Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust Chairman Tim Hartley and board member Anthony Wedlake have met potential Cardiff City Football Club investor Dato’ Chan Tien Ghee (TG).
The meeting areas covered were potential future investment in the club, potential future strategies and TG’s affinity and commitment to Cardiff City Football Club.
A summary of key points discussed during the meeting were:
- Any investment is NOT conditional on CCFC reaching the Premiership this season.
- The final pieces of the ‘jigsaw’ are still to be finalised. Discussions are progressing with all key stakeholders (by stakeholders, we believe, that they would include PMG, key directors and other important creditors).
- It should be seen as extremely positive that prominent directors have put their own money into the club to cover immediate expenses (e.g. the players’ wages) that have fallen due. The payments were unlikely to have been made without progress being made as part of the wider efforts to increase investment.
Future Financial Strategy
- TG believes that there are major costs that the club has incurred in previous financial years that need not be repeated in future financial years.
- He also believes that the club is not fulfilling its current potential for additional revenue streams (e.g. conferencing).
- Having a major Malaysian investor in the club opens up key parts of the football mad Far East to revenue generating opportunities that are currently only available to the top English Premiership clubs – that’s not to say we’d raise the same amount of revenue as these clubs, but we’d be able to leverage the potential.
‘TG’ the City Fan
- He is definitely a businessman first and a football fan second. If the deal is not there, he won’t make emotional decisions that are contrary to any positive business case. He also has corporate governance in place within his own organisation that will challenge any deal that doesn’t stack up.
- However, he is definitely a fan. Sunday’s game between Cardiff City and Swansea City reinforced his commitment. Given the relatively short period of time he has been involved with the club, he is remarkably well informed.
- TG revealed there were issues about the way the deal was being handled before Christmas but decided not to walk away because of his affinity to the club and the potential to make a deal.
- He is not the type of potential investor we’ve seen previously who is keen to hog the limelight. If he has something to say, he’ll say it, if not he’ll say nothing – a good example is from the game against Swansea. He was asked by the press to comment on the win, he refused on the basis that it was Dave Jones’ day and the team’s day and not his. He was genuinely pleased that he could find no reference to him in any of the many Sunday papers in front of him that reported on the Swansea game. Another example is that until the Trust issued a press release, there were significant elements of the South Wales press that did not know he was returning to South Wales at Easter.
- It is clear that a deal to secure the financial future of the club is not yet in place.
- We believe, having met the man and entered into several e-mail exchanges, that TG has the will and financial acumen to help take the club forward. We believe him to be credible. We have agreed to stay close over the coming weeks.
- Tim Hartley has made clear the support of the Trust as a ‘critical friend’ in the weeks ahead. The Trust will not, however, give unquestioning support.
Tim Hartley, Chairman of Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust, said: “We were delighted that TG took time out of his very busy schedule to talk to the Trust.
“He appreciated that the Trust was a democratically elected set up to speak on behalf of the fans while it gave the Trust an insight into TG and his interest in Cardiff City. It is clear that a deal to secure the financial future of the club is not yet in place although we remain very hopeful that agreement can be reached.
“We did agree to remain in contact with TG over the coming crucial weeks in the future of Cardiff City.”