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Page last updated at 16:20 GMT, Tuesday, 6 October 2009 17:20 UK

McLeish excited by Blues takeover

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish
Former Scotland boss McLeish joined Birmingham in November 2007

Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish says Carson Yeung's takeover of the club can be the springboard for future success.

Hong Kong billionaire Yeung has bought more than a 90% stake in the Premier League club and can purchase the rest of the shares on a compulsory basis.

"There is a buzz about the place," said McLeish. "It is exciting times and something I've great anticipation for."

The Scot said he hoped there would be money to spend on players as he looks to keep the Blues in the top flight.

"I am looking forward to working with the new owners," said McLeish, who steered the club to promotion last season.

"I am ambitious and they are ambitious and, of course, if there is money to spend, we would welcome it.

"We are looking forward to a new era. The fans are anticipating another step forward."

Yeung's takeover means that half of the Premier League's 20 clubs are now in foreign ownership.

The news of Yeung's takeover represents the formal end of the David Sullivan, Ralph Gold and Karren Brady era at St Andrews, although David Gold is poised to remain as chairman.

Sullivan believes Birmingham will prosper under Yeung.

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"He seems genuinely interested in the club," Sullivan told BBC Radio 5 live. "He has made all sorts of pledges to the supporters and he's passionate about football.

"I hope he'll do extremely well and I have every reason to believe he'll do extremely well."

David Gold was equally optimistic, adding: "This is a day of opportunity and we should grasp it optimistically."

Yeung must now begin the job of winning over Blues supporters.

His failed takeover attempt during the 2007-08 season was widely viewed as a key factor in the club's relegation from the Premier League and in the departure of then-manager Steve Bruce.

According to Sullivan, Yeung, who is expected to fly to England next week, has already assured McLeish's position is safe.

Should Yeung's investment company, Grandtop Holdings, complete a compulsory purchase on the remaining shares, he can take the club off the Alternative Investment Market and into private ownership.

At this stage, there is no definite deadline by which Grandtop will have acquired 100% of the shares.

It has left an open timetable to those shareholders who own the remaining 6% of the share capital to return their certificates.



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see also
Sullivan plays down West Ham move
06 Oct 09 |  Birmingham
Premier League approval for Yeung
25 Sep 09 |  Birmingham
Top flight to tighten owner test
12 May 09 |  Premier League
Exit looms for Sullivan & Brady
16 Sep 09 |  Birmingham
Hong Kong bid for Birmingham City
21 Aug 09 |  Business
Yeung puts deposit on Birmingham
20 Aug 09 |  Business
Yeung in Birmingham takeover bid
12 Aug 09 |  Birmingham
McLeish pleads for more signings
14 Aug 09 |  Birmingham
Blues budget all spent - McLeish
20 Aug 09 |  Birmingham


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