Although the season ended in what it has to be said was the normal disappointment, there is no doubt in my mind that, for the first time in ages, Cardiff City resembled a proper and, dare I say it, normal football club off the pitch in 2010/11. That’s not to say that TG and Vincent Tan have sorted all of our financial problems with a wave of their magic wand mind. We still have a huge debt, which has probably increased at a higher rate than it has done in recent years, and much of it is in secured loans – however, what we don’t have, for the first time in more than a decade, is some publicity hungry chancer telling us what a great job he is doing every other week!
I mentioned in my last piece under this category that I had only done six in it so far in 10/11 as opposed to forty six in 09/10 and that really does say it all in a season where attention could, thankfully, be focused almost entirely on what was going on out on the pitch. It wasn’t just that there was less hot air around than previously, but also that things actually started getting done – for example, the winning of an award for Family Club of the Year by Cardiff City would have been considered as somebody’s idea of a joke until quite recently, but not only were the club worthy nominees, they also sometimes received the praise of visiting fans for making their visit to Cardiff City Stadium an enjoyable experience (Derby may have lost 4-1 here in April, but that didn’t stop some of their fans praising the stadium and atmosphere as well as the welcome they got in Cardiff).
There have even been a few home matches that were police free as control of the crowd was left in the hands of stewards – actually, I’ve just read the last few sentences I’ve typed back and I found myself thinking “now I didn’t dream this did I?”, but, no, I didn’t! Personally, as I have mentioned before, I found the whole “match day experience” thing a bit homgenized, but it’s not aimed at dyed in the wool old fogeys like me and if it means that we keep on getting the same numbers of women, children and families attending as we have done over the past few seasons, then I’ve no problems with it.
On a similar theme, Chief Executive Gethin Jenkins uses a bit too much corporate speak for my tastes, but that’s a small matter when set against the overall impression he has made in his first year in his job. Although often singled out for criticism by some on the messageboards for his rugby background, it seems to me that Jenkins has gone about his business in a quietly competent manner (oh for a bit more of that since 2000!).
The off field hierarchy at Cardiff have a very big decision to make in the next week or so when they choose a new manager and, if they get that wrong, then opinions on the job they are doing will change pretty quickly, but I would say it has to be so far, so good for the Malaysian investors and the people they have appointed – it did seem that they were taking their time in coming to a decision on Dave Jones’ future, but the statement issued on the Official site this week would seem to indicate that the end of season review we had heard about was a wide ranging and thorough exercise which has benefited the club.