Carson Yeung
Yeung faces a 15-year prison sentence.

Birmingham City owner Carson Yeung is free to remain the club's majority shareholder despite being found guilty of five counts of money laundering, The Football League have confirmed.

Though the league's "fit and proper" regulations prohibit owners convicted of offences involving dishonesty, Yeung's 29.9% share which he acquired in 2009 is below the 30% threshold at which the regulations take effect.

The 54 year old Hong Kong businessman resigned as chairman and executive director of Birmingham City Holding Limited, which owns the Championship club who are currently 17<sup>th in the second tier under the guidance of manager Lee Clark, in February and upon communication between both parties, the league are satisfied the club's financial future is secure.

"Since the commencement of these criminal proceedings, the club's holding company has introduced revised arrangements to ensure that it could relist on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and comply with Football League regulations," a Football League statement read.

"They include the resignation of Mr Yeung from all directorships, and the introduction of new working capital to ensure the ongoing financial viability of the group.

"The League has been working with the club during this period and, based on the information provided, is satisfied that Birmingham City complies with its requirements regarding ownership, as well as having funding arrangements in place until at least the end of the 2013/14 season. At this stage, The League does not require any financial assurances beyond this point."

Yeung took charge at St. Andrews in 2009 from current West Ham United co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan but faces 15 years in prison after being implicated in laundering £55m between 2001 and 2007.

Following the conclusion of the case which began following Yeung's arrest in June 2011, acting chairman Peter Pannu says operations at Birmingham will be unaffected.

"I'd like to reassure all supporters and staff that today's verdict will have no impact on the day-to-day operations at the football club," Pannu said.

"Birmingham International Holdings Limited, the holding company, shall continue to support the football club under the leadership of the group's new chairman, Mr Cheung Shing, and will work to raise further investment to support Birmingham City F.C. going forward."

Questions are still to be answered over the money invested by Yeung during his five years as majority owner though Birmingham have previously moved to dismiss suggestions they will become embroiled in the controversy.

Many of Yeung's business dealings during the convicted period lacked sufficient documentation and a statement included in City's most recent accounts regarding a £15m loan by Yeung read: "The amounts ... were advanced without formal documentation and there are no written terms for interest and the term of repayment."

Despite the fans having been informed that the day-to-day running of the club will not be compromised by the ruling in Hong Kong, a leading fans group expects uncertainty to reign over their immediate future.

"We hope that today's verdict marks the beginning of a new era, where we are able to put this troubling period behind us as soon as possible," a Blues Trust statement read. "However, we do appreciate that there will be a period of uncertainty whilst the ultimate ownership of the Club is decided and long-term stability is restored.

"The situation at our Club and at others, including Portsmouth and Swansea, are a stark reminder that Club owners are merely temporary custodians. It is the fans who are the heartbeat behind the team, and it is those fans that end up suffering most during difficult and troubling times.

"We believe that there should be greater emphasis and focus across the whole of football on supporter inclusion and involvement at Board level, something that Blues Trust has and will continue to campaign hard for. We believe there has never been a better time to consider the prospect of community share ownership – an initiative we are actively exploring."