Andy Munro offers a few reflections on the state of St Andrews play.
IS CARSON YEUNG STILL INVOLVED?
To the extent that he still owns an estimated 27.5% of BIHL shares (worth an estimated £16.5 million when last valued before suspension of trading). However, friends, relatives and so on bolster his influence to likely total over 50%. Remember, as things stand, shareholders still have to vote on matters affecting BIHL in the future.
SURELY CARSON WILL HAVE HIS SHARES CONFISCATED IF HIS APPEAL AGAINST CONVICTION FAILS?
His final appeal is due to be heard between May 31st and June 2nd with a judgement decision likely one or two months afterwards. However, his shares have never been included in any restraint/confiscation orders to date.
WHO ARE TRILLION TROPHY ASIA (TTA)?
TTA are an investment vehicle formed to buy BIHL. Not much is known about the main players although one person has been identified…a Mr Paul Seun Cho Hung. For what it’s worth, their directors will eventually have to pass the rather laughable Football League ‘fit and proper’ test.
WHAT IS THEIR POSITION IN TERMS OF ACQUISITION?
They have exclusive acquisition rights, not due to expire until June 2017. Therefore Ernst and Young are unlikely to talk to anybody in the meantime
ARE BIHL IN LIQUIDATION?
No, they are in receivership which merely means that there is a receiver (Ernst and Young) appointed to manage any transition and sort out any mess/discord.
ARE BLUES AFFECTED BY WHAT HAPPENS TO BIHL?
Obviously, as they are a subsidiary.
WHAT IS BLUES FINANCIAL STATE?
This is both debatable and worrying. TTA had to lend Blues £10 million at the end of the 2014 accounting year to keep them afloat. While this might be partly due to cashflow, the loan is guaranteed by assets including St Andrews. Until later this year when the 15/16 accounts are available, we won’t know how much more (if any) has had to be lent to continue to keep Blues afloat. The assurances at club level in the media about ‘stability’ may be misleading and just aimed at damping down the situation.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN THE FUTURE?
Again debateable but it’s likely that TTA will (unless a miracle happens and we get to the Premier League) want to sell BCFC once BIHL are listed and will then want their loan(s) back.
There’s likely to be an EGM in the near future which may clarify TTA’s intentions a bit more.
All the above has been gleaned at a meeting organised by the Blues Trust featuring investigative journalist Daniel Ivery, who runs the well-known website Often Partisan. The Trust have raised funds to send Daniel out to Hong Kong to investigate further.
However, this is my own interpretation so apologies to Daniel and the Trust if there are any inaccuracies although hopefully my reading of the situation is an accurate reflection of a fairly depressing state of affairs.