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Kung Hei Fat Choi
Today marks the first day of the Chinese New Year – the year of the Monkey. In Hong Kong the stock exchange will be shut for three days as the local populace celebrates. The sad thing is for us in Birmingham it doesn’t seem to matter that the HKSE will be shut – BIH seems to be in absolute limbo with no sign of further movement.
I know it seems churlish to talk about the overblown, never-ending and incredibly boring saga that is the takeover of Birmingham City Football Club while the good stuff is on the pitch, but I can’t ignore it in the simple hope that it’ll sort itself out. If this sort of stuff bores you, or you think it’s not worth worrying about then please feel free to ignore this piece.
For the last few months, the word was that Chinese New Year was the time when the shares in BIH were expected to be relisted – the first step on the way to the sale process going through. Here we are and the truth is it seems that BIH are as far away as ever. I’m not going to speculate as to why – there’s a lot of possible reasons with a lot of different people who could be at fault – but I am going to say that for me it’s disconcerting that we’re in this situation still.
I get that EY and BIH have a legal obligation to the shareholders of BIH and the HK authorities rather than to us, the fans. I understand it’s a long process; that there is an incredible amount of toxicity within BIH left behind by Carson and Pannu and that the kind of crap that has been left behind is going to take a while to be sorted.
However, I also get that the time left before Carson’s final appeal is slowly decreasing and the odds of him getting his conviction overturned are good; and that should that happen, the whole ball game could change once again. The spectre of (and I’m going to be charitable here) the past mistakes made by the Carson regime when in charge of BIH is slowly raising its ugly head and like pretty much every Blues fan I’ve spoken to of late, I just want an end to it.
I think the worst thing is that I can’t honestly see what any of us can do about it right now – and if there is a feeling I hate it’s the frustration of helplessness because I can’t do anything about a problem I see. I want to believe that things are going to be better but my faith is waivering – and I wonder if I’m the only one.
On a related note, I spent yesterday afternoon in the Chinese quarter in Birmingham yesterday with my daughter to see the Chinese New Year celebrations. In among the stalls hawking fish balls, people handing out lai see containing business cards touting the latest far east betting company and traditional dragon dancers there was – as there has been for the last three successive years – a stall promoting the mob from across the expressway even though they’re having probably the worst period as a club that they have had for 30 years. Yet the one club in the city that is talking about being on the up, that is actually owned by a HK/Chinese business still cannot have a stall there to promote itself to the literal thousands of people present. I can’t help but think it’s an opportunity missed.