Often Partisan

Transparency, Family and Protests…

Midlands Today this evening featured three Bluenoses who have set up a Facebook group demanding the exit of Carson Yeung from BCFC. I’ve spoken about this protest before, and I thought it would be a good idea to watch what they had to say and talk about it on here.

I have to admit the three of them came across well. They spoke in reasonable tones about what the group was looking to achieve, although I have to note that there was nothing broadcast about them demanding Carson Yeung to go. One of the key points that they talked about was transparency from the club’s owners; something I myself have spoken about in the last few days.

I also have to admit, I wasn’t overly impressed with the statement that the reporter read from the club. Instead of answering the points that the protesters had, the statement was a deflection stating that the board believed that this group was a minority, and that most want to get behind the team. One consistent thing said by these protesters is that they will back the team at games – they affirmed it firmly in the interview.

In saying that, I’m still not in favour of a protest against the owners. As much as I feel that there is a lack of communication from the board, I think a protest against them would not help the situation. Indeed, from talking to local news sources I get the impression it would only cause the board to entrench themselves further into their position, which would achieve nothing.

The thing is, protesting against a board is always difficult, because it’s not as if they can be sacked. For them to leave another buyer has to come in and judging by the lack of share options taken up in the past people haven’t been racing to put their cash into the club. Whilst I personally would commend the guy who is running the Facebook group as he seems quite a level-headed and passionate fan, there is an undercurrent running through the “wall” of half-truths, untruths and scaremongering. There is an old saw about “a little knowledge being a dangerous” and it’s true – there are many people who are convinced that they know exactly what is going on but get basic facts wrong.

The long and short of it is that we don’t know what is going on with the club financially. We can make guesses judging on perceived behaviour such as players being sold or loaned out, but most of that is based on speculation and conjecture. To judge the club based on conjecture which is based on conjecture is foolhardy at best, and to make statements based on facts that are just not true is folly in the extreme. If we the fans are to criticise the board for anything, the one thing we can criticise them for is the lack of openness displayed. People need to be reassured that plans are in place for likely contingencies at least; at the moment we’re all groping in the dark trying to find information.

If we are “family”, as proclaimed by Carson Yeung when he finally gained control of the club in 2009, then treat us like family. Secrecy and silence breed fear, uncertainty and doubt – which will be picked up by the media and will reinforce our position as a club in crisis when that may not be as true as reported. I’m not asking the board to air all the skeletons in the family closet, but a reassuring metaphorical hug from the father figure wouldn’t go amiss.

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22 Responses to “Transparency, Family and Protests…”

  • RedditchbluenoseTim says:

    So true. If only the board could read this post…

  • Bluehobba says:

    Well said again, I think its the chinese way of doing business. I would guess that it would be even more so now with the situation with Carson. Anyway from Blues fans point of view its always been no news is bad news but for Carson to shell out so much money to the old board, do we really deep down think he will let the club go to rack and ruin. I think we will be okay..eventually.

    • almajir says:

      Expect the worst, hope for the best – it’s the way it’s always been as a Bluenose.

  • I.roth says:

    We realise that players have to be sold and I was not too worried re Gardener and Johnson going. but this latest revelation re Foster being loaned out is very upsetting. surely we are not that hard up for his wages. We are also getting the sky money so in all the total stands at 32 million . By all means sell Zigic and Jeromme for another eight to ten million. that would be a grand total of around forty million. We the fans are behind the management at the moment but if foster goes I can see a revolt.

    • Cleggy says:

      As soon as our current plight became apparent I just assumed the likes of Foster would be going. In fact I’m quite pleased at the prospect of a loan deal which might result in his eventual return to the club. I’m amazed he hasn’t gone already. I also expected Dann to have gone by now. I see little point in dramatic statements threatening ‘revolt’, particularly over a the exit of our best players when we’re in a financial mire. This is what we’re faced with. What concerns me is when players like Ridgewell are linked with moves, because he’s the sort I thought we could hang on to money wise. If we start selling our ‘B’ level players then I think it does speak of a significant fiscal deficit. We haven’t sold them yet, though, so let’s just see how it goes.

  • giblets says:

    “A conjecture is a proposition that is unproven but is thought to be true and has not been disproven”. The board need to come out and do some “disproving”, not on every little bit of tittle tattle but surely on some of the major issues that are facing the club at the moment , other wise the conjecture will continue in the same vain.

    P.S aren’t most blogs, tabloids , sports radio 80% conjecture ?

  • Dirty Bertie says:

    “People need to be reassured that plans are in place for likely contingencies at least; at the moment we’re all groping in the dark trying to find information.”

    Agreed but certain facts are clear:

    1. Auditors have stated there are material uncertainties about the business’s future, i.e. a £24m hole.
    2. CY gambled that BC would not be relegated – he lost.
    3. CY has mortgaged assets, etc. and raised £7m finance but needs £17m more.
    4. CY failed to sell enough shares to raise the cash needed.
    5. CY also needs cash to save his newspaper and, again, investors say they will invest (not fact yet)
    6. CY is the investor with most interest in football. (Not fact but the others are probably only interested in return on investment. If he goes they’ll look to cut their losses)
    7. HK police believe they have sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction or they wouldn’t have laid charges.
    8. Sales to date – £14m approx. so it looks likely that the hole in the accounts will be covered

    So, we can be reassured that the contingency plan is – fill the hole in the accounts by selling players for the best price we can get, cut the wage bill to the bone, sell BIHL shares to anyone who’ll take them, beat the wrap and hope. As a result, BC should at least be a mid-table going concern Championship football team (for a while).

    Questions – doesn’t CY have to prove that the money that went through his accounts was honestly obtained rather than the police having to prove it wasn’t? How much do you think CY could get for the club now?

    Hope CY’s gamble comes off because it would be a shame to lose Peter Pan. He’s proved to be no pushover, as Sullivan, Lerner and Hook have discovered.

    Difficult for bloggers and autoprotesters but, a period of silence till the air clears would benefit. I’m sure we’ll KRO whatever – don’t need no hugs from father figures, been here before.

    At least we have plenty of S to SOTV!!

    • almajir says:

      As with any criminal trial, the onus is on the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Carson is guilty of what they say he is guilty of.

      I’d agree with some of what you say – relegation meant sales and cutting wages regardless of Carson getting arrested. We don’t know what the wages saved are though, and I’ve heard wildly disparate figures for transfer fees raised. If the board can come out and give reassurances backed with a little information, it will go down better. Obviously, not everyone will believe it though and the board might well think they’re on a hiding to nothing by saying anything and thus are keeping schtum.

  • stu (BLUE) says:

    I would like to congratulate you on this organised forum and don’t normally feel the need to write,just read and either agree or disagree.However i find your lack of concern strange,as i see things,
    Gold and Sullivan sold to a man that had been rejected by both Sheffield Wednesday and Reading because he could not prove his true wealth.The board then sold a third of the club to him advertised as having no debts when he purchased the rest he inherited a reported 28 million debt and they settled out of court for unknown damages.
    Then BIH own accountants claimed that they were in money trouble and no plans were made should we be relegated to solve them and so we were.
    Having been relegated , we disposed of the services of many players reportedly saving 10 million(200,000 a week) since then Mcfadden,ferguson and Johnson reportedly a further 70,000 a week 3.5 million.We sold 2 for 13 million ,16 million parachute,3 million for Mcleish,3 million for finishing 18th and i’m unsure what we got for the cup ?
    The point is we still remain approximatley a reported 30 million in debt,so any investment we give i.e tickets is merely passed through the club to china and who knows? at no point has the board tried to sort the debt .Pannu awaits another law suit should anybody say the wrong thing and has placed the manager under pressure by demanding promotion possibly with an unknown goalie,and must realise he is to be the scape goat at the seasons end.
    After all this you still offer your calm support and lets not anger the board(should they hear us in HK) or can we contact our new director on a PS3 chat room in a time of trouble what help can he be? and Yeung remains on bail.Our club is being bled dry lets not go with a whimper and regret but show eagerness to discover whats going on as sadly the the local papers seem short of real reporters.
    CHEERS.

    • almajir says:

      I think you’ve missed one massive huge, salient point. Last season, the club earnt around 50 million in turnover, and spent around that in wages. (This is conjecture) This year, we are likely to turnover no more than 25mil, so not only do we have to halve our outgoings but we have to cover the money lost last year. It’s nothing to do with debts run up in China, it’s the fact the club took a massive gamble wages wise and it didn’t come off.

      You are entitled to show all the anger you want to the board, but in my opinion it will be nothing more than a futile gesture that causes more problems. It would be better to get behind the team and see what happens – we can’t affect change at boardroom level regardless.

      • stu(blue) says:

        No your point is taken and i am aware that we spent more than we earn’t (however your figures are not fact but an opinion) until the financial report .We would need to make up the loss which is what?the warning issued was there is no financial structure in place to recover. What i’m saying is our money ,your money is not going to the club but to unknown investors and so the more we give the more they take until people stop.You’re not supporting the club you are merely paying others.The board are business men ,who are there to make money.
        As for a futile gesture well to understand the people in charge their history and their identity surely makes for a better understanding of their plans.As stated the debt of the club was inherited but they are doing nothing to solve it only grow it, if you’re business was struggling would you hire a child no probably not therefore what is the reason for his appointment.
        Maybe you can wait and see what happens and maybe it will all turn out ok or maybe not?
        I’m a blues fan and will always get behind the team.

  • Lee b13 says:

    I’m really vexed with whats happening down the blues. I do want to believe what peter pannu states, no fire sale- no problems with finance etc but he’s actions so far are making me feel less and less confident that blues will exist long term. Selling players is inevitable, off loading the players out of contract understandable and recruiting frees and bosmans well unfortunately if thats all we can afford so be it. What I cant see is any advantage in loaning out foster? Will the replacement try his hardest knowing he’s only a temp? And can some one answer me if a player is injured does insurance pay his wages? we may not see zigic jerome etc play due to illness- As for new investment if I was capable of owning a club i’d wait a while on blues, as the rollercoaster is still on its descent. Weve been here before with wheldon & the kumars but they didnt invest as much in the acquasition of blues as CY so does he sell or lose control a point thats been discussed on OP. Either way having the decision made by unknowns thousands of miles away is unsettling for us but to organise a protest though justifiable, is futile as those who need to be shouted at are in HK. Unless a knight arrives with 2 cartloads of used £50’s (sic) we really are in the sticky stuff, its been a while but this is the most pessimistic pre season in ages maybe its that we’ve been spoilt with gold and sullivan who had there own issues with the fans or could it be the gypsies curse wrecking havoc because of the cup win but being a blues fan has never been easy. keep up the good work Aljamir great site ! And I wish chris houghton the best he’s gonna need it KRO SOTV

  • Letsby Avenue says:

    Peter Pannu said that there were no problems with finances….
    ….in January.2011 When certain journos had picked up on the auditor’s rider from the accounts 10 months earlier.

    He didn’t say it last night. He said it 7 months ago in relation to that particular “scare”.

    Carson Yeung mortgaged his property to provide Blues with cashflow.(In the dangerous period of Feb-May)
    Sullivan wouldn’t even consider breaking his kid’s piggy-bank to support Blues.
    Yes ! He advanced money,in a January and as the accounts show he was the main credtor and received those advances, in full, when SKY paid TV fees in August.
    Until new accounts are published, we do not know if Carson has reclaimed his mortgages. But that was a brave thing to do.
    So I, personally, hope he has.

    If Ben goes….one word.

    Butland.

    Have you seen him ?

    Never seen him drop a ball,or let one slip. And the Championship could well be his rights of passage.

    Sell everyone that contributed to relegation.lol.

    Keep Jean and Enric, because they didn’t, and roll on the future, Butland, Redmond, Gormis, Burke, Much, Kerr and Asant & Jervis.

    What we need is a good manager duo…..ooops. We’ve got the perfect pair.
    Alex-Peter—-eat your hearts out mates, Blues are going to show you how to do it it now – without bankrupting the club with £50-60K a week players.

  • viperblue says:

    At last someone with optimistiic view….I agree even if the rest of last years players leave,
    hopefully keeping Carr & maybe Ridgewell ,some old heads to guide youngsters,next season does not look so bad.
    Checkout the standard of the other teams and ours holds up well

  • BlueSteve says:

    I absolutely agree with almajir and Letsby. What is protesting going to achieve at board room level… Nothing. The board backed AM’s buys and loan purchases on massive wages in order to ensure we stayed in the Premier League. At the time we were all very happy we the new players. Now as it transpires most of them turned out to be either injured or crap and as a consequence we have got relegated. The board are guilty of if anything not considering the worst case scenario of what if we got relegated and backing AM too much. Now we have to pay for last seasons expenditure on wages this season along with coping with a massive drop in turnover. If that means we have to sell lots of players then so be it. Also telling the fans we have financial problems also alerts buying clubs and weakens our negotiating position when selling. We have debts so we have to pay them. I only hope that we can reduce the wage bill this coming season and CY is found not guilty. Then the following season we will be in a position to mount a serious promotion push with what look like an excellent manager. KRO..

  • chris clarke says:

    There is only one person to blame for the mess we now find our selves in and that is the recently departed Mcjudas negative football ,players constantly played out of postion ,playing the entire season with a back five ferguson never crossed the half wayline most games ,if at the start of the season you were told for half the seoson we would have bentley,helb and martins in the side plus the players we had already signed we would have been thinking europa league here we come yet did those three metioned ever play in the same side together ? not often i would guess ,poor cameron jerome not a natural goal scorer playing up front mostly on his own with no service i actually thought his game improved as the went on despite the lack of service .
    so here we in the championship with out a pot to **** in acording to every tom dick and sky scource , so lets get behind ch and the players and enjoy some attacking free flowing football for a change instesd of that torrid crap we had to put up with the last 3 years[carling cup an exception] and given the choice i would not have swapped that cup run for premiership survival 52 years is a long time mind you i was spoiled form the outset first game 3.0 home win v man utd 1959/60 season KRO

    • Poppa999 says:

      We got £100,000 for winning the Carling Cup. Apart from the kudos of winning, it turned out to be our downfall for the season. McLice’s reluctance to use younger fitter players more and the over reliance on older tired players didn’t help (IMHO), but like the first season he relegated us, he ran out of ideas tactically and motivation waned from the WBA match to the end of the season. Only the Bolton match did his team battle and possibly V Spurs.
      Following the previous season it was the time to kick on and invest as Stoke, Wolves and Baggies and the like are doing now. The background to this whole affair is money (and with a background of the whole world recession) and we poor fans are bearing the brunt. Maybe we should have been more supportive of the knickers salesman we had, rather than having delusions or grandeur!

  • Jay Sidney says:

    The discussion here between almajir and stu(blue) is sober and worthwhile. However, despite the good and creditable work almajir must need to do to keep OP going, the underlying passivity contained in his argument (as far as what Blues fans should think and even do re this board and the current plight of the club) surely leaves supporters feeling completely powerless to at least try to make a difference and register their collective protest to shake these directors up.

    Stu(blue), on the other hand, has said “Our club is being bled dry lets not go with a whimper and regret but show eagerness to discover whats going on as sadly the local press seems short of real reporters”. , ‘ ‘ , Good for you, Stu.

  • Jay Sidney says:

    I’ve just looked at the sections of the Facebook protest Almajir alluded to in his main article here. Nearly 800 have already signed up to it and the trio of Blues fans who set up the protest and who were interviewed on yesterday’s “Midlands Today” programme said nothing on the short broadcast that could be disagreed with. Unfortunately, the Facebook site itself contains some terminology which is racist and also objectionable in other ways (Yeung is a very dodgy businessman indeed whose dealings are harmful to Blues but the fact that he is from HK/China should be neither here nor there). I hasten to add that I am not saying the organisers of the site or the protest are personally responsible for some of the less savoury remarks.

    A protest has now officially been called to take place at the ground before and during next Saturday’s friendly game against Everton. This movement seems to be growing and begs the question as to how the many good and committed Blues fans who insist nothing can be done to highlight concern over the club’s current plight will respond.

    • Poppa999 says:

      Not me, I think it will serve to hurt and discourage the current owners who may well turn their backs and leave us to wither on the vine for many years to come. We are not dealing with Sullivan and Gold here, these are people from a very different culture and mindset and will not take to being brow beaten by us.

      • Dazza333 says:

        I find this statement rather concerning. Do you not think that the chairman and his colleagues have already left us deep in the mire? We currently have a squad of players that resembles Walsall’s in size and quality. Carson Yeung has, in two years, decimated the club and dragged us into a flushing toilet and you are worried about upsetting him? Please explain further the content of this statement.

  • Dirty Bertie says:

    Apparently a Mr Michael Winner would like to make a statement, can’t imagine what he’ll say!

    I have to say, the only people who “took” money out of the club were the last lot and Peter Pan got a lot of that back.

    There isn’t a problem with the financing of the club – as a going concern. The problem is raising the cash to produce a premiership team. We’ve lived with that for a while so we can wait a bit longer to find out if CY can produce the necessary investment, wherever he’s accommodated, or whether they decide to cut their losses. Then we can move on to the next lot.

    Until then, there’s a poker game going on. Hands will be kept close to chests, nothing will happen till it happens (Zen was a Chinaman, I think?). Nothing happens, nothing can be reported.

    However, we can patiently watch with interest how CH plays the hand he’s been/being dealt.

    Good site almajir, don’t let all this kerfuffle drain you too much. Hope you discover more info re other BIHL investors and their likely commitment.


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