Hammam Bids For Cardiff Power
Vital Cardiff correspondant Tim Edge shares his views on the power struggle at Ninian Park and where we might go from here:
Let`s not kid ourselves about the real purpose of the Langston loan note saga. The calling-in of the loan and the subsequent court case, mysteriously delayed at the eleventh hour, has all the hallmarks of a classic power-play, with control, not debt, at its heart.
It might also be argued that Langston has no vested interest in seeing the matter resolved quickly, due firstly to the probability that they won`t win in court and secondly due to the financial pressure that the court action is already exerting on the club. Hence the postponement of the hearing due to take place this week.
A drawn out legal campaign has already become prohibitively expensive with legal fees escalating exponentially. Another significant pressure point is the refusal of our bankers to release further significant funding to the club until the Langston issue is resolved. Our day to day survival is currently in doubt with every chance of a fire-sale of our brightest talent to stave-off administration. Extending legal action into 2008 also makes it impossible for the club to deal effectively in the January transfer window. Which players in their right minds would elect to join a club in such profound financial difficulties, where even the prospect of being paid is open to doubt?
If, as many believe, Sam Hammam is pulling Langston`s strings what might be the likely game plan? It is not difficult to imagine a scenario in the immediate future, with the club seconds from administration and Langston offering to withdraw its legal claim on the condition that the Board resigns and is replaced by other, more 'appropriate` directors. There is no disputing the contribution of Sam Hammam to the history of this great club, but what is gone is gone and I for one would rather take my chances in administration than allow Mr Hammam or his associates to regain control over the levers of power.
Perhaps our best chance is a 'white knight` (David Sullivan anyone?) with an injection of cash that makes the Langston Loan irrelevant. White knight or not, what seems clear to me is that Peter Ridsdale must remain at the heart of the club as we move forward. His integrity, transparency and selfless commitment to do what is right for Cardiff City is in stark contrast with what has gone before and, heaven forbid, what we might now return to.
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