Tag: Birmingham City

Birmingham City: Peter Pannu Posts – Part One

Birmingham City’s acting chairman Peter Pannu recently responded to media focus on his financial affairs with a lengthy statement on the club’s website. It said much about the man, his attitude and the Blues’ off-field problems – little of it good. Mark Murphy comments on it all.

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Birmingham City: Peter Pannu In A Pickle

It is exactly three years since the press-release heavy article in the Birmingham Mail newspaper announcing Birmingham City’s new sponsorship deal with Chinese sportswear manufacturers X-Tep. But even allowing for the spin, it shows how large a failure Carson Yeung and his associates’ Blues ownership has been. Three years on from heady days of live Chinese TV coverage of Blues games and other dreams, Yeung awaits trial in his native Hong Kong on money-laundering charges. And Blues are edging down the Football League Championship and selling all significantly valuable players simply to stay in business – a process which, the latest football club accounts confirm, is far from complete. The article also shows how central ‘acting chairman’ Peter Pannu has always been. It’s references to the “X-Tep deal” being “the tip of the iceberg as far as what Carson Yeung is doing for us in China” and how “this link-up and our combined expertise…can only help our star shine” all came from “club chief” Pannu.” And a photograph on the Guardian newspaper’s website last weekend literally showed Pannu in a central role when Yeung and co. took over in September 2009. Yeung is flanked by six ‘associates’ from home and Hong Kong. Immediately to Yeung’s right is Vico Hui, former Chief Executive of Blues’ ultimate parent company Birmingham International Holdings (BIH). Hui is currently blamed for what eventually became the...

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100 Owners: Number 76 – Ken Wheldon (Walsall & Birmingham City)

The 1980s were a period of decline for football in the West Midlands. A decade which had started with one of its clubs, Aston Villa, winning the Football League Championship and the European Cup in successive season soon saw several of its most notable clubs hit hitherto unseen low points in their histories and one man, a scrap metal dealer from the Black Country, seemed to be at the centre of much of the tumult of the decade, with vitriolic anger being hurled his way from the supporters of two different clubs at which promises of a brighter future were lost amid desperate struggles to keep failing businesses afloat. At both Walsall and Birmingham City, Ken Wheldon is remembered with little great affection, but to what extent was Wheldon responsible for his own legacy and to what extent was he a victim of an era of rapid decline during which he was involved in the game? Wheldon’s arrival at Walsall’s Fellows Park in 1972 was greeted with enthusiasm and some relief by the club’s support. He was a local businessman made good, and Walsall was a club that had slipped into financial difficulty with the decline which followed the game’s post-war boom in attendances. For the first few years of his time in charge of the club, it looked as if Walsall might even be able to establish itself...

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A Mess Of The Blues: Birmingham City’s Slide Continues

The Rao family at Blackburn Rovers have long since garnered the awards as the most gullible fallers for English Premier League (EPL) hype. But the original remain Hong Kong hairdresser Carson Yeung and his band of merry distant associates at Birmingham City. Yeung and Co, mostly “Co”, threw £81.5m at the two Davids, Sullivan and Gold, to take the Blues off their sleazy hands in 2009 – two less deserving causes for the money it would be hard to imagine. And if the Chinese arrival on the St Andrews stage was protracted and messy, their leaving of it is proving even more so. Nothing has gone right at the club since Yeung arrived and that has been down to a mixture of incompetence, more incompetence and Yeung’s own business past catching up with him. The last filed accounts for Blues’ parent company, Birmingham International Holdings Limited (BIHL), are so old they were written on parchment. And the auditors for both club and company, accountancy firm BDO, resigned from both roles, evidently preferring the calmer financial waters of Glasgow Rangers’ liquidation, having expressed more than the ‘usual’ “significant doubts” about BIHL’s financial management. Meanwhile, the team is closer than it has been for years to English football’s third tier, where Gold and Sullivan found them in 1993. Things could only get more risible if the sole bidder for the club...

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