RANT­ING PANNU HITS THE ROAD

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Chris Dunlavy

DIS­GRACED Birm­ing­ham City di­rec­tor Peter Pannu has re­signed just days after an ex­ple­tive-laden rant at a sup­porter.

Pannu, a long-time as­so­ciate of jailed for­mer owner Car­son Ye­ung and act­ing chair­man un­til Oc­to­ber this year, stepped down on Fri­day.

“The res­ig­na­tion has been ac­cepted with im­me­di­ate ef­fect by the boards of Birm­ing­ham City PLC and Birm­ing­ham City Foot­ball Club,” said a brief state­ment on the club’s web­site.

The move comes with Pannu un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the Foot­ball League after al­legedly threat­en­ing sup­porter Daniel Ivery, the au­thor of a book on Ye­ung’s dis­as­trous time in charge.

Ye­ung, a Hong Kong hair­dresser, bought the club in 2009 but was ar­rested two years later and sub­se­quently sentenced to six years in prison for money laun­der­ing. Though he re­tains a 28.5 per cent stake in the club’s par­ent company BIHL, Foot­ball League rules bar him from act­ing as a di­rec­tor.

How­ever, in an em­bar­rass­ing ex­change with Ivery on the Of­ten Par­ti­san web­site last week, Pannu – writ­ing first from a false ac­count and later us­ing his own – ap­peared to sug­gest that Ye­ung was still pulling the strings.

He then warned that the club would run out of money due to a £1.8m tax bill due in Jan­uary, pro­vok­ing de­nials from the club and prompt­ing the Hong Kong stock ex­change to sus­pend trad­ing on BIHL.

Pannu even­tu­ally signed off by ask­ing Ivery if he “had the balls to come to Hong Kong one more time.”

Panos Pavlakis, Birm­ing­ham’s de-facto chief ex­ec­u­tive and the man tasked with en­gi­neer­ing the sale of the club, was fu­ri­ous with Pannu’s outburst and is be­lieved to have told his fel­low di­rec­tor to step down.

How­ever, Pannu’s in­flu­ence at Birm­ing­ham is not over yet. The 52-year-old for­mer bar­ris­ter is up for re­elec­tion to the board of BIHL later this month – though Blues sup­port­ers have launched an e-pe­ti­tion to per­suade fel­low share­hold­ers to kick him out.

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

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