Often Partisan

Tightening restrictions

The takeover of Doncaster Rovers by John Ryan and Louis Tomlinson of One Direction collapsed earlier this week in acrimony as their attempt at crowdfunding collapsed £1.25mil short of the £2mil target. Ryan has now angrily threatened to walk away from football completely, bitterly complaining that he has been “used and abused”.

One thing that seems to have raised Ryan’s ire has been his assertion that the Football League have insisted on him showing that he has evidence of £5million up front prior to him being allowed to complete the takeover – and that the FL have blocked him as they don’t believe he has the assets.

As a change to the fit and proper person test it’s pretty huge in that it effectively adds £5million (if that figure is assumed to be fixed and not a discretionary amount) to the price of any club and at first glance is something that should be welcomed as it would probably get rid of the worst of the chancers out there. It would ensure that any prospective new owner would have a fair bit of money that they could invest in the club (although it of course is no guarantee that they will actually invest it).

On the flip side, it’s a hammer blow to those who want to see more fan-led buyouts as it adds £5million to the amount fans would have to raise to complete a deal. I made that point on twitter to Supporters Direct (who are happy with the change in move as they wanted to see the takeover by John Ryan blocked) who conceded it was “an interesting point” but opined that debt levels in the Championship was prohibitive to a fans takeover anyway – which does make me wonder why they are making an effort to push for fan-led ownership if it’s that impossible for fans to buy clubs.

Is this a sign that the Football League are finally waking up to their responsibilities with respect to the proper ownership of football clubs and are actually going to enforce their own rules? It could be a first step although it seems a fairly easy one to circumvent; Carson Yeung could easily have demonstrated when he bought Blues that he had £5mil available to invest – what we wouldn’t have known was that it was either borrowed from Kingston Securities or worse would have been like the money that he did put into the club which came from unknown third parties without paperwork.

Having seen this farce played out over the last few weeks – Louis Tomlinson has now come out and said he was “misled” over the crowdfunding – it’s convinced me further that football below the bright lights of the Premier League really is suffering. There are so many stories of clubs with owners where the fans aren’t happy; of rocky takeovers and of clubs with sprialling debts I do wonder where it’s all going to go. In saying that, I’m not sure how easily things can be changed – nor am I certain that fan ownership would be the panacea that some proclaim it to be. I think there are some fundamental problems caused by the amount of money in the game and until that bubble pops, we’re going to have to deal with the issues that causes.

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137 Responses to “Tightening restrictions”

  • Agent McLeish says:

    The FL could start with enforcing their own regulations for existing owners i.e. the situation where a convict can run a club by proxy.

  • Chris W says:

    Interesting article but isn’t it a case of “after the horse has bolted”?
    The Supporters Direct are all for supporter buy-out and yet they are glad this particular supporter failed, are there underlying issues?
    The fact that the Football League are at last following their “Fit and Proper” policy has to be a good thing, but it isn’t going to help the sale of BCFC, more likely delay it even more.
    This ruling could see even more clubs go to the wall. Maybe the FA should start to distribute the money more evenly instead of the rich getting richer.
    KRO+DNM

  • Supporters Direct says:

    The truth is that it *is* very difficult to fans in the position that a Championship Trust occupies to purchase a club; that’s the reality. And the reason? Largely because debt levels are so high, but also because of other factors like tax and corporate structure. And the reason? Because regulation is so lax, and particularly was historically (debt levels building up over years and years). We wouldn’t ever suggest otherwise. And that does mean that takeovers are prohibitive; very, very difficult.

    The difference is that we think that means that you have to change the rules to a) stop the debt mounting up, b) redistribute more evenly and fairly (as Chris W makes a nod to) c) make it more tax efficient and attractive for takeovers by supporters’ trusts and d) make the regulations on transparency of ownership and operation far tighter.

    We’ve never, since the establishment of SD under Brian Lomax, claimed that supporters’ trusts are a panacea to the game’s ills; in fact we’ve said precisely the opposite, and in fact our view has strengthened in this respect over the years; trusts are actually hamstrung often by the rules and culture of the game, and we need to change those too. What we said yesterday in response to an issue about Doncaster Rovers was entirely consistent with that line.

    So no, what I’ve said doesn’t mean anything other than “This is the World as it is; this is the challenge we face.”

    And as for us ‘being happy that this particular supporter failed’; John Ryan was undertaking a private buyout of a football club which had nothing whatsoever to do with ‘fan buyouts’ as we undertake them.

    Thanks

    Kevin Rye
    Supporters Direct

  • Will Viles says:

    We just need to accept that unfortunately – like Portsmouth and Coventry – we are one of the horror stories of total mismanagement by foreign owners which has prompted the the tightening of restrictions.

    Whilst BIHL are not willing to sell for a sensible price, there’s not a lot the FA or FL can do to bring about a positive change in ownership . If they want to, it’s BIHL’s prerogative to run us into the ground and no one can stop them. Therefore, I don’t expect any help from the relevant associations.

    As a reactionary measure, the tightening of restrictions is a positive move which will hopefully prevent situations from ours occurring in the future.

    But that’s all it is. A tiny reactionary measure. As we all know, the dream is to create successful community owned clubs – run by fans, for fans. But we’re never going to see it. As long as the Premier League is making untold billions, clubs are filled with foreign players and foreign owners can screw genuine fans with exorbitant ticket prices – our national game is just fine (apparently).

    Germany has led the way with the 50+1 rule, they’ve got the best fan experience in world football and they’ve just won the World Cup with a generation of extremely talented young players.

    Sadly, from football to things as complex as industry & economics, we don’t have the weitblick or gemeinschaftsgeist in this country to be half as successful.

    • Chris W says:

      It needs someone to lead the way, supporters need to get control of their sport back along with their clubs.
      Ex players need to be more than ambassadors for their clubs they need to be in the boardroom running the clubs, wages need to be capped or financed by sponsors and not the clubs.
      Ticket prices need to made fairer so that every average supporter can afford to watch their heroes.
      When you sit down and analyse everything that is wrong with English football you realise you don’t need to be a wall street genius or a nuclear scientists to read the formula to run a successful club.
      As you say we lack the farsightedness and teamspirit to change, but you also need change at the very top of the infrastructure and unfortunately that will never happen as they are all feeding from the same trough.
      KRO+DNM

      • Will Viles says:

        Could it take a breakaway league structure – perhaps even a breakaway form of the game to instigate such change?

        Consider the same sort of divide as Rugby Union/Rugby League. Could it be that the Premier League can continue with a policy of unsustainability and profit in search of collecting the best players in the world like a sticker album – whilst concurrently football fans run a ‘Fair Football League’, independent of FIFA and the FA, which sets a wage cap, strict rules on ownership and as a product of such rules… affordable ticket prices?

        I think if every game were £5, St.Andrew’s and many other stadiums around the country would be full week in, week out, regardless of the quality of the football. Isn’t that the most important aspect of the beautiful game?

        What would be the barriers to success of such a league? Would existing Football League teams subscribe to it?

        • Chris W says:

          It would take a monumental push to change and you would need at least 50% of league clubs to stand behind any change.
          The simplest way is for all clubs to agree a wage cap voluntary and every club sticks by it, then you need a transfer embargo, again with a set maximum fee and no agents fees. Minimise the number of foreign players allowed in a matchday 18 to 3, 2 playing and one on the bench warming.
          Follow that up with a one price agreed admission for all games, none of this categorising fixtures.
          I would look at a minimum 50% reduction in all season tickets and matchday pricing.
          Unfortunately, as I said, they are all being fed from the same trough and the supporters don’t even come a close second, even football struggles.
          KRO+DNM

          • RichardM says:

            Problem Chris is that under EU law, I don’t think you can legaly minimise the number of non-English / British players….might be wrong there, and happy to be corrected if that’s the case.

          • Chris W says:

            I’ll have to look into how Germany have got round that, they are an EU country.
            but effectively you are not stopping players coming to play in England, just minimising the numbers.
            KRO+DNM

        • RichardM says:

          Good point will, and I’ve been touting this idea for a while now – the only way I see it is for the 86 clubs who are now effectively shut-out from the big guns and there just to make up the numbers is to say enough is enough, screw the Premier League, we’re setting up on our own.
          Alternatively, wait for the big 4-6 to shoot themselves in the foot and walk out themselves to set up their own European “Super League” (which is what they want anyway) – with the understanding that once they leave the English system that’s it – no way back. Maybe replace them with Rangers and Celtic. Still, would be a very brave thing, but not impossible. The key would be the Evertons, Newcastles, Spurs and Villa – would they back the breakaway league or suck up to the big guns?

          • Chris W says:

            The concept is a good idea, but the clubs are afraid of change. The hierarchy that run the game would not allow it as their cash cow would dry up.
            KRO+DNM

        • dave mann says:

          will, weve done £5 tickets and kids for a quid and still haven’t been anywnere near filling st. Andrews, so called blues fans have just got bored of the quality end off…..go to away games because that is a totally different avenue, the support there is second to none, KRO.

    • Tony says:

      This is the crux of the matter, just why are Germany so successful not just in Football but in all walks of life?.There must be something deep inside our psycho that prevents us competing, how on earth did we ever win the war?.

      • Chris W says:

        They are prepared to work hard at what they do, and don’t oppose change and they haven’t got the red tape and bureaucracy that we have.
        Since the wall came down they been unified and that is the difference to the UK.
        KRO+DNM

        • Dan H says:

          Germany, much like Japan had to start again after WWII, which resulted in many aspects of their culture going back to the drawing board. In recent years both Germany and Japan have become market leaders in industry and their culture is to focus on people and work force. They are world class in several areas including football, stadia, marketing as it is focused on the fans and not corporations such as Sky.

          • Chris W says:

            One of the reasons the football clubs are viable is they are not allowed to go into debt, they also limit foreign players and have an emphasis on home grown players, this followed their dismal showing in 2000 European championship, Looks like it has paid off and they will be dominating for a few years to come.
            KRO+DNM

          • Tony says:

            Yes I can see that

      • AussieBlue says:

        “…how on earth did we ever win the war?.” Tony…Primarily a New Zealander in charge of Fighter Command (Keith Park) and the Australian Lancaster crews of Bomber Command!

  • BlueNose1812 says:

    The only way forward is the NFL franchise system. It will happen because that is the only way that the crooks and shysters can be excluded whilst still maintaining a competative league. Real supporters in the Jack Walker mould will come to the fore again.

    • Chris W says:

      Under the American franchise system you would end promotion and relegation, thus ending the supporters dream and the exciting end of season play-offs.
      If a team or club were losing money they could move. Say, Wigan FC, Build new stadium in Glasgow and call themselves Glasgow United. Wigan supporters lose their pride and joy as they cannot start a new club, they have to wait for another club to decide Wigan is a better prospect to build a new stadium and take their club to the new home.
      The good bits from the NFL franchise is that all clubs share all the moneys equally, all players are paid a set rate for their relevant positions, i.e a linebacker gets $13 per year, so all Robbo’s would get the same money whether playing for BCFC, Man U or lowly Accrington Stanley.
      In principal it could work, but like in America, you will get players striking, this year I believe it is the turn of the basketball leagues over wages and the distribution.
      I’m more for looking at the German Bundesliga set up and the 50+1 system.
      KRO+DNM

      • Raymondo says:

        Hi Chris. how does this 50 + 1 sytem work then?

        • Chris W says:

          Basically the clubs are owned by the supporters in the form of an association, though no one can have overall control hence the 50+1 rule, they have to be self sufficient and have no debts.
          They can offset income with investors but again they are only allowed a percentage.
          I am not a financial whizz so don’t understand all the legal ins and outs.
          Hope that helps?
          KRO+DNM

  • williammorgan says:

    If their is one bidder then this ruling is a waste of time and can only put more clubs into admin , few wealthy people have £5 million in cash

  • williammorgan says:

    And with the cuts in police forces if the Mansfield brum game is anything to go by clubs will be going into admin at the price of police costs,…I think clubs will have to use their own vou!enteer. police enforcement at in ground level

    • Staffs Blue says:

      Not sure it’s legal, but a decent idea at least.

      • Chris W says:

        Just be another name for a football hooligan and would see the increase in football violence again.
        I’m not convinced that it was a legitimate reason claiming a risk of trouble, we have no history with Mansfield, W3,L3,D2 so pretty evenly matched on the pitch, the last three games came in 1991 when we beat them on our way to glory at Wembley v Tranmere
        KRO+DNM

        • Staffs Blue says:

          I was reading the Mansfield forums and even they were clueless about why. None of the Mansfield fans had heard any rumblings of trouble, not even on Twitter, etc. So it seems that only the coppers knew of this ‘trouble.”

          • Chris W says:

            I got neighbours who are mansfield supporters and they found out the same time I did, I have a relative who is a Nottingham PC and she hasn’t heard as to any rumblings.
            She does cover Notts County and Forest games.
            All a mystery….
            KRO+DNM

  • mark says:

    In my lifetime never thought I see someone on 300,000 a week but it happening , who will be on million week messi ???

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Emyr Huws is going to spend 6 months on loan at Wigan!

  • williammorgan says:

    Personally I think chairmen of c!ubs should be qualified people or very experienced people also …but should have no shares and no money in the club but be footballing people through and through …I think this will stop some of the gamblers

  • Gary says:

    I’ve been away for two weeks and was hoping for some good news concerning the sale of blues but disappointed that nothing has happened at all what happened to these people that were close to buying blues have they suddenly disappeared or was it all total rubbish from the start. I don’t think these people have any intentions of selling blues I think they just want people to put money into the club in the hope that we get promotion so they can get their hands on the big money again.

    • tmsblues says:

      Yep gamblers forever ! If by some remarkable turn of events we get in the promotion hunt they will never sell after all they’d be managing on one of the lowest budgets in the league and making money as the missing thousands would be turning up and paying at the turnstiles. The other side to the gamble is the side fails, plays dire home football(again), the crowds subside, LC can’t be moved on and by Jan the team looks destined for relegation. Then BIH are forced to sell while they still can. It is difficult to know for which to wish!

      • Staffs Blue says:

        I was always staunchly against admin.. but over the last 6 months, I’ve begun to wonder whether it would be the best for everyone all round (except BIHL of course, but it would be no less than they deserve.)

        • Chris W says:

          I believe that Administration can only be called in if the clubs debts are not paid or if the payers cannot be paid.
          Then one, usually the tax man will call in the an administrator, not sure if you can go into administration voluntarily.
          If stories are true then BIHL have the funds in place to see out the current season.
          KRO+DNM

          • tmsblues says:

            Their funding will no doubt be based on a forecast revenue stream through the season. If the team fails and revenues drop considerably below forecast then would they have a plan B ? They didn’t last time relegation loomed?

          • Chris W says:

            Not sure you can forecast anything with Blues, supporters had there chance to starve them out but it would appear that season tickets have gone better than expected, though no one seems to have any figures yet.
            That was from a comment of someone at Blues the other day.
            KRO+DNM

          • tmsblues says:

            Have a look at the gaps on ticketmaster come the first match !

          • Chris W says:

            Not always accurate, where I sit there are 16 s/tickets holders last week they were all up for sale yet all season tickets have had been renewed almost immediately. they seem to change daily.
            KRO+DNM

          • tmsblues says:

            And to what might we put this ‘better than expected’ season ticket sale result down to? Excitement at the signing of a new team from the lower divisions or the timely announcement that a sale was in process? Mmmm? Even then I’d be shocked if sales are on par with last season. Not sure we will be told the truth before the season starts, after all, the owners are in the business of hyping the situation and are unlikely to say support is down before we start!

          • Chris W says:

            Early figures showed S/T sales to be on par with same period as last season. If that is the case you can say around 8,000 have been sold.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            If you read around the forums, there’s a lot of disagreement about numbers. The main bone of contention seems to be about free tickets for under 11s… and whether they are counted in the 8,000+ or not.

          • Chris W says:

            As was pointed out in an earlier comment, BIHL are unlikely to state that ST sales are low, we know from experience they make figures suite their needs, ask the auditors.
            KRO+DNM

        • tmsblues says:

          Problem is Staffs that the team has to fail and relegation beckon to bring this scenario into play.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I’m not saying I think it will happen tms, just that it would probably be the best option as things stand…. which is still. If it’s the only way of getting shot of BIHL.. how many would be against it?

          • tmsblues says:

            I think it may be the best option but we then have to accept a failing of the team we’d all prefer to see win! Its a dilemma for supporters who want to see the back of BIHL.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Talk about a rock and a hard place!

  • bluenoserob says:

    is this an improvement of the FLs previous strategy of putting its fingers in its ears and shouting la la la ?

  • bluenoserob says:

    or the one before of that of finding some sand , digging a shallow hole and sticking its collective head in as far as it will go.

  • Geoff S says:

    This is just to give a shout for Blues U-21s who have just handed their Wigan counterparts a 5-0 tanking. Good for the young lads!

    • Staffs Blue says:

      I wonder if the trialist who scored the 5th was Denny Johnstone?

      I would think Demarai Gray is nailed on for the first team squad this season. He’s had a cracking pre-season so far.

      • Chris W says:

        Been impressed with the way Koby has gone about his pre season too considering he has been given a squad number this time.
        There were two trialist involved so it is possible Denny could be one of them.
        KRO+DNM

        • Staffs Blue says:

          For me, the most important thing is the freshness of the squad. It seemed that last season, a lot of players were just going through the motions… maybe that was partly to do with a lot of contracts coming to the end, or maybe players had become stale and needed a fresh start. This season, with all the new players, we’ll all be getting to know each other as the season progresses. I’m looking forward to it.

          • dave mann says:

            cant wait staffs, 3000 going to Kidderminster Saturday and I along with the misses and nipper will be there also but the real deal is middlesbro on the 9th, were sell out no dought and the atmosphere will be brilliant, far better than at st. Andrews ime sorry to say where were struggle to get over 10,000 for Cambridge, 15,000 for brighton and the same for Ipswich and ime pretty good at predicting attendances but looking forward to it all the same except for the morons who come down now and again and slag the team and manager off…total idiots who don’t know the meaning of reality. KRO.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            There were a couple of guys about 6 or 7 rows in front of me at the Blackburn game. All they did from the start was stand up and slag off Lee Clark and the players constantly. Then, as soon as Blackburn’s 3rd goal went in… him and his mates got up and left. After 25 minutes FGS! I know it was a poor performance, but it doesn’t help when that’s all some people go for.

          • Chris W says:

            The Blackburn game was really dire, on par with Barnsley the season before.
            There are 9 or 10 where I sit and collectively we have a fair years of devoted service, so we feel we have the right to moan and groan, we all stuck it out to the end, at least we saw Zig’s final goal at St Ans and Demarai’s debut goal for the first team, just a couple of positives from a very bad Easter Monday.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            To be honest… I don’t think the Blackburn game was anywhere near as bad as Barnsley. Against Barnsley, the whole team seemed to give up from when the first goal went in. It’s the worse Blues performance I’ve ever seen.

            Against Blackburn, obviously they had better players in crucial positions… but the main difference was Rudy Gestede. He was unplayable in the air (similar to Matt Smith in the next game.) Blackburn didn’t score again after Gestede went off.

          • Chris W says:

            Heads dropped last season far too often, especially after the first goal except away from home, the first goal seemed to give them a kick., even at Middlesbrough we still had a chance and kept trying, which left us vulnerable to our cost even against 9 men.
            We have to stop conceding so soon after the first goal, hopefully we will stop conceding full stop.
            Our downfall last season seems to have been put right with the added height.
            KRO+DNM

          • Steve says:

            Wasnt the blackburn game the one he played everybody out of position? That was Clarks worst performance since he arrived here.

          • Chris W says:

            Certainly his worst selection, Barnsley at home as pretty dire, as was Blackburns. Hopefully they can be banished to history this season and we can all have something to shout about.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Absolutely agree. Although, I still think Gestede was the difference. Thorpe, Blackett and Packwood just couldn’t cope with him. We were better second half… but we couldn’t really have got any worse.

          • Chris W says:

            Can’t make Kidders but looking forward to seeing the lads in action at Notts County Tuesday.
            Agree with the Middlesbrough game, a decent following despite the distance, had a good night up there last season despite the result, Huw’s screamer made the trip well worthwhile. I think a decent crowd for Cambridge as it will be the first chance some to see the new lads before Brighton, which out of coincidence we played the same Saturday last season, just hope for the opposite result
            KRO+DNM

          • Chris W says:

            I think that is what is making this season so anticipated, all the dead wood has now gone, hopefully.
            Those that are left who thought they were certain to play have to compete with the new boys which only makes the team hungrier to succeed, they know that a poor performance will lead to them sitting on the bench or worse.
            Lets hope for some decent early results to settle nerves and build confidence.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            That’s exactly what Mitch Hancox was saying in the BM today… that a poor performance can lead to you being benched or dropped. There’s competition for every place this season.

          • Chris W says:

            Something we have lacked for the last couple of seasons so it has to be healthy for the club and LC to have a different headache. The ball is firmly in his court now and very few excuses.
            KRO+DNM

  • Staffs Blue says:

    Darren Ambrose played for Colchester United against his old club Ipswich in a pre-season friendly on Wednesday.

    • Staffs Blue says:

      Scott Allan has left West Brom and signed a 2 year deal with Hibernian. He might just find his level up there.

      • Chris W says:

        Hope he has changed his attitude, they won’t stand for it up there.
        KRO+DNM

        • Staffs Blue says:

          He’s back home now, so let’s hope he puts his past troubles behind him and goes on to show the skills we know he has and makes a good career for himself.

          • Chris W says:

            I suppose it could have been just homesickness problems. I know how difficult it can be to settle and be accepted in a new area, though I should think footballers are a pretty close knit community these days.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            It’s strange that his career hasn’t really taken off by now. He definitely has the skills, he showed that at Pompey, so it must be down to attitude… because Albion certainly didn’t want him back.

          • Chris W says:

            He only played 15 games at Portsmouth before going to MK Dons and back to Portsmouth.
            Portsmouth were in dire straights 2012 for players so took anyone who wanted to play regardless of ability.
            I don’t think ability came into it.
            I wish the guy well, not sure what went belly up at Blues, but it must have been monumental to earn almost a complete season frozen out like he was.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            He actually played well for Pompey, they just couldn’t afford to take him on with their financial predicament. I remember him being man of the match against us. Was it 2 goals he scored? Can’t remember now.

          • Chris W says:

            He played when they beat us 4-1 at there place, I think he set up two, Ziggy scored very early but we went awol in the second half.
            KRO+DNM

      • dave mann says:

        suppriseing really cuz he scored 2 goals on his debut for us in the cup last season and looked absolute quality….just shows you that we don’t always get it right and sounds like he needs to sort out is attitude. KRO.

  • Staffs Blue says:

    Oh dear. Derby chased Albion’s George Thorne all summer and finally got him. Now he’s out for up to 9 months with cruciate ligament damage. What a shame for the lad.

    • Chris W says:

      Always a shame when that happens to any player, we had two last season when we lost both Matt Green and Neal Eardley early with season long injuries.
      KRO+DNM

      • Staffs Blue says:

        But, on the bright side… we effectively have 2 new signings. :)

        • Chris W says:

          True, was impressed with what I saw of Matt Green, given he had moved up two divisions and I think working with Donaldson and Thomas will see him progress nicely.
          Neal Eardley didn’t have that many games so is an unknown entity to us, though he did pretty well at blackpool.

          KRO+DNM

  • Staffs Blue says:

    Tom Adeyemi made vice-captain for this season.

    • mark says:

      This is a clever move by Clark IMO staffs.

      • dave mann says:

        which means that he will be THE captain on the pitch if robbo don’t play which should result in him captaining blues quite often if the team and new players all gel and robbo don’t get picked so good luck to him. KRO.

        • mark says:

          From what I seen of him dave playing he definitely got all the skills to take the next step in his career. With making him vice-captain hopefully keeps the turning head away eg Cardiff and others..his next progression would be premier league but hopefully that’s with us Dave lol

          • dave mann says:

            were get there one day mark and making adeyemi vice captain might just be the job for him….it just amazes me where 15,000 ” blues fans” come from when that time comes….from 13,000 to 28,000 just like majic. LOL. KRO.

          • mark says:

            i can only agree with you Dave kidders match is something special obviously because i have friends from their club…
            if we get close on 2500 for this game, fans are starting to vote in a positive way imo getting behind the team and clark.
            Also extremely happy that 8,000 and possibly more are continuing to renew st…..minus a few who thought disaster was upon us start eating some humble pie…here’s to a great season Dave :)

          • dave mann says:

            these are the “real fans” mark like us who go to away games even though there friendlies, create a great atmosphere and do the club proud, we renew our season ticket because of our love for blues and not stay away because of our hatred to the owners… we stand proud and honoured to be bluenoses and thats the way were made and damn the rest…as for a great season? i bloody hope so mark. KRO.

          • Steve says:

            Load of shoite. I have a ST and go away.My mate can’t afford to go to away games.So he’s not a real fan ? Rubbish.

          • dave mann says:

            maybe a fan but not a supporter..sorry steve my opinion. KRO.

          • Steve says:

            His st money helps the club more than us going to away games. That makes him a supporter. Good job really other wise the club would be in trouble. Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

          • dave mann says:

            steve, if hes a season ticket holder then hes a supporter because hes putting is money and support in to the club…..i think we might have our wires crossed here mate, if not then i appologise…..i was just making the point about those who are die hard and those that can only make certain games due to finance or spare time. KRO. LOL.

          • Chris W says:

            I think that is a bit unfair Dave.
            I was one who said if you want to hit the current owners and BIHL where it hurts the only way as supporters is by money up front, i.e ST sales.
            A bit like those who call for a boycott of games, it was never going to happen. I have watched BCFC since the very early sixties and attended as many matches as I can in that time despite living in various parts of the country and had a season ticket for a lot of years on and off, (depending on my location and practicality)
            Crowds as low of 5/6 thousands were the real fans, those who have stuck through thick and thin are true supporters. Those who do things to try and make the matchday experience better are true supporters.
            I couldn’t be at Kidders yesterday as I attended the supporters summit at Wembley, does that make me a lesser supporter?
            I shall be at Nottingham Tuesday and Cali Saturday. I don’t live in Birmingham but didn’t miss a home game last season.
            KRO+DNM

          • dave mann says:

            i did not mention ” lesser supporter ” i mentioned ” real fans”
            my argument is that if you dont go you dont support which means your not a supporter, a fan maybe but respect to you Chris cuzyou are both like me and what you says right we cant get to all games and that does not make you less a supporter than anybody else. KRO

          • Chris W says:

            Fair point Dave
            I obviously misinterpreted your words.
            I agree that if you don’t go you cannot complain.
            Obviously with work commitments and shift patterns in the modern it is becoming increasingly difficult for some to get to every game.
            KRO+DNM

          • Steve says:

            28,000?.We didn’t sell that many in the prem once the novelty had worn off.

    • Steve says:

      Not so sure about that tbh. Missed a few games through injury and he’s inexperienced.If Robbo isn’t first choice next season i think one of the more experienced players should step up.

      • Staffs Blue says:

        I would have given it to either Edgar or Caddis personally. It might just be a carrott to keep him at the club, with others sniffing around.

        • mark says:

          One of them could be on standby going on robbo record last season, it rather refreshing though a young player given the opportunity….not sure why clark spoke to the board regarding the matter. Maybe Clark told them he does not want him leaving? Hey staffs

          • Staffs Blue says:

            You could be right. I can’t think of another reason why the board should be involved.

          • Steve says:

            I can’t see giving him the vice captaincy would stop him wanting to go to another club that has a better chance of reaching the prem.And probably more money.

    • Chris W says:

      I would have thought Caddis a better candidate, but maybe he might not be involved as much which will be disappointing.
      KRO+DNM

  • Staffs Blue says:

    Ex-Blues academy striker Reece Hales will be in the Kiddy squad tomorrow. Also, the Harriers have signed Jake Green… younger brother of Matt Green.

    • Staffs Blue says:

      …and Koby Arthur has joined Cheltenham Town until 3rd January..

      • mark says:

        This will be a good experience for koby , brown and gray appeared to have got in front of him, so he need to dig further unless where are any injuries in the meantime……..I am sure there a early call back staffs lol

        • Staffs Blue says:

          It’s something that all young players need… experience of regular competitive league football. Doesn’t matter if it’s League 1 or 2, it’s still better than development football.

      • mark says:

        Staffs gathered there agreement between the clubs for him to still play in our u21…..

      • Chris W says:

        This will help him tremendously, I imagine we have a recall clause though he has dropped down the pecking order somewhat.
        It is a win/win all round so good luck to him.
        KRO+DNM

        • Staffs Blue says:

          All the people in the game reckon that development football isn’t really that competitive, because the score isn’t the be-all-and-end-all. I think that’s why a lot of the younger players come in and find it difficult to maintain any consistency. Even League 1 & 2 football will do them a lot of good for that reason alone.

          • Chris W says:

            There are a lot of differing opinions to academy and above levels of football and the reasons to farming out players for experience.
            You are of the era of combination, intermediate and reserve team football. How many games did you go to when blues were playing away to watch the reserves, or travel to Elmdon to watch the intermediate (youth team)?
            These games don’t get the support as away games are more accessible.KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I saw many football combination games back in the day. You’d get a lot of the London teams as well, so you’d often see big stars, some of them coming back from injury etc. I also used to watch some Central League games too, Albion and Villa. I could never understand why we weren’t in the Central League too.

          • Chris W says:

            Got the chance to see many top players, as you say they were usually getting some match fitness following injury. Use to go to Elmdon Saturday morning (I lived in Sheldon then) and watched the intermediate games. I would cycle to my aunts in Tilton road and go to the match there either first team or reserves.
            I never worked out why we not in the central league either, I putt it down to being better than them… :-)
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Yeah, we mingled with the big clubs… not the has-beens. :-)

          • Staffs Blue says:

            One moment from reserve team games I remember most, was strangely at Villa Park. The ball was lofted over the Villa keeper and was dropping towards goal. Peter Broadbent, who didn’t quite have the legs to get back to the line, launched himself and cleared the ball from from under the bar with a perfect bicycle kick – not today’s inferior over-the-shoulder variety, but a proper genuine whole-body-off-the-ground type. It amazed me because he was about 36, at the end of his career and playing in a reserve match. Class player.

          • Steve says:

            Wasn’t it something to do with what division the first team played in ? Division 1 teams were in the Central and Div 2 in the combination.

          • Chris W says:

            Can’t ever remember us being in the Central league even when we were in the old first division, but you could be right with the reasoning if we were in the old 2nd division when we first applied.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Maybe that came in to the equation at one point, I’m not sure. Were we the only Birmingham/Midland side in the FC? I’m sure all the others were in the CL. I could be wrong though.

          • Steve says:

            I used to go to the reserve games when they played them on Wednesday afternoons.We used to wag school and go and be ballboys in the empty stands. Then we had to go to the main gates when the first team played and we were let in for free.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            We’ll never see those days again Steve, sadly. I think those are the kinds of things that endeared young kids to their clubs. These days, it’s all about the money.

          • Steve says:

            Unfortunately,the headmasters slipper became endeared to my backside because of BCFC.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            There was hardly a week went by that my ‘arris didn’t become acquainted with the slipper…. or the cane… or the rope… and even half a hoola hoop on one occasion. :-D

          • Chris W says:

            Wonder if we can claim compensation, some teachers got a kick out of it. I had one teacher smack me round the head with a piece of 2×2 in woodwork because I knocked saw on the floor.
            Got him back in a football match after I left, we played against the education and he was up front, a corner came over and I only saw one thing, his head, probably the best punch I ever made in 40 years of goalkeeping.
            He did buy me a pint afterwards so fairplay.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Haha! Nice one. Compensation? Nah, we classed it as sport, Us v Them. We got caught now and then, but, you knew the consequences, so if you were sprung, you didn’t go bleating about it. (they’d probably sue today, or call Childline.) Plus, all your mates were usually waiting outside the headmaster’s office, so you daren’t show as much as a tear in the corner of your eye. lol

          • Chris W says:

            If they had an Operation style yewtree there would be a fair few teachers and headmasters turning in their graves from our day.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            We had a couple.. one was a reverend too lol. We found it funny more than anything else.

          • Chris W says:

            That was how supporters could associate with the players. The players had time for the kids, always chatting. I remember taking trips to Elmdon, the kids had a questions and answer setting, then some coaching before going to the ground and having a tour, couldn’t call it a stadium in those days.
            KRO+DNM

    • mark says:

      Always feel for ex-players he will want to prove a point good luck to him

  • Geoff S says:

    Anybody have any thoughts on the following piece of news I have just seen on BBC Text?

    “Exeter City chairman Edward Chorlton has stepped down with immediate effect ahead of a no-confidence vote from the club’s Supporters’ Trust”.

    I wonder if anybody from Blues Trust or the BCFC board has seen this news yet?

    • mark says:

      Carson already stepped down whats your point! Blh are a bigger entity than just one man even if the strings are pulled lol

      • Geoff S says:

        Stick to happy clapping, Mark.

        • Steve says:

          Geoff,this is a bloke thats votes up his own comments.Says it all really.

          • mark says:

            I would vote yours but there to negative for me mate lol

          • Geoff S says:

            Interesting point, Steve. I was trying to raise the issue of whether Blues Trust had seen the Exeter stuff but I ‘m not sure Mark got the point.

          • Chris W says:

            The difference with the Exeter situation is that the Exeter Supporters Trust are the major shareholders in the club, if I am correct Carson Yeung is still the Major shareholder with the rest allocated to BIHL, supporters own around 1 or 2%.
            KRO+DNM

  • Art says:

    Not sure as to why he has stepped down but if it’s as a result of a no confidence vote he’s obviously a man of great integrity which is more than I can say about PP and his bunch of cronies.


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