It’s now getting on for a fortnight since City Chairman Datuk Chan Tien Ghee (TG) attended a Board meeting to discuss how the club would proceed following the decision to abandon plans to change our kit colour and badge for the 2012/13 season following opposition to the “re-branding” from some supporters. A statement on the matter appeared on the official site within hours of the meeting concluding which stated that “All at Cardiff City Football Club appreciate the desire and appetite from supporters to learn more, and as such further information will be released at the earliest opportunity.”. I think it’s fair to assume that most would’ve expected to have heard something from the club by now and, in my opinion, the delay in receiving any feedback is leading to opinions hardening in a divided supporter base – the way the matter was originally handled by the club with briefings to one supporter weeks before the changes were to be announced as a fait accompli, only made an awkward situation worse and you would have thought they would have got something out by now (even if it were only a “holding” statement) to prove that they hadn’t forgot about the commitment they made on the fifteenth of this month.
In the meantime, we can only speculate as to how much Malky Mackay has to spend on player recruitment. Our manager has stated that he is “relaxed” about how the dialogue between him, the Cardiff based Board members and the Malaysian investors is going, but then, in his position, he would say that wouldn’t he. Even reports of a £5.5 million bid for Burnley striker Jay Rodgriguez has not really satisfied doubts amongst many supporters that the decision to stay blue will come with a significant reduction in the funding available to our manager. On the one side of the coin, you have an article like this which sees our interest in Rodriguez as a real statement of intent regarding our plans this summer, but on the other you have the people who say that Cardiff are always being linked with big money players which they know they won’t end up signing – I don’t happen to agree with that viewpoint, but with the likes of Newcastle and Southampton being linked with the England Under 21 international (and Everton, reportedly, on the brink of a £3 million bid for another reported target, Lillestrom’s Björn Bergmann Sigurdarson), it has to be acknowledged that, as yet, it’s impossible for them to be proved wrong.
We did make our first signing of the summer mind when it was announced that, as had been reported previously, Peterborough goalkeeper Joe Lewis was joining us on a three year deal beginning on 1 July. Having tried to gauge Peterborough fans opinions on him over the past couple of days, it would appear that he had a rough time of it last season and he was not as highly rated as he was a year or two ago. They are, obviously, in a better position than me to judge, but what I would say is that if a City player started to let it be known that he would not be signing a new contract when his old one ran out in a year’s time, I think this would have an effect on how he was perceived by the fanbase – it might well influence team selection as well. As I mentioned last week, I think this is a clever signing because all of the basic ingredients seem to be in place for Lewis to become a very good keeper indeed, but, perhaps there is more to the situation and it’s not quite as straightforward as I first though – time will tell I suppose.
One last thing, the final spot in next year’s Championship will be filled by Huddersfield Town who played out a match that was, possibly, even more boring for the neutral than our 1-0 win over QPR was nine years ago. The game, which finished 0-0 after 120 minutes, was played in very hot conditions which I’m sure influenced the way things panned out and the lack of quality carried on into the early stages of the penalty shoot out as six of the nominated ten best penalty takers (including Huddersfield’s Alan Lee) failed to score. Once the “duffers” from sixth choice onwards started taking them though, the standard improved straight away with the next eight all being scored until the respective keepers had to have a go – Huddersfield’s Ian Smithies blasted his spot kick in, but Sheffield United’s Steve Simonsen’s Waddleesque effort flew high and wide and the side that looked shoe ins for a second placed finish until Ched Evans’ jail sentence have to face another year in the League’s third tier.