Often Partisan

Carr and Fahey

In the last couple of days there has been some confirmation that two of the longest-serving players at Birmingham City will not be at the club next year. Stephen Carr is confirmed as having retired from football whilst Keith Fahey has stated on twitter that he will be leaving the club this summer.

Given the current financial climate surrounding Birmingham City, I don’t think either departure is incredibly surprising. Stephen Carr hadn’t made an appearance this season after injuring himself in the final friendly against Antwerp whilst Keith Fahey only made five starts in a season blighted with injury and a break for compassionate leave. Clark has had to manage without both this season so losing them shouldn’t change his team plans much but should reduce the wage bill by a bit – which will help when it comes to the nitty-gritty of bringing players in.

Blues did hold a two-year option on Fahey’s contract but declined to take it up, allowing Keith Fahey to leave and to find a new club on the Bosman ruling this summer. Whilst there are all manner of rumours and conjecture out there about the reasons for Fahey’s departure I think chief amongst them must be the financial aspect. Fahey is 30 years old now, and has had injury problems for the last fifteen months or so. Can Blues afford to give a player a deal at what is more than likely Premier League salary level to a player who is getting on, who has suffered a lot of injury and who could possibly go missing again for three months in the season? As much as I quite like Fahey and think he’s one of our better midfielders when he is on his game I don’t think we can afford that luxury and thus I’m accepting that Fahey has to go.

I think it had become obvious that Stephen Carr wasn’t going to come back from injury as more and more news broke about his restaurant and bar business. I think it’s an incredible shame, as by all reports he was flying in pre-season in Austria before the injury and I do think we missed him at times; albeit less so when Caddis got a good run of games. Carr to me represented a lot of what Blues fans seem to like in players – a tigerish attitude and a fantastic workrate – coupled with genuine class that made him stand out amongst some of the mediocrities – not only in this division but in the Premier League before it. Some of the iconic images of the last few years have been of the Irish full back; whether it was screaming “f**king come on” after the final whistle at the League Cup final or advising the North Stand at the ground across the expressway of how best to take matters into their own hands – and again, it’s all grist to the mill of a player who will be fondly remembered in these parts for years to come.

I suspect that this is the start of what could be a painful few weeks – however, it doesn’t necessarily have to be all doom and gloom. Whilst Blues will undoubtedly be shedding some players they will also bring in some new talent to fill in the spaces. I’m not expecting the second incarnation of TF but I do think that Clark will have a brief of bringing in young, hungry and above all cheap talent and it might just be that could make football at Blues be a bit more alive next season. For all the wailing and gnashing of teeth about how low we’ve sunk it’s worth remembering how much Carr and Fahey initially cost us – £300k between them, with Carr signing out of retirement to come to Blues. It proves quality can be brought in on low fees and wages and maybe we could just do it again.

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41 Responses to “Carr and Fahey”

  • Gary R says:


    Do you think it’s possible we could get some Premiership loans in – I’m talking about youth players from prem, obviously?

  • Luke P says:

    Fantastic post. It’s great to see fans put some things into perspective. All I’ve been seeing since we’ve lost these two players are how Blues are sinking further because they’re losing valuable experience.

    While this is all true, the Blues need to build for the future. And any prospective buyers won’t be interested in a squad full of 30+ injury prone players. A young, hungry squad willing to fight for the cause however could turn a few heads.

  • mark says:

    both players have been good servants Dan to bcfc out with the old in with young vibrant, and hungry players, and yes on lower wages…… fans need to accept this and embrace it……….otherwise turn around, and dont look back………..kro

  • Bluebird says:

    I obviously recognise the “doom & gloom” around the fans with the lack of positive news ~
    But for the first time that I can remember we, the fans, haven’t received any communications about Season Tickets…
    If there is one item that CY & PP can’t do without, it’s cash flow….
    If we don’t have that, the Club doesn’t have a future & they lose everything….
    Worst case scenario would be 9,000 @ average £300 eachwhich would be around £3m ~
    Right now we don’t have the resources to promise the new contracts to players which is what we are doing….
    There has to be an announcement soon otherwise nothing makes any sense!

  • Evesham Blue says:

    Fahey was class for 2 games when he came back but then he got injured again. Not sure what happened and why he disappeared for half a season. Seems a long time to be gone on compassionate leave terms. He hasnt done enough to get a new contract on the face of it but it worries me that we are letting a player with class go.

    It will be interesting to see if Caldwell and Spector get new contracts. One has slowed down and been dropped and the other is too injury prone.

    Also, Robbo saying what he said is not really advisable if he wants a new contract. I am sure PP was not impressed with the “farce” comments.

    Burke has been signed up to cover Redmond being sold perhaps?

    It seems we shall be looking at bosmans in less paid divisions by the looks of things and then top up the squad with prem loans for their young players. We cant even sign Caddis permanently.

    Goalkeeping position worries me and how many centre backs will be have left if Davies is sold?

  • Pete says:

    Well that leaves just Zigic from the final…..

    Think not keeping Fahey is a mistake. But what is done is done. I cannot work out what is going to happen with Redmond though, as Burke has been renewed.

  • Chris Smith says:

    I told my dad and he said ‘That is a shame’ as soon as I stopped talking. I agree, but I think we saw it coming. He had also been tweeting along the lines of that over the past two weeks. I get the impression Davis will be going too, based upon his passed tense tweeting. Caldwell has been released Gomiz and Ibanez have gone apparently too.


    So that’s 5 out of the door, 6 if you count Davis. I expect Caddis will end up back at swindon, so that’d make 7. Murphy due to this year’s injury session would probably get the chop, King mb. so that’s 8/9 possible bye’s. Robinson though has said that off field sit is a farce and want’s a new contract. If he has another 4 years in him he could be the next Carr. Maybe.


  • zenzero says:

    Gomis, Caldwell, Pablo and Fahey all released.

  • mark says:

    http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/birmingham-city-release-four-senior-3414796? imo I believe these to be correct decisions by clark. Whether the other five players accept the terms offered we will see………..

  • StevieW says:

    Stevie Carr going is a time done thing so no issue there and thanks for the excellent service you gave us all, another legend to add to our walls of service to the club.

    Keith is a sad one especially as he has beaten off the lousy start he made to be come one of our best midfielders. Why he should go nobody outside the club will really know but speculate as you may.

    Not much value left in the squad now and there will probably be more going.

    Young hungry and not worth a lot is where we are heading.

  • AndyW says:

    As with any business, when you lose contracts (or in this case get relegated) you have to prune your resources accordingly to get value for money? I think in the cases of Keith Fahey and Stephen Carr, and now Steven Caldwell, Pablo Ibanez and Morgaro Gomis, it would be hard to argue that we were getting full value for what we are paying? Don’t get me wrong, I have been a fan of them all at various times, but I always felt we had seen the last of Stephen Carr when he got injured. Keith Fahey has been ‘missing in action’ for unknown reasons, and is prone to injury. Stephen Caldwell was a big player for us last season, but this season was a step too far as he has been found out for lack of pace. Pablo Ibanez has done a job at times, but hasn’t played sufficiently to warrant keeping him, particularly if he is not going to be chosen over Caldwell or Paul Robinson? And ironically, Morgaro Gomis was outstanding on Saturday I felt, and he is the one I think we could have utilised more than the others, but can we justify paying his wage if he is not going to be a first choice player?
    All in all, these releases do not surprise me and I think they are pretty sensible to be honest, particularly if it helps Lee Clark convince the powers that be to keep hold of the players we really need to i.e. Curtis Davies and Nathan Redmond.

  • AndyW says:

    ….and just to add, yes Nikola Zigic would be my next choice based on the same principle, but no-one will want him on his money (which incidentally goes up again next season I understand!) and I think we’re stuck with him.

    • Agent McLeish says:

      Agree – Ziggy has 12months left on his contract and will be 34yrs old when that expires. This tells me that it would be in his best interests to stay on his current contract until expiry. Saying that, he is a clever and effective centre half who could act as a foil for someone that can put the ball in the net; rather like the Quinn/Phillips partnership at Sunderland. Only problem is that we need to find a ‘Phillips’!

  • Evesham blue says:

    Interesting new terms I.e less money rather than take up options. Can’t say I would be too gutted if they didn’t take them up tbh. Robbo and Asante I would keep. But would losing Elliot and Spector be a big loss? Doyle would be stupid to sign another contract with blues

  • mark says:

    this one I am not sure about but if doyle accepts his terms will he then be blues 1st team keeper??? for me I wouldn’t have a problem with this….. to be honest regarding Zigic I am praying we can get him off our books, simply because this would open more doors for clark………sorry to say it is about money…if Zigic played like he did again leeds week in week out I think we all agree maybe differently.. no seniments regarding this player just feel there are better goal scorers out there as mentioned before maybe another Rhodes is out there please may we find him……………

  • mark says:

    this is my seniments we got to have players who can cope with rigours of 46- games season- not just turn up when they feel like it……having a much more youthful look I personally dont have problem with and more durable.
    imo the team should be more up-tempo in coming season, and hopefully like PVO mentioned be less susceptilble to injury…again we’ve got to be capable of scoring a goal as well, we need a bit more in that repect.

  • mark says:

    just veering of slightly anyone thoughts on who was a complete flop at blues for me personally got to be jesper gronkjaer . great expectations, but what a flop… do you have any DAN??

  • mark says:

    On more positive note how I would love to see another christophe Dugarry – made pele, cruyff and Best look ordinary ! lol

  • chris says:

    I’m not looking at it as doom and gloom but it will contain many up’s and down’s.
    I agree with others that Davies maybe sold, but we need Zigic off the wage bill now our income has been slashed by £8 million, his £3 million off the wage bill would mean less pressure to sell some of our younger players.
    Carr & Fahey should save around £2.5 million, with Caldwell, Gomiz and Ibanez saving approx another £1.5 to £2 mill.
    If Zigic went we would be nearly there and if we sold Davies for £3 million then LC may even be given a small amount to spend.

  • chris says:

    Blues have offered new contracts to Paul Robinson, Wade Elliott, Jonathan Spector, Colin Doyle and Akwasi Asante. All their current deals are due to expire at the end of June.


  • Louise says:

    It’s ok getting rid of some of our players, but sometimes it costs you more to replace them. I think this will be the case with Fahey. I feel Blues will end up regretting letting him go!

    • Chris Smith says:

      Depends who takes over his roles. Attacking midfield there is Shinne, Reilly is the holding side. Creative…not sure on that one. If Morrison comes back on loan then you have attacking creative with some flash moves and a tad of appreciated showboating here and there. Probably another player to throw in on top which would be attacking/holding from Spector. That’s the four I’d choose if we can keep hold of some of them.

      I’ll miss Fahey, but as much as he adds isn’t really adding up for the extra players we will need and would want.

    • Oldbluenose says:

      As has already been pointed out, Louise;, Shinnie, is the reason that Fahey has been released,!!.

      Shame really, as a lot of others thought Fahey was good for us, but something somewhere had/has happened to precipitate this, ?.

  • DoctorD says:

    “Young, hungry and above all cheap” is all very well — but it won’t get you anywhere unless those players are actually any good or, if they are not, whether they can be coached into being good.

    It’s the last two points that concern me about Lee Clark. But I will give him my backing.

  • Blueboy88 says:

    Both Fahey & Carr have been loyal servants to BCFC over a number of years & good luck to them both with all their future efforts.
    Beginning of the end for the cup final winning team.

    Don’t understand the Gomis situation.
    He was MOTM saturday & has been influential in his previous starts.
    However if he was leaving anyway why play him saturday ?
    Surely an ideal opportunity for one of the younger players to be given vital experience..

  • chris says:

    Louise, they really have no choice, we have to cut the wage bill or we will be in admin, which maybe a good thing to get rid of Yeung etc, but they won’t allow that to happen as they will not lose control of BCFC easily, only when someone buys or invests in the club.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    The main point is that we have to trust LC’s judgement. Also “released” are Gomis (who I thought was Man of the Match against Blackburn),Ibanez and Caldwell.
    Other players who are IN CONTRACT like Lovenkrands,Ambrose and Mullins may not feature much next season.
    LC knows what has happened inside the club and we don’t, so we have to respect his decisions.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I honestly won’t miss any of those leaving the club. I’m looking forward to this summer, to see who is coming in. The dead wood needed trimming from the squad, and Lee Clark seems to be doing this. The manager is keeping Elliott, Spector, Robinson and Doyle for the experience and know-how, as he said he would. With the players released, it should free up wages to replace them, with a few more besides.

    I’m looking forward to next season more than I did this last one. A young, vibrant, speedy Birmingham City team is something we should all look forward to. Imo.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Breaking News: Wolves sack manager Dean Saunders. Oh dear. :-)

    • mark says:

      like I said before glad we not in their situation no love lost from me mate…..imo clark had a sh**ter stick….

    • Ali Duncan says:

      Wolves have become a complete farce. I’d put them almost in the same category as Blackburn.

      So pleased our board allow Lee to carry on and have a decent second half of the season. Granted they didn’t really have that financial option of sacking him but it still shows the people can turn things around and that continuity is the way forward.

      I think LC is going about his recruitment / financial trimming in exactly the right manner and I’m pleased with his decisions so far.

  • mark says:

    http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/hyde-endeavours-earn-brum-deal-3415275? another hungry young player is coming got to be excited chaps………………

  • Atahualpa is a BlueNose says:

    With Carr, Fahey, Pablo, Caldwell and Gomis gone, that has probably shaved about £80k a week or over £4m a year from the wage bill. The only surprise is Gomis for me, as he has been a decent squad player and has done ok on the majority of the occasions he has played.

    It was gonna happen, but the upshot of the situation is that LC has now got some room to manoeuvre in the transfer market. You could argue that it is an exciting time in that LC can mould in the team into his vision (albeit within financial constraints), and there should be a more settled team, pattern and flow for next season.

    I hope Doyle only signs if he is going to be given the No. 1 berth.

  • kimberley blue says:

    Any news on Murphy.. is he on the mend?

  • jazzzy786 says:

    Shouldve kept Gomis and Deaman IMO but the rest needed moving on. I think Doyle is a poor keeper I’d rather we sign Randolph from Motherwell.

  • Bluenosejohn says:

    Fahey and Gomis’ prospects were undermined by the fact that we have Mullins and Ambrose still under contract. Could have been a different choice otherwise.

    Still we can only look with envy at Wolves having Jamie O’Hara under contract for another three years!


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