that Tatts has actually reported anything.

  • Oldbluenose says:

    Re, JohnR’s comment,!!. Surely, that is the biggest problem we bluenoses face at present,?. No information coming from Pannu, or any other senior member of the club, — Whatsoever,!!.
    Rumour and speculation gets rife when there is a paucity of information, Does the ” powers-that-be “, Do they think that we have no rights to know just how our club is standing financialy, or indeed structureably,?.

  • Bazzathebluenose says:

    One of the reasons I have steered clear of this subject on joys and sorrows is because like most, I feel that I actually don’t know anything of substance to comment. That is not to say that also like most, I don’t have a view. I find it baffling that people have got such a downer on CY PP and the board with so little fact to go on. OK I understand that we haven’t been told a fat lot but could this be that actually there isn’t a lot to relate? We know that the club’s finances aren’t peachy and that is why players have had to be sold. We also know that our team is not as strong as it was but we are playing at a lower level and have cut our cloth to suit. I doubt we will be able to mount a promotion challenge personally but the football is a better watch now than it was last season so we should just get behind the team and leave the running of the club to the board. What will be will be and no amount of protests, chants about the owner or silly speculation about what might be going on is going to help the team on the pitch. Let’s turn up, support the boys and do our bit in obtaining some points; you never know we might just climb the table and prove me wrong about promotion.

    • Bluenosesol says:

      Bazza you can appeal to the remaining 16,000 loyal fans to shut up, have faith that the board are doing a sound job and support the team on the pitch, but despite what you say, Saturdays performance was as dire as I have seen for some time and exposed some of the players we were hoping to become our saviours as depressingly run of the mill. The supporters do love their club, they do have an interest and a right to know what is going on and I re-iterate as the public interface, Pannu is totally ineffective.

  • wearyoldnose says:

    I entirely agree about not getting excited, or depressed, about speculation. Get on with your life until something occurs and then react to it in whatever way you feel that you should. Alamjir says “..it does seem to me the only thing we can do as fans is wait and see,..” Well, that’s not a new revelation, it’s always been the case for fans. Even fan boycotts, whatever the club, have not really changed anything significantly. How strong is the green and yellow anti Glazer protest now at Man U? What is depressing with regard to a view about a potential change of ownership is his statement “..I believe it will be hard to find another owner who has such passion for the game.” What on Earth has passion got to do with it? I’ve seen too many average or below average players
    at the club, and elsewhere, who had passion but didn’t advance the club or provide any entertainment. The only useful, from a fan’s point of view, passionate owner that I can think of in the UK is Abramovich. He has billions to support his passion and pumps in large sums. A playing squad of twenty cold be selected from passionate Blues fans but it wouldn’t even be BS Prem standard. Give me great skill in any walk of life allied to characterful commitment; passion is a bonus, the cherry on the top not the foundation stone. I support the team, have done for over fifty years, but certainly not the current owners or their executive management. I’ll physically support the team if they’ll let me in for a few quid. BIH, with CY at the front, paid probably eighty per cent more than the club was worth when they bought out the previous crew. That fact is the reason that since relegation they have liquidated anything of value that can be scraped from the carcass and rendered it to BIH together with any excess of revenue, but those transfers won’t include my money. The purpose of the parachute payments to relegated clubs is to enable the club to adjust its outgoings but to sustain some of its financial commitments, which should effectively give it an advantage in gaining promotion. What these owners have done is to sell everything that they were able to get a bid for. There has been no sensible sale of a few players whilst retaining some to try to regain the highly valuable Premiership status at the first attempt. A squad full of free transfers and loanees doesn’t excite me nor, apparently, ten thousand missing fans, and the national economic woes don’t explain the majority of that loss. The reason that we don’t get the size of attendances at the ground which matches the potential of the club, over fifty thousand for a paint or window trophy for example, is a degree of incompetence by the previous owners with regard to the playing side. On the business side, they did a good job, saved the club and made it consistently solvent. However, they picked a sad cast of managers, whilst then giving them the loyal support which is right for successful development, support which many clubs have not given and then paid the price for. However, the original selections were flawed. In 1994, we were struggling. We hadn’t had a true, consistent goalscorer for ten or twelve years. The unbelievable fact is, another seventeen years on, we still haven’t had one, Cameos by Dugarry, Forssell and one or two others don’t count. Even though we’ve been into the third tier a couple of times we still haven’t scored goals. No wonder we haven’t enthused people to come through the turnstiles, we should be capable of generating crowds of 35,000. If attendances continue to fall then that is the most likely factor to concentrate the owner’s minds with regard to selling. At the moment, the ‘passionate’ BIH shareholders will continue to insist on their returns being maximised, as with any shareholder in any non-sporting public company, and all excess revenue will be transferred to Hong Kong. There will be no team development. If we want to encourage prospective owners then we, the fans, should be selling the club in blogs and other media on the basis that the club does have the potential which I’ve mentioned, that a knowledgeable owner will have the prospect of a modest return, which is all that any football club really provides, coupled with an absorbing, interesting and occasionally exciting period of management and a sense of pride in realising the potential. There has been too much negativity from some fans, in this forum and others, that we will never be a big club, that they are prepared to watch lower league dross if they can watch the Blues and almost that a blind, tribal allegiance is a worthwhile experience. I hope that the majority of fans don’t feel like that, it is not an attractive scene for any potential sound investor, it will only encourage Kumar types. I have a twentieth century education and I want to see some exciting football, I don’t want to cover myself in woad and attack the next village. Finally, Alamjir warns against following speculation, which sensible people have always given scant attention to. However, he says that he has “..heard via the grapevine that Carson will only accept a massive offer to sell the club..” Well, what is that except speculation? He is intimating that he has, in a Moses like scenario, not been given a carved tablet on the Mount by God but has had his stone lightly chalked on ready to take a chisel point. Not just speculation but damaging speculation from a Blues fan’s point of view. We should not be promoting despair, denigrating our Championship status or giving the appearance of resignation to, or satisfaction with, a reduced status. We should, as I say, be showing that we are keen on good football and that bigger crowds will result from that product and that the prospect of modest financial success is there for an astute owner. BIH paid too much for the club and at some point, when they have rendered as much as they can to Hong Kong, these conventional businessmen, possibly venture capitalists, will judge that they have an acceptable loss and move their capital on to more profitable investments which they assess will overcome any continued losses or low returns from BIH ownership. In the meantime, fans should promote the club on its potential of 35,000 gates, admittedly not fifty to eighty thousand like the top six or so, but nonetheless bigger than we have had for some time and an attractive opportunity for a knowledgeable investor. The fans should be pursuing promotion, and I mean that in the marketing sense. Chins up. Keep right on, but differently.

  • Gary says:

    The silence is frustrating and the longer it goes on the more frustrating it will become. Nothing to talk about or even speculate. I have noticed that since Wiseman left the board we havnt heard a penny drop. The board is now made up entirely with Carsons people which leds me to believe that we are being run the Chinese way. In general the Chinese keep things very close to the chest and hate gossip and speculation as it tends to undermine what they are trying to achieve. It is obvious that in years gone by there were always snipets being leaked from Stans, not that any of this did us any good in the transfer market or anything else for that matter, but it did keep us fans interested and stimulated. The Bazza days were fantastic and even DC and DG loved bit of spin, but unfortinately for us the Chinese way is not the Btitish way, so for the time being I think we are going to have to put up with it. I do fee that they dont like being in the media unless there is something truthfull and good to say.Not a bad philosophy in the business world but boring as hell for us football fans.

  • skareggae72 says:

    Did hear some rumours of Jasper Carrott,Geff Lynn(ELO)and a couple of members of UB40 coming in,there is a musical link there,but there is more chance of a spaceship landing in the road outside,so take it with a pinch of salt,ha ha

  • Bazzathebluenose says:

    Bluenosesol mate, don’t get me wrong here. I’m not for a moment saying that the board are doing a sound job; what I am saying is that I don’t have enough evidence to say whether they are or not. Before anyone jumps down my throat and says ‘look at the mess we’re in’ I would again suggest that we all just calm down a bit and think about this clearly for a moment. It is not in the interests of the present owner to asset strip the club having paid £81 million for the business. He did back the last manger with money and unfortunately whilst we won a major trophy we failed to stay up which meant cost cutting especially in a time of austerity. Whatever the true facts are we are not going to change things one iota my shouting negatives up at the windows of the boardroom as wearyoldnose articulately explains. Aljamir’s right we just need to wait and see what transpires. OK things aren’t great at present but they have been a hell of a lot worse in the past so let’s just support the team and watch the football. I totally agree with your assessment of Saturday’s game and this is dealt with in detail in my report on J&S. Check it out if you haven’t read it:


  • hammy says:

    ive said it before and i’ll say it again, there are people watching whats going on at our club, and my money is still on us having new owners by xmas….i know nothing….who does???
    but, i live in hope…

    as for these clowns in charge at present, WELL..I ASK U, how can anyone have any faith or belief in them???

    bring on the new owners……KRO….

  • Bluehobba says:

    The One thing that riles me everyday is the sound of silence coming from CY and PP. The best day in your life bar none was at wembley, then 3 mths later relegation hurts, then Mcleish astounds everyone, then the majority of heroes jump ship or shipped out. CY even though doesn’t speak a word of English could have said something, whether it was what we wanted to hear or not but has chosen not to. Ive said in previous blogs that maybe its the chinese way but to keep quiet and give no re assurances is just wrong. If ever he does speak out, who is going to take any notice. He may love the Blues but not like any Blues fan I know or have met.

  • Mark says:

    Its great to be kepted informed about new information, papers love to hype anything…… regarding new investors or not, the team is really more important….KRO

  • Poppa999 says:

    Vagit Alekperov is a Russian billionaire who was interested in buying Spurs at one point. He was said to be interested in the Blues situation around the time Carson Yeung bought his 29%.

  • Neil Clews says:

    There are a lot of good comments here and an equal amount of speculation and general windbagging.
    Does this indicate that some of our dwindling fan base have nothing better to do than moan and groan about our changing fortunes and recent movements in and out of the club?
    What happened to simply supporting the team and our Manager?
    We are where we are. I don’t think the club will fold. It may struggle for a few years but the actions on the pitch have largely dictated that. What happens off the pitch has less importance and I think sadly we focus on it too much as Bluenoses due to a lack of sliverware and extended success at any level.
    Maybe being sucked back into the mediocrity we have SO gotten used to over the years is just hurting a bit, eh?

  • bluenweary says:

    Clewsy, you sound like a Villa fan.

    • bluenoseneil says:

      I hate to disappoint both of you but I am a Bluenose, as is my father and was my grandfather.

      I just happen to be one of many Bluenoses sick to death of whining fans and dwelling on the bloody past all the time.

      Let’s enjoy what we have: a forward thinking Manager who plays attacking football, a fresh squad who are up for the challenge and a trip in Europe for the first time in my lifetime!!

      Apology accepted in advance, lads.

  • skareggae72 says:

    Clewsy,we will play you in the championship next season ay? Your chairman is even harder to find than ours lol

  • Dirty Bertie says:

    Ok, you’re Charlie Chan and you’ve lost one of your moustaches in a fight. Do you wait for it to grow back or do you cut your losses – and the other moustache – in the hope that you look better without them? Rumours is fun. Concrete wellingtons and deep water isn’t.

    I’ve heard from a very knowledgeable lollipop lady that someone is after the club for £40 mil.

    Would the “backers” take that? What is the intrinsic value BCFC now and for the forseeable future?

    As the bank robber in Dirty Harry said, “Ahs gots ta know!”

    Nobody’s kissing the badge – it’s about the money, honey!! How much would you pay?

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