EXCLUSIVE: Yeung has just eight weeks to rescue cash-strapped Birmingham from plunging into administration

By Neil Moxley

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Carson Yeung will have to find an answer to Birmingham City’s liquidity problems before Christmas, or else the club will be plunged into administration.

The owner of the struggling Championship club is currently on trial in Hong Kong, facing charges of money laundering, with both his own future and that of the club he owns in jeopardy.

Funds are drying up at St Andrew’s and it is understood that the club has around eight weeks to find the additional money to survive.

Deadline: Birmingham City owner Carson Yeung has until Christmas to find a solution to the club's liquidity problems

Deadline: Birmingham City owner Carson Yeung, seen here leaving a court in Hong Kong after giving testimony in his money laundering trial, has until Christmas to find a solution to the club's liquidity problems

Where it all began: Yeung holds a Birmingham shirt after buying the club

Where it all began: Yeung holds a Birmingham shirt after buying the club

Birmingham have been selling players since charges were first brought against Yeung two years ago but the club has also leaked cash due to over-excessive contract awards and a need to make good previous financial losses.

Striker Nikola Zigic is locked into a deal that will continue to pay him 65,000-a-week for another eight months and, despite a huge cost-cutting exercise this summer, no additional financial help has been received from the Far East.

Birmingham’s bankers, HSBC, have withdrawn an overdraft facility and it is likely that Yeung will have to find outside investment if he is to keep the club ticking over.

Big earner: Birmingham striker Nikola Zigic is locked into a 65,000-a-week deal for another eight months

Big earner: Birmingham striker Nikola Zigic is locked into a 65,000-a-week deal for another eight months

But with shares in the holding company currently suspended, it remains to be seen whether that will be forthcoming.

Indeed, with Yeung’s own stock under the microscope in court, there are also questions as to whether this will be seized if he is convicted.

Former QPR chief executive Gianni Paladini has conducted negotiations over a purchase with Peter Pannu, Yeung’s right-hand man, but a statement released via the Hong Kong Stock Exchange rubbished claims made by the Italian that a deal has been struck.

Deal maker: Former QPR chief executive has reportedly been in talks to buy Birmingham

Deal maker: Former QPR chief executive has reportedly been in talks to buy Birmingham

Yeung has instructed middlemen to hold out for a sale price of 32m but with the clock ticking down and few options, it looks inevitable that he will have to strike a deal or else lose control of the debt.

If administrators are appointed, Paladini will certainly be in the running to assume control but is likely to face competition.

According to Pannu, another group was sufficiently interested to complete due diligence but did not make a formal offer.

 


The comments below have been moderated in advance.

Guess Birmingham, and other clubs, never heard of Romanov at Hearts.

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Bye bye Carson, and hello to the return of the famous big European nights down at St Andrews!

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One way or another this ongoing mess will be over soon. There's plenty of interest as there's no significant bank debt. And the only midlands club to win a trophy this century will be back where they belong!

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And he passed the FA's "Fit and Proper persons" test how?

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And this could be the best Christmas ever! Keep right on down the pan !

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Bad move from the start.

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Awful man ruining a great club - shteed, england, 25/10/2013 23:46 Good comment, but wrong way around, it should be: Great man ruining an awful club.

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How did this guy ever pass the fit and proper test that is supposed to apply to all potential club owners?

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Decent comment kingjibzmufc19. Like any other club the blues has its share of muppet supporters but the vast majority are regular genuine people.To those out there making the usual puerile comments I say beware.... Long gone are the days when the likes of you and I had a say in our clubs- they're now just the playthings of the bored rich and next season it could just as easily be you.

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Another part of Britain's heritage flogged off to a foreigner claiming to be things he might not now be. If Portsmouth wasn't the big warning what was?

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