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STATEMENT ON ANNOUNCEMENT ON NEW FUNDING AND RESTRUCTURING OF DEBT AT CARDIFF CITY FOOTBALL CLUB

Tim Hartley, chair of Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust, said today that he welcomed the announcement today of new funding for the football club and restructuring of its existing debt.
 
“This is great news. We hope this deal will lead to long term stability for the club rather than be a short-term fix.
 
“We are aware that Dato’ Chan Tien Ghee (TG) has shown great interest in the playing fortunes of Cardiff City, not only travelling to games but keeping up to date with club news through the internet.
 
“When the Trust met TG he stressed that he was committed to Cardiff City. He made it clear that links with supporters was important to him and, we believe, it is vital that the voice of genuine fans is heard in the boardroom.
 
“The Trust now looks forward, with our friends at the Cardiff City Supporters’ Club, to building a long term and productive relationship.
 
“In recent months Cardiff City has hit the headlines for its off-field activities as much as those onfield. We hope that today’s announcement means everyone can now concentrate on supporting the boys’ as they bid to win promotion to the Premiership.”

CITY FANS URGED TO RUN FUNDRAISERS FOR FRED KEENOR

An appeal has gone out to Cardiff City fans to organise their own events to raise cash for the Fred Keenor statue appeal.
 
Phil Nifield, spokesman for the Fred Keenor appeal committee, said: “We have a series of fundraisers planned during the rest of the year but we also need the help of City fans.
 
“We’d like to see supporters hold events – perhaps a jumble or car boot sale, quizzes and even coffee mornings. Fans who are taking part in fun runs or marathons might also consider making FK Statue their good cause.
 
“We need to collect around £85,000 to make the statue to Fred and the the 1927 FA Cup winning team a reality. We are off to a good start but want as many people as possible to muck in and help out.
 
“The committee is really pleased that several individuals have already made donations for which we are very grateful but we want to keep the momentum going.”
 
Phil Nifield also urged businesses across South Wales, particularly those with strong links to Cardiff City, to contribute to funds.
 
“Fred was both a Cardiff City and a Wales legend so we want to see everyone get behind it.”
 
Bucket collections, an auction, the sale of statue miniatures and specially designed pin badges are among the fundraising initiatives proposed.
 
In a poll last year fans chose a statue design by Roger Andrews, the Llantwit Major artist. Roger created the superb tribute to Sir Tasker Watkins, which now stands outside the Millennium Stadium.
 
A prominent site on a triangular piece of land between the Grandstand and the Canton Stand outside the Cardiff City Stadium has been chosen as the location for the tribute. Cardiff City have been extremely supportive of the appeal.·         Donations can be made to the Co-operative Bank:
Account name: –   Fred Keenor Statue Fund or FKSF
Account no    65392368
Sort Code     08-92-99

 
Cheques can also be sent c/o CCST to PO Box 4254, Cardiff, CF14 8FD. Please add the words “Fred Keenor Appeal” on the top of the envelope.

Bucket collection for Keenor statue appeal

A BUCKET collection for the Fred Keenor Statue Fund will be held at the Cardiff City Stadium before the home leg of the Semi-Final Play-Off game.

The Bring a Pound to the Ground – And More collection is being organised by members of the statue fundraising committee.

Statue project manager David Craig is appealing for fans coming to the game to volunteer as collectors by contacting him on d.craig43@ntlworld.com. They will need to be at the ground 90 minutes before the game – either on Saturday, May 8th, or on Tuesday/Wednesday of the week following to begin collecting inside the stadium.

David Craig, Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust Board member, said: “We know that money is tight because of the economic situation. But we hope supporters will give generously – at least £1 from every adult would be great, but more if they you can afford it.

“We need 14 volunteers to help collect donations for this very worthwhile cause so I would be grateful if they could get in touch as soon as possible.”

Candidate Election Addresses

Candidate Statements

Seven candidates are seeking election to the board of Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust.
 
They are: David Hunt, Gareth Edward Jones, Brian Mertens, Phillip Nifield, Mike Roderick, Anthony Sean Wedlake and Andrew Williams.
 
Statements from all seven candidates have gone out to Trust members – as well as being posted below – along with ballot papers. The result will be announced on Monday, May 17th. Members will be able to vote for up to four candidates.
 
The four successful candidates will serve for a period of two years.

Candidate 1 David Hunt 

Personal Details, Skills & Experience:

Good communication to its supporters

Your commitment to CCFC and the principles of the supporters trust movement:

100% commitment

What you would like your trust to achieve over the next 12 months:

Harmony within its supporters and make sure the proper money goes to Dave Jones for team strengthening and make the money available for the Fred Keenor statue

Any other points you would like to make:

Let the fans meet the players more often and interconnect with them

Candidate 2 Gareth Edward Jones

 Personal Details, Skills and Experience:

Gareth is an IT professional working for a global outsourcing company. A married father of one, at 35 he arrived late to the rollercoaster that is Cardiff City FC, he supported Cardiff whilst growing up, attending a large amount of games in his teens. Disenfranchised Gareth stopped going until a certain Mr Hammam arrived, since then he has rarely missed a home game and has been a season ticket holder since the 2001-02 season. Gareth brings a wealth of organisational and communication experience with him and does so with a great sense of humour.

 Your commitment to CCFC and the principles of the supporters trust movement:

Gareth has been a member of the Trust since its inception; he is a member of the Communities Group and has increased his level of involvement progressively over time. He has been involved with a number of events most notably the ‘Your Trust Needs You’ poster and membership campaign. He strongly believes in the principles of the Trust and its aims to enhance the perception of Cardiff City FC to the wider community.

 What you would like your trust to achieve over the next 12 months:

Gareth’s main focus for the next 12 months is to improve relations between Cardiff City FC, the Trust and the wider community. Focusing on the youth of Cardiff regardless of economic or ethnic background. Enhancing the status of the trust and building membership.

 Any other points you would like to make:

I love Cardiff City Football Club and believe it can be so much more than just a place to go every other weekend. I honestly think that it should actively involve itself in the community and help those who may not have the opportunities I have been lucky enough to enjoy. I would be delighted to be given the opportunity to make a difference no matter how small. Regardless of the outcome of the elections I will continue to support the Trust and its aims.

Candidate 3 Brian Mertens

I would like to stand as a Board member as I feel that I have a great deal to give in helping the Board with the jobs to be done, participating in the consultation process with our members, encouraging members to be involved, the decision making, and putting our decisions into practice in a positive manner.

Since the launch meeting, I was actively involved in the steering group, assisting on the inaugural AGM organising sub-Committee. I have played an active roll on the Communities Sub-Committee, assisting with the local Community Event, and I took over the role of Treasurer in December 2009, initially until this AGM, but I am prepared to carry on for the next year and possibly beyond.

I have participated in meetings with Supporters Direct in London and Birmingham, CC Disabled Supporters Association, with plans to give presentations to disabled supporters of CCFC.

The Board should actively seek to take on more Community events, not only to encourage better community relations, as we did for Grangetown and Butetown last year, but also taking meetings and events to Bluebirds fans all over South Wales, such as Maesteg, Merthyr, Pontypridd, Bargoed, Caerphilly or anywhere else enough of our members suggest, and not just in Cardiff.  This would reach out to our supporters and increase membership. Events could include current and past players to meet fans, quizzes etc.     When we go to a new area, we should invite local members to help, as they know the area, the best venues and what fans would want.  This also encourages more involvement by our members.

I would like the Trust to improve its communications with ALL its members. The Board should have a member whose ONLY job is communications.  This means sending out regular polls and questions being put to members on issues as they arise, such as the Club’s financial position, the recent march, the prices in the bars and food outlets, should there be a standing area?

Not just ticking boxes but also asking for views, suggestions and ideas for solutions to problems.   Send emails to members and letters to those who do not  have access to email.

The Board should have a position on ALL issues raised.

The replies should be collated and a full report of those results should be published on the Trust website.  Where members give ideas or questions that are taken forward, they should receive personal replies to keep them informed.

I suggest that everyone who responds should go into a free draw with substantial prizes, drawn at regular intervals, with a kitty of at least £1,000. This is money that the Trust can easily afford to give back, to encourage active participation.

In the last year the Trust Board has done a great deal, much of which is not obvious to the members.  Volunteers give up their valuable time to serve the fans of this great Club. We need to grow stronger and that is why I am prepared to be a Board member.

Candidate 4 PHILLIP NIFIELD

I’ve supported the City for 50 years. My late father took me to Ninian Park and I’ve been smitten ever since. I’m Cardiff born and bred and an Ambassador in the Grandstand, although during our times at Ninian Park I’ve stood or sat in every part of the ground.

I worked for the South Wales Echo for 38 years, leaving as the paper’s Political & Business Editor in 2008. At the Echo I reported on the many of City’s off-field trials and tribulations, centring on the then proposed stadium development.

I now carry out Press work part-time for two members of the Welsh Assembly and carry out freelance PR work for businesses on other days.

Since the Trust was set up I’ve acted as Press Officer, responsible for raising the profile of the Trust in the Welsh media using my extensive range of contacts. This has resulted in the views of the Trust being reported widely in newspapers, TV and on radio. I’m regularly contacted by journalists and broadcasters to put up Trust members for interview on a range of football-related issues including the Fred Keenor Statue Appeal, which has received huge media coverage, innovative community events and the financial problems of Cardiff City. Along with board members, I have been interviewed on radio and TV on behalf of the Trust over the past year.

If elected, I will continue dialogue with the media to ensure the Trust has a strong and influential voice in our community.

Fans desperately needed an open, transparent and, most importantly, a democratic organisation to speak up for them – not just individuals, however, well intentioned. The Trust is doing that.

The Trust’s board has a team of dedicated and talented members who have done a huge amount of often unsung work and I am keen to play a greater role in speaking up for fans.

In these difficult financial times, I believe that supporters should have a greater say in the club we support to offer stability and the Trust should campaign and lobby hard for a supporter representative on the board, particularly if new owners come in. In addition, it is important the Trust works with the excellent people at Cardiff City Supporters’ Club for the benefit of all fans.

We should also aim to see Trust’s current membership of around 1,000 at least double within 12 months.

The Trust has reached out to minority communities living around the stadium, crucial if we are to encourage the football fans and players of the future. In the interests of inclusion, I’d like to see the Trust board hold open meetings in the Valleys.

The Trust must also help deliver the iconic statue to honour Fred Keenor and fans are needed to assist with fundraising. I’m pleased to say the South Wales Echo has pledged its wholehearted support for this very worthwhile initiative.

If elected, I pledge to champion the cause of the Trust and fans at every opportunity to ensure your voice is heard loud and clear.

Candidate 5 Mike Roderick

I’m 53, have been following the City since the mid-1960s and I’m a shareholder in the club.  You may know me from my contributions to the Cardiff City phone-in and I post occasionally on both Mike’s and Annis’ message boards as “Dreamlike or Chic.”

I joined the Trust at its inception as I believe the fans need a strong voice at our football club, never more so than recently. For me, first and foremost, the Trust has a responsibility to maintain a dialogue with the club but I wanted to see a firmer line taken in opposition to the financial mismanagement taking place. It’s unforgiveable that our beloved club was steered to the very brink of extinction by pursuing Mr Ridsdale’s failed philosophy of “living the dream.” I supported the recent demonstrations and protest march because they gave an opportunity to fans to voice their concerns and express their frustration in public but equally important, as a shareholder, I collaborated with the Trust in publicly questioning the actions of the directors at the recent EGM. I’m desperately hoping the current talks over investment bear fruit and that a change of ownership occurs. It would be wonderfully ironic if Ridsdale’s gamble succeeded in getting us promoted this year but please, let’s not gamble with our football club’s future again, whatever happens.

If elected to the Trust Board, these are some of the issues I’d hope to take forward.

  • A membership drive – the Trust can only claim to speak for the fans when it achieves a much larger membership.
  • A simplification of the Trust membership scheme – it’s too complicated.
  • An outreach to our out of town fanbase – events and meetings to be held outside Cardiff
  • A greater effort to canvass opinion before Trust policy is set – rightly or wrongly the Trust is perceived by some as an “inner circle” with its own agenda.    
  • An effort to improve the atmosphere at home games – switching the Family Stand to the opposite end of the stadium may be an option
  • A revision of the club’s Away Members scheme – fans living away from  Cardiff should get a fairer deal
  • A fairer allocation of tickets for away games – regular travellers should have priority

What do I have to offer the Trust? I’ve a broad range of skills and experience having been an IT Project manager in a multi-national insurance company, a company director and the sole proprietor of a small business at different times in my working life. Being in the very fortunate position of not having to work these days, I’ve plenty of time to devote to helping the Trust and my fellow City fans.

Why should you vote for me? I assure you this isn’t an ego trip or a chance to join those “in the know.” I’m looking to help the Trust develop into a vibrant and effective organisation which Cardiff City fans will be proud to be part of.

Candidate 6 Anthony Sean Wedlake

After one year, four CCST Board Members must stand down and (should they wish to continue on the Board) stand for re-election. Three members of the Board have stood down and have decided not to stand again. I’ve decided to stand for re-election.

During the past 12 months I have played an active role in the development of the Trust. I have been directly responsible for:

  • The launch of CCST Corporate Membership
  • The launch of the Easyfundingraising portal to generate funds for the Trust

 I believe that both initiatives are essential if we are to realise our long-term objective of achieving a significant shareholding in the Club. We rightly encourage inclusivity by keeping membership fees low, but this means that we need to raise money on a regular basis to build up our funds.

I am also working closely with several Trust members to ensure that a full range of Trust merchandise will be ready for launch this summer and available from the Trust website.

Last month, I established contact with Dato’ Chan Tien Ghee on behalf of the Trust and represented the Trust at a subsequent meeting with him. I have since maintained contact as I believe it is essential that fans of the Club are represented early on in discussions with potential investors in the club.

If re-elected, I hope to continue to make a contribution to the success of the Trust.

A bit more about me:

  •  A season ticket holder for 13 years and a fan since the late 1960s
  • I travel away when my family and work commitments permit
  • A senior manager for T-Mobile, based in Merthyr
  • Extensive senior management experience including a spell as the managing director of a life insurance company based in Egypt
  • I hold a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Cardiff University

Candidate 7 Anthony Williams

1.  Personal Details, Skills and Experience

I am 48 years of age married with 4 children and a season ticket holder in the Ninian Stand. Unfortunately due to illness and disability I had to give up work a few years ago, but prior to that I served in the Army, worked as a postman, taxi driver and a warehouse operative.

I have gained experience with unions, worker co-operatives, employment tribunals and citizen’s advice voluntary work.

My main skills are assimilating complicated information, finding solutions and the lack of a judgemental attitude. This gives me an edge when spotting potential in individuals as I’m not interested in the prejudiced opinions of others.

I am willing to speak my mind and fight for I believe is right!

2. Your Commitment to CCFC and the Principals of the Supporter’s Trust Movement

I am fully committed to al seven principals of CCFC Supporter’s Trust Movement

However, I would encourage the Trust to interpret some of their principals better. To explain there was a huge opportunity missed recently to enhance the principle of “strengthening the bond between the club, its supporters and the South Wales community”. Whilst not wanting to rake over old ground I cannot understand why this principal was not utilized to support the recent protest march.  If the Trust had supported the march it would have extended a bond between itself and a community of 2,000 disgruntled CCFC fans. Also at a stroke the Trust would have hugely strengthened its position by adding those voices to its own when speaking to the club about the financial running of the club.

Whilst I understand the Trust is a lobbying group committed to keeping an open dialogue it would be prudent to consider all opportunities and resources that may come its way.  My personal commitment would be to urge the Trust Board to use such resources in future rather than concentrating on the personalities who were involved.

3. What would you like your Trust to achieve over the next 12 months?

In the next twelve months I would like the Trust to at least double or even treble its membership. To achieve that I believe there needs to be a radical overhaul of the membership structure with a more simplified system and certainly membership should be a lot cheaper.  The overriding principle has to be membership numbers not the raising of revenue.

Also in 12 months time I hope the Trust would become more dependant on the views of its membership and this can only be achieved by canvassing. The open dialogue the Trust has with the club would then reflect membership opinion rather than the personal opinion of the Trust Board. Reflecting membership opinion would also have the added benefit of giving the perception that the fans were “being listened to”. At a stroke the Trust would have employed its biggest recruitment tool to attract and keep members.

I would also like to see the launch of a flagship aspiration which would benefit all supporters and my suggestion would be to move the singing area from the Canton to the Grange End with the Family/Community Areas moving in the opposite direction. This would improve the match day atmosphere and make CCS more family friendly as parents wouldn’t have to walk young children around the stadium to gain access to their stand.

APPEAL TO HONOUR CITY LEGEND FRED KEENOR LAUNCHED

The Fred Keenor Statue Committee today (FRIDAY) kicked off the campaign to raise funds to erect a statue in honour of the legendary Fred Keenor and the 1927 FA Cup winning team.

The launch happened at Cardiff City Stadium on the 83rd anniversary of the famous Wembley win over Arsenal.

Graham Keenor, nephew of Fred Keenor, and Trust member Mike Inker posed in replicas of the 1927 shirt worn by Fred, at the proposed site for the tribute, along with members of Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust and other guests. Graham and Mike were presented with a giant cheque for £1,000 – a donation made by the Trust to the appeal.

The fundraising campaign is being backed by the South Wales Echo.

Graham Keenor said: “This is a ‘blue-letter’ day with the launch of the appeal to recognise a Bluebird legend. I’m really excited that the appeal is officially underway.

“We’ve said previously that Fred and the rest of the 1927 team have not had the recognition they deserve. The statue will put that right. A lot of hard work is now ahead.”

Trust board member David Craig, who is project manager for the appeal, said: “We need around £85,000 to meet the cost of the project. Apart from the £1,000 from the Trust, Cardiff council has pledged £15,000 for which we are very grateful.

“We want to see businesses, organisations and individuals in Cardiff, in South Wales, across the UK and the world getting behind this campaign to raise the funds needed.”

Fred, who was Cardiff born and bred, also played international football for Wales as well as captaining the Bluebirds.

Fans chose a design by Llantwit Major-based artist Roger Andrews – who produced the Sir Tasker Watkins statue outside the Millennium Stadium – as their choice for the tribute to Fred Keenor. The proposed location of the statue is a triangular piece of land between the Grandstand and the Canton Stand.

· Donations can be made to the Co-operative Bank:

Account name: – Fred Keenor Statue Fund or FKSF

Account no 65392368

Sort Code 08-92-99

Cheques can also be sent c/o CCST to PO Box 4254, Cardiff, CF14 8FD. Please add the words “Fred Keenor Appeal” on the top of the envelope.