As the takeover of Birmingham City edges closer, many fans still remain concerned about the future of the club.
British businessman Laurence Bassini is still expected to complete the takeover of Birmingham.
The club’s owners have reportedly been getting frustrated as Bassini is yet buy-out BSHL’s largest shareholder, Vong Pech, who will sell his 21.64% stake in the club.
According to the Daily Mirror, Bassini has signed a ‘special price agreement’ (SPA) as part of a two year plan to buy the whole club, but the deadline to buy Pech’s stake will expire this week if the former Watford chairman fails to pay.
If the deal were to fall apart, a consortium lead by former Argentina player Maxi Lopez and Blues fan Paul Richardson has also been heavily linked with a takeover of the club.
So, how are the fans feeling about the current situation at St Andrew’s?
BirminghamWorld spoke with lifelong Blues fan and host of the popular Tilton Talk Show podcast Craig Courtney to gauge the mood among supporters.
‘I’m really hesitant’
Craig said he is hesitant about the possibility of Bassini taking over the club, but the supporters are keen to have new owners in place.
He said: “I guess the hesitancy comes from his background (with Watford), and the issues that he’s experienced in the past while chairman there.
“I always tend to say you need to be careful what you wish for, and I’m all in favour of new owners - I’ll never ever hold that back -but they’ve got to be the right people to take the club forward.
“He (Bassini) has categorically stated during the talkSPORT interview that he would only be at the club for three years, but the club’s in turmoil – it’s going to take at least 12 months if not longer to turn around the situation we’re in at the moment, and we need somebody there for the long term, not just for three years.”
Blues are just one week away from heading to Portugal on their pre-season tour and less than two weeks away from the first pre-season fixture against Portimonense, with uncertainty over the management still rife.
“Going into a pre-season tour there’s two things you need to happen,” Craig said.
“The first one is stability, and the second one Is you have to have the right management in place.
“Bassini has been very open in that Lee Bowyer would likely not be part of his thinking, and if he takes over, he’s already said he’d be bringing in new teams both upstairs and with the backroom staff, so it needs to be done sooner rather than later.
“It’s all up in the air at the moment, and as a fan – we just want some certainty.”
Craig said he still belives a takeover involving Maxi Lopez and Paul Richardson could also be a possibility.
He said: “I had the pleasure of meeting Paul Richardson and Maxi Lopez at the last game of the season, and Paul was really honest and open and he was very approachable.
“There were a lot of people going up to him saying ‘what’s going on’?
“He couldn’t say too much, but he’s a Blues fan and a Brummue and those are some of the things fans have been crying out for, but again we have to wait and see what happens.”
‘Everybody’s wish is to just have new owners’
Bassini has twice been declared bankrupt and was banned from football for three years in 2013 after an independent disciplinary commission found Bassini guilty of misconduct and dishonesty over financial dealings on behalf of Watford.
Craig said: “If Bassini comes in then I think there will be a bit of a boost with the suporters because we will have a new owner – but it will be one of those air on the side of caution scenarios.
“Then he’s got to prove to the fans that these promises that he has made and that he has made publicy, he will stick to, because as fans we’re in a horrible position now.
“We don’t want to jump out of the frying pan into the fire as they say – we want to be going from the frying pan into the nice cold fridge.
“We want to be looking forward to what’s happening in the future, not worrying about what will come next every five minutes.
“The EFL also need to be extremely open with what’s happening and how it will work.
“I would like to think the powers which run the Football League are sitting there thinking we need to protect people as well. And that goes for Richardson and Lopez as well as Bassini - any new owners would have to be fit, right and proper; that’s what we need to take us forward.”
You can listen to the Tilton Talk Show, here.
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