Often Partisan

Dealing With a Lack of Movement

The Birmingham Mail reported yesterday that Blues have started fielding calls about players for transfer from the club – from prized assets like Curtis Davies and Nathan Redmond to players who have been made available for free like Marlon King. Although there has been no movement yet it was said that movement was expected closer to the start of July when the transfer window properly opens up.

I don’t think it comes as any surprise to Blues fans that there will probably be sales this summer; after all, it’s been a continuous theme at the club since the relegation from the top flight in the summer of 2011. Davies has made no secret of his desire to play in the top flight again and Redmond will have done his reputation the power of good with two excellent performances for the England u21s in Israel.

What does worry me is the seeming lack of movement for the four players who are available on free transfers – Marlon King, Peter Lovenkrands, Hayden Mullins and Darren Ambrose. One would think that King in particular, having scored 32 goals in the league in the last two seasons would attract interest from clubs at this level looking to improve their firepower. However, one must also consider how many teams are being held back from making an enquiry because of King’s longstanding knee injury not to mention the personal issues tha have dogged his career.

It’s my belief that we are seeing the effect of the financial fair play rules that have been gradually introduced to the championship. Whilst there isn’t a salary cap like there is in League One and League Two, Championship clubs are now only allowed to lose a certain amount of money per season – which means for many teams the amount of money allocated to a wage budget has to be more tightly controlled. Thus it’s understandable why teams might think twice about taking on an older player who is no doubt going to demand a fairly decent salary to make a move – after all, all four players have a further year on their deals and it wouldn’t be in their interests to move to a club to receive less money.

I’m intrigued as to how Lee Clark will play the situation if he can’t move these players on; by making them available for free transfer he’s effectively told them he doesn’t want them any more. Will they be motivated to play for him and the team if they aren’t moved on? Players are expected to be professional but I should imagine it’s harder to give one’s all when one knows that they aren’t wanted or rated by the manager. If he doesn’t play them – it’s a lot of money to spend on players who are doing nothing… which leaves a tricky situation.

Whilst it’s true that Clark has to mould the squad for the new season and it’s a test of his managerial abilities to see who he can bring in on a limited budget I think there might be a bigger test of his skills if he cannot move those four on. I don’t believe that the club can afford to pay off the contracts to just release them which means Clark will have to work out how to reintegrate them into his thinking. I, for one, hope for his and the club’s sake that he can move on at least a couple of them as being stuck with all four is not going to help him at all.

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91 Responses to “Dealing With a Lack of Movement”

  • bluenose1949 says:

    Totally agree with you on the 4. Lets hope no ones looking for a manager as Clark has got to be our best hope. Give him and the lads the support they will need in what is going to be a very difficult season ahead. All nighmares have a end , dont they???
    KRO bluenose1949

  • ChrisG says:

    Just wondering why Zigic, on his large salary, hasn’t been transfer listed or even gien a free transfer. Surely by getting shot of his hefty wage packet LC would be able to bring in at least 3 more players. It really makes no sence to keep him on the books

    • Blueboy83 says:

      If he was given a free transfer the club would still have to pay up his contract so there is no point, they may as well keep him, I think its fair to say the club have been trying to move him on for some time but there is a lack of interest

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Having put those four players up for transfer, doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t want them. He may have been told that the club can’t afford them anymore so he HAS to get rid. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want them, any more than he does Davies or Redmond. Needs must I think.

    Personally, I would think that Lovenkrands will be the hardest to shift. King and Mullins have done their bit for the team, Ambrose has just been unlucky… but Lovenkrands, oh dear, what can you say. He never really looked interested.

    • Bluenosesol says:

      Agree there Staffs, I suspect the decision was based on freeing up funds to provide flexibility in the market and refresh the squad. I think that the surprise package if we have to keep them could be Ambrose. I have never seen a player with such a good pedigree and reputation nose dive so quickly and although I believe many would disparage this opinion, I think he could come good next season.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Absolutely agree about Ambrose. I, along with most supporters (if they’re honest) hailed the signing as a masterstroke. His record spoke for itself. But you could tell he wasn’t quite on his game, right from the first game against Barnet (even though he scored a cracker.)

        I think, given a full pre-season, we could have a brand new signing in Ambrose. Here’s hoping.

        • bcfc1978 says:


          agree there, every possibility Ambrose could be completely different player.

          • Ali Duncan says:


          • StaffsBlue says:

            Until this season, his only poor period was under Souness when he took over at Newcastle. For some reason, Souness didn’t fancy him (no jokes please.) He’s played over 300+ games and scored 50+ goals (around 1 in 4?) I’d like to see him given a chance to show what he can do with a good pre-season under his belt.

  • mark says:

    I am still of the opinion that I hope Nathan is over looked in this situation…….I do feel that Nathan if he stays will push on, and possibly have a better season.
    Regarding the other players if they are not shifted, then I feel they will need to do something special to get in the team that Clark is re-building.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      King, even in a team of kids, would still score goals… but I think the others must realise that they’re going to have to give a lot more than they did last year if they’re going to earn a place.

  • ChrisB10 says:

    I agree with StaffsBlue, I do not think it is Clark wanting to get rid of the free four it is purely financial needs must.

    Integration into the main squad is not an issue of concern. It’s not as if they have been anywhere to come back. I would imagine they just carry on regardless, as ‘Professional’ footballers should.

  • mark says:

    tbh I was very surprised by zigic not been transferred listed……. but bcfc I feel tried everything, and the kitchen sink to move on but no offers came in…………Mallorca came in…..but Zigic is sitting on a gold mine…………..What frightening about this Zigic could possibly have a cr*p season or get injured then what?//. But like all bluenoses I hope this not the case…….and he gives back a season for us to remember him by………………………..kro

  • mark says:

    Davis is the one player that needs moving on quickly, as I feel this possibly holding up several transfer deals…………

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I would be gobsmacked if he was offered another season after this (even on lower wages) and I think he knows that. I can’t see that he has an incentive to play out of his skin this season. All he has to do basically, is put his feet up and count his money. I hope I’m wrong and he has his best season yet.

  • pieman1979 says:

    Has anyone even heard these transfer rumours directly from BCFC, or this this just the tabloids making things up again to stir up our clubs situation? In January we were all worried about a fire sale, but that amounted to nothing!!

  • Simon says:

    You won’t get any transfer movement yet unless players are out of contract as the transfer window is not open yet. Not till 1st July. Then we’ll see movement

    • StaffsBlue says:

      But players are already moving on pre-agreements. i.e Eardley isn’t strictly our player until 1st July. Maybe the same with Randolph. Doesn’t mean the cogs aren’t turning. I still think Davies’ transfer will be the start-button.

    • almajir says:


      Not true. At the top end of the market, Man city have signed two players, Liverpool have two, Sunderland have a couple…

  • Geoff M says:

    We wont sell/give all 4 listed………..a bit of experience is needed for the young enthusiasts….injuries will happen at any age. LC seems to be just the man for our situation

    comment edited

  • Blue blood says:

    It was Clark that bought Ambrose Mullins & mr lover man to blues in the first place so I can’t see why he wants them gone, it’s purely to fund Carson’s court case, how can we have no ££££ yet stil sign players, we still need to pay wages

  • toby says:

    one positive thing to come out of the clubs situation is that Clarke has to be a lot more astute in his signings.Lets not forget he signed 3 of the 4 he’s trying to move on.I hope nobody wants king because we will struggle to score without him.

  • Blueboy 88 says:

    Just highlights the complete mess we are currently in.

    If Blues can not move these four on , it not just the issues it creates on the playing side ,
    there will also be huge financial implications for the club next season.

    We need new owners rapidly..

  • SteveC says:

    We have never seen the best of Ambrose, who is a proven performer at this level, with goals as a bonus.
    Am sure Marlon will have a choice of clubs in the Championship to choose from and Lovenkrands still has enough to get a move here or abroad.
    Mullins was much maligned last season, not a flashy player but one you’d like playing alongside you to do the less noticeable things to the fans.
    Curtis will be off for sure and a great servent he has been to the club, he is Premier quality and deserves to play at the top level.
    Centre Half will be the problem area I feel for blues next season, love to see us get killgallon but not holding out a lot of hope.

  • mark says:

    http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/birmingham-city-transfer-latest-stephen-4389268 utter paper talk. staffsblue- you got your wish lol imo we do really we need cb’s urgently……..

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I have to be honest mark, I was dreading that story being true. When Blackpool got into the top flight, I said to my son, that if Holloway didn’t replace their 4th division defence, they’d be straight back down. It came to pass. Eardley is the only one I rated, so I’m pleased we have him.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    It is clear to me that messrs Ambrose,Mullins,Lovenkrands and King don’t figure in Clark’s plans for next season and are transfer listed not only for financial reasons.
    My reason for coming to this conclusion is that Murphy and Burke must be on similar salaries and are not listed as they do figure in his plans.

  • dave mann says:

    if hull offer 3 million plus hobbs for davies ide bite there hand off.
    great deal.KRO.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I would think anyone on £8-10k will be moved out. I’m not sure if Zigic’s wages would have made any difference tbh. It would have freed some money up, but I doubt that would have affected the strategy for this season.

  • sappy sad says:

    …………I would have thought that the footballing powers would be a bit more forgiving…..to this situation as it is not the clubs fault or the fans fault or the players fault …..do not condemn this club ,for something the club as a whole had nothing to do with ……..we need a bit of leeway on zigic. concidering the extreme outcome admin leaves …….football must be the winner.

  • dave mann says:

    if burke goes for 1 mllion staffs that would be a joke, hes worth more than that and
    for good measure if redmond goes aswell weve no wingers and that would need
    serious attetion on top of all the other areas that need sorting.KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Thing is dave, if Forest had offered upwards of £500,00k, he’d have been gone. I would think that with his new contract, that would probably double. I’d be surprised, but happy, if we got £1.5-£2m for him.

  • SteveC says:

    Whatever money we get in is irrelevent as it will all be winging its way East.
    Our best hope is that Yeung gets convicted and the H.K authorities put BCFC up for sale as the one sole assett of the ridiculous ‘paper company’ that is BIHL.
    Please no more potential Chinese ‘chancers’ though !

  • Tony says:

    There is an alternative way of looking at all this, this situation could be music to Clarks ears.
    Just supposing we were relegated by Christmas, what would many of you say? You would say well what do you expect with the team he has had to put out, and that is the crux of the matter.
    Clark will escape judgement on his abilities no matter how bad his results just where would you set the bar for a reasonable season?.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      Trying being a bit more positive Tony. You’re pretty much saying we’re going to struggle and go down. If that is your opinion then fair enough but the season hasn’t even started and so far it seems that Clark has bought in solid players. In case you hadn’t noticed there is a possibility that we could actually do well and push for the play-offs.

      I can’t stand this negativity. If LC has a good season I hope that you’ll come out and say you were wrong and that he did a good job under very difficult circumstances.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I believe that this season Lee Clark will surprise a lot of people and do really well as a manager/coach. If that happens, it will be interesting to see how many people come on, hold their hands up and admit they were wrong about him. Not too many I would guess.

        • Steve says:

          Never been a big Clarke fan, but I take my hat off to him, I think we will have a good season and im excited by the way he is shaping the team up.

          Up the blue army!!

          • Bluenosesol says:

            Steve – there was a time when I was not struck on Clark and thought that we could have done much better. Over last season he won me over, not only by achieving a position that no one could have expected, but by standing up manfully in the face of adversity and at times ridicule and constantly telling the media and anyone who would listen, what a fantastic club and fanbase we have at STANS. I would now be very saddened to hear that anyone else was coming in to replace him and I am very optimistic about next season! KRO

  • tonyd says:

    If he can prevent the kind of injuries that plagued us last season, Tom Little could be our best signing of the summer. Fewer injuries plus a decent start to the season and we could be in the mix.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      Exactly – positive thinking!!!!

      The nucleus of the squad is actually quite good. Yes we’re struggling for the left side (unless Fergi comes back) and no doubt at centre back when CD leaves but otherwise I think we’re well placed to compete in the division.

      I hate all the doom and gloom and scaremongering – we’ll go just fine this campaign but I do think a good start is key.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Yes, Lee Clark himself has stressed how vital it is to hit the ground running this season. I’m sure he’ll do everything in his power not to have a start like last season. I would expect a fair bit of traffic in and out of St Andrews in the next 3-4 weeks.

  • Tony says:

    Yes I accept all of that but at what point do you say this guy does not have what it takes? when we are in division 2.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      A fair point Tony however the man has now had a full campaign and will have had two pre-seasons. He clearly made mistakes last year but the second half of the season was a marked improvement and the last ten games saw good attacking football and at one point Blues as the form horse in the division. Let’s give the bloke a chance – he has had a bit of time, it’s pretty much his squad now and it will be interesting to see how he has grown as a coach and as a man-manager.

      Please don’t hammer nails into his coffin before the season has even started. Let’s see where we are after the first ten games and then at Christmas and then we’ll be able to gauge how he’s performed.

      I’d be curious to know your expectations and what you deem will have been a good season?

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I agree Ali, he’s had a season and this year, it will probably be 75% his own squad. IF were in or around the bottom 3 at Xmas, I’d be worried and wonder if a change would be beneficial. But my expectation, is that we’ll improve on last year. I’ll go for… between 8th and 5th place.

        • Ali Duncan says:

          Reads well to me Staffs.

          Initially I thought 13th but I’m on a positive wave now after the new signings and players we’re retained so like you I don’t think we’ll be too far off the play-off spots.

          I think the quality of football in the division is going to be poor again and I don’t see why we can’t compete.

          I also have a feeling the barring injury we’re going to see the best of Ziggy this campaign.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            D’ya know what? I think Lee Clark has thought the same to himself, about the quality of football in the division. I think he’s looked at teams like Watford, Cardiff, Hull etc… and seen how successful and high-tempo, pressing game can be. Add to that the things he (must have) learned on his trip to Barcelona and I think we could see a transformed Birmingham City this season. That thought excites me.

  • TracyKRO says:

    Tony at the end of last season they were playing has a team, we have got to give Clark a chance with this squad no matter what league we finish in, and if/when we get new owners in we can get the quality players back then see how that goes kro

  • SteveC says:

    Also remember that we will be starting out with nearly new team, with players coming back and new ones ’embedding’.
    Am very worried about the central defence, we will need at least 2 new players in if, as expected Curtis goes. Am happy with Paul robbo playing alongside, but we need a commanding centre half.
    Wonder if Joe Galagher is still up to it ?
    Think we’ll be good enough to hold a mid-table position and given the garbage going on and in charge at St andrews then that is a decent performance.
    Hope the fans stay off Lee Clark’s back if we make a slow start but some of them aren’t the brightest football-wise.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think, tbh, the whole of last season was a huge learning curve for everyone, management, players and fans. It took Lee Clark half a season to really get to know the players, what they could and couldn’t do. By the time he found his best team and formation, we were up to Xmas. Clark has admitted he made mistakes early doors, but he’s man enough to accept that and learn from them. I’m sure centre back is upmost in his mind and is working towards solving that problem. I really can’t see us starting the season without, at least, one new player for that position.

  • dave mann says:

    i just dont want to see burke go to be honest, if he starts well and keeps fit
    he will push us on, but if 2 million comes in i suppose were take it wont we!.KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Players moving on is inevitable I’m afraid dave, what’s important, is that we have someone ready and capable of stepping in, whether that be from outside, or from the academy.

  • E says:

    Dw we have been sold redmond and davies will go and in comes paladini

  • James says:

    I’m surprisingly confident about the new season.

    A decent mix of young kids and some experience should make for a mid table/top 8 finish

    I’m not all surprised about the lack of interest; all 4 mentioned players bar King have contributed very little.

    Davies & Nathan leaving have come as no surprise – just hope we secure a decent fee for both.


  • TracyKRO says:

    I got a bit a news but don’t know how to get the link up, anyway prices are out for Plymouth, I think they are fare to be honest look at bcfc website

  • dave mann says:

    i personally dont think either redmond or burke will go, davies can go if that deal with hull goes
    through, if we loose burke then redmond can fill in no problem, but if both go we need to bring
    in someone outside i would imagine.KRO,

  • dave mann says:

    £5 season ticket holders, £3 concesions,£1 under 16s.
    thats great pricing from blues,£8 non season ticket holders,
    get your backsides down st andrews, no excuses unless
    your on holiday, working or dead! KRO.

  • TracyKRO says:

    Thanks StaffsBlue its also for both set of supporters to

    • Ali Duncan says:

      Really looking forward to it. Good prices, a few mid-week coldies and hopefully a comfortable morale boasting victory. It would be nice to get a +15k gate.

  • ellblueboy says:

    I was in Egypt the week before last and Marlon was in my hotel with his wife kids and mother in law. He has just bought an apartment in Sharm El Sheikh and was there doing it up so it would seem hes pretty sure of his future and comfortable making large purchases. I would keep him another season because without his goals in the last 2 seasons we would more than likely have been relegated. kro

  • dave mann says:

    i know staffs, but some fans will find any excuse not to go down even when theyve passed on.
    might get over 10,000 now………WOW. KRO.

  • dave mann says:

    i fear we may be on that lost cause with some fans,KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think some people just prefer the Player Manager or FIFA soccer versions of the game. I wonder if football will ever get those fans back.

  • TracyKRO says:

    I went to my first football match when I was a toddler, went to home and away games, now its just home, got family members of BCFC, AVFC, CCFC I don’t know if the ccfc will renew there st this season with everything going on, us bluenoses that are st holders most have renewed but the others will pick and choose there games to go to, well the AVFC so called supporters never been to a match in there life’s, only the old ones have been they cant go now cause of age. I will try and get a few friends to bring there young ones down for this game has they cant make the friendly one. I hoping once they been to Blues they will carry on supporting them.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      That’s how to start a new generation Tracy. If we don’t take the young ‘uns, how will they ever know what the experience is like? The trouble today is, football has so much competition. Playstation, X-box, etc, ad-infinitum. It’s all there, advertised wherever they look. But not football. Unless you watch Sky and are a fan of Premier Leage club, you’ve had it.

      Be honest, how much advertising do you actually see or hear for the Football League and the other 72 clubs? Unfortunately, I think it has to be down to individual clubs to advertise themselves, get out into the community and pull the youngsters in. The stadium Tours are brilliant, but I only came across the ad on BCFC. Is that good enough?

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Bugger… that sounded like a rant. It wasn’t meant to be. I was just thinking out loud lol

      • TracyKRO says:

        I went on the stadium Tour about a year and half ago and it was very interesting, the club can only do so much advertising about stadium Tours a lot of people who aint got pc wont know about them at all. I think there should be more help with clubs outside the Prem. I saw something on Blues facebook page about how long weve got to renew and there was an interesting piece on about Solihull Moors Prices should have a peek

    • Paulo says:

      Spot on Tracy and StaffsBlue ..It’s not about sitting down and watching a team on TV, it’s about being part of something and who you represent. We have so much history (on the pitch and off it) that the next generations need to be part of it, as they will be the ones carrying it on in the future. I’d rather be down the pub then the blues and actually be there to see it, hear it and be part of it. The moment I tell others I meet that I’m a season ticket holder at Birmingham, even with Leeds fans, a good load of banter starts up and the history of clubs is talked about and beers flow.
      Doing a stadium tour is recommended, the guy is so good to listen to, he loves his job!

  • dave mann says:

    my sons got all the software, all the footie games ,fifa, pro evo, but he never misses a game.KRO.

  • dave mann says:

    weve been around 138 years, its down to the generations of fans from great great grandparents,
    great grandparents, grandparents, parents, older brothers, older sisters to sell the club and give
    the kids the experience of supporting and going to see the blues, thats how we sell the club, to
    me thats the only way because that way WORKS!
    we dont need to advertise surely cause all proper brummies know who we are!.KRO.

    • mark says:

      correct- Dave once this gets in your blood you are hooked forever…………… I won’t hide from the fact I have been frustrated in supporting the blues but hey ho life in general can be bloody frustrating lol

  • Paulo says:

    I’m sure I read that Ambrose was voted the NPower Championship biggest ‘flop’ of the season. What stands out to me is that he knew he couldn’t cut it, and so came here and didn’t put the effort in. I doubt it was his ability, as he had a half decent record before he came here, but then again ..who knows what goes on behind those closed doors and on the training pitch!
    I honestly agree with Lee Clark being our safest choice of manager right now, and I wish him well for whats ahead. Many will continue to slate him, and thrive on it, but with his team sheet of able players, versatile players, injury prone players, those not cutting it and then the loans & freebies …well, what’s going on in Hong Kong doesn’t even mean anything to what he has to deal with.
    I’m expecting a different looking squad anyway, so no point in losing it. What is important is the team don’t get complacent and give us something to sing and shout about.

  • mark says:

    http://madeinbrumfanzine.com/2013/06/18/rebirth-of-my-blues/ positivity breeds positivity this bluenose is bang on the money…………for me once you are a bluenose you are always a bluenose………… come on bluenoses shake those shackles off we are one……………

  • AR says:

    I don’t think that by putting Marlon up for a free that Clark doesn’t rate him. I believe he’s on a free mainly because of his wages, and then because of his knee and age. I can’t believe Clark wouldn’t want a proven goalscorer if the club could afford him. I think the other 3 are a different matter.

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