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By ESPN Staff
Nov 28, 2007

Birmingham takeover on verge of collapse

Birmingham chairman David Gold will consider buying back Carson Yeung's shares if the prospective takeover of the club by the Hong Kong businessman collapses in the next 48 hours. Yeung has until Friday to convince the Birmingham board that he come up with the £35million needed by the December 20 deadline set by co-owner David Sullivan to become the new owner of Blues. But Sullivan now believes the bid is ``dead in the water'' while Gold regards it as an ``irritation''. The duo are pressing ahead on the basis that they expect to still be at the helm for the foreseeable future and will be responsible for the funds new manager Alex McLeish has available to spend during January. Yeung holds 29.9% of the shares with Sullivan and Gold currently each having a 23.22% stake in City. Gold said: ``Whilst David Sullivan remains part of this club, I would always work in tandem with him. It's my way. We've had a business relationship based on that for 30 years. ``Would I buy back some of the shares? Yes, but I would work in tandem with David.If he said to me or I said to him `let's go into the market place and boost our share-holding'. ``We would then have the right to go up to 29.9% of the shares each, giving us 59.8% between us. Yes, I would want to go and do that and I would put that to him. ``What we wouldn't want to do is for David to buy some and myself none and vice versa because we've been equal partners all the way through and you wouldn't want to disturb what has worked for 30 years. ``Would that include buying back Yeung's shares? Yes, if they were available.'' Gold is pessimistic about Yeung being able to raise the money and feels there is ``less than a 50% chance'' of the takeover happening. He said: ``My judgement is no different to a lot of people on the takeover. The silence is deafening from Hong Kong. It has been the most extraordinary two or three weeks in the history of the club and my involvement with the club. ``We last spoke to Carson Yeung three weeks ago after the Wigan game and it was very brief. ``If the takeover fails, do we have contingency plans? I think we've already shown that. We are showing you that we are making a contingency on the basis that the takeover isn't going to happen. ``I'm now thinking this isn't going to happen. The takeover bid is almost an irritation that we would like cleared up. In the meantime we have got to get on with the job of running Birmingham City Football Club. ``We are thinking along the lines that we will be making the decisions regarding cash available to Alex during the January transfer window.''