Date:Thursday February 18 2010
Peter Ridsdale's credability amongst Cardiff City fans has been falling rapidly over the past 6 months, and has been eroded to baseline zero among many since Christmas when the undersoil heating problems, and tax bill came to light.
Previously, Ridsdale had been held in high esteem for rescueing the club from administration - just, and delivering the new stadium. Most agreed he was doing his best in a difficult position and accepted the sales of Chopra, Ramsey, Gunter, Loovens etc. Little did we know there were equivalent problems to come and at present, there seems no way out of these financial problems. Rather than solving the problems, Ridsdale was keeping them quiet and saving them up for a later date whilst collecting a handsome wage to go with his substantial bonuses.
I was challenged to come up with one good news story regarding 'The Riddler' and whilst the man himself would do a fantastic self-promoting job, doubtless spinning entertaining tales of Messiahs, Stadia and FA Cup runs - it's another deed by the man that really stands out for me.
Steve MacLean was a free transfer signing from Sheffield Wednesday in June 2007. It was something of a coup as he was a fans favourite at the Owls and known as a goalscorer. However, it soon became clear that whatever skill or potential he once had, it had gone AWOL. After never missing a penalty for the Owls, he missed one on debut as we went down 1-0 to Stoke City in the season's opener. Put simply, MacLean was dire in his 15 games (over 6 months) with the Bluebirds. Many are unsre whether he scored for us, he was credited with a goal in a 2-0 win at QPR but most media sources now credit both goals that day to Paul Parry.
A boxing day performance, ironically against Plymouth Argyle, sealed his fate with a hapless performance where he looked lost and consistently gave away possession - his Cardiff City days were numbered and at this point is seemed Peter Ridsdale stepped in to use his convincing selling act to it's greatest effect.
Somehow, amazingly, Peter Ridsdale managed to offload MacLean, a free transfer just 6 months earlier to Plymouth Argyle for £500k - the Pilgrims even broke their transfer record for him! He fared no better at Home Park, and now plays for Aberdeen in his native Scotland. Potentially his sale allowed us not to sell other (better) players and I'm convinced that Dave Jones would have let him gofor free, or certainly for £100k.
Thats Ridsdale at his best, selling a dream to poor un-suspecting punters who fall for his brilliantly delivered speeches and ability to spin any situation to the positive. He's a polititian, and as a rule polititians don't run football clubs...It seems he hasn't been running ours well and with rumours that auditors have been appointed to assess the books, his own WH Sports company facing unpaid tax charges, and trading standards taking an interest in his mis-sold season ticket offer...he may yet face the public dressing down called for by the fans.
For me, Ridsdale's greatest CCFC action wasthe sale of Steve MacLean for £500k - and it will remain his greatest deed until he leaves the club - which should be a momentous occasion for all involved!
Date:Thursday February 18 2010
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