Often Partisan

Further Carson Yeung update

nb post updated at 09:35 BST, 30/06/11

The news Carson Yeung has been released on HK$7million bail (about £575,000), after being arrested on five counts of money laundering and property offences has pretty much been reported widely. Carson has had to hand his passport into the HK police, and has to report into the station at frequent intervals ahead of his court appearance on August 11. If convicted, Carson faces a jail term of 14 years and a fine of HK$5mil (about £480,000).

Shares in BIH have been suspended from trading by the company until further notice; this protects the share price from falling heavily and allows the company time to work out what it’s going to do. The editor of Sing Pao (Carson’s newspaper), Wei Jiguang, has been at pains to tell the HK press that it’s business as usual at Sing Pao and people have been paid as normal. Likewise, on speaking to BCFC staff here it’s just another day and they will be continuing as they normally do.

What does this all mean for Birmingham City?

In the short term, there are a couple of problems. What worries me the most is that this year we are quite dependent on influxes of money from Carson (as we don’t have the Premier League millions from Sky to bank on), and with the current state of play it’s possible his assets might be frozen. This would have a knock on effect of Birmingham City having to sell players to ensure the books are balanced; I know we already are doing that but it would significantly weaken our position and would mean players would be more ripe for being bought for less money than we hoped. I suspect over the next few days we will see if this is the case.

Secondly, the question is how the Football League are going to react to this. It’s important to remember whilst Carson has been bailed to appear before court, he’s not been found guilty of anything yet and as such remains an innocent man. I’ve left a message with the FL press office to ask them for a comment with regards to this story, and when I have a response I will update the blog ASAP.

Financial cases have a habit of being long, drawn out affairs. This is not something that is going to be settled overnight, and as such I think now that the story is sub judice, it will quieten down until specific allegations are made in court or released by the Hong Kong police. I believe it is unwise to speculate on what the charges might exactly relate to and will therefore not be doing that.

However, if Carson is found guilty then things will change. I’m under the current belief (although I will need to check this out fully) that if Carson is found guilty, his shares in BIH (amongst his other assets) may be seized by the HK government. Carson only controls 29.9% of BIH; I think it may be possible if another investor can be found that his shares in BIH could be moved on – in which case Carson’s legal troubles would probably no longer affect BCFC. That however could well be a long time in the future; for now he’s still the man in charge.

As previously, I have disabled comments on the blog. Until things settle down a bit, I am going to continue to do so as I do not wished to be sued for libel. If you would like to reach me, I’m available on twitter and facebook, or by email to almajir@oftenpartisan.co.uk. I will be keeping an eye on the Chinese press today and if I hear anything else I will continue to update the blog.

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