Birmingham City chairman David Gold has admitted Steve Bruce would still be manager of the club but for Carson Yeung's failed takeover bid.
Blues will go head to head with Bruce for the first time since he left St Andrew's after nearly six years in November in Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash at his current club Wigan.
Bruce quit after Yeung would not approve the new contract he had agreed with Gold and co-owner David Sullivan and because of the uncertainty over the club's future. Blues were in turmoil at that time but Gold admits the "silver lining" came in the appointment of Bruce's successor Alex McLeish.
Gold admitted: "They were dark days for the club when a set of extraordinary circumstances came together at the same time. In the end it was all taken out of our control.
"But I have no doubt that Steve Bruce would have stayed at Birmingham had it not been for Carson Yeung's failed takeover bid. Who knows what he would have gone on to achieve here. The way it turned out was unfortunate.
"Once Yeung's interest was made known, the Takeover Panel said that we could not alter any contracts of the existing staff. The most important one of those of course was Steve's.
"In the end it was out of our hands, we couldn't do anything and for a while the club was in limbo. The headlines of turmoil and crisis may have been a little colourful but it wasn't a good time for Birmingham City."
Gold added: "The black storm clouds came down on us but there was a silver lining. We appointed Alex McLeish very quickly but, while his CV was there for all to see, we needed to know that the chemistry was there.
"Thankfully it was. I won't pretend that Steve and Alex are the same because they are very different people. But in Alex we have a manager capable of taking us forward.
"Steve won two promotions here, no-one's ever done that under our ownership. I would say that a lot of that was down to the support of the board but they can't do it alone and neither can the manager.
"No man is an island and we have to work together. We have a manager who we can work with."
Birmingham received £3million compensation from Wigan when he moved to the JJB Stadium. Gold said: "We'll be meeting old friends next week but we mustn't forget that the game is a very important relegation battle. Wigan aren't out of it yet and it will be a real six-pointer.
"But I have a lot of time for Wigan owner Dave Whelan, he behaved impeccably when Steve left. He did everything in the right manner. We want to win, but at the final whistle, I will wish Wigan well."