Often Partisan

Clark in the Media

It appears that the Daily Star has got people all of a flutter this morning with a lurid story of player revolt in the dressing room and on the training pitch with the implication that Lee Clark’s tenure as boss of Blues may come to a swift end because of it. There have been some rumours on messageboards about the players not backing Clark so is there truth in what the Star is saying?

The problem with this kind of story is that it’s very easy to write, and very difficult to conclusively prove or disprove. To be able to do either would require intimate knowledge of what goes on in the dressing room and/or the training ground and the fact is there are only a few people who aren’t the team or the management who have that. All the rest of us have is second-hand knowledge and hearsay – and one can never take any of that as gospel.

Furthermore, it’s difficult for the club to refute. There will be a section of the fanbase that will take this story as truth because they don’t like Lee Clark and thus they will take any comment at all as “club spin” hiding the real facts. Indeed, if the club make no comment at all then it will be uttered in some circles that the club are keeping quiet because it’s true. From a logical standpoint it’s impossible to disprove something happened anyway  – how can the club prove it didn’t happen conclusively? Even if they dragged everyone forwards to make a statement people could rebut that with “the statements are lies”. Without being around the team 24/7 we can’t know for sure what the truth is.

However, we can look at it logically and dispassionately. The newspaper the story is printed in is not one that is known for its investigative journalism or indeed its veracity. There are no attributed quotes – just a line from an “inside source” to back up the story and the whole piece finishes with a line about the Paladini bid saying that the former QPR chairman might bring in his own manager. In my eyes that last line is the giveaway because it proves to me that the story isn’t true – the Paladini bid is long dead in the water and the fact that a new owner might bring in their own guy proves nothing.

This is further backed up by two tweets made by Colin Tattum who was at the training ground for the launch of the link between Birmingham City and Help Harry Help Others. He said that the players and manager weren’t happy with the story and the players had reacted with disbelief and shock.

From what I have been told and from what I understand of how the media industry works this story has most likely come from an agent trying to plant seeds of disaffection with the intention of getting their client a move in the winter window. It’s not necessarily that the player is unhappy – agents make money when their player signs a new contract or moves club so it’s in an agent’s best interest to move a player on when they can for their own sake.

In short – like anything, it’s best to take this story with a pinch of salt. I don’t see anything in this story to get unhappy about or that makes Lee Clark’s stay as Blues manager more untenable. I have no doubt that some will seize on it as proof that Lee Clark has lost the dressing room and that his job is doomed but I can’t see it that way.

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47 Responses to “Clark in the Media”

  • Bluebird says:

    Al – I am not going to perpetuate the story or the rumours but the response from Tatts does not provide quotes or names either – that’s just the same as ” a source says” isn’t it?
    In addition, there are no denials quoted from anyone – “weren’t happy” and “disbelief and shock” says absolutely nothing….
    It will be interesting to see how this one evolves but right now I think a “pinch of salt” as you say is the correct response!

    • almajir says:

      Bluebird – as discussed in my article, a denial from the club isn’t going to achieve anything; they’re better off ignoring it altogether because any response that they make will be criticised by some sections of the fans.

      As for saying players being in disbelief and shock about the story saying nothing… well, what else do you expect them to say if it didn’t happen? Once again, denials won’t achieve anything.

      • Bluebird says:

        Isn’t this where the Club Captain & the Team Captain for that matter step in?
        Isn’t this the time where they both together make a statement refuting the claim and state that because the article is untrue the Blues’ Players will not co-operate with this journalist for the next twelve months?
        Maybe that would make the press stop and think before they print untruths –
        It would certainly make some impact if the Top 6 in the PL took that stance!

        • Pete says:

          For me, the story is clearly not true however as you say, it is a good chance for the players to come out in support or Clark and publicly state that they are behind him.

          They won’t and to me, that shouldn’t be ignored.

          • James Black says:

            Give it a chance Pete. The story just broke. How fast do you want a response to a piece of gossip. For me ignore it but yes maybe in time if the stupid stories persist then refute it publicly.

  • BobbyBlue says:

    It’s absolute garbage. He conveniently makes reference to the Barnsley and Cardiff losses as proof of the rift at the club and yet overlooks an away win at the then league leaders, Brighton. As you say, the last line about Paladini is speculating that Paladini will replace him were his speculative/dead take over go through! Seems like lazy, unimaginative, bullsh12 journalism to me.

  • Coleshill-blue says:

    What about the old saying “no smoke without fire” though? I’ve heard of distinct splits in the group, and not just between management & players, but also between the newer players & original squad members…from someone working within Wast Hills.

    So whilst the club and local journo are making the noises you’d expect, there are in my opinion, too many of these type of stories/rumours for there not to be something in it.

    • Blue in Spain says:

      So you.re saying the offer from Everton for Butland on transfer deadline day was true then?

    • James Black says:

      Coleshill Blue. I’ve heard you wear ladies dresses and call yourself sheila on weekends. Of course its not true is it. But i’ve said it so is their smoke without fire sometimes. You can say anything to start a smoke but their doesn’t have to be any fire. That claim is a gossip mongers justification for talking too much.

  • Atahualpa is a BlueNose says:

    Why oh why would you read a rag to get info on Blues when we have OP and Almajir…??

  • thomas hallberg says:

    I do hope that the story printed is all wrong. Otherwise we’re in trouble. But as I’m living in Sweden we don’t have to much trust the brittish press. We’ve seen what they did to Svennis and of course “the News Of the World” story is not unknown to us.
    I personally hope that this story makes the team to really gel together and that they all will show the writers of the stoy that they (and we) all stand together as we back our team. Perhaps the story will get the team and staff even more united.

  • tony says:

    From an inside source lol isn’t that the press speak for no basis of proof for publishing un substiantiated drivel that borders on lazy journalism.As much as i think clarke is inept and clueless i don’t believe there is a source.

    • Blue in Spain says:

      Yes, an inside source is the same bullshine as when sky say ‘sky sources’! ike the sky sources about an offer for Butland from Everton on deadline day!

  • Trevor Honnor says:

    Blues are just easy pickings for the press right now. A big enough club for enough people to want to read something written about them (bad news anyway). Especially with the well documented ‘behind the scenes’ issues we’ve had, it’s a little too easy. But not too big a club to be able to come out and savage the press publicly for a rubbish story. Especially a rag like the Star.

    Ignore all day long.

  • Leigh says:

    Huddersfield on Saturday? The team performance would say a lot. No doubt LC would like a victory here more than against anyother Championship club, Let the team speak with their abilities.

  • GoodyBlueShoes says:

    The Star – Ha Ha

    Cannot believe you are even reading the rag let alone giving it an “airing!”

    Zut alors!

  • pedantic_pete says:

    Shock! Horror! Have they published the date of the end of the world yet?

  • Blueboy says:

    True or not, I find it amazing how there’s no mention of the away victory against the table toppers Brighton. A typical journalist negative slant me thinks.

  • dino tiltoni says:

    From the start of the Barnsley game it was obvious something wasn’t right, as if a different team had walked onto the pitch. They didn’t seem to have the commitement or togetherness shown in the previous two matches. My first reaction was that there had been some kind of falling out in the dressing room. At Brighton this was all reversed in a gritty display of determination and this was followed by a good performance at Cardiff ( that I didn’t see).

    Talking to a couple of people in Brighton the Barnsley performance had much to do with Zigic and an incident at Wast Hills that concerned money and extravagance.. Obviously this is just hearsay but something definitely unsettled the team other than having to play much of the game without a recognised full back. Hopefully it won’t happen again.

    • almajir says:

      Dino – need to be careful making allegations like that, as they could be construed libellious…

      FWIW I don’t believe that has happened. There are all manner of stories circulating about players and all of them I’ve heard so far have no basis in truth

      • dino tiltoni says:

        Sorry, I did qualify this by saying it was hearsay. The Star article says the players are ‘ baffled and frustrated by Clark’s tactics’.. FWIW I am too. Especially playing LovenKrands LM and not using Morrison. Conversely, swapping Rooney for Caddis seems like a master stroke. As is getting the best out of Spector who seems to have responded to the manager’s style.

  • Oldbluenose says:

    Anyone who would give credence to a ” rag ” like the Daily star, must be desperate for fairy stories, I would suggest that they buy/read comic books for their entertainment perhaps, !!!.

    I do not doubt for one minute that the change of management styles, from C,H. to L,C. has/will caused confusion for the old squad, and perhaps some of the newer additions are having difficulties ” gelling ” with the old ethos from C,H’s days, ?.

    One or two wise birds have rightly said let the teams performance against Huddersfield show us,?.

  • Terry says:

    Utter rubbish, embarrassing that so many fans believe it.
    There was nothing wrong v Pboro, Forest, Bolton, Brughton, Cardiff.
    So a one off Barnsley result means all the players hate Clark?
    Do me a favour.

  • ChrisG says:

    The best way for players to react to a story like that is to put in a really good perfomance with plenty of goals (FOR) against Huddersfield on saturday & when we score go & celebrate with LC. For me that will say just about all that needs to be said. KRO

  • Jaffa says:

    (comment edited)

    Jaffa, it’s not true.

  • Jaffa says:

    I hope for everyone’s sake that if there have been fallings out then they have kissed and made up and the last two performances would suggest this.

  • Art Watson says:

    Assuming the article is totally devoid of any truth could it be construed libellous?

    If it can why have the Star gone to print?

    • almajir says:

      They’ve gone to print because they’re sure of their source.

      It’s difficult to prove/disprove in court and they know that the club would have far more to lose by suing them, a national newspaper.

      Now if a little blogger like me came out with this, the club would go for the throat.

      Basically, the more money you have the more secure you are from court action. It’s the way of the world.

  • James says:

    The Daily Star Article is complete BS – as are most of the stories from this rag.

    The end


  • Fange says:

    I must admit, I believe it to be true. When I witnessed the Barnsley debacle, my first thought was that there was a rift. It was pretty obvious to me. This article merely confirms it. I also believe that it has been resolved… for now. No doubt it will all come out in the wash.

  • Steve-0 says:

    A newspaper could print the same untruth for 50 days on the spin and every single day somebody, somewhere would believe it. They know the dynamics of writing weak articles with no substance and the impact it has. If you really want to know if this is true or not just go back to the article (although it barely qualifies as such) and ask yourself how it would be written had it been true.

    • almajir says:

      Furthermore, ask yourself who would have been the source… what was their motivation for saying such things to a journalist?

    • James Black says:

      Steve-O ain’t far from the truth at all i think thats about how it works. Its an old cheapo journo trick of say something when their is no news. The next day’s news is the reaction hence they create a story out of nothing. Don’t believe a word.

  • andy says:

    I feel sorry for Lee Clark, i mean what has the guy done wrong? He is being put under pressure by a section of supporters and media. Dont forget he took the Blues job on whilst the likes of Curbs and Keane ran a mile.

    • Pete F says:

      I am not a Clark out follower. But in truth the question asked was what has he done wrong, well…..

      The team spirit is not of last year.
      The tactics are still clueless.
      He does not seem clear about his best team.
      Missed loads of quality bosmans
      Has shown issues it seems with Zigic, Morrison, and a few others.
      Shown his signing ability- Steele, Ambrose, Morrison, Gordon, Lovenkrands, Mullins. People might say he has little money- but there were other bosmans that has proven more successful and thse hardly compare to Burke, King and Caldwell do they for bosmans.

      Nothing personal- I just dont think we have moved forward at all with what is the same core group of players and more additions- we have not even stayed still….

  • Paulo says:

    I have to admit, I did think along the lines that for a moment LC did actually lose the confidence from the team, but I guess so did a lot of fans. I also looked at the whole initial period up to now, and it could be that both the team and LC were just not ready for each other yet, and blind panic set in. Either way, I do hope that things settle down and ‘everyone’ gets along and knows what they have to do, so we win games and put up a damn good fight.
    However, I think an article like this is a bit slow on the uptake, and is probably written (or pushed) by another anti-BCFC slimeball. To be honest, I dont care about an article like this, and I dont care about plenty of others who want to see us sink. Im loyal to my team and loyal to my club, no matter whats going on, or where they are. I may get p***ed off, but thats my right, but other than that, I expect plenty more winding up and crap written throughout the season.
    (..but I still want to see us play decent football though!!!)

  • Rathater says:

    Like it or lump it were stuck with the clown until new owners are found!

    Lose the dressing room? He lost the fan base in the 1st month!!

    • almajir says:

      Well, he may have lost you but I’m willing to give him a chance…

      • bluenoseneil says:

        I am with you on this Almajir, and so far I see no evidence that Clark is in any way a clown or out of his depth. What I see is a bunch of players still working out how to play together and deal with an injury-ravaged back line.

        YES the squad is not too far removed from last season’s but there ARE still changes and Morrison for one is an example of this…he clearly doesn’t fit with the playing style or tactical approach and – by all accounts – his attitude in Development Squad games and off the pitch probably doesn’t contribute to getting picked…so he stays sidelined.

        Once we’re fully fit I think we’re contenders in this league and it’s tight, nobody is outstanding and we can mix with the best of them.

        My only (small) concern would be getting promoted with a bunch of ageing players and kids with not enough First Team experience, but we’ll cross that bridge if and when we come to it eh?


    • James Black says:

      Not lost me Rathater and based on most responses here i don’t think you speak for the overwhelming majority either. But if you think talk like that helps anything or anyone carry on. I don’t.

  • James says:

    The biggest indication of this being bollocks is that none of the other papers have reported it either, although most have twisted truths at time, this doesnt appear anywhere else

  • DoctorD says:

    Hmmm…remember this is the Daily Star — the paper that, according to al’s summer spreadsheets, said that Zigic was going to Real Mallorca.

  • big frank says:

    i don’t believe it, the star is basically toilet paper with print on.

  • […] simply do not believe he has the wherewithal to turn it around, regardless of whether the media reports arguing there is unrest in the camp turn out to be nonsense (and considering they emanate from the Daily Star, there is a rather […]

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