Often Partisan

Another Chinese Takeaway

Trigger warning: This story is partly about them from across the expressway – if you don’t care or don’t want to know, don’t read.

A certain team playing in B6 look to become the second team in the city to be owned by a company based in the far east when it was announced today on their official website that they were to be bought by the Recon Group, with Dr Tony Xia Jiantong to be named as chairman. As I’ve got a bit of experience in dealing with Chinese stuff, I thought I’d take a closer look.

Erm… who?

Dr Tony Xia Jiantong

This is the man who is to be chairman over at B6. He’s not that old – he graduated from Harvard in 1998 allegedly as the youngest ever doctor of design. There’s some background info on him here (translated by Google).

Alas, his company Recon are a bit more secretive. There is no website for them apart from their “planning and design” subsidiary XWHO, and even looking through the Chinese version of Google using their Chinese name (联合睿恳) yields very little.

It would appear Dr Xia is an architect by training – there is one link of him (again, Google Translate) talking to some Communist Party bod about “smart cities”; one might say he has his work cut out if he is going to introduce that to Aston.

While I can’t debate whether he’s a fan of that mob as their official website seems to suggest, what I can place doubt upon is the statement that he and/or RECON own controlling stakes in five companies on the Hong Kong and Chinese Stock Exchanges. A cursory look through the disclosures of interests on the HKSE show no current owners of a disclosable amount of shares in any HK listed company named either Recon or Tony Xia Jiantong – which would make it very difficult for either to have a controlling stake in any HK listed company.

If I’m going to be honest, I’ve heard every single line in this statement from that mob across the way before. The “wanting to pass the club onto someone who will look after it” line, the “mega-rich and successful businessman” line and the “make the club huge in China” line. Every single one of those lines was parrotted at us by the Golds and Sullivan before Carson took over… and look how that turned out. Carson liked to be photographed with Chinese communist party types too – as often detailed on this site many moons ago.

Now it could be that Tony Xia is a secretive billionaire who loves B6 – but I believe in the principal of Occam’s Razor – the simplest explanation is normally the correct one. If there isn’t much info about him, and the usual crap is being spouted then maybe there should be reason to question it. A big question is if the FL will – we’ve seen over the past few years how poorly they’ve been able to question prospective owners and I doubt they’ll do more than rubber stamp this one.

This is one massive reason why I want TTA to be open with Blues. Not just nicey-nice lines about “they know the fans love the club”, but more about who they are and what they’ve done before. Paul Suen might be a secretive individual where his photos are concerned but his dealings are easy enough to follow online as there is plenty of actual paper trail to see what he’s done before.

Before anyone moans about how quickly their deal was done, Randy has been trying to get out of B6 for many years and has had to take a loss on his original purchase price (let alone what he’s put in) to sell to Tony Xia. It’s also not done until the FL approves – maybe this time they’ll ask more questions.

Quick Edit. Another guy involved in the takeover at the Villa – Chris Samuelson… who the Telegraph wrote this about in his dealings in the Reading deal. Hmm.

Further Edit. Xia might not be the youngest in his field at Harvard after all. Hmm.

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70 Responses to “Another Chinese Takeaway”

  • BBR says:

    I’ve been speaking to a few of our twelve-toed friends from across the expressway this evening and they are expecting millions to be spent on players, a high quality new manager and great football…I can honestly see them playing league 1 football next season. They’ll get destroyed in the Championship.

  • rhees says:

    Hope its all falls down

  • ian ambrose says:

    Too slow snail takeover at BCFC oh shit looking takeover already at villa fc today !!!! Slow slow slow slow snail takeover at BCFC SLEEP zzzzzZZzzzz zzzzZZzzzz SLOW SNAIL !!!

  • TyresNweedy says:

    We need new owners asap.. this is becoming more than a mockery.. it’s an embarrassment.

  • Bluepenguin76 says:

    Hoping it all comes crashing around them!! Sorry,i know its bitter but a life time of being called “Tin Pot” has taken its toll!! Id take a couple of years of championship struggle before a soul destroying relegation to the third tier to set it all off….i couls die happy then

  • Daz says:

    I have found some sort of information on one of the other companies he owns being registered in Bemuda (Tax haven)( This one is called Rui Kang Pharmaceutical Group Investments Ltd) Personally I really hope he is worse than Carson an gets them relegated to League 2.

  • Tom says:

    Here say from a poor man’s investigative journalist. Hardly panarama.

    One thing is for sure…. obsessed with the Vikla

  • duch says:

    Personally I couldnt give a toss about who he is or what he intends to do with that ‘football club’ across the way. All I hope is that maybe Paul Suen is seen to be honest and maybe see this as a profiling opportunity to him and his businesses! China is very competitive when it comes to business and you never know The Vile been taken over by a ‘new kid on the block’ may well have some tails wagging at TTA around the potential at Blues.

    This could be good news for Blues and the competition in the two boardrooms it may create and may test the two owners on 1. how much they are willing to gamble for the headlines of taking which team back to the Premiership and 2. how deep their pockets really are!

    • duch says:

      I totally get Paul Suen may be looking to make a quick buck, but lets hope he is a honourable man and leaves us Bluenoses with a very much deserved present?

      e.g. getting promoted next season over the vile and beating them twice in the process???

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    In what capacity was Chris Samuelson involved in the takeover?
    Hmm indeed.

  • ChrisG says:

    With all their disappointment of this season in B6, hopefully there’s gonna be worse to come in the future. KRO

  • Mitchell says:

    China Rules ok. Whichever way the world of finance turns it is the Chinese who dictate -whether it be Steel,car building or a football being kicked. Acceptance is the hard fact but accept it we must. Villa appear to be over the worst if this gets ratified and they have a head start on us weary bluenoses. It was always on the cards imo and we knew it deep down. Our part now is to keep plugging away for updates from TTA or more importantly Panos. He has a duty to keep us positive and I think he will.Forget Villa as we have had our seasons pleasure from them which still feels good but as regards stability they are way ahead of us. My hope is that we get the feel good factor from Stans.on a really regular basis with GR and Panos spearheading it.

  • andy says:

    And its spelt villa

  • Bluearmyfaction says:

    Curious that he waited until after relegation to buy the club. It is almost as if he thought he would fail the Premiership FPP test but pass the Championship’s.

  • myk says:

    I see we are still obsessed with the Villa

  • Royalblue says:

    I think saying people are obsessed with the Villa because comment is passed on major developments such as their relegation or the club being taken over is a gross exaggeration. We are not discussing every result and team selection for heavens sake. They are our nearest neighbours and greatest rivals to be fair. That and they have revelled in taking the micky out of us over the many years we have struggled to compete with them through no fault of the fans. It is a real treat for the boot to be on the other foot for a change.

    It will be very interesting to see what their experience of new owners turns out to be. Some certainly have be calling for Lerner to go and I only hope it proves to be a case of ‘be careful what you wish for’ as I think many Blues fans how feel about Sullivan and the Golds. It’s interesting that both our previous owners and Lerner had problems getting buyers despite both clubs ( us at the time) being in the Premier League. Even more so now with the money available from next season.

    I expect the new owners over there to spend money to try and get back straight away. Much will depend on who they appoint as a manager. Hopefully somebody with no Championship experience and not a Nigel Pearson. Unless things in HK get a giddy up in a hurry I think we will struggle to compete with them. The first season in the Championship with the parachute payments has to be the best chance of getting up. If we are limited to cheaper waged free transfers and loans then finishing mid table will be a decent achievement. That said I am still expecting Derby to come calling for GR and if he goes then everything really will be up in the air in B9 as well as B6.

  • zxcv says:

    This Guy `s personal fortune is 75 Million quid, no way is he funding this on his own unless the deal is Pay as you go, or someone else is a sleeping Partner or Partners, ie, Carson and Pannu using the money they have negotiated to sell to TTA. Ironic yes, but funny.?……….. hilarious .

  • williammorgan says:

    Perhaps it is not a takeaway that they are after but more of a bringing together and making one giant club Birmingham Villa ..

  • zxcv says:

    This deal proves once and for all who is the biggest club….The Vile 60 million

    Birmingham City Football Club………………………………………………….81 million

    you heard the saying Twopenny Halfpenny club. sotv

  • eddie says:

    you cant knock him for being an unknown and on previous post say how mysterious TTA are and we don’t know who they are

    • zxcv says:

      And saying this

      This is one massive reason why I want TTA to be open with Blues. Not just nicey-nice lines about “they know the fans love the club”,

      After bull shitting them up for saying just that when he was over their. ha ha

  • J says:

    Just a pedantic heads-up, it’s “principle” not “principal”.

  • Brumbie says:

    Time will tell about the new owners in B6 we may be able to laugh again at them. But Wether we like it or not they might have hit the jackpot with these Chinese investors. Villa are a big name and could be marketed in China with great effect but they will need a winning team to make it happen and that will take serious money looking at their squad, and that will be the acid test. 60m seems like a bargain price for their new owners so we need to careful when mocking them in case they have the last laugh as we seem to be unable to attract any new investment.

  • ian says:

    how long before Aston International holdings are listed on the stock exchange ? pete isn’t very busy at the moment he might help them, like TTA the only return on any investment in Any football club is the premier league promised land. i don’t see either of our clubs any better than play offs at best,
    Villa are a big name in China ? really ? have they won anything or done anything of importance since the semi-westernization of Asia ?
    or are you stating that loads of 60 year old plus Chinese communist people used to follow
    peter wythe and gary shaw ?
    One offer on the table and Learner snapped it up, at least We are with the preferred bidders

  • Robin says:

    Interesting read thank you Dan

  • Blue Eyed Boy says:

    The bottom line is that the Villa(sorry Vanilla) deal was done relatively quickly whereas our situation has gone on longer than Crossroads! Whether we like it or not I cannot see us having the same backing as that lot across the way as any such takeover would have been done well before now and more structured.
    I suspect it ill be a small group who will need outside investment…sounds familiar?

    • zxcv says:

      its been a hostile take over mate, How could it have been done quicker, No one but no one can make the courts hurry up and deal with our situation as a priority. Carson Has never until recently agreed with anything that remotely suggests he wants to sell (That’s is the definition of a hostile take over when an owner or Major share holder refusal to sell ) That’s been the difference with a club that wants to sell. Its not and never was going to be like for like is it.

  • Peter bates says:

    Can’t see Ernst and young one of the biggest receivers in the world getting involved with anything underhand they know tta and that is why they got to be the preferred bidder e and y needed time to sort bih out and I personally think we will benefit from it being done properly and above board as for villa not really bothered until we play them next season kro

  • Walker says:

    Ive heard vile park is being turned in to a sushi bar

  • williammorgan says:

    Dan is right , we are on a need to know basis when we enter the stock market again , and there is a saying about…… ” Better the Devil you know”….And that is why we should appreciate the work E&Y are doing in taking so long to make sure everything is laid bare before selling , but they are now on a need to (hurry up basis ) for the fans mental state , KRO

    • zxcv says:

      That’s why they are court appointed, to do the job that needed /had to be done. Do people really think that would be the case if they were a fly by night company. It has taken as long as it needed to take. Also why would any dodgy company come forward with a dodgy offer when dealing with court appointed people LOL it would equate to handing yourself in ha ha.

  • DaveP says:

    Fair play to him though, he can draw – or rather, employ people who can draw.

    No news on the EGM yet then Dan?

  • chris says:

    maybe he waited till they got relegated so vile could be bought as rejected goods because he couldn’t afford to buy a prem club as he might not be even as rich as Lerner?

  • chris says:

    there are some dumb vile pork fans in the dense vile part of the City, who think new owners = gravy train.
    never heard of BCFC, Leeds, Reading, Cardiff, Wolves, Coventry, Sheffield Utd, Portsmouth, Blackpool, Bolton, Fulham, Blackburn, Wrexham, Swindon, Forest & Charlton amongst others who in recent years all thought they were getting great new owners who would spend spend spend and take them to new heights, which in reality were new lows.

  • bhamcityjulian says:

    1/ He is not a dollar billionaire

    2/ He doesn’t own a blue chip company

    3/ He’s going to have to put a massive amount of debt on their balance sheet to buy the players hell be expected to buy

    4/ He has an associated who appears to have been mentioned in money laundering

    5/ Did King and Bernstein get out to avoid being linked with him?

    I think they’ve gone backwards on paper but we’ll see

  • chris says:

    Wait till they raise ticket prices amongst other increases and they’ll be no bedsheets left on their beds

  • Brumbie says:

    Villa fans are happy to see the back of their owner let’s hope we are as lucky. Their new guy is talking big about getting back to the premiership and huge transfer budgets let’s hope he can’t deliver what.he says. We might not like it but they are a well known club around the world and the Chinese could promote them in China which could be a very lucrative market and raise mega bucks but they can only do that as a premiership club so promotion is crucial to their hopes. As for us we need to concentrate on our own club and not fret about what might happen in B6 we are used to them having more money to spend than us so nothing has really changed.

  • Andrew says:

    Promising huge sums of money, as soon as the press meet him sounds very familiar….

  • paul Smith says:

    Just google this

    Tony Xia’s eclectic portfolio will soon include Aston Villa

    On the FT website

  • steve says:

    Looks like you were spot on about their claim of owning 5 companies Dan. Also PL and FL will investigate.

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