Birmingham City dismiss Europa League financial concern

Birmingham City's owners are confident they will have "no problem" meeting the financial criteria to allow the club to play in the Europa League next season.

Alex McLeish's side beat Arsenal in the Carling Cup final to qualify.

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".

European football's governing body, Uefa, brought in licensing rules in June 2010 which dictate that clubs must be financially secure to participate in competitions.

Fears emerged after Birmingham International Holdings - the club's parent company - revealed Blues and other Hong Kong-based business had total debts in excess of £29m.

It also transpired last week that owner Carson Yeung has put some of his own properties up as collateral for a multi-million pound loan.external-link

This loan would be used to "provide sufficient financial resources" to allow the business to continue "without significant curtailment of its operation".

Pannu was adamant the club could assure the Premier League, Uefa and FA of the West Midlands club's sound financial status.

"It is important to note that Birmingham City FC is a separate corporate entity from BIHL - a listed company in Hong Kong," explained Pannu.

"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 wellbeing."