Not much is known about the current largest shareholder in Birmingham City, Vong Pech. Although he owns just over 40% of Blues via Cambodian development company Graticity Real Estate Development Ltd and BVI investment company Oriental Rainbow Investments, nothing has been forthcoming from Vong about his purchase of a tranche of the club. In this third piece on Vong, I’ve taken a look at another project he part-owns in Cambodia, and it’s links to another Hong Kong listed company.
News broke on Thursday that Coventry City were close to agreeing a return to the Ricoh Arena having shared St Andrew’s with Birmingham City for two seasons. The return would end Coventry’s second recent spell in exile away from their home city – and more importantly for Blues give the St Andrew’s pitch a chance to recover.
Birmingham Sports Holdings announced their interim accounts to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Friday. The unaudited figures confirmed that the listed company made a profit of HK$75.924M (just over £7m) for the six-month period to December 31, 2020, which represents a huge change from their normal loss-making performance.
Defeat to Norwich on Tuesday was not an unexpected outcome. The best team in the division away from home against a team that can’t buy a win at home right now were always going to be the favourites to pick up the points. However, manager Aitor Karanka’s comments in the aftermath show one of the chief problems the club faces.
Two consecutive days of share price rises have pushed the stock market capitalisation of Birmingham Sports Holdings to £378M as of close of play on Friday. It seems an insanely high figure for a company which makes the majority of its revenue via Blues. In today’s piece I’ve taken a deep dive into just what else BSH does to try to make some sense of what is happening.
It might be relegation worries for Birmingham City at St Andrew’s, but in the Hong Kong it’s very much business as usual for Birmingham Sports Holdings. The HKSE listed company announced to shareholders that it was revising its profit warning upwards to around £7m for the six months to December 31, 2020 – and this came on the back of a share price rise which now values the company at close to £320M.
Another day, another defeat. Millwall were the victors this time, beating Blues 2-0 at the Den on Wednesday night to condemn Aitor Karanka’s side to their ninth defeat in 13 league games. Blues lie one point behind Rotherham in 21st place, although the Millers have two games in hand. For any other club the assumption would be Karanka’s place is untenable – but there is no sign of change. What needs to happen?
It’s been a strange old week for Blues in the media. Less than seven days after taking a verbal beasting from callers on the Radio WM phone-in, Richard Wilford managed to record and broadcast an interview with Blues CEO Ren Xuandong. The 15 minute interview covered a range of topics and offered fans a small insight into the thoughts of Ren.
Saturday’s game against Luton Town isn’t a quite literal must win for Blues but from a figurative point of view failing to beat the Hatters will easily crank up the pressure on Aitor Karanka. The Spaniard continues to be bullish in press conferences before games but from a fan’s perspective it’s getting harder to believe that things are fine.
As Birmingham City are now in the bottom three of the Championship, the more worried members of the fan base are talking about relegation and the implied financial Armageddon that comes with it. With this in mind I have written this piece to explain what Administration really is – and why it’s unlikely as things stand to happen to Birmingham City.