Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust has expressed strong concern over the so-called Big Picture proposals for the future of football led by Liverpool and Manchester United.
Trust chair Keith Morgan, a football finance expert, said: “The game of football is surely about all fans, not the favoured few top clubs and their billionaire owners. The lockout of supporters from football due to the pandemic has really illustrated what we all knew – football is nothing without the fans and they must be listened to.
“We share the grave concerns of the Football Supporters’ Association who have spoken out strongly on behalf of fans. Similar worries have been expressed by Cardiff City fans on social media on the implications for supporters of clubs who do not feature in the top echelons of the Premier League.
“While we understand the financial pressures many clubs are facing because of the loss of income due to the pandemic, we believe these proposals which concentrate power in the hands of a few clubs are fundamentally wrong and should be abandoned. Even the majority of Premier League clubs think it is a bad idea.”
Trust Chair Keith Morgan has welcomed a commitment by the football authorities to see a safe return of fans to stadiums as soon as possible.
Keith Morgan said: “We fully support the initiative by the EFL, the football authorities and, of course, our club, Cardiff City. We thank the club’s supporter liaison officer Adam Gilliatt for his work. We know everyone at the Cardiff City Stadium wants to see fans back supporting the team as soon as is possible.”
The full letter is below.
To: SUPPORTER LIAISON OFFICERS
At 4.45pm this evening (October 6th), an open letter to supporters signed by the EFL, Premier League, Football Association and Women’s Super League will be released detailing our joint commitment to see the safe return of supporters to football grounds. A copy of the letter is attached for all SLOs, and this has also been sent to Club Chairmen, CEOs, Club Secretaries and Media Managers.
The letter primarily seeks to assure all fans that together we are fully committed to a safe return to football grounds as soon as possible. Importantly, it also emphasises the need to identify a path forward with Government, noting that their current position of restricting the return of fans is damaging to individual Clubs and the local economies of the communities they represent.
The work clubs have been doing in raising awareness of this critical issue has been really helpful and there have been further examples of this in the past 24 hours. It is important that together we continue to show support in a unified way and we therefore actively encourage all Clubs to promote the letter across your digital and social channels from 5pm this evening, and suggest tagging in your local MP’s and other relevant contacts to ensure the message is both received and understood. On behalf of the EFL, we will be doing the same across our digital channels.
In an extension of this approach, in your role as SLO, we would also urge you to continue to keep this topic at the forefront of your supporter engagement activity and take whatever steps you can to promote the key messages to your fans and established supporter groups. They may be able to help promote the positives of a ‘return of fans’ to their members/fellow fans, and this unified approach may have a significant role to play on a local basis.
We will continue to develop further messaging on this but clearly any opportunities we have to reinforce our current position with supporters, and their respective communities will be positive.
Finally, we are currently preparing further communications with all SLOs to round-up all the latest updates and best practice from across the EFL in our first newsletter of the season so we will be in touch again shortly.
Until then should you have any queries please get in touch and thank you for your support.
Supporter Services Manager
With the 50th anniversary of Cardiff City’s victory over Real Madrid on March 10 next year, Trust Joint Membership Secretary Paul Evans has published a book looking back at that famous triumph.
Paul said: “While the book is built around the two games against Real Madrid in the European Cup Winners’ Cup, it is more than that in that it offers details, analysis and statistics from all games played by City in the 1970-71 season.
“That might make it sound a little stuffy, but to avoid that I’ve included my memories of games, events and other matters occurring at that time. I’ve also backed it up with opinions taken from the Western Mail, South Wales Echo and Football Echo newspapers of half-a-century ago. I was just 14 when the season started.
“I saw my first game in October 1963, so have experienced plenty of high and lows in my time following City. We all have a bit of a moan about how things are going but, in general, the 21st Century has been a great time to be a Cardiff City supporter Despite how it ended with a 3rd place finish in the old Second Division, and the consequences arising from it, 1970-71 is still my favourite season.
“The games against Real Madrid took place against a backdrop of what was our most concerted effort to get into the old First Division between the promotions of 1959-60 and 2012-13.”
- Cardiff City beat Real Madrid 1-0 at Ninian Park with a goal from Brian Clark but lost the return 2-0, going out of the ECWC at the Quarter Final stage.
Real Madrid and All That is available in e-book (£7.50) and paperback (£9.99) formats and can be bought at:-
As members will recall, we raised the issue of the way season tickets were being sold without any formal consultation with supporter groups.
The club said at the time of the ticket launch in July that they would not offer season ticket holders any price reduction or cash refund in the event of matches being played behind closed doors.
We thought this was wrong and the Football Supporters’ Association agreed and also strongly criticised the actions of Cardiff City management.
However, we’re pleased to say that Nic Heslop, Head of Commercial, has this week written to supporters to say: “We are now delighted to confirm that the EFL have granted the club the ability to issue a streaming pass to every season ticket holder at the value of £10 including VAT per game.
“The club will then combine the streaming pass along with the difference in ticket price paid to make a pro-rata credit to compensate for any games that season ticket holders are unable to attend. Credits will then be held on each season ticket holders’ account to use towards the 21-22 season ticket.”
While the club is not offering immediate pro-rata refunds– unlike some clubs like our rivals at Bristol City – Cardiff City FC has gone some way to recognising the concerns of supporters.
The Trust has been in contact with the club and anticipate that communication and consultation with fans’ groups will return to the good levels experienced prior to the season ticket announcement issue.
Trust member John Jones responded to our appeal for memories from fans as we had to the centenary of Cardiff City’s first Football League game on October 28th, 2020.
John wrote: “This is a picture of the 1922 team that was given to me as a lad by my auntie. A few years later when I was 13 I got to meet Fred Keenor at the old people’s home in Gabalfa.
“He talked to me about the squad. He knew all their names, and as you can see he autographed the back of the photo for me. I’m now 61 but the memories of meeting the captain of the only football side to take the cup out of England has stayed with me all my life.”
Trust board member Rob Jeffrey has done a bit of research on the photograph.
Rob said: “It was taken on October 29, 1921 at Ninian Park. The
background is the Canton Stand which had been built the previous season, our
first in the Football League.
“The opponents that day were West Brom. We won 2-0 in front of 35,000. Both goals were scored by Jimmy Gill, who was signed for a City record fee of £750 from Sheffield Wednesday the previous season.
The players in the photo are Back Row: Jimmy Nelson, Herbie Evans, Ben Davies, Jimmy Blair, Fred Keenor
Front Row: Eddie Jenkins, Billy Grimshaw, Jimmy Gill, Fred Pagnam, Joe Clennell, Jack Evans
“The game was the debut of Jimmy Nelson who went on to play in the 1925 and 1927 Cup Finals
“The only other bit of trivia I know is that Fred Pagnam, the gentleman with the ball at his feet was declared a deserter in WW1. The reality of the desertion was that he went home on leave in 1918 and didn’t return when he was supposed to, went missing for 5 day, so technically desertion, he eventually gave himself up. Because he handed himself in no further action was taken and he returned to the front. He later went into management and managed the Turkey national team.”
John Jones recalled Fred Keenor naming the team and the one person that stuck in his mind was the goalkeeper Tom Farquharson.
Responding Rob added: “Irishman Tom Farquharson (who lived in Allensbank Road) made more appearances in goal than any other City goalkeeper. He was imprisoned in Dublin in 1919 for his IRA activities and was only released on bail on the understanding that he left Ireland.
“He ended up in South Wales and was spotted by the City when he was playing for Abertillery Town and was signed by us. Always afraid that his IRA past would catch up with him he carried a gun in his kitbag, a fact attested by several of his City team mates. He made his debut for the City against Manchester United on 6 May 1922 more than 6 months after your photo was taken.
“Undoubtedly Fred Keenor played for nine years with Tom Farquharson behind him in goal so will have figured prominently in his career but, when he named the team perhaps his memory was not as it once was as the the goalkeeper in the picture is definitely Ben Davies,” explained Rob.