On Friday the EFL announced that Birmingham City had entered into an Agreed Decision with regards to the investigation into breaches of the Owners and Directors Test (OADT) during the attempted Maxco takeover. The club have been issued with a two point deduction, suspended until the end of the 2023/24 season.
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.
On Friday, Birmingham Sports Holdings made an announcement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that they had issued just over a billion new shares in the company to repay debts to two third party lenders. An investigation into the two companies and their owners has shown that both companies are connected both to the elusive Mr King, Wang Yaohui.
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.
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.
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.
One of the biggest things I want to achieve while I’m out here in Hong Kong is to help the fans who want to know more about the ownership of the club to understand how it all works. I know it’s not something everyone cares about – but I believe it’s important so that we know what to expect from Birmingham City’s owners and what to hope for.
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?
Birmingham Sports Holdings today made an announcement to the stock exchange of Hong Kong clarifying the recent investments made by Chigwell Holdings and Dragon Villa. In what was an extraordinarily detailed announcement, it was confirmed money loaned by those two companies was used to finance the football club.