Friday, July 31, 2009
After taking a full week to mull things over, PAUL PARRY this morning agreed to join Preston North End and will complete a £300,000 transfer with a 3 year contract over the weekend to join the Lillywhites.
Parry, 29 next month, has been with The Bluebirds for five and a half years and has been the club's longest serving player. He has proved a bargain costing just £75,000 from Hereford United at a time they were in non-league football.
His City debut was stunning as Cardiff were two down inside the opening 10 minutes at home to Rotherham in January 2004 but they couldn't handle his flying runs and he set up goals for City to storm ahead 3-2 by the interval and win that game with Parry declared man of the match.
In all, he played 191 league games for Cardiff, and 23 in Cup games and scored 27 times. He also won 11 Welsh caps while with the club. His goals were often stunning, his best probably coming with a dazzling first time finish to beat Nottingham Forest at Ninian Park earlier this year.
At his best, he's been stunning to watch and hugely entertaining but he has blown in his time culminating in last season being his worst by some margin with personal problems off the pitch, walking out on Wales and then retiring and a never ending run of non-influential games for Cardiff where he seemed to have lost some pace and his ability to get past defenders. Parry admits it was his worst season in football.
Although he wanted to see out his final year with Cardiff, few doubt leaving for Preston in in the best interests of player and club. The change will probably do both good.
Good Luck Paul and thanks for your efforts. Meantime, City fans will wonder who will replace him as the club have indicated they already have a new face lined up.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Ledley, although not the greatest communicator, led by example last season and had a successful time as skipper. As well as leading the club in the second half of last season, Joe also Captained Wales in summer friendlies and World Cup qualifiers underling his influence and stature.
However as he has not signed a new contract and is therefore certain to leave either in the August or January transfer windows, Dave Jones can hardly entrust him to contine leading the side.
This weekend's friendly vs Valencia of Spain is expected to be a final dress rehearsal before the Championship start against Scunthorpe next week and Hudson, skipper for Charlton last term and at Crystal Palace before that, is widely tipped to assume duties.
Everyone's got their view and here's mine.
It's been a very flat summer and that's maybe we've essentially got the same team as last season who were proved to be not good enough. Meanwhile, we've sold a star (Johnson) and only brought in a new load of defenders. One of whom (Hudson), costing £1M, doesn't really seem any better or different than the bloke (Purse) we let go for nothing on first impression - let's hope it's a misleading one then.
Classy midfielders and strikers excite fans - and that's what Cardiff City badly need, is there anyone who disputes that? - but we've failed to make any changes in either key area. Ok, so record signing Chops (Michael Chopra) is here permanently but he just doesn't feel like a new signing as he was here half of last season when, worryingly, he wasn't a hit and disrupted the balance of the side which continues to be a problem with DJ hell bent on trying to fit in Ross, Jay and Chops regardless of whether it works or not ... and which is causing problems and has caused Ross to want away.
There's also the likelihood that although we've lost just 1 star man, another 2 may/should yet follow in the shape of McCormack and Ledley ... while the dross hang about - I think most fans could name at least 5 players who could/should ideally be away and off the payroll.
Off the pitch, the commercial and marketing side of the club seem as bad and clueless as ever but, there again, is that really a surprise when the club never seem to invest sufficiently in it?
We have a manager in Dave Jones who I respect but personally find hard to like and almost impossible to get behind. His arrogance and hypocrisy underling by his stance in avoiding engaging with fans and despising the media yet suddenly, now he's got a book to sell, he turns up all over the place for signings and will talk to anyone in the media.
The more professional the club are supposed to be, you get the impression that it's just as limited in too many key areas. They haven't handled the move well to the new stadium and fans still not having season tickets a week and a half before the new season when they were bought at Xmas is dire public relations and customer service.
I suspect there's many of us feeling a touch more remote and detached from the club than usual (or than ever) ... when, surely, the feeling should be the opposite?
Most of all though, even though last season has gone, perhaps the real problem is that Cardiff City fans still feel let down and angry by the late season collapse and missing those play-offs. We realise the best chance we had in our lifetimes was tossed away. Yet, as things stand, we have to get behind those players who let us down anyway.
A concensus of opinion is that the club, on the pitch, may slip back this term and not be with the main runners and riders this term and certainly, not attractive to watch with our current personnel and midfield.
Still there is time to lose and bring in personnel while a good start to the season - and we're very capable of that with a kind fixture list to open with will soon see us bouncing. On the other hand, if that doesn't happen ...
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Until the season returns with the 3 times a week show, GTFM have been running a weekly programme on Wednesday evenings with Gaffa and Guests.
However the tests were negative with Jones relieved to discover he is suffering with a heavy flu strain, one that is still severe enough to keep him away from the club, cancel book signings and possibly see him miss this weekend's friendly with Valencia.
In an effort to dismiss rumours that DJ really does have swine flu, the club have now issued a picture of Jones recovering at home today (see below) - Get well soon Dave!
They had been some suspicion that their 5 Spanish international including superstar and in-demand strikers David Villa and David Silva would be absent having only just returned to the club after late summer break following their participation in the Confederates Cuop, the World Cup 2010 warm up event in South Africa.
However they are with the club currently training in Holland where, like City, they have been unbeaten pre-season and will get some game time this weekend before a bigger clash against Manchester United at Old Trafford next Wednesday.
Tickets for the Valencia match are available from the Cardiff City Stadium offices on 0845 345 1400 or via www.cardiffcityfc.co.uk £15 for adults, £10 for those aged over 60 and students, £5 for fans aged under-16 in all parts of the new stadium.
News has emerged that Ross was a third or fourth choice for the club and they are close to succeeding in their other choices - an Egyptian Premiership player and Croatian forward Nikola Kalinic - so their interest in McCormack has subsided no sooner than it arose.
Out of contract on 12 months and out of favour at Cardiff City with Parry lovers and haters generally united in the view that a change will do him and the club good, a £300,000 move and a
3 year deal with Preston North End represents an ideal opportunity.
However having spent his entire life in this area and with children here too, Parry is finding it a tough call to make. Possibly because he only recently stated his desire to see out the last year of his contract and make up for what he confesses was an unacceptable season for him on 2008/09.
After 2 days in the North West, Parry returned to train with The Bluebirds today ... and a promise to hold further talks with Preston boss Alan Irvine later today. Any ideas he is wanted by Dave Jones will surely have diminished after the Cardiff City manager says he is reasy to bring in a replacement for him while he apparently also denied Parry the opportunity to be an official at his girlfriend sister's wedding last weekend and made him play in a second string outing at Swindon instead.
Today may also be a D-Day for Ross McCormack. It is now common news that Portsmouth have enquired after him and were encouraged but it remains uncertain whether they have made any bid although fans of the South Coast club believe they are set to meet City's £5m valuation in full with £3.5M of that arriving up front. They may yet find competion from long-term McCormack admiriers Hull City especially after Bobby Zamora yesterday snubbed the deal to join them in favour of staying at Fulham.
With the new season just 10 days away, City will be keen to resolve both issues without further ado so they can plan and get replacements. These have to be resolved instantly.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
The club have been in freefall and selling player after player which included key striker Peter Crouch 48 hours ago so, despite their financial woes, they need to spend and recruit new faces and it appears that Ross has been identified.
Sky Sports News are currently reporting a bid had been made while news sources in Portsmouth confirm that their Chief Executive Peter Storrie has contacted Peter Ridsdale and "encouraged by talks (while) informed a fee of around £5m will land the Scottish international".
Monday, July 27, 2009
I've been away in Turkey for a week so it's catch up time and, as usual, 1 week with Cardiff City had its usual shares of mayhem and shocks. Life is never dull with the Bluebirds.
However last Thursday night - 24 hours after Cardiff fought a goalless draw with Celtic officially opening the new stadium watched by Hull City boss and McCormack admirer - Sky Sports announced that the diminuitive, tricky Scotsman had submitted a transfer request.
Clubs officials were bemused and spoke out against it while a section of supporters vocally turned on their hero in a goalless draw at Swindon last weekend, many labelling him greedy, many more thinking he may have been tapped up. This from a player loved by the fans after his first season with season scoring 23 times also starring and scoring World Cup winners for Scotland - a sensational return for £120,000.
Today, McCormack broke his silence denying that he has requested a transfer and upset that 'someone' (his agent? at the club??) leaked his intentions to Sky Sports.
He told press that he was unhappy playing second fiddle to Jay Bothroyd and Michael Chopra although he got on fine with those players and being made to play wide to get games. He was also concerned that in a World Cup season and his country in a good position, this may affect his selection with the national side.
Those points are understandable, many City fans agree Ross is being wasted playing wide and City do not like as balanced as Dave Jones uncomfortably tries to fit the three strikers into a system. However Ross knew this last season, he knew it all summer, he knew it when hi8s contract was penned and he had all the time in the world to ask questions and sort his position. To question the club 2 weeks before the new season kick off and disrupt pre-season is poor form.
Cardiff have stressed Ross is contracted to the club and they will be not sell cheap sending out a clear message to any club thinking there is an opprtunity to sign him for a lesser fee. It is believed that figure is circa £5M.
It's a sad state of affairs when many Cardiff City fans will say "amen to that" to a player who has been a star for 3 years but who, last season, was poor (and that's being kind). Disinterested with Wales and reiting from international football, Parry often looked disinterested at Cardiff City as well last term and a shaow of the player he can be. He appeared to have added a couple of punds to his frame - although supremely lean by the standards of the average fan! - and lost that ability to get past players. Fans only saw fleeting glimpses of the talent that we know he has and he had become a whipping boy for Cardiff City's failures at the end of the season.
In fairness, Parry himself recognises he had a bad time and has recently spoken of his determination to see out the final year of his contract making up for it with Cardiff City. However it has equally become clear that he is one of a number of men that boss Dave Jones would like to move on if he can and the figure quoted is certainly good business. DJ has declared that he already has a replacement lined up if he leaves.
However that all depends on Parry agreeing to the deal and he appears reluctant with young fmaily and friends in the area and always having lived in the Cardiff to Hereford region. He is due to start a second day of talks with Preston boss Alan Irvine tomorrow.
That is a blow as Kev was reverting to left back this season but Cardiff have Mark Kennedy and Tony Capaldi ready, willing and able in the wings. Kennedy looks set to satrt the season against Scunthorpe next weekend.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Cardiff City are home to Celtic in midweek and away at Swindon next Saturday which I will update when I'm back.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
City were generally in charge from first whistle to last but the opening period was especially bruising with neither side mustering a threatening effort and Cardiff unable to capitalise on contless set pieces.
However the game was resolved with City netting three times from the hour mark after heavy pressure in which Ledley, Parry and Whittingham went close while McCormack was dened a penalty. The goal rush came courtesy of JAY BOTHROYD netting twice heading home a McNaughton cross then blasting home after Gerrard headed back a half cleared corner before CHOPRA had a simple tap-in after Paul Parry did the spade work. City had 9 2nd half subs with only Ledley and Whittingham playing a full 90 minutes.
Cardiff's pre-season now consists of 3 wins, 8 scored and 0 conceded. However the games have been about developing sharpness and getting used to the new players. The comign week sees a more thorough examination with Celtic visiting the new stadium on Tuesday and a visit to League One Swindon next weekend.
After all, we all know Dave Jones and His Moans tends to run and run until/unless he gets his way and Jones certainly appears to be openly challenge his Chairman and Board to act now and will not be satisifed if he isn't backed or take responsibility if Cardiff City cannot challenge in the Championship this coming season.
Talking to the South Wales Echo whilst at training camp in Portugal, Jones said, "I want three more players in and the chairman knows who there are. If I can bring them in, then Cardiff City will have one heck of a squad for the new season."
But he immediately added, "I don`t want to lose the three I have asked for. Does the chairman have the courage to go for it? We have to stop selling our best players at some stage. I can`t keep building if we keep selling."
Cardiff City have a logjam and wish to move players out before bringing new personnel in but there is currently no sign of anyone making a move for the likes of Feeney, Capaldi, Parry to name a few. It is also likely that City will want to sell either Joe Ledley or McCormack (or both!) to rasie funds but Jones wishes to keep them. The budget and finances are tighter than a gnat's chuff and with players overpaid, it is a problem finding others who will match the salary of surplus men.
Of course, Ridsdale and The Board heavily backed Jones last season including turning down a £6M offer for Joe while bringing in Chopra and Quincy but it back-fired disastrously with the awful end to the season missing out on what looked like a cast-iron play-off place.
It'll be interesting to see how this pans out but Jones has clearly drawn a line in the sand and an excuse if he's not backed and there's failure.
Much relief all round that moves for Ledders and Roscoe didn't happen - maybe from the players too! - but having snapped up Zamora, the move for Murphy has collapsed after player and club failed to agree personal terms.
This leaves Hull starting a fresh search for another forward and speculation is rife oop north that McCormack will come under serious consideration. Having just signed a new 4 year deal at City, Cardiff don't need to sell and the price will be high - let's see how it progresses.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Former CARDIFF CITY rising star and Wales international Chris Gunter has ended his brief time in the Premiership by completing a move from Spurs to Nottingham Forest today.
Gunts seems to have been around a while so it's hard to realise he is still just 19 years old but he was plucked by Spurs for £2M after starting just 20 games for Cardiff City in January 2008.
What may have seemed a dream move proved it's not all fun getting to the top level as Chris started only 3 Premiership games and soon found himself falling further down the pecking order as the North London club added extra personnel.
Against that background, Gunter want to loan to Forest last season helping them to Championship survival and indicated he would like to stay permanently. He will now face Cardiff City this coming season ... wonder if he'll ayatollah???
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Klimpl, a big lump of a player, has spent his entire career as a centre half but was switched, with some success, into midfield by Motherwell last term and came to Cardiff on that basis. 45 minutes of watching him in last Friday's friendly against Chasetown confirmed to me that he was exactly as described on the label - a centre half and no midfielder.
Dave Jones wished to have another look and came to the same conclusion revealing his opinion that he unfortunately was no improvement on current personnel in those positions.
SPL side Hearts have also dropped their interest and it is believed Klimpl may now trial at Plymouth who are interested in his services and were disappointed when he opted to link with City.
Routledge was roundly booed when coming back to Ninian Park last season
... but fans would still love to see him back at Cardiff in a City shirt
It seemed way too left field but news has emerged that "Routs" has been in contact with other Cardiff players saying he is unsettled with The R's and would be interested in coming back to The Bluebirds.
Whether anything can happen is unlikely since Cardiff have since taken Chris Burke and if Rangers were willing to sell, the fee would be likely to be prohibitive.
How QPR fans will take this news is another matter ... ...
that's the footie team not the unfeminine javelin chucker
City play one other game this Saturday morning against a Portuguese Select X1 consisting of discarded youngsters which acts as a trial to put them in the shop window.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
However, by contract, Cardiff City chairman Peter Ridsdale has flat out denied having any approach or offer from Hull but a South Wales Echo report confirms what fans know - that there is a 'log jam' at the club and they can't bring any more players in until others leave.
The most interesting quote of the day came from Hull City manager Phil Brown who told press in Yorkshire that, "Where Ross McCormack and Joe Ledley are concerned, you're looking at players who have done very, very well at Cardiff in the Championship. Yes they would interest us but not at the prices that are being quoted. Until those prices are brought down, if there is such a price, we're not interested. It is difficult when players want to move from a selling club and agents think they can progress them quickly."
The clear inference here is that agents of Ledley and/or McCormack are in talks with Brown and possibly other clubs too.
With Ledley clearly wanting away and Ross wanting a chance in the Premiership despite signing a new 4 year deal with City only last week, the club appear to have accepted both may go but wnat matters sorted quickly.
The newspaper price quoted for the pair of £10M seems excessive but if sold, Cardiff City could clearly introduce some significant signings into the squad and improve the balance sheet which is their way.
The next move appears to lie with City ... or the player agents anyway.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Once again, the newspapers are speculating over imminent arrivals and departures at Cardiff City but leading the way is the Hull Daily Mail who report that Hull City are set to bid upto £10M for the Bluebirds duo of Ross McCormack and Joe Ledley and that the club expect to have two players for medicals on Wednesday.
Tigers boss Phil Brown directly named the players but was non-commital over whether they are in his sights saying, "Joe Ledley, Ross McCormack and Daryl Murphy are all names who have been bandied around but it is important that we do our business behind the scenes. "
Hull may find competition in the form of long-term Ledley admirers Everton and Stoke City, both understood to be ready to make their move ... according to the papers of course.
And if Ledley goes, The Daily Mirror have reported Dave Jones already has a replacement lined up in the shape of Liverpool's French 21 year old midfielder Damien Plessis. Cardiff are said to want him on a 1 year loan. He played 5 times for Liverpool last season - twice in the Champions League, twice in the Carlign Cup and 1 Premiership start.
Let's see what tomorrow brings
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Of current personnel, it's two big stars and one fading star in the news.
Everton, long-time suitors of Joe Ledley but who have never made any approach, are reported to be ready to bid £3M to £3.5M for the midfield star but they now apparently face stiff competition from fellow Premiership side Hull City who are ready to gazump them and meet Cardiff City's current asking price of £4.5M.
Yesterday, Ross McCormack declared on his Facebook account that "I am staying at Cardiff City until 2013!!!!". Of course, the new 4 year deal also makes sure Cardiff get the price they want sure anyone make a move for the hot property and 24 hours on, it is being reported that Hull City are also ready to bid £3.5M for him after their key terget and exp-loan success Frazier Campbell dumped them at the 11th hour for Sunderland.
City are known to be looking to offload several other players to bring in new faces and it is being reported that Paul Parry is closing in on a move to League One outfit Norwich City whose assistant manager Ian Butterworth knows him well form his time at Cardiff. That deal is being speculated as a possible swap with Canaries midfielder and early summer linked player, Sammy Clingan, coming to South Wales.
If Cardiff sell Ledley and.or McCormack, they they have funds to build and players linked include Wayne Routledge, Dos Santos of Spurs, Zheng who has just left Charlton, Ched Evans to name just a few.
Meantime, the entire City squad - including McCormack, Ledley and Parry - flew out to Portugal for a week's training and 2 informal games. Which perhaps makes it unlikely much, if any, business will be done this week.
Cardiff City have now decided the only course of action is surgery meaning Feeney will be going nowhere in this transfer window and will stay with The Bluebirds. It is a blow for the player - who wants away to play football - and the club - who need to move men out before others can sign.
Peter Ridsdale confirmed: "Medical staff tell us it's exactly the same problem Roger Johnson had last season. Warren is back with us and will have surgery to sort out his hip. He'll be back to 100 per cent in a short time."
Cardiff will now look to sell or loan out the player in the January transfer window before his contract expires in May. He is still being tipped for a move to Leeds United at that time instead.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Dave Jones’ reaction
Josh Magennis on his goal
THE CHASETOWN VIEW
Friday, July 10, 2009
A literal game of two halves - City fielded near different line ups in both 45 minutes – City scored twice each time. Bothroyd and Chopra netted in the opening period after a tricky start in which the visitors posed most problems then youngsters Josh Magennis and Adam Matthews netted 2nd period as the visitors, mostly using the same men, tired.
The crowd of 5,273 included around 300 from Chasetown, the lowest ever ranked club to make F.A. Cup Third Round. At all City fans know, that day in 2008, the played a Cardiff outfit starting their glorious 2008 run to Wembley and the final. A relationship started as City visited the Staffs club last pre-season and The Scholars were invited to play the first competitive fixture at the new stadium (and also given 600 seats from Ninian Park to help towards a new stand at their ground).
It was surreal walking past Ninian Park to the new ground, entering the ground by scanning a stadium instead of handing over a ticket and then entering the wide sprawling mass that were the walkways under the stand instead of finding a dingy cramped zone. It didn’t feel natural at all to me and to others but I’m sure we’ll get used to it in time. I could have been walking into Coventry, Reading. Stoke away but this was ours. Large sized bars and catering zones (still over-priced but reduced after last week’s furore), facilities are clearly to arrive in the form of tv’s and hopefully shelves to prop our drinks on. However some things don’t change – a visit to the enormous toilets, filled hands full of liquid soap and there’s no water.
Inside the stands, no pillars to obstruct the view, no pitch camber, smarter seats offering more leg room but not necessarily more width and all clinical. Ali’s p.a. apparently worked well in the Grandstand but in the largest Ninian Stand (that’s the pitch-length one closest to Ninian Park equivalent to the Bob Bank) it was as echoey and indecipherable as Ninian’s used to be – some tuning required then.
The big screen hadn’t arrived and the Grandstand had two spotlight Bluebirds at the top – which, no doubt, will be two Cardiff Blues logos when the egg chasers play there. The views are excellent and the atmosphere – even with such a small crowd – was pretty good so I’m sure it’ll be a superb sound and sight when the serious stuff starts and the bigger attendances are inside.
One of the toughest jobs of the night was working out who was who in the City side. The biggest question of the first half being who’s number 4? The blonde yellow lump that looked keen but not quite the part was Slovakian centre half turned midfielder triallist Maros Klimpl. The rest of the side were Marshall, McNaughton-Hudson (capt)-Gyepes-M Kennedy, R McCormack-Klimpl-McPhail-Burke, Bothroyd-Chopra.
I believe the new Puma kit worn is training kit only which was just as well as it was bland while keeper David Marshall must have felt embarrassed in his shocking Day-Glo pink number.
It was a probably a combo of new players, rustiness and just the fact it was first outing and nobody needs to be near peak yet but City were uncomfortable and possibly second best over the opening 25 with poor distribution and a worrying looking defence. Gyepes showed the form that saw him dropped from the side when it mattered at the business end of last season – some quipping how he had inherited Darren Purse’s genes – while Mark Hudson lack of pace would have saw Chopra skin him if he also had to run with an egg and spoon.
The visitors were lively and only two very smart saves from David Marshall – the first brilliant reactions to a close range header, the second tipping over a piledriver – and the visitors would have scored the first goal in any Cardiff City match at the new stadium after Kennedy was comprehensively beaten and a ball across the box tuned home had it not been for an offside flag.
However the first goal honour went to City and Jay Bothroyd scoring a skinhead cut. A smart move too with Mark Kennedy – dazzling when attacking, no so dazzling when defending – and McCormack combing before BOTHROYD’s far post looping header across goal finished it nicely.
The second goal came from the lively MICHAEL CHOPRA – looking in better menace and form – than he did at the end of last season finishing smartly for a deserved goal after he had one disallowed, had hit the inside of the post and caused problems every time he was on the ball.
Chasetown now spent the rest on the game on the back foot and only smart saves from the keeper prevented more before the interval in which Kennedy, Burke, Chopra stood out.
H/T: CITY 2 CHASETOWN 0
After a £3 pint of Brains in the aircraft-hangar sized spaces under the stands, it was time to guess the City player again. The one who caused most questions was guessing our goalkeeper but it turned out to be Peter Enckleman who has transformed into Yul Brynner. For the record, only Ross McCormack played the 2nd half (maybe as he was the only one who looked as if he had added a couple of pounds to his frame over the summer) and the side was Enckleman, Capaldi-Quinn-Gerrard-Ledley, Aaron Morris-Whittingham-Rae-McCormack, Parry-Magennis.
This was one way traffic towards the new Grange End whose occupants had managed to defy attempts to make them sit – often by starting a Stand Up If You Hate Swansea chant – as stewards surrounded them.
The records show that a chuffed and JOSH McGENNIS – goalkeeper at Anfield 2 seasons ago but now converted into a raw but fast and powerful striker – stroked home the third after great build up play and the promising ADAM MATTHEWS, who came on for McCormack just past the hour, smacked home the fourth and was equally delighted.
That it wasn’t more owed much to City’s over-elaborate build up play when, invariably, someone would make an error and some fantastic saves by Chasetown’s keeper who went off to huge applause as he ayatollahed to give the sub keeper a chance. He came top boos until he ayatollahed as well – I say ayatollah, he just glued his hands to his head. However that wasn’t as funny as the guy in the stand who headed back Josh McGennis’ wayward blaster and found himself knocked over by it.
Anthony Gerrard certainly impressed at centre-half and had the pace that was absent in that area first half although it was a stroll for him on the whole. He certainly shouted and organised though but quite funny hearing him shout to players by their shirt numbers as he didn’t know their names. Adam Matthews also stood out as he got forward time and again.
A reasonable work out, a first glimpse of the new stadium but it didn’t feel right to be going there over a month before the season starts on an early July Friday night and it felt less right to walk out looking towards a derelict and now fenced up Ninian Park but we’ll get used to it.. Thankfully, the weather was overcast and dull so at least it felt like the football season in climate.
Leeds, Grimsby, Hearts are just three clubs who either spurned Feeney or were spurned by him and it has prompted the South Londoners to make their move.
“He’s someone we’ve enquired about,” said Charlton boss Phil Parkinson - a quote that means little but the feeling is that this may well develop over the weekend.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
The club, for differing reasons, would listen to offers for Joe Ledley as well as assist the transfers of Warren Feeney, Tony Capaldi, Paul Parry, Steve McPhail to name a few. I suspect until some of that log jam is cleared, new arrivals may wait as well.
Maros Klimpl continues to train with the club and other trialists are linking up but the rumours are getting more sensational and ridiculous with focus on midfielders and a forward. Jason Koumas gets linked forever and a day, Wayne Routledge returning is way too left-field, Dietar Hammam coming for a year from Liverpool before returning to his homeland seems to be madness but today's Echo reveals a more realistic target - Leyton Orient's Cypriot international Jason Demetriou. However we appear to be one of five or so clubs linked to him and Cardiff never win out in those situations ... assuming there is any merit to it in the first place.
The wait goes on.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
The cricket was frantic and exciting with England 332/7 at close - an 'even stevens' affair with England players guilty of throwing away a couple of wickets far too easily.
The occasion was outstanding and such a success that even the most hardened critics of Test Matches in Cardiff and opening the Ashes here was forced to concede it was a superb experience.
The weather was great, the atmosphere even better, the effort put it it by the hosts simply superb.
I was lucky enough to be in the main stand under the England players balcony and loved it from start to finish. Feel free to watch my photoset.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Ledley, out of contract next sumnmer and rated, has not seen offers materialise to date as Cardiff hiope for £5M but Premiership clubs are holding back to increase their chances of a knock-down price.
Joe is believed to favour a move to Everton who have tracked him for some time and are believed to be playing a waiting game but speculation has it that Stoke - who had a £6M offer declined in January - may be making their move now and a deal is close.
Could it be rumour or fact?
While the Ledley rumour sounds believeable, a more unbelieveable rumour is developing that Wayne Routledge could be returning to the club. Routs proved a massive success on loan from Aston Villa last season and Cardiff certainly played their best football when he was around but after verbally agreeing a permanent stay, he drove off without warning to sign for QPR which caused ill feeling but their salary was double Cardiff's money and it was closer to his family home.
However after a blistering start with the R's, Routledge struggled to hold down a place by the end of the season and with a change of manager, it could be the R's want changes of personnel. I can't see his happeneing but, clearly, if Joe is sold and the club have funds, they will wnat to invest in midfielders and wide men. I'll believe it when I see it but speculation is rife at present so watch this space.
Punters were shocked to find beer prices higer than Man United or Liverpool and up 15% on Ninian Park prices but that was nothing. A hot dog for £4.50, a packet of crisps for £1 or a bottle of coke for £2 while a so-called meal deal if a pint and a pie cost £6 -saving just 30p. You don't even get charged those prices in London tourist haunts.
However, such was the outcry, Cardiff City were forced to listen and today issued a statement saying prices would be reduced after consultation and feedback from supporters. Quite what that means remains to be seen although they've announced a pint will cost a still hefty £3 but that was the same as Ninian Park prices.
Personally, I don't buy food in stadiums, drink in local hosteleries and only indulge in a half-time bevvy so this means little to me but, reading messageboards, clearly a lot to many.
CARDIFF CITY SUPPORTERS TRUST HELD A REGULAR INFORMAL MEETING AT THE DUKE of CLARENCE pub in Canton last night and were pleased to be joined by the club's Chief Operating Officer, Alan Flitcroft.
Dave Sugarman, memebership secretary, provided this very helpful meeting report of the main topics under discussion.
|Alan fielded questions on a wide variety of issues during a meeting that lasted almost two hours. What follows is a brief summary of the main topics discussed:
Catering at the new Cardiff City Stadium
Alan was asked to explain how the catering contract at the new stadium works. He revealed the club has been paid and advanced sum by catering operators Compass, which has enabled the club to pay for the fitting-out of all the food and drink outlets within the stadium. He said the club will receive a minimum guaranteed annual royalty for the duration of the Compass contract, and will also receive a cut of any excess above the set annual turnover figure.
The club had already announced earlier in the day that, after discussions with Compass, the prices of various food and drink items have been reduced. Alan said the club had taken on board the feedback supplied by Trust members and other supporters following Saturday's Legends game and as a result had renegotiated the price of several key lines with the caterers. He revealed that all beers will now cost a maximum of £3 per pint on the concourses, the price of a Clark's Pie will be reduced, and the pie and a pint deal will now cost a combined total of £5. He also stated that the vans selling very expensive pork rolls and large hotdogs at Saturday's event are temporary measures while nearby catering outlets are being completed. They are likely to be in use for Friday's friendly against Chasetown, but will be gone by the time City entertain Celtic at the stadium's official opening ceremony on 22nd July.
Alan listened to the concerns expressed by a number of Trust members about the lack of variety in the catering products available to fans during Saturday's Legends event, and said he will pass those comments on to Compass.
Alan was asked why the Away Membership fee is set as high as £20.00 when the club is now demonstrating it can operate a card system for £3.50. He replied that the money the club makes from the Away Membership scheme goes towards funding the cost of sending twelve Cardiff City stewards to each away game.
Allocation of Tickets for Big League and Cup Games
It was suggested that the club should draw up its policies for the allocation of home and away tickets for big matches before the season starts, so supporters know in advance exactly where they stand when such games come around. Loyalty schemes used by other clubs were discussed, and Alan gave an undertaking to explore this idea further.
Director Keith Harris
Alan was asked what role Keith Harris currently plays at the club and if he takes a salary from Cardiff City. He stated that Keith primarily acts as an advisor to the rest of board in terms of attracting further investment, and revealed the club has already followed up a number of interesting leads he has provided. Alan added that Keith is also an excellent source of information with regard to what is going on in the world of football finance, and it is a boost for the club to have someone of his stature within the game on its board of directors. Alan confirmed that Keith is paid a wage for his role as a non-executive director.
Match Day Prices for 2009/10
Alan confirmed the club is going to review its match day ticket prices for the 2009/10 campaign. He said a meeting is already scheduled to discuss this particular issue, and items on the agenda will include differential pricing for matches depending on the opposition and more innovative marketing of ticket sales. After listening to several suggestions from the floor, he said that ideas such as five and ten-game mini-season tickets would be added to the meeting's agenda.
E-ticketing Booking Fees
Alan was asked why the booking fees are so high on the new e-ticketing system. He said the fees go towards funding the club's link-up with agents Ticket Master, but he agreed that the costs involved should be reviewed and gave an undertaking to do so.
Langston Loan Notes Debt
Alan was asked is any of the £24 million loan notes debt had been cleared since the new board took over in January 2007. He said that it hadn't, but added that the board is currently investigating ways in which to clear the loan notes debt with one renegotiated payment.
Alan stated that talk on internet message boards about a sponsorship deal involving a betting company was premature, as no such deal has yet been finalised. However, he said that discussions are ongoing in that regard, and added that if a betting company does sponsor the adult shirts, then the replica shirts for children are likely to carry the name of a local charity instead.
Away Bubble Trips
Concerns were expressed about the number of so-called 'bubble trips' the club's travelling supporters are subjected to during each season. Alan said that club Chairman Peter Ridsdale is against all such restrictions in principle, but added that he personally feels they are necessary for certain matches. He said he believes the club must make a serious effort to ensure that any bubble trips this season are made as comfortable as possible for the fans that travel on them, and he also gave an undertaking to travel to a bubble match on a coach with the supporters in order to experience the sort of treatment they receive for himself.
Alan admitted that, while the club's staff generally do a great job, there are times when the levels of customer service could be improved. He praised the staff and said that Cardiff City has some excellent employees who have been working very hard under difficult circumstances in recent years, but he acknowledged that there is room for improvement in terms of customer service. He said the club's staff also recognize this and are currently taking positive steps in that respect.
Several complaints were made from the floor about the very poor marketing of the club. Alan was in total agreement that the club doesn't currently do enough to market itself and that huge improvements are needed in this particular area. He admitted that the club doesn't even have a marketing manager or marketing department as such, but hinted that changes are likely in that regard in the near future.
Alan gave up his own free time to attend this meeting, and he was open and honest with all of the answers he gave to questions from floor. The Trust members who were in attendance seemed to enjoy the meeting and Alan stated afterwards that the feedback he had received from the fans on a wide variety of issues had been valuable.
On behalf of the Cardiff City Supporters' Trust, I would like to offer my thanks to Alan Flitcroft for taking the time and making the effort to attend the meeting. It was very much appreciated by all concerned.
Cardiff City Supporters' Trust
Returning to Cardiff City after a year on loan in Scotland, The Bluebirds told him to seek another club. Initial talks were with lowly League Two outfit Grimsby Town bt he snubbed them the moment Leeds United expressed interest.
Once in talks with them, Leeds United suddenly dropped interest - some hinting it was becuase Feeney had also expressed interest in an approach from SPL side Hearts. Only that never materialised either and Feeney finds himself back at Square One.
So, against this background, The Feenster is trying to court Grimsby Town again He told BBC Radio Humberside: "I'm not ruling anything out or saying yes. If Mike [Newell] phones again I will have a chat."
Sunday, July 05, 2009
Photos of today and a video of yesterday is available at his Walesonline link
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Former Cardiff City skipper Graham Kavanagh, one of the most popular Bluebirds of the past decade, scored the first ever goal - a typical Kav Cracker by all accounts - as Lennie Lawrence’s All Stars beat Eddie May's version 3-1 as the new Cardiff City stadium .
This was the first of a number of 'ramp' events leading upto the League opener against Scunthorpe on August 8 and apart from catering prices (the price you pay for selling your soul to Compass - £4.50 a hot dig FFS), everyone left impressed with our new home. The crowd of 4,916 disappointed a few but it was a nothing game not involving Cardiff City and we couldn't pull that crowd for league games not so many years ago.
Kav eulogised about the stadium and the club when speaking to Wales Online - "The new stadium has been talked about for such a long time – it was one of the factors which first brought me to Cardiff from Stoke City eight years ago. The atmosphere was excellent and the place will be rocking when it’s full for the opening Championship match against Scunthorpe.
“It was bitterly disappointing for everybody when Cardiff City just missed out on the play-offs last season, but they are making great progress and the stadium helps. The facilities are Premier League quality and I’d love to see the Bluebirds make that step up to the top flight this season."
For the record of goals, Paul Sanderson (legend???) levelled Kav's effort but in a second half that featured almost as many local "celebrities" as players, a Derek Brazil own goal and a John Williams effort concluded matters.
Eddie May’s All Stars: G Ward, N Matthews, D Searle, J Perry (capt), P Dwyer, D Brazil, C Griffith, P Millar, C Dale, N Blake, P Bodin. Subs: H Fleming, L Baddeley, J Mullen, J Goodfellow, P Sanderson, C Roberts, N Wigg, T Mikelef, J Hemmerman, P Evans
Lennie Lawrence’s All Stars: E Sak, R Gibbins (capt), A Legg, S Young, D Gabbidon, J Eckhardt, N Ardley, G Kavanagh, K Nugent, L Fortune-West, C Middleton. Subs: G Croft, D Hughes, K Pontin, J Lewis, S Mardenborough, J Williams, K Nogan, J Fowler