Trust Chair Meets New Bluebirds Boss

Trust chair Keith Morgan reports on a meeting between supporter representatives and the new Cardiff City manager Erol Bulet and other club executives.

In the early afternoon on Monday, June 5th, 2023, I was fortunate to meet and have a brief conversation with the newly appointed Cardiff City manager Erol Bulut at the Cardiff City Stadium.

A meeting had been called at very short notice by the club and was attended by myself and some representatives of the Cardiff City Supporters Club, the Disabled Supporters Association and an independent travel group representative. It followed immediately after a meeting with members of the media.

They were asked to observe an embargo on reporting on their meeting for a few hours and this report follows the publication of their reports with some comments of my own.

The meeting was attended by club Chair Mehmet Dalman and CEO Ken Choo (the latter for part of the meeting). Also attending were some senior members of the club representing finances, PR and fan liaison.

Erol Bulut came across as very positive about what he wants to achieve at the club during his initial 12-month contract at the club (the club has an option to extend the contract for a further two years if the initial period proves to be successful). He confirmed that he will be bringing his own coaching and football support team to the club but had not yet had a chance to speak to the existing coaching team as to their future role (if any)at the club as he had only been in post for one day.

Similarly, he had only had a brief meeting with the current playing squad but confirmed that he was planning to bring in a number of new players (up to 8 or 10) to improve the club, of which 4 or 5 had already been identified.

Who this might be will become clearer when player contracts expire at the end of June as will details of the player whose signing has already been agreed by the club Chair (he described the signing to be “exciting” which would be regarded very positively by fans) and the club retained list for current players (this has been submitted to the EFL but not yet made public).

Erol’s appointment followed an extensive interview process by the club to reduce a large number of applications received via agents etc. to a shortlist of 12 which was then further reduced to a shortlist of 4 for consideration and interview by Vincent Tan, Mehmet Dalman and Ken Choo.

Erol was then selected because he came across as offering something different and better than the other candidates with his track record, enthusiasm and ideas.

Some other matters were discussed which helped to dispel some recent false claims and rumours on message boards including the following:

1.       The appointment is not a “cheap option”. Indeed the Chair stated that the package being offered is higher than that sought by other candidates and is the highest the club has offered since the package given to Neil Warnock.

2.      The new manager has no family or friendship link to the Chair. The first time they met was during the shortlist interview process in recent weeks.

Another matter mentioned at the end of the meeting was that there is definitely going to be a meeting involving a broad range of supporters on top of those elected to the current formal supporters’ groups. This is intended to be attended by both the new manager and the club chair.

This is likely to be sometime in July to allow the new manager to settle in and to finalise the coaching and playing squad going forward into the new season.