One of the biggest indicators that life has drastically changed for Birmingham City is the complete lack of coverage of any news from Hong Kong. Despite Birmingham Sports Holdings still owning 51% of the club, it’s clear that it’s Shelby Companies Limited calling the shots and the remaining Chinese BCFC board members appear to have been completely sidelined.
In recent times, when Birmingham City’s owner has appeared on the front page of the Financial Times it’s been as the harbinger of bad news. However, times have changed since Shelby Companies Limited have taken charge at St Andrew’s and Tom Wagner’s picture on the front of the FT was all about Blues challenging the authorities for the right reasons.
Despite the unbeaten start to the league season for Blues, rumours broke on Thursday afternoon that the club have identified Wayne Rooney as a replacement for John Eustace as Head Coach.
There’s an old cliché about a week being a long time in football. It’s meant to symbolise how quickly things can change in the game and this hasn’t been typified more than the last fifty days at St Andrew’s since Shelby Companies Limited took over.
At 4pm Hong Kong time (9am BST) in a small conference room in a non-descript office block attached to a shopping mall in Admiralty, Hong Kong a vote will be called which will ratify the transfer of control of Birmingham City Football Club to Shelby Companies Limited. While the vote is a foregone conclusion, what happens next is a blank canvas.
On Tuesday Birmingham Sports Holdings filed a series of documents with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. As well as the long-awaited Circular to shareholders, BSH confirmed that the EGM for shareholders to approve the sale of Blues to Shelby Companies Limited will take place on July 13, 2023.
On Friday Afternoon, a short technical statement made by Birmingham Sports Holdings to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange confirmed among other things that the company will hold an EGM for shareholders to approve the sale of the club on Thursday July 13, 2023.
With just a week left in June the angst among some Blues fans is starting to ratchet up. The eagerness for the takeover to go through seamlessly knows no bounds but years of being a Blues fan means that some fans can’t help but worry that something is going to go wrong.
On Tuesday evening Blues finally released season ticket prices for the 2023/24 Championship season in what will eventually be a fully reopened St Andrew’s stadium. As to be expected after a price rise there has been a lot of talk on social media about ticket prices, especially considering the cost-of-living crisis many are going through.
On Wednesday Borussia Dortmund released an official update to confirm what has been one of the most dragged out and talked about transfers in recent times – the sale of Jude Bellingham to Real Madrid. The transfer has Blues fans excited due to the prospect of Birmingham City receiving a chunk of change due to a sell-on clause in his transfer to the German club.