The announcement that Birmingham Sports Holdings are to sell their remaining stake in Birmingham City Stadium Ltd offered more questions than answers for Blues fans. One of the big questions right now is just how safe the club’s tenure at St Andrew’s will be once the sale has completed.
Birmingham Sports Holdings announced to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Wednesday afternoon that it had agreed to sell off its remaining 75% stake in Birmingham City Stadium Ltd. The sale passes St Andrew’s Stadium into the hands of a British Virgin Islands investment vehicle – and further muddies the water of how the club is run.
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.
On December 16, Birmingham City confirmed in a brief statement on bcfc.com that following an annual structural survey of St Andrew’s stadium, remedial work had been identified which meant that both the Kop and Tilton stands needed to be closed until further notice. Nearly three weeks later, nothing more has been said – so what’s going on?
Derby County escaped sanction under the EFL Profit and Sustainability Rules by selling their stadium to another company owned by their owner Mel Morris. The sale and subsequent long term lease back ensured that the Rams made a profit last season and did not fall foul of the rules in the same way Blues did. Should Blues do the same thing with St Andrew’s?