Bluebirds legend Jason Perry pulled no punches at a Trust fans’ forum -declaring the club needed to change at the top.
Jason was the guest at the forum that followed the AGM. BBC Wales’ soccer commentator Rob Phillips chaired the evening.
The former City skipper highlighted the failure of the replacement of a largely defensive and organised manager Malky Mackay by the attack-minded Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
He pointed to the work of Huw Jenkins, chair of Swansea City, who had found replacement managers to fit in with the style of play that the club had endorsed. Jason also highlighted a similar philosophy at Southampton, which had proved hugely successful. He said that everyone involved at Southampton from the top to the bottom were pulling in the same direction.
Jason said that the current manager Russell Slade had a difficult time having had to slash the budget, moving players out and had done all that was expected of him. He praised the work of coach Paul Trollope, who he described as excellent.
Rob Phillips said the summer ins and outs were crucial to the future with the huge Premiership TV deal coming into operation the following season. “Vincent Tan has big decision ahead this summer -does he continue with austerity or put money in to try and get up.”
Both said that it was important that Scott Young stayed- even if there was a change of manager – because of his knowledge and love for the club. Stability was crucial.
Jason Perry said that the club needed to do more to get fans on board and talk to them about its vision for the future, something which the Trust has also argued.
Trust chair, Tim Hartley, thanked Jason and Rob for once again giving up their time to talk to fans. Thanks also to Brian Mertens for the pictures.
The Trust board had a useful and constructive meeting with Steve Borley, a director of Cardiff City.
Steve, who attended the board meeting in a personal capacity, had accepted an invitation following comments made on Twitter last month after the Trust published a statement asking the club to set out its vision going forward.
The informal meeting looked at ways of improving communications between the club, the Trust and supporters generally. The dialogue was positive and it was agreed that better engagement would benefit everyone. Steve agreed to make himself available via email or phone to Trust members to pose questions or relay matters of concern.
Among the issues raised by Steve was how the Trust could help the work of the Cardiff Community Foundation and Academy and other initiatives. It was agreed there was a need for regular dialogue between senior club executives and the Trust and the importance of keeping fans informed of developments within the club and Steve promised to assist in the process.
Steve reaffirmed the commitment of Tan Sri Vincent Tan to Cardiff City Football Club. He was optimistic that with a few changes of personnel the Bluebirds could have a good season in 2015-16.
The issue was also raised of supporter representation on the club board but Steve felt it would be difficult to achieve because of the current structure model of the club with a single owner. But, he accepted, that good communications between fans and the club through the Trust and Supporter’s Club was crucial and vital for the club going forward. He also stated he wished for better collaboration and will look to make sure all parties are involved in end of season events and fans’ forums.
Trust board members stressed that they wanted to see a successful Cardiff City and wanted to work with the club. But chair Tim Hartley said that the Trust would continue to raise issues of concern among fans and act as a “critical friend” when necessary. Steve accepted that and the club will continue to invite the Trust and Supporters Club to provide their views at an appropriate forum.
Cardiff City legend Jason Perry and BBC Wales soccer commentator, Rob Phillips will take part in a fans’ forum following the Trust’s annual general meeting next month.
Members are assured of some forthright opinions from the former Bluebirds skipper on the 2014-15 season and the prospects for the next season at the Cardiff City Stadium. He will give his views on what the club needs to do re-engage with fans.
Jason and Rob are great supporters of the Trust’s work and we thank them once again for giving up their time.
The forum will follow the Trust’s AGM at the Llandaff Institute in Cardiff on Thursday, May 21 (7pm). During the AGM Robin Osterley, chief executive of Supporters Direct, will talk about the key issues facing supporters and the Supporters Trust movement nationally. Members will also be able to raise any issues with board members.