Often Partisan

Sword of Damocles

Birmingham City continued their fine run of form with a 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest that extends their unbeaten run to five games. The win came in controversial circumstances as ref Geoff Eltringham had to consult his fourth official prior to awarding a penalty late on in the game.

I’m not a fan of statistics but I’m going to recount a few to you to underline the success of Gary Rowett in these five games. In those five games Blues under Gary Rowett has scored as many points (11) as they had under Lee Clark in 14. Blues secured back-to-back league wins for the first time in 62 games and their second home win in three games – Lee Clark had two home league wins in 25.

The fact Blues had not won back-to-back league games for a season and a half is frightening; I realised it had been some time but that is insane – and underlines why we were in the trouble we were in for so long. To do that with essentially the same players (the only difference being Michael Morrison) also doesn’t do Clark any favours – especially after he said in his presser on the day he was fired

“But I am not too sure if things would change in terms of can anyone else get any more from them? I don’t know.

“I think I am getting everything out of the players.”

It would appear that maybe that was not true.

Dwelling on the past is something our pink and baby blue brethren are prone to do so I think it’s right and proper now to move on – at least until the weekend when we face Clark for the first time in his new role as Blackpool manager. I will admit I’m excited for the future – and for what I think Rowett can do to get more out of the players. Gleeson and Shinnie in particular are showing why they were highly rated before they came to the club – but even old stagers like Paul Robinson seem to be having a bit of a renaissance.

My one worry in all this is that fans will get carried away with the success on the pitch and forget that nothing has changed off it. By all means we should enjoy the Rowett Revolution but I would hate for people to have an almost bipolar reaction should matters in Hong Kong force the club to sell players in January. As much as I want to believe Panos has the best interests of the club at heart and would do everything he could to prevent that, I have to remain sceptical that he would – and so the ownership issue remains a sword of Damocles hanging over our head.

The word I am hearing strongly from Hong Kong is that Peter Pannu will indeed be re-elected to the BIH board and that he is once again enjoying the confidence of Carson. While I understand he’s not being paid by (or even listened to) by BCFC any more, I do wonder what trouble he is going to cause for us out in Hong Kong – and his reasons for continuing to stay with the company. I don’t think he’ll come back to Birmingham any time soon – I know he’s aware of all the antipathy towards him from most here, and with his Spearmint Rhino Gold Card not being renewed there is no need for him to be on these shores. That being said, he wasn’t here that often in the past and managed to cause issues so even that doesn’t make me feel any better about his continued involvement.

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60 Responses to “Sword of Damocles”

  • mark says:

    the magic potion is confidence Daniel shame we could fill the ground with that same confidence??/
    empty seats empty seats???
    maybe the re-election PP has put them off Yeah right….
    Maybe their wife’s and girlfriends demanded they all go shopping and spent on the sales , rather than spent on a full price ticket to watch the change in fortunes of the blues.

    • Mr_Crosby says:

      Years of having to watch crap doesn’t fill the ground overnight. We are a few thousand up on about 6 weeks ago.

      • mark says:

        funny that same fixture last year 20,000

        • Mr_Crosby says:

          Yes that was one of the rare ones we didn’t lose at home.

        • COB says:

          That’s because it was the closing game at home around Christmas and we always sell big on boxing day, as the club are predicting for Derby this year on boxing. A side from that the atmosphere and crowd in general is Blues of old – loud and proud and really enjoying going to St.Andrews for many it’s been over 2 years (Since Chris Hughton and Europa League) since any Blues really enjoyed going to see Blues play at home.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Not sure… but wasn’t that Forest game £10 per ticket?

        • chris says:

          that game last year was £10 this was over double that amount

  • John Ramsay says:

    Dan,

    Really delighted at the Rowett revolution, just shows how poor a manager Lee Clark was. I will however give him some credit because he did bring in most of the current players but the trouble is he hadn’t got a clue what to do with them.

    You are absolutely right the one cloud on the horizon is the spectre of Pannu. I can’t understand why he just doesn’t walk away. I presume there must be some financial gain for him remaining as a member of the BIHL board.

  • mark says:

    maybe it the thought of Carson eventually sitting back in his director box that stopping them?/

  • Masaccio says:

    The club is in a great position under Rowett and Co., we NEED to get rid of the current owners sharpish. Pannu welcome down the blues? I’d rather see David O’Leary!

    • mark says:

      Who installed this manager, let me guess they are from HK boy you got to lol

      the more Rowett achieves this will strength their hand, you are not going to change anything what so ever…
      PP installed on the 23th December is a real possibility, I love a bet that meeting wont get cancelled.

  • mark says:

    there maybe no need to sell in January as panos has noted we are financially fine in the BM sometime ago.
    But if Gray wishes to leave in January to better his career better wages to Liverpool or anyone else, I dont think we can begrudge him.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    There’s absolutely no doubt that Pannu is in it for the money, so there must still be enough to be had for him to bother. I think one thing is certain, if he is re-elected, he’ll have some detrimental effect on the club somewhere down the line.

    If he is re-elected, where does that leave Pavlakis? Is his position over here secure… or does he have the Sword of Damocles dangling over his head too?

  • Nick says:

    Anyone know what’s happened to bcfcforum.co.uk ?

    • Weaponsguru says:

      There’s a problem with the supplier of the forum (Zetaboards, or something like that)
      Apparently there’s quite a few down.
      Dave (Blacksmith) has a forum – linked at the side of OP’s page here.
      It’s called “Blues Views” and you’ll probably get some info (and a bit of banter) on there.

      Back on the “main subject” though…..
      Great to see GR and co doing well, but I too think we’re going to see some more turbulent times in the near future before we eventually get “the good times” back.
      I can see nothing but trouble from anything to do with Pannu.
      The sooner he finds something else to occupy his nasty little mind, the better!

  • Luke says:

    A minor point, Dan, but LC was in charge for 12 games, not 14.

  • Tony E says:

    The recent Panos P article carried veiled comments apparently aimed at Pannu suggesting they are not exactly pals. What affect would Pannu returning to a position of more power have on him and would his position at the club come under threat?

  • Richard Cooke says:

    ‘Spearmint Rhino Gold Card not being renewed’. A classic comment that’s drier than the Sahara Desert!! Brilliant humour, Dan, I just wish I’d thought of it!!

    KRO DNM SOTV

  • Adam True Blue says:

    Does the minor resurgence in Bih share prices have anything to do with the PP rumour mill? I hope not. Kro

  • Richard Granfield says:

    I hope (possible in vain) that the Blues’ fans don’t abuse Clark at Blackpool.
    For all his faults he cared about the club and worked as hard as any manager we have had.
    Unfortunately all his hard work didn’t compensate for his shortcomings.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      100% agree. I can never understand why managers get so much abuse. They obviously try their best and sometimes, their best just isn’t good enough.. and means there has to be a change. But that’s no excuse to hurl personal insults. A goodbye and thank you is enough. IMO of course.

      • mark says:

        tbh staffs our away supporters are a sensible bunch, and they have always given credit where it due. They have firmly stood by him at the away games… You will always get a few mindless idiots who will go who have got nothing better to do than hurl abuse at someone all day long.

      • mark says:

        tbh staffs our away supporters are a sensible bunch, and they have always given credit where it due. They have firmly stood by him at the away games… You will always get a few mindless idiots who will go who have got nothing better to do than hurl abuse at someone all day long.

        • BhamCityJulian says:

          I won.t be abusing Clark but I will give loads of stick for all the rubbish he served that made the matches pure misery.

          BIH may have given us Hong Kong torture but Clark gave is bona fide Chinese torture

    • Luke says:

      Hear hear. No manager has ever tried harder for Blues than Lee did and, unlike a lot of previous incumbents, he didn’t leave to go to a bigger club or for a bigger salary.

      Of course, whilst I wish him the best for the future, I still want Blackpool to go down this season – one less relegation place to worry about – starting with a heavy defeat on Saturday please.

      I’ve got this nagging feeling he might get a result…

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Clark always praised the Blues fans up to the hilt and called them Magnificent. It would be nice if they proved that again at Blackpool on Saturday.

      • John says:

        he didn’t leave to go to a bigger club or for a bigger salary

        No he didn’t. He was sacked

        • Luke says:

          Yes – that was my point. Whilst he might have been useless, we can’t accuse him of abandoning us, like Bruce, McLeish or Hughton.

      • Tony says:

        He left for the only club Insane enough to employ him, he was the worst manager in all my years of following blues I wish him nothing but ill.

        • Luke says:

          Wishing someone ill when they’ve given everything they had for us, regardless of how incompetent they were, is simply mean-spirited petty-mindedness.

  • Hillfield blue says:

    I see the FL have disqualified Massimo Cheillino from owning Leeds for a previous conviction in Italy for tax evasion. Didn’t Carson have a previous conviction?

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I doubt it will bother him that much, it’s only until March. He’ll just do what Carson Yeung has done and install lackies to carry out his orders. Nothing much will change I wouldn’t think.

    • chris says:

      his previous was only a criminal offence in HK / China, in the UK it was only seen as a regulatory offence, so gave the Premier League an easy way out of doing what was best for the club / fans.
      they are more scared of prospective owners who may take them to court, just like the Football League who banned Cellino then said he could buy the club and now ban him again, BUT only till March, why bother?
      inept Fa and Leagues

  • WalmleySteve says:

    Dan, have you heard anything about whether BIHL will try and resurrect the £9.5m convertible bonds issue to the two Board members that was proposed? I assume your sense of foreboding stems from the fact that unless they are able to resurrect this or something similar, BIHL’s cashflow position is so woeful that they’ll be forced to instruct the sale of players to prevent administration.

  • Art says:

    Another interesting article Dan and you have every right to be concerned about Pannu’s return and the affect it will have on the club.My other concern is about the success of GR and how long he will stay under the current ownership and lack of investment.He strikes me as being a young ambitious manager and a guy who thrives on success.Under the current regime I just can’t see them investing enough money to get the club out of this division and in the meantime Gary and his back up team would be a very attractive propersition.In essence we are still going nowhere with these clowns and we run the serious risk of losing a manager who could perhaps under the right circumstances lead us back into the premiership.

  • Mrs Crosby says:

    My worry is that a bigger club will come along and tempt Gary Rowett away. It sounds ridiculous so early in his career but if is the real deal he could be a very sought after manager. Hughton gave us a year, I hope Rowett stays longer and the BIHL situation doesn’t influence any future decisions

    • StaffsBlue says:

      All we can hope for, is that with Rowett’s affinity to the club, he’ll want to see the job through. Hughton had no such affinity.

      • Art says:

        I partially share your view but I think Houghton realised what was going on behind the scenes and then rightly in my opinion jumped ship.One thing is for certain we will never get promotion until we get some quality players and they cost money-you will never get promotion with a team of players who are either out of contract or loanees and I hope I’m not being disrespectful to the current squad.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I genuinely think we can come close with this squad, maybe top 10… but, as you say, without that bit of extra quality, we’ll probably fall short. Whether that’s a good thing or not, I’m not sure… but I think deep down, I hope we never get promotion with these owners in situ. That would just prolong the agony, because there’s no way they’ll walk away from that kind of money!

        • bluenose08 says:

          totally agree art there were a lot of fans who didn’t like the way ch left but in my opinion he could see what was coming, the sale of his better players and decided the offer of premiership football with Norwich was to good to turn down. I saw some wonderful football under ch and will always remain a fan of his. k.r.o.

          • steve says:

            As i,ve said on here before.Pannu told CH that a takeover was imminent,but CH didn’t believe it.

        • RichardM says:

          Don’t forget Burnley last season – I don’t recall them splashing too much cash (and haven’t in the Premier either…)

        • chris says:

          Burnley did

    • steve says:

      Don’t think he will go Mrs C.Tom Ross said on Saturday when asked the same question,that GR phoned him a couple of times before he got the job,saying he was desperate to have the Blues job.

  • D says:

    cheer up all I have it on good authority from a friend (who was in the chairmans box sat) that a friend of his is about to buy blues and look to invest heavily. Hopefully an early Xmas present!

  • ChrisG says:

    You only have to look at around this time last year when some blues fans were getting carried away saying we could make the play offs & what happened?, all the best loan players we had were recalled & the rest as they say, is history. I know that won’t happen this year as we don’t have many loanees, but as, if Dan says we were forced to sell some of our better players, we could find ourselves in the same position. The only cause for hope if that senario arises, is I think GR is a far better manager than LC.

  • jazzzy786 says:

    While LC tried his best a rendition of you’re shit and you know you are is befitting. I wish him no ill will but I think Olly the world cup octopus could’ve done a better job than Lee Clark. I wonder what it would cost to buy Michael Morrison from Charlton. If we are going to give GR any sort of budget I’d be perfectly happy to see him spend all of the fifty quid on Morrison.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      If we had to sell to buy Morrison, would you accept that, if it was someone like Demarai Gray that had to go?

  • steve says:

    I would accept Gray going yes.As long as we got a decent fee for him. He’s going to go sooner or later and Morrison has become a very important player for us.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      As good a prospect as he is, I don’t think Gray will ever make the impact that Redmond did. Morrison could be a regular for a long time if he signed and has already made more impact IMO.

  • jazzzy786 says:

    I think moving to a top team would be the worst mistake Gray could make as he would never make the team. Regular football is the only way he is going to improve. I wouldn’t like to sell him myself and though I understand the sound logic of selling Gray and getting Morrison I Ioathe the idea of selling another of our unearthed gems. If Redmond gets sold to Liverpool as some of the paper talk suggests I hope the sell on clauses provide us with enough money to stave off selling Gray and buy Morrison too.


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