Shareholders gathered at the Cardiff City Stadium for the EGM this morning. Attendance was much lower than the last EGM, around 60 shareholders in total. Present on the podium were Steve Borley, Peter Ridsdale, TG and Alan Whitley. Mike Hall and Paul Guy were interested spectators.
The meeting was done and dusted in 15 minutes. It concentrated solely on the business in hand, namely three resolutions to be voted on which authorised the directors to increase the share capital of the club. Without going into technical details, in essence, the shareholders who currently own slices of the Cardiff City cake were being asked to vote on making the cake bigger so that the Malaysians can have a (big) slice and existing shareholders can enlarge their slices. Peter Ridsdale asked for any questions relating to the resolutions before putting each of them to the vote. There were no questions at all and when each resolution was voted on, they were accepted overwhelmingly (unanimously, I think) by a show of hands.
Ridsdale then formally closed the meeting but asked TG to say a few words.TG spoke of feeling honoured and privileged to become involved at CCFC, of the warm welcome he had received in Wales and spoke of two nations (Wales and Malaysia) now being behind Cardiff City.
The thrust of his message was hey, Saturday was fun but for the sake of his health and ours, let’s do it the easier way next season by finishing in the top two of the Championship. He sounded very confident of mounting another promotion challenge but also spoke of the need to run the club properly and sort out the finances. He mentioned his intention to be in the background because that’s the way it should be. He spoke quietly but very confidently and received a sustained round of applause from all present.
That was that, apart from Keith Morgan, Trust Director and its official representative at the meeting, asking Alan Whiteley whether he knew how much of the £2m pounds of new shares on offer to existing shareholders had been taken up. Whiteley said around £130,000has been but there had been pledges to buy around £500,000 worth of shares, which fell by the wayside when we lost to Blackpool. Keith also asked whether the Club would be exercising its right to convert a further £2.7m of PMG’s loan into new shares. Whiteley was non-committal and said it would be discussed.
At this point, a shareholder rose to his feet calling the meeting to acknowledge the tremendous job Ridsdale had done during his time at the club. A round of applause followed. That’s it. End of meeting, apart from Ridsdale wishing the new board every success.
You may wonder why questions about the tax bill, Ridsdale’s pay-off, etc etc were not asked. My answer would be threefold. First, no questions were invited except about the share capital. Second, there was no attempt by Ridsdale to blow his own trumpet and to depart in a blaze of glory. I respect him for that. If he had tried to do so, I’m sure there would have been challenges from the floor. Thirdly, following TG’s upbeat and very dignified speech, I personally felt it would have been disrespectful and embarrassing to him to rake over old muck. It’s a new era, time to move on. It’s early to make judgements but personally, my heart warmed to TG and I think we have found a very worthy new leader.
Following the meeting, Trust Directors were able to mingle and meet with TG and Gethin Jenkins, the new Chief Executive at the club. Both confirmed that they will be happy for regular meetings to take place with the Trust once the new regime has settled in.All in all, a terrific start to a new era at Cardiff City and a much needed lift to us all, I’m sure. Onwards and Upwards!