BCFC: Does anyone care?

14 Feb 2021 | 25 comments

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In a season of almost continuous disappointments, Saturday’s performance…and result…against Luton Town really did plumb the depths. Given the circumstances that the football club now finds itself in, it was truly shocking. One would have expected that falling to 23rd place in the division just a few nights before would have inspired something…anything…to arrest the decline. But no. Absolutely nothing changed.

Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. What we witnessed on Saturday was exactly that.

But of course the problems at our beloved club run much deeper than what happens at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon. So it was no surprise to see the tsunami of criticism that flooded social media in the aftermath of yet another defeat. No one involved with the football club was spared, from the owners (“invisible”, “anonymous”, “unaccountable”) , to the leadership (“incompetent”, “inept”), to the manager (“clueless”, “stubborn”, “scared”, “apathetic”) and even to the players themselves (“uncaring”, “insipid”, “low quality”)

So the question is, does anyone…anyone…associated with the running of Birmingham City football club really care about it? If they do, at times like Saturday it is very hard to see.

But the Blues Trust cares. Our sense of frustration, sadness and utter despair right now is profound. In part that is because of continuing lockdown of course. We are unable to attend matches with our friends and family and to share our joys and sorrows. We feel isolated and helpless as our club implodes before our eyes.

We have no doubt that thousands and thousands of Bluenoses throughout the city and across the world are sharing similar emotions.

So. Can anything be done? In terms of strategic decision making, then no. Only the people pulling the levers at the football club can do that.

We can of course seek explanations for what is happening at the club, and why. And at the Trust we will do that. We cannot be sure that we will receive answers, but we must try. And continue to do so. Those in charge may not want to be held accountable for their actions, but that doesn’t mean that as supporters we should simply accept that. No, we have to challenge them in each and every way that we can. It is still our football club after all. As supporters we may not own it, but our emotional investment is huge.

But what of the players? Whichever way you slice it, it is what they do once they cross the white line that really counts. They have the power to shape the future well being of our club. And we have to hope and believe that they still care. If we were attending matches we all know we would at least have a chance of influencing their performances. Usually…well, hopefully…through raucous encouragement. And yes, occasionally, through sharp tongued criticism. But always trying to drive them on to success, both for themselves and for us.

Current circumstances mean that we can no longer do that, which only adds to the sense of frustration for us all.

But let’s try and motivate them in a different way. Let’s try and do it remotely. Let’s try to get a message direct to the players imploring they play their hearts out for the fans, even if the regime at the club is not all they would desire. Let’s appeal to the players to do it for us #playforthefans.

Send to us for publishing, or post on social media, any messages of support and encouragement that you would give to the players if you could give the pre-match talk at this time of crisis. Whatever you want to say, particularly ahead of matches, tell us and we will put it out for the players to see. Please send your contributions to info@bluestrust.org

We look forward to hearing from you.

Blues Trust.

KRO!

 

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25 Comments

  1. Bill

    To Blues players. Please have some pride in representing our great second city and at least demonstrate that you are giving it everything. Start the season from today. To the manager please decide on your best team, name it and tell the players that’s my team it’s up to those selected to keep their places and the others to break in. To Craig Gardner instil in the players the pride and work rate you had when representing our beloved club.

    Reply
  2. Griff

    You have shown that you are capable of winning games against tough opposition. Believe in yourselves and collectively give 100%, that is all we can ask for. If you go down fighting and we can see you’re fighting for the club and the fans we will back you. Don’t rely on each other to dig you out of this situation, take responsibility yourself and leave nothing out there. This squad is more than capable of putting together a decent run and avoiding relegation.

    Reply
  3. Keith

    Please, please, please just play with some pride and passion!!! You owe this not only to us, the fans, but also YOURSELVES!!

    Reply
    • Ijaz Hussain

      To score goals you need to create chances and players need to get in the box to get on the end of crosses. Keep it simple and get crosses in quickly. A bit of common sense is needed at times. Leaving a single player in the box crowded out by defenders is not going to work. Maybe the players themselves need to try other things like swapping wings. Our build up play is so slow that the opposition get back. Inverted wingers do not help as the players slow down the game when they cut in on their favoured foot. How about just playing traditional wingers getting to the bye line and crossing the ball quickly.

      Reply
  4. Dave

    To the players – ignore whatever fancy tactics Dong Ren has tried to impose. Every Blues team that has been successful has done so through graft and hard work, not tippy tap possession football. Sadly we no longer have the likes of Kieftenbeld and Digger to chase the ball down like Terriers in the middle, but that is an opportunity for the rest of you to pull your finger out and play the ‘Blues’ way, not the ‘Hong Kong’ way. You’re in a dogfight, act like it and you’ll pull through.

    Reply
  5. Brian King

    We was once a proud and vibrant club not because we had a tradition of winning cups or trophies but because we was a proper football club. With down to earth hard working Brummies always dreaming of success but hardly ever obtaining it. Nevertheless our hearts and souls follow the club keeping right on to the very end until now. COVID has conspired to not only kill thousands but also to force people to realise that football is just a game not life and death. The owners and the board have got lucky we are at present living with a terrible, terrible killer Viral outbreak and football comes way down the list of things to worry about. Our club is being Ravaged by marauders who’s motivations are clearly not football.

    Reply
  6. Harold Arkell

    I would love to leave a motivational response for the players but no can do. Quite simply we have a manager who could not generate enthusiasm from a Sunday morning parks team. The majority of the players would not start in division one team,so let’s stop beating ourselves up and focus on survival,accept that the manager is woefully inadequate, so to have a chance he has to be gone immediately. So to instil pride in the club ask the likes of Craig Gardner who is blue through and through, if he can’t make them understand what it means to the fans then no one can and season’s in lower divisions await us. This way as supporters having a bluenose at the helm the players can’t hide and we will have to take our medicine. Finally the Board have allowed KARANKA to build his own Team at least they have tried. We have to accept that occasionally a manager is simply not UP TO THE TASK. Regards

    Reply
  7. Michael

    Playing the wrong formation with the wrong players with no game plan

    Ren and Krapanka need to go

    Reply
  8. Kevin Hill

    As the song goes lads keep right on to the end the road.. when you pull on that shirt before you go on the pitch remember how many players have wonr your number and how many heroes there have been. Remember your not playing for yourself or your family or a wage your playing for the pride of are great club. From the days till metric to the cup final win. Every player pulls on that shirt with the pride of all those who have fallen before you today is your day to show your worth and stand up and be counted wearing that shirt and keeping right on till then end… KRO SOTC

    Reply
    • Dave Shaw

      I’m so sad at the situation. In previous years things have been bad but we really are looking at extinction, not just relegation. My son worked at Blues back in the Karen Brady era and I spent some time at the training ground with the likes of Forsell and Geoff Horsefield.. A different time but they seemed to care about the club and fans. This present lot of owners don’t care and it looks like the players don’t either… I fear it will all have to get worse before it gets better…. If we still have a club to support.

      Reply
  9. Sausage n Egg

    Even before the various lockdowns etc a walk towards StAndrews would reveal a stadium that was no longer cared for or kept in a condition a proud club should have . Yep the writing is on the wall right from the off . No pride is being shown ! Our CEO has got rid of anyone who knows more than him which speaks volumes as too his persona. How he is still calling the shots I don’t know but I can speculate that he knows too much about our faceless owners maybe? I don’t want to see Blues players coming off the pitch at the end of another loss laughing and joking with opposition players I want to see them angry and gutted.. Karanka with his expressionless face buried in his coat collar offers nothing by way of inspiration even that pathetic after match ramble should have been enough to have got rid of him… Even my boy could have told Dong that the pitch would turn into a field when the weather turns … Let someone else have turn hosting Coventry if get are homeless next season … The Vile?Wolves?Baggies? NO chance they all have people to advise that it would be detrimental in the long term. I get that other teams play on it but you can’t set out to play the passing game on a cabbage patch without it turning into kick and rush which we play at home.. Our best football is away speaks volumes! The players ? I don’t believe they are as good as we think . To much average Clayton for example is not the player Karanka remembers and research should have shown that even Karanka himself if he was that good he would not have been unemployed for so long ? The players are getting an easy ride with no crowd to get at them knowing that they are still getting well paid and when it goes to you know what they will be off for another payday without a giving a FF about BCFC. Even on the forums our fans are split between those who think doing anything is pointless and those who want more action… Me ? Anything will help even if it just makes you feel like you have tried something rather sitting in a deck hair on the Titanic.

    Reply
  10. Wilf

    I am afraid that our problems stem from the top down.
    Investing in older slower players does not work.
    Using valuable money for their retirement is not right.
    Kranka must take a big portion of the blame, especially as he
    has agreed to all additions????
    With his record he MUST NOW go, or it will be too late to rectify.
    Maybe we could approach Eddie Howe!!!!! He got Bournemouth
    up to the premier on very little cash, but with exciting players and
    attractive play. If only he would come, might need Ren to step down though.
    Ren is the only constant over the last few years of hurt.
    surely the owners can see this and get rid of him.

    Then we have the stadium fiasco.
    It has been erected for 25 years? An inspection of stadiums should be carried out every year, yet we now find that there are bolts missing and corrosion taking place.
    Surely this has been highlighted before on previous inspection reports.
    It also has been quite noticeable that the stadium has not had a lick of paint for several years and looks quite shabby,
    Now in the latest statement, the Tilton and Kop will probably not
    be open for the start of next season, some 9 months after the
    announcement of the stands being closed. If it only missing bolts and minor corrosion to be dealt with, why is it taking 9 months to fix? What are they hiding? No money to pay for the work?

    Reply
  11. Gareth John Williamsit does

    It doesnt matter what happens on the pitch I will always support the Blues. Weve been through bad times before so keep supporting the boys in royal blue
    KRO

    Reply
  12. Valentine Mark Phillips

    Lads the Bluenoses are the absolute tops and they are currently hurting more than you could possibly imagine, more even than you. So please, please put all the issues at the Club to one side for 90 minutes when you go on the pitch and give your all. Whatever happens it will be very much appreciated by the only people who matter, the fans. And remember the root cause of all the turmoil at the Club is in no way down to you.
    KRO

    Reply
  13. dave

    Just wish the players would think of the fans/customers suffering,not going down games ,losing family members to C19 etc …………When at Home the team should face the payed for Cardboard Supporters and acknowledge them being there for a reason!…

    Reply
  14. Eric Jones

    Pass the ball to a Blues player, get into the box as much as possible, beat the opposition to the ball, work together, defend like Trevor Smith, keep goal like Gil Merrick, never never stop working…….imagine the 50,000 Bluenoses watching you all the time…KRO

    Reply
  15. Jedda

    I’m afraid I find it hard to compose motivational messages to the team when we have been beaten down for so long by such under performance and complete, unremitting mismanagement at the club. When you start to list it, it really beggars belief…..

    Outsourced scouting leading to consistently shambolic and wasteful recruitment; a stadium we no longer own and now in unsafe disrepair that apparently can’t or won’t be fixed even in 9 months and without any matchday crowds to disrupt work; woeful financial mismanagement over many years taking us down a path of no debt to £100m+ debt; the removal of highly experienced club support staff in key positions; horrendous team management decisions largely prompted by heinous acts of vanity and self-harm, through the inability to maintain a functional relationship and ultimately then sack the 2 most popular, competent and respected managers we’ve had in recent years (Rowett and Monk), both for non-football reasons; an absolute disregard for any meaningful communication with the fanbase; the complete undermining of the club academy, surely the cornerstone of the future of any club such as Blues; all culminating this season in the oversight of a team devoid of all passion, belief, organisation, effort and discernible tactics.

    Especially at a time of national crisis when all fans desire is some light relief amongst the unremitting gloom, to get behind a team which whatever their limitations could be relied upon to pull together and give of their all, we have been utterly let down by the leadership of our beloved club.

    Worst of all, and I never thought I would say this, I feel completely unable to impart my love of the Blues to my 2 young sons. I have supported the club for over 40 years, through good times and bad, but I feel there is nothing to commend the Blues to them at this time. Why should I put them through games when each is more miserable than the last and we have no reason to believe the leadership of our club has the basic competence or humility to respond and provide hope that things may improve. You either do or don’t get the bug for a club at a young age, and we will certainly be missing a lost generation of supporters for years to come.

    So I am sorry this is message it so negative and is not a rallying cry to the players – doubtless some will feel this is ‘not being a proper supporter’ – but it is an honest and heartfelt one. I am tired and weary. I’d like to feel that the owners of the club may read this and messages like it and it just possibly may strike a chord and prompt some kind of change. But I doubt it.

    Reply
  16. Paul

    Please just remember that football without fans isn’t football.

    even if you don’t care or like Karanka/ Ren you are playing for US – the fans, the ones who would be there week in week out if covid wasn’t here. WE CARE so DO IT FOR US

    We care about the club even if the owners don’t. We know you are better than what the table shows when you can play the way we want you to play and not this crap formation MR One dimension wants you to play.

    Reply
    • Lee

      I don’t know what to say really. Ninety minutes to the biggest battle of our professional lives all comes down to today. Either we heal as a team or we are going to crumble, inch by inch, play by play till we’re finished.

      We are in hell right now, gentlemen, believe me and we can stay here and get the shit kicked out of us or we can fight our way back into the light. We can climb out of hell, One inch, at a time.

      Now I can’t do it for you. I’m too old. I look around and I see these young faces and I think,I mean, I made every wrong choice a middle age man could make. I uh….I p….d away all my money believe it or not. I chased off anyone who has ever loved me. And lately, I can’t even stand the face I see in the mirror.

      You know when you get old in life, things get taken from you. That’s, part of life. But, you only learn that when you start losing stuff. You find out that life is just a game of inches.

      So is football. Because in either game, life or football, the margin for error is so small. I mean one half step too late or to early you don’t quite make it. One half second too slow or too fast and you don’t quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They are in ever break of the game every minute, every second.

      On this team, we fight for that inch. On this team, we tear ourselves, and everyone around us to pieces for that inch. We CLAW with our finger nails for that inch. Cause we know when we add up all those inches that’s going to make the f…..g difference between WINNING and LOSING, between LIVING and DYING.

      I’ll tell you this in any fight it is the guy who is willing to die who is going to win that inch. And I know if I am going to have any life anymore it is because, I am still willing to fight, and die for that inch because that is what LIVING is. The six inches in front of your face.

      Now I can’t make you do it. You gotta look at the guy next to you. Look into his eyes. Now I think you are going to see a guy who will go that inch with you. You are going to see a guy who will sacrifice himself for this team because he knows when it comes down to it, you are gonna do the same thing for him.

      That’s a team, gentlemen and either we heal now, as a team, or we will die as individuals. That’s football guys. That’s all it is. Now, whattaya gonna do?

      Reply
  17. Dean Russell

    If the current owners are crooks [allegedly], why are they allowed to run the club. There is the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) in this country.

    Reply
  18. anthony John danbury

    i have been a blue nose all my life started watching them in 1951 and i cannot believe what is going on at ST Andrews, i can only say i have never seen the like so if this ] is football for me no system all i see indefensible rubbish a manager who makes so many changes, his next job will be a bingo caller because i think thats how he picks the team each week

    Reply
  19. Dorestblue

    No more predictable play. Be brave with the ball.

    Reply
  20. Wallyb

    Bring Tom Brady from the Tampa Bay( US Super Bowl winners) as a motivational speaker and get the squad together (with or without Ren and Karanka).
    Our squad’s problems are attitudinal rather than lack of skills. Our current management team do not have the communication skills to solve this problem.
    Brady turned losers into winners!

    Reply
  21. Mark R

    Mr Karanka, your management team and the playing squad: Just in case it has escaped any of you, you are representing a football club that carries the name of the United Kingdom’s Second City, a football club with a proud 146 year history and a very large, passionate, loyal, and predominantly ‘working-class’ fan base. In 146 years, Birmingham City have spent 4 seasons in the third tier of English football—4 seasons too many for such a great club.
    Look around the dressing room-do you see a ‘bottom 3 of the second tier’ squad?
    I don’t think so, but you have to prove it out on the pitch. You have to show the fans you care, and that you are prepared to shed blood, sweat and tears for your team mates and the sacred shirt you are privileged enough to wear.
    You might consider this a bit strange, but there are many thousands of Brummies who virtually live for the club. Watching and supporting Blues is one of very few highlights in the week for many fans, believe it or not, and sadly even this has been extinguished somewhat lately, partly by COVID-19, but largely by what you have been serving up for us at St Andrews.
    Blues fans are forgiving. We are used to forgiving players for a lack of quality at times, but we cannot forgive any player, or member of the management team, for a lack of effort.
    If you work hard, you have a chance of playing well. If you play well, you will enjoy your football far more.
    Go out and enjoy yourselves, show us you care, and take Blues out of the bottom 3! Surely that is not too much to ask?!!
    KRO

    Reply
  22. pamela allsopp

    To the players. Forget any issues within the club and play for your own pride and the fans. This club proudly takes the name of the second city.It has always been a working mans’ club, and has never won honour after honour, but what makes it special to the fans, is the desire and passion shown by our players on the pitch. That has been sadly missing since post the first lockdown. Please stand up and be counted. We, ask for nothing more than you give your all . Everyone of you can at least do THAT.
    and it needs to happen NOW.No excuses please. KRO.

    Reply

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