Often Partisan

Gearing Up

I never thought I’d ever say this – but I’m missing transfer speculation this summer. With the embargo in place, as it has been since March 1 Blues have been severely limited in what they can do and it’s killing my enjoyment of the close season.

It’s strange, isn’t it? Last summer I hated the speculation – primarily because it was which player was leaving us next for what knockdown price. Admittedly, there’s been a bit of that this summer – Foster, Butland and Davies all mentioned by the nationals as being scouted by “bigger” clubs – but even that seems almost half-hearted at times and with Butland in particular the stories seem to have been nothing but filler.

Of course, it’s the transfers in that bothers me. With a first team squad of 16 senior pros (if you include Butland in that) and 2 more who potentially may stay Blues have just enough players for a matchday squad next season. If the transfer embargo wasn’t in place you’d expect Blues would be at minimum tying up some loans or Bosmans to go through on July 1, ready for pre-season. Indeed, I know that the former management team had put together several lists of players based on various levels of financial constraint and were ready to start sorting the team out.

I don’t really want to harp on about the embargo – I mean, it’s not like Blues haven’t had it in place for three months already but the fact remains that with it in place it’s very difficult for Blues to progress as a club. Whilst Blues can make signings at the league’s discretion and no doubt will to replace outgoing players, we can’t improve the team at all – even in numbers – until the embargo is lifted.

What worries me is that whilst everyone here connected with Blues knows the score the lack of, well, anything emanating from Hong Kong suggests that they either don’t care about sorting the situation out – or, worse still, can’t sort the situation out. Over the last few weeks I have made continued phone calls to BIHL offices in Wanchai to ask them what their plans are, only to be met with stony silence.

Today is 20 June. In eleven days, the transfer market re-opens properly as players will be able to move on Bosman deals. Players will start returning for pre-season training and plans will be made for the new season. As it stands, Blues have no manager, no kit sponsor, no sign of a new kit, no assistant managers, no chief scout and still yet to be confirmed pre-season plans.

The good news is that interviews for managers are being continued apace; Colin Tattum confirmed yesterday on Twitter that Clark and Curbs had both been interviewed (with Curbs withdrawing from the process) and that Keane will be contacted/interviewed shortly. Furthermore, midlands journo John Percy tweeted last night that Lee Clark was to have a second interview this week which hopefully points to a quick appointment.

However, appointing a new backroom staff is only half of the deal. The owners of Blues need to get their arses into gear if they want the club to be competitive this season – and by extension maybe give them a return on their investment. The longer the embargo continues, the more players Blues will miss out on and the more worried fans will get.

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88 Responses to “Gearing Up”

  • Masaccio says:

    Message to CY and Peter Pan, Print the bloody report and accounts !!!!!

  • Mickey07 says:

    “As it stands, Blues have no manager, no kit sponsor, no sign of a new kit, no assistant managers, no chief scout and still yet to be confirmed pre-season plans”

    It doesn’t bode well does it??all this is defiantly going too catch up with us somewhere down the line,and us fans are going to have a “I told you so” moment…..shambolic and pathetic.

  • Masaccio says:

    Round and round in ever decreasing circles…..

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    Agree with all that.

    I was heartened to see you lay the blame for all this firmly at the door of the board.

    Now maybe all who use OP will agree

  • nicky wicky says:

    Can’t understand why they are interviewing Lee Clark. He spent 3 years at Huddersfield unsuccessfully getting to the play-offs after having one of the biggest budgets if not the biggest budgets in the division. He will be expected to work on a tight budget at Blues signing Bosmans and Loans, bringing through the youth players. Can he work within these restraints? At Huddersfield after spending all that money he had a lot of drawn matches! I fear Blues could be stuck in the Championship for some years to come if he is appointed.

    • danny boy says:

      Exactly Nicky I do not want him as manager! The curbs situation is interesting. I was led to believe he was PP’s 1st choice. Now he has had a chat with PP he has counted himself out. Why? What was he told in the meeting? I don’t believe for 1 second tabloid reports that he “is only interested in a premier league club”. If this is the case-why did he have the meeting in the 1st place??????
      Something has been said to him at the interview IMO about the uncertainty about the club (more than the fans know already!). Then he wouldn’t touch the job with a bargepole. It adds up to more depressing times. We are only going to get managers who are desperate to get back in to management and let’s face it Clarke was out of a job because he did a bad job in a division beneath us. God help us that’s all I will say

      • James Black says:

        Curbishley has turned down bigger jobs than Blues so i don’t think he made up his mind because the coffee they served him wasn’t sweet enough. Curbishley has stated before he would not work below the premiership as i found out on this site.
        Seems he was first choice and i thought personally that was right decision but of course if he does not have the belly for the job and his waiting for a big club to come and get him, then i think that’s down to Curbishleys ego and he will find himself out of work forever possibly. but i don’t think he cares after receiving 2 million from the court case with West Ham.

    • Gareth says:

      He had a higher win % at Huddersfield than Hughton did at Blues.

      • danny boy says:

        as i keep saying and starting to sound like a stuck record IN A LEAGUE BELOW US!

        • Blueboy 88 says:

          You don’t want Clark , Curbishley seemingly wants to wait an eternity for a PL club to manage…

          So who do you want ?
          The Choice is Roy Keane or Phil Brown …?

          • danny boy says:

            if it came down to it and the 3 dont inspire me but if it has to be KEANE has the experience in the prem and this league. i dont like brown but again has experience. i keep repeating CLARKE has no expereince higher than League 1. end of

          • Blueboy 88 says:

            Phil Brown does have experience of managing in a higher league .. but I would still prefer Clark..
            Experience should not neccasarily rule him out..

            However I agree , with the choices available Keane would be my preferred option…
            The one thing that would then be a certainty is , it will never be dull..& always entertaining..

          • NooBloo says:

            Not necessarily. They could do it on the cheap and put someone like Stepher Carr through their coaching badges and promote from the playing staff. The only problem with that being that he would need a backroom team

      • James Black says:

        Exactly Gareth, people as usual are just jumping on the moan bandwagon without doing any homework. Of course we would all love a big name but it aint to be. but Houghton was not a big name either, although granted bigger than Clarke but so what its a realistic appointment and time will tell. Your judging before a ball is kicked people.

  • prewarblue says:

    Its Blues S.N.A.F.U,,,,,,,nothing changes

  • andy says:

    The worrying thing for me is the fact that when the owners of Coventry took over, they led the club the same way as Blues look to be heading and they too would not communicate with the supporters. The sad part is, there is nothing we can do about it.

    • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

      There is but unfortunately both are hard to do.

      Don’t buy a ST which I and it looks like plenty of others have chosen to do according to the ticket office. This is really a last sad resort but will certainly get PPs attention. I may still buy one if i start getting treated like a fan, customer or even an interested party. If I’m not worth communicating with then I’ll keep my money in my pocket thanks.

      The other is contact some HK papers using the angle of the forgotten victims of the CY fiasco. Chinese hate losing face and if a paper over there runs a story that could help. I bet no-one over there even considers what’s happenig to us.

  • Euston 9.18 says:

    I thought the missing accounts were published,10 mill in the red ??

    So why the embargo ??

    Has the league put it in print that they don’t believe the accounts ??

    If no,then why the embargo…If yes,are they accusing the accountants of fraud ??

    • nicky wicky says:

      The auditors added a comment that they didn’t think they had been told all the relevent information! The ysaid they thought some information was missing.

      • Euston 9.18 says:

        So the league don’t want to see the BLUES accounts,but BIHL accounts ??

        I thought the income that BLUES brings in stays with BLUES ??

        • almajir says:


          They wanted to see BOTH – particularly in light of the auditor comments. The rules are set up so that the league can keep asking questions until they are satisfied.

          (this was confirmed on here a couple of weeks ago in this post)

          • Euston 9.18 says:

            So……”The league are saying,the accounts are not truthful” ??

            So we had the accounts sent from BIRMINGHAM to H`Kong,which were then with held,because they were,lets say “unhelpful”,then H`Kong after a long delay,release accounts which the league don’t think are “kosher”

            Surely someone is breaking the law here,BLUES SAY HERE’S THE ACCOUNTS THE LEAGUE SAY WE DON’T BELIEVE THEM !!

          • almajir says:

            No, Euston, you’re not reading properly.

            The league are asking, as they are entitled to by their regulations, for further clarification.

            They are not saying that the accounts “are untruthful”, they are saying they need to know more – as we probably all do.

          • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

            Al what was the actual comment the auditors used again? An accountant mate of mine told me it is a seldom used phrase and one he’s personally never seen before.

          • almajir says:

            It’s called a “disclaimer of opinion” and it is rarely used.

    • Somersetblue says:

      I believe they are waiting on another sat of accounts.The published accounts were for BCFC,think they are waiting on the BIHL accounts,I could be mistaken though!

    • almajir says:

      You may have missed this, but firstly the BIHL accounts have to be published and secondly the league need to be satisfied with them before the embargo is lifted.

      • Blueboy 88 says:

        Is the second year PL parachute payment something that is within the gift of the league to withhold if they are not financially satisfied with the club ?

        Do you know the value of that PP payment to Blues, & when the club should receive it ?

        • almajir says:


          I believe that the Parachute Payment would only be withheld if Blues had outstanding transfer fees that they weren’t paying – and we’re not in that position.

          We’re due to get £16mil – the league however will not comment on when we get it.

  • Jaffa says:

    What a mess!!

  • andy says:

    If only the league/FA/PL had shown as much interest in our finances when the club was bought for more than double its worth then we might not be in this position now

  • andynose says:

    Whilst I understand people being unhappy with someone like Clarke for the new gaffer, I think we need to be realistic because the state the clubs in we’ll be lucky to get any recognised name to come to us.

    • Oldbluenose says:

      andy;, You have hit the nail on the head, mate, In the position we are finding ourselves, ?. Most ” decent ” managers would probably think, — Not for me, thanks,!!.

      So yes,!!. We need those missing BIH, accounts released quickly, We have enough problems without having those witheld continuously,!!.

  • cecilFW says:

    The problem here is that the recent shirt sponsorship deal funds have been redirected to BHIL. You have to ask why that was. This is an unusual arrangement to say the least. BCFC meanwhile has been funded by loans from Yeung (this is quite normal). However it is likely that all of Yeng’s assets will be seized (house already), as allegedly this was laundered money. This means it is likely that these loans made to BCFC will be “called in” and I’m afraid we won’t be able to pay. We can only speculate that the shirt monies were redirected so as to avoid this. Hence there is likely to be a severe crisis at some point. The worst case scenario is that this drags on and slowly strangles the club. The very best we can hope for is a very painful period of Administration followed by sale, folllowed by rebuild.

    please note that part of the accounts refers to the KIT DEAL with Xtep – not the sponsor on the front of the shirt – Almajir

    • Blueboy 88 says:

      In summary without these BIHL audited accounts we are staring League One right in the face.

      Either through administration , or our inability to put out 16 players on match day…

    • nicky wicky says:

      cecil will you please stop pannicking. the club is not heading for administration. or an exodus of players.PP has already had several offers for players alrady this year and has turned them down. even with the embargo he could have accepted them and replaced them with a cheaper replacement according to almijr. There is apparently no need for a firesale this year,and only reasonable offers will be accepted!

      • almajir says:

        Nicky – I think you’re right. By this time last year we’d already sold Johnson and Gardner, we don’t seem to be in as big a rush to move players on.

        • Blueboy 88 says:

          I think that’s more about the ammount of players we currently have , & the wages they command.
          Johnson & Gardner were moved on (amongst others) mainly due to high salary commitments.

          But if the worse case scenario is no BIHL audited accounts , continued trandfer embargo…

          & by example Doyle moves on , out of contract & Foster signs for the Baggies,
          Does that mean Blues could bring in two goalkeepers , or two players of their choice..?

          • nicky wicky says:

            no one because Doyle would be a Bosman!

          • Blueboy 88 says:

            So we couldn’t replace Foster ?

          • RichardM says:

            People seem to be assuming that Blues have a lot more control control over their players contracts than they really do, but the point is that if the players themselves want out, Blues don’t have many options.

            Blues would have to ignore their transfer requests and risk rising tensions in the dressing room, poor performances (eg Liam Ridgwell) – or sell em as quickly as possible for the best price. Could we end up in a situation where Butland, Burke, Foster, Redmond, Mutch, Fahey, Zigic all want out becuase of the financal mess at the club? Could Blues realisticaly refuse to sell these players if an approach was made by say Norwich City, Reading, Southampton, e.t.c. (which I fully expect will happen come July). How would we be able to replace these players with the embargo in place? Admit I’m not sure on the emargo rules, are we allowed to replace like for like – i.e. 4 players sold alows us to recruit 4 replacements?

        • tismyk says:

          Maybe its because with a couple of exceptions we have no player other teams want?

          • James Black says:

            That is a ludicrous statement tismyk. Totally wrong.

          • James Black says:

            So under Houghton your all singing the praises of the team he has put together, then after he leaves your saying they are all crap. Make up your minds its Houghton s team still.

      • James Black says:

        Spot on Nicky

  • Bluenosesol says:

    One week to go before the end of the reduced season ticket sale! Stil yet to make our minds up and still no proposition on which to make a decision!

  • Euston 9.18 says:


    Do you know if the “taxman” has shown any interest into the accounts BLUES have submitted to the league,have BLUES paid the tax concerning these accounts,the 10 mill loss accounts ??

    • almajir says:

      As far as I’m aware HMRC have no issues with Blues

      • Euston 9.18 says:

        I’m a bit confused here “ALMAJIR” so the accounts from last year,the tax man has agreed with,but the league,want more “clarification ??

        Football clubs pay a yearly tax,don’t they ??

        • almajir says:

          What’s the confusion Euston?

          The taxman has been paid – thus they’re happy.

          The league want more info. It was ALWAYS the case that they wanted the BIHL accounts.

          It’s nowt to do with tax in this case.

          • Euston 9.18 says:

            Still confused,but thx’s for the reply.

          • NooBloo says:

            Don’t be silly. There is a ten million loss. You dont pay corporation tax on a loss. There would be nothing to pay if there was a loss. An Inspector wont even have looked at those accounts in any detail yet. They were only lodged a few weeks ago.

            The accounts would not be my concern. The loss is probably fairly accurate if there were large salaries paid to players andd Managers when Mc Leish was here.

            My concern would be that in the last year, the Chinese Directors may have made large drawings from Directors loan accounts and if their drawings massively exceeds what they put into the company then there would be large taxable benefits, upon which a lot of Class 1a NIC would be due for payment by 19th April 2012

          • almajir says:

            NooBloo – I’m of the belief based on what I know that they have not.

          • NooBloo says:

            Sorry meant 19th July 2012

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    Are there a limited amount of times you can reply to a comment Al?

    Anyways just looked up ‘Disclaimer of opinion’ on the net and got this explanation:

    Although this type of opinion is rarely used,[6] the most common examples where disclaimers are issued include audits where the auditee willfully hides or refuses to provide evidence and information to the auditor in significant areas of the financial statements, where the auditee is facing significant legal and litigation issues in which the outcome is uncertain (usually government investigations), and where the auditee has going concern issues (the auditee may not continue operating in the near future).[6] Investors, lending institutions, and governments typically reject an auditee’s financial statements if the auditor disclaimed an opinion, and will request the auditee to correct the situations the auditor mentioned and obtain another audit report.

    • almajir says:


      Yes I believe there is a limit.

      Also, if you read the full accounts piece I did last week … I linked to a full explanation of what “disclaimer of opinion” meant. Did you not see that?

      • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

        Sorry mate I did read it but went and looked for another view on it.

        All 3 scenarios are not healthy ones, 1/ hiding something 2/ facing significant legal and litigation issues in which the outcome is uncertain (usually government investigations or 3/ has going concern issues (the auditee may not continue operating in the near future

        They were rejected on one of these 3 basis, none of which is good for us.

  • chaz2k1 says:

    Could this start a precedent? A club not releasing a new kit just because it’s a new season, thus saving supporters some money for a change? Adult shirt plus junior kit (cos kids don’t just want the shirt…) saves almost a ton doesn’t it? Unfortunately the flip side, no cash injection into the club coffers.

  • Bluepenguin76 says:

    What a complex bloody mess!!!…I haven’t posted in here much for the last few weeks. Mainly as I’m totally down and depressed about the situation we find ourselves in. Last pre season was a bit of a mess but this year really pushes it to a new level……BIH are totally pathetic. What happened to the much famed Chinese business acumen?

    I seem to find myself constantly moaning but nothing ever changes…slow and painful!!!

  • AfricaBlue says:

    Was going to come home for the first three months of the new season but with the mess we are in have put it off. Kro BCFC.

  • Reeboh says:

    I do wonder, could our current team get a top 6 finish though, what without the euro games, and possibly less cup runs?

    After all the years of not putting academy players through to the first team, and instead selling them on, I think it’s now the time to start looking at them a little more. Like we have done with Redmond, Mutch and Butland for example. Players like Hancox, Packwood, Reilly, Gnahore, Asante, Jervis, and maybe even Ntambwe should really be considered with more than 5 games next season. Gnahore does look very good, unfortunately injured until November time.

    Is the transfer embargo a blessing in disguise? No one can buy our ‘big’ players. I do fear though, that if the embargo is lifted, we will sell the likes of Burke, Foster, Davies… We need some experience to get us through, and with Free’s and Loans, we do have a great chance as there are some fantastic budget players out there.

    I’ve been really impressed with, though a signing made with money, Wade Elliott. He gives his all, and I’d love to see more like him, of which whom are available this window.


  • Masaccio says:

    The players we have at the moment should be able to get us in the play-offs again this season without having to play 60+ games

  • dino tiltoni says:

    This is all rather disheartening and I’m wondering whether to renew my season ticket as there may not be much of a team to watch.

    The club have probably pocketed CH’s compensation and Foster’s transfer value will also be used to sort out the travails in HK. Meanwhile we can’t buy any players. But perhaps the appointment of a manager will kick start everything?

    Menawhile perhaps we should send a delegation of Zulu warriors over to HK to make BIHL take more notice and file the holding company accounts?!

    • Masaccio says:

      I think the zulus can spend most of the season sweeping majestically across the barren plains of the empty kop….

    • Blueboy 88 says:

      And thats the nail on the head…the Elephant in the room…

      All roads lead to when, & if BIHL file audited company accounts .

      Everything else at present is being driven (or not as the case maybe) by their absence..

  • Art Watson says:

    You just couldn’t make what’s going on at the club up.

    Just a complete shambles and a total disregard to hard working people wanting to support their favourite football club.To a lot of people Blues form a major part of their daily life iinherited from thier family history.

    The board have no comprehension of this and frankly should hang their heads in shame-sorry to say this will not happen-it’s all about money – not tradition.

  • nicky wicky says:

    Almijr I keep reading stories about how Blues are supposedly paying Nikola Zigic £50-60pw in the Championship but theres something about that that strikes me as odd. If PP is paying him such sums why won’t he pay the £500k compo to get a decent manager? £500k seems small by comparison and when he sells a player he gets the compo back. PP strikes me as being very prudent.he seems to have moved on most of the other big earners even taking smaller transfer fees to get them of the books. I reckon the truth is probably that zigic had a relegation clause in his contract or he has done a deal to reduce his wages to more manageable sums so that he can stay at the club after all the sums quoted is £2.5-3million per year!

  • nicky wicky says:

    sorry £50000-£60000pw!

  • Blueboy 88 says:

    A bit of heartening news –

    Tom Ross ‏@thegoalzone
    I understand that Blues are meeting the FA on THUR re embargo. But even with embargo you can buy & sell but need FA approval for each deal.

  • murph says:

    how about billy davies? another experienced manager who plays attacking football?

  • NooBloo says:

    He only works about 20 hours per week and doesnt even do any of the coaching himself. Apparently he turns up on a Thursday for a few hours and the same on Friday then does the matchdays. He is a vampire and would bleed the club dry

  • Oldbluenose says:

    noo blue;, Do you possibly suspect that BIh, may have done that, Therefore being a reason for the ” non-showing of their accounts,??.

    • NooBloo says:

      I dont really know what the financial needs of the Directors have been in the last year, however, the accounts which were held up were for the previous year, so that wont have been the reason for the hold up of those accounts.

      potential large overdrawn Directors loan accounts i referred to would have been for the last fiscal tax year to 5th April 2012; however, i am not privvy to any information, i just read on websites like this that they have great financial needs due to their ongoing court case and payments of lawyers fees etc have to come from somewhere. Although again i dont know what sources of income they have from elsewhere

  • bluenose08 says:

    To all of you out there whatever happens to our club through the mis-management by b.i.h.l. we will always be birmingham city f.c. belonging to the fans !!

  • Bluepenguin76 says:

    I see that Coventry have now had their accounts approved by the football league
    and their embargo is lifted……we are well and truely the only leper left in the colony!!!.

    Puts it into perspective when “crisis club” Coventry(who have had a hell of a time of it)
    are sorting it and we’re still in turmoil.

    Couldn’t get much better than this :(

  • Blueboy 88 says:

    So what have we learnt today ?

    a) BCFC have no manager , no kit sponsor, no new kit, no assistant managers, no chief scout
    b) BIHL accounts are still AWOL with no sign of putting in an appearance anytime soon
    c) BCFC will require a minimum 18 players on match day
    d) BCFC currently only have 16 first team senior pros contracted
    e) Nobody understands what is , or is not , allowable within the transfer embargo.
    f) Coventry (Basket Case) City no longer have a transfer embargo
    g) BCFC have arranged a pre-season friendy with conference giants Hereford Utd
    h) And Its going to pour with rain for the forseeable future

    But wouldn’t swop the constant & relentless heartache of supporting this bloody club for the world – KRO

  • Bluepenguin76 says:

    Guys the lows are low following Blues…..but it just makes the highs(and they do happen) HIGH!!.


  • Stephen says:

    With the interviews for a new manager picking up pace I have been thinking about support staff and one man I would love to see join the st Andrews coaching staff is Michael ‘Magic’ Johnson, he has all of his coaching badges, has been trying to get in to management for a while and think that a coaching position could be great for him to kick start his carrear, with his beloved blues.

    He is one man who knows what it means to be a bluenose and he would be welcomed with open arms by the blues faithful, any thoughts?

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