BCFC: Pravda

With no independent media sources on Blues’ current trip to Portugal, fans are increasingly reliant on the official club media channels for news on what is happening. While it’s good to hear news directly from the source, judging by the replies to recent posts there seems to be an increasing feeling that it’s not enough.

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Wednesday’s article on BCFC.com was an example in point.

The actual cut and thrust of the article made sense; that Pep Clotet is not looking to revolutionise how Blues play but build on the fundamentals of what the team did right last season.

The replies to the article on social media have been damning though, with fans pointing out that the team isn’t even at last season’s level due to the departures of Michael Morrison, Jota and Che Adams.

However, I think the problem with Blues’ current communications isn’t so much about what is being said, but the how and the why.

As someone who has been on Blues messageboards for the last 20 years, I’ve long known cynicism towards the official Blues channels.

The official website has a duty to be positive about the club, and as such the official website bcfc.com has been known on some messageboards as “Pravda”.

For those unfamiliar with the word, Pravda is a Russian word meaning “Truth” and was the name of the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

While the newspaper was called “Truth”, its contents were often anything but. It was the newspaper of propaganda, extolling the achievements of the party and pushing any dissatisfaction under the carpet.

Right now it’s understandable why some people might refer to bcfc.com as “Pravda”.

There is a lot of negativity around the club following the sacking of Garry Monk, the sale of Che Adams and the release of Michael Morrison.

The club’s media department will be under instruction to put out content that is positive to lift the mood.

However, that is going to be difficult until Blues make some signings as people fear the worst for this season.

No amount of articles about evolution of the squad or about the promise of youth are going to disguise that the team is seriously lacking in numbers.

It’s a tough situation to be in – but it is one of the board’s own making.

The lack of independent media out on the current tour in Portugal is not helping the situation.

I get the impression that people at the top like Ren Xuandong are unhappy with media for the criticism he has received recently and has reacted by metaphorically circling the wagons to keep the media out.

In fact, I could understand if people blamed people like me for this.

After all, if I wasn’t so uppity and revealing such damning information, would there be any need for the club to be so protective of its interests?

As much as I understand that, I think it’s incorrect to blame independent media for asking questions.

One of my chief issues with the current board is that from where I’m sitting they won’t listen to advice.

As hard as it is to be told that one might be wrong about something, it’s important to have people who will question decisions and offer an alternative explanation.

Likewise, it’s important to be able to hear all sides of a story before coming to a decision of what to think.

I’ve often said that we as fans have to understand that the owners and board come from a culture which is different to us and that we have to accept that they will do things in a different way.

The corollary of that is that Birmingham City is an English football club, and that the board and owners have to accept that here in England, we’re a lot more open with asking the difficult questions.

Propaganda alone will not win hearts and minds.

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