RANTING PANNU HITS THE ROAD
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.
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