Since its formation in early 2012 amid growing concerns surrounding the Club’s financial health, it has remained one of Blues Trust’s fundamental aims to increase openness and transparency within Birmingham City on behalf of its members.
The Trust has been consistent in its efforts to establish a clear line of communication with the Club’s acting chairman and Birmingham International Holdings CEO Peter Pannu. These efforts have, to date, been continually rebuffed by the Birmingham City hierarchy in Hong Kong. The Trust Board set out plans to do what it could to help expedite the sale of the Club as per the wishes of its members at a fans’ forum meeting held on 2 February 2013.
Blues Trust, working with the Often Partisan website, has received documentary evidence of the consultancy agreement between Birmingham International Holdings and Asia Rays Limited – a company solely owned by Peter Pannu. Whilst the sums of money involved are not hugely substantial in football terms, it is further demonstration that money has been unnecessarily spent taking into consideration the Club’s perilous financial state.
Furthermore, the Trust has received information that suggests that this consultancy agreement was one of the major causes of the delay in the release of Birmingham International Holdings’ company accounts, contrary to initial suggestions that the Club’s Xtep kit deal was solely to blame for the postponement of these results.
David Farrell, Blues Trust Board member, said, “With the well documented, on-going financial difficulties that continue to plague Birmingham City Football Club, Blues Trust is disappointed that Mr. Pannu has felt it necessary to take such a large sum of money in salary.”
He continued, “It’s also disappointing that, despite the protestations from Mr. Pannu that he was trying to sort out the corporate governance at Birmingham International Holdings, the chief cause of the prolonged delay of the BIHL accounts appears to have been Mr. Pannu’s salary and the lack of approval he gained from the BIHL Board.”
Mr. Farrell went on to state, “The Trust would like to thank the Birmingham Mail and the Often Partisan website for their aid in its efforts to analyse and publish the information received from key Birmingham International Holdings stakeholders and would like to assure Trust members that efforts are continuing to obtain and publish further information in the interests of transparency.”
No further comment will be made at the present time.
Blues Trust today reveals findings as part of an on-going investigation into the corporate governance of Birmingham City Football Club and Birmingham International Holdings Limited. The full feature is available in today’s Birmingham Mail and via the Birmingham Mail website.