Saturday 17 April 2010

Carson’s China Commercial Connotation

There are currently two English Premiership football clubs owned by Hong Kong businessmen. But any similarities between these two clubs ends with that fact.

Balram Chainrai, the default owner of Portsmouth FC, obviously has no interest in making Portsmouth a solid Premiership football team (he just wants his money back … oh, and with interest!). However, Carson Yeung appears to have great future plans for Birmingham City FC both in the Premiership and in China. The potential for marketing Birmingham in China and to develop Chinese football players is hugely challenging and exciting (see news article below). Providing, of course, that Carson can get over the present hurdle of a lawsuit that threatens his ownership of the Blues.

China soccer’s Yeung generation could be EPL bound
Agence France-Presse in Birmingham

Apr 16, 2010

Carson Yeung, the owner of Birmingham City, hopes a reality television programme will unearth players in China who could one day play in the English Premier League (EPL).

Numerous sports dream of ‘cracking’ China and making the most of the potential opprtunities afforded by making an impact in the world’s most populous nation.

Hong Kong businessman Yeung, explaining his plans, told FC Business and The Independent: “We’ll send coaches from England, and the top boys who are selected will have a promotional attachment with our training school.

“We are working out the details now and the programme is imminent.

“That will give us exposure on TV on a weekly basis, starting in Hong Kong, then hopefully in China.”

But Yeung stressed City manager Alex McLeish, who has guided the club to an impressive ninth place in the table following last season’s promotion, would continue to have a free hand in selection and that no player would be imposed upon him purely for commercial reasons.

“Let me be clear that this is not something that we are doing in isolation,” Yeung said.

“Alex McLeish is on top of the situation and aware of what we want to do. And there is no notion that we would ever tell Alex McLeish how to do his job or who to play.

“McLeish is excellent. We couldn’t ask for anyone better,” Yeung added. “We’re not suggesting we’re going to impose a [Chinese] striker and remove James McFadden. That would be ridiculous.

“But McLeish understands there is a commercial connotation if we can find a promising Chinese player.

“And he’s excited that if we can unearth potential, and under his hand a player could be groomed to become English football’s [answer to Chinese NBA basketball star] Yao Ming, that can be positive for the club.”

Yeung’s comments came as investment bank Seymour Pierce threatened to wrest control of Birmingham over what it said was an unpaid debt of 2.2 million pounds (HK$26 million) they claim they are owed for advising the City owner in his takeover of the club, completed in November.

Fancy that, yet another reality TV show. This time to unearth uncut footballing diamonds from China!

Interestingly, Alex McLeish dismissed the lawsuit about ownership by saying:

“I think the players only read about themselves and do not start looking at the business section of newspapers.” “I don’t think they are going to rush out and buy the Financial Times.”

That’s another fact Portsmouth FC has in common with Birmingham City FC!

Additional news article:
Carson Yeung: 'I'll bring China's finest to Birmingham' (The Indeprendent)

1 comment:

  1. Keep it going CY....BCFC will grow with you and your contacts.