Shabana Mahmood MP Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood
Shabana has written to the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport regarding the future of Birmingham City Football Club.
Blues fans have recently taken to social media to express their dissatisfaction at the direction of the Club and its owners.
Shabana was contacted by several constituents who fear their beloved club is on the brink of financial ruin.
In her letter to Nigel Huddleston MP, Shabana raises the issues of longstanding stadium repairs and the financial misconduct of previous owners.
You can read the letter in full below.
Letter to the Minister for Sport
Dear Nigel Huddleston MP
I am writing regarding the future of Birmingham City Football Club.
Fans of Birmingham City have shared their concerns with me regarding the ownership and direction of their club for some time. The club has been owned by Hong Kong investors through a network of shell companies registered in tax havens since 2007. The first, businessman Carson Yeung, was convicted on five counts of money laundering in 2014 and received a six-year prison sentence.
Over the years, fans have become increasingly disillusioned with the management and culture at the club, which they understand to have had a negative impact on their performance on the pitch.
It has been widely reported that the club has twice been found guilty of financial misconduct. It was found to have broken English Football League regulations in 2019 and received a nine-point penalty, subsequently finishing 17th place in that season. Changes in the club have accelerated over the last 18 months, with reports of long-serving staff leaving the club after losing faith in its management.
Devoted Blues fans have even been prevented from seeing their team perform in a full capacity stadium, with the closure of the Kop and Tilton stands at St Andrews over 2 years ago due to safety concerns. A disastrous approach to repair works has delayed the safe re-opening of the stands and the ground can only operate at a third of capacity.
Reports suggest that as a result the club is heavily indebted to its current owners and is facing mounting bills for repairs.
Last week, furious fans gathered at St Andrews to make their voices heard on the mismanagement of the club and distrust in its owners. Former players are even adding their names to calls to put the club back on the right track. Their message was clear – they want to see the back of remote owners who may own the club, but have no stake in its success, or knowledge of its historical significance to the city of Birmingham.
I do not want to see a club with a proud 147 year history in Birmingham, based in the heart of my constituency, sunk by the financial and professional mismanagement of absentee owners.
Please can you outline what support the Department will consider to support City fans who are reaching breaking point over the fate of their beloved club?
Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood