'Hands-Off Chopra' - But Are Cardiff City Serious?
Cardiff City are under new management so to speak with the departure of Peter Ridsdale under the new regime of TG and his fellow Malaysian investors. That move also saw the introduction of a new Chief Executive in Gethin Jenkins. So far, he has picked up mixed reviews but gained support from many quarters after speaking out to dismiss speculation linking Michael Chopra with a move away from the club.
Michael Chopra is a natural goalscorer and is a prize commodity in the Championship. We would certainly be looking at 20+ goals as a realistic target and there are few such strikers available for less than £5m. Nevertheless, Cardiff City fans (and Dave Jones) have become accustomed to seeing top players routinely undersold over the summer months. The receiving clubs of the likes of Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal), Cameron Jerome, Roger Johnson (both Birmingham City) and Glenn Loovens (Celtic) have all picked up bargains simply because we were in a poor financial state. Moves for Fabian Delph and Gareth Bale blitzed our 'valuations` out of the water and we have been bullied.
However, whilst Jenkins` comments represent a welcome move, the real test is yet to come. Put simply, we`ve heard it all before. Consider a quote from late July 2008 where the CCFC management were speaking to the Western Mail:
"We have no need to sell any of the players we have and that includes Glenn."
Glenn Loovens was sold to Glasgow Celtic in August, for a fee of around £2.5m. We brought in Gabor Gyepes for a fraction of that which was a decent bit of business but In Loovens we had a defensive rock to build a team around, whereas Gyepes has been unable (rightly or wrongly) to break into the first team in two full seasons and if free to find another club.
Which of course means that Jenkins telling the BBC:
'We're not in a position where we need to sell, and Michael Chopra is contracted to us.'
May not mean exactly what we think / hope. Peter Ridsdale was always quick to bolt-on his favourite adage that 'every player had their price` and I think supporters understand that, even through the disappointment of losing someone as important as Chopra.
This will be a critical time. Over the coming few weeks we will learn a great deal about the ambition of the new regime, and how much stock we are able to put in comments that Jenkins or other management figures may make. Transparency is a term long associated with CCFC hierarchy but Publicity Pete`s penchant for spin was eventually understood by the Bluebirds fans and we learnt the hard way not to take what he said as fact.
Here`s hoping Michael Chopra will line-up against Sheffield United at CCS on Saturday 7th August. If, however, we have sold him for less than his worth - alarm bells will be ringing.