(Photo: Action Images / Reuters)
By Adam Ellis
Birmingham City director Panos Pavlakis has resigned from the club’s board after three-and-a-half years spent at St Andrew’s.
The Greek businessman exits the club with immediate effect and also relinquishes his role with the Blues Ladies team.
An official club statement confirmed: “Panos Pavlakis has resigned from the club’s board of directors to pursue other opportunities.
“The club would like to thank Panos for his service and efforts and wishes him the very best for the future.”
Pavlakis was key in re-stabilising the Blues in the wake of the six-year prison sentence handed to former owner Carson Yeung for money laundering, and used his ties in the Hong Kong financial district to prevent the Blues from obsecurity.
Securing new investment from firm Trillion Trophy Asia (TTA) and playing a part in takeover talks, the influence of Pavlakis spread to on-the-field matters with the arrival of Gary Rowett as manager in October 2014.
The appointment of Rowett led to the Blues to back-to-back 10th-place finishes in the Championship, achievements which exceeded expectations and drew adulation for the former Burton Albion boss from the St Andrew’s faithful.
However, Rowett’s shock departure weeks after TTA’s completed takeover rankled the entire fanbase.
The ill-fated tenure of Gianfranco Zola which followed saw Pavlakis fielding flak, as the three years spent constructively stabilising the club gave way to the threat of relegation from the Championship.
The sacking of Zola and rapidly-finalised process of appointing his successor Harry Redknapp indicated a more hand-on approach from new owners TTA. And with it came suggestions that Pavlakis’ influence had diminished.
The most recent publication of Birmingham City’s accounts revealed that the club’s operating loss had been cut from the previous year’s total of £8.0million to £543,000 in 2015.