Often Partisan

Big Friday

The board of directors of Birmingham International Holdings will meet at BIH’s head office in Wan Chai tomorrow morning UK time to approve the accounts of the holding company. Whilst in essence that might sound incredibly boring (and in some ways it is) it should herald the accounts coming out on Friday – and that will give us a glimpse into the future of BCFC.

Speaking from a lay point of view, I find accounts strange. They’re a snapshot in time of what the finances are like – and whilst they are useful for seeing how the business did in the previous year they are up to date as of June 30 2013 – five months ago. Lots of things can change in those five months, and with that in mind I’m always wary of reading into how much cash we have etc. What the accounts will have (as they have to) is a report from the board about where they see the company going in the next twelve months – and crucially from BCFC’s point of view how they will fund it.

As much as people can say that there wouldn’t be much funds raised with player sales in January I think I’m not alone as  a Blues fan looking towards the winter transfer window with trepidation. Having been told by various media outlets that the financial outlook is grim one has to wonder how the club will get through to the end of the season without investment. As it stands, the word is the club has indeed got enough money to get through the season and has even been able to bring in players as evidenced by the signings of Dariusz Dudka and Aaron McLean.

What concerns me is that the club seems to be juggling what they can to get the most out of every pound possible. It’s a common situation – when a household’s income and expenditure are very nearly the same one has to juggle the bills in such a way to maximise cashflow and to ensure that everything gets paid on time. The problems occur when a big expenditure comes out of nowhere – say the boiler breaks down – and the budget isn’t able to flex enough to allow it to be fixed and all hell breaks loose. What worries me is that there could be a “boiler breaking down” situation at Blues which will ruin all the good work done by the staff at the club and screw everything up.

This is why I’m waiting for the accounts with interest because I want to know what BIH’s plans are to ensure that they can go forward as a business. As responsible business people they will have to have plans in place to ensure cashflow comes into the company (and thus the club) so that it can continue as a going concern. I think a lot is being staked on being able to get the company relisted and the placing of shares to bring in some fresh money – and to get the company relisted they need to have accounts that are up to date and are unqualified. To get accounts that are signed off without qualification they need to have something in place to show they’re bringing in fresh money… do you see where this is going?

One other thing I think people need to consider is that people might not be investing in BIH for its current business or for the football club. When Carson Yeung bought into Grandtop it was virtually defunct as a company but it had a main board listing and that was the important bit as it allowed Carson a vehicle to bring in further investment via the stock market. I’m under the impression it’s easier to buy into a listed company and repurpose it to one’s own needs than to launch a new listing and thus it’s my impression for example that Yang Yuezhou is putting money into BIH (via U-Continent) not because he wants the club or any associated business but because he wants the listing. It was certainly the impression I was given when I met his associates in Shenzhen that he has no interest in the club.

Thus the logical conclusion is that the club is going to be sold in the next few months. Who the club will be sold to is up in the air – no one knows anything bar Carson in truth – but I am almost 100% convinced at this moment in time the next owners will be from mainland China. My other hope is that something about the sale of the club will be mentioned in the company accounts – but I’m not banking on it. One thing is for sure; this Friday – which is when the accounts are due out – could be a big day in the short-term future of the club.

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66 Responses to “Big Friday”

  • P.J.Nicholls says:

    What has happened to Shane Ferguson IMHO he is the best left sided player we have at the moment and I think with his pace we would not have conceded the goal on Saturday as his combination with Hancock would certainly shored up the left handed side of the pitch.

  • Peter bates says:

    Well lets hope that whoever purchases our club chinese or other have the club at heart and put us back on a secure footing both on and off the pitch that seems to be what most supporters want kro

  • Mario says:

    More sad news I’m afraid thanks for keeping us up to date it would be great if you could give us good news one day!!!! But where do you think we could raise money in jan? Half the team are from other clubs and our players can’t be worth much more than a million tops?

  • pannusarse says:

    Doesnt the club have monthly insurance to cover things like a boiler breaking down

  • Steve Aerobic says:

    I think the boiler in question is a metaphorical one.

  • Steve Aerobic says:

    The club does seem to pull rabbit’s out of the hat when money is needed as illustrated by the signing of Dudka and McLean it is very confusing and contradicting.

  • ChrisB10 says:

    In your final paragraph you state that you are ‘almost 100% convinced’ that ‘the next owners will be from mainland China’. Following this you say that your ‘other hope’ is something on the sale of the club.
    Am I reading too much into this link that your first hope is that the next owners are from China?
    Do you regard this as the most positive way forward for the club?

  • Oldbluenose says:

    I do wish that some people would not get themselves confused, ?.

    Any Chinese or other foriegn buyer would not see us as anything other than another asett,?. and definitaley not any affection for the club, — At best — they would give us solvency, but no K,R,O.

    A rather folrlorn hope is that a U-k based person or company would give give us that kind of wish, !!.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think you’re spot on with that assessment. It seems there have been a fair few people involved in BIH, that have absolutely no interest in the BCFC. I think we’d be expecting way too much for any Chinese owners to give a flying feck about us as a football club… but as a business? Well, we’ll have to reserve judgement on that score until a future date.

  • Chris W says:

    Robbing Peter to pay Paul is never good housekeeping and even worse in business, I feel the the lateness in the audit is because they have shuffling figures to make them balance. On paper you can always be in the black but the reality is you are broke, I fear that when we do get new owners the financial reality will come to light and we will be back to what we have now, next to nothing for investment.
    I hope I am wrong but I am not holding my breath, the S/G/G regime were in a similar financial position when they moved it and the reality hit home.

  • Cotswold Blue says:

    There’s two bits in this article that make my heart sink.

    If our owners were “responsible business people” we probably wouldn’t have got into this sorry mess in the first place. Whatever other criticisms we level at the last regime, they ran a tight ship.

    I will also be very sad if the next owners are from mainland China, as to the large majority of fans it will look like “Cartson by proxy”.

  • the badger says:

    Don’t forget we have the last of the parachute payments in January. That’s why a loan of 1.2 mill was taken out recently to tide us over until that arrives. If Carson wants to sell the club I’m sure he’ll want to trouser some of that money first.

  • the badger says:

    Further more, when I was in China 18 months ago, there was an interesting article in the financial section of a newspaper in English stating how 85% of companies fail when trying to get a listing. All due to problems with accountancy and due diligence.! Sounds familiar? So buying a listed company is a good way in.

  • The Francis Fake says:

    Another excellent blog Ajamjir. If your belief is that Yang Yuezhou who is putting money into BIH (via U-Continent) has no long term interest then once the shares are re-listed and would therefore prefer an exit sooner rather than later. In this scenario I feel that a the company surely a clean proposition for takeover following re-listing from any party whether Chinese or UK based. Also the the fact that CY’s loan has been removed from BCFC debt helps considerably. Ajamjair, would it not be easier for any buyer just to buy BCFC and not BIH once the re-listing is completed?

  • TonyE says:

    Sadly whatever happens now re new ownership will, in my opinion, be too late to save the club this season. Without investment in the playing staff in January the team that can not win a home game will be relegated. I strongly believe that CY will do anything to save BIHL even if it’s at the expense of the club.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      With him clearing the debt last week, I think that certainly appears to be the case. It feels like he’s given up on us and taken his ball back home to BIH.

      • utbb says:

        bollocks – we’re too good to go down!

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I don’t think for one moment that we’ll go down. I find it very hard to believe that we’ll be one of the 3 worst teams in the division come May.

          • Blueboy88 says:

            & we were too good to go down in 2011…..however we still managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory…

            Nothing is set in stone with BCFC

          • StaffsBlue says:

            That’s true. The players now might not be worth as much or be at as high a level as the cup winning squad… but they fight and scrap for the shirt. I’d back this group against that group any day.

          • Chris W says:

            I agree staffs, this bunch have a lot to prove too, they will run through brick walls for us and the club.
            WE will be fine come May, another good run after all the festivities and we will be saying if only we had won more at home we will be in the play-offs. I will happily take 20th providing we stave off Amin.

          • Forum man says:

            Bold comments Chaps. I wouldn’t bet on us just yet to stay up.

  • bluenoseb says:

    What is carson’s plan b if he doesnt get BIHL relisted, has he got contingency plans or is this the last throw of the dice for him or his he just walking into it with a blindfolded abit like the zigic contract, because if it doesnt get relisted and he gets sent down in new year what options does he have left then, surely not many i wouldnt think?

  • mark francis says:

    Dan if on Friday b.I.h.l. confirm the club is up for sale do you think paladin I will try again !!

  • des says:

    some very funny comments here, keep it up lads, personally cannot see how the accounts can not be qualified! Still gutted that CY for all his good intentions when he bought us had no business acumen.

  • Bluenosesol says:

    Guys, we are NOT going down, we have players in our squad who would easily fit into the top 6 teams. Oh by the way, as you all well know – the accounts will be delayed!

  • Notthatdavo says:

    I could NOT say with any certainty that we won’t go down. And who are these players we have that could get in any top six teams?

  • StevieW says:

    This is a view that I have stated a while ago, we are being used to get them re-floated and then we will be cast off as they continue with their ventures elsewhere.

    Lets just hope we are cast off in the right direction.

  • ellblueboy says:

    Just because new owners “may” be from China doesn’t mean they will be just like the current owners. There are poor business people in every corner of the world so painting all potential owners with Carsons brush is really unfair I feel.


  • Tony says:

    Bluenose neil if as you say we have players who would get into the top six sides, then why are we where we are 20th’.

  • ForeverBlue says:

    Hi Dan, interesting blog as always. Just wondering if you could categorically confirm or deny whether other UK based consortiums, other than Paladini, have ever been in negotiations to buy BCFC. I seem to remember Ross saying a number of weeks ago on the free radio phone-in that another UK based consortium was told by Pannu that they had no chance of striking a deal as Paladini had all but agreed a deal. I understand certain info is delicate therefore I’m not asking for names, but a simple “yes, there was another consortium” or “no, there was only Paladini”.

    Its very frustrating times for BCFC and the likelihood of the new owners coming from outside the UK does not fill me with optimism either

  • Tony says:

    Having been caused some anguish on the topic of the metaphorical boiler at stans I have given the question some blue sky thinking and can now allay all fears.
    If as has been sugested the boiler is Metaphorical then surely any associated costs ie repair bills, fuel bills etc are Metaphorical too, therefore no problem for us.

  • Evesham blue says:

    It’s amazing we have avoided admin thus far. If we can get thru till the end of the season then get rid of zigic,Loverkrands,Ambrose and Mullins off the wage bill we should be a fairly tight run ship. Good investment opportunity?

    • Jedda says:

      Is it?

      I find it considerably more amazing that we’re in anything like this dire predicament – i.e. despite £40m+ in transfer fees, millions in PL parachute payments and virtually a League One level wage bill (bar one player – and even his contract is all but up).

  • Richard Granfield says:

    The days are long past since I viewed the next Transfer Window with trepidation. After the sales of Foster, Gardner, Larsson, Redmond, Butland, Mutch, Dann, Beausejour, Davies, Ridgewell, Phillips, McFadden, Johnson, Jerome and Ferguson in previous Windows I have become immune!

  • Forum man says:

    I quite like the idea of a Chinese owner. The next one could come off? One thing for are with the Chinese, they are very patient and honourable in business. Carson’s problems were never foreseen so let’s not tar the whole population by one man.

  • dave says:

    get rid off lee clark, in foot ball you pick your strongest side, keeps changing things all the time, that’s the problem, keep a stable side but will he, question to you blues fans is, if you did not go down the blues theres no money so it would go in to admin, and force the sale of the club, but looks like another china owner, and to you amarjir why don.t you get people together to buy the club and your mate t ross and cut out the bulls…t, get off your fat ass and do something about it instead of talking to much like mr ross, blues fans get the money and buy the blues OK.

  • mark says:

    Said it before will say it again I dont care eho invests in the club as long as they put there monry where there mouth is,
    No one is going to invest millions out of love it will be a buisnis

  • Texas Pete says:

    If ownership is going to change we need to pave the way in terms of being a positive force for the new group and that includes chinese ownership I haven’t got that list of things to make our voices heard, but I will keep thinking of what that is

  • Notthatdavo says:

    To bluenosesol, lingard isn’t even our player and could be gone by jan, neither is burn. Randolph is good and I’m happy with him, but no better than any other championship goalie who all seem pretty steady. Hancox is showing signs of being decent and nothing more. Burke is the only one on his day who might, only might get in a top championship team.

  • zxcv says:

    Dan, Have you seen todays announcement to HKSE.

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