Monday 10 March ~
It's been a dramatic few days for Cardiff City. Sunday's televised humiliation of Middlesbrough took them into the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time since winning the trophy in 1927 but there is still much more drama to come. The £30 million High Court case brought against the club by their major creditors begins tomorrow. If Cardiff lose this, chairman Peter Ridsdale insists the club will be forced into administration.
The saga began in August last year when the Swiss-based investment fund known as the Langston Corporation issued a writ on an unsecured loan taken out by previous chairman Sam Hammam, plus £6m interest. This legal action, on account of payment default and mismanagement, took the current Cardiff regime by surprise as they claimed all previous contact with the mysterious Langston company had been made through Sam Hammam, something that has created suspicion in South Wales. Indeed, seven months before any legal action was mooted, as early as January 2007, there were worries about the secretive nature of the organisation. Now however, Hammam is keen to uphold whatever good name he has left and is “staying in touch” with Cardiff fans.
So despite the Cup heroics, it is going to be an interesting week. Chairman Peter Ridsdale, who must be enjoying his unaccustomed positive public image, certainly in comparison to Hammam, will be spending his 56th birthday in court. He seems confident, despite his previous warnings. Ridsdale also claimed that the new 30,000-seat ground currently being built in Leckwith, (early rumours of naming rights included the suggestion that it might be the SuperTed Stadium) is not under any threat: "We have put the money into a separate account and as far as I'm concerned this stadium will be built, will be finished and somebody will be playing football in it by 2009.” Nothing for Cardiff fans to worry about then. Ed Upright