Often Partisan

Talks With The League

It emerged yesterday that Blues are to meet with officials from the Football League over the transfer embargo that has been imposed against Birmingham City. The Birmingham Mail has today confirmed that the meeting won’t be today (as first thought), but I thought it would be interesting to talk about it anyway.

The Mail article goes on to talk about the BIHL accounts; Brian Dick has written that they think the meeting has been called because of the imminent release of the long overdue parent company accounts, and confirmed that the league has to be satisfied everything is in order before the embargo is lifted. I will say here and now in my own personal opinion I’m sceptical about the release imminent or otherwise of the BIHL accounts – I’m of the current belief that we’ll see them around the 5th of Never.

So, if they’re not meeting the league to discuss the BIHL accounts, what’s the point? Are the club going to plead the case to lift the accounts because of some other event due to happen – a new manager, or a takeover? Are they going to ask for a temporary reprieve? Again, as laissez-faire as the league seem to be on financial matters, I can’t believe that this is the case. Whilst the regulations are a little ambiguous and vague I think that is purely down to the fact that every case is different and the league want their bases covered – in other words, so they can continue asking for information and proof should they want to if they think things aren’t right.

I don’t think the embargo will be lifted any time soon, and as such this is my theory for what is happening. Think about it logically – we know that Blues can bring in players with FL approval. We know that we’re likely to sell one or two to bring in money the club needs to fund itself – and those players will need to be replaced. When the club is negotiating for those players, surely they don’t want to be in the position whereby they must have everything pencilled in until they have league approval – as there are no written guidelines on what they are allowed there is a need to talk to the league to find out what they think and want.

Thus it’s my belief (and I will state again this isn’t fact, but what I’m theorizing) that the club are meeting the league to lay down those parameters. How many players that Blues can have maximum on their books, how many loan players, maximum wage allowed to be offered, maximum transfer fee allowed – that sort of thing. With those guidelines in place Blues would be able to negotiate with other clubs knowing where the ceilings are – and whilst they wouldn’t be able to break them, they would be able to wrap up a deal and get approval quickly if the selling/loaning club is happy with them.

The League won’t discuss the embargo at all – as Brian Dick states and I can confirm having had a couple of conversations with them myself, they refuse to even confirm or deny an embargo is in place. As such, we’re left with what we can glean from other sources and hypothesis based on logic. The truth is the sooner the embargo is lifted, the better – whilst Blues can operate under an embargo it’s not going to be fun in the slightest. For that to happen Blues, and much more importantly BIHL must have their financial houses in order.

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63 Responses to “Talks With The League”

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Aljamir, Didn’t you mean to say the Twelve of Never :-)

  • danny boy says:

    or is something a bit more drastic that a few supporters have mentioned but a lot of people deny. are they asking for a meeting to discuss “what happens if we go in to admin” is the reason the new guy was appointed to BIH was to over see this?. it might be putting 2 and 2 together but its not beyond possibilities. the more the fans are not told about the situation , the more theories will be out there!

  • Jaffa says:

    I’ll say it again.What a mess!!

  • Gianni says:

    This is a well thought out theory, there has been some serious thought put into this article, but it is a theory none-the-less.

    There is a school of thought that football in general in this country is being looked at with a fine toothed comb in regards to the financial state of clubs, and the way they operate. Almost like a zero-tolerance approach to meeting administrative obligations to provide when asked, full and transparent financial information.

    the fact that the accounts have been promised on numerous occasions but not delivered would have done nothing more than to annoy the football league.

    I do doubt that we will be allowed to be able to bring players until the accounts are provided in good order, otherwise the point of an embargo is academic.

    Keep up the good work though, cracking stuff.

    • almajir says:

      Gianni

      Under the terms of the embargo we can sign players with football league approval – which is normally given when a signing is needed to ensure a club has a squad – cf Portsmouth last year. The parameters of that is what I believe will be decided

      • LiT says:

        Hello there Bluenoses – sorry about Huseklepp not working out for you but I did say he was mercurial when I posted previously.

        Re the rules on playing squads, being a Pompey fan, this is known to me. What PFC operated under last season was a 20 player squad rule but players who were 1st year professionals (under 19s) without senior experience (have appeared in your 1st team squad on 3+ occasions) weren’t included in that list. The 20 players rule included loans.

        So if you have more than 20 senior pros on that basis then you won’t be allowed to extend your squad – players will have to leave first in order for you to bring players in and you’ll have to be reducing your wagebill by doing so (expensive players leave, cheaper players arrive).

  • Oldbluenose says:

    Almijir;, dannyboy, raised the point of the latest recruit to BIH, ranks, as a possible ” overseer ” of a possible sale of our club,?. Have you been able to glean any fresh info, on Who he is, and possibly,?. That is why he has been installed,?.

  • Barry says:

    Almajir, I’m inclined to agree with you as to the prospects of when the BIH accounts will be released which concerns me greatly as there doesn’t seem to be any effective pressure that can be put on the holdings board of directors. Are you aware of any time limits or penalties that can be imposed on the (holdings) company by the Hong Kong authorities?

  • cecilFW says:

    What they will be arguing is that as long as the outgoings cancel out the incomings then there is no nett increase in liabilities. Hence this gives room for manouvre – sell Foster for 4M and 2M p.a. wages, bring in 4 players at same total cost – no increase in risk.

  • Blueboy 88 says:

    Almajir –

    Coventry City have now filed their club accounts , & have had the FL transfer embargo lifted.
    They are owned by Sisu Capital , have Sisu had to file their accounts to the FL , in the same way that BIHL are being requested ?

    • almajir says:

      I don’t know. It’s something I’m looking into

      • Euston 9.18 says:

        ALMAJIR: That was the “jist” I was trying to make on the other thread y`day,BLUES have produced there accounts,but the league want to “mooch” over the bihl accounts aswell,do the prem ask glazers at man.u. / the russian at chelsea even lerner at the vile “we would like to see the accounts of your other ventures ??

        • almajir says:

          Well, aside from pointing out that Man U, Chelsea and that mob across the expressway would be dealt with by the PL … I doubt that their accounts had the comment from the auditors that Blues did.

          • Blueboy88 says:

            Interesting article regarding the Football leagues Financial Fair Play model being introduced to cover all three divisions from the beginning of the 2012/13 season.

            http://fcbusiness.co.uk/blog/?p=361

            The first reporting period for the Championship will be for last season (2011/12), with accounts to be submitted to the Football League on 1 December 2012. Despite this, there will be no sanctions imposed on any clubs who breach the rules during the first two seasons (2012/13 and 2013/14)

  • a hawkins says:

    Do you think this is why we are signing our youth players onto full time contracts because they the embargo wont be lifted. To me it all makes sense.

  • andy says:

    No Blues are signing their youth players up because they simply have to sell off their best players. And they may go on the cheap with season ticket sales being low at present. I feel sorry for the new manager coming in, what an unenviable job he will be taking on! Is there ever going to be any good news to read?

  • Ted says:

    In 50 years of supporting Blues I have never known such rampant speculation, Speculation regarding players, manager, board, sponsors, finances and authorities. This is an inevitable result of the owners long continuing silence on all these matters.

    If the owners have any respect for the fans of BCFC they will, as a matter of urgency, make the fullest statement possible concerning the status of the club and their current intentions.

    We understand that assets are frozen, we understand that their hands are tied in some respects and we don’t have any unrealistic expectations. We just want the truth.

    How can we have confidence in the board and give our full support, when we are treated with such contempt?

    Come on Peter, read the ‘riot act’ to the board and issue a full statement to the media.

    KRO

  • Jay Sidney says:

    Almajir

    The BCFC board has had more than enough time to produce the club’s proper financial accounts. There has been talk from Peter Pannu about a “new investor” being identified but that was a good while back so who can believe that?

    I’ve noticed in recent comments from others on this site that the directors do not appear interested in how much damage their behaviour is doing to Blues as a football club. If they are, why no public statement?

    The following is just an idea (which may or may not be of use):

    How about setting up an online petition (get it advertised in the local media) calling on the directors to either submit the accounts that they need to or else make an announcement vis-a-vis their prepardedness to SELL the club?

    Surely that might at least provide some sort of spark to allow fans to show their concerns and not feel quite so powerless. The petition could be forwarded to whichever BCFC office is deemed most appropriate.

    My IT skills are very limited but I don’t mind liaising with you or anybody else on the petition if it is thought it might be worth a shout.

    • almajir says:

      Hi Jay

      Whilst I can see where the sentiment is coming from, the idea of an online petition isn’t going to work because the board – the people that matter – are in HK and they won’t attention to it. Likewise they won’t pay attention to the Birmingham Mail.

      I keep talking about the supporters trust, and I will again here – I understand that they have plans afoot to try and give a solution to the problem of frustration that many Blues fans are feeling – you can contact them at info@bluestrust.org

  • andy says:

    Coventry City fans have been through far worse and never got anywhere with their protests against the owners of their club.

  • Jay Sidney says:

    Almajir.

    Many thanks for your reply. I was thinking about ways of printing off copies of any protest petition and submitting same by fax, post or whatever to HK offices.

    Supporters Trusts mainly want to set up and facilitate a dialogue between fans and directors and, let’s be honest, that ain’t about to happen any time soon… However, I note the part of your comment where you said the Blues Trust had plans afoot to try and give a resolution to the problem [and a massively growing problem, me thinks] of frustration that many Blues fans are feeling. I can but look.

    Cheers.

  • P.J.Nicholls says:

    If you want a response do as I have done despite several reminder phone calls refused to renew my season tickets -3 as this is the only thing these Gnomes in HK will respond to.
    When they see the breakdown in the buying public someone wii respond as with no money coming in will get the message across.

    • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

      I’ve done exactly the same and kept my grand in my pocket

  • Peckham_Blue says:

    Any correspondence to the HK office should (IMO) be stamped with the Blues logo as large as possible so that at least whoever picks up the post will notice that there is lots of letters regarding the Blues. There’s a good chance no-one there even knows we care or are worried about it. Making it visible at least shows there’s interest here and word should get around that there’s concern.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    If a player wants to sign us and the FL prevent it there is a prima facie case for the player to say that there is a ‘restraint of trade’ and take the FL to court, though what player would be so desperate to want to sign for us would be a good question. :-)

  • jazzzy786 says:

    Can’t we just find a Chinese speaking Brummie and get him to write a letter which we all photocopy and send to the HK office

    • almajir says:

      In honesty, if I had the airfare I’d fly out myself tomorrow with a camera and a laptop and start knocking doors.

  • andy says:

    I see Hughton is ready to shell out £4 mill on Jack Butland, a player he preferred Boaz Myhill over! Strange one that.

  • Poppa999 says:

    I’ve never seen Jack Buttland play. Is he really that good?

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    1/ Never mind talking to the league how about talking to us the fuckin fans eh?

    2/ This BIH company is a f*ckin joke and we all know it. What do they do? Come on, as a company what do they do? Fuck all it’s just a joke parent company.

    3/ Al, are the trust changing their stance re the board? I will join the minute they declare themselves anti board which even you have become now.

    comment edited

  • andy says:

    Like many Blues fans it would be nice to see him actually play for us! He must be good to be gettin the recognition and at England level. Ben Foster reckons Butland is the best young prospect he has ever seen!

  • bluenose08 says:

    almajir says if he had the money to fly out to hong kong he would go well i am prepared to sponsor him with £100 anybody else ? k.r.o.

    • DoctorD says:

      Yeah Blues fans, put your money where your mouth is. If we each forked out £20, he’d have at least £1000.

    • Atahualpa is a BlueNose says:

      I will match you bluenose08.

      We need someone we can trust to truly look into the whole matter with a sense of realism and from a fan’s perspective. Once the funds are raised, we should create as much fanfare as possible and get as much media attention as we can, so that when Almajir is over there, the interest will continue and the powers that be cannot simply avoid it all by keeping their forsaken silence and non-appearance.

      Tell we where I need to post my cheque.

      • alexjhurley says:

        I’ll cough up 20 if Paul carter and mickey 07 do too !

        • almajir says:

          Hi everybody

          I’m humbled by the response to what was in effect a bit of a throwaway comment. I appreciate everybody who reads this site and I’m proud that you think so highly of what I write.

          In all honesty, I feel uncomfortable asking for or taking people’s money. I have my doubts of whether I’m worthy enough of your hard-earned cash; I have my doubts whether I’d be able to do a good enough job for you and it would present a huge personal challenge to spend time in a foreign country not being able to speak much of the lingo, so far away from my family.

          I’m not going to solicit donations or ask for money. On the flip side I’m not going to say no either, because if people think highly enough of me to want me to do something I should at least try.

          Therefore, I’m going to leave my paypal address here – almajir@oftenpartisan.co.uk. If you wish to donate money to that account that is up to you entirely and I’m not going to think ill of anyone who shares my doubts in my ability.

          Once again, I’m going to say – it is not necessary to donate money to me. I thank you all for your thoughts and your praise – I can’t tell you enough how much it means to me.

          • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

            Al, make your position clearer mate.

            Will you use the pay pal dough to go to HK for a week and see what you can find?

            If so there’s a nifty going in from me.

            Don’t worry about not being able to find out jack cos at least we’ll/you’ll have tried. You could maybe put our (the fans) case to the local press who will obviously see the depth of hurt we’re feeling if we’ve sent someone out.

            If it’s for Blues research you’ll be surprised how quick you’ll get funded, if it’s for unlimited curry and beer though you can do one :)

          • almajir says:

            I’d go for three to four days at the cheapest rate possible.

  • Jay Sidney says:

    A few points.

    I contacted Blues Trust via the email address Almajir posted in an earlier comment when he said the Supporters’ Trust had plans afoot. I’ve not received a reply to date but perhaps these things take time. This said, there ain’t that much on their website.

    Fly to HK and knock doors and ask questions? If Almajir knows the right doors to knock and the right questions to ask, I can’t match bluenose08’s £100 but could stump up the £20 DoctorD has suggested if others will commit. So what is the deal re sending cheques, then?

    Also, I can’t believe I am the only one who is wondering why the “Mail” has not despatched an investigative sports reporter like Colin Tattum to Hong Kong to search out the right people and ask the questions. When did this rag last lift a finger to help BCFC?

    • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

      Couldn’t agree more mate

      A Vile rag, always has been, always will be

  • Powickblue says:

    I will glady give to the get him to china fund

  • Wingman Blue says:

    I’m up for 60notes to send Almajir East!

  • Jay Sidney says:

    £180 and counting…Are we up for it or what? What does Almajir think?

    Official sports media – no guts!

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Dear Almajir,

    I’m not going to donate to the fund because I think sadly that that it will be a futile gesture and won’t have any impact. Were a fighting fund to be set up which had a defined strategy for a campaign over many weeks that culminated in a showpiece action or event I believe that would a better use of our monies.

    • almajir says:

      Julian

      I don’t blame you one iota. Whilst it’s a nice idea to send me to HK, I don’t think I could do enough to justify spending other people’s money.

      • BhamCityJulian says:

        And through no fault of your own. You would have do something scandalous like streaking outside their offices to get arrested and press coverage but it’ll be like fish and chips news – lost the day after. Mind you your court appearance might be on the same day as CY so you’d get to meet face to face!

  • alexjhurley says:

    The reality is we need peoples time, enthusiasm and effort invested in the trust. People may percieve its an ineffectual talking shop, but as I understand it trusts can and do achieve a lit. But they take time…..

  • Art Watson says:

    I’m more than happy to make a contribution and have no doubt that Almajir would do his very best to help us all but this is a very tall order and having raised people’s expectations how will he feel if he gets no where with these clowns?

    PP must beware of the mood of the supporters so he’s the one to contact- just for the cost of a phone call or a personal visit in Brum.

    Why can’t this be arranged?

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    It’s not so much what Al will find out which I expect to be fleck all but the statement we make by sending a local lad out to HK to state our case to the local media. They’d love that story and it would be easy enough for Al to set up.

    Our viewpoint is not registered over there and it should be.

  • Art Watson says:

    V good point.

    Has anyone tried to speak to PP directly in the UK?

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    Al

    My nifty will go in this evening

    Boys we need about £1500 -Flight/Hotel/Spending Money

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    Fack me Al that’s silenced everyone lol.

    Is there any point me donating cos it looks like a dead duck already?


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