Often Partisan

Silly Season Begins

It’s only been three days since the transfer embargo was lifted but the silly season has already truly started. The sad thing is that I’m not particularly referring to the media but more the expectations of some sections of the fans – I think some people may be in for a very disappointing summer when all is said and done on the transfer front.

The fact is that Blues don’t have any money to spend. Despite Mr Pannu saying something about a “huge profit”, despite the parachute payment, the money received from the sales of Jordon Mutch and Ben Foster – despite everything else, I very much doubt Blues will spend as much as a penny on a transfer fee this summer. The money just isn’t there.

One of the key things Peter Pannu talked about in his statement to the fans was of “self-sufficiency” – Blues surviving without handouts from Hong Kong or anywhere else and operating on a basis whereby their financial situation is secure because of prudence more than a sugar daddy’s generosity. Blues are carrying debts over from the last few years; one of the great fallacies is that the previous board sold the club debt-free when that was very much not the case and this coupled with the spending in the Premiership years has meant that the club have to pay off previous losses before the slate is cleared.

It annoys me in truth as well; there seems to be an ingrained mindset from some sections of fans that Bosman free transfers and the like equal poor players. Blues didn’t spend a penny in transfer fees on King, Burke, Spector and Caldwell last summer but all of them were integral parts of a fairly successful team. King scored eighteen goals, Burke got fourteen and umpteen assists, Spector was the model of versatility slotting where needed and giving Blues committed performance after committed performance and Stevie Caldwell was a rock and an inspiration at the back. Whilst Blues won’t be able to pay top wages the financial squeeze that has happened across the board away from the top clubs means more players than ever are available on free transfers and there are bargains to be had.

Blues fans have made it clear that they don’t want players to be sold and in fairness Peter  Pannu has listened but in holding on to everyone that they can Blues are constrained as to the money they have left over for new players. I can appreciate that it’s not the best situation to be in but it’s what we’re faced with until some white knight appears over the horizon with £100million burning a hole in his back pocket or Blues make it back onto the Premier League gravy train. Neither situation is likely to happen too soon so we have to make the best of the situation we have.

In short – no, I don’t think Blues will sign Jordan Rhodes, Emile Heskey or Robin van Persie. Yes, we may be looking at players who have been released from similar stature clubs or trialists from Scotland, Ireland or further afield – and before you ask, no, I have no idea who Blues may sign. I’m willing to get behind the players who do choose to come and play in the Royal Blue though, and I’m willing to give our new manager my backing. Are you?

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69 Responses to “Silly Season Begins”

  • Gren1875 says:

    The good news is the back room staff are in place and prepared a lot quicker than last year and the minimal value players that should remain at blues are pretty decent.

  • Burton says:

    I don’ think we can get Rhodes but Van Persie should be on the cards, he’ll be looking for a place for his kids to settle down and that’s what Birmingham offers.

  • Letsby Avenue says:

    Well said.

    To quote Pannu’s actual statement.

    “………We are currently preparing the accounts for the year end June 2012 and we shall be revealing substantial profits for that period.
    All money generated at the club remains with us to set off earlier losses….”

    To thee, me and most English readers, that is pretty straightforward.
    But, as you allude Al, it seems beyond the grasp of quite a few people.

    As in a previous blog, where I took a different view to yourself,we are pretty far from self-sufficiency and untroubled cash flow for the whole season.
    So far.
    My opinion / fear is that we need a decent or two sales to allow the manager a nibble further up the food chain. Keeping Blues solvent at the same time.

    Commercial propsects inproving, sponsors on line, ST sales only about 1500 – 2500 away from last season – and still 2 months to go.

    I do agree – – Things are getting better.
    Level heads and a drop of realism should make us remember that the 3 highest payrolls in the Championship last season were, West Ham, Southampton and after January – Reading.
    We can throw away our beads, but should keep the sack cloths handy….

    • nicky wicky says:

      are you one of those who were saying the club was heading for admin last season. They shouldn’t need to sell anyone else now with the money they have raised with the club running at a profit. Last season a lot of fans said blues would get relegated,but they finished fourth. Theres no reason why they can’t finish the same or higher this year!

      • Letsby Avenue says:


        No mate.
        I was one of the few who said the high-earners had to go to allow Blues to survive.
        Our owner had just been put under house-arrest so the only income was through tickets and merchandising.
        It was a pain to see some of them go and I thought with CH we’d probably get to top 6-8.
        At Christmas I thought we’d get automatic.

        I’ve one blue lense and one clear lense in my specs. :-)

        • nicky wicky says:

          It’s basically the same team as last year,but with less games. so if we get some good bosmans,loans and cheap signings like CH then theres no reason why we shouldn’t be challenging again. With a good cup run and the manager playing the right football,and not too many injuries then theres no reason why the club can’t make a profit again this year,and we may even get promoted? Why do you have to be so negative £10million should be pllenty to last the season. we don’t have the huge debts like we had last year.all the stuff owing to CY has been deferred to a later date! Blues have one of the best academies in the country.

          • Letsby Avenue says:

            Gordon Bennett nickiewickie.

            You can obviously read, but can you understand?

            I was not being negative, I was trying to be realistic and seconding the blog — that expectations need to be reigned in a bit.
            We do not have tons to spend.

            We owe £12 million from the season before – that IS NOT to BIHL or Yeung, that is wages, transfer payments still to be paid.

            This may help you understand – quote –

            “………These are the figures from the 2010 accounts:

            Turnover £56.4m with Wages being £36.7m ….”

            Now that level of wages has been reduced, — but if you think £10 million is going to be enough to pay Blues’ wage bill for a season….Gordon Bennett nickiewickie…..
            Our wage bill is everyone, groudsmen, Waste Hills cleaners, admin, office and IT and marketing,ticket office and the tea lady, before you get to the players and Academy staff.

            £10mill will last about 4/5 months mate.

  • neil says:

    its sad that despite the 22m bought in last summer, the 6m, bought in in jan and the 9m so far this summer totalling 37m, not to mention parachute payment,s we are still in trouble financially,
    i would like to know how much the debt found after BIHL took over , after not checking the books correclty is causing the problems, as i find it difficult to belive BIHL have run up a debt figure in the region of £40-50m pounds in the short time they have been in charge.

  • Texas Pete says:

    With only 16 in the squad it is ludicrous to sell off (the best, most valuable) players, especially when we had such a successful last season and now we have to build on that not tear it apart like this time last year. And if you say sell just one or two players then you are looking at spending that money on three or four cheaper ones to replace them. Not much benefit and demoralizing to the rest of the squad. On top of all that, selling the young ones ie Mutch, Butland and Redmond is the worst approach. I see them as our longer term investments, who will bond with each other and feed off the older ones They will lead us into the Prem as the stars with experience and confidence of a winning season (or two or three) behind them. Selling the best is the short term, season to season bolemia that is very unhealthy for the club.
    We should settle on expecting frees, loans etc and perhaps the club will invest modestly in someone that LC thinks the club should bring in for cash.
    The team average age has to be lowered. With the aim and the high likelihood of Blues getting back to the Prem,, the younger players will have their steely sights fixed on that and they will have the guts to do it.

  • John says:

    Please elaborate………….”one of the great fallacies is that the previous board sold the club debt-free”
    Gold and Sully bought BCFC for a pound WITH 3 MILL IN DEBT 20 odd years ago
    That 3 mill was paid off……….They made St Andrews into an all seater Stadium and owned the freehold.
    So how do you say it wasn’t debt free when sold.

  • Aussiebrum says:

    John, you had a whole lot of deferred payments on transfers.

    And to “balance the books” Sullivan bought income into account early – like the multi media rights where he presold 7 years worth. Sullivan and Gold and the inexperienced Brady were not such wonderful managers of fiscally prudent – and were only in it for themselves.

  • Reeboh says:

    Thought I’d post this here-we’ve got six players coming in on trials starting monday!

  • Dodger says:

    Any names too go with 6 player claim?

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    Unless something sensational happens I’m expecting nothing this season same as last.

    Last year we had the Europa campaign and a good league team who could and did compete but this year reality WILL hit home. We’re broke and any decent offer will be taken and whomever we sell will be replaced with a bozzie or a freebie so Blues fans better get ready for an average season at best unless Lee Clark pulls off a miracle.

    It doesn’t matter to me. I go down the Blues to watch the Blues however ‘average’ they may be. We can talk and moan all day about where we are but the fact is we’re here so get used to it. Things will only change once CY trial is over at the end of the year.

    • nicky wicky says:

      paul we’ve aleady turned down an offer of £6million for Butland and a £5million offer for Davies. Blues are not Portsmouth and desperate for cash like the rubbish they write in the tabloids. They don’t need to sell anyone else so if anyone else goes it will be because they have be offered an eye-popping sum. PP is not just selling the players to raise money he is also aware that he has to make sure that the team is competitive. They want to get back to the Premier league too!

      • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

        I understand that Nicky but I believe it’s only posturing for an increased bid. We didn’t have to sell Mutch but did.

        Maybe I’m wrong but let’s see

  • Mickey07 says:

    “Whilst Blues won’t be able to pay top wages the financial squeeze that has happened across the board away from the top clubs means more players than ever are available on free transfers and there are bargains to be had”……..

    Do you mean top wages at championship level or premiership level?? Can we compete with the likes of Cardiff city,Watford,wolves,etc etc??

    • Blue in Spain says:

      Possibly not Cardiff, as they have found a far east investor that likes to play in red, however, most of the other definately!

      • nicky wicky says:

        Cardiff, and leicester both had wealthy owners last season and Blues still did performed better than them. We are not in the same financial state as we were last season so there is no need to take the first offer for players. The club is breaking even or probably making a small profit so there is no need to sell unless they get an eye-popping massive offer!

  • Blueboy88 says:

    We still have not to this point lost any of the big players who turned up last season.
    If that position remains static , & we then trust LC & his team to procure more quality acquisitions on the frees & bosmans, we can still be competitive this season in the championship .

    Financially , looking forward its eye watering grim & uncertain for the club.
    Large debt owed to CY/BIHL could become an issue after his court case , & a much reduced parachute payment for the following season.

    New owners are the solution ,& not neccasarily of the Man City “White Knight” variety..
    Something more along the lines of boring sensible financial models at WBA & Wolves would do….!!

  • Blueboy88 says:

    We still have not to this point lost any of the big players who turned up last season.
    If that position remains static , & we then trust LC & his team to procure more quality acquisitions on the frees & bosmans, we can still be competitive this season in the championship .

    Financially , looking forward its eye watering grim & uncertain for the club.
    Large debt owed to CY/BIHL could become an issue after his court case , & a much reduced parachute payment for the following season.

    New owners are the solution ,& not neccasarily of the Man City “White Knight” variety..
    Something more along the lines of boring sensible financial models at WBA & Wolves would do….!!

  • BCFC83 says:

    Another point well made.

    I agree that we will have to be prudendant this summer and make some moves in frees and loans.

    From the people available on free I would go for:

    Ramage (QPR)
    Blake (Bolton)
    Buzsaky (QPR)
    Hall (QPR)
    Lovenkrands (Newcastle)
    Bodde (Swansea)
    Barnes (Doncaster)
    McGugan (Forest)

    I think they are realistic targets, not saying we will get them all but they are people we could move for.

  • Euston 9:18 says:

    I would rather have a squad full of so~called (bosmans) willing to put in a 90mins shift for BLUES,than a group of mercenaries more interested in how there hair looks & BLUES have had plenty of them since we first stepped into the prem/league.

    I think BLUES need to try & keep St ANDREWS a hard place for away teams just to get a point,but for some reason BLUES do seem to have a problem putting the “FULL HOUSE” sign up on match day,is it the price of tickets,not just under this ownership,ok you might say,Man U / Man City /Spuds/ were sell~outs,but there were empty seats (not segregation).
    The only home game I can really remember been a “FULL HOUSE” is when we first entered the prem/league & we played the vile at home on that famous & historic night,I even saw people trying to buy tickets outside & selling (touts),that in my eyes is a FULL HOUSE.

    I think a hard working squad & a decent average crowd at St Andrews next season might get us above 1/2 way in the league,pick a few points away & well you never know.

    Good Luck to LEE CLARK & the squad he assembles for the season & lets hope the away teams leave St ANDREWS “battered & bruised”


  • andy says:

    There are many clubs in Blues position, and if the club are fending off bids of 6 or 7 million for the likes of Butland, that is a positive sign. Hasnt the new rule came in yet where clubs have to live within their means?

  • Tony Mac says:

    After all the doom and gloom of last year’s pre season and what really happened on the pitch I think we should start placing our trust in Mr Pannu and the way he is running the club in hard times. The truth is he has made tough decisions that people were up in arms over and he will make more this year but the club is still surviving. We must accept that we are not in a position to throw stupid money at players but that does not mean the club cannot move on and compete. I for one am looking forward to the new season and our new management. Promotion or not it will still be a great season of emotions up and down and we will keep on keeping on.

  • james says:

    Don’t see how the previous board can still be mentioned Al – its a bit like the Tories blaming Labour for the current climate.

    Transfer Embrago, no funds to spend ( despite raising almost 40 million quid), this has nothing to do with Gold/Sullivan. We are where we are due to Carson Yeung, no one else.


    • Blue in Spain says:

      I think we are where we are due to relegation, and if you want to get political, the previous Labour Government left so much debt, any incoming administration would have problems for years to come!

      • Blueboy88 says:

        A relegation that was very avoidable , BCFC had 30pts from 26 games at the point of the league cup success .

        10pts required from 12 games required , & the fact that was not achieved , shines a powerful light on McLeish’s complete dereliction of his managerial duties .

        Should have been drummed out of football management for the rest of his life…

        Then the idiots across the expressway pay us 3 million quid for his services..

        You couldn’t make it up..

      • Jay Sidney says:

        Of course the greedy, cynical, sub-prime mortgage banking mob had nothing to do with the wrecked state of much of the international economy, did they? Not much they didn’t!

  • Bluenosesol says:

    At this point I am beginning to get frustrated and confused. We are informed that the club’s bank have some kind of a bar on income leaving the club’s coffers. We announce that last year we made a significant profit. So we sell players that we did not expect to (Jordan Mutch 3 million) and yet now we are sayng that regardless of who we sell and even if PP finds 10 million in an old shoebox that was left behind by ken Wheldon, we have no money to buy new players. Can someone extract the logic for me?? What is the point of selling Butland for £20 million – We have no money to buy new players???!!!

    • nicky wicky says:

      Bluenose i don’t think you read PP’s statement properly? He said that blues were due to announce a substantial profit for this year despite all the doomy and gloomy comments about heading for admin,but the club had still got to be prudent because most of the profits would have to go to offset the previous years debts!

      • Bluenosesol says:

        PP’s statement is not the be and end all and is certainly vague in its detail. 2010/2011 we made a £10 million pound loss. 2011/2012 we made a substantial profit. The point I am making is that we all know that unless CY beats all the odds later this year, then he will eventually have to sell the club. If the club had gone into admin, his return would have been zilch. Whenever he sells he will make a substantial loss on the overall buy and sell. We all know that at present he can not dip into the clubs revenues. PP tells us that last year the cluib were self sufficent. That is it survived on its own self generated incomes and its continuity in that respect is viable and hence the embargo was lifted. So to my point. CY will in all probability be looking at a loss in excess of £50 million come sale time. The more cash the club retains, the higher the value of the club. THAT IS WHAT PP’S PRUDENCY IS ALL ABOUT. IT IS TO RAISE THE EVENTUAL SALE PRICE OF THE CLUB AND IS NOT IN THE INTEREST OF FOOTBALL OR THE FANS. ANY INCOME WILL BE RETAINED AND HENCE WILL GO TO OFFSET CY’S LOSSES DESPITE ALL CLAIMS TO THE CONTRARY!!!

    • BhamCityJulian says:

      Nowhere has it been said by club or bank that HSBC have to pre-approve expenditure.

  • Martin says:

    Due to work commitments i have not held a full season ticket since 2004, last year i brought a half year ticket and shared it with a mate. I found myself wondering weather to give the club £400 this year when i will proberly do well to see half of our home games and thinking like many no doubt i do want to give a penny to this board.
    However unlike a post i seen a few weeks back claimimg we should boycot and have an empty stadium to force us into administration and force the current board out i have renewed because this is when our club really needs us, it is easy to fill st andrews when we are playing man u, arsenal and it is £40 a ticket yet when we are playing barnsley and burley at £16 a ticket we can’t!!!

    we have the fans out there to fill the stadium week in week out but without the lure of premier league football many are not interested because they are not real fans.

    Last season was amazing FACT, this season could be very different but the real fans will still be there singing for the boys in blue just as they always are. im looking forward to going to Shrewsberry on the 24th, with 1500 tickets it should be a good crack.


  • Blueboy says:

    There is no such thing as a free transfer!

    Al, excellent article as usual, but you and everyone else should consider what a free transfer ACTUALLY costs.

    I’m no expert, but I’m fairly sure the club has to pay agent fees, signing on fees and probably other fees too. In addition to the excessive wages that the player/agent demands in lieu of not having to pay a transfer fee! For example, when we signed Lee Carsley on a free, I’m guessing that so called ‘free’ would have cost us over a million with the fees I’ve mentioned above, plus the high wage demands.

    Almajir, using the contacts you have, perhaps you could investigate the actual cost of a ‘free’ transfer and write an article accordingly. Armed with this information, we all would have a better understanding of the club finances.


  • BIG says:

    Yes Martin your a great fan , well done for buying a season ticket.

    Whats your point other than saying how great u are?

  • Blue in Spain says:

    What about Paul Scharner? He’s looking for a new challenge?

  • PCVOR says:

    F*ck him he turned us down for Wigan years ago

    comment edited

  • utbb says:

    Just been on teamtalk forum – someone said we have 6 trialists starting on Monday – any truth in that?

  • Paulo says:

    Lee Clark’s got my backing and so have Birmingham City.

    ..that’s pretty much it really! Everything else is just speculation until the fat lady sings, and Blues always comes with drama!!!

  • Blueinthai says:

    I am happy with free ,s bosmans etc as paying transfer fees does not guarantee better players .
    In fact the opposite has been the case for BCFC in rceent times.
    So I ask who was the best value Heskey or King? its no brainer as King is one of the few signings who in my opinion “does what it says on the box” in football terms and the first striker to be the real deal in years.
    Top half of table will be good this year until we get taken over which although no one knows when is surely inevitable .

  • BlueYork says:

    Sone Aluko?

  • Dodger says:

    Just seen on twitter that Lee Clark is taking a look at in training Tom Soares from stoke, Patrick Agyemang from QPR, McFadden from everton, Zat knight from bolton all available on Bosmans.
    Also on twitter blues have asked wolves about getting Roger Johnson on a season long loan?
    Can anyone shed any light on these rumours???

  • Bluenosesol says:

    Anyone know how the season ticket sales are doing?

  • Blue in Spain says:

    Peter Lovenkrans is signing today allegedly!

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