After our last appearance in the high Court on 10 March, I made a concious decision to keep entries under this category down to the bare minimum until our next day in front of Registrar Derrett because, like quite a few City fans I daresay, I was heartily sick of talking about our finances and wanted to just concentrate on the football. Thankfully, Dave Jones and his team have meant that this has been quite a pleasure over the last eight weeks or so, but the truth is that there had been few developments on our off field matters during that time worth recording anyway – there was an embarrassing delay in paying the March wages which has been repeated this month (it’s all in hand though so we are told) and “in the know” posters have been reporting that the Malaysians will be coming in while Peter Ridsdale will be going, but I decided to hang fire on any comment until it had all been officially confirmed.
What had become clear was that Datuk Chan Tien Ghee (TG) had, with the help of a few others connected with the club, provided the funding which ensured that employees got their wages at the end of March, so it is true to say that it was looking increasingly likely that, having put in £1 million or so already, he was prepared to come on board just as some on the messageboards were claiming. However, with our next Court appearance getting closer and closer and us not hearing anything from the club regarding our debts, it was only natural that people were beginning to get worried again despite all the assurances that our problems were being sorted out.
That situation changed yesterday though as the morning saw a story in the Sun claiming that Peter Ridsdale would be leaving the club at the end of the season with the fact that the piece included quotes from a “highly-placed Malaysian source” tending to increase it’s credibility. Early this morning, the Official site confirmed that news and the BBC slightly amended the story they had been running for most of Friday accordingly. More skin has been put on the bones of the story this morning with this article in the Western Mail going into more detail about the Malaysian involvement which, on the face of it, appears to have saved us from the possibility of liquidation next Wednesday – there is also news that Paul Guy and Michael Isaac are to return to the Board of Directors, while it would seem that billionaire Vincent Tan will also be involved in some capacity.
The reason I included the words “on the face of it” there is because the Western Mail piece does state that the Malaysian money will not be released until after the EGM of supporters to be held on 27 May and so, yet again, it appears that the club will have to ask for the Court’s indulgence next week. With the Court having made it clear that they were expecting payment in full from the club on May 5, there still has to be a chance that the Registrar will decide enough is enough, but, surely, it is more likely that we will see another adjournment of, probably, a month until after the EGM has been held?
Any speculation as to what all of this means in financial terms to the club seems a bit pointless at the moment, but I would just like to close with an observation regarding our soon to be former Chairman. It was interesting to see that much of the stories from the Sun and the BBC looked at things from a what happens to Peter Ridsdale viewpoint rather than what happens to the club – the Echo’s take on the story yesterday offered more of the same and even three quarters of the statement on the official site read like a tribute to Mr Ridsdale.
Provided the taxman doesn’t throw a spanner in the works by forcing us into administration or worse, I think we can prepare ourselves for many more fulsome tributes being paid over the next month or so to the man who has been in charge over the past three years. This would reflect the “cult of the Chairman” which has gripped Cardiff City for the last decade (okay, Sam Hammam was never our Chairman but you know what I mean) – name another song by a side appearing in an FA Cup Final where the first name you hear being sung is the Chairman’s!!! I can’t help thinking that your average British football fan would be able to tell you more about our previous owner and our current Chairman than they could about the team and I for one am so glad that we will, hopefully, be returning to a time when the person in charge of off field matters at the club is not so desperate to see their face in the papers and on television or hear their voice on the radio.