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Birmingham 3 Middlesbrough 2 – match report

Birmingham 3 Middlesbrough 2: King doubles up to seal comeback and end winless run



22:11 GMT, 30 November 2012

Birmingham twice fought back against high-flying Middlesbrough before Marlon King's well-taken finish claimed only a second home win in seven attempts at St Andrew's.

Boro captain Grant Leadbitter headed his first npower Championship goal of the season to put the visitors ahead before King, who had earlier hit the outside of a post, picked himself up to draw level from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time, an equaliser City scarcely deserved.

Scott McDonald capitalised on some shambolic defending from Pablo Ibanez to nudge Boro back in front just after the hour mark but, again, the home side drew level courtesy of substitute Wade Elliott's lob, which really should have been kept out by Jason Steele.

At the double: Marlon King scored a penalty and a super second

At the double: Marlon King scored a penalty and a super second

Match facts

Birmingham: Butland, Caddis, Ibanez, Davies, Robinson, Morrison (Elliott 46), Mullins, Spector, Hall (Burke 69), King, Zigic (Lovenkrands 75).

Subs Not Used: Doyle, Caldwell, Redmond, Diop.

Booked: Robinson.

Goals: King 45 pen, Elliott 66, King 81.

Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte, Hines, Bikey, Halliday, Ledesma (Smallwood 67), McEachran (Zemmama 83), Bailey, Leadbitter, Jutkiewicz (Miller 67), McDonald.

Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Thomson, Emnes, Parnaby.

Booked: Halliday.

Goals: Leadbitter 14, McDonald 62.

Att: 15,322

Ref: Roger East (Wiltshire).

But there was nothing fortunate about King's matchwinning second, a sublime low finish across Steele in the 81st minute to claim three much-needed points for Lee Clark's side, ending a four-match winless run.

Lowly Birmingham's joy came on a night in which frustrated home fans had earlier unfurled a banner which read 'Clark out, Carson out', referring to Hong Kong-based owner Carson Yeung and the club's ongoing takeover talk.

Middlesbrough went into the clash knowing victory would take them joint top of the Championship and they will have felt hard done by as they slipped to a third defeat in four games.

Boro certainly went into the clash as the more impressive side this season but history was not on their side having won just one of their previous 15 visits to St Andrew's.

Blues were first to threaten courtesy of towering Serbian striker Nikola Zigic but his header from the free-kick of loanee Rob Hall, making his full debut, went narrowly wide.

The visitors' attractive passing style was certainly easy on the eye and it was they who broke the deadlock after 14 minutes.

The ball was recycled to Andy Halliday out on the left and, with unorthodox Blues right midfielder Jonathan Spector out of position, Leadbitter, back from suspension, nodded home from six yards.

Lukas Jutkiewicz should have made it 2-0 after 21 minutes but his header from Justin Hoyte's cross flew off target.

Tucked away: King puts away the spot kick

Tucked away: King puts away the spot kick

Birmingham came within inches of a leveller soon after when Steele's fingertips nudged King's low effort on to the outside of a post following a flowing counter.

Boro were playing the ball around well, with Leadbitter and Nicky Bailey pulling the strings, but Birmingham were certainly struggling to find any kind of rhythm.

Jack Butland twice saved from Emmanuel Ledesma before, out of nowhere and with half-time approaching, the hosts drew level.

King turned Andre Bikey, who tripped the striker in the penalty area, and King himself stepped up to convert.

On his way: Middlesbrough's Scott McDonald breaks through the Birmingham defence and goes on to score, celebrating below

On his way: Middlesbrough's Scott McDonald breaks through the Birmingham defence and goes on to score, celebrating below

Scott McDonald celebrates

England prodigy Butland twice came to Birmingham's rescue at the start of the second half, saving close range from Josh McEachran's cross and then clawing away McDonald's attempted lob.

But McDonald was to beat Butland just after the hour mark, capitalising on defensive hesitancy from Ibanez before firing home in a goalmouth scramble.

Boro keeper Steele saved well from Spector but was soon at fault for Birmingham's equaliser as he failed to keep out Elliott's 25-yard lob.

And it was left for King to have the final say, finishing superbly after Boro had given the ball away to sub Peter Lovenkrands in the middle of the park.

Gianni Paladini blasts Birmingham City chief Peter Pannu after takeover snub

Don't treat me like an idiot! Paladini blasts Birmingham chief Pannu after takeover snub



18:23 GMT, 15 November 2012

Gianni Paladini has accused Birmingham City's acting chairman Peter Pannu of treating him like 'an idiot' after the Italian's 29.7m offer to buy the Championship club collapsed.

The former chief executive of QPR had tabled a bid to purchase the Blues from Carson Yeung and had been undertaking due diligence with a view to completing the deal in the next fortnight.

Upset: Gianni Paladini

Upset: Gianni Paladini

But Pannu on Wednesday surprisingly issued a statement flatly denying that any talks had taken place between the two parties, a move that sparked a furious response from the former agent.

Paladini maintained that he had proof that the deal was some way down the line and even said agreement had been reached over Pannu's cut – understood to be in excess of 2m – as evidence that the two sides had been in negotiations.

Pannu, who in Yeung's absence is the decision-maker at St Andrew's, said: 'There are no active negotiations with the group involving Gianni Paladini or any of his associates.

'Should there be any agreement reached, there should be formal announcements made in Hong Kong and also in the UK.'

Paladini expressed his fury at the snub and was dumbfounded by Pannu's denial that there had even been any contact between potential buyer and sell.

Former agent Paladini said: 'His statement makes us look like idiots. We have agreed a price and everything.

'He (Pannu) doesn't want to talk to us. So we are pulling out of the deal. I'm very disappointed, but what can I do

'The only way the deal can be revived is for him to take our deal.

'If he doesn't see that, there's nothing I can do. And if he doesn't want to sell there's nothing I can do.

'But I can show you proof that we have talked. I even reached an agreement with his lawyer about his commission.

'So what's he talking about

'We want to be in before he sells all the players in January. I don't want to come in February when the club is in a right mess.

'I'm disappointed for the fans. We have worked hard to make this deal happen. Mr Pannu doesn't want to sell. He knows the deal – everything has been agreed. What else can I do

'I'm very disappointed. We have been working on this for three months. I was looking forward to it. I could have done a fantastic deal for the club.'

Jack Butland could be sold by Birmingham

Birmingham prepared to sell Butland if Paladini's takeover falls through



22:21 GMT, 14 November 2012

Jack Butland will be sold by Birmingham City in the New Year, unless Gianni Paladini's takeover of the club is successful.

The England international has yet to play half a-season for Lee Clark but with the cash reserves dwindling, the keeper will be sacrificed to ensure the St Andrew's club can continue to operate.

Butland has agreed a five-year deal last year and Birmingham rejected a 6m offer by Southampton for the teenager during the summer.

Heading out Jack Butland could be sold by Birmingham

Heading out Jack Butland could be sold by Birmingham

Liverpool are also interested but Birmingham will be in a position to rebuff any interest should the second bid by Paladini's consortium be accepted by acting chairman Peter Pannu.

The offer, which is for an initial 20m backed by a further 10m, is being consideration in Hong Kong by owner Carson Yeung and Paladini's accountants are currently undertaking due dilligence.

Bid: Gianni Paladini

Bid: Gianni Paladini

The former QPR chief executive said: 'We want to get a deal done very soon because we don't want to lose any players in January.

'I am hopeful that we can get something agreed within the next ten days.

'I still believe BIrmingham can reach the play-offs and our intention is to sign four or five players in the transfer window to strengthen.

'We have spent a lot of money trying to get this completed and currently we are looking through the books.

'Our intentions have never wavered. We want it done. And we are keen to get it sorted by the end of next week.'

He said: ‘That means delivering a stadium that preferably is multi- purpose, at the heart of the community, and able to host concerts and big set-piece events alongside world-class sport.’

Birmingham delay in publishing accounts

Concerns raised over Birmingham's future after delay in publishing accounts



19:58 GMT, 27 April 2012

Birmingham City have again postponed the publication of the club’s annual accounts.

A statement from the Hong Kong stock exchange has delayed the figures by another three months, giving rise to new rumours the club are in financial peril.

Trouble ahead Birmingham owner Carson Yeung (centre)

Trouble ahead Birmingham owner Carson Yeung (centre)

Birmingham will run out of money if they fail to make the Premier League

Premier League or bust as debts pile up on Birmingham

Birmingham face the prospect of either winning promotion or going into administration.

Figures obtained by Sportsmail show the club will run out of money unless they rise out of the Championship. They stand sixth but are losing 10million a year.

Cash crisis: Birmingham, in action against Chelsea in the FA Cup on Tuesday, will run out of money if they fail to gain promotion

Cash crisis: Birmingham, in action against Chelsea in the FA Cup on Tuesday, will run out of money if they fail to gain promotion

The wages of Chris Hughton's squad are just less than the club's annual turnover.

The sales of Liam Ridgewell and Jean Beausejour mean the club have enough cash to get through the play-offs but, unless more is found, it will run out by June.

That is the fall-out from last season's relegation from the top-flight.

No go: The club cannot remortgage St Andrews

No go: The club cannot remortgage St Andrews

The publication of the year's accounts has already been delayed until April 30 and the club are subject to a Football League transfer embargo.

The figures are expected to show a small profit. But this has been generated by the summer sales of Roger Johnson and Craig Gardner for almost 10m as well as Ridgewell and Beausejour, and with contracts such as the 2.5m a year paid to Nikola Zigic, they are heading for more losses next season.

Expensive: Zigic is costing the Championship club 2.5m a year

Expensive: Zigic is costing the Championship club 2.5m a year

The club cannot raise cash by remortgaging St Andrew's as HSBC hold the deeds to the ground as security on an outstanding loan.

The bank have withdrawn a 7m overdraft, further increasing pressure on the club's absent owner Carson Yeung, who is facing fraud charges in Hong Kong relating to 59.7m in a case of alleged money laundering.