Often Partisan

Back to the Football

The Football League yesterday lifted the embargo emplaced upon Birmingham City for failing to produce their accounts on time – and one more of the promises made in Peter Pannu’s statement of last week came true. With the final stumbling block to Blues’ pre-season preparations removed, I thought it would be a good time to reflect further on how things have improved in the last seven days.

I was pleasantly surprised with the embargo being lifted; I did have this nasty feeling that the league would be harsher on Blues than they have been. For the league to have accepted the hard work that Blues did to rectify their financial woes last season as proof enough that they are worthy of being able to sign players is testament to the good job that the background staff do and I think they should be credited massively.

I asked the question on Twitter and Facebook if Peter Pannu deserved credit for the positive stuff over the last couple of weeks and in the main, people agreed that the communication he made with the fans coupled with the actions that have followed it are worthy of some kudos. I think that now Blues have a manager in place and the ability to at least bring in freebies, trialists and loans we can now look forwards to the new season and start to think about where the team needs strengthening and how Blues can go about it; the horrible feeling of being stuck has now gone.

However, I don’t think Mr Pannu deserves all the credit – he might be the figurehead who puts out the statements but it would be a massive disservice to people like Joanne Allsopp, Julia Shelton and Roger Lloyd to say that Peter Pannu is the reason everything is returning to sweetness and light at Blues. It’s kind of bizarre but as much as people moan about Peter Pannu being in Hong Kong I think it’s been beneficial for the club in that it’s allowed the staff at St Andrews to get on with running the club and to use their own initiative to do things properly. For example, I don’t think there is any doubt that there is a direct link between how things have improved since the days of the previous board customer-service wise and the fact that the day-to-day stuff is left for the club staff to run as they see fit rather than being micro-managed.

It’s worth noting that the embargo has been lifted despite what is happening in Hong Kong – not because of them. Whilst their lack of accounting isn’t going to hamstring Blues in the short-term there does need to be changes. With Carson having a season ticket at the Hong Kong high courts and the other BIH staff seemingly not being able to locate their gluteus maximus with both hands there needs to be changes to either bring new investment online or to maybe think about selling up. It’s not that I’m anti-board – I think Carson for all his faults is a football nut and I’m sure he’d rather be at St Andrews than the witness box – but I cannot honestly see how much longer the BIH tenure can continue.

The one thing that most impressed me with Mr Pannu’s statement was his frank admissions regarding what was happening in Hong Kong and I hope that now things are back on an even keel here that he will now go out to Hong Kong to sort out BIH further.  He makes me think of a bulldog when he’s rattled and I’d like to see that bulldog use his bombast to stir the BIH board into action.

On Monday, the team return for pre-season training and I’m guessing we’ll move back into high gear on the football front. I can’t wait.

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40 Responses to “Back to the Football”

  • BCFC83 says:

    I can’t wait either. I miss the Blues when we are not playing, watching the Euro’s has been fun but nothing is like watching my beloved Blues.

    I am glad I am getting my fix in just over two weeks in Munich.

    Lee will have to work hard to bring in players, it will be frees, loans and I guess just a little bit of money available for one or two shrewd signings. Te hard work starts now. I again go into the season not expecting too much a top 10 finish will be good enough for me but I know if we have a good start we will all be dreaming of a top 6 finish again.

    • RichardM says:

      Didn’t you think Italy’s kit looked like the Blues strip, if I squinted my eyes a bit I could just imagine…

      • Jay Sidney says:

        I couldn’t agree more, Richard. Plain blue shirts, plain white shorts and plain blue socks (or as near as damn it). The shade of blue Italy now have (slighly darker than their normal azure blue) was just the thing for Blues, IMO. Come on, Diadora and BCFC, please don’t put out a tacky, washed-out-looking strip.

  • Agent McLeish says:

    No coincidence that Robin van Persie’s statement to quit Arsenal was carefully timed to fit with the Blues embargo being lifted :-)

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    I’ve been a big critic of Pee Pee based more around the lack of communication to us fans than anything else. Although I do believe his hand was forced by slow renewal take up he did, at last, come out and tell us some stuff thus recognising us as interested parties. I don’t ask or expect much as a Blues fan but it is fundamental to all of us that we are kept in the loop about what’s happening at the club we’ve loved all our lives. Pee Pee could have a powerful ally in us if he remembers that. Where he has only recently breezed in a lot of us and our families have been involved with Blues for many years. For me and mine well over a century and lots of others also.

    Having said all that Mr Pannu is a very clever man and he obviously wont and/or can’t tell us some stuff and that is normal in any business but he has to accept that us the fans need to know basic facts about the present and future state of our club. I also think that the world of football is a bit new to him especially the world of the football fan but he has to live and learn. No-one can deny he’s done some good work for the club and he gives the impression of a bit of a bruiser who can hold his own when negotiating on behalf of the club.

    His statement made me think he’s frustrated personally as he is the figurehead and the man ‘in the frame’ at the club so to speak. So all the flak comes his way. Well if he’s frustrated he could do with thinking about how we feel. There are no better fans out there in times of adversity than ours and Pee Pee should now start a charm offensive and build bridges with us so we’re all in it together.

  • Jay Sidney says:

    Clearly Lee Clark will have to wheel and deal in the transfer market and Bosmans and loanees are almost certainly what Blues will have to rely on (unless the “new investor” P Pannu has said has been “identified” actually materialises).

    However, Chris Hughton (and also A McLeish immediately before decamping to the frightful vile) brought in some good Bosmans last year so who knows?

  • mitchell says:

    I think a combo of VP and Marlon King would work well……

    LC needs to match the skill and judgement of CH when signing the freebies/loans etc.

    Hughton proved last season that you don’t need tens of millions to build a successful solid team; had it not been for the Europa League, we would have been a lot closer to the automatic spots, if not in them.

    Looking forward to the start of the season and hope the new gaffer is given some funds; if we keep the remaining squad and some new hungry faces we can challenge again.


    • RichardM says:

      hi mitchell – but ask yourself who did CH actually sign? Gomis, King, Burke already here when he joined, which leaves him with Rooney, Spector, Ibanez, Caudwell, Elliot and the loan signings of Ramage, N’Daw and Townsend – of which I would say only Caudwell was an unqualifed success. Not knocking the others, and appreciate he had to operate within his limits – but no magician either!

      • nicky wicky says:

        CH sugned Pablo and i think it was Elliot for a total of £1million!

      • mitchell says:

        Fair point Richard – would McCleish have played them as well as CH though?

        Thought Ibanez and NDaw had there moments; either way it’s still a tough act to follow.


      • BhamCityJulian says:

        I think last season proved CH is a very good coach and can manage on the hoof, but what is not proven is his strategic management and decision making. I was impressed with only one of his signings, Caldwell. Huseklepp who he had a very high regard for was very poor.

  • Blueboy 88 says:

    Good overview
    & another good word – Bombast – speech too pompous for an occasion; pretentious words.

    On the footballing front its interesting to note the big players for Blues last season ,
    Burke , Murphy , Davies , Redmond , King , & Fahey were already at the club before CH’s arrival.
    And to be fair if we can keep that nucleus intact , with a few more quality additions , we can still be a threat in this division..

    However with Davies now being linked with a move to Norwich, & seemingly keen to go…there will be many more twists & turns before the window closes..

    The devil is definetly in the detail of Peter Pans embargo lifting statement yesterday –
    “Despite the lifting of the embargo, we still need to ensure that this financial prudence remains in place going forward.”

    Which seems like a Code Red for , there is the potential for more sales…..?

    But at least we can have a go now…

    • nicky wicky says:

      Davies is one of those players that reqiure an eye-popping offer!

      • BhamCityJulian says:

        I believe PP said the eye-poppers were just Butland and Redmond. Davies, like Burke, King, Caldwell and Fahey are less than eye-poppers fees although LC indicated he had no intention of selling them

    • nicky wicky says:

      nO blueboy prudence means we haven’t got money to make big money signings. If Norwich come in and make a say £15 million+ offer then they might say they could sell him and get somone new in with some of the money,but PP wants to make sure that the team stays competitive as they want to get back to the premier asap too!

  • Ted says:


  • Oldbluenose says:

    As has already been suggested,!!. A VERY big vote of thanks should go to the backroom staff at St Andrews,

    Quietly,!!. They have gone about their business of administering the running of the Blues, in an efficient fashion WITHOUT any trumpeting,!!.


  • alexjhurley says:

    Face facts, chaps, this is simple equation :

    we get 20,000 people a week in the championship
    We dont have a sugar daddy
    = Pannu’s right about “financial prudence”

    So any bid for any player over £5M becomes too good to turn down and we shop in Lidl’s not M&S

    I’m sure he doesn’t like it any more than we do……..but their ain’t a fat lot anyone can do about it.

    • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

      We’ve already turned down £6m for Butland haven’t we?

      Back to the drawing board kidda.

      • alexjhurley says:

        Fair point, well made re Butland (if you believe there ever was a bid of course….). But the point I was trying to explain still stands – i.e. for a club of our size simple economics dictate we won’t spending much on signings and there’s a big chance more players will go out the door.

        • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

          As it was on the club website then yes I agree.

          Your basic point is true and we better get used to it though I’m starting to warm to Clark and he may do something sensational

    • nicky wicky says:

      The premier league has just got richer with the new deal. I hear Wolves want £10million for Steven Fletcher so why shouldn’t blues be asking for a slice of the cake after all if they wantclubs likebirmingham to keep producingquality players then it’s only fair we get afair slice of the cake!

  • MarkyB says:

    10m, a player is worth what buyers and sellers are willing to agree on.

    Our club is being run well, its being financed poorly, so we are self sufficient, the major fix would be a 80k seater stadium, and it being sold out week in week out at 100 per seat… AKA man u.

    We are not, and as long as we at least manage to stay in the championship I for one will be happy enough, keep entertaining us please lee.

    Chris has a great season, and I think he performed better than anyone could have expected.

    If we get near the play offs this year I will be YET AGAIN.. AMAZED!!

  • mitchell says:

    If we do get offers for the rest of the family silver I’d want 8mill + for either Davies/Butland AND Clark gets some of the cash to spend on players.

    Now the embargo has been lifted have there been any rumours about potential targets?


  • oldburyblue says:

    When you think about the players we have lost in the last 12months or so it is a miracle that we have such a good team left….but we do.

    I will be disappointed to lose any more players, but if we do, we WILL survive…just as we have done before . “Irreplaceable” players from 2010/11 WERE replaced successfully, just as others were before them. Larrson or Burke….Johnson/Dann or Davies. You choose.

    BCFC is far bigger than individual players, managers or owners. It has a Life-Force of its own, ever growing and evolving. We supporters, our kids & grandkids are BCFC and always will be.

  • Steve-0 says:

    Kudos, plus some to Peter Pannu (and I hope reads this). Not only has the guy holding the baby steadied the financial ship, but he’s also ensured fans have remained optimistic with the appointments of Hughton and Clark.

    All right even the Villa are thinking Lambert can lead to Europe to tread in Blues’ footsteps, but there is a genuine belief that isn’t just fantasy that puts Clark in a positive light before a ball is kicked.

    Blues’ well grounded fans know what kind of people we want here. I remember a fan saying to me that Ferguson and Bowyer were ‘proper’ Blues Players and they were right. We’re not a fancy club, we’re a proud, hardworking club and the players and no nonsense personnel represent who we are on the pitch very well.

    I know we will welcome Lee at the first St Andrews fixture and equally I’m sure he will serve our values, beliefs and dreams well.

  • andy says:

    Are people actually starting to realise that Blues best players were signed by McLeish? To be frank,the signings Hughton made left a lot to be desired and i wouldnt say he is such a tough act to follow. Winning a major trophy is the tough act to follow!

    • RichardM says:

      No I would agree, the majority of the signings he made were very good – he just didn’t know how to form them into a wiining combination. Ironically the League Cup win just proved how poor and negative his tactics were – becuase it was the only time he played to win rather than just not to lose. If we could just find someone with McLeish’s transfer nous and CH’s tactical ability and football vision….

  • pughy the blue says:

    Aljimar has there been any roumers of potential signings

  • Bluenosesol says:

    Guys, my sentiment towards CY and PP have bordered on hatred with a total disregard for whether Carson ends up homeless and incarcerated. As events unfold, I am beginning to adopt the mindset that neither of these gents ever had the itention of doing a Gold/Sullivan and making a mint on the back of 20,000 working class brummies. It was more a dream of buying a premiership club and developing a brand in their homeland. That dream went horribly wrong due to circumstances not entirely out of their control. However as events transpire, it is becoming evident that they are not using incoming funds to offset their personal transgressions ad PP has used incredible managagement skills and no little personal commitment to keep the club afloat despite incredible odds being stacked against him. I have personally renewed my season ticket and am once again feeling very positive about the new season. Just wandering if we should ditch the “We dont care about Carson” chant for next season??

    • Paul Carter - The Voice of Reason says:

      Too right we should, a totally embarrassing bollox of a chant.

      Fact – No-one has put more money into this club in it’s history than CY

      You have to balanc that though with the possibility that all or most or some of the cash came by illegal means. If he is guilty of money laundering he’ll get no sympathy from me

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