Gianni Paladini denies Flavio Briatore is involved in Birmingham takeover bid

 

Gianni Paladini has confirmed he is heading a consortium who have launched a takeover bid for Birmingham.

But the former QPR chairman insists, contrary to reports, that Flavio Briatore is not involved.

Paladini, who is a close friend of former QPR owner Briatore, today claimed the offer tabled is considerably more than the £12million reportedly rejected by Birmingham's board.

Birmingham have made no official comment on the matter.

Paladini told BBC Radio WM: "I am involved in a consortium and the bid is not £12million, it's much, much more than that. Unfortunately I can't really say too much because everything is in the hands of the lawyers.

"Yes, we've made an approach. But I'd like to make a point that Flavio Briatore is not involved in this venture."

Paladini insisted he would not be waving blank cheques around should he and his team be successful in taking control of the club.

Asked about the wealthy members of the consortium, Paladini replied: "Even if I mentioned the names you wouldn't know them anyway because most of them are Italian, they all live in Italy."

Paladini left his native Italy in the 1960s and moved to Solihull where he has remained.

Becoming involved with QPR in 2003 and having helped save the club, Paladini kept his position as chairman at Loftus Road after the significant 2007 investment by Formula One chiefs Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone and the family of Lakshmi Mittal.

He stepped down in August 2011 following the takeover of Tony Fernandes and was handed a consultancy role.

Paladini kept the position for three months before finally parting ways with QPR in November last year.

And he has now set his sights on taking charge at Birmingham.

"I'm a Birmingham boy myself," Paladini added. "I've always liked Blues and I've got a good relationship with a lot of Zulu Warriors [City's hooligan element], if they're still there I don't know, because I've been at QPR for 11 years.

"I've been a long-serving chairman of QPR. I think we did a great job, sometimes you have to do things the hard way to get success but the most important thing is that I took QPR when they were in League One at the time and then we got promoted the way we did, spent a fortune and at the end the job was done. QPR are now in the Premier League."

Birmingham are owned by Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung, who is currently unable to leave the Far East as he prepares for a November court date over alleged money laundering.

Acting chairman Peter Pannu has been exploring the potential for bringing in new owners or finding investment in the club.

PA

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