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Dec 18, 2012

Paladini set for Birmingham takeover talks

Gianni Paladini has scheduled talks with Birmingham City chairman Peter Pannu this week in his latest attempt to push through his proposed £30 million takeover of the Championship club.

Paladini is hoping to call a truce with the Birmingham chief just weeks after Pannu questioned whether the former Queens Park Rangers chairman and his Italian consortium had the finances to carry through their bid.

Pannu has regularly angered Paladini with inflammatory comments from the moment the Italian broke ranks and went public with his attempt to buy out Carson Yeung and rescue the ailing club two months ago.

There has been a perception at St Andrew's that Pannu will only do business with Paladini if he is the last man standing in the contest to buy the club; that now appears to be the case with another Hong Kong led consortium pulling out of the race.

Paladini hopes to intensify discussions in the next 48 hours, though any potential takeover would remain a long way from conclusion, and the two parties are ready to sit around the table and discuss the deal face-to-face.

The Italian confirmed the scheduled meeting with Pannu, despite the difficulties of the festive period, telling the Birmingham Mail: "We are still working at it, but with the Christmas holidays coming up it is difficult dealing.

"I do not have much [to tell] at the moment. However I am hoping that I will soon have some good news for Birmingham City supporters. I am looking forward to it."

Paladini appears to be in the clear to push through his bid after a potential £40 million takeover by a group headed by Charles Chan, head of Hong Kong's largest television broadcaster and including the Shangai Media and Entertainment Group all but collapsed.

Pannu returned to Birmingham from Hong Kong last week and now it appears Paladini's bid, which involves an initial £17 million down payment is the only deal on the table.

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