The Waiting Game
It is clear to just about every Blues fan that the club is in crisis. We all want to see action to resolve the issues that are seemingly paralysing it right now, but it seems every issue comes with the comment “it’s complex and will take time”. Unfortunately, this is true but very frustrating.
Fans have challenged the owners through protests, investigative work and raising issues with different authorities. These efforts have all contributed to making it more uncomfortable for them to have our club in their portfolio. This, together with the reported financial and legal difficulties of Wang Yaohui, appear to have moved them from the position of saying the club is not for sale.
Since the end of last season, a state of limbo has set in. Really important matters such as preparing a team ready for the challenges of a new season and repairing the ground appear to have been put on the back burner whilst the owners entertain bids for the club. Exactly who is negotiating on behalf of the owners, and who the bidders are, have been the subject of rumour, with very limited factual information made available publicly. It is the case that any parties to a negotiation are prevented by law, and probably agreement, from disclosing what is going on so as fans we are left waiting, hoping and becoming more frustrated as delays continue.
The revelations made last week by Radio Free Asia (RFA), in a lengthy article written with input from Blues blogger Daniel Ivery, came as no surprise to the Trust. We have raised the issue of ownership of our club with the authorities on several occasions.
For those who haven’t seen it, the main points of the RFA article are:
- one of the major shareholders of Blues parent company, and therefore of Blues, is the rather inappropriately named Dragon Villa Ltd which currently own 12.8% of the club;
- the club identifies Dragon Villa Ltd as being owned by Mr Lei Sutong in its disclosure statement;
- a sworn affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court of Singapore shows that the beneficial owner of Dragon Villa Ltd is in fact Mr Wang Yaohui, a naturalised Cambodian citizen. This would suggest that Dragon Villa Ltd is effectively controlled by Wang Yaohui rather than Lei Sutong. This would appear to violate EFL regulations which make it a requirement to declare all persons who have a “significant interest” in a football club;
- the article also alleges that a major current shareholder in Blues, Mr Vong Pech, is “a close relative of Wang Yaohui who frequently fronts ownership of companies and assets for him”.
These are potentially serious allegations which could have repercussions for the club and implications for its sale.
Since the news broke, Blues Trust has been in contact with various parties including the EFL, the Football Supporters Association, Tracey Crouch MP (who has been leading the Fan Led Review) and Shabana Mahmood, MP for Ladywood, who has taken up the fans concerns previously.
The Trust is pressing the EFL to investigate these allegations swiftly and effectively, unlike previously when the EFL ignored our requests and those made by others. And, if it is established that any rules have in fact been broken, to focus any penalties against those stakeholders and club officials who are responsible for the breach rather than the team (most likely through the deduction of points) and, as a consequence, against the fans. We will keep fans informed of any progress.
This latest information and the reported difficulties of the elusive owners, together with lack of progress on other issues, means the value of what may be on sale to a prospective new owner is probably reducing and the urgency for the current owners to raise funds is probably increasing. This moving target creates an unstable situation which means finalising a deal more difficult and consequently is less likely. This creates a higher risk for current bidders and other interested parties who may well be biding their time in the expectation that the seller will become more desperate.
So we remain in the waiting game. Waiting for new owners, but again unsure how this will come about and how long it will take.
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I’ve given up worrying about it now, whatever happens I will carry on supporting Blues as I have done for the last 50 years, let’s face it the team will need our support more than ever now. As the song goes what will be will be!!
I have come to the same conclusion as Chris. I saw my first Blues game in 1960 and we have had quite a number of owners who have come and gone for various reasons. All we can do is wait and see but at the same time encourage the EFL to ensure that any new owners really are ‘Right And Proper”. So more power to the Trust in this effort.
It’s a desperate situation for everyone concerned,supporters deserve much more than this sorry state of a football club.
It just needs to be sorted out fast and we need to get the team in place for next season and hit the ground running get the board gone KRO
Agree with Chris & Bill. I’ve been going since the early 1960’s will renew season ticket as always but for the first time as a senior citizen. Most important we support the team now. Though, I also respect those supporters who will not renew until the owners are gone. BSHLOUT & KRO.
It’s a sad fact that the club is split into many parts with different Investors having a slice. What a sorry state we are in. We have no more finger nails left to hang on to the cliff edge this season.
Birmingham is the 2nd capital of the UK, I’m pretty certain that there will be some really wealthy person(s), consortiums keeping a close eye on the situation, onwards and upwards KRO !!!
Why on earth did the Premier League and then the EFL allow all these [******] over the last 11/12 years own us and destroy us ? They didn’t Chelsea did they, unforgivable ! KRO BCFC
For the first time in donkeys years I shall not be renewing my season ticket.
Like others I have seen the era’s of Ken Wheldon, Kumars etc etc and always gone home and away.
But sadly something has finally snapped my resolve and i’ve had enough.
The ownership issues, the fact that half the ground is closed and that we just cannot compete are probably all contributory factors.
And now on top of all this a probable points deduction dropping us into Division 3 or whatever its called.
I’ll probably still do the odd game home and away but I like many I know need to take a break from the exhausting madness that it is to be a season ticket holder and away gold member.
I too am feeling the same sentiments of my fellow posters.
No one is saying they still don’t love the Blues, no one is saying they will stop supporting the Blues, albeit maybe from afar. It’s a real dilemma that tugs at the heart strings. It’s similar to facing a divorce because you’ve been cheated on, but you still have that love in your heart. But l’m now convinced these owners couldn’t give a monkeys about the fans. It appears the number one priority is the HK stock listing, maybe it gives them some sort of kudos? But what l do know they are slowly killing our club, and at the same time pushing the fans further and further away. So the next few weeks leading up to the July 2nd renewal cut off is really important, at the moment l still need convincing to part with my cash and commit to driving two hundred miles plus per game. It’s like booking a table at your favourite restaurant not knowing what the hell will be on the menu, who will be the head chef, and do they still have the same predictable waiting staff and in some cases past there sell by date ingredients. Convince me please Mr Dutton.
I was born in Small Heath. All of my family on my mothers and fathers side were born and raised in Bordesley Green. I first went to see Blues play in 1968, my father took me to watch us play Bolton Wanderers. I saw TF play with Bob Latchford, Bobby Hatton, Alan Campbell, Kenny Burns and many others. Like many others I have seen the bad times and stood on the Tilton and the Kop and tried to roar the boys on. But now this is something different, these people really don’t care. The football authorities who have let them destroy our club don’t care. Is it really the end of the road for our famous old club? I am broken hearted about this situation but I cannot bring myself to attend any more until these cretins are removed. Wherever we are after the dust has settled, I will return – just like hundreds of people that I know feel like me.
Keep Right On – the spirit of BCFC is us the fans – WE WILL BE BACK
Keeping the frustration, which breeds anger, under control is difficult at times- especially with our ongoing situation. With Blues we can only hope a takeover for the better will happen. Lose that belief and all we have left is annoyance and feeling sorry for ourselves. This waiting game still has a heartbeat.