Date:Friday September 28 2007
Watch Out He`s Behind You!
As the pantomime season approaches, Cardiff City fan Tim Edge casts his eye over recent off- the- field developments at Ninian Park
'He`s behind you!` is the audience`s traditional warning to the hero as the villain approaches. Lately this cry might have been echoing in Peter Ridsdale`s ears as the spectre of Sam Hammam has re-appeared in the wings.
Some commentators perceive that Hammam`s supporters are in some way responsible for a recent spate of abusive messages received by the Cardiff City Chairman. Other conspiracy theorists see Hammam as being instrumental in the calling-in of the £21m Langston loan. Wherever the truth lies, two things are clear; that Sam Hammam`s days in the Cardiff spotlight are over and that the club is better off without his chaotic stewardship of the club`s finances.
In the light of his continuing vilification by Leeds fans it is understandable that Ridsdale is sensitive to criticism. What is obvious however is that he sees the support of the fans as essential to his tenure as Cardiff City Chairman. Encouragingly it seems that the vast majority of City fans are right behind him, thus isolating the minority of so called 'supporters` still perversely loyal to a regime that came so close to driving the club into the buffers.
I would like to think that the reason Fowler and Hasselbaink came to Ninian Park was because of the credibility of Ridsdale in selling a vision, not the fairy tale of years gone by, but a credible route map for achievement based on new training facilities, a new stadium and a real prospect of Premiership football. What is also refreshingly apparent is that this compelling vision is now underpinned by sound business plans and procedures.
Having said all this, Paul Abbandonato got it about right in the Western Mail this week when he implied that Ridsdale`s stock was inextricably linked to the performance of the team. In this case, it`s not so much 'he`s behind you` as 'it`s the results stupid!`
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Date:Friday September 28 2007
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