Gold vows to banish takeover Blues

December 20, 2007

Birmingham City chairman David Gold has pledged the protracted nature of the failed takeover bid by Carson Yeung 'will never happen again'.

Blues have been waiting to find out since July whether Hong Kong businessman Yeung would complete his buy-out of the club after purchasing an initial 29.9% stake for £15million.

Now they have officially terminated negotiations with Yeung's investment company Grandtop International Holdings (GIH) as the directors 'are no longer confident that GIH will be able to make a general offer for the company'.

Gold is unhappy at the uncertainty which has shrouded City during the first half of the season which was a major factor in manager Steve Bruce deciding to quit, although he is delighted with his successor Alex McLeish.

Gold said: 'Whilst I don't believe we have been in crisis or turmoil, we have had our troubled times in the last five or six weeks with Steve Bruce leaving, not knowing what was happening with Mr Yeung, bringing a new manager in etc.

'It has been a traumatic time and, what I am saying is, it will never happen again. I won't allow this to happen.

'The way we structured the deal with Mr Yeung and his people, by giving them too much leeway to complete the deal, has left the club with some very insecure players, staff and fans.

'I am just saying to our fans 'this will never happen again'. If there is a takeover in the future, it will be completed expediently because you cannot allow this to drift on for five months.'

Gold added: 'Mr Yeung and his people played their part in Steve going and, everything we did, we had to get permission to do it off them. We are not used to doing that.

'David Sullivan and myself make a decision in five minutes. Steve Bruce would say 'I want to buy this player', (co-owner) David Sullivan would give me a call and say 'what do you think?' and we would make a decision.

'With the Chinese people, they hold 15 board meetings.'

Sullivan joined Gold in insisting what the club needed now was 'peace and consolidation' and reiterated his desire to increase his stake to 29.9% and the pair's joint shareholding to just under 60%.

Sullivan also made clear that Yeung would not be getting a seat on the board despite still owning a stake in the club.

'If he wants to put in a pile of money to promote our brand in the Far East - which was part of the vision he sold us - then maybe,' he added.

'Perhaps we could go a deal in that respect. But he would have to show us he has the money to invest, that it wasn't just some business deal - and he hasn't been able to do that, has he?'

Gold has admitted he was never a willing seller and has been re-energised and delighted with the appointment of Alex McLeish as Bruce's successor.

He said: 'Now we've got that stability, it is a new dawn at the club and the players are so vibrant, the staff are excited and the fans I've spoken to are also enthusiastic.

'For the moment, it is a bit of positive news. We've had enough negatives and I am flying. I am revitalised by the fact we are still at the football club. I've never been a real willing seller and I am delighted with the outcome.

'Most importantly, I am absolutely thrilled with the new team and I'm including Andy Watson and Roy Aitken in this. They are a breath of fresh air.

'From three games, we've got four points. We would have taken that. After all, it is very difficult for the manager to come straight in and go straight to Tottenham. We've done okay.

'What I think is more important is Alex has had three games and three weeks to assess the squad.'