Birmingham City boss Peter Pannu reveals two bids for club

By Ged ScottBBC Midlands Sport
Peter Pannu

The owners of Birmingham City Football Club say they are in talks to sell the struggling Championship club.

Following reports that ex-Queens Park Rangers chairman Gianni Paladini was leading one bid, it is understood that there are now two separate contenders.

"The company has been approached by two prospective buyers to explore the possibility of buying Birmingham City FC," said chief executive Peter Pannu.

Both bidders are under confidentiality agreements with the club.

Birmingham have failed to publish their figures for the past two years, while part-owner Carson Yeung is on Hong Kong, awaiting trial.

Trading in the company has been suspended since June 2011, when Yeung, their largest shareholder, was arrested on five counts of alleged money laundering.

The club is not officially up for sale but their long-term plans have become even more clouded in the 16 months since Yeung was arrested and Pannu went on the record in May to say that they were open to offers of new investment.

Hong Kong-based parent company Birmingham International Holdings Limited have not indicated how much any potential sale might raise, but they were reported to have rejected a £25m approach from Paladini last month, following which acting Blues boss Pannu was appointed chief executive of BIHL.

The Blues, relegated from the Premier League in May 2011, made light of their off-field problems to only just miss out on an immediate return to the top flight five months ago.

But following the departure of manager Chris Hughton to Norwich, they have so far had mixed fortunes under new boss Lee Clark.

They have won just three of their first 10 Championship matches and lie 21st in the table, just three points clear of the relegation places, and have the same points tally as Bolton Wanderers, who sacked manager Owen Coyle on Tuesday.