Often Partisan

What’s Going On?

NB this post is purely my own personal opinion and doesn’t represent the opinion of “the fans” nor is it meant to be on behalf of “the fans”. There’s a lot of conjecture and opinion – please do not take this post as fact, it’s just what I think.

I’ve been trying to make sense of what the hell is going on at Blues recently – with stories in the Daily Mirror of financial meltdown at Blues; stories from China of Carson being let off a HK$9.5mil loan, and Peter Pannu apparently refusing to speak to Tom Ross because of an article on this website. With this in mind I’ve had a bit of a think about it all, and I thought I’d share my thoughts with you.

There has been a consistent thread of financial worry about Birmingham City ever since we get relegated; the arrest of Carson Yeung on money laundering charges on June 30 have only intensified things and whilst BCFC aren’t in administration warnings of further financial misery have resurfaced recently. It’s a shame really; Chris Hughton has practically worked miracles on the field getting a team that seems almost scraped together to gel, and we’re starting to pick up good results.

The thing is whilst I’m not (and never really have been) particularly anti-board, I haven’t got my head buried in the sand either. For all the protestations about James Nursey being a crap Journo (and again, I’ve never been his biggest fan), I would have to repeat what I said the other day and say that it’s too easy to dismiss what he’s saying as pure speculation. If he was that wide of the mark about how things were at the club, then surely there would be talk of the club taking him to court? It’s not as if Peter Pannu (or Carson for that matter) are slow to issue legal threats when they feel they have been unnecessarily defamed – so the fact that there has been no comment from the club speaks volumes in my mind.

It’s like Peter Pannu being quiet in the press too. Do you really think he cancelled an appearance talking to Tom Ross because of what was said on this site? As much as I’d like to think I was influential (if only for my own ego at least), I know that can’t be true. Pannu is a headstrong guy, he likes to talk to the press when it suits him so why cancel now? Is it because he’s a bit wary of Blues fans (particularly after waving a bunch of euros at them in Madeira), or is it maybe because he’s been told by people who know better that he needs to be careful what he says, and who he says it to?

My personal belief is that we’re entering an end game with Carson now. Blues were super-reliant previously on TV money to keep them going throughout the season when they were in the Premiership, and even with a reduced cost base BCFC requires cashflow to operate on an even keel throughout the season. With much less money coming in from Sky, this has to come from other sources – Carson, BIH, other investors or player sales. I’m still sceptical that Carson’s assets truly are frozen; I think it’s a convenient excuse for him as it’s my personal belief Carson hasn’t got access to ready cash right now. As for BIH – well, I don’t think we can expect any help from them. Carson was the only one with a true passion for football, which is why he funded Blues. For the other major shareholders, I think BIH is just a speculative investment, and maybe one that has gone wrong.

So we come down to the white knights of potential investors, or the black days of further player sales. Again, it’s personal opinion but I believe that without someone coughing up a decent-ish wedge to put into Blues, the club are probably going to have to move on a couple more players come January to ensure that they have funds to continue throughout the year until the end of the season. People point to Yang Yuezhou, but unless I’ve missed something he’s done nothing to say that he’s even interested in BCFC – and that’s if he’s got the readies to put into the club.

Of course, there may well be other investors out there. It all comes down to the issue of price – if you could pick up BCFC for about £15mil-£20mil tops, and wipe out anything owed to Carson in the bargain, then I’d say Blues are probably a decent-ish investment. However, having paid massively over the odds for the club is Carson going to accept that sort of figure – or is he going to want to make a profit on the £48mil current stock market capitalization figure for BIH? It’s a game of hardball – if I was waiting on the sidelines I’d wait for what I would assume would be the inevitable drop into administration and pick it off for a small percentage of what the club is worth – all the time leaving Carson thinking about if he was going to lose it all.

So where does that leave you and I, the ordinary Blues fans? Unfortunately, it’s the same old story – it’s a wait and see situation. Until the accounts for BIH are released (which looks to be a few weeks away at the moment), all we have is hearsay, speculation and conjecture. Indeed, there may not be the answers in black and white after the accounts are set out, and we may not know the worst is going to happen until it does. All we can do is keep right on to the end of the road, and hope it’s joys and not sorrows that greet us when we get there.

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20 Responses to “What’s Going On?”

  • gary says:

    Its good to say what you think and I guess we are all pretty much thinking along the same lines but the problem with the accounts will be that they are not going to be a true reflection of the current situation.
    We will be guessing at how much we are saving on costs and what we are getting as income. I can only assume that we are just about ok financially as we were checked over prior to the season starting and competing in europe. The players have been sold since then. I doubt we would have been given the all clear on the basis of what might happen with player sales. Perhaps they are builing up a stash to help CY get some of his money back. Lets face it the speculation suggests he needs it.

  • AR says:

    Thanks, almajir but it makes me so depressed. Let’s hope the manager sticks with us.

  • DoctorD says:

    Thanks for the post. Hey Mr Carson and the Blues Board, if you’re reading this, you do need to provide the fans with some concrete information. I am sure you have the club’s best interests at heart but, to outsiders at least, it all looks rather murky.

  • macca salop blue says:

    I cannot believe Yeung & Pannu were so naive about chances of Blues getting relegated, after all prior to last season we’d been relegated twice in 5 years so the “risk” was there for everyone to see. However had we stayed in the Premiership it still wouldn’t have stopped Yeung getting arrested and we’d still probably have had to sell players and the inevitable relegation would have been likely this season instead , it would have been a slow painful death with big focus on us in the media like there was with Leeds & Portsmouth in the past. Relegation has been short , swift and painful but maybe it’s better like this . I have to believe in what I say here as it’s the only positive thing I can muster up from the whole experience.
    When Carsen says “we are family”, and Pannu says” Don’t worry everything will be okay” you really have to cringe and totally mistrust anything that comes out of their mouths. Perhaps it’s better Pannu does stay silent, because if he did talk then I for one wouldn’t believe a word.

  • Oldbluenose says:

    With the upcoming Accounts reports on B,I,H. [ whenever that finally is,?.]. Will that actually shed any light on B,C,F,C. at all, or just B,I,H.??.

  • Scott White says:

    why is it inevitable that we will go into administration??? While I know its only your opinion I really think you should be careful about making claims like this!!

    • almajir says:

      I think you need to re-read the article fella.

      if I was waiting on the sidelines I’d wait for what I would assume would be the inevitable drop into administration

      means that if I was a buyer, on the sidelines of the club, looking at it through a businessmen’s eyes I would assume that administration is a real possibility and I would wait for it.

      I haven’t said it’s inevitable at all, just that as an outsider I’d assume it was going to happen.

  • Gibbo says:

    stev claridge made a comment on 5 live recently where he said noone in their right mind will pay good money for a club outside the prem, they will wait and pick one up from administraion. so maybe the comments arent far of the mark

  • Swedish Bluenose says:

    I have some 25 years of journalistic experience and I never speculated without having good sources. Of course, England is different from Sweden and use other methods (News of the World) but I would believe that this Daily Mirror journalist probably have some good sources, could be Pannu or someone else in the board of directors. It could be the board’s way of telling the supporters that it is not all over now, and since Pannu doesn’t seem to have embraced the invitation from Tom Ross, and also been very silent after having returned from his long stay in Hong Kong, I would assume this is the board’s way of preparing the supporters of there could be worse days to come.
    In a way, I would hope that the ownership would stay in China, since there is where most of the new investors in the world are located and Carson Yeung’s vision of promoting Birmingham in mainland China is in a way very good. But the transparency is very low and Chinese companies and entrepreneurs use a lot of tricks all the time just to enrich themselves. None of the names Almajir has revealed as part-owners of Blues ring a bell with me, and I am on my 10th year living and working in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

  • Masaccio says:

    Let’s face it CY struggled to fund the purchase of the club and he certainly doesn’t have funds to keep one going in the right direction. If he doesn’t go to prison he’ll have to face up to the fact that he owns a football club he can’t afford.

  • John baiks says:

    How long before you and your website are raken to the cleaners by bcfc

  • Aussiebrum says:

    The more likely alternative, if a new investor fails to materialize is the PARENT entity, BIH having administrators appointed.

    Birmingham City, being the only major asset would be sold off as administration necessitates, with the current shareholders receiving nil return.

    So this forces the current owners to either recapitalize BCFC or write off the whole of their investment.

    I forsee further capital raisings, probably by way of rights issues or high yielding preference shares – either way it dilutes Yeungs interests significantly so he probably won’t get a “seat at the table” when the real decisions are being made.

    Hopefully this plays out speedily as this farcical situation is to everyones detriment, BIH, Yeung, BCFC and us fans.

  • The boy from OZ says:

    Firstly, thank you again Almajir for spending the time on your ongoing research and personal opinions on OP.
    It amuses me that a number of responders to YOUR web site appear to believe you have an official position within BCFC and that you are reporting on behalf of the club. You can always tell when you hit a nerve by the number of responses you receive from your articles, anyway keep it up mate, I enjoy your articles and the debate.

    On another theme, there are Blues fans all round the world and we can spend copius hours looking for any snippet of information or gossip on the team and because we are unable to personally attend games it only increases our level of frustration when we read the negative reports about Blues
    But its usually true there is no smoke without fire and even if we only believe half of what is written some of it must have some basis to it..
    It has been a tumultous end to the last season and beginning of this season, but in our new manager and players we have a group who are getting on with the job and low and behold providing fans with some entertainment.
    Over the last 136 years, the club has seen much change, different ground, owners, managers, coaches and players, they have come and gone, some have left their mark, others gone and forgotten, but in the midst of all this there has always been one common denominator, the fans and supporters of the club and for many of us its a legacy handed down to us by our forefathers (god bless them). Whatever happens to this club, the things that wont change will be our partisan and the fact we will always be blue.
    No matter which league we are in or what manager and players we have, as long as there is a BCFC we’ll be there at the end of the road. Keep positive it will all turn out right in the end.

  • Bluehobba says:

    On the subject of PP cancelling the interview with Tom Ross, You do yourself an injustice. Although its unlikely he cancelled because of this, maybe he did read through the site somewhere along the lines. The Birmingham Mail mentions this site from time to time so if he did have a look at your blogs and responses then he would have seen how passionate we all are about our club.

  • Intheknow says:

    Pannu cancelled the interview because he didn’t want to try and answer questions and he can’t answer. If they had ever got put to him tho

  • Barry says:

    Enjoyed the article and the responses it has produced. The thought of more sales in January does not surprise me unless major investment comes forward. But why should it? There are already a host of Premiership clubs looking so why put money into Birmingham until you can get it at a knockdown value. The “A” word is not inevitable but is still a possibility.
    Please keep up your informative posts

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