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Jan 9, 2013

Butland and Redmond could be sold

Birmingham City look more likely to sell Jack Butland and Nathan Redmond in the January transfer window, following the revelations over the desperate state of the finances of the Championship club.

Jack Butland has already received international recognition from England and Great Britain
Jack Butland has already received international recognition from England and Great Britain

The problems at St Andrews have been laid bare by the publication of the club's latest set of accounts for the financial year ending June 2012, which have revealed a £4 million operating loss.

Despite showing a £15.7 million profit due to the sales of Roger Johnson, Craig Gardner, Scott Dann, Cameron Jerome, Liam Ridgewell, Barry Ferguson and Jean Beausejour, the operating loss means more players will have to be sold this month to ensure the club can keep trading for another 12 months.

The uncertainty created by Carson Yeung's imprisonment in Hong Kong on alleged money laundering charges and relegation from the Premier League with the loss of subsequent TV revenue has cast into sharp contrast chairman Peter Pannu's recent warning that players may have to be sacrificed.

Parachute payments and reducing the club's annual wage bill by around £20 million has been offset by a drop in turnover to £39 million, from £61 million and the director's report into the accounts, which cover Birmingham's first season back in the Championship, said: "BCFC requires additional funding to be made available to continue its operations for at least 12 months.

“We remain of the view that we can obtain the required funding (through a mixture of player sales and forward funding arrangements).

"Due to the number of player sales and the support of Premier League parachute payments, this current year shows a substantial profit and positive cashflow.

“The directors intend to continue to seek cost reductions to help ensure the financial viability of the club.”

The report also revealed the club made a loss of £10 million the previous year and Yeung loaned £14.4 million of his own money and parent company Birmingham International Holdings Ltd £7 million to help with running costs last season.

Both have agreed not to call these loans in for at least 12 months, but cashflow is a huge problem and player sales seem inevitable.

Fulham, Southampton, Arsenal and Liverpool have all been linked with England international Butland this season and Southampton had a £6 million bid rejected in the summer.

Birmingham are in no position to reject such an offer this month and have also informed clubs like Newcastle, Fulham and West Bromwich Albion that Nathan Redmond's valuation is £6 million, after several enquiries about the England Under-19 international.

Birmingham may also be forced to listen to offers for Curtis Davies and Nikola Zigic, especially as the giant striker is earning around £50,000-a-week. 

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