Birmingham news Birmingham City takeover latest as November 'long stop date' draws close PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - The latest Birmingham City news and views from BirminghamLive as we bring you what's happening with the takeover
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Birmingham City’s protracted takeover is yet to complete with just a week to go until the long-stop date of November 30. Blues have been the subject of a potential buyout since the end of last season. Some have even claimed that moves were starting to be made as long ago as March. For all the talk since there have been a few concrete developments but nothing actually finalised as prospective owners Maxi Lopez and Paul Richardson continue to associate themselves with the club on social media. BirminghamLive understands the latest deadline for a deal is next week but that it could once again be extended – as it has been previously - and that meetings have been held with the EFL this week. READ: John Eustace has five things to sort out during Birmingham City’s World Cup break READ: Birmingham City hero lifts the lid on Celtic, Di Canio and spat with Gary Rowett Here’s how the saga has unfolded over the last six months. Richardson and Lopez Rumours of Richardson and Lopez' interest in the club began to filter out just before the end of the 2021/2022 season. They faced competition from a rival bid brokered by Keith Harris and fronted by former Watford owner Laurence Bassini. Bassini made a controversial appearance on talkSPORT's White & Jordan programme in July and from that point on his bid has been sidelined, despite his claims to the contrary. Richardson and Lopez moved to the front of the queue. Birmingham Sports Holdings Ltd (BSHL) announced in July that it had "accepted an approach" from the pair. That approach is a two-stage buyout over a couple of years. On July 19, Richardson and Lopez encountered the media on the St Andrew’s car park and revealed they had exchanged contracts on the deal. Richardson told BirminghamLive : "We exchanged contracts on Saturday after many months. We paid our deposit on Monday and now we're here today to find out how the club works and do our DD (due diligence). We will have to wait for EFL approval which may take two or three weeks, and then we go to completion.” While the takeover rumbled on in the background, the duo became increasingly prominent not only on social media but in the former’s case at the training ground as much-needed new players arrived leading up to deadline day. In September the club released a statement confirming that "a deal was agreed which is subject to the EFL’s approval process". It added: "The Club have been unable to provide answers on many of the big issues affecting supporters, particularly the progress of the remedial works to the Tilton and Kop stands. Therefore, the decision has been taken to provide our next update when there is a significant and/or substantial development." EFL investigation Two months on and supporters are still waiting on that "significant and/or substantial development" to arrive. The EFL are, at the time of writing, still investigating the takeover bid as well as looking into allegations that Wang Yaohui is the benefical owner of shares in Birmingham Sports Holdings. The governing body have refused to comment on the situation, but on November 23, they once again told BirminghamLive that matters remain ‘ongoing’. At the end of October it was claimed that Birmingham City could be charged for breaching Football League rules after receiving funding from Richardson and former Barcelona player Lopez. Under EFL rules, clubs can receive funds from external sources but these figures cannot act as a Relevant Person and therefore are prevented from making key decisions at the club. The Daily Mail reported the EFL is in the process of investigating the extent of the prospective owners’ influence at the club. It's our understanding that parties can provide funding for a club without automatically breaching the current regulations. Richardson response Speaking to BirminghamLive at the time, Richardson confirmed that his consortium have been funding Blues – and said that no-one has been acting as what the governing body describe as a ‘Relevant Person’. “It’s well known that we have been supplying funding to the club for operational expenses,” he said.
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. We have kept to the letter of that, and that document has been disclosed to the EFL. “In terms of investigation, the EFL are looking at this closely, like they would any other acquisition. It is not unusual we are in contact with them answering various questions. We have a procedure at club that we adhere to, and we work with them on everything. “That’s going really, really well. We have to deal with chairman and CEO, we can’t just do something, we have to ask. Everything is consensual. If we want to go to a game we have to ask ‘Can we go?’ It’s not just a given.” During a visit to Dubai-based club Al-Nasr, Lopez was described as a 'president' on a tweet from the club. Richardson clarified: “That was their [Al Nasr’s] description of him not his description, that was probably lost in translation. That is not something we are actively trying to do. We are always mindful." Slow progress Richardson, the executive chairman at Gymshark, spoke to talkSPORT in the last few weeks and admitted progress on the takeover is slow but that it is being made. “We are in discussions with the EFL we have prepared all the documents we wait for them with their procedures to move forward," he said. "It is relatively slow but again as with any club and any takeover they have to look at it in great detail which is what they are doing and I don’t think that’s a bad thing at the end of the day. It’s proceeding slower than we wanted but it is moving forward.” Asked by presenter Jim White if he is still confident Richardson said: “Yeah, there is no indication otherwise we have a willing buyer and a willing seller that’s what you need. We are in constant talks with the EFL and we will do everything in our powers to satisfy their needs.“ The most recent public utterance from the current owners, Birmingham Sports Holdings, came when the company accounts were released. There was no explicit mention regarding Richardson and Lopez and nothing more than a reiteration of June’s statement regarding Vong Pech’s intention to sell 21.64 per cent of Blues. Again there was no mention of the remainder. Latest development In early November it emerged cryptocurrency investor Haydn Snape was intending to be part of the Richardson and Lopez consortium and that he intended to bring New York real estate billionaire Michael Fuchs to the party. Richardson moved within a few hours to put those claims in context: “Birmingham’s shirt sponsorship finishes at the end of the season and Haydn’s company UFM (Ultimate Fantasy Metaverse) are interested. He knows Michael Fuchs who has a company called RFR Holdings and has agreed to introduce us. "We get approached on a regular basis because Birmingham City has potential to be a very big club.” BirminghamLive understands that meeting is yet to take place – and may not. For his part BirminghamLive has been told Snape was at the Sunderland match for a period. READ NEXT: Roar on Jude Bellingham and England to World Cup glory by sending your messages of support to the Three Lions Krystian Bielik drops transfer hint on Derby County and Birmingham City future What next for Birmingham City's Manchester United, Arsenal and other loans - at least three set to stay 'Very, very good' - Lowdown on Birmingham City-linked striker Evan Ferguson Blues make John Ruddy contract decision Manchester United's 'forgotten figure' heading for January exit after Birmingham City loan
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