Date: 10th January 2008 at 2:13pm
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Birmingham City co-owner David Gold and promised to back Alex McLeish with transfer funds – but it appears the boss will have to sell before he can buy.

The cash generated by the sale of Rowan Vine to Queens Park Rangers and Neil Kilkenny to Leeds United, combined with the compensation received from Wigan for former boss Steve Bruce, will be added to any subsequent sales to give McLeish his transfer window funds.

And Gold stressed the “important thing” is for the club to retain their Premier League status – something that would be all the more impressive following the takeover kerfuffle, although perhaps more of an “essential thing” than an “important thing”.

Gold told the Birmingham Post: “We have always said the money generated by the football club can be spent by the football club. If you combine whatever we receive for players like Martin Taylor and Neil Danns with the balance from changing managers, that’s around £5million.

“Anything above that would come from the owners. That has happened over the years but it is a back-stop. Alex is a very measured guy and is not going to be held to ransom – he sees the club’s money as his money.

“If there is somebody special you think is available and you would really like to come to Birmingham City and the club has run out of funds, we would look at it on a case-by-case basis.

“Alex has not said to us he has found a player he really wants yet, but you only have to look at our record over the last 15 years and the way in which we support our managers. The important thing is retaining our Premier League status.”

Fans of the Scottish game will be aware that McLeish had to work under fairly tight financial constraints at Rangers, who are only now starting to throw money around and challenge Celtic’s recent dominance of the game – so hopefully he will be able to use that experience to keep Birmingham out of the relegation zone.

Though with the gap now at just two-points, a few new faces this month could make all the difference and getting embroiled in the scrap at the bottom of the table for the want of a bit of cash would be disastrous.