The Sullivan, Bruce & Yeung Show!

Posted on October 29, 2007 
Filed Under Blues News

The Steve Bruce / Carson Yeung ’showdown’ has come and gone. A meeting that promised so much seemed to have resolved very little. On Saturday, David Sullivan’s programme notes made it into the nationals and a story of hostility swept around prompting more questions about Yeung and the takeover, primarily that if Sullivan didn’t trust him, why was he still selling ‘our’ club to him?

The band played on, the game went ahead, Blues won and the meeting happened. Predictably enough, nothing has changed.

Carson Yeung still sees it exactly the same as it was before and is still outwardly very confident about the deal going ahead, Bruce staying put and spending money on players in January and beyond.

One thing you can say about Yeung is that whilst he hasn’t been forthcoming in how he’s going to achieve all this, one thing he has been constant in is his aims and ambitions for the club. If he does everything that he has thus far promised, we won’t be in bad hands. Especially since the current board have done such a marvellous job in managing the finances of the club since they first arrived – an ambition and target they set many years ago.

Meanwhile Steve Bruce saw the meeting as ‘positive’. Bruce has quite rightly become sick of all the takeover talk in recent weeks and this meeting supposedly gives him – and his players – some clarity over the future, for the rest of the season at least. If the current board stay on, he’ll stay, if Yeung buys the club and keeps his promises, he’ll stay.

I suspected that nothing would change regarding the manager’s position although one strange thing that has popped up from this meeting is the contract. Yeung claimed in his piece in The Mirror:

He knows it is not our fault about his contract and I will give him my full support and talk about new terms when we take over.

Eh? So if it’s not Sullivan and the Golds fault and it’s not the fault of Carson Yeung, who exactly is it the fault of? It’s probably a small, insignificant hiccup but small things like  this create division and suspicion. I don’t know of too many Blues fans who actually trust Yeung but at the same time, they’re sick of David Sullivan so at the moment, it’s like being between a rock and a hard place.

Regardless, the fact that both boards agree on the future is a positive and the players – and other people in the game – certainly believe that the correct man is in charge of the club. Even Hansen (Boo! Hiss!) sang Bruce’s praises on MotD this weekend.

And finally we come to pantomime villain David Sullivan!

The first Sullivan related article that I think is worth mentioning is this one from today’s Birmingham Mail. There’s been some debate on forums about whether this was a snub or merely a misunderstanding.

I’ve seen it twice and in any ensuing argument, I’ve backed Sullivan. It looked worse than it was and I highly doubt that Sullivan would be that childish. He’s opinionated, certainly, but to not shake someone’s hand with whom he will be doing a multi-million pound deal? Also taking into account Sullivan last week saying that he would stick to any deal in place  – despite his reservations – due to him giving his word to Yeung. It doesn’t sound like a man who’d then childishly not shake hands, does it?

The anxiety over the meeting reached somewhat of a fever pitch on Saturday when an article very similar to this – certainly carrying the quotes – appeared in a national newspaper.

Initially I thought the quotes were quite damning. After reading them again, they don’t seem so bad. After all, Sullivan is fed up. Can anyone honestly claim that they’d not fed up? We’re all in some sort of limbo but at least we know, as fans, where we stand and what our ‘duties’ are. Players, managers and people who work at the club do not know where they stand and it’s further credit to Steve Bruce and his staff that we’re actually in quite a healthy position.

As Sullivan says in the piece, he’s put a lot into Blues. Despite what some people think of him, he’s actually helped to build a very well run, successful football club. How many clubs are we the envy of? Considering where we started when he first turned up, it’s remarkable. I’m not one of these who constantly thinks we have to thank Sullivan and be ever indebted to him and the Golds but at a time when there’s a bit of uncertainty around, I think it’s important to look at what we have and consider how losing it might impact on the one thing we all have in common… Birmingham City.

There’s more of the same Sullivan stuff in the Birmingham Mail tonight. Nothing much different, really. Yeung has promised to try and quicken everything up, Sullivan isn’t quite sure, Steve Bruce is no closer to knowing his budget or getting his new contract.

When I first found out about this meeting, I predicted that nothing would change. December will obviously be the crunch and much will depend on financing in January. Contingency plans for both scenario’s need to be put in place. All eyes must be firmly fixed on January and improving the team. Ultimately that’s what will determine whether we’ve been successful this season, not by whose name is above the door.

I have a nagging feeling saying that, despite Sullivan’s outbursts, if December 24th comes and no takeover has happened, we’ll have a solid plan in place for who we want to sign and for how much. I’m not sure about Yeung. If he’s done and dusted with the takeover by mid-late December, I’m not convinced that he’d have gotten everything together in time to really give us a shot at pulling off a Steve Bruce January transfer window masterstroke.

I’d love to say that I’m in favour of Sullivan going. I’d love to say that I’ve had enough of his tirades, his abuse and his ill-timed rants and the sooner he’s gone, the better off we’ll all be. The thing is, I’m not. Whilst I am sick of the things I mention, I’m nowhere near convinced that we’ll be better off with someone who looks as though he’s about as organised as Liam Ridgewell and Maik Taylor from a long Mario Melchiot punt!

Of course, as with anything relating to BCFC, it’s not all black and white. Sullivan talks of damaging the club and accuses Yeung’s actions of doing just that. The only person seemingly inflaming the situation is Sullivan. Maybe because he’s the only one whose willing to tell it like he sees it and we won’t know about Yeung until the deadline gets a bit too close for comfort. Maybe if he just sat back and was a little more reserved for a change, the situation might eventually take care of itself and Yeung and his associates might come into their own and do the job they promise. Still, that’s not his style and love him or loathe him, it works for him.

At this moment in time, I think I’m swaying towards the Sullivan side of the fence… if the takeover didn’t happen I’d be perfectly satisfied, if not a little curious about what might’ve been. We’ll no doubt see plenty more twists and turns over the next few weeks and it’ll be something that, like the position of our manager over the last year, will see people chop and change opinion on as the major players make their moves.

I just hope that when the smoke clears and the dust settles the right man is in charge of BCFC.


2 Responses to “The Sullivan, Bruce & Yeung Show!”

  1. SteveD on October 30th, 2007 10:29 am

    I can not understand the animosity which is being prefabricated by the media and aided and abetted by Sullivan towards Yeung. Yeung has bought a stake in the club and announced his wishes to purchase the club most probably in the new year. These events were preceded by comments from Gold stating he wouldnt be surprised if a foreigner came in to buy the club. It is clear to me that Gold and Sullivan wanted out at the start of the season if not pre-season and proceeded to get the ball rolling. Yeung has not dragged his feet and clearly he does not want to begin expressing plans and opinions until he understands the machinations of the club, the business and the supporters. Sullivan is frustrated that Yeung will not shoot from the hip and engage in a public debate. Sullivan is also probably getting nervous that his financial plans and exit from the Blues wont happen without Yeung completing and has therefore launched unprofessional and knee-jerked personal attacks on the man to provoke a response. Yeung is acting like a professional with a level head. I suspect that Sullivan is preparing his diatribe for a post exit attack on the club to gain maximum publicity for himself and damaging the club in the process.
    Let’s give Yeung a chance, he appears to be the only investor left who is interested in the future of the club.

  2. Suzie Wong on November 5th, 2007 7:17 pm

    I think part of the problem for Carson Yeung is that he wants to invest in the club, not put more money than is necessary into the pockets of David Sullivan,the Gold Brothers and Karren Brady ( and Steve Bruce most likely)
    I would imagine the present board and management have structured very nice pay offs for when they come to leave whether by their own choice or in certain cases by sacking. For the owners this is possibly their last big pay day (until they get snare another club).
    Even if Karen Brady chooses to walk out and get another job she will pick up nearly a million quid on the contract she has. When Steve Bruce (£2,000,000 a year-is he really worth that ?-if he is how much do you think Wenger should get ?) complains about not having enough money for players think about the £400,000 he takes out of the club each year for his image rights ie using his gorgeous face on the website and in the programmes.
    I don’t think you can blame the future owners for taking their time, I’d think twice about making Sullivan and the Golds any richer and consequently having less money to buy players with and/or invest in the club.
    Its in all Blues’ fans interest that this takeover goes ahead and as much money comes to the club as possible.

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