Radio Free Asia reporter Jack Adamović Davies published a huge investigative report into Wang Yaohui – also known as the elusive Mr King – on Monday night. The report confirms that conclusive proof exists showing that Wang is the beneficial owner of one shareholder in Birmingham Sports Holdings and is a close familial link to Vong Pech. It also goes into detail about Wang’s connections in Cambodia and Cyprus and the legal troubles he is facing.
One of the most complex things to understand about Birmingham City is just who owns the club. While the simple answer would be to point to the Hong Kong listed company Birmingham Sports Holdings, the ownership of that company is opaque due to the number of investment vehicles incorporated in the British Virgin Islands who own stakes in the company. Throw into the mix people owning stakes in the club directly and you’ve got a mess.
The recent partial sale of Birmingham City to investment vehicle Oriental Rainbow Investments along with the recent share subscription completed by Birmingham Sports Holdings has complicated the question of who actually owns the club a little bit further. As the structure of the ownership of the club becomes more Byzantine, it’s become increasingly difficult for fans to understand.
As we heard into December, It won’t be long before the accounts for Birmingham City FC will be published at Companies House. These accounts will give a full insight into the financial situation of the club at the start of this season and should help us understand just how much money the club can spend this winter.
While Blues secured their Championship status for another year by winning away at Rotherham on Monday, Birmingham Sports Holdings have been doing what it can to secure its own financial status on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Just prior to announcing their interim results on Thursday, Birmingham Sports Holdings also announced a rights issue in an attempt to raise HK$297.7million. The purpose of the rights issue is to reduce the frightening levels of borrowing within the company and to provide more working capital to keep the company going.
Previously on almajir.net I’ve written about a group of large shareholders in Birmingham Sports Holdings I’ve termed “The Faceless Four”. Today I have spent time investigating two of those shareholders to find out more about them and who they are.
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?
Announcements were made by both Birmingham City FC and Birmingham Sports Holdings today that have financial ramifications for the immediate future of the football club. BCFC confirmed that they have sold naming rights to both St Andrew’s and the Wast Hills training complex while BSH have confirmed another share subscription deal that sees Dragon Villa become their second biggest shareholder.
I think it’s safe to say that the ownership situation at Birmingham City is still one of mystery to some people, judging by some of the questions I get asked via social media or email. With this in mind I wanted to put together an article answering the questions that get asked the most to help improve people’s understanding.