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Page last updated at 16:23 GMT, Friday, 14 August 2009 17:23 UK

Gold refuses to deny Hammers link

Birmingham chairman and co-owner David Gold
Gold is a former West Ham youth player

Birmingham chairman David Gold has refused to deny speculation he will launch a bid for West Ham if Carson Yeung's Blues takeover goes ahead.

Yeung, who owns 29.9% of Birmingham, is launching a second bid to buy the club.

A former West Ham youth player, Gold once owned 30% of the Hammers with business partner David Sullivan.

Gold said the speculation was "not surprising", adding when pressed on the matter, "you can understand how difficult it is for me, I'm sure".

Gold, who is co-owner of Birmingham, insisted he was focused on the job in hand at the Blues, but admitted the Hammers would always have a place in his heart.

"I'm the chairman of Birmingham City football club - I have been for 16 years. I've got a serious football match coming up on Sunday, I'm focusing on that," he told BBC Radio 5 live.

David Sullivan, myself and [chief executive] Karen Brady are still in charge of the football club and will be for the foreseeable future

Blues chief David Gold

"Does it surprise me that there's speculation? I've had great ties as a young man [to West Ham] and as a boy.

"I played for West Ham as a 13 to 16-year-old boy, so it's not surprising.

"I did, at one time, own 30% of the football club, along with my partner, David Sullivan.

"All of my young life I spent there, so I'll always have an affiliation with West Ham until the day I die - I can't not have that.

"But, by the same token, I'll have an affiliation with Birmingham City for the rest of my life."


Hong Kong businessman Yeung has launched a second attempt to take over Birmingham and has been told he must put down a £1m non-returnable deposit to prove he is serious.

Yeung's Grandtop International Holdings bought an initial 29.9% stake in June 2007 but failed to complete a buyout.

Asked about the new bid, Gold said it was "inappropriate" to discuss the matter, adding: "it's a very delicate issue".

The Birmingham chairman added: "David Sullivan, myself and [chief executive] Karen Brady are still in charge of the football club and will be for the foreseeable future, until things change.

"We will, as always, do the very best for the football club."

West Ham are owned by asset management company CB Holding, a business set up by the club's major creditors in the wake of former owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson falling heavily into debt.

In June, CB Holdings said it had every intention of selling the club once the financial markets recovered and a reasonable price could be obtained.

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see also
West Ham takeover deal completed
08 Jun 09 |  West Ham
McLeish pleads for more signings
14 Aug 09 |  Birmingham
Yeung in Birmingham takeover bid
12 Aug 09 |  Birmingham
Yeung still keen on Blues buy-out
26 May 08 |  Birmingham
Trio increase Birmingham holding
20 Feb 08 |  Birmingham
Birmingham terminate Yeung talks
21 Dec 07 |  Birmingham
Gold losing confidence in Yeung
13 Nov 07 |  Birmingham
Birmingham takeover 'not likely'
02 Dec 07 |  Birmingham
Yeung buys major Birmingham stake
27 Jun 07 |  Birmingham
Yeung takes stake in Birmingham
16 Jul 07 |  Birmingham
Sullivan raises takeover concerns
27 Oct 07 |  Birmingham

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