Yeung on track for Birmingham deal

Hong Kong businessman expects to take over at St Andrew's next month
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The Independent Football

Carson Yeung remains confident of completing his takeover of Birmingham City in the next few weeks. The Hong Kong businessman has secured a £57m bridging loan to enable him to finance the deal.

Yeung needs permission from his backers to issue 50 per cent more shares in his holding company Grandtop International Holdings via an extraordinary general meeting now scheduled for early next month. But a spokesman for Yeung yesterday claimed this will not affect the deal going through, although there may be a "slight" delay from the original target of mid-October.

He said: "We are all waiting to complete the procedures and regulations in terms of the takeover in relation to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The lawyer has told us it will take time but I don't think it will be that late before it happens and could even still be on schedule.

"We were expecting originally for it [the takeover] to happen in early to mid October and we should be near to completing the deal by the original timing.

"The deal won't change," he added. "The timing may slightly – but that is all. We've had the AGM today [of GIH] and there are documental type things to be completed. No one in Hong Kong has ever bought a major football club in England before."

The Birmingham central defender Martin Taylor has targeted early next month for a return to action after suffering an ankle injury during pre-season. Taylor sustained the setback during the friendly game with Nottingham Forest at the City Ground early last month.

The 29-year-old has already missed City's opening four Premier League games but is hopeful of being back in contention in three weeks.

Taylor said: "The injury is going quite well. Obviously it's frustrating to miss the start of the season but I think it's been about five weeks now and we've probably got about three weeks to go. It's a really frustrating time for me. I'd had a good pre-season and I felt really fit and raring to go for the start of the season.

"Then not even two weeks before the start of the season I pick up an injury that keeps me out for a couple of months. I'm going to have to do another pre-season-type programme now to get back."

Striker Cameron Jerome has confirmed he is making slow progress after picking up an ankle problem in the 1-0 win over Portsmouth at St Andrew's three weeks ago. He said: "The injury is coming on all right at the moment. It's just steady rehab. I'm a couple of weeks away yet before I can step it up with running and get back into training.

"It's a matter of taking my time, strengthening it up and letting it heal. I've missed a couple of games already and, with this international break, that gives me an extra week for me to get fit and stronger. Hopefully I can come back as quickly as possible and it won't be so long in rehab."