Often Partisan

Thoughts on Regime Change

It’s been a crazy old week hasn’t it? After months of no solid news of investment or takeover it all explodes into life with the news that the former QPR Chairman, mate of the Zulus and Italian cum Silhillian Gianni Paladini has made an offer for the club. Of course, as it’s Blues, it’s not simple – the club have denied receiving any contact from Mr Paladini, something that Gianni told Tom Ross n his radio phone-in on Friday he found insulting. What on Earth are we to make of it all?

I suppose before I go any further I should once again reiterate that these words are my words alone – they represent my opinion and in no way are meant to be interpreted as the “voice of the fans” or me telling you lot what to think (as if I could anyway). I’ve tried to take in what’s been said, and I’ve read everything I can and spoken to as many people as I can before I come to some sort of judgement about what’s going on.

The truth is it’s all confusing. I think I can be safe in saying that Paladini’s bid was rejected and his consortium are at an impasse, judging by what was in the Birmingham Mail on Saturday. However, I don’t believe everything that is being said because I don’t think it adds up. Mr Paladini told Tom Ross that the deal could be done in 48 hours, which I think is a massive exaggeration. I think a price could potentially be agreed in that time, but any takeover would be subject to BIH shareholder approval and that would take weeks… not to mention that there seems to be a lack of time for Mr Paladini’s consortium to have done the required due diligence in the timeframes being quoted. I don’t think it’s been helped by a clumsily worded BCFC statement that seems to me to refute everything Mr Paladini has said which has made the situation even more confusing.

On Friday I put the question out on Twitter and Facebook to people who follow the Often Partisan Twitter feed and use the Facebook page whether they wanted Paladini or not. The reaction on both was fairly positive to Paladini, with many more “yes” votes than “no” – but there were some people who have a healthy scepticism for the former QPR chairman with the documentary on his time at QPR featuring heavily in his thoughts. I will admit I’m in the “no” camp – from everything I’ve heard I think Blues can do better and I think it might be worth holding out for a better party to come forwards.

If we take the takeover as happening, what do we want from new owners? I mean, if we rule out the Man City billionaire style takeover, what do we realistically want? Again, I stress these are my thoughts and no one elses, but I’ve been giving this some real thought.

I think the key is that Blues needs a period of stability. It’s almost impossible to make a fast buck in football these days short of a proper asset stripping – something Blues are actually in the prime position for. Before anyone says it, Carson is no asset stripper – an asset stripper buys something cheap and then flogs everything that they can to make a profit. Carson failed the first test cos he paid about double what the club was worth up front which means he’s going to walk away in any situation having lost his shirt – and maybe his freedom.

What Blues need is someone who is aware that they’re not going to get a return quickly; that the club has low debts and once taken over will be on a nice even keel. If we get an owner in who is prepared to invest in the infrastructure – the stadium, the training ground, the academy, the scouting network, that sort of thing then we’ll be in a position down the line to be a much more profitable side – be it from increased attendances, or from being able to bring through better homegrown players to replace expensive transfers in and that can be sold for a profit.

I think any new owner needs to be aware that the club runs very well in a day-to-day capacity; Pannu being out of the country has allowed the senior staff at the club to operate with autonomy which has allowed them to do their jobs well – many have been at the club for a long time and know what the score is, know what is required. Whilst I’m sure more financial support to aid them will go down well they don’t need to be micro-managed – keeping a sense of continuity on that front will work wonders and help take an already good staff to the next level.

Whilst I guess many will want an improvement in the playing personnel, cheaper tickets and whatnot I’m quite ambivalent on that front – I think if a new regime can work well at the basics then the rest will fall into place. It’s not about spending hundreds of millions on players – however nice that may be, I can’t see that happening to us – for me, it’s just about ensuring the club won’t go bust, that the club moves forward with the times and that the future is secured.

I’m reminded of the wise words of @TheSpecialRon on smallheathalliance.com at the time of the Chinese take over. The previous board was about as popular as a pork chop in a synagogue at the time in large sections of the fanbase and thus the feeling was that Yeung etc had to be better. Ron was adamant – that every regime is much like each other – some good points, some bad – and he’s right. Whilst Sullivan and Gold were forever in the news, making bids for players that weren’t going to happen they did keep the club infused with cash to keep it going properly. Likewise, whilst we’re currently on our uppers as it were, Yeung presided over a period when Blues won the only major trophy in my lifetime and an unforgettable European campaign.

I have no doubt that there will be an ownership change in the coming months – who it will be and when it will be I have no idea, but I do think (and it has to be said, hope now) that it will happen. Let’s hope the next set of owners will bring us some good luck and that the takeover will happen with the minimum of fuss.

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32 Responses to “Thoughts on Regime Change”

  • ThaiBlue says:

    As long as we keep afloat at the moment we should not be in a hurry for change.change for change sake is never for the best whatever the situ.Im in the no camp,at the moment.We want someone to own our club for all the right reasons,as you said,long term develement not short term profit…ifs theres any to be made at Blues!Its like trying to sell a house,there are only a certain amount of punters who would be interested in what is/has been your wonderfull home for many years.You may think its the Bees but to others its a pile of!We are who we are and we can only hope we can attract a buyer that would really care for our long term future.Best not hold our breath eh?Lets just get what we have going well for this season.KRO

  • DoctorD says:

    I think you make a very wise point about the staff at the club being able to run it as they see fit. They are who keep the club’s wheels turning and you lose their good will at your peril.

  • Blue in Spain says:

    I’m not a fan of Neil Moxley, but I agree with both him and you… Thanks, but No Thanks!

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    Of course, I am not naive enough to think for a moment that Pannu, with the holding company on the brink of collapse, might not be trying to smoke out these investors with Paladini used as some kind of helpful diversion.

    The relevant part for me.

  • Michael Davies says:

    As I see it there is one question to be answered first –

    Would Gianni be better for the club than Carson is now?

    Who owns the club apart, the club does run well irrespective and no ownership will change this situation in the short term.

    If it is part of Giannis plan to bring in big Ron then this, I think, would see a long term change in the club which would be detrimental. Whilst big Ron have a wealth of experience in the game I do not think he has very great communicative skills. In order to have an efficient club team, both on and off the pitch, you have to be able to communicate effectively with people.

  • andy says:

    I dont think its too confusing. Carson wants at least 40 Million and Paladini with his backers are offering much less, so thats where its at it seems.

  • Snoop says:

    We do need a change of ownership, It is going to happen at some point and it would be nice if it didn’t happen when Blues are just being sold off on the cheap as Carson’s empire is torn apart after his court cases as may well happen.
    However it is well worth remembering that Paladini was the only man booed on the day QPR were promoted – he might stabilise things but he also good alienate the fan base completely

  • Bluehobba says:

    Italian kit suppliers, Italian bidders, just a coincidence?

  • Carson didn’t pay twice what the club was worth.
    I BOUGHT SHARES @26.7P prior to the takeover and sold them for a pound when the Chinese bought it..
    The CLUB WAS WORTH ABOUT 27 MILLION and sold for 81 million.
    Any Investor buying BCFC if he pays more then 25 mill is paying over the odds.
    The Chinese will only sell if forced to.
    They have to show “face” in their community and showing a massive loss doesn’t go down too well.
    More than “heads will roll” if the loss is colossal

  • Tony Knight says:

    Tatts said a couple of days ago that there has been another bidder around for about a year that would be champagne compared to cheap italian plonk (paraphrased)

  • James Black says:

    I think the stupid statements the man has said already and the Big Ron talk and slagging off the present owners for doing what any sensible businessman should do in keeping quiet and not having a media circus before a deal is even close, are all evidenc that the man paldini is a bit of an idiot.
    For all the negative things people have to say abt Carson he has lost millions and despite all the crap talk of some has not asset stripped and has at least via pannu got us on a sound footing and as Al said bought us the only real cup in my lifetime and im old. Definate no to this silly man thats talks too much without just cause.

  • Dave Sherlock says:

    If it wasn’t for the euro lottery screwing me over again I’d have given Carson the money for it.

  • Mickey07 says:

    Are blues even worth £25 million??I beg too differ on that one….yeung ain’t got a prayer,you know and I know he’s going too be backed into a corner like it or not,and it’s only a matter of time….hes got nowhere too run and it’s take it or leave it time!!what is interesting is that Neil moxleys piece in the daily mail saying he knows that there is another interested party and he basically knows who they are,I just find it funny that our own Tom Ross and other local media don’t know themselves…mmm strange that….anyway paladini out/yeung out…kro.

  • Mickey07 says:

    P.s. I thought the interveiw that Tom done with paladini was awful as he didn’t ask anything that we don’t already know….I will say though in defence of Tom that paladini just kept rumbling on like a buffoon….

  • KiwiJohn says:

    Looks like the Paladini offer will force the hand of other interested parties. It could be an intereting few months ahead. Until the other consortiums are unveiled I think we should reserve judgement on the Italiian Mob. They could yet look to be the most attractive proposition. KRO

  • RichardW says:

    I’m confused by who really owns the club if Carson holds less than 30% Are the other 70% in the same predicament as Carson and does he speak for them ? Can he sell the club from under them ?
    It sounds as if nothing can happen quickly.

    • almajir says:

      Richard – BIH is a publicly listed company. Carson owns around 26%; the rest is owned by various investors – like any company on the stock market. More information on that here.

      As I’ve stated before, for BIH to sell BCFC, they would have to get shareholder approval. More information on that here

  • RichardW says:

    Brilliant and very clear – thanks Al.

  • prewarblue says:

    The club have put out the statement about the offer made by the Italian consortium,,,,agreed ?,,,,,,but when you buy something from a shop do you ask the item your buying or its owners,,,,,I have a strange feeling we are in an “Xtep” situation again !,,,,,,the left hand doesnt know what the right hand is doing behind its back

  • Paulo says:

    Well I am firmly in the ‘no’ camp. I do not want to see Paladini and his somewhat mysterious consortium in control of BCFC at all. To me, it was simply Paladini using the any media he could to make a noise and try to put pressure on CY to face the music and sell up ..on the cheap. I think it was quite presumptuous of Paladini to do what he did and to say what he said. Although the official statement by BCFC was a little sudden ..it was also to the point. We should all know by now how PP operates, and he probably saw this in the same way as an underhand approach to one our players ..25M was no ‘eye popping offer’.
    It is confusing i agree, but if PP can have BCFC running itself, then the people in charge at the club must be doing a fantastic job! To look at positives here, there are people at the club who along with PP have kept us afloat and are doing the almost impossible (in the world of football) with no investment coming in. The club is a business and I suppose ..like it or not, managing money is number one …the results on the pitch have to happen, but the importance runs alongside any cash injection.
    I do hope our next owners will provide that cash injection into the work already being done, and not just parasites that will asset strip us. The problem is, how much trust do the majority of fans have in PP when it happens?
    ..my thoughts only, but I was under no illusion that this season would be easy financially or on the pitch ..but we damn well need some nerves calming and stability.

  • alexjhurley says:

    I hope to god palladini goes away very quickly. Theres plenty of compelling evidence that he’s a publicity seeking eejit who will not be good for Bcfc. Pannu, in my opinion, is just playing him and using him to create an auction. We just have to hope palladini doesn’t win it.

    Ps supporters trust v quiet….

  • Atahualpa is a BlueNose says:

    Paladini recently sent some of his minions to the ground to talk to various employees and drum up some support. He tried to give some indication through them of how he would change some things if he were successful with his ‘bid’. The crafty so and so knew at that stage he’d already been given short shrift by CY and PP, and has been doing the rounds to try and gather some interest in his proposition. This has only taken place after his offer’s been “summarily rejected” according to the Blues website. Chances are we would not have heard anything about this had it not been for him (Paladini) banging his own drum and coming out with some dubious lines in the local media.

    The one thing to note is that CY has desperately tried to hang on in there, but has run-out of options to access funds to keep us going. I still believe that in the long-term he would have tried to retain ownership if it were possible in any way. This is one of those situations which it is very difficult to recover from financially or professionally.

    Thankfully we can look forward to a much more organised and reputable outfit trying to take the reins at our club. Stability and long-term strategy are the over-arching aims. Paladini comes across as a character who would have polarised opinions and views. Not what we need. Maybe the prospective new Asian owners will try and take a more solid path. Yes, it has been strongly rumoured that it is an Asia based organisation that wishes to gain control from CY.

  • crotcher88 says:

    very good point from alexhurley and forest yesterday

  • evesham blue says:

    It’s not confusing at all. I wouldnt touch this Italian consortium with a barge pole. As for other investors waiting in the wings – I have hear this many times before.

    Moxley fella is stirring up crap as well again. For me I had my doubts about Paladini fella before but as soon as he mentioned Big Ron (and all his Vile connections) – NO MEANS NO

    Better the devil you know so they say – at least we are on an even keel comparatively now. The last scenario we want now is to go down the route of Pompey with ownership changes.

    In simplistic terms – if a consortium has the money (to invest as well) then dont offer peanuts and then come into the media mouthing off. Pay a good reasonable price so we know you are serious about your intentions!


  • Bluenosesol says:

    Its a strange world, we are heartened by the news that we will not sell Redmond and Butland unless someone offers over £20 million for the pair. We then get a chancer who comes along and offers £25 million for the whole shooting match and some of us believe that to be a fair offer. On the positive side, this has given us plenty of publicity and hopefully enhanced our sell off probabilities. I agree with the majority who appear to be saying that we should hold out for someone with nmore money, more acumen and less narcissism! PS really diappointed with the Forest come back, but the green shoots of recovery are beginning to appear! KRO

  • QPR Report says:

    I spent several years while GIANNI was Chairman of QPR, highlight all the things he said and did – and then compared words to deeds. I’ll leave it there! I’d only say, if he does succeed in taking over Birmingham, enjoy!

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