Trillion Trophy Asia are ruining The Blues

I’m not a Birmingham based Bluenose. Luckily enough I do not have to come into work today after losing 3-1 to a team that cannot win or score away from home and after my club has sacked a manager people were getting behind to be faced with a bunch of Villains getting abuse.

I can gauge how awful we have been both on and off the pitch by how much abuse I get from the Luton Town fan in the office. The moment he pipes up taking the piss I know it’s bad. And so, by 9.30am I had taken all the flack the office had to give me. Like I say, I’m not Birmingham based, so the flack I got was marginal compared to some I’m sure but I am still left feeling embarrassed by my club.

Trillion Trophy Asia (TTA) have once again been proving to the world at their incompetence at running a football club and the people they appoint to run the business UK side.

Dong Ren, the man appointed to supposedly be the “ear on the ground” in B9 for the Chinese based owners has clearly not been listening very hard.

The London Mayfair based Chinese CEO states on his Twitter bio “I was born in China but I was made for Premier League”.

Errmm no, you’re not.

You’re currently struggling to manage a football club languishing second bottom in the Championship. The ladder to the Premier League looks almost impossible to climb with this Turtle Egg in charge.

The man cannot even be bothered to base himself in the city of the club he looks after.  The glamor of high-end Mayfair is too much of a status symbol for him to move himself from London to Birmingham. How can he be properly running the club from London? People will say that Sullivan and Gold managed it. but I say, he was bought here to look after this football club, the most he could do is base himself near the club. How is he supposed to feedback to TTA from what he hears if he is too far away from B9 to listen to it in the first place?

Setting up football academies does not validate you as a Chief Executive to run a football club. Working in one part of the footballing sphere does not give you skills to work in the other. You wouldn’t ask a winger to go in goal, you wouldn’t ask a keeper to play on the wing. Similarly, you wouldn’t ask the manager of a footballing centre to run a football club. Just because they’re football academies doesn’t qualify him to run a football club.

Just to give you a measure of the CEO, here’s a quick timeline:

  • 21st August – “Gaffer looks happy with today’s Chinese delivery” (picture of Redknapp)
  • 10th September – “Apologize to our fans about the result yesterday. It might get worse before it gets better but the squad is good and we will get there” (picture of Dong with his head in his hands)
  • 14th September – “It’s easy to believe in people when they’re succeeding. But that’s not what we’re about. We have to believe in each other when we fail.” (picture of the Blues badge)
  • 17th September – “I can’t ever thank him enough for saving us there but it’s time to move on. It wasn’t a rush decision and it wasn’t an easy one at all” (Picture of Redknapp pumping his fist at Bristol City last season)

The last Tweet sums up Dong beautifully:

“wasn’t a rush decision” – ok, so what changed since the 21st? and why have you only given him 3 games with the newly assembled squad so early in the season?

“It wasn’t easy” – Dong was all up for supporting the man 3 days’ prior, seemed easy to give him the boot from this side of the table.

“It’s time to move on” – this was tweeted within hours of Redknapp being sacked before a lot of fans had even caught wind of the dismissal!

“I can’t even thank him enough” – isn’t actually a thank you in itself, so he has never publically thanked Redknapp at all. Well done Dong!

If you want to give Dong Ren a better idea of fan feeling and to improve his ‘ear to the ground’ here is his Twitter profile:, send him a Tweet to tell him how you feel about the decision – I will say this: keep it civil, sending abuse means you lose the argument straight away.

When will TTA understand? You need someone with one of two credentials to run a football club properly: option one, they’re a lifelong fan of the club who just happen to be successful in business. Whelan for Wigan Athletic being a prime example. Or you need the knowledge of a person who has lived and breathed the footballing world for a career, preferably in the English game.

TTA still do not have a clue as to what they are doing as owners of a football club.

Since officially taking over the club a year ago, Birmingham are now looking for their fourth permanent manager.  Over the course of that 12 months they have taken the following steps:

  • Sacked Gary Rowett, loved by the majority of the fans, who had a connection with the club and was moving the club forward (style of that moving forward is completely subjective)
  • Worked behind the scenes prior to Rowett’s sacking to line up Gianfranco Zola, a man with an exceptionally poor managerial record
  • Appointed Zola, a man virtually no-one wanted
  • Clung on to Zola despite only 2 wins in 22 games, leaving the man to fall on his sword instead of taking action, leaving us open to relegation.
  • Appointed Redknapp with 3 games to go, to keep us up
  • Sack Redknapp after 8 league games, losing the last 5, but only 3 games after signing new 10 players into the squad

This is not the actions of a responsible board. It is certainly not the timeline of a board from just the last 12 months! Pernickety people will point out that it is in fact not a year since the first action, and they’re right, it’s just over 9 months since Rowett was unceremoniously sacked.

What makes the journey of the last 12 months even worse is that TTA do not feel the need to engage with fans, the people that make the entity which they are so poorly managing what it is.

Once again, like with the Rowett/Zola debacle, the footballing community is looking at this football club and laughing. We are fast becoming the punchline to the proverbial football joke.

Forget Dong Ren, he’s not up to the job of running this great football club, he’s not up to the job of engaging with fans and he’s not up to the job of getting this club pulling in the right direction.

You want an ‘ear to the ground’ TTA? Then listen:

  • For a football club to be successful it needs stability, that means not sacking a manager on a whim and changing managers regularly
  • Appointing a ‘name’ doesn’t guarantee success
  • measure a managerial candidate by their management record
  • don’t immediately appoint from overseas, there are many good young English managers out there
  • Get in a Board member that knows and understands the fans, what it means to be Blues and can guide the bigger picture based on what is good for the club and the fans, not just the bottom line
  • Do not treat the club like one of your penny stocks, it won’t work

It doesn’t matter if we make it to the Premier League if we’re all pushing in the same direction with everyone on board we will enjoy the journey. Yes, I want Birmingham back in the Premier League, but first I want us to become solid, as a team and as a club.

Oh, and the whole “Turtle Egg” thing in China means ‘mush for brains’.

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