Monday, July 16, 2007

Carson Yeung speaks

The prospective new owner of Blues purchases 29.9 per cent of the club today, and plans to buy out Sullivan and Gold "sooner rather than later". His first full interview appears here - ironically in the Blues-bashing Daily Mirror - and while I still have my doubts about him, the fact he "only" has an estimated fortune of £150m isn't one of them. Blues have been self-financing for years despite all the hype our current owners like to put about, so anyone with a hint of business acumen should be able to keep it going on those lines. If fans want to be angry, they should direct that anger at the current owners who will pocket £15m today, and another £35m should Yeung complete his takeover. With all their flair for exaggerating their own financial input into the club over the years, neither Sullivan nor Gold can claim to have spent £25m of their own money in that time, so both will leave with a hefty profit on their investment.

I've said this before - I don't besmirch them their frugal approach, because I think it's refreshing in this age of spiralling debts that Blues have always been run sustainably. I've always objected to their attempts at spinning their own financial input - they've advanced the club money on occasion, but it has always been paid back (and rightly so). But the bulk of the money that has gone into the club in the past 14 years has been generated by the club - and sometimes I get frustrated that they underplay how the fans and the staff have played a major role in putting Birmingham City on the map.

The big priority for Yeung is to boost the club's image in the Far East - if he can do that, additional streams of revenue become available, and the club has more money to play with (money it itself generates). Let's be honest, spending £50m guarantees nothing, so Blues might as well continue to run along sound financial lines, so we have a club to frustrate us for the next 50 years as opposed to the next five...

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