GRANDTOP OUTLINES FUTURE PLANS FOR THE BLUES; ANNOUNCES NEW CLUB MANAGEMENT
At a press conference held today at St. Andrew's, Carson Yeung, Chairman of Grandtop International Holdings Limited ("Grandtop"), the new owner of Birmingham City Football Club ("BCFC" or "the club"), made the following statement:
"This is a very exciting time for Birmingham City Football Club which everyone at Grandtop believes has a bright future in the Premier League.
"We are totally committed to the success of the club and to working with everyone involved, including management, staff, players, sponsors and other business partners and, above all, the loyal fans who have supported the club through good times and bad.
"Our aim is to work hard to secure our position in the Premier League, not only this year but for many years to come, and we have clear plans for achieving this goal.
"We cannot discuss our plans in detail but I can tell you something about our priorities:
· We are already working hard with the people at the club, at all levels, on deciding what needs to be done to stay in the Premier League.
· We have an excellent management team and I am delighted that Michael Dunford has agreed to join the new management as Chief Executive. His experience and success in football will be a great asset to us.
· We are having ongoing and constructive discussions with Alex McLeish about how the team needs to be strengthened.
· We will support the effort to field the best possible team and we will make the funds available to buy new players in January as appropriate.
· Longer term, we believe that there is a major opportunity to build BCFC's fan base in China and to generate new sources of revenue for the club. But for this to happen, our first priority must be to establish BCFC as a successful Premier League club.
"Ultimately, the fans are the life blood of Birmingham City Football Club and we will spend our money wisely and focus our efforts on winning football matches and improving the club both on and off the field."
The new management of Birmingham City Football Club will be as follows.
Carson Yeung, President
Carson, aged 49, has accumulated many years of experience in international investment. He was Chairman of Hong Kong Rangers Football Club during 2005 to 2006 and is currently a director of Universal Management Consultancy Limited and Universal Energy Resources Holdings Limited. He was appointed as a Director and Chairman of the Board of Grandtop International Holdings Limited in July 2007. Currently he is a Director of Birmingham City PLC as well as being President of Birmingham City Football Club.
Michael Wiseman, Vice President
Michael, 54, has been a director of Birmingham City Football Club since 1997. His appointment as Vice President continues the link between the Wiseman family and Birmingham City Football Club which has existed since 1928. Michael graduated from Sheffield University with a degree in economics and subsequently qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1982. He is currently the Managing Director of property company, Haunch Lane Developments Ltd, a Governor of University College Birmingham and director of Metal Packaging Ltd.
Vico Hui, Chairman
Vico, aged 43, has accumulated over 20 years of experience in management of business trade and project investment as well as extensive experience in corporate finance and international investment. He held a senior position at a major China Marine Container Group and has over 10 years experience in import, export and international trade settlement. Since the early 1990s, he has been involved in investment in China as well as capital raising for a range of businesses. In addition, he is involved in eco-power development and resources exploration, accumulating rich and extensive experience in exploration and production.
Vico was appointed as an executive director and Chief Executive Officer of Grandtop International Holdings Limited on in June 2007. Currently, he is a Director of Birmingham City PLC as well as Chairman of Birmingham City Football Club.
Peter Pannu, Joint Vice Chairman
Aged 46, Peter is a qualified barrister practising law in Hong Kong. He has LL.B/LL.M degrees (corporate and commercial law) from London University and a post graduate law degree from Hong Kong University. Until 1997, he was a detective with the Royal Hong Kong Police and, after 1997 when Hong King reverted to China, he resigned to practise law in Hong Kong. Prior to being appointed by the club, he advised Carson Yeung whom he has known for 22 years.
Sammy Yu, Joint Vice Chairman
Sammy, aged 53 has fifteen years experience of coaching and managing football clubs. He was First team coach and Manager of Hong Kong between 1981 and 2000. Sammy has also had extensive experience in television work having been a sports show host and commentator.
Michael Dunford, Chief Executive
Aged 56 Michael is acknowledged as being one of English football's most experienced, respected and committed administrators. He was appointed Chief Executive of Everton in 1999 before joining Plymouth Argyle in 2005 in a similar position. His career in professional football commenced in 1969 at Derby County where he rose to the position of General Manager before joining Everton in 1994 as Company/Club Secretary.
It is the intention of Grandtop, subject to shareholder approval, to change the company name to 'Birmingham International Holdings Limited' within the next two months.