Football: Jailed Birmingham City boss abandons sentence appeal

Carson Yeung, owner of Birmingham City Football Club and former chairman of Birmingham International Holdings Ltd., is surrounded by members of the media as he enters the Wanchai Law Courts in Hong Kong, China, on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. -- PHOTO: ST
Carson Yeung, owner of Birmingham City Football Club and former chairman of Birmingham International Holdings Ltd., is surrounded by members of the media as he enters the Wanchai Law Courts in Hong Kong, China, on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 

HONG KONG (AFP) - Birmingham City's former owner, sentenced to six years in prison for money laundering, will not appeal against his sentence, a Hong Kong court heard on Friday, after an appeal against his conviction was rejected earlier this week.

Carson Yeung, 55, was jailed last March in a case that gripped the southern Chinese city and fans of the English football club with its tales of unexplained dealings and financial transactions involving local businessmen and an alleged triad member.

Yeung was convicted on five charges of laundering HK$721 million (S$122.7 million).

His appeal bid against his conviction was rejected on Wednesday.

"The applicant will not pursue leave to appeal," said Derek Chan, representing Yeung, in front of a panel of three judges at Hong Kong's High Court on Friday.

Chan said that the decision was consistent with an earlier indication by the defence that Yeung would only appeal against his sentence if his conviction was reduced.

Yeung was charged in June 2011, two years after he bought the team.

He remains the largest shareholder in the club's holding company, according to the Hong Kong stock exchange website, despite resigning from all positions before the trial verdict.

Birmingham - who were relegated from the Premiership in 2011, three months after winning the English League Cup - have been in talks with potential bidders over the past few years. They finished 10th in the Championship in the just-ended season.

Little known before his emergence in English football, hairdresser-turned-tycoon Yeung took control of Birmingham in October 2009 in an £81 million (S$168.2 million) takeover from David Sullivan and David Gold, now the co-owners of West Ham.