Birmingham City begins to realise its HK destiny

Hong Kong multimillionaire, Carson Yeung Ka-Shing, should become Birmingham City Blues' single largest shareholder today when he acquires 29.9 percent of the English Premier League club for £15 million - but he believes it has been his "destiny" to own the club since his first trip to St Andrews eight months ago."I came here last year to see Birmingham play Luton, and it was destiny," Yeung told James Nursey of The Mirror.

"I discussed buying the club after the game with Chairman David Gold and was happy after talking to him. I don't have any politics and I only want to buy for interest because I love football. I will not let the Birmingham fans down and disappoint them. I like the city of Birmingham and have a lot of good plans for the future. I'm very happy and excited. The Premiership is the best league in the world and most countries focus on it - especially in China and Hong Kong. We have a great market in China and David Gold and David Sullivan have accepted our plan. As soon as we can I would like to own the whole club."

To own the whole club, "sooner rather than later," could top £50 million. However Yeung insists that he is not just another foreign suitor eyeing the English top flight for a fast buck. The forty-seven year-old businessman was born in Hong Kong to migrant Chinese parents and reportedly learnt English in London as a 16-year-old and returned to Hong Kong to train as a hairdresser before moving into business and building a £150 million "gas, electronics, hotel and property empire." He intends to use his acumen and contacts in the Far East to exploit the popularity of the Premiership in Asia to turn Birmingham City into an "international club".

Yeung is yet to meet Steve Bruce but insists the Birmingham manager's job is safe and hopes to speak with him for the first time later today on the phone.And Yeung is prepared to back Bruce, who is on a pre-season tour in Germany, heavily in the January transfer window once he owns the whole club to ensure the Premiership new boys stay up. "We can buy some good players in January but maybe by then we might already be in a healthy position so we will wait and see. We can spend a lot of money in the right way but first I want to meet Steve Bruce as soon as possible. I have a lot of confidence in Steve Bruce, he is a very straight man and we could have a good relationship. "I want us to grow together and make the side successful, as I believe we can stay up as long as we play like a team."

Yeung is keen to stress his desire to work with Bruce after being angered by rumours of a bust-up at Hong Kong Rangers with former manager Tim Bredbury. Bredbury, sacked last season after just three games, claims Yeung made his job impossible by interfering in team selection but the businessman insists such allegations are nonsense. "I never told the manager who to play or gave him ideas," said Yeung. "On the day Bredbury was fired I was in Beijing. I heard the news that he was already fired and I was very upset because I was the Chairman and the club fired the coach and I didn't know."