BCFC: Ren Xuandong Speaks

It’s safe to say that September could have been a better month. A humiliating 6-1 defeat at Hull City left Blues in 22nd place in the table and new boss Steve Cotterill facing some tough questions at his first press conference on Monday.

Birmingham City FC

I have to admit that I was surprised that Blues CEO Ren Xuandong sat down next to Steve Cotterill at the press conference.

I’d planned to write something today about what I thought was going on, and how the lack of information in the public domain makes it hard for us to understand the motives of the owners of the club.

It was good to see Ren take some questions at the presser and I hope this could be the start of a more open era for the club board.

I’m pleased he tried to reassure fans that the board understand the feelings of hurt and that they desire stability and improvement just as much.

However, I can’t say I’m completely reassured personally.

It was interesting that Ren mentioned casino businesses in the press conference, with Trillion Trophy Asia owner Paul Suen Cho Hung having bought Les Ambassadeurs Club in London recently.

I’ve heard from unverifiable sources that Suen had actually been present in England at some point in September, along with other connected people such as Birmingham Sports Holdings non-executive director Daniel Sue Ka Lok.

However, neither of those august personages were present at any time at St Andrew’s – which given the things that happened in the last month makes me wonder if they were indeed in England just how much they care about the club. Is it possible their casino business might have been more important to them?

I’ve mentioned before the rumours of other persons being involved in the ownership – people I’ve referred to as the “new, new owners”.

The level of rumours about this person have increased too in recent weeks, with the name Mr. King or Wang (王) being spoken of in hushed tones.

I can’t pretend to know who this person is or what is background is like – but there is every indication from the multiple sources I have spoken to that “Mr King” wields power at BCFC.

Whether “Mr King” is indeed to be the new owner of the club remains to be seen – but the absence of information of how the upper echelons of the club work isn’t helpful.

A good example of this is Ren Xuandong himself.

Despite being described by the club on the official BCFC twitter feed as “CEO and Director”, there is absolutely no information about Ren barring the fact he is a director on the club website – likewise the remainder of the board.

I appreciate that the board are shy but I think I would feel more assured if I understood who the people were that were making the decisions.

Likewise, I’d feel more assured of Darren Dein’s role if something was made official about it even if it was just confirmation he’s an advisor or consultant to the board.

If the board do truly want stability for the club then I think they have to add to it themselves.

Ren taking the lead by speaking to the press is a good start – but as his predecessor Panos Pavlakis would probably be able to advise, communication is more than soundbites and pithy comments on twitter. While those might win fans in the short term they do have a knack of biting you on the ass down the pike.

 

 

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