Often Partisan

Open Letter to Peter Pannu

Blues fans representing supporter groups were informed on Tuesday at the Supporters Club forum that Peter Pannu wanted our questions in order that he may address them in in the near future via a statement. With this in mind, I have written a letter to Mr Pannu, which I have published below. Before anyone says it, this is from me, and me only and represents my opinion and my opinion only.

Dear Mr Pannu

I understand from the message passed on to us at the supporters club forum that whilst you couldn’t attend you wanted to have our questions forwarded to you so that you could address them in the programme notes. Whilst I run the Often Partisan blog site (and indeed this letter will appear on there), these questions are from me alone – I don’t want you to think I’m a spokesman for the fans.

Mr Pannu, I’m not going to insult your intelligence by asking you when you’re going to sell the club. I know that you’ve been in negotiations with various parties looking to purchase the club from Birmingham International Holdings, and that you can’t force people to pay the price required at the timescale required for the club.

However, what worries me is that as the sale process drags on, the club is slowly getting more and more mired in the wastelands of the bottom of the division, the team is suffering from a lack of investment and the spectre of administration – either for BCFC or BIH – is looming ever larger in the mind. You only have to look at the game on December 22 to have seen nine players who are under 20 – seven who are recent graduates of the academy and two who have yet to make their professional debuts to see how thin the squad is. Yes, the club have been unlucky with injuries but there is a wider problem with the lack of investment in the team that has led us down this rocky path.

So my simple question to you Mr Pannu is this – what’s plan B? What will you do if the sale of the club doesn’t go through, and any and all potential suitors decide not to pursue their interests? Have you got a contingency plan in place to ensure the club isn’t further stripped of players, devaluing it further and making relegation to League One an even larger prospect? Do you have ideas on how you’re going to ensure that the club doesn’t fall into administration which whilst losing us ten points and causing further grief on the pitch will make us Birmingham City fans more of a laughing stock with our rivals?

Now that you are Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Birmingham International Holdings, you are no longer in the position whereby you have no control over what is happening in Hong Kong with the parent company. Indeed, you have been busy, appointing auditors and whatnot – so can you tell us if there is a future for BIH ownership of Birmingham City? Is there a chance you could get that firm back on track and into a position whereby it can run the club itself?

Mr Pannu, I’m not expecting miracles. I understand that there are issues with confidentiality and legality but Birmingham City fans seek some sort of reassurance that things will be better – that you are doing what you can to ensure the brighter future of the club. Please can you break your silence long enough to tell us that there are contingency plans in place – that things are happening behind the scenes?

I thank you in advance for reading my letter, and wish you luck in your continued work to sell the club.

Talking Points sponsored by John Hicken Industrial roofing and cladding materials

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42 Responses to “Open Letter to Peter Pannu”

  • crothcer88 says:

    i bet i get a reply before you al pannu is a disgrace to say nothing to the fans fek him and i speak for many of our fans we deserve better no talk no trust

  • Mike says:

    I fear it will all come out in the wash when both laughing boys have gone.
    I suspect we will find out that BIH was in itself a money laundering vehicle and that there were no such bidders for blues from the Far East.
    We will probably learn to that Paladini was the only suitor but he was scared away so the terrible 2 could sell Butland and Redmond to recoup some money.
    The sooner these to go the better. Shady pair of so and so’s.

  • andy says:

    Its a fine letter and it couldnt be worded better, lets hope Mr Pannu gives it the respect it deserves.

  • Andy Green says:

    A very well put together letter that reflects the concerns of the supporters. I hope that Mr Pannu will respond in an equally forthright manner and address the concerns raised

  • swissjonny says:

    Vert restrained Almajir! Pannu will of course hide behind the Christmas break to delay replying.I suspect however that he will reply.Whether he hides behind the shield of confidentiality to avoid giving pertinent responses remains to be seen.A good letter non the less.

  • Mark Shand says:

    Nice letter and nicely worded. The only other areas I would like to know about is where we are with regards to the club being sold..? But at the moment I do not want to be greedy.. Any little crumb of communication that Mr Pannu may throw from the boards’ table for us fans to garb, would be much appreciated! Never felt so disillusioned with the club I love!! I had to force myself to go Saturday… I can’t say I was happy with Gold & Sully, but did they not say they would only sell to someone who had our club interest at heart??! And what of this fit and proper person malarkey that the premiership instigated??! Lmao!! They are a joke!! All of them!! This is my / our club here, and no one appears to give a flying sh*t as we are not a big club, and we are not fashionable!!

  • Art Watson says:

    Almajir,

    A very good letter and I’m pleased that you have taken a positive step and hope you get a reply.

    As you are aware I have also written to Pannu twice and I’m still waiting for a reply but I will continue to press him until he responds.

    In also think its a good idea for our supporters to do the same but not under any circumstances be abusive.Its about time the voice of the fans was heard as to date we have done very little to focus his mind on the way we feel about our great club.

  • RUPERT says:

    Great letter, you wont recieve a sensible response though.

  • Aussiebrum says:

    Obviously if there is a ‘plan B’ he couldn’t possible reveal it publicly – it would destroy any leverage he has.

    I’m more curious how he would respond to questions over the possible litigation he (and the other directors) could face from the 6% of shareholders not related to BIHL for breaches of the Companies Code. And if there were creditor losses, they too could join any action.

    The absence of serious independent directors at BCFC has been a concern I’ve written about for ages.

    What I’d really like though, is to ask Mr Panu how they propose to deal with a takeover offer. Will they appoint an INDEPENDENT ADVISORY firm, an investment bank with experience in football to advise the board? This would both assist the inexperienced directors (who all seem to live abroad as well) and ensure the interest of all shareholders is respected.

    Failure to take independent advice, or failing to adhere to the independent advice may be catastrophic.

    What will these guys do? Sadly we don’t know – but we really care, very much.

  • truebluenose says:

    You didn’t ask him to sack the Manager, why?
    Where do you address the letter too?

  • ChrisG says:

    Almajir, I for one would be quite happy for Pannu to reply to you personnaly in the strictest confidence with a reassurance for us supporters that there IS a plan B in place just to give us some glimmer of light. According to Mel Eves in yesterdays BM Paladini still might pull out if this goes on much longer.
    I think it’s time the fans were given some sort of explanation. KRO

  • Bluepenguin76 says:

    Almajir I haven’t sposted on here for a while,I must admit to being at a 15 year low with my support!!.I stil love the club, just feel totally helpless and pedestrian.Your words sum it up,fantastic letter!!.KRO

  • pipsy says:

    truebluenose, grow up you just don’t get it do you?

  • Mickey07 says:

    Pannu won’t reply to your letter….forget it…..he will come out with the usual nonsense in programme notes saying he is in talks with groups in hong kong and looking for new investment blah blah blah,heard it all before from him as his track record speaks for himself. Even as we speak paladini and pannu meetings have come to nothing And the italians are now considering there next move….pannu is only interested in what’s in the deal for himself and what he’s personally making from it and too hell with the supporters…..

  • Ali Duncan says:

    Nicely written although IMHO although there is without question a need for an ernest tone I always addressed correspondence to the previous administration by their first names . I suppose it shows how faceless and detached PP and the current board are to us supporters.

    I really hope if he does respond and that it’s not the usual standard BS tow-the-line response. Plan B is something he must have considered and I’d be very interested / concerned / petrified to hear what it would be.

    Good work Dan!

  • Bluehobba says:

    Morning all, reading between the lines, it says questions will be addressed in the near future via a statement. In 4 or 5 months time it will be 12 months since PP made his statement about advising CY to sell if there was an opportunity to do so (play offs programme if I recall). Just shows how long it can take. Hard enough trying to sell a house in this climate let alone a football club.
    Also, if we were to have an injection of cash tomorrow, How much would it have to be? what would blues fans be happy with? Enough cash to see us through to the end of the season with no players / staff exiting the club or would it have to be as stated plus enough to buy / loan a player/s. One loan player on £10k per week would cost close to £200k to the end of the season if we were to pay his wages.
    Have a great Christmas all.

  • Atahualpa is a BlueNose says:

    By saying at the forum that he (PP) wanted to invite questions that he would try and address, I really do not know whether he genuinely is trying to give us an insight into what is going on as far as he can, or whether he is treating us in a shoddy and contemptious manner and simply trying to ‘show’ he gives a crap. That statement that he made in the matchday programme during the play-off game last season was refreshing and startling in many respects but it alone does not make up for the way communication has been virtually non-existant from the Board. Truly poor and reflects badly on the individuals concerned, hence why most fans simply want shot of them now and are willing to accept anyone who looks as if they are interested in our club.

    Surely senior staff at the club are aware as to how distasteful supporters find the attitude shown to them and have relayed this back to PP. Either he ignores them or does not give it the due consideration it deserves. Nobody is asking for a lowdown on any discussions or finances being discussed – simply to know as to what is going on and what the immediate future holds.

    It says something in that we have to check the HK stock exchange for any announcements concerning our club’s possible sale and that PP has written to them more times than he has to us.

  • DinoTiltoni says:

    I think Pannu is aware that you unofficially represent a good proportion of us. Well done for being so restrained. It’s maybe worse situation than being owned by the hapless Kumar brothers all those years ago. I hope Pannu, Carson etc enjoy the bad karma they deserve.

  • Paul Carter - The Festive Voice Of Reason he says:

    I am glad to see that most of us can now see PP for what he is.

    It wasn’t that long ago everybody was saying (not me) what a top bloke he was and what a great job he was doing ‘running’ our club.

    Some basic facts need reiterating. PP is a barrister by profession. I believe his expertise is in criminal law not business law. He has a legal mind and is registered to practice in Hong Kong. No-one will convince me that he was doing anything in HK bar advising CY over his trial. The timing of his visit coincided exactly with Carsons court date. If there were interested parties in HK or China why wasn’t it reported in their press?

    BCFC is the first business that PP has ever been in charge of. Looks like he is now in charge of BIH also. The 2 are one and the same bar legal identity, BIH does nothing, produces nothing and is only there as the parent company to Blues. If I had little or no experience of running a business I sure as hell would not be trying to oversee a sale and all it entails. I would hire a company to do it for me. Even that is not easy as the BIH auditor shambles shows. I’m not a Gianni fan but the way his bid has been handled so far is unprofessional in the extreme. PP has stated that there hasn’t even been a bid but he hasn’t told us the fans that or anything else and that is where my patience runs out. Who is this guy to ignore us? We are Blues. The real stakeholders not faceless names on a balance sheet. All this talk of confidentiality is bullsh*t. Even before any talk of takeover we got zero information from PP. Face it, he couldn’t care less about us and why should he? The club means everything to us and nothing to him.

    Anyone with half a brain should quit moaning about LC and think more about the bigger picture and the absence of leadership from the man at the helm of our club. A club which only has 2 directors I believe one being 17!!! If you have to wave a banner wave one at PP not LC.

    Dan you may as well not have bothered with that letter mate but I get exactly why you have written it. Good luck to all Blues and enjoy the holiday and revel in the filths 8-0 loss. I’ll be at Barnsley and Bolton and who knows we may have a few more points after those. KRO everyone and what will be will be.

    • Atahualpa is a BlueNose says:

      Considering the hullaballoo that so, so many were fearing over the last 18 months and the doomsday scenarios being mentioned, to see the club still functioning and operating is a credit to its staff and the policies and procedures in place. How much of it is down to PP is debatable, but if we give him turds for some of the mess we are in then surely he is responsible for making some of the calls that mean we are still a going concern.

      He specializes in commercial law not criminal, and gained most of his qualifications here in the UK. He also obtained a master’s degree in football administration in order to gain some skills and knowledge about what is involved in this business. No doubt CY did/does have big plans for him and what they would achieve at BCFC. Running a club for them did not mean getting into the nitty-gritty of day to day duties, merely making the big calls as and when required. The fella has 30 years of experience in the police, practising law and for the last 3 years, running Blues.

      Anyone who has been around a negotiating table with him will tell you he can be ruthless, polite, rude, tough and stubborn in equal measure in the space of a few minutes.

      I cannot really say I am a fan of his although he has some ‘qualities’ you would need if you found yourself deep in the doo-doo as CY currently is.

      • Paul Carter - The Festive Voice Of Reason he says:

        I bow to your superior knowledge Atahualpa.

        When and where did he do this masters degree in football admin then? Was it before or after CY bought Blues?

        • almajir says:

          University of London, when Carson first took over.

          IIRC, Pannu realised he needed to know how to run a football club so went and took a uni course to learn how.

          • Atahualpa is a BlueNose says:

            Thank you Almajir.

            Mr Reason why oh why do you not spend more time in looking into the topics that you so freely comment on??

          • Paul Carter - The Festive Voice Of Reason he says:

            Al I didn’t know PP had done that as I said good information.

            Bit of a paradox though that he went and did all that but doesn’t get involved in running the club.

            I also didn’t know he specialised in business law either so all good stuff.

  • chudlt says:

    I feel that you have summed up my thoughts and feelings exactly and fully endorse your letter.

  • tamuffblue says:

    good letter – wont be replied to – why ??? because we – the supporters are a mere inconvenience to people like Peter Pann and sweeny todd !!!!! they as you stated days ago are not skint – but would love to gain the maximum financial gain for a gamble that never came off and if that means probs on the field then sobeit !!!! untill their pockets are somewhere as full as they would like – we ( the supporters ) just do not matter in the minds of these businessmen ( wry smile )

    On a lighter note thanx for the best blog concerning BCFC – av a merry chrimbo and lets hope 2013 finally seee,s the circus finally leave our town KRO – SOTV 8EM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Ali Duncan says:

      Well put tamuffblue.

      Without wishing to sound like an ar*e licker there really is nothing else out there that compares to OP for news, view and supporter interaction. I very rarely read The Mail or the official site as frankly it’ s all nonsense. On here you get clear, concise facts, considered research and regular and (mostly) intelligent debate. Please keep it up as OP is my bible and clearly a vital source of information for those Bluenoses scattered around the globe.

  • Ali Duncan says:

    I think that we all have to consider that maybe he doesn’t actually give a f**k.

    Once the club is sold then he walks away (probably with a nice little sweetener himself for brokering the deal) and will never encounter BCFC in his personal and professional life again. To PP it is purely business and as he will (hopefully) be walking away soon he will probably have absolutely no concern for the current “customers” feelings.

    Yes, he would want a happy customer base because that is appealing to any new buyer but I firmly believe the deafening silence for so long means he’s past the point of no return and I’m doubtful we (or Dan) will get any meaningful response from him.

    I’m normally a glass half full bloke but I just don’t see communication improving because ,in short, PP really only has to answer to himself.

  • skareggae72 says:

    Well put together letter,i hope other medias-local papers etc pick up on this story,increasing the pressure on Pannu etc to answer these questions,the clock is ticking.
    My thoughts are,he will answer a few but avoid the more difficult ones,the spin doctor in Pannu must be working overtime.

  • Evesham Blue says:

    Does he think he is the queen or something giving us a new year statement in the programme notes? I bet he puts a statement in the Cardiff programme. Too infrequent communication Peter.

    How does the club intend to go forward with a lack of investment due ohe owner siuation and so many players out of contract in the summer?

    Will any money be reinvested into the playing staff should player sales happen in January?

    I am assuming no takeover scenario.

  • Father Christmas says:

    Hope you all enjoyed you’re early Christmas pressie, Chelsea 8 Aston Villa 0.
    Ho Ho Ho He He He Ha Ha Ha, sorry,got a bit carried away there.

    Merry Christmas X

  • Bluenosesol says:

    My personal perception is PP and CY are fully engrossed in self survival. So much so that they have completely detached themselves from the day to day machinations of running the club. I can understand why Bluenoses persis in making an appeal for clarity and some comfort that a plan exists to ensure the viability of the club, once all potential suitors have rode off into the sunset. Unfortunately I am convinced that there is no intent to keep the fans informed and neither does a plan B exist. Our future will only change for the better once the pending financial storm has passed. Our best bet is that following administration, a wealthy benefactor will pick us up for a song after which the Phoenix will rise from the Ashes. To be honest, I lost faith with PP and CY eons ago and try to reserve my energies for supporting the club on the pitch. Forget the commercials as we can not influence them, just pray that we can find ten points of Blue Water between us and the relegation zone, should admin come knocking and get behnd LC and the team because at the moment that’s ALL we have got. KRO.

  • Oldbluenose says:

    Almajir;, I applaud your well constructed [ OPEN ] letter to P,P. !!.

    You/We, are well aware of constraints to fully frank replies, I,E, if there are ongoing offers being considered, Then confidentualaty, has to be obsereverd as is ” proper ” business dealings, ?. but that alone does not preclude answering the general questions you have presented as to WHAT is happening in the short term,!!.

    If we can elicit answers as to if/how, our club can survive to the end of this season, as a going concern, — Without ripping the heart out of our playing staff AND Club [ St Andrews ] backroom staff, — Which is a major concern, !!!!!!!!!!.

    Thanks for your Efforts on behalf of all suppoters, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

  • bluenoseb says:

    Waste of time he ent gonna answer shit and he just answer what he wants to if ur lucky, its as clear as day what everyone wants to no, how this idiot needs prompting into what questions to answer is ridiculous, as a chairman of our club shouldnt he know the questions fans want answered. The man is gutless sneidy little git who can only communicate with fans via a letter written in the program or HK press, he runs of to HK to hide for months on end with no end results so again not doing his job. As for a plan B i honestly dont think these crazy chancers no the meaning of the word, relegation proved that. When it got to this point last year when we sold rigewell and beasjuer that when plan B shouldt kicked in, not wait another year see what left of any value to sell. 1thing you might like to ask him is what does he think of his appointment of Lee Clark and hows he doin, cus not buying in to the bullshit, ye we had over half a team of youngsters on sat, but what about the other 22games before sat when we been consistently shit! When we lost at home to barnsley think we had to players of a full squad to pick from, so we are were were are through clarks carp managment and signing, not through having to feild a team of youngsters in 1 league game

  • ZarateImissYou says:

    Well written, Almajir!
    Peter Pannu is nothing but a company man for the owners.
    He works for them, gets paid by them and that´s it!
    He never cared about us – the fans, the heart of Birmingham City.
    Hope the new owners – and at the moment I see noone else than Paladini and his guys – will respect us and the club.
    I do hope they take over – no new owner can be as bad and non-commounative as the ones we have got now!
    Can´t wait to see the heels of Yeung, Pannu and whoever they might be.

  • Paul Carter - The Festive Voice Of Reason he says:

    I can still see him waving his wallet at us hardy souls who travelled to Maderia.

    • Atahualpa is a BlueNose says:

      And you were so easily offended??

      • Paul Carter - The Festive Voice Of Reason he says:

        Yer trying too hard now Ata,

        Where does it say I was in the slightest offended?

        Did you see the incident mate? Did you go to Maderia?

        • Atahualpa is a BlueNose says:

          VOR

          I did not say you were offended – but you must have been for it to have still been worth mentioning.

          If we all took this type of angle with PP how successful do you think Almajir would have been today with trying to contact him??

          I was not in Maderia but have heard first-hand accounts and those by reasonable folks. PP was being baited and he took it and waved his wallet. If he still let it fester, would he not being thinking “Why take them seriously if all they do is take the p*?! ??

          I rarely go away to matches but do not believe that entitles one to become more or less of a passionate supporter, after all, just because my family has spent tens of thousands of pounds at Blues through season tickets, corporate boxes and entertainment – as well as sponsorship, it does not give me a greater voice than any other Blue.

  • Tony Downing says:

    The Owners. Managers & Players come & go .the only thing that is loyal & constant is the Fans to the Club they love.Mr Pannu if you have any regard to the Supporters of this Club then sell now whilst there is still an opportunity for the Team to do something in this Division, if you wait then the likely senario is that we will just about avoid Relegation, the price of the Club goes down so there will be no Winners.Its the season of Goodwill & Cheer so the message to the Fans is that the Paladini offer will be recommended by you to the Board . A very Merry Christmas to all Bluenoses lets hope its a Happy New Year………….

  • Blueboy88 says:

    Good Effort Almajir , hope you get the courtesy of a reply , but best not hold our breath..

    Plan B is back to HK to try & revive the dead…….is there anybody there ?

    Plan C Sell Butland & King

    Plan D Administration & 10pt deduction

    Happy Christmas – KRO

  • Dan B says:

    Any idea how Mr Pannu’s going about his efforts to sell the club?? For example has he been using previous business contacts to try and set up a deal with somebody who he or Carson have had dealings with before? Or has he been waiting for any interested parties to contact him??
    Just curious as to how he’s going about things both in the U.K & Hong Kong


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