Often Partisan

The Upward Curve

Birmingham City brought their season to a conclusion on Saturday with a third successive 1-0 victory, lifting them to finish in tenth place. Robert Tesche scored the only goal of the game as Gary Rowett’s men signed off in style in front of 3,600 travelling fans.

I think all the superlatives have been done already; the comparisons of life before and after Rowett’s arrival, the fact that Blues finished closer to going up rather than down in both league position and points – it’s hard not to continually repeat the praise for the man I like to think of as the Bromsgrove Mourinho. Indeed, the end of season Player Awards were held in very much a celebratory mood and I doubt Rowett will have to buy a drink in the Blue half of the city for a while.

I couldn’t help but look at what was happening at Blackpool either, where our former manager ended the season with his team’s game abandoned after a pitch invasion (including, somehow, a mobility scooter) protesting against the ownership of the club by the Oyston family. I can’t help but think there but the grace of God go we – a team that were relegated at the same time as us, who we played in the playoffs the season after, who fought relegation as we did last year.

The situation with Karl Oyston is similar to the situation Blues fans have with Peter Pannu – the sidekick of a convicted criminal (in Karl’s case, his father Owen was convicted of rape in 1996), who has regularly flaunted his disdain for the fans directly in their faces. Karl was a bit more subtle than waving a wad of euros, preferring to make a statement with his private numberplate – OY51OUT. Unlike Pannu, Karl is still very much involved at Blackpool – and is a director of the Football League board – which in itself seems ludicrous.

The simple fact is that despite all the crap we’ve seen over the last four years, Birmingham City haven’t imploded. Somehow, despite the worst home record in Football League history, despite seeing the major shareholder convicted of money laundering and despite seeing the “Acting Chairman” continually treat fans with contempt via the press, Blues are not only still functioning but seem to be back on an upward curve.

I think this is why I feel a bit shirty when I see people demanding instant action with respect to behind the scenes change. While it’s not been easy the sterling work of people behind the scenes has ensured that the club still functions, still pays its bills and hasn’t run up humongous debts – and in turn that has meant when Rowett has come in, they’ve been able to back him by finding the money for the likes of Michael Morrison, Robert Tesche and Diego Fabbrini. Acting Chief Executive Roger Lloyd once again affirmed to the audience at the awards ceremony last night that no money goes back to HK from Birmingham – our ticket money is not propping up Carson’s failing empire.

Friday marks one month since the last announcement with respect to the sale process and as such the Receivers should give us an update – if only to say “we’re still working on it”. Even though I spotted one person I understand to be involved with a bid last night at the awards do, I’m sure that it’s going to be a prolonged transition – but I do not believe that is a bad thing. With the club running smoothly, it makes sense to do things in such a way that the boat isn’t rocked unduly – and in such a way that there can be no comebacks in the court rooms of Hong Kong.

Rowett has shown us what someone bringing professionalism and organisation on the pitch can do with the players we already had. We need to allow Ernst and Young to prove to us that bringing that same level of professionalism and organisation to BIH can allow things there to progress satisfactorily.

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60 Responses to “The Upward Curve”

  • Bluenose1 says:

    Reading this really does make you realise what a good job they are doing at blues and what a fantastic job Gary Rowett & his staff have done well said OP. KRO.

  • ChrisG says:

    Strange as it may seem, we actually owe a big debt of gratitude to Lee Clark for working so hard at the end of last season to bring in the players that he did. Ok not all of them worked out & it took a different manager & a couple more signings to get them to gel as a team, but he put together the nucleus of the squad & for that we should give thanks. I’m actually feeling really optimistic about our future, with or without new owners & it would be great if we could get Tesche, Fabbrini & Kiernan signed permanently along with 1 or 2 more additions we should be looking up rather than over our shoulders next season. KRO

    • StaffsBlue says:

      He may not be a good manager, but 9 of his signings made up the nucleus of the team that helped the club finish 10th. Randolph, Caddis, Robinson, Grounds, Davis, Gleeson, Cotterill, Shinnie and Donaldson. I think Gleeson hit the nail on the head in the BM this morning… the difference has been confidence. Obviously, Rowett is far superior in that department.

  • GreatDane says:

    I think the greatest star of this team is the manager! And we do have some fine players, but still….

  • StaffsBlue says:

    As for Blackpool, what’s happened there is a disgrace. All that premiership money and hardly a penny spent on the playing side, pitch or training facilities. Players signed as the season has gone on, on 1 or 2 month deals, contracts of (allegedly) £90 pw. HTF did the owners expect it to end? I think they’ve got off lightly tbf… so far!

    Blackpool MUST get off to a good start next season if they’re going to halt the slide. I think LC knows this could be his last management job if he fails.

    • oldburyblue says:

      I really feel for Blackpool supporters. The team did brilliantly to get into the Premiership and I backed their decision to use the windfall to improve their ground rather than wasting it on expensive transfers and wages when it was almost certain that they would be relegated the following year no matter who they bought with their limited budget. The Premiership money, including parachute payments should have sustained them for many years but it would appear that the money was ‘creamed off’ before it could be used for footballing purposes. As for Lee Clark…we should be grateful for the players he brought in to our Club. I thought at the time that he must have a ‘death wish’ going to Blackpool. He certainly doesn’t seek an easy working life does he?

      • StaffsBlue says:

        When Blackpool were promoted to the premier, I said to my son, that if they didn’t replace their 4th division defence, they’d have no chance. They were good, hard working pros, but nowhere near premier standard. Blackpool were brilliant going forward that season, but that defence let them down.

      • Tony says:

        The Players Clark brought in were and remain below average apart from Donaldson, Credit to Rowet for elevating them to a workable unit, thats all they are, he has them following orders and discipline, thats all simple.
        No crediit should go to Clark, only contempt, he and Otston deserve one another

        • chris says:

          it’s easy to say they are average because this team finished in an average position, but considering where they had come from post November, then they are above average with 72 points on the post November form if taken over 46 games at approx 1.5 points per game.
          Cotterill average???
          scoring nine times from the wing, it’s more than Burke got this year so THIS season he’s not average.

          • Dan H says:

            I agree there are several of Clark’s signings that are clearly good Championship players.

            The credit should be shared between Malcolm Crosby and Clark as they clearly have an eye for talent, but not much of a clue when it comes to coaching, tactics, or management

            Every season there are 10 teams in the Championship that have good players that would look to secure a playoff spot, the teams that generally go up are the teams that have 3/4 quality players that stay fit.

            Unfortunately I don’t think we’re in a position to sign 3/4 quality players but we’ll be competitive and I’ll be happy with that

            It wasn’t much fun taking my 11 year old to matches when Clark was manager, how times have changed

        • StaffsBlue says:

          All below average apart from Donaldson? I’m sorry Tony, but I have to disagree… and I’m sure Mr Rowett would too. No team with 10 below average players is going to finish in 10th place, no matter who the manager is. It’s disrespectful to the players to suggest otherwise.

  • Mitchell says:

    Since relegation in 2011, we have endured 4 seasons of both elation and sorrows. This ranging from Chris Hughton getting us into the play offs to almost despair with seconds of entering sky Bet One.
    What has become evident in all our bouncy rides is that this club continues to have tremendous bottle when it matters. Good players have continually been driven out by the likes of PP, every young promising player has been touted for sale e.g. Mutch, Redmond and a good manager like Hughton who Pannu circulised across the manager less clubs. We may not be a Chelsea or the likes, but we do have that very,very special ingredient that whoever puts on a blue shirt gives relentless efforts for the cause. My hope for the future is that the prospective buyers are able to recognise this and look back over the last seasons and think ‘what if this club had money,and wonder how far they could have gone’.

  • Mickey07 says:

    Good blog dan,
    I think we/fans are just looking for a bit of light regarding transfers this summer window (something to get excited about throughout the summer) we would all love to see rowett with a couple of quid to spend,we have everything in place at the club now in great staff behind the scenes,great staff in rowett and his staff behind him and we seem to have a bloke like panos who actually cares for bcfc everything is ready to “go” feels like you /we have all been saying for ever now “we have to be patience”!!!!!thats the frustrating part….really really hope we don’t miss this summer window..
    P.s. interesting you seen someone there last night you believe to be involved with the bid…what continent are they from?

  • ian ambrose says:

    We went to bolton last saturday blues fans singer and shout “fuck off and hand off to CY and PP”!!!!>>>>> Come 1st blues fans vote!!! Brilliant manager Gary Rowett is cleve at blues and bring new player top 10th in league

  • A Hawkins says:

    I think all Bluenoses would appreciate the hard work that goes on in keeping the club going. I do believe we are blessed with genuine staff who care about Blues and only want the best. I only hope that when a new owner does come in then i hope he will see the hard work these people have done and stick with them. I really hope he doesnt make wholesale changes.

  • DoctorD says:

    It’s just nice to finally feel the team and club are going in the right direction. Things have stabilized after three seasons of free-fall and there’s a good, reliable management team in charge. No-one’s expecting miracles next year, but if we stay in the top 10 most of the season, I for one would be more than happy. Getting off to a flying start next year would be great and it helps that this season has ended on a upward curve.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I’ve really enjoyed this season and with things on the field lookin promising and off the field more stable then I think we can all look forward to a better season than this one and that would mean a push for the the playoffs .. Rowett sounds encouraged and that sounds good to me with money available and keeping the main core without having to sell .. Lets hope the doom and gloom of the past 4 years is on its way out and posetivety is round the corner , I will now drink to that literally , cheers guys! Lol&kro

  • rhees says:

    I’m thrilled with the season and waiting with interest to see who goes who comes in in the closed season.
    Its great to have a bit of excitement back and hope for the future.
    I know a lot of supporters are already talking of play offs nxt season but I think another season without relegation worries would count as a successful season.
    Keep up the good work Dan.

  • rhees says:

    Ment to add kro lol

  • rhees says:

    Dan will you still be posting through out the clsed season I hope so

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I personally can’t wait to see the retained list. Apparently, Rowett will be talking to the players today, so hopefully, we’ll hear something this week, maybe. I wonder, too, how long Rowett will give players (ie Randolph, Gray, Spector) to sign new contracts, before he moves on.

    • DoctorD says:

      Staffs – what do you mean “before he moves on”. I hope you don’t mean Rowett is leaving do you? Or was “he” meant to be “they”?

  • Dave Mann says:

    He said he wants to get it done early so I can’t see him being hold to ransom by anyone including Demari Gray.. A contract will be put In front of those he wants and they will have a choice to make , stay and help the club push on as they have helped you or go and I will look else where .. That’s how harsh rowett as to be and if he stands is ground then he will have my utmost respect … The club will not be held to ransom and lets hope that come the start of the season we will feel as posetive as we do now! Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Absolutely agree. Those 3 players (Randolph, Spector and especially Gray were made offers a while ago. If they haven’t made up their minds by now, get replacements in. Same with other players. No place for sentiment.

  • latchford says:

    Dan, spoke to somebody last week who told me Birmingham Ladies is actually owned 100% by Pannu….this can’t be right, surely ? He also said we were lucky to get Rowett since Panos had strongly opposed him in favour of Phelan….any truth in either of these ?

    • Blue Lizard says:

      Was it a villa fan dressed as a large penis?

    • Carl says:

      does it really matter ??

    • almajir says:

      1) It’s a tricky issue. The company which holds the licence is indeed 100% owned by Pannu – and it has no office, no website nor telephone number. It’s seperate to the company which runs the team. It’s what I would term a “delicate situation”.

      2) Phelan was favourite until he was interviewed…. Leave the rest to your thoughts.

  • great Post again Dan! “People at the club continue to do well to keep us going”. I also agree with the comments about Lee Clarke and we should remember that he bought into the club – I mean the ethos which, most players get I believe it’s called a Heart & Soul- That stems from our fantastic supporters. And it seems everyone at BCFC!

    On a Sad note my friend Gordon Harris (Sleepy Gordon) Died suddenly in the street last Thursday 30 April 2015. Leaving Four Children without a Mom or Dad – A Massive Blues Supporter a Geat man – A Fantastic Father – who will be sadly missed by All who knew him. RIP Gordon We will do everything that we can for Your children who survive You. We will also ensure that the kids have a season ticket that is Thomas – Lily and Alex (though at the moment Alex is not sure he wants to come to the games without his dad) there are also lots of things to be sorted before then and we will ensure that everything that is needed will be done to keep the family together. Our thanks to Gordon’s Niece Lisa her Partner Richard and Gordon’s Sisters. Not forgetting the children. Sophie, Thomas and the twins Alex & Lily. RIP Gordon Best Wishes xxxx Poddy

    • Tony says:

      Clark and Ethos< how many times do I have to tell people Clark was a disaster, If you call wallowing in tears whilst texting his Wife as he did at Boltonl last year heart and soul, then you are wrong. He was crying with self pity an altogether disgusting sight
      There is not one positive thing I can say about him. love to hear what terry Mac and the other mate of his have to say, if they ever speak about it.
      As for the players he bought into the club I stick by my opinion apart from Morrison they were distinctly average, Rowetts signings have made the difference Morrison, tesch, Fellini

  • Dave Mann says:

    I live on the glebe Steve so not far away and my condolences to the loss of your friend Gordon .. As for lee Clark your right … Most of our first team squad are Clarke men and we’ve finished 10th so that’s fair enough but changes must happen now because fans I spoke to at Bolton and on Davos diary agree that the playoffs are a possibility and if I say it and those fans say it who go to most games home and away then you better believe it !! Kro

  • Steve Lea Village Blues says:

    Thanks Dave for your kind words re Gordon. “I fully agree that changes are needed Dave – Would Love it if this Great Club of ours was finally sold to competent people who can drive the club in the right direction !!!!
    KRO-

  • Dave Mann says:

    Here, Here mate and we all second that ! Lol&Kro

  • andy says:

    It is incredible really that Birmingham have achieved a top 10 finish after everything that has gone on off the field when most clubs have gone the other way in the past. To think that Blues were seconds away last season from falling like Blackpool have this and the likes of Coventry and Leeds, just to name two, have done in the past. If Gary Rowett is happy with the plans for next season, then so am I

  • SteveR says:

    In terms of the future, the big achievement by GR has been to make the club sellable. Potential buyers are looking at a club which would be stable, could be well-supported and will be nearly good enough to launch a drive for the Premier League and its attendant riches. Ernst and Young could very well have some serious approaches in the months to come.

  • Eric says:

    While I respect you, I hate your Bromsgrove Mourinho label for Rowett. Mourinho is sooo arrogant and, except for Chelsea fans, disliked by most supporters and media people. He has earned that through his arrogance. I believe Rowett is nothing like that. PLEASE come up with another label for Rowett, if he needs one…he has earned our respect as Rowett – his own man – not a replica of an arrogant Portugese guy. Thanks

  • Dave Mann says:

    Eric , he’s respected by most supporters because he’s the best manager out there .. Stop being blind about what you think other people think of morinho .. He’s the best and stop telling me I think different . Kro

    • Blue lizard says:

      I actually like Mourinho..the game needs characters and you can’t argue with his results..as for the media? they get enough mileage out of him ..otherwise they would have to resort to things like the Viler Mail “face in the crowd” bo**ocks

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I have to agree. Without managers like Jose Mourinho, Neil Warnock, Steve Evans, even Barry Fry… we’d have the vanilla of Wenger, Martinez and that ilk. I know which I’d prefer any day. But I still can’t stand that Bromsgrove Mourinho cr*p! ;)

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    Eric-It’s a reference to Mourhino’s extensive managerial record and expertise not his personality. You couldn’t pay GR a bigger compliment than to liken him to the “GREAT ONE”.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Seen a rumour that Colin Doyle is on his bike, Anyone know if there’s any truth in it?

    • bluenose08 says:

      If colin does go I wish him well and would like to thank him for the memorable penalty saves he made at wolves and chelsea to name a few, A really nice guy and will miss if he goes as he was a good reserve choice goalie.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I second that. He’s been a loyal servant to the club and deserves to have a few years as No.1 somewhere.

    • BhamCityJulian says:

      Yes Doyle’s been shown the door. Randolph’s talking to Sheffield Utd so we should withdraw his contract offer as we are now just a fallback position

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I absolutely agree with that stance. If they don’t want to sign straight away, feck em. We need players who are committed to the club. It’s not as though those offered new contracts are irreplacable anyway.

      • Tony says:

        Randolpph is one of those I was talking about he is not good enough,hes a reasonable shot stopper but every other department of goal keeping he is poor. Let him go and get a replacement.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I certainly wouldn’t be disappointed if he left. He wouldn’t be hard to replace.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    So Blues’ have offered terms to out of contract players! The important thing is who they haven’t offered contracts to.
    It seems Reilly, Packwood, Gunning, Green, Doyle, Eardley, Novak, Thomas and Bell are leaving?

    • StaffsBlue says:

      No real surprises with the contracts offered. I’m more interested in who is going. It will give some indication to where Rowett might be thinking of strengthening.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    LC has resigned from the Blackpool job.


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