Often Partisan

The King has Left

Birmingham City yesterday announced that Marlon King had left the club by mutual consent after two years with the Blues. The London-born striker had made seventy-nine appearances for the club and scored thirty-two goals.

After weeks of talk of King moving on to another club it was finally confirmed yesterday that Birmingham City had finalised his release. Whilst the announcement doesn’t go into detail of financial payoffs I would guess that the club and King have come to a compromise whereby only a part of his final year’s salary has been paid off allowing King to seek a lucrative contract with another club and allowing Blues to make a saving on his paypacket over the year.

I don’t think anyone can deny King was prolific for Blues. There is only one player post-war to have scored more goals for Blues in fewer appearances (Tony Evans, who got 33 goals  in 76 games between 1979 and 1982) and only fourteen players to have scored more goals than King in any number of appearances since TF left us. Had his knee not packed up in the second season I don’t have much doubt that Marlon would potentially have matched or beaten his eighteen goal haul from his first season with the club.

Many complained about Marlon being offside a lot but I think that was symptomatic of the way he played; he would look to be on the shoulder of the last defender and to make the break into the space behind as the ball came forward. It did mean that he’d be flagged offside a lot but when he got the timing right he’d be in a one on one situation and his figures show that his finishing was fairly clinical – something that had been lacking at the club for some time.

King came to the club with a bad reputation – fourteen criminal convictions for various offences, two prison sentences and the ignominy of being a registered sex offender. I will admit to feeling slightly uneasy of the ethics of signing King particularly as he never shown remorse for his crimes and I remember writing at the time that it was evidence that ethics and football don’t seem to mix. To be fair to King he did keep his nose clean the majority of his time he was with the club – three bookings in nearly eighty games points to a bloke who plays fairly on the pitch and is pretty incredible if you imagine the amount of harassment he took on the terraces.

However, his past caught up with him this summer, with the striker arrested twice for driving offences in April and July. King now has to find a club whilst he is on bail awaiting trial in Nottingham Crown Court for dangerous driving – an offence that if he is found guilty of could attract a third prison sentence for the striker bearing in mind his past convictions. At the age of 33 with some fairly major knee issues over the last year I would think the next contract he gets will be his last and I have no doubt that Marlon is being very careful about where he chooses to go.

It’s a sad situation that Blues let him go but I can understand the logic; the fact is that with a reported £17,000 a week wage Blues just cannot afford to keep him on – much as they can’t afford Mullins, Ambrose, Lovenkrands and Zigic and I’m guessing that with the other things going on in King’s life he was more prepared to accept a compromise agreement that would be workable from Blues’ point of view. King gets a chance to move on to another club and Blues get to lose what could be an iffy problem in the next few months should the court case be decided against King.

Blues now have to move onwards and upwards. Unless at least one of the other four goes I cannot see the club signing anyone else on loan which means we’re going to have to back what we have up front this season. It’s going to be a tough one without Marlon and all we can do is support the team in their travails.

Talking Points sponsored by John Hicken Industrial roofing and cladding materials


87 Responses to “The King has Left”

  • mark says:

    Dan- i know this will be a sore subject but again in our second half of last season we did fine with out him really…………. as i said in your last blog mate time to move on, he is longer wearing the blue shirt… Regardless of 2 years good behavior , he has again allow his past to rear it ugly head………. Totally agree with staffsblue comments yesterday remember him just for his goals that’s it…………………………bye good luck

  • Agent McLeish says:

    Love him or hate him King always gave 100% and justified the money he was on. However (and hindsight is great) I think Lovenkrands has been LC’s worse signing. I know we got him on a free but his wages must be pretty high. For a player of his past pedigree he has failed to justify those wages and has failed to deliver for whatever reason.

    • oldburyblue says:

      In the right team, playing to his strengths, I think Lovenkrands would still score a load of goals. He is not and has never been, a target man. He is a striker that feeds off others, finishing off their hard work. If you look at the goals he HAS scored at Blues, most were set up by Marlon King…very rarely if ever did he reverse the roles.

      I am surprised that a more attacking manager hasn’t taken a punt on him by now.

  • Ali Duncan says:

    Other than Mikael Forssell he is probably the best finisher down the Blues in the last 25 years. As Dan states, and I just posted on his previous King blog, he was a man you would bet on every time he got in a one-on-one situation. Agreed that he played off the shoulder and would created the one-on-ones for himself but he did get it very very wrong on many occasions. That said, when it paid off you just knew he would put it away (A personal favourite at Bloomfield Road in his first season) and that is something we don’t have elsewhere in the team now.

    We’ll certainly miss him. He was a big physical presence upfront and the goals he scored were vital. I didn’t realise his disciplinary record was so good – fair play.

    • RichardW says:

      Kevin Phillips ?

    • steve says:

      IMO he only got caught offside so much because nobody else was on his wavelength and pass the ball quicker.

      • On the Money says:


      • StaffsBlue says:

        Thank you Thank you Thank you. I’ve been saying the same thing for the past 2 seasons.

        We’ve not had a player good enough or clever enough to release the ball at the right time. The closest was Morrison last season and even he was hit and miss. I’d love to have seen King play with someone like Scott Allan behind him. I for one will miss King, solely for football reasons. I’m in no doubt whatsoever, if he hadn’t been injured last season, he would have topped 20 goals easily.

        I beleieve that, if he hadn’t gotten into trouble again this year, teams would have snatched our hands off…. but with the latest threat hanging over his head, maybe a move abroad will be his best bet, where his record/reputation won’t be known as well and pe4ople will just see the goals. Anyway, good luck Marlon… and carry on scoring!

    • StaffsBlue says:

      My personal favourite over the last 20 years, was Steve ‘Wurzel’ Claridge. He gave me immense pleasure with his goals and his battling qualities. Loved watching him play… even after he left us.

  • James says:

    I must admit I wasn’t overly keen on King; his past was horrendous ( registered sex offender etc ), but given our circumstances I would have taken Jack the Ripper if it had meant 15/20 goals per season!

    I rate King highly as a forward – being caught offside several times per game is a small price to pay for his goal ratio.

    However, as you state, we need to concentrate on backing the team and hoping that someone somewhere will step up and stick it in the net.


  • Chris says:

    If the trial doesn’t go his way couldn’t Blues have sacked him if he was in jail?
    Thus saving on not having to do a compromise deal.

    On another point, I see the club is still spending as there is an academy vacancy.
    “Due to an internal restructure an opportunity has arisen at the club for an operations manager within our Academy”.
    Read more at http://www.bcfc.com/news/article/20130829-academy-operations-manager-vacancy-1021330.aspx?#rzyXA8BTgs0dmrmM.99

  • TonyE says:

    We’ll miss his goals, presume as we’ve paid him off he doesn’t have a club lined up to join yet. Had he been sent down at Nottm, which is a strong possibility, couldn’t we then just cancelled his contract with no pay off?

  • skareggae72 says:

    Sorry to see Marlon go,but him & the amber nectar is a bad combination.
    As far back as i can remember we have always struggled for prolific goalscorers,even when AJ was at the club,he was bundled out as a make weight in the Morrison deal-then AJ went on to become the top scoring British player in the EPL.
    Getting goals could be difficult again this season,as the players at Clark’s disposal become more limited,and reduced in numbers.

  • dave mann says:

    ive already said my piece on the marlon king affair so i wiil mention our league cup tie.
    swansea will be good on the eye to whatch when they come to st andrews no matter
    what team they pick, its a good test for us and should be a good game so lets get down
    there and whatch a team that can pass the ball from the back, play neat 1,2s, play
    inventive attractive football and you can also see blues take part as well. KRO.

  • Evesham Blue says:

    Question: where have Blues found the money to pay him off? Is that what the loans were for? Have we offloaded him due to financial fair play rules coming in?

    If we can pay off Marlon – what about the others?

  • dave mann says:

    sorry dan your propably bringing that topic up later.
    marlons been great for us in the 2 full seasons hes been here but his times up
    and now we need someone to take is place but that aint gonna be easy, lets
    hope matt green can step into his boots.KRO.

  • darren says:

    would be interesting to know the payoff, i hope blues considered that if he is in jail he would have been in breach of contract and therefore we wouldnt need to have paid him a been.

    • almajir says:

      Just a thought but:

      Innocent til proven guilty
      He wouldn’t have been on trial properly until the end of this year maybe
      And he wouldn’t have played for the team in that time.
      Would people have been happy to have kept him on in that scenario…

  • Bluenosesol says:

    King’s contract was cancelled “by mutual consent”. This usually means no pay off, unless its a lazy reference to a compromise agreement.

  • The Francis Fake says:

    I agree with Darren. Surely with King’s track record prior to signing him you would have thought that Blues would have made his contract watertight in the event of any further misdemeanors even though his has not yet been convicted. If not somebody needs their wrists slapped.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Watertight? You mean like Zigic’s relegation claus? Oops… there wasn’t one was there? I wouldn’t have thought those clowns in HK wouldn’t even have thought of it.

  • sutton apex says:

    good luck marlon, thanks for the goals – i sponsored him and met him, nice bloke.
    hope he sorts out his private life and matures as a person otherwise jail awaits him again !

  • sappy sad says:


  • Frankie says:

    Fair comments.
    Marlon doesn’t owe us a bean, he DID give his lot.
    In total contrast to one P.Pannu, who gives us NOTHING, if fact a minus.

    when are we going to see the back of this abomination ?

  • dave mann says:

    i think he will go abroad because i cant see a premier side comming in for him and i cant see
    him going to another championship side cause off his wages so the best off luck to him where
    ever he goes but please marlon stay out off trouble yeah. good man, KRO.

  • tONY says:

    The club have put up a smokescreen regarding King, all this about being on the verge of him signing for someone else was just rubbish by the look of it.
    Then again what else could they have done in the circumstances?.

  • Agent McLeish says:

    Think we’ll see Ziggy play sometime soon? His very presence would help the likes of Green improve his tally.

    • Bluepenguin1976 says:

      Lets hope so AM. I do think Ziggy could make a big (no pun intended) contribution to our plight!!. Really create a few more chances to the boys stepping up a level. I wonder if his back injury has been caused by rubbing his back with too many ivory back scratchers?!!?………..you really need a guy on those wages to be earning his keep.

  • dave mann says:

    lee said at the start of the season that this was gonna be a big season for zigic,
    is there any chance that he could let us no when this big season starts, just

  • des says:

    I hated him as a person, lowest of the low but technically a very good championship striker.

  • Tony says:

    Very concerned about our supposed injuries ie Zigic, Murphy. Murphy has been with us close to 4 years and I cant remember him getting anywhere near a full season in, I dont think he or zigic are that concerned about getting back.
    We can go back to Carr he was out for an eternity, Im not saying they are swinging the lead but makes you think.

    • skareggae72 says:

      In all honesty i would have certain doubts on Zig,but the others are just simply injury prone,on another note,slightly off topic (sorry) but there are reports circulating in Somerset (i’m there now) that the recent Yeovil Blues cup game will face investigation for betting movements & potential match fixing,very worrying,whatever next? !.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I’ve thought the same myself over Murphy. One season played out of 4. I know the guy can’t help being injured… but it’s just another wage with little or no return. We’ve had far too many of those over the last couple of years.

  • DoctorD says:

    So King was earning 52 x £17k a week — that’s £884,000 a year for a guy with 14 criminal convictions and on the sex-offenders’ register. Now that’s criminal itself in my book.

    By the way, it’s £220,000 more a year than Pannu is on. Well played Pannu for clearing the fat off our books. Don’t like Pannu, but he knows how to squeeze the system. And well done to Lee Clark for not moaning about the situation. Top guy.

  • bluenoseneil says:

    General lack of faith seems to sustain some people on here, it’s quite amusing:

    (1) lack of faith in our team’s ability to create goals
    (2) lack of faith in our front line’s ability to finish
    (3) lack of faith in Lee Clark’s selection policy (why do you think he let Novak tap the ball in on Tuesday eh?!!!! CONFIDENCE!!!!)
    (4) lack of faith that putting the big salaried players back in is not the solution (Ziggy included)

    …I could go on but I won’t.

    I watch football because I enjoy it, and applaud the ability of ANY player who makes it at this level, above or below.

    Some people on here seem to live to run down any negative element of our club, team selections or performance and I wonder what would happen if that energy was channeled into attending games, giving wholehearted and vociferous support and wanting to win all the time no matter who is picked, how they are playing and what they think of individuals or the Manager, club and Chairman.

    Then again, I guess this blog wouldn’t exist in a certain form if that was the case.

    Sure as hell be a nicer place to visit though wouldn’t it???!!!


    • StaffsBlue says:

      I have every faith in Lee Clark, his coaching staff and all the players. No problems with them.

      I have no faith in the owners of the club. Simples.

      • bluenoseneil says:

        StaffsBlue its certainly challenging to have faith in them in the short term, but as an eternal optimist I guess I am programmed to hope for the best outcomes whatever!!

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Bluenose is my middle name….. Optimistic is my first. ;-)

          • StaffsBlue says:

            This should be nailed up on the wall: :-)

            God, give me grace to accept with serenity
            The things that cannot be changed,
            The courage to change the things which should be changed
            and the wisdom to distinguish one from the other.

      • Art Watson says:

        Staffs Blue!

        I have no faith in Clark-he’s unemployable at the moment hence his commitment to the club and his compensation payment( should he get sacked )and I’m sure he will under new owners!

        He is not the man to take our club forward and in my opinion never will be.

    • bcfc1975 says:

      I would have to agree with you mate.

    • mark says:

      Nicely put neil……

    • steve says:

      I buy my season ticket and i travel away.I,m not happy with anything at the club at the moment.Clark,players,formation or the owners.But i won’t bury my head in the sand like some people on here and keep spouting on about things are ok and i,m enjoying it.Things are not ok and i,m not enjoying it.I keep going because it,s my club,but don,t come on here slagging the so called doom and gloomers.I prefer to call us realists.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Marlon King on £17k p/w…. Zigic on at least 3 times that. Only one has been value for money.

    • bluenoseneil says:

      ….and it sadly ain’t the one that’s still here is it?! Let’s jhope we get the best outta Ziggy until he can sensibly depart eh?

      • StaffsBlue says:

        What do you reckon the chances of that are neil?

        • bluenoseneil says:

          The optimist says 10 goals if he’s fit, the pessimist says we will be lucky to get him playing more than 10 games to GET those goals….

          …but I tend not to listen to the pessimist!!! Lol.

          In truth, our system right now doesn’t suit Ziggy: balls on the floor and through balls to run onto. It means going back to Long Ball tactics for him to hold up play and be higher up the pitch. The way we passed it about on Tuesday (and in other games) would virtually have to be scrapped if that was the case.

          Tricky one….

          • StaffsBlue says:

            Well, ever since he’s been at the club, we’ve been told he’s not a traditional striker (too short I suppose) that he’s more a technical player, one who can control the ball well and lay it off.. and had a good scoring record. So, shouldn’t the team and tactics now be right up his street? Shouldn’t he thrive on being in a more passing team? As GS would say….. Hmmmm?

  • bluenoseneil says:

    …..hmmmmm maybe lol!!!

  • Tony says:

    Staffs is quite right, Zigic never was renowned for ability in the air, just because he 6-6 does not make him good with his head.
    He is a technical player good with his feet , finding space etc, laying it off. He may not have shown it much but most of his international goals have been on the floor.
    He gets a lot of stick, but you could say we have not played to his strenghs.

  • Tony says:

    Neil you have set me thinking, if the thought is Clark does not want to accomodate Zigic because he thinks it would mean a change in the way we play, I would hope he comes out ad admits it.
    Not put up another smoke screen as he did with King.

  • mark says:

    I must say clark did note he is missing ziggy maybe purely because he offers a little different to what we already have. Even if he does not score a great lots ( which he wont) might offer something different when he eventually fit……….hopefully his wife will want him out of hair fairly soon lol…….

  • Tony says:

    To be honest Staffs no I do not

    • StaffsBlue says:

      At least I’m not the only one. To be truthful, I gave up on Zigic after 2 seasons. I don’t think he’s improved at all in the time he’s been with us. So I think it’s unlikely he will now.

      But, if he manages to play 25-30 games, and gets double figures… I’ll be the first to say well done lad.

  • Tony says:

    Zigic and his agent are already looking around, To my mind he has been a big let down since he arrived. Im sure he tries his best but the hurly burly doesnt suit him, I know hes a big lad but hes not good with the physical stuff he seens to ge bullied a lot.
    For the money hes earned hes not been good value, I have defended him on the grounds of his pedigree but we have not had value for money.

  • Tony says:

    Quite right Staffs he entitled from Jan cant see many takers on that kind of money

  • Tony says:

    Dont know what it is but I get the overwhelming feeling of inpending doom,Dan sounds as if time is running out I just get the feeling it is .

  • brumbie says:

    Ziggy is not the answer to our problems we will see better football without him in the team. I have never rated him he is a poor mans Peter Crouch a complete waste of space and MONEY. We have no choice but to go down the cheap and nasty route free transfers loanees and youngsters. The vilers are building a talented young team by blooding quality youngsters and astute buys from the football league and abroad. We might not have the same quality but it is the way forward for clubs like us and may take us back to where we want to be in the years to come.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Zigic scared the s**t out of the opposition defence a couple of years back. He can do it again

  • AndyP says:

    Well said Jules,some people have short memories,he did as much as anyone to win us carling cup,played well for hughton remember 4 goals at Leeds,and got us out the s**t numerous times last season coming on for last 15 mins of games when all seemed lost.Its not his fault he’s injured and not his fault he’s on 55k per week.

    • TR7 says:

      Nikola Zigic , “The man who broke the bank at St Andrews”

      Admittedly not his own fault , but he’s been a disaster ( game for game ) some might say ( quite rightly ) that he’s not fit to lace the likes of King’s boots ( goals per game ) but whether it’s his fault or not we’ve now had to sell virtually EVERYBODY just to pay his wages !…

      I can’t think of a more catastrophic and long term damaging purchase ever , and we literally can’t even GIVE him away ………..

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I think that, come the summer, everyone at the club will breathe a huge sigh of relief.

      • Mac says:

        Totally agree!

        It’s not his fault that he’s been given a stupid contract. Ofcourse he’s going to take it and see it out, but it puts it into perspective when you read that no new player can be on more than £5k per week.
        Zigic £5k x11 = £55K he is costing us 11 new players. Not only is he not very good, he’s also always injured

  • Evesham blue says:

    Blame McCleish for that signing. He mortgaged us down the river. My personal feeling is it will be crunch time this January as we have already sold the Crown Jewels. He also signed Hleb on stupid money as well. We killed ourselves then taking on huge salaries

    I think we will go into admin if there is no change of ownership

    • steve says:

      McLeish had nothing to do with that signing.He was a so called gift from Carsen Yeung. Like most,i was chuffed when we signed Hleb and Barca still paid the majority of his wages. Still,don’t let the truth spoil a good story eh .

      • TR7 says:

        Ha Ha , yeah, the facts often cock up a good tale ….

        • almajir says:

          Apart from the fact we paid Hleb £64,000 per week…

          • Bluestaines says:

            That’s spot on. People forget that McLeish was responsible for spending far more money on players than any Blues manager ever has, and he still got us relegated. OK, so the board were responsible for no relegation clause in contracts but McLeish’s poor judgement (Hleb, Martins, Bentley etc and not picking Phillips.) and the ensuing relegation are a big reason we are where we are now.

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