Carl Curtis : Update on Cardiff City

It has been well publicised in the media that Russell Slade was after a midfielder and a striker in the transfer window that just closed, the manager got the striker he was after with the signing of Idriss Saadhi but he never managed to get the midfielder he wanted.

Russell Slade has been told that there are enough midfielders in the squad and there is not a need for another to come in.

Prior to the Welsh game on Sunday, Annis and I had an interesting conversation with chief executive Ken Choo who told us that there would be two or three players leaving on loan in the emergency loan window but we are unlikely to bring any more players in during this period.

When asked how does the club hope or intend to bring fans back to the stadium Choo was simple with his belief, if we win games the crowds will return. Annis told Choo that it will take more than winning games and that fans have been deeply hurt by what has happened.

The club are acutely aware that season ticket sales have dropped massively over the past two seasons, by some 12,000, but have already held conversations to look at encouraging fans back and that the pricing is one of things being looked at.

The chief exec praised Russell Slade for the work that he puts into the club, saying that the manager leaves his home in Penarth at 7am every morning to be at the training ground for 7.30am and said he is an incredible hard working guy. Choo jokingly added that he doesn’t think some fans will accept Russell Slade until he grows a full head of hair.

Choo explained that he himself likes to get to know the players and uses time in his day to get to know them individually.

Ken Choo gave his opinion on the captain David Marshall and said he is a very good leader, he also believes that there are other ‘leaders’ in the squad like Peltier, Gunnarsson and in his opinion Joe Ralls is maturing into a leader and is a future captain.

I have to say that what I heard from Ken Choo was extremely positive and no more so than the way in which the club is being run, admitting that mistakes have been made under Vincent Tan and they are putting those mistakes right.

Choo said that people are being employed in positions to better the club, such as Michael Johnson to benefit the whole set up to help advance the first team.

The chief exec is not concerned about Swansea City and their current approach and about the kids seemingly joining their set up over ours, his words were that he has been to the Swansea academy and seen it for himself, in Choo’s words ‘they have the hardware but not the software, we have the software and do not worry!’

I asked Ken if he believed that Kenwyne Jones would sign the new contract on offer to him and he said he believes he will and that Kenwyne’s heart is with Cardiff City.

Ken Choo said he loves working at the club and there has been a lot of hard work to do which was left by others.
Great news on the new blue kit.

Cardiff City have had its best ever shirt sales for an official kit launch, the first three days were the busiest that City staff have ever had and record sales were taken through the tills, the club have been desperately trying to keep up with demand and are in constant dialogue with Adidas to replenish stock due to the sales still being high.

The club order the kit a year in advance and just over a year ago, the red and the blue kits were opposite to what they are today, when the kit was placed as an order with Adidas 15 months ago, the red kit was actually supposed to be our home kit and the badge was the previously despised and extremely unpopular badge, so quantities ordered were nowhere near what was actually needed by the time the return to blue was announced and the new badge was designed.

The club themselves did not expect to see the sales they have enjoyed in recent months.

Next years kit has been ordered.

Fans will well remember that shirt sales rocketed when we signed Robbie Fowler and for a signing and shirt sales sold in a day that number is still the one to beat in terms of sales but what I have just written about is relating to an official launch day and comparing it to previous ones.

The drop in crowds not only hits the club through lack of ticket sales and match day merchandise sales but the food and drink outlets take a battering as well.

In our Premier League season when we were getting crowds of 28,000 etc the kiosks were taking on average £55,000 per match day but now they are taking on average £22,000 per game.

Apparently Compass have another 3 seasons left on the contract, at present the club gets 12% of the takings.

The club also pay approximately £160 per barrel of lager when the same barrel is costing just £60 at the Millennium Stadium, though under Peter Risdale’s time the club did receive £1m from the brewery in advance as well as receive money from Compass for completing of the fit out of the kiosks.