Often Partisan

Business as Usual

Former Derby County Chairman Adam Pearson and Mike Farnan were yesterday linked by Sky Sports News to a new bid for a stake in Birmingham City FC.

Farnan was involved in the “Together Leeds” consortium which tried and failed to buy Leeds United in April. The Daily Star reported in April that Farnan, who attempted to buy Leeds in November 2013 by himself was desperate to become CEO of the Elland Road outfit and that he had failed to provide proof of funding since failing in that attempt.

His son Stefan was in the middle of an online row around that time, having tweeted (and then subsequently deleted) that he thought Leeds fans were fickle for not backing his father and instead getting behind the controversial Italian Massimo Cellino’s ultimately successful bid for the club.

Unfortunately for dad Mike, Stefan was at it again yesterday in response to a Blues fan tweeting that Mike Farnan wasn’t able to put up the funds for Leeds United. In a tweet (which again Stefan deleted) to Blues fan @Mr_Kwacky, Farnan responded with

Screenshot_2014-06-11-13-32-28referring to former Leeds United MD David Haigh who is currently languishing in a prison cell in Dubai – obviously missing the point that it was a Blues fan talking about his father rather than a Leeds one.

The truth is, while the news broken by Sky was somewhat out of left field I’m now utterly convinced that talk from Pearson and Farnan of bidding for Blues is nothing more than hot air. The saga with Gianni Paladini showed how words in the press matter little when it comes down to the nitty-gritty – in the Italian’s case Carson Yeung told the press in Hong Kong last October that the Solihull-based Italian hadn’t shown any proof of funds – and I suspect it will be no different with this new “bid” from Farnan and Pearson.

I will admit that the longer we have gone without any announcement from BIH of any “preferred bidder” or “exclusivity period” the more I have a sinking feeling that the Jeremy Wray-fronted SMW bid is going nowhere and I have to say I’m now pessimistic that any bidder will be any kind of position to put money into the club prior to the end of the summer transfer window. What the hold up is remains to be seen but there doesn’t seem to be any movement at all on the deal and the word from Hong Kong is that it’s all quiet at this moment in time in that respect.

With all this going on its business as usual at Blues; David Edgar and Wes Thomas are apparently close to signing and Helen Wilkins-Tims, BCFC Consumer Sales Manager confirmed yesterday on twitter that season ticket sales stood at 1373, an increase of 64 sales on the same time last year. It’s evident that no matter what is happening in the Wanchai offices of Birmingham International Holdings, the club is continuing on regardless and evidently the fans are backing the team as well.

Talking Points sponsored by John Hicken Industrial roofing and cladding materials

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96 Responses to “Business as Usual”

  • fingles says:

    When bidders carry out due diligence inspections, do they actually travel to HK, or is the necessary information made available in UK?

    • Brian Kenwrick says:

      this is just guessing but I would imagine the books would be available to see in the Uk for due diligence purposes, maybe just maybe why pavilakis(sp) is back, however I would imagine the negotiations would take place in HK

    • AussieBlue says:

      Birmingham City plc is a UK registered company reporting to the UK corporate authorities. No need for HK travel unless for negotiations, since BIHL is not the entity being invested in.

  • dave mann says:

    so weve got new sponsors on board, three new signings in with two more to come and season tickets are up on last year at this point in time and were still in the championship and seeded for the carling cup first round……lets be thankfull that caddis scored that goal because even with all the difficulties that were experiencing
    our fans are second to none and are backing the club along with the new sponsors
    and the new players comming in wanting and saying how proud they are to be at a club like birmingham city…..be proud of who you are and lets stop slagging of the club
    just because its so easy to do so…..were brummies and were blues fans, thats enough for me!!! KRO.

    • dave mann says:

      well said dave mann, true brummie and blue nose with a realistic point of view. KRO.

      • Staffs Blue says:

        Thanks dave. That made me laff. :D

        • Staffs Blue says:

          … and I agree totally btw.

          • dave mann says:

            yeah, sorry for blowing my own trumpet staffs but ime so fed up of all the negativity that a lot of fans show on here, never mind, were all entitled to our opinion i suppose. KRO.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            That’s why I don’t get involved in it all. People can think negatively if they like, but it doesn’t affect me in the slightest. I’m looking forward to the new season as much as I have for the last 45 years. You never know what’s going to happen, as much as some people like to think they do. Roll on the fixtures. KRO!

          • AussieBlue says:

            Agree,agree,agree. With Dave Mann, Staffs and Small Heath. As my 94 year old Mum said when she (reluctantly) had to move from the old family house (in B’ham) to a care home: “I just have to accept it.” We have to accept where Blues are at and move on regardless, with resolve and joy. The sorrows will always happen but the antidotes are joys.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            People can pre-judge and predict doom all they like (that’s their perogative)… but no one can predict the result of even the first game of the season… let alone the whole season. And that’s the beauty of football and always will be for me. I’ll never make myself miserable over-analysing it.

          • AussieBlue says:

            True Blue spirit mate!

          • Pete says:

            Dave by my saying this I will sound negative, and I think you have made a lot of correct comments, BUT how can 1300 season ticket holders be something to be proud of? How can the fact that our support last season was a joke and as soon as things got tough (in games not the last 2) the fans were on the players back (which might just have something to do with performances) be something we should be proud of? I am proud to be a blues fan, but not proud of a large number of negative fans or the ones who now do not bother going, and whom I do not genuinely think it is down to a protest- as they would all crawl out of the woodwork if we got to the play offs etc. I am not saying fans should renew or not, that is their choice, but I will say our fans have been shafted in the past 3 years but equally unlike Portsmouth (for example) have not been resolute in support for the team.
            Sorry, but that is my opinion.

    • Small Heath Blue says:

      well said dave mann, true brummie and blue nose with a realistic point of view. KRO.

  • williammorgan says:

    Until we add a proven striker I can’t see us doing any good ,,last season the defence was the worst culpret ,but we can’t afford to be any worse goal wise ,allowing for injuries ,the young strikers need to blooded slowly in games that we are in front ,,,Donaldson looks a reasonable bet but blues have got a bad reputation in getting strikers in..this has got to change,,,

  • Big Al says:

    My Blues supporting taxi-driving mate gave Carson’s Brother-In Law a lift last week – the Greek fella. At a time like this I think we need to lean towards taxi drivers for info. He said that the lad was incredibly likeable, is enjoying living in Moseley and did not speak like someone who was about to hand over the reigns to anyone. He said Blues fans would be presently surprised by the team they are going to assemble for next season. He also mentioned that Carson’s son was a liability and has been instructed now to ‘guard the bee’ like Homer Simpson was when the nuclear inspectors came round.

  • Mineheadblue says:

    Well, we are where we are and we need to be realistic. I’ve not always been a Lee Clark fan but I’m impressed by the way he’s just getting on with things and bringing in the best players he can in ridiculous circumstances. We need to give new players a chance to step up to the plate and that might take a little time. If we get investment in the meantime, we can strengthen further in January, although personally I’m beginning to doubt that anything positive will happen in the near future.

    • tmsblues says:

      I think the budget is so tight that Bihl believe they can keep going for some time. They are gamblers after all. Now they hope to get lucky and get a league one team to survive in the Champs. If they get it wrong then they lose big style cos they lose the lot if the club slides into oblivion! It would be difficult to do worse at home this season so maybe they might get lucky but it’s a long shot right now!

      • Chris W says:

        We were lucky we had such a good away record last season, can we emulate that, I’m not so sure.
        With so many new players will that break the voodoo we suffered at home, was it psychological or was it incompetence by LC that brought about the worst home record ever by a professional team anywhere across europe, not just the UK.
        As much as I am looking forward to the new season I am not expecting too much, but this is BCFC and unpredictable is our motto.
        KRO+DNM

  • teej says:

    I will not be renewing my season ticket to fund those who presume my loyalty’s a given.

    • dave mann says:

      your loyalty should be to yourself and thats your perogative but loyalty to your club and not the morons that run it should also be paramount and should not stop you going to see your team if you care that much..imo. KRO.

      • Chris W says:

        Dave, the subject as to renewing or not has caused a few of heated discussions here.
        The way I see it or saw it, I’m as confused as most, by giving BIHL money up front is only prolonging their departure and putting money in their pockets.
        Not renewing is not being disloyal as I would think that they will still be going to matches but paying on a game by game basis.
        It is all down to personal opinion and how it is perceived.
        I know which I am going to be doing and that will be my choice, as I say I am just as confused too.
        KRO+DNM

        • teej says:

          Thanks for that Chris, I’m going to try and do more away games too. It’s Political Dave, solidarity among fans is the only answer. I respect your opinion to renew and if more fans went to home games that would have its benefits, as would it in my opinion,if the guaranteed income was cut…here’s to debate!
          KRO Comrade

  • James says:

    I think LC is a decent manager as he is just getting on with what he has at his disposal, limited resources and etc.. Blues are linked with players like Donaldson besides is there any updates on blues buying Donaldson any time soon?

  • Chris W says:

    If BHIL are not in a hurry to sell where are they getting any serious money from to continue?.
    They are paying loan fees, signing players on bosmans but still have to pay wages and agree terms.
    Not sure what to read into the ST sale figures, if we had some positive news re a take over I would expect a rush. A friend who works at the club said that sales seem slow and it is mainly renewals that have been taken up so far, and you can make figures tell the story you want them too. I doubt anyone is going to shout about negative activity even if there is.
    The positives regarding LC are obviously not generating as much confidence as the club hoped.
    Time will tell.
    KRO+DNM

    • tmsblues says:

      Chris to a lot of folk the positives of Clark’s activity are actually negatives. Most dislike his selections and tactics and don’t fancy signing up to a season of home defeats. At least if you pay as you go you will not be encouraging Bihl to delay more. I suspect there’s a real hornets nest of due diligence headaches for prospective investors to grapple with alongside the difficulties of being a minority shareholder for some time albeit with a promise of gradual share transfers. Just hope someone is brave enough to follow through but quite possibly with the poison challace being offered many will either drop their valuation or back away until admin is inevitable. There’s obviously a charm offensive to supporters right now with players signing albeit low profile ones, new sponsors signing up but again low profile ones, and then there’s the season ticket sales stats….. Can’ t say any of the info is that encouraging really can you?

      • Chris W says:

        The silence from BIHL is of concern and the fact they have began funding some of these new signings gives me the impression they are in no hurry to sell up.
        KRO+DNM

        • bluenoserob says:

          im not sure how much funding they have been doing , the wage bill must be less than half what it was (the promoted teams will most likely have bigger)

          its not like we have paid a transfer fee (god forbid)

          they guys we have got from league one probably aint even pushing our 5k wage cap.

          the board (such as it is) had to allow LC to pick up a few players just so we could field a team come august.LC is doing his best as always , i sometimes dont know why keeps going.

          • Chris W says:

            BIHL are still responsible for wages upto June 30th and they have paid the loan fee to ensure there is no recall.
            As for wages, I would be surprised if their agents have not negotiated the maximum they can get and even tried for more.
            We have learnt in the past that BIHL are not exactly been proven competent when agreeing and signing contracts, Ziggy and the non-existent shirt deals classic examples.
            I sometimes wonder why LC has not walked before now, but then I think why should he, BHIL can’t afford to sack him so he is on a good thing. I do admire his diligence in putting what looks to be a fair squad together early.
            KRO+DNM

          • Oldbluenose says:

            Chris W;, As in the past, mate, I agree with your posting.
            As much as I tremble at L.C’s, team selection and tactics, I have to take my hat off to him for his trying to get some ” half-way ” decent players in early,
            It has been said on this site before, He would make a good No, 2, to a more experienced manager.

          • Chris W says:

            He has been a number 2 and I suppose every No.2 aspires to be No.1 and has to start somewhere, after a mixed season at Huddersfield he landed at St Ans. My only gripe is his failure to admit he is wrong, constant tinkering, trying to fit round pegs in square holes and never having a plan B.
            As we approach a new season I would hope he has sorted his shortcomings, but I doubt it.
            Getting this squad together early and another pre-season gathering in Ireland will hopefully gel the team into a formidable unit to take the Championship by storm.
            And tomorrow I will smell the coffee :-)
            KRO+DNM

          • Oldbluenose says:

            The main question is, — What do we make of this purported buy-out in stages,?. From different sites, Blogs, and newspaper stories I have read, there must be strong doubts concerning any [ as yet ] buyer that actually breeds the slightest hope of salvation, !!.

          • Chris W says:

            Obviously any potential buyer knows the rules and will have to abide to them. Personally I would want full control and BIHL would only be an associate and sleeping partner with no voting or financial standings.
            Looking at it from the layman, any half decent investor would wait for the Admin man to appear on the horizon and make an offer then, that way they could call the shots, as it is BIHL are in control. BIHL cannot afford to go into admin as they would lose everything.
            I have my doubts about any potential sale, but where are BIHL getting their finances from to continue without selling?
            KRO+DNM

          • Geoff S says:

            Chris.

            I can’t help feeling there may be potential suitors waiting for Blues to go into administration and be able to effectively buy the whole club (not just 24% or whatever) for a lot less than the £30-odd million being touted now. That said, admin could mean redundancies for the marvellous working staff (not the faceless and cynical owners) who have tried to keep the club running on a day-to-day basis and that would stink.

          • Chris W says:

            I believe that there are those hovering for some easy pickings should Admin become a reality. As for redundancies, after the way they have treated everything else regarding BCFC do you think they would care?
            The staff have worked tirelessly for BCFC and deserve better, but then so do so many who often end up in an administration. Hopefully the shining knight will avert Admin as did GSG did at the 11th hour.
            KRO+DNM

          • Geoff S says:

            “Hovering” may be the right word, Chris.

          • Geoff S says:

            The other point I meant to make concerns whether or not BIHL may be borrowing money in a desperate bid to stave off admin and hang on like grim death to BCFC.

            I hope BIHL are gone soon but, even if the wage bill is down at Blues, how are the players, the manager and the workforce currently being paid?

          • Oldbluenose says:

            Geoff S/ Chris W;, I am certain Dan has said that BIh, are mandated to pay all bills until end of June – or –July,?.
            I fully agree with Geoff;s feelings about Admin, and the sacking of our back-room staff, so we are between the rock and the hard place, ?.

          • Chris W says:

            As long as BIHL are owners they are responsible for all bills after June too, the question is who is or from where are the finances coming from if BIHL are as broke as we think they are?
            KRO+DNM

          • mark says:

            Chris it was found down the large double sofa where caddis funds came from lol

          • Chris W says:

            lol, That must be some sofa then, definitely not from Ikea :-)
            KRO+DNM

          • AussieBlue says:

            The sofa is located in the British Virgin Islands! No Ikea there.

          • Chris W says:

            Thanks Aus, next time the wife wants a new sofa and asks to go to Ikea I’ll tell her I’m off to the Virgin Islands instead :-).
            KRO+DNM

          • Chris W says:

            As no pending sale has been announced as of 30th May BIHL have had to forward financial records as to how the club are going to finance the forthcoming season. These have to be finalised, I believe prior to the new fixtures being released. It might pay to ask the Football League if they have any concerns.
            I am watching this space closely and the e-mail I received around Feb/March said that the FL had been given assurances that BCFC/BIHL had finances in place to fulfill their 2013/14 programme. They did say they would be watching the situation closely, so if there are any doubts or short falls I am sure the FL will be looking into them.
            I hope they not doing the business equivalent of Wonga type payday loans.
            KRO+DNM

          • Geoff S says:

            Chris.

            A lot of people (myself included) wrote to the FL a while back asking to know what was being done to look into how BCFC was being run and the response I got (I forwarded a copy to Daniel) was routinist and of no help.

            Do you think the FL will act at some point given what you said about 30 May?

          • Chris W says:

            From information I learnt they will only take action if a club cannot satisfy the FL criteria for sustainable funding throughout the season.
            KRO+DNM

          • tmsblues says:

            He’s had us in the number 2′ s most of last season.

          • tmsblues says:

            Simples.. He’s got 12 monthe severance to protect and no one else wants to recruit a manager with his record.

          • Geoff S says:

            The owners almost certainly can’t afford to sack him (Lee Clark) and, in the current mess the club is in, Blues would not exactly be an attractive proposition for any potential new manager.

          • Tony says:

            There is one way we could get rid of him without a years pay, i

    • AussieBlue says:

      Hi Chris – 1372 x let’s say an average of 350 pounds?? GBP480,550 or nearly half a million. A drop in the ocean for BCFC’s finances – they’d burn through that in a fortnight. Non-buyers who otherwise would buy STs if BIHL were out are not really making any difference in terms of ‘lining BIHL’s pockets’ – so it’s a personal conscience decision I believe. 8 mill parachute and TV income…now that’s where BIHL get interested. Praise and kudos to the 1,372 who have bought STs so far, it’s pure fan support for the club.

      • Chris W says:

        Hi Auss, If rumours are true and Dan seems to think they are then the £8m parachute has already been spent, though it is not due till August, We only had 2 games at St Ans televised so not much revenue there and they would have lost on match day sales anyway.
        These early sales could be those who are taking early holidays to enjoy the World Cup or are just renews that BIHL are probably relying and anticipating on and already spent.
        I think we will have to wait to see if BIHL can satisfy the Football league that they have funds in place to fulfill the seasons commitments financially. I doubt they have to have the money in the bank just a summary of where and how they will make the money, (Legally).
        KRO+DNM

        • AussieBlue says:

          Could be Chris. BIHL is undoubtedly debt funded at the moment and the major portion of that debt was from a Mr Yeung, Carson, who received over GBP2 million in interest payments last year according to the last available financial information (Dec 31 2013) filed with the HKSE. He subsequently converted some of that debt for equity and the share issue of Feb this year provided extra working capital. Another major load is owed to Chinese Energy Holdings. The debts are not being fully serviced and interest rates are between .5% and 30% with 2% penalty interest because of late payments. BIHL’s cash position actually went UP, but the company admits to being at risk of not being able to pay its liabilities on paper, but should ‘have sufficient working capital’ until end of this year at least. Hence the cost reductions, salary caps and desire to get more working capital in via staged sale. 6 months revenue up to Dec 31 2013 was around GBP9 million indicating an annual revenue of about 18 mill; give or take a little. So STs at current level would represent about 2.6% of revenue – higher% if revenue drops.

          • Chris W says:

            That makes worrying reading Aus. As it would appear that BIHL are not as desperate to sell as we would believe but also Administration is nowhere to be seen. They can be picky about the sale and can easily call the shots on any proposed bidders for the foreseeable future.
            Obviously this is not a sustainable position but once the season begins they will be receiving an income again.
            Not being an accountant I might be reading the figures wrong.
            Thanks for the insight and I daresay some other readers may shed some light on it too.
            KRO+DNM

          • AussieBlue says:

            It’s called the long game Chris. The looo-ooong game. BIHL has Park Lane and Mayfair but little in the way of cash. Just waiting for someone to land on Mayfair! I’m convinced Dan knows more but he’s being cautious.

        • OftenPartisan says:

          Chris – please show me where the club has to satisfy the FL funds are in place?

          If you check the regs, the deadline for that was March 31, and is in no way applicable.

          • Chris W says:

            Hi Dan.
            Since 2009, The Companies act of 2006 was fully implemented under Articles of Association.
            All teams in compliance with both Football League and Football Association Rules have to register by 31st March.
            Both Football league and Football association state that these should include a Funding Formula contained in with Articles of Association.
            The exact Article number is different since organisations use different formats but it sets out the “mechanism that income is allocated”.
            My only assumption is that both the FA and FL work within a 60-day consultation period with most rules and regulations, therefore to allow for alterations and amendments, I surmise a final date around May/mid June. I stand corrected if wrong.

  • Art says:

    In my view the fact that Panus is taking care of business matters and Clark is recruiting players indicates that all bets are off and the search for a suitable buyer continues….more and more frustration.

  • Pete says:

    See Wes Thomas is back. Hopefully, he might end up being a fourth choice striker behind Novak, Green and Mr X. He could still be a useful addition as a squad player.

  • Oldbluenose says:

    After reading your 1st part of the blog, My heart slumped, !!. Is this, — what we have come down too,?. It would appear their are no serious ” Blues ” orientated group out there, unless they are just keeping their powder dry for a while, ??.

    • beegeeblueboy says:

      No one with serious intentions is going to come in on 24% and be the only party funding the investment in the team. If it were me even if I accepted that I didn’t have control I want BIH to put in £76 for every £24 I put it in and they seemingly haven’t got it

  • Shirley Blue says:

    God help us if Novak and Green are our first choice strikers. Clark is picking up what he can with nothing but it’s looking like a League 1 squad led by a League 1 manager and unless credible owners come in ie not the fund less chancers that are currently wasting everybody’s time, that is exactly where we will be. Some absolute dross went down last season so we have got to hope the likes of Rotherham and Brentford are just as bad.

    • Geoff S says:

      A very powerful message, Shirley Blue.

      • Shirley Blue says:

        We finished last season with two Championship quality strikers in Zigic and Macheda. It’s looking likely we will start the new season with none. It’s all very well getting numbers up (and he can do nothing else in this situation so no criticism) but the overall quality of the squad is dire.

      • tmsblues says:

        Spot on review of the current situation looks like Bihl hanging on too!

        • Geoff S says:

          Just how is the heavily busted flush that is BIHL managing to hang on?

          • AussieBlue says:

            A really good question GS and one that I’ve tried to delve into with some contacts I have in HK, but without success. I am sure Dan knows more but he can’t say. My speculative thoughts are that they are being kept on life support by some very powerful and wealthy people, who are a tad embarrassed at the mess they have to deal with.

          • Geoff S says:

            Aussie Blue.

            Let’s hope what sounds as though there may be some sort of “drip feed” approach (based on what you speculated may be “life support” from some very powerful and wealthy people) can’t last long.

          • AussieBlue says:

            That’s right..and also creditors not pushing too hard for payments, which is why penalty interest rates on loans are in force. Chickens will come home to roost as they always do though. Seems like they’ve been granted until end 2014 to sort out debt repayment plans. Carson’s Deed of Novation is callable end 2015 or thereabouts…he’s still the main creditor as far as I can see; via his companies registered in the BVIs.

        • Geoff S says:

          Realistically speaking, can BIHL hang on for very much longer? There surely has to be an Endgame somewhere down the line.

    • Andy W says:

      Lets not forget, some of that “dross” was a few minutes away from being us?

  • Staffs Blue says:

    New kit by Carbrini to be launched in July.

  • Raymondo says:

    None of us knows what state the club will be in at the start of the season so lets hope for the best. No matter what happens we’ll still be supporting this club, even if we finish up being relegated. It happened to Wolves and, as their motto says, out of darkness cometh light, and it did didn’t it? Keep your chins up. We’re Blues. Hardship is nothing to us. KRO

  • mark says:

    Great news Daniel about the St sales Paul bought three of those bless him….. I believe slowly they will increase in numbers…… Harden noses will cherry pick where they want to sit, and £50 cheaper with a child under is now 11 wonderful. Clean slate and we start again…..really happy to get back the stans after the world cup ethoria has finished….

  • mark says:

    No chance of administration with players signing two years contract having a big laff…..

    • Chris W says:

      Then you have to question whether a sale is on the cards and/or where the finances are coming from?
      Have BIHL done a deal without notifying HKSE or the shareholders as I cannot see anything being kept this quiet.
      KRO+DNM

    • AussieBlue says:

      And no chance when involuntary admin means independent and forensic accounting by the likes of Delloites, PwC or KPMG, retrospectively.

  • mark says:

    Daniel why would the fans not back the team??why when the St are £50cheaper….why wait and pay more??

    • Chris W says:

      Don’t fans have till mid july to buy tickets at the old price? I may be wrong but I’m sure my seat stays the same till July 15th.
      KRO+DNM

      • Pete says:

        28th June for renewing at the new cheaper price. But still do not think 1300 season tickets is something to be proud about. Just means we will be looking at the same rubbish attendances and support next season again.

        • Chris W says:

          Thanks Pete. Obviously BIHL are happy to accept whatever income they can, be interesting to see the figures come 28th June to see how many have actually renewed compared with new sales.
          KRO+DNM

    • Art says:

      Lack of investment from the owners/fed up of losing home matches/no confidence in LC/rag tag and bobtail of a team/protesting against the current regime/lack of any success/not getting value for money/dispondency and no sign of things changing in the near future.

    • Chris W says:

      Actually mark are they £50 cheaper, last season the last 3 games were £10 a game but ST holders had paid up front so they were allowed to bring a friend. All BHIL are doing is giving back the discount afforded to pay as you go supporters or two free games.
      Just a thought.
      KRO+DNM

  • beegeeblueboy says:

    My head has said I will not renew while BIH are in ‘control’ but now that there are new signings the heart takes over doesn’t it?


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