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May 5, 2009

Birmingham insist takeover lessons have be learned

Birmingham City chairman David Gold has vowed that events away from the pitch will "never again" be allowed to impact on the club and blamed a failed takeover at the club for relegation from the Premier League last season.

Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung became the club's leading individual shareholder during the 2007/-08 season but never went through with a full buy-out of the St Andrews club, a situation which lead to uncertainty amongst players and fans alike.

Crucially then manager Steve Bruce left the club after failing to receive guarantees from Yeung about a new contract or funds for new players.

After just one season in the Championship Birmingham bounced back to the top flight and as Gold revealed that that manager Alex McLeish will be given financial backing this summer he insists lessons have been learned.

Gold said: ''The thing that got us relegated last year was the takeover and we will never allow that again. The failed takeover got us relegated.

''We have learned from that. I wish I had been stronger and firmer at times. We will never do anything like that again to put our football club in any jeopardy.

''No-one is perfect. You do your best. But if you take our record overall as a board, it speaks for itself. There is no question I have made mistakes.''

Gold is adamant Birmingham will take a realistic approach in terms of what funds will be made available to McLeish and is determined they will not suffer the financial problems of other clubs.

He said: ''You would like to think when you get into the Premier League that you will stay there forever and will eventually challenge for Europe.

''We hope to become established. I don't want to be in the Championship and I don't want to be in a relegation battle. You have to invest and what I can promise the fans is that we will invest every penny the club generates.

''But you have to be realistic until more funds come into our football club via partnerships or whatever way they might come in.

''We have to make sure if we get relegated again - and I don't think we will - we will be a club that will be strongly capable of challenging again.

''We won't be a Leeds, Southampton, Leicester etc. We won't bankrupt the club. Whilst we are in charge, that won't happen.''

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