Birmingham football sale nears

RECEIVERS to the Manchester-based Kumar brothers expect to sell the Kumars' 84 per cent stake in Birmingham City Football Club to one of half a dozen serious bidders 'within the month', despite the brothers' refusal to resign from the Birmingham board.

Leonard Curtis, the receivers who were sent in last year by the liquidators of Bank of Credit and Commerce International to recover substantial loans by BCCI to the Kumars, have called an extraordinary general meeting of Birmingham City shareholders for 25 January in an effort to remove the Kumar brothers from the club's board.

Ramesh Kumar, with his brothers Bimal and Samesh, who originally owned 84 per cent of Birmingham City through their company BRS Kumar, are still on the club's board despite having dropped plans to buy it back from the receivers. Samesh remains the chairman.

When late last year the brothers rejected calls from Leonard Curtis that they resign, the receivers called the meeting.

Bidders for Birmingham City include Solihull Borough AFC, a leading light of the Beazer Homes League, which recently sold its ground in Solihull for more than pounds 3m. The cash is still in the bank because the club cannot gain planning permission for a new ground in Solihull, so it has turned its eyes on the Birmingham City site.

The millionaire Wrublewski brothers, the owners of the Birmingham Bullets basketball club, are also in the frame.

The deadline for declaring a serious interest in buying the Birmingham City club was 31 December 1992.

David Swaden, a partner at Leonard Curtis, said yesterday: 'We are very pleased with the progress to date. While there had been talk of some 60 different offers before Christmas, unsurprisingly, the majority of those have failed to materialise.

'However, enough have been prepared to put up a pounds 5,000 returnable deposit in return for confidential sale details and we are currently going through those. The Kumars are not among them.'

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