Often Partisan

Ownership

Whilst the tour by Birmingham City to Hong Kong and the Peoples Republic of China has helped to raise some of the veils of mystery that surround our Chinese owner, Carson Yeung, I have to admit I’m still intrigued by just how much we don’t know about them.

Trying to research Carson Yeung and his band of merry men is problematic however. The language barrier is a huge one; my knowledge of Mandarin Chinese stretches to being able to say “Hi”, “How are you” and “Thanks”, and as it’s mostly written in traditional Chinese characters it’s not like I can even puzzle out what the words are. Then there is the phenomenon known as the “Great Firewall of China” – the whole deal of censorship on stuff coming into and out of the PRC.

What I’m left with is puzzling out announcements that are made by the club’s parent company Birmingham International Holdings (formerly Grandtop) to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. As the parent company is a publicly listed company, they’re bound by the rules of the Securities and Futures Commission in Hong Kong, and have to announce in public when they are undertaking various activities. Unfortunately, whilst I studied Economics at college that was a long time ago, and I’m not an expert on what these announcements mean. However, I will endeavour to do my best to find out what’s going on and report it here.

One of the most interesting things that have happened in the last couple of weeks is Mr Yeung has been fined by the SFC. It appears that he’s made some sort of technical error in not disclosing his financial interest in something within an allotted timeframe. It can’t really have been that serious, as the total fines and costs come to just under HK$34000, which is just under £2800. Chicken feed to a man who has an £8million pad in HK he can show to visiting reporters.

Other than that, the only other recent news it that the company are again putting off the announcement with regards to the acquisition of the company of another shell company called Peace International Creation Ltd, due to finalisation of accountants reports and whatnot. The original details are reported here by Forbes, and it makes mention that the controlling stake of Birmingham International Holdings will be moved to two unknown companies in the British Virgin Islands. What this means I am entirely not sure, although it doesn’t help destroy the paranoia that Carson Yeung is a front man for a group of shadowy Chinese investors.

As you can see, it’s not the easiest thing to penetrate and I can only hope that with further study can the opaqueness of the current ownership structure of Birmingham City can become a little more transparent. I should make it known I think that so far, the new board have done okay; talking to staff at the club things appear to be a lot better than they were under the previous incumbents. Hopefully, things will stay that way for a while yet into the future.

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