Often Partisan

Peter Pannu Given Top BIH Job

Birmingham International Holdings have today announced that Peter Pannu is to be Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director, and Executive Director of the company.

In an announcement made to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, BIH have confirmed Mr Pannu will have all three roles with immediate effect.

It’s my opinion that this is good news as Mr Pannu is the person most likely to handle any sale of the club and this role will allow him to handle the BIH side of things effectively. Furthermore, in my opinion it will mean that BCFC staff will have to continue operating with autonomy as Mr Pannu will be busy with the HK side of things, which is for the best as the BCFC staff have proven over the last year that they are more than capable of looking after the club in the absence of its acting chairman.

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  • Biggray

    I’m not sure about bottle washer, but with his uncanny resemblance to Greg Wallace surely he’s a shoe-in for head cook too?

    • Casper

      Haha, when I read his statements online, I struggle not to ‘hear’ it in Greg Wallace’s voice, despite knowing what he actually sounds like!

  • Gary

    Almajir – Could this hasten the sale of the club, or if not, will it help negotiations compared to if Pannu wasn’t in this position – he now has his “foot in the door”, so to speak?

    • almajir

      It’ll help, of that I’m sure

  • Trevor Honnor

    Excuse my ignorance but does this mean that Carson Yeung now has zero association with Blues apart from the outstanding loans?

    • almajir

      Not at all.

      Carson is still the largest shareholder in the company, still the president and still an executive director. The former CEO/MD was Vico Hui.

      • Trevor Honnor

        Of course.
        After reading the headline, I read the rest with blue tinted glasses :o)

  • dino tiltoni

    This role seems to have been designed to get the club sold. Must be positive.

  • bluenose 11

    surely any job at bih is a poison chalice i can only see that the reason he would take such a job would to be in a position to sell the club more effectivly
    kro

  • romanblue

    Keep up the good work Poirot.

  • shedrocket

    Thankfully Pannu has just been given all the tools possible to hasten the sale of the club. All that now remains is yeung to be realistic with the asking price.

  • Oldbluenose

    I admit that my first thoughts were that NOW, BIH, has been brought into the control that we seek, ?.

    Surely, Almajir,!!. Outstanding accounts, etc;, will materialise in the near future, thereby making crystal clear all things we need to know for sure, ?

    Clearing the way for the sale of the club with minimum impediment, ?????????.

  • Pete

    Pannu has tried his best since he’s been involved to look after the club and considering the situation, he’s done a fantastic job. When all is said and done and we have new owners, people will look back on Carson Yeung as a rediculous figure that was once involved with Blues but I hope people will look back at Pannu as someone who genuinely worked his arse off for the club and fought for us.

    • KeeprightCroydON

      Well said Pete. Also Atahualpa (see a couple of posts below this).
      One of the things that crossed my mind before this development was that it would be no bad thing if eventual new owners took PP on in some capacity. But I wonder that this may not be possible with PP’s new role and involvement in a sale as ther would be a conflict of interest.

  • James

    Good news for the club; Carson won’t be selling the club on the cheap and Pannu will do his upmost to get himself and us a good deal.

    I still don’t know what to make from the Paladini “offer” – Blues stating it didn’t happen and vice versa.

    At the moment we are being run well as a club, players are being paid and hopefully the next 12 months will see us with new owners.

    3 more points on Saturday to wrap up a great week!

    KRO

  • Atahualpa is a BlueNose

    PP is now the fulcrum in CY’s albeit crumbling business empire. Without him it remains debatable where he could have turned to in order to make something of what is left of BIH. This could result in a quick, effective and decisive sale without much toing and froing. It is being said again and again that there is an Asian company who are now moving forward in the race to be the new owners.

    Maybe CY wants the situation resolved before he has to face his criminal trial in November. Still a small opportunity to take care of the finances before it all gets raked up in court. The one thing we can be all certain of, is that PP will not let on about much until it’s all signed and sealed. Going on previous form, the fella does not lose focus when it matters most. It will be a shame to the club to lose him becuase even though he generally has/had a hands-off approach, he made the right calls when it mattered – CH, LC, no-sale of our better prospects until that “eye-popping offer”, taking V**** to task over AM, getting rid of the high-earners after relegation, setting proper parameters regarding squad sizes, transfer fees etc…

    It will always be of interest to wonder might may have happened if CY’s hand was not forced in selling the club and he had free reign to continue…

    • Oldbluenose

      All that you have outlined, reference P,P. is very true, — I for one would like to see him carry on in any future ownership, [ that hopefully ] will quickly happen,!!.

      The present staff at B,C,F,C. are beyond doubt fantastic,!!. We are very lucky to have them, their expertise and dedication, !!!. should be valued by all fans of our club, !!!!!!!!!.

      • almajir

        I can almost guarantee Pannu will not stay on

        • Oldbluenose

          Almajir, !!.

          One presumes that his commitment is to carson Yueng, and taking charge of his affairs during and after Carson’s trial, ??.

  • Swedish Bluenose

    This is very interesting. As far as I can see it, from an outsider’s perspective, Peter Pannu has been given the full rights to do whatever he and Carson thinks is good for Carson and for the club. Then, I hope that Pannu will listen more carefully to what Gianni Paladini & Co and other potential owners have to offer.
    At the same time, we should not forget the injection Birmingham City got when it was announced in October 2009 that Carson Yeung had taken control of the club. After that followed a sensational long row of matches without defeat at home and Blues made their best Premier League season ever. Birmingham even equalised the Premier League record of winning 18 home matches in a row in 2010.
    Carson did not live up to all his promises of acquiring new players, but he has as an owner brought Blues to a Wembley triumph.
    I am a Swede living in Hong Kong, and not a Brummie, but if I supported a Swedish team that was in financial trouble and there was suddenly a rich Swedish owner who had been living in the same city as me for 40 years and who was interested in buying the club I support, then I would definitely be very much interested.
    I think that Gianni Paladini could be the owner that the club needs at this moment. He is interested, he has backers who have money (I suppose) and, most of all, he is living in Birmingham. This also means that he puts his hometown reputation on play. This is quite brave of him, in my mind. He can’t fail if he is given the chance to take over, since then it will be difficult for him to stay in the city where he has lived for 40 years.
    Please, Mr Pannu, give him a chance. Then, our club may have another record row of unbeaten matches …

    • almajir

      Swedish Blue

      I don’t think Paladini is at all the right man for the job and I doubt very much that he will take over.

      • Swedish Bluenose

        Did you read Mel Eves column in the Sunday Mercuri? He says, about Paladini: “He’s lived here for 40 years and his kids were born in the city; he understands the mentality of Blues and their supporters very well and, frankly, if he does end up buying them, his credibility would be on the line far more than it would be at any other club.”

        • almajir

          I did and I stand by what I said

          • Blue in Spain

            I agree with Almajir, if he were that dedicated and that much of a Brummie, why didn’t he buy us years ago? The guy comes across as a chancer, and a media whore.

          • KeeprightCroydOn

            I’m with Almajir and Bluenose in Spain on this. I don’t trust Paladini and do not believe he he the right person to take. ‘From the frying pan into the fire’ springs to mind. When he was at QPR there was no stability, revolving door for managers. Things only started to get better when Mittal’s son in law took a more active role and got the ship in order thereby paving the way for Ferbandes to buy the club.

            If Paladini was such a great Blues fan why did he buy QPR in the first place instead of bidding for Blues then. He just happens to live in Birmingham; does not make him a fan.

            And his bid is not clear. He has bid £12m but claims it’s £25m without explaing how. What about his.backers? No clues who they are. For all we know they could be venture capitalists who want to make a quick buck by stripping our assets. How much control will they have? Depends on the size of their stake. If it’s more than Paladini they need to reveal themselves rather than use him as a front man.

            I say PP should wait and see who the others consortiums are, somerhing I’m sure he’ll do.

            My view is that Paladini is a chancer who wants a deal rushed through before others have a chance to conduct deligence. We’ve been very patient and surely it’s worth waiting a bit longer to get in new owners who will move the club in the right direction rather than go with the first one that comes along.

        • Blueboy88

          The press have alleged that Paladini was using QPR to assist various agent friends with deals that the club could neither afford or sustain , including £40,000 that was paid to Mel Eves, football agent, for the transfer of Ian Evatt to QPR.

          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/2363929/QPR-controversy-comes-at-worst-possible-time.html

          BCFC’s immediate & dismissive denial of any offer from Paladini , combined with this subsequent news of Pannu’s elevation within BIHL. would seem to indicate Almajir’s contention that we are now rapidly approaching the end game , to be correct.

          Most probably an Asian investor , as this would seemingly be the market & people they would know best…

          • macca salop blue

            In response to Blue in Spain, Paladini has claimed that he DID try to buy Blues some years ago but Sullivan & Gold rejected his advances.

          • Blue in Spain

            Funny, he went straight to the press this time, why not when he claims he tried to buy before…. I think he’s lying!!

  • Bluenosesol

    With some of the former execs and stakeholders having deserted a sinking ship (BIH), this is beginning to look like preparation for the eventual sale of BCFC and the vapourisation of the remnants of the holding co, so that CY and PP can get on with the rest of their lives.

  • Greg Wallace

    Can’t believe people holding up Pannu as some sort of ‘friend’ of the club who should stay on. Get real people. He has no interest in Blues, same as Brady and Sullivan, just himself and looking after Yeung’s interests. He is in it for himself. He has to go and will go

    • pete

      That’s not true. I think it’s pretty clear that we’ll have new owners within 2 years (most likely sooner but I’ll say 2 years to be sure). On that basis, why keep Butland and Redmond? We could have sold both and replaced them with better players for cheaper. By the time they’re worth more, it’s highly unlikely that BIH will be on the scene.

      Why would Pannu not look after his employer’s interests by the way bearing in mind they are his employers? If he didn’t look after their interests, he’d get sacked! As it stands, it’s in BIH’s interests that the club does as well as possible considering the budget constraints so the club doesn’t lose value so in reality, BIH’s interests and BCFC’s are pretty much the same….

      You can winge about Pannu all you like but where do you think we’d be if he wasn’t on the scene?

  • Paulo

    So, the game takes a twist in HK by allowing PP to sort out the s**t at BIHL. Realistically, BCFC has become succesfull at operating on its own, for the short term, with thanks to those people being allowed to do their jobs (obviously) and PP (even more obviously). Now PP is promoted to the senior board, no doubt he will iron out the small print and make sure the club sells for a decent figure and CY also gets to know the business is in safer hands when his court appearances start, and the pressure will commence.
    Can’t be a bad thing really, when it’s looked at from Carson’s point of view, and probably not from PP’s either!!!!!!!

  • evesham blue

    It will make a sale easier for sure. It also means that chancers will have a hard time buying the club as only reasonable offers will be entertained. PP plays hard ball. More importantly – I think it sends a signal that the club is in a good state to sell and that CY is willing to sell for the right price

  • AR

    Peter Pannu has done very well to keep us afloat so far. As for playing hardball about a possible sale, I would think that it will depend very much on how Carson’s money-laundering case turns out. What would happen, if he is found guilty, to the millions that he has lent to BCFC; would these millions be taken by the court as ill-gotten gains. If so where would that put BCFC. Would that immediately put us into insolvency? Would you give your opinion on that Almajir please?

    • almajir

      AR

      It’s a tough one. If Carson is found guilty then any asset he has or is the beneficiary of the crime is seizable by the HK authorities. Does this include Carson’s stake in BIH/BCFC? I don’t know – it could but I don’t know. I’m currently doing some research into this and will write something when I’ve got somewhere.

      I don’t think it would mean insolvency though – that would be counter productive. IF for whatever reason the HK authorities decided that they wanted Carson’s stake etc then they’re going to want to get the best value for it when they dispose of it – and that would mean not putting BCFC into insolvency.

      • DoctorD

        But almajir, you have often said (correct me if I’m wrong) that the big plus of BCFC is that it has been operating at arm’s length from BIH. With PP now having a bigger hand in BIH, surely that removes the “whiter-than-white” feel of BCFC? And if CY loses his court case, it would be harder to argue that BCFC is oh-so-distant from BIH.

        • almajir

          We’re in end-game territory now.

          I’m going to write some fuller thoughts on this tonight – but for now, I’ll re-iterate, it’s a good thing

      • Dan H

        I know you have written before that the money laundering charges are prior to CY’s ‘part ownership’ of BCFC / BIH however I would say it is likely that during the investigation there have been several anomalies linking to all of the business dealings both past and present.

        Seems strange that the accounts have still not been published which could mean that they may be used as key evidence in the upcoming trial, and the HK public prosecutors do not want them in the public domain.

        CY may have found a loop-hole in transferring the BIH asset and now and is keen to sell the club which will benefit his son and Pannu as his most trusted people.

        Pure speculation but we should see a new owner soon, I’d say the sale value will be the same as the level of loans currently owed to third parties

  • tc

    I can’t see why pannu is getting so many plaudits.Selling so many players and taking the sky money doesn’t take a batchelors degree to recognise that is the reason why the balance sheets are in the black .So why is he being applauded when so many fans have deserted the club and feel ripped off so much.The sooner hes gone with his hairdresser the better !!

    • DoctorD

      That’s a bit harsh I think. On the question of him having sold “so many players”, I’d be interested to know if he’s sold more players than in other eras. A lot of them weren’t sold, just had their contracts terminated or were loanees sent back to their parent clubs. As for “taking the sky money”, isn’t that what clubs do with it i.e. take it.

    • almajir

      TC – he didn’t take the SKY money. Only one group of people did that, and that’s the players.

      It amazes me still that people don’t rely that the main drain on ANY club’s finances are it’s players – no one else.

      • Flying Doctor

        It’s how the Sky money was managed was the problem. All that money coming into the club and we have no choice but to sell players in order to survive for 2 years in row. Apart from the 6 months
        Michael Dunford was Chief Exec., hasn’t it been PP running the show?

  • Aussiebrum

    However an issue is BCFC now doesn’t have an INDEPENDENT Chairman.

    It aligns the interests of the subsidiary more closely with those of the parent. That’s probably in order if the sole objective is a speedy sale.

    Failing that it means no strategic planning for anything other than the immediate future. It means a problem like the Xtep fiasco might go un-actioned and we don’t know what other nasties are buried.

    And I’m curious the other 75% of shareholders in BIHL are content to have Mr Yeungs ally assume almost absolute control.

    Lets just hope this expedites a sale.

    • KeeprightCroydOn

      Aussiebrum the whole current ownership issue is curious. CY may be the largest single share owner but he does not have a majority and this begs the question: Why does the other 70% continue to remain silent? They all stand to collectively lose more than CY when the club is eventually sold for less than half the price they paid for it. Yet they remain silent. Not a squeak. Really don’t know what to make of it.

      • maurice walters

        Croydon could the 70 percent have anything to do with the money laundering charges (reason for the silence)

        • maurice walters

          Maybe there freedom

        • almajir

          Swift answer: No

          People need to understand that the shares not in the hands of the major shareholders are held by ordinary investors – ie the (HK) public. Just as you wouldn’t get quotes from Joe Bloggs who’s got 50 shares in British Gas or John Smith who’s got 100 shares in BT, you won’t hear from the majority of the ordinary investors.

          There is no big secret out there – the shares not in the hands of Carson and his mates are in the hands of the public.

  • Bluenosesol

    The only reason any buyer would come in for a championship team would be if they had a significant probability of gaining promotion or the going price was well below market value. The administrators of Portsmouth stated that the Championship finances were complete carnage. Over a third of clubs spend over 100% of revenues on players wages. Until the problem of players wages is addressed, then the future of non prem football will remain in the balance.

  • Tamuffblue

    I believe this is good news for Blues – I also understand peoples opinion of Pannu – the player sales was 6 of one and half dozen of the other ie players wanted out Johnson – Gardner – Larson and others needed shifting Jerome Foster agent Ridgewell ( uncovered ) – BUT I state again any man that gets the Cockney shysters to cough up on the steps of the high court and gets 2 million off the Vilers for a dud manager MUST have something about him

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