Birmingham City news

Yeung seeks investors

March 6, 2011

Birmingham owner Carson Yeung and the club's board of directors are stepping up their efforts to attract new investors to the Carling Cup winners.

Birmingham vs West Brom
PA PhotosCarson Yeung (R) is the chairman and an executive director of Birmingham International Holdings

There are reports on Sunday that City may not be able to compete in Europe unless they can assure the Premier League, UEFA and the Football Association their financial future is secure.

A statement by Birmingham International Holdings - the club's parent company - to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange revealed Blues and other Hong Kong-based businesses had total debts in excess of £29 million.

It also emerged last week that Yeung has put his some of his own properties up as collateral for a multi-million pound loan.

This would be used to "provide sufficient financial resources" to allow the business to continue "without significant curtailment of its operation".

Blues reiterated on Sunday their stance that the day-to-day running of the club is not an issue for concern, but it is clear that Yeung and Co would welcome further investment which would help to allay any fears of their place in Europe being snatched away by the football authorities.

A Birmingham spokesman said: "To reiterate, there are no problems with the day-to-day running of the business. The board are looking to raise capital to invest into the business."

City need to obtain a UEFA licence to be able to take their place in the Europa League and this will depend on them satisfying criteria about their finances.

They will be desperate to avoid a repeat of the scenario with Portsmouth, who qualified for the Europa League in 2010 but could not take their place because of financial problems. It would also be a hammer blow for manager Alex McLeish and his players after the shock 2-1 win over Arsenal in last Sunday's Carling Cup final.

Yeung took an initial 29.9% stake in Birmingham three years ago before buying the club outright from David Gold and David Sullivan for £81 million during the early part of the 2009-2010 campaign.