Often Partisan

Bidders Named

The Birmingham Mail have tonight named Soccer Management Worldwide Ltd as the consortium behind the bid to buy 24% of Birmingham City.

The consortium, based in Middlesex confirmed that

On Friday 23rd May we were informed by Birmingham International Holdings that Soccer Management Worldwide Limited had been selected as the preferred bidder for Birmingham City FC.

Companies House filings confirm that former Swindon chairman Jeremy Wray is a director of the company. Other directors are named as Peter Day – a former employee of Birmingham City in the 90’s – and Tony Rees, a former journalist.

What will alarm fans more is that Companies House confirms the company secretary of Soccer Management Worldwide as Derek Peter, who was thrown out of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales in 2012 for misconduct when Financial Director of Luton Town FC. Peter was accused of making illegal payments along with other Luton directors totalling £160,000 to six agents.

As of yet there is no confirmation to the North American backing for the consortium. Mr wray has confirmed that SMW have a three week exclusivity period.

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96 Responses to “Bidders Named”

  • Tony says:

    What sought of assets do this company hold, are they fly by nights or genuinely mega rich?.

    • ian says:

      makes me wonder who the other 4 bidders are.
      on the plus side hong kong poohie was going bust.
      so we are at least we are 10 points better off than administration

    • Richard Granfield says:

      Soccer Management Worldwide Ltd has 2 shareholders namely Peter Day and David Rees who own 50% of the shares each. They each hold a single £1 share making a total shareholding of £2!

  • pierre says:

    surely this Derek Peter would not pass the Fit and Proper Persons test?

  • Darren John says:

    Wasn’t Derek Peter banned from controlling or being a Director of any company for 7 years after Luton? I’m surprised he’s allowed to be company secretary. Seems a very obvious loophole.

  • Andy W says:

    There are concerns yes, but they do seem to be football people with experience of an ailing club? We now have to wait to see the meat on the bones, but at least we have something?

    • JOHN BRADBURY says:

      They have no passion for our club…just Investers….we need to sell but this is not the answer but we are stuck or so it seems.

      • Oldbluenose says:

        Since Coombes Snr, There has not been a Bluenose owner has there John, ?.

        • Chas says:

          Ah, Memories, memories. Good old Clifford. True to Blue Luck he died before he could carry out his Grand Ideas for the Club. The sons were lightweight in comparison.

        • JOHN BRADBURY says:

          Sorry to have taken so long to reply….you’re probably right I’ve not looked at that angle at all.
          All I know is that anyone who buys the Club has gotta have mighty deep pockets and I believe must have some passion for the club.I want to know where the money is coming from…is it borrowed or are they cashed up?
          i spoke to Stan Lazaridis who lives close by to me about the supposed Aussie consortium.He knew of no-one who was interested and thought it was a red herring quite frankly.I had no idea how big a blue nose he was…his kids follow BCFC not West Ham.
          I don’t like the sound of these proposed owners but what do I really know….all I know is that we have to be sold and I wouldn’t be buying a season ticket if I lived in Brum.

    • Paul says:

      The alarming thing is, if these are the preferred bidders, who where the comics they didn’t prefer !!!

      • BluBoi14 says:

        Those who weren’t prepared to take just 24% of the club. The comics as you say may have been serious bidders who wanted a full takeover.

  • Mark Gibbs says:

    Jeremy Wray, had a very good reputation at Swindon and was very open about what the board were trying to acheive.

    Peter Day holds 1 appointments at 1 active companies, has resigned from 6 companies and held 3 appointments at 2 dissolved companies. Peter began their first appointment at the age of 51 and their longest current appointment spans 2 years and 6 months at SOCCER MANAGEMENT WORLDWIDE LTD.

    The combined cash at bank value for all businesses where Peter holds a current appointment equals £0, with a combined assets value of £0 and liabilities of £0. Roles associated with Peter Day within the recorded businesses include: Company Secretary, Director – not so good!

    Derek Peter, His file was put on hold until the outcome of an investigation by the Insolvency Service into what had gone on at the club. In September 2011, he was disqualified from acting as a company director for seven years.

    The High Court identified three areas of concern regarding Peter’s behaviour that suggested that he was unfit to be concerned in the management of a company. It found that, between July 2004 and February 2007, he caused the company, as operator of Luton, to act in breach of the FA and FIFA rules and regulations on payments to football agents (by making payments through JSL).

    “In reaching a conclusion of unfitness arising from these matters,” the court said, “it is necessary to take into account that in respect of the issue regarding the breach of FA rules, the FA considered that [another director] was principally responsible, but the next most culpable was Peter.

    “In particular, Peter demonstrated a failure to familiarise himself with the rules at a time when he was acting as the finance director and that amounted to a failure to exercise reasonable skill and care on behalf of the company. It was Peter who signed the cheques in favour of the agents and failed to ensure that payments were made through the FA in accordance with those rules.”

    The court also found that over a three-year period until he resigned in June 2007, Peter had allowed the company to build up a liability to HMRC of £3,578,661.

    He had particular detailed knowledge of the financial affairs of the company at all times. “The inescapable conclusion is that during Peter’s tenure as financial director, his approach resulted in the company’s debt to HMRC, who were one of the company’s largest creditors, increasing substantially at the risk of HMRC.

    “Although the ultimate level of the HMRC indebtedness may have been partly achieved by the subsequent events and in particular the administration, the increase in the indebtedness to HMRC during Peter’s term of office demonstrated a repeated failure to make payments on time and a failure to ensure that the company complied with its statutory duties.”

    The third area of concern the court highlighted was that he had caused Luton to enter into a transaction that was detrimental to its creditors and to the specific benefit of a connected entity where he was a director. The transaction resulted in the company repaying an unsecured debt out of its limited resources at a time when Peter knew it was unable to pay its debts.

    When the institute contacted Peter, he told the case manager that the court judgment had overlooked all the defences that he and his co-directors had put forward and that he was “not minded to enter into any further correspondence”. He did not attend the tribunal hearing.
    As well as the exclusion order, the tribunal ordered him to pay costs of £3,000.

    It also recommended that no application for his readmission as a member should be entertained for at least seven years.

    So how is he a CompanySecretary now, this does not sound that good does it?

    • Andy W says:

      Thanks Mark. That’s really informative, if a little depressing!

    • BluBoi14 says:

      The key word is secretary. Yes he’s banned from being a financial accountant or work in the financial sector, and the fit and proper equation doesn’t come into play because he’s not a director. However, there’s nothing stopping him from being a company secretary.

  • Steve says:

    Frying pan and fire come to mind.I hope those that wanted british owners are pleased with it.

  • Matt says:

    This news doesn’t give me much optimism. Hope the people calling for a British consortium are happy, looks like we are destined to rot in the championship for the next 10 years.

  • Spike says:

    Are they guys who saved swindon and gave di canio his managerial debut at swindon ????

  • Luke Bowen says:

    You know, I think the confusion with Tom earlier this week all spawned from a spelling mistake. When he said that he was sure that the buyer was Abdullah bin Nasser bin Abdullah Al Ahmed Al Thani, I think he meant Jeremy Wray.

  • Paul Oakley says:

    Blimey! Seems like Blues fans have made their minds up already!

  • Gary says:

    Now I know why you wasn’t excited about it OP why is it we can’t attract anyone decent to buy our club decent ground half decent training facilities yet we always get rubbish owners and they sound no better than the other muppets who own us. I really think these people intend to keep a stranglehold on blues and like you said what has happened to the North Americans more lies no doubt.

  • Andy says:

    Other than Derek Peter, they sound alright. No Roman Abramovich, but it’s much better than it might have been…

  • Craig R says:

    I think there is still a lot more to come out about the people involved so not worrying yet. The company concerned has not been operating for long and in the last accounts was stated as being doormant. Lets just home the company is just being used as a vehicle by some very wealthy shareholders/investors with the directors involved being brought it for their football knowledge to help in the day to day running.

  • Daddyblue says:

    Well Dan what do you think????????????????????????????????????

  • StevieW says:

    If I have read their accounts right their turn over for 2010, 11 and 12 reads in 50 plus billion pounds each year. Not bad work if you can get it especially if your profit margins are good.

    • Gary says:

      I don’t believe that it sounds like they don’t have much money at all worrying times ahead I think.

      • StevieW says:

        Gary

        All I did was follow this link and did a bit of rummaging about and that is the info I found.

        http://companycheck.co.uk/comp

        • Gary says:

          @thegoalzone: As i understand these guys were with the Australians who have pulled out. This consortium have 3 weeks to do the full due diligence

          • StevieW says:

            It sounds like a failed group that is trying to resurrect their chances. They are probably the only ones prepared to take just 24% so given the circumstances automatically become preferred bidder. 3 weeks isnt long for DD especially with the books we have.

          • Gary says:

            Just doesn’t sound good at all as much as I hate to say it I think it probably would have been better if we were relegated & gone into admin I think we would have had more people looking at the club. Thinking about it I bet these people were hoping for that they probably would have got us on the cheap without having to deal with the silly demands from these fools that own us.

    • Mr Crosby says:

      I done the same with my company and it come up with 65 billion, I think the clue to this is example in the corner of the page.

  • Gary says:

    What’s with all this rubbish it’s ok because these possible new owners know & understand football what tosh did abramovic know about football did the man city or Liverpool owners know much about football did most of these decent owners know much about football our fans talk some rubbish these people are going to be no better than the current owners & just as dodgy by the sound of it so disappointed & fed up with blues at the moment.

  • beegeeblueboy says:

    If the key players in this have as dubious a background as has been stated then ‘we’ should be challenging their appointment as ‘fit and proper’. As I see it this is where the Blues Trust should stand up and be counted and show it has sharp teeth and is assertive in pressuring the Football League and if necessary escalating through the FA, UEFA and FIFA. In try meantime my ST money will stay in my pocket

  • Pete says:

    Tony Rees- positive it is not the former Blues player?

  • Mineheadblue says:

    I’m not sure how to react really. I’m feeling a bit underwhelmed but then I was hoping it would be an Arab billionaire!!
    I was very amused by Luke Bowens comment though…..nice one!!!

  • sxblue says:

    With regard to Mr Jeremy Wray you may be interested to know that his brother Edward Wray was the co-founder of Betfair along with Andrew Black. The consortium that took over Swindon Town FC also included Andrew Black. I am probably putting 2 + 2 together and making 5 but I would certainly not be averse to Betfair being behind this bid as they are an extremely profitable and progressive business. KRO

    • Chas says:

      According to a Poster on the Mail Site, it was Andrew Black who pushed Jeremy Wray out , so there may be no love lost between them.

  • Mineheadblue says:

    Do you guys think this means we might end up with Di Canio?

    • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

      Lets hope not. Di Canio is a fascist.

      • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

        As shown below. Check out the vicious look on his face as well.

        Is this good enough for our club?

        Make your own minds up

        • Geoff S says:

          Maybe there’s some gun-jumping going on on here but the vile Di Canio should NEVER manage BCFC (or any other club).

          These “preferred bidders” don’t sound too inspiring, either.

          • Chas says:

            One of Dan’s remarks from a few weeks ago keeps coming back to me, I don’t know why,’Be careful what you wish for ‘..

          • Geoff S says:

            What were you wishing for, Chas?

          • Chas says:

            I don’t know , Geoff, but these people don’t appear to be Awe Inspiring. But there again, when the Gold sand Sullivan took over, the Mail said they were London based Property Developers, so we will have to wait and see.

          • Geoff S says:

            Chas.

            Are Wray and his associates fit and proper to run a football club? Furthermore, although it is early days at this point, linking Blues with the fascist Di Canio is surely the last thing the club needs.

          • Chris W says:

            Judging what people have dredged up I wouldn’t think they would pass a fit and proper to run a pot-a-loo at Glastonbury.
            But this is the football league and look at the shady characters they have passed recently.
            KRO+DNM

          • Geoff S says:

            I wonder with great dismay if professional football clubs are now becoming little more than things to be cynically used and abused by rather shady groups of people.

          • Chris W says:

            It seems an easy way to lose dodgy money and even if they are caught the football league are powerless to do anything against them. Leeds Utd are the most recent classic. The owner is wanted for tax irregularities in Italy, found guilty but still allowed to own and run a football club in England.
            Sometimes question those who run the game to be “fit and proper”?
            KRO+DNM

          • Geoff S says:

            It also looks as though those who run the Football League are about as much use as a broken arm because their cynicism appears to know no bounds.

          • Chas says:

            I am not supporting them yet, Geoff, I don’t know anything about them,. but it doesn’t look too clever from here.

        • Bluenosesol says:

          It would be an unmitigated disaster if the end game is to install PDC as Manager. He is a self confessed fascist and lover of Mussollini, he was sacked for his “brutal” treatment of his players and he has a record of unhinged behaviour which would make him totally unsuitable for a club desperate for sanity and stability.

  • Kristoff says:

    So… They have 2 weeks DD time remaining?

  • Mineheadblue says:

    I agree Paul, that’s what worries me but there is a connection with Wray and he may want someone he knows! Let’s just hope not…

  • Chris W says:

    Jeremy Wray was chairman for just six months, under his tenure there was a mass clear-out of most of the playing staff, the club were investigated for “financial irregularities” and had a transfer embargo placed on them following his departure.
    Should we be excited?
    KRO+DNM

  • Tony says:

    Disappointed was rather hoping for some sheik ya money

  • Chris W says:

    Before we all jump to conclusions let us see what Dan comes up with.
    He usually sleeps on something and gives us an honest view and breakdown on most topics concerning BIHL and he does have some decent mates in high places. Most of us are looking on the net, we need is those with influence and mates who are accountants, solicitors and even journalists with a nose for a story.
    I will admit what I have discovered so far does not thrill me or instil confidence.
    KRO+DNM

  • Fortinbras says:

    Sounds like a two-finger salute to the fans from BIHL. Soccer Mismanagement Worldwide?

  • Chad says:

    Underwhelmed indeed Derek Peter FIT AND PROPER HOW CAN THAT BE?? Jeremy Wray Swindon Town Chairman who appointed Di Canio!! I just hope EUROPEAN FOOTBALL IN 10 YEARS QUOTE AT THE PRESS CONFERENECE IS LEFT OUT! Our history of poor ownersguardians of our club continues…..

  • bluenose08 says:

    me thinks this is pannu getting back at the fans and op

  • Richard Granfield says:

    I am firmly of the opinion that if Jeremy Wray’s consortium decides to purchase a percentage of Blues, it will signal the departure of Lee Clark.
    Mr Wray is close to and an admirer of Paulo D’Canio who is currently without a job.
    I wonder what Paul Caddis’s thoughts are of the prospect of working under D’Canio again?

  • beegeeblueboy says:

    If not Di Canio maybe they’ll go for this guy. His profile is impressive

    https://www.linkedin.com/pub/alex-mcleish/61/bbb/743

    • Oldbluenose says:

      Now then, !!. That would be a turn up from the past, –lol.

      • JOHN BRADBURY says:

        see my post earlier mate…I did reply eventually.

        • AussieBlue says:

          Hey John,
          Saw your post before you deleted it…no not OAP; they are web offset printers. That deal was certainly bent though. Are you in Sydney mate? And did you attend grammar school in B’ham?

          • JOHN BRADBURY says:

            Sorry I live in Perth…no grammar for me I went to a very posh Comprehensive School sponsored by Harold Wilson’s labour Govt.
            I got good marks in my 11 plus and ended up in the grammar stream.I visit Sydney a couple of times a year.I stay around Liverpool St & George St area normally.
            If you come to Perth give me a call 0439417310.

          • AussieBlue says:

            Cheers JB – we had an Aussie lad named Bradbury come into 3rd form when his family relocated to Brum. I do get to Perth occasionally; will SMS you on your number.

  • Neil Everton says:

    Why am I not surprised!, we all hoped for a change of luck!, but all we look to have got, are the same old parasites looking to strip our club!!!

  • Agent McLeish says:

    Sounds like this shower and BIHL are made for each other. Also please don’t tell me the rumour about Di Canio is true. Looks like darker times ahead.

  • Gary says:

    as its only conjecture at the moment but I will say if d,icanio becomes involved in Blues I will never set foot in the club again, pray to whatever deity you honour that this self proclaimed Fascist never gets within spitting distance of our club, apologies to the OP but I feel very strongly about such issues

  • Eddie says:

    The fact that this bidder is prepared to entertain the 24% part purchase should be enough to let everyone know that whoever these guys are they are chancers at best.

    No serious business would buy part of anything from BIHL without it being a controlling interest – just ask Carson Yeung how wrong such things can go – Sullivan couldn’t believe his luck. There is no watertight agreement that can be made for guaranteed future purchase blocks whilst still keeping the HK stock exchange happy in the way we are led to believe BIHL wish, these things are incompatible. What if BIHL do not find/negotiate an alternative business to buy in order to diversify? And in what timescales? And what exactly are they going to buy for the £6-8m (less money needed for BCFC running costs) that makes it worthwhile keeping the listing with all the compliance costs that are involved? It doesn’t add up & is exactly why the other interested parties have not progressed – they are not so stupid or desperate.

    BIHL might have found a patsy that to allows them to limp along for another short period but it will not be of any benefit to BCFC and is only delaying what really needs to happen and that is for BIHL to realise they have no option but to sell a controlling interest in BCFC. Then we might see some serious and professional people step up to the plate.

    • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

      I hope you’re right mate

    • beegeeblueboy says:

      Not far off the mark there Eddie, except I doubt if BIH have agreed to supply any working capital or capital expenditure into BCFC otherwise why sell 24% when they need that money for investment to diversify?

      • Eddie says:

        Perhaps, but the money they are getting isn’t going to buy them anything of substance, certainly not in terms of the scale needed to support a viable HKSE listing.

        BIHL looks a lost cause but they continue to find ways to limp along whilst the value of the company diminishes.You could be cynical and say that the incoming monies will cover the directors fees for further period whilst they half-heartedly explore ways of transitioning the business, whilst all the time knowing it’s not going to actually happen . The best thing for Blues is that they run out of options and fast, someone giving them a way to keeping going in the short term is not going to help and if the ownership situation is complicated further (as in this case) it will only make it harder to unravel once BIHL succumb to the inevitable.

  • Paul Carter - Voice of Reason says:

    Paulos back tattoo featuring Mussolini and the emblem of the Italian fascist party during WW2

  • beegeeblueboy says:

    Just like when Moyes followed SAF he had no chance, similarly the first owners after BIH have to be cut from the same cloth as BIH to participate in a risky deal. One can only hope they morph into something more upstanding

  • Eric says:

    Some Blues fans will never stop moaning. The moaners kicked out our best owners and now no one will suit them. Does everyone know exactly how owners of wealthy clubs made money – was it all legit? We are now getting information and I am pleased…so cut the moaning Bluenoses.

  • AussieBlue says:

    Well now…this is really encouraging:
    http://companycheck.co.uk/company/07785961 (don’t take it as gospel)
    Another site has a bit more information and it goes like this:
    “Company SOCCER MANAGEMENT WORLDWIDE LTD
    is a Private Limited Company,
    registration number 07785961, established in United Kingdom
    on the 26. September 2011.

    The company is now active.

    The company has been in business for

    2 years and 7 months.

    The company is based on THE LIMES 1339 HIGH ROAD, WHETSTONE, LONDON, MIDDLESEX, ENGLAND, N20 9HR.

    Business of the company SOCCER MANAGEMENT WORLDWIDE LTD
    by SIC and NACE code is “93199 – Other sports activities”.
    There are 20 company documents available.
    The most recent document is “DIRECTOR APPOINTED MR JEREMY PHILIP WRAY” from the 2014.05.14.

    The latest accounts are filed up to 2012.09.26.

    The latest annual return was filed up to 2013.09.26.

    We do not have any information about the company SOCCER MANAGEMENT WORLDWIDE LTD being in liquidation.

    The company has
    3 directors and 1 secretary. The total number of directors was so far 6.
    The total number of secretaries was 3.

    Data on this page were generated on the 2014.05.20″

    Note Jeremy Wray only became a director on 14th May. He is also listed as non-executive director of Hartmann Capital Ltd, which entered administration in Dec/January ‘unable to meet its financial commitments.’ Hartmann has connections to Gracchi in that its ceo was a founding partner of same. It’s all here:
    http://www.hartmanncapital.com/

    The FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) stepped into Hartmann to prevent further loss of client funds and to adminster the winding-up. It does not make pretty reading. Mr Wray is mentioned as a director in item 16 if you don’t want to read it all. I will make no comment regarding ‘fit and proper’ implications:
    http://www.fca.org.uk/static/documents/supervisory-notices/hartmann-capital-limited.pdf

    Irrespective of all this, it is apparent that all involved in this ‘bid’ are from capital management, private equity, hedge fund and derivative backgrounds – traders who make profits for their investors, sell out and move on. Not being a smart alec, but that’s what I said earlier this week. I don’t see any great love of soccer in there.

    • Chris W says:

      I read that earlier AussieBlue, some of the stuff that folk have already dug up is scary and we are only dabbling with all the free sites, it will be interesting what Dan and his connections turn up.
      I must admit I have not found anything endearing to this consortium. To me it appears much of the same and not much good with money.
      Hopefully this due diligence will sort them out, followed by the FL’s “fit and proper” and all is well. Wouldn’t mind betting the “fit and Proper ” would allow the Great train robbers executives in the Bank of England.
      KRO+DNM

      • AussieBlue says:

        Up late again Chris! Yes, it’s all out there and viewable on reputable sites about Hartmann. Interestingly, Andrew Fitton, director of the failed Hartmann Capital is founder of Gracchi where Mr Wray is now. Mr Fitton was also co-owner of Swindon Town FC during the Wray era. Neither Wray nor Fitton mention their involvement with Hartmann Capital in their Gracchi bios.

        • Chris W says:

          Always up late Aus, this is my downtime, a drink and relaxation period.
          Apart from mentioning their time at Swindon they don’t mention the investigations for financial irregularities or subsequent transfer embargo.
          It is worrying that everyone is finding dirt, mud or grime but very little in the way of successes.
          Surely if there were five offers these cannot be the best, if so, who and how bad were the others.
          As I said earlier, be interesting to see what Dan with his contacts makes of this.
          KRO+DNM

          • AussieBlue says:

            Yep, sure Dan will grind the facts and truths out. Let me tell you a quick story of an acquisition of a large digital printing company here 3 years ago. It was in administration; the administrator called for bids. He accepted the highest bid from a consortium who subsequently stripped the assets, closed operations, sacked staff, didn’t pay all the funds promised and then went into receivership themselves. I later spoke to the buyer who said words to the effect ‘we just made the highest bid to make sure we got the company and worried about the money later.’
            Not sure why I’m sharing that story; no idea at all!

          • Chris W says:

            An interesting story though, if BCFC still had some assets to strip it could be a similar deal, BIHL are pretty desperate for money now I should think, unless they have a very big sofa.
            KRO+DNM

          • AussieBlue says:

            Asset rich and cash poor is a very dangerous place to be in business, as in life. Balance is what it should be about.

          • Chris W says:

            True, and one thing that BIHL are short of is balance, just hope they are not weebles and once they fall they stay down.
            KRO+DNM

          • JOHN BRADBURY says:

            Sounds a bit like Rene Rivkin and Graham Richardson with Offset Alpine…….both crooks one is dead and the other is another left wing no-hoper on Sky News pretending to be a friend of Alan Jones

  • Adam karim says:

    And the winner is…………………..Peter pannu!!!!!!!

  • Geoff S says:

    Does anybody have any idea what may happen if this bid is not accepted?

    Also, what are Wray and his associates bidding with because I can’t see where their capital is?

  • Oldbluenose says:

    John Bradbury, There does seem doubts concerning these prospective owners though Swindon fans swear by them, ?.


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