Birmingham Bosses Allay Financial Fears to UEFA
March 9, 2011
Having pulled off a shock result to beat English Premier League rivals Arsenal in the final of the League Cup, soccer club Birmingham City earned automatic qualification to the Europa League. However, fears over the clubs financial situations have been allayed by the owners, who say they are confident that they will have “no problem” meeting the financial criteria to allow the club to play in the competition next season.
But reports suggested Blues may have to prove their financial security to the Premier League, Football Association and UEFA in order to compete in Europe.
Vice-chairman Peter Pannu told the club website Birmingham are “in credit” and have “no financial impediment”.
UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, brought in licensing rules in June 2010 which dictate that clubs must be financially secure to participate in competitions which rung alarm bells after Birmingham International Holdings – the club’s parent company – revealed Blues and other Hong Kong-based business had total debts in excess of £29m.
However, Pannu added: “It is important to note that Birmingham City FC is a separate corporate entity from BIHL – a listed company in Hong Kong.
“Although a distant subsidiary, Birmingham City FC’s accounts are separate and it operates on its own financial basis.
“We will have no problem securing UEFA licence approval to play in Europe for which the club had already filed the papers.
“As for Birmingham International Holdings Limited, the financial support by a major shareholder is a common occurrence and there is no cause for concern or any direct links to Birmingham City FC’s well-being.”