Often Partisan

Harper and Butland

With Mark Crossley now out of the running for the vacant goalkeeper coach role at Blues, the Daily Mail has touted Steve Harper of Newcastle United for the job. The 37-year-old stopper has been with the Toon for nineteen years but it’s claimed he may well move on as he looks to get into coaching.

On the face of it, it seems an intriguing possibility. Blues currently only have two senior keepers on the books and the idea of having a coach who can also serve as a backup keeper would appeal in that it could help save money. According to this Newcastle Chronicle from back in April Harper was due to complete a goalkeeping coach course last month and will finish his UEFA B Licence in August which would confirm that he’s committed to becoming a coach – with Lee Clark knowing him from his days at Newcastle it’s easy to reason how this could be likely to happen.

The concerning thing with the article is the other half – that this would pave the way for Butland to leave. Despite not having played a game for the club it seems from reading online that fans are fairly strident in their opinions that they don’t want the young keeper sold; it has to be said exchanging one of England’s hottest prospects for a bloke who has spent his career seemingly warming the bench at St James Park is a bit galling.

I’m not personally convinced by this story. It’s a five sentence story without a byline, and it’s not been covered anywhere else by anyone else. As much as I could see Blues going in for Harper as a GK coach I can’t see Blues also offering him the #1 slot; something this journo on twitter seems to think he would want when I asked him about it. Harper has a year left on his deal which would need to be paid off by Newcastle – and they’re not exactly flush with keepers either right now having sold Fraser Forster to Celtic leaving Harper one of only two experienced keepers currently with the club.

Furthermore, despite it being all over the media that Blues are skint, that there is going to be a firesale and Blues will have to accept any reasonable offer for a player there does genuinely seem to be some fight from Blues to keep Butland. It’s been well reported that a bid from Southampton in the region of £6million for the young keeper was rejected; there has been rumours on the grapevine that other enquiries have been rebuffed also. Whether Butland is still at Blues at the start of the season remains to be seen however.

Like everything else, it’s a wait-and-see situation. Until firmer details emerge there is no point to being too worried about it as past evidence has shown, most rumours published in the press don’t come to fruition. I’m sure as time passes on if this story has any legs we’ll get more details in due course.

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55 Responses to “Harper and Butland”

  • Alexander Diball says:

    Steve Harper is a fine keeper and a top man. Little if anything between him and Krul other than Krul represents the future for Newcastle and is more than ready for the first team. Newcastle will reluctantly allow Steve Harper to leave but will respect his wishes and Birmingham will a better club if he joins.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Butland will want out if it transpires that Watson’s replacement has no coaching experience.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Of course not but would you let the club take your career backwards? Wait and see.

    • Chris says:

      How is the club taking Jack Butlands career backwards? Just because he has no coaching experience doesn’t mean he wont be any good.

      • maurice walters says:

        you are right Chris everybody has to start at the begining,i will give Lee Clark full backing if he says Harper is the right man for the job good enough for me KRO blues wish the season started tomorrow

      • Julian Glass says:

        If it was you would you take the chance?

        • TonyB says:

          The step forward for Butland will be gaining Championship experience. He will also probably maintain his fruitful contact with Dave Watson through the England setup.

  • Gary says:

    @ Alexander . Steve Harper is a great bloke period. No ambition happy to sit on a bench and pick up his wages. You obviously do not watch NUFC on a weekly basis nowhere near Tim Krul.

  • Paul Carter - TVOR says:

    All very disturbing though.

    If Butland does leave (and i think he will) that means we have let go a 20 and a 19 yr old both of whom have been at the club for 5 years and both of whom represeted their country at various levels to replace em with Lovenkrands, 32 and Harper, 37.

    IF this happens I wont be happy.

  • Mickey07 says:

    Fuming if he leaves the club after pannus statement we are going to be in profit…pannu needs to think his statements out before opening his gob and leaving himself wide open for crictism……who’s next Curtis Davies?

  • MikeF says:

    Try reading what Butland said in Saturday’s Birmingham Mail

  • Mickey07 says:

    Also pannu said they identified an investor in statement before (in some programme notes)….more bull if you ask me.

    • alexjhurley says:

      Mickey if pannu floated 6 feet over the stans pitch in front of your eyes, you wouldn’t believe he’d done it, so what’s the point. Everything else he’s said has proved to be true. So why continually accuse him of lying? Cmon, why? What lie has he EVER told? The only one I can think if is reneging allegedly on going on brmb. Big deal. Drop the grudge, its becoming very tiresome mate

      Ps no offence – just trying to persaude ya!

  • Jay Sidney says:

    Important point from Mickey re P Pannu’s talk about a new investor. So where and who is this investor?

    The “It’s a five sentence story without a byline” and “most rumours published in the press don’t come to fruition” sections of A’s “Harper and Butland” piece are perhaps the key points here.

    Blues will surely need to bring in more goalkeeping experience before the start of the new season and doing this by keeping and further developing Jack Butland (who appears to want to stay) and also Nick Townsend would perhaps be the best way, irrespective of who replaces Dave Watson as coach.

    Somebody mentioned Maik Taylor as a possible GK coach. Does he have his qualification badges?

  • nicky wicky says:

    The idea that Harper could come in and replace Butland, and Doyle as number one ,and be coach so that Butland could be sold is ludicrous. I’m sure the squad would be up in arms if this happened as it would be putting the teams competitivness in jepardy. Butland is set to be the No 1 at blues next season!

  • Jay Sidney says:

    This post is a bit cheeky as it ain’t about GKs. However, does anybody know how long the sponsorship contract with EZE will last and how much it is worth?

  • matt says:

    Nothing negative has happened at st.andrews over the last 10 days! Kit supplier! Shirt sponsor! Embargo lifted! Carr and Doyle sign new contracts! Peter Lovenkrands signs a two year contract on a free! But listen to you all! Grow up for god sake!

    • Jay Sidney says:

      Good shout, Matt. The negative rumours re Jack Butland are cause for concern. But they are rumours rather than the facts which you have rightly listed re some much-needed plus points.

      I believe another two facts are that a) Butland has gone on record as saying he wants to fight for first team football at St Andrew’s and b) Blues have turned down a £6m bid for him at this stage (although if the “eye-popping” offer comes along, who knows?)

    • mighty_bluenose says:

      Well said

      Yesterday someone posted that Lovenkrands coming in meant Burke was leaving in response someone pointed out Lovenkrands plays on the left when out wide and not on the right today it means his replacing Redmond…

      Some peoples glass isn’t even half full judging by there comments here. After recent weeks the last 2 weeks have been a welcome change.

      Optimism with a little focus of realism is what we need.

    • Blue in Spain says:

      well said Matt, it seems there are the usual suspects praying for bad news, just so they can get aggressive and negative on here, and other sites!

  • nicky wicky says:

    PP is not stupid. he may not tell the whole truth all the time but it usually has some basis in fact. most of the stories you seem to read about blues these days are laughable. if you beleived them all you’d think Blues were worse off than Portsmouth and heading for admin.Usually the B’ham Mail is the best to rad on Blues and they tell you if it’s speculation. They say that last year West Ham spent £15 million getting promotion,and with £10million banked from sales and compo you’ll probably find that what Blues are doing this year is going to go out and sign some quality bosmans and loans and aim for the automatic or 3rd place finish.Idon’t think PP would put that at risk by bringing in Harper as No 1. After all a good goalie can save you 12pts or more.If Butland is being sold it is because someone liike Man City has come in with a £30million offer that they can’t turn down!

  • AL-LAD says:

    The local mob have their lanterns lit and pitch folks at the ready…

    I can’t see it being Harper, Clarke and the Newcastle connection obviously make the English media put 2 and 2 together to get 5, just like CH’s pursuit of Curtis.

    Lovenkrands, great signing (and good mates with Burke)

  • joking says:

    Doom and gloom merchants on again, see a quote in that rag the daily mail and you’re ready to hang yourselves or Peter Pannu. Harper “if he comes” has years of experience as a top keeper (which he must have had some coaching along the way) Has or is about to pass his B badge. Also at 37 he can still retain his player registration and do a good job as emergency cover. Try reading what LC and Butland have said.

    • nicky wicky says:

      if he comes that is probably what it is. as a coach and as emergency cover as they don’t want to have to throw 17 year old nick packwood in!

  • Tom says:

    When does Butlands contract expire?

  • nicky wicky says:

    i think butland has a contract till 2015 with a 2 year option in favour of the club!

  • skareggae72 says:

    Apparently Newcastle have turned down our bid for Harper,so i guess Jack will have to stay for now.
    Anyhow with the Olympics coming,& hopefully some eye catching displays in the public gaze,by the end of August Jack might well see his price rise to a Peter Pannu `eye popping` £10m plus.

  • Tom says:

    If he gets a gold medal then I would like to think blues would hold out for 15-20million for him, any other club would whack a ridiculous price tag on him so why don’t we??

  • KRO21 says:

    I’ve not seen much of Butland but have been reading the constrant stream of articles saying he’s the next thing to challenge Hart..

    However selling him before the Olympics could turn out to be when his shares are at their peak. Living up to the rave reviews is going to be very very hard to achieve, and at his young age he could so easily buckle under pressure..

    • blue says:

      yep,as with highly rated and England tipped (championship experienced) Richard wright after his 6M move to Arsenal. a couple of mistakes and sold on after 12 games never to play for England again.

      as a puppet once said, “it’s a funny old game”…….

  • Martin says:

    Butland has much to prove, the price tags mentioned are on his potential, if he is as good as the man he replaced in the u21 England team the best situation we can hope for is an eye popping offer of say £10mill(making him the most expensive english goalkeeper of all time) and him loaned back to us for the season in order to aid his development.

    IF he is the next joe hart we will not be able to hang on to him, not a negative point of view just a fact.

    I for one am happy that at last we seem to be developing youth, reportedly we undersold mutch but him, redmond and butland have come through the ranks,
    WELL DONE TO ALL OUR YOUTH/RESERVE TEAM COACHES!!!!!

  • BobbyBlue says:

    Personally, I want to keep Butland but could deal with seeing him go for a minimum of £6m in cash upfront – on the basis that the bulk of this is given to LC to reinvest in the squad. Butland might be a future England star and worth £15-20m. However, I remember there being a lot of hype about Richard Wright as a youngster and who is to say JB will fulfil the potential that many in the game see in him?

    You could get 2 or 3 very good championship players with the money from Butland. I think we’d be a better sqaud for it. It would be a shame not to see JB play for us (if he does go on to great things) but i think this is a very sentimental outlook and the harder business viewpoint may be better. The fact of the matter is – we need bodies, added quality… before that, we need some cash.

    Harper – would save some money to have a player coach. I’m not convinced with the idea though. I’d far prefer an out and out coach. It would be an odd thing being coached by a man who is also competing with you for the number 1 jersey. Not sure that would be a positive for the dynamics of the keepers.

    Interesting though, and great to be talking about players coming in again!

    KRO

  • nicky wicky says:

    I have seen the story and it is another one of those laughable ones about blues. the tabloids seem to think blues are a portsmouth. we’ve got our cash for this year and LC wants to make a serious challenge for automatic or 3rd spot so he needs to have as much quality as possible and that includes in the goalkeeping area. Butland is not motivated by money and has a very level head. he wants to get games so why would he go to a club where he is going to be warming the bench? They are already planning to bring in some good quality championship players and quality loans so there is no need to offload Butland unless someone comes in and offers a silly amount say £25million!

  • Blue in Spain says:

    It’s just been on sky that we are after David Lucas. They say it’s because we are about to lose Butland, typical rubbish. If we do get him, I am convinced LC wants him primarily as coach, and possibly back up to Butland and Doyle. I honestly think, unless it’s for 10 million, Jack Butland will be with us at the start of the season.

    • nicky wicky says:

      Have you seen the interview on blues official site? LC wants 3 keepers so he has got backup if he loses one for a time for some reason. There is a goalkeeper coach due to be appointed before they go to austria apparently!

  • Tom says:

    David Lucas 34 years old, Lee Bowyer and Damien Johnson will be back soon, why don’t we give Hughes a call aswell

  • Jamie says:

    all this talk about people being disgusted if we let him go then you’re all talking ridiculous fees for selling him! he is not some asset and nothing else! although it seems that way with most of you the way you’re all talking! I for one am just really glad that our club is producing these exciting young talents, such as Butland and Redmond and I am looking forward to them getting a chance down the blues and watching some exiting football from these youngsters and hopefully for seasons to come! this is the kind of thing that every fan should hope for! young players brought up through the ranks and then playing for the senior team and hopefully setting the place on fire and having others look to our team and speak of it it glowing terms (lets face it, for a change!) I am just happy that we are now producing such talent and I just look forward to seeing these young guys put in a shift for us. I think we should be looking forward to getting behind our team and hopefully singing both the afore mentioned players names! and not be banding about prices for how much we should hold out for once we sell them! it’s already a forgone conclusion to most here it seems! the only changeable factor being the numbers everyone is throwing about! I know we may HAVE to sell at some point but I hope we at least get to hold on to them for a few seasons and I hope they both go on to have glittering careers! then I’ll be able to say with pride that they started off down the blues and were awesome when they played for us too!
    KRO

  • joking says:

    we have bought david Lucas on board as cover who was a player coach at his last club

  • Bluesfreak says:

    Omg whats going on? released by Rochdale so he can’t be much kop , Im sorry this is a complete joke, were gonna be the laughing stock of the Championship, I am not at all impressed with the latest aqusitions, we need youth!! players under 26, I was more than impressed with Hughtons signings with all the restrictions we had in place, does this path the way for Butlands sale??

    • nicky wicky says:

      Bluesfreak haven’t you being paying attention? they gave 7 players from the academy professional contracts,,,and promoted them to the first team. they have youth but they need some experience as well if they are going to make a serious challenge for the automatic spots!

      • Bluesfreak says:

        Yes I realise that fella but whats with all these 30+ players?? remember the McLeish errer? I would much rather see a player who has potential being signed as oppose to these has beens just looking to make a quick buck, just my opinion

    • tmsblues says:

      Mmmm? When I saw the headline I thought we’d made a marquee signing from Liverpool !!Yes its a bit of a switch from a seasoned top man like Harper, to David Lucas, a 34 year old lower division player. Suspect we couldn’t even make the compo again. Think DL is there just to make 3 on staff, but the goalie player coach concept was a good one and maybe Maik T would have fit the bill.

    • Martin says:

      bluesfreak calm down, LC is just building a squad, LC stated he is there to challenge Butland/ Doyle for the number one spot, truth is, more like he is there to add experience especially as his last role was player/coach. I doubt he will even start one game in a blues shirt.

  • tmsblues says:

    Interesting dilemna for Blues fans over this Butland / goalie role. If he plays well at the Olympics then the greater the likelihood of the club receiving that ‘eye-popping’ offer ! However if he plays at all ‘iffy’ then interest will wane and we’ll be no longer under pressure to sell !! We just might have to watch him for the first time in a first team BCFC shirt this seaon. But would we want him picked ahead of Doyle if he was to cost us points as part of his learning ?? Jack mightpotentially be the best goalie ever at Blues, and we have had some great ones, but it’s a maybe whereas big money for him now would be a certainty, its an interesting dilemna. If, as I hope, Jack plays his socks off for GB and we do get an irresistable offer then let there be a loanback clause included which would then help all parties concerned, us him and the buying club.. In the absence of our promotion and if Jack is any good I still think he will go over the next season or so simply of necessity to make up for the hole that will coincide with the drop in Sky money after all the current incomers are unlikely to have any great sell on value..

  • wheresmecell says:

    Lee Clarke has said it would take ‘ a crazy fee ‘ to take Butland from St Andrews… OK , name it ! Go on
    lets have the guts to quote , say , £15M and be done with it . Not a penny less , and then we can all get on with enjoying the possible arrival of Harper or not as the case may be .. OR will Jack go ? For an undisclosed fee ? ..I dont imagine we will enjoy Butlands company for too many seasons to come but if he is as good as some say then it would be nice to watch him at least help us get back to the Prem . KRO

  • Bluesfreak says:

    OK I may be over-reacting here but Im an avid fan (A regular away supporter) and I get a tad passionate at time , I just want the best for my beloved club

  • bluenose08 says:

    ian bennett anyone !! formerly huddersfield and blues.

  • Pete says:

    Never heard so a lot of negative without foundation cobblers than on these posts. David Lucas he been brought in with 10 years playing in the champ for Preston as our third choice keeper. Who do people expect? What does everyone moan and think that means Butland is on his way. Does anyone really think the club will commit to signing a player until another is sold and would have stated he is not for sale? Some people just like moaning. Lets just see what Clarke does! I seem to recall CH making some duff signings- in fact A.M. got Chris Burke and Mrlon King in, which did not go down well but did not turn out too bad. Stop moaning for moaning sake!


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