Birmingham City: Peter Pannu In A Pickle

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11 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    Sums up Tom Ross of aptly named (not) Free Radio and also the inept Birmingham Evening Mail & useless BBC Radio WM who do nothing to help the fans unravel this incompetent and even alledgedly fraudulent running of the club.
    Local MP’s do nothing and stoney silence from Birmingham Council and Councillors on a major business in their area carrying the name of the city.

  2. The Purple Cow says:

    Thanks for publishing this. I started a thread over on W.S.C.’s board about this, using much of the information featured in this piece and WSC couldn’t delete it fast enough. It seems that fear of this allegedly litigation-happy crew runs deep, yet I think it’s all bluff. A Hong Kong Law firm has spent more time reading my blog than I do this last couple of months, and I’ve still heard nothing from them.

    The next subject that needs to be dealt with (by some brave soul) is the connection to the two Triad gangs, which go much deeper than Yeung’s alleged money laundering/tax-evasion charges.

  3. Isaac Vivian Alexander says:

    Excellent piece which perfectly nails the malaise and face-melting catastrophe currently unfolding down B9 way. Lee Clark is a man so vastly out of his depth right now, but still manages to be an almost sympathetic figure, dwarfed by the chaos around him, principally due both to the financial incompetence of the Yeung-era (signing a 30 year-old striker on a 4-year deal for £50k+ per week, with no relegation clause attached) and now the increasingly bizarre and damaging utterances and actions of Mr Pannu. That a figure as laughably unfit to run a football club as Gianni Palaldini can be even considered a more credible alternative to the present regime says everything you need to know about how bad things currently are down the the Blues. KRO

  4. Wearynose says:

    Your excellent article highlights Pannu’s reference to the previous auditors: “I’ve got a new auditor,” he boasted, adding: “he’s very efficient”. What he means by efficient is ‘compliant’. I haven’t seen who the ‘approved’ auditor is for the recently published accounts but I doubt whether the company is bigger and operates with more probity then BDO. Given the size and international standing of BDO the fact that they withdrew as auditors is hugely to the discredit of BIH and the obscure nature of their accounts and records. Though not a household name, BDO are not a twopenny-halfpenny local practice, as Pannu’s slight implies. They have a standing in world business which the gang-speaking Pannu couldn’t really imagine or remotely hope to reach the level of. The Wikipedia entry about BDO says:

    “BDO International is the fifth largest accountancy network in the world,[1] a worldwide professional services network of public accountancy firms, serving national and international clients. As at 2013, BDO has Member Firms in 138 countries, employed 55,000 workers in 1,204 offices throughout the world.”

    If they refuse to associate themselves with BIH then it can be taken as read that the records are obscure and lacking in open, believable and supportable explanation.

    Tom Ross does not have the capacity to understand these issues and is in a similar category to Pannu when it comes to antiquated and patronising views about women. The Birmingham Mail is represented by Colin Tattum, who can’t even use the English language with any more than a GCSE Grade E level of competence and it’s the flux of his trade! He understands even less about business, finance and accounting so it is surprising that the Mail haven’t seconded their business team to publish a proper analysis of Blues financial affairs, including a little research about BDO and the implications of the withdrawal of a company of that standing.

    As for OP, the guy has repeatedly denied people’s views that money must have been siphoned off to Hong Kong, saying that he had an inside source whom he trusted who told him that that was not the case. Just two of the anomalies, The X-step deal and Pannu’s huge salary, and his derisory description of it as a large sort of petty cash centre, give a comparison for everyone as to which is the more likely, emphasised by BDO’s withdrawal. I would go with BDO in these matters rather than OP.
    With parachute payments, player sale revenue and the removal of the high salaries, Blues really shouldn’t be in financial difficulties to the extent which Pannu declares. They were not over-reached to the same degree as Portsmouth or Leeds and several others. The problem would seem to be the fact that BIH overpaid for Blues by 1.8 times and further by the assertion that Yeung has supposedly leant £16m to the Club. The Club is not worth anywhere near the sum which was paid for it. So, how else would the shareholders recover some of their money except by repatriating liquidated assets? The obscure nature of their financial records, which auditors of world standing and repute could not put their name to, and the fact that those accounts were delayed by well in excess of twelve months, would lead you to believe that matters were not as they should be.
    The inept Mr Tattum has stated that the sum which was bid for the Club a few weeks ago would be separate from the loan which it is said that Yeung made. That is nonsense. If Yeung has made a loan then it would be his risk against the market value of the Club. It is like saying that if you buy a house from someone at market value then you will also pay off their mortgage. Did the people who had paid money into that Christmas saving scheme a couple of years ago get anything back when it went into liquidation or will the people with Jessop’s gift vouchers be able to claim them back? No. Any loans are part of the overall assessment of the value of the enterprise and anything which might be paid for the Club would take into account all debts and liabilities. The shareholders would have to accept a proportional share of the received sum.
    Mr Tattum, amongst others, seemed to miss the fact that prospective purchasers would need audited accounts to aid them in their “due diligence”, that professional process which is mouthed by many these days whom don’t have a clue about what it involves. No one seems to have expressed surprise that, only a few weeks after Pannu pointed out that due diligence couldn’t be done for months because of the lack of audited accounts, they are suddenly published and apparently show a small trading profit. A Faberge egg of a surprise!
    Fans would do well to research the auditors of these accounts. They should also expect that when a buyer does appear and is reported to be doing due diligence then their interest might recede during or after that process.

  5. Iain Stewart says:

    I’m a Villa fan and take absolutely no pleasure in events at St Andrews. Football isn’t life and death but does define many of us far more than is strictly rational. Clubs and fans seem to be seen as cash cows for some of these unethical egomaniacs and the sad thing, as you’ve noted, is that local media are unable or unwilling to dig sufficiently and the national media haven’t any interest once you’re no longer part of the premier league. I wonder what midlands football fans in general did wrong in a previous life.

  6. WSC says:

    The thread we deleted from the WSC message board contained none of the quotations or supporting financial data contained in this well-researched article.

  7. Wearynose says:

    Well said, Mr Stewart. You’re quite right about what should be the proper position of football in people’s lives. However, given the passion which people do have for it as you imply, you are also right in wondering why the midlands teams in general over the years should have been so mismanaged and mal-owned that we have no real force or record in the national and international game. The area was the cradle of the Industrial Revolution and a thriving manufacturing and business centre of leading importance to the UK from then until the present time. Why that acumen has been absent from the management of the areas teams is unfathomable.

  8. Iain Stewart says:

    I moved away from the B’ham area to Bedfordshire and now East Northants 15 years ago. When I moved I really believed Villa were a big club and the city of Brum was a football city. No more. It is easy to complain about a London and North West media bias but the simple issue is that we (Villa and Blues) have been poorly run for 30 years or more. Poor owners and lack of competing for success = declining interest among fed up fans locally and no interest nationally.

  9. Neil Norton says:

    The comment about Birmingham City Council not doing anything…as an ex BCC worker and Bluenose, it’s full of Villa supporters. If Villa were to suffer severe financial constraints, they’d soon step in.

    That aside, the club is heading to meltdown. What are the real accounts? Where is the cash going? Carson Yeung and Peter Pannu are the worst things to happen to Blues since the Kumars. The club is dying. Fans are staying away, results are poor.

    Lee Clark is doing the best he can with limitations, we’re rife with injuries and some of the high earners/new signings have underperformed.

    I really hope there is a buyer. No-one is helping us and the truth seems to be with held. KRO!

  10. Blooflame says:

    At last someone speaks honestly. A great article. I was given whhat for after I accused the board way, way back of being all crooks!! It was and is, a personal opinion. having spent time in Honk Kong with the armed forces, I learned the most crooked of crooks were the Hong Kong Police… enter Pannu, whose history is well known.
    I doubt whether there will be protest from the Fans until it’s too late.

  11. SJMaskell says:

    It is encouraging to see that the Blues’ Trust is nagging at the heels of Mr Pannu – even if they are getting no response.

    See their open letter to Pannu: http://www.bluestrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Peter-Pannu-Open-Letter-2.pdf

    This really is a case of beware of willing (and acceptable to Pannu) buyers. I refer you to CSI’s takeover at Pompey. The similarities in the two situations are glaring.

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