Gold set to dig deep to bolster struggling Birmingham

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The Independent Football

David Gold has vowed Birmingham City will remain on an even keel financially as the threat of relegation from the Premiership hangs over St Andrew's. The Blues chairman insisted that he, brother Ralph Gold, and co-owner David Sullivan, will dip into their own pockets to provide extra revenue needed for signings in January.

Gold is aware of the examples of clubs like Barnsley, Bradford and Sheffield Wednesday who suffered severe cash problems after losing their top-flight status in the past decade.

He said: "We have always said we will protect this club from the plight of horrendous situations at other clubs who have gone into administration because they borrowed money and built up debts.

"They wake up one morning and the bank manager says 'I want my money back' and you go out of business or into administration. We would never allow that to happen at Birmingham."

Gold revealed the club's transfer budget for this season was spent in the summer and the manager, Steve Bruce, may have to sell to bring in new blood in January.

The striker Walter Pandiani is already poised for a cut-price £1m move back to Spain with Espanyol - Blues paid Deportivo La Coruña £3m for him in the summer. But any additional money needed by Bruce will be provided personally by the Golds and Sullivan.

Gold said: "During our tenure at Birmingham, when the going has got tough, the tough have got going and we have come up on a number of occasions with our own money. Our financial contribution has been substantial.

The players of Birmingham's neighbours Aston Villa have backed the proposed £64m takeover bid by an Irish consortium which could be completed in the next few days.

Michael Neville, an ardent Villa fan who is fronting the bid from the property developers Brian and Luke Comer, has said that talks with the club chairman and leading shareholder, Doug Ellis, have been positive. It is unclear how much cash would be available to the manager, David O'Leary, should the deal go through.

The Villa defender Mark Delaney and the club's record signing, Juan Pablo Angel, believe it will help a club which has stagnated in recent years.

Delaney, who last week submitted a transfer request, said: "If it [the takeover] does happen it would be a big lift. The fans want to see the club going in a direction which is positive. As players, we've just got to get results on the pitch and everything else will follow."

Angel said: "If it is good for the club. It is good for everyone. When you have money, it means you are going to get more quality players and that is good."

It was originally hoped any takeover would be completed before Christmas but the start of the new year now seems the earliest time to mark the end of Ellis' 23 years at the helm.

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