'P. Riddy' new Cardiff City Chairman
Peter Ridsdale is the new chairman of Cardiff City FC having been promoted from the position of vive-chairman following Sam Hammam's departure. Ridsdale was recruited by Hammam in February 2005 to oversee Cardiff's recovery from financial difficulty. Ridsdale has been instrumental in restructuring of City's debts, securing of the new stadium business plan and also in recruiting Dave Jones as manager. Jones is widely acknowledged as one of Cardiff's best ever managers and has tranformed the team into promotion contenders on a tight budget after being approached by Ridsdale while Lennie Lawrence was still Cardiff boss.
Ridsdale was vilified for his part in the demise of Leeds United when plans securing the future of Leeds failed as the team missed out on Champions League football after over-spending dramatically and left the club over £100 million in debt. Leeds slumped and are only recently nearing stability after selling virtually all their players. Ridsdale is still despised in Leeds and was banished from the boardroom by now chairman Ken Bates following City's 1-0 win at Elland Road earlier this season.
Ridsdale is vastly experienced and helped Barnsley recover from a dodgy financial footing when they dropped from the Premier League down to the 4th tier of British football. He has made an impressive contribution to Cardiff City and has a good business brain but City fans may be wary given the stipulation attached to the takeover deal whereby loans are secured against players, the stadium etc. This 'gamble' could backfire but Ridsdale is sure to have learnt from his Leeds Utd experience and has steadied the Cardiff ship by his presence so far.
The deal should ensure that work on the new stadium can commence soon (within months) and this, as well as increased gate receipts is key to the stability of the club. Premiership football, now looking almost a realistic ambition will also be needed to ensure the success of the 'hedging fund' scheme in place.