Often Partisan

The Great Leap Forward

It’s been a week now since Peter Pannu returned from these shores to the far east and in that week the sum total of official word on a potential takeover remains at absolutely zilch despite the rumours flying around – in the newspapers as well as social media.

I’m going to give my opinion now and add some speculation, and as always I invite you to treat speculation with the scepticism it deserves. I’m not going to say that I know anything that is going on because it’s my firm belief that no matter what people think they know in Birmingham it’s a different story in Hong Kong – and I think out there only Carson truly knows what he wants to do. As evidenced by Pannu’s statement even he isn’t sure what Carson is up to.

As I said very early on Monday morning, the acid test of any rumours of official bids would be how long it will be until we heard something from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. It’s been a week now (and I understand nothing will happen on Monday either as it is a public holiday in Hong Kong) and there has been no report of a bid being negotiated, much less received or agreed. What this means is despite all the rumour as far as we know nothing is happening – the company must announce if they are in the process of negotiation to the stock exchange.

I can understand how it’s unnerving. Rumours of official bids going in, of solicitors meeting with the club, of Pannu and Paladini meeting face to face have all done the rounds and are all backed by some fairly credible sources – and yet nothing official has been mentioned. Indeed, if I was Paladini and I thought I’d got a deal agreed with Pannu I’d be pretty miffed right now – because every week of delay of getting shareholder approval takes us a week further into the season and potentially lessens time for any new owner to make positive change in the club to affect this season.

What doesn’t help is that there are other people muddying the water; it’s a fact that Carson has asked people other than Pannu to sell the club for him and I must admit, if I was in Pannu’s shoes I’d feel a little like my nose was put out of place by that, maybe a little undermined. For all the grief Pannu gets he’s a human being too and I can sympathise with him a little because it would offend me in that situation.

If I could speak to any potential new owner of the club, my advice (after saying I personally wouldn’t buy the club except out of administration anyway) would be that if you seriously wanted to buy the club, the time maybe has come to set aside the middle man. I’d encourage them to get onto a plane to Hong Kong, to make direct contact with Carson’s solicitors and to get them to get in front of the man himself. It’s my firm belief that as much as anyone has tried to agree a deal here in Birmingham the only place it can be properly finalised is in Hong Kong – and that until someone makes that great leap forward of six thousand miles any bid is potentially doomed to failure.

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71 Responses to “The Great Leap Forward”

  • KazakBlue says:

    A very good and balanced article yet again, and the most sensible proposal listed as yet in any forum or daily rag that is available, that any prospective buyer should take the proverbial bull by the horns and get his backside on a plane to Hong Kong, and deal as you say with CY and his team directly, the middleman is not required, and knowing Hong Kong and Mainland China very well, this will be treated with greater seriousness, as it shows respect to CY (and he needs to feel that at this time) as all his “Loss of Face” will be well known to everyone.
    As I have stated before on OP, is it not the greatest pity that some of our biggest companies in and around Birmingham are not in the frame, to either show an interest in buying or at least being a major sponsor of our clubs, when literally thousands of Birmingham people are working for these companies and actually helping to generate the millions of pounds in profit that these organisations make.
    As a foot note, welcome back Staffs Blue, good to see you back.

    KRO from Kazakhstan

  • Wingman Blue says:

    As usual, good points well put, Dan. The dance goes on.

  • bluearmyfaction says:

    How much of it is Yeung not knowing what he wants to do, and Yeung not knowing what other people want to do? It would not surprise me one iota if Yeung’s shareholding is subject to other interests – perhaps even some of those who own other shares and for whatever reason don’t want to be seen to be the owner of the most shares.

  • Bryan Harries says:

    Well said Dan, yet again spot on!

  • AF says:

    I think the whole sale business is one that will need to be forced by circumstances, ie CY will ask for an unreasonable price until he has no choice. The first circumstance will be being found guilty at his money laundering trial and the second could be when BCFC runs out of money and is forced into administration. I believe that a dilution of the shareholding and a further investment is what he really hopes for.

  • ken says:

    Is it this week the trial starts again????

  • fingles says:

    Thanks for the update Dan. Nothing to see here folks.

  • Cbrccc says:

    What you say makes perfect sense but I can’t believe a serious potential buyer hasn’t already investigated the possibility of conducting the discussions dirctly with BHL in HK
    If it was as simplistic as jumping on a plane to HK then you can be sure it would have been done already .
    My guess is for reasons best known to himself CY is not interested in negotiating with anyone who Is not from Asia,
    If someone really wants to buy bcfc bad enough they only have up the bid to match CY,s valuation ( as Cy himself did) and its theirs , but why would they do that when they know they will get it for song in 6 months time.

  • bluenose 11 says:

    yeung wont sell the club until the bih shares have been relisted in hong kong

  • DoctorD says:

    Nothing will happen till Carson’s trial is over and he knows his fate.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    As has been stated many times, any kind of talks have to be registered with the HKSE…. that’s the rules. Rumours, at the end of the day, are just that.. no proveable substance to them and, as such, should be treated with a very large pinch of salt.

    As for Mr Yeung bringing in other parties to sell the club.. maybe he’s just not too impressed with Mr Pannu’s efforts over the last 12-18 months. Maybe he’s realised that he’s more interested in his own agenda, than actually finding realistic buyers/investors. Let’s face it, if an estate agent was having no success selling your house, you’d maybe find another?

    • Euston 9.18 says:

      I have to disagree with you STAFFS.

      This is the 3RD time I have asked this question,but still no reply.

      The Sunday People & The Mirror have already quoted “pala’s” name but no “fine” for speaking our loud has been registered as far as I know ?

      Shame someone local won’t bite the bullet ?

      • Euston 9.18 says:

        Out not our !!

      • almajir says:

        Is that a dig at me?

        A fine? a fine from who?

        Has it crossed your mind that there may actually be proper reasons why things aren’t happening the way you want them to? You never know, buying a football club might be more complex than someone whopping a load of money on a table…

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I’m glad you answered him…. because I haven’t a scoobie’s what he’s on about.

        • sw16girl says:

          tbf – he may be talking about some kind of fine for breaching a non-disclosure agreement as Pannu used the NDA as a reason for not mentioning any names. I have to say I still think this is pie in the sky – only a fool would buy the club before the trial result has been decided on and the position on the money laundering sorted out. We are talking Paladini though so that argument may not apply. There are a lot of people who just love the attention and publicity that pretending to be a genuine buyer of a club gains them – – the fact that Paladini found a real buyer with real money once makes him less likely to be a tyre kicker but only just when you look at the rest of the surrounding circumstances.

          However CY may simply be stringing him along as he needs to show the people whose money was actually used to buy BCFC that their money is still worth something. what better way to do that than seem to have a buyer in the offing that CY can claim is prepared to pay a lot more money than he actually is. If one assumes the money that was provided to buy the club came from other sources and was not CY’s then the people who have the real interest here are those about to lose their cash – if it is laundered money they are not going to be very happy about it and may take it out on CY and or PP – CY will do anything to keep them at bay.

  • Wearynose says:

    In selling it, Yeung’s view of the value of the club is as wide of the mark as view of the value when he bought it. Speculating about his strategy is pointless. The best way to speed up a sale is to reduce the revenue; don’t buy tickets, don’t buy food and don’t buy merchandise. Financial starvation is the only way rationalise his thought process.

    With regard to the previous blog about the devil you know; that’s a recommendation for doing nothing and continuing to pump money in whilst they laugh at the gullibility of fans. The current priority is to get rid of BIHL. If we subsequently get another ‘devil’, then we urge them to go by the same method. You can only deal with the current problem you can’t hang onto an undesirable situation because it might be worse afterwards: it not be worse, it’s just a pointless piece of speculation.

    As for sympathising with Pannu, you must surely have your tongue firmly in your cheek, Dan, The guy is taking out £1.5m a year and his wish must be for the gravy train to keep on rolling. New owners would mean the end of his sinecure. The more logical view must be that he is not keen on a sale and muddying the water with suggestions of apparent conflict with Yeung’s objectives would suit his personal interests.

    • Mike says:

      At Last !!!! someone with a modicom of common sense !! I have said for 2 years now….STARVE THESE MORONS OUT OF THE CLUB BY GIVING THEM NO MONEY AT ALL IN ANY WAY !!
      Until that is done NOTHING will be done from the chinese ! Mind you when Yeung is sat in the inside of a cell for the next 14 years as he surly will be, and having a few guys wanting to be his ” close friend” lol he may have to reconsider lol

      • almajir says:

        If you don’t mind, I’ll continue supporting the team, thanks :)

      • steve says:

        Agree with Dan. I’ll keep supporting the club and hopefully keep us out of admin.Hopefully when they’ve gone we will still be in the championship,and i can say my support helped out.I don’t know if they can sell the ground but lets hope they don’t just to get some money back because none is going into the club.Owners,players and managers come and go,but it’s still BCFC and they’re my club.

        • Wearynose says:

          If it takes a relegation or two it doesn’t matter. The target is to get rid of BIHL. Nobody minds what you do, Dan, but don’t equate paying money into BIHL’s loss recovery scheme with supporting the club. You might be going to watch eleven blokes play some football, after a fashion, but it isn’t the Blues that you’re watching and you’re not supporting the club and its long-term entity as a fan-orientated organisation.

  • Fange says:

    Forgive my ignorance in this matter, but we’re talking about a takeover in the region of £30m? Putting the 10 points deduction aside, would it not be financially prudent for a prospective buyer to acquire the club when in administration? Would this be the cheeper option? Its not rhetorical, but a genuine question.

  • gerard says:

    my point-what if Pannu has an official offer -signed by both parties solicitors and witnessed accordingly,to be presented to Yeung for his final acceptance before all other legal parties have to be by law notified, BUT as my sources say Pannu is not communicating with Yeung-and therefore may not have presented the offer to Yeung , if Yeung was to accept offer from these shores NOT CHINA OR HONG KONG-Pannu would be left without an income-hence the fall out now or potential fall out between them, furthermore were does that leave Pannu legally or morally under Hong Kong law ? Pannu is only trying to protect his income above all else believe me, so if he cannot do so by selling the club his way-then just like the Titanic he takes all of us down with him as a last resort, the next 10 days will tell for sure.
    I agree entirely only way to to get a defining answer is to travel 6000 miles front up Yeung get a yes or no -by-pass Pannu and sort it out, if it is no done this way then by mid November the club will be forced into administration leaving us the supporters with the mess that comes after administration- whatever the outcome after 57 years of watching the club I love ,then I shall KRO FOR SURE..
    My personal belief Pannu will never agree to sell the club to a certain Italian gentlemen based in Solihull,because he would be admitting defeat but hopefully if that Italian gentleman fronts up Yeung , Pannu will loose out.
    TIME WILL TELL VERY SHORTLY-ME THINKS-finally I do not think now the Yeung court case has a direct bearing on the clubs situation -as the situation is desperately beyond Yeungs eventual outcome.

    comment edited for legal reasons

    • almajir says:

      A couple of points

      1) I’d be careful from a legal point of view alledging that Pannu has lost the confidence of Carson.

      2) There is absolutely no indication that administration would come as soon as you say. The last I heard was the club can complete the season without going into admin.

      3) I think you underestimate how crucial Yeung’s court case could be.

  • joniD says:

    A lot about nothing really. The club hasn’t been sold and wont be for the foreseeable future. Pannu’s making big bucks out of us and Carsons got more important things on his mind. I think nothing will happen until we are totally in the mess and go into administration, forcing their hand. Until then, weve just got to endure it!

    Know body in their right mind is going to buy us with all the uncertainty about who owns what percentage and certainly not for 30 million!

  • KeepRightcroydOn says:

    I’d have a lot more sympathy for Pannu if he weren’t earning a fat fee from the club. The fact that he has been sidelined means he’s only partially the the job that he paid to do. Nice work if you can get it.

  • Saltash Blues says:

    Its being a long road for us fans and I believe the club will be sold or part sold soon , Carson is no fool and I know the Chinese people like a gamble but I feel the end game is nearly with us and Carson will off load , he did have a genuine affection for the club and loves football but does he want to lose money by hanging on and at the same time take us into admin I can’t see it myself. KRO !

  • sappy sad says:

    ………..the most important thing for blues fans is to get st Andrews safe .as a monument of the city,s past and present history …..as it seems that Birmingham city fans are nothing more than gambling chips ,to be used at will …the authorities paid to protect us ..seem nothing more than I.O.U …. stubs,………..the powerful national press in this country sit like empty biro,s …..the council sits like a jelly mould waiting for its contents to set ….BIRMINGHAM CITY NEEDS YOU……K.R.O

  • mark says:

    I think people are realising who’s the daddy, pp a small fish in very large pond…… Absolutely right dan problems wont be sorted here. Face off with carson imo is the only way forward for any buyer looking to buy our club…..this is aswell as meeting carson figure 32mil he wants……i think the latter kills any deal methink….funny things happen in football……….nice blog again mate.

  • jazzzy786 says:

    By upsetting PP is there any chance PP would screw over CY and let the club’s finances deteriorate further and go into administration.

  • AF says:

    I think we all have to realise that when we make an investment at the top of the market (like Carson did at £81 million) that the most stupid thing we can do is sell at the bottom, unless forced to sell.

    So the effect of trial or administration will perhaps mean a sale. Carson probably believes that the max he could get back for the club, with it challenging for the Premiership would be around £30 million, hence the price. However he has not factored in the investment required to get there – perhaps £10 million but not guarantees.

    Anyway I genuinely feel that there are only 2 ways forward, either the trial/administration forces him out or BIHL raises around £10million via a share issue.

    I cant see anyone paying £30 million, plus around £10 million investment just to break even in the Premiership and with no guarantees. The only purchase possible would be staged payments based upon success. Possibly £10 million upfront and further amounts if promoted. But Carson wont accept that will he? Unless forced?

  • Bluenosesol says:

    If Pannu spends 90% of his time in Hong Kong but claims to rarely see CY and protests he is unaware of Yeung;s activities and intentions as Yeung is calling the shots, then what does Pannu do exactly to earn 5 time as much as the prime minister from a near bankrupt organisation which is being propped up by a 13000 mainly working class support base??

  • tony says:

    great report but i cannot feel sorry for someone taking as much from the club as him he is not interested in the supporters or the history of the club he just keeps tapping his back pocket with a smirk and thinks we are just mugs the sooner his drivel stops the better as for yeoung throw away the key

  • AF says:

    I think he just got caught up in the Premiership frenzy and had no plan B when we got relegated and it all went wrong. A bit like the people buying Technology shares at the top of the market in 2001 with the dot com bubble and also all those property speculators who bought in 2007 and are now in negative equity.

    • DoctorD says:

      Exactly AF. I think CY thought it would be all so easy running a Premier League club and, but for another point in the 2010-11 season, it could all have been so different.

      Interestingly, out of the bottom seven in that year’s season, every one (bar West Ham) is no longer in the top division.

  • Steve Aerobic says:

    What I have found interesting is peoples reaction to the Tom Ross prediction. It seems to have stirred some really strong feelings amongst fans. I personally thank Tom for being up front with some information that he believed to be correct and sharing it with us fans. I hate it when journalists hint that they know something but cant pass it on to protect sources etc. It is obviously down to each individual journalist to decide how he/she plays it but as a fan I would ask that they just dont mention anything rather than hint. I know that Tom didnt share the whole secret with us mere mortals but at least he got us buzzing and it could still come true (although belatedly). I just want to say thanks to Tom for treating us like adults. Tom is an avid Blues fan too and its my belief that he was so excited by what he knew, that like all of us on this site, he wanted to share it with his fellow Bluenoses.

    • steve says:

      I agree mate.The fact that they booked studio time in Spain,whilst Tom was their on his hols,shows they were confident of something happening.He certainly doesn’t deserve the abuse he got.

  • Chris W says:

    Dan, another report that is spot on.
    You mention that every week it takes is another week in which new owners lose in order to make an impact this season.
    Maybe that is the whole idea with CY and/or PP playing cat and mouse, when all this is finalised what can of worms, or worse, financial time bomb will be left behind?
    We have been here before, when Gold and Sullivan purchased the club they did not realise exactly how bad things were, I can see this being the same, if not worse.
    You have contacts and access to the workings of HKSE, you have been there and seen things first hand, therefore anything coming from your site has more credence than any of the nationals, the mail or even Tom Ross at the moment. Keep up the good work of telling us lay-supporters how things stand.

  • tamuffblue says:

    I find it incredible that we as fans and any mere mortal would try and second guess or believe ANYTHING !!!!!! that comes from the mouth of THAT !!!!wretched person who swans around HK and occassionaly B9 pretending to have the best interests of club and fans at heart BS !!!!!! He has since our misfortune of being part of our lives bought nothing but misery and heartache and will continue to do so untill he has expunged the very last drop out bcfc coffers So as far as takeover – selling – new owners goes – dont hold your breath !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • tony says:

    Amazingly Steve I agree with you ,Tom is genuine hes not looking for an angle he really believes still what he has been told to be true. He has made mistakes but they are honest mistakes.
    Contrast this with the likes of Tatts who remains on the fence trying to please all sides and pleasing non, he tells us nothing hes a staff reporter who reports nothing at all.
    You just know if something like footballs equivalent of watergate fell into his lap he would not run with it, he would sit on it, no bold journalism for Tatts hes looking after his job the fact thats hes not much good at it does not matter. Maybe Clark can take him with him when he goes.

  • Bluehobba says:

    Strange how as you get older the days and weeks seem to get quicker and quicker yet the CY saga seems to get slower. 2 and a half years later and still no light at the end of the tunnel for us long suffering Bluenoses. Lets hope there is some truth in the rumours KRO

  • Art Watson says:

    Tom Ross is a radio presenter and as such is judged by his ratings.

    Dropping out snippets of information to the Blues fans is guaranteed to up his ratings and keep him employed for a little longer.

  • tony says:

    Believe me Tom Ross knows something

  • romanblue says:

    You lost all credibility when you sympathised with Pannu!Are you having a laugh?

  • Cocka says:

    The club will be sold at some point? Does that mean Tom Ross was right when it happens?

  • Art Watson says:


    I never said that TR didn’t have any information and at the moment he must be feeling pretty foolish.

    In the meantime Blues fans tune in to his show in anticpation and his ratings go up.

    He’s very quiet at the moment so maybe he was wrong?

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Just read that Keith Fahey is training with Sheffield United.

  • Gary R says:

    Almajir – I know you’ve said CY will take the stand, but will it be as early as this coming week, or are there other witnesses to take the stand before he does?

    Also, as CY’s testimony proceeds, do you think it’ll be possible – though maybe not completely ethical – to be able to come to a private judgement on CY’s chances of avoiding prison time?

  • steve hogan says:

    please please please can we bring the co-op milk float round the pitch with the dolly birds throwing bags of sweets into the tilton like the old days when the likes of wayne clarke hoppy & co would show us week in & week out what it meant to wear the blues badge….we never knew when we were beat….thats the spirit we need back @ st andrews & that is more important than who owns the club kro sotv

  • Steve Aerobic says:

    I think its absurd to suggest that TR would put out a false story to raise show audiences, it would be professional suicide when and if it was proven to be false. As I said yesterday I just think that Tom wore his heart on his microphone and didnt have any question in his mind that it was anything other than the truth. KRO

  • Personally I believe it makes financial sense for PP to draw out the process as long as possible. Unless he is getting a % as a finders fee which is greater then his ongoing fees why would he give up his salary, expenses and consultancy fees?

    Maybe this is why Carson got fed up and is looking for someone else to sell… Without Carson talking directly (and to be fair his probably been advised legally about talking publicly about anything) we only have PP as a voice and his not going to say the sticking point is hish fee…

    Just my thoughts

  • Gibbsy says:

    I wish I could give up on Blues, but it is in my blood. I have just tried to buy my season ticket seats for the Stoke Game, for my seat and my son’s. I spent 15:39 minutes on the phone at 5p a minute, with someone who is probably (and should be) on minimum wage, to be told at the 4th time of trying to put my debit card through that BCFC do not accept debit cards!

    I had originally tried to do this online, but my season ticket reference, which has worked for the last 5 years, no longer works

    So there are another 2 of us not going to the cup game and it does make me consider if we will re-new next year or pick and choose.

    Talk about shooting yourself in the foot

    • almajir says:

      email the club mate – they’ve always been helpful when I’ve had issues – Wayne Cowen is the man you want

      • Gibbsy says:

        Thanks for the advice Dane, but as a customer, it should not be this hard to support your club, as a long serving season ticket holder of 2 seats, it should be a no-brainer to get your seats for a cup match, I despair at the hoops I need to jump through in order for myself and my (old-ish) son to watch a game of the team we love.

        For me this is an indictment of what is wrong with our club, this is not to de-cry the work the staff at the ground do, but we have outsourced the ticketing, to a 3rd party, who are inept and I am sure behind the scenes there is a lot more, we have outsourced to reduce our internal costs.

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