Often Partisan

Full Circle

Whilst the media circus around Birmingham’s finances seems to have quietened down a touch here in the last couple of days, it’s still fairly frenzied in Homg Kong – so much so that yesterday Carson Yeung has had to threaten libel action against one weekly magazine in regard to an article that they published on Tuesday. The magazine in question, “East Week” is known for it’s rather salacious style of reporting, and as such it’s gone for a controversial angle with regards to Yeung.

With the prospect of libel action hanging over the magazine, I thought it prudent not to link directly to the article in question; without course to a lawyer I’m not sure of what I can and cannot say about the article itself so I have decided to be conservative and thus as vague as possible. In essence, it’s making more lurid allegations against Mr Yeung than have been made in the press in this country; they’ve published a picture of one of Yeung’s home properties in the most lucrative parts of Hong Kong, along with a picture of the land that is part of the ongoing land deal that Birmingham International Holdings is undertaking. They’ve quoted an insider source as saying Yeung is up to his eyeballs in debt – which would be bad news for Birmingham City since it’s been effectively stated by Peter Pannu recently that the club is reliant on Carson Yeung for injections of cash. Yeung has dismissed this as untrue.

Carson has also had to contend with the media in Hong Kong picking up on what has been reported in the mainstream media in this country, and all the talk is of cashflow shortfalls and of losses incurred by the parent company of Birmingham City. What does seem to be true is that there is very little new reporting being done; barring the exposé published by “East Week”, many outlets are basically republishing the same story over and over that has been in the press here. That, and the fact that there doesn’t seem to be any panic eminating from the club itself is giving me a little heart.

I said before that as Birmingham City fans, there isn’t much we can do right now but enjoy the ride of the rollercoaster that is to come. It would appear that the shareholders in the parent company are doing much the same; whilst the share price has dipped a little bit in the last couple of days, shares are still trading higher than they were at the start of the year. It would appear that many have accepted the explanation that the uncertainty regarding Birmingham City’s position in the Premier League next year is the main reason that our financial situation isn’t as good as it could be; with guaranteed PL football next year comes guaranteed TV revenue that is far in excess of the parachute payments that the club would be entitled to on dropping a division. Also it’s been noted that Birmingham City are paying some players much higher wages and that along with bigger transfer fees have hit the books a little bit. Carson has stated that he would like some outside investment to come in – whilst he is doing his best to diversify BIH and to increase revenue streams I think an injection of cash from another investor would give some welcome relief.

And so the whole thing has come full circle, as to me it seems it’s back to results on the pitch that matters most; continued survival in the Premiership is a must if the club is to continue growth and to improve on the great strides it’s made in the last two years. With ten games left in the Premier League, Blues have their destiny in their own hands – as fans we may not be able to do much about the financial side but we can help spur them on to better perfomances in our remaining games.

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