Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham City FC's owners in receivership

Birmingham City's ground Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The club's parent company blamed "fractious and inharmonious" management relations for the decision

The company that owns Birmingham City Football Club has gone into receivership.

The Championship club's parent company, Birmingham International Holdings Limited (BIHL), blamed "fractious and inharmonious relations within the management" for the decision.

BIHL said it had appointed three receivers from Ernst and Young.

The club said it wished to reassure supporters "most emphatically" that no winding-up petition had been filed.

'Unusual course of action'

It said it was not in liquidation and could continue to fulfil its fixtures in the league.

In a statement, BIHL said it had made the announcement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

It said: "BCFC naturally recognises the impact which this announcement may have on itself and how it may be interpreted by its supporters, staff, media and the wider domain.

"The club therefore wishes to explain why the majority directors on the board of BIHL had deemed it necessary to take this voluntary but unusual course of action."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Jailed former owner Carson Yeung has divided the BIHL board

Nick Clitheroe, Midlands Today sport

The announcement that Birmingham City's parent company BIHL has called in the receivers will understandably worry fans but could actually be a positive move for the football club.

The "fractious and inharmonious" relations between the two halves of the BIHL board (pro and anti-Carson Yeung) have made running the parent company very hard in recent months.

Now independent receivers will be responsible for the big decisions at BIHL and one of those could be to sell the football club, as the fans hope.

As for the short-term impact on the club, the biggest danger is that the Football League might dock them points. That is far from certain though. Birmingham City have reassured the League they can fulfil their fixtures, they are well run by the staff at St Andrew's and proved their financial stability by turning down a multimillion-pound offer for young star Demarai Gray last month.

There may be some short-term pain but Birmingham City supporters will hope that in the long run this could herald a fresh start for their club.

It said it would continue "a strong dialogue" with the Football League.

In a statement, Ernst and Young said: "The receivers are keen to stress their appointment does not extend to Birmingham City which continues to trade as normal and outside of any insolvency process.

"The appointment allows the receivers to be able to manage the day-to-day activities of BIHL, take control of its finances, carry on the business of the company and take such steps as may be necessary for the purpose of preserving the future of... Birmingham City."

In January, the Football League wrote to the club seeking clarity over former owner Carson Yeung's role.

Yeung was convicted of money laundering in March 2014 and jailed for six years.

However, it emerged Yeung had requested to remove three of BIHL's directors and replace them with three people he had nominated.

In October, the club were second from bottom in the league and were thumped 8-0 at home to Bournemouth.

However, new manager Gary Rowett has steered the team to mid-table.

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