Often Partisan

Gossip Folks – The Transfer Rumour Mill (Summer 2012 Edition) Round Up

Well, the window has now slammed shut and hopefully the speculation of players leaving will be subdued for a while. Despite worries of a fire-sale Jack Butland, Curtis Davies and all the rest are still with us; in the end it was just a loan-swap with Swindon full-back Paul Caddis joining Blues and Adam Rooney heading to Wiltshire.

My final spreadsheet is linked here. One thing I’ve drawn from this is that whilst the English press is bad for rumours, they have nothing on Spain. I spent a week reading through various Spanish websites and there was different stories each day about how Nikola Zigic was going to leave Blues; there was the hubristic “he will join any day“, the “ultimatum” and even the “he’s got many different offers” stories floated around but none of it came to pass. I’m given to understand that there was a slight possibility of it happening on Friday morning which very quickly got knocked back – but it didn’t stop the hacks on Twitter stating Blues were going to replace Ziggy with former Blues DJ Campbell or Emile Heskey.

What was more reprehensible happened on the deadline day special on Sky Sports News, where they reported that Everton had made a bid for Jack Butland. It says something when Julia Shelton (who is Head of Football Administration at Blues) comes onto twitter to completely rubbish the story as an utter fabrication. I’m not sure if it was just a drive to involve a team that wasn’t signing anyone in the final day madness at Sky HQ, but from a journalism angle it was shocking. Once upon a time Sky Sports were pretty good with exclusives but I have to admit that these days I would have to double-check if SSN came up with “Sky Sports understands that the sky is blue”.

Looking at Blues transfer business, I will admit my concern that the team seems light up front, on the left and in central defence – something that was confirmed by the fact Blues had to put Will Packwood, Akwasi Asante and Mitch Hancox on the bench on Saturday. This could be seen one of two ways – either Blues are desperately short of cover and will struggle to achieve this season as injuries and suspensions no doubt take their toll – or that Lee Clark has seen enough promise in the kids to have Will Packwood as fourth choice centre-back, Mitch Hancox as cover for the left flank and Akwasi Asante/Jake Jervis as fourth choice striker. As someone who has extolled the virtues of promoting from within I think I have to rein in my own disappointment and put my trust in the club to bring through young talent.

The loan window opens at the end of this week for a couple of months which means Blues may – may be the operative word – choose to bring in someone else as cover. The official line is that monetary issues means it’s one out before one in, so right now I wouldn’t bank on it – but with Blues you never know. I’ll be restarting this feature around the last week of December.

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29 Responses to “Gossip Folks – The Transfer Rumour Mill (Summer 2012 Edition) Round Up”

  • DoctorD says:

    So basically from your stats, the Daily Mirror printed six incorrect stories, the Daily Mail eight and Sky Sports seven. The only correct stories were the Bham Mail and the Swindon Advertiser. I am not sure what to make of it. Either we should be pleased the first three media outlets cover the Blues at all, or just wince at how bad they are at reporting. Why is that factual accuracy seems so unimportant in sports reporting? I suppost the journalists see it as unimportant if blatanly wrong stories are printed. But we know that it really pisses fans off.

  • Letsby Avenue says:

    Once again, thank you almajir.
    Unfortunately, now you’ve become a ‘poacher-turned-gamekeeper’ the wealth of your research can’t realy be used to name & shame.
    Just joking mate :-)

    One issue. On other Blues forums people got very upset, we may have even lost 20 or 200 or a thousand off our gate for the Posh after the Sky- Butland talking with Everton rubbish.
    Other than Ms Shelton, I’ve never seen A Walker, Blues PR,so irate and angry.

    A day before a crucial game we had Barry Fry bouncing nonsense, greedily snapped up,and repeated by the Fourth Estate, about a ‘club in turmoil’ because he’d read about take-overs that didn’t happen, he’d read about bids for Burke and Davies rejected.
    No buggar else read this stuff except Barry Fry.!!!


    But the Butland saga does it for me.

    Sky were told at 7.00pm that their story about Butland meeting with Moyes and Everton was rubbish and anyway – no bid had been received from anyone since Southampton, but Sky then did a segment about a £6mill Bid from Everton.

    This is hours after they were told it was lies.
    Then they drag Clark into it after the window had closed to get at the truth.

    Everton, Jack and his agent don’t know ANYTHING about this story nor where it came from, neither of them were at Goodison or anywhere else meeting with Everton but Sky insisted it was true and never withdrew it, even after repeated Blues information to them.

    Must’ve pizzled off a few bluenoses seeing that nonsense run for hours and hours.
    All this before a very important match for Jack, Clark and the fans.
    I bet they all had a restfull sleep.No worries, no doubts no concerns.

    No apology from Sky.
    I wonder who their source is that they can be so arrogant ?

    Is everyone at Sky on coke ? I can’t think of any other reason that explains such shoddy and amateur and arrogant journalism.

    Sorry mate – just really really angry.

    • almajir says:


      I don’t blame you for being angry. Like you I was slightly taken aback (and also quite proud) that Julia and Andy were so vehement in their responses.

      There was a lot of criticism for the way Lee Clark sounded when they called him – I didn’t see that / hear that so I can’t comment on how he sounded but if it had been me, I’d have been seething and I would have let rip.

      I’m not really trying to prove accuracy or not – one thing I’ve learnt in the last twelve months is how rapidly stories change and situations change. Something that might have been a definite no can become a definite yes with a change in stance – it’s hard to hang your hat on something as definite. The other thing to take into account is how subjective the “truth” is – what one man sees as six another sees as half a dozen – both are true but both are different takes on it if you get my drift. However, I do hope I highlight that it’s not worth jumping on every story as evidence for anything – there are too many people around who knee jerk jump into things when there is no need. I don’t think it needs saying Letsby that I don’t think you are one of those types of people.

  • ChrisG says:

    I’m not going to stick up for the media cos I think the majority of the time they are way off the mark (i’ve changed my origional statement as it could be libelous!!!) , but football managers don’t do themselves any favours when it comes to transfers & nearly always say they don’t know this haven’t heard that so it’s no wonder the press continue with a “tip off” even when it’s a dead lead. I think also they like to stir things up a bit as do the agents. KRO

  • Thongs says:

    Relying on Asante and Packwood will ultimately end in relegation and if our manager stayed off the sauce a little and concentrated on using the better talent at the club more productively then perhaps we may go down with a bit of dignity still attached.

    • nicky wicky says:

      Thongs shut upstop panicking were not going down.Packwood is a good footballer ,and maybe asante too! You’ll find as the season fgoes on that he sorts out the mess were in and we start climbing the league.

      • thongs says:

        Thanks for putting my mind at rest Nicky! Just out interest what have you seen to inspire confidence from the sacked division one manager?

        • nicky wicky says:

          Thongs I think that the Blues manager is a good coach,but I also think that maybe he has trouble communicating sometimes cause he wheres his heart on his sleeve,and gets very emotional. I have listened to some of his after match speeches and hesometimes has trouble looking at the camera when blues have lost. I have heard he sometimes shouts and balls. maybe his demeanour can be a bit confusing for some of the less experienced players?

      • Bluenosesol says:

        Asante is 20 this week. He is a Blues Academy player and only two seasons ago he scored 5 goals in a match playing against Tottenham for the U18’s. His recent reserve team form is very good. I can not understand why anyone would be concerned that he is being introduced to the squad. I for one can not wait to see him get on the pitch!

  • Art Watson says:

    Hi Nicky,

    Sorry I have to disagree and so did 3000 other supporters who voted with their feet on Saturday.

    Blues should cut their losses and get rid of LC before its too late.

    Gates of 15000 will be a financial disaster and will only lead to more of our quality players being sold.

    • nicky wicky says:

      Look Art Reading, and Blues had a poor start to last season. Reading finished champions after spending £15million on transfers while Blues finished fourth having spent about £1million on two players Elliot, and Ibanez. The season is not decided in Sept it is decided in May. There is plaenty of time for LC to put things right. As Al says the loan window opens soon and CH was allowed to bring in some loan players so maybe LC will be allowed to bring in one or two, such as a left sided midfielder otherwise we may have to resort to playing Mitch Hancox there! Blues didn’t get going till October last year. I went to the game on Saturday and I saw a definite improvement if only small. There is an international break now so that gives the manager time to work with the team on formation and defence. I expect those people that didn’t turn up were expecting Blues to lose to Peterborough.

  • thongs says:

    Utter garbage. Pointless nonsensical comparison with Reading. Clark has managed to destroy last seasons work ethic, pattern of play, desire and flair. But while fans like you think that the rubbish served up against a woeful Peterborough side is an improvement.

    Comment edited

    • nicky wicky says:

      Thongs the point i was trying to make is that we started last season badly. it took us eight games to get going. we had some heavy defeats under St Chris and we are starting the same way this season. it is only Sept and you’re already pannicking. get a grip. it took us to Oct last year before we strung a series of wins together. Thats a month away. If were still playing like this in a month then you can make a case.

    • almajir says:

      Thongsy, one warning – no more usage of the “d” word regarding Clark.


  • nicky wicky says:

    Yeh Thongs I remember last year in Sept going up the Lickey Hills with my daughter and hearing that Blues were being thrashed 4-0/1 by Southampton. I was wondering when Blues were going to get going under Chris Hughton and then they suddenly hit form. they were getting draws and losses every week. You can’t judge a guy when he’s only been in the job two seconds. If this was November then i’d start to get worried,but theres plently of time to turn it around. The win on Saturday took us out of the relegation zone!

  • mitchell says:

    “But while fans like you think that the rubbish served up against a woeful Peterborough side is an improvement”

    Terrible people these “fans”, going down the match and backing the manager. Awful.


  • Art Watson says:

    Hi Nicky,

    I understand your views and applaud your optimism but LC is not in the same league as CH and there lies the big issue.CH was a great man manager and normally got the tactics right.CL has managed at the highest level and took an average Blues team to last years play offs.

    I have no axe to grind with LC and I wish him every success but I have said before I think at this level he’s out of his depth.

    • almajir says:


      I love how you can judge that based on four league games.

      How many points did Chris Hughton get in his first four league games? I’ll give you a clue – it’s the same as we have now…

    • nicky wicky says:

      Art it is true that LC is less experienced than St Chris,but so far he has the same record as him. He probably needs a few lessons in how to communicate to the players,and get his views across but i think that willl come. these are better players than he had at Huddersfield,and once he gets his views across and the team playing properly then i think the results will come!

      • Blueboy 88 says:

        Nicky you’re right we did start poorly last season , it is far to early to be to critical , & the jury is quite rightly still be out on LC .

        However the big worry this season is the quality of the teams we are struggling against , they are not exactly the creme de la creme.

        Peterborough have not won a game this season & are favourites to be relegated , yet if they had got a draw saturday we couldn’t have really complained.

        Watford who had us chasing shadows for an hour got thrashed by Derby on Saturday 5-1.
        Sheff Wed lost to struggling Crystal Palace , Charlton lost to Notts Forest , & Coventry were beaten
        by mighty Crewe..

        Lets just while the alarm bells are not yet ringing , we should all be practicing our fire drill procedures.

  • Art Watson says:

    Hi Nicky,

    The average home gate for the first 3 homes games last season was 18500.

    This reflected the confidence the Blues supporters had in CH.Most supporters are very knowledgeble and know their football.Its not only about winning games it’s about entertaining the supporters and giving value for their hard earned cash.I just can’t see a LC team doing this.

    I believe a lot of fans don’t share the same confidence in LC hence the gate of 15000 on Saturday and I can’t see this getting any better under LC

    • nicky wicky says:

      Art it is too early to judge,and i think a lot of fans are panicking because of the look of the team and some bad results,but they forget that we had a similar start under St Chris. Last year when we started the season we had Jean Beausejour on the left,but this year we haven’t got anyone. Then when he went we were a little lobsided till Townsend came. so maybe Clark needs to be able to allowed to bring in a left sided midfielder on loan to balance the team out?

  • andy says:

    The underperforming so called star players still have their heads in last seasons Europa adventure, that was the catalyst for some decent league form but its over and they got to get to grips with that. In fact Chris Wood was the main man who kickstarted Blues last season and if our so called better players were that good, why no bids made for them in the transfer window? Lee Clark isnt to blame for the poor start, its the players.

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    KRO Lee

    You’ll turn it round I’m sure wih the backing of the real fans.

  • Art Watson says:


    LC is a professional coach so therefore should not need to go on a communications course to get his message across to the players.Its like employing a salesman who’s in capable of delivering a presentation to his customers.Lets also be clear about this ,in comparison to the average supporter he’s earning big bucks so one would expect him to be up for the job which includes good communication skills and leadership.I have serious doubts about both.

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