Date:Friday January 8 2010
Cardiff City fans have suffered a turbulent few weeks with persistent mutterings about financial shortfalls, lack of investments and cashflow problems. Couple this with 2 postponed games, a defeat to rock bottom Plymouth and the throwing away of a 4 goal lead - and it's not been the rosiest period for the Bluebirds.
What is promising is the league table, we are fourth and look set for another promotion fight with a stronger squad than last time around. No mean feat given that we have struggled for money and spent little on transfer fees.
Entirely based on our promotion aspirations, and a promise made to the fans by the Club - in excess of 10000 fans have committed to buying a season ticket for next year and secured frozen prices over 5 years. It's a good deal for fans as it we get promoted, the season ticket money is refunded.
The promise made was that all money raised through the scheme, a total around the £3m mark would be handed to Dave Jones to re-enforce his squad with 2-3 players with a targetman, central midfielder and a defender all needed to improve the squad. Modest transfer fees, loan fees and player wages were to come out of this money, sold to the fans as an 'investment in the playing squad as we seek promotion to the Premiership'.
As news of unpaid tax bills (suspiciously totalling £2.7m), a verbal agreement to sell Adam Matthews to Manchester United and further financial struggles broke, Ridsdale began legal proceedings against the News of the World and insisted the story was out of context and that all was well.
The relationship between Ridsdale and the CCFC fans has been deteriorating for some time amid lacks of honesty and transparency with more and more fans refusing to believe the spin or hype from a man more adept at public speaking than balancing accounts. Many want him gone, even more have lost their trust in Ridsdale while precious little has been heard from other major shareholders / board members like Steve Borley, Paul Guy or Mike Hall.
In the past week or so, Peter Ridsdale has been un-characteristically quiet. Barely a quote has emerges with his name on it, save for snippets to say everything is under control. Even those with the bluest tint to their spectacles no longer believe that is the case, and fans have demanded answers. Consequently, Ridsdale met with Vince Alm - a well respected fan and ambassador for the club whose tireless work for the CCSC has improved our reputation and travel opportunities no end. Unfortunately, the content of that meeting was confidential - which is bizarre and surely defeats the point!
Things have changed. Peter Ridsdale can no longer get Cardiff City fans to believe by virtue of 'blind faith', and sorry Peter - nor are fans going to believe things are OK on the say so of one fan who you met but asked to keep silent! As far as the supporters are concerned:
1) We have debts of £2.7m plus interest accruing daily.
2) A mole with access to confidential club documents claims Adam Matthews has been sold on a verbal basis.
3) A winding-up petition has been brought, and other clubs in such a position have been hit by transfer embargoes.
4) £3m was raised BY THE FANS on the premise of new players joining.
5) No players have joined, few are linked - we have no timescale. The club has been silent and the fans are feeling confusion, anger and uncertainty.
Every rational Cardiff City fan knows that the club cannot conduct it's business in the open. Player transfers, contract negotiations, investor relations and the like must take place behind the scenes to safeguard the stature and reputation of the club. However, when you get the supporters involved, raising money for a specific purpose - you are answerable to them.
Peter Ridsdale MUST clarify the EXACT financial position of the club, there mustn't be more surprises lest it damage the morale, trust and commitment of the supporters any further.
Peter Ridsdale: Where Are You?
Date:Friday January 8 2010
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