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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

The Championship

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Hong Kong buyer for Birmingham City

A Hong Kong-based businessman, Paul Suen, is poised to buy a majority stake in Birmingham City.  He intends to buy at least 60 per cent of the club through his company, Trillion Trophy Asia.  This appears to be an investment vehicle set up for the occasion.

Mr Suen is an active investor in small listed companies in Hong Kong.

The sale, expected to be completed before the end of September, values the Blues at £37m.  It would end the seven year tenure of Carson Yeung, the Hong Kong businessman and convicted money launderer.

Villa top Midlands finance table

They may have been relegated, but Aston Villa top a new football finance table of Midland Premiership and Championship clubs.  The table was compiled by Deloitte and is based on revenues earned.  If nothing else, it shows the potential of Villa to bounce back.

Championship clubs have strained finances

The finances of Championship clubs continue to be strained, even perilous, according to the latest report from Deloitte Sports Business.

Championship clubs generated combined revenues
of £548m in 2014/15, 12% up on the previous year
and a new record.  The division’s revenue continues
to be heavily influenced by parachute payments and
solidarity distributions from the Premier League.

The £180m game

Even if they are relegated straight back to the Championship, the winner of the play off final between Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday is likely to be £180m better off explains sports lawyer Daniel Geey.

The rewards from promotion set up serious tensions in the Championship.   In the last published set of figures for 2014-15, half the clubs in the division had wage bills more than 100 per cent of turnover.

Challenges facing Brentford

The latest club to receive the forensic financial analysis of the Swiss Ramble blog is Brentford.  As usual. there is a wealth of comparative data on other clubs in the Championship.   One general point to emerge is the extent to which ever growing parachute payments distort competition in the Championship to the disadvantage of clubs like Brentford.

Villa deal completed

Aston Villa has been sold to Chinese businessman Tony Zia for £60m.   Xia has a strong track record as a businessman in China.   His Recon Group is a holding company which controls five companies.

The new owner says that he is prepared to spend £50m on new players and wants to make Villa the most popular club in China.

Outgoing owner Randy Lerner sank tens of millions of pounds into the club during his period of ownership.  He said farewell in a rambling statement on the club website.

Villa sale near

The sale of Aston Villa to a Chinese businessman could be completed by the end of the week.   It is thought that the asking price will be around £60m.

That would represent a loss on the £62m Randy Lerner paid for the club ten years ago before taking account of inflation, although some sources are quoting a sale price of £75m.  Lerner at one time wanted £200m for the club and then cut the price to £100m.

What is the state of Norwich City's finances?

Well-informed local sources have denied claims that Norwich City are in a financial crisis.   Of course, any relegation is going to be accompanied by some players being released and I would expect the Canaries to have clauses in players' contracts that reduce their salaries in the event of relegation.

Cellino: I'm ready to quit

Massino Cellino has said that he is ready to quit Leeds United: 'I've had enough.'   The owner told The Times, 'It's better to walk out, not because I'm dishonest but because I'm tired and hurt and lonely,' as violin music welled up in the background.

He continued, 'I have no happiness any more and don't know if I have the enthusiasm for next season.  If I could turn back time and you ask whether I would come to this club, I would say never.  I've never been so confused.  I am nearly 60 and I would never have expected that from Leeds.'

Chinese owners for Villa?

Aston Villa are reported to be in talks with a Chinese consortium about a takeover.  The Rui Kang group is said to be involved and Chinese sources are claiming that a preliminary non-binding agreement is already in place.

Rui Kang is a pharmaceutical company with foreign investment and a strong presence in Hong Kong. However, other reports refer to venture capitalists.

A sale price of £100m is being quoted.