Often Partisan


Earlier this morning, Carson Yeung has signed another deal to bring the “Birmingham” brand to China; this time in Dafeng. We already know that Carson is trying to do a deal to bring a parcel of land in Liaoning Province into the hands of Birmingham International Holdings, the owners of Birmingham City, and this looks like another potentially massive deal.

The “co-operation project” Carson signed was one of twenty six, and was reported by the financial newspaper Hong Kong Commerical Daily this morning. The total value of the deals is about £1billion; no breakdown is given as to how much it’s worth to Carson and to Birmingham International Holdings. Reading through a rough translation, it states how Dafeng, a city on the eastern coast of the People’s Republic of China (about 2 hours drive from Shanghai) is growing as a port, as a manufacturing base and as a tourism destination. It goes on to state that the municipal government in Dafeng is signing this co-operation deal to help bring investment to the city, and that it intends to do what it can to help that investment succeed. That may not sound like much, but from talking to people who have dealt with Chinese businesses, having the bureaucracy on your side is a big deal; without it your deal isn’t going to happen.

What does it mean for Blues? Right now, I can’t see that it means a lot. Despite the Birmingham Mail claims that the club were set for a windfall with the Liaoning deal, that has not yet gone through and is going to cost the holding company a fairly hefty wad of cash (£15mil) to set up. The terms of this co-operation deal aren’t published by the newspaper; nothing has been released officially by the holding company and as yet I can’t find much else online about the deal. Thus one would have to think that at the moment it’s another long term project that is a bit pie-in-the-sky, until further details emerge about it. However, the fact that Carson is continuing to find these deals is promising, and you would hope that if it’s worth a lot of money some of that might come Birmingham City’s way.

On the other hand, I don’t think we can take it as meaning Carson isn’t skint either; the fact he might have to mortgage his house to fund Birmingham City’s cashflow still worries me slightly, although again the lack of any further news from the club or the holding company about us not having any money (and the fact the share price is still holding steady) leads me to believe that no news may be good news. The only straw that I can continue to clutch is that of networking; I keep saying this but it’s worth repeating – Chinese businesses (and for that matter most businesses of that area) make great importance of connections and networking. Deals like this can only show that Carson is well connected; hopefully these connections will continue to show and Carson will continue to be able to fund the club in the ways it requires to improve it.

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