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Pocketing Expenses Pt II
A week ago, I ran an article on this site with respect to the wages of Acting Chairman of BCFC Peter Pannu. Mr Pannu had been roundly criticised in from all quarters for a salary of close to £700,000 at a time when Birmingham City are close to the wall financially.
Mr Pannu responded to the Birmingham Mail that he only took £250k gross salary and the remainder was “pocket expenses” used for the salaries of his HK staff when travelling to the UK and suchlike.
Yesterday, the accounts for Birmingham City PLC were released. Birmingham City PLC is the UK parent of the club and sits one layer above the club and one layer below Birmingham International Holdings. BC PLC was the former holding company that was listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) under the days of Sullivan, Gold and Brady and was the company that was bought by BIH when they bought the club. As BIH now own the vast majority (96.58% or so) of the shares, the company was delisted from the stock exchange.
These accounts are very interesting. They confirm that one director within the BC PLC group was paid £688,000 – but they also give a breakdown.
As you can see, these accounts state that one director in the group received £661,000 as a salary with only £27,000 paid as benefits in kind. Unfortunately, this conflicts with what Mr Pannu told the Birmingham Mail. It’s also germane to note that these accounts (like the ones for the club) were signed off by Mr Pannu.
Whilst I understand that a person in the position of Mr Pannu is going to receive a large salary, and the usage of a house and a car whilst in the UK I must admit that I personally think that a director has the responsibility to lower his wage expectation when a company is struggling – particularly when that is down to cashflow problems. I would like for Mr Pannu to explain why he told the Birmingham Mail what he did when it seemingly conflicts with what is written in the publicly available accounts that he himself signed off.
Most of all, with the financial situation seemingly heading towards meltdown I’d like some reassurance from Mr Pannu that he has lowered his personal salary and/or expenses to help the club and company out in a time of distress.
A copy of this article has been forwarded to Mr Pannu for his comments.
Should anyone wish to obtain a copy of the accounts they are available from Companies House for £1. The Company number required is 3304408.