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Page last updated at 19:06 GMT, Thursday, 15 October 2009 20:06 UK

Birmingham get 40m transfer pot


New Blues owner promises transfer cash

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish has been promised up to £40m to spend on players in the January transfer window by the club's new owner Carson Yeung.

The Hong Kong billionaire made the announcement at his first media conference at St Andrew's since completing his £81.5m takeover.

"My first plan is to support the club for about £20-£40m for players and wages in January," said Yeung.

"I want to make Birmingham City as big as possible and will support Alex."

And McLeish earlier insisted he will have the final say on those transfer targets.

"Will I have the final decision on team selection and transfer targets? Yes, it will be down to me," said the Scot.

"That is the normal remit of a manager and we will be working that way."

McLeish excited by transfer kitty

Yeung added: "I will be supporting the manager. We have an excellent management team.

"Our aim is to work hard to secure our position in the Premier League, not only for this year but for many years to come.

"It's a long, long target but we hope Birmingham can become one of the best clubs in Europe. Let's take it step by step - but why not?

"Birmingham can become as big as possible. We are competitors for Aston Villa.

"In the short term I just care about January. But in the future there will be more money, and longer term we believe there is a major opportunity to build Birmingham's fan base in China and to generate new sources of revenue for the club.

"This season we want to stay in the Premier League, and next season be stronger with new players and get better results on the pitch.

"I hope to win a trophy in two more years. I will invest step-by-step to ensure the team lifts a cup, and make the stadium excellent."

Former England midfielder Steve McManaman is an executive director of Yeung's company Grandtop International Holdings and Yeung's right-hand man Sammy Yu is a former manager of Hong Kong.


On Tuesday, Yu made clear that McLeish's position is safe but suggested that the manager would need an "open mind" under the new regime.

McLeish says he is happy to take the advice of both of Yu and McManaman at St Andrew's.

"I'll take all the advice I get," said McLeish.

"If there are players Sammy suggests, or people like Steve McManaman come up with names, and I think they will enhance the club, then fine, absolutely.

"I will see what Steve has to offer. I don't know how much he has kept in touch with his Spanish contacts because that is a good market.

"I think Steve is a fine bloke who has a lot of experience so why not use it? There might be 99% of the time when I say 'I don't fancy it' but that 1% might make the difference."

McLeish has also welcomed the news that he will be able to add to his squad in the January transfer window.

We will not go down the road of paying silly money. It is the road to ruin and I'd be uncomfortable paying it in the first place

Alex McLeish

However, the Scot insists because of the new investment in the club, Birmingham will not be held to ransom when it comes to signing new players.

"The news that we have money to spend is welcome," he added.

"We need to strengthen and the fragility of the squad has been very evident this season.

"People that spend that sort of money on a football club mean business. They will know themselves that this club needs investment.

"We have certain targets and if we can keep it private them we can get the players we want.

"But we will not go down the road of paying silly money. It is the road to ruin and I'd be uncomfortable paying it in the first place."

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see also
McLeish is part of new Blues - Yu
13 Oct 09 |  Birmingham
McLeish excited by Blues takeover
06 Oct 09 |  Birmingham
Premier League approval for Yeung
25 Sep 09 |  Birmingham
Exit looms for Sullivan & Brady
16 Sep 09 |  Birmingham
Hong Kong bid for Birmingham City
21 Aug 09 |  Business
Yeung puts deposit on Birmingham
20 Aug 09 |  Business
Blues budget all spent - McLeish
20 Aug 09 |  Birmingham
McLeish pleads for more signings
14 Aug 09 |  Birmingham

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