The new season is upon us, with the first home game versus QPR this Sunday as the first chance for many City fans to see some new faces in the squad and a new team formation being adopted by new manager Paul Trollope.
Last season was a bit of a disappointment in the eyes of many supporters, despite being in with a chance of making the promotion play offs right up until a couple of games from the end of the season. This appeared to mainly be down to a general feeling that the style of play being utilised by the then manager Russell Slade was not attractive and was very limited in tactical and formation flexibility on the pitch, coupled with a seeming reluctance to give younger players at the club the chance to show their ability at first team squad level.
With the appointment of Paul Trollope and the coaching and management support team he has put in place, there are signs already that this has changed considerably with far greater willingness to try new team structures and tactics , both from game to game and within games. Hopefully,this will lead to a far more attractive “product” for CCFC fans to witness on the pitch and the Trust wish Paul and his team the best of luck in implementing their plans. Let us hope that all of our fans will get behind the team and allow him some time to develop those plans this season.
As fans, we would all love to see the best players turning out for our team each week and pushing hard for promotion. However, the reality is that our club has suffered from previous overspending which eventually was a major factor in having a transfer embargo placed on the club, and, therefore, the reality is that there will need to be careful control of costs in the foreseeable future with some clever “wheeler dealing” in the transfer market to improve the squad which might well involve certain players leaving the club to be able to fund the process.
The club will need the support of us fans in showing some patience when this is taking place but, if the playing and management teams can demonstrate their willingness to give their all for the club, then it will be easier for the fans to give that support.
As for the Trust, it has been a busy year again. Following our last AGM in May, I took over as CCST Chair from Tim Hartley. This is a difficult act to follow, as Tim has put in many years of very hard work, often unacknowledged, on behalf of CCST both locally and nationally and we are regarded in high esteem within the Supporters Direct movement and elsewhere because of this. My sincere thanks to Tim, who will still retain links to CCST as a member and through his role as Vice-Chair of Supporters Direct nationally. All I can promise is that I will do my best to carry on his work for the benefit of our members.
CCST has been heavily involved at a national level in getting some very important changes put in place in football, such as changes to the English Football League Rules on club insolvencies, corporate governance and formal fan involvement in their clubs. Many of those changes now form part of the League rules for the coming season onwards.
At Cardiff City, we continue to be in regular and frequent contact with the club`s senior management at board level on key issues such as the conversion of Tan Sri Vincent Tan`s conversion of his debt into shares to return the club to solvency and this will continue as this exercise is started and continued. CCST is represented as the fans`representative at Cardiff City Football Club (Holdings) board meetings to ensure that this formal dialogue with the club is ongoing in addition to regular other contact with the club board.
For the coming season, as well as the above key issues, we will be aiming to work more closely with the club’s Foundation team to assist in developing local community initiatives and also have some social events for our members currently at the planning stage. As always, if there are matters which members wish to raise, please let your board know – contact details are on our website – as it is your Trust and for you to guide the Trust board on how you would like it to be developed.
Here`s hoping for a thoroughly enjoyable and successful season.