1875: Dear Mr Zhao

I’m proud to confirm I’ve joined forces with the We Are Birmingham website and other fans to do my bit to improve things at Birmingham City. I’ve always held that fans can effect change, and I’m hoping we can prove it. Our first action has been to directly get in contact with Birmingham Sports Holdings Chairman Zhao Wenqing to ensure that he and the owner understand some of the things going on at St Andrew’s. Note that this letter was sent prior to the news breaking about the club being charged by the EFL.

This has also been posted on the We Are Birmingham and 1875.uk websites

Dear Mr Zhao

Hope you had a good flight back to Hong Kong and that the AGM wasn’t that boring for you. It probably was more fun than the turgid crap masquerading as a football match that was served up to fans at St Andrew’s on January 1.

The match against Wigan was our fourth defeat in a row at home and ensures we remain in 18th place with a relegation dogfight being a real possibility for the third time in the last four years. I guess at least we scored a few goals though?

If you looked at social media, you’d probably see there are a whole bunch of fans who now want you to sack Pep Clotet. One win in twelve in the league isn’t good enough, and as results have worsened so have performances. At the current rate the club is in for a really tough winter and player values will continue to dip, further undermining your bosses’ investment.

The problem isn’t just Clotet though, is it?

Just how much do your underlings Ren Xuandong, Shayne Wang Yao and Edward Zheng Gannan tell you about how the club is doing when you’re not in Birmingham?

It would be an assumption that you’ve seen the tactics board in Ren’s office at Wast Hills, or the mini one that Edward sits with at games to make notes on? Of course, you know that all the directors are passing on their tips, advice or requirements to the coaching staff on how the team should play, who should be picked, etc?

Should you get rid of Clotet, the next manager is going to have to try to unify the team yet again, all while being pestered by three Football Manager wannabes. It’s a good job you’re the only director with a British passport because the stringent work permit regulations in the UK is probably the only thing ensuring that they can’t register themselves as a manager or a player for the team.

If the team are going to be successful and get into the promotion chase that your bosses so desperately want, things are going to have to change on the pitch.

But it’s not just interference in the football side of things that is an issue, is it?

The club have seen their credit record wrecked by incompetence in delayed paying of multiple court judgements, have had the club issued a winding up order for an unpaid tax bill, while those companies foolish enough to give the club credit are having to wait longer and longer to be paid.

Meanwhile, your directors are happy to chase up corporate clients for any monies that could be possibly owed while looking through the latest range of Gucci handbags to buy for their wives on the Blues credit card.

Back in July 2018 you told Ren and the senior management team of the time that when the club faces difficulties, the club needs help from everyone instead of blame and accusation. As we all know, the senior management team couldn’t work with Ren and ended up leaving – a pattern that has become oddly familiar at the club with more and more senior staff leaving citing that they cannot work with Ren.

If the club is to realise its potential, then it’s imperative that the rot is stopped now. Your work in Beijing may stop you from spending more time in Birmingham but it shouldn’t be too hard to find a board of directors that can properly lead and manage the club, rather than spend money and hide from problems. Even if it’s just a CEO with relevant experience in western business in general and football in particular, it would be better than the current situation. Maybe someone who doesn’t ask passionate fans if they “want come?” on Twitter…

The alternative is going to be a club that is dragged further and further down – potentially even relegated. An investment that can never be recouped – and possibly even a stock listing that is taken away from your bosses.

You can make it better.

Keep Right On

This letter marks the start of a new campaign set up to try to improve the current situation at St Andrews. We will be posting our efforts on the 1875.uk website – and a mailing list has also been set up for other fans who want to join us in this fight. We have taken this action due to our own beliefs and in no way shape or form claim to speak for anyone but those who wish to be involved in our campaign.

Translation:

尊敬的赵先生

希望你回香港的行程愉快,也希望年会给你带去了欢乐。那可能比1月1日在圣安德鲁为球迷们提供的足球比赛那种华而不实的场合更有趣。

对Wigan的比赛是我们在主场的第四场失利,这也确保了我们在过去四年中的第三次保级大战中保持在第18名的位置。我想至少我们还是进了几个球的对吧?

你上网看看的话可能会发现有一大群粉丝希望你解雇Pep Clotet。联赛中12场比赛只赢1场让人难以接受,而且随着比赛结果的恶化,球员们的表现也越来越差。以目前的速度,俱乐部将面临一个真正艰难的冬天,球员价值将继续下降,进一步削弱你老板的投资。

问题不只是出在Pep Clotet身上,对吧?

你不在伯明翰的时候,你的下属任轩冬、Shayne王瑶和Edward郑赣楠会告诉你多少俱乐部的事情?

你可能已经在Wast Hills的任的办公室里见过战术板,或者是爱德华在比赛中用来做笔记的迷你板。当然,你知道所有的教练都在向队员传授技巧、建议或要求,告诉他们球队应该怎么部署,应该选谁上场,等等。

如果你摆脱了Pep Clotet,下一任主教练将不得不再次团结全队,与此同时,三个想当足球教练的人将纠缠不休。你是唯一一个持有英国护照的董事,这是一件好事,因为英国严格的工作许可证制度可能会阻止他们注册为球队教练或球员。

如果球队想要获得成功,并实现你的老板所渴望的晋升,那么球场上的状况就必须改变。

但这不仅仅是足球方面的问题,不是吗?

俱乐部因拖延支付多项法院判决资金而导致其信用记录受损,使俱乐部发布了未付税款清盘令,而那些愚蠢到给俱乐部贷款的公司却不得不等待越来越长的时间才能得到偿还。

另外,董事们很乐意在为他们的妻子用Blues信用卡购买最新系列的古驰包包的同时,向公司客户追讨任何可能拖欠的款项。

早在2018年7月,您就向任和当时的高层管理团队表示,当俱乐部遇到困难时,需要的不是指责和控告,而是大家的帮助。我们都知道,高层管理团队无法与任好好共事,最终离职了——这种现象在俱乐部里变得出奇地普遍,越来越多的高层员工以无法与任共事为由离职。

如果俱乐部要实现它的潜力,那么现在就必须停止腐败。你在北京的工作也许会让你没办法花更多的时间在伯明翰,但是与其花钱逃避问题,不如找一个能够正确领导和管理俱乐部的董事会,这应该不会太难。即使只是一个在西方商业尤其是足球领域有相关经验的首席执行官,也比目前的情况要好。我想不会有人在推特上问热情的粉丝是否“you want come?”

另一种结果就是俱乐部越来越差劲——甚至有可能降级。一项永远无法收回的投资——甚至可能是一份从你的老板手中夺走的上市股票。

你可以让变它得更好。

万事如意

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *