There was a surprise announcement from the club yesterday when it was revealed on the official site that Chief Executive Gethin Jenkins will be leaving his post on 22 October. Although some “in the know” people are trying to claim differently, this news seems to have taken City fans by surprise – there was certainly no indication that I’m aware of that such an announcement was imminent. For this reason, I believe anyone not working for the club is indulging in pure guesswork if they set out their version of why the Chief Executive is leaving. Speaking for myself, my gut feeling on hearing about it was that it was not good news because the suddenness of the announcement sent out a signal that something had gone badly wrong. However. others have said that it was simply a case of the Malaysian investors taking a decision not to renew a contract that was due to expire. Reading what both parties have to say in that club statement, it looks like this may well be the case, but no one seems to know for sure how long that contract was for – some say a year, others say eighteen months, but the club’s announcement of Mr Jenkins’ appointment was dated 27 May 2010, so the former has to be wrong and while the latter could be correct, it would mean that he had been on City’s payroll for more than a month before he officially started in the job.
It’s also worth noting that long term employee Julian Jenkins, who was due to leave City to take a job with Saracens RFC this month has been persuaded to stay on at Cardiff City Stadium – whether there is any connection between one Jenkins staying and another one leaving can only be a matter for conjecture as far as this completely non in the know City fan is concerned!
Anyway, although my own, very limited, dealings with Gethin Jenkins didn’t necessarily back up the generally good impression he made in his time with Cardiff City, I think it’s fair to say that the club looked to be a more professionally run and efficient organisation during his time with them. The steps taken in encouraging families to attend since the move to the new stadium were recognised by the Family Club of the Year award City picked up last season and I got the impression that the club had become more willing to listen to what rank and file City fans were saying and were, occasionally, prepared to act on it. Of course, whether all of this was down to Gethin Jenkins or not is a moot point, but there was a lot that was good which happened on his watch and I think it’s fair to say that, in the absence of any bad news stories to make us think otherwise, he leaves with the good wishes of most supporters – best of luck to him in the future.