McLeish not concerned by court dispute

The club’s owners are in dispute with the investment bank Seymour

Pierce, who have won a court order that effectively gives them

control of the club’s shares. Seymour Pierce have sued to recover

the fee it said it was owed for laying the groundwork for Carson

Yeung’s takeover of the club. While Seymour Pierce were not

ultimately involved in Yeung’s takeover of Birmingham last year,

they successfully argued that they were still due a “success fee”

under the terms of the original agreement. Last month, Birmingham

were ordered to pay Seymour Pierce £2.2million. That payment

should have been made by Monday but as Birmingham failed to meet

the deadline, Seymour Pierce have now won a court order that gives

them a charge over Birmingham’s shares. It means that Birmingham

cannot pay a dividend or raise money through a share issue.

Birmingham are still bidding to appeal the original ruling that

they should pay £2.2million and are also contesting a separate

High Court action after issuing a writ against the club’s former

owners. The news puts a negative light on what has largely been a

season of success on the field for McLeish and his team, and the

manager said today: “I have not had any new directives from anybody

else. It’s business as usual. “It looks a technicality that the

board will sort out. I’ve no idea if the club will finish up paying

the money because it is not a department I immerse myself in. It is

an administration part of the club. “It is probably one of those

cases which is agitating and it is up to Carson Yeung and Peter

Pannu (vice-chairman) to sort it out. “I cannot see it escalating

because it is hopefully a technicality which needs to be sorted

out. “So far as I’m aware there is not anything to panic about. The

club were aware I was doing a media conference and they could have

put me on my toes against anything that we should be avoiding or be

troubled by.” McLeish does not believe it will have affected his

players and he added: “I think the players only read about

themselves and do not start looking at the business section of

newspapers. “I don’t think they are going to rush out and buy the

Financial Times. “They are only really bothered about is getting

their name on the team-sheet and that they get their wages. “If the

case gathers momentum people will notice what is going on. “It’s in

its infancy in regard to newspaper headlines and hopefully it will

be resolved.” While the financial dispute is not concerning

McLeish, money has been on the agenda when it comes to finalising

his transfer budget for the summer. McLeish has insisted that

nothing will be done in terms of signing players that could affect

the long-term future of the cub. He said: “There have been meetings

between myself and club officials where we have agreed that we are

not going into those kind of areas where we are spending

£40million on players and wages. “We felt it was a step too

big. Everyone is agreed that we take one step at a time. “Whether

we spend £40million is highly debatable. That sort of money

could be spent over two or three transfer windows if we can

continue to improve the quality of the team. “We have had fruitful

discussions about going forward. We have discussed budgets, we have

discussed wage budgets. “It is healthy enough. For me it is

progress and I have to make sure we spend the money wisely. “We

have to be prudent in a lot of our business and I wouldn’t have it

any other way.”