Often Partisan

Blues Trust Secure ACV Listing

The Blues Trust announced at their AGM on Saturday that the council have agreed to list St Andrews Stadium as an asset of community value. The listing which lasts for five years and is subject to appeal will mean that the Trust will be notified of any potential change of ownership and can, if requested, be given up to six months to come up with a bid of their own.

The club was quoted in the Birmingham Mail as saying:

“The club’s holding company, Birmingham International Holdings Ltd, will now study the impact this decision may have on the sale of the club to any prospective buyers.”

The successful listing represents the first tangible success for the Trust. I understand there has been some unease as to what it represents for the sale but I personally can only see positives; as far as my legally untrained mind can tell there doesn’t need to be any notification of owner of the club changing under the legislation and I will readily admit I’m quite happy it might put off a potential owner who would look to finance the club by mortgaging or selling off the ground and leasing it back. I’d much rather Blues had an owner who was truthful in not being able to invest as much but would look to build things as a business than one who would potentially gamble everything in that manner.

I see the listing as an early warning system and nothing more; if the owners want to sell or mortgage the ground it would still require a large amount of time, money and effort from Blues fans to put together a viable counter bid and I’m realistic enough to say if that wasn’t forthcoming we’d deserve everything that would follow. As much as people gripe about the current situation and moan about potential protests and boycotts the only actual physical effort I’ve seen made has been by Margaret over at Long Long Road – and whilst I don’t think in the larger scheme of things scarves will change much it’s a visible sign that people want change. I will admit that it annoys me when people ask me to lead things and start things but aren’t prepared to put the time in themselves.

For the Trust I believe the hard work starts now as I think they have to work on what they are going to do next. With the Paladini bid now seemingly fallen by the wayside I would like to see the trust trying to build up a bid of their own in a similar way to the way the Portsmouth trust did – a combination of “high net wealth” fans with the proper business experience linked with the contributions of ordinary fans made as pledges to be honoured when the targets are met. There are some useful links as to how they did this here and here. Obviously there is no guarantee of success – especially as Carson wants HK$400million for the club but it would be useful to have something in play should the club go into administration as then there is always the option of putting in a stake with someone else.

This would require a huge amount of effort but it would also require Blues fans to put their money where their mouths were when they say that they want new owners. The biggest fear that I have (and this goes for the ACV listing also) is that for all the good words and intentions I see spoken that the apathy has reached so far that people wouldn’t follow that up with actions. I sincerely hope that I am wrong.

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75 Responses to “Blues Trust Secure ACV Listing”

  • Dave says:

    Protecting St Andrews in any way is a positive. Many fans have understandably been concerned that the ground would be sold. Well done to the Trust for putting the time and effort in on this issue. KRO

    • des says:

      i`ve never had any concerns about the ground being sold, whoever buys us has to play somewhere! As for CY borrowing money against the ground, well isnt all borrowing against property. I wouldnt know who advised the trust to to do this or why. If someone could explain then I am all ears.

      • Alex T says:

        Because, in desperation Carson may want to sell the ground for housing/Casinos!

        If he managed to get planning permission, it may end up worth more than the club itself

      • chris says:

        because without St Andrews you end up like Cov playing 30 odd miles away.
        where would we play Des if St Andrews was sold for housing?
        Villa Park? Hawthorns? Walsall? or even further away?

  • Andy says:

    Something you touch on here again is the fans apathy, there has been a lot of huffing and puffing but no substance at all.
    I agree what you say re the scarves but I applaud what this lady has done which, trust aside, is more than anyone else put together.
    And for the most part on social networks all these people get in return is criticism , we as fans need to look at ourselves and get some self respect back

  • Art Watson says:

    Congratulation to the trust for ring fencing the ground and yes I agree the apathy of the fans is very concerning.They appear to have lost interest!

    • chas says:

      Spot on Art, re The Trust deserving congratulations, I can well remember the insults that some on here(mention no names) had to endure when they started the Trust up , I wonder if any of those who mocked have been in touch to apologise.

  • DoctorD says:

    Sounds good news apart from the dreaded words….”unless there is an appeal”.

    Who could appeal this decision Al? Do you mean the club/CY — or can anyone stick their oar in?

  • Mineheadblue says:

    This may not be the completely relevant to the above article but we ALL want change and I’m sure everyone agrees with that. We ALL think that Carson is clinging on to ownership and that the plight of the club and the desperation and anger of the fans doesn’t get through his deluded protective bubble or have any impact on the Chinese media. We talk of boycotts and we talk about getting behind the club but the apathy and disillusionment of supporters makes the option of packing the terraces impossible (even if that was the way to go).
    I’ve heard the argument that staying away and reduced crowds will have no effect on the Chinese media or Mr Yeung and his associates. But what would be the media response if NOBODY turned up? I can’t help wondering how the UK sporting media would respond if the only fans at ST Andrews were opposition fans. Surely that would make the news and would be picked up by the Chinese press? In my view it’s now the only weapon we have left that will make an impact.

    • almajir says:

      Will never happen mate, because for one I’d not do it and I know I’m not alone.

      • mark says:

        Count me in dan

      • AuldBertie says:

        Me neither. I’ll still be going when we’re playing non-league which is a distinct possibility based on saturday’s shambles :)

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I agree. Imagine how demoralising that would be for the players? Non-starter for me.

        • Chris W says:

          I agree, it would never happen, but the players need to know they are responsible for events on the pitch.
          I also agree that the older, more experienced players are letting most of the blame fall on LC and the youngsters instead of holding up their hands and saying “Sorry, we are just not bothered as we are getting paid a tidy some whether we do or don’t”
          As I said in an earlier comment, they all go home and have a good laugh at us supporters who really do care….

          • chris says:

            for me that part of the problem the fans are split, 12000 are going and around 8000 are boycotting.
            part of the apathy is coming from the fact the fans can’t agree on the form a protest should take, so we do nothing and the apathy and frustration becomes worse.
            why not some half way house where we boycott the first 15 minutes of a game then all pile in especially if it was on tv as yeung would be watching

    • zxcv says:

      Minhead, The only way Carson or the club make any money ie profit is mainly down to the amount of fans paying on the day. If we have lets say 12,000 S/T holders that amount paying upfront so to speak would maybe give them the break even figure. In other words this club will NOT survive alone on just S/T money and all other money`s such as T/V and corporate funds. Now almost all assets have been sold off (players) the club still needs the missing 10/12 thousand paying fans for this club to be a success story. In other words any new owners would have to get this club up into the premier to make decent money out of any investment, otherwise they may as well go buy 3 or 4 Fish and chip shops and get a better profit margin, Or even a few hairdresser saloons Carson.

  • fingles says:

    Personally I would have no problem with the ground being sold, providing the proceeds were reinvested in the club. That of course would not happen with the current owners. I don’t see this listing as putting off any potential owners.

    Very few clubs own their own grounds.

  • Bluenosesol says:

    I supported Margaret’s initiative by buying an AWCA scarf. My scarf fell off in the Blues Bar under the Kop on Saturday, i turned around to pick it up and someone had very kindly picked it up and spirited it away. If I had known they were so desperate to mug a fellow Bluenose I would have bought them one!

  • mark says:

    Dan- can you tell me how rock solid is this agreement?? Why would anyone be surprised that they will study the impact??

  • Tony says:

    Well done the trust at least someone has achieved something concrete,that in itself is worth the membership fee pity the local press couldnt have done a bit more.

  • Cbrccc says:

    Well done to the trust and thank you as (along with the scarves lady) as you are the only group that has actually done something positive as opposed to “living off the gossip ” for their own ends as others have.
    I did have a thought that if CY wants 32 mill and Paladini only wants to pay 20 mill would it not be possible to raise the extra 12 mill through the fans via the trust so they could own 33% stake.
    If yout hink a about it if just the fans that attend games donated £100 each that would be 14mill,
    Obviously that’s not how it would work but I am sure if everyone donated what they could afford surely 12 mill is not a lot given out fan base.
    Any thoughts.

  • Chris W says:

    I can only see Administration being the way forward and the ACV is not going to do Carson Yeung or BIHL any favours in the short term and can only be good for BCFC.
    Can BIHL afford an appeal, Carson Yeung I doubt can as he is embroiled in his own expensive court case.

    I like the idea of the Blues Trust, but there does not appear too much information regarding membership or what they are actually doing or striving to do, apart from a Facebook page or information and space you offer, as you say the hard work for them starts now and they need some high profile members to step up, maybe Paladini, Trevor Francis or Jasper Carrot, we have some other high profile names that I am sure would come forward.

    Reading the Portsmouth scenario I would imagine Birmingham City could obtain substantial funding if they went down that route, we are the second city with around 13,000 regular fan base and another potential 5k to 10k sleeping supporters , the trust could, on paper and without the apathy being shown, potentially raise £10 to £15 million, if Portsmouth’s figures are true.
    I think it is well worth investigating.
    These are my feelings and outlook on a potential Supporters Buy Out and I dare say others will have opinions too.

  • sutton apex says:

    great news – well done the trust.When we go into admin the supporters need to buy the club (it works – see swansea and their recent 15 million profit announcement !! )

  • Tony says:

    Just read the blogg from long long road, apart from freely admitting she knows very little about football the lady goes on to say she is not sure a change of owners would improve things .
    eeeeeeeeeerrrrrrr??? maybe she should continue buying the wool.

  • Tony says:

    cbrccc that sounds a great idea its worth pursuing.

  • Dino Tiltoni says:

    Anybody else think that the blank scoreboard, the minimal PA, the downscaled half time entertainment and the desperate marketing of ‘half season’ tickets by telephone to regular ticket buyers means that the financial situation is worsening? Perhaps that’s how our new Polish international has been funded?

  • Oldbluenose says:

    as in one of your early paragraphs, Dan;, My wish for new owners, is NOT a flamboyount but A steady the ship and slower progress but surer progress, !!.

  • Bluenosesol says:

    We are 2 months away from the last 8m parachute payment. CY is clearly hanging on until he’s pocketed the cash. Why would he sell now??

    • almajir says:

      Actually… that statement is inaccurate.

      The total parachute payment this year is £8mil. There is one due next year also of £8mil. We’d be due a payment of circa £3.5mil at the end of January… if the payment hasn’t already been factored – and the word is (as Tom Ross said and I have no reason to doubt him) it has.

    • chris says:

      he’s entitled to ‘pocket the cash’ the club owes him around £12 million

  • dave mann says:

    sad saturday,sad performance, sad crowd, sad result, sad manegement, sad ownership….
    its just all very………sad.KRO.

  • Cbrccc says:

    Lts hope so Tony.
    Surely if the trust could speak with Palladini it may have legs and would be the ideal solution.
    Just need to confirm if the reported asking price of 32 mill ?
    Maybe OP or Tatts could confirm as they seem to have their fingers on the pulse with all things
    Can’t see a problem organising the money and the publicity alone would be great for the club and fans.
    It can be done I am sure especially if the trust could organise it.
    You could call it the “Save our Club” fund
    Any takers ?

    • almajir says:

      Well, apart from the fact the club isn’t worth anything like £32mil – but I have seen written documentation and he wants HK$400mil which is about that

      • Andy W says:

        And whilst it sounds a good idea in principle, once that money had been raised, we may well have new ownership, but are we sure that Mr Paladini and his associates have the equally large if not greater sums to invest in the playing staff to make us better? I doubt that the supporters could find that kind of money?

    • TBone says:

      Cbrccc – I suspect you need to check your original figures!

      • AuldBertie says:

        Yes. 12 mil divided by the 12,000 or so diehards is a grand apiece. Given that many of those diehards are 18 or under or not in full time employment the figure probably rises to £1,500 – £2,000 per fan. Not many amongst us could afford or be willing to invest that amount so unfortunately the idea seems a non-starter.

        • AuldBertie says:

          Sorry I didn’t mean to speak for the whole fan base. What I meant was “probably not many amongst us could afford or would be possibly willing to invest that amount”.

  • Eamon C says:

    Well done to the Trust in getting the ACV. In these dark days at the Blues the supporters need something to focus on so I believe the Blues fans should buy the ground. In addition with the ACV in play should the current owners decide to sell the ground to raise funds there will not be much time to raise the necessary funds.
    All of the past owners of Blues has one thing in common and that is they own the club and we were only there to support and provide the money mainly.

    I believe this is a unique opportunity for all supporters to act together in one cause during this time of very dark days for the club. It provides a focus for all the supporters regardless of what they believe or how the current situation is eventually solved. There is a chance here to build a true partnership with whoever becomes the new owners of the Blues. Any new owner would have to have an enlightened view on football to work with all Blues supporters in this venture. Unlike Dan I do not believe we could raise enough cash to buy and run the whole club, but the ground purchase is achievable within a reasonable time frame. Blues fans with a say in the future of the club forever.

  • Mineheadblue says:

    Thanks for the feedback Dan and others. Just to be clear, I was talking about a ‘one off’ statement. I’ve supported this club for well over 50 years (before many of our current fan base were born, let alone attending games) and will continue to do so until I croak. However, in all that time I have NEVER felt so despondent as I do now. You can bat this back and forth all you like but something has to change. KRO

  • Woodlands says:

    The Blues Trust AGM on Saturday talked about the next step – setting up a fan based investment trust. They need people to support – tell them you do – its the only fan based way to make progress.

  • ...sappy sad says:

    ……….faint hearts never won anything …………bravehearts will gain worldwide acknowledgement

  • TracyKRO says:

    Well done to the Blues Trust
    Last week on here I said not many home fans never heard anything of the Blues Trust, They should do leaflets about themselves and give them out at home games, Like if a supporter still wants to make them a donation, if they can even without been a member, that’s if the Blues Trust can.
    Keep Right On

    • runningman says:

      They have been handing out flyers, even my Grandson who is only 7 has been handing them out before matches. If you want to know more about The Trust, it’s Board, or it’s stratagy then head to it’s web site, all you want to know will be on there.

  • Andy says:

    Okay, so what happens in my hypothetical world if the club doesn’t get sold/purchased and we do end up in administration. Then we have some “have a go heroes” in some sort of trust trying to buy the club from the administrators (thinking back at clubs like Portsmouth) and they actually do it. Would we actually be any better off? I know the current board are a disgrace and the sooner they are out the better but I can’t help but worry that we end up with some militarised group of fans who have no business experience and whose only aim is to support the blues. Its maybe a bit far fetched but you never know how things will pan out in football.

  • Kevin Kelly says:

    Congratulations to the Blues Trust for achieving the ACV status for St Andrews, its took a lot of hard work and dedication from the passionate core at the trust, if only all supporters had that level of dedication.
    Talk of boycott and demonstration has abounded for months and nothing has yet materialised of a serious and sincere nature for Fans to rally behind, that said would Fans rally behind any leading organisation? I sadly have to conclude that they would not, we walked proudly in the promised land of the Premiership, won a genuine Trophy and entered into Europe to display prowess yet fall one point short to progress in UEFA, for most that was success and had a dire result of removing our underdog tag and never won FA status along with our ballsy upstart spirit.
    Positive demonstration may be a way forward, turn up early for home match and rattle the rafters with song of protest against our plight under CY et Al, or maybe stay behind after and have a sit in whilst we are there?

  • Steve Aerobic says:

    All those talking about boycott have only to look at the diminishing gates to realise that a form of natural boycott takes place with poor results.Take away the ST holders (12000?) and you have the walk up figure….not a lot!The protection of StAndrews is only a 6 month delay in any sale and it wont make any difference at all if a counter bid wasn’t organised by supporters. We need a hero and we need one soon!

  • Steve Aerobic says:

    Yes sorry, I was using a figure I had seen somewhere which is why I inserted the question mark but the principal and mathematics remain the same

  • Bob Your Uncle says:

    Would be great if we went into administration and the Blues Trust owned the club, whether there is anyone with enough know-how to make this happen I’m not sure. Everyone is hurting, some have given up but the die-hards will stay I’m sure. Great work to secure the ground too.
    Keep Right On!

  • The Francis Fake says:

    I believe that the only way a sufficiently large enough pot can be created to buy the club will be dependent upon some fans putting larger amounts in than others, dependent on their own affordability. It will need the involvement of some big hitters to work. I would be interested to know how other such arrangements that have been successful have functioned in the past. Contributors large and small need sufficient confidence in the structure and in the Trustees for people to cough up for this noble cause.

  • Steve Aerobic says:

    Im not sure how it works either but presumably there would be a unit price and you buy however many units you want/can afford?

  • zxcv says:

    CY or BIHL will retain the right to accept whatever offer they want to even if the trust outbid anyone else, which is highly unlikely anyway. So I really don’t see what good this is in fact unless someone shows me its usefulness then as far as I can see it aint worth the paper its written on.

  • slap1875 says:

    has anyone noticed that the big screen has been turned off for the last 2 games? Doesn’t bode well. . . .Love the german scarves fanastic way to your disapproval at the board whilst supporting the players on the pitch. To all those moaners who advocate boycotting games as a protest . .YOU NEED TO GO TO THE GAMES IN THE FIRST PLACE BEFORE YOU CAN BOYCOTT THEM!!! I feel that there is a section of people who used to be blues fans but are now just content to look out for their results on sky sports and buy a shirt when thy’re half price at JD sports. these prople would advocate boycotting the ground if there were reports that the bovril was too cold. in reality it doesn’t affect them because they are never there anyway. i think billboard in down town Hong Kong requesting for Carson to Delay No More would be a great idea.

    • almajir says:

      If you’d read previous comments, you’d know it was cos there was a power surge during the big storm and contractors haven’t been able to fix it in time for the last two games.

  • Steve Aerobic says:

    Its unfair to lump all supporters together like that, not all Blues fans live or die for the club and its these fans that make the difference . The floating majority will decide to either go to games or not. Some people have life outside of football, some people cannot afford the extortionate cost of going to games. Everything in this situation is relevant and you cannot lose sight of the fact that it is not as important to some fans as it is to the rest of us.

  • steve says:

    Yes – well done to the Trust for doing what they can to protect St Andrews – As a supporter can some one at the trust email to tell me how I can get more involved ? KRO – steve

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