Often Partisan

Are We Nearly There Yet?

Birmingham International Holdings yesterday made an announcement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, confirming amongst other things that “due diligence has been completed by the parties” and that “preliminary negotiations are still ongoing”.

Naturally, this has caused massive excitement amongst fans online and with this in mind I wanted to put together some analysis of what I thought, based on what I know and what I’ve heard both here in Hong Kong and in Birmingham.

Are Blues close to being sold?

This is the key question and the hardest one to answer – after all, how do you define “close”? The positives we can take from the announcement is the public confirmation that due diligence has taken place – this has long been rumoured from credible sources but it’s now affirmed by BIH in the public domain.  This is a key point – if a consortium is to buy Birmingham City they will need to have looked at up-to-date financial information and to do that they will have needed to come to some sort of broad agreement AND put down a deposit. To do both shows intent.

However, it doesn’t necessarily mean a deal is done. The deposit put down for due diligence isn’t that large compared to the money required for the purchase of the club (tens of thousands of pounds as opposed to tens of millions) and thus it’s not improbable that a consortium might look at the books and decide that they’d rather not negotiate further.

Rumours of a consortium conducting due diligence have been abound for about three months from credible sources. However, another key fact to take from this and a lesson from history is that publicity of any kind can easily scupper a deal. One only has to look back to Gianni Paladini’s pronouncements of September 2012 and how Peter Pannu reacted to them to realise that this is something that BIH will want to conduct in private. This isn’t just a veil of secrecy; stock market rules prohibit anything more than an outline of what is happening being released to the public eye and as I’ve said before, I wouldn’t want to be the one to scupper a deal by opening my mouth when I shouldn’t – hence I’m not going to repeat the rumours I have heard or where I have heard them from.

So in answer to the question, it comes down to what you see as “close”. There has been no announcement of a deal being agreed or being close to being agreed, so I think any hope of the deal being done by the end of September is out of the window; to complete the deal shareholder approval is required and that will take three to four weeks minimum.

However that being said there is every possibility that a deal could be agreed in that timeframe – unfortunately, there is just as much possibility that it won’t. The biggest positive we can take is that there is definitely a serious party (maybe parties) at the negotiating table and we can hope a deal will be done soon.

What is this about a “haircut”? And what do they mean by a “loan at subsidiary level”

The announcement makes reference to the liquidity problems that the holding company has suffered. In plain English, it means that BIH has run out of cash and is having to borrow some to pay the bills; they borrowed HK$20million (about £1.7mil) on August 1 for that reason. What is concerning to me is that amount alone wasn’t enough – the holding company is looking to take on another loan of HK$30million (about £2.5mil) AND to seek a further loan at subsidiary level – both by October.

My understanding is that this means that the company have had to borrow another £2.5mil on top of the £1.7mil that they already borrowed at the start of this month, and that to keep Blues going the club will also need to seek a loan – whether this means forward financing of a parachute payment I don’t know but it does seem to tally with rumours that the club is rapidly running out of money.

BIH have also mentioned that they are “negotiating with certain creditors to obtain haircuts to the relevant outstanding loan amounts.” Apart from being a horrific pun on Carson’s former profession, this is an important thing to consider. According to the accounts for the year ending June 2012 (which have an Auditor’s disclaimer of opinion on) the outstanding borrowings that BIH had were around HK$105million (about £8.6million) and in the unaudited accounts for the six months ending December 2012 that had risen to HK$109million (just shy of £9million). The fact that figure has risen to me shows that the money isn’t being paid off; the company are looking to take on or have taken on another HK$50million in debt and are asking the companies that they owe money to to consider letting them off some of the money owed. To my untrained eye that doesn’t sound good at all.

The only positive we could take from that is that it might speed up the sale of the club; if they are struggling to deal with debt it makes it more difficult to resist offers that they might not have ordinarily taken and thus the deal for the club potentially becomes more attractive to potential suitors. However, there is the corresponding negative that this demonstrative that the company and by extension the club are very much running out of money – and what worries me is that if the holding company are too obstreperous then we’ll see the scenario of the club going into administration which in the short-term would be hard to bear as it would mean a points deduction and probable relegation.

Is Carson going to walk?

I thought that section of the announcement was intriguing. It said that Carson had informed the board that “he will voluntarily suspend his management duties within the group on or before the resumption of trading of the Company’s shares” and that he would remain stepped back until his case was concluded favourably or he quit, whichever came first.

In effect, what he’s saying is that if and when the shares are relisted, he’ll take a step back. The operative word in that sentence being “if” – I believe that the company are still some way from having their shares relisted and it means Carson gets to stay in control up until such point he is no longer allowed to do so either because the HKSE force him out or because a criminal conviction forces him out. In effect, he’s offered to walk but on his terms and in his own time – which I think is a fairly clever move for him but probably not the best move for us as a football club.

Conclusion

I still think it’s too early to say that a deal has definitely been done – I know people want to believe that a sale is happening but I would still preach caution. However, it’s definitely a positive – it’s more information about events within the holding company than we’ve had for a while and it does seem things are moving in the right direction. We have to hope that they continue to do so and that we see a change in ownership soon, for the club’s sake.

Talking Points sponsored by John Hicken Industrial roofing and cladding materials

Tags: , , , ,

116 Responses to “Are We Nearly There Yet?”

  • RUPERT says:

    Is it like a family running out of money who cant pay the mortgage, borrowing money hoping to sell the house before the Halifax step in and take it.

    • RichardM says:

      Rupert – I think that’s an excellent analogy and accurately and succinctly sums up the current situation at BHL – that’s exactly what their doing.

  • Fange says:

    Friday you stated: “there is absolutely no word of anything happening out here”

    Today; “hence I’m not going to repeat the rumours I have heard or where I have heard them from”

    I take it the gossip has began then?

  • Barry says:

    If the cas position is as bad as it seems is there a danger that prospective buyers may just hang back until the club goes into administration just to secure a better deal?

    • KiwiJohn says:

      Maybe – but if the club goes into admin and we get points dedducted we WILL go down and life in League One will be nowhere near as attractive or profitable as in the Championship. The trick will be in the timing of the deal.

      • RichardM says:

        Yep, but wouldn’t you do the same in their shoes? Why buy something for £80 mill when you could probably get it in a fire-sale for a fraction of the price. I hate to say it but to me admin is looking increasingly likely this season. I hope I’m wrong, but surely it will get to the point when it will become a necessary evil before the club can be rebuilt?

      • chris says:

        28% of championship owners are looking to pull out so it’s not as attractive as it once was when they could plough in millions to gain promotion.
        Under FFP those days have gone.

  • Shane says:

    Pannu isn’t going to sell the club why would he when he is earning in excess of £1 million pound a year who in their right mind would do themselves out of that sort of wage what will be do if the club is sold what was he actually working as before becoming finance chairman or whatever it is he started doing when they took over the club (I know he was a policeman/barrister) but there was no mention of his employment before he joined Grandtop when they bought the club I have a feeling he is trying to relist BIHL and get money invested either that or he is going to try and buy the club with his wages

    • almajir says:

      Shane

      his employment prior to Grandtop was 15 years as a policeman and 12 years as a barrister… not sure what you’re getting at

    • StevieW says:

      Shane

      With regards to Pannu’s salary I think the overriding fact is that there is no money left in the pot even for his pocket. Haircuts and loans to keep things running is all that is left other than to sell blues and if I was a shareholder of BIH I would want rid of BCFC because the flow of money looks to be coming back to Blues to keep us playing football and not helping the shareholders dividends so to speak.

      • RichardM says:

        My biggest fear if they try and do something desperate and stupid like selling St Andrews as a lst resort? Let’s hope these clowns are gone before they can inflict lasting damage on the club – we don’t want to go down the same road as Coventry.

  • Lee says:

    Shane, he can only earn that money if the club can pay it, it can’t, what are you talking about

    • Wearynose says:

      What are you talking about? He did draw down and extract the sums which the accounts revealed, As a business, we couldn’t afford it but he took it out nonetheless! For a job like that £200k would be a fantastic salary but he took £1.6m. The difference would have avoided the sale of one of the better players who were disposed of. The ‘costs’ which many repeatedly cite as being the cross which we bear are extractions of the Pannu type and the sucking back to HK of the overborrowed money and it’s associated costs. Hardly anybody outside the club has the remotest clue about whether we could be trading in balance with modest expenditure on new players, and should have been so trading. My feeling is that with the size of parachute payments we should have been maintaining some quality in the playing staff and have been competing more towards the top end of the table.

  • Geoff Smith says:

    It sounds quite right to be preaching caution at this stage, although these announcements about due diligence seem like some sort of progress.

    On affairs such as this many of us have untrained eyes but is it factually accurate (as Shane implies) that Pannu has the final say in whether or not the club is sold and to whom?

  • sutton apex says:

    all great news – carson has finally realised a championship club cant make money, indeed it will lose money without alot of investment – aka notts forest.The new owners will have to invest and/or some sort of share issue to buy quality players at xmas – we may then have a great second half season and scrape 6th spot i hope

  • Agent McLeish says:

    Some random thoughts I have are:
    1. Would re listing of the shares improve the chances of a sale or would this just benefit CY?
    2. The frequency of the loans being sourced suggests a short term approach which could be good news.
    3. The legacy of all these loans however could scupper a sale.
    4. So have they already spent the money received for Butland, Davies, Redmond and all the previous sales? Where has all the money gone – certainly not on players.
    5. Next parachute payment, are BIHL holding out for this as well?

    • almajir says:

      Answer to question four – at the risk of repeating myself again – historic debts and player wages

      • Agent McLeish says:

        You sure?

        • chris says:

          first year in championship, year ending june 2012 i seem to recall the turnover was 39 million wages were 25 million of that and i think we owed 10 million from previous years account being in debt so that left 4 million to run eveything else the club does and pay off our loans to BIHL and Carson.

          • tom says:

            having seen the financials available through credit rating sites for blues i can confirm that all the player sales etc are balancing the books from historical losses i.e. during the prem years

  • Geoff Smith says:

    In the immortal words of Dougal McGuire of “Father Ted” fame, “Careful, Now”.

  • Bluenosesol says:

    It is worth noting that the club have had to take on a second loan in a very short space of team simply to maintain liquidity. On the surface this is very bad news, however it will focus the owners on the need to secure a sale before the money runs out. On the point of haircuts, I have tried to understand what they mean and am having difficulties as they appear to entail a write down of value of securities, rather than an actual reduction in repayments?

    • almajir says:

      Sol, for the sake of accuracy

      The holding company, not the club is taking out a second loan.

      • Dan H says:

        Clearly it’s a Rumsfeld situation

        There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.

        Maybe known unknowns ansd unknown unknowns will turn out to be knowns !!

  • darren says:

    al

    from the rumours u have heard are the prospective bidders ones that u would welcome to st andrews i.e. going to invest heavily

    • chris says:

      i am probably wrong but i thought i read somewhere that under FFP the most any owner can invest in their club is £5 million per season, which reduces to £3 million in a year or two from now.

  • Blueboy 88 says:

    As the financial noose tightens , desperate times require desperate deeds.

    The last asset of note is St Andrews, could BIHL sell , or probably worse borrow heavily against
    & secure a loan against St Andrews ?

    • chris says:

      not if the Blues Trust gets protective status in the near future, it has been applied for but i don’t know the status

  • Karsten says:

    Sounds to me like Tom Ross is the one that knows what’s going on. He’s being saying this for a long time. Ajay can you please ask Tom if he has any further info on this.

    • Taz says:

      And for a long time Tom Ross has been saying that a sale of the club is imminent. It seems to me that he doesn’t really know much more than the rest of us. He is just speculating in the same way that we are – albeit that he MAY be party to slightly more privileged information than us mere mortals.

      Anyone can predict that the club will be sold and, eventually, they will be proved correct. Tom predicted that that sale was IMMINENT and, in that prediction, he has not been proved correct. Why should we trust him any more than we trust anybody else?

  • bluenose1949 says:

    This is great news ,although to be treated with a degree of caution as Al says.But at least something us bluenoses can hope for to get us out of this nightmare.I believe any aces Carson may have held in holding on to our club are either going or are gone.I also believe that Carson is now being left with only one choice, that being to sell our beloved club.Thanks Al, for all your informative news to us fellow bluenoses during these dark times.We all hope the near future with new owners, will bring about a rebirth of the Blues.
    bluenose1949.

  • fingles says:

    Keep up the good work Daniel.

  • Brian king says:

    A ajar

    Further to BIH confirming that due diligence has been completed and that preliminary negotiations are still ongoing. This must be good news at least BIH must be talking to someone about selling. The big question is just how far down the line are they with the sale, I do think that something is going on. My only other comment would be if negotiations for the sale of the club do brake down the buying consortium may well come out and make public their attempt to buy and why it failed. I think the fact that the people in negotiations with BIH are keeping quiet must be good news also and shows that they want it to happen.

  • tamuffblue says:

    Like everyone I am pleased that the direction we are going in is the right one – Tom Ross I believe was correct ( although cagey ) Dan as you know being a journo is all about getting in there first so give Tom some slack – I also believe that Pannu wage is not soley for him – it is how his master is surviving !!!!!! ( cant prove it BUT who can prove anything where these two are concerned ( obviously HK judicial system hopefully ) So lets hope Dan – Tom – and dare I utter it THE BIRMINGHAM MAIL ( clue is in the name Editor !!!!!! ) keep us all informed and heres wishing !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • tom hill says:

    i said yrs ago we were nothin more than a cash card 4 these people and till we get rid we will be drained like a vampire does his victims, taking the lifes blood from its veins, i doubt theres been a club in football history thats been publicly raped pillaged and torn apart as blues has and still the FA have denied their part in the travesty, were in 4 the long haul and seriously long road back from all ov this and i hope as a team we can get stronger and learn from this and move on, rebuild from the bottom up and maybe in 5 yrs or so we will be able 2 mount a serios trophy winning challenge again and return 2 the prem in a much better and stronger position! KRO

  • Nicholas says:

    It’s certainly a cause for cautious optimism if nothing else!

    Thanks so much for your work, Dan. I’d be clueless without this blog.

  • zxcv says:

    I think they are getting very close to the point where they have no choice but to sell, and maybe even take what is on offer, or go into admin and get zilch. They can`t keep loaning money to pay for the running of the club and they have to show they are able to meet the costs for the season which they obviously cant, hence the loans. If there is no sale very soon imo and they keep running out of money at this alarming rate of knots then I think it will all come to a head (so to speak) very soon it has to. It also seems maybe Pannu is maybe taking a bit of a back seat and Carson is a bit more hands on, I hope that is the case as he has more to lose and like it or not its now decision time, take what you can now or go with nothing and we all lose out.

  • DoctorD says:

    Pannu, love him or loathe him, has always said any bona-fide announcements about the sale of BIHL would be made to the HK Stock Exchange and nowhere else.

    So the fact that he has made clear factual revelations on the HKSE is significant and a good sign. I think the club will be sold within the next six months.

    • zxcv says:

      Only if there is someone willing to buy it?

    • RichardM says:

      Sorry Doctor D – what’s there to love about Peter Pannu????

      • DoctorD says:

        Well, I’m no fan of him but
        a) he’s cut our wage bill to realistic levels
        b) he’s got the inner workings of BIHL on some sort of even keel
        c) he ripped up the dodgy Xtep deal
        d) he’s appointed two decent-ish managers and let them get on with their jobs.

        The people we should be pointing the finger at is Brady, Gold and Sullivan who sold us to Carson Yeung in the first place without really checking whether he was up to the job.

        • Chris Walker says:

          DoctorD, I have to disagree when you say we should point our finger at the Golds and co.
          Some supporters have very short memories, when they took over the bailiffs had changed the locks and the ground had no electricity and in a very sorry state of affairs.
          They built us a nice stadium to be proud of and left us in a credible financial position, it was the abuse of a section of supporters who made their position untenable and thus their sale to Yeung.
          They were successful business people along with Karen Brady did an awful lot of good for the club.
          In the two years of Yeungs reign apart from our Wembley triumph it has been downhill and the stadium is still not finished and never will be.
          Credit where credit is due, more importantly we can’t alter the past, they sold out and made a profit…. That is good business, they always were West Ham supporters.
          Get behind the club and the team, Yeung’s days are numbered at the Blues.
          KRO

          • DoctorD says:

            No, I think the Golds did a good job when they were in charge EXCEPT for selling us to Yeung. That clouds my judgement I’m afraid.

          • Chris Walker says:

            Fair point, but I think they knew what they were doing and made a nice little profit.
            Carson Yeung, in my opinion, came in with good intentions but did not have the experience and relied on others, I also think he needed somewhere to lose all the laundered money, though that will never be proved, or at least he had moved it before BCFC’s purchase, otherwise we can still be in the mire even with new owners.

  • dave mann says:

    weve waited for some good news for ages know so waiting till the end off september
    for a possible takeover is not a problem because its not as though they can do anything
    on the playing side till january anyway, so please, please please lets all keep our fingers
    crossed and prey that this saga may finally be comming to an end.KRO.

  • Ali Duncan says:

    Judging by the two loans it appears that the money has well and truly run out and the club (holding company) can’t sustain itself by flogging anymore of the family silver. This is clearly pleasing news as it looks like their hand has finally been forced.

    Like you I’m dumbing down expectation and simply hoping for football minded people to come in with a vision to take the club forward.

    • tom hill says:

      so weve bought no one, sold everyone, had 50 mil in balloon payments, remortgaged 2 the hilt less than 3 yrs after bein 10th in the prem and winnin the carling cup amd still the FA dont see this as a wrong un!! if it had been 1 ov the big 6 or a london team the owners wudda been dragged over hot coals by their balls by now! FACT!

      • Ali Duncan says:

        No denying the media bias towards London clubs but in effect what could the FA have done about this? The club didn’t go into administration so (luckily) no points deductions and we only had a transfer embargo for a relatively short period of time. Once comedy owners are in place those are the only sanctions they can really impose unless one was to go to prison.

        • tom hill says:

          the fa did not properly implement their investigations behind all new owners ov football clubs wen carson took over and wen all this came 2 light just washed their hands ov it all and walked away! if this had happened at a top london club i seriously doubt this wud have been done!

          • Ali Duncan says:

            Fit and proper? Too true. My point was that once they’re owners there is very little the FA can do about it.

          • tom hill says:

            again ali agreed but how did a man with his obvious dubious past pass the teast in the first place is a question the FA shud look long and hard at!

  • mark says:

    dan – ian danter on talksport been jumping on the bandwagon……….

  • Aussiebrumm says:

    BIHL have been obstreperous for quite some time, lets prey it changes now.

  • Pete says:

    The issue people have got to remember is- IF there is a takeover – what will it mean? Will it mean further investment? Will it mean stability or not? New management? Will it be before any administration? Could we end up like a Portsmouth going from one woeful owner to another?

    I think fans just need to have a cautious approach before assuming a new owner will be the end to problems and will be making investments.

    As for insulting Pannu, defining iminent or whether Tom Ross is right or wrong- I frankly do see this being anything but irrelivant speculation- lets hope the Evening Mail can actually find out who the owners would be. I appreciate what Dan says about previous comments spoiling deals, BUT it is in the interests to find out who they might be as I would not trust Pannu to sell the club to someone better if there are £’s in it. So finding out and being able to put a fans stance is vital. Believe it or not, different owners might actually be worse. Or there may be a better option than another, whom fans can put their clear support behind if it has any influance on someone wanting tobuy or pull out.

  • Chris Walker says:

    Thanks for another excellent of reporting, and information.
    In one respect this has to be good news for the supporters and club but it also confirms what we have all been thinking and saying for some time, the financial mess is worse than we were led to believe.
    I said at the end of last season we should take administration and give us a full season to catch up any points deduction. I still believe BIHL will see us into administration because any potential buyers will not have to pay BIHL asking price, thus saving themselves money, I hope I am wrong.
    We could have had new owners with a financial input to buy a couple of players rather than go cap in hand with a begging bowl or picking up any strays.
    Lee Clark has done an exceptional job under the circumstances, but imagine what he could have done with a few thousand in his pocket, might be the difference of shopping at Poundland to going to b & m. Just a little more quality.
    Let us hope that there is now a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel and not another train.
    KRO

    • Geoff Smith says:

      Hang on, Chris.

      Lee Clark had a fair amount of financial backing at Huddersfield and didn’t do a lot with it.

      • Chris Walker says:

        He did take them on a record breaking unbeaten run, I was very vocal when he arrived and looked at his records in depth. He did reasonably well at Huddersfield and though they sacked him it was his team that were promoted. Not sure how much money was made available but he still found some gems in the lower leagues.
        The last two managers walked because of the financial restrictions they faced, though neither said it openly, LC has got on with his job knowing the constraints and have never heard him complain once.

  • Tony says:

    Whilst realizing this will be greeted with a sigh and going slightly of topic b ut it does impact on the financil situation at the club.
    Marlon King I think I Read yesterday that a settlement had been agreed, Dan does this mean that we have paid him off irrespective of and if he finds a new club, if that is so we are no better of Financially for getting rid of him?
    Clark said last week he had more or less agreed a deal with someone but then other clubs came in,do you know if he has in fact signed for anyone?.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think that, if he’d put pen to paper anywhere, it would have been announced on bcfc.com by now. For me personally, the fact that we’re now into the FL season, would suggest that he’s considering a move abroad, where someone’s season hasn’t started yet? Just a thought.

      • Pete says:

        If 15,000 per week and and agrees a new club might be willing to pay him £5,000 he is going to want settlement from Blues. Blues would still be better off £10,000 per week. Or he could be due a loyalty bonus, which although I despise in football- the truth is he has not formally said he wants to go anywhere, it is the club saying they want rid.

        I am not sure how this cannot be seen as Blues being financially better off…?

  • dave mann says:

    any new owner, and i mean any new owner, will be head and shoulders above what weve
    had to put up with over the last 2 years, it might not end all our problems but it will end this
    particular cancer so any news is good news so lets stay positive and end this negativity
    around the club.KRO.

    • Pete says:

      Davebelieve it or not we could get worse owners. If we get people with no money and who cannot sell assets (that have already gone) and have other issues too you never know it could just mean the mes keeps on going. So although it must be hard to imagine that this could not get any worse, but you never know. So, all I am saying, is fans should stop this new view of “when the new owners and theiur new investment comes in etc” talk and just wait and see. The last Portsmouth owners would not sell the ground and wanted to build houses on it, having ‘saved’ the club from the previous nightmare owners.

  • dave mann says:

    he aint got the money for another club staffs if thats what your saying, even if he gets the 40 million
    he owes to much out so i cant se him seeing much of that to be honest, whod have him?
    why get involved again? he should just go away and not be heard of again in my opinion,KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I was answering Tony’s point about Marlon King dave. :-)

      As for CY… do they have prison teams he can invest in? Who knows.

  • DoctorD says:

    I think Pete above is right.

    New owners aren’t necessarily a panacea — out of the frying pan etc.

    Tell me why you would buy BCFC anyway. The club’s not sexy – never has been. The history is average to say the least. We’re not in London.

    The big pull is we’re one division below the Prem and have a big fan base and a decent ground. People will see us a cheap vehicle to make pots of cash if we get promoted.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      All valid points. But.. if they DO run us in the correct manner and they DO get us in the Prem.. AND keep us there… would they not deserve their pots of cash?

      No, we’re not in London.. and we’re not in Manchester or Merseyside either.

    • Pete says:

      Exactly- I do actually think that when Yeung first took over the club he was trying to make it a success. I do not like the man and hate what he has done. But who knows what agenda a buyer might have.

      Also the grounds and the crowd sizes are nothing to speak about even in this league. This is not helped by all those who feel they will stay away. Maybe now is a good time to come back, help get the team in a position which looks like there is something on the horizon for a new buyer. We have played 3 games in the league and could have won all 3, so a better attmosphere could make all the difference!

      • Ali Duncan says:

        I agree Pete but I wonder now if the malaise is too great for some and that perpetual apathy is also irreversible. Is it possible that we’re due a massive downturn in attendances again before the next starving for success generation comes in and we start hitting the giddy heights of 10th in the Premier and 29k average gates? Things happen in cycles so even with new owners I’m not sure that the missing thousands will come back.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I don’t think they’ll ever get all the fans back… but, you never know, with a successful team, good football and word of mouth.. they might tempt a significant few thousand back. Even 23-25,000 is a huge improvement on the last few seasons.

          • Pete says:

            No- I think fans will come back, but it just shows that many of the fans have been using the ownership issue as an excuse- and are just not bothered. The word fan is short for fanatical, so by definition you cannot be one from your arm chair.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      Pleasing to see realism. If you were an investor would you buy Blues? Personally I wouldn’t touch us with a barge pole. When you consider that on the market recently you had clubs of the calibre of Fulham and Leeds you’d be a complete nutter to invest in Blues over those two.

      However you make valid points that we have certain attractive selling points and we’d also cost a helluva lot less than those two mentioned. All about potential over cost and risk I would guess. Fingers crossed.

  • The Real Dave Mann says:

    Top story as always from Aljamir, fast becoming the only RELIABLE source outside of the football club.

    #teamaljamir

  • dave mann says:

    The Reak Dave Mann, nice to here from you bro, its nice to have a second oppinion by
    the dave manns it keeps everything very interesting. your right about aljamir, he does
    keep us well informed.
    as for staffs, sorry pal barking up the wrong tree about what you said, thought you
    meant CY, should have studied it more but i think king will go abroad and also hopeing
    carson jumps overboard.KRO.

  • dave mann says:

    if we do get new owners in soon, say all the right things, spend money, promise this,
    promise that and start delivering, then maybe we might see crowds of 23,000 plus
    but we would have to be pushing for the playoffs for that to happen, if we get owners
    in that dont have the ambition to push us on then we might as well just exept what we
    are and deal with it, because i for one wont and never will desert this club no matter
    what the future holds weather it be administration or premiership realisation.KRO.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      Can’t see it Dave. Those sort of crowds would only come right at the end of the season when we were right at the business end of the season. I think they wouldn’t reflect anywhere near a seasons average.

      If you consider the last two seasons in the Prem (one where we finished 9th) that both of the averages were 25k I think we’d be lucky to get an average of 23k in the top division and if we did that would only be because of the big guns coming to town and selling their full allocations.

    • Teej says:

      I’m Dave Mann…and so’s my wife!

  • Tony says:

    Pete we could have won all three but did not could is a big word, it will go down as three defeats.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Try, a win and two defeats. :-)

      • Pete says:

        Tony- I think your last comment shows your negative attitude to everything. We did not lose all three, you just act like we did. My point being that fans talking of how we are certs for being in the drop zone is premature 3 games in where with a little bit more luck against Brighton or Watford we could easily have won and we would be on the play off fringes.

        Go back to my point, do you think a vocal, larger and encouraging support at the games would make a difference?

  • Tony says:

    I have never considered Fulham a bigger club than us.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      Far bigger and far more attractive. A solid well established mid-table premier league club run on a solid financial foundation who sell out practically every week, have played in a European final in the last three years and actually give their manager money to spend.

      15 years ago I would have agreed with you Tony but times have changed. If I was a buyer or even a player I would chose to play for Fulham over Birmingham City everyday of the week.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Even with Al-Fayed’s millions, in 15 years, Fulham have still never got near Arsenal, Spurs or Chelsea. I doubt they ever will. They’re a mid-table prem team at best.

      Admitted, Birmingham City, at the moment, isn’t a fantastic draw, but we’re not that bad a prospect. Yes, we’re broke (at least, our present owners are,) but if some decent businessman/consortium took us over… we wouldn’t be. And it wouldn’t take that much to get us challenging for, at least, the play-offs… then, who knows what could be achieved.

  • dave mann says:

    when i said 23,000 Ali Duncan i meant and i said that we would have to be pushing for the playoffs
    to get that, not as an average and have new owners spending millions and keeping promises to
    bring any armchair supporters of there backsides and down to st andrews, i know we aint gonna
    get that at the momment because were in a mess but any sniff of achievement and they come
    flooding back like wembley like the europa league like the playoff semi – finals.KRO.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      And demanding 8 tickets for family and friends for each of those high profile big games of course ;)

  • dave mann says:

    fulham are a london club and play in the premier, we as birmingham city at the momment
    are championship and broke, no comparrison ime afraid but in the future……………?KRO.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Twenty years ago (1993/94) our average attendance was 14,506 and although we were relegated in 22nd place from the second tier to the third tier the figure represented a 17.7% increase from the previous season.
    WHY?……Because we had been bought by millionaires earlier in the season, which had given fans hope for the future. Indeed we gained promotion and won a cup the following season.
    Hope is what keeps us all going. New owners will give us all an injection of hope and increase attendances accordingly…….I hope.

  • geraldsquires says:

    Hang on people mmmmm?
    nobody has made an offer yet have they mmmmm?
    and if they do, who’s to say it will indeed be accepted mmmmm?

  • I hate to say this but despite the announcement about due diligence having been completed by parties (plural it would seem) what do we actually know? The answer is nothing; anything else that has been said is pure speculation so I’ll say it again, let’s just wait and see eh?

  • Bluehobba says:

    Mr Almajir, Do you intend delaying the publcation of your book so it may include the sale of Blues, that way you will have a happy ending.
    Or will there be a part 2!

  • Blue Steve says:

    Is the new loan for BIHL unsecured?

  • bill cridland says:

    please do not congratulate gold etcetra on the redevolopement of the ground,i think if you search you will find that most finance for the ground came from the football trust.remember those when we were in desperate need of a central defender bruce lined up a deal for paul scharner we ended up with a czechoslavakian milkman happy days indeed

    • Chris Walker says:

      I think you will find that the Sullivan and Gold’s paid £4.5m for the redevelopment of the old Spoin Kop, upon opening the redeveloped section Baroness Trumpington presented a cheque for £2.5 million on behalf of the Football Trust.
      Football Trust was a Government funded body to improve the safety of sports stadiums in the United Kingdom, the donation was given as a gift not for the rebuild in accordance of the Taylor report to those who were outside the then 1st and 2nd divisions, we were relegated and thus exempt to comply with the Taylor report, a list of those who have been given improvement grants do not include Birmingham City F.C. but our near neighbours received £3,476,361

      • Pete says:

        Did Gold and Sullivan infact LOAN the money to the clb and then get repaid back? Not bad for a £1m investment and a salary of £250k per year and a eventual sale of £80m. Thanks also to Gold for keeping his promise about the club he claimed to love and have in his bones when he sold it to someone who would be able to move the club forwards…… I was never in to abusing them, but also I think they had a huge part with us being in the situation we are now in.

        • Chris Walker says:

          Pete, from what I can find they got their money back from the sale, hence the profit they made.
          With the Gold/Sullivan ownership we went forward following Ken Wheldon’s and the Kumar’s tenure.
          The reason they bought the club on the cheap, so to speak, was because the club was in Administration.
          They walked away because a section of the crowd started to abuse them and questioned their commitment and they did not get any support from Birmingham City Council with the redevelopment of the ground or the surrounding area’s, something else our neighbours benefited from when their redevelopment programme was in progress.
          They were good for Birmingham City FC and provided the club with financial stability. Something that Carson Yeung has very rapidly whittled away with his asset stripping, hopefully he can’t sell the ground.
          KRO

  • Blues girl says:

    Why on earth is it taking so long for this club to find new owners when other clubs of a similar size eg QPR,Watford,Leicester,Notts Forrest to attract a new owner.Birmingham is the second largest city in the UK with very little competition,which is rife for a wealthy Russian/Middle Eastern investor?Can they not see the possible potential.cf Manchester City.It’s not as if Villa are comparable to Man Utd. The Midlands is crying out for a successful football team!

    • Pete says:

      Man ity were a top flight club with aund a plate and who regularly get good crowds as they have loyal supporters. We do not meet any of those aspects.

  • Knowle Blues says:

    Agree with Blues girl….We shouldn’t play down the potential of our club once established in Prem and new investors will hopefully realise this….We are the countries second City and are not surrounded by numerous other Prem clubs (like London or North West). Villa need competition in Prem the second City needs a prem derby – it sells tickets/TV rights.
    More importantly the Prem is now a global brand with international interest. We need to start thinking on a global scale and you need an international Airport and good transport links to the capital (HS2) to promote this. Our location is critical most other clubs don’t have this advantage…..

    • Geoff Smith says:

      Just guessing here as I don’t know all the details behind the sales of the clubs bluesgirl listed. Could it be that interested parties (of which the media would have us believe have been numerous over the past few months) are stalling and possibly waiting to see if Blues are finally forced into administration?

      Don’t forget Yeung is stubbornly digging his heels in and insisting on a higher price (is it £40million?) than many believe is currently realistic. Could the outcome of the CY court case be a factor in the minds of potential suitors? As I said, I’m only guessing.

      With the recent news about plural parties agreeing due diligence PERHAPS the sands are finally beginning to shift at St Andrew’s but many Blues fans are wisely not taking anything for granted and building hopes up too much at this stage.

      • Bluenosesol says:

        Geoff, due dilligence is not something to be “agreed”. The engager will do what they like with the info. It may be that both parties think that the fincances are basket case material or even that the purchase proposition does not hold water, in either case the result is that they walk away. I am not putting down our sales opportunity and like everyone else, I pray they do conclude that they will make a viable offer, but the engagement of due dilligence is a million miles away from a purchase and we could be back to square one after yet another false dawn.

        • Geoff Smith says:

          Thanks, Sol.

          I don’t claim to know all the ins and outs of the business world and, like many others, am not getting carried away with the stuff about “due diligence” (1 “l”?). I did say in my previous posting that “PERHAPS the sands are finally beginning to shift at St Andrew’s..” and, as many thousands of Blues fans know, the club has a history littered with false dawns and other forms of massive disappointment to build up too many hopes so maybe we are in agreement.

          The only thing to do is push those who are in a position to have access to inside info to keep supporters updated.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I hate the term “due diligance.” I got sick to death of hearing it when McLeish was around. It usually meant that there was bugger all at the end of it. It might well be the case this time too. All we can do is wait and see.


Personalised Gifts for a Bluenose
Haircuts and League Cups
Open Tax Services
Corporate Solutions UK
PJ Planning
Rodal Heating

Archives