Often Partisan

Just Say No

Last week Birmingham International Holdings announced that they would be holding an AGM on December 23 to decide on resolutions including the re-election of Peter Pannu as director of the beleaguered company.

I can already hear the cries of “boring” from some – and if this is, I apologise profusely. However, I do believe strongly that this could be watershed time for us; if things go one way it will be proof positive that things are back on track in the BIH offices; if they go another it will be further incontrovertible proof that the company remains mired in a civil war which could just rebound on the club.

So why is it a big deal?

I’ve discussed before the strange power vacuum that holds sway within the BIH board room and it’s still very much evident now. With Carson Yeung languishing in a jail cell hoping for a reprieve from the appeal courts BIH has no functional figurehead. While there is a Chairman in Cheung Shing and an MD/CEO in Peter Pannu, neither seems to hold enough sway to help the company make it’s push back into profitability. The talk from Hong Kong has been consistently that of civil wars, power struggles, strange alliances and threats within the walls of the Harbour Centre offices of BIH.

Among the resolutions on the agenda for the AGM are two re-elections of directors – Peter Pannu and Anthony Cheung Kwai Nang. At each AGM, one third of directors are retired and have to be re-elected by shareholders to serve another term – and this time it’s the turn of four directors – the aforementioned two plus Matthew Chan Shun Wah and Carson Wong Ka Chun. The big question is will these directors get re-elected – especially considering the supposed antipathy towards Pannu – and if they do how much of a snub will it be to other factions within the company such as the one led by UK-based director Panos Pavlakis.

Pannu – fair enough. But why mention Anthony Cheung Kwai Nang? What about the other two?

This is where knowledge of the internal politics within BIH is important. At the moment, the way I hear it the board is split 4-3 with Cheung Shing, Panos, Victor Ma Shui Cheong and Chen Liang on the one side and Pannu, Anthony Cheung Kwai Nang and Matthew Chan on the other. As you can imagine, right now there is nothing I think Panos would like more than to have Pannu completely removed from the company and the easiest way to do this would be at this AGM. However, Anthony Cheung represents Pannu’s best friend (within BIH at any rate) and should he remain too it would add to Pannu’s power base at board level – and may give Pannu the opportunity to sway people back to his side.

Matthew Chan is an interesting one in that I think he has no particular affiliation – barring the fact he is a relative by marriage of Carson Yeung. As I understand it he’s on Pannu’s side too – but I think it would be likely that should Pannu fail re-election that Chan will fall back into line.

What about Carson? Is he still calling the shots?

This is the big one. With his recent conversion of 2.7billion shares he has once again become the biggest shareholder in the company. Any re-election of a director would probably have to be with his tacit approval as his bloc of shares is so big (28%ish) and therefore should Pannu be re-elected I can’t help but think Carson is still backing the ex-copper.

Should that come to pass then no matter what Panos does here in the UK to “protect the club”, he will always have the fact that he lost a major battle with Pannu hanging over him and I fear the club will always have the threat of Pannu coming back – which from an administrative point of view I understand would have dire consequences.

What can we do about it?

Sadly, I don’t believe we can do anything. As much as I’d love to get in touch with the major shareholders I know, their shareholdings have become much smaller due to the recent dilutions and thus their chance of affecting any result is low, if not non-existent.

What annoys me is that it seems evident that despite being convicted on five counts of money laundering Carson Yeung very much still has the club in the palm of his hand – and yet all I hear from people who have contacted the Football League is that they are very much not interested in what is happening at the club.

I will say here and now that it galls me especially that we could see continued issues and even a return to some really dark times when the team is doing so much better on the pitch. All I can hope is that the shareholders do the right thing and vote No.

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62 Responses to “Just Say No”

  • Don’t apologise for posting stuff like this as it is probably the only informed feedback we as fans ever get. The legal and political minefiled is such that we are likely to know absolutely nothing until the last minute and we are either sold or placed into administration.

    The really telling sentence from you piece is the one about the playing side finally looking positive, so knowing Blues (and I have nigh on 50 years of experience here) we are amost certainly heading for some sort of hiatus!

  • erpa says:

    Your wish could be granted Dan, the AGM is still almost a month away and lots could happen in that time.

  • Tony E says:

    So one current relative of Yeungs supports Pannu, whilst the potential future relative by marriage does not! Does it come down to which of these 2 individuals really has Yeungs ear? What a way to run a company!

  • Sylvia mcandrew says:

    Peter panu is the venum it all this mess it will be a disaster if he gets voted back , we are doing so well under Garry please don’t let anything distrust things kro

  • Oldbluenose says:

    Daniel;, Thank you for this further information, I echo, Richard, from above in that without your input,– We would have no knowledge at all,?.
    We,– cannot exert any influence at all, so very infuriating indeed, but can only hope that the ” Goodies ” win-out,?.

  • Jaffa says:

    Surely these board members are sick to the back teeth with the way BIHL is being run.Lets hope we get some luck and the right decision is made regarding Pannu.Things are looking much better on the pitch so here’s hoping that some of that reflects on the way the voting goes.

  • Paul says:

    I find it had to believe that Dave Whelan can say something that may have been misinterpreted and the football league are all over it yet Blues have a convicted criminal calling the shots and nothing can be done…
    Great piece of information Dan. Thanks

  • Eric says:

    Pannu and his supporters OUT. He blew his chance(s). He was rude to fans who bring in their only income.

  • Mickey07 says:

    I will only be happy when I see pannu swinging from a lamppost….I never hated someone so much in all my life………he brings the worst out in everyone…

  • Blue lizard says:

    Pannu is like a sticky piece of dogs**t you cant get off your shoe…..(my opinion and in no way influenced by OP)

  • DoctorD says:

    Peter Pannu — if you’re reading this, and I know you do from Daniel’s book, then thank you for your work to date. It’s now time to hand theh reins over to new people with fresh impetus. The club needs a fresh start and new direction.

  • Wingman Blue says:

    Good article – as always. Clearly we, the fans, have no influence whatsoever over the board. But we may have a little, perhaps a very little, with the FA.
    If Carson’s henchmen return to control then it’s high time we harass Greg Dyke and the FA in general as our only chance of change. Shame the FA into taking action and properly applying the ‘fit and proper’ test.

    • Richard Granfield says:

      It is the Football League not the Football Association which has potential jurisdiction in matters such as this.
      The FL didn’t act when Carson was incarcerated, so it is inconceivable they will act now.

  • Stevie W says:

    CY wins his appeal takes control and PP is back in command as his henchman what a horrid thought.

    But this is now a real possibility.

  • Bluenosesol says:

    It doesnt make sense to be a board member of a club which you would be mentally deranged to set foot in??

  • blueb says:

    Good article and as all the others say this is the only source of reliable info that most of us can access.

    One question – is there any legal challenge that could be put to the football league to force this issue as it would appear they are not following their own rules. Would the hint of a challenge force an embarrassed review of the position perhaps?

  • Hillfield blue says:

    Good article and never boring Dan. Incredible to think that this whole thing is going full circle and we’ll be back where it all started 3 yrs ago. It just seems the best policy to blank it tbh and enjoy a bit of success on the pitch as opposed to the same old crap off it.

  • hawk says:

    I thought you had to own over 30% of a football club before the FL showed an interest and Mr Yeung is cleverly keeping just below that?

  • John Marbella says:

    Dan, I as well as a few others I am sure did not sell their shares in the Club when Carson came in. Just a stab in the dark here but as shareholders would we have more sway with the football league in making then reasses the situation???

    • almajir says:

      John

      Unfortunately not – what’s worth remembering with the FL is that their board of directors are made up of people from the clubs in part – they won’t do anything in the same way turkeys won’t vote for Christmas.

  • bluenose08 says:

    Thanks for the update dan I never get bored of reading your articles on bihl as you are the only link between them and us fans. kro dnm.

  • Bluenosesol says:

    The Football League’s owners’ and directors’ test

    2.1 Any person who is at any time subject to a Disqualifying Condition shall be disqualified from holding office or acting as a Relevant Person at a Club for such a period as they shall remain subject to a Disqualifying Condition.

    2.2 Where The League (by whatever means) becomes aware that a Relevant Person has become subject to a Disqualifying Condition The League will give written notice to:

    (a) the Relevant Person that he is subject to a ban, giving reasons therefore, and requiring him to forthwith resign as a Relevant Person; and
    (b) the Club that, in default of the Relevant Persons resignation as a Relevant Person, it shall procure the removal of the Relevant Person from that position within 28 days or such other period as is determined by the Board in its absolute discretion.

    ‘Disqualifying Condition’
    (e) having an unspent conviction (or where the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 does not apply for any reason, having a conviction within the period that would have rendered that conviction unspent had the provisions of that Act applied) for any offence (including any attempt to commit the same) that can reasonably be considered to fall within the category of:

    (i) an offence involving a Dishonest Act;

    I rest my case mlud!! KRO

    • Bluenosesol says:

      PS “Relevant Person” also includes a Shadow Director as determined by the 2006 Companies Act.
      The ct states :-
      It is not necessary that a shadow director is someone who “lurks in the shadows”: a person can be a shadow director even if he is involved in the internal management of the company

      • Hillfield blue says:

        It would be very interesting to know why BIHL do not fit into any of this criteria as far as the FL is concerned it seems.

  • Davey says:

    Surely that’s the point.
    He is not the owner of the club, and as such, can’t be touched by the FL, these people are not stupid they know what ‘s what.
    I for one can see an interesting period coming up in blues terbulent history :)

    KRO

  • mark shannon says:

    interesting read , actually i am an aston villa supporter and i cant believe how both our clubs are being run at the moment.
    i just hope that in time the City of Birmingham will have two clubs in the top flight and that the banter continues.

  • mark says:

    look like they are waiting for JR Ewing to return lol

  • mark says:

    so panos has been keeping PP seat warm….

  • mark says:

    hk demonstrators appears to upping ante

  • mark says:

    surely Daniel you love all this commotion it what sell books….

  • Art says:

    Mark,

    This is a serious blog aimed at grown up adults!

  • Dave mann says:

    Mark,you say what you think, it’s your opinion and your a true supporter who travels to games home and away and your entitled to your views which are more valid than those of fans that don’t go..enough said…my opinion as I’ve said many times before is that I don’t care what happens off the pitch because I can’t do anything about it, end off!!! Kro

  • Dave mann says:

    Colin Tatum head of media and communications at bcfc…absolutely great news for him and for blues fans….lets hope he gets our voice and the voice of those who work tiredly at blues across and push our course forward..well done tatts!!l lol&kro

    • Hillfield blue says:

      Hear,hear. Couldn’t be a better bloke for the job.

    • Luke says:

      Hear hear. Hopefully, Tatts has the combination of patience and tact requisite in dealing with (and getting information from) the suits upstairs.

      Not sure I agree with your other comment though, about Mark’s views being more valid than those of fans who don’t have the opportunity to attend all the games. It might be true in a discussion about player ability or form, but that’s about it.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      The various forums sussed what Tatts’ new job would be the very day he announced he was leaving the BM.

    • steve says:

      you are joking ? He will be a company man.Do you really think he will stand up to his paymasters ?

  • Bluenosesol says:

    Welcome on board Tatts! One of our biggest gripes has been the prevailing commuications blackout. I have every faith that Tatts will put an end to that!! KRO!!

  • Raymondo says:

    I’ve written to th Football League twice and (eventually) had very polite replies implying that it’s nothing to do with them and to contact the club direct if I have any complaints about the way it’s run by these chinese whatsits. What exactly (apart from collecting a share of our gate money) is the Football league for then? Just to give thewmselves fat salaries for doing nothing other than arrange the fixture lists?

    By the way Daniel. Could you make the writing on here a little bigger so that I can read what it is I’m actually typing?

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Not sure if it will help you Ray, but try holding down Control on your keyboard + scroll forward… it enlarges the page. (Control + scroll backward to go back to normal.)

  • Spanish Blue says:

    I think Pannu did a very good job under difficult circumstances. However he did get paid way too much for this. It is not the end of the world if (and think it is a big if) he does come back to Blues if they can control his fees, wages and expenses.
    That said if Carson gets released we might be a lot well funded soon!

  • Tony says:

    So Tatts comfortable life continues he has done nothing for blues just sat on the fence,I have asked before what would he have done if a story like Watergate dropped in his lap?.
    He would have sat on it nothing more No risk Tatts.

  • mark says:

    well-done Tatts congratulation is in order dear Sir….

  • Strettonbluenose says:

    Be careful what you wish for. I’ve just read the FL’s owners and directors test and the only sanction with any teeth is suspension of the club from the league.

  • Jedda says:

    so if as sounds likely Pannu gets back in, he’s then Tatts’ boss, right? Interesting.

  • Chris W says:

    A very wise and interesting insight Dan.
    The best interests of BCFC would be for a no vote and we rid ourselves of PP1 once and for all.
    I don’t think I will hold my breath though.
    KRO+DNM

  • brainchildbluestar says:

    We all know where you are coming from. Your book speaks clearly about how much you hate Carson and the ugly caricatures there signify that too. Pannu s hatred stems from his unfailing support he has for Carson and the fact that the club under him took defamatory pre actions against your blog. From reading your book it appears your were only required to take off those bad comments and because of that you have re structured your site. You have chosen Panos as your aide as it is a marriage of convenience, it was easy for him to ride on your hatred of Carson and Pannu and you can get inside information as presented in this article. .For him you scratch his back as thus far he has done F** all for the club that Pannu had not done before. ..where is the money? ??? Has he explained where we will get the money. .. and for you, he scratches your back….giving youewhat you think is inside information to give your site credibility. It pains to see this happening at our club.

    We want the club to survive again this championship. I have also heard from some insiders at the club that Jeremy Wray and team came to do due diligence at the club as approved by Pandy but was blocked by Panos ..go find out from your sources as that is what we want to know. Why legitimate buyers are prevented

    • brainchildbluestar says:

      Many fans thinks Pannu did a great job and I am one of them..His pay was high but so is the pay of many football executives.

  • brainchildbluestar says:

    Please speak with Pannu and Wray about the latest approach and why panos stopped it …and i heard Roger and Gray at the club were furious as the truth is pannu is still trying hard to sell the club and give the fans a new owner…insiders said pannu was passionate and the finance staff felt constrained. Maybe we should approach Wray. ..This is where the focus should be Daniel. …no point repeating your agenda and hatred against pannu….you are losing your moral high grounds …For which you used to be famous. Why did Panos not tell you this…you are being used by him in what youhave presented as internal affairs. Be smarter…

  • V Mark Phillips says:

    I am just wondering in the light of the above comments whether or not there are grounds for suing the Football League. What about Judicial Review? Amongst Blues supporters are some well to do lawyers who may be prepared to assist on a pro bono basis. And if we could get it off the ground I am sure we could find a top Counsel to act on our behalf again on a quasi pro bono basis. After all this is a huge issue which is blighting so many of our clubs. It is even more important we do something now otherwise Gary like Chris will be history.


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