In summary the BIHL announcement covered demands from three sources:
- from Charlie Penn, a former director, for outstanding director’s fees,
- from Peter Pannu concerning various matters including outstanding sums said to be due to his company Asia Rays, for bonus payments, and compensation for termination of his role as MD and CEO and,
- from China Energy for repayment of an outstanding loan.
The Receivers say they are seeking legal advice and are taking all necessary and reasonable steps to resolve the demands.
The club statement points out that the demands are not in relation to claims made against Birmingham City Football Club and goes on to say the matter is in the capable hands of Ernst & Young, acting as the Receivers of BIHL.
The Trust has been in contact with Mr Pavlakis regarding these developments but our enquiries did not reveal any information beyond what is already in the public domain. We are not experts on the legal framework in Hong Kong nor have we been able to assess the financial implications of the recent developments. The Receivers will presumably have to assess the legal and contractual merits of the demands and act accordingly, however unpalatable it may be for Blues fans that monies may be due to those making the demands, including Peter Pannu.
We are aware of speculation that increasing financial pressure may lead to sale of BCFC or BIHL. BIHL appears to be coming under pressure regarding the repayment of loans (the China Energy demand is for about £4m) and it is also likely that considerable sums are being incurred by BIHL in connection with legal fees, financial advice and the Receivers themselves. Like most Blues fans we hope for a change in ownership that will allow the club to move forward in the way we all want, and we await further announcements that we hope will provide clarity on the situation.
The Trust will continue to monitor developments in Hong Kong.