Often Partisan

Same As It Ever Was

Birmingham City players report back for their first day of pre-season training this morning. It’ll be the first chance for the nine new signings made over the past few weeks to come together with the rest of the squad as the team shapes up for the new campaign.

While things on the pitch seem to be getting sorted quickly, there are still no developments in Hong Kong with regards to the sale of the club. After the excitement at the end of May surrounding the announcement to the stock exchange of the “non-binding, indicative offer” made for the club and the interview with Jeremy Wray where he confirmed that he was part of the interested party it all seems to have gone very quiet.

The sale process was never going to be easy due to the issues BIH have suffered over the last three years since the arrest of Carson Yeung. The fact that BIH have no other business apart from the club coupled with the value of maintaining a main board listing means that BIH have to extremely careful in how they go about selling the club; throw in the other issues they have had surrounding the listing of shares, the delayed accounts and the debt to Carson Yeung that required novation and it’s easy to see why we’re still in the position we are in now – still waiting to hear news.

I’ve followed the process for some time; it’s been a torturous journey that seems to have been “one step forwards, two steps back”. Every time what seems like a major hurdle is overcome, a larger one appears; first it was waiting for the accounts to be published, then the loan to Carson being sorted out, then the shares being re-listed – and now we are in a situation where the holding company doesn’t even know if it can sell BCFC as the stock exchange investigates it activities.

What is concerning is hearing from sources that the first time BIH actually checked with HKSE to see if they could sell a stake in the club (having assumed all along that they could) was the beginning of this month. How that ties up with the proposed sale of 12% to Beijing Liangzhu back in February/March I have no idea but it would appear that BIH made an incorrect assumption. Insiders in HK have said that as far back as the autumn of 2011 they had told Carson (in his then role as Chairman of the BIH board) that any sale would be problematic due to the lack of any other business; although Carson is now out of the picture in his jail cell in Stanley it would appear that his assumption had remained with the other board members.

All this of course leaves us in limbo until something changes; BIH need to satisfy all the stock exchange enquiries before anything can be allowed to proceed. In the meantime, everything else carries on as normal – the squad is in place for the new season and the backroom staff continue their sterling work in keeping the club running. At the start of June it might have been seen as the month when it all changes but as we head into July it appears to be very much as you were.

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35 Responses to “Same As It Ever Was”

  • Stan031 says:

    God help us!! I’m just glad to have not heard of LC’s plan to take our boys to go watch Barca’s style of play again….like we were ever going to emulate that succesfully with championship players- its a boring style at the best of times!? For the first time in a long time i’m keeping my season ticket money in my pocket and will take it a game at a time – remember LC we want to be entertained at home, stop setting up to stop the opposition!! Attack, attack, attack, attack…..

    • dave mann says:

      to be fair Stan031 with the players lees signed i cant see him playing any other way than attacking but keeping that shape we need defensively also,
      i will bet anyone on here that we will win one of our first two home games against brighton and ipswich in the league…why/, because i will be in the south of france and will miss them though i still get family season tickets whatever, entertaining goal fests will be all the rage next season at st. andrews so cant wait for the third home game of the season. KRO.

      • Stan031 says:

        Ha ha ! I hear you dave mann, my old man has the same luck – he missed 1 of the 2 home wins last season too!! If thats the case then, as per my post I will happilly admit i’m wrong and renew my season ticket, regardless of the owners. All I ask is to be entertained, to go down there with some chance of excitement!

  • Raymondo says:

    With all due respect Stan, I hope you’re wrong about this! On the other hand, why would he sign two attacking wingers,an attacking midfielder plus a known goalscorer if he didnt intend to play an attacking game! KRO

    • Stan031 says:

      Raymondo – so do I – I really do hope im wrong!! I ve been going for years with my old man seen the highs and the lows, backed every manager that has ever been at the blues no problems but boring/ no risk football at this level (understand the need in the prem!) is not acceptable to me- it has been really, trully painful watching them at home the last 2 seasons and he cant use players as an excuse. He had Ziggy, Macheda and Novak avaiable to him – all 3 would walk into most championship sides, but he dug his heals in an outright refused to start 2 of the 3 up top at home- blah , blah……….so obvious to everyone watching its a boring conversation now, but he outright refused to change his approach. I know he’s got/ had a tough task and I do respect him for just getting on with the job. However, he is in my opinion completely tactically inept – or is that just stubborn? Unless I see more direct attacking football in the first few games (i will pay on the day for the first few games!) I shall stop going until a new manager is in place- life is just to short and my weekends to precious to essentially watch paint dry and pay for the privelidge. But make no mistake I want to go every week! Its time with my old man and the Blues has provided us with so many great memories over the years but it is supposed to be entertaining!!!

      • Tony says:

        Stan you ask if Clark is tactically inept or just stubborn ,the answer is both ,plus an over emotional and somewhat unstable personality.
        His list of faults is so long its difficult to know where to begin, the only incredible thing is some misguided souls are still prepared to give him more time.
        It matters not how much time you give him he he will continue to wreck havoc on the club and team He has no ability whatsoever, what’s more he is fully aware of this fact.
        Towards the end of last season he was in full panic mode he just did not have a clue what to do hence the Blackburn team selection.
        It has long passed the stage of embarrassment for him and for the fans.

        • Stan031 says:

          Sadly I think you are correct Tony and his departure from Huddersfield with a record no losing streak speaks volumes too. That said – I am prepared to give him another chance in the first couple of games. But if he continues to play boring slow possession type football with players not capable of playing it then I will be giving the rest of the season a miss – or until he is replaced anyway. I truly hope he proves me wrong and I am blown away by a new approach this season.

    • Stan031 says:

      So he can make an example of them and sit them on the bench!? just to prove his point – whatever that is?

  • Agent McLeish says:

    And PP may ask himself
    How do I work this? (business)
    And PP may ask himself
    Where is that large automobile? (crashed on the HK highway)
    And Carson may tell himself
    This is not my beautiful house! (It has been repossessed).

    Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was…..

  • Staffs Blue says:

    Surely, if the Wray group pull out, there’ll be some kind of announcement? I’m just assuming that things are ticking along, (albeit slowly) and that, we’ll eventually be told what’s happening either way.

    • Raymondo says:

      I agree, Staffs Blue, and I presume there is some level of confidentiality expected on all sides in the meantime including the HKSE.

    • Eric says:

      I agree Stats Blue. Dan you always said this was essential right? I am encouraged by the quietness as it is complex. Patience is a virtue (though hard).

  • Raymondo says:

    It seems as if LC was not expecting a sale of the club anytime soon and has just prepared the club for the new season as if no sale was ever ilikely. Cutting the suit to fit the cloth, as we used to say. KRO.

  • Oldbluenose says:

    As things seem to stand at the moment, ?. We seem to be chugging along fine. Whilst we would all like a settled [ New ] ownership, It aint going to be for a while it seems, ?.
    Let us now just concentrate on the field of play, and hope we get off to a decent start.

  • williammorgan says:

    So BIH are finding it hard to sell part of BIH because they haven’t got another company ,so BIH can’t buy another company because they have no money ,so blues fans have to put up with more stress .so the Chinese government won’t be able to get all of their tax back ,..I can’t see that …the Chinese have kept the people of Birmingham waiting in every aspect and in every attempt to get BCFC back to being a success ,come on. ..,the great chinese nation is better than this

  • the_garbage says:

    I wish there was some sort of Football League rules that permitted them to intervene to force a sale or even take temporary ownership. This would never happen in the US in the NFL or MLB, their franchises are protected so much.

  • Art says:

    Dan-at last you seem to have exposed the real reason for the delay and reading between the lines it doesn’t look good.The HKSE must have a valid reason for investigating the affairs of the company and given Carson’s track record they are likely to uncover more issues which could result in legal action and further delays.

    Do you know how long the club can financially survive before going into administration and how many points we will lose if it happens.?

    I think bad news will follow bad news soon and the HKSE could suspend share trading.

  • J Bidmead says:

    Like us all, I haven’t got a clue

  • J Bidmead says:

    Like us all, I haven’t got a clue

  • ian says:

    my question is the same as a few weeks ago, how long can BIHL be financially viable if this takeover, investment, cash injection falls flat on its face ?
    to be honest i’d be amazed if the stock exchanged didn’t find irregularities,
    and i’d be surprised if the recent bidders were not watching the situation with growing interest,
    perhaps in the knowledge that the administrators will be far more straight forward to deal with.

  • Chris W says:

    Is it just about BIHL not having other income or are there even more underlying issues?
    Strange how a few weeks ago there were supposed to be no fewer than five interested parties, with one alleged preferred bidder to absolute silence from all concerned.
    As we have all agreed on OP we cannot alter or affect the ownership issues but we can get behind the team, and that has to be our priority as supporters and fans.
    As has been asked many times, how long can BIHL actually support, or even pay their way, and keep BCFC running. We hear differing reports but most seem to agree that 2014, so I am guessing at Christmas?
    Since they have already sold the major assets where are they getting any income from, looking on the website at season tickets it would appear there are only 25 tickets available in block 25 where there were plenty of empty seats all of last season.
    Are ST sales doing that well that BIHL can survive for the whole season?

    • bluenoserob says:

      with the clubs costs (players wages at least) cut right back i would imagine that they can go on for a good while , particularly if we can get a good start and win a home game or two and gates start to rise.This i guess is better than the financial black hole that we were sliding towards before , its just a shame that for a while at least we are going to have to get used to being paupers in this league.

      • Chris W says:

        I think that is what BIHL are hoping, success on the back of investing nothing. I suppose being solvent is better than administration, but it means we are in the clutches of whatever HKSE or BIHL throw at us.

  • Staffs Blue says:

    Lee Clark said today on Sky Sports radio, that our transfer business is more or less done. Source: https://soundcloud.com/skysportsradio/lee-clark-maybe-one-more

    • Chris W says:

      I could see him looking a possibly a decent loan striker, but I think all bases are covered at the present Staff. Just seeing how they gel now.

      • Staffs Blue says:

        I think that’s what he might do. Take a look at how the squad shape up over the next week or two and identify any holes if there are any and plug it with a loan player maybe. To be honest, as you said, all bases are now covered. Been a brilliant summer for us with the transfer activity. Well done Lee Clark and all those behind the scenes.

        • Chris W says:

          After the events of last season I was not expecting a lot of activity to be honest, infact I was dreading the summer and next season without any sign of investment or takeover.
          LC has certainly gone about his business and secured the services of some decent players. We will have to see if they can make the step up to Championship level.
          As we saw last season with Yeovil, without the right class of player or investment it will be a struggle, they were favourites to be relegated, and were.
          I’m not sure LC can do it on his own or that the current backroom staff are up to the job, but like the players, they all have something to prove.
          It should be another interesting season and hopefully a positive one.

  • Mark Galloway says:

    It isn’t happening and my assertion that these owners will destroy Birmingham City Football Club stands.

    AFC Birmingham Blues here we come!


  • AussieBlue says:

    It appears that BCFC Pty Ltd and BIHL are so symbiotically joined that, as with Siamese twins, sometimes a decision has to be made to save one only as both can’t be saved because of mutually essential organs.
    The question is; will the survivor be BCFC or BIHL?

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