BCFC Supporters Forum 6th Sept 2018 – Questions

A supporters Forum is being held at St Andrews this evening, starting at about 6:30pm . Blues Trust will be represented by Board members Richard Stanley and Margaret Decker.

The following questions were submitted in advance to the Club and we look forward to receiving clarification. We are certain that supporters will agree that these relate to significant issues which are causing much anxiety around the Club, and thus that each deserves a comprehensive and satisfactory response.

Keep an eye on our Twitter feed to keep abreast of developments.

Question 1Question 2Question 3Question 4Question 5Question 6Question 7
1. At the May 24 Supporters Forum meeting, in response to questions about the impact of Financial Fair Play regulations, the club replied, “we understand financial fair play …supporters should ignore a lot of unfounded and incorrect rumours…We are continuing business as usual.”.
Given that Birmingham City plc made an operating loss £16.3m in the year to 30 June 2017, and that therefore the club were clearly going to be in breach of FFP rules which state that an ‘Embargo will be effective from 1st January 2018 (the relevant season) and that no players were signed during January 2018 transfer window, it is hard to believe there was not an embargo in effect at the time of this statement.

  • At what point did the club first realise that they had infringed the rules, and at what date were the first contacts with the EFL about a potential embargo ?
  • Many fans purchased their season tickets reassured that FFP would not impact transfer business by believing the clubs response at the last Fans Forum. Do the Board believe that they now owe the fans an apology and explanation?
  • It seems that either the club and Board were more aware of the issues and decided not to be open at the last Forum or were running the club without relevant and available financial information. Please can the Director assure us that at this Forum, and in the future, a more open approach will be taken to answering questions.
2. Regarding the EFL constraints and process

  • What is the time period within the Business plan imposed by the EFL?
  • When is the disciplinary commission due to make a decision about sanctions and fines?
  • Is investment in the facilities at St Andrews constrained by the imposed business plan?
3. We and other commentators have studied the club and BSH accounts and the EFL Financial Fair Play rules. With the limited information available it appears that if the owners defray losses by increasing equity investment (perhaps converting current loans to Equity) then the level of losses could be kept within FFP limits and so remove many of the current EFL constraints. Have the Board:

  • considered this option or similar options?
  • have they ruled it out – if so please outline the reasoning for this?
  • are they planning to implement it – if so what is the timeframe?
4. When Trillion Trophy Asia bought Birmingham International Holdings, it was suggested that the real reason was because they wanted the Hong Kong Stock Exchange listing. It was reported that the value of a shell with a primary exchange listing is worth about HK$600 million’. That’s about £59m at today’s exchange rates.

  • Did they just buy the club for the Stock Exchange listing?
  • Are the Board now prepared to explain to the supporters, (the only long-term stakeholders and the people who will still be associated with Birmingham City long after the current owners have moved on) what their plans are for the ownership (or relinquishing ownership) into the future?
  • How does infringing the FFP rules affect the timetable in achieving their objectives.
5. Regarding the recent departures of three senior members of staff.

  • What were the reasons for this?
  • What are the plans for ensuring the club has the required knowledge and expertise to cover these senior staff management positions – especially the expertise to navigate through (or effect release from) an imposed business plan?
6. We are concerned that the clubs communication policy appears to be to maintain silence around issues that are important to many fans that want the best for the club. This forces fans to look elsewhere for information about their club and promotes a feeling that the messages we hear about fans being important are not sincere. Please will the club consider a more proactive and open communication policy that will encourage collaboration and understanding; rather than maintaining the silent or minimal comment approach which makes protest and questioning the only options for concerned fans.
7. We would appreciate a little more notice of Supporters Forums as attendance and questions need consideration and planning. Please would you give us at least 2 weeks and preferably 4 weeks notice in future.
Keep Right On

Blues Trust

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1 Comment

  1. Sausage n egg

    What happened ?

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