Birmingham managing director Karren Brady has accused Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung of being instrumental in her team's relegation from the Premier League.
Yeung's protracted attempt to buy Birmingham dragged on for months before being vetoed by Brady and her fellow directors when they discovered he didn't actually have enough money to complete the takeover.
But Brady believes the damage had already been done because manager Steve Bruce opted to join Wigan rather than wait to see if Yeung would keep him on if the takeover went through.
Brady is furious that the Birmingham board were left to take the flak from angry fans who launched tirades of abuse at chairman David Gold and owner David Sullivan when they were relegated on Sunday.
“I have no doubt where the fault-line occurred. We allowed ourselves to believe Carson Yeung's takeover would be completed with little pain last December,” Brady told the Sun.
“The man from Hong Kong appeared to be a Chinese billionaire but turned out to be merely a wealthy poser. By the time we knew it, he had paid 15 million pounds for a 29.9 per cent stake in Blues but couldn't find the rest.
“Legally, we were not allowed to make a contract without his agreement and it happened that Steve (Bruce) was campaigning for one and wouldn't wait.
“David Sullivan did the honourable thing and told Steve that if he was badly unsettled he could go. OK, so Wigan paid us three million pounds compensation but I can tell you honestly we would have preferred him to stay.”
Gold and Sullivan both threatened to quit in the aftermath of their miserable experience with the fans during the Blackburn defeat that confirmed relegation.
But Brady, who has been linked to a post in the Arsenal hierarchy, insisted there is no chance of any of Birmingham's influential boardroom personalities walking away from St Andrew's.
“The two Davids (Gold and Sullivan) have been badly wronged by the fans. A mistake was made over Yeung but it was done on the understanding he had the key to expansion into Asian markets,” she said.
“David Sullivan's reaction was hot and from the heart. He'd had enough, he said. Club chairman David Gold, more in control of his emotions, wondered aloud whether he should remain in the chair.
Me? I knew they would soon cool down and start thinking about the future and, sure enough, they're already talking of promotion next season.
“It helps to think that in 15 years we have transformed Birmingham City from a collection of sheds and a clueless team into a club with the potential to carry the second city's name with pride.
“And I'm not giving up 15 years of my career just because a batch of beery blokes can't control their tongues.”
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