No accounting for Pannu & co

Andy Munro looks at the current situation at St Andrews.

Now the accounts for Birmingham International Holdings (BIH) have been released into the public domain, the Blues Trust (who are now about halfway to reaching their initial membership target of 1,000) have had a chance to consider how they might affect the financial ‘health’ of Birmingham City FC.

Perhaps it’s no real surprise that they reveal little more than the Blues accounts – bearing in mind the club is really BIH’s only asset.

There was, of course, a fleeting concern well documented in the media that Pannu & co had ‘forward sold’ players but this is apparently not the case, if the subsequent statements are to be believed. The main issue, however, is the auditor’s ‘concern’ about the fundamental uncertainty around the club as a ‘going concern’. One presumes that this is a measured comment that has taken into account the remaining parachute payment of £8 million (or is it £12 million following a rule change?) and presumably the inevitable release of surplus, but high wage earning, players such as Caldwell, Murphy and Carr. I have excluded from that list Nicola ‘Nobody wants me but I don’t care’ Zigic. This ought to go a long way towards balancing next season’s books so the auditor’s comments seem somewhat strange and it would be very interesting to see cash flow forecasts!

The Blues Trust have masterminded a campaign to alert all major shareholders in Hong Kong and some of their responses have been interesting to say the least. They certainly don’t appear very happy with Pannu et al but, as many of the comments could be construed as libellous unless proven, the Trust is, for the moment, having to keep them confidential for legal reasons.

I suppose the good news is that publication of the accounts means that one of the main obstacles to a sale has been removed and the Trust are already scheduled to meet at least one possible interested party. Unfortunately a sale is still probably some way off, at least until Blues’ Championship future is secured and the outcome of Yeung’s forthcoming trial next month has been settled.

If you want to find out more about the Blues Trust visit