Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The disappearing world of local newspapers

While not overly shocked to see the circulation of both newspapers has dropped 10% in the past year, I was really surprised to see how low their circulations are.

The Echo shifts 37,000 copies while the Western Mail, a national, sells just 29,000.

I popped into my local newsagent yesterday morning who doesn't even stock it. "No demand", he said. And maybe he has a point when other morning papers seem to have double the contant at half the price.

Of the 84 local papers in UK, 83 have declining sales although the online activity is thriving.

Are local newspapers dying a slow but, perhaps, inevitable death?

Shot of the Day

What an amazing tennis shot by Roger Federer at the US Open last night, check this out and marvel.

TRANSFER WINDOW SHUTS - The Stars Stay but Gerrard Goes

Cardiff City fans spent the day on tenterhooks, monitoring online news and messageboards hoping for the best and their wishes were fulfilled as the club held onto all its key personnel.

It is believed, despite all the rumours, that no Premier side made late moves for Bothroyd or Burke, Nottingham Forest never made one final increased offer for Peter Whittingham.

It means City can crack on with the Championship assault and will keep their personnel intact until January at least.

However in the final hour, before the window shut at 6pm, one player did depart as centre half ANTHONY GERRARD left for a season's loan with fellow Championship outfit Hull City.

Gerrard has been injured, out of form and out of favour with stories mingling of bust ups with the City hierarchy. As the club ponder moves for Chris Riggott, Danny Gabbidon and Calum Davenport, it was obvious that Gerrard was falling down the pecking order.

One consequence of the move is that Gerrard can play against Cardiff as Hull reciprocated allowing City star man Seyi Olifinjana to play against Hull. The side ironically meet in their next Championship fixture at CCS when action resumes after the international break on September 13th.

Video of the Week - MANIC STREET PREACHERS, (It's Not Love) Just The End of War

For reasons best known to themselves, The Manics have prevented the official video of their new single being embedded on blogs and websites so here's a live version at a private Hammersmith gig of a tune that is a genuine grower.

The official video link follows and is worth watching just for seeing Michael Sheen getting down to some serious tonsil hockey with Anna Friel, what a lucky boy!!


Transfer Window D-Day

The Summer Transfer Window shuts firmly at 6pm this evening so 12 hours to go on what may, or may not, be an active day but will there be inward or outward moves at Cardiff City?

Having already brought in 7 men, mostly loans, Dave Jones has conducted most of his business already but is still hoping to add "one or two more". It is a fair bet those players will be centre-halves but those deals may not take place today.

Chris Rigott, already training with the club, and Calum Davenport, also linked, are free agents so do not need to be signed today. Both have injury histories and represent gambles, City are understood to be arranging a friendly tomorrow to run the rule over Riggott and maybe Davenport too.

Unlike at is seems, one shock move could see out of favour Anthony Gerrard heading to Premier League West Ham United in some sort of swap move with a homecoming for Bluebirds star, and another injury prone centre half, Danny Gabbidon. Gabbs has just pulled out of Wales' squad for their Euro 2012 opener in Montenegro on Friday but has played in the last two games for the beleagured Hammers ... who, erm, got hammered.

However most concern will be on whether any star men leave with the likes of Peter Whittingham, Jay Bothroyd and Chris Burke all in new contract talks but out of deals next summer making it vital to9 tie them down fast or risk, a la Joe Ledley, losing them for nothing. Whitts, in particular, has been linked to Nottingham Forest who are rumoured to be weighing up one final fling for him. City really do not want to lose any of these men and fans will be counting down the minutes until 6pm.

Others who may go could be Gavin Rae (Leeds or Derby showing interest), Steve McPhail (Ipswich may move for him) and other squad members like Taiwo and co but, again, these players may leave on loan at some time after today rather than find a permanent move now.

Eyes down then and let's hope for the best.

The Most Obvious Handball and Penalty Ever

Monday, August 30, 2010

Portsmouth 0 CARDIFF CITY 2 video highlights

Jay Bothroyd strikes his sixth goal of the season as Cardiff City go joint-top of the Championship.


Karaoke Time, singalong people!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Edinburgh Festival's Top 10 Puns 2010

1) Tim Vine "I've just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. I'll tell you what, never again."

2) David Gibson "I'm currently dating a couple of anorexics. Two birds, one stone."

3) Emo Philips "I picked up a hitch hiker. You've got to when you hit them."

4) Jack Whitehall "I bought one of those anti-bullying wristbands when they first came out. I say 'bought', I actually stole it off a short, fat ginger kid."

5) Gary Delaney "As a kid I was made to walk the plank. We couldn't afford a dog."

6) John Bishop "Being an England supporter is like being the over-optimistic parents of the fat kid on sports day."

7) Bo Burnham "What do you call a kid with no arms and an eyepatch? Names."

8) Gary Delaney "Dave drowned. So at the funeral we got him a wreath in the shape of a lifebelt. Well, it's what he would have wanted."

9) Robert White "For Vanessa Feltz, life is like a box of chocolates: Empty."

10) Gareth Richards "Wooden spoons are great. You can either use them to prepare food. Or, if you can't be bothered with that, just write a number on one and walk into a pub…"

Friday, August 27, 2010

McCormack move to Leeds completed

Scotland international striker Ross McCormack has joined Leeds United for an undisclosed sum from Cardiff City with the deal completed at lunchtime.

Rumours has it that he left for just £300k, a healthy profit on the £100k paid to Motherwell when Cardiff signed him but a far cry from the £4M bid turned down from Hull this time last year.

However Ross' star has waned with off field self inflicted problems affecting his football and he found himself completely out of contention this season so better to lose his £8k a week wage than keep him. I'm sure City will have a suitable sell on clause for a player very capable of settling down and rediscovering the football that electrified City and Scottish fooball fans - good luck to him!

In just over 2 seasons with Cardiff, he netted 33 goals from 88 appearances, including two goals from three sub appearances so far this season but his second season was nowhere near the standards he showed in his first year.

It's Behind You!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Should have gone to SpecSavers!

Keogh is a Bluebird

Last night's speculation turned to today's confirmation as Cardiff City announced this evening that Wolves' Eire striker ANDY KEOGH has signed for the club. However it is a season long loan rathert than a permanent purchase making Keogh the 8th signing of 5th loan signing of this season.

Still 24, Keogh was signed by Wolves from Scunthorpe in 2007 and had 79 starts plus 37 sub outings in the league with the Molineux club, netting 24 times. He played a half in Wolves opening Premier League win over Stoke 12 days ago.

There is speculation over where he could play and how he will fit into this City side which is packed with attacking talent ... and speculation over whether his arrival may mean the departure of a name player but we'll soon know I guess.

Keogh move to Cardiff confirmed by Wolves

Andy Keogh

Following their Carling Cup victory over Southend United last night, Mick McCarthy has revealed striker Andy Keogh was not in the squad as "It's a racing certainty that (he) is to join Cardiff City.

McCarthy left the Republic of Ireland international out of his side's Carling Cup win over Southend on Tuesday, ensuring the player is not cup-tied.

A permanent transfer, Keogh would become Cardiff's 8th signing of the summer following Craig Bellamy, Seyi Olofinjana, Danny Drinkwater, Jason Koumas, Lee Naylor and Tom Heaton in south Wales.

Keogh has scored 49 goals in 180 competitive appearances for Leeds, Scunthorpe, Bury and Premier League Wolves since 2004.

McCarthy told Wolves' website: "Andy has been fabulous here both for me and this football club. It's a good move for him to go to Cardiff and good luck to him. It was my decision to let him go but he goes with our best wishes and warmest regards"

McCormack's move to Leeds expected to go through today

CARDIFF CITY forward Ross M,cCormack will be meeting Leeds United boss Simon Grayson today with a view to finalising his permanent move to the Elland Road club.

A deal has been agreed between the clubs for an undisclosed fee (believed to be up to £750k) while personal terms are understood to be agreed in principle already too. If it proceeds, McCormack would debut for Leeds at Watford on Saturday.

There is also paper talk that a double deal may take place with Gavin Rae also moving to United.

Meantime, City's latest striker target is understood to be Wolves Andy Keogh who has been on Dave Jones' radar for a while. A cut price transfer is supposed to be close to being confirmed.

Pink turns black'n'blue

Check this bizarre rock accident in Nuremburg to Pink last month.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Carling Cup Round 2 report: Peterbough United 2 CARDIFF CITY 1

Forty Four years after both sides were losing League Cup semi-finalists and 8 months on from THAT 4-4 draw, Cardiff City suffered another second half collapse at London Road to crash out of the Carling Cup.

Two-one was the final score with Cardiff failing to capitalise on a one sided first half having only Jay Bothroyd’s 5th goal of the season to show for total domination and they regretted that as the tide turned 2nd half and Cardiff’s defence cracked badly to allow Mackail-Smith (74) and Boyd (87) to take Posh into Round 3.

This season is surely all about the League only but the Carling Cup has taken Cardiff to Anfield and Villa Park in the last couple of years, useful money spinners. However plans were rocked before the game with news that Blake and Chopra could be out injured for a while, McNaughton was injured too whilst Craig Bellamy did not travel. Ross McCormack was apparently at the game but, on the verge of being sold to Leeds United, he was not involved.

However the line-up and front six was still strong enough as Cardiff played 4-5-1 with Heaton; Matthews-Hudson-Gerrard-Naylor; Burke-Koumas-Olifinjana-Drinkwater-Whittingham; Bothroyd. It was a team that should have done the job and seen City through.

Peterborough have started the season well enough in the quest to bounce back into the Championship after May’s relegation with three high scoring win and one high scoring defeat but were under the cosh from the off in front of just 3,800 fans, three hundred from South Wales.

City had chance after chance but, somehow, never really extended Joe Lewis in goals as moves were too elaborate or the finishing wasn’t as smart as the set ups. Koumas (twice), Bothroyd (twice), Drinkwater (twice) and Burke were all guilty of not taking advantage of good openings but after enough warnings, Cardiff grabbed the lead just past the half hour. The impressive Jason Koumas advanced smartly down the right and his far post ball was powerful headed home by JAY BOTHROYD.

Shortly afterwards, Seyi Olifinajana went off – hopefully no more than a precaution – and Steve McPhail came on immediately having two clear chances himself but failing to take them. City should have been out of sight by the interval, their failure to do so cost them.


If the first half was all about Cardiff, it was almost the reverse story after the break with Tom Heaton having to make two excellent early saves and City on the back foot.

However they seemed to be surviving the storm although rarely threatening to get the killer second goal which always encouraged the hosts and it all went wrong with 16 minutes to go as clever interplay played in McKail-Smith with finished with style.

Game on and Cardiff should still have won it as the ref failed to award a penalty as Jay Bothroyd was pulled back inside the area then Burke wasted a one on one type opportunity.

Extra-time beckoned which was unwelcome but City were saved the extra half hour as BOYD crashed home a wonderful winner.

Both goals conceded came from shambolic defending with City’s centre halves at fault. If it acts as a reminder to Jones how me must bring in strength at the back, maybe it will have done Cardiff some good.

A poor result, a bad defeat and questions to be answered. However Portsmouth away this Saturday is the one that really matters to the club and the fans, let’s hope lessons are learned from this needless loss.

Video of the Week - The Jim Jones Revue, High Horse

Got to admit, came across these guys very recently but what I've heard, I love.

Punk rock blues at its best.

This is a new single out today, rock'n'roll has returned, what a great sound!

The Dancing Copper

Monday, August 23, 2010

Michael Chopra out for 2 to 3 months

Hvaing been the victim of an unpunished horror flying studs out tackle to his leg in the Doncaster match, Michael Chopra today learned that the injury will keep him out until October at least.

This message has been posted on his Facebook account in the past few minutes, "Injured 2 to 3 months out fucking gutted how the fuck the ref did not do anything I'll never know".

Get well soon Chops, your club needs you!

Leeds Take Pole Position for McCormack

Leeds United appear to be closing in on out of favour Cardiff City forward Ross McCormack who has found himself further down the pecking order at The Bluebirds with Craig Bellamy’s arrival. Thoughts that City may hold onto the player with news that Michael Chopra could be absent for 6 weeks with an injury in Saturday’s win over Doncaster were removed when It was revealed he should be back within a fortnight.

Roscoe’s agent Willie McKay confirmed, “We have been given permission to speak to Leeds as well as two other clubs about Ross”. Other clubs known to be linked to McCormack include other Championship outfits Ipswich, Hull and Burnley but two are rumoured to have floundered due to Ross’ current wages of £7k+ weekly.

Hello Loovens, Goodbye Gerrard??

During Saturday’s memorable victory over Doncaster, word spread around Cardiff City fans like wildfire that centre-half Anthony Gerrard is heading for the exit door for a season’s loan at League One Sheffield Wednesday with Celtic’s Glen Loovens returning through the entrance on the same deal but there appear to have been no developments so far.

Gerrard’s move remains likely to happen, the player slipping out of the first team picture and rumour would have it, out of Dave Jones’ thoughts too. His only appearance this season in the Carling Cup victory over Burton saw a poor display in which he was at fault for Burton’s goal. However Dave Jones’ mate, Alan Irvine who is boss at Sheffield Wednesday, was playing it down this evening saying, “"I am surprised to hear that one. I would expect that Anthony Gerrard's under contract which would require there to be a fee involved, and we don't have any money."

Loovens’ situation is more intriguing. Cardiff and Celtic have agreed the loan deal leaving it to the player to decide. He also finds himself out of favour with new Celtic boss Neil Lennon bringing in new centre halves. City fans would love to see him back but he is reported to be playing poorly.

However the story has moved on with Loovens preferring to fight for his place and declining City but then promptly being removed from Celtic’s squad as they beat St Mirren 4-0 yesterday with Joe Ledley scoring the opener, his first for The Bhoys. Gossip had it that Loovens stormed away from Parkhead when told of the decision but that’s being played down today with Celtic claiming that he had an injury.

Don’t therefore be surprised to see Loovens back with the Bluebirds, sooner rather than later.

Video Highlights: CARDIFF CITY 4 Doncaster Rovers 0

BBC Sport - Football - Highlights - Cardiff City 4-0 Doncaster Rovers


Craig Bellamy stars on his Cardiff City debut as he creates two goals and scores a stunning free-kick in the Bluebirds' comprehensive win over Doncaster Rovers (UK users only).

You've been McNuggeted

Wow, I think the words I'm looking for is over-reaction. Watch how this "lady" deals with the news that it's still brekky time in McDonald's so she can't have Chicken Nuggets. Cl;assy chick obviously.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Championship match report: CARDIFF CITY 4 Doncaster Rovers 0

As debuts and hysteria events go, this was one that met and surpassed the dreams. Cardiff City fans, still revelling in true fantasy football as Craig Bellamy returns home, had to pinch themselves again as Doncaster were demolished 4-0. City’s last signing of such extraordinary magnitude, the legendary John Charles, scored a 70 yard free-kick to crown his debt, Captain Bellamy made it a day never to be forgotten either creating 2 (one of them a 60 yard assist with a pass from near a corner flag as City defended) then striking the most stunning 35 yard free-kick late on. City’s other goals were by Jay Bothroyd (2) and Chris Burke.

To put his result into context, it was Doncaster’s biggest defeat since being in the Championship and their first four goal loss in the league since beating beaten at home by the same margin in January 2008 League One ironically by … Swansea.

Yet there were few signs of this outcome in a first half that Doncaster edged on points for a sizeable period while Cardiff battled for the right to play their football and City also had to cope with the loss through injury of both Michael Chopra and Kevin McNaughton inside the first half hour.

After a week of what felt like unprecedented drama and fervour (and that alone takes some doing with the soap opera that is Cardiff City) which also grabbed national and international attention, it felt a relief to be going to watch football instead of talking about it. It also felt surreal to believe Craig Bellamy, a Premiership superstar at the height of his powers, had elected to come home but he certainly had as thousands of extra shirt and season ticket sales plus a home sell out crowd showed only too well.

The difference was also noticeable in Canton bars. Opening home game, I walked into a half empty Admiral Napier and was served instantly. Today, I had to barge my way through the crowd … that was just to get inside from the street. I’d also never seen the pubs empty quite so early either, everyone wanted to be there to see the moment Bellamy led out the team but not just that, it was also to pay their respects to Bluebirds legend Brian Clark.

The sights and sounds were spine tingling as the teams were led out with Bellers at the front. The crowd was 24,027 and the poignancy of the occasion was heightened again as the club paid full tribute to my boyhood idol, true legend and all round nice guy Brian Clark who sadly passed away recently after illness. He will never be forgotten for scoring the goal that beat Real Madrid, surely the greatest night in club history, but I will always remember him for far more that that. That minute’s applause and chants of there’s only one Brian Clark with both teams and former team-mates Bobby Woodruff, Don Murray, Steve Derrett and Gary Bell on the pitch with the big screen showing some magical memories was very fitting … even if Dave Jones wearing his black armband over his white shirt did look slightly, and very unintentionally, Nazi.

Darcy Blake was injured warming up having rolled on his ankle so swiftly replaced by Adam Matthews but, with all other players available including Kevin McNaughton after his concussion/hospital trauma last weekend, the questions were who would Bellamy replace and what formation would City deploy?

It was the unfortunate Chris Burke, last week’s match winner, who found himself on the bench as City stayed 4-4-2 with Bellers on the left and Peter Whittingham switched to the right. Such has been City’s activity in the market that they went from 4 subs only in the league opener a fortnight ago to what must be City’s strongest bench ever.

CARDIFF: Marshall; Matthews-Blake-Hudson-Gyepes-McNaughton; Whittingham-Olifinjana-Drinkwater-Bellamy; Bothroyd-Chopra. The subs were Heaton-Gerrard-McCormack-Rae-Koumas-Burke-Naylor.

Doncaster are of one the Championship’s least fashionable but most likeable clubs. They play football as it should be – their passing and movement is often exceptional as Cardiff found out last season getting beaten away but having a lucky last minute home win at CCS. Some fancy Donny as this season’s Blackpool as they started well enough with a comfortable opening day win at Preston but they needed an added time penalty to avoid home defeat to the hapless Wurzels last week.

So to the game and after all that build up, Bellamy could. Maybe should, have opened inside 2 minutes as City’s first slick move saw Chopra taken out by an horrendous Thomas flying studs in challenge but play moved so fast, few saw it as the ball was worked by Jay to Bellamy who hooked over as O’Sullivan ran out to block.

Chops needed prolonged treatment and also limped off for more later while the game was in play but in between came so close to opening the scoring as he latched onto Jay’s flick on, tried to lob veteran keeper Neil O’Sullivan whose reflexes belied a player who turned 40 last season.

However it was Donny who opened up the better with the game being played at a furious pace that was never going to last. Passing and moving the ball as they can, they were exposing Cardiff and creating plenty of problems, one shot missing by a whisker and Marshall having to be at full stretch to turn away two other efforts.

Cardiff’s problems increased as Kevin McNaughton limped off inside 20 minutes followed by Chopra who could not recover from his knock (and may now be out for up to 6 weeks) but City’s bench showed its power as they were replaced by debutant Lee Naylor producing a very pleasing debut and Chris Burke showing how to respond to being dropped with, arguably, a man of the match display. Cardiff also matched up Donny’s 4-5-1 with Peter Whittingham tucking in and running the show and the tide turned with it.

Within 4 minutes, Cardiff were ahead. Danny Drinkwater fed Craig Bellamy and his first time daisy cutter across the box from the edge of the area found BOTHROYD whose flick took a lucky deflection off Donny’s Thomas and left him one on one with O’Sullivan to finish coolly stroking the ball wide of him.

Half-time: CITY 1 DONNY 0

The proverbial game of two halves, City were now able to open up and show their mighty attacking quality. I personally felt Donny had worked so hard in the first half, they had run their legs off to a certain extent and while Cardiff could go up a gear, the visitors could not respond. However they so nearly levelled it as a fluke Coppinger cross deceived Marshall and bounced off his crossbar.

It was a sideshow to what were three stunning second half goals. Donny can question their defending but no denying each goal was a classic in its own right.

The second and decisive goal on 62 minutes was almost a tribute to Brian Clark. Chris Burke, back to his very best, got the ball wide, ran at defenders, dummied past one and got to the by-line before crossing to the far post for BOTHROYD to send a towering header back across goal into the top corner. Clarkie would have been smiling looking down at that. It was Jay’s 4th of the season as he sets about beating last season’s 13.

Any thoughts Donny could still make a game of it were banished 6 minutes later and in incredible style. Bellamy won the ball by the corner flag with City defending. As he belted it up field, it looked like a clearance but the ball cleared Donny’s defence and sent CHRIS BURKE clear. He would never be caught and finished with real aplomb as he fired home high from just inside the box leaving O’Sullivan motionless. CCS was now truly rocking.

Job done, game over, the contest looked now resembled a training match but had one moment of humour as City put together 20 or more passes before nearly scoring with each pass greeted with an ole only for Donny to get the ball and do their best to replicate with their beleaguered support doing the same, volume 50 times quieter.

Bellers is a long way from match fitness and blowing frequently but came alive on the ball but his afternoon finished in amazing style. Winning a free-kick 35 yards out on the left side of goal, BELLAMY let fly with the ball seemingly accelerating en route to beat O’Sullivan and hammer in off his far post. It was truly an extraordinary moment, the noise and celebrations in the crowd simply fantastic.

Before he departed for a standing ovation, he got booked for dissent (I think the ref just wanted his name in the book) but that still left time for Jason Koumas to show how devastatingly good he can be with some superb touches and passes.

However this was a team display where every player performed really well, apart from those already mentioned, I was especially impressed by Olifinjana in midfield who only plays 25 yards either side of halfway and doesn’t veer too far left or right but the game can’t pass him by there and he is an anchor, the type of general the side have been missing for too long.

The frightening thing is that you suspect this side will only get better. They are still working on their shape, they are still getting to know each other. Even the City pessimists are optimistic!

As Lou Reed sings, it’s such a perfect, I’m glad I spent it with you. Final whistle saw the heavens open and the mother of all downpours, City fans left CCS truly singing and dancing in the rain. What a day, it will never be forgotten by anyone there.

You Can't Beat A Bit of Bully

Friday, August 20, 2010

City Storm The Castle

A mementous week was ended by Cardiff City, in comnjunction with Championship sponsors N-Power, flashing player, squad and club images onto the walls of Cardiff Castle tonight.

It's never looked better!

Whitts move to Forest back on?

Today's Daily Mail is reporting that PETER WHITTINGHAM has held talks with Nottingham Forest over a proposed £1.8M move.

Out of contract next summer, City need Whititngham to pen a new deal now or sell. They can't really afford a repeat of the Joe Ledley walk away for free that happened this summer.

Middlesbrough are also reported to be interested but Forest appear to be in pole position if he goes.

Personally, I truly hope he stays and takes a new deal with Cardiff, he's a key player and a class act who, in truth, is too good for the Championship and should be performing at a higher level. If he leaves, it should only be for Premier Leage and not a rival. I also value him at more than £1.8M.

I'm thoroughly enjoying watching Whitts play lately, he's a class above. Not scored yet this season but helped set up Burke's winner at Derby and Jay's equaliser at home to Sheff U.

Hope he takes a new deal with City instead.

Here's your effing weather

BBC weather man Thomas Shafernaker got caught out on Tuesday when he aimed a gesture at the newsreader just as live cameras switched to him.

Watch his schoolboy attempt to pretend he was rubbing an itch and the reaction of the news readers.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

City search for new striker target as Cousin flees

Earlier in the week, stories were strong that Cardiff City and Hull City had agreed a player swap in principle with Ross McCormack heading to the Tigers with City hoping to get French striker Daniel Cousin.

Whilst terms were agreed for McCormack, Cousin was less keen as he earned £18k weekly, Cardiff were offering to pay half of that and Hull were refusing to make up the shortfall. But it's now all change as Cousin has gone to Greece to play for Larissa (I'd never heard of them before either!) leaving any deal for McCormack dead in the water.

However it is now understood that City are looking for a similar swap with Derby County, this time with Rob Hulse coming our way. Cardiff need cover and competion for Jay Bothroyd and Hulse fits the bill perfectly.

All Clear, Bells is registered

After a crazy day on Wednesday with Craig Bellmay's arrival hearalding an immediate £400,000 injection into the club with 500 new season tickets, 3,000 shirts (selling out all stock) and thousands of extra ticket sales for the next couple of home games, the Football League chairman Greg Clarke puit his face on Sky tv demanding more information on how Cardiff were financing the deal and adding in many choice comments about how to handle business and finance.

Like Motherwell Chairman John Boyle, the man is an ultimate hyprocrite. As Leicester Chief Executive, he put that club into administration owes millions of debt which creditors only ever saw a fraction of. Cardiff, unike these people, have never gone into admin and always paid creditors.

The matter was swiftly resolved - the league seemed to be making up a new rule so it could hardly be srtopped - but has left Cardiff seething about how it was handled with the Chairman going to media without ever approaching the club. I understand the FAW, Football League and Cardiff City have held held powered private conversations about the Foootball League conduct in this matter.

City: Why point fingers at us?

CARDIFF CITY, instead of being praised for pulling off the loan deal of this or any other season at Championship level, have been on the receiving end of flak - mostly from newpspaper, radio and tv shows that specialise in shock values!

Mike Morris of Cardiff City.com has produced an excellent response which I've re-printed here followed by my observations. What do you think?


The amount of stick thrown in Cardiff City's direction in the last 24 hours has been shocking.

Not everyone is against us. We have received some goodwill messages from Man City fans, some reasonable and balanced coverage from some of the tabloids, broadsheets and tv/radio stations but there is an underlying current of resentment about our signing of Craig Bellamy. Some of the comments from the more gutter radio shows have been jaw-dropping.

I think there is an element of disbelief from the EPL that we took one of their star players. An element of jealously from the Football League that we have made ourselves favourites for promotion but moreso the thing that wrankles them is that we were close to going bust a few weeks ago and now we have signed a player who reportedly earns around £90K a week.

Instead of looking at our current situation or what we have been trying to achieve we get backpage headlines like the one from the Daily Express "How can a club which has faced 4 winding-up orders sign £85,000 a week Craig Bellamy".

Well if they did some resaearch they'd find that Man City are paying most of his wages. Cardiff are paying a percentage. All perfectly legal and within the loan rules. Loan moves happen all the time. Parent clubs tend to pay the bulk of the wages. Same thing happening here. No need to threaten his registration or to throw ones toys out of the pram.

The carefully planned outburst from the Motherwell Chairman shocked the football world nearly as much as Bellany signing for us. He called us cynical for not paying our bills. Actually, I agree to an extent. We should not still be owing Motherwell. We are tackling these debts and that one in paticular has not yet been fully resolved. The matter should be sorted soon but it does beg the question of the hypocrisy of a man who saw his airline company go bust leaving thousands stranded and out of pocket, click here, and the same chap was at the helm of Motherwell when they went into administration leaving their creditors with just 15p in the pound, click here.

Cardiff City did not take the easy option of administration and a chance to get away without paying everyone but instead chose (thanks to the new investment from Malaysia and from current directors) to tackle the debts head on.

Portsmouth, the tax man claims, owes £37m to HMRC. Cardiff City owe then the July payment at most. Just about all the footballing debts have been settled by the new reigime at the CCS. The random borrowings by Peter Ridsdale are being sorted, the debts to other clubs are being covered. The players/staff wages are all upto date and the tax man has dismissed his intended high court action because we have delivered the money we promised.

We still have a debt, mostly to Langston (Sam Hammam's interest) but it's a fraction of the debt owed by some top Premier League sides but crucially it's a debt we are facing and not bailing out from by taking the administration route.

Maybe the Football League should be investigating Crystal Palace who went into admin, have offered their creditors a couple of pence in the pound and are now about to sign Edgar Davids. They should still be investigating how Portsmouth can get away with settling already mega rich players bonuses while leaving the tax man to fight for scraps.

Cardiff's signing of Craig Bellamy has close on paid for itself already. We don't know the exact amount Cardiff have to pay in wages but it's thought to be £20K a week. 24 hours after his signing we sold nearly 4,000 shirts @ £40 each, 500 season tickets @ £300 each and the gate will be increased by about 5,000 @ £20 each on Saturday.

Roughly that's about £400,000 on the back of him signing. 20 weeks of wages brought in from the first 24 hours of business.

The man pays for himself. Cardiff have not paid a penny in transfer fees this summer. Season long loans for Olofinjana, Koumas, Drinkwater and Bellamy. Free transfer for Tom Heaton. Upto 10 players leaving who are now off the wage-bill. At the same time debts settled by re-structure or in some cases the exchange of debt to shares in the club.

The football world should be applauding the efforts of TG, Vincent Tan, Steve Borley etc for their dedication to honouring what we owe while at the same time making Cardiff City Football Club a force in the Championship and hopefully becoming a Premier League by the end of the season.

Cardiff City have made a statement of intent this week. We've shocked the football establishment and they don't like it.

Keep them stones in your pockets people.

Excellent piece although, as I see it, the bottom line from football, media and assorted "personalities" has not entirely been hatred, ignorance (even though much of it is) but envy.

The club have pulled off an audacious deal but, in Bellamy's case, we were the only club ever likely to. As City have rightly said, any other ambitious club in the Championship would have moved hell and earth to do eactly the same if they had such a chance.

I also got a funny feeling we'll see a few more Prem stars in the Championship once final squads are announced. Aaron Ramsey looks set to be one such player - will anyone moan then? Davids to Palace after they hit the wall is another good example.

However, boot on the other foot, if Bellers had gone to another club on loan and one who have had more than their fair share of troubles, I can't help thinking Cardiff City fans would have had plenty to say themselves and little of it complimentary. It happens.

I well remember the general outcry on here about how Stoke "cheated" their way to the Premier League with all the loan singings they had a couple of years ago. Now we're playing a similar game - and it's not before time that Dave Jones used the loan market cleverly! - we applaud it.

Whoever said it's a funny old game has it spot on!

Naylor becomes new signing number 7

CARDIFF CITY have reportedly completed the signing of free agent left back Lee Naylor.

Naylor, a former player of City boss Dave Jones at Wolves, has just completed 4 seasons at Celtic playing 100 SPL games and signing off with a goal as The Bhoys beat deadly rivals Rangers 2-1 in the final game of last season.

The player has been trainign with Cardiff for some time and the club have always wanted him to put pen to paper but he delayed a decision hoping to attract a Premier League outift. Now however he has chosen the Bluebirds but may face stiff competition as Kevin McNaughton has been outstanding in that position and the club last week signed Canadian English-born prospect Martin John.

The Crashproof Bike

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Craig Bellamy's Cardiff City press conference


Momentous Day as Bellamy signs for City

It is the story that has rocked the football nation, CRAIG BELLAMY has only gone and signed for Cardiff City. This doesn't even happen in my dreams!

Man City's fans player of the season and player's player of the season, recognised as one of the supreme players in the Premier League has opted to join The Bluebirds on loan for the entire season.

Any club in the Premiership would love to have him in their squad despite his fall out at Man City but Bellers showed that his summer long talk of wanting to play for his hometown club and be home with his family was not just words.

Undoubtedly Cardiff City's biggest ever signing given that Craig is at the peak of his powers unlike other past legends such as John Charles and Robbie Fowler when they joined the club, it has got the fans, the city, the Principality and the whole of the UK talkling.

I suppoose we should examine how a club fighting off winding up orders last week can pull off a move that is beyond audacious but, bugger that, this is a time to enjoy and celebrate.

Welcome home Craig Douglas Bellamy!

You've Been Blobbed

Monday, August 16, 2010

Exclusive - After the agonising wait, it's finally going ahead, the deal is done! Big Cardiff signing!!!

Hooter’s has been granted permission to open by the Council this afternoon.

You weren’t expecting other news, were you?

Another day with plenty of Bellamy talk but no firm Bellamy news

Well the much touted press conference never happened this morning, Cardiff City boss Dave Jones commented that he hadn't even spoken with Manchester City and Sky were reporting a possibility that the player may even return to Manchester City so for the second day running, hopeful Bluebird followers were down.

Then, just like groundhog day, local media broke news that the deal was on. Yesterday it was Wales Online and the South Wales Echo, tonight it is the turn of the truly bland local station (Un)Real Radio.

They claim Cardiff and Manchester City have thrashed out a half season loan deal, with The Mancs having an option to recall but the possibility that he could spend all season at Cardiff. Bellers' reputed £98k weekly wage is out of any other club's reach but suggestions are Cardiff will pay upto £40k with rumours Bellers will forgo a third of it and hints local businessmen may be contributing too and Bellamy will skipper the side against Doncaster this weekend. This from a club were have major money woes and who only saw off a winding up order in the courts last week! There again, when has life ever been normal, straightfdorward or predictable with this soap opera of a club.

If you believe these stories, a contract could be signed tomorrow. What's the odds we'll have to tlerate another day of gossip?

My head's spinning but Cardiff are showing ambition. Bellamy or no Bellamy, all of a sudden we look stronger and ambitious, it's pleasing to see.

HELLS BELLS - Bellamy on way to Cardiff (!!!???) ... or is he?

Bellamy in a Cardiff shirt
Could it really be??

Any thoughts of a quiet Sunday basking in the afterglow of Cardiff's fine 2-1 win at Derby were quickly banished as the rumour mill went into over-drive that, unbelievably, Craig Bellamy had agreed to join the Bluebirds. What appeared to be a joke at first soon became serious business and fnas are on tenterhooks waiting to see what today brings them.

Officially, news emerged late last night that Bellamy has been banned from training with Manchester City and he has been allowed to train with Cardiff from today. He will not be included in Manchester City's soon to be announced 25 man squad so needs a move. It has widely been expected that, despite several nosies about thinking of joining Cardiff, he would eventually end up at Everton, Spurs, Fulham, Liverpool or Celtic. After all, at 31, he was easily one of the Premier League's star performers last season and possibly playing the best football of his career.

However his wife and family have always remained in Cardiff and live just 5 minutes from Cardiff's Vale training complex. He is a Cardiff boy and declared it a dream to see out his career at Cardiff and now sees leading them into the Premier League as a bigger event as anything in his career so the lure and pull is there.

During yesterday, rumours started flying on message boards that a deal was being struck. Odds on betting websites plunged in no time at all which saw the odds of Bells joining Cardiff plummet from 7/1 to 1/3 and suddenly suspended - that indicates maybe inside information was at play. Was someone at the club or close to Bellamy letting the cat out of the bag?

By early evening, Wales Online published breaking news that the player was joining Cardiff today on a 6 month loan and would be captain, contracts being signed this morning, a sotry that was later removed.

Late night, saw national stories saying only that Bells would train with us but that Cardiff had spoken with Manchester City and were in talks but far off agreeing a suitable payment. However further late night stories calimed Celtic had lost oput getting Bellamy on a season's loan had crashed as he was coming to Cardiff.

Emotions saying, contradictory stories and a constantly moving picture so what is happening?

As unbelieveable as it seems, I understand that Bellamy has indicated he will come to Cardiff until the New Year at least on loan and that City have brokered an agreement with Manchester City who do not want him to go to a Premier League rival. All agreed in principle, the contract is hopefully being signed later this morning.

It promises to be an interesting day and maybe another crazy one.