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Press Statement

Members of the Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust are bitterly disappointed to read reports today of further financial problems at our football club. If Sunday’s newspaper reports are accurate, it appears the fans have not been dealt with honestly by the club’s board of directors.

More than ten thousand supporters have recently parted with their cash to buy season tickets for next season on the clear understanding that the money will be going towards strengthening the squad during the January transfer window. If the newspaper reports are true, then it seems we have been duped into bailing the club out, as the money we have been paying for our season tickets will be used to clear outstanding tax bills.

There appears to be very little transparency in the club’s dealings with its fans. We need to know if we have been sold false promises. Were the statements made by the club inaccurate? From what we have read, it appears the club’s finances are not being managed properly. It seems that, once again, Cardiff City is in a terrible financial mess, with significant bills not being paid on time.

We believe the fans are entitled to know who is being made accountable for this situation. Attendances are good, season ticket sales are excellent, players have been sold for many millions of pounds in recent times and yet the club is still allegedly in danger of going out of business. So why on earth have the major shareholders and board of directors allowed the club to get into such a mess?

We will be consulting members of the Supporters Trust and other individuals who hold shares in our club this week to discuss the possibility of calling an Emergency General Meeting of shareholders. We feel the club’s major shareholders have a duty to the other shareholders and the supporters to explain the current situation.

We believe the fans and the shareholders deserve some straight answers to the following questions:

Is Cardiff City Football Club genuinely facing the prospect of being put into administration, with all the sanctions such a course of action would bring from the football authorities?

Future income streams are apparently being earmarked to pay current debts, so what are the directors’ plans for the time when all of these sources of income have been used up?

Are there any serious investors in negotiations to take the club over, or is that merely a smokescreen while we are once again being asked to dig into our pockets?

We believe the fans and the shareholders have a right to know what the true situation is so that we can attempt to prepare for a worst-case scenario. The vast majority of Bluebirds supporters are fed up of hearing about the club’s financial problems, and we have had enough of the positive spin that invariably accompanies any bad news stories. We implore the club’s board to be honest with us. We want to know the truth, however alarming it may be.

Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust Board
Sunday, 3rd January, 2009

Be Proud Of Your Club, Let Your Club Be Proud Of You

Joel Hutton with students at Ysgol Plasmawr

By Tim Hartley, Vice Chair, Cardiff City Supporters Trust,

Do you love the passion, the chanting and the singing but can’t stand the yobbish behaviour of a handful of fans at away games? Well so do I, but if we work together we can change the behaviour of the mindless few and ensure City fans are respected up and down the country for our passion – not for our anger!

Your Supporters’ Trust  joined Cardiff City Community Foundation and South Wales Police to take the message that anti-social behaviour does nothing for the club nor for the true fan’s enjoyment into Cardiff’s schools. Joel Hutton from the Community Foundation led a series of presentations at Ysgol Plasmawr in Fairwater aimed at getting young people to think of the causes and consequences of shouting abuse and causing criminal damage at football matches and in the community.

Year 10 students were asked to discuss why people sometimes behave differently when they are part of a group. Vandalism, racism, underage drinking and violence were all discussed as well as the possible results of such behaviour. Pupils were asked what their family and friends would think if they ended up before the courts or banned from watching the City. No, it’s not a nice prospect is it?

Joel Hutton said: “It was great to see the students confronting the reality of anti-social behaviour and coming up with their own ideas of how to combat it. We have done similar sessions in primary schools and are glad to be working with the Trust and the police now in the secondary sector.”

Siriol Burford, Deputy Head of Plasmawr School, added: “We are really glad to get involved with our local football club, the supporters and the police. We can all talk about the respect agenda but we want to make that a reality for all our pupils whether they go the football or not. These sessions are a great way for us to get them talking about the problems young people in particular come up against.”

SCULPTOR CHOSEN FOR FRED KEENOR STATUE

keenorstatheadSCULPTOR CHOSEN FOR FRED KEENOR STATUE
FANS have voted in favour of a design created by Roger Andrews for the statue in honour of the Bluebirds’ FA Cup winning skipper Fred Keenor.
In a poll organised by Cardiff City Supporters Trust, in conjunction with the South Wales Echo and theTrust website www.ccfctrust.org, Roger Andrews polled 725 votes, Michael Field 510 votes and James Done 410 votes.
Roger, who is based in Llantwit Major, created the statue of Sir Tasker Watkins, which now stands outside the Millennium Stadium.
Fans were given almost three weeks to choose their favourite design and voting closed last Saturday. Postal votes were counted onTuesday, December 15th and added to those from the Trust website.
The three sculptors were asked to produce a maquette of their tribute to the 1927 FA Cup winning captain and Welsh international.
Roger said: “It is an honour and privilege to be appointed as the sculptor for the Fred Keenor statue.
“I am sure the statue will be seen as iconic by fans of Cardiff City Football Club and  an outstanding memorial to Fred and the 1927 FA Cup winning team.”
Fred’s nephew Graham Keenor, who is a member of the Trust, said: “The fans have made their choice and the sculpture chosen is an excellent likeness of Fred. The hard work now starts in the new year to raise the necessary funds. But I’m confident fans, businesses and people across South Wales will get behind this hugely worthwhile fundraiser.”
Mike Inker, a member of the Trust’s Fred Keenor Memorial Committee, who originally launched an online petition in support of a tribute, said: “The quality of the maquette submitted by all three artists was a testiment to their craftmanship and creativity and it proved a difficult choice for fans.
“I’ve always felt a little embarrassed that nothing had been erected after more than 80 years to honour the 1927 FA Cup winning team and the legend that is Fred Keenor. An important milestone has now been reached and I look forward to progress being made in 2010 to make the statue a reality.”
The Trust will now discuss the work contract with the successful sculptor. It plans to launch a public appeal for funding in the new year and will approach Cardiff council, the Welsh Assembly Government and local businesses for financial support, along with football fans. City chairman Peter Ridsdale has given his total support to the campaign.
The location for the statue has yet to be finalised but the most likely site remains at the Cardiff City Stadium, where land is available

keenorFANS have voted in favour of a design created by Roger Andrews for the statue in honour of the Bluebirds’ FA Cup winning skipper Fred Keenor. In a poll organised by Cardiff City Supporters Trust, in conjunction with the South Wales Echo and theTrust website www.ccfctrust.org, Roger Andrews polled 725 votes, Michael Field 510 votes and James Done 410 votes.

Roger, who is based in Llantwit Major, created the statue of Sir Tasker Watkins, which now stands outside the Millennium Stadium.

Fans were given almost three weeks to choose their favourite design and voting closed last Saturday. Postal votes were counted onTuesday, December 15th and added to those from the Trust website.

The three sculptors were asked to produce a maquette of their tribute to the 1927 FA Cup winning captain and Welsh international.

Roger said: “It is an honour and privilege to be appointed as the sculptor for the Fred Keenor statue.

“I am sure the statue will be seen as iconic by fans of Cardiff City Football Club and  an outstanding memorial to Fred and the 1927 FA Cup winning team.”

Fred’s nephew Graham Keenor, who is a member of the Trust, said: “The fans have made their choice and the sculpture chosen is an excellent likeness of Fred. The hard work now starts in the new year to raise the necessary funds. But I’m confident fans, businesses and people across South Wales will get behind this hugely worthwhile fundraiser.”

Mike Inker, a member of the Trust’s Fred Keenor Memorial Committee, who originally launched an online petition in support of a tribute, said: “The quality of the maquette submitted by all three artists was a testiment to their craftmanship and creativity and it proved a difficult choice for fans.

“I’ve always felt a little embarrassed that nothing had been erected after more than 80 years to honour the 1927 FA Cup winning team and the legend that is Fred Keenor. An important milestone has now been reached and I look forward to progress being made in 2010 to make the statue a reality.”

The Trust will now discuss the work contract with the successful sculptor. It plans to launch a public appeal for funding in the new year and will approach Cardiff council, the Welsh Assembly Government and local businesses for financial support, along with football fans. City chairman Peter Ridsdale has given his total support to the campaign.

The location for the statue has yet to be finalised but the most likely site remains at the Cardiff City Stadium, where land is available.

Trust Meeting with the Club, 18/11/09

Trust Meeting with the Club, 18/11/09
A meeting between representatives of the Trust and the football club took place on Wednesday 18th November. Present were Chairman Peter Ridsdale and Group Finance Director Alan Flitcroft representing the club, and Chairman Paul Corkrey, Vice-Chairman Tim Hartley, Community Officer Tracey Marsh and Membership Secretary Dave Sugarman representing the Trust.
The following is a report of the topics discussed. Apologies for the slight delay – the Trust reps have been waiting for clarification on several issues, which were only forthcoming from the club via e-mail late last week.
Platinum Ambassadors Season Ticket Scheme:
Many of the points raised by members via e-mail were communicated to the club’s officials by the Trust representatives. In particular, strong objections were raised about the fact that fans can only pay for Platinum Ambassador Season Tickets in instalments via an agreement with the Zebra Finance company as opposed to the interest-free option which was available directly through the club last year.
Peter Ridsdale defended the club’s stance. He said that Zebra Finance had been instructed by the club to approve all applications requesting the finance option, and added that he felt the deal on offer was fair for fans who wanted to take advantage of the five-year price freeze, particularly as the interest rate was relatively low. However, he added that the club would investigate the practicality of reinstating an interest-free option for standard season tickets when they go on sale in January 2010. He added that any season tickets purchased after December 2009 would definitely not qualify for the five-year price freeze.
Communication between the Club and the Trust:
The Trust reps explained they felt that proper consultation with the various supporters’ groups would benefit the club when they were making decisions about ticketing policies such as the Platinum Ambassadors scheme. Peter Ridsdale he didn’t believe such consultation would have many any difference to the club’s decision in this instance, but he agreed that communication should be improved going forward.
The Trust’s Anti-Social Behaviour Initiative:
The Trust reps gave a summary of the rational behind the scheme and outlined the difficulties they were encountering in attempting to liaise with the club’s Football in the Community section. Peter Ridsdale said he supported the Trust’s initiative but was keen to avoid any duplication with the work being undertaken by FITC. Alan Flitcroft gave an undertaking to quickly determine whether the club’s FITC section were going to get actively involved in the initiative or not.
Meeting with Trust Members:
The Trust reps requested that Peter Ridsdale attend a meeting with Trust members in January. The Chairman agreed to do so and a date will be announced for the meeting in due course.
Tickets for Community Groups:
The Trust reps requested further batches of free tickets for home matches to be distributed to community groups, as happened for the QPR and Derby games. Peter Ridsdale said he supported the idea and Alan Flitcroft undertook to engage with the FITC section to ensure no duplication of work takes place.
Marketing:
The Trust reps outlined their dissatisfaction with the club’s lack of marketing by comparison to other local sports clubs such as the Cardiff Blues and the Cardiff Devils. The reps said they felt visibility for the club at public events across South Wales was important, not only in attracting new supporters but in helping to change the perception of the club from the general public. Alan Flitcroft stated the club would like to be doing more but needed to keep a check on its finances in that regard. Peter Ridsdale defended the club’s current marketing strategies but accepted that more could be done, and he assured the reps that it will be done id due course as the club moves forward.
Fred Keenor Statue Campaign:
The Trust reps outlined the latest situation with regards to the campaign and asked for the club’s support. Peter Ridsdale confirmed the campaign has his full support.
The Club Shop:
The Trust reps complained about the availability and quality of the merchandise stocked by the club shop. Peter Ridsdale said he fully understood the shop wasn’t good enough at present and gave assurances that stocking levels would improve in due course.
The Family Stand:
The Trust reps requested access to the Family Stand for a forthcoming game. Alan Flitcroft stated this should be no problem and arrangements will be made in due course.
Mirrors:
The Trust reps requested that mirrors be placed in the women’s toilets according to the wishes of various female members. Alan Flitcroft said he will talk to Stadium Manager Wayne Nash and see if these can be provided.
Tables and Chairs:
The Trust reps requested that more tables and chairs be positioned on the concourses around the ground. Alan Flitcroft said there may be a possible health and safety issue with moveable tables and chairs, but he undertook to consult with Wayne Nash and see if this is possible.
Exiting the Stadium Car Park:
The Trust reps relayed complaints from members about the time it takes to exit the stadium car park once games have finished. Alan Flitcroft replied that health and safety rules dictated the club must allow pedestrians to leave the stadium area before cars. He said he believed the wait was now down to a maximum of ten to fifteen minutes and said the local traffic lights had now timed better to ease congestion.
Memorial Garden:
The Trust reps asked if there was any news on the proposed memorial garden outside the new stadium. Alan Flitcroft gave an undertaking to find out what the latest situation regarding this issue is with the stadium’s management.
Advertising:
The Trust reps said they felt the club is not doing enough to advertise the discounted ticket deals it is offering, particularly in relation to the Family Stand. Alan Flitcroft said that promotions were not adding significantly to ticket sales even when money is spent on advertising. However, he added that the club’s whole sales and marketing strategy will be reviewed in the New Year.
Club Finances:
The Trust reps requested clarification of the club’s financial situation. Alan Flitcroft admitted there is a cash flow problem, but Peter Ridsdale added that it is no worse now than it usually is at the club, and he totally rejected rumours that the club is about to enter administration. Peter said that negotiations with Langston representative Sam Hammam are ongoing and he said he expected an agreement to be reached very soon. He stated that neither party wants to go down the route of more legal action and suggested that both sides are keen to get the matter sorted out quickly. The Chairman confirmed that he was in talks with two potential investors in the club and hinted that those talks will have a positive outcome. He asked the Trust reps to assure members that the club is far from being on the verge of collapse as has been suggested in some quarters, and he painted a positive picture of the club both in the short and the long term.
Dave Sugarman
Membership Secretary

A meeting between representatives of the Trust and the football club took place on Wednesday 18th November. Present were Chairman Peter Ridsdale and Group Finance Director Alan Flitcroft representing the club, and Chairman Paul Corkrey, Vice-Chairman Tim Hartley, Community Officer Tracey Marsh and Membership Secretary Dave Sugarman representing the Trust.

The following is a report of the topics discussed. Apologies for the slight delay – the Trust reps have been waiting for clarification on several issues, which were only forthcoming from the club via e-mail late last week.

Platinum Ambassadors Season Ticket Scheme:

Many of the points raised by members via e-mail were communicated to the club’s officials by the Trust representatives. In particular, strong objections were raised about the fact that fans can only pay for Platinum Ambassador Season Tickets in instalments via an agreement with the Zebra Finance company as opposed to the interest-free option which was available directly through the club last year.

Peter Ridsdale defended the club’s stance. He said that Zebra Finance had been instructed by the club to approve all applications requesting the finance option, and added that he felt the deal on offer was fair for fans who wanted to take advantage of the five-year price freeze, particularly as the interest rate was relatively low. However, he added that the club would investigate the practicality of reinstating an interest-free option for standard season tickets when they go on sale in January 2010. He added that any season tickets purchased after December 2009 would definitely not qualify for the five-year price freeze.

Communication between the Club and the Trust:

The Trust reps explained they felt that proper consultation with the various supporters’ groups would benefit the club when they were making decisions about ticketing policies such as the Platinum Ambassadors scheme. Peter Ridsdale he didn’t believe such consultation would have many any difference to the club’s decision in this instance, but he agreed that communication should be improved going forward.

The Trust’s Anti-Social Behaviour Initiative:

The Trust reps gave a summary of the rational behind the scheme and outlined the difficulties they were encountering in attempting to liaise with the club’s Football in the Community section. Peter Ridsdale said he supported the Trust’s initiative but was keen to avoid any duplication with the work being undertaken by FITC. Alan Flitcroft gave an undertaking to quickly determine whether the club’s FITC section were going to get actively involved in the initiative or not.

Meeting with Trust Members:

The Trust reps requested that Peter Ridsdale attend a meeting with Trust members in January. The Chairman agreed to do so and a date will be announced for the meeting in due course.

Tickets for Community Groups:

The Trust reps requested further batches of free tickets for home matches to be distributed to community groups, as happened for the QPR and Derby games. Peter Ridsdale said he supported the idea and Alan Flitcroft undertook to engage with the FITC section to ensure no duplication of work takes place.

Marketing:

The Trust reps outlined their dissatisfaction with the club’s lack of marketing by comparison to other local sports clubs such as the Cardiff Blues and the Cardiff Devils. The reps said they felt visibility for the club at public events across South Wales was important, not only in attracting new supporters but in helping to change the perception of the club from the general public. Alan Flitcroft stated the club would like to be doing more but needed to keep a check on its finances in that regard. Peter Ridsdale defended the club’s current marketing strategies but accepted that more could be done, and he assured the reps that it will be done id due course as the club moves forward.

Fred Keenor Statue Campaign:

The Trust reps outlined the latest situation with regards to the campaign and asked for the club’s support. Peter Ridsdale confirmed the campaign has his full support.

The Club Shop:

The Trust reps complained about the availability and quality of the merchandise stocked by the club shop. Peter Ridsdale said he fully understood the shop wasn’t good enough at present and gave assurances that stocking levels would improve in due course.

The Family Stand:

The Trust reps requested access to the Family Stand for a forthcoming game. Alan Flitcroft stated this should be no problem and arrangements will be made in due course.

Mirrors:

The Trust reps requested that mirrors be placed in the women’s toilets according to the wishes of various female members. Alan Flitcroft said he will talk to Stadium Manager Wayne Nash and see if these can be provided.

Tables and Chairs:

The Trust reps requested that more tables and chairs be positioned on the concourses around the ground. Alan Flitcroft said there may be a possible health and safety issue with moveable tables and chairs, but he undertook to consult with Wayne Nash and see if this is possible.

Exiting the Stadium Car Park:

The Trust reps relayed complaints from members about the time it takes to exit the stadium car park once games have finished. Alan Flitcroft replied that health and safety rules dictated the club must allow pedestrians to leave the stadium area before cars. He said he believed the wait was now down to a maximum of ten to fifteen minutes and said the local traffic lights had now timed better to ease congestion.

Memorial Garden:

The Trust reps asked if there was any news on the proposed memorial garden outside the new stadium. Alan Flitcroft gave an undertaking to find out what the latest situation regarding this issue is with the stadium’s management.

Advertising:

The Trust reps said they felt the club is not doing enough to advertise the discounted ticket deals it is offering, particularly in relation to the Family Stand. Alan Flitcroft said that promotions were not adding significantly to ticket sales even when money is spent on advertising. However, he added that the club’s whole sales and marketing strategy will be reviewed in the New Year.

Club Finances:

The Trust reps requested clarification of the club’s financial situation. Alan Flitcroft admitted there is a cash flow problem, but Peter Ridsdale added that it is no worse now than it usually is at the club, and he totally rejected rumours that the club is about to enter administration. Peter said that negotiations with Langston representative Sam Hammam are ongoing and he said he expected an agreement to be reached very soon. He stated that neither party wants to go down the route of more legal action and suggested that both sides are keen to get the matter sorted out quickly. The Chairman confirmed that he was in talks with two potential investors in the club and hinted that those talks will have a positive outcome. He asked the Trust reps to assure members that the club is far from being on the verge of collapse as has been suggested in some quarters, and he painted a positive picture of the club both in the short and the long term.

Dave Sugarman

Membership Secretary

HAVE YOUR SAY ON FRED KEENOR STATUE

FANS are being invited by Cardiff City Supporters Trust to have their say on their favourite design for a statue in honour of the Bluebirds’ FA Cup winning skipper Fred Keenor.

Supporters will be able to vote on the designs of  James Done (below left) ,Michael Field (centre) and Roger Andrews (right) through forms in the South Wales Echo and here on the Trust website. Voting will close on Saturday, December 12th.

Click each image to see a bigger version. Please vote using the poll at the bottom of the 2nd column of this webpage.

The three sculptors were asked to produce a maquette of their tribute to the 1927 FA Cup winning captain and Welsh international.

Fred’s nephew Graham Keenor, who is a member of the Trust, said: “We’re very pleased with the work submitted by the three sculptors and now we want football fans to vote for their preferred design.

Images taken by Media Wales

“As far as I am concerned the key aspect of the statue must be that people looking at it will instantly recognise it as a tribute to Fred.”

Mike Inker, a member of the Trust’s Fred Keenor Memorial Committee, who originally launched an online petition in support of a tribute, said that the trust was giving fans the chance to vote online because of the many thousands of Bluebirds living across the world as well as in the UK.

“We are sure that the end product will be something every Cardiff City, and indeed Wales fan, can be proud of. The Trust is giving fans the chance to vote online because there are many Bluebirds in the UK and across the world.”

“Fred Keenor and the 1927 team haven’t had the recognition their efforts justify and we’re determined to put that right. There remains a lot of work to do, including raising the necessary funds, but with City fans and the people of Cardiff and Wales behind us, we are very confident of raising the funds required,” added Mike.

Roger, who hails from Llantwit Major, was commissioned to produce the statue of Sir Tasker Watkins, which now stands outside the Millennium Stadium.

Cardiff-based James created the tributes to comedian Tommy Cooper in Caerphilly and the full-size bronze statue of Merthyr Tydfil’s boxing legend, Johnny Owen.

Michael, who also lives in Cardiff, produced the statue of footballer Ivor Allchurch, which stands outside the Liberty Stadium in Swansea.

The Trust plans to launch a public appeal for funding in the new year and will approach Cardiff council, the Welsh Assembly Government and local businesses for financial support, along with football fans. City chairman Peter Ridsdale has given his total support to the campaign.

The location for the statue has yet to be finalised but the most likely site remains at the Cardiff City Stadium, where land is available.

The Trust has received permission from the Football Association to use the image of the FA Cup as part of the statue.

Trust board member David Craig is acting as project manager for the work.

Fans who choose their favourite design through the Echo should send the form to CCST, PO Box 4254, Cardiff, CF14 8FD, by the December 12th closing date.