Weekly review 29/6/14.

CoymayAnother quiet week with most of the news being made by “Tan’s Folly”. That’s the name I’ve given to the extension to the Ninian Stand which is being built during the summer, thereby increasing the capacity of the stadium to over 33,000 at a time when all of the indications are that there will be something in the region of 20/21 thousand at games next season. In the absence of the debt to equity conversion that was supposed to be “imminent” over two years ago, this development is only pushing the amount the club owe to Vincent Tan up by a few more million and, as such, is completely unnecessary at this time.

Anyway, the reason Tan’s Folly made news this week is that there was an article on the club’s website in which Steve Borley answered questions about the development. Now, I try not to use transatlantic corporate speak terms which have crept into use during my adulthood because I tend to think that the language I learned while I was growing up is perfectly adequate already thanks, but I’ll make an exception here because there is a huge elephant in the room represented by the red seats shown in the picture of what the stand will look like when it’s completed – whatever side of the red/blue divide you are on, it seems like a mistake to me for the interview to ignore the fact that the colour used is going to prove highly controversial.

I think putting new red seats into a stadium that has predominantly blue ones just doesn’t look right – it jars. I suppose it’s reasonable to respond “well you would say that, given your dislike of the re-brand”, but the truth is that, although I don’t like to see the red seats, they are a relatively minor matter for me when set against the main priority of seeing the team play in the colours that virtually everyone except for Vincent Tan wants us to wear. If we were to change back to blue after next season, I wouldn’t be losing any sleep about the fact that the stadium would continue to have a block of red seats in it.

Whatever happens, the news that supporters who have purchased season tickets for the wings of the new stand have been told that they will have to relocate to the centre block because poor ticket sales have made the club decide to keep the new seats at either end of the pitch empty means that supporters in other parts of the stadium (plus the television cameras?) will be seeing plenty of empty red seats in Tan’s Folly next season – if anything sums up the uselessness of the new structure at the present time, then surely it’s this.

One last thing on this subject – “class” was a quality almost completely lacking on and off the pitch at Cardiff City during the season just ended and, after seeing the Ayatollah representations used in the seating design, I note that the malaise is continuing through the summer.

Nothing really to report on the transfer front. The Echo says that Ole is only looking for one more player (a centreback) to complete his rebuilding for the new season and that up to ten players will be leaving the club in the coming months – one of these is almost certainly Fraizer Campbell, but his move to Leicester, which has been reported as if it is was a done deal for the last fortnight or so, is taking a long time to complete and there are now stories appearing that Crystal Palace are preparing a bid for the striker.

Another player almost certain to leave is Steven Caulker who it seems to me has been linked with about fifteen Premier League teams over the past month or so. I hope for his sake that the stuff I’ve read about QPR winning the race for his signature are not true – talk about jumping out of the frying pan into the fire! We inherited the title of Premier League laughing stock of the season from QPR last year by showing total ineptitude off the pitch while spending money like there was no tomorrow on players who, largely, failed to do the business for us – if QPR, already massively in debt and facing fines for breaking Financial Fair Play rules, are really chasing even a quarter of the players they are being linked with this summer, then there is every chance of them regaining their mantle for 14/15.

Whatever happens with the likes of Campbell, Caulker and Gary Medel (again excellent during Chile’s defeat on penalties against Brazil yesterday), it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that there are likely to be other departures from the club in the coming weeks – with around forty players with pro contracts on the books, it seems to me that a Championship club should be looking to cut that number by about a quarter. Someone like Tommy Smith barely kicked a ball for the club last season at first or development team level and I can see there being four or five others in the same boat this time around if the club doesn’t have a playing staff which is more in keeping with the size it needs to be at this level.

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4 Responses to Weekly review 29/6/14.

  1. Anthony Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    I don’t get why so many people are being so negative about just about everything going on at the club. Walesonline are obviously miffed that their sources of info are drying up and you seem to only be able to find the bad in everything also.
    I think we need to step back and look at the situation we’re in and in the grand scheme of things, red seats are a drop in the ocean compared to the other problems we face.
    Pretty much all of us who’ve followed City for more than 5 mins want us playing in blue but it ain’t happening this year so move on. Tan has offered an olive branch for next year (which I never expected) so let’s get behind the team , win promotion and then reapply the pressure.
    We seem to have made some good signings early doors rather than waiting for the season to start and that surely gives us a chance of flying out of the blocks at Blackburn. Also most of them have been on frees so no great additional debt incurred there.
    I have no concerns about loosing Walker, Campbell or Medel considering the squad we have so maybe we can get a bit of cash back in the bank soon.
    So come on Bob, put a smile on your and your readers faces and get some positivity into your blog. The Tan fight will take some time but at least lets get some pleasure out of the side show going on at Cardiff – the football.

  2. Big Al says:

    Finacial Planning…
    We have to fully trust Mr Tan is doing a good job and hope the rest of his team back him going forward.
    Team prospects for next year..
    Looks to me that Ole is doing his best to plan and rebuild the team and with Mr Tan giving him a chance to deliver in the Championship we as fans must support them to the full.
    August and September results will give us a chance to review things.
    Bluebirds bluebirds – Good luck to all those connected with the Club for season 2014/15.
    Big Al.

  3. Howardbeverley says:

    Survey of who was to blame for relegation left out the small group always harping on about the shirt colour. Did the players no favour at all as some supporters seemed more interested in that than what was going on on the pitch. Obviously not heard about planning, if we had stayed up then the new stand would have been required, does not happen overnight. Also that is how a major European final has been BROUGHT TO THE CITY but they are not in the right colour!!!!

  4. The other Bob Wilson says:

    Firstly, thanks for your replies which I’m going to deal with in this one message.

    Howard, I can’t remember if I said it on here, but I’ve definitely said on messageboards that I thought there was too little support for the team during the second half of the season – I’m all for letting Vincent Tan know what we think of his rebrand, but I agree that there should have been more backing for the team (I thought the atmosphere was terrible for many of the home games after Christmas).

    As for needing Tan’s Folly if we had stayed up, I’m not so sure – in fifty one years of supporting the club I’ve seen just two crowds of over 30,000 for home league matches and only one gate over what the new capacity will be. Frankly, I would prefer us to have not been lumbered with another eight figure debt just for the UEFA Super Cup Final (a match which tends to be forgotten about by all except the teams who contest it within a month of it being played) – in typical Cardiff City fashion, they appear to be putting the cart before the horse.

    Al, I don’t see how we can fully trust that Mr Tan is doing a good job when we have the shambles of last season still fresh in our memories (not that he was solely responsible for it of course). I’m quite encouraged by the new signings, but they always look good before a ball is kicked and I think getting the choice of new centreback right is going to be very important because, even at the lower level we’ll be playing at, we are going to have to be far more well drilled at the back than we were last season under Ole.

    Anthony, as I mentioned, I’m pretty positive about the signings we’ve made and have said so in previous weekly reviews I’ve done. I like Ole and thought he spoke very well at the meet the supporters night I attended at Cardiff City Stadium in April, but I think that even he will admit that he needs to do a lot more yet before he can say he is justifying the faith the club showed in appointing him and, based on what I’ve seen so far, I have doubts as to whether he’ll get things right.

    I like to think I’m positive on here when I think it’s merited, but I’m afraid I cannot forget how much better we were than Palace and Hull in 12/13 and it galls me now to read about what they are doing as they plan for another season in the Premier League. These are not clubs that we should be looking up to, but we were inept on so many levels last season and we got exactly what we deserved – hopefully, lessons will have been learned and we’ll start getting the results that will help lift spirits.

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