Often Partisan

The Never Ending Story

Tom Ross has announced that Gianni Paladini will be on his show this evening on Free Radio 80s at 6pm to talk to Blues and to “put the record straight about his attempts to buy the club”.

It’s the latest twist in a saga that seems to have gone on and on and on; a never-ending story of the sale of a club that Paladini claimed last November that he could wrap up in ten days. We’re ten months into 2013 now and he seems no closer to sealing a deal than ever with the club further down the financial toilet.

I can’t second guess what Gianni will say tonight on the radio; quite frankly I’m surprised he’s going down the route of talking to the fans if he has any real intention left of buying the club because as we saw last year, Pannu absolutely hates any details in the press with respect to the sale of club. Privacy notwithstanding, Pannu has a legal duty that BIH shareholders are informed first of developments in that regard and it doesn’t help him if information comes into the public domain via other means first. However, from the teaser on the Free Radio site it does seem apparent that Gianni is looking to lift the lid on what has gone on and maybe why Tom Ross has been so adamant that “a deal had been agreed”.

Whilst I can see from the internet that there is a lot of chatter about this it’s almost abstract here in Hong Kong – no one seems to know anything about a deal offered for anything connected to BCFC and the suggestion is from sources close to Carson that the man at the top might not even be aware that a deal had been offered for the club. Carson has a lot going on at the moment; not only has he been giving evidence in court but the fight to stay in his house on Barker Road was continued in court yesterday and he lost the latest round of that also and thus there is the possibility that the sale of the club isn’t at the forefront of his thinking at the moment.

From a legal standpoint all this is tricky; I wouldn’t want to insinuate that Pannu has been derelict in his duties as CEO and MD of BIH and as acting chairman of BCFC in not forwarding an official bid from Paladini’s group; however I am also sure that if Paladini is taking to the airwaves he will be adamant that an official bid has been made – all of which would suggest that contrary to what my sources have told me Carson would have to be aware of it and potentially have rejected it.

The result is a tangle that cannot be unravelled until Pannu makes an official statement to the HKSE to confirm if a bid has been made and if it has, if it has been rejected – whether he will be forced to do so or not comes down to how much Paladini is willing to disclose this evening. I would hope that if an official bid has truly been made Paladini comes right out with that and says that to force Pannu’s hand into making a statement confirming the situation – I would prefer to have something that is official rather than rumour or counter rumour.

As much as I believe Paladini may have been negotiating for the club some time and may believe himself that he had some sort of agreement for the sale of the club I think that this situation goes to prove that until there is some sort of official movement no one can say that they are close to buying the club. I will reiterate my belief that if someone was serious in wanting to buy the club (and wasn’t willing to wait for administration, whenever that might come) then their best course of action would be to come to Hong Kong and negotiate directly face to face with Carson and BIH directly. I can understand it’s a long way to come to potentially be led on a wild goose chase but I think the last twelve months have proven that there is no quick fix in buying Birmingham City.

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