Often Partisan

Hughton and the Red Tops

Two national tabloid newspapers went with stories this morning regarding the likelihood of Chris Hughton taking over the manager’s position at West Bromwich Albion from new England boss Roy Hodgson. The Sun and the Star went with near identical stories naming Hughton as the number one candidate to take on the hotseat at the Hawthorns due to the continuing financial uncertainties at St Andrews.

As you would expect, this has made some Blues fans on some forums considerably twitchy. It’s no secret that Blues aren’t in the best position financially with a transfer embargo potentially in place until August due to the delayed accounts from last season. It’s also well-known that Chris Hughton was looked upon favourably before by West Bromwich Albion before Hodgson was appointed – only for the appointment to fall down due to Hughton’s insistence on bring his own backroom staff in (which would have been prohibitively expensive due to Colin Calderwood being manager at Hibernian at the time).

However, it is my belief that saying Hughton is “imminently” going to take the job at WBA is jumping the gun somewhat. Despite Blues being in a financial pickle Hughton is still under contract at St Andrews and that would mean WBA would need to ask permission to speak to him from the Blues hierarchy – which publicly at least hasn’t been asked for, much less given.

Furthermore, as Chris Lepkowski pointed out in an excellent blog piece for the Birmingham Mail, West Bromwich Albion have an excellent process for appointing managers. It’s not something that they jump into by appointing whoever is the current “flavour of the month” – they will have identified some time ago who they think will fit into the Baggies structure the best. Whilst Hughton may well have been a good choice for them 15 months ago it’s my personal belief that they may aim a little higher this time as they look to continue to build on their status as a fairly established Premier League team.

Of course, there have been the allegations that this is the “London press looking to destabilise Blues ahead of the playoffs”. I can understand why this impression may be formed as it’s often thought that West Ham are the favoured football team of Fleet Street but I don’t think it’s true in this case. I genuinely think it’s a bit of a slow news time for anything outside the top four competing for the Champions League/title and as such this is an easy story to fill column inches (or more accurately empty webspace). However, it is a story with some legitimacy as you’d think Hughton could possibly be a prospective candidate for the Albion and thus I think the red-tops have a right to go to print with it if they want.

Do I believe Hughton will go to the Baggies? I don’t know, but I’m hopeful that he won’t. Do I know for sure that he will or won’t – no, and I don’t think anyone else does either. What I do know is whatever happens we have to roll with the punches; if Hughton stays then great, we can see what he can do to improve the team – if not, well, we’ll have to cross that bridge when we get to it. All we can do is wait and see.

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19 Responses to “Hughton and the Red Tops”

  • AL- LAD says:

    My guess if Blues fail to beat Blackpool, Albion will approach us about speaking the CH, if we make it to Wembley then an approach will be dependant on us winning promotion. You can’t blame CH if he decides to leave, trying to gain promotion with a club in our financial position who will sell in the summer just isn’t achievable.

  • Kaje says:

    I think Hughton has a little more intelligence about him, and so jumping ship to a local rival would be something he simply wouldn’t think about.

  • Polanski says:

    I heard yesterday that a lot of money has gone on Appleton getting the job – often no smoke without fire with these things….

  • Oldbluenose says:

    Your summary was good,!!. The premise, I fully agree with,!!. — It is all outside of our control at the moment, Will we win the play-offs,?. Will the clubs accounts be published sooner,?. [ assuming that they are not detrimental in terms of finance ], Will W,B,A, look elswere for more experiance,?.
    At the end of the day, What will be, — Will be, — Amen and kro,!!.

  • Atahualpa is a BlueNose says:

    Good points raised in the blog Almajir.

    Would it not also be prohibitive again to the Albion if, in theory CH decided to jump ship – which I honestly do not think will happen unless there is serious cause for concern if we do not go up, and he said that he wanted to bring his backroom staff with him again?

    Would they not have to compensate Blues for the remainder of their contracts even if they’re all on the one year rolling deals??

    Personally, his coaches and assistants may help him make up his mind if it ever came to it – that is they might view us as a healthier long-term proposition.

    They might look more so at Alan Curbishley and Steve Bruce, both have extended EPL experience and are without clubs.

  • chris says:

    i suspect curbs will be on their list but not bruce and maybe coyle if bolton go down.
    maybe they will wait till blues and wigan’s season is over and approach martinez and chris, but which order?
    they may even bring in a foriegn manager e.g. capello and i’m sure hodgson will have had some input at who they look for.
    would they have dimatteo back if he doesn’t get the chelsea job?
    there is also rogers and lambert who would be making a step up if they joined the baggies.

  • bluenose08 says:

    I think if ch was to leave then the majority of fans would thank him and wish him well as he has given us an unbelievable season and for the moment we are in a healthier position than when he arrived.Nothing is going to be decided until after the play offs so just ignore the speculation and i am sure that peter pannu will be doing everything he can to keep ch as it was his recommendation that got ch the job.

  • theurbaneguerilla says:

    If you read the stories there’s nothing to them. No ‘inside sources’, no quotes, no basis.
    Houghton knows he’s revered at St Andrew’s and, as his politics suggest, he loves being at a real, working class club.
    Notwithstanding he is ambitious, He has already stated he appreciates the depth of support for him at Blues and I think it would take something special for him to leave. With respect to Albion, which is a decent football club, that job, I don’t think, is special enough.
    It’s a bit of mischief making from the red tops and will only provoke more vociferous support for him and the team on Wednesday.
    If it was true I truly believe Hughton would want to end on a high with us going up, so he could leave with his held high. I believe he’s that proud and well principled.
    Whatever he does, we all owe him a huge debt of gratitude for what he’s done to lift our club this season.
    Top man, top manager.
    Bring on Wednesday.

  • Euston 9.18 says:

    The people today had a “Exclusive” C`Hughton would go to wba even if BLUES went up.
    The opposite page “Exclusive” N.Lennon was interested with English football,wolves & WBA were front runners !!
    If you go on oddschecker C.Ranieri is odds on fav & 2nd fav is M.Appleton for the baggies job.

    I think if the crowd,wednesday night,make there feelings known to C.Hughton “who they want as manager promotion or not,I think C.Hughton will manage BLUES again next season.


  • Blueboy88 says:

    Outside Albion , there will be a lot of big club managerial postions available this summer,
    including all the West Midland clubs.

    So these reports are more than premature , CH will have many more options open to him.

    However with nobody at Blues able to be positive within the transfer market unti August ,
    (& even thats not set in stone) its a thankless task.

    So until such time lets all remember –

    As you go through life,
    It’s a long long road,
    There’ll be joys and sorrows too.

    As we journey on,
    We will sing this song,
    For the boys in royal blue,
    We’re often partizan, clap x3
    We will journey on, clap x3
    Keep right on to the end of the road,

    Keep right on to the end.

    Though the way be long,
    Let your heart beat strong,
    Keep right on to the end,
    Though you’re tired and weary,
    Still journey on, ’til you come to your happy abode,
    Where all the love, you’ve been dreaming of will be there,
    At the end of the road, Birmingham! Birmingham….

  • […] Supporters Clubs / Websites, Fans, Kev's Ramblings, Lead Article, Players My mate Almajir wrote this article on his blog Often Partisan today. It got me thinking about the situation and wanted to make a few […]

  • Dirty Bertie says:

    Red top, carrot top, they’re both rubbish

  • BowThai says:

    OP your last paragraph sums it up brilliantly….nuff said!KRO

  • Reeboh says:

    I honestly cannot see him going. Derek McInnes is/was the favourite for the job after overtaking Hughton on Wednesday morning in the betting scheme.

    But honestly, Hughton has built a squad here, settled himself and his family, why make a controversial move to a local club, like a certain former manager of ours did, nearly relegating the team.

  • JohnnyZulu says:

    I would advise you to read this


    The tabloids and hacks like Nursey follow up what is in the Mail and then spin it to suit their own agenda.

    The Mail actually give you proper insight

  • NooBloo says:




  • NooBloo says:


  • Paulo says:

    Wouldn’t wipe my arse with ‘the sun’ anyway, lost all respect for their football journalism skills since Hillsborough (no, I’m not a red nose scouser, just have family connected there and to what happenend). I’d only believe what Colin Tattum and the like print really.


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