A debate on football clubs took place in the House of Lords yesterday.

Baroness Baroness Taylor of Bolton, who asked for the debate, made some pointed marks which  apply to the owner of Cardiff City, Vincent Tan, as well as some owner club owners.

She said: “There are owners of football clubs who are genuine fans and who suffer defeats with the rest of us. But there are owners—and this seems to be an increasing problem—who regard their clubs as just another business and who forget or ignore the essence of the club, the fans and their community. Some owners have no links and little loyalty to their club. They think that you can change club colours on a whim. Some even want to change the name of the team.

“As we have seen recently from the BBC’s Price of Football survey, average ticket prices have increased almost twice as much as the cost of living since 2011—all without any reference to the core supporters, local communities and fans. These owners are treating the club as a commodity and nothing more.”

Read the full deebate by clicking on http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201415/ldhansrd/text/141030-0002.htm#14103054000422

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Trust chair Tim Hartley reports on the meeting yesterday evening between fans and new manager, Russell Slade.

Members of the Trust Board joined other supporters groups at a meeting with City manager Russell Slade and Scott Young. It was an informal affair but the manager left us in no doubt that he understood the task ahead of him and was committed to seeing it through.

Russell joined the club at a difficult time. His contract with Orient meant that he could note ‘hands on’ with the first team for the first couple of weeks. This, however, allowed him to look at things from the outside and take a considered view of where we were going wrong.

Russell produced a fascinating large, spider-like chart on which he had mapped out the problems as he saw them and how he wanted to change them.

He explained that the team needed to go back to basics and emphasised the need for almost every player to look at his fitness levels. The question of fitness was raised time and again and the manager said that the international break had come at just the right time.

Russell was also looking for full post match reviews and said he wanted continuous improvement from individuals and the team. He then said he had set goals, in terms of performance, the number of points we should be expecting to win and in key areas for improvement. Finally, he pointed to the top left hand corner of the chart. This, he said, was where the players took ownership for themselves. The important things here are communication and ‘togetherness.’

Russell gave us an example of how this worked in practice. On Thursdays and Fridays before a match he would walk the players through that week’s opposition setting out their positions with mannequins on the training field. It was important he said that everyone understood his role. You can walk through the set plays and counter attacks but these drills take time to sink in and become second nature. To demonstrate this, Russell said that after the goal at Millwall the players forgot the game plan and were doing their own thing.

We were told that with 38 players to call on the City squad is just too big. We have some good players out on loan and although the door is not closed on them, some players will have to be moving on to other clubs. In the past we have perhaps collected players like buying paintings without understanding how they might work together.

Russell is confident that change is coming and that we do now look a threat on the counter attack. However, he agreed with a number of those present that we are still missing a bit of pace. He has identified ‘a couple of players’ he would like to bring in, but the question will be whether we can ship some out and then tempt others to the Cardiff City Stadium.

Russell’s emphasis on hard work and commitment was obvious throughout the meeting and he praised the leadership of David Marshall and Aron Gunnarsson.

He said he gets on well with Vincent Tan but added, “So far so good. But then again we have been winning.” Mr Tan quite rightly wants value for money. He has committed himself financially and wants to see the fruits of that investment.

The group of players Russell Slade inherited was very quiet when he took over but Scott Young said it was great to see them discussing every aspect of play during and after training, and, he believes, they are now coming together as a team. Scott is keen to bring more players through the club’s own system and to offer them pathways to play for the first team. To help with that he and the manager are looking afresh at scouting and recruiting players.

The meeting offered us an insight into how Russell Slade aims to transform the City into a winning team. He certainly has the commitment and drive to make that happen and Bluebirds fans will wish him well. We now look forward to a full Fans’ Forum where all supporters have a chance to meet the manager to hear his views and, of course, to share our thoughts with him.

 

 

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Just a quick reminder  to members that Chasetown FC have invited us to their home game against Norton United on Saturday, November 22.

The Trust and the Supporters Club have maintained our relationship with the Scholars since our 3rd round FA Cup game with them back in 2008, the year we reached the final.

We had a cracking trip to Chasetown last time and are organising transport from Cardiff to Staffordshire for this match.

If you are interested email help@ccfctrust.org

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The excellent From Tashkent With Love: Cardiff City and the Cup Winners’ Cup 1964-93 by Mario Risoli was launched at Cardiff City Stadium on Monday.

More than a dozen players from those great European adventures were present, along with journalists who reported on Cardiff City for the South Wales Echo. They told some fantastic stories of those European games, particularly of the clash in Tashkent with Torpedo Moscow.

The publication coincides with the 50th anniversary of City’s first Cup Winners’ Cup campaign.

We have around 30 books available for purchase from the Trust office. Trust members will have a £1.95 reduction on the normal price of £16.99.

The book will be on sale from the Trust office (near Gate 5) from 1pm-2.45pm on Saturday.

It would make a great Christmas present for members or relatives or friends who are Bluebirds fans.

Reminder We’ve also got a few remaining copies in the office of Paul Evans and Richard Holt’s excellent book, The Journey Back: Cardiff City’s Rise Through the Divisions 1991 to 2013. The Journey Back costs £19.50, but Trust members can get it at the discounted price of £17.50.

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