BCFC: Caveat Spectator

With rumours flying around about the possible purchase of Lewis Grabban by Birmingham City from Bournemouth, the question of Financial Fair Play raises it’s ugly head again. However, the question isn’t so much about if Blues are breaking FFP rules now – but more to the point, does anybody care?

Birmingham City FC

Reports were in the press that Blues had a near £6million bid accepted, only for the player to choose to go to Nottingham Forest.

With Birmingham Sports Holdings reporting a huge loss for the first half of last season and figures for the second half likely to be as unpretty, even if Blues are not over the FFP limits one can’t help but wonder how this kind of huge offer would affect where Blues lie.

I saw someone semi-facetiously refer to FFP as an “urban myth” on smallheathalliance.com and I can’t help but think they have a point.

I checked with multiple sources in May and June who were in broad agreement that many clubs in the Championship faced FFP problems – but as yet no sanctions have been announced in the public domain.

With Blues now seemingly chasing targets that are huge in financial terms it appears that they are now following the lead of other clubs in the division and are pursuing what they want without regards to how it will affect them for FFP purposes.

This doesn’t surprise me if I’m honest.

With so many teams seemingly falling foul of the rules at the end of last season that indicated to me that teams were daring the league to do something – and although Bournemouth have coughed up a £4.75million settlement for a historic claim, more cases are being debated and chased through the courts.

It’s clear that FFP is not working.

I’m going to voice what might be an unpopular opinion now, but I’m glad we’ve missed out on Grabban.

While Grabban was in the goals last season, and his signing would have undoubtedly wound up the natives in B6, his age (30) means that he would have little resale value should a gamble for promotion not come off.

With huge wages in place too Blues would be left with another huge wage to get off the books that they very realistically could not afford.

I’m not going to blame Monk for his one either.

While I cannot confirm its veracity, there is a rumour doing the rounds that Grabban wasn’t even a Monk signing, but a “gift” from the owners to show that they were backing him in his ambition.

This isn’t the first time Blues have done something like that either – Nikola Zigic wasn’t exactly Alex McLeish’s choice either.

Even if FFP isn’t a problem for whatever reason, I hope Blues learn from the mistakes over the expressway last year.

Gambling on big players for a shot at promotion often doesn’t work – and it’s better to spend money on players that will have some resale value in the probability that the gamble fails.

Rather than be egging them on, I think we need to be cautious – because if we’re not, what is happening in B6 could happen to us.

It’s butchering Latin to say this, but caveat spectator – fans beware.

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