On Tuesday night City beat Derby County 6-1 but you would never have guessed it the following day on the messageboards as posters who love to portray themselves as being “in the know” when it comes to what goes on behind the scenes at Cardiff City spoke of unpaid electricity bills and speculated darkly as to what the future might hold for the club. To add to the mood of impending crisis, somebody claiming to be a steward at the club posted that, for the third time this season, he and his colleagues had not been paid on time.
Yesterday the “in the know” brigade were in a more upbeat mood as they hinted (well, they did a great deal more than just hint actually!) at good news to come regarding the Langston loan note debt which Peter Ridsdale has recently cited as the reason why it is almost impossible for the club to attract new investment at present. Apparently, Sam Hammam has agreed to or, depending on which “in the know” poster you believe, has not agreed to sign an agreement to waive the right for the full amount of the debt to be paid back by 2016. In a recent interview with the new Cardiff City Supporter’s Trust magazine, Peter Ridsdale said that the club would not be able to meet this deadline under the current repayment terms – either way, our former owner is returning to this country next week sometime and he is, apparently, upbeat about a settlement.
Now we come to what is fact and not rumour. Malaysian businessman Dato Chan Tien Ghee who Peter Ridsdale has visited twice in the last six weeks or so was at the game against Derby in midweek and so I think even those who greeted reports of his interest in the club with cynicism when the news first broke have to concede that there is indeed something to this story. Reports from earlier in the week claimed that his watching the game on Tuesday night would be followed by three days spent in London where at least some of his time would be spent in the company of Peter Ridsdale discussing the possibility of increasing his links with the club.
As to what your ordinary supporter is to make of all this, I would say that it is very likely that the club are in pretty urgent need of some outside investment – it seems pretty obvious that the plan this summer was to sell not one but two high profile members of our squad to provide the money needed for the day to day running of the club. With the majority of the Roger Johnson fee having, seemingly, gone on new players, the failure to sell one of Joe Ledley or Ross McCormack has seen City in a position where we are told loan signings are not an option and there is at least the possibility that they are having problems finding the money to pay wages and outstanding bills.
Yesterday evening a couple of people who have some inside knowledge of the club but are less prone to go public with what they know were saying that they could see a situation whereby relatively modest investment from Malaysia was dependent on Hammam and Langston agreeing to a further restructuring of the loan notes debt. They were hopeful that this could happen and, all things considered, this seems to me to be a realistic appraisal of the situation – I for one hope that they are right because, even if the Malaysian investment isn’t as big as we all might want, this still has to be very good news for Cardiff City.