Birmingham buyer Carson Yeung lines up roles for Steve McManaman and Christian Karembeu
15 September 2009 05:16
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In the blue corner: Former Liverpool and Manchester City star Steve McManaman is set for a job at Birmingham
Steve McManaman and Christian Karembeu are set to join the Birmingham fold once Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung completes his £81million takeover of the club.
The prospective St Andrew's owner has already assured boss Alex McLeish that his job is safe, but the former Real Madrid duo are expected to help out with scouting and international relations.
Yeung is set to complete the takeover by the end of the month and has revealed a strategy that will include bringing promising Chinese players to the West Midlands.
In fact, he hopes Birmingham can lead the way in helping develop football in his home country.
'Over the 10 years China has had its sports boosted, but there has been no development for football,' he said.
'SoI would like to make my humble contribution. In the future when theteam is stablised, we will recruit Chinese players who have potential.
'Mybiggest wish is to bring in the English Premier League club to China,promote English professionalism and football concepts to the Chinese,and to let the Chinese know how a English football team is managed.'
Sammy Yu, the chief opperations officer of Yeung's Grandtop International Holdings company, revealed that the mission to improve Chinese football would include building a dedicated school, inviting Chinese coaches to St Andrew's and even inviting the national team to base themselves in Birmingham before big tournaments.
'Helping Chinese football is not to simply about providing money,' said Yu. 'Probably Chinese football is poorly developed because they have too much money.
'Mr Yeung has got the money, but he hopes we work together to establish a concept of Chinese football and to make it organised. We will bring in the valuable part of English football.'
Eastern promises: Carson Yeung unveils his plans in Beijing
And Yu said Birmingham would not place high-spending as the central strategy to their development, as has been the case at other clubs.
'We will not be crazy buyers, spending crazy money for nothing. In football, even if you spend a fortune, it doesn't mean you will succeed. We want to strengthen the club step-by-step.
'We have a lot of friends in football circles, with expertise in the Premier League, of even higher class than the existing management.
'We will work together with the current management. Mr Yeung will be the final decision-maker, but we need a team to run the club.'