Often Partisan

Postcards from HK – Carson and Paladini

Sunday October 20 was the second anniversary of probably one of the best moments in my (and many others’) Blues supporting life – Chris Wood scoring a 100th minute goal to beat Club Brugge 2-1 in the Jan Breydel Stadion. It’s a mark of what has changed since that we commemorated that with being humped 4-0 on Sky by Leeds United.

First of all I must apologise; due to wifi issues, there being no Championship football broadcast here in Hong Kong and an incredibly dodgy sleep pattern I only saw eleven minutes of the game and as such I won’t be writing a match report. Judging by the comments I’ve seen I think I got lucky – and that I don’t think I could have added much more to what has already been said even if I had seen it.

However, I did actually see a game yesterday. I took the underground out into the residential areas of Kowloon to watch a Hong Kong First Division game between BC Rangers and Sun Pegasus at the Sham Shui Po Sports Ground. The game was almost funny to watch; the level was probably barely Midlands Combination League at times and whilst there were chances the strikers would have made Mark Sale blush. I didn’t just go for a footie fix; the reason I went was because BC Rangers have something in common with Blues – Carson Yeung.

Carson was chairman (not owner) of Rangers (as they were known then) in 2005, and his spell was marked with a period of interference in team selections and rapid manager turnover. It’s also where he met Steve McManaman – there is video out there somewhere of the two of them on the touchline watching the team play. As you can imagine, he wasn’t there yesterday and he’s not been seen outside of the courtroom since I’ve been here.

There’s been a lot said about Gianni Paladini and his interview on Free Radio about his desire to purchase Blues. I was surprised he came out in the manner he did but I suspect his patience had worn thin; there had been a lot going on behind the scenes and whilst others had been bullish about his chances I’ve always been sceptical – as much as I believe he had an agreement with Pannu I don’t think that actually means much until an announcement is made to the stock exchange. I’m also concerned that Paladini came all the way out here unannounced and was unable to take things any further – it strikes me that maybe they’re avoiding him for some reason.

I think Paladini has come out in the open to force the issue; he must be absolutely desperate to do it as I understand there was a fairly stiff financial penalty involved for breaking non disclosure agreements – one of the main reasons no one in local media talked about the story for so long – and I think he’s trying to play the pressure points on Pannu as no contact has been made since the Blue acting chairman returned to the far east. If an official bid has been made Pannu has an obligation to notify shareholders in the company via a HKSE announcement – which of course hasn’t been done – and I’m guessing that Paladini is now trying to force the issue as he knows that if it’s in the press the stock exchange will force BIH to comment.

The big problem is however that the press here just don’t care; as much as it’s been on the news in Birmingham from speaking to my friends in the media here there is no interest in the story. Even Carson’s court case has only been reported in the online versions of newspapers – it’s not been deemed a big enough story to make it into print although that may change when he is cross-examined which should start this afternoon.

Stories of Carson rejecting Paladini’s bid seem to be a bit premature. The word from inside Carson’s camp is that he’s not even considered the bid; he’s got more pressing worries about taking the stand and about being cross-examined by the prosecution. When that starts he’s on his own – his defence counsel cannot help him any more and thus the stress and pressure are on; throw in the fact another appeal to not lose his house was lost last Thursday and you can see that Carson might have other things on his mind. The cross-examination should last no more than about three days so maybe come Friday we might see some movement; that would be the opportune time for Paladini to make the trek over here and thrash things out to get the deal done.

I would advise caution however against hoping that the deal will be done quickly; for all the negotiating Paladini has done with Pannu’s men it might be that it wasn’t Pannu’s final call; there is a possibility that it might not be Carson’s either but without firm information I cannot do any more than hint at further complications. Suffice it to say I’ll be waiting for Carson again outside the court house in about an hour or so, and I’ll be asking him if he’s going to sell the club to Paladini.

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52 Responses to “Postcards from HK – Carson and Paladini”

  • spikedbcfc says:

    dan after hearing Paladini with tom ross ive never heard so much passion and love for the game in a long time ( it might be an act ), we all know pp has his agenda and that is different from cy and that is the worrying problem,

    going on to the leeds game i am like you dan i missed the game today due to a family kids party :/ and by all accounts its the worst my mates have seen them all season ….. but once again its a bloody tv and we never win them

    keep up the good work dude

  • crotcher88 says:

    thanks your the only voice to come out of hong kong and tell us something

  • Chris W says:

    Thanks for the update dan, I wouldn’t hold my breath in getting anything out of CY, any chance of speaking to PP? On saying that would he be honest in the truth?
    As you say CY has enough on his plate, money laundering, eviction and a business going down the pan fast.
    Paladini mentioned that BCFC are not near going into administration, have you any idea as to the funds that are keeping the club functioning and how long it can carry on?

    • almajir says:

      PP will not talk to me.

      • John says:

        I thought that Pannu being “acting chairman”, was for the purpose of dealing with any matters concerning the running of the club,whilst Yeung was unavailable. It is him who repeatedly says , that anything to do with sale of the club,will omly be announced on the HKSE,not in the media. Has he informed the HKSE of Paladini’s offer and if not why not ?

  • glyn rees says:

    If there has been a bid then the share holder should be informed, it’s of no consequence if Carsen is to busy. Can you not put questions to the powers that be rather than Carsen , he will only ignorer you as usual and he only owns 24% any way Kro4ever

  • Joe says:

    Thanks for the brilliant posts almajir but i’ve just seen in the mirror that if paladini gets in he wants Neil Warnock as Director of football and they are already lining up replacements for Clark. Also how long you planning on staying out there?

  • bluenoseb says:

    To be honest i don’t care how much yeung has got on his plate, hes had over 2 years to sell the club and has had additional time with the court case adjourned twice for a lengthy time and hasn’t wanted to because of the ridiculous price he wants. Looks like this week will be telling and if the prosecution can ask intriguing questions to make him lose his cool or snap he could effectively right his own sentence. The clocks ticking carsen , time to go

  • Aussiebrum says:

    What do you think of the prospect of seeking voting proxies from the other 74% of shareholders then forcing an EGM of BIHL.

    Have you got any insight into how united or divide the non CY shareholders are? I would assume, irrespective of CY’s position, the other shareholders would like to salvage whatever they can from the remains of BIKL? And I doubt they care so much about the prospects of a re-listing, infact they might prefer NOT to re-list as this would save the annual listing fees?

    • almajir says:

      Without wanting to get myself into legal trouble I don’t think its a goer. We saw how Liu Xingcheng was shot down and he owns 11%+.

  • romanblue says:

    good work son.are you really going to ask him outside court? if you are let us know his response asap.thanks

  • Art Watson says:

    Good luck Dan.

    The club is in free fall at the moment and we could all do with some good news!

  • gez says:

    dan with what your blog and the mirror is more less the same so something is going to happen soon

    • almajir says:

      They need to learn to spell Carson Yeung.

      Also, its fluff. Means nowt.

    • Eddie says:

      Warnock has said repeatedly on TalkSport that he wouldn’t manage again,
      But this looks interesting.
      I wonder if he mentions t this morning, he usually does TalkSport with Alan Brazil Mondays and Fridays

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Keith Curle as manager? I really hope this is a wind-up.

  • Bluenose_68 says:

    Great article mate…agree with pretty much everything in your blog today

    Interesting comment:

    “for all the negotiating Paladini has done with Pannu’s men it might be that it wasn’t Pannu’s final call; there is a possibility that it might not be Carson’s either but without firm information I cannot do any more than hint at further complications.”

    I have suspected for a while that Carson isn’t the main man in all this and may be accountable to some people who aren’t too keen to take such a loss on their investment.

    Maybe I watch too much breaking bad but does make you wonder what bcfc was really purchased for

  • pierre says:

    if cy had watched yesterdays match the club would be sold by the end of today.

  • SW16girl says:

    I still think you may be too optimistic in your suggestion that CY has not had a chance to consider Paladini’s offer. It doesn’t take that long to prepare for a court case and if someone has made you an offer on something you really want to sell then you’ll consider it. I still am not sure what would happen to any money from the sale though – would it be frozen pending the result of the court case? If so then you could be right – why bother to sort out something you are going to lose – let the authorities clear that up – with the added bonus of being able to claim to whoever actually owned the money that paid for BCFC that they nearly got their cash back but it was whipped away at the last minute.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I have nothing personal against Carson Yeung, but I find myself hoping that he’s found guilty, just to have an end to it all. If he does the decent thing and sells the club, then I hope he gets off and lives a long and fruitful life… preferrably a long, long way from Birmingham City FC.

    • Chris W says:

      Sadly StaffsBlue if he gets off I don’t think he will sell or stay away,.
      If he does get off and still keeps hold I hope he ploughs enough money into the club, without breaking us or wallowing in debt, to get us where we were before all this mess, back in the Premiership.
      Just maybe he is only a figurehead for some big consortium who have stopped any financial backing while the court case and his assets are frozen.
      Do we or anyone know who TRULY own the club, the far east is a very secret place when they want to be.
      KRO

  • bully-beef-jnr says:

    Dan- do you know any thing if this 3rd party deal broker PP talks of ?? Is it not worth GP making contact with them ??

  • Frankie says:

    Pannu wants to hang on in there for as long as he can, picking up big bucks for doing nowt.
    Admittedly Carson Yeung has ‘pressing matters’ presently and I’m sure BCFC is as ever a long way down on his list of ‘prioiities.
    Do think he may have time for a bit of ‘reflection’ soon enough though.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think we can all safely assume that Peter Pannu does not have the best interests of Birmingham City FC at heart. It’s all about how much Yeung and himself can grab out of it. If it’s true, that the Paladini offer was £20m… I think that’s a very generous offer considering the circumstances.

      If that’s not acceptable, then I fear there are far more sinister plans afoot.

      • Chris W says:

        I think the reason they are holding out is, as you say, a deeper lying reason.
        When Sullivan and Gold took control they couldn’t believe the true state of affairs at the club, I feel iyt will be the same whoever buys us this time.
        As has been witnessed both PP and CY have been very conservative with the truth, even if they sell I can still see administration being the only option to dig us out of the black hole we are in.
        KRO

      • TheJudge says:

        £20m is extremely reasonable for the sorry state the club is now in. I don’t believe carson or pannu have ever had the clubs best interest at heart, just money. I do want to see paladini take over but not sure what I make of warnock possibly becoming director of football.

        Interesting Dan says the media don’t care over in HK. Because they don’t seem to care much over here either.

        KRO I’ll be at the derby game!

  • Leigh says:

    If the Mirrors’ researchers discovered that the ‘Carson case’ started last week, one can have little credence on the rest of their statements.

  • Mark1875 says:

    Nothing to see here move along., All been done before

  • Frankie says:

    Yes, we all have to accept that neither of them care ‘flying’ for BCFC.
    It was an object, at best to ‘tickle’ the vanity of the ex-crimper`at worse a cash conduit.
    Pannu, just the hapless front-man, on the make.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Hardly hapless Frankie. He’s a very astute and calculated man.. as proved with the financial packaged he’s gleaned for himself. One thing’s for absolute certain.. he won’t come out of all this a poor man by any stretch of the imagination.

  • MR says:

    A takeover cannot happen soon enough. Clark has been given some breathing space after recent results but his starting 11 yesterday was a joke. Lee? He hasnt started a first team game all season and suddenly he’s in the starting line up, eh? How Novak gets in ahead of a now fit Zig is beyond me too, the bloke just never looks like scoring. And why was Shinnie on the bench, he has been one of the best performers recently…and the same with Reilly yet he’s on the bench..?

    Clark is totally clueless, we need a new manager asap not just a change of owners.

    • bluenose50 says:

      I agree Mr yesterdays result was a disgrace but I’ve never bin a great fan of Clark but he ad to be given the chance well maybe he had his chance and like u I could not understand why he left players on the bench strange that

    • Ben Mountford says:

      I couldn’t agree more on the team choice but sacking Clark is not the way. He had to replace two first team players (adeyemi and Spector) and obviously set out to play on the counter. Zigic is sporadic at best and very lazy up top, Novak was willing to do the donkey work and put the mileage in and unfortunately it didn’t come off. Lee was non existent yesterday (should have been Reilly for me) but Clark deserves credit for this calendar year, blues have been a much improved side since January. Have more faith in him he’s working in difficult circumstances and I say this as a fan who wanted the guy out 12 months ago.

      I certainly hope that I’m not the only one who believes only Clark is the right man to take us forward, with all the instability within the club he needs to stay with us.

      • Chris W says:

        Fair points, I too wanted Clark out last season, I have been to all games this season and can see what he is trying to do in very difficult circumstances.
        Ferguson and Reilly should have played yesterday, but the whole team were lazy not just Ziggy, who does baffle the supporters more than defences with his ineptness in attacking or winning the ball.
        If, and I have said before, it is a big IF, we get new owners then LC deserves the chance to work without the shackles, maybe a director of football would help him too.
        KRO

  • Frankie says:

    Frankly I would play ANY of the contributors on here ahead of Zigic, he is a disgrace.
    You look at Smith winning nearly everything in the air, challenging the centre halves in the box for crosses, then you see the 6 foot 8 inch bloke skulking at the back post, not making a challenge,
    He must win at best 25% of high balls.
    Should never play for Birmingham again !

    • StaffsBlue says:

      We definitely need a presence up front. At the moment, we don’t have that. We don’t have a player that can bully defenders. You don’t have to have premiership quality, as Matt Smith proved yesterday… you just have to do the job properly. Ironic that he’s a brummie too.

  • gerard says:

    noticed everyones comments- be sure the D. Mirror total fabrication- do not believe a word, all made up , why? without going into detail , I know for sure on this one.
    re takeover- I feel that depending on the court case and the aftermath of Carson loosing his house etc, things may get even more complicated, however Mr. Paladini will not go away, he has been offered various other clubs , but its Blues or nothing ,time will tell, as for Peter Pann- in H.K. forget it his influence on a day to day basis is diminishing and his silence confirms that-NO MATTER WHAT HE MAY KNOW COME OUT AND SAY DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, it will have no real bearing on the clubs future-regards the takeover.
    One thing that may happen the clubs future after this week may not be down to Yeungs decision alone, think about that one?the article reported from HK is well reported indeed.

  • RichardM says:

    Zigic is a bit like Elsie, we all know their not good enough but for now we have little choice but to back them!

    I like Zigic but agree, for a man of his size he is appallingly bad in the air. But again, at least he offers us something different up-front, the same can’t be said for Novak. I’d love Novak to prove me wrong, but sadly I don’t see it happeneing.

    As for LC I admire him for what he’s trying to do with the resources he has. The question I would put to all people on here who think LC is a good manager and the way forward – let’s say a takeover dows happen within the next 12 months and £40 million is made available for team strengthening.

    Would you be comfortable then with LC in charge?

    • Chris W says:

      I do agree that LC deserves a chance without shackles, and if aa change is made then let him have a war chest, I think 5 to 10 mill would be more than enough to stabilize the ship, then see where we are and in what direction, I am never one for new owners new manager, they need to bond, if no then mutually move on.
      KRO

    • TheJudge says:

      I would like to see LC stay if there’s a new ownership as he’s done a remarkable job last season. I’d say this season too but it’s still early days yet but the season could still go sour (if it hasn’t already started to).
      My only issue is that I’ve never really viewed Clark as the man to take blues forward. Another issue is whether you give him a decent transfer budget and time to make it work? Because it could be a few more years and blues may not be challenging for top flight football. Suppose it could happen with any manager but it feels like the last 2 seasons have been wasted potential due to lack of funding, and will sadly stick in my mind for the wrong reasons

      Kro I’ll still be heading to derby!

  • mike b says:

    hi all……..everyone is slagging zigic off again!!!! if he had started he may have helped to take some pressure off the defence!!!! did anyone notice the great strike from just outside the box!!!! possibly he should do more from distance………..he has only a short time left to save us……..

  • Darren Brown says:

    A clean sweep from top to bottom is required with
    the ex Man U no 2 Mike Phelan the man to lead us from the top !
    Lee Clarke attitude is terrible ! His fellow work colleagues look scared of him and what input if any do they’ve during a game.
    Football is all about contacts and Mike Phelan has these !!!
    Young up and coming players should be purchased and our youth system made into one of the best in the UK !
    CV7Blue

  • billy says:

    the Chinese government will have to Reposess all his assests and sell it hopefully paladini is till on the market keep right on quicker the better

  • billy says:

    they will eventually sell it


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