Often Partisan

Who is Wang Li?

The ownership of the football club took another twist yesterday when it was disclosed to the HKSE that Yang Yuezhou has cashed out his interest in 4.86 billion conversion shares to leave him with a tiny remaining stake in the club (0.28%). What is concerning is who he has sold his stake to – and just what that means for the club.

Before I go anywhere, I want to put in place the usual caveats – I’m not a stockbroker, lawyer or accountant but I have sought the advice of people with specialist knowledge. Furthermore, I will cite what evidence I can, but I must insist that you treat any speculation from me with the absolute scepticism it deserves.

So what has happened now? Surely this means nothing to us really?

Normally, I’d agree – the machinations of what happens in Hong Kong don’t often have much impact on Birmingham City. However, Yang Yuezhou has lent a large amount of money over the past couple of years to BIH which have helped prop it up, and to have bailed again indicates he’s not going to loan any more – which is not going to help BCFC at all.

This disclosure which was filed with the Stock Exchange yesterday shows that Yang Yuezhou has taken his interest in BIH from 4.8billion shares to just 27.3million. It doesn’t show what price he sold the shares at, but if he sold them all at the conversion price of HK$0.03 he would have received £12million in cash.

Aren’t the shares suspended though?

Yes they are suspended – this happened on November 27, before the suspension came into play. More to the point, this wasn’t shares in the company that were sold off – it’s the conversion shares which were sold off – rather than taking equity in the company, Yang Yuezhou has taken the money and walked.

This is where it gets weird. The conversion bonds were sold to U-Continent Holdings, a company 100% controlled by Yang Yuezhou. U-Continent have not made the same declaration, which means we can safely assume that what Yang Yuezhou has done is not taken money for the conversion shares (which I don’t think he could have done – and I’m sure BIH were not in a position to pay them off), but he has sold U-Continent to someone else. How much for, and exactly who is difficult to tell, as U-Continent is a British Virgin Islands company and obtaining info on those is near enough impossible.

So why is it important?

Birmingham City have also filed a disclosure, buried on their website in accordance with rule 94 of the Football League. This confirms that as of December 8, a person called Wang Li now owns 16.49% of BIH (which correlates to 15.94% of BCFC). If we take the simplest explanation to the be the logically correct one – and the figures roughly match up – then it would appear this Wang Li is the person who has bought the shares off Yang Yuezhou.

The next bit is speculation, which I have sourced from Hong Kong but I cannot confirm it’s accuracy – so please bear this in mind.

There have been rumours circulating in Hong Kong that Joanna Wang Manli (who has also used the name Wang Lifei) is going to take a directorship within BIH. Joanna Wang is the common-law partner of Carson Yeung and the mother of his two youngest children. I have asked various sources in HK if this mysterious Wang Li is actually her and the indication appears to be that it could be.

When I emailed the club and asked them who Wang Li was – and if they could confirm that it wasn’t Carson’s common law partner, they could not confirm who the person was, and they couldn’t confirm it wasn’t Joanna Wang either. Until we get a full disclosure filed with the Stock Exchange, we won’t know for sure.

That being said, I have passed my concerns to the Stock Exchange this morning. It’s one thing to have Carson, a convicted money launderer, owning 28% of the company – with allegations of him acting as a shadow director. It’s another to have various members of his family on the board; but to have his common law partner as the second largest shareholder, with a massive overhang of conversion shares – strikes me as insane. There are rules about shareholders acting in concert and I have to say, this strikes me as another ruse to gain total overall control without having to make a general offer for all shares.

So – to sum up. Blues have another mysterious figure in the background; and signals are pointing that to being Carson’s missus. When Carson bought the club, they told us “We are family” – I don’t think we realised quite what he meant.

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60 Responses to “Who is Wang Li?”

  • d says:

    deal is done I have from a reliable source, just fingers crossed now it goes through and we can get rid of these charlatans

  • Neil says:

    brilliant work – if it is carsons missus then it does raise the question of where she got the money from – but thats a whole new can of worms!

  • rvh1t says:

    Hmmm, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a ………….

  • Paul says:

    A Theory: Could this be a transfer of shares in order to pave the way for a sale. ie Shares owned by Carson’s partner, BCFC have new owners and she gets the cash. (or Carson does really). I’m probably missing a point here but live in hope of a sale.

    • chris says:

      Sorry Paul, imo no chace the club will be sold.
      I’ve said before he will not sell till either the club is taken out of his hands by admin or he gets a £50 million plus offer.
      The only way he will get that, is the club being back in the prem and we all know how hard that will be while running the club on a shoestring.
      They have had offers from Paladini & Wray and have showed no willigness to do business.
      Imo Yeung must feel he’s on the verge of his release and quashing his conviction and is making sure he is still in overall control once he is released.
      We will have to put up with the current regime for many a year to come.

  • Dave mann says:

    I just love carson yeung and is beutifull family, I hope they all have a great xmas and a fantastic new year because for the rest of us its gonna be misserable and now even more deppressing…….if only I could meetvthem all for just 5 mins would be all I need to make sure we never see them again but youve just got to love them haventvyou.kro.

  • Lasvegasblue says:

    Dan excuse my ignorance here but if that is the case then would Carson really think that, especially that the HKSE are watching BIH so closely, he would get away with it.

  • Paul Hawkins says:

    Just another episode in the soap/comedy that is called Birmingham City. How much longer do we have to put up with these idiots? They have no thoughts when comes to the club, staff or fans so why are they insisting holding on to us. As far as they are concerned it is just a business to them but when you have been a supporter for nearly 40 years like I have then you know the club is so much more than that. When you get people like these Chinese who know nothing about what the club means to us then you become extremely annoyed. I think I remember reading not so long ago that we are a asset to BIHL which just about sums up how I feel about these people. We are not just a asset it is so much more and that is why sometimes I just wish the FA would carefully look at why people want to own a club.

  • Ginger says:

    Mmm the optimist in me hopes yeung and his share owning “friends” will own well over 50% of shares in BIHL and make it easier to facilitate a sale but trying to second guess this shower is making my head spin.

  • rhees says:

    D what have you you herd then ” deal done from reliable source “

  • The Timms says:

    You’re going to need to release a part 2 of your book at this rate.

  • Art says:

    It’s well known that for some time now I have refused to finacially support the club until we see the back of the current owners but sometimes I ask myself ” Am I being fair.” ?

    Well it’s information like this and Pannu’s antics last week that give me reassurance that my personal protest is right.

    They are a complete shambles and it’s about time the FL got involved.

  • Mineheadblue says:

    I don’t know about ‘U Continent’….Incontinent sounds more like it. After all, they are peeing the club up against the wall aren’t they?

  • Strettonbluenose says:

    Yeung paid Gold and Sullivan £82m for the club. I’m amazed that anyone thinks that he’ll just give up on it – would you? He’ll manouver every which way to keep hold of it. And that includes side stepping the Football League, if they ever act on the information they’ve been sent. The only sanction then left to the FL is suspending the club from the Championship. Be careful what you wish for!

    • Luke says:

      I think you’re right.

      If Carson and BIH thought the club would inevitably go down to League One, they’d possibly have cut their losses and sold up. But, with the recent upturn in form, I think they’re more likely to hold on and see where it goes.

      Seeing Burnley go up with minimal investment gives them a glimmer of hope – maybe Blues can scrape their way into the Premier League somehow in the next few years and then they’ll get a large fraction of their investment back, instead of the small fraction that’s on offer now.

      If this is true, it ironically means that the Rowett Revolution has simply prolonged our suffering. We might have been better off staying in the relegation zone until now-ish, prompting BIH to sell.

      The one factor that might possibly tip things back in favour of a sale in the short-term is the prospect of administration. Pannu alluded to this possibility during his rant, although it was denied by the club. If Carson sees administration as a real possibility, he’ll want to sell before it gets that far.

    • chris says:

      No they could force a sale of the club like they did at Liverpool.

      • strettonbluenose says:

        Gillette and Hicks were “forced out” by good fortune. They borrowed money on terms where ownership of Liverpool passed to the bank if they defaulted and they defaulted. Unless Yeung has a similar deal with someone who wants out, there’s not much hope of similarly getting Yeung out.

  • Marky mark says:

    Clearly from all the evidence Dan has provided, something major is on the horizon, what we do not know is will it make us happy or sad ?

    In my opinion (and its not worth much) Carson is doing everything he can to hold onto the club in the hope he wins his appeal, its fairly certain he will; get released soon pending a re-trial or whatever.

    Cannot wait for the next instalment, thanks Dan

  • Spanish Blue says:

    In the UK that would be classed as a connected party and would be lumped together for notification, it may be different in HK though.

  • andy says:

    Super information Dan, as soon as I got to the part where you said Joanna Wang is Carson’s common law partner and mother to 2 of his children I thought oh no! Yes it seems, if this turns out to be the case, that Carson wants to hold onto the club and run it as a family business!

  • Spanish Blue says:

    If £12m was paid, it is not money from the company, it is similar to just buying shares which are traded. It will be an off market transaction to transfer the ownership to the new buyer, and a consideration paid to the seller, not from the company

  • Charlie Jones says:

    stupid question, but isn’t this the sort of thing the Mail should be looking into instead of who wore what shirt when they were kids ?

  • AussieBlue says:

    These people who are playing around with our club are 3 steps ahead of the Football League; two steps ahead of the HK Stock Exchange and about one step ahead of OP.
    The sad part is, no one who is in a position of power to actually do anything about it fives a f**k. It’s all in the too hard basket.

    IF the truth ever comes out…going all the way back to Gold & Sulivan’s first sale of shares to Grandtop; I am convinced it will be a horror show.

  • […] Ivery, on the Often Partisan web-site, has suggested that Wang Li may in fact be Carson Yeung’s common law partner – which would make […]

  • Eric says:

    Hong Kong/China – not a place to do business with. Secrecy rules…

  • HongKong Blue Nose says:

    just being hypothetical.

    lets say Carson gets his bail and he is still genuine about BCFC
    and gets all his money back , then would that be a bad thing ?
    we did win the Carling Cup under Carson before he got carted off to jail and i blame mostly Mccleish for us being relegated more than anything, the money was there before the calamity and the money could still be there if Carson comes back a free man.

  • Hillfield blues says:

    Brilliant stuff again Dan. Without your forensic investigation of this ongoing saga none of us would be any the wiser. They must be sick of the sight of you over in HK.
    The BM also threw their weight behind the plight of our great club by doing an investigation of their own on whether GR was a villa fan when he was a kid……….mmmm……..which one was the major regional publication and which one was the blog again………….??

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Just more proof (if any were needed) that the BM is nothing more than a Vile rag… and a tired uninformative one at that.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        A case in point.. just checked the BM (11am) and Villa, Albion and Wolves all have at least 2 articles each posted between 7.30-9.30 this morning. Blues? None. Last article was 7pm last night.

  • Chris Hunter says:

    Is it possible that if Carson has managed to obtain U-Continent, either directly , or through somebody else, that he could then have his all important HKSE listing, that frees him up to get rid of bihl/bcfc.
    Jeremy Wray mentioned that he had a way of buying the whole thing, while allowing them to keep their listing. Its clutching at straws but also makes some sense.
    Any thoughts Dan?

    • almajir says:

      Yup, clutching at straws I’m afraid. Wray’s mechanism has nothing to do with that – more to do with giving BIH a viable business

  • bluenose08 says:

    Great work Dan another informative piece and I have no doubt that without you we would have no knowledge of what is going on in hong kong as nobody else is interested !
    Keep up the good work it is very much appreciated by the fans on here. k.r.o.d.n.m.

  • Peter Bates says:

    I have said on this site many times the football league won’t do anything as long as blues pay there dues and don’t owe the football league anything they are not interested as for the hkse it appears they act like a secret club they only say and do what they think people want to hear bcfc are a fashion statement for cy I can’t think of any reason why else he wants to keep something that allegedly makes nothing the only thing that I can see that makes any sense is that Carson and his family buy all the shares and then when the club is sold they have all the money

    • AussieBlue says:

      Peter,
      You’ve basically said what I think about the HKSE. I met a very senior HK identity following the hand-back to PRC in 1997. He claimed, under British rule, there was a constant battle to keep tri*d and other secret society control out of the HKSE. Listed companies are the perfect way to wash money. He felt it rapidly started resorting back to the old ways after the hand-back. It’s all family and ancestry based and goes back thousands of years and the most prominent and powerful family/secret society has the name….Li

      • Hillfield blues says:

        Sounds like its common practice to do this kind of thing on the HKSE. Carsons motivation seems strange to me. He’s obviously got stupid ideas as to what the clubs ultimately worth and also putting himself at risk of getting his collar felt if it is his Mrs……..he’s already in the slammer!
        Good informative post.

  • Peter Bates says:

    So under football league rule 94 they know Carson yeung is the major shareholder at Birmingham ccity plc and that Wang li is second biggest shareholder if this person is Carson’s partner they now own about 48% of bcfc plc between them and the football league are satisfied that Carson yeung has no influence at the club and also Ryan yeung is on the board at bcfc so no doubt he has shares as well they must all sit in blinkers at the football league

  • mark says:

    Daniel hope you get a invitation to his house warming party…….as they say we are all family…….

  • Jazzzy786 says:

    This news is just pure Wang. Carson Yeung by proxy.

  • raymondo says:

    Football wise there can’t be anything else to compare being a supporter of this club. It’s almost beyond belief. If the Football League thinks this club is run normally they must be either deliberately blinkered or totally stupid! Still we KRO because we in our way are willing to be just as stupid as they are! I’ll be there again on Saturday because I continue to be part of this collective madness. Am I in a different dimension?

  • AussieBlue says:

    No Raymondo, you’re just a good loyal Blues fan and put football first. It’s not a dimension; it’s a phase; let’s call it the Carson Yeung phase – currently 5 years in our club’s 140 year history. It will end…one day but as Dan writes, very hard to pick when but end it will and we can all move on. Kudos to Rowett, team and the staff for keeping their focus on the games and not letting BIHL’s issues destroy team confidence.

  • Woodlands says:

    This makes it clear to me. Carson wants to retain club because he likes owning a football club. He likes a punt and this is a great buzz. Like all gambles, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. He now thinks he will win. I hate the day he now attends a match in person!!

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    He’s trying to ‘control’ sufficient shares to get Pannu reelected. If the deal is not declared as ‘connected’ could the vote at the AGM be declared null and void I wonder?

  • StaffsBlue says:

    ‘Following an appeal by The FA, the suspension given to Birmingham City player Karen Carney has been increased from one game to three games with immediate effect. Carney was suspended after being found to have used abusive and/or insulting words towards a player from Bristol Academy during their game on 16 July 2014.

    In addition, the breach was aggravated in that the words used made reference to nationality.
    The FA’s appeal to have the original sanction of a one match suspension increased was upheld following an Appeal Board hearing. The other sanctions of a £450 fine and the ordering of Carney to complete an education programme remain unchanged.’

    What a pity the FA aren’t so quick to jump on other misdeeds.

  • Peter Bates says:

    Spoke to a mate in Portsmouth last night and he said the football league done nothing for Portsmouth and he isn’t surprised bcfc are getting hot air he said their rules are on paper but mean very little as long as they get their fees they don’t care

  • Tony says:

    Dont know why the Fa waste their time on this rubbish, they can use all the legislation they wish but they cant change the habits of a lifetime, Racist as a word does not have the connotations it once did.
    It has been shown to mean a get out of jail card in many cases. This is England.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      It always used to be, ‘what happens on the pitch, stays on the pitch.’ Sort it out there, not go bleating to the authorities afterwards. It used to be a man’s game.

  • Blue Lizard says:

    Yeung and his cronies are like bobbing turds that wont flush and go away

  • duchess says:

    to be honest it has got to the point now where I care only for the players on the pitch! what will be will be and come the end of the season I am pretty sure we can either say CY owns the club or someone else will…

    lets just remember he said he wanted to own a Premier League football club, and this man seems to do what he wants, but more importantly if he gets let off, he has the cash and backers (clearly) to do it!

    this fiasco is endless… my hope is for another unbeaten run and getting into the playoffs!

  • PedroBlues says:

    Money will have come from HK at the start of the season or in the summer to help with the the day to day running of the club, there is no bank facility, and as Dan has said this money probably came from Yang. This withdrawal of a backer is probably what Pannu is referring to in his ‘rant’. There are some very good people working in the administration at the club in very difficult circumstances, they will probably never get the credit they deserve. I get frustrated by those stay aways’ who think they would be giving money to HK. If we could generate enough money to allow the manager to improve the team and scrape our way back into the Prem, then maybe the value might approach the £50 mil that seems to be the figure to trigger a sale, you still have to have a buyer though.


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