A new era
27 May, 2010 17:08
A new era begins at the Cardiff City Stadium this week, with the departure of Peter Ridsdale and the welcoming of our new chairman Dato Chan Tien Ghee into the boardroom. TG as he's known, is backed by a multi billion pound consortium from Malaysia, but has insisted they will not be throwing money away. Having said that, he has already held informal talks with Joe Ledley to try and persuade him to stay on at City. Sources claim that local lad Ledley has been told that the new board will double his weekly salary (currently thought to be about Â£10,000) if he stays, making him the highest paid player at the club. A number of clubs have shown an interest in him in the past, including Stoke who had a Â£6m bid turned down last summer, with Everton and both Glasgow giants said to be in the market this year.
Other City players courted by the premier league big guns are Bothroyd, Whittingham and Matthews, with rumours earlier this season stating that Matthews had already signed for Manchester United.
Matthews, a product of City's youth academy after Swansea Town released him aged 8, was outstanding during the first half of the season, but unfortunately we've seen very little of him in the second half. He could be a world class right back if given the opportunity, and I think we need to hang onto him.
Bothroyd has never really done anything in his career until he came to City, and Jones has managed to turn him into a superb player. His ball-hold up and strength have contributed well to the team, and I feel if he could stay on his feet a bit more often, he'd have scored a few more.
Whittingham is another player who seemed destined for the scrap heap, but this season has shone through with 25 goals. Hopefully he stays with us and can repeat that next season; he can be an important part of the team.
Then thereâ€™s Chopra, who if rumours are to be believed is the subject of interest from his old Sunderland manager Roy Keane, who states he has Â£3m to spend on him. Now, Chops scored 20 goals this season, and that including two very long baron spells, at the beginning of the term he was firing them in like his life depended on it. He pops up when a goal is needed most (Swansea at home and Wembley to name but two), so my view is that Â£3m is far short of what we should value him at. Having said that, why would he want to move to another Championship team, even if it is his old boss running things there?
So who may be coming in? Well, it would appear that Jones is making an audacious bid for a premier league legend who wants a new challenge â€“ someone of Giggs standing (although not Giggs apparently). Are there any clues? Yes, there are. There was a renowned premier league player in the hospitality lounge at the CCS when we played Leicester in the playoff semi final, and that same player says he wants to play for his home town club one day. That same player trained with the City squad that week, before pulling out of an international friendly, Iâ€™ve no doubt he was at Wembley as well. Could there be a move to take him on a season long loan? That would certainly test the resolve of TG and the board, but Jones knows how to attract big names to Cardiff, whoâ€™d have thought weâ€™d sign Robbie Fowler or Jimmie Floyd Haaselbank, and in the same season! Trevor Sinclair, another big named signing. So, will he come? Iâ€™m sure weâ€™ll know as soon as the deal is done.
TG has promised he will do everything he can to keep Cardiff at the top of the league and pushing for promotion, well, let's see where he takes us.
Meanwhile, down west, apparently someone is interested in signing Leon Britton!
Roll on August!