'Exciting times' ahead for Birmingham says McLeish

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The Independent Online

Alex McLeish claims he has received a "positive" response from the Birmingham board in terms of the finances available to strengthen the squad and improve the infrastructure for next season.

McLeish held talks earlier this week with Blues vice-chairman Peter Pannu and chief executive Michael Dunford to outline plans for the future.

And he is predicting "exciting times" ahead at St. Andrew's under owner Carson Yeung as City look to build on an impressive first season back in the Barclays Premier League.

McLeish told Press Association Sport: "It was a good meeting. I gave my thoughts that some things needed to be done right now, sowing seeds for players in the summer.

"But I also needed to steal a march on one or two things in order to get the infrastructure right and just to make sure that we've got the oil in the system to get them up and running.

"Peter was great, he was honest and Michael likewise. They will try their best to help us. That's the job, to help the manager, and obviously Carson Yeung is the man who will sanction things.

"Peter made it clear that we've got to become an entity to bring the money in before we can spend it. It won't just be golden handouts.

"But, as long as we know where we are at the start, you can try and do your work accordingly. It's when you don't know what you're getting that it all becomes a little bit hazy and there's no clarity."

McLeish added: "Do I know how much there will be to spend? We spoke about figures although I am not going to say what they are publicly.

"But they said that, if push came to shove, maybe there would be a wee bit more if we came to them and were asking for a player of certain quality."

McLeish admitted: "We know that with a small stadium we don't have the revenue of the likes of a Sunderland, Villa have, teams like that.

"Carson has big plans for the club in the future and there could be exciting times ahead in terms of the overall picture.

"But, in the meantime, apart from my long-term vision, the short-term is that we get a team that's going to keep us in the Premier League next year."

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