Do we have anything to be worried about?

Nicole who writes for J&S from time to time, has her own blog. (Check out her Paul the Octopus article!) 🙂

Here is her latest entry. The original article can be found here. We have her permission to re-publish here.

It has been a funny few weeks at Birmingham City. Following 3 early transfers, the transfer window seems unusually quiet and we seem to be linked with players who are knocking us back.

Yesterday saw Aitken leave his post as part of the coaching staff to join David O’Dreary in Dubai, whilst our physio has left the club as well. At the back end of the season we also saw the departure of Michael Dunford.

This mornings Birmingham headline is about the contract of Alex McLeish, with a deal still not being finalised.

A lot of scare mongerers will say all of this adds up to something not being quite right at the club. Why are these departures happening, why can’t we tie McLeish to a new deal and why aren’t we having any more new faces joining the club?

I’m trying to be realistic at the minute, and I think all events are entirely separately but unfortunately put together look like trouble for the club.

Aitken’s departure for Blues was a shock for me, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Aitken will be leaving to work with his old friend in a country and league which can probably offer him more money than Birmingham can do in the Premier League, whilst living the rich lifestyle that Dubai offers. Dubai also offers an unknown challenge for a man who I am sure still wants to further his knowledge and it appears to be a fantastic opportunity.

The unfortunate part of this tale is the timing. It is now July, and I would imagine McLeish and his coaching staff would have begun to lay plans as to how they see the season going. Now McLeish needs to go through the process of bringing in a new right hand man, alongside bringing the new appointment up to speed with the club and the way it works.

McLeish’s contract is slightly worrying in the fact it seems to have been a long, ongoing saga. The positive points to remember however, is the fact that McLeish has reiterated that he wants to stay at the club and be a part of the future for the club. McLeish has given us Premier League football for another season, and he’ll be keen to seal a reputation as a good Premier League manager. Unless the board have a temporary lapse of sanity, they’ll sign up McLeish before the season starts and we’ll forget any of these worries.

The lack of transfers doesn’t seem exclusive to Blues either. Everything in the Premier league seems to be quiet. There have been a few transfers go through for the likes of Man City, and we’ve had our 2 main signings come in but other than that, nothing seems to be moving. Our rivals across the city have done no business so far, and that’s the story across most of the clubs. The World Cup still needs to wind down and players need to resume training before any major movements go through. We’re still over a month away from the first match so there isn’t a massive urgency at the moment to bring people in.

As fans of a club, I think it is highly important to monitor situations at any football club with caution. The situation which now faces Portsmouth was actually begun 21 months ago by massive overspends and I’m sure a few fans questioned what was happening then. Beyond a few minor rumbles, there seems very little to worry about at the moment. Be vigilant and watchful, but don’t worry yourselves to death yet.


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10 Comments on Do we have anything to be worried about?

  1. To answer the question posed in the title – NO.

    Next question?

    In all seriousness, I’m surprised people didn’t jump on the pessimism bandwagon earlier. I mean, he’s been in contract talks for a while now and it was always going to be unresolved until after the World Cup.

    Yeung and his team are currently in South Africa enjoying the competition, they have hired an executive box in one of the stadiums and have tickets to the final this weekend. They can’t really do much until they get back and McLeish is protected for another few months or so yet.

    Tim Williamson has linked up with one of his closest friends at Celtic and Aitken has been lured by the prospect of more money for less work in Dubai with O’Leary. It’s football, it happens. Neither leave us in a weakened position. You forget that we’ve recently hired a sports scientist in Nick Davies who has links to one of the top sports injury clinics and losing one of our two assistant managers (read ‘first team coaches’) can only serve to cement the role for the one left or perhaps look at bringing someone better than Aitken in.

    Also – you mention a lack of transfers…..we tied up the first transfer of the season with Foster just weeks after the last season finished. We added Valles shortly after and Zigic most recently. We’ve had bids rebuffed for Zamora, got close to nabbing Miccoli before he decided to change his mind and we’ve been linked with Mphela (I believe he’s coming to Brum for a look around in the coming weeks).

    What more do you want? Under Sullivan et al, and Brucey bonus, we’d still not have signed anyone yet.

    Aside from the McLeish contract issue – which isn’t a problem yet – every one of your so called potential problems has a huge positive undertone. They allow us to move forward, to make progress as a club. So – here’s an idea. And it’s a novel one, slightly off the wall, but hear me out…..why not try and channel some of this restlessness into positivity?

    Positivity? As a Bluenose? Madness, eh?

  2. I haven’t actually been negative in my own thoughts. Literally all I’ve done is list some of the negativity that some Blues fans are feeling, offered explanation, and said we haven’t got anything to be worried about yet. I’m one of the most positive fans I know, if I wanted to scaremonger, I’d do it with more venom.

  3. Thanks for your comprehensive comment DLT, you’ve made some really good points.

    I think as Blues fans, we are often pessimistic!! To be fair to Nicole though, I think she was just picking some points that people may have been thinking and representing them in the article.

    Over all though, I think it’s a positive take.

    Thanks for reading the blog. 🙂


  4. In all honesty, Nicole, the only positivity within the article is contained within the last two lines.

    It’s not a positive take as such for the rest of the writing, merely a summary of recent ‘perceived negative’ points around the club. You haven’t quite given the ‘negative point, explanation, positive spin’ structure that I think you were aiming for.

    Don’t give up though – I’ve been writing for over 25 years now and it’s still not a polished art!

    Finally, thanks for the thanks, Kev! I check the blog most days and always look out for the articles via ‘Newsnow’. I’ve even set the site to be ‘highlighted’ so I get quicker access!

  5. I can see your point, but I wasn’t aiming to start using spin to put a positive gilt on everything. I didn’t even envisage the article getting any coverage, I woke up, decided I needed an easyish blog post, wrote this in 15 minutes flat. No ulterior motive behind it, literally a gap filler for my website.

  6. I am not overly concerned by the movements of staff. Whenever a new owner comes in there are changes that are going to happen. Staff in/staff out. In an ideal world, the club goes out and gets the best candidates for the job but until that person actually starts working and builds a working relationship we do not know whether this will be a success. We took on Michael Dunford, he looked great on paper but in real terms things didn’t click and he left. Perhaps Aitken isnt that happy with they Yeung etc are running the club, gets a better offer and thinks right I’m off. It may be the case he gets there and after a couple of months it isnt so good and ends up back in England. The same goes for any player we buy. On paper they look great but until they are here and in the team playing we will not know. This time last year Benitez was the new Rooney on paper and we all lick our lips in anticipation but 12 months on things didn’t work out and he left.
    What we are looking at is what is known in the trade as “running a business”. People come, people go, things will settle down and lets start analysing everything when we get to christmas and see where we are then. We don;t know what happens inside the club or how each person works. Anybody out there know the details of McLeish’s contract, how Pannu works, what Yeungs long term plans are…….No.
    I am not worried. lets build on last years success. More players will come in, a new coach will arrive and it will be business as normal. We have done a lot more already than most other clubs.
    At least we can never say thet bening a Bluenose is boring!!! KRO

  7. Hi Guys

    from somebody involved in the corporate world losing the CEO Dunford does beg the question..why?.if he left as happens for good reasons so be it ..but as the man in charge from a governance perspective the principle liason with owners/board/club and the outside world it doesn`t bode well when he leaves without notice and a proper explanation.


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