The China crisis

With Blues’ future seeming bleaker by the day, Andy Munro offers a glimmer of hope. 

With further rumours about the parlous state of the finances of Blues’ holding company BIH’s, it seems as if things at St Andrews are going from bad to worse , or should that be from worse to irretrievable?

Many Blues fans have vowed never to return to St Andrews until Carson and Co have left the building and for those remaining the dwindling crowds and dwindling results become ever-more depressing. It has even got to the stage where Brady and Sullivan are fondly remembered as an almost cuddly duo.

A statement made to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange warned of a “significant net loss attributable to the shareholders of the Company” in the accounts for the year ended 30th June 2013. Figures recently bandied around suggested that Blues’ net transfer profit over the past three years has been in the region of £44 million and with the parachute payments of around  £36 million, it therefore seems as if something like  £80 million has financially self-combusted. Even Ziggy’s wages don’t come to that.

What’s to be done? Apart from Chris Burke, Blues only asset is the ground and so now the Blues Trust has set in motion an Asset of Community Value (ACV) application. If successful, this means that there is a six month window of opportunity for the community to raise funds to buy the ground if it is put up for sale, and it stops a quick firesale. Successful ACV bids have been made, without exception, across the country from Liverpool to Oxford and normally the turnaround time is two months. Unfortunately the Blues Trust heard not a peep from Birmingham city council in that time and only after writing to Sir Albert Bore and Cabinet Member for Culture, Ian Ward, were they told the delay was because the local authority had consulted Queen’s Counsel. Apparently it is now with the council’s Birmingham Property Services,  a group of individuals who appear to move at the sort of pace that would put your average tortoise in the Usain Bolt category.

Some pundits even reckon that the council must be using the same set of lawyers as those defence lawyers that have turned the Carson Saga into the Forsythe Saga given the length of time things have dragged on. Let’s hope that the council don’t score an own goal on this one – following on from the BBC’s departure from the city, the Commonwealth Games, Capital for Culture, and the National Football Stadium to name but a few. All there now in the annals (or perhaps a similar sounding  but more appropriate word)of the council’s illustrious history.

Administration may soon beckon (BCFC not BCC that is, although…..) and if a ten point deduction and relegation means that somebody can take over and spend their money on players and not China then it may be the most palatable option after all.