Shifting Zigic is mission impossible

61

January 14, 2013 by Made In Brum

The famous quote from Helen Gurley Brown went- “Money, if it does not bring you happiness, will at least help you be miserable in comfort”. Not to say that Nikola Zigic is unhappy, how can he be? He earns a reported £60,000 a week. He is by far the highest earning player in English football outside the top flight.

Zigic has scored some important goals for Blues since he signed in May 2010. He has never been prolific (scoring record is 21 in 77 games according to Wiki) but there is no doubting that some of the goals he has chipped in with have been vital, none more so than the Carling Cup final opener.

But Birmingham City are in their own recession, during a national recession, and paying a player who sometimes seemingly goes about his job half-heartedly is ludicrous. When the giant Serbian international first joined, there was a clause written into his contract to give him a pay rise after 12 months. But that season, the club were relegated, meaning despite the drop in divisions, Zigic received a £10,000 a week pay increase. Who in their right mind thought this was a good deal to sign off? Who authorised it? What an absolute joke!

Last week, it was reported by Sky Sports that he turned down a move to Villarreal. His agent stupidly said- “He is happy with the money he gets, he loves life in the UK. He has a contract as though he would be playing for Manchester United. Birmingham City could buy five new players if he were to move but, as I said, he is not really keen on moving right now”.

Was his plan to throw petrol in an already aggressively burning fire? If it was, he has succeeded with aplomb as many Blues fans now have little time for Zigic. Seeing the club trying to offload gems such as Jack Butland, Nathan Redmond and a favourite like Curtis Davies, whilst Ziggy strolls around earning his overpriced crust is winding the supporters up. No, it is not Ziggy’s fault that his agent has come out with such ignorant comments, but his agent will not be on the pitch to take the stick.

Playing to his strengths, the 32 year-old can be an asset to the club. But could we not sign a striker from League One or Two who could do the same thing while earning £5,000 a week? I think we could. Even if Nikola was a 25-goal-a-season man, his salary cannot be justified in the second tier of the football pyramid.

So where do we go from here? No-one will sign him as he is on too much money and no clubs will take him on loan unless Blues pay half of his wages and reading his agent’s comments, it appears that he would be reluctant to move on even if a club were silly enough to offer to take him. So we are stuck in a big hole. If he was to leave, it would potentially save the club almost £3million a year in his wages alone and would probably ease the need to bulk-sell players.

Some people will ask “why should he move, no-one forced the club to pay him this commodious amount”. That is very true. But, in any other profession, Zigic would have been made redundant by now. And if the clubs goes into administration, I daresay he will be. But none of us want that to happen. It is a vicious circle and yet another example of the lack of business and football nous this board has.

By Rob Wildey

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61 thoughts on “Shifting Zigic is mission impossible

  1. Luke says:

    Hi Rob – a good summing up of the situation. One question – do you know how long his contract has left to run?

  2. KJ says:

    No, he earns a reported FIFTY THOUSAND POUNDS PER WEEK (£50,000) not £60,000 per week. Please, do your research before penning an article – it gives you a lot more credibility.

    Sources:

    Local:

    http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/birmingham-city-stand-firm-over-190924

    Quote: “Discussions have now revolved around the free transfer of Zigic, as Blues would like to save on his whopping £50,000-a-week-plus salary.”

    National/International:

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/birmingham-offer-nikola-zigic-a-free-1289169

    http://www.totalfootballmag.com/other-leagues/championship/no-free-transfer-for-zigic/

    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story/_/id/1140238/blues-won't-let-zigic-join-mallorca-on-a-free?cc=5739#

    • Made In Brum says:

      I’ve actually seen it reported that he earns 60k. And with his basic and bonuses he’s on more than 50k.

      Luke, I believe it expires at the end of next season, so he has 15 or 16 months left to run.

      • KJ says:

        I’m yet to see any report that suggests £60,000 per week. The Birmingham Mail article does, indeed, suggest £50k-a-week-plus but surely your article – in the interests of reporting the facts as opposed to conjecture – should state the same and not assume it means £60,000 per week.

  3. Jerry says:

    KJ- maybe you should read your own links. The bham mail story which YOU posted states ’50k a week PLUS’ so MIB may be correct in saying 60k a week if u include bonuses and add ons

    • KJ says:

      ‘May be correct’ is not necessarily correct. If we’re dealing with facts then the article above should read ‘£50,000 a week plus’ and not SPECULATE as to the final value of those weekly wages.

      • Joe Harts Glove says:

        KJ, speculating is guessing. MIB said ‘it has been reported’ therefore, the speculation isn’t from them, it is from the report they have seen! If you’re going to put everything under the microscope then analyse this *sticks two fingers up*

      • SteveBCFC says:

        well you’re a lovely bloke JHG ever heard of politeness?

  4. KyleTilton says:

    Get a life KJ. MIB has just said that they’ve seen it reported that its 60k a week, so you are speculating as much as they are by believing your links.

    The whole article is good and makes valid points and you choose to nit pick. Get a life mate

  5. les says:

    does it really bloody matter ! there are far more important issues at stake surely…..

    • Joe Harts Glove says:

      Does what matter? The article or arguing over the amount?

      • Tommo says:

        I presume he means the arguing, not that either matters as we can’t do anything about it other than watch some very silly people get very angry about someone being paid £50k or £60k or whatever a week and then some idiots being abusive to people who reply!

  6. Joe Harts Glove says:

    Some people do my head in. There’s an article pointing out valid points here and they trouble that blues are in, but one person decides to ignore everything that’s been said and just argue over the amount. Let’s face it, even if it was 50k a week the point still remains. Still too bloody much for a lazy mediocre footballer

    • KJ says:

      Some people might do your head in, JHG – but does that mean you have to be abusive to them for picking out a point that hadn’t been clarified within the article?

      You could choose to ignore the post, or respond politely – instead you chose to be a bit of a nonce about it all!

      On topic – yes, it’s an insane amount for any footballer let alone a player who hasn’t scored many goals for us (though the ones he has, as said in the article, have been important). You’d think the club would at least try to re-negotiate his contract now to try and reduce his salary somehow. Though, again as has been said, he’s well within his rights to simply say no.

  7. Made in Brum says:

    Fella’s, you can argue your points all day long on here, but please do not be abusive.

    Thanks

    • Joe Harts Glove says:

      Ok sorry please accept my apologies

    • KJ says:

      Unfortunately, MIB, some people have just been brought up that way.

      Aside from the £50k/£60k argument the article raises key points to do with how the contract was initially negotiated – suggesting a lot of naivety on the part of Pannu as acting Managing Director at the time. It’s clear that the offer was drafted by someone who had no particular knowledge of the English game and the risks of relegation it poses to all but the top five or six teams in the country.

      I would add, with regards to the Villareal transfer, they also wanted Blues to pay 50% of Zigic’s wages up to the end of his contract. So we’d still have been lumbered with between £25k/£30k per week had the move have been completed on those terms!

  8. iqbal says:

    It has been suggested that Pannu and CY were not aware of relegation when they took over, this they deny of course

  9. teerev says:

    Being a bit anal,but all you arguing about his wage,none of you noticed the article states he signed in may 2012!! 2011 maybe??

    • Made In Brum says:

      Ha ha I actually meant 2010, so we’re both wrong! Its corrected now 🙂

      • teerev says:

        haha!! I didn’t even think about it! was the first thing i noticed,yet everyone wants to bitch and moan about ifs, buts and maybes with big zigs wages!!
        We all know it’s a lot,but im sure i read on often partizan that aljamir thought he had took a pay cut??

        Anyway,keep up the good work.Enjoy reading your articles.

  10. SD says:

    Its a bit ironic that Ziggy’s salary situation could be the determining factor in our administration battles, yet admin may force his demise! You’d think his agent would foresee that?

  11. Blue Boy 1974 says:

    The point is Zigic is very happy, he earns 50k to 60k a week and is worshiped by the fans because he scored in the cup final. He is under no pressure at Birmingham, he is not performing, loved by the fans and paid Man Utd wages.

    As fans we need to act. In our history we have always supported the players on the pitch who give 100% regardless of their ability. We are a working class club with working class roots. We support people who give us 100%. Players that dont give 100% we have always sent a strong message to buck up their ideas, yet Zigic seems to have this special relationship with us.

    When Zigic next takes the field we need to let him know our thoughts. Next time he cant be bothered to close down a defender we need to boo him. Next time he gets outjumped by a defender 1 foot smaller than him because he does not jump, we need to shout at him. Next time he make a half harted run into the box, making sure he is behind the defender being marked instead of busting a gut to get in front of the defender, we need to howl at him.

    I am a huge supporter of Blues and i dont agree with booing our own players. But Zigic is having a laugh at our expence. We need to let him know our thoughts. It will lead to two possible outcomes.

    1 – He plays at 100%, scores goals and keeps us in the division.

    or

    2 – He thinks its not so soft playing at Birmingham, and goes elsewhere. Then we save 50k to 60k a week and dont have to sell our star young players who are giving 100% and want to play for us.

    As fans we need to WAKE UP!!! Zigic is a huge issue and we as fans need to keep him honest.

    • KJ says:

      No. No player should be booed, let alone because of his wages.

      It won’t serve either of the two outcomes, the more likely is that he’s dropped and earns his wage sitting in the stands or at home. I’d much rather he play without the boos than suddenly think we’ve all turned on him for something that is more the fault of the board and his agent than him.

      A better suggestion would be to just get behind the team – all of them – and support them 100% during what is a very difficult time.

      • Blue Boy 1974 says:

        Why is Zigic so precious that we allow him to under perform? Why wont anybody tell him to pull his socks up? He is having a laugh at our expense and his agent confirmed this! KJ sorry you are burying your head in the sand, he is not giving 100% and forcing the club into financial ruin.

        I hate suggesting we boo one of our own players, but somebody needs to do something! If we boo him and he starts to perform and scores goals and keeps us up, I will be the first to support him again.

        At the end of the day, we have two weeks left of the transfer window. If we dont get Zigic out, we will be forced to panic sell Butland, Redmond and Burke at 10pm on transfer deadline day for any price we can get. This transfer window is crucial for the future of the club. Now is not the time to say “just support the boys and hope everything will be ok”, now is the time to send a message to Zigic and the team we wont allow them to be relegated again because of lackluster performances by overpaid players on the pitch.

        The flip side is of course, if Zigic and the team do perform and we can see them visably giving 100% effort, we get behind them 100% and support them all the way. As I said we are a working class club who have always kept our players honest. We never boo players for lack of ability, we boo the ones who dont give 100%

      • KJ says:

        How do you know he’s not putting in 100%?

        Regardless of how he’s playing, which could be down to factors other than ‘not bothering’, it’s not his fault that he’s on the money he’s on and we’re experiencing financial issues. His agent negotiated a contract with the board, and it was agreed.

        If you were working and your boss asked you to take a 50% pay cut because the company was doing badly – would you be happy to?

        It’s not your responsibility, and it’s not his – regardless of what he’s earning.

        Regardless of what you think, booing a player is not going to help things. I genuinely hope that, if you do boo him, there’s a big ugly Zulu sitting behind you ready to offer you a stronger on argument on why you need to back ALL the lads regardless.

    • Alex Turton says:

      Firstly, NEVER boo your own player
      Secondly, Zigic ALWAYS gives it his all, certainly this season. His body language may lool like he can’t be arsed, but you try looking enthusiastic about anything at 6ft7! Performances have neber been an issue for me….. its not pretty but effective (check out the assists as well as goals)

  12. Sam88 says:

    Blue Boy 1974- Why do people boo Mullins, he gives 100%…

    • Blue Boy 1974 says:

      Thats a fair point Sam88, I really dont agree with fans booing Mullins. I know he is not pulling up trees but he does try! As I said above, if we get a reaction from Zigic and he starts to put 100% effort in, we should step back and leave him alone. But something needs to be done now, no point turnig on Zigic in late April when we are in the bottom three!

      • KJ says:

        Booing him will not result in him suddenly playing better. It hasn’t worked for Mullins (who may give 100%, but he’s not very good) so it won’t work for Zigic.

        It’s never the right time to boo a player, and I’m sure the rest of the level-headed fans here will agree.

        Be a true fan and get behind the team, not on the back of one player.

      • Helen says:

        Imagine how hard this is for Lee Clark. At half time he tells Mullins he is doing OK and to keep putting the effort in, yet his own fans are booing him. He tells Zigic to pull his finger out and put some effort in, yet the fans cheer and love him.

        I agree with Blue Boy 1974 that some selective booing can help keep individual players honest and send them a message. It the St Andrews atmosphere is very positive, we are all behind the team, but there is selective booing of one player who is not putting the effort in, it can motivate that individual player and encourage the others we have noticed they are playing well.

        Paying Zigic 50k a week and he cant even get into a Championship side is one thing. His agent is really only saying what Zigic is thinking and saying behind closed doors.

      • KJ says:

        ‘Selective booing’ has never, ever, helped any situation on or off the football pitch.

        It doesn’t encourage a player if the booing is from his own fans, it makes him question why he’s bothering to put any effort in when people aren’t supporting him and the team.

        Please, people, don’t be sucked in by the idiocy. Do not boo your team, regardless of how much an individual is earning.

  13. Mark says:

    Constantly a theme of this has caused a bitterness towards Zigic and in reality the owners financial mismanagement is the real problem.

    (a) Agent made demands for the contract the owners paid it.

    (b) His goals per minutes average in a blues shirt prior to this season starting was 184 minutes per goal… NOT TOO SHABBY. Looking at this season I would guess he is still not far off it.

    (c) Our wage bill ending last season was £25m and with the further cuts will see that around £22m by June 2013. Given the circumstances under the last regime of wage bills in excess of this against the back drop of less parachute money you would have to ask the question why does this current board fail to cope with the current wage bill

    • KJ says:

      Agreed, but the senseless few will never understand.

      • Blue Boy 1974 says:

        Hi Mark, the problem is we have no way of bridging the £4 million gap, most clubs have a owner who would look at the big picture and find the £4 million, or would goto HSBC and ask for an overdraft, but we dont have the banking relationship.

        I agree its total financial mis-management, but its what we are looking at right now in this transfer window. The only way to bridge the £4 million gap is sell players and reduce the wage bill further. Dont forget we have less income this year as no European income, we are not going deep into the cups (come on the FA Cup) and we are getting lower parachute payments.

        I know its only a small gap but its enough to send us into admin.

  14. Blue Boy 1974 says:

    KJ i hate saying we should boo our own player, but you are missing my point. I just hope you and the big Zulu behind me will still turn up and support Blues and Zigic next season if we get relegated and are playing in Division One.

    • KJ says:

      I’m not missing your point. You’re suggesting that booing Zigic will somehow help the issue of his wages or performances. I’m telling you it won’t.

      I’ll be there regardless of the league we’re in or the players we have, I go down and support my club 100% regardless of what’s happening on or off the field.

      That’s what a true fan does. He doesn’t boo an individual whose agent happens to have negotiated him an awesome deal with naive Chinese owners.

      • matt says:

        I agree! Boo him and your an absolute disgrace!

      • Blue Boy 1974 says:

        KJ I am not saying boo him because of the wages, i am saying boo him because of the performance. Most fans love Zigic, thats fine. Some people can see he is not really putting the effort in.

        Then his agent comes and said he is happy at Birmingham because he is on Man Utd wages while playing in the championship, so why would he move. He is saying what Zigic is thinking. Zigic is grabbing the money and not performing and that great, good luck to him. I dont understand why so many fans are happy with this situation.

        If he was a half decent professional he would not want to see out his playing days at the highest level possible. It tells me everything he would rather play in a lower division earning money then play in a higher division testing himself agaist the best.

  15. matt says:

    What’s probably even more criminal is our clown of a manager played him for two minutes on saturday! £25,000 a minute! Well done lee you keep hiding behind the kids!

    • KJ says:

      Absolutely. Started with not a single striker on the pitch and three on the bench, and people wondered why we didn’t go more than 1-0 up!

      • matt says:

        Spot on mate!

      • Mark James says:

        Sorry this is rubbish. Lovenkrands and King were NOT FIT. Ziggy is a liability, he showed that at Bolton where it looked to me he got himself intentionally sent off. If I was Clark I wouldn’t have played Ziggy either. You cannot say that is the reason we didnt win the game- how many times have we gone 2 up with strikers this season? Its a rarity! Zigic is a liability.

        If King or Loverman were fit, they would have started

  16. Helen says:

    Well said Mark James. I would rather play anybody other than Zigic. He is a joke. If he was as good as KJ thinks there would be a host of clubs in for him. We cant give him away for free. Even McLeish wont come back and get him, Notts Forest have rich owners and could pay his wages but even McLeish knows he is a joke!

    • Blue Boy 1974 says:

      Thats a great point Helen, why is McLeish willing to pay money for Burke but wont take Zigic on a free and pay his wages for 18 months. Good point, I had not thought of that. Shows how much McLeish values him after saying the reason we got relegated is because Zigic got injured!

  17. Mark says:

    Liabilities don’t average a goal every 2 games. Liabilities don’t play a major part in dragging our sorry asses into sheer heaven. We didn’t get relegated because of Zigic, we got relegated because him and Martins were injured for the rest of that season and the manager’s pathetic ability to go down trying rather than trying to have a go. Yes Zigic showed a lack of discipline at Bolton but in a squad run by a manager that has hardly any clout with the players.

    • Helen says:

      Hi Mark, dont look to much at stats. Curtis Davis has a better goals to minutes ratio that Zigic this season in league games.

      • Blue Boy 1974 says:

        Zigic, 5 goals in 25 prem league games for us, 16 goals in 52 Championship appearances. If he had not scored in the cup final (and I am so glad he did!!!!!) a lot more people would be asking questions about him!

  18. Fran says:

    Ziggy is a liability in terms of 1) injury prone 2) gets silly bookings and sendings off 3) he misses chances too much.

  19. les says:

    oh my god …this is really pathetic ! 51 years a blue which ive seen pretty much every high and low and yet i still go because its never boring being a blues supporter..who plays for my beloved club is irrelevant because true supporters support there club through thick and thin..i am proud to say I LOVE MY CLUB and please everyone stop the bitching and get behind the club..keep right on..

    • John C. NZ says:

      Well said Les. It is not The fault of Zigic he has landed a great contract and I agree we should all get behind the team however frustrating it is at times.

      however, this Zigic situation does show how uncaring fotballers in general really are. The wages are just plain crazy. I am a professional swim coach in NZ and have recently volunteerd to take a 50% pay cut to keep the Club from going under. I had a contract, a very good one, but would not of been able to live with myself if I had caused the demise of the swim club – particularly as i am fortunate enough to enjoy the job i do. Could we see anyone in the football world even consider that! Does Zigic not have any morals?

      • les says:

        sadly to much greed in football now and it will burst….totally admire what you have done for your swim club and they must be very proud of you..k.r.o

      • chrisj says:

        Can’t believe you did that John, good luck to you, but i agree with your sentiments about Zigic.
        All i am asking him is to defer his wages over the next two or three years after his contract finishes in summer 2014.
        He will still get his money just delayed so he doesn’t bankrupt the club, especially next season as we will receive £8 million less in parachute payments and if we go down it will cripple the club because the parachute will disappear altogether.

  20. poppa999 says:

    I thought it was widely understood that the only player on £50k the season he signed was Hleb. Can’t understand what all the fuss is about. His goals/minutes played is good and he was asked to come to Blues. Don’t see what booing the kid will do!

  21. Letsby Avenue says:

    James Nursey was the first reporter to mention that Nikola was now on £60+ per week wages.

    Today, via Twitter, and not in the paper he works for, he has said Nikola is on about £55k per week. He is obviously in ‘reduction mode’ as opposed to ‘headline mode’

    Either way, it doesn’t matter whether his ‘scoops’ are genuine or just speculation, because neither him nor us will get the true facts.
    Yet.

    Nikola has an agreed wage with Blues, as do Steve, Curtis, Murph’s etc. The high-enders.
    With administration those wages will get blown away, so we should realise that there are more players than Nikola sitting quiet, not re-negotiating contracts to keep their employer viable.

    But The Ziggs gets the blame????
    That suits a lot of other players I’d think. It fits with a ‘scapegoat’ mentality that journos seem to produce, with intent or by accident, who knows?

    Nikola’s ludicrous agent was it seems, responsible for Nik’s not moving on last summer – he wanted a separate payment for himself which Pannu refused – hence Nikola stays, and now his stupid or clever, agent , proclaims to the world that Nikola is on Man Utd type wages!!!

    Thus…NO SALE…NO LOAN…and my surmise is that the agent wanted another separate payment for himself, if he got Nikola to move.

    Thing is, player sales keep money in the game, agent fees is money lost to footie.
    Whether it be the Greek 2nd Division, or PSG and Man City, fees paid to agents do not stay, circulate, create or even help football.

    Let’s get off Nikola’s back, support him to do his best and be the best.

    Let us lynch the agents 🙂

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