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Trust Supports Anti Racism Protest

Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust is proud to support the battle against racism in our communities.
Trust board member Tim Hartley said: “There is no place for racism in football or indeed in society. March 20th is South Wales Derby day. It is also United Nations Anti Racism Day and the Trust is proud to back this joint initiative with fellow fans in Swansea to take the knee and say ‘Black Lives Matter’.

“We may be rivals on the field but we stand united against racism in our communities. We encourage you to join with our clubs, supporters and players and sign the declaration in the link below.”

Cardiff City Holds Briefing With Fan Groups and Media

Members of the Trust Board Keith Morgan (chair), Tim Hartley and Rob Jeffery attended an online Zoom meeting on Monday, January 25, with Mehmet Dalman (Chairman) and Ken Choo (Chief Executive). Also represented at the meeting were the Supporters’ Club, Disabled Supporters’ Group, Travel Group, members of the local and national Press and other club officials. A wide variety of issues were raised and here are some of the outcomes of the meeting.

Here are key points:

Club Financial Position

 MD/KC stated that the club, in the absence of spectators, has a cash drain of £3m per month and the annual loss was expected to be slightly more than £36m loss reported in the last set of accounts. The continuing financial support of Vincent Tan was essential in keeping the club afloat. KC stated that the club had applied to the EFL for a “soft loan” of £8m which they were waiting to hear about which has to be paid back by 2024. The club noted the fact that the Welsh Government was financially supporting Welsh Rugby but not Cardiff City, Swansea City, Newport County or Wrexham.

Appointment of Mick McCarthy

MD stated that the appointment of MM was a short term one to “steady the ship”. At the end of his term of appointment the club would make a decision on what sort of managerial appointment to make to build for the future. When a comment was made that the appointment lacked ambition MD stated that they had approached a young manager with Premier League experience but had been turned down. MD’s view was that the appointment was a realistic one in the circumstances.

Club Strategy

 MD was asked whether the club had a strategy in relation to on and off-field continuity that would avoid “sticking plaster” problem resolution.  MD freely admitted that they did not but the appointment of MM would buy them time to put one in place. KC emphasised their commitment to continue working in partnership with Cardiff University and Cardiff Council in the development of Academy facilities in Llanrumney. KC also outlined other changes that they had made at the various youth levels to confirm the club’s commitment to the development of players. He also confirmed that Academy Head of Coaching David Hughes would be allowed to continue his development independent of first team matters. When the possibility of bringing in at board level a Director of Football with significant experience MD was lukewarm about the idea. MD/KC said that age was one of the factors that influenced recent transfers and the average age of the squad was now 27 and 7 months. Neil Harris was fully involved in the last two transfers.

Kit Deal 

The current kit deal expires this season and the club has started talks with 5 possible alternative manufacturers as well.

Season Tickets 2012-22 

KC confirmed that no decision had yet been reached in terms of season tickets for next season.

Further Squad Strengthening 

The current lack of midfield creativity was raised. MD had asked MM about the situation regarding the squad. MM said that he would assess the squad and feedback his views to MD as soon as possible. MD did not indicate the extent to which the manager would be supported but did not rule it out.

Vincent Tan Conversion of Debt to Equity 

The issue of the five-year deadline for the promised conversion of debt to equity will be in February 2021. The meeting recognised that VT had taken significant steps towards this goal had been made. However, KC confirmed that no further conversions had been made since the last set of accounts, which considering the degree of financial support VT is having to make in the current difficult year, is unsurprising.

Issue of Vincent Tan Continuing Ownership 

MD received this question with a degree of impatience. He stated that VT had received offers to buy the club, one of which he considered to be generous but was turned down by VT. He underlined VT’s continuing commitment to Cardiff City.

Emiliano Sala Trust Fund 

MD stated that the finalisation of the Fund was only a matter of weeks away. He emphasised Vincent Tan’s personal commitment to the family which he considered to be totally absent in other parties involved in the transfer.

Legal Cases 

MD reminded everyone that the Club is involved in 3 major legal cases. MD said that all 3 cases were energy-sapping and took up a lot of time.

  • Emiliano Sala Transfer. MD stated that progress was slow as Nantes FC were doing everything in their power to drag out proceedings. The club, having raised the issue of Football Agent’s conflict of interest with the Regulatory Body, have been frustrated by their seeming disinterest in what they consider to be an important issue.
  • Sam Hammam – He is suing the club for £15m over his role of Life President which the club regard as largely ceremonial but Hamman considers ought to have more powers and rights.
  • Michael Isaac is suing the club for £10m, which he believes is the value of his shareholding.

He reminded everyone that any loss of these court cases (totalling the best part of £50m) would have to be footed by VT and without that support would lead to club bankruptcy.

Trust Gives Its Verdict On Mick McCarthy Appointment

Trust chair Keith Morgan

The Trust issued the following statement today following the appointment of Mick McCarthy as manager until the end of the 2020-21 Season.

Keith Morgan, chair of Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust, responding to the appointment of Mick McCarthy as manager to replace Neil Harris, said:

“The dismissal of Neil Harris was inevitable given the run of six successive defeats and such poor displays.

“The appointment of Mick McCarthy, who we obviously wish success in the role, until the end of the season is a short-term measure to ensure safety in the Championship and will, hopefully, involve a push towards the Play-Offs.

“The club has brought in someone who has enjoyed success at Championship level, although that was over a decade ago.

“What is vital is that we hear from Cardiff City management about what is their long term strategy to take the club forward after Mick McCarthy’s contract ends.  We know many fans are also concerned about the style of football played and other clubs around us do seem to have a comprehensive plan, from the Academy to the first team – so should Cardiff City. Supporters will not want the club to stutter from one short term “fix” to another. We need vision and stability.”

Trust Quiz: The Winners & The Answers

Congratulations to Trust Member Anthony Holloway who answered correctly the Bluebirds Brainteaser quiz in the November edition of the Trust magazine Moving to a Different Beat. He wins £50. Also drawn out of the hat were Peter Charles and David Collins, who will each receive a runners-up prize of a copy of the excellent book “Real Madrid and All That” by Paul Evans, Trust Member, author and blogger on all things Cardiff City

Here are the answers to the quiz questions.

  1. For which club did Malky Mackay make most appearances as a player? 

Norwich City. After starting his career at Queens Park in Glasgow, Malky signed for Celtic where he stayed for 5 years where he was never a first choice playing only 46 times. He joined The Canaries in 1998 staying for 6 years. His most momentous season at Norwich was his final one when Norwich won promotion to the Premier League as Champions of what was then Division 1. However, he did not get to play in the Premier League with Norwich as he was released at the end of the season but won his first cap for Scotland at the venerable age of 32. The following season he signed for West Ham who were promoted to the Premier League via the playoffs that season. He didn’t get to play in the Premier League with them either as he was released by them as well and joined Watford.  However, perseverance paid off and at the end of the 2005/06 season, he achieved the feat of being promoted to the Premier League in 3 successive seasons and in the following season, at last, got to play in the top flight. He stayed with Watford where he coached and managed them before joining us as Manager in 2011. The rest, as they say, is history but, sadly, some of it a bit chequered.

  1. His only appearance for his first club was as a substitute in the 1994 FA Charity Shield at Wembley and he later went onto be a City favourite – who is he? 

Peter Thorne. There can’t be many players who made their footballing debut and only club appearance at Wembley but Peter Thorne is one. He came on as sub in the 1994 FA Charity Shield for Blackburn Rovers, his first club.  He shared the bench for that day with a future Cardiff City player, the diminutive Alan Wright. We signed Thorne at the beginning of the 2001/02 season. This period could be described as a spending spree with significant fees (for a Third Division team) paid for Neil Alexander, Spencer Prior and Graham Kavanagh who signed for a club record of £1m from Stoke City who then went on to benefit from a second Cardiff City club transfer record when we signed Peter Thorne for £1.7m. However, as we all know, this extravagance came back to bite us later. The 2002/03 season was notably productive for the Thorne/Earnshaw striking partnership scoring 51 goals between them. After playing 143 times and scoring 51 goals Peter joined Norwich City on a free transfer with the stipulation that they would pay £200,000 if they were promoted back to the Premier League in the following 2 seasons. They weren’t. He finished his career at Bradford City where, despite injury problems, his goals per game record was as good as at any of his previous clubs. The man with the magic hat!

  1. He made 235 appearances for the City in the noughties and is now coaching at The Terrors – who is he? 

Neil Alexander is currently the goalkeeping coach at Dundee United. He was signed in May 2001 from Livingston as part of a Sam Hammam spending spree. He made his debut in the first League game of the 2001/02 season against Wycombe in a season that ended with the heartbreaking playoff defeat to Soke City. The followings season saw us reach the playoff yet again. The second leg playoff semi-final at Ashton Gate saw the City put in a backs to the wall performance to defend a slim 1-0 lead and Neil’s magnificent injury time save from a Brian Tinnion header ensured that we reached the Millennium Stadium for the final against QPR and we know what happened then!A blunder in what turned out to be his final game in March 2007 gave eventual Champions Sunderland a 1-0 win. He was not offered a new contract and joined Ipswich for the start of the next season. The following season the City struggled to settle on a first choice goalkeeper. David Forde, Michael Oakes, Ross Turnbull, (loan), Kaspar Schmeichel (loan) all played until we finally settled on Peter Enckleman and we all know how that ended!

  1. Two Icelandic Internationals have played for the City – one is Aron Gunnarsson who is the other? 

Heidar Helguson. Signed in August 2012 from QPRsome 22 days short of his 35th birthday. Heidar played for us for one momentous season. His honours in British football were winning the Football League Championship twice, once with Neil Warnock’s QPR (he played against us in the entertaining  2-2 draw at CCS in April 2011 with memorable goals by Jay Bothroyd and Adel Taraabt) and then for the second time with us in 2012/13. An unspectacular but hard-working and consistent footballer, he played 39 times for us scoring 9 goals.

  1. He played 24 times for us between 2012 and 2014 and his namesake, according to Bill Shankly, “wasn’t born, he was quarried” – who is he? 

Tommy Smith. August 2012 was the month where signing players from QPR seemed to be de rigueur. Heidar Helguson and Matt Connolly were signed and also Tommy Smith for a fee of £300,000. In his 8th game for us against Watford, a club he had previously had two spells with, he damaged his hamstring and missed 16 games. On his return in January 2013, he scored his only goal for us, the winner in a 2-1 win at Blackpool. When he was signed at the age of 32 he was never going to be a long term prospect. He received his Championship winners medal with us but never played in the Premier League for us the following season only making 3 appearances in Cup competitions. He was released after our relegation from the Premier League and then finished his career after one further season with Brentford. As for his namesake the Liverpool legend, he was an uncompromising player with a very uncompromising look on his face. It was said that Liverpool mothers kept a picture of Tommy Smith on the mantelpiece to keep their kids away from the fire.

  1. Currently with Panathinaikos this player scored 6 times in 27 games for us between 2012 and 2014 before we eventually lent him to Nottingham Forest and eventually cancelling his contract – who is he? 

Frederico “Kiko” Macheda. Macheda first came to everybody’s attention in March 2009 when he came on as sub for Nani against Villa and scored an Impressive last minute winner to keep Manchester United on track for winning the Premier League. In the next league game, he came on as a sub for Berbatov and scored again. However, the next four years or so saw him not establishing himself at Old Trafford and 5 unspectacular loan spells in Germany, Italy as well as QPR and Doncaster. A 6th loan spell, this time at Birmingham went well and he scored 10 times in 10 stares and 8 sub appearance. He was their top scorer in 2013/14. Even though we signed him on a free transfer in May 2014 something in the back of my mind was saying “Oh no!”. His career at Man Utd started with a very big bang with an avalanche of publicity but seemingly culminating in an unfulfillment of potential. Perhaps there was no great potential in the context of Manchester Utd.  Who knows? Anyway, he did not live up to his early promise with us either with 6 goals in 27 league appearances and was loaned to Forest at the end of the 2015/16 season. He made 3 appearances for them with little impact. At the beginning of the 2016/17 season he was left out a pre-season City tour and Paul Trollope transfer listed him. His contract was cancelled by mutual consent at the end of August 2016. In 2018 he signed a 3-year contract at Panathinaikos where things seem to have gone better for him. His 30 goals in 76 games have earned him a 3-year contract extension.

  1. Which former Cardiff City Manager is a UNICEF Ambassador? 

OGS was made a UNICEF Ambassador in 2001 whilst still a Manchester United. Player. He has visited educational projects in Angola and Rwanda, supported initiatives in relation to AIDS awareness and child slavery and met Nelson Mandela. OGS always seemed to be a decent bloke. Perhaps not ruthless enough to be a great manager?

  1. Which current City player has the middle names Roberto Francisco ? 

Kieffer Roberto Francisco Moore. Online research has not revealed anything about his background to suggest how he came by such exotic middle names. Perhaps they are not unusual for people born in Torquay?

  1. Which former Cardiff City player won 3 Scottish Premiership titles and a Scottish FA Cup between 2012 and 2014 ? 

Choice of 2 players here. Both Joe Ledley and Adam Matthews fit the question both, of course, playing for Celtic.  Joe Ledley’s achievements in a City shirt are well known to all but Adam Matthews did not quite live up to initial expectations. He was named Football League Apprentice of the Year for the Championship. He made his debut as a sub in August 2009 against Blackpool at the age of 18. Blooding 18-year-olds has not been much of a feature in City team selection since. His only goal for the City came in October 2009 when the Watford ‘keeper misjudged his 50 yard free kick allowing the ball to bounce over his head. Another memorable feature of his City career was taking the throw in that lead to Michael Chopra’s dramatic winning goal in the 90th minute against the Jacks in April 2010. In September 2010 he, unfortunately, put the ball into his own net away to Ipswich which leads to a stinging verbal attack after the game by manager Dave Jones. Many thought it was over the top considering his age and the poor performance by the rest of the team that day. He only made one more league start after that game and left to join Celtic at the end of the season when his contract ended. Currently with Charlton Athletic. 

  1. He was in the City matchday squad for the 2010 Championship Play-Off Final and currently plays for Morecambe FC in League Two – who is he? 

Aaron Wildig. A product of our youth system, he made his debut in August 2009 as a sub in the League Cup against Dagenham & Redbridge. He scored his only goal for us in a 5-1 defeat to Newcastle Utd in February 2010. During his short time with the City, he spent time on loan at Hamilton Academicals and Shrewsbury Town who he signed for after being released in May 2012 as part of a big clear out. He joined Morecambe in 2015 and currently forms part of a team challenging for promotion.