Birmingham City boardroom drama
11 Feb, 2014 9:12 PM GMT
On the 4th of February, 2014, the Birmingham City supporters finally felt like the future of their club looked brighter as Carson Yeung stepped down from his position as Chairman of the club, after over four years in charge. After initial investment and the promise of big things to come for the club when they won their first major silverware in 2011, Carson Yeung was accused of money laundering, and has since been in and out of Hong Kong courts. With this came the removal of Yeung’s money in the club and since the summer of 2011, players have been leaving the club to avoid the threat of administration.
When a reported bid for the club from, previous QPR owner, Gianni Paladini fell through, it seemed that Carson Yeung would remain in control of the club for the foreseeable future. However after an announcement to the Hong Kong media that Yeung would be stepping down from the board of BIHL (Birmingham International Holdings Limited), the club’s parent club, the news slowly filtered through to the British media that Yeung would also leave his position in the club. Coming only days after the first open protest at St Andrews towards Carson Yeung and Peter Pannu (vice-chairman) after another transfer window of players leaving the club and loan signings filling in the missing spaces, supporters of the club felt that their ‘Delay No More’ message, which has a second, more offensive, meaning when translated into Cantonese, had finally reached the board.
It was stated by Pannu that “Carson Yeung has taken this decision to focus more time on his ongoing court case and to satisfy one of the requirements for the resumption of trading of BIHL shares”. With Yeung’s court case at the end of February, and many expecting him to spend a number of years in prison for his five accused cases of fraud, it is unlikely he will be returning to the board in the near future.
It seems that although Yeung will not be the face of the club, he will still have some say in future decisions after placing his Brother-in-Law, Ma Shui Cheong, on the board less than 24 hours before he stood down. It therefore seems unlikely that the Carson Yeung era of the club is completely over, and many Birmingham fans still believe that until the club is finally sold to new owners, the troubles at the club will continue to plague their on-field performance.