Often Partisan

Look what you could have won

Lifelong Birmingham City fan Darryl Eales became chairman of Oxford United over the weekend having taken a stake in the club of between 30 and 50%. This morning’s Birmingham Mail has the story about Eales having previously been in negotiation to buy Blues over the past year.

Eales, who until May was chief executive officer of LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds banking group, had been in negotiations with Peter Pannu in early 2013 to buy the club and tabled an offer back in April of that year. That bid was rejected summarily by Pannu as the full amount was based on various performance related issues rather than a significant down-payment. However, based on what was going on in Hong Kong around that time I don’t believe anyone else at BIH even saw that bid and I wonder if Eales would have made the same offer as Paladini did to pay off Pannu.

It’s also known that Eales had become part of the BCFC2014 consortium this year. With the Hall Green-born banker now having thrown his lot in with Oxford one has to be concerned how much this effects the BCFC2014 backing. Eales has extensive contacts within the banking industry and was known to be keen to bring in other investors to fund Birmingham City in the event of a takeover; it is believed one of these groups would have been the Piramal family from India.

It’s not known why Eales has now decided to invest elsewhere but I would personally surmise that the difficulties surrounding buying the club have put him off. As much as people talk about BIH not wanting to sell the club I think this isn’t true; I think BIH would sell the club if they could and if someone offered them enough money but I think until recently the latter hadn’t come true and with an ongoing HKSE investigation it appears the former still has yet to be confirmed. That being said I also believe that there are obstacles within the company and until those obstacles are removed it’s not going to be easy.

I guess it’s a bit like Bullseye – look what you could have won – and I think it’s not going to go down well with fans who are tired of the ongoing saga. I would contend though that if he had managed to buy the club Eales wouldn’t have been more than a caretaker owner getting it into shape before a bigger investment came in; not that I think there would have been anything wrong with that but it would have continued the long process. With the SMW bid seemingly stalling too it does appear that we are at an impasse and it is one I think that will only be overcome by a couple of things changing inside and around BIH. I am hopeful those changes are underway – but having been very positive about a takeover at the end of last season I sadly think we won’t see any movement this side of Christmas.

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114 Responses to “Look what you could have won”

  • Blueboy88 says:

    Trying to buy BCFC from BIHL is obviously more complicated than it ever should be.
    What is most disconcerting about this though, is a committed Bluenose could not stay the course, so what chance anybody else ?

  • Poppa999 says:

    Why are buyers being so frustrated by the current owners Dan?

    • OftenPartisan says:

      I don’t really want to go into detail cos of legal stuff. You can probably guess though.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    This is the first time Daryl Eales name has surfaced in the takeover saga. I wonder why it has come to light now?
    I agree that it is unlikely we will see any movement on the takeover before Christmas, if at all.
    However, lets think positive. No Administration, 9 new players, relaid pitch, pre-season in a 5 star facility and no Zigic wages.

    • OftenPartisan says:

      It’s come to light now cos he bought Oxford so his involvement in a blues takeover (ie BCFC2014) is over.

      I thought that was obvious?

      • Richard Granfield says:

        I was unaware that Eales was involved in BCFC2014 and I suspect I’m not the only one. In fact his name has never appeared on your Blog or the Mail to my knowledge before today.

  • rich bcfc says:

    BCFC will only be sold when Pannu is out of the way. He is only looking out for himself and creaming every last drop out if the club until his contract expires in September. Only then will we see some movement with the sale of the club.

  • Agent McLeish says:

    Pannu is the problem. He is on the gravy train and doesn’t want to get off.

    • Geoff S says:

      Pannu is certainly part of the problem but what about the other directors who seem happy enough to let him carry on with presiding over the gradual wrecking of BCFC?

  • Staffs Blue says:

    I don’t think it matters a jot who has fallen by the wayside.. it’s who is in with a shout at the moment that matters. I think that until Wray comes out and says the deal is off, we can only wait and hope. No point getting up in arms about it all, because none of them give a monkeys. Let’s just support the team, despite them, not because of them.

    • mark says:

      Staffs your last line that’s where my thoughts are supporting team…the rest will one day sort its self out…..

  • Mark says:

    Well said Ian.I’ve been saying since the start of last season we must buycot the home games and starve these mugs out of St Andrews.fans say we’ll only hurt the club by doing that ,but can’t they see there hurting the club more by giving their money to these people so they can hang on to blues and kill them slowly.

  • Chris W says:

    Not the news any of us are waiting for by a long chalk.
    BIHL need BCFC more than the other way round as the club appears to be their only income. As for any takeovers, you have HKSE rules and investigations, BIHL audits that never seem to be up to date and/or inconclusive and then there is Mr Pannu, so no wonder people drop out or fall by the wayside..
    Several clubs have changed hands since last season without all the problems we face, Leeds, Doncaster, Sheffield Wednesday and now Oxford yet we are no further forward as we were a year ago.
    How are BIHL allowed to trundle along and where is their income coming from?
    If figures are to be believed then ST sales are a little below last season with a the early bird sales coming to an end I doubt there will be a rush before the start of the season.
    The only thing we as supporters can do is carry on and support the team.
    KRO+DNM

  • mark says:

    Not really surprised , if people didnt think they wanted on their terms are very deluded…… Excited about the football kick off our friendly against cork in the next 24 hours…….come on you blue boys……..kro

  • mark says:

    Daniel you said this side of Christmas, how about not happening at all ??

  • Staffs Blue says:

    As far as I’m concerned, this latest news means nothing, it’s a non-story really. Things haven’t changed on the sale front in the last month as far as we’re aware.. and news of any buyers last year doesn’t change anything either.

  • mark says:

    So reading between the lines no buyers has offered any down payment for the club??

  • mark says:

    With fans continuing buying their St and continuing their support of bcfc yep they must be in agreement with you lol

    • Geoff S says:

      It sounds as though you are OK with the current pack of shysters who occupy the directors positions at St Andrew’s.

      • Chris W says:

        As supporters there isn’t much we can do, a total boycott will never happen and as we have seen, ST sales are on par with last season so they won’t be starved of income plus there is the new sponsors.
        The Football league are happy with things at the present as BIHL have the resources to keep trading and fulfilling the current obligations.
        KRO+DNM

        • Steve says:

          It was only on par because of the cheap renewals Chris.I wonder what they’re like now the renewal date has passed ?

          • Chris W says:

            The early bird prices are still available until July 19th then it is quite a hike, some by almost £200. Premier prices for no investment in my opinion. It would be the only way to hurt the club but like a complete boycott the same applies to ST sales, there are those that will always buy them.
            Without leadership, organisation and the lack of apathy the supporters will always be the ones to suffer. Something I feel the Blues Supporters trust is struggling with at present.

            KRO+DNM

          • Steve says:

            The early bird prices are still more expensive than the renewal prices.

          • Chris W says:

            Still expensive considering all the investment that BIHL have put in :-(
            KRO+DNM

          • Shirley Blue says:

            They want £575 for my old ST seat in block 27 and that’s the early bird price. I refuse to pay Premiership prices to watch the garbage served up over the last two seasons. I bet they are doing the stupid categorisation of games too. For category a games that seat was £40 last season. Someone in the ticket office needs to take a serious reality check.

          • Chris W says:

            I agree, the prices are expensive and far in excess considering we are in the Championship.
            If money had been invested in the team and we had a squad who looked like a winning Championship side I would not complain. But we have no investment and our excitement levels are about survival and hope for better.
            Add to that the £10 a game tickets then the ST holder is losing out.
            if they charged £12 a ticket they could bring in a revenue of around £3.5 m, if results were the same, if the team were to be successful then i could be considerably higher if not double.
            KRO+DNM

        • tmsblues says:

          Chris do you really think they would admit to a slump in sales of ST’s ? Saying they are on a par is actually a hype when you consider the disaster that home form was last season. If they are on a par then I admire the loyalty of fans who have done so, but I also feel that many have again been ‘persuaded’ by timely announcements of the changing of the watch only to find its not quite that way. These people are gambling on a good season at bargain basement cost prices or an avoidance of the drop at least. I’d prefer to PAYG subject to the product on offer right now!

          • Chris W says:

            I must admit I am surprised sales seem so high,I have checked the website for vacant seats, two weeks ago where I sit usually has 5 seats in a row empty, these were old season ticket holders who had not renewed last season, three of these seats cannot be renewed for impossible reasons, two refuse to renew whilst under the current regime, yet they were sold out, today they are, and more, shown as available again. I also know of 14 tickets that have been renewed are showing as available today. I have noticed this on several occasions.
            KRO+DNM

          • tmsblues says:

            Chinese accounting I think!

      • Steve says:

        I have no problem with people saying “Lets support the team” Geoff.But the idiots that constantly praise the owners and the board p!$$ me off.It shows a complete lack of understanding of whats going on.

  • williammorgan says:

    Why is there an hold up in the sale of blues ,I thought the football authorities worked with BIH and found everything above board ,if this lot of buyers fail I suggest the blues fans all go round with the hat and start our own investigation into the club as privately we can go where no authority has been before kro

  • Blueboy88 says:

    Dan – You mention the Piramal family, who would seem to be very cash rich,
    In April 2014, Piramal agreed to sell the 11 percent stake it owned in Vodafone back to the mobile operator for around $1.48 billion.
    Do you know anymore about this, or why the family may want to get involved in football ?

  • Oldbluenose says:

    Dan;, Come September, Will P,P, relinquish ALL ties with Blues and BIH, ??.

    • Staffs Blue says:

      Thinking about it (yes, it takes a while these days) that’s a good point. If the club isn’t sold by the time Pannu’s contract is up, what then, will he be kept on, or will someone else take over the process?

      • Oldbluenose says:

        Staffs/Steve/Chris W;, That was my [ hopeful ] point, IF, PP, finally leaves, There may be more transparency in dealings with both our Club and any prospective bidders for us, ?.

        • Staffs Blue says:

          Does both his tenure as CEO and his Asia Rays deal come to an end, or is it just the consultancy. Or are they one and the same?

          • Oldbluenose says:

            Staffs;, His role as CEO, terminates 19th Sept, [ please ].
            Asia Rays, ?. Honestly do not know, !!.

        • Chris W says:

          Not so sure about transparency. I don’t think he has the control he did have and we don’t have anymore transparency, in fact I would say it has got worse.
          KRO+DNM

        • Steve says:

          I think there might be.Apparently Peter Pavlokis will answer e mails that he gets from supporters.

    • Steve says:

      I don’t think they can afford to offer him a new contract can they ?

      • Chris W says:

        Couldn’t afford his last one thats for sure, but he probably wrote it anyway.
        KRO+DNM

  • ian says:

    how many full price tickets have been sold, and how many discounted tickets were bought under the presumption that a new dawn was on the horizon ?

  • StevieW says:

    Nothing like kicking a Blues fan when he is down. Just bought my ticket for the Cale game feeling quite excited about the build up to the new season and then I read this. Cheers Dan the journalistic pressures of turning the knife must really hurt, the sort of news you don’t want to pedal but have a duty to. (and I am being sincere)

  • tmsblues says:

    And if the BIH board can run things on a shoestring while the team looks like surviving the drop then there is no rush for them to sort themselves out and sell. Sadly its probably going to need the team doing badly and the crowds continuing to dwindle that might be the scenario to force the owners hand. If relegation beckons the value of the club will plummet! Not great options for supporters to consider really !!

    • Staffs Blue says:

      If the team start badly, the fans will probably be on their backs, but if the team get off to a good start.. and it’s possible, what then? It will probably mean BIHL will hold out that much longer. Bit of a double-edged sword really.

      • Chris W says:

        This is what BIHL are hoping for, I don’t think they really want to sell hence all the shenanigans.
        Love him or hate him at least CY was at the helm, now we seem to go from disaster to disaster.
        KRO+DNM

        • Staffs Blue says:

          I still think Porky Pig is the problem. Roll on September.

          • Chris W says:

            Do you honestly think he will walk away come September, got more chance of Porky Pig scoring a hat trick.
            KRO+DNM

          • Oldbluenose says:

            Chris W;, That is the question that I have put to Daniel earlier.
            Is it definite that his contract is finished by/in Sept, ??.

          • Chris W says:

            Maybe he won’t know, does anyone know how BIHL go about their business? I believe his consultancy contract either expires or is up for renewal in Septemeber.
            KRO+DNM

          • tmsblues says:

            Think whats in the trough is an issue to the buyers!

        • tmsblues says:

          Mmmm? Despite my belief that LC is a hopeless case something at the back of my mind says we might just get lucky and put some results together… Then we are saddled with him and the owners for the duration till someone hits the price and ‘complications’ jackpot. Before Xmas…. which one?

          • Chris W says:

            Can’t see anything happening this season unless you believe in miracles.
            KRO+DNM

      • tmsblues says:

        That’s just the point I was trying to make Staffs. We obviously want the team to gel and do well but if they do I just suspect the present regime will be here for a while. Why sell if you can run it on a shoestring and have risks to the Company’s survival in HK? It a real dilemma… maybe we should win yet more away and starve them out at home Ha!

        • Chris W says:

          Can’t rely on our away form being the same as last year, hope it is but if we start badly at home I can see problems on all points.
          Action needs to be taken but unless we get leadership and someone with a big name who can galvanise the supporters we will just trundle along as we are.
          KRO+DNM

      • Steve says:

        Not sure they will Staffs tbh. I think the fans have been pretty good where backing the team is concerned. The only time there seems to be abuse is when the cheap tickets are on sale and the non regular fans turn up. Clark on the other hand may not be so lucky this season.

        • Chris W says:

          Most fans who go regularly can see the players trying, it is when LC starts messing about that the fans get frustrated. I can only recall two occasions when the supporters had a go at the team, when they booed them off, the only other time was when Zigic was substituted.
          This season we have a team of our own so supporters will expect more in terms of effort and commitment, but I think they will be allowed some leeway early in the season.
          KRO+DNM

        • Staffs Blue says:

          As I’ve said, he’s clever enough to know that this season is make or break for him. The home form is the key.

      • bluenoserob says:

        I think given what happened last season ,us winning a good few games at the start of the season would be the best thing that could happen . regardless of the effect of that on the whole “sale” thing.

  • ian says:

    no ziggy wages true, but no more parachute payments either,
    and my gut feeling is a break down in this “takeover”.
    with any player showing any promise being sold in January.
    hope i’m wrong, but all i am seeing is the “kumars” all over again

    • Staffs Blue says:

      Tbh, if things stay the way they are, I think there will have to be sales. We’ve not sold a player since January… that must be some kind of record for this lot.

      • Steve says:

        Unless one of the new players come in and completely storm the championship staffs,we have nobody left to sell.

        • Staffs Blue says:

          Certainly not for a million. We’d struggle to get £250k for any of our players now. But, I’m sure that won’t stop Pannu.

          • Blueboy88 says:

            Well they turned down an offer from Cardiff last week for Tom Adeyemi for a reported 1.4 million.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            I didn’t think he was worth that. Maybe £500-£750k. But, they must obviously think he is.

          • Chris W says:

            Maybe they are looking to the future, as they did with Mutch, he must have doubled in value after his season in the premiership despite relegation. He was the spark in midfield for them.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Didn’t we get him for nowt? (except wages etc) Double nowt, is…. I think anything we make on him would be profit.

          • Chris W says:

            We had to pay Derby academy a compensation package, and sold him for around £1M.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Sorry Chris.. misread your comment. Thought you were referring to Adeyemi.

          • Shirley Blue says:

            So did I. Adeyami is not worth anything like £1.4m. He we already be gone if someone offered that for him.

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Like I said, £500k, possibly £750k, due to his age and potential. Certainly nowhere near £1m.

          • bluenoserob says:

            while i think your spot on staffs , i remember a good few on here saying that we had done ok from the jorden mutch deal .

          • Chris W says:

            Paid a compensation under academy rules to cover expenses and costs then sold him for a cool million. Question is what happened to the money, it wasn’t re-invested into the team.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Like I said rob, we got him for a signing on fee and wages… so any transfer fee will be a profit. He’s a decent player, but not irreplaceable.

          • Chris W says:

            That was the reported figure though I never saw any monies mentioned, and I’m sure BIHL would have snapped their hands off for that amount.
            I have no problem selling players, but the money raised has to be re-invested back into the team and not swallowed up.
            KRO+DNM

          • Chris W says:

            I thought you were referring to Mutch…lol
            Adeyemi has a bright future but still a long way to go yet, certainly not worth a million as it stands. Hopefully he learnt from Huws last season and develops along the same lines.
            KRO+DNM

          • Geoff S says:

            The mind really does boggle when we consider some Premiership clubs will pay over twenty or even thirty times the amount you mentioned and for just one player…

            Where is the game going?

          • Chris W says:

            As mentioned by some on here, the bubble has to burst sooner or later. Man City are cutting back on wages this season. Nasri has to take a £40k a week wage cut and he still walks out with £140k.
            KRO+DNM

          • Steve says:

            where was that reported Blueboy ?

          • Blueboy88 says:

            SHA – so on reflection “reported” maybe be a little rich :-)

      • Chris W says:

        To be fair Staffs, who have we had who would be worth more than a burger on match day. Most of last season saw us with other teams players and the only one worth selling was Macheda who went to Cardiff, Huws is probably the only other who could name a price.
        KRO+DNM

        • Staffs Blue says:

          We might get a few bob for the likes of Randolph, Caddis or Novak… experienced players, but no one else from last season’s squad. You never know, some of the new signings might work out. I’ll be interested to see where Burke and Zigic end up.

          • Chris W says:

            Seems to have gone quiet on the Burke front, he was touted for Forest and was still a possibility,but now Pearce is manager I don’t think that will happen. Most of my Neighbours are Forest fans and they didn’t rate him last season.
            Not even heard a rumour re Zigic though.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Well, according to Burke’s agent, he had 16 clubs interested. Probably Forest and 16 Scottish clubs. :-D

          • Chris W says:

            Probably hear he is training with Blues to keep fit and then signs a play as you earn contract while teaching the kids how not to cross a ball.
            KRO+DNM

          • Staffs Blue says:

            Lmao. Nice one.

          • Chris W says:

            You know what these agents are like, look after themselves first.
            KRO+DNM

          • Steve says:

            I think he was looking to move nearer to Scotland. I think OP said his wife wanted to move closer to home.

  • Alan Watton says:

    I played golf with an Oxford United Fan on Saturday who said that Eales had wanted to buy West Brom. Anyway Pannu get your a** is gear and sell up. The Club is now at risk. You will be guilty of Murdering Birmingham City FC

  • Beckie Harper says:

    I have just bought two season tickets for the first time in about four seasons. We all know the problems with the board and we all want them gone. But I am sick of people saying boycott the club lets get behind the team and offer support, lets get St Andrews rocking again and show potential buyers what a good investment we could be! Things are bad but they could be worse look at Leeds with the players being asked to take in packed lunches when training! K.R.O and remember being a Blues fan was never going to be easy!

    • Chris W says:

      Not sure St Ans will be rocking under the current regime Beckie, it hasn’t for the last three seasons and very little has changed to encourage fans back.
      Yes we have a new look team of our own, but they are all from lower divisions. The question is are they good enough and collectively can they step up to the task in hand?
      I said last season that the only way to hit BIHL is in the pocket, it is personal choice whether to renew/buy a season ticket, but has that money been reinvested in the club for the betterment of the supporters, I don’y think it has.
      When BIHL are gone and the real state of BCFC becomes apparent I worry that the damage inflicted will see us in a position worse than Leeds Utd, Coventry and Portsmouth.
      I hope I am wrong but looking back on our history something tell me I am not.
      KRO+DNM

    • mark says:

      well done beckie that’s the spirit supporting the team and Clark will bring positiveness back to the stans.

    • Tony says:

      Beckie we are in a mess we are being run by a crook and his cohorts, hes in no rush to sell he dont give a damm, but he will gladly take your money and drag it out as long as he can.
      We have the worst playing staff I can remeber in my lifetime ,and you want the place rocking again, well there is absoloutely no chance of that happening.We need new owners and a new manager, and we need them yesterday.

      • mark says:

        tony are you still being a humbug lets hope we win against cork otherwise i am sure you will continue with your negativity tomorrow lol

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Jean Beausejour has been released by Wigan. Could he be the left-sided midfielder LC could do with?

    • Staffs Blue says:

      Would he accept £5k though? Even at Wigan, he must have been on a decent wad. And hasn’t he played more as a full back/wing back in the last couple of seasons?

    • bluenoserob says:

      jean beausejour is out of our price range now i fear.shame .

  • mark says:

    well looks like the leeds game been changed to lunchtime, sky subscribes will love it

  • Mark Galloway says:

    No-one should ever have a go at a Blues fan supporting the team we all love.

    However let no-one be under any illusions re where we are traveling under the current ownership and it is not a good place in my view.

    Time will tell but the joys of Bolton will be, in my view, replaced by much sorrow come May 2015 or sooner.

    Keep Right On though!

  • Chris W says:

    Just like to add my condolences to the family of Alfredo Di Stefano, a legend from the days when men were men, never saw him live but watched him on tv R.I.P
    KRO+DNM

  • Andy says:

    I guess this all hinges on the HKSE now. I mean, BIH are trying to rebuild their house in another location, brick by brick, but inevitably the roof will fall in… I guess HKSE can’t kick them out as they do have a legitimate business, but at the same time won’t let them dismantle and then reassemble the business in a different guise. HKSE will dictate if and when a sale should happen. I fear that, because BIH need to keep listed on the HKSE above all else, with the possibility of the HKSE instructing BIH they cannot sell BCFC in tranches. Then, that would leave BIH searching for major investments and diversifying before shifting BCFC. A long process and with questionable credibility.


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