Often Partisan

An Open Letter to the Birmingham Mail

On Saturday Birmingham City capitulated to their worst ever home defeat. With that in mind, I have thought long and hard about how best we could make our voices heard as Blues fans. The Blues Trust are holding an open meeting on Tuesday to get fans together to come up with a consensus and a plan of attack; with this in mind I thought that I should do the only thing I’m good at – writing my blog.

This is a direct letter to the Birmingham Mail’s new football editor Keith Perry. I’ve emailed it to him as well as posted it here.

Dear Keith

It can’t have been the easiest of first weeks as the new “football editor” at the Birmingham Mail. There’s been lots of reorganisation at Fort Dunlop and I know that the Mail is trying to embrace the new digital age – to have Blues sack their manager and lose 8-0 in the first week must have had you in knots looking how best to cover it.

The fact is Keith, the Mail’s coverage of sport of late has been poor. I know you guys are understaffed, underfunded by your parent company and perpetually laden with performance targets. I can imagine that isn’t fun at all. However, as the city’s only local daily newspaper you have a journalistic responsibility to the city’s name that is carried on your masthead.

That responsibility isn’t about engaging fans to send in pictures of their dogs or their tattoos. Right now there is a crisis happening in B9; a club in turmoil, racked by a lack of investment on the pitch and civil war at board level. No one knows who owns the club, no one knows for sure who’s running it and unfortunately no one knows how the situation will get better. I know the newspaper has run some front page stories about the club – I’ve been involved in a few myself – but there has never been an attempt by the Mail to really put pressure on the BIH regime, or for that matter the Football League.

Colin Tattum does a sterling job reporting on the football side of things but he’s a sports reporter – investigation isn’t part of his remit really. Of late, the Mail’s attempts at investigation have been either to call me and ask me what I think – and I have to say, some of the questions I have been asked of late show a woeful lack of even a basic understanding of the club or the situation it’s in – or worse still, using my twitter timeline or what I’ve posted here to underpin an article. I’m just a fan writing a website but apparently because I know how to look for public domain stuff and I’ve tried to understand things I’m an expert.

Keith, it’s not good enough. You don’t have to look hard on social media or on football messageboards to see how the Birmingham Mail is slagged off for it’s lack of coverage of what is happening – or worse, it’s lack of taking a lead. Other local newspapers – such as the Liverpool Echo or the Newcastle Chronicle – have regularly taken up the cudgels for their city’s football fans, asking tough questions and helping to spearhead campaigns. The time has come for the Birmingham Mail to do the same.

On Tuesday night, at 7pm at the Royal George various fans will be gathering to put together a set of ideas to do something about the situation. If you’ve got any guts you’ll send a reporter along to listen at least and report on it to a wider audience; if you really want to make an impression as an editor you’ll send someone along empowered enough to offer to help.

I’m doing what I can to try and get fans to attend and to offer any information I can find for people to make up their own minds – to help them understand the situation and come to an informed conclusion. I sincerely hope the Birmingham Mail can take a stand and join in – because if you keep chasing those tattoo and dog photos you’ll lose us all eventually.

Yours sincerely,

almajir,
owner, editor and author of often partisan

Talking Points sponsored by John Hicken Industrial roofing and cladding materials

153 Responses to “An Open Letter to the Birmingham Mail”

  • Ron J says:

    I fully support you and hope the Mail for once supports the Blues in their hour of crisis and takes on board your thoughts.

  • Bluenosejohn says:

    It’s been sad to see the decline of the local press over the years and the Mail has got thinner and thinner and what is left is spaced out to make it look more . If you think Blues’ coverage has got worse you should see the other sports! Unless you support one of Blues, Albion or the Vile they are not interested. The last straw was getting rid of the excellent cricket correspondent at the end of this season at which point I ceased buying it. General news coverage has gone the same way.

  • Art says:

    A great initiative Dan and it will be interesting to see if anyone from BM attends.

    Reading through the local blogs and forums it would appear the thrashing on Saturday has stirred many people into action so let’s hope Tuesday’s meeting will useful.

    One thing concerns me -not a single comment from the new PP about the result-no change here then.

  • zootthesax says:

    Tuesday night, at 7pm at the Royal George
    Everyone should be there in support but not swamp the guy (if he/you turn up) but we need this type of positive action.

    It sounds ridiculous but reckon Crosby ‘allowed’ it to happen as payback for clark getting sacked. He shouldn’t be anywhere near the club this morning.

    We need BIH out and any action is right.

  • Bluenosedownunder says:

    Are television news & current affairs shows also aware of this meeting – will they be there?
    KRO

    • Chas says:

      BBC Midlands Today announced this morning that the Chairman of The Blues Trust will be appearing on Midlands Today at 6.30 . Wasn’t mentioned how much time they would allocate to him tho.

  • ThaiBlue says:

    Local newspapers have suffered most in the last 10 years in the digital world of news on demand. The Mail have not covered themselves in glory in covering Blues in general and most of us know why. I agree with your comments that as our local newspaper they should be involved more in their readers concerns over the City’s club. I only hope your letter hits home. Come on the Mail back YOUR readers.This is not a one club City!

  • raymondo says:

    I think what the Mail has suffered from most of all is being owned by the Daily Mirror, “Trinity Newspapers” as it calls itself. The Sports Argus (and the Blue Mail on a Saturday) were known by football fans for their full and interesting contenet, one belonging to the “Evening Despatc” and the other to the “Birmingham Mail”. We have none of that any more. .Dan is right about the city’s one and only newspaper standing up for our team and not just waffling on about “claret and blue lights” on the new library at Christmas.

    • danny davis says:

      very true great comments the pink and the blue was the highlite of saturday evening when we were kids KRO

      • ThaiBlue says:

        Yes I had my paper round in Stirchley, full of Mails. then on Saturday after the game I had my own Pink round in Newlands Road. Happy days!

  • Retired&Weary says:

    Excellent letter. I wonder if a similar letter should be sent to national newspapers, Radio WM, Sky News, etc.

  • Mickey07 says:

    Fantastic article dan,still no word from panos pavlakis how long do we give him before he scuttles back off to Hong Kong like he other money grabbing leech pannu.

  • mez says:

    Hi Dan

    Thank you again for an excellent article and your continued stance against what can only described as a crime against local culture and football as a whole. I am not regular contributor to your blog but an avid reader none the less. I do feel that I would like to make a contribution now as I feel we all have a responsibility to make a stand to protect what is part my families cultural identity “being a blue nose” With the up and coming meeting supported by the trust I would like to put a thought out there-lets think a little bigger than just the pain we are felling and get to the root cause. Birmingham City and our current situation is just symptom of what is wrong with football at present with the true disease affecting clubs such as Leeds, Portsmouth and Cardiff to name a few. The Government, Football Leagues and FA need to be made accountable but to do this the message must be heard. So how is the 60 million dollar question-I suggest we start lobbying the supporters of the clubs mentioned and then utilising national media by articles or advertisements (I suggest people read todays Mail) and ask football supporters around the country to stand up for one or two minutes on the 12th minute (because the supporters are supposedly the 12th man) and chant “England “ until this issue fully recognised. We need to send the message around the world that English football needs to be respected not raped-I am a person who always believes in positive assumptions and truly believe all football fans will support a common goal to rid our game of the likes of Yeung & Cellino because who knows they maybe next-don’t ask them to support individual clubs but ask them to support the game…..

  • Mrs Crosby says:

    How long can BIHL keep solvent and trading if they are 95% BCFC and we are losing money and racking up debts? I can’t get my head round why they seemingly can’t they go bankrupt and be forced to sell us off as an asset?

  • paul maddax says:

    As a Coventry City supporter, I fully know what you Blues fans are going through, we ourselves as fans have been mistreated by our board and local council. I just hope that you (BCFC) and your loyal fans do not have to go through the process which we here at Coventry had to.

    The local rivalry between our teams is and always has been fantastic, speaking for myself I do not wish football fans to endure what we had to.

    With that may I wish you all the very best of luck in surviving this crisis.

    Regards
    Paul Maddax a Coventry City fan & football supporter, we the fans will always be here lets hope our teams are also.

  • Agent McLeish says:

    At last a high profile person (and you are Dan) sticks their head above the parapet and publicly asks why the local media has done nothing to investigate the idiots who own our club. In any other region this would be journalistic gold-dust with many avenues if investigation going back to the start of the BIHL tenure.
    The Birmingham Mail has failed in its remit as a local newspaper to investigate. This is not just local news but national as it affects all clubs who could potentially suffer the same fate with similar owners. Only media such a the Birmingham Mail can apply the required pressure on the Football League to apply their own rules and on politicians such as the Sports Minister to investigate the chancers we have as owners.

    • Oldbluenose says:

      Agent;, Well said matey, Daniel has the spunk to be open with his criticisms, Let us hope that they take up the cudgels, [ I doubt it though ].

  • MAC says:

    Dan,
    It seems that the problem with the sale of the club is how the deal is structured. BIH want to sell, but can’t because they will lose their HK listing.
    I was thinking how this could be avoided and have come up with this. Why doesn’t the purchaser buy a Chinese company for say £2 million. Then sell this company and a cash balance to BIH. This way BIH could retain their listing and get some money and Blues would be free. It’s probably a lot more complicated than that but maybe someone needs to find a way before it’s too late.

    • Oldbluenose says:

      Mac;, If that is feasible,?. What a cracking idea that would be,!!. So simple really.

    • Agent McLeish says:

      I still don’t believe that this is the reason why BIHL is not selling. There has to be more to it than that.

    • BhamCityJulian says:

      For how much would he sell the company to BIH. Would it be in exchange for shares? It doesn’t work any other way does it?

      • Chris W says:

        If BIHL’s shares have dropped to such a level that the company is only worth £19.78 Million, couldn’t prospective owners buy that and then relocate BIHL way from the HKSE.
        KRO+DNM

    • AussieBlue says:

      Mac – brilliant thinking but I sense insider trading accusations. The idea of publicly listed companies is that they are transparent and accountable, and heavily regulated. I did say ‘idea.’

  • PAUL HAWKINS says:

    I thought the whole idea of a local newspaper was to report on what matters to its local readers. I stopped reading the Mail because felt the newspaper had changed in recent years. I agree with your comments on the coverage of sport in general that its no longer the standard it should be especially the poor coverage on events at our beloved club. If they want to call themselves The Birmingham Mail then surely they have the duty to keep local supporters up to scratch in what is going on at St Andrews.

  • Chris W says:

    Congratulations Dan on writing to the BM.
    Would the same letter work with BBC WM or some of the nationals, not sure if any have offices in Birmingham anymore.
    Has anything been heard from Panos on his reaction to Saturdays disgraceful performance?
    We saw fighting on the terraces with our own supporters fighting each other, hopefully this was just pure frustration on the day and any action that is taken is of a peaceful nature, as that will be the only way we will be recognised and gain support.
    KRO+DNM

  • Chris W says:

    We need to lobby the Football league but they will only take action and investigate if we can provide prove that wrongdoings are being committed regarding the running of the club.
    KRO+DNM

    • Shirley Blue says:

      I hope he has got an agreement in place to be able somehow to bring in three or four new players of genuine Championship quality in January. He may have to somehow offload some of the dross brought in over the last couple of years in order to release wages or use the loan system. At least we have only wasted one loan so far this season as far as I know. We need a right back, a centre back, a central midfielder and a striker. Without that I can’t see us staying up whatever he does. At least by acting quickly he does have a chance of assessing the squad and time to identify targets before January.

      • Chris W says:

        Couldn’t agree more regarding the areas we have so far been failing.
        Will Packwood could fill one of those, either as a CB or RB, Robbo has to be dropped as he is a liability, along with Donaldson, who just doesn’t seem to have a goal in him.
        We should be looking at another goalkeeper too, unless Doyle steps up to the plate or young Nick Townsend can do a Joe Butland and answer our prayers.
        We also have Denny Johnstone who has yet to feature, maybe he can be the next Bob Latchford.
        Gary Rowett has his work cut out but with players in the right positions and a fresh format who knows.
        Initially lets hope for the “New manager syndrome” kicking in and keep them Wolves at bay.
        KRO+DNM

        • Shirley Blue says:

          Not sure Packwood is good enough tbh. Edgar and Hall are the best centre backs at the club for me and I can only pray Rowett has the balls to drop Robinson. We need a Mark Ward type (remember him) in central midfield who has the ability to stamp his authority on a game because we don’t have anybody who can do that. In terms of who we should offload if possible – Shinnie, Lee, Gleeson for a start. All nowhere near good enough for this division. This team desperately needs some characters. Quality isn’t just about technical ability – it’s about digging in when things are tough and they will be over the next few months.

          • Chris W says:

            Jury’s out for me with Shinnie, I remember when I moved to Scotland it took me time to settle, I don’t think he has been given a chance but seems to be performing well in the development team.
            I remember Mark Ward but for the wrong reasons, I think he did time for drug offences. But yes we need someone in midfield to take control, unfortunately Davis is not doing that, although in fairness he hasn’t had a lot of help unless Reilly plays.
            The next home match will determine the character of the squad, just hope GB knows the difference between square pegs and round holes.
            KRO+DNM

  • Ginger says:

    Well said Dan, succinct and to the point. Ken Montgomery the sports editor and the actual editor of the whole sorry newspaper are both villa fans who don’t give two hoots about Birmingham city, that is a fact. If this was going on in Aston there would be outrage, front page scoops and campaigns a plenty. I for one am really glad that the rag is struggling as I along with thousands of other blues fans stopped buying what is essentially a villa fanzine years ago. Hopefully with a new “football editor” things may change and I applaud you for trying Dan but I won’t hold my breath.

    • CoxyBlue says:

      Ken Montgomery hasn’t been sports editor for about 2 months and the editor has no clue about sport irrespective of allegiances (if he did he wouldn’t have scrapped their Bears coverage). But I agree with the points made by Dan. This is Gold for any investigative journo worth his salt, instead we have them churning out rubbish about tattoos and reality TV personalities. Colin does a good job but this needs someone like Leon Hickman or suchlike to get their teeth into the investigative side of the story. That isnt colin’s job

  • Bluenosesol says:

    I am a little concerned about holding a “public” meeting in a pub. Last time we held a public meeting to garner support to oust the board, we booked Birmingham Town Hall and filled it!!!

    • Chas says:

      And the next day the Board cut the feet under us all by giving Jim Smith the Managers job. To maker matters worse, it was a Villa Fan who told me that Smith had got the Job.

    • Chris W says:

      Thats a good point, will the George be big enough.
      KRO+DNM

    • BhamCityJulian says:

      Sorry but that’s the Trust all over. Well-meaning probably but non-inclusive but for Tom Ross’ ‘we’re a working man’s club’. Let’s please get professional about this because the Trust won’t be treated seriously until is does.

      There’s the story of a northern mining town voting a pit man as MP. He floundered at Westminster because he didn’t have the right skills for the House of Commons.

    • Geoff S says:

      I remember Blues fans having a protest in 1978 and initially got about 400 or so into the old Digbeth Civic Hall. The “Mail” reported (via chief sports editor and villa fan Ray matts that they didn’t think Blues had the fan power but, as you rightly say, they then booked the Town Hall (which held over 1,900 in those days) and filled it to overflowing with Blues fans fed up of the then Keith Coombs-led regime.

      “The Blue Revolution” as it was called had a good profile and had the St Andrew’s board rattled.

  • Darren Brown says:

    The best place for the meeting is in Town centre outside the Council building !!!
    The local Council don’t give a ….. about BCFC.
    In this world I’ve learnt that you make things happen for yourself and don’t depend on others !!!
    CV7blue

  • dave mann says:

    hello campers have we all had a gre888888t weekend? ……ime still in utter shock at what i witneesed on saturday and ime not gonna start slagging eveyone off because i would not know where to start but a gre88888t letter to the mail Dan and weather it will make any difference only time will tell……our NEW season starts saturday with our visit to the lovely city of wolverhampton and a new manager in tow live on sky and protests a plenty are planned so out with the old and in with the new and hopefully a gre888888t day is had by all away blue noses……my prediction 8-0 to blues, anyone else??? KRO.

  • Ron J says:

    To put that performance into perspective it was the worst performance in the league since Barnsley beat Accrington Stanley in the league in 1934. Enough said

    • AussieBlue says:

      Aye, I were at that game Ron J. ‘Twere also at ‘ome. 0-9 and T’ Tykes ‘ad also beaten Ackie 6-0 same season. 15 goals agin’ Ackie wi’ no reply. Mind you, they were lucky. Ackie were sufferin’ the effects of the Great Black Pudding famine of ’34 and they were ‘aving to use little bits of coal in it. Even the little white bits turned black. Talk about constipation. The only bright spot fer Ackie was a mazy run down t’ left wing by Eric Olthwaite. ‘Twas looking good but Eric kept on runnin’ into change rooms as he’d used a suppository ‘fore game and its efficacious effects started to ‘appen.

      You try tellin’ that t’ young supporters of today and they won’t believe yer!

      • Geoff S says:

        Aussie.

        Is this your if-you-don’t-laugh-you’ll-cry routine? Fair play to you for that but will there ever be an end to this dreadful nightmare?

        Incidentally, I hope Gary Rowett and his assistants can at least stabilise Blues and instill that thing called PRIDE but I fear any real and meaningful change cannot be expected with the current owners stubbornly clinging onto power and wrecking the club in the process.

        • AussieBlue says:

          Essentially yes Geoff you are right. Gallows humour. It’s that bad my bottle of Johnie Walker Black Label is taking a hammering. KRO

  • Blueboy88 says:

    3 years of spectacular decline & yet it takes a 0-8 home rout for a call to arms.

    The BM is neither the problem nor the solution here. Indeed they would seemingly mirror the situation at BCFC, underfunded by their parent company, lacking leadership, & understaffed. Keith Perry doesn’t need guts to send somebody to attend the Royal George on Tuesday, but rather resource to employ this elusive investigative journalist.

    Let’s cut to the quick to the real complication. It is impossible for a 3rd party to purchase BCFC & BIHL are potless. Whichever way it is turned the end game will inevitably be administration or receivership. So the strategy must now surely be, to reach that point as soon as possible. Then the task of rebuilding this proud club can begin in earnest.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    With the team that was selected, we were beaten before we started. A calamity of a goalkeeper, a centre back at right back, a left back at centre back, a right back in centre midfield, a weak player out of his depth as the other centre midfield, a striker on the left wing and a striker who couldn’t hit a cow’s ar*e with a banjo from two paces. Undoubtedly a side any previous managers would have been proud of. Bournemouth must have been sh*t not to have got double figures against that lot.

    I hope to God, that Rowett has, at least, a semblance of a football brain. Saturday will show us what we’ve to expect for the rest of the season. Pick the right team and we could get a result (a draw would be progress) pick the wrong team and Wolves could fill their boots too. Over to you Mr Rowett.

  • bluenoserob says:

    If we could get he national press or television to highlight our desperate position then maybe that would be of real help.Its great that Dan is doing whatever he can to try to help , but im not sure what help the Birmingham Mail can be.

  • dougalltaps2bodle says:

    Well, Dan, I can only say I wished that the local media (and BC Council) could engender just a small piece of the passion you have displayed in your correspondence with BM – you put them to shame.
    For a long time now I have been perplexed at the lack of initiative shown by the Mail and I can only put this down to the fact that it is no longer the BIRMINGHAM Mail.
    I’m certain that in days gone by this matter would have been interrogated vigorously by reporters who had Birmingham at heart. Not so anymore, I’m sad to say.
    As you quite rightly suggest, Colin Tattum does his job to the best of his ability (albeit a little short of passion) but this disgraceful state of affairs requires the people at the top to carry our flag.
    I earnestly wish you every success tomorrow evening. But to be honest it would be very pleasing to discover that the George was totally inadequate to house such a meeting, at least that would indicate that your message is being heard loud and clear. KRO.

  • DoctorD says:

    Spot on Dan. Sadly high-quality journalism costs time and money — and the Mail, like many others, don’t have the coffers or the staff to do the job properly. As Agent McLeish says, there is so much journalistic gold-dust in this sotry that it could and should be done so, so much better.

    It’s pretty embarassing really on the Mail’s behalf — they should stop churning out meaningless non-stories based on what someone has said that’s just a string of quotes, such as the following:

    http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/birmingham-city-jasper-carrott-opens-7835178

    That’s not journalism – it’s just a comment from someone with no context, or questions, or background or challenges.

  • DoctorD says:

    Spot on Dan. Sadly high-quality journalism costs time and money — and the Mail, like many others, don’t have the coffers or the staff to do the job properly. As Agent McLeish says, there is so much journalistic gold-dust in this sotry that it could and should be done so, so much better.

    It’s pretty embarassing really on the Mail’s behalf — they should stop churning out meaningless non-stories based on what someone has said that’s just a string of quotes.

    That’s not journalism – it’s just a comment from someone with no context, or questions, or background or challenges.

  • Tony1875 says:

    Excellent letter let’s hope that someone somewhere listens to the plight of our club I truely believe it may get worse before we see an improvement but the news that we may well have a new manager later today should give everyone a lift.
    It’s still tough being a bluenose this morning but we have to KRO let’s support the manager and not be negative straight away give the guy a chance it’s a big move for both we must give him as much support as we can both on the pitch and off, we all think we can pick a better team than the manager let’s wait and see who he picks and hopefully brings along….

    • Chris W says:

      Agree with your points, Gary Rowett looks to be bringing his own team in too so we should see changes in tactics as well as personal.
      The only problem I see, and no disrespect to Gary Rowett, it shows the ambition of BIHL.
      Any other club would be looking for a big name or high profile manager, we went looking at League Two.
      Hopefully Gary can galvanise the team and generate enthusiasm on the terraces.
      KRO+DNM

      • StaffsBlue says:

        This is all about appeasing the fans Chris. Of all the candidates, Rowett is the one who splits the fans the least. I would think a good 80% (maybe more) are for his appointment. All the other candidates split opinion down the middle.

        That said, good luck to the new manager. We all know he’s going to need it in shedloads…. and 100% support from the supporters.

        • Chris W says:

          I agree that he is the fans choice by the majority and I wish him well.
          MP hasn’t got the relevant experience in my book, its great to be able to name drop or be part of a successful club with some great tales to tell, but managers have to learn the trade and they do that in the lower leagues.
          If BIHL had got a pot of real money would they have considered him?
          KRO+DNM

          • StaffsBlue says:

            I have to agree. Managers should learn their trade and work their way up… like an apprenticeship.

  • bluenose08 says:

    Question would you be prepared to work alongside someone from Birmingham in the Quest to get the answers and solution to our currant plight ?
    One good point about the 0-8 drubbing gary rowett wont be under so much pressure as the fans wont be expecting much just that the player put 90mins of effort in.
    kro dnm

  • dave mann says:

    staffs, the impression I got was they all decided in the dressing room that every single player was gonna be c–p, not bother, disgrace themselves, not tackle, not defend, no shots at goal and get a player sent off and go for a penalty and make an embarrassing attempt at it………it was a joke and I was laughing my head off coming out of the ground because it was a circus and everyone of them should hang there heads in shame..total s–t!!! KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I felt sorry for Grounds, Davis and Reilly. They did their best but, with the rest not bothering, they were eventually overrun. Reilly showed what it meant to be a Bluenose at the end.

      • The Flying Pig says:

        I agree with you about Grounds and Reilly, not so sure about Davis; however, I thought Donaldson and Arthur did their best.

        The biggest job for the new manager is to try and rebuild some belief and then, hopefully, the confidence will come. When you have a team full of ‘cheap’ players, they have to be both totally committed and well organised to have any chance of getting results – mostly, the players did not appear to be committed and they were not well organised. The lack of confidence and ‘fright’ which seems to kick-in at St Andrews is just not helpful but that was a disgraceful performance.

        We have to solve the RB problem quickly – Pugh popped in two unchallenged goals for them and i’m afraid Caddis is giving us nothing going forward – for me that was one thing he did well when he first joined us. A number have commented on Gleeson who was poor and yet he came with a decent reputation, albeit at a lower level, but he seems to freeze when he gets the ball at St Andrews. Surely Hall has to go in at CH as Robbo is, positionally, a disaster waiting to happen. The CM options are frighteningly poor at present; however, just trying to get whoever plays there to hold their shape might help. Caddis, Reilly and to a lesser extent Davis, all have a tendency to chase the ball [as does Robbo] and the consequences are gaping holes in the middle of the pitch.

        Randolph has to be dropped IMO. He’s a decent shotstopper usually [not Saturday] but is another who seems to have little or no confidence – give Doyle a go and let Randolph recover his form in the stiffs.

      • Chris W says:

        Reilly showed true passion after the game Saturday, at Bolton the passion shown was more relief.
        Grounds and Davis were probably the only two apart from Reilly who could walk off with some credibility.
        Be interesting to see what happens Saturday, I’m not expecting a win but if we perform half as bad it will be another massacre.
        In my opinion we have to bore the socks off everyone and grind out at least a draw and hope for better.
        The team has to have at least 6 or seven changes, even if it means bringing in the kids.
        KRO+DNM

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I think a lot of Blues fans would agree, that we are sorely lacking in the full back department, especially right backs. The bottom line is, they can’t defend for toffee. With that in mind, I’d go 3-5-2 on Saturday, with maybe Packwood, Hall and Grounds at the back, with Edgar pushing forward into centre midfield alongside Davis and Reilly and Caddis and Hancox as wing backs. Also, Doyle in goals. Up front? Well, the tombola machine might get one more workout.

          • Chris W says:

            Can’t fault that Staffs, up front why not go with Johnstone with Thomas, can’t do any worse and Donaldson just doesn’t seem that interested.
            My opinion of him is he thinks he has made it to a big club and doesn’t need to do any more.
            Glad to see Vaughan has left too, a new keeper coach might see some changes, if I remember Kevin Poole has played in the Premiership and won trophies, something that Vaughan lacked in his remit.
            I wish GR all the best of luck and a warm welcome awaits him next Tuesday.
            KRO+DNM

          • StaffsBlue says:

            Yes, Poole was a decent keeper for a very long time… a bit like Benno, they seemed to be around forever. Poole was actually on the bench a year ago, at the tender age of 50. So he’s been around long enough to have picked up a lot of experience.

            As for Johnstone and Thomas… I don’t see why not. Donaldson just isn’t interested. Matt Green won’t be back for another 6 weeks or more, so we don’t have too many options.

          • Shirley Blue says:

            How are we going to score a goal with that set up Staffs. The chances of them keeping a clean sheet even with such a defensive set up is virtually nil because they are simply just not good enough. We will need to score twice to get any sort of result I reckon.

    • steve says:

      I reckon they all had £100 on 8-0

  • dave mann says:

    over to you gary……should be announced this afternoon. KRO.

  • Bluenosesol says:

    I fear that Rowett may become the latest victim of the BIHL disaster, At present he is a successful lower league manager who is no doubt switching on lights in the Championship. If he waits he could become a great Championship mananger and then who knows. If he comes to Blues. he will become yet another victim through no fault of his own other than a singular bad decision to take on the “challenge”

  • Rich S. says:

    This is my first time on this blog, but the 0-8 defeat was the final straw. I plan to attend the meeting at the George tomorrow, but there are some thoughts I wanted to put out for consideration
    There are 2 key things that I think need to happen before we can hope to achieve anything.
    Firstly, everyone has to unite behind a single organisation.
    Secondly, we have to have an action plan which everyone buys into, whether they agree with it or not (I think it’s the only democratic way). There are too many different ideas at the moment. The plan has to cover short, medium and long term aims. These aims need to be specific (e.g.. while getting rid of BIHL might be the ultimate objective – it is not specific enough).
    On the first point – unity – there are a number of different pressure groups – here are some I can think of Often Partisan, Made in Brum, Tired & Weary, Blues Trust, Long Long Road, Blues Collective – there are probably more. All of these need to come together – hopefully all will be represented at the meeting at the George.
    On the second point – I believe we need to create a single organisation to lead the actions. This should probably have representatives from the different pressure groups. We also need Blues fans with expertise in politics law, finance and PR to come forward to support the organisation, because it will need these skills to advise what actions to take.(for ideas on PR campaign take a look at Peter Lackey’s thought’s on the Long Long Road blog this morning)
    I think there is a danger which everyone needs to consider. Action plans cannot be allowed to fade away if we win happen to win a couple of games – this can’t be a knee-jerk reaction to losing 8-0. if we decide to do something fans need to be in this for the long haul – not weeks – probably a couple of years.
    If the meeting at the George can achieve the above 2 objectives it will have done well.

  • dave mann says:

    that’s quite true Bluenosesol but if he can pass is ” challenge” and in some way change our fortunes and get us out off this mess were in and keep us in the championship then is stock will go up and were all be happy, as for failure and relegation then we bite our lips and go again next season with rowett and get promoted back up and is reputation restored……its a no loose situation in my mind because expectations are very low after that debacle on Saturday and a win at wolves in his first game would be the springboard for forward thinking and positive thoughts….well I can hope cant I!!!!. KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Only problem with that, is if he does well with us, he’ll probably do a Hughton next season. Nature of the beast I’m afraid.

  • Bluenosesol says:

    Dave, I could mortgage my house and go and back an evens favourite to fund my retirement. I would have a very good chance of winning. Why dont I do it, because the stakes are too high and the consequences of failure are disastrous. If Rowett wants to risk all for a punt at the Blues and is successful, he will become a hero with all Bluenoses including me!

  • Hiroshimablue says:

    Blues are my only reason to ever read the Birmingham Mail. They are a distant second to this website.Time to start kicking Washington Post Watergate style if they want to keep hold of their readership!

  • dave mann says:

    that’s right Bluenosesol, hes played for us and knows the passion of our supporters so lets hope hes a hero.KRO.

  • Greg Holmes says:

    Dan, the comments re the tattoo and dog photo articles are spot on.

    As a Bluenose living in Manchester it’s safe to say the Birmingham Mail equilvelant up here is miles better (if anyone wants to look at their football coverage: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/ ). Okay, they have two of the biggest clubs on their doorstep BUT they are also owned by the Mirror group and likewise have tight budgets and are understaffed.

    However, on a positive note, the BBC regional news (North West Today) is not a patch on BBC Midlands Today for sports, football and general news coverage. Swings and roundabouts eh… KRO.

  • Wingman Blue says:

    Dan, great idea, wrong target. Like many bluenoses I’ve left Brum and have worked around the country over the past few years. I’m currently in Oxfordshire, but spent three years in East Yorkshire until a year ago, and the main media influence is BBC’s Look North (E.Yorks & Lincs).
    They are a model of aggressive, incisive news reporting such as we rarely see now. I saw the recent interview of Assam Allem about his decision to consider selling Hull City if he doesn’t get his way in rebranding the club. Questions all Hull fans wanted asking. We need BBC Midlands to begin this same approach, even to the extent of ” …we wanted to ask the Club to answer these questions, but nobody was available for comment!”
    The Mail’s day is done. We need to get some incisive TV reportage.

    Great letter, though.

  • Blueboy88 says:

    Lee Clark odds on for the Blackpool job, don’t know who is more desperate according to the Daily Mail?

    Oyston had previously met Burton Albion’s Gary Rowett and Owen Coyle about taking over from Riga, but both turned down the opportunity.

    Sportsmail understands Clark – sacked by Birmingham City just last week – is in line to replace Riga and could be appointed as soon as Wednesday if the incumbent does vacate the Lancashire club as expected.

    Clark is used to working under a strict budget given the financial constraints put on him at St Andrew’s and remains highly thought of within the game despite a turbulent time in the Midlands.

  • john the pom says:

    to Chris W.
    The Football League have so far got off scot free on their :”Due Diligence” of Carson.
    I believe after talking to Lawyers here in Oz that they can be challenged on their findings to allow him to buy our beloved club.
    1phone call to HONG KONG would have uncovered that the authorities had been investigating CARSON since 2007 2 years before the takeover.
    He had already been rejected by SHEFF WED & READING when trying to buy their respective clubs.
    A “please explain” letter could be a pre-cursor to legal action on the football authorities in London.
    This would make national news.
    They are guilty as a minimum of gross incompetence and I would intimate a charge of “Negligence” wouldn’t be too far off the mark.
    They should be sued for damages
    They must have written notes on their findings in to Carson’s eligibility to buy our club.
    If not did they in fact do any Due Diligence at all into the purchase?
    i am willing to start off a fighting “Legal fund” into this Avenue of Investigation.
    The Football League cannot hide from any scrutiny.

    • Chris W says:

      Interesting point John and I will bear them in mind at tonight’s meeting,.
      I will also make some enquiries this end and see where it leads.
      Thanks for the info and your support.
      KRO+DNM

    • Chris W says:

      john the pom

      I took up the points you highlighted and it is an avenue that is going to be investigated along with several others.
      one of the consensus from the meeting was to generate support to attack the football league.
      There were several other ideas to look into too.
      There is a proposed follow up meeting to see how things are going in 4 weeks, meanwhile, we get behind Gary Rowett.

  • bluenosebryan says:

    Maybe the record defeat at home might actually turn in our favour as now we are all pulling in the right direction
    Could someone mention the protest that is in the early stages against wolves on saturday at the meeting,i have posted a thread on the official forum titled “protest at wolves” i cant make it myself as i am without a car for the next few days and would be a 250 mile round trip,all the best and keep up the good work K.R.O

  • Blooflame says:

    A sterling blog mate!! I wondered why there never seemed to be much “urgency” regarding the club and you have, very amply, highlighted the lack of questions or concerns. It’s indicative of the lack of responsibility as you rightly point out. The Mail could be the Vanguard of a campaign rather than take a back seat, or indeed no seat at all. Well done!!

  • BluesBlues says:

    Thanks for your efforts and an excellent letter. The Villa mail has always been against us and does not represent or great City.

    We now need all groups to come together back the new manager and make a concerted effort to get who ever owns out of our club.

    I don’t think boycotting the club makes any difference because the gates are possibly as low as they will get at this level.

    For us fans who have got a ticket for the wolves game on Saturday be loud and proud take your anti board flags and scarves with you and let every one know how you feel

    KRO

  • Dino Tiltoni says:

    well said, Dan. Their response wlil be interesting

  • Steve Shaw says:

    Fan Power need not be used in a negative way (at least not initially) instead of trying to empty the ground to make a point why not try to fill it to capacity to make the same point but positively. Good publicity too as long as everybody stays within the law. Do that say 2 consecutive home games and then call for a boycott if no progress is made.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Gary Rowett and his backroom staff have left Burton Albion. So, it’s just a case of waiting for the announcement now!

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Most sites are announcing that he’s already been appointed….. except bcfc.com

  • Stevie W says:

    GR is the man just announced

  • Pete says:

    Announced as manager. Welcome back Gary. One of he best right backs I have seem at he club, he could pob be n improvement even now! He has deserved the uncle and passion to come to a club who might get a new owner and sack him- so good luck!

  • Richard Granfield says:

    I have commented in the last few days that I would have preferred Phelan as manager.
    However, I wish Gary Rowett well and hope he will succeed at Blues.
    Welcome Gary KRO.

  • John M says:

    Absolutely spot on, Dan, apart from your praise of Colin Tattum, who is a hack at best … can’t write, cant investigate.

    The Birmingham Mail is a shadow of the newspaper it once was.

    • almajir says:

      Wrong.

      Tatts is a very good journalist. He’s not an investigative reporter, he writes about football. Investigation isn’t his remit, how can you not grasp that? I said it in the article…

  • RichardM says:

    At last, a bit of good news – welcome Gary Rowett, I think he’s a brave man, and we should applaud the fact that he’s prepared to risk his reputation by tackling probably the most difficult job in the top two tiers of English football.

    Whether you felt Clark was unfairly done to, or whether you felt we should have appointed someone else, let’s all draw a line under this sorry affair and back the new man. UP THE BLUES!

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Looks like this guy is the fifth member of our backroom team. http://www.darrenrobinsonperformance.co.uk/site/index.php

  • What a great letter mate. I was one of the faithful who stopped until the bitter end on Saturday. I,like many others felt absolutely mortified of the destruction and demise of our once great football club. The anger directed at the board from the Tilton road showed others that we will NOT see our football club die at any cost. I wish Gary Rowett and his backroom staff all the best and welcome him with open arms. Coaching and tactics wise and a fresh young backroom staff is a start at least. I will be at Monlinaux on Saturday boots blacked and ready to get behing Gary and his boys. KRO.

  • Carl Richards says:

    Could Keith Perry confirm he is the Keith Perry who worked for telegraph and is a spurs fan?

  • Blackcountryblues says:

    Well said dan i hope the mail take note.i hope the mail realise how many blues fans still buy there newspaper every single day and go straight to the back page in hope of news about our club,as you correctly stated dan they are around 2 or 3 days behind a lot of news i also hope they understand how many of us dump the paper after browsing the back 3 or 4 pages No club sales of mail down ,do the honourable thing post and mail and help us with saving our club media is all powerfull apperently Show us

  • AussieBlue says:

    Not the beginning of the end but the end of the beginning. I join in welcoming GR – the man must have balls of steel to take this job on under current ownership. I am sure he’ll get back to basics for Saturday and try to just keep a clean sheet; then the real hard yards begin at Wast Hills after that.

  • bcfc1975 says:

    yes I would like to congratulate GR

  • tttpaule says:

    I used to have the Evening Mail delivered but refuse to give my money to them, by being so biased to the shite across the expressway they are losing out from a lot of blues fans and we should all boycott it until they recognise there’s more than one club in the city!! Local paper but no use or help to a local club. At least QPR have their 2nd win of the season which gets them off the bottom of the table thanks to the Vile.

    • Geoff S says:

      Those who decide what does and does not go into that “Mail” rag will be more concerned with the vile losing at QPR (something which has cheered me up a tiny bit) than with the dreadful plight of BCFC. They don’t even attempt to conceal their slavish bias.

      • Shirley Blue says:

        Well tomorrow the BM can report that their favourite club have just lost their 5th game in a row, are 2 points off the relegation zone and are the lowest scorers in all 4 divisions with four goals from nine games. Cheered me up a bit anyway and I hope that makes them choke on their f’ing After Eights.

  • tttpaule says:

    Good luck to Gary Rowett you will need to be at your best to sort this lot out poor board gutless players & no money!! Tom Ross is as bad as the mail no help to us calls himself a Blues fan he’s more interested in what happens down the road.

    • Marky mark says:

      Bit harsh, I can guarantee to you Tom Ross is a Bluenose unfortunately it’s his job to report on all the Midlands teams and stay impartial whilst doing it, not an easy task specially with regards to the vile.

    • La La La says:

      Yes Good luck to Gary and as for Tom “it’s a gooooaaalll……..Kick” he should always be impartial and professional.
      Look at Jeff Stelling, Hartlepool through and through yet very knowledgable where football is concerned.
      Let’s hope we have a good turn out on Tuesday night KRO

  • Marky mark says:

    Evening mail, wouldn’t wipe my ar_e with it, Dan you have gained a lot of respect and admiration from many quarters with what you have done the last couple of years, I wouldn’t associate myself with that rag if I was you, go talk to the BBC.

    Ps great letter all the same.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    First question to Mr Rowett: Will you have the balls/sense to drop Robbo?

    • Shirley Blue says:

      It’s going to be his first big decision made harder I guess by the fact Edgar is suspended I think. Hope he moves Grounds into the middle to partner Hall and brings Hancox back in at left back.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Thanks for the reminder… I forgot Edgar was suspended for the Wolves game.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Just read that ex-Blues winger Jon McCarthy rates him as a coach. He watched him at St George’s Park and said that he concentrates on “the shape and structure.” That’s something that was in short supply on Saturday.

      • RichardM says:

        Not a bad shout that, but has Grounds palyed CB before?

        • Chris W says:

          To be honest I would stick with Grounds at Left back where he looks comfortable, he didn’t look that confident on Saturday. What is wrong with Packwood playing along side Hall, they seemed to work together in a recent development match.
          Our major problem seems to be at right back, is Eardley available for the Wolves game?
          I also think we will need to pack the midfield to stop Wolves so maybe a place in midfield for Hancox would give us some substance with Reilly, Davis and Cotterill, Gray (if fit) and Thomas up front in a 4-5-1
          KRO+DNM

          • StaffsBlue says:

            I’ve always been a fan of Cotterill, but if he’s gonna keep ducking challenges and confrontation like he has the last few games, then I’d dump his ar*e in the stiffs till he gets some bottle. I hate that in any player.

            It seems Rowett is a straight 4-4-2 man. With Caddis and Eardley being so poor, he should give Packwood a go. He did well there before his accident and played ok against Millwall when he came on. I have a sneaky feeling he might give the players who faced Bournemouth a chance to redeem themselves. I do hope not.

          • Chris W says:

            Not sure the team that played Bournemouth deserve that chance, and there were a few square pegs in round holes.
            The crunch will be against Watford, that is when they need to show remorse, they owe the fans something, if anyone turns up after the last debacle.
            We still seem to play better away from home, but this game is televised and we rarely turn up for the cameras.
            Cotterill like a few players seemed complacent, as if they were not afraid of being dropped, Randolph is another in that mould.
            Duffy can offer the same as Cotterill, al be it on the other wing, but I was under the impression he can play either wing, I might be getting the two mixed up.
            KRO+DNM

          • Geoff S says:

            I should think at Wast Hills over the next 2 or 3 days there will be very close scrutiny of the squad Rowett and his assistants have inherited and who knows what may happen at the George on Garrison Lane tonight?

          • Chris W says:

            I agree Geoff, I would have thought that GR will have had some low down on the squad, it will be more getting them to play in a new formation.
            I’m not sure what action we can put into operation as it is Hong Kong we need to target, but it should be an interesting meeting and hopefully galvanise the supporters if nothing else.
            KRO+DNM

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Yes, Grounds has played CB for Oldham and, more recently, for us (can’t remember which game.) He actually looks more comfortable at CB imo.

          • Chris W says:

            Not sure about that Staffs, he has done a good job at LB and is keeping Hancox out,
            If it means dropping Robbo, playing Packwood at RB and bringing Hancox back at LB then I can see it working with Hall as the other CB.
            KRO+DNM

          • StaffsBlue says:

            Grounds seems more calm and assured at centre back. He’s not the greatest attacking left back we’ve ever had, although, he does try to get forward. Play Grounds or Packwood alongside Hall….. anyone but Robinson. Seriously, if Rowett plays Robbo on Saturday, I can only see another defeat.

  • richard di says:

    So how does GR teams play?
    Long ball/ passing/ pressing/ ticatac/ physical etc
    Which formation etc. Anybody know his systems? Bringing thru youth?? Lots of questions to ask

    • StaffsBlue says:

      In Burton’s last 2 away games, they’ve gone with 4-4-2. But their last home game, they played 4-1-4-1. Not sure if that’s any help.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Looked at the home games previous to that and they played 4-4-2. So it looks like he’s a 4-4-2 man, home and away.

  • Carl Richards says:

    Surely now, the only option is a complete boycott of the club. A crook is banged up for 6 years and his brother in law is currently running us. I don’t care about them wanting some money back on their investment and the HK stock exchange rules – they can’t expect that after a guilty verdict for CK and where are the football league, premier league – no where. We are currently stuffed. Don’t think GR is the bit of good news – i wish him well but with or without him this club cannot move forward with the current ownership. Relegation is a certainty and things are going to get a lot worse. We’ve had 5 years of this drip drip crap and another 2-3 years at least await by which time we are likely to be facing non-league football or being completely wound up. I get it about some fans wanting to watch the Blues irrespective of the ownership but i firmly believe this is contributing to they owners’ belief they can hang around – Lets stick together and get them out, no one else is going to help us on this and no one else gives a monkeys – the owners are getting an easy ride. The only way to change that is we all agree on a boycott – and please for those who will shoot me down, i suggest this because we all want to be watching Blues with our kids in 3,5, 10 years time. If not going down for the rest of this season allows that then it is a price worth paying.

    • Art says:

      I have for a very long time supported the idea of a complete boycott but sadly I can never see this happening..The next best thing is hold a mass demo at a set time inside or outside the ground at every home match until these morons get the message..Those who wish to stay to support the team can do so after the demo has finished.The supporters could also stop buying anything on sale during match day-programmes-coffee-beer etc.I realise the club can hold out sufficiently this season but money lost now will hurt them next season.

  • Art says:

    Congratulations to Gary and his team.

    He was a class player in his day and hopefully will be a great manager!

    Interestingly if my memory is correct I think Steve Bruce’s first game as club manager was away against the Wolves which ended in a draw-I was at that match which was the start of a successful regime.

    I do however stand to be corrected.

    • Geoff S says:

      Steve Bruce was a half-decent manager for Blues and a very, very fine player. Gary Rowett was also a top quality player but my fear is that many of the better players don’t always make good managers. However, he needs a bit of time and can surely be no worse than the recently departed.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Brucie was always known as ‘The best centre back never to play for England.’

        • Geoff S says:

          In terms of Blues centre-backs/central defenders down the years Steve Bruce formed a good playing partnership with the late Gary Ablett and is right up there with the likes of Colin Todd, Kenny Cunningham, Matthew Upson and I’d also give Kenny Burns a shout.

          For some reason, athough he was certainly no mug, I never really rated Darren Purse that highly.

          The mighty Roger Hynd and Michael Johnson were not too skilful (defenders don’t always need to be) but they were solid as were Joe Gallagher, John Roberts and Tony Want.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            My favourite centre backs were Noel Blake and Roger Hynd. Loved Kenny Burns whatever position he played in. Always gave the opposition hell.

            In fact, the likes of Francis, Latchford, Hatton, Burns, Campbell, Taylor, etc, epitomised Blues swashbuckling style at that time. Oh, for a little bit of that today!

          • Chris W says:

            Give me Roger Hynd would have loved to see him teamed with Trevor Smith, wouldn’t really need anyone else, with Ray Martin and Colin Green Stan Lynn and Ron Wylie in midfield.
            KRO+DNM

          • StaffsBlue says:

            That would have been a back line made of steel. :-)

  • StaffsBlue says:

    ‘Richard Beale has agreed to recommence the pivotal role of senior professional development coach.’

    Rowett was keen to keep him apparently. That’s the last position sorted now I think. We’re good to go. :)

  • Geoff S says:

    Reply to StaffsBlue (and Chris W might like this, too).

    Francis, Latchford, Hatton (with Campbell and Taylor supporting)? Arguably one of the best forward lines in the country at the time. A joy to watch.

    As for Big Noel Blake, not pretty but a real stopper to contend with (didn’t he know that Steve McMahon bloke?).

    Imagine Blake and Hynd in the same defence!

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Would be amazing. Defenders that actually knew how to defend…. a dying (almost extinct) art these days.

  • river says:

    does any1 know any1 from ISIS we could ask them to get rid of our owners if not them then north korea don’t like the Chinese either do they.desperate measures and all that

  • John says:

    Dan . Smashing letter. If you get a reply please let us see it here


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