Written by: Keith Tully
Published: 17th February 2015
The company that owns Birmingham City Football Club (FC) has entered receivership citing bad relations at management level as the reason behind the move.
Birmingham International Holdings Limited (BIHL) has owned the football club since 2009 and, until last year, was led by Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung. Despite no longer being chairman, Yeung is understood to have retained an influence on the company’s board and has apparently divided the loyalties of BIHL directors.
In a statement made to the Hong Kong stock exchange, BIHL said it had entered receivership voluntarily and on the basis of the votes of a majority of company directors. Further statements insisted that there has been no winding up petitions brought against the company and that it is not facing liquidation.
It is expected therefore that Birmingham City FC teams will continue to fulfil their Championship football fixtures, although the club could yet face ramifications in terms of docked points if it is decided that they’ve broken the Football League’s rules on financial management.
“With no apparent resolution to the fractious and inharmonious relations within the management, the majority on the BIHL Board decided that it had no other option but to openly and voluntarily request reputable receivers to take over the management of BIHL on its behalf,” a statement from the company said.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the appointment of the Receivers by the Court on 16 February 2015 has nothing to do with the insolvency of the Company. As at the present moment, we do not see any liquidity issue in the Company.”
Management teams at Birmingham City FC have been advised that they should conduct a policy of “business as usual” despite the club’s parent company having entered receivership.
Carson Yeung was jailed for six years for money laundering in March 2014, having been arrested in relation to similar charges in Hong Kong in 2011.
It has been unclear in recent months how much influence Yeung still has over the affairs of Birmingham City. But it emerged recently that he requested that several of BIHL’s board members be removed and replaced as directors by his own nominees.
Receivers will now take control of Birmingham City’s parent company and make any financial or management-related decisions affecting it as necessary.