This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Terrace Talk‘ series, which provides personal opinions from our FLW Fan Pundits regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
The current ownership of Birmingham City has been a turbulent one, but it appears that things are about to change in the near future.
Since 2016, the majority shareholding group have been Trillion Trophy Asia, now known as Birmingham Sports Holdings (BSH), who are led by Paul Suen.
It was initially Grandtop International Holdings who purchased the Blues in 2009 before being renamed Birmingham International Holdings, with Carson Yeung heavily involved in all dealings until his departure in 2014.
With Birmingham Sports Holdings owning 75 per cent of the club’s shares, the single biggest shareholder at the club is Vech Pong with a 21.64 per cent stake, although this is set to be bought out by local businessman Paul Richardson and ex-footballer Maxi Lopez.
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The pair have been prominent at Birmingham fixtures recently, have been involved in the club’s transfer business and are expecting approval on their deal next week, which is part of their bigger plan to gain outright control of City in a two-stage purchase.
Despite this and Richardson and Lopez being the apparent driving force in getting Tahith Chong to sign permanently last week from Manchester United, FLW’s Birmingham fan pundit Tom Oxland is still not particularly satisfied with the duo that are set to take a big stake in the club, but admits they’re probably better than BSH.
“The ownership situation at Blues right now is not ideal, I don’t think anyone is happy about it,” Tom said.
“I’m not convinced by Richardson and Lopez but it doesn’t really feel like we’ve got much choice, it’s probably slightly better than what we’ve got now, but not much.
“Even then, they’re not buying the club outright yet, they’re going to be working with our current owners so it’s just not really much of a change.
“It’s frustrating because it doesn’t feel like the people at the top have the best intentions at heart for us, and we’ve always just been a business rather than a football club to them and I don’t see that changing for a long time, and I think a lot of Blues share that feeling and it’s just really worrying.”
For a long time now since Birmingham have been owned by companies in the Far East, the club have had turbulent times, with many threats of relegation to League One along the way.
And whilst Richardson and Lopez offer some form of hope, it remains to be seen as to whether their full takeover ends up happening, as some have doubts over their financial muscle to complete such a deal.
Sometimes it is a case of better the devil you know when it comes to potential takeovers, but there is some optimism that Lopez and Richardson, who is Birmingham born-and-bred, can bring some good times back to the Blues.
Getting Chong back on a permanent basis is definitely a good start before their partial takeover is even confirmed, but the pair are going to have to prove themselves over a longer period of time if all Birmingham fans are going to be convinced.