Often Partisan

The Five Stages of Supporting Blues

Twenty-four hours is a long time in football. In that time I’ve seen the whole gamut of emotions within the comments here after the departure of Jordon Mutch to Cardiff. I like to think of it as the five stages of supporting Birmingham City.

It all starts with denial. “Oh My God, are they serious? That can’t be right, we can’t have sold Jordon Mutch.” I’ll admit, it was my initial reaction when I saw on Twitter the confirmation from the official Blues twitter feed that the midfielder had moved on. Not so much because the kid is the second coming of Lionel Messi, but because it was so out of the blue – there’d been no warning, no rumours that he was off despite him having a medical earlier in the week. Just a 140 character statement and boom Blues have lost another player.

Predictably next came the anger, and I think many fans are still seething a day later. Again, I don’t think it was about who had been sold – but what it represented as a decision. With Blues having virtually no football management at all in place it appeared that this had to be a decision made by Peter Pannu – and the level of trust and faith in the acting chairman seems to be at an all-time low in many quarters. What didn’t help was the Daily Mail saying that the fee was around the million mark – which seemed pathetically low when you take into account Mutch’s potential and talent. We now know that may well have been wrong, with a figure of £3mil floating around as being closer to the mark – but the damage has been done as many are sceptical of this figure and point to the sale of Mutch as the start of a new fire sale.

Then there was the bargaining. “Well, he wasn’t that much good anyway, we won’t miss him.” “His set pieces were awful.” “He was badly injury-prone.” It was almost a backlash to the anger as people swung the other way and tried to paint it as a relatively good deal – or at least one that made footballing sense. In fairness, I can see that as well – Mutch has had a couple of very serious injuries and I did wonder when he broke his ankle if he had the kind of luck with knocks that dogged Mikael Forssell’s career. I’d also have to say that £3mil is probably close to a good market value for Jordon; yes, it might suck to sell someone at a tender age but you never know what is around the corner and it might just be that Blues have struck lucky and have sold him on before injuries really take hold. I hope not for the lad’s sake – but it is a possibility.

Then comes the depression. “Blues won’t be reinvesting anything, whether they got £1mil or £3mil, they have a transfer embargo and we’re going to be playing the academy lads in the first game of the season.” Again, you can see where people are coming from with this and I will admit this is where I found myself for a while afterwards. The whole feeling that the team was being sold from under us, that all the good work of last season was going to be undone as players are hawked off to the highest bidder to keep the club chuntering on financially – well, I can’t say it appeals much. Having seen Blues in Europe last year, win a trophy 16 months ago and play some decent attacking stuff in the Championship it hurts to think we might be struggling to compete this year.

Finally there is acceptance. We’re Blues, we’ve always been shit. We’ve been through worse in the past – Wheldon, the Kumars, near bankruptcy, the third division, crowds of under six thousand, Andy Gosney in goal, Ken Armstrong in defence, Dean Peer in midfield and Mark Sale up front. We’ve suffered in the past and come through it and this is just another chapter of the sorrows which makes the joys – however rare they come – seem all that sweeter when they do arrive. So what if we’ve not got a team, at least the young lads will get a chance, the fairweather support will drift away leaving the proper hardcore and we’ll still have some good days out.

In short – as bad as some of the temporary lows have been and undoubtedly will be, it’s nothing we’ve never dealt with before. All we can do is to pick ourselves up – and if we’re brave/stupid enough, get back on the Blues bandwagon and see where it takes us next. As Rudyard Kipling said

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same

well, to paraphrase, “Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And—which is more—you’ll be a Blues Fan, my son!

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45 Responses to “The Five Stages of Supporting Blues”

  • Julian Glass says:

    Ken Armstrong – I’d forgotten him. ‘What a Wonderful World’ hardly seems appropriate but it was really good

  • Noel Blake says:

    You forgot the ‘It’s time to look forward’ stage when we all start discussing whether we’ll cheer, clap or boo Mutch when he next plays at St Andrews.

    You know, discussing it like we think the kid’s going to really give a stuff what we do.

  • BowThai says:

    Being a Blues supporter of many years i thought ..how many times have i been thru your above five stages-i gave up after 5 mins and said to myself..stuff it im a Bluenose,born one and always be one.As you say we all dont know how long this sorry chapter will last.One thing is sure we WILL come thru it,stronger,better and ALWAYS Blue..KRO

  • Letsby Avenue says:

    :-)

    I’m glad I refrained from posting yesterday mate.In the “Angry & Disgruntled …” whatever blog

    You are now attributing to ‘Bluenoses’ five stages of support?

    Why not four…six or ten even :-)

    They are YOUR 5 stages. No one elses.

    Come on, you lost it! And where you are normally precise to the point of pedantry ( a compliment) – your blog about Much leaving was pretty scary.
    The frightening thing was it came out of the blue. Out of left field.

    That was all.

    No Moxley exckusive, no Nursey in-the-know. No Tatts-Dick !

    And what does it all boil down to?

    A prospect being sold to give cashflow, to a manager who will probably use him in a slightly different way to Chris, as he did before, and may actually restore his high praise once again.

    And Blues get cashflow.

    More may go.

    Al, mate, there is only one stage of supporting blues and it is gritting teeth, and releasing the muscles into a smile. It’s often called a grimace or pained smile.

    There’s really no need to camolflauge an emotional blog.

    Much shocked the rest of us as much as it did you – MAINLY because it was unexpected.

    Some if us do not have 5 Stages of separation nor 5 stages of retrospection.

    We are blues mate.

    Please, please go back to the clinical, and superb analysis and research you do.

    I’ll forgive you this time :-)…..cos it was a shock….but please, no more emotions….

    Take care mate.

  • Chris says:

    As much of an out of the blue shock as the transfer of Mutch was, let’s take the positives out of this, one morning soon we’ll wake up, turn on Sky sports news & find that we’re now in the hands of some billionaire arab sheikh who makes Man City look poor & just wants to throw his fortune into Blues being the best in the world………..Well here’s to dreaming….KRO

  • daddyblue says:

    Thanks Almajir, I now have my Faith back, yes we are blues and will always be no matter where we go. You are wrong Letbe we are emotional suppoerters Kro4ever

  • Bluehobba says:

    I still think it sucks that a player can be sold off no matter how much it was for before they got their manager in,,especially as it was the week they were supposed to be interviewing. I said the other week that PP likes to do business very quickly and the quicker they get a manager in the quicker there will be another opinion on who stays and who goes.

  • Leigh says:

    But it was not out of the blue…………………..since the failure of promotion there have been regular comments on who will leave, and Mutch was constantly in the frame.
    Thr shock was that things are apparently so bad ( I do not know in which respects) that a home grown and dare I say loved player, should move to another Championship club . Now he has left, it becomes a question not of who will be sold next, but ,who actually wants to go and how quickly.

  • DoctorD says:

    The positives, if there are any, are that the club are in a financial doo-doos and so need money to survive. PP hasjust got us £3m for a 20-year-old.

    You may not like it, but what’s worse — a shit club or no club?

  • sam says:

    It’s the hope that kills you!
    At least the queues will be smaller next season.
    KRO………

  • viperblue says:

    Hey Al don’t knock Mark Sale,Barry fry paid us good money for him and helped keep us going
    He was not under contract and barry could have had him for free but Fry knew how non-league
    worked and saw us right

  • JK1875 says:

    I kind of would like the club to fold and start again from the bottom. Just sick of fans always looking for a saviour and always getting a gangster.

    We need to stand on our own two feet and to do that we need the crooks out, the accounts open, the debts paid and then, Forward.

  • Tony D says:

    If I were a prospective new manager I;d be very hacked off if players were being moved out before I had put pen to paper. To be fair, I don’t think PP is the kind to do that either. Which suggests to me that Lee Clarke’s appointment is imminent, and that PP has already run this past him.Who knows? maybe Mutch was angiling to go? He worked closely with Malkay McKay before…

  • TrueBlueForever says:

    I like that “shit club or no club”.
    So what if we become a Barnsley for a few years, I’ll still go.

  • Swiss Jonny says:

    I think Tony D may be right.Perhaps PP has had a chat with the prospective manager and said look cash-flow is an issue , season ticket sales are bad so I need a few million to get us through.Ive got a decent offer for a young man who was inconsistent last season and injury prone.Im going to take it.Im also going to sell Foster for 4 million and Redmond for 6.You can have 8 million to strengthen the squad and we have another 2 in the bank for a rainy day.I suspect I’m dreaming but last years squad minus Redmond and Mutch and of course Foster who never played- with 8 million quids worth of new players would do for me!I need something positive to hang on to!

    • Peckham_Blue says:

      Swiss Jonny; that’s how I see it. Losing Mutch to keep cash flow is more than acceptable to me. In fact it’s a pretty reasonable compromise given what we know. I’m not shook yet.

    • nicky wicky says:

      dream on!

  • PeeJay says:

    Has anyone thought that maybe, just maybe, this transfer was on the CH ‘to do’ list?

  • DoctorD says:

    I don’t go to nearly as many games as most of the fans who comment on OP so you’re the ones who know much better than me how well Mutch is/was. But not having watched him play as much gives me a bit more perspective — in other words, we have just got £3m for a 20-year-old, which — just in business terms if nothing else — is not bad. I am sure PP will be in the market for some loaness once the transfer business starts up again.

  • Dave says:

    You missed out
    Despair

  • woody says:

    Ken Armstrong dean peer and jumble has everyone forgotten the legend Kenny Lowe the glen hoddle of non league the good old days

  • AL-LAD says:

    How fickle football fans can be, how quickly anger can turn to apathy.
    So this is the indifference of people’s realisation that as Blues fans we have no control, we have no say, we have no optionobit to accept what is going on at our club. The alternative, Protest, withhold our support, rally the media, FA, local business, anyone who will listen, nah what’s the point, didn’t do them any good at Blackburn, that’s a waste of my time, we can’t be bothered with that.

    Let’s just wait and see how it all pans out, wait and see how many players get sold off, wait and see who we are left with, least we’ll still have a club, we’re been here before, right?

    PP now knows silence is the best policy, Blues fans may react with a little anger, but by not fanning the flames they’ve talked themselves around, roll up roll up who wants a Redmond for 4 million, any takers for a Davis for 5?

  • Thomas Hallberg says:

    Great stuff again!!! I really love reading your collum.
    BUT it’s seems to be quite a hard thing to be supporting the blues.
    But as always YOU NEVER LEAVE THE TEAM YOU LOVE.
    All I’m waiting for now is that we get a new manager in, get the embargo lifted and some information from the owners what there intentions are. Are the club for sale? And if not, what are there plans for the future?

    As supporters we shall always be united in giving our the team all the support we can. Of course there will be anger when we think that the owners are not doing there job.

    What are the owners intentions? I would like to get an answer to that.
    I remember the days in the third division too and have got a lot of sticks from my younger brother who is a Arsenal-fan through the years.
    So the league-cup triumph last year was a great time for me of course .

    But right now I’m afraid that it seems like we’re going in for some really hard times. And then we have to remember that there’s always sunshine after rain. KEEP RIGHT ON!!!!

  • bluenose08 says:

    12mths ago i got the sack went to tribunal 12mths later got my job back and comp.in that 12mths i was really down having to live on jsa but one thing that brighten up my life was watching and reading about blues doing well in europe and the league and i managed to get to the last 8 games at home brilliant. so you see a lot can change in 12 mths lets hope this time next year we have new owners in the mean time lets k.r.o.

  • ForevertheOptimist says:

    rather have sold Mutch than have to sell Burke or Redmond.
    Fact is we need to continue to cut our cloth and I’m sure someone has already been identified to fill the void on the cheap.
    At the end of the day Us supporters are informed on a need to know basis……and unfortunately although we want to know we don’t need to know the logic for every decision.
    Its business and ultimately PP is paid to keep us above water until Carson is cleared.
    We are a club in transition and fighting for survival against the odds with no owner allowed to keep us afloat….Take the money,move on and keep smilin.
    At least we still have a club………

  • Ebeneezer says:

    I dont like the wording “the second coming of Lionel Messi” , hes completely crap on the world stage, and totally overrated! Hes the Mark Ramprakrash of football!

  • bhlues says:

    Not posted before, but have to after this.
    It seems to me we need to see the world from KY’s eyes.
    We failed to get up last season, despite the efforts of the finest manager I have seen at the Blues since the days of the Bald Eagle (Jim Smith). If the miracle had happened KY could have sold the club as a going concern and we may have been realised.
    He will know that it is now very unlikely we will get up next season, he has a need for regular money to come in to pay the legal fees and keep his core businesses in Hong Kong going while what looks to be a long legal process takes place.
    So, what he will do is to “sweat his assets”, to use a piece of business bullsh!t. He will sell off assets on a need to go basis, according to who will pay a reasonable price (this is not a firesale). Curtis Davis will probably go to Norwich, Redmond to a premier division academy and Nikola Vigic will be with us forever as noone else will pay his wages.
    So what we can hope for – that eventually the trial processes will clear, we will stay in the Championship and KY will eventually have a stronger reason to sell us off than to keep us on. Most of the best players will be gone, but the fans will remain and as this will be a slow and painful process we have to pray for an inspired managerial choice that will give us some entertainment and keep up afloat.
    No-one ever said supporting the Blues would be easy………….

    p.s. Also have to say this is the finest football related blog I know thanks Almajir!

  • danny boy says:

    The only thing that gives me hope now I am at the bottom is something happening about a potential takeover?

    Almajir what’s your take on the following tweets from yesterday? I know nursey is an idiot but where has he got this info from? And Andy walker. Obviously Andy’s opinion is more or less “the club line”. Also Ian Dutton regarding new sponsorship?

    @JamesNursey: Am told Carson’s masterplan at #BCFC is to sell 2 or 3 players to balance books & help attract buyer for club. And this includes foster and Davies

    @KieranBcfc89: @_andywalker_ Many now refusing to renew, many wanting refunds for st’s…. How will the clown’s that “run” the club react to that?
    @_andywalker_: @KieranBcfc89 Hopefully developments in the coming weeks will win those over.

    “@IanDuttonBCFC: Excited about the week ahead at BCFC, some big sponsorship news could be around the corner! #Bcfc

    I also mentioned in another post on here a few days ago about the new director at BIH. Why is he coming in? Is it to oversee the sale of the club? If PP was a solicitor in HK why would they need 2? IMO it seems that this new guy’s expertise is in takeovers and buyouts and PP’s is in criminal law?
    I would be interested in others theory on these points

    • almajir says:

      Danny Boy

      The tweets:

      James Nursey – I’m not sure he knows the full SP and I’d take that as maybe guesswork.

      Andy Walker – Andy is the club’s PR man and yes, he will say the company line. However, I’d like to think Andy wants the best for the club and the fans and it might be that there some things in the next week that are positive. Maybe not a huge investment – but things like a managerial appointment or maybe the transfer embargo ending?

      Ian Dutton – Shirt Sponsors. In some ways it’s not that exciting – but remember how long it took to nail down RationalFX last year? If they have got someone it might point to the fact things aren’t quite as bad as we fear and that people do still want to be connected to the club.

      As for Cheung Kwai Nang (Anthony Cheung) – the supporters trust are urging people to contact him on Friday. Why not ask him yourself?

      • danny boy says:

        This is a great initiative Al. I will be doing it myself. If it’s OK I will post on the Birmingham City Face book page Can we get this publicised even further? Can we get this message out to Tom Ross, Colin Tattum, Radio WM, Midlands Today? If there were over 10,000 people doing it surely BIH will give in and sell up.
        Regarding Andy’s tweet. I think that a managerial appointment (in particular if it is Clark-which I’m told, will be announced Tuesday) and the embargo ending will not be enough to appease the masses IMO

        • almajir says:

          The more people that get involved, the better.

          • danny boy says:

            Nice one. For the record I have just tweeted the following people about this, Neil Moxley, Colin Tattum, Janine Self, James Nursey, Tom Ross, Central News, Midlands Today and Radio WM. Posted message on Facebook on official page and various other blues ones. Hope others can spread the word to as many people as possible

          • danny boy says:

            almajir can you send me your email address I have got a “donation” for the trust

          • almajir says:

            Don’t send it to me.

            email info@bluestrust.org and I’m sure that they will be happy to take that from you

  • Alan Francis says:

    Almajir re the above there is no acceptance, the sale and situation is a total disgrace. A new manager will not lift spirits. Its only when the owners have gone that we can see blue skys again. So for the sake of the club and its supporters I ask them….. Please just go!!

  • Louise says:

    To be honest, I’m still at the angry stage, only because he was so young and showed some flashes of class last season. Giving kids first team contracts just points to us needing the likes of Jordon this season more so than ever.
    On the other hand, if the likes of Davies, Redmond and Burke go, then I’ll be flamin furious!!!

  • kentucky blue says:

    Lot of people saying 3 mil is good buisness dont see the club will lose more than that with fans not buying season tickets etc. In my view angering the fans is not good buisness. This kind of stuff has been going on for years at blues and each time we lose fans who have been loyal for years and they dont come back, i know some, so i say bad buisness kro

  • kentucky blue says:

    It has also been said it might have been told LC about the sale of JM, if so they should have waited till hes boss before selling then the board would not be getting all the flak.

  • David flanigan says:

    Blues in the shit or not we are blues fans till the end whoever is here, who ever leaves , whoever remains loyal we will love those that don the shirt !!! :-) I live in Peterborough these days yet I still get down st Andrews with my season ticket with my dad , all we can give is our support to the team we have ! I try not to worry about things I cannot control and we certainly cannot control what goes on high up at our club but what we can control is our love for our club , our support for it , the atmosphere our team needs to thrive and succeed !!

  • Paulo says:

    Every Birmingham City fan has reacted to this in so many ways, and that shows the wide response in opinions which have exploded this weekend. I think this ‘Mutch’ issue really has shown the various media platforms what the fans are thinking and feeling right now, and I hope and pray that someone at the BCFC board is paying attention to this and is following what is being said about them. I also think that I would become a qualified airline pilot in a 2 week crash course before anyone in Hong Kong remotely gives a sh*t.
    I only hope that the hardcore that will go to St Andrews will bring the atmosphere with them and show what could be a new(ish) team some spirit.
    I reckon that all those that opposed the Carson song will probably want to hear it at full blast this time, which it more than likely will be.

    Football has still got to be played hasn’t it?

  • Oby says:

    Al,
    Can you put any light on this tweet from Ian Dutton–

    Ian Dutton ‏@IanDuttonBCFC
    Excited about the week ahead at BCFC, some big sponsorship news could be around the corner! ‪#Bcfc‬

    • almajir says:

      Oby

      ian Dutton is head of commercial.
      Part of his remit is kit sponsorship deals – like RationalFX.

      I’m guessing that Ian might have tied something up for next season…

  • James Black says:

    I wanted to post yesterday but with all the anger and nonsense i just kept my head down. But talk about over reaction and blindness. The club has to survive and everyone once again was jumping on the misery wagon before they knew the details. 3 million for Mutch is fine i don’t think his going to set the world alight in the future decent player but 3 million, id of took it without a thought. Something is coming i know it and the ones saying i told you so yesterday will soon be silenced. Or maybe not as they enjoy being gloomy if you ask me but to hell with them. We got 3 million for an average 20 year old the wage bill will be met and the club survives and better times are coming. No wonder PP stays quiet with all the stupid overreacting going on at the moment. Stop panicking and stay quiet till you know the facts people is all i can say. Something will happen soon and sorry but of course they aint gonna tell us as what good would it do anyway. They only get wrong end of stick and start a panic all over again. Glad to see the optimists out in force today.

  • Alan Watton says:

    Really good article. I smiled for the first time since Bruges

  • andy says:

    I could understand the need to sell if the parachute money ended, but it hasnt, so why the need to sell? I can understand wanting Foster and Zigic off the wage bill but Mutch? If Lee Clark becomes Blues next manager, he should be applauded for taking the job on!


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