Often Partisan

Paladini Again

It’s emerged in the last twenty-four hours or so that Gianni Paladini is very much back in the running to take over control of Birmingham City Football Club. After James Nursey‘s article in the Mirror mentioned yesterday, Neil Moxley of the Daily Mail has also written about the Solihull-based Italian’s attempts to buy the club from Carson Yeung.

Paladini is clearly quite serious; indeed, he was spotted by Colin Tattum of the Birmingham Mail at Elland Road yesterday and it seems that if reports are to be believed he has upped his offer considerably to the sort of range that Carson was allegedly holding out for.

However, what intrigues me is what Neil Moxley writes about Paladini trying to work around the Football League rules – the implication being that Paladini may fall foul of the fit and proper person test. The test has come in for some flak; there have been comments on this site about how some fans feel the FL and Premier League failed Blues in not testing Carson vigorously enough prior to his purchase of BCFC. The rules have been tightened up somewhat and the inference that Paladini may fail the test – something I can’t confirm and wouldn’t want to attest to – is a worrying one as I’m sure many Blues fans will agree that the last thing that BCFC needs right now is more financial strife.

Should the takeover go through the real test of the rules will be the way that the FL interprets any involvement Paladini has if he really does fall foul of the test. This article by David Conn in the Guardian about the takeover at Portsmouth explains how someone can potentially fail the test even if they aren’t a director or owner if it can still be proved that person exerts control of the club. The rules have been tightened so that a “shadow director” can be disbarred from being involved with the club if it can be proven that they exert control on the club in the same way as a director would without being on the board of the football club. In layman’s terms, the test now tests not just the puppet but the person holding the strings – although I guess the difficulty would be proving just how much control someone has over a “puppet”.

Whilst some fans may be anxious to see a takeover happen I don’t ascribe to the view that “anyone is better than Carson”. I remember at the end of the previous board’s rule that there was a feeling from some sections that anything would be better than the stale feeling that pervaded the club in the last days of Sullivan and Gold but the truth is whilst some things definitely improved – such as the way the club is run on a day to day basis – others didn’t, such as the financial stability.

I will confess my personal feelings that I’m not totally happy with the idea of Paladini taking over. I’ve heard and read a lot of what he has had to say and I’m not completely convinced that he is the right man for the role; furthermore the fact that there are supposed doubts about him being fit in the eyes of the League to take on the club worry me greatly and if he is serious about taking on the club I’d like to see him front up about those potential doubts and give us some kind of reassurance that they are nothing to worry about.

However, the bottom line is that the decision will be made by Peter Pannu – and I suspect that decision won’t be about what is best for BCFC but what is best for Carson, for Pannu and for BIH. I hope for the sake of the club that decision will coincide with what is best for the club but until it happens we will not know for sure.

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36 Responses to “Paladini Again”

  • evesham blue says:

    Paladini cant be worse than a man on money laundering charges surely?

  • Andy says:

    Please god, no.

  • Letsby Avenue says:

    The ‘Fit & Proper’, and other rules governing Premier and Football League, are to do with standing convictions, disbarments and exclusions (bankruptcy etc).

    If Paladini is free of all those disqualifications then nothing can prevent him from being involved.

    Neither the PL nor FL have the resources or legal ability to investigate individuals that goes beyond what is in the public domain.

    To my understanding, we are back to the Bates and Leeds scenario with Paladini. He isn’t a mutli-millionaire, but is fronting a consortium of un-named Italians.
    Much as Bates did with his un-named backers.

    That, to me, is where he may come a cropper with the football authorities. Bates and Leeds made them tighten the rules.

  • bluenoseneil says:

    I am afraid it’s a no from me. You only have to Google Paladini and read one or two articles about him to convince yourself it’s a bad, BAD idea to have that man at the helm of Blues. My personal feeling is that 6 months in we’d all be planning a jailbreak for Carson and chipping in to help him buy the club back.

    Lets find a more credible candidate to take our club forward, please

  • Bluenose_68 says:

    It worrys me as well the attitude of ‘anyone’s better than Carson’. Look at Portsmouth…a string of poor takeovers, each one causing more problems for the club.

    On the Friday Tom Ross show there was some idiot who said he liked paladini because he shows a bit of passion. Absolutely mental. It’s like saying you rate a player because he runs round pumping his fists and shouting a lot.

  • roy says:

    Anything with kettle head Ron Atkinson fudging around with worries me even more than Paladini

  • jon says:

    ive said all along i dont want paladini and his pizza loving mates. so he was spotted at elland road yesterday was he well let him buy leeds then

  • carlos says:

    Lets be honest, we all know deep down we are not going to end up with a billionaire or even a bone fide, successful or even competent business man with a structured plan for the future.We are going to end up with another chancer like Sullivan, Yeung, Palladini because that is the world they live in, they are the contacts they make, and that is how they work. You only have to look at Portsmouth to see the way these people operate.The fit and proper person test is not worth the paper it is written on, if indeed it is written at all.
    In my opinion, we will not even see a full takeover, remember Pannu stated he was looking for investment not a buyer, and I believe this will come from HK/China with a lot of smoke and mirrors and no disclosure. I hope I am wrong as I believe even Palladini would be preferable to this.

  • Dan H says:

    The only saving grace for having Paladini will be that he will see Blues as another QPR and look to sell quickly.

    He knows getting back to the Premier League will increase the Value, if the owner after Paladini is someone similar to TonyFernandes I will be more than happy.

    Let’s hope we get a decent owner first rather than the Paldini circus !

  • jonny says:

    ive said all along i dont want paladini. so he was spotted at leeds yesterday well let him but leeds then

    [comment edited]

    • Steve says:

      “jonny says:
      October 28, 2012 at 8:10 am

      ive said all along i dont want paladini and his pizza loving mates. so he was spotted at leeds yesterday well let him but leeds then”

      That is a racist comment.

      sorry, missed that one. I’ve edited it… and can I please ask people to refrain from the xenophobia etc. Thanks

  • bluey says:

    Any news on the potential other bidder? This Italian can shout as much as he wants but there could be a better option. We need a Chairman like Stoke have, local Businessman with local connections unless a Billionaire comes along. The thing is that won’t happen to Birmingham because they like clubs with new stadiums, not clubs with grounds in one of the most impoverished inner city areas of the country. Small Heath will never be fashionable.

    • John says:

      Sullivan and Gold wanted to build a new stadium and re-generate the area around Saltley,which may have also generated a lot of jobs, but Birmingham City Council failed to back them. They were too thick to realise a successful football team brings money into the City.

  • andy says:

    Apparently Paladini has been at most games, including Millwall and Leeds and he and his backers are upping their offer to £30 Million i understand?

  • Scoobers says:

    “While Paladini was around, QPR were only ever three weeks away from another disaster. Whether you think he was malicious or not, I’m sure we can all agree that he was incompetent”


    Makes CY and PP look like saints

  • andy says:

    Whilst i can understand Carson will want to take the money and run i sincerely hope Peter Pannu will do his diligence will sell the club to a group who will have the best interests of the club at heart and move us forward again.

  • Mark Y says:

    I firmly believe that CY wants to sell before the court case because of the fear of the sequestration of his shares if loses his case. Some buyers might wish to play a waiting game to see if he loses and therefore obtain a bargain, however, I think CY will opt for a quick deal rather than risk the deal going through after the result of the case. Although it has always been common knowledge that CY owns only a monority 25% of the shares in his name, the fact that he hs always had complete control over the BCFC and BIHL suggests to me that he owns more shares which are held possibily through another vehicle, therefore, he ultimately is the decision maker. I am veru nervous about Paladini particularly with the Briatore connection. Whatever happens we are in for intersting times.

  • Mickey07 says:

    Paladini…out of the frying pan into the fire……got a feeling pannu is going to stitch us up,as he will do what’s right for his pocket and to hell what the supporters want….

  • Alex T says:

    The only positive about Paladini is that he IS local and his son is a genuine Blues fan…..

    Im still gritting my teeth though, it would be a rough ride with Paladini at the helm :-/

  • Geoff says:

    Would much rather ownership passed back to someone local. At least they do have some form of accountabilty. To a foreign owner we are simply an asset which can be disposed of as they see fit with minimal effect. Better the devil you know where he lives.
    Almajir – due respect for your insight and your time in keeping this website going, it is excellent and would be interested to know how you think we could realistically do better.

  • Jimbo says:

    Perhaps he just went upto Leeds for the trip? I heard rumours of their being a 30y Zulu anniversairy or some nonsense like that. He was quoted as saying he’s buddies with some of the Zulus when he last lodged a bid.

  • Art Watson says:

    Do you think the average supporter cares too much about ownership?

    If the new owners invest in payers/replace the manager and gain promotion to the prem I don’t think the fans will care too hoots about who the owners are.They just want a successful team paying attractive football

    It’s just my opinion.

  • AR says:

    No matter what one thinks of CY and I think we all acknowledge he was very naive, he did put a lot of money into our club. It involved personal not just corporate money and he is having to face the awful consequences of that. The money-laundering is still just a charge at this stage and he may be proved innocent or not. But I believe he wanted the best for the club but made a mess of it. For those who think he has taken money out, just think of the loan he has given the club and the fact that he will be lucky to only lose £40 million on his purchase. My fear is that PP is CY’s man and so his remit will be to get the biggest amount for a sale, notwithstanding who the buyer may be. What one can read about Paladini is not very encouraging, and when he said that he was friends with the Zulus (apparently thinking that would endear himself to us), I felt it showed what calibre of buyer we might expect. I only hope there is someone else of a better kind.

  • TrueBlueForever says:

    Friends withe the Zulu’s. it’s just Italian nonsense thinking its good to be in with the hooligans. Read about it in Italy. Quite frankly it’s complete stupidity and the press will have a field day when Paladini is condoning a pitch invasion at Villa Park. Pathetic.

  • Oldbluenose says:

    Almajir;, How much credence do you put in this latest Paladini offer, !!.

  • Paulo says:

    I’m starting to really think that Pannu has already got this deal sorted in the direction he wants, and now Paladini bids again.
    In short, a lot of this might just be hype, a small amount of it might be truth. Really though, Pannu will sell to who he sees is going to give the most ..’for those in current control of BCFC’. What the fans think is not important and it’s not going to make a bit of difference what we say. Anyone who thinks loyalty is on the agenda here could be mistaken, and past history has shown the good intentions of previous owners when they start here.
    God help us.

  • Blueboy88 says:

    According to the Telegraph report its almost a done deal –

    It’s understood that Paladini’s bid does, despite his denials, include Flavio Briatore, who was formerly a part-owner of QPR, and that their consortium is offering just over £15 million as an initial payment for Birmingham.
    This will be supplemented by a further £20 million in investment – mainly on the squad – and another £10 million should the club return to the Premier League.
    It is understood, according to sources, that the deal is “90 per cent” concluded, but Birmingham yesterday denied that any agreement was imminent.

    Briatore is another interesting google…!!
    He surely would have no long term interest in BCFC & would only be interested in preparing the club for sale , & profit , similarly to QPR.
    On the plus side Premiership status would have to be a pre-requisite of any successful sale , so in true Birmingham City style , it would be never dull…!!

  • jazzzy786 says:

    From what I’ve heard there are bigger offers from people in China/HK, India and Thailand. None really fill me with confidence. Paladini is friends with a lot of dodgy people and the phrase out of the frying pan and into the fire springs to mind. I don’t know anything about the other interested parties but I can see BCFC going from one secretive Chinese owner to another meaning they could keep matters in house.

  • B25dave says:

    nothing is known about the other bidders or if it is then its not being disclosed…this gives us little opportunity to determine just what we are likely to end up with.The majority will view a new group coming in that pushes for the Prem immediately as good news..im not one of them.If any new group comes in and operates on a loan and debt leverage policy we are in trouble in the long term.We need investment and stability which could mean more championship football but in return a healthy stronger club…i know which one i would choose.
    We should seriously worry at any group prepared to pay over the odds again for the club…which now has less assets than it had before CY and his group paid £81 million.

    • Oldbluenose says:

      B25dave;, I have been ” banging on the same drum ” as you for ages now, My fear is a repetion of overseas aquisition for ” glory “, and no real interest in the club and fans for their own sake,!!.

      We desperately need someone who wants to re-build our club properly and gradually for the longer term, When we are eventually promoted back to the Premiership, The aim must be that we STAY there,

  • sirharry1875 says:

    We currently have an owner who, if things were different, would not want sell. But he has no choice therefore we will be sold to the highest bidder. Pannu will act in Carson’s/his own interest. If that means its to another far east consortium then they will sell without any regard for the future of the Club. Sullivan and Gold did exactly the same.

    There isnt, and never will be a billionaire willing to spend freely on our Club. So its seems its either a faceless consortium headed by people who could’nt even tell you what colour shirts Birmingham City wear. Or a local businessman who wants to buy the club his own son reportedly supports. A man who has stated his desire is to get us to the Prem. He is not stupid and he knows, like every single one of us that in order for us to get promoted there needs to be investment. Therefore i’ll take that. He’s the only one who has stated his interest and wants the same as me so he has my backing.

    • John says:

      Quite right sirharry. I am amazed how some supporters say they don’t want the Italians,but they do want someone, who they know nothing about ! Maybe things did not go right for them at QPR, but they may have learnt a lot, from that experience. We need to move on from the Hong Kong connection and,in my opinion,from any dubious far east connections. We are reliably informed that Paladini,lives locally and is indeed a Blues supporter,so we need to give him a chance. If things do not work out,at least we know our complaints will be heard and listened to. We have learnt that you can’t trust someone who lives thousands of miles away, lets give some close at hand a chance. KRO

  • I.L.Roth says:

    We are going nowhere at the moment with the present owners ;so lets hope that any new ones will be keen on us going up and securing the Premiership money. We will never know how Paladini will work out unless it happens. The only doubt I have with this offer is that he and his backers have not got enough money to see our team do well and go up. He may be a millionaire but that is not enough these days.
    I feel Carson did his best under the circumstances.

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