Often Partisan

The Belgians Are Coming

Birmingham City have confirmed that Royal Antwerp of the Belgian 2nd division will play the Blues at St Andrews on Saturday August 11.

Royal Antwerp finished tenth in last season’s Belgian second division after a season which promised much and delivered little. The Great Old went through a change in ownership, a change in management and a massive change in playing staff and it told with an inconsistent side not showing the potential it had.

Antwerp are known for their connection with Manchester United which has been in place since 1998 – the list of players to have made the trip across the channel to play on loan for the Belgian side is extensive and contains many names that are instantly recognisable to fans here. Players including Ronnie Wallwork, Luke Chadwick, John O’Shea, Paul Rachubka, Phil Bardsley, Dong Fangzhuo, Danny Simpson, Ryan Shawcross, Craig Cathcart, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, Frazier Campbell, Johnny Evans and Darron Gibson have all turned out in the red and white stripes of Antwerp on loan from the Red Devils.

The current Antwerp squad isn’t exactly full of household names (as you would expect for a second tier Belgian side) and it will be interesting to see what sort of test they present Blues prior to the new season. Whilst it’s not the most illustrious of friendlies I think it’s a good one – I prefer to see a European side in the usual singular home friendly we have personally.

One player who might well make the Blues squad for this one is Jake Jervis, who signed a 12 month extension to his contract with the club yesterday. With all the uncertainty over transfers it could be that we have to rely more on younger players stepping up and there is a possibility for Jervis to make the breakthrough to first team football.

Pre Season 2012 sponsored by August Windows & Doors

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40 Responses to “The Belgians Are Coming”

  • nicky wicky says:

    good young player. strange selection for a friendly,but these are usually not an indication of how the season will go.This embargo can’t go on for ever!

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    It wont go on forever however it will still remain whilst we’re trying to recruit a new manager which will obviously put a lot of people off. Also remember we have no money so once the embargo gets lifted it wont mean a great deal anyhow.

    What a situation to be in. Totally embarrassing.

  • James Black says:

    Cheer up Paul. just live in hope as frankly aint much more we can do. I do believe things are going to turn around. It doesn’t suit anyone board included to be in this predicament so naturally it has to change around. I believe the silence is for a reason but i confess i am just speculating. But im sure things will come good.

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    I’m not miserable in the slightest, just like to deal in facts unlike others who ‘think’ this will happen, ‘I’m sure’ this will happen etc..

    FACTS: We are on a transfer embargo, no-one is showing interest in buying, we are broke, our owner is on a charge which stops him from leaving the country

    All things a potential new manager will take into account.

  • ironfirst says:

    I guess some of our fans optimism is placed on faith. The FACTS are as Paul states and the FACTS show we have a company running in Blues which the auditors are saying they do not trust the accounts.

    No manager of any note will come to this club in this state and I do not blame Hughton for leaving at all, it will be the last rat off the sinking ship until we go into administration and we can get rid of Yeung ASAP.

    • Pele says:

      …… you talk about facts over faith yet your second paragraph is pure speculation!!

      • ironfirst says:

        We shall see. the only manager who will come is someone very deseperate for a job. As fans suggestions of Holloway and others to leave current stable clubs is just not realisitic.

        Look at the job Interview

        PP – Welcome Mr X

        Mr X – Thanks Peter

        PP – We require a manager to sell all the players we can to keep the club afloat and no one can be brought in, how do you fancy the job ?

        Mr X – Goodbye

  • AlexRAFC says:

    Hi Birmingham fans, this is a great game for us. We always looking forward to playing against a English team.

    I think it will be easy game for Birmingham City, because we play years in second division, but as fans we will try to compete. Hopefully we see a great game with great atmosphere, greetings from a Royal Antwerp fan ;)

    If you want to see footage of our previous friendly games against english teams, then you can click on the links bellow.

    2007: Hull City – Royal Antwerp: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZWYSHw3PCU
    2008: Bristol City – Royal Antwerp: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99qEr-STT7Y

  • tony says:

    Most of the posts on here are speculation and alot of blind faith .We all try to look at the situation with a glass half full attitude.Unfortunately with a dose of realism the situation looks very bleak no matter how you try to look at it we won’t attract any manager of worth .We have no money,the accounts fiasco looks like becoming a saga with bihl accounts dragging on and on and on.The football league will want to see those accounts so i can’t see the embargo being lifted before the season starts.Pannu makes no effort to talk to supporters which justdrives fans away and season ticket sales will be the lowest for a long time i was told after talking to a friend in the ticket office.All in all we want to hope for the best but i think we should prepare for the worst.

    • nicky wicky says:

      I’m starting to wonder if CY has seriousmental health problems if he is seriously entertaining these cheeky offers for Foster and Butland. While the embargo is in place no player can come in so all this talk about Myhill is nonsense as that would be a transfer. Doyle and Carr are out of contract in July so if the embargo is still in place and they were sold Blues would go into the new season without a goalie. these offers show that CY can’t get his money back from sales, and his best hope is to sell on to a new investor for a decent price. if he sells all the best players it would devalue the club. Also while the embargo is in place he can’t keep the club as a going concern while selling the players because they would end up with no team!

      • almajir says:

        Two problems with that comment Nicky.

        1) whilst talking about mental health problems in such a way is it bit over the line, how much sway do you think Carson has had over transfers over the last 12 months? Let me give you a hint – not much

        2) secondly, you are taking paper speculation and assuming that bids have been made etc when it’s quite possible nothing of the sort has happened.

        In short, deep breath, relax and wait for actual facts to emerge before blowing your stack…

        • nicky wicky says:

          I know almijr it’s all speculation.sorry if i came over a bit strong. Thats what I was trying to say in a round about way I can’t believe they would do something so ridiculous. It seems nonsensical to me!

  • Bluenozee says:

    Who gave Jake Jervis his contract extension? No particular ace to grind, just wondering who made the decision ?

  • Euston 9.18 says:


    I think I read before on here,you work for the E`Mail or do some work for them now & again.

    Do you know if the E`Mail has blocked,”news now” publishing stories ??


  • andy says:

    I will be livid if Blues sell Butland for much needed cash. Iv said it before and im saying it again, put a £12 million price tag on his head, just like Redmond has one, or was that another wind up from the board? If Foster goes, which seems inevitable, Butland must stay. Birmingham City cannot turn into Crewe and become a feeder club with their young talent, they should be the future of the club.

    • ironfirst says:

      We can put whatever price tag we like on players, when clubs know we have to sell (this is one area the directors and auditors agreed on) then we saw with Dann how low the price can go.

      Clubs will leave it and leave it until we really need the cash and then offer silly money, we would do the same in reverse.

      Any faith anyone has in the current board manging this situation should read the auditors report again. In 25 years in business I have never seen an auditor’s report like that.

  • Oldbluenose says:

    So much speculation around, is there not,?. We have to learn to be patient Bluenoses,!!.

    All major decisions are only going to be made by C,Y.!!. and he is not about to bother telling us, [ assuming he KNOWS what he wants to do ],!!.

    Almajir;, Question for you, — If as suggested C,Y. owns 29% of our club,?. Who actually has the rest,?.

  • Oldbluenose says:

    Back again, almajir;, — I having no financil background, Am having difficulties understanding that lot,!!.

    NO,!!. I do NOT expect a crash course of BIH, accounts, — But I notice Vico Hui, is still a major shareholder,?. He was widely regarded as a ” Good egg “, in the early days of the takeover, Does he still play any major part in things these days,?.

  • andy says:

    Was Vico Hui the guy who took up residence at the training ground when they first took over? I remember someone doin that.

  • Paulo says:

    I’m looking forward to it! I hope it ill be a good turnout and a good atmosphere, and I’m glad I will get to see some more european football at St Andrews.
    Hope the RAFC fans will be on top form too, so the volume will be well and truly cranked up!

  • andy says:

    Thats him, thanks almajir, does he play any part in Carson’s set up or BIH? He did play a big role with Carson in opting to buy into Birmingham in the first place.

  • andy says:

    Sammy Yu was the only guy who came on the radio and spoke. Looking back it was all pipe dreams and basic rubbish he was talking on how they plan to make Birmingham a force in English Football. One big family he called it, the fans, the club, the board, one big family! Shame he cant speak to us about the family again!!

    • DoctorD says:

      Yeah I remember all that “family” stuff from Wu. Sounded reasonable at the time but it was just warm words, nothing else.

      Cardiff fans are moaning that their kit is going from blue to red in return for £100m investment. To be honest I’d rather have those kind of issues to deal with than the silence from our board.

      We should get Carson Yeung one of the new BCFC hi-vis vests they’re flogging for father’s day!


  • andy says:

    The Birmingham kit changed from Blue once, to that disgusting paint splash type served up by the Kumars. That was worse than changing to red and we didnt even get investment from it! What a nightmare kit that was. Maybe we should post a picture of that kit to the Cardiff site and tell them it could be worse!

    • Blueboy88 says:

      In 1961 Don Revie at Leeds United changed their Blue & Yellow kit to an all-white kit imitating that of the all-conquering Real Madrid side of the time.

      At least this was done for footballing reasons , not cash……

    • Blueboy88 says:

      In 1961 Don Revie at Leeds United changed their Blue & Yellow kit to an all-white kit imitating that of the all-conquering Real Madrid side of the time.

      At least this was done for footballing reasons , not cash……

  • I roth says:

    Welcome to the Royal Antwerp fans for the pre season game. Maybe we should call ourselves Royal Birmingham City and get our Queen to sponsor us.

  • nicky wicky says:

    I’ve seen a few of the suggestions for managers job and i can’t say i’m too impressed with most of the suggestions. It seems that Holloway might go to Swansea, so if we can’t get him we should try for Mark Yates or if not then why not Jose Dominguez. At least he’s already been through a worse situation in Portugal, and he would get the team playing the right football?

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    Great logic there Nicky, are you abouy 17 or something?

    You say ‘I’ve seen a few of the suggestions for managers job and i can’t say i’m too impressed with most of the suggestions’ but then try and make a case for 2 inexperienced managers at this level stating that Jose would ‘get the team playing the right football’.

    How do you know this would happen? We may not have the personnel to play ‘the right football’.

    Get real matey.

  • nicky wicky says:

    Jose Dominguez has been maging in Portugals Premier League with no money and players going on strike. he was a good player, speaks fluent english, and players attacking football. of course Blues have the players even if they have to bring the kids through because of the embargo. I mentioned these two others because i had heard that Holloway was going to Swansea,but that appears not to be true! it doesn’t make sense that they are going to sell off all the players.If they did that they wouldn’t be able to put out a team. The club would have no value. If there is an investor then he would lowerr his offer. They would eventually run out of things to sell!

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