In Monk we trusted

In Monk we trusted – The thoughts of one of our members.  They are the opinions of that person and not necessarily those of Blues Trust

Most Bluenoses would agree that last season the above statement was truly felt by most.  Whatever Garry Monk did in his team selection, the change in formation or the style of play, we trusted his judgement. Most of us believed that this trust was well placed as he had not only saved us again from relegation but had built an excellent relationship in the club with the players, backroom staff and most importantly us fans. We had our club back, and that was largely thanks to Garry. Optimism was at a high, not seen for years. We were even talking about a push for the playoffs!

Then in the close season came the sacking and the allegations of wrongdoing not only from the board at Blues but also Middlesbrough and now Massimo Cellino. This all centred around allegations of business dealings in which Garry Monk’s agent James Featherstone was involved. From Middlesbrough there were claims of overpayment of fees, from Blues that Ren didn’t want the agent involved in every deal. The Daily Mail article on the allegations just read like media sensationalism rather than hard facts.

The statements issued from the CEO Dong Ren seemed to be full of  assertions crafted, I believe, to suit his own motives. That was to exert more direct control on the team, the style of play and the recruitment of players. Why else would a CEO move his office to oversee training at Wast Hills if that was not the objective? He has no place there.

Concerning the other claims re financial irregularity, surely it is the responsibility of a board and their accounting team to check on payments made and to ensure that they are correct. Not that of a manager and his agent.

When the news of the sacking broke, Garry Monk stated that he could not comment on the allegations being made as clearly there were confidentiality clauses in his contract which limited what he could say.

However, in the past days he has been able to now issue a statement through the League Managers’ Association. In this carefully but strongly worded statement he says that he completely refutes the totally false and unsubstantiated allegations made against him by Blues, Middlesbrough and Cellino. He goes on to say that his legal team are reviewing all false and unsubstantiated claims and building a legal case, including but not limited to, defamation of character.

To launch a legal case for defamation you must be certain that the claims against you are false and therefore need to have redress through legal action.

From the information now available it does look as if there has been some level of ‘witch-hunt’ against Garry by those who may have other motives and reasons for claims against him.

In the past weeks we have also seen the reaction from some of the players. Whilst not referring directly to what has happened with Monk, Connor Mahoney who earlier stated he would like to return to Blues after last season, now signs for  Millwall, Viv Solomon-Otabor chooses to leave for CSK Sofia although offered a renewed contract and worst of all the club captain Michael Morrison walks away as he cannot agree terms. Coincidence? Maybe not?

Of course, we all wish Pep Clotet and the team the very best for the new season and hope that we can enjoy a successful campaign, but the more we learn about the boards’ actions behind this summer of turmoil the worse it seems to get. It does all seem like deja vu.

David J Roots

A Blues Trust member

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    Excellent read that, this is the direction that the Trust should be travelling in.

    • Gary Turner

      Spot on. Ren is killing our club it’s that simple. TTA OUT

      • Paul

        The people at Bcfc
        Ie the board and the new
        Director of football will take us down who have they
        Got so far no one

    • Clive hill

      The information stated does paint a picture intended to testify why certain decisions have been made. Sadly Blues are no Aston Villa. Whether we like it or not,we do not have the same history or clout as a big names club,which is being underlined by the Villa have had a share issue to generate funds to recoup some of the money spent on the transfer window. We as a club have the bare bones of a squad and no real high profile players, so sadly the owners can tweak and amend however they like just because they can. Blues as a going entity is not worth much to any prospected buyers, the reality is if the present owners can run it on a low budget and just use it as money outlet that will suit them. There is very little anyone can do to impress on them that things should be run differently. Personally as the squad is placed at the moment with depleted numbers,we are going to find this season a real struggle.

    • Martin

      rowitt just out side playoffs sacked ,, then turmoil ,,, monk just of playoffs 9 point deduction sacked ,, now ? Anybodys guess these owners that man ren is killing bcfc

  2. Kevin McMichael

    I wholeheartedly agree with your comments, it’s the board who sign off on transfers. Now it’s plain to see that it’s Dong who has won the prize but what does he actually know about Championship Football, he is now the one who is scouting for any new signings not the temporary manager. The money achieved in the transfer of our players out of the club will be going in the Chinese Pot back home

  3. Robert Hughes

    A long time blues supporting friend of mine told me last week that he thinking of converting to the Villa! Such is the state of affairs at the moment. Our owners seem to see Blues as an irritating side show or a play thing. Worst case scenario, we are the next Notts County, a club with proud traditions bought low and eternally playing second fiddle to those “across the road”. Why don’t the owners just put the club up for sale and have done with it?

    • Terry Giblin

      What a childish remark about switching teams. I am also a long standing fan some 52 years but blues are my team and although i do not like the current set up and believe me I’ve seen worse I will always be blue. There is no blues supporting fan that would consider this action. If that’s his mindset, then he’s probably better down the witton!

    • WaycoolBlue

      Your friend is an idiot. And not a true supporter.

    • Peter Davis

      Defending allegations that could finish my career is essential even if true. Players moving on is just the way of the world. Mahoney was not our player, Otabor has been a fringe player so good luck to him and Morrison could not agree a new contract when at his age, that deal is limited. Just a few notes to give a bit of balance.

  4. Michael Brookes

    Dear David,

    You seem to have written off what Middlesborough and Cellino have said.

    Are their allegations false too?

    Please advise.

    Many thanks.

    • David Roots

      Hello Michael

      I do not dismiss what others may say but I do believe each party had an ‘axe to grind’, maybe for different reasons. Boro were most upset of course about the backroom team joining Blues. I concentrated mainly on what we understand from our own club and that doesn’t ring true to me. It looks like a power play with excuses put up to defend the action.

      • Richard CLIFTON

        Pathetic! The level of trust that some have in the actions of our former manager is unbelievable .
        And now you want to believe that everybody i. e. ‘Boro and Leeds have a grudge against Monk and there is no foundation to the accusations.
        I am no fan of the current Board but on this occasion I know whose side of it is more credible.

      • Bob

        I thought the issue Mid fc raised was around bcfc having knowledge of player contracts and clauses allowing them to unfairly leverage this. In that scenario it does make some sense if monks agent was involved as been suggested and had done the alleged activity.

        Worth noting on the Mahoney front his agent is the agency company featherstone is involved in. Also, worth noting as soon as this broke those positive i want to join blues noises stopped (the stories and articles often leaked by the agents).

        I loved Monks tenure and looking at what he did he did a great job for us. On that basis I did not want to see him go. But if he was allowing his agent and friend this level of access and to suggest to young players they should sign to him if they want first team football (alleged). That is not what I want around the club.

        I don’t like the owners or what they stand for but first and foremost I’m blues supporter, key being support! I’m there to support the team and do my part. Bed sheets should be left to villagers, protest by all means but do it where it does not undermine supporting the team. It is not there fault what the board do or have done and they deserve our support.

        What about the boycott of shirts or merchandise? Or a colour protest like man u did few seasons back?

      • Steve Turner

        with you David Roots – the old adage ‘no smoke without fire’ must surely hold some credence here. 3 separate clubs all with the complaint. I am not happy we lost a good manager but if he was engaged in things outside of the accepted rules for his own benefit then there must surely be a question mark over his character.
        I am more concerned that we are going into new season with a caretaker manager which suggests he wont be around long if results are bad.

        • David Roots

          Hello Steve

          I do go with the adage ‘no smoke without fire’ and I waited to see how Garry Monk reacted to these allegations. If he remained silent I would have agreed that there was ‘smoke’ but his fierce rebuttal I think speaks volumes. I too am worried that we go into a new season with a caretaker manger. Not a good situation.

    • Tmsblues1

      I agree the writer seems to think these allegations from previous employers seem to have been ignored . Despite the fact their comments appeared to be in relation to the same types of issues with GM management practices. Did anyone ever explain why we had two experienced and better goalies on the sidelines for the season?!
      I have no doubt the owners have and maybe still are making a number of mistakes about the running of our club whether dispensing with the previous managers services may not necessarily be one of them!

    • Michael

      I take a different view. There is no smoke without fire. The highly regarded Chairman and Owner of Middlesborough would not make those allegations unless he had due cause. The business of football has to become decent.
      If our club is trying to bring some sense to all this then fair enough.
      However the background to the troubled last three years does need clarity. Supporters deserve nothing less.
      I continue to ask for a meeting between the Trust and Mr Ren.
      My requests are never answered and far more importantly that meeting never seems to happen.
      We can all speculate – but the owners of the company deserve respect – as do the long suffering support groups.

  5. David Frankum

    I regret to say that for me there is far too much smoke for there not to be some foundation to the claims of at least not acting in the best interests of the clubs that Monk has briefly served. It is not really credible to pass it off some sort of conspiracy involving 3 clubs and I have heard many people state that they are passing information to their lawyers without any action ever resulting which is what I believe will happen in this case. I had formed the same view of Monk as other fans but to have 3 clubs saying very similar things is just too much to ignore. It leaves me with the following thoughts.

    What sort of due diligence did Ren do before making the appointment or did he just accept the proposal made by Featherstone on behalf of his client.

    I still believe Ren’s tenure as CEO has been and will continue to be bad for Blues and bringing our thoughts to the owners is vital to have any chance of changing the situation but I feel this should concentrate on all of the clear mistakes he has made and not dwell too deeply on the Monk sacking.

    We now have to look forward based on where we are today. We are at a point where recruitment is uncertain particularly as we have no real idea who is involved in the process other than that the unreliable Ren will ultimately decide on all in/out movements. I therefore expect the management and squad to start the season in a rather fragile way needing all the support that the fans can give them. Aside from getting our thoughts directly to the owners and much as I am drawn to protest, I feel that the patient is not strong enough to withstand the trauma of overt protests at this time.

    • David Roots

      Hello David

      The point you make about Due Diligence is well made. Whenever you employ someone, especially in a senior role, you do the DD on them don’t you?. Standard practice. So what happened in this case? Not that GM was someone unknown or his track record. So decisions were made based, you would think, on that DD. If indeed it was done at all!! So should be no surprises.

  6. Mark

    And still no mention of a protest to show our dismay at this regime.

    Writing letters doesn’t work with fools like this. Standing outside the Kop for 10 minutes or so for our first live game will show our contempt and show to the watching world what we think of them. Giving 10 minutes less support at the start of the game to our team can easily be made up for in the remaining 80 minutes. Chinese people hate embarrassment.

    • Linda magner

      Many supporters do that as they stay in their drinking places for a quarter of the match it was very noticable last season from where I sat.

  7. Sid Hobday

    Its completely clear now,Dong controls everything,formation picking players,buying players,its got relegation written allover it,I cant see a way out.

  8. Chris

    I’m not defending Ren here but Morrison was offered the new contract way before Monk left but couldn’t agree terms as he wanted a longer contract, VSO wasn’t in Monks plans as it looked at one point as though he would sign for Pompey permanently but he couldn’t agree terms with them. I’m angry about Mahony not signing as £1million was a bargain.
    I have no respect whatsoever for Ren, my feeling is that the reason he made Pep caretaker was so he (Ren) could pull all the strings and possibly be the one picking the team.

  9. Mike C

    Look no further than the so called technical director.
    Who has caused problems with Gary Rowett and Gary Monk both with the same reason for change.
    We want a change of style.

  10. Mitchell

    Whatever the reasons for Monk’s dismissal and the alleged stories that followed,it is my considered opinion that we as a Club are very fortunate to be still in existence. Since 2011 we have gone through quagmire after quagmire with inept management both on and off the field. Had Administration occurred before the Ernst & Young / TTA business and dropped a division- thus selling the club for £1 we may well have a decent new regime now and on the upward scale. As it is we are hopelessly skint with no real signs of being anything but Championship fodder for the majority of teams. Young under-23 players being integrated into the first team squad is not clever unless we have real gems.We simply do not have them . Bellingham is being unfairly hailed as some sort of saviour along with Seddon and Lakin. Ren and exist in the real world and they know the eventual outcome with this ‘new playing policy’.Sadly many supporters,who are decent people , cannot read between the lines.

  11. Walker

    Move on. Its done , just support the team that is put out. Whether its kids or dads army.

    • Bob

      Exactly mate, we need to support the team.
      Football is not rational world though.
      A lot of the people up in arms about using youth team were also spouting over past seasons that if there good enough there old enough about the players intending to be used. I’ve long since realised that the truest word in football is, you cant please all the people all of the time.

      All though I do think some championship experience would be good. I am curious if do go with the youth. Southampton went all in on this ramping up youth and scouting when in league 1 and reaped the benefits. Selling stars every season and replacing with unknown cheap or youth replacements. This would also be more appealing to a future owner as it’s only real profitable plan for a club outside prem and arguably for those in the bottom half of the prem as well.

      If I recall when this lot took over there plan was to turn us around and sell us, I suppose for a profit but the key to this is separating the club from plc so they can sell the club and hong Kong listing. That seems to be the sticking point unfortunately.

  12. Sausage n Egg

    Time to stand up and be counted …..Dong out

    • Paul

      100% dung dong has got it Wong
      On yer bike take the rest of your back room team with you

  13. John

    My only reservations with Gary Monk were concerned with not playing Stockdale, was this related to this “agent” situation?
    Other than that, let’s just see what happens at the start of the season and take it from there.

  14. Andrew

    When we sacked Monk I was gutted. I thought there was no way he deserved to go.
    Then Boro came out and supported what our owners has said.
    Then Leeds also confirmed that the situation was maybe more complex.
    If we sack a manager for something our board don’t like, it’s hard to take. But if two other clubs who have sacked the same manager say the same thing, maybe it is true. Or at least there is some truth in the severity of what had been alleged.
    It’s not ideal for a club to go through so many managers, but maybe the rose tinted specs need to come off at times, and we need to look at the wider context.

    • Chris

      It just goes to show how fickle football is, now if Monk had got us promoted, and in the long run it’s what we all wanted, none of us supporters would’ve given a toss how he did it!!!, so why did it matter so much to Ren?, you would’ve thought they’d have bent over backwards for a manager that had unified the club in such a short space of time. Also isn’t dong another name for penis????!!!!.

    • Geoff Green

      I think innocent until proven guilty .The agent was involed with 13 transfers with Blues prior to Monk taking over .Actually what are they saying he did wrong? If Leeds and Middlesbrough had a problem the easy answer was not to sign the players .I thought he walked out of Leeds when the new owner took charge . Smoke and mirrors by the Chinese.

    • Phil

      Bloody, pathetic your all so niave sad to see monk always has been a rat all through his career

  15. Blue

    Stand by for a long long long

  16. Paul Martin

    Whatever happens in the rest of the pre-season, we need to sign some players who might make the threadbare squad competitive. If we don’t and we go through the inevitable bad spell it could get nasty.

  17. andy

    This is only going to go one way and that is relegation,dong has a history of failure and this time he is not going to get away with it.He and TTA need to go there will only be failure after failure,Monk was going to spill the beans on how bad the finances are and already hinted as such before he was sacked.Dong is the one to blame for the finances and points deduction,I cannot understand how the owners are happy for him to be losing them so much money-unless it is dirty money and all they want is the HK listing.Untill these are gone then we have no future,maybe relegation will bring about change as it has done for clubs like southampton,if that the case i would take relegation to get rid of these clowns

  18. paul harris

    seems to me that ren wants to manage the team,he is in charge of transferes,he wants input into team selection,wants to spy on the training,no wonder monk left,what we have now are yes men in charge of the teams,…we will be relegated for sure this term,blues fans need to start demonstating against ren and his “allies”.they will take us to the very bottom and blame everyone else butREN!!

  19. Eric Jones

    Dong must go…with his chopping and changing managers he has made our club look like idiots. I really liked this letter today and I hope the owners sell – hopefully not to Chinese people who know nothing about football but lots about communist rule (ie no need to talk to the people). Monk was loved because he valued fans and built a great team with no money. We all support the Blues – but most of us do not support the owners. For good reason…

  20. Ripey

    Top bloke.did wonders at leeds.set them back on the fight right path again.

  21. Ripey

    Should have said.set them back on the right path again.

  22. Eddie

    Time will tell.

    Mahoney is featherstones client so wouldn’t sign for us now.

    If Monks next job lasts only a year then we’ll know.

    No smoke without fire

    Time will tell

  23. Mitchell Bray

    All comments today have been well thought out and the majority in my view have been pretty much spot on. What I normally do is write for Vital Birmingham but I have always respected this Blues Trust site. To be able to be a commenter here is refreshingly different as I can say things,in my opinion, that is allowed as opposed to being a writer that has to be careful etc. What I would recommend commenters who have taken part in this particular Blues Trust article is to re-read ANDY who commented earlier at 1.24pm.He touched on HK listings etc. Never,ever has there been a truer comment. Says it all.

  24. Stephen Yallop

    One of the strangest aspects of this saga is how & why have Monk’s backroom staff stayed on? Normally they would all move on, what has motivated them to stay when they have a history with Gary Monk?

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