BSH: The Circular Delay

On Friday afternoon Birmingham Sports Holdings confirmed to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange the news that I had feared on Wednesday; that the Circular for shareholders relating to the takeover of Blues was to be delayed. The announcement confirmed that the Circular will now be despatched on or before June 30, 2023.


For those of you who have not seen the announcement, you can view it at this link.

As I expected it would, the news was met on social media with quite a bit of fear and frustration from Blues fans.

There’s been quite a few questions posed and I thought it was worthwhile to write a Q&A style article to allay some fears and kill the worst of the bullshit I’ve seen out there.

How much does this delay the takeover?

The big question on everyone’s lips is how much this will now delay the EGM to rubber stamp the takeover by Shelby Companies Limited and allow Tom Wagner and his crew to get on with things.

It’s difficult to give an exact deadline, as it’s easily possible that BSH can and will produce the Circular before the June 30 deadline. If we assume that BSH wait until the deadline to produce the Circular, then the EGM would happen 10 business days later which is around July 17, taking into account the public holiday at the start of July.

This ties up with some soundings I’ve taken from my contacts out in Hong Kong, who advised that they thought the EGM would take place in “mid-July”.

Why is there a delay?

As frustrating as it is for the Circular to be delayed, I expected it after the supplemental announcement that was posted by BSH on Tuesday.

As I said in my post on Wednesday, the supplemental announcement will have been made due to questions the HKSE had for BSH over the takeover. I have no doubt the Circular itself is ready; the issue is just that the HKSE want to make sure the deal is absolutely kosher before going ahead.

It’s not uncommon for Circulars to be delayed. A very quick search of announcements made to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange shows fourteen delayed Circulars in the last seven days.

Throw in the fact that this deal is complex and that the Stock Exchange are keeping a close eye on what BSH are doing due to previous issues and it’s almost inevitable that this happened.

Does this cause Blues problems with transfers etc?

One of the biggest reasons I think people are frustrated with the delay is the knowledge that Blues need to get on with signing players ahead of the new season.

The good news is that this delay doesn’t really have any effect on what Blues do in the transfer market.

Craig Gardner and his recruitment team will have a budget in place from BSH for transfers, loans and wages and will be busy working on who they can bring in.

The change in ownership isn’t going to change that budget substantially in this window due to the issues the club has with FFP in the season ahead; thus the delay in the dispatch of the Circular isn’t going to cause problems.

Likewise, there is nothing to fear regarding money leaving the club.

The agreement made between BSH and Shelby Companies Limited puts very strict constraints on BSH and stops them from taking any money out of the club – for example the sell on for Jude Bellingham should he be transferred this summer.

If anything, this delay only puts pressure on BSH because every day this deal is delayed is costing them money. They have no choice but to keep the club going as normal and I’m sure that they will want to hand that financial responsibility off as soon as they can.

I keep saying this, but as Blues fans we have to be patient.

While any delay is frustrating, it’s a short-term issue which will soon pass – and the reward could be a club that is much more financially stable for the next decade.

We’ve waited a long time for this – a couple more weeks isn’t going to hurt us.