It’s a bipolar existence being a Birmingham City fan sometimes. On the pitch things look much improved and on Saturday the team scored five goals in the league for the first time in nearly six years in a thumping 5-0 win over Luton. Off the pitch, the rumour mill is in overdrive with whispers of financial meltdown doing the rounds in a vacuum of information.
On Friday, I published a lengthy article outlining just how tangled a web the ownership of Birmingham City FC is. In this article I am concentrating on new shareholders in the club Oriental Rainbow Investments Ltd – and why their investment is indicative of issues the club faces.
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.
Birmingham Sports Holdings confirmed in an announcement on Monday to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange the date of an Extraordinary General Meeting to approve the partial sale of BCFC to Oriental Rainbows Ltd. The sale would see Chinese-Cambodian businessman Vong Pech become the largest shareholder in the club.
On Friday Birmingham City filed details of two charges with Companies House, outlining forward financing of payments relating to the Che Adams transfer to Southampton and the Jude Bellingham transfer to Borussia Dortmund. A total of £18M has been used as security for the charges, which show Macquarie Bank’s London branch as the lender.
Embattled Trillion Trophy Asia owner Paul Suen suffered another potential setback in Hong Kong last week. Suen, who is the largest shareholder in Birmingham Sports Holdings, quit his role as Non Executive Director at EPI Holdings (689:HK) after a shareholder revolt at the company’s AGM.
Lockdown has entered its seventh week in the UK and the football authorities are still no nearer in working out how to complete the 2019/2020 season. As a consequence, football clubs are facing harder and harder decisions regarding how to sort out their finances, with some having to resort to using the government’s furlough scheme.
There has been a lot of focus on the people running Birmingham City in recent weeks as the pressure on Head Coach Pep Clotet has grown. With this in mind I thought it would be good to take a proper look at who the is on the board at Blues, to aid understanding of just what is going on and who would be the one to make a decision.
As the protests continue to rumble on in Hong Kong, the economy there shows signs of further weakening. While the Hong Kong stock market is as yet to be affected, various financial news outlets have spoken of potential investor flight from the former colony as long-term prospects grow increasingly bleak. What could this mean for Birmingham Sports Holdings and by extension its subsidiary Birmingham City FC?
The rumour season is once again in full swing on social media, with rumours not just of impending incomings and exits at Blues but talk of potential changes in ownership. None of these rumours have any basis in fact as it stands – I wrote this article to explain why Blues won’t be sold any time soon.