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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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By ESPN Staff

Sullivan inspired by McLeish passion

Birmingham City owners David Sullivan and David Gold have admitted that they now want to stay at the club and move it forward under new manager Alex McLeish.

The proposed takeover by Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung appears to be stuck with little progress having been made and a December 23 completion deadline fast approaching.

But with McLeish having replaced Steve Bruce last week and managing to pull off a remarkable 3-2 victory at Tottenham on Sunday, Sullivan and Gold feel they have been given a new lease of life at St Andrews.

'We'd like to stay and go forward under Alex McLeish but we have an agreement with the Chinese that, if they come up with a certain sum of money by a certain date, we'll be gone,' said Sullivan.

'I'd genuinely like to stay now because we've got renewed enthusiasm and we hope all the supporters get behind the new manager.

'He has given us an absolute breath of fresh air. I like his work ethos and love the things he said about taking pride in the club and pride in playing football, and how lucky players are to be footballers and to make the most of every minute to try and improve.

'Everything he has said is fabulous to us and exactly what we want to hear.'

On the actual takeover Sullivan said: 'I've always said for the last two or three weeks, it's less than 10%.

'I think it won't happen now, but I can't officially say that until December 20th. I'd imagine we'd still be here on December 25.'

Gold said he is now '90% certain' Yeung's bid to buy-out himself and Sullivan and assume complete control will not materialise by the dead-line.

'Once the December 20 deadline comes, all bets are off. What it really then leaves is for David and myself to work something out for the future.'

As regards Yeung's faltering bid, Gold said: 'There has been no information coming from their camp. There has been no communication.

'Everyone is saying the deal is dead. Only six weeks ago I was saying it was a 90% done deal. Now I'm saying it's more 90% about the deal not going ahead.

'With every passing hour, you've got to say those odds shorten and shorten.

'We have taken the view now that we must take back complete control of Birmingham City in the best interests of the club and the fans.

'It is just not fair on the fans. We have been through a tough three weeks - and so have they.'