It’s day two of the implosion.
After Rowett and his backroom staff were unceremoniously sacked on the spot yesterday, the situation deteriorated further into the evening and into this morning.
Yesterday tea-time, members of the Blues first team took to Twitter to post crying faces, confused and upset smileys in reaction to the devastating news. Other than Maghoma’s skilfully non-committal ‘wow’, no actual words were posted – but none needed to be; everybody understood the players’ united statement of anger, disbelief and despair.
Messages of shock and disgust poured in from football fans around the UK.
Well-wishers consoled broken Blues fans on Twitter, while key journalists and former pros slammed into TTA for their recklessness and improper behaviour.
As Rowett was clearing his desk, the failed manager and football celebrity Gianfranco Zola was announced as the new Blues coach, in what was increasingly looking like a sinister and pre-planned coup that had been formulated weeks ago when Blues were riding high in the top four..
At first, many fans, myself included, thought this was a reaction to a couple of bad defeats against Newcastle and Barnsley as well as being a statement that the vacuous new owners wanted a celebrity name in charge.
However, the ‘in the know types’ started suggesting Rowett had been sacked partly for under-using the weak and sickly Diego Fabbrini in his first team, but mainly because Rowett had been approached by QPR and Fulham over the past 12 months and had the temerity to listen to what they were offering, before opting to stay with Blues.
Apparently the package Fulham offered would have trebled Rowett’s wages.
The in-the-know types said that as a result of QPR and Fulham’s interest, Rowett was subsequently offered increased terms. He was yet to rubber stamp the new deal, but Rowett’s desire to be paid an equal rate to those managers at mid-table Fulham and QPR had enraged TTA sufficiently for them to give him the chop before he had chance to put pen to paper.
A small band of London-based, self-declared intellectual Blues fans that have always disliked Rowett were quick to praise the unaccountable TTA’s haste in sacking the highly rated young manager who took Blues from the bottom of the league to the edge of the automatic places.
They said his meeting with QPR and Fulham and the way it was used to increase his wages justified Blues taking this deeply damaging decision.
I would like those who associate with this wretched clique to think of this question: do you think it is right and proper that Rowett is paid three times less than his mid-table, Fulham counterpart?
If you believe Rowett should be perpetually stuck on the rate we paid him when he came from the lower leagues, you simply have no idea about performance related pay, and how to retain your better members of staff.
If you agree that Rowett has earned the right to be paid the market rate, then how can you praise TTA for sacking him?
Your position is illogical.
The other argument typically trotted out by this debauched troupe is that by speaking to Fulham and QPR and ultimately rejecting their advances, Rowett was obviously ‘looking to leave’.
Let’s face facts. If Rowett was looking to leave, he’d have done so, and QPR would have hired him over Ian Holloway in an instant. No argument.
Again, your position makes no sense.
And so the football celebrity, Gianfranco Zola became manager. A man with a poorer win ratio than Lee Clark. A man who was chased out of Qatar for being inept. A man who was given the boot by Cagliari for winning just two games out of ten.
The small band of self-appointed intellectuals hailed the decision as ‘progress’.
Meanwhile the famous Gianfranco Zola informed members of the press at his unveiling to the media that he would seek to ring Rowett in the week and ask him what to do.
A club that was moving in the right direction and getting scalps against teams with greater budgets and resources had been decimated in just 24 hours.
There was a momentum about Blues, we were selling out away allocations for every fixture for the first time in my life; younger fans were coming down and coalescing around DavoBirmingham and his media output; supporting Rowett’s Blues was cool, we were going places; there was a bond between the players and the fans, the likes of David Davis, Shotton, Juke, Kieftenbeld would leave nothing on the pitch at the full time whistle and the fans appreciated them for it.
With the promise of funds in January, things were looking bright and Rowett had earnt a transfer window with a proper budget to show us what he can do.
But all this, alas, is now dead.
We are now back to the Lee Clark days.
The well-known Gianfranco Zola told the press that he was to ‘implement the wishes of TTA on the football pitch’.
Team selections would now be handled by Hong Kong.
At the time of writing this, the Blues Trust were planning to put together a tasteful tribute to Gary Rowett to thank him for all his achievements over the past 24 months. At the time of writing this, they were currently being bombarded with hate mail and abuse by the small band of London-based self-appointed intellectuals on Twitter.
In-fighting and implosion abound.
Those days of promise in the top four of the division seem a long, long, time ago.