Often Partisan

FFP, the Football League and Sustainability

Yesterday it was reported by the BBC that a third of owners of football clubs in the Championship and League One are considering selling their clubs as the new regulations surrounding financial fair play take effect.

The report, based on a survey of finance directors commissioned by accountants BDO show some stark numbers with 94% of football clubs in the Championship particularly dependent on their principal shareholders whilst 65% of all football clubs surveyed said that they rely on their owners to subsidise operating losses.

As someone who is a believer in fan ownership in football, I think this survey confirms my beliefs that football is currently an unsustainable business model and that the “bubble” is about to pop very soon. With regulations in place that mean clubs can no longer spend more than they earn under pain of sanctions from the footballing authorities much investment has had to go into infrastructure and youth level football (which isn’t counted in the FFP calculations) whilst player wages are slowly being capped. I think it’s been noticeable this season that it’s harder than ever to move on players on high wages and my perception is that there are more players than ever hitting the scrap heap as teams trim squads and utilise their youth policies more.

Birmingham City is a case in point of what happens when a shareholder who is acting as the principal funding source of the club can no longer keep getting the chequebook out; very quickly the club has had to change its financial model to one of sustainability and a much more streamlined operation on and off the pitch. It’s not been the easiest couple of years for fans but there is hope that after this season particularly the club will be in a healthier position wage wise and with a potential change of ownership can build a much better business model to improve the club on a long-term basis.

However, one of the things I picked up when I went to the supporters summit back in July is that having a fan owned club may not necessarily mean that everything is rosy either; there have been horror stories where fans have had to sell chunks back to previous owners because they’ve overspent and/or not been able to run the club successfully as a business. As much as I think that fans of football clubs should be involved in how they are run, I am pragmatic enough to realise that fan ownership of clubs isn’t a panacea for the sport. I still think that we’re a long way from a better long-term solution that sees football an affordable sport whilst still attracting and retaining the talent people demand when watching and supporting their clubs.

What concerns me most however is that whilst football below the Premier League is slowly having to sort itself out as the money is no longer increasing at the exponential levels it was the top flight are still seeing money hosed on clubs thanks to ever-increasing TV deals. Are we going to get to a point where the top clubs cut the rest of the league adrift and go it alone? Worse still, if Blues aren’t in the top flight if that happens will we even care for it because of what modern football has become?

Talking Points sponsored by John Hicken Industrial roofing and cladding materials

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64 Responses to “FFP, the Football League and Sustainability”

  • David HK Bluenose says:

    Very true about your conclusion.
    In the far east, we only get the blues games once in a blue moon on pirate streaming websites, apart from that people generally don’t know who blues are.
    It’s not just the blues, even clubs that get promoted like Cardiff and Palace hardly get any notice. Here English football only consists of the top 5-6 teams.

    I’m a great believer of the NBA model, where all teams have a salary cap, and it changes every year based on your league position. Even better is the rookie drafting, which allows first picks for the worst finished team, and these picks can be used in trades for other established players. However, I cannot see football players being loyal to their teams this way, especially from the numerous cases recently.

    KRO

  • pierre says:

    are we as bcfc fans being a bit two faced?
    at the moment we singing from the rooftops about how great it is to giving the academy kids a chance to break into the first team.
    but if we had mega rich owners we be banging on about top European players.
    your thoughts please?

    • Colin Townsend says:

      Spot on !! But managers need results when they are in the top leagues so his really putting his neck on the line when he uses a young kid , fair play to Clark his given the kids a chance to prove themselves but if we had money at the club he has to buy, it would be madness if he didn’t, my sons came though the academy and I can tell you the boy would run through a brick wall for Clark

  • Knowle Blues says:

    Another good article. Agree gap is certainly widening between EPL and championship. However I believe this was the hidden strategy since the prem conception. Next step – euro super league. You only need to look at the sad state of Cov city to realise that so easier could be a number of champ and L1 clubs – including blues.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Let the prem teams have their little boys super league (it’s been mooted for years)…….. but if they do, we HAVE to stop ALL transfers from the FL to PL clubs. That way, they’ll have to either produce their own players, or swim in the smaller pool of a new euro league like piranhas, trying to swallow up each others best players.

      • Alex T says:

        well said Staffs! I couldn’t agree more….

      • Knowle Blues says:

        EU would have something to say about labour market and freedom for workers movements!! What I can’t understand is, does the prem boards have to meet the same FFP criteria?
        If not why not?
        FA should be insisting on a level playing field for all affiliated teams. Aren’t the likes of man utd massively remortgaged in debt. Or have I just answered my own question?!?!

        • StaffsBlue says:

          The prem league are a law unto themselves. I think it would be difficult to impose any restrictions on them now, they’re too powerful.

          As for Man U… I saw a figure quoted a couple of years ago, of £600m+ in debt. Now that is bloody scary.

  • Ian says:

    Ok, we have been forced to trim our costs early, but the rest of the football league need to do the same now.
    The premiership have to do it as well in the next couple of years, although with a bigger budget thanks to tv money.
    So to the future, if the rest of us outside the prem have no chance of getting in, we become feeder clubs for them, do we then say’spread the money further please, or do we stop paying sky because we want to watch our own teams?
    Could the championship sell its tv rights seperately, there are fan bases for 92 clubs out there, not 20.

    • Ricky says:

      Totally agree I’d much rather watch a championship or 1st division battle on TV than a dull safe premiership game. I’ve thought this for a while why hasn’t anyone snapped up the opportunity to have rights to quality regular games with a huge fan base?

      • StaffsBlue says:

        As I’ve said before, I quit Sky after we were relegated and don’t miss it one bit. I have no interest in watching the top 6 every week.. and the amount of FL games it shows definitely doesn’t warrant £21 per month. I can’t see me ever subscribing to Sky again, not even if we get promoted.

        As for players being on the scrapheap, I have one word of advise…. lower your demands, or bye bye.

  • KazakBlue says:

    As Dave HK and Pierre both share their views on different subjects, my own personal view is that in most respects they have a very good discussion points.

    I also lived in Hong Kong, Japan and China for the best part of 12 years back in the 80’s and 90’s, and I now live and work here in Kazakhstan (9) years. Getting up to date information on the Blues is nigh on impossible (OftenPartisan Excluded) and the TV coverage is woeful, the Championship is not even considered to be shown on TV.
    People out this way, know only the top 5 English clubs, as the whole bias of the TV companies and press is towards them, based on advertising revenues that they can bring in.

    Pierre’s thoughts are that if we get new ownership, BCFC will possibly spiral again into the spending of millions on players to try and break into the European competitions, all well and good I suppose, until the inevitable change of players and ownership take place, whenever that will be, and again ultimately leading to possible soaring debts and doubts of survival.

    Dan brings interesting comparisons concerning the so called financial fair play, and in essence, it seems as this is the way to go forward, but can it work ?

    The answer seems to be, that from the premiership downwards, and also to include the major European leagues, that the mighty 20 mega clubs will do anything they wish with impunity, and give the middle finger to all and sundry who oppose them, this FFP is based on wishful thinking I am afraid, and the ever increasing pressure on the minor clubs will continue, until they are either forced into administration or liquidation or that our remaining (English) league clubs consolidate into just one lower league as basically feeder clubs to the Premier division.

    For example, with Spain currently having an unemployment totaling almost 25 million people, how can FIFA and the rest of European football condone the possible signing of players such as Gareth Bale for 85 million pounds plus?

    With wages and administration, will Real really bring in 85 million just on the gates as clear profit over a season?

    I have no answers to the immense greed of the top clubs and associations, I only hope that my club BCFC, with all their trials and tribulations emerge like the phoenix from the ashes, and prove to everyone that they are a top club, as we all believe they are.

  • blunosed says:

    Franchises. It’s the future.

    • Blueboy 88 says:

      I dont think so with no promotion or relegation ?
      P & R are both the hope & despair of all Football fans…..

      The future is probabley the past.
      With a North/South regionalisation of league one & two , reducing travelling, more local derbies etc..

  • StevieW says:

    The one thing that has struck me recently is the fact that most fans tend to go to football to watch a good game of football. It does not matter whether it is a multi million pound Messi or a little known 10 bob youth, as long as they give you what you expect then you go away happy.

    The Watford game really brought this home where most fans seemed to be pleased we gave them (Watford) a game and we sort of got value for money and the cost to put on that show could well have fallen within budget.

    So what I am trying to say is the Money barons can go and satisfy their greed elsewhere if football can be sustained on fan satisfaction and not on the media hyped inflated greed to have the best players and players being payed a fair wage for what they do.

    I know this will never happen as it is not the capitalist way.

  • GoodyBlueShoes says:

    Almajir

    It is not rocket science that the only way to run a successful business is to have more coming in than going out. Gate receipts allied to marketing/merchandising revenue streams from Championship clubs will rarely be enough to support large wage bills. Obvious I know but therein lies the rub. If wages are not reduced SIGNIFICANTLY then the football league will be in all kinds of trouble regardless of how the club is owned. If as a business person you were looking to invest at this time would you look at Championship Club? One would have to have an inordinate amount of spare cash on the hip to spend on a “loss leader” until you see some kind of return some 5 years later IF you make the Premiership.

  • Ali Duncan says:

    The bubble has to burst. This can’t go on and the Premier League’s money has turned English Football into a vulgar display of wealth, greed and elitism. I’ve the beating heart of a capitalist but I firmly believe there needs to be a more socialist philosophy when it comes to dishing out the finances from the top table. We can’t sustain this model of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer (read going out of business) Is it any wonder so many owners want to sell when there is little chance of competing with the big boys and struggling to make ends meet every season?

    I used to go and watch AFC Wimbledon a lot and I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to be “all in it together” and I hope that model becomes even more prevalent within the national structure.

    We need to distribute the wealth before we’re in a situation where 40 odd clubs will fold and we simply have an elite 20 and a feeder division. IMHO that is a crap model – look at how poor Spanish football is below the top division – you even have the Mega clubs playing their B teams in the division, what a farce.

    We’re blessed to have a unique league system in this country that is competitive, well supported and real however we’re slowly but surely killing it…

    • mevers says:

      I agree and it does raise the question of the role of the FA and whether it still has the power to act in the long term interest of the national game – when faced with the increasing influence of the mega rich EPL. Could we really face a nightmare scenario in future where there is no promotion and relegation, feeder clubs, B teams – for me that would be the end – not because Blues might not (read won’t be) in the top tier – we’re used to that – but because there would be nothing to dream about, no surprises – basically sterile coverage of the same old teams – which I think is already starting to get tired. Let’s hope FFP actually achieves more competition and not (as I fear) less competition.

    • Andy W says:

      I agree Ali. Football will survive. It is part of our lifestyle and culture. If everything were to disintegrate, wouldn’t we all end up at Solihull Moors or Moor Green? The big money excesses will kill the game as we know it today. And when it does the mighty will fall and the big money chasers will go elsewhere to make their millions. You never know, when that does happen, clubs like ours may be in a better position to move forward?

      • StaffsBlue says:

        … and maybe football clubs will go back to being owned by football people, instead of money men out to make a few quid. The trouble is, these money men come in, throw a few million at it, in the hope that they get to the prem and untold riches. When that fails, as it invariably does, they jump ship leaving the clubs in the sh1t.

        Let Sky, the euro leagues and their glory-hunting fans have their way… and give football back to real supporters. Restructure the FL, say, 4 divisions of 18, with the bottom two leagues North and South… all producing their own players, their own stars and not being picked off by premier vultures.

        And then I wake up *yawn* :-)

  • Aussiebrum says:

    The survey results will be skewered by the format the questions are framed as we all know.

    As football is truely international a salary cap or other ‘equalisation’ methods will only hurt the English game, the real issue is the management of the English game.

    OP highlights what he referrs to as the ‘ever increasing TV revenue’. TV revenue into footbal is determined by the free market – as demand is maintained the revenue increases. At issue is the method of packaging the TV rights which in turn impacts on the distribution.

    The 4 top divisions should share the TV revenue in a more equal manner, which means the packaging should be in blocks which includes Championship and League One and League Two matches.

    Multi media rights should ensure that every match at all four levels is available either live or delayed through multi media chanels, as the Australian game is. We’ll pay for it – but it also affords all clubs incresed exposure.

    And then there is the issue of fixturing. Teams outside the top flight should secure broadcast fixtures on Friday night, Saturday twilight/night, Sunday twilight/night and especially the all important Monday night.

    In simple terms – if we make the pie bigger there will be more for everyone; just like the economy!

  • DoctorD says:

    You’ve had the likes of Suarez complaining that he’s not playing Champions League football at Liverpool as for him that — and that alone — is what being in the game is all about.

    Fair enough, but if Champions League football is such a big deal for top players, then I say cut off the top four clubs from England and let them play a season-long 16-team Champions League amongst themselves and the likes of Bayern, Bareclona, Milan etc.

    And if they still want to be in the Premier League, then aren’t they big and rich enough to field two teams: an A team in the Champions League and a B team in the Premier League.

  • dave mann says:

    id rather we hadfilthy rich owners than what were putting up with now to right.
    ok we wouldnt blood the players weve got now if we had millions to spend, but
    when we could go out and get dugarry, forsell, savage, dunn, foster, pandiani,
    upson,lazaridis, heskey etc etc it was very happy days and dont anybody tell
    me any diffrent, premier league, full house every home game, big names comming
    to the club absoluetly massive exposure and having the players to beat vile every
    time we played them, to right i want rich owners again because those were great
    days.KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think most, or all those those were brought in under Gold/Sullivan/Gold/Brady….. and a lot of supporters bayed for their blood. So it seems that you’re never going to please all fans, no matter how you swing it.

      As for the Prem… if it were like the old First Division, yes, I’d love to be in it. As it is now.. it’s about the money, nothing else. I’m really not fussed about it. As for rich owners… we thought we had that 2/3 years ago… and look how that turned out. All I want, is someone who is a genuine football lover, ideally (hopefully, a blues fan, but not necessarily,) has a few bob to spend on decent players, to produce good football to watch. I’d be happy with that.

  • dave mann says:

    i should have said ricn owners with no previous money laundering offences.
    i take your point staffs but i dont want us to be a club that just ponders along
    with average players in and around the championship, thats not good enough
    for a big city club like us, weve got to be in the premier league pushing for big
    names and big aims, the moneys here to stay mate and youve got to have it
    to compete at the top and we deserve that after 138 years of pretty much
    nothing in our history to celebrate except 2 years ago. money might be ruining
    the game but youve got to have it to compete so ime not happy with just
    decent players and decent football, sorry mate but i want more.KRO.

  • dave mann says:

    in the mean time mate id be happy with 3 points on saturday and a push for the playoffs
    in the forseable future, that would make me happy to start with.KRO.

  • dave mann says:

    £15 adults for yeovil cup game, whent there saturday, dont think i will go again, the
    grounds crap and the traffic ridiculous, but still had a good day all in all.KRO.

  • Tony says:

    All I know is if you remove the promotion /Relegation factor from Football then you are in effect killing it.
    That is what we all dream about without that there is nothing ,you are left with some community private club. We all want to be in the premiership it is the only place to be, yes its nice to see the kids coming through but in all honesty how many are going to become household names?. not many.
    For My part I would much rather see players like Duggary than have to spend my time watching a local lad who tries his heart out but just does not have the ability.
    In my time only once have we produced players who have gone on to become household names really top class players that was 40 odd years ago.

  • dave mann says:

    its all these foreign owners comming in that want promotion/ relegation removed because
    they dont want to invest in a team than can leave the premier leaue and go down to the
    championship, thats totally out of order and if it ever happened and thankfully i dont think
    it ever will, thats the end of the game as we know it, totally absurd to even suggest it.
    your right tony, id rather have trevor francis than kevin francis, kenny burns than dan burn,
    duggary than do nothng, better quality, better football, better entertainment.KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      There was life before the premier league… there’ll be life after it. It may not be to your liking, but the football league will always exist in one format or another.

  • Tone1963 says:

    Its all about perception with all football clubs – we believe the Blues are the best team in the Championship because we support them, if you ask a fan from another club they also believe the same about theirs….
    Money really doesn’ come into it – you get what you get if the fans don’ go to the ground the revenue in ticket sales is low, if the fans don’t buy the shirts the revneue from marketing is low, does this effect the club buying someone not really
    The money for players comes from the owners simple, we don’t have owners who can compete previously or right now, the only way for any club in the championship and below to survive is to lower your expectations of what we can achieve bring in players who actually and I mean actually want to play for your club, I’ve hated the last few weeks listening to Rooney, Suarez, Bale etc who really cares what these guys want – only the fans of where they curently are – if it was up to me I’d tell them all no more wages until you decide what your going to do
    The Blues are a passion of mine that no money can compete with, I like most on a Saturday or mid week feel the pressure as if I’m playing for them this is what I want from anyone who wants to play for the Blues and I assume any fan from any club wants
    Clarke is doing a great job in managing expectations perhaps we should also try and manage our own at the same time….we are a Championship club lets be proud of that fact

  • Tony says:

    Yes Tone we are a championship club, but Im not proud of it I want to be in the premiership I want to see the players Dave mentioned not the lesser ones he also mentioned. We have to have hope ,we have to keep the dream alive.

    • Tone1963 says:

      Tony I agree fully with your thoughts I too would wlcome the premier league again but we so need to be in a better position before we do so as I could see tears at the end of the first 12 months
      I meant be proud whatever league were in !! apologies (but then again when you see whats happened to Wolves …..)

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I’m proud of Birmingham City, whatever league they’re in, no matter who the manager is, no matter who the players are. They all come and go. The only constants, are the club and the supporters. I’d support them even if they were in the conference and be happy to do so… because of who we are, not where we are.

  • Chris Walker says:

    I suppose one good thing out of the Yeung fiasco is that BCFC has become self sufficient, sustainable and forced to reduce its wage bill.
    We are also seeing the benefit of the academy, although using the youth players earlier than we would normally; it puts them in the shop window for potential buyers.
    We need to negotiate the right price and additions of caps, appearances etc instead of giving them away as was the case in Jack Butland and Nathan Redmond.
    Agents and players have to accept some responsibility as to the plight of some clubs with their excessive fees and extortionate wages demands along with rolling contracts and automatic pay rises.
    It is time the Football League stepped and introduces a maximum salary per league along with an automatic wage reduction for relegated clubs.
    I would also like to see a transfer embargo whereby players of relegated clubs can only move to a club in the same or lower league for one season. That would stop players jumping ship when their club is relegated, after all, it is the players who are ultimately responsible for the success or failure, this along with a guaranteed wage cut would see and end to the contracts like that of Ziggy.

    • almajir says:

      League one and league two both have salary caps.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Maybe there should be a cap on agent’s fees…. or better still, a fixed fee for each division.

      • Chris Walker says:

        Better still do away with agents and let the manager and player sort things out for the betterment of the club. If a club can only afford a squad of 15 out of a fund of 60k then each player gets 20k per annum.
        Figures are hypothetical.
        Bonuses can be paid on performances by sponsor, if my memory is correct that was how it worked in the early post war years until Jimmy Hill complained he was worth more than the maximum £20 a week.
        However, I dare say someone will correct me if I am wrong

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Correct. The maximum wage was £20pw, until it was abolished in 1961. Johnny Haynes was the first £100pw player and if anyone deserved it, he did. A one-club player (mostly,) 18 years with Fulham (and for half of those, he never earned more than £20,) and he played nearly 600 games. Plus he was an England international. £20? Even the 15 year-olds today wouldn’t turn over in bed for that, let alone get out of it.

          • Chris Walker says:

            That is a problem today, you don’t get many one club players, there is no loyalty anywhere.
            Clubs seem to sell to keep up with the Jones’s, while players want the cake and eat it.
            Agents are the biggest scourge in the modern game, if my info is correct, Ziggy asked for a wage cut to help the club out but his agent refused to negotiate.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            Agents are a cancer in the game… but how to get rid is the problem. I’m sure the PFA used to help players negotiate contracts at one time. Who the hell let agents into the game in the first place?

            The only way we’ll ever rid the game of agents, is if the players see them off. Then, a proper body would need to be set up to represent players interests… in a sensible manner. Never gonna happen.. but we can dream.

  • dave mann says:

    i will always be proud to be a blues fan whatever league were in, if we were non- league
    id still get a season ticket, but we deserve better and thats a fact.
    since carson yeung tookover weve won the carling cup, finished 9th in the premier leage
    and went on a 15 game unbeaten run, and been on a european tour, thats history and now
    its all about the present and the future and the future must be premier league not championship.
    end off.KRO.

  • bluenoseneil says:

    Dan, do you know what the actual player wage caps are out of interest in each league?

    My view is simple: everyone ‘wants’ a Ferrari but most drive a Ford Focus.

    The analogy being there are relative economics for any club to consider when balancing ambition with success and we have seen what happens when the gravy train stops rolling.

    There is no use in Blues blooding youngsters to develop them into footballers whose sole reason for being is football (go figure) whilst money from bigger clubs and agents whispering in their ears stands to distract them.

    Without equality across the board there is no point as you can innovate all you want with training, recruitment and management but you need access to the tools and that means money. You can only have that from a large loyal fanbase, good sponsorships and a healthy relationship with creditors and owners.

    Without that you’re an also-ran and 88 of the clubs in the Football League should and will feel that way for the foreseeable future

    I for one won’t be flocking to watch Man Utd and Chelsea games on TV as that simply feeds the problem and lines the pockets of the bigger clubs.

    If we all (as football fans) reverted to type and only watched our own teams – either live or on TV – said revenues would drop and so would sponsorships (due to lack of appeal with reduced brand exposure) so in effect by sitting and watching everyone else’s beautiful game, we become an embedded part of the problem.

    The solution is at the top of this page: be Oftem Partisan….to the exclusion of all else.

    KRO

    • almajir says:

      From memory its 85 and 65% of turnover but I would need to check that

      • jay galvin says:

        Cut loose the top six premier teams, into a euro league and send SKY with them. Only then will football be returned to the sport I once loved.
        It will benefit the national team with fewer foreigners in our leagues, and ordinary fans can again dream of winning the league or fa cup. The premiership and SKY have robbed us of any chance of this happening.
        Even that lot across the city are just hanging on to the coat tails of the big clubs.

      • Blueboy 88 says:

        How do Wolves comply with that then ?
        It was reported Kevin Doyle is on 40k per week, & thats before you get to Johnson, O’Hara, etc

  • dave mann says:

    just a thought bluenoseneil, as you refer to type and you could omly support your local team
    or place of birth we would be the most supported and biggest club in britain never mind just
    england, we would have 2 million supporters in the city alone and vile would just have the
    sados that live in aston, londons got over a dozen clubs or more, manchesters got two so
    we would have the most fans around, makes you think why you live or were born in brum
    and go and support a team from london or manchester, dont deserve to be called brummies
    in my opinion, absoluetly disgracefull.KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I certainly agree with that. But these kids are bombarded with the London and Manchester clubs.. because they are all the likes of Sky, the national newspapers and magazines are interested in. So the top teams are over-exposed, while us in the Midlands, especially Birmingham, are most definitely under-exposed. Is it any wonder kids walk around Brum with top 6 shirts on?

  • chas says:

    I read this morning (cant find the article now) that the Legal firm who fought the Bosman Case are taking action against any League that brings in the Financial Fair Play rules under the European Unions restrictive Trades Law . As their Lawyers are pretty genned up on these Laws, we shouldn’t hold our breaths that the FFP Rules will actually do any good.

    • chas says:

      This is the nearest I can get . From BBC Website,
      5) The lawyers are already involved
      A Belgian agent is challenging FFP in the courts, because he says it will restrict investment in clubs, reduce wages and eventually harm his income.

  • Marky mark says:

    Great blog Dan,

    Football is a monster out of control and at some point it will implode. Players have to take a lot of the blame, they wish to move clubs but won’t had in transfer requests because it would jeopardize bonus payments etc etc talk about wanting you cake and eating it !

    To be honest I have no care for the premier league or sky, I look forward to its collapse and return the sport to the working man.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Hear hear!!

      Is it still the norm, that a player who doesn’t ask his club for a transfer, gets 10% of the transfer fee?

      • Marky mark says:

        I believe so Staffs

        But I haven’t got a problem with players getting paid up in full if its the club who are pushing for a sale. Trouble is there all liars

  • jazzzy786 says:

    I was talking to a friend at work about the 85m Bale transfer. I hope Spurs don’t sell and he has a poor season knocking millions off his value.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      What amazes me about Bale, is the amount of space defenders give him. I know he’s quick, but any decent defender with a bit of nous can negate that with positioning and anticipation. What we don’t have today, are many players with an actual football brain… a la Glenn Hoddle, Alan Hudson, Rodney Marsh, Stan Bowles…. Trevor Francis.

  • Tony says:

    Agree Mark, we all know what the premier league want, having reached the promised land they now want to pull up the ladder and deny the rest of us the chance to join them, by removing promotion / relegation.
    If that day ever came then I for one would never watch another pro football match again, its ok saying we would support Blues if they were in the conference, I guess I would too. But we cant have that attitude we must retain hope, we must retain the dream,of reaching the premiership.
    For all my life we have been regarded as a good second division side but cant consolidate at the top level.
    In my time I have seen a few really good players,a lot of really average ones and quite a few horrendous ones, however I have also seen Duggary, Francis, Burns Latchford,Gemmil, Kendall, Colin Todd, and others. I dream of seeing the likes of them again, if that dream is removed then there is nothing left.
    All well and good talking about what needs to be done but if a money man came along I would gladly accept him, if not we are back to the days of Garry Pendry (god bless him ) a brummie who would run through a brick wall for you, but alas lacked quality as do most of the current crop.

    • Marky mark says:

      Tony

      You have to keep the faith that good times will return, we have seen the highs and lows possibly more than most fans, there have been times over the years when I have felt worse than I do now, but I fear things could still get a lot more painfull than anything we have suffered before.

  • sappy sad says:

    ……….when a new owner takes over a new club at the bottom of the league ,he will have to spend more than if he had bought a team at the top of the league …..it has been said by many that guilty or innocent carson young is responsible for blues state of affairs …..with the club having to sell or let go so many good players to survive it would be a great injustice if a new owner had to stick to a pay as you earn policy when all the things that the blues fans have had to face is enough to have put many fans off football for life….football is an entertainment how dare the footballing powers that be think that fans should watch poor football if they want the club to prosper….your rules are flawed…and will destroy football ….if an owner is willing to put up an equal amount of his own money as assurance of the amount he wants to spend above the pay as you go margin ,then he should be allowed to do so


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