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John Eustace makes honest takeover comment as Birmingham could face further sanctions

Manager John Eustace makes an honest takeover comment as Birmingham City could face further sanctions according to reports this week.

The Blues picked up their secured their first win of the new second tier season, beating Huddersfield Town 2-1 St. Andrew’s on Friday night.

Goals from Scott Hogan and Przemyslaw Placheta gave the hosts a two goals lead before half time, but fans faced a nervy ending as Terriers striker Danny Ward reduced the deficit in the second half.

Birmingham managed to hold on for all three points, with the performances showing great character to win their first game of the new campaign.

The win put Birmingham at the summit of the Championship standings prior to the rest of the division’s fixtures kick off this weekend.

The Blues had been in the headlines for the more worrying reasons these last few days due to a number of off-field distractions and a delayed takeover of the club.

Eustace is trying his best however to not left that affect him, claiming that he and his squad are fully concentrated with the job in hand, a decent start so far getting four points from two tricky games.

“If I’m honest, I’ve taken no notice on what’s happening off the field, nor have the group,” Eustace said. “The most important thing is that we have a group who want to play for Birmingham City and make the fans proud of them again.

“Its my job to connect the fans, staff and players, everything. At the moment, the first four weeks have gone well but again, there’s a lot of hard, hard days ahead and that’s when the togetherness has to come out.”

It’s emerged that Chinese-Cambodian businessman Wang Yaohui possibly held a controlling interest in the club for many years without taking the EFL’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test.

The EFL has reportedly obtained evidence linking the Cambodian diplomat Wang Yaohui to Birmingham City, according to Radio Free Asia, with reports in July saying the EFL successfully applied to Singapore’s Supreme Court to access records in a case brought against one of Mr Yaohui companies.

The application was made as part of an investigation by the EFL into allegations that Yaohui ‘secretly controls a substantial portion of the club’s shares’.

Yaohui possibly held a controlling interest in the club for several years without taking the EFL’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test or declaring it to the stock exchange, where Birmingham’s majority owner, Birmingham Sports Holdings Limited (BSHL), is listed.

According to The Athletic, should Yaohui be found to have been the beneficial owner of shares in BSHL and Oriental Rainbow Investments – the British Virgin Islands-registered company that currently owns the 21.64 per cent stake in Birmingham City that prospective new owners Paul Richardson and Maxi Lopez want to buy initially – then both BSHL and Blues could face sanctions from the stock exchange and EFL. Those possible sanctions even include a points deduction.

Back to John Eustace now and he was asked if his style is less of a direct approach, something supporters have been watching for several years.

Eustace responded: “We’ve been here for four weeks, the most important thing is that we’re hard to pay against.

“I’ve said that the football will come, without a shadow of a doubt that will come as well evolve as a group. The most important thing is that we’re difficult to play against, the large majority of the time tonight we were.

“We had to change shape after the second half, no problems. They had two clear chances, one was a goal and (Sorba) Thomas had a chance, but the commitment was different class.”

It’s clear to see that Eustace is trying to not get distracted by issues with the proposed £36.5m takeover of the Blues by Maxi Lopez and Paul Richardson stalling over doubts whether the businessmen have the funds to buy the near 22 per cent stake of Vong Pech in a two-year plan to seize overall control.

Takeover latest:
🔹 Lopez and Richardson already missed 1st proof of funds deadline
🔹 They can’t access the money
🔹 They’re scrambling around to find additional funds
🔹 EFL won’t let the current owners sell up until they provide more transparency on who they are. This will risk sanctions from the EFL.

St Andrew’s meanwhile still has the bottom tiers in two stands closed due to structural concerns despite hopes they would be open by the start of the season, significantly reducing the capacity.

Birmingham City manager John Eustace claims he has not set any targets for his side to achieve this season, despite being one of the early favourites to be relegated come May.

Asked about what targets he has set his team this season, Eustace replied: “To be competitive in every game, we’ve set no targets, we just want to be very competitive and be very, very hard to play against, whoever we play. The most important thing is that we get the connection with the fans back, they will play a big part for us going forward. It’s my job to rebuild this fantastic football club.

“There’s a lot of hard work ahead but tonight showed that we’re committed as players and staff, certainly the fans are buying into that as well, that’s good.”

Fans react as John Eustace makes an honest takeover comment while Birmingham could face further sanctions…

@1875cal: Our gaffa

@Jim91112164: That management team have worked wonders 👏… Great first half… everyone played there part

@spind0cta: Sanctions? The EFL are supposed to have regs in place to protect us from owners like this, not punish us for having them approved by their own tests

@PeterSparrow1: We (Blues fans) should be the ones sueing the @efl for failing to protect our club and our fan base from these crooks. Their rules and tests are clearly not fit for purpose.

@BrianBr41198151: And the club and the supporters will be punished for the inadequacy of the EFL’s F&P checks, even though us supporters have been telling them for years about the elusive Mr King. It has already been bought to the attention by a local MP. So it will already be well documented.

@TonyHawes7: Gaffer you had a mountain to climb with all the outsider factors – be proud of what you’ve achieved and see where this journey goes. Unity in it together #KRO

@Andyjack83: Best gaffer since… Rowett/Monk… think he’ll be better though, players look relaxed and together, first time felt that for a long while… 💙💙💙

@DozzaKRO: Imagine what it would have been like with the whole ground open….. electric! Great start to your campaign Mr Eustace.

@AnthonyWagstaf3: @EFL so your telling me because the owners have never been transparent until they want to sell up nevermind when they bought the club ! And now the EFL want more information.. bear in mind we’ve been screaming… to them regarding this information over the last number of years !

@angecampton: Begs the question why these checks weren’t carried out when they bought shares in our club, they are allowed to buy it but not sell it 🤷‍♀️

@BCFCEVERYTHING: Bring back the protests. Get the Chinese out this club ourselves. Why did they die down? They couldn’t give an absolute toss about us and will run us into the ground before it’s too late. Points deduction looming the longer they stay in charge. #BSHLOUT #BCFC #KRO

@WKG_97: Why is this all so complicated, who they are? Why was they given control in the first place… Going down this season 😴 #BCFC

@Nev_77_: I mean they should know the owners seeing as they apparently do background checks on new buyers to prove they can run a club. If it wasn’t clear before, EFL aren’t a fit and proper organisation

@jamiebcfc7: I can see the logic of a points deduction. Blues’ owners have broken the rules. It’s an undeniable fact. However, it is grotesquely immoral to punish fans who have been sounding the alarm on this issue for close to all of Wang Yaohui’s involvement with #BCFC.

@NiallMu24178883: If / when blues get a point deduction from efl over this Cambodian diplomat owning us, surely we should contest it with them? IT IS THEIR ROLE TO CONDUCT OWNER TESTS! #bcfc

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