Often Partisan

Dared to Dream

As I alighted from the bus on the way to the game yesterday, I saw a couple of lads selling blue scarves with “Carson Out” emblazoned on them in bright red writing outside the Royal George pub. I counted four held aloft in the Tilton whilst people were singing about not caring about Carson, so evidently people bought them – but I have to ask a single question – why?

I’ve been accused of being a board apologist in the past because I’m not the kind of person demanding the immediate removal of Carson and his merry band of men, and I suspect I will again today – but the truth is I do wonder what Carson has done to upset people so badly. I mean – people weren’t very fond of the Sullivan/Gold/Brady era at the end; I remember people shouting “Sack the Board” at the end of the 4-1 win against Blackburn when we went down in 2008 – but there was never such a concerted campaign as there is now. Have things deteriorated that badly since they moved on?

I’ve spoken to a few people over the last few weeks about the club and it’s financial state – people who you’d expect to know much more than the average Joe on the street, and the fact is that no one actually knows completely how bad things are. There is certainly worry amongst these people about the financial situation, but I’ve not heard anything that is a certainty. However, there are a couple of facts I have heard time and time again, and I believe that they are worth repeating. Firstly, contrary to popular belief, Carson has put an eight figure sum of his own money into the club in director loans. There is no security on these loans, no collateral – so if the club goes bump, Carson loses out. Secondly, not one penny has left these shores to go to BIH. Yes, BIH haven’t funded Blues in the manner you’d expect a parent company to fund a football club but to accuse them of taking cash out of Blues is erroneous.

The only thing that I believe that Carson himself can be accused of is being skint. Is that a crime? I agree that the board showed some naivete in some of their decisions on signing players etc, but I firmly believe no one has backed the club as well financially as Carson did in the last two seasons. Blues went out and spent money, big money, on players and paid handsome wages. For whatever reason, it didn’t work, and now it’s a gamble that has proven to have failed. As I saw someone put it elsewhere, Carson “dared to dream.”

I believe it’s that same daring to dream that’s stopping Carson from letting go of the club. It’s not worth what he paid for it (it never was if the truth be known), and it’s got to be galling to think about selling something for half, a third or even a quarter of what you paid for it. I can empathise with the reasoning that he might want to see if he can ride it out a bit and maybe get the value up a bit more to what he paid for it – it’s not the most sensible of things to do, but I can certainly see why someone would do that – after all, don’t we all have that same optimistic hope that things might magically get better?

All this being said, I think people need to look beyond Carson to see some of the issues surrounding the club. Carson doesn’t own BIH; he owns about 26% currently although if and when Yang Yuezhou converts his shares that would drop to around 20%. There are other people who have investments in BIH – for instance Vico Hui owns a percentage of the business and is on the board of the club and the parent company. Why isn’t he putting his hand in his pocket? He’s a rich guy – maybe not in Carson’s league but he put up a fair amount to bail out Carson back in June.

I can understand why people are upset; after finishing ninth in the league and then winning the league cup relegation and player sales is hard to take – the bar was raised massively and then Blues massively underachieved. How much of that though is down to Carson, and how much of it down to the previous management or the players? I do think this is the beginning of the end for the Carson Yeung regime, but I don’t think it’s necessarily something to rejoice over. No doubt time will tell.

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54 Responses to “Dared to Dream”

  • glyn rees says:

    A top class blog Almajir as always. As an average Joe what i find unacceptable is that we just do not know what is going on and what the future hold. If Carson came clean and said I bought the club for twice what it is worth and tried to live the dream but over stretch myself with the investment side of the club, but we have hit bottom now and should bounce back from here. I am sure most would get behind the club and Carson because we are bluenoses and are used to being the underdog and will always fight our corner . Kro

  • Pete says:

    Personally, I always believed that this summer would have been a case or sorting the finances out and being careful had we stayed up and with the squad we had, we shouldn’t have had any problems.

    Unfortunately TSM made sure he relegated us before jumping ship to Villa and we were hit where it hurts just at the wrong time.

    There are many examples of owners screwing over fans and clubs but I have to say, Carson hasn’t done anything like that. He’s made mistakes and been very naive financially however he has reduced ticket prices, given money to sign players and generally tried to push us onto the next level. It hasn’t worked and we’ve been caught out but no-one argued with what Carson was doing when we were spending the money that got us into this situation (indeed many who want Carson out now argued that we should have spent more!)

  • zublue says:

    I tend to be sympathetic to your views almajir. If carson was a billionaire I’m confident he would put in plenty of his own money and bankroll the club to success. But therein lies the problem, he hasn’t and never did have the wealth required to run a premier league club with any ambition. He came in promising amounts of money he couldn’t keep to and throughout his reign it always looked like he was struggling, the amount of deals for good players that went belly up at the last minute always worried me. I’m sure he’s a good guy but his time is now up, he needs to fall on his sword for the good of the club and we need to get an owner that follows through 100% on their promises.

  • Matthew says:

    I think what some people are missing out on and even those claiming to be experts is that BIHL is SUPPOSED TO MAKE A LOSS!! BIHL is a holding company for tax reasons, the tax laws in China are much much different to here in the UK! There has been no evidence to suggest Yeung is not rich and everyone has completely ignored his Casino interests in Macau, all the directors of BIH expect and want the business to be running at a loss its a safe way of maintaining taxation levels on your profit from other areas it is a penny stock which is then used to buy bigger businesses but will always run at a loss! financiers will know this and if people were that bothered to research and learn the terminology and financial world in HK then you would see that in fact there was always a plan – Yeung and his team were to make BCFC money by exploiting merchandising and sponsorship in China and Asia which could theoretically bring Blues just as much revenue every year as the Sky deal in the Premier League just take a look at what Liverpool are wanting to do then you’ll get it! secondly part of this was to buy a couple of Asian players to just sell shirts and get people interested including businesses in China! not to play but to market the brand as Man United did with Park Ji Sung but McMuffin put a massive rant on and said NO! seems he was a naive businessman as well as football manager! then as time went on more and more work would be done with Blues and even the stadium to expand corporate revenue – we all saw the plans! In lamens terms the only problem there is at the moment is that Yeung is facing this stupid charge which many believe he will walk away from as the HK laws and tax office are known to be OTT and are just making things difficult for him! The other investors in BIHL dont have to put money into Blues as they are not directors to BCFC and therefore have no legal responsibility to do so, they have no liability and will not lose out as BIHL money is nothing to do with BCFC money and vice versa! Carson Yeung is very very asset rich and could bank roll BCFC if he wanted to hence the reason for his son being placed as director, worst case scenario as soon as his assets get unfrozen he passes them to his son who will then be able to put money into the business! only if you are named as a business partner of BCFC (NOT BIH) can you then put money in! I think we just have to wait and trust in there business ability as Im sure they nor Carson ever expected this would happen and I imagine it is a right pain in the backside for them!! its corporate business people its what I do…..

  • Blue Steve says:

    Totally agree with these comments Almajir. Maybe things can still turn round for Carson and I certainly hope they do. I think we have all been guilty of a bit of naivety during the course of our lives so I’m not going to chastise Carson for his lapse in judgment. IF he is found not guilty and we can sneak into the play offs just maybe things can turn round for Carson.

    My one concern though is further stories doing the rounds that 3 more players will be sold in January. If this proves to be true I would guess Zigic, Ridgewell and Beausejour will be the players to make way…KRO

  • Matthew says:


    1) According to the HK press his assets are frozen until he finishes the investigation hence he has not paid money to the club. He can raise finance however he likes, mortgaging property, selling land, selling shares or cashing in on shares held in businesses. All of which he cannot do due to the restrictions of the financial investigations! He will be allowed to spend certain money and amounts but only to live on which would have been agreed with the courts from day one. But he will not be able to conduct business under his name! its the same he if you are being investigated for fraud by HMRC.

    2) If Carson has named his son as his heir which in China and Japan that is always the case then he will have a potential worth and therefore be seen as an asset.

    If the fans want to do anything then tell the HK courts to hurry the crap up!!! ha ha as this is all Pannu and Yeung et al are waiting for!

  • P.J.Nicholls says:

    Having been involved in football for many years and seen the mistakes made at non-league level I cannot understand where the other 76% ownership stand as far as the “Going concern” responsibilities.
    We keep hearing these so called experts coming forward saying Blues cannot run after a certain time without selling a majority of the players.
    If that is to be the case in the next few months then that is the case now and as such the club is not being run as a “GOING CONCERN”
    This selling of the assets can only go on for a short time before the end is called.

  • Parisblue says:

    Almajir you are incorrigible. Sometimes I think you may actually be paid by the Board to act as their propagandist but inreality I see you as some sort of latter day Dr. Pangloss. You ask have things deteriorated that much since the departure of Gold and Sullivan. The answer is a resounding ‘Yes’ . Sullivan and Gold were not my favourite human beings but they did save the club from extinction and slowly built it up over the years. They left the club solvent and not in debt. What is the debt figure now? Thirty million is a figure that is often quoted. Can’t you see this places the club in peril? I was among the 5,000 odd loyalists who stood on the terrace during the time of Gary Pendrey’s managership and I think Yeung & Co have taken us back to those days in an incredibly short time. As far as I can see the only hope for the continued existence of my club is for Yeung and his cohorts to go and I would accept someone of limited means to take over provided they are honest and trustworthy. Everton fans moan about their owners, I would that we were so lucky.The only bright spark is Chris Hughton who is doing a truly fantastic job with no resources.

    • almajir says:

      Unfortunately, they did leave the club in debt – to the tune of about 11 mil.

      • Flying Doctor says:

        The previous board did leave us with a debt (£20 million according to new owners) but BCFC has spent the previous 2 years as a Prem club with all the money that goes with it and at the end of it we had debts of £20-30million. Relegation is always a real possibility for clubs such as ourselves, and unlike previous years we have had to offload players in order to survive and, imo, the reason for that is the financial incompetance of the board. With the reduction of the wage bill and incoming transfer money, they still had to borrow £12m. When does naivete and “daring to dream” turn into stupidity?

        • almajir says:

          And yet people accuse them of not spending enough

          • Flying Doctor says:

            Do they?

          • almajir says:

            Read through the comments on this article alone.

          • Flying Doctor says:

            Not too many people on this thread saying they should spend more. Most people on here give the impression that they accept the situation we’re in, but are wondering how did we get from being one of the best run clubs in the country to an uncertain future in such a short space of time.

          • almajir says:

            If we had £20mil in debt, were we one of the best run clubs in the country?

        • Flying Doctor says:

          If we had £20mil in debt, were we one of the best run clubs in the country?

          Yes. It was a managable debt. especially when you consider that they effectively gambled £20m to get promotion and won with the Sky money alone. How are we in this mess in such a short space of time?

  • AR says:

    The biggest difference between what happened after the 2008 relegation & the 2011 one is that there was no fire sale of players. It is worrying to think that the manager wanted to sign Parnaby & that it was stopped by the board. This sort of difference is what I cannot get my head round, and did we make no money out of the Carling Cup? For some reason(s) the previous Board did not sell players when we were relegated, so were we suddenly paying vastly increased wages this time around. I realise the likes of Hleb, Martins & Bentley (surely not Derbyshire) must have cost big time, but it was only for 4 months. “Carson Out” is not a sure way out of our troubled financial state, but it is this contrast between what previously happened & what is happening now which is baffling.

  • hammy says:

    look…its simple….were in financial trouble…and it is because of this regime who own us…FACT!!!

    and because of this, all the decent players have been sold….FACT!!!

    when we were 1st taken over by these clowns, they promised £20-40m at xmas, and a further £80m the following summer….FACT!!!…… (EVENING VILLA, in black and white!!!)
    i can still see myself reading it in the local CHINESE TAKEAWAY all places!!! ;)

    so why didnt this happen????….cos it was all bollox….

    i dont honestly believe things can get better with this bunch, only worse……
    the only answer???…..new owners with serious investment……FACT!!

    fantastic result the weekend…..cant wait for brugge…..cant wait for bristol……

    KRO my friends…..

    • hammy says:

      on the other hand, and on a much lighter note, i have to say that this is the most enjoyable season for years…..great footy considering the players we now have, and europe is just the dogs, win or lose, i really am enjoying this season….mad but true…..

      just need one of them arab type fellas to buy us now ;)


  • Matthew says:

    Again people have such short memories!!

    Thats because Gold and Sully would bankroll the relegation loss out of their own pockets and then claim it back after promotion with massive interest hence we never saw a manager get a huge budget once promoted! I think the most ever spend was Bruce the first time around at around £22M over 18 months thats because they were not wanting 25-35Million quid back!! hence the reason Brady said they stand to make more money being a yoyo club!

    Carson could not spend his money abroad to reduce the deficit loss of around £30M per season as he could not spend his money abroad so Pannu had to balance the books with players that were actually worth the money to sell!!

    He made up around £26M quid plus saving on huge premierleague wages!!! and we actually have a better team for it???????

  • Wingman Blue says:

    Some good points here, AlMajir, Matthew and others rightly sum up things like loss of face, tax efficiencies etc., but that’s about the Board’s view. From the fans’ perspective it’s all down to a lack of trust. Will we still have Beausejour after January? At what point would CH decide that a continued lack of board support means he takes a job elsewhere? The trouble is, we’re getting no decisive, positive message from the board, only a pretty defeaning silence which doesn’t bode well.
    We have had quite a few broken promises since the board’s arrival, from massive investment to ‘no fire sale’. People have a right to be cynical. It is up to the board to prove them wrong, not for us to prove ourselves right!

  • Oldbluenose says:

    The more that one reads various comments views and opinions,!!. all the more poor old sod’s like myself find great difficulty in getting one’s head around the Chinese system of business, and THAT is what stirs people up the most,!!. No response from Peter Pannu, [ who seems to be the only person of “authority ” ] available,??. When, that is, he is actually here,!!!!!!!!.

  • prewarblue says:

    tOTALLY AGREE WITH WINGMANBLUE AND OLDBLUENOSE,,, we have been led to believe thing,s would be better more openess dealing with fans, now this has been disproved by the silence coming from St Andrews,,,,,,I was one of the believers when Yeung took over,,,in a way still do,,,,its not him who is at fault,,,,he gambled and lost out big time,,,,it is his advisors who should be in the dock and facing the music,,,,,,,we have all bragged about what money we have from time to time and Carson Yeung is no different but in his case the bullshit was proved

  • Paul says:

    Excellent blog my friend and i agree with what you say the problem i believe is the lack of communication and that leads to chinese whispers (excuse the pun) it wasnt Carson who got us relegated last term , it was negative tatics and a lack of effort from the so called dedicated players that are now plying there trades at STRUGGLING Premier League clubs .
    The only thing Carson has done wrong in my eyes is not open his mouth and tell us the truth and i dont mean about his courtcase i mean regarding the day to day trading of BCFC and why now we have a gapping hole in our finances .
    We as supportors deserve that knowledge and maybe then he would get some backing and not barracking.

  • alexjhurley says:

    I think Almajir is largely right, as usual.

    Look at things rationally, and CY has done OK by us. He invested heavily in the squad, won us a cup, got us in Europ, and was very unlucky that our previous manager took us down. So he’s cut costs to balance the books, appointed a good manager and as a result we now appear to be on an even keel in the championship, with a very realistic chance of promotion as things stand. All in the context of us, based on our average gates, being most definately a championship level club – derby, Sheff U, southampton & Norwich all get more than us. We get about the same as Ipswich and Sheff Weds i reckon…….

    But football fans, by and large, aren’t rational. We all want to see Blues established in the prem, beating Villa more times they they beat us and fighting to establish ourselves in the top 10 clubs in the country. Any board that doesn’t deliver this will be quickly (but entirely unfairly) called into question.

    My appeal to people is to just be a bit more realistic. We’ve no devine right to be in the Prem or even challenging for it. Ticket prices are lower, the football is better and we might just do quite well this season. So stop whining about that which you can’t influence, and do what real supporters should do – get behind the team like we all used to.

    • Mark says:

      spot on my mate, more energy in supporting the team, some fans are simple not realistic!!! they just want to moan…… great blog we are true fans…………KRO

  • Mark says:

    FURTHEMORE WHO CARES ABOUT CARSON ANYWAY…. i hope he is enjoying the football …….WE ARE NOT A SINKING SHIP! GET behind the lads on thursday europe here we come………..come you blue boys…..great result for AV AGAINST man city we only let two in LOL……….

  • Cocka says:

    This season is all about going on a European tour for the one and only time watching Blues(still Have to pinch myself).
    Sullivan’s time to leave had come and he was hated my most Blues fan where was the future in that?
    Carson as no money, he didn’t have plan for relagation and now he is looking after his own interests.
    All this is obivious isn’t it?
    Once Blues get knocked out of Europe i for one will be using all my energy trying to get rid of Carson ,promotion would be a joke

  • Farina says:

    I think people should take note of what Matthew is saying. Wait and see what happens when CY is dealt with by the HK courts. We would all love to see the Billionaire come to town and brandish their cash, but Blues are unfashionable unfortunately. I totally agree with Matthew on as much as if we were not relegated, the last two seasons would have been the most successful in our history. This would have been BECAUSE of CY, not dispite him! We were a good mid table PL team let down by a poor tactician and some bad luck. Now all we have to do is sit tight and wait. Simple.

  • Denis Thwaites says:

    It is hardly surprising there has been a hostile reaction to the current Board given the current financial plight and the lack of information on what’s coming next but I totally agree that it was the manager and the players who got us relegated last year not CY. All but a few of the guys who were there on that glorious February day are now gone and the rest of them are for me just a memory. The biggest priority for me is that we continue to provide the manager and the current team with our full support and enjoy the football until the January transfer window. That is when the Board might have to stick twist or burn!

  • joe67 says:

    chris hughton is working miracles if you look at what leicester have spent vs what we havent spent and theyve got sven at the helm ! we do need new owners to progress because financially it doesnt add up ive said before we generated 26m off sales of players and off the wage bill, got the sky money of 30m odd 14m parachute 5m off uefa yet we cant pay for parnaby on a free ???

    • almajir says:

      Basically, your figures are way off.

      We got £16mil in parachute money – but nowt off sky. That lack of £30mil or so from Sky is what is killing us, plus debts from having expensive wage bill last season

  • Bluenosesol says:

    CY aand his chums bought the club for 80 millish because they thought they could make a return on that investment. Then reality sunk in and they realised that the value of the club was nearer 30 million and hence they now have a potential loss of 50 million. So what’s the best way to retrieve that situation? It’s not rocket science!!! Take in every penny you can grab to offset the difference, provide some minimal token spend to offset the fans hostility and disenfranchisement, then declare bankruptcy at the point when there is no further signifcant income potential. If we can get a head of steam to offset the points reduction that will come with administration, then hopefully we can consolidate and when the club is broke and abandoned, then a local consortium will be able to attract investment as the going price will then be somewhaat less than CY paid for it!! Only then will we be able to witness the rebirth of the Blues!! KRO!!

  • alexjhurley says:

    Bluenoseal, sorry mate I’ve never read so much total toilet.

    • Bluenosesol says:

      Alex, i could reciprocate but I have too much respect for your opinion, just that I am getting a little tired of “the kings new clothes” line! Just hope Almajir keeps the archives, so we can all test our “opinions” against the outcomes, then I will accept your apology.

      • alexjhurley says:

        You’re right mate, time will tell. Nothing personal against you, I just don’t buy these conspiracy theories that cardinal out to shaft us. I don’t think they help the club. Well have to agree to differ !

  • pedantic pete says:

    I was chatting to a banker over the weekend. He told me that a classic money-laundering scam is to buy a company for a lot more than it’s worth with your dirty money. Then when you sell it, even if you make a big loss, what you get back is clean money.

    I hope you’re right Almajir, but I’ve started to worry that maybe there’s a connection between all the money that Carson put into Blues and the charges against him.

  • terry ross says:

    whoever wrote this needs a firm reality check
    yeung and his backers are so underhanded its a joke
    how the FA allowed this buyout to proceed needs investigating
    there are major discrepencies on a number of issues-
    the largest being ‘who actually owns bcfc?”
    im sure the bloggers reply with be BIH owns the club – but thats not
    the case in the strings and mirrors world of publically listed entities and their subsiidiaries.
    i will admit it was mcl who got us relegated not yeung but being on the inside im sure he knew what was coming (the arrest of yeung)
    im also sure sullivan and co knew what was coming when they sold out to yeung (well not carson really it was his backers they sold the shares to yeung is merely the shop window)
    IMO yeung has trod on some heavy toes over the blues deal and they have opted to put him in this postition for a reason -who knows what that reason is; but therein lies the problem……….
    ill say one thing in the boards favour though , they have picked a top manager in Hughton
    if yeung can solve the company issues then im sure chris can solve the footballing ones
    January / Feb will be interesting as i expect beausejour (our best player currently ) ridgewell(disinterested) and zigic (mystery man ) to go.
    hughton, if they can hold on to him will deal with this im sure

  • GoodyBlueShoes says:

    Whilst I applaud the moral viewpoint of your blog I would like to focus on a point that is being missed.

    Blues fans whether season ticket buyers or “on the day” supporters are the day to day investors in our club. Without us there would be no team, no ground, no staff, no manager – NADA!

    The single most thing that the board are definitely GUILTY of is negligence in regard of us the FANS. That we should be kept in the dark without any information for the past few months is both unacceptable and unforgivable. For this I do hold Carson Yeung, Pannu, BIH et al responsible.

    These blogs are good in that we can talk/text among ourselves so preserving a little sanity. However I have heard absolutely nothing concrete in the last 4 months save conjecture and speculation.

    When people are in a dark place devoid of accurate information they become naturally suspicious and paranoid. I don’t blame the lads with “Carson OUT” regalia. Better they vent their frustration in peaceful protest than not.

    • almajir says:

      I agree with what you say and indeed, I’ve mentioned I can empathise with the whole thing but it doesn’t mean I think they’re right.

      People moaned continually about our old board being in the press all the time; now we have the opposite and again people are moaning…

      • Bluenosesol says:

        For goodness sake Almajir you agree that there is a PR blackout at the club and then you bemoan the supporters right to moan! Whilst we continue to show up and support the team, surely we have a right to raise our objections to this appalling state of affairs!!

        • almajir says:

          I don’t believe that there is a PR blackout at all. There is still news published in the press, Andy Walker and Chris Kershaw answer questions on twitter.

          We just don’t see our board on tv ubiquitously. I’m quite happy about that tbh

          • terry ross says:

            the scarves on sale were support to get ‘carson out’ of the HK nick (in advance of course)
            this board are guilty of bringing the club into disrepute
            what everyones had a gutful of is the lack of transparancy
            im sure you will find a way to be happy about that too
            say hello to pannu for us over lunch

          • almajir says:

            Carson isn’t in HK nick, is he?

          • Bluenosesol says:

            Then I am confused as to why you stated you agreed with GoodyBlue shoes who certainly did refer to “The single most thing that the board are definitely GUILTY of is negligence in regard of us the FANS. That we should be kept in the dark without any information for the past few months is both unacceptable and unforgivable. For this I do hold Carson Yeung, Pannu, BIH et al responsible” !!?? Isnt that an information or PR blackout??

          • almajir says:

            It’s not a PR blackout, it’s just the board not talking to the press. The club still talk to the press and pass on info, the board however don’t. Subtle distinction.

            It’s a moot point anyway – what exactly do you want the board to say to you? If you could meet Pannu now, what would you ask him? And would you believe his response?

  • terry ross says:

    scarves are for when he is banged up -read my post al

    are you the PR arm for PP and co?
    you seem to have a problem with fans being unhappy about seeing a cup winning side sold off
    can you tell me why fans shouldnt ‘moan’ as you say ? (sully used same term about brummies in general)
    i think the majority of fans have lost interest in the soap that is BCFC

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