Often Partisan

Consensus

Another day has passed in the interminable wait for news on a proposed takeover of Birmingham City without any news and with that ever more scepticism is rising from Blues fans that there is anything happening.

I’m guessing some of you must be bored with this by now and if you’re one of those I’d suggest you stop reading this and instead watch a great goal (completing his hat-trick) by Nathan Redmond for England U21s last night. For those of you who do read what I have to say, please bear in mind that I have cited facts where I can but I have speculated a lot and that should be treated with the scepticism it deserves.

Why has nothing happened yet? What’s the big hold up? Surely they can just pick one bid and go with it?

One of the chief problems BIH have relates to the conviction of Carson Yeung – but not for the reason you might think. When Carson was Chairman of BIH, he was very much in charge – and he made decisions. Not all of them might have been right, but he was there to make them. Since he stepped down, there has not been a figurehead at the top to make those decisions – the new Chairman, Cheung Shing is a gas and oil man, and has been brought in for the new direction BIH will take – and from what I hear doesn’t command the same sort of power that Carson did.

There are three directors involved in bringing bids to the table. Victor Ma, who is the closest director to Carson (by virtue of his marriage to Carson’s younger sister Kai-yi) has brought in a bid from the mainland. He was the person who introduced Yang Yuezhou to BIH and took a cut from arranging that loan for BIH. Panos Pavlakis has been in the UK prior to the board meeting and has made presentations with the Finance Director Roger Lloyd to various companies to solicit bids; Peter Pannu has been charged with trying to find a bidder since September 2012 for the club.

So you have three guys – Panos Pavlakis, Peter Pannu and Victor Ma – who have all brought their bids to the table, and there is no one at the top to make a decision to say “we will go with X” meaning a consensus has to be thrashed out. This is complicated by the nature of the deal; as is normal in Hong Kong business culture there would be a bonus payable as an introduction fee to any director bringing the winning bid to the table (the rumour is 7% of the price) and thus it becomes more imperative for each director to ensure his bid wins. I would imagine that there would be some horse-trading between the competing directors to get everyone to agree on one bid and that in itself could take time.

Is that all? It’s just about who gets their cut?

Unfortunately not. Due to the fact BIH’s shares were suspended from trading on HKSE for so long, the stock exchange has naturally taken an interest in what BIH are doing. It is my understanding that not only do BIH have to reach a consensus themselves, but they have to present a deal which will satisfy the HKSE in order to maintain the listing on the main board. I’ve been told by an insider that the HKSE don’t impose conditions in this instance; they will ask BIH for information and then once they have received that they will then either ask for further information or signal that they are happy. The delay in agreeing a preferred bidder could easily be having to try to come to an arrangement which is agreeable not only to BIH and a bidder but also the regulatory authorities.

So where does that leave us?

It leaves us, the fans in the dark for now. The only silver lining is that BIH do not have an indefinite amount of time to agree a deal; money is a problem for not only the club but also the holding company and a deal will have to be hatched soon to bring in funds to keep the holding company going and to allow it to diversify into a new business. I remain convinced that an MOU will be agreed by the end of the month; I wouldn’t be surprised if BIH are trying to wrap it up sooner than that. I can’t tell you when it will happen though, or who are going to get to buy the club – all I know is that the deal will be the one that’s best for BIH and it’s directors.

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43 Responses to “Consensus”

  • EddieBirmingham says:

    Your right. That was a great goal

  • Chrisg says:

    Surely BIH could put out some sort of statement just to inform us fans of where they’re at without breaking any rules. Even if they told us what we already know it would be something, or if they could say they “hope” to get things sorted by x date. Mind you we’re only the ones who have been putting money into the club on a regular basis so why should we matter?!!

    • Raymondo says:

      The ordinary fans have never mattered to BIH, Chris, otherwise we would all be much wiser about the situation than we are

  • Art says:

    This is exactly my point and the board continues to show contempt for the fans and commercial sponsors.A short statement would help to ease the tension and current frustration but thankfully we can rely on Dan to keep us informed.

    Truth is they just don’t care about the fans-it’s just a money excercise.

  • Flying Doctor says:

    Wonder if the delay would be due to none of the bidders being prepared to buy the club in tranches? If money is running out at BIHL, then why not wait? Retaining HKSE listing would be of no concern to anyone wanting the club

  • Andy W says:

    Thanks Dan. I know this will be as frustrating for you as anyone else because you know we’re all waiting for something. The reality is, there is absolutely nothing anyone can do but wait.

    • Steve Keeling says:

      Andy,
      The best future for Blues, in my opinion, is to develop our own talent as far as we can rather than becoming a billionaire’s plaything. I remember when the Blues team consisted of many who came through the youth system: Francis, both Latchfords, Burns and others. We have never had a better team. Do we really want to watch a bunch of overseas mercenaries rather than boys born within a few miles of St Andrew’s? It’s just a pity that the ownership structure of the club will involve once again wealthy individuals. A community owned alternative would provide a much more secure not to say less embarrassing future. But that will never happen, I suppose.

      • Andy W says:

        I have to agree Steve, but sadly, it will take a fair bit of money to even get us to that point? And time I guess…………

        • Chris W says:

          What we have to do is stop selling the youngsters before we have the benefit of their education with us.
          We lost Butland, Redmond and Mutch for only a fraction of their worth, with a little more time they could have been top players established in the premier league, probably with us. Instead they are back playing against us instead of for us, though I think Redmond will move on soon.
          KRO+DNM

  • RichardM says:

    Wonder if we could tempt Nathan back if we got new investors? Sorry, alarm clock going….

  • Agent McLeish says:

    BIHL are incapable of basic business activities such as filing accounts on time. They have no chance of handling something as complex as the sale of the club. I’m sure we all remember how badly they managed the purchase of the club and that was when the so called “figurehead” Yeung was making the decisions.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Picture the scene at BIH board meeting. Peter Pannu wants to accept Bid A, Panos Pavlakis wants to accept Bid B, Victor Ma wants to accept Bid C and Cheung Shing Bid D.
    If the the leadership vacuum at BIH is not resolved there will be no bids to accept, as all the bidders will withdraw through sheer frustration!

  • Dbuswell says:

    I am back in the Middle East (not Qatar) and a few hours ahead of the UK. I don’t get internet all the time so this is worse for me as sometimes I have to wait hours before I can get online. I just hope it comes to some sort of conclusion before long as the waiting is agonising. OP keep up the good work as often I can only hook into your website

  • Gary says:

    “all I know is that the deal will be the one that’s best for BIH and it’s directors”
    That used to be “best for BIH and it’s shareholders”. They can’t keep their noses out of the trough can they. A plague on all their houses.

  • Gary says:

    So what happened to they had made their minds up who they were selling the club to more rubbish I really think they are going to keep it Chinese I don’t believe they are going to sell the club. The club has been supposedly been in trouble for a couple of years so they have had that long to sort this out yet they still haven’t I think their are darker times ahead for blues hope I’m wrong but the way things are going I doubt it.

  • Chris W says:

    It is becoming pretty obvious that BIHL have no one who can or is prepared to make a decision, all these delays give them more time to seek advice from CY, after all most are related to him in some form.
    Out of curiosity Dan, why would a bidder worry about BIHL’s listing on the HKSE?
    If they want to purchase the club in one payment wouldn’t it be easier to wait for administration to knock on the door and then say “this is my offer, take it or leave it?”
    It has been reported many times by nearly every source that BIHL will not allow administration, as they would lose face in Hong Kong business circles..
    To be honest, after all that has happened during BIHL’s reign I would love to see them go to the wall and lose everything.
    KRO+DNM

  • bluenose08 says:

    Nathan Redmond top player, always a bluenose kro

  • mark says:

    No one knows when a deal will be struck, but they are IMO going to play hardball with the 25% first off…. Players of the potential 5 surposely bidders will need more than a month to unweb the complexity of the deal around the 25%……..two years is a bloody long wait to have complete ownership…….lots of thing can potentially happen in that time, so safeguarding your investment is paramount IMO.

  • mark says:

    Daniel why are you so sure the bidders are not Chinese?????

  • bluenoserob says:

    everyone , dont know how to create the link , but there is a good quiz for all blues fan to try

    http://www.sporcle.com/games/babymonkee/football-birmingham-city-record-transfers

  • mark says:

    I go with victor ma bid……..

  • BlueSteve says:

    Could the sale in tranches not work in our favour? The buyer will not have to outlay all their capital and will therefore have more money to sepnd on players..

  • Blooflame says:

    No more Chinese…if there is, it’ll be more of the same as the same people will be controlling it

    • beegeeblueboy says:

      Don’t assume all Chinese business are akin to BIH / CY

      • Blooflame says:

        No I certainly don’t. I’ve spent time there, my woman is HK Chinese so it isn’t from a negative point of view. It’s purely this little group, in my view its a fascia, the same people are in control, hiding the same things for the same reasons.

      • beegeeblueboy says:

        You said: “No more Chinese…if there is, it’ll be more of the same as the same people will be controlling it”

  • Phill McCrackin says:

    Dragging it out by the sounds of it for a last few quid in season tickets sales. Also I don’t believe this “the last parachute payment is tied up”. More like it has already been took out the club before it comes, through debt created in a mysterious black hole in the accounts.Why do I think this? As no auditors of the accounts would sign them off in the last three years..

    • OftenPartisan says:

      Yeah, cos we pay bills and players in buttons mate.

    • beegeeblueboy says:

      Phil, Auditors have signed off that accounts; if ST monies for 2014/5 have been sold the transaction will be in the accounts. If they haven’t been sold on (factored) there’s money coming in for them because they are not on sale

  • mark says:

    Daniel i said ages ago on your blog that Nathan would rise to become a very good player…. for him now he ready to play for a top six premier team…………obviously imo

  • mark says:

    it been a magnificent rise for the young man in the u21 sadly at Norwich he is wasted ,hopefully the likes a gray, brown, are watching with interest….


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