The Board – Good or Bad

On the forum we have been discussing the events of the last 24 hours and the lack of a new CB. It has caused a few, well, shall we say – strong opinions to be voiced. I thought I would put a representation of them here.

There is an argument that says that the board haven’t done enough this January. The majority of the new signings are loan signings or unproven. There is a case that this shows a lack of ambition of the board. They appeared to be prepared to spend around 4 million on Boyd, but that appears to have gone back into the two Davids piggy bank.

Also a number of other points raised, included:

1) The let the club be put into a state of “flux” with Carson Yeung, allowing him to effectively stop us trading until his deadline, this from top class business people?
2) David Sullivan has continually said he would sell the club
3) We have only dealt in loan players now for a while, not really spent money even when in the Prem League
4) We have combined owner value which puts is in the top 10 of richest football clubs, yet we do not invest? Why?

I can settle for us running the club in a balanced way and I do applaud it. However the money is there, they simply do not want to spend it. IMO if we had a buyer they would be gone before the cheque was cleared.

Another viewpoint:

The point of spending over the odds for a player is that usually they’re far better than what we already have. We will never build a side that will stay in the Premiership permanently on a few loan deals, a few freebies and a few £2m players here and there from the lower leagues.

Our board need to change, rapidly, otherwise we can enjoy the Yo-Yo tag for a good few years to come.

I understand these positions. In recent times the board have appeared to be out of touch with the fans. This was exasperated by the Yeung affair and all came to a head at the end of last season when we were relegated.

Over the years the board appear to have demonstrated a make and mend approach to signings on the whole, and often appeared to have gone after players we needed to strengthen the side.

On the whole it appears the board still get a lot of stick no matter what they do.

Now before I give my opinion, I will say I do think there still is room for improvement, however I think some of the criticism being shown on our forum but also elsewhere – is harsh. Let me try and explain why I think this.

The club being run in a financially sound way is critical IMO. You only have to glance over at Elland Road to see how things can go very wrong if you over spend. I gather they were paying for players even after they left. I remember the day that Ken Wheldon announced that the club was almost bust. The Kumars came in and made a certain measure of progress, however I don’t think anyone can deny that this board have made the club financially sound.

The Carson Yeung situation REALLY hurt the club, and I believe, was a major contribution to relegation last year. I guess there is a level of responsibility with the board, but until you work things fully out – how do you REALLY know that the bloke couldn’t stump up the dosh!

This brings me to the next point relating to the club being sold. DS has said he would be prepared to sell at the right price, which he has been criticised for, but surely that’s true of the majority of owners. There will always be exceptions, those who are owners of “home” clubs – but there aren’t too many of them.

I guess the biggest bone of contention is around transfers. The board are criticised about loan signing and about selling or not buying players – but do we REALLY know what goes on behind the scenes?

Loans make good sense for sussing out players as long as options to buy are worked out and possible recalls sorted out. I think sometimes as fans we think that anybody would want to play for our club, but it’s not the case. It appears that Davonport didn’t, as Cahill didn’t last year. As a club attempting to buy – I’m sure that players prefer to keep their options open and as a result clubs attempting to buy don’t know until they are turned down.

As fans, none of us really know what negotiations go on behind the scenes, with how many players over how long. We usually only here about it at or towards the end. The failure of getting players to come may not be the clubs fault at all. Perhaps the player had better offer, his existing club decided not to sell or there are other issues such as medical issues. It is easy to point the finger at the board or the manager.

Another issue has been communication. The club have shot themselves in the foot at times with making comments that should have stayed private, however there has definitely been an improvement recently. Also they said they would keep us informed and I  think that has improved too.

Over all I personally think the board are trying to make things better. I appreciate it’ll take time to win over people who feel they have repeatedly let down. BUT I think they are going in the right direction.

Let’s hope a couple of notable loan signings who play at the back well get things rolling, let’s face it the midfield additions look the business.

By all means we should ensure the board stay focused, however let’s get behind the club, including the board and hopefully we’ll see BCFC get better and better.


Discuss this post, and other items, in the Joys and Sorrows Forum.


23 Comments on The Board – Good or Bad

  1. I need a new car. Would love a Jaguar, but that nasty man at the showroom wants more than I can afford. Do I risk going bankrupt or settle for another 2nd hand Renault that I CAN afford? If my Renault dealer asked for more than I thought the car was worth, there is no way I’d buy it. Why should our Club be any different?

  2. I go to the showroom and i DO have the money but don’t buy the new motor… that not the whole point of the article? Some day in the future we will find out the reason why they remain as owners of the club, at the momment i don’t understand why. They don’t seem commited to win things but more concerned with running a very steady ship. Now these are very successful buisness men in their own right so why waste your time with a club from the mids. Maybe once they were intrested but not anymore. Don’t start me on the manager….he so needs to go!!! please we need to start doing what ever it takes to get him out, if that means banners then lets start writing them. He is shocking

  3. I can’t believe we still discuss the Two Davids and Ralph’s dealings related to transfere’s expecting them to spend money.

    Surley we must all realise that their only interest in the club is to spend as little as possible to get a return.

    They are businessmen only not football fans of our friends, being handed money by Sky Tv is the easiest money they will ever get and the more they can put into their own accounts the better.

    We no longer follow a Football Club its a Business to make money for the Board.

    The only time they will leave is if they can get us into a rented ground and cash in on the land St Andrews stands on.

    Can you believe we all used to trust these men with our beloved club and think they were doing it for us.

    I was brought up thinking a football club belonged to the community!

  4. very good point but if you need a car your right about BUYING one you can afford not loaning a car that has seen better days you get the best with what money you have to spend not are board we like to say we are going to spend so much on a striker then get one on loan then when it comes to a cb say theres no money to spend then let are best deffender go on loan are board are a joke and by the way id never buy a renault again

  5. I think the post is well balanced and has the view about the board about right. I agree that the board is trying to improve things. I accept that the two Davids are very rich men but why should they keep pouring money into purchasing players who don’t deliver? Just because they are rich doesn’t mean they should run the club on an unsound basis. They probably subscribe to the adage that “a fool and his money are soon parted” and so do I. Look at that bloke who ploughed all of his lottery winnings into Livinstone up in Scotland. What happened? he ended up ruined and the club bankrupt. As for loans, it gives us a chance to assess a player over a period of time before spending pots of money on them. Very disappointed not to see a new centre-half though.

  6. Do non off you guys feel bitter about the millions of pounds the board have taken of us and out of the club.

    They are playing games and having a laugh at us.

    They go on about cutting back because of relegation and pissing about causing a stir about getting second rate players on loan, but why not spend some of the 70million left in the pot from last year?

  7. A very balanced assessment Kev. The board must be given respect for saving the club. They also realize we need billionaires to get ahead. Sadly Yeung was a flop. What hurts the club more than anything are fans comments like Dexters – feeling bitter will not help anyone. We need a crowd that supports Blues through thick and thin.

  8. Do all the critics of the Board know something I don’t? Does all the money that the Club generates go straight into The Board’s private bank accounts then? I thought the money went into the Accounts of BCFC Plc whose Annual Accounts are open to scrutiny. That Company made a profit last year so shareholders (The Golds, Sullivan & Brady) may have benefited from any premiums due like any other Company. Brady is also an employee of that Company, no doubt VERY well paid but in my opinion worth every penny particularly when compared to most other employees (players)!

    Perhaps someone in the know will tell me what salaries The Golds & Sullivan draw from the Club and whether legally they are allowed to personally benefit financially from Sky, tranfers and any other Club income. I am no expert in this field, but my understanding is that the only way The Owners of the Club will make BIG money is by selling their Shares for a big profit having made the Club successful and worth buying.

    If anyone has proof that the Board are dishonest, please say so. If not, the continuous snide hints should end.

  9. Thanks for your comments guys. I appreciate what you are saying Eric, and although I am on the pro-board side I do genuinely understand Dexters point of view.


  10. no one is going to have proof that the board are being dishonest but where has the money gone for the players we have sold over the last couple of seasons and all the money from going up and from the over the top season ticket prices and you never see any other board come out and moan about this team are gettin so many fans and we are only gettin this im sorry to say it going to get alot worse even if we go up

  11. I do believe that when the board came to Brum they did a fantastic job turning us around. Now they seem to have lost the appitite for they club, Alex seems to be having trouble adjusting to english football. Our search for a centre back has now taken us a full season with no results. As for the reasons for not getting the players we go after, look at the comments of Doncaster on the blues “offer” and the failure to match Boyds wages. The board announced profits last season of £8mill since sold Kapo and Maumba £7mill approx had a parachute payment and invested £1mill in bent a couple of mill perhaps on loans. Must have hell of a lot of overheads to eat that all up. Players must be earning a small fortune.

  12. Sorry forgot to mention, to add to their own woes, they decide that you can’t pay on the turnstile on match days, have to all queue up at one little ticket office 2-3 hours before kick off. Where have the walk in fans gone now?????????
    Also a string of broken promises along the way.
    Finish the stadium off once in the Prem.
    Undersoil heating once in the Prem.
    Replace Jeff Hall Clock ( didn’t expect a watch on top of the stand)
    Large Screen in Ground.
    Remember them stating the Vile had fallen behind us, WE WERE the team of Brum. ffs look at it now. Sickens you to the core.

  13. I believe that there is more to the Boyd transfer than meets the eye. For whatever reason he did NOT want to leave Glasgow. By all accounts he was offered a big increase in his present basic salary with the incentive of very good bonuses for success.. so I dont think money was the issue. The fact that he couldn’t be bothered to travel for talks shows that he had NO intention of moving. I suspect that his Agents were briefed to make ridiculous demands to put us off.

    I’ve not noticed a queue of Clubs eager to take on the top scorer in the Scottish League. Why is they know something we don’t? I think we may’ve had a lucky escape.

  14. you say that the money goes to Birmingham city fc what a joke it is going somewhere else what as happened to the prem money parachute money sale of players season tickets yet we couldn’t even buy a centre half 1.5 mil for mills but they tried to spread it over 2 years what a joke. we have half a team of loan signing why its cheaper. how many will stay if we go up. there will be 2 more now to come, steven kelly when fit one of our best defender what do they do sell him why money and not a lot at that the board spend nothing year in year out what have they spent this year nothing who did they sell last year where is that money. steve bruce went money again. these people are robbing our club blind as for cars have u seen davids cars he as the best and thats what we all want for our club trust me he would sell this club to anyone who had the money with out looking into there accounts like he done with young keep right on blues

  15. i no he never but would of if he had the money , this young didnt even have money and if our board looked into his books he would of seen that. doug ellis only sold villa to someone who had money carson young tried to buy reading before us and they said no yet we gave him 3 months to try and find it what other club does that

  16. I think that we all have very short memories. I thank God for the Davids and Ralph and Karen Brady. Because without them we would have gone Bust 15 years ago….. No one wanted us and no one would have invested in us and we could have been still dreaming of getting into the premier league. I also would take stability over the situation Leeds got them selves into and even the situation ~West Ham are in and look at Chalton anyone who thinks that that is what Blues need is an idiot

  17. Other than being a Season Ticket holder I have no connections with BCFC but feel that I must reply to “Dare On”s comments. Yes, The Golds & Sullivan DO have lovely they did BEFORE buying our Club, as you would expect from millionaire businessmen. As for “robbing the club blind”, I refer to my earlier comment. Where has all the money gone?..Take a look at the latest available full accounts for year 2007(available on-line) together with the Interim Report for up to Aug 2008 which was published last month and which again is available on-line. He will then see just where all the money has gone.

    I know I sound like a boring Old Fart, but I believe in fairness and balance,

  18. I get tired of the age old argument about the current board saving us from going bankrupt 15 years ago.

    We need to live for the now, and the reality of now is that they are really dragging their feet and stopping this club from moving forwards.

    I’m eternally grateful for them rescuing the club and taking us this far, but if we are to move further forward we need investment – with or without this board.

  19. ok oldbury blue you tell people where all the money is arsenal live of there premiership money i no we wasn’t up there long but i bet it was worth millions so you are telling me they could not pay out 1.5 million for mills even don caster said it was a joke to offer it them over 2 years. and no why should they take over a team from the midlands it was just after we took 45,000 fans to wembley he had is eye on Cardiff yes i agree i dont no where we would be if he didn’t take over us but he as taken us as high as he can fans have now had enough. we are third in the league and to be honest we are playing the worst ive seen in 15 years jan transfer window was a opportunity to buy a couple of good defenders we didn’t buy none but sold Kelly another 500.000 also Quincy went back as they couldn’t afford is wages yet Cardiff sign him , the fans are not stupid that’s why 15.000 turned up for Darby why should they put there money in when the board dont and Darby bought 1500 and the board wonder where they have gone kro

  20. Let us remember that Carson Yeung paid 29 million pounds for his shares money paid up front & which will never be returned IMHO.
    He should have realized he was buying a minority stake in Birmingham City with the Gold Brothers plus David Sullivan over ruling any thing put forward in the boardroom.
    We have evidence that several things told to us are imaginary figments of David Sullivan & denied by other people.
    eg:-The bid from Birmingham for Andrew Johnson !!!!
    If we look at attempts to buy players all failing as we are told that Birmingham City are the hardest club to reach agreement with as all of their deals are paid over a long time.Davies;Cayhill;Mills.
    I remember the furore when Upson was sold at the eleventh hour to West Ham so leaving us short of a centre half we have never replaced.
    The problem we have is that the Boards hearts are elsewhere & if they could get a reasonable offer from anyone they would bite their hands off-I think Karen Brady showed her allegiance when she hurriedly disposed of her shares in the Carson Yeung episode.

  21. Eric i have supported blues through thick and thin 80 different grounds and all that even seen us play in the Artic Circle under Ron Saunders but a football club belongs to the community its not to make profits for individuals.

    They have taken the Heart and Soul out of the club all through greed. It started as woon as we got in the premiership and alighenated all the true charachters of Blues Fans who coulnt pay the prices.

    Ive lined their pockets enough. Away games at clubs whos board are footballing people for me only. Dont let them take the piss Eric!

  22. I agree 100% that BIG mistakes were made with ticket prices..& I think the Board realise that now. They have responded by dropping gate prices now and reducing Season Ticket prices next year..I just hope its not too late having alienated SO many people!!

    Again I would agree that the football this year has been some of the worst I can remember. Looking at archive matches in “Blues World” it reminds you just how we USED to play. However, supporting a football team,( particularly Blues!), is all about the hope that the NEXT match will be the start of something good. It very rarely turns out that way..but without hope what have we?

    My hope is that the Team clicks and plays something like they should on paper. In Sinclair & Bouazza we have 2 flying wingers that should put terror into any team. In Carsley & Bowyer we have 2 of the best midfielders of their type in the League and once he settles I will be surprised if Fahey doesn’t prove to be 1 of the best attacking midfield players we’ve EVER had. We have THE best finisher in the League in Phillips..and who knows what impact Costly is going to make?

    Word of warning though…..I stuck my neck out a couple of years ago & was SURE that we had 2 BIG stars of the future in Neil Kilkenny (doing nothing &Leeds) and Sam Oji (just released by Hereford). So what do I know?!

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