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SBD Global/November 27, 2012/International Football

Birmingham City Chair Leaning Toward Hong Kong Bid, Skeptical Of Italian Offer

Former EPL club QPR Chair Gianni Paladini has challenged Championship club Birmingham City Chair Peter Pannu "to allow the Italian consortium attempting to buy Birmingham City to prove they have the funds to back up their £30M ($48M) offer," according to Ian Edwards of ESPN SOCCERNET. Paladini has reacted angrily to comments made by Pannu "expressing doubts over whether he has the financial clout to follow through with his bid." Paladini "wants an opportunity to prove his group" is serious, after its £30M offer, which includes an immediate £17M ($27.2M) down-payment. He said: "Mr. Pannu has insulted me and our backers by saying we don't have the money. Now, prove me wrong, Mr. Pannu, by providing us exclusivity for two weeks to finalise the deal at the original price that was offered and agreed" (ESPN, 11/26).

MAKING ACCUSATIONS: In Hong Kong, John Carney noted Pannu has accused Paladini of running a media campaign so that he can "get it on the cheap." The Italian told the British press last week that "he wanted to get a deal done very soon because he didn't want the club to lose any players in the January transfer window." Pannu said he had had enough of Paladini's "antics." Pannu: "I have instructed the club to send out a statement on our website to categorically deny all this. We need to put a stop to this nonsense. He's just trying to get the club on the cheap. If people don't have the money, they should just shut up" (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 11/25).

NEGOTIATING NEW OWNERS: ISPORTCONNECT noted the club "may have new owners soon" after its parent company confirmed it was "locked in negotiations with a potential buyer in Hong Kong." The news comes "as a further blow to the U.K. consortium led by" Paladini. The company said, "The negotiation with one of the parties in Hong Kong is at an advanced stage, although no conditional binding agreement had been entered into between the parties" (ISPORTCONNECT, 11/25).
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