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Nov 26, 2012

Paladini: I have money to buy Birmingham

Gianni Paladini has challenged Peter Pannu to allow the Italian consortium attempting to buy Birmingham City to prove they have the funds to back up their £30 million offer for the Championship club.

Former Queens Park Rangers chairman Paladini has reacted angrily to comments made by acting Birmingham chairman Pannu expressing doubts over whether he has the financial clout to follow through with his bid.

Paladini claims he and his fellow members of the consortium have been insulted by an interview Pannu gave to the South China Morning Post over the weekend, which further strained the fractious relationship between the pair.

He now wants an opportunity to prove his group are serious, after tabling an offer worth around £30 million, which would involve an immediate £17 million down-payment, saying: "Mr Pannu has insulted me and our backers by saying we don't have the money.

"Now, prove me wrong, Mr Pannu, by providing us exclusivity for two weeks to finalise the deal at the original price that was offered - and agreed. If we are unable to do so, you can then show I am wrong."

Pannu, who is negotiating any possible takeovers because of owner Carson Yeung's Hong Kong court case for alleged money laundering, claims Birmingham are in talks with two other potential buyers and at an advanced stage with another Hong Kong group.

He has been angered by Paladini's public comments regarding the Italian offer and said on Sunday: "If people don't have the money, they should just shut up.

''I support freedom of speech and he [Paladini] can say what he likes in the press, but if anyone wants to buy our club they better prove they've got the money to do it before they talk to the British media.

"There's been a complete misrepresentation that he's closing in on a purchase and it's totally without foundation. We need to put a stop to this nonsense. He's just trying to get the club on the cheap."

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