HONG KONG (AFP) - Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung will shelve plans to take over Birmingham City after the English Premier League club terminated talks with the tycoon, Yeung's company said Friday.
Sammy Yu, the chief operating officer of Grandtop International, insisted money was not an issue but cited as the major hurdle Birmingham's reluctance to allow the company to get further involved with the club.
"We hope that we will own this club. But we also want to understand the club better. Disappointingly, until today, not a member of our company can go into the football club and learn about their operations," Yu told AFP.
"They have been promised that we can get onto their board but so far we cannot join in" despite being the club's major shareholder, he said.
"Even if you buy a house, you want to take a look at it first before you buy it but if you cannot even see it, how can you buy it? So we feel that it's not the best time to take over the club.
"We have decided to temporarily shelve the takeover plan," Yu added.
Yeung had been set a deadline of December 21 to complete his proposed takeover of the Blues, but owners David Gold and David Sullivan admitted this week that there was no way the deal could be done in time.
In an announcement to the Stock Exchange on Thursday, Birmingham ended months of uncertainty over whether Yeung and his Grandtop International associates would complete a buy-out of the club, having bought a 29.9 percent stake in July for 15 million pounds (30 million US dollars).
Media reports have suggested that Yeung failed to prove he can raise 35 million pounds to buy out the Blues co-owners' remaining 70.5 percent.
But Yu insisted: "This is completely unrelated to money. Money is not the biggest problem. Mr Yeung can give money out himself. But it's their attitude that makes this deal difficult to do."
Birmingham chairman Gold, who took over City with Sullivan 15 years ago when the club was near financial collapse, said: "The silence has been deafening from Hong Kong. Our dealings with Carson Yeung have been very brief."
Yu said he was puzzled about the deadline imposed on Yeung and there was communication problems between both sides.
"We feel strange...clearly there was no deadline," he said, adding that Yeung and Sullivan had agreed to develop the Chinese market together.
"But after we bought the 29.9 percent stake, the story was different," he said.
"We hoped to communicate and ensure every stage was good. We are not difficult to reach. We want to communicate and make this work," he said, adding neither side has spoken to each other since the termination of the talks.
Yu did not give a timeline as to when talks will resume, nor would he admit that the deal is dead, saying he still sees potential in the club.
"We have to build up a healthy communication channel first. They will have to give us confidence, some kind of support to make this work," he said.
"We want to buy this football club, we are not playing. It would be irresponsible of us not to do this properly," he added.
|I enjoy living this way! - Aubameyang won´t change lavish lifestyle|
|Mustafi wary of De Bruyne threat in EFL Cup final|
|Coman suffers ankle injury in Bayern draw|
|I was right to turn down Man City move in 2016, says Laporte|
|Navas not surprised by Ronaldo´s Benzema gesture|
|Ausilio: Contract talks with Inter´s Icardi done in silence|
|Mourinho tells McTominay to follow his heart amid international headache|
|I play for France´s biggest club – Marseille star Payet fires barb at PSG|
|Main priority was to win - Spalletti praises Inter´s ´heart´ after beating Benevento|
|Father fuels Conte´s fire ahead of Mourinho reunion|
|Valverde steers clear of Barcelona yellow card controversy|
|Play like it´s a friendly - Guardiola reveals finals secret ahead of Arsenal clash|
|Barcelona equal record for unbeaten LaLiga run|
|Inter 2 Benevento 0: Nerazzurri pick up much-needed win at San Siro|
|Barcelona 6 Girona 1: Suarez treble and Messi masterclass settle Catalan clash|
|Messi makes Girona 36th LaLiga victims to set new record|
|Deeney ´not bothered´ after ending drought from open play|
|Championship Review: Fulham beat Wolves, Sunderland hold Boro in ill-tempered thriller|
|Watford 1 Everton 0: Stunning Deeney finish moves hosts six clear of trouble|
|Benitez rues missed chances as Newcastle lose two-goal lead|
|Heynckes ´can live´ with home Bayern draw|
|Ronaldo is a team player - Zidane hails Real Madrid star´s Benzema gesture|
|West Ham fans reference Hitler in protest at club´s owners|
|Dyche dismayed by decisions before Gabbiadini goal|
|Wagner impressed with Huddersfield´s commitment after vital win|
|Liverpool win had everything – Klopp enthuses over West Ham´s Anfield rout|
|Dunk equals record for own goals in a single Premier League season|
|Real Madrid 4 Alaves 0: Ronaldo at the double as ´BBC´ delight|
|Burnley 1 Southampton 1: Gabbiadini grabs late leveller|
|Brighton and Hove Albion 4 Swansea City 1: Two-goal Murray helps end Swans´ unbeaten run|
|Bournemouth 2 Newcastle United 2: Hosts in thrilling fightback after Gayle double|
|West Brom 1 Huddersfield Town 2: Van La Parra and Mounie seal vital win|
|Liverpool 4 West Ham 1: Salah nets again as Reds climb to second|
|Ill Neymar included in PSG squad for Le Classique|
|Bayern Munich 0 Hertha Berlin 0: Lewandowski´s run ends as leaders are held at home|
|Gattuso surprised by AC Milan´s growth since taking over|
|Lambert defends ´best goalkeeper in Britain´ Butland after own goal error|
|Mkhitaryan, Ozil potential excites Mertesacker|
|A-League Review: Perth Glory in dramatic win, Melbourne Victory end losing streak|
|Leicester City 1 Stoke City 1: Butland howler costs Potters|
|Matic insists Man Utd can still do ´big things´|
|Chinese Super League transfer window makes Simeone ´uncomfortable´|
|Ingolstadt score bizarre tap-in after Duisburg goalkeeper goes AWOL|
|Allegri cautious over Dybala fitness despite Higuain injury|
|Napoli´s Zielinski better than De Bruyne, claims Boniek|
|Mourinho predicts ´amazing´ period for Manchester United|
|Barcelona midfielder Rafinha hoping to seal permanent Inter move|
|EFL Cup final: Where do Aguero and Aubameyang rank among Europe´s elite?|
|Settled Salah demands Champions League qualification for Liverpool|
|Dembele staying focused after ´genius´ praise from Pochettino|
|Alli doesn´t dive, says Hodgson|
|Salah has world´s best left foot? Don´t forget Messi – Klopp|
|Pochettino: Vertonghen one of Europe´s best defenders|
|He hasn´t raised the bar – Wenger plays down Guardiola success|
|Klopp ´really proud´ of Firmino after Holgate case dropped|
|Conte: Chelsea´s winning mentality can´t be questioned|
|Benching Willian was a fantastic decision, boasts Chelsea boss Conte|
|Juventus critics don´t know Tottenham, says Pjanic|
|Hull City 1 Sheffield United 0: Dicko blunts Blades´ promotion chase after fan protest|
|Lukaku tipped for ´big things´ by United team-mate Matic|
|Emery hopes Classique can inspire Real Madrid comeback|
|I thought he was an actor! - Valverde dodges Arthur questions|
|Valverde hints at resting Messi, Suarez for Girona clash|
|Napoli sign free agent Milic|
|Zidane offers condolences after Basque police officer´s death|
|FA charge Guardiola over yellow ribbon protest|
|City have to lift titles - Guardiola focused on Wembley glory against Arsenal|
|Spalletti urges Inter to ´believe in our strength´ and end wretched run|
|Christensen a future Chelsea captain, says Conte|
|Fonte leaves West Ham for Dalian Yifang|
|Guardia Civil search Guardiola family´s plane|
|Unwell Neymar facing race to make Le Classique|
|Playing Chelsea means less and less every year, says Mourinho|
|Conte hopes Manchester United bench ´fantastic´ Pogba|
|Dembele ´a genius of football´ like Maradona and Ronaldinho, claims Pochettino|
|Villarreal suspend Semedo after attempted murder allegation|
|Jesus could return but Guardiola has doubts over Sterling|
|He took 10 seconds to be ready – Mourinho salutes professional Pogba|
|Alderweireld a doubt as Pochettino stays silent on transfer rumours|
|Conte dismisses Mourinho tension|
|Nothing is decided - Klopp urges against Liverpool complacency|
|Heynckes ´can´t imagine´ Bayern sanctioning Lewandowski sale|
|FIFA closes Neymar´s Barcelona bonus case|
|Bale still important to Real Madrid, Zidane insists|
|Heynckes plays down Robben´s frustration|
|Central Coast Mariners 1 Wellington Phoenix 0: Hosts end 11-match winless run|
|Arsenal handed tough Milan test in Europa League´s round of 16|
|Europa League: Last-16 draw in full|
|Vitolo apologises for sexist ´joke´ after Atletico win|
|Paletta joins Jiangsu Suning|
|Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar are the only superstars, says Pele|
|Arsenal have ´unfinished business´ in EFL Cup after 2011 loss - Wilshere|
|Srna given 17-month doping ban|
|Arsenal boss Wenger backs Wilshere after Keane rant|
|Basque police express ´dismay´ at death of officer after fan violence|
|Wembley hero Ramsey winning race to face Manchester City|
|EFL Cup final: Bravo and Ospina pitch to be heroes before stepping back into the shadows|
|EFL Cup final: Wenger aiming for another glorious Wembley outing|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Guadalajara poised for quarters, Red Bulls draw|
|Keane: Wilshere is the most over-rated player on the planet|
|Stoger: Dortmund were lucky to survive Atalanta scare|
|Gattuso hopes to continue as AC Milan boss|
|Europa League Review: Arsenal survive scare, Dortmund battle past Atalanta|
|´Complacent´ Arsenal had no ideas, Wenger admits|
|Wilshere pulls no punches after Arsenal´s Ostersunds defeat|
|Batshuayi accuses Atalanta fans of racism|