Birmingham financial woes deepen

With Birmingham City owner Carson Yeung’s assets frozen, acting chairman Peter Pannu admits he may have to sell players to keep the club afloat.Yeung, who completed a protracted takeover of Birmingham in October 2009, was arrested in Hong Kong on June 29 charged with five counts of money laundering.

Trade in the shares of Birmingham’s holding company have been suspended, paralysing the club following their already damaging relegation from the English Premier League last season.

And Pannu has now indicated that he may have to offload some of the team’s better players in order to stave off the demands of Birmingham’s creditor, HSBC.

“Upon my return I may have to make some unpopular decisions and I hope the fans will understand that I effectively don’t have a choice,” Pannu told the Daily Mirror.

“The club may need to do what is right and to buy time until Carson’s assets are dislodged from the clutches of the courts in Hong Kong.”

“But I am not aware of their plans as to how they propose to fulfil the financial distress posed by the relegation scenario and the freezing of Carson’s assets in Hong Kong.

“Carson had been trying hard to find new investors but the money laundering charges understandably meant that the progress had been slow.”

Birmingham, who appointed Chris Hughton to replace Alex McLeish as manager in June, begin life back in the Championship away to Derby County on August 6.