BSH: The Faceless Four

Dragon Villa will become the second biggest shareholder in Birmingham Sports Holdings (and thus by extension BCFC) once the share subscription announced on Thursday goes through. Their holding will take them above the 10% threshold that ensures that their owner Lei Sutong has to take the much-maligned Owners and Directors Test. Just who are these people?

Hong Kong

In some ways, I’m not surprised by the lack of interest over Dragon Villa becoming the second biggest shareholders.

After all, it’s just another faceless investment company getting shares in a HK-listed holding company – what difference does it make to what goes on the pitch?

The answer is Dragon Villa are hugely connected to what goes on the pitch – as they’ve pretty much been paying for it for the last twelve months or so.

Their huge loans have enabled BCFC to keep operating at much higher wage levels than previously, and to invest in players such as Jota who will cost Blues over £7million should all add-ons be met.

While I get it’s not great having an investment company who share part of a name with the mob from over the expressway, it’s just a name. If you don’t like it, you can use their Chinese name “Honglung Financial”.

The fact they’re slowly growing as shareholders despite none of us having a scooby who these people are should be more worrying.

I get asked a lot who actually owns Blues, and with this in mind I’d like to introduce the “Faceless Four”.

The “Faceless Four” are the four people who are the current largest shareholders in Birmingham City.

They are:

Paul Suen Cho-hung – owner of Trillion Trophy Asia. While there are no photos of Mr Suen on line, he is the most easily trackable person as most of his business is conducted in the public arena of the stock exchange.

Lei Sutong – owner of Dragon Villa. There is very little online at all about Mr Lei, yet once the share subscription goes through he will own nearly a fifth of BCFC.

Vong Pech – owner of Ever Depot. I have one photo of him and a tiny bit of information about him but again, he’s a very anonymous person in an online sense

Wang Lehai – owner of Chigwell Holdings. The fourth largest shareholders in BSH will see their shareholding drop below 5% once the subscription goes through. There is a little bit of information on Mr Wang online but not a huge amount.

I want people to understand that unlike the Carson era when we had a very extroverted owner who would rock up in a bearskin coat before he went to prison, the club is now owned by fairly anonymous people.

While I accept anyone has the right to be a private person, as a professional stickybeak I find it slightly disconcerting that it’s difficult to see what their businesses do and how they have made their money.

While the money keeps flowing into the club, it’s not an issue. Players will be signed, ambition can be shown, the club keeps moving forward.

When the money stops – it all breaks down.

I’ll make it clear right now that I have absolutely zero reason to believe that there is going to be a stoppage of cash into the club – but I’d like the club to be in a position where they don’t need consistent infusions of cash.

I don’t want our owners to be faceless. I want to know that they’re good business people, who are investing in a project to build something successful.

And as a longstanding Blues Trust member and believer in supporter interaction with clubs, I want them to realise that all I want is for them to be successful in owning Birmingham City – because then everyone wins.

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