By Carl Curtis
When you are sat in a room with 12 people who were hand picked by the club as so called fans leaders and told by club staff that unless we accept the change of colour then this club will cease trading within months, I can tell you that you go through the worst emotions you will ever feel, other than experiencing anything in your private family life, it really was the worse feeling I have ever had for something I love.
To be told and feel that you would be responsible for the death of our football club is something I hope I never experience again or anybody else ever has to go through, no matter what sort of person you are I can, from experience, tell you that your mind goes into overdrive, you panic, feel fear, worry, scared.
I left that room not thinking straight, believing there was no other option than to accept what we were told in that room at the stadium and should we continue with our stance of ‘we want to keep the blue and tell Vincent Tan to stick his investment where the sun don’t shine’ because believe me that is what the majority in the room were saying , so don’t ever think we just rolled over without a fight.
It was a fight that in truth we could not win, would you want to be one of a handful of people to ultimately face all Cardiff City fans and say ‘we told Tan to stick his money’ and be responsible for the death of our club, I couldn’t do that and I am not ashamed to say I caved in through fear of losing the club.
Some in the room decided to walk away, I respect their stance on that but that is not something I wanted to do, I decided from the word go I would reluctantly swallow a very bitter pill to hopefully safeguard the future of the club, I wanted and still want a debt free club, it has never been about Premier League success for myself but for a debt free club.
From the two meetings that took place on the Tuesday and Thursday started a series of phone calls between Alan Whiteley and myself, I was commended by Whiteley for my balanced view on the meetings and during a call on the following Monday morning, I pleaded with the then chief executive to at least convince Tan to restore our club badge, first I had to convince Whiteley on the reasons why and after a lengthy chat I did just that and Alan said he would take my argument to Tan, he called me later that day to say that Tan is considering restoring the badge and he would have a definite answer in a day or so.
At that time there were death threats being made via social media against Tan and his children, there were threats of harm against the owner and his family, I went public along with others to appeal for calm, those threats went too far and were unnecessary.
Obviously the badge never got changed and I honestly don’t know if I was used to try and keep people calm or if Whiteley ever did have the conversation with Tan about the badge, I guess we will never know but I was trying regardless.
We have never given up the hope of a return to blue and have since that day lobbied the club to bring about the change, we have not backtracked or changed our minds we have continued to do what we set out to do.
Vincent Tan pledged to convert his debt to equity once Langston was settled, in May 2012 we were told it was days away, that was simply not true, I can say that with authority as a result of Alan Whiteley asking me to pass on offers to Sam Hammam for the settlement of the Langston debt, that was another episode I didn’t know if I wanted to get involved but it was said ‘you got the ear of Sam, maybe you can help’, I felt privileged to be asked but thought it was also laughable, I am a construction foreman and nothing more.
But again if I could play in part in helping this club become debt free then I felt it was the right thing to do.
We are £100m further in debt than we were 2 years ago and for somebody whose stance has always been about a debt free club, I fear that unless the debt is converted to shares as was promised then my fear of the club going to the wall has multiplied, we cannot sustain this level debt with or without Tan’s money, we have to bring the debt levels down and live within our means but if we carry on as we are then we are truly screwed I believe.
Tan will not be around forever and if he leaves without converting then how will this club be able to trade with those debts should he call in his loans.
Simon Lim said to me on Wednesday ‘why would Vincent turn his loans to shares when he is facing protests from the fans?’ My response was that part of the reason he is facing opposition is because he has not converted them.
If tan converts and gives the fans back the club we deserve then I am sure we can be successful and in turn so could he.
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