Carson Yeung’s Legal Troubles Are a Big Problem for Birmingham City’s Future
Birmingham City FC may not be a well-known team for most people in China, but most should know the name Carson Yeung(楊家誠). The Hong Kong businessman has been in the headlines for the past few years as he attempted to purchase the Midlands club back in 2007 followed by his successful acquisition in 2009. The former barber became another name in the slew of foreigners who have bought into English football clubs. Now, Yeung is back in the news for reasons not dealing with football.
The executive director of Birmingham International Holdings is awaiting trail for alleged money laundering from 2001-2007. This is a very serious charge that Yeung has repeatedly denied through the media. If he is found guilty he could face up to more than a decade in prison.
With Yeung’s legal troubles now public, one of the big questions concerning the future of the English Championships side is whether it can survive while its chairman is holed up in Hong Kong. Reports have come out in the English media that the Carling Cup holders are now strapped for cash and may have to sell some of their top players in order to stay afloat. In addition, due the chairman’s arrest, all financial accounts have been frozen and the club’s stock market listing has been suspended until there is final verdict in his trial.
While Blues manager Chris Houghton is trying his best to keep players and supporters attention on football, it’s Yeung that still remains the center of attention in what could be a long drawn out legal case in the Hong Kong courts. Each day that he is talked about in the media it takes away from what the club is trying to do on the pitch as they try to return to the Premier League at the first crack and make a decent run in the Europa League.
With the club in disarray and uncertain as to what will happen with them in the future, the former Hong Kong Rangers chairman tried in vain to make a trip to England to allay the fears of the City faithful, only for a judge to reject his request.
So, now that Yeung in no way can reassure those remotely linked with the club about its stability, what can he do? Well, he can let junior have a major role in the club’s affairs.
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