Often Partisan

Paladini Rumours

It’s been all quiet on the Eastern Front as it were recently with nothing in the news or on the grapevine about a potential takeover for Birmingham City. However that silence was broken somewhat when Paul Franks mentioned this evening on Radio WM that former QPR Chairman Gianni Paladini and former QPR part-owner Flavio Briatore were interested in buying the club.

As rumours go, it’s an interesting one. Paladini has lived in Solihull since the sixties and his son is a known Blues fan. Paladini has long been involved with football – as an agent and as a chairman and there was stories linking him as recently as July to the takeover of Nottingham Forest by the Al-Hasawi family – which was then denied by the Kuwaitis.

However, it would be incredibly premature to bank on a takeover happening. At the moment, it is nothing but a rumour – a rumour that has been repeated on a couple of radio stations, but a rumour all the same. There have been all kinds of rumours doing the rounds and until someone actually openly declares their interest we have to take them all with a pinch of salt.

Furthermore, even if we take it as read that there is firm interest in a takeover, then there is the major question of the price being right. Carson has given no indication that he plans to sell the club – despite the hole he appears to be in there hasn’t been any outward stance from either the club or from BIH that a sale would be entertained and thus one would think that a price may be difficult to agree. Blues aren’t worth as much as they were (and certainly nowhere near as much as Carson paid) but you would have to expect Carson is going to expect the maximum return he can get on his investment.

Even if the price was agreed, there are still stumbling blocks – namely the freeze order placed upon Carson’s assets last July. Because the freeze order was made in a closed courtroom, we cannot know for sure yet what is covered by it – however we can make inferences based on the information that is publicly available. When Carson appealed against the amount that had been frozen a judgement was made – and crucially has been published online here. What interests me most is the following paragraph:

The 1st Respondent [Carson Yeung] has disclosed by his 5th affirmation various BVI companies as well as debts owed to him. I agree with Mr Bell that if at the confiscation proceedings, the trial judge, having considered all available evidence adduced at trial and information produced at that stage, found that the assets of the BVI companies and other debts owed to the 1st Respondent were contributed to by the 1st Respondent’s proceeds of the specified offence charges, the trial judge will be entitled to regard their updated aggregated value as the benefit to the 1st Respondent. That new amount, which cannot be quantified at the present stage, could be greater than the amount quantified under the charges, and this greater amount could be the amount ordered against the 1st Respondent under the confiscation order.

This is interesting because the majority of Carson’s shareholding is via a BVI-based company called Great Luck Management – and we also know from the last set of accounts that BCFC has a debt to Carson Yeung. What this paragraph is saying is that these assets were bought by the proceeds of Carson’s crime (should he be indicted for it), then the trial judge would be entitled to order the seizure of those assets. To the untrained eye here, that says to me that there is no way Carson will be allowed to sell the club prior to the trial because the HK Government might decide to seize it – which of course complicates things further massively.

In short – whilst I hope that there will be a sale of the club in the short-term – particularly as Carson will fail the fit and proper person test if he is convicted – I am sceptical that it will happen and I think people need to rein in their enthusiasm somewhat until things are a little bit clearer about what is happening.

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24 Responses to “Paladini Rumours”

  • Griff says:

    If people haven’t already done so I suggest they watch ‘The Four Year Plan’.. Afterwards they may prefer Carson doesn’t sell.

  • letsby avenue says:

    Yet again AJ [sorry… I just can’t spell your bloody name properly :-) ]….a totally professional, supportive and referenced article.

    Can I do the trivia bit first? OK :-)

    ‘Johnny’ {Gianni Paladini}, tried to take-over Port Vale a few years ago – the ‘substantial investor’ according to Port Vale was his son – Stephen – who was ” a life-long Port Vale suppporter”.
    Growing up in Solihull, Stephen must have had some obscure attraction to Burslem. But there you go – now he’s a bluenose.

    Paladini in his last years as a football agent when he was Chair at QPR, shovelled in loads of obscure and pointless players, much to Holloway’s disgust.
    Paladini dealt with his mate-agents and by-passed Holloway, who had to absorb the influx.

    As you and some of us footie-junkies will know, Hollowway worked on the Barry Fry principle. Buy cheap, coach and develop and HAVE A FINANCIAL INTEREST in any sell on.
    i.e. a cut in any transfer fee.
    Sullivan stopped that with Fry, Plymouth stopped it too late with Ian H – but Blackpool, under the Oystons said it was alright and so each year we get Ian H building up prices for his players during the season, getting his wedge when they’re sold on.
    Paladini stopped that at QPR by allegedly taking a fee from his ‘agent-mates’ for the string of pointless imports that Holloway had to deal with – before his gardening leave.


    On Carson ?

    Are we all slipping into the vacuum ?
    To sell Blues is not upto a 24% (approx) shareholder, it will be upto the other 75% owners.
    That’s where any decision will be made to sell or not.
    Also, HBSC will have a tighthold on any potential sale…so it – yet again – it isn’t down to Carson.

    Carson Yeung may be the wounded Bambi in all of this, the guy to take the blame for everything, the guy to be accused of ‘pocketing’ every transfer fee.

    You know AJ, us footie-junkies know, Carson’s voice is now minimal as far as Blues go….his advice his hopes may be voiced, but Pannu’s remitt is to keep Blues – US – solvent and tradeable.

    But not to a character that has dubious and lengthy controversies in his immediate past.

    His son was a Watford supporter as well, when that deal fell through, much to the thanks of their fans.
    This guy is one I’ve been aware of for some years – I used to have dinner in the flats behind Loftus Road at my wife’s step-brother’s mums….:-) too much information OK !
    Paladini was suspected of a ground sale, a ground share, no input into the community or Academy which he wrote off and so on….a bad man to my near relations.

    He got in at QPR through connected investments – not his – he became Chairman and just took his cuts.
    As one QPR fan said – ” Our service debt is now £1million a year – we have never made £1million, ever, so how do we pay it Mr Paladini/”

  • Blueinthai says:

    If they have the same effect on us as they did on QPR that will do for me / Just look where they are now and where we are.
    Cant see CY or PP having any problem at all selling to whoever after the great way they have treated by some of our fans .
    De Jja Vu me thinks

    • Blue is the Colour says:

      Disagree… Sure QPR are currently sitting in the Premiere league with financial backing, but thats more courtesy of the New owners ambition and investment… Palidini has a lot of inconsistent and some what dodgy previous at other clubs he’s been to… May I suggest you watch the program ” Four year plan.”

  • Mickey07 says:

    Carsons got no choice but to sell,hes looks a defo goner…..not too sure about this crowd that wants to take over though??

  • Mark Y says:

    If thesPaldini took over the club the current slippery slope we are on would be become a an avalanch to the bottom of the mountain. No real money into QPR when Paldini was involved and there was constantl interference. QPR’s subsequent success has got nothing to do with that QPR regime. In my view nothing can happen until CY is either convicted or he gets off. Any serious parties would be foolish to move in before the result of the trial as they may well get a bargain if CY gets sent down. As bad as things have gone for CY he has never tried to asset strip the club like various owners have done at Pompey and has somehow managed to keep the footballing side on an even keel under the most difficult circumstances. Be careful what you wish for as I feel that the key criteria for the next owners is that they are genuine football people and not asset stippers or owners that want a plaything to interfere with like the previous QPR regime. What ever you say about CY is a genuine football fan and has remortgaged his own house to put money into Blues. In saying that I would be delighted if we could sell out to genuine owners.

  • JeffHallsClock says:

    It could only be Blues!
    Sadly, Seems that the only way we can hit the headlines now is through the “is he – isn’t he” debate about Carson or the continuous parade of potential suitors who allegedly enter stage left and exit stage right like mere spectres (or ghouls).
    Just a few weeks, and ……
    a) We will see last years Financial Statment – certainly will be dour news unless there is an
    effort to make the club appear to be saleable
    b) At long last Carson will (maybe – just maybe) be given his moment in court
    The sooner this whole sordid affair is sorted the best for all and we can get on with our lives – Forgive me, but Ken Wheldon really was worse?
    50+ Years suffering as a Bluenose – Forever Tireder and Wearier ;-(

    • dino tiltoni says:

      Whatever happens may be a case of out ot the frying pan….

      I’d rather be who we are than a play thing for rich arabs or russians.

      JeffHallsClock (love that!) …but it’s way too small.

  • Ray says:

    Who knows when this whole CY mess gets sorted out. As said before every fan should take any rumour with a pinch of salt. Can anyone tell me, is it a possibility that Chinese government could take
    over CY shares and BIH to sell to any investor. I guess we won’t know what will happen until a final verdict is declared for CY in China.
    Thanks for the info to date AJ

  • Mike Raybone says:

    Last season I reckon we made HK100 million profit (£10million)
    This year with sky, mutch, foster and the management team we should do the same
    Next year we will get £8million from sky and sell Redmond and or Butland to do the same
    That will equate to HK300 million

    Where do you think the money will go ???

  • RichardM says:

    My take on this is that it is highly probable that the court (and therfore either HSBC as the largest creditor or the Hong Kong government) will seize BIH and thus BCFC as an assett.
    Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing – neither HSBC or the HK Government really have the time, the money or the interest to run BCFC – they will look to sell it as quickly as possible to the highest bidder.
    At this point I think you will see a lot more potential investors start to show their cards. As with any house / defaulting mortgage the bank takes over – the asset is usually sold at a pretty cheap price to recover as much money as quickly as possible. If I were an investor even remotely interested in Blues, I wouldn’t show my hand yet, but watch and wait to see how things unfolded with Carson Young – with a view to acquring the asset at a knock-down price.
    The downside to this of course is you get an asset stripper like Paladini – but I’m curious as to how much he would make in profit after he’d sold every decent Bues player and the stadium – compared to what he’d have to stump up to buy the Blues – I just don’t see it as a “fast buck” in today’s market place, which is what these vampires are after. Serious investors view long-term returns, I think the days of buynig a football club for a “quick win” are over, given the current restraints on bank’s lending capital.
    Worse case scenario is the Bank / Government can’t find a serious buyer, which means this limbo plays on for a several years, and it’s the bank that starts to asset strip to recover it’s money….

  • Paulo says:

    I’m thinking that we’re in for a few more of these so called take over rumours, especially now CY’s initial date in November is now on the horizon. Problem is, there’s gonna be a plenty of parasites that could do more harm than good, as it’s pretty safe to assume the players wage bill isn’t going to go down, so profit’s got to come from somewhere! So now it’s all eyes on HK.
    If PP hadn’t of achieved what he had, we would be in such a worse position. Anyhow, I’ll wait until the day comes, as first things first ..and that’s the football on the pitch.

  • Atahualpa is a BlueNose says:

    I sincerely hope that the rumour concerning these fellows do not have any basis in truth or fact.
    If we think that the situation and ways of CY and his crew are baffling, we really have not seen anything yet.

    The chancers, shysters and playboys will be showing their hands over the coming weeks and months. In our effort to acquire new owners, we should not be prepared to step side-wards or even backwards. Unnecessary and unrealistic expectations will only further harm and set us back. Some will only view us as an opportunity to make a quick buck – cheap purchase price and possible dividends of going up to the EPL on a shoestring and getting the associated benefits.

    CY may even attempt to hold on to the club, should he be convicted, through intermediaries. If there is any possibility of us going up and securing the revenues awarded for being in the top tier, is there the chance that CY may ask PP to ‘manage’ the club whilst he serves any sentence he receives?? Plenty of convicted people run their businesses by proxy. It does not seem as if he will jump – only be pushed. Without BCFC there really is no CY business empire. Of course Almajir mentions that the court will try to freeze this (BCFC) asset if he is convicted. BUT. Surely he will appeal and not go down without a proper few rounds of toe-to-toe action. Unless the other major players in HK and BIH know that the end game is in sight, CY could conceivably amble along if all the bills are being paid for some time yet.

    This all contains many ifs and buts – convicted/cleared, court seizing the club/being sold etc…

    There is also the possibility – albeit slim in some people’s eyes – that he is found not guilty and resumes the reins to make amends for previous errors.

    All in all it is pure speculation at this stage and will make for some very interesting entries into BCFC folklore.

    • tmsblues says:

      I totally agree its going to be a long time until Carson goes to prison if convicted. He will certainly appeal and assuming he has sufficient grounds to be allowed to do so it will be another couple of years before he has to let go of the club to confiscation or alternate owners of some sort. I think this shoestring Blues nigtmare will continue for a whie yet. Whilst he owns around 24% of the club he appears to have greater influence than that shareholding represents otherwise as someone else remarked then any buyer could offer to buyout the remaining 75% and so effectively takeover ignoring CY.. This might be a possibility perhaps if Carson is found guilty regardless of whether he appeals as his Board cohorts may choose to desert the CY cause once the Court has pronounced any damming judgement.
      I for one would welcome any wealthy investor(s) to the club who genuinely wants to see the club as an investment plan designed to achieve success at the highest level. Birmingham City and its dwindling yet success hungry fans deserve their seasons in the sun and hopefully someone will recognise that those declining numbers could soon be reinvigorated with success and a bit of quality and style both on and off the pitch..

      • Atahualpa is a BlueNose says:

        It might be said that us, the fans, could be viewed in both a negative and/or positive light when one considers whether they wish to invest into/buy the club.

        The key will be want CY wants, and more realistically whether he can achieve it. The Board of BCFC is his. Maybe he is not the force he previously was at BIH; we can all agree he is the driver of that company.

        Who knows, we could all wake up one morning to learn that he (CY) has decide to knock it on the head and sell-up to the most realistic bidder. He may wake-up one day and decide he wants to fight it to the bitter end and will use all he has to try and salvage something. It’s a complex situation with many possible different scenarios. Just hope that it isn’t as protracted as it could be, and that it is resolved with the matter settled in favour and best interests of the club. Naive thing to say in all probability.

  • Mickey07 says:

    Mayor how come wm broke this story over Tom Ross who apparently have heard these rumours for weeks but never said a dickie bird to us supporters?is it a case of the BBC not giving a shite as they are publicly funded and don’t give a monkeys if they upset anyone down at Andrews??and a case of Tom Ross not upsetting anybody down there and towing the line…..talk about our local jurnos keeping us in the loop…well done the BBC.

  • pedantic pete says:

    QPR fans advising not to touch with a bargepole

  • dino tiltoni says:

    Just seen the BBC article and picture of Paladini. It’s obvious he hasn’t got much money otherwise he’d get his teeth fixed.


  • NooBloo says:

    there are too many teams in the Championship with a bit of cash behind then; however the neew ”fair play” rules and regulations should in theory start to kick in within a couple of more years.

    if this happens then it is more important to get thinghs on the pitch and in the Academy sorted out.

    Then if we can be successful there, then we become far more appealling to better and more well thought of Investors.

    A quick fix of a few million pounds selling the club could essentially be the double 6 roll of the dice that takes os to the dead of the large snake on the proverbial snakes and ladders board.

    Small steady concrete steps are what are needed at the club at the moment. Not quick fixes that may ultimately long term damage

  • Hughesie says:

    Guys – as a lifelong QPR fan, I feel obliged to reiterate that Paladini is a total disaster area. Most fans at QPR regarded him long before he was asked to leave as a cancer on the club. The day it was confirmed that he had finally left the club was a very happy day indeed for all QPR fans. He is an ex player agent, which says enough on it’s own to be honest. You won’t have any say in it obviously but I hope for your sakes that he does not get involved in your club.

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