Blues Trust Statement: St. Andrew’s

12 Aug 2021 | 24 comments

Blues Trust

The announcement that the Tilton and Kop Stands will not be available for the opening home games is a bitter blow for Blues fans.  Now the majority of us will be unable to support our team, and we are shocked that the administration at the club, only last week, assured us everything was on track to open the upper tiers..

We attended the Fans Forum meeting last week and embraced the ‘new start’ of transparent engagement with fans. Whist we understand remedial construction work can throw up unforeseen issues, it seems that the risk of not being able to open the stands (top half) for the Stoke game was played down. We are assuming the works that we were told were completed are complete and that the additional works required could not be foreseen. However, it is hard to understand how a full investigation and carrying out of the identified works failed to identify this ‘last minute’ requirement. It is also unclear whether other issues such as funding availability from the owners / Board or safety certificate procedure are part of the story.

The disappointment and anger towards the administrative management at Blues is only heightened by the feeling that we have been misled. We do not want to go back to hearing nothing from the club but encourage the club to be brave enough to tell it straight. Blues fans can take bad news and move on and remain supportive, but we will not accept being misled.

We will hopefully get the full story, explanation and an apology from the club in the next day or so. Blues fans deserve this detail now.

Blues Trust

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24 Comments

  1. Mitchell Bray

    Can only agree with everything stated here. My deep disappointment is not only for us supporters and paying public but also for the illtimed body blow for Bowyer and his team. Just when the waters are calm and we are heading in the right direction- we get this. Why oh why do we self destruct.

  2. Dan Martin

    I find it incomprehensible that there was no plan B to the fact we could end up having a whole season with no open lower tiers of the Kop and Tilton. Now we don’t have any Kop and Tilton for, lets face it, and indefinite period. I was not filled with any confidence that the stands will be back open in time for the Derby game. Surely given the fact the club has had no ticket revenue for 18 months, ensuring they could maximise this income for the forthcoming season would have been a priority for the sustainability of the club. While not ideal a potential groundshare could have been explored. Now we face the prospect of maximum 10,000 crowds with only Season ticket holders in attendance. As a season ticket holder I am now in a position where I have been mis-sold my ticket and i am very angry. However, this is not the teams fault and i will continue to support them and let the owners take advantage of that loyalty as all owners of all football clubs do.

    • John Ramsay

      There were a number of fan grops, including Blues Tust, who were at the fans forum. Can you not all come together as a collective to put pressure on the board for more openess and transparancy about this whole debacle. Your article and the comments on it raise so many questions about the repairs, the timing issues and the competece of those in charge that we should be demanding answers

      • Tilton Rod

        You have hit the nail on the head John. Until the various supporters groups…who each play very important roles by the way…realise that unity is strength, the owners of the football club will continue to take us for mugs and treat supporters with contempt.

        To be clear….existing supporters groups should continue to operate and carry on doing what they are doing. But they must look to affiliate in one way or another to maximise their impact. In my view the Trust is best suited to lead the charge given its purpose, objectives and democratic foundations. Others will have different views I’m sure. But a single representative voice is essential if the ownership of the club we all love is truly to be held to account.

        KRO

      • Linda Magner

        Yes I agree Blues Trust and all recongnised groups should have a way of communicating with each other. Recent events would have been so much easier if it was in place. Just to say we are looking at Fan Unity and in the early stages of suggesting this to other supporter groups.

  3. Bordesley Park Dave

    I am frustrated with the events that have unfolded in the last 24 hours, along with the rest of the fans, but I have some sympathy with the club as contractors will promise the earth to avoid penalty clauses on a contract. I am sure the contractors will only come clean when they can’t get the safety certificate to open the ground as they promised.

  4. David Jevons

    These clowns in charge are utterly clueless and there must now be a concerted effort to try and get them to sell.

  5. Paul Martin

    This totally unacceptable. I travel from near Gatwick to matches and evening games involve a train in the afternoon to Birmingham an overnight hotel stay and travel back early the next morning. None of this can be claimed back and as yet I have no idea which games I am attending.

  6. Sausage n Egg

    Apology won’t cut it with me … We have known about the problems for long enough so I assume the club did too? To leave it so long and near the start of the season is is at best inept at worst downright amateur ….I am not getting into ballots and raffles etc . They can poke it now … We have been mislead and the club still bumbles along from one crisis to another … Just as we think things are on the up we get fed BS… Despite words this clubs owners and representatives do not give as shiny shite about the fans … It is rotten from the core having been chiselled away at for years. Just try spending money ! Ticketing and merchandising are dire. Cheap crap shirts pale into insignificance and sadly nothing surprises anymore because it has become the norm.. I feel for LB and the players having to try and rise above this shit show

  7. peter Bates

    Embarrassed by all this once again Birmingham city are the laughing stocks of the efl the club is a shambles and never seems an end to it team still needs the support of the fans but people in charge what a joke

  8. Stan Moye

    Am l not surprised, you only have to listen to the ticket office message, still advertising early bird season tickets ending July 17th, that just gives an indication of the inept and unprofessional way the club is being run.

    Absolutely no gesture of goodwill, such as a free Blues TV pass for people unlucky in the ballot, we were told the ballot would take place Wednesday night and we’d receive an email either way, now nearly 1130 and we have a wall of silence.

    I bought a season ticket this year, the first time for a long time, after years of mismanagement of the club, l was revitalised, only know to feel as if l’ve had my legs kicked from underneath me yet again. I’m seriously considering returning my season ticket and requesting a full refund. In my eyes the club are in breach of contract, and have failed to provide the goods paid for.

  9. Gazal

    We were warned before the end of last season that this might happen as the works were originally schedued to take longer. The contractors have no doubt been pressurised into getting the works completed for the start of the season and from experience it has been extremely difficult getting trades people and materials since the onset of COVID so this is no surprise to me.

    Quite often extra works can be identified during renovation and I think we all know that this is the case, so why should St Andrews be any different?

    i agree an appology would be more acceptable, but for now lets just get things into pespective and stop acting like a bunch of spoiled kids who havn’t eperienced life in the grown-ups world yet.

    I may or may not get allocated a replacement seat for one of the games but either way around I accept that this is something that needs doing for our safety.

    • Linda Goddman

      At the end of last season they stated that ALL the work would not be completed. At that stage it was indicated that the stands would not be fully reopened until end Sept/ Oct. They haven’t even started work in the lower tier yet and that they have estimated to be 18 weeks.

  10. Bill

    It will need a miracle to get us out of the mess we are in. I don’t doubt the sincerity of Craig Gardner, Lee Bowyer and the rest of those who run the club on a day to day basis .
    I feel sorry for them having to try and work for a club that’s owners have led us into this situation.

    We don’t own the ground anymore and are having to rent it and pay for structural work in order to make it useable and can’t even organise that .

  11. Bluejohn

    I think some of these comments are a little harsh. Firstly, there is no doubt that the Board have in the past, been highly secretive about the way the Club operates. However, let us give them some credit where it is due. This Board has spent a lot of money since they have been here. Unfortunately, it has been spent unwisely in the past. Ren has gone and the Board have appointed Craig Gardner, and Lee Bowyer to run the playing side. I believe that this will prove to be a brilliant move. As regards the stadium, any money spent will be included in the EFL ‘fair play finance budget’. Do you really expect the Board to come out and say in public that we do not or cannot spend the money on the stadium ‘Carte Blanche’? I believe it is also more than possible that unforeseen additional problems have been found, and if so, that is not their fault! This Board has made many mistakes in the past, but I firmly believe that they want success as much as we do. Lee Bowyer is still looking to add to the squad, and is being supported by the Board within ‘financial fairplay’ restrictions. I realize that closing the 2 stands for a couple of games is very disappointing, and frustrating, but had we lost 4-0 at Sheffield, perhaps not so much. The Board are not perfect, but I believe they are now doing the best they can, bearing in mind ‘financial fairplay’ and their inherent Chinese culture. KRO.

    • Bill

      I agree about Craig and Lee etc however all public buildings have to maintained to a certain standard. The Board of Directors are ultimately responsible for this. It’s quite a basic Health and Safety requirement for all businesses and simply blaming the previous CEO isn’t any defence for the board of the plc as their oversight is a primary function. They should have ensured the stadium was fit for purpose.

      • Bluejohn

        In reply to Bill, I agree that the Board are ultimately responsible for the upkeep of the stadium. However, in Chinese culture Ren would be expected to do his job, and be monitoring this. In their eyes it would be Ren’s responsibility to ensure that he would be on top of all that happens at the Club. He was allowed to pick Karanka as our manager, huge and costly mistake. The Board are guilty of being naive and also of being absent from the UK for most of the time, but the Board would feel that Ren is to blame. That’s how Chinese culture is.

  12. Wilf Puffett

    There must be some serious defects that have been there for several years now. Corrosion of a main structure do not suddenly happen. The safety reports for the previous 10 years ought to be made public to find out when they were first spotted by the safety inspectors. We will then know the true story. The contractors must also be partly to blame for this shocking revelation, that at the best is a cover up by someone to get season ticket revenue in before discosure.
    As far as the ballot is concerned, this is a pure joke.
    Why not reward all season ticket holders who attended the recent cup match with a ticket for both games?
    Also a jesture of goodwill, the owners ought to allow free access to their TV recordings for all other season ticket holders that do not get a ticket , along with the reimbursement.
    I really feel that I have been duped into buying a season ticket. The owners have not even given an apology for this shambles.
    I will and have been a TRUE BLUE unlike the owners who eventually pass on like a ship in the night.
    All I can hope and pray for is that it is sooner rather than later.

    KRO

  13. Malcolm Stevens

    Can’t see how a reputable structural engineering company can be blamed for this.

    While the new openness is very welcome the fault lies entirely with the club and how it has been run these last ten years. £100m + debt and the current position is down to one poor decision after another.

    I can only imagine just what a vile and dispiriting atmosphere those employed by the club have to endure. A hollowed out club from top to bottom, stripped of its soul and energy. The stench of decline and failure is horrific.

  14. WayCoolBlue

    I agree with what you’re saying but we can’t say the Club board Had known about The further repairs.

    Example
    I had repairs done on my house I was told 4 weeks and it ran over buy 2 months because of newfound issues builders tend to do this. So it definitely happens.

    I was not told until four hours before moving back in . Very frustrating it also caused complications with our insurance which cost a lot more money.

    So bearing that in mind it’s just what tends to happen when you have big repair work done on buildings they may remove one part of the building to repair it and discover behind there is more problems these things can generally not be picked up on initial surveys.

    Obviously what’s going on with the club is very frustrating for the fans I am extremely frustrated I was expecting to be at the Stoke game I may not get to that game now I may have to go to the Bournemouth game but either way I am losing at least one game. And they could be more down the line I paid for a season ticket I expect my season-ticket to be honoured.

    And in this situation refunds don’t really cut it because you bought the season-ticket with the intention of supporting your club I’m hoping that they will give us free access to blues TV for the games that we cannot attend on top of a refund for the game.

    But as I said I don’t believe that the club have misled us in any way it’s just one of those things something that cannot be foreseen.

  15. Sausage n Egg

    Great news!!!!! We have Pukka pies!!…. Bad news … Not many of you will be eating them…

  16. John P

    Though the present owners are taking the stick for this has anyone asked Messers Gold, Sullivan & Co what savings were made and what corners were cut for these stands to be virtually collapsing after such a short time?

    These problems haven’t occurred overnight so have previous warnings been ignored?

    • Bill

      They also sold the club to someone who ended up in prison !

  17. Mitchell Bray

    Tilton Rod’s comments about other supporters groups and the possibility of joining up and becoming a stronger voice is not only interesting but essential. Never before has there been a more urgent call for action. I am a Blues Trust member but not a Board member. My sincere hope is that supporters follow what I did a few months ago and make the decision to join a strong voice. This will help enormously in my opinion and make our presence felt instead of just a fraction chipping away at a big boulder.

Affiliations
Football Supporters' Association
The Football Supporters’ Federation and Supporters Direct have joined forces to become the Football Supporters’ Association
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