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Singing The Blues

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November 2006

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A Cardiff City Fanzine The Independent Supporters Magazine

issue one >> Email: singingtheblues@f2s.com

UK Fanzine Of The Year Might have been next year but the awards stopped in 2002

STB publications exists to provide a platform for all supporters to voice an opinion, therefore the views expressed in Singing The Blues are of the individual contributor. All material copyright STB Publications and may not bereproduced without permision

c o n t e n t s Page 4

Editorial

Page 6

Bungs on TV

Page 7

Web Space

Page 8

Those Were The days My Friend

Page 10

Sad Gitt: 10 Things I Hate!

Page 12

Championship News

Page 14

Good Times Bad Times

Page 16

Cheat Cheat Cheat

Page 18

Wales

Page 20

Away Days

Page 22

Desensitised

Page 24

Letter

Page 26

Glyn & Roy Paul

Page 28

Win Stuff

Page 31

Player Products

Next Issue On Sale 2nd December 2006 Colchester Utd Home 2 60219 6458945 singing the blues 3


STB CREDITS

SINGING THE BLUES EDITORIAL elcome to issue 1 of Singing The Blues. I hope you enjoy what the various contributors have written and find it interesting.

W ISSUE 1 Editor Jonesy Design Editor Jonesy Chief Reporter Jonesy Contributers Paul Evans James Owen Sad Gitt Jonesy Proof Reader Jo Little Photos Glyn Paul, Dave Fellingham Jonesy CoverPhoto City Fans At Norwich by Dave Fellingham

email singingtheblues@f2s.com

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I know fanzines are supposed to be a photocopied mish-mash of various items revolving around our club, I just thought I’d try the more polished look (I hope I have anyway). We’ll still try and keep the usual content associated with fanzines and add some pictures you can actually see and include some colour graphics etc. Which digital cameras and computers allow these days. I would be more than pleased if you would like to contribute to the fanzine or just comment on it. You can do this by emailing me at the address in the bottom corner. Right, down to business. A new chairman and new owners have taken over the club then Just when you thought everything was finally settling down off the field. We can only hope the people in charge of the club now have some passion for the club and respect for us the supporters. I’ll reserve judgement on that one for a few months if you don’t mind. There have been various opinions in the press and on internet, but we’ll all have to wait. I’d have been happier if Peter Ridsdale wasn’t involved though. He’ll have more to prove than anyone over the coming months. I ’m sure Leeds fans will wish him and us all the best for the future.

Sam Hammam must despite some reservations, be thanked for his time at the helm. It looks like he has left the club in a better position finacially at the end of his reign, and no one can question the position the club are in league wise right now. So thank you Sam from someone who still isn’t 100% sure of why you were here but is glad you were. On the pitch things are at an all time high for most of us. Only you guys who went in the late 60’s will have any idea what it was like the last time we were in such a heady league position.. Lets hope history doesn’t repeat it’s self from that season. I’m referring to the rumour that the board didn’t want to get promoted and sold Toshack, thus ending our promotion hopes. I can’t see anything like that happening these days mind, as the new investors are banking on us getting promoted. What a month is been, we’ve been top of the table the whole time and loving it. We just seem to keep wining, except for the odd blip, and you have to pinch yourself almost every game. Can it continue we repeatedly ask ourselves. We just have to believe it will and support the players best we can as always.


Email: singingtheblues@f2s.com The whole team are playing supurb football and there just don’t seem to be any weak links at all. That said there is always talk about our squad size. Reporters and other managers are harping on about the fact we only have seventeen or so players to chose from. Well didn’t Liverpool win all before them with fourteen or something. I’ve never been an advocate of big squads and this season will prove my and lots of other’s theory one way or another. I’m confident though. Mind you it is easier to get booked these days, so suspensions will come along more frequently

Scimica / Langley What a month of contrasts, here’s a few I’ve noticed Norwich Away Losing 1-0

Our debt getting talen care of. Can’t be bad, can it?

Isn’t great to see Ninian Park full again. There’s even a rush to by these pro rata season tickets. I hear we turned fans away for the Southampton game. Just make you think how big a crowd we would have if Ninian had a bigger capacity. That brings me on nicely to the new stadium capacity. Is 30,000 enough? I’d say it isn’t. Imaging we were playing Manchester United at home. We’d certainly have the 20,000 fans who turned up against Southampton plus the ones who were turned away. If United brought 5,000 the planned capacity leaves less than 5,000 for new, occasional and neutral fans who would be interested in premiership football. I’d hope there would be more of them than that. Perhaps the new owners will address the problem. But from what I’ve heard and read 30,000 seems to be the maximum talked about.

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City Involved In Bung Inquiry Singing The Blues Spoke To Sam Alardyce The Bolton Manager

££ £

STB Hi Sam. Thanks for agreeing to the interview. Big Sam No problem, I’ve got nothing to hide. STB Hang on a minute, we haven’t asked you anything yet. Big Sam You will though. This bung thing is dong my head in!! STB OK we do have a question about corruption, but not involving any players. Big Sam You’re kidding me. I haven’t done anything honest. STB Are you sure??? We have a dossier we are about to pass to the Ofcomthe Broadcasting StandardsAuthority about a transfer between Cardiff City and Bolton Wanderers. Big Sam Ofcom? STB Yes that Big Screen you sold us..... Big Sam You stop right there. My son dealt with that from the outset. I told him it wasn’t working!!. He insisted he could sell it to some unsuspecting, up and coming team from the lower divisions. He said he’d tell them they could use it to beam back away games. He even joked about selling chairs to go with it as you couldn’t see it from further than 30 yards. STB How much did you make from the deal? Big Sam Nothing, as I said my son dealt with it. STB We have you on film discussing the matter with ******* who is our undercover reporter. Big Sam I knew he wasn’t really a centre forward!! Anyway catching me on film means nothing. You can’t prove anything. I was just trying to be clever when I spoke to *******. I just wanted to impress him with my tele-visual knowledge, so I made the story up. Have you told anyone else about this matter yet? No, not yet. STB Big Sam Good, your names not Newell then! Here’s a tenner. That’s half of what Bolton made on the deal. Now give me that evidence you have there. Ten pound? You mean Cardiff actually paid £20 for it in the first place?? STB Big Sam I know you were robbed!! Alan Cork put the original offer in. He paid too much for everything at your club.

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The Hammam Years 2000 - 2006

Well he said it would be a roller coaster ride didn‘t he! The roller coaster analogy is a very good one because it sums up perfectly the Hammam years at Cardiff City, the highs were huge ones which, pre Sam Hammam, would have been considered impossible by the club’s legion of long suffering fans, but when things were bad, they were very bad with some of the wounds being self inflicted. When Sam Hammam first arrived at Ninian Park in 2000 I think there was a hope that this could be the signal for the club finally to take off, but in my view, the over bearing feeling of negativity the people of this area that had been nurtured by decades of failures prevailed - like Rick Wright, Sam Hammam would use his flair for publicity to increase the profile of the club and although there may be some success along the way, this was Cardiff City, bigger than Barcelona? Bigger than Barnet more like! I well remember that first home game of the new era against Blackpool with the win a sheep competition and glossy brochures setting out “Sam’s dream”. A crowd of 11,019 offered early evidence of the potential that makes people want to apply the term “sleeping giant” to the club, but on the pitch it was a case of same old City with victory being tossed away in the dying minutes. Less than a month later just 5,087 were present for a rare victory, by 4-2 over Halifax, as too many draws and the appointment of Bobby Gould saw the team bumping along in the lower half of the table. Once the dead hand of Gould had been lifted after just two months though, things began to improve as City confirmed my long held opinion that the basement is the only division that you can buy your way out of. Promotion was won amidst a welter of goal scoring, but we had achieved this so many times before only to come straight back down from the third tier. The summer of 2001 gave the first real clue that things may be different this time as City went on a spending spree the like of which had never been seen before at Ninian Park and, perhaps for the first time, people started to believe that “Sam’s dream” may actually have some substance to it. Given the talent assembled during that period, gaining promotion turned out to be more of a struggle that it should have been - it took two years and there was a lot of frustration along the way, but a dramatic win in the Play Off Final in front of a packed Millennium Stadium somehow seemed typically Sam Hammam. singing the blues 7


That day in May 2003 was probably the high water mark of Sam’s time with City, the Championship had been like some far away promised land for supporters worn down by 18 years of ropey football in the lower leagues, but when the owner talked on the pitch after the game about spending millions on new players in pursuit of a place in the Premiership you believed him - in truth though he had uttered the first in a series of statements that would come back to haunt him in coming years.

We Want SAM Hammam Walking ‘round The Pitch

Up until then, focus had been firmly on what had been going on out on the pitch and two promotions in three seasons had given Sam Hammam a popularity with supporters which was almost unnatural when considering supporter/Chairman relationships at other clubs - so far, off field considerations like the new ground and the amount of money the club had been paying in wages and transfer fees had been ignored, Sam Hammam was delivering on his promises and that was all that mattered.

City took to Championship football like ducks to water and the early part of the 2003/04 campaign saw the team play some great football as they challenged for the Play Offs, but, for the first time, Sam Hammam took a backward step when in December he pronounced the season a “wasted” one and, instead of pushing out the boat and going for the Premiership, we settled for “consolidation”. This was a turning point, I am like most supporters in that I much prefer talking about on field rather than off field matters, but, increasingly, it became impossible not to do so in any serious discussion of what was going on at Ninian Park - stories about players being left out of the side to ensure that they didn’t get bonuses surfaced and new ground which was going to pay for all the wages and transfer spending seemed to be taking longer than expected to get the approval that we had all been told was a formality!

I don’t think it is over dramatising things to say that the 2004/05 season was a disaster for Cardiff City and, in particular, Sam Hammam. Right from the first pre season friendly (a 2-0 defeat at Chester), something seemed wrong - a cancelled tour of Scandinavia and just a couple of free transfer signings during the close season hinted at money problems and poor early results combined with the sale of Robert Earnshaw should have told even the most devoted of Sam Hammam disciples that things were going wrong. Over the next couple of years supporters would get used to our best players leaving, but, for me, Earnie’s sale represented the first real turning point in the way Sam Hammam was perceived by those following the club as months of flamboyant denials concerning the possible sale of stars like Earnie and Gabbidon came singing the blues 8

The season soon developed into a relegation struggle, but in January 2005 there was some light in the gloom when the Cardiff County Council gave planning permission to the retail units that would be part of the new ground scheme. This news was greeted with a deluge of hype and bravado by club representatives that was made to look ridiculous six weeks later when Graham Kavanagh had to be sold to ensure that City employees could be paid their wages!


If Play Off Final day was the high point of Sam Hammam’s time with the City, then “Black Friday” was when he was at his lowest ebb with Kav’s departure coinciding with a truly awful set of financial figures in the club’s annual report and accounts which showed the owners company having been paid nearly £700,000 in “management and consultancy fees”! Looking back now, it seems that some of the abuse and hatred delivered towards Sam Hammam was not justified, but I would say that he suffered as much as he did because he had previously done such a good job in winning over the vast majority of City fans - when the fall came, it was that much further because he had succeeded in gaining the trust of so many, finding out that Sam Hammam wasn’t perfect by any means made a lot of people (myself included) react in a way which, perhaps, they shouldn’t have. In the last year and a half of his time with Cardiff City, Sam Hammam went some way to restoring his reputation with supporters. Whilst accepting that he has a lot of baggage to carry from his days with Leeds, from a purely Cardiff City viewpoint, the appointment of Peter Ridsdale looks a very good one, while the selection of Dave Jones as manager looks a truly inspired decision. Also, the news Sam Hammam had agreed to waive a debt of around £6 million that had been owed to him by the club came as a very pleasant surprise to me for one. However, any objective analysis of the Hammam years has to acknowledge that he got many things wrong. By his own admission, Sam Hammam mismanaged the club financially and did not appoint people with the necessary level of specialist expertise when he first arrived at the club. The consequence of these failings were seen in the handling of the new ground project where there is increasing evidence that the Hammam/Temme partnership were not up to the task with the decision to send out letters to supporters urging them to vote for a party that was, clearly, going to lose power in the upcoming Council elections being a disastrous move. I also believe that the sale of Earnie in particular was handled very poorly and it is difficult to come to any other conclusion than Sam Hammam deliberately lied to supporters in the days following that transfer.

Having said that though, anyone attempting to do a hatchet job on Sam Hammams time with Cardiff City has the problem of explaining away the fact that Sam Hammam arrived with us in the basement league and leaves with us sitting on top of the Championship - never mind how much it cost us to get there, this is a considerable achievement. Would we have spent the last five years or so talking about our new ground without Sam Hammam being here - the scheme might not have been handled in the best way, but there wouldn’t have been one without him! I would also say that he has not been given the credit he deserved for, firstly, his ability to identify players who could benefit the club and, secondly, that he was often able to persuade these players that heir future was with Cardiff City - let’s not forget also that we wouldn’t have an Academy now if it wasn’t for Sam Hammam. I only met Sam Hammam the once and what came over most clearly to me that night was the kick he got from seeing local youngsters representing the club on Saturday and Sunday mornings - this was no cynical hard bitten businessman talking but a genuine enthusiast who really wanted the best for Cardiff City. Our owner struck me that night as someone whose heart was in the right place and I also found that he had a charisma that, despite your own misgivings, could get you believing in his plans for the future.

That ability to inspire is what I shall remember Sam Hammam most for, he was the catalyst that provided the opportunity for progress on and off the field and he succeeded in doing the almost impossible in that he got generations of people who had lost interest in or grown cynical about the club to start believing again - thanks for that Sam, I wish you good health and all the best for the future.

Although Sam Hammam had a flair for publicity, it did, on occasions, let him down - in particular, the passing of the years has made virtually all of the pronouncements made by him and David Temme about new ground look increasingly daft. On a similar theme, I feel his use of some supporters as virtual spin doctors was a counter productive move because it soon became apparent what was happening and, increasingly, people looked at who was conveying the message rather than what was in it (even when correct and valid points were being made). singing the blues 9


T

here’s just crap on the telly, my missus can’t cook & the PC’s knackered what else is wrong.

I’ll tell you .........

1in0gs th t e I ha People Slagging Off Their Country We’ve got a young team and a respected manager. The passing looks briliant for part of the game. When these boys have played together for a while they’ll be fine. And don’t forget we had players out against Slovakia. We didn’t qualify with a more experienced squad yet Hughesie was a hero. This will come right long term. Let’s be patient.

The Family Atmosphere of Football Its hard to decide what’s worse, the past with the very real change of getting your head kicked in by a gang of charging Chelsea fans, or the present, sitting next to a little kid in a jesters hat blowing a horn all game. Back in the days of Fred Kenor people with mental dissabilities were locked away in asylums. Today, we apparently dress them up in oversized furry suits and allow them to run around on the pitch alongside millions of pounds worth of talant. What a relief it was when City forgot the idea of playing music after every City goal. The amount we’ve scored this season it would have been more of a disco than a footy match. Who ever thought of that one needs help. ALI?

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Not putting out a decent Team In The Cup I had to think about this one because with our squad it might be a good idea. The club should inform the fans before we travel though. I can’t afford that kind of money for the reserves! I’m a tight arse as well as sad git.

Leeds Not Being Bottom Of The Championship. It must happen sooner or latter. Leeds below Yorkshire rivals Barnsley, Hull and Sheffield Wed. Couldn’t happened to a nicer team. Thank you Peter.

Obstruction at the byline. How come the Refs never give a free kick to the attacking team when a player shields the ball but is actually two or three yards from it. There seems to be this unwritten law that the Refs have taken it upon themselves to introduce. It’s a free kick. so give one.

The last time I saw Bartly he was having a fight with the Bury mascot Robbie The Bobbie


Peter Cech Injury You know the one we haven’t heard much about. All he did was get a depressed fracture of the cheekbone. You swear head had his head removed. That might be one remedy for Jose Moriniho. It would stop him talking crap. He should stick to the football side of things and stop accusing everyone else for his team’s misfortunes.

10 Things I Hate Petr Cech with head in tact before the clash with Reading’s Hunt

The Wrong Score Being Given Out On The Radio

I missed the Derby game last month as I had to go to a wedding in Ireland. I know that’s no excuse but there was no getting out of it. After the service we were travelling to the reception. I asked my cousin to put the football scores on, and sure enough the Cardiff score was given straight away. Cardiff City TWO, (great I though I can’t see Derby scoring three) , Derby County ONE. Cheers went up all round in the car from the Irish contingent as they knew how much it meant to me. Great lets get pissed! The next morning my cousin tells me that according to the the table on SKY Sports we are now four points ahead. No I tell him it must be six as Preston lost. I settle down to watch the Football League Review and what happens, Derby score a second. The disappointment was almost as bad as my hangover.

False Dawns

Why Oh way do I genuinely believe this time things are different? It always ends in disaster, and yet I always think we have finally turned the corner. Perhaps it’s the countless false dawns and broken promises that make me so bitter and filled with hate. Perhaps though, I’m just a miserable bastard. Cheers The Sad Gitt

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“those were the days my friend......” the memories This week in 1977 Stoke City came to Ninian Park for a Div 2 fixture. They brought a fair few fans with them as well. All hell broke loose in Sloper Road after the match. I believe a Stoke fan was killed that day. Not much has changed there then !! On the pitch City won 2-0 with the goals coming from Phil (Joe) Dwyer and Peter (Leo) Sayer both local lads. In the Stoke City team were Alex Lindsay formerly of Liverpool, Howard Kendall player and manager of Everton and Garth Crooks now a presenter with the BBC. (He tries bless him). City were third from bottom of the division, whilst Stoke were just above halfway. We’d just come off a 0-4 defeat by Brighton so needed the points badly.

DIVISION 2 5th November 1977 Att. 8,428 8 singing the blues singing the blues 8

Cardiff were without their two star strikers during this period. Tony Evans was out injured and Robin Friday had been sent off at Brighton. He’d kicked Mark Lawrenson in the face after being repeatedly fouled all game. Good lad !! Manager Jimmy Andrews thought different to me. “We have to fight off these failure of personal control, no matter what the provocation”, he insisted. A series of heavy fines were dished out at Ninian to try and sort this disciplinary problem out. “It’s been a trying season so far”, said Andrews. Brighton would prove to be Robin’s last match for City.

Rod Thomas had just signed from Derby County. He was vastly experienced Welsh international, winning the league cup whilst at Swindon Town and the League Championship at Derby with who he had played in the European Cup.


Director Eddie Jones watches work in progress. Photo Glyn Paul

He was to win his 50th Welsh cap later that month against Czechoslovakia. He was the most capped Welsh defender at the time.

And You Had To Be Early In Those Days The game kicked off unusually at 2.45 Ninian Park was under renovation work to bring it in line with the Safety of Sports Grounds Act. The emergency lighting system was yet to be approved and the South Glamorgan County Council were reviewing the consultants proposals. (so they’ve always been slow then). Kick -off time were about to get even earlier with the next two games against Burnley and Sheffield Utd starting at 2.30 & 2.15 respectively. Ninian Park would soon have its 40,000 plus capacity restored after the council agreed safety measures had been put in place by the club.

the team 1. Bill Irwin 2. Rod Thomas 3. Freddie Pethard 4. Alan Campbell 5. Paul Went 6. Keith Pontin 7. David Giles 8. Phil Dwyer 9. Peter Sayer 10. Keith Robson 11. Steve Grapes 12. Brian Attley

the chairman Bob Grogan, pictured above 2nd right would fill the empty chairman’s position one week later. He was a civil engineer from Newcastle and through a company called Kenton Utilities he would take charge of the club’s affairs. His programme notes stated the following.” We will know when we are on the way. When tens of thousands of Welshmen will greet and encourage their team. Not by chanting abuse; not by mindless behaviour but in a way unique to Wales - by singing.”

Sound Familiar

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Fast forward two thousand years or so: Cardiff City, early 2006, and the local branch of the CCFC Supporters Club (or is it just a bunch of fans?) are meeting after the match in The Lansdowne pub in Canton. A typical pub of the time, with memorabilia from the last hundred years decorating the walls. The conversation starts has it has done for the last few weeks. “What has Sam Hammam done for us?”

Picture the scene: Jerusalem, November AD 33, and the People’s Popular Font of Judea (or was it the Judean Popular Front?) are meeting at a dingy house, the home of Reg, their leader. The first question at the meeting is, “What have the Romans ever done for us?” “Why are the taxes so high?” “Have they rounded up generations of lost Judean supporters and converted them?” The usual conversation for a while, then a small voice in the darkness...... “What about the aqueduct? And education?” “Well, obviously apart from the aqueduct and education .......” “Ooooh, and sanitation?” singing the blues 14

“Has he paid the off the millions of pounds debt he got us into?” “Has he rounded up all the generations of lost supporters and converted them for good?” The usual conversation for a while, then a small voice in the darkness...... “What about the academy and the ground improvements/”. What about us being seventy odd places higher in the league than we were?” What about the years 2000 to 2004, they weren’t bad were they?” “Well obviously apart from the academy, ground improvements, a higher league position.” “Ooooh and a new stadium on the way (I think)? In both cases, both arguments had their merits. The poor old Judeans a (and a good deal of the rest of the world at that time, come to think of it) were in a bit of a quandary. The Romans were not the people they had chosen to be in charge, therefore the reaction was to resent them, even if they did profess to have their best interests at heart. The poor old Cardiff City fans (and a good deal of the football world at that time) were in a bit of a quandary.


Page & Plant Led Zeppelin

The chairman wasn’t someone they had chosen to be in charge, therefore the natural reaction was to resent him, even if he still professed to have the clubs interest at heart. When Sam was anointed, sorry appointed, as owner he arrived to a great fanfare. Proclamations were made, other clubs shirts were to be banished from the land (and rightly so) and a new flag would be raised at the head of battle. It was an old one actually but no one remembered or cared. A new family was created in his name, well he thought so anyway. Our family had been there for years previous, into which he was welcomed with open, if somewhat suspicious, arms. Then one day it all went wrong. We had been living well, but beyond our means. The family silver would have to be sold, would the house be repossessed as well. No one knew. Would Sam be the second Messiah to be crucified in two thousand years. He was put on trial but unlike the chap two thousand years ago he managed to get pardoned and instead of a resurrection he came back a different person. Gone were the days of rhetoric and gimmicks. He began to preach the sermons of stability and moderation. Were once he craved the limelight and publicity now he sits back and considers more. (I hope so anyway). Fair play to the man, he turned the club around twice

from the brink and should be applauded for that, even if one was his own making. We all saw how passionate he was about the club when he came, but passion for a football club can’t be found or bought overnight. Now, several years later I believe he is truly passionate about Cardiff City, he’s earned it he’s been through the bad times with the rest of us. What Sam did do with his arrival, was to galvanise fans’ interest in the club once again. One of the best things to come out of the revival was the creation of the Valley RAMS. The original organisers and the members of the RAMS could relate to Sam’s vision and realised, with Sam, the image of the club must changed. When you look how far they have come in five years it’s absolutely amazing. Trouble at games has almost stopped and how many supporters clubs have their own web based TV station? November 2006 Cardiff City are top of the league the clubs finances are in better order, we’ve just kept hold of our manager and the ground is full. After years of doubt now might have be the time to finally accept Sam into our family, as it’s leader. After all,Where would we have been without him? He did quite a a lot for us The usual conversation for a while, then a small voice from the darkness ..... What about Peter

Ridsdale? cont page 16 singing the blues 15


Cont. from page 15 Yes what about Peter? What he did for Leeds was nothing short of scandalous, even if it was Leeds. I thought at the time he should be banned from all involvement in football. After he left things spiraled out of control, he showed no remorse for his mismanagement instead blaming the plight of Leeds on David O’Leary. Bear in mind that it was he who appointed O’Leary in the first place on a £5,000,000 contract which was increased to £6,000,000 after the first year. The only worse thing he could have done was to appoint Lennie Lawrance. His next move was to go to Barnsley. God I felt for their fans. Who would in their right minds appoint this man to have anything whatsoever to do with a football club again. What’s more how could he have the cheek to think himself capable of helping any other club after what he had done to Leeds. Then the news I’d never thought I’d hear. Ridsdale was coming to Ninian Park as a financial consultant because we were in such a mess financially. It didn’t make sense, did it? All my thoughts of the Barnsley fans’ plight soon increased ten fold. Again I thought who in their right minds would appoint such damaged goods? What really gets me thinking though is why Peter Ridsdale wants to be involved with our football club. I can understand the Leeds United interest, as he was a fan form a young age, but why Cardiff City. Does he like the perceived power it gives him or is he in it for the money. He seems desperate to have control of a club whatever the reason. Coincidently there are other chairman who seem to do this kind of thing. You’ve got Sam Hammam selling Wimbeldon for a profit and joining Cardiff. There’s Ken Bates selling Chelsea for a huge profit and moving to Leeds, after the vacancy became available when Ridsdale’s successor had enough. Perhaps Sam is taking over at Chelsea. Now there’s a thought.

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So have we been told the truth about why Ridsdale came to our club in the first place? I find it hard to believe a former chairman of a premiership club and successful business man, outside football at least, would want to take up a position just as a consultant. What was he promised or what did he negotiate for the future, if anything? Was it too soon after the Leeds debacle to introduce him as chairman of Cardiff City? The fans were sceptical, to say the least, about him having anything to do with the club let alone have a controlling interest. Now what do we find, he’s to be our chairman after all. He’s crept up on us through the back door. Let’s hope he doesn’t leave the relegation trapdoor open like he did at Leeds. It seems that since he has been at Cardiff, he’s played a major part in moving the stadium deal forward. Quite why we needed Peter Ridsdale to do this I don’t know. There must be any number of negotiators in this country who could have brokered the deal. After all it has nothing to do with the actual football side of the club. Which brings me back to his role at the club previous to him becoming chairman Was he given this role to enable him to be perceived as a good guy, who could do a job in football after all.Thus paving the way for him to be accepted into the supporter’s trust. Well we’ll have to wait and see how things turn out in this new era about to start at our club. Personally I don’t think he should be let near a football club again and certainly not my club. He might be lucky and we get promoted, play in the premiership for years to come and we all love him, but let’s hope we never reach the semi-final of the Champions League.

After all what has Peter Ridsdale ever done for us?...... ....besides get our finances in order and ..........?


webspace World Cup 2006 in Germany highlighted a fear, that our sacred game is increasing with incidents of cheating. How may games have been tarnished by acts of diving, rolling and play-acting? It would appear that teams are no longer divided on the pitch by just effort, team-work and quality. Is this the way we want our game to continue? Referees have a difficult job enough, as it is, to have to deal with players who deliberately make decisions virtually impossible to deal with. Standards must not slip and players must be warned that fans are simply not happy with the situation anymore. Should it be forgotten or swept under the carpet until the next big match comes around and we see an incident ruin years of hard work? This web site is not here to take a swipe at the Football Association or the many great officials and referee's we are lucky to have in this country. These people are NOT responsible for the growing number of unsporting incidents. We place this blame solely on the individuals' who think it is okay to fall to the ground under the slightest of touches. It's not big or clever and fans do not like being subjected to such acts. www. fairness-in-football.eu

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-I If you know of any interesting web sites we’d be happy to let others know about them. Pleased email singingthe blues@f2s.com

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07:10:06

Slovakia

Millennium Stadium

At 4-1 down against Slovakia, I thought to myself "this is daft, we aren't playing too badly here" - fair enough, the last half an hour was like a training exercise for the Slovaks, but up until then, no one will convince me that we were worse than them. Not that I needed any more convincing of it, but yesterday showed me that luck plays a big part in deciding football matches. While Wales were playing a team for whom everything they tried flew into the net, France were being defeated by a team who enjoyed all of the breaks in their game. Well done to Scotland for a great win, but usually when the ball strikes a goalkeeper after coming back off the post it flies back into the net, when it happened to Scotland yesterday the ball bounced wide. Throw in a wrongly disallowed Vierra header and it's true to say that Scotland had the luck Wales didn't enjoy yesterday. A month ago Wales played a side who thrashed Slovakia in their previous match and, but for a diabolical refereeing decision, would have come home with a draw - those who were so quick to criticise yesterday are conveniently forgetting what a promising performance Wales turned in a few weeks ago. The Welsh team yesterday had Delaney, Collins, Ricketts, Fletcher and Giggs missing from the one that had played the Czech Republic - when you go into an International match with a back five consisting of a twenty one year old reserve at his club (Duffy), a twenty four year old with a dubious international pedigree (Edwards), a player who has been on the losing side in eight out of the last nine games he has played (Gabbidon), an eighteen year old reserve at his club (Nayatanga) snd a 17 year old reserve at his club (Bale), that is a recipe for potential disaster!

Toshack with lots to think about

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If Slovakia keep on scoring with five out of every six shots they have on goal, then we were watching the winners of Euro 2008 yesterday! Yes, Slovakia gave us a lesson in finishing yesterday and there was no denying the quality of some of their goals, but there was also something freakish about the way that everything they tried tended to fly into the back of the net - what difference would playing 4-4-2 or having Robbie Savage running around like a headless chicken have made to that? In the first hour Wales opened up the Slovakian defence far more times than they did to us - as in previous games, some of our approach play was very good and I still say there are reasons for cautious optimism about our future. None of the above is to say that there was nothing bad about yesterday's display - to claim that would be ridiculous. When I first saw Paul Jones' haircut about ten minutes before kick off I couldn't help thinking that, like the mediocre player who wears coloured boots, this was a disaster waiting to happen! By and large, I approve of John Toshack's policy of giving youth a chance, but, that being the case, I find his faith in a 39 year old who, for me, should have been replaced four years ago absolutely perplexing! Much as I don't like admitting it, yesterday offered further proof that Earnie is a one dimensional player when he comes up against top class opposition at club or International level - if he is not sticking the ball in the net, he offers a team next to nothing. I understood Toshack's decision to take him off at half time, but I don't think he used Parry rightly when he brought him on. Richard Duffy had an absolute mare yesterday, but, that doesn't make him a bad player. For me, he is a classic case of a player who needs to take a step down at club level to get his career moving forward again - because he is a jack who has made no secret


of his dislike of all things Cardiff, I'm sure it would never happen, but come next summer when Kerra Gilbert has returned to Arsenal, Duffy is just the sort of player I would be looking to bring in as our first choice right back. The benefit that those criticising the team and manager so much on here enjoy is that they can never be proved wrong. They can say if we had a different manager and team yesterday we would never have lost and no one can totally disprove them. However, I remember how bad we were in the last couple of years of Mark Hughes' reign having Speed, Savage, Pembridge, Hartson, Thatcher et al in our team in our team then did us no good and I can't see how things would change now that all of those thirty somethings are two years older. I reckon the coming months and years will see more painful defeats like yesterday's, but I also believe that in Bale and Nayatanga we have a couple of players who will become very good quality International players - Ledley, Cotterill, Duffy and Collins could be as well and we will see the best of them that bit quicker because of the international experience they are gaining now. Final Score 1 - 5 STB Man Of the Match: Simon Davis

Cyprus 3 days later To borrow a bit from something John Toshack said at the weekend, the win over Cyprus showed that we aren’t as bad as we looked for a lot of the Slovakia match, but, then again, the second half last night offered proof that we aren’t as good as we had looked in the first half! I reckon City results before and after the Plymouth game support the theory that what happened in the last twenty odd minutes there was just one of those strange things that happen now and again in football and I can’t help thinking that the same may apply to what we saw in the first hour on Saturday - there is something freakish about any team scoring with five out of six on target efforts and, whilst it has to be accepted that Wales played a large part in bringing about some of those goals, the scorelines in Slovakia’s home games against the Czech Republic and the Germans show that they are nowhere as good as people may have thought they were on Saturday.

For me the best thing about last night was the way the Welsh team reacted to Saturday’s debacle - they were positive and determined from the start and this meant that the crowd never turned against the team - I believe this could well have been the case if we had been nervy and disjointed in the opening stages. Even on Saturday and when we weren’t playing so well after the break last night, this Welsh team seems to be able to play passing football that is pleasing on the eye and, by and large, creating chances is less of a problem than it has been in the past - the problem now seems to be actually putting the ball in the net! Although Bellamy was very good last night and ended his scoring drought, he again showed why he will never be the ice cool finisher that we could certainly do with at the moment (Barry Horne may have had a point when he suggested Bellamy’s goal came from a mishit shot). Likewise, after starting very brightly, in the last fifty minutes Earnie showed why some of his managers have doubted his ability - whereas it wasn’t a surprise to see Bellamy pick out Earnie in the build up to the second goal, it would have been an absolute miracle if our ex player had passed to better placed colleagues on those two occasions in the second half. As for another of our ex players, I thought Jason Koumas was poor in the first few minutes and quiet in the second half (this could well have been down to his lack of match fitness mind), but for most of the first forty five minutes, and for brief flashes of the second period, he was the most creative player on the pitch - the problem I can see though is accommodating him into the team if and when everyone is available, Toshack seems to like having Robinson and Fletcher sitting in front of the defence when they are available and it’s hard to see how Koumas could be accommodated if those two play (Koumas’ suspension for Dublin means that this won’t be an issue for a while yet though). I also think that you have to bear in mind that Cyprus were not very good at all - yes, they might have stuffed the Republic of Ireland on Saturday and they looked quite neat in possession when given the chance to play, but, defensively, they were a shambles with their skew whiff “offside trap” being one of Wales’ best attacking weapons! Final Score 3 - 1 STB Man of the Match:

Gareth Bale singing the blues 19


14:10:06

Crystal Palace

Selhurst Park

awaydays Crystal Palace

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Sorry To Stoke Up Bad Memories But it makes you realise how lucky we are to have Dave Jones

Wednesday the 1st of May 2002 is a date etched forever on the minds of Cardiff City fans for all the wrong reasons.

Every minute was like an eternity and I kept looking at my programme with Rob Earnshaw standing in front of the Millennium stadium, hoping and praying that we would last the next few minutes.

Standing on the Bob Bank in shock after watching our team go out of the play offs with a whimper, when a mere four days earlier we outplayed Stoke in there own back yard. We all know what happened on the pitch that day but my bad experience did not end there.

Then it happened as it has so many times before, a scrappy clearance and a scuffed shot and it was 1-0 to Stoke. Disaster. As well as our hopes being dashed, extra time would be at least another hour in total before I got into my car and started the long trip home. But I kept telling myself it was all worth it, as in extra time we would quickly regain our composure and put these northern upstarts to the sword.

Len

I was working in London at the time and living in Kent. I tried to visit Ninian Park at least once every couple of months to watch a match and visit my Gran who still lives In Penarth. I have always watched a few games a season but now we were in the play offs my interest was reaching fever pitch. At the height of the Hammam era before the sale of our crown jewels, I’m sure I wasn’t the only fan who thought if we went up this year we would spend millions and launch another promotion campaign the next season.

nie Ou t !!

The game was a sell out but I managed to buy a ticket from someone off the cardiffcity.com website (Quality site by the way Mike). I arranged to pick the ticket up from said fellow fan at a service station in Swindon. So I had my ticket and full of enthusiasm I headed off from home at around mid day. I had to be in London the next day for work at 7am but I figured it was well worth the sacrifice of sleep to witness such a historic moment in our illustrious clubs history. I quickly popped in on my Gran for a few hours when I arrived in Penarth and then headed to the game.

The expectation was massive and the atmosphere electric, I’ll always remember those fireworks going off as the players ran out. The game got going and it was quickly apparent how tight the game was going to be. I don’t really remember much from the game apart from the last few minutes. With the score at 0-0 with 5 minutes to go you got the feeling something horrendous was about to happen, but Leyton Maxwell didn’t make an appearance until later on.

The match stuttered on and at half time in extra time Lennie unleashed his footballing wisdom by introducing the mercurial talents of Leyton Maxwell. His pace, skill and sheer determination to do well for city would surely give us the advantage. The rest is history. A dodgy free kick for Stoke was deflected in and the dream ended. The wave of disappointment was unbearable, and the 3 hour journey home with 2 hours sleep before I had to get up to go to work in London, more unbearable. Dragging my grief ridden body into my car I started the long dark journey into England. It got worse as all the way to Bristol my car was surrounded by jubilant Stoke fans singing and dancing on there coaches. The traffic out of Cardiff was horrendous and I did not arrive home until 4:00am. I had a good half an hour before I had to get ready for work. I lay on my bed for wondering where it had all gone wrong. It took me a long time to get over that. It is only now while we are riding high in the championship that I can relive the nightmare.

James Owen singing the blues 21


Nov 18 2006 Dec 1 2006 Jan 10 2007

7:00 Ty Celyn Youth Centre 8:00A Salisbury Hotel Fernda;e 8:00A GTFM Radio Live Session

www.myspace.com/desensitized47

Cardiff, Wales Rhondda Valleys Pontypridd singing the blues 23


WIN STUFF ... Ticket For Next Home Game The ticket will be for the lower Bob Bank as I can only garauntee that I’ll be able to get one of these. If you’d prefer the cash (£15) to put towards another part of the ground that’s fine.

All you have to do to win is email me with the answer to the following question

Q: At What Game Is The Next Issue Of Singing The Blues On Sale

ng The Bl gi

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Sin

Kids Competition

A Cardiff City Fanzine singing the blues 24


Worst Case

City fail to win from mid November until Xmas and investors pull out of take over

Cardiff top of the league 12 points clear

Best Case

1

Stadium plans shelved and Peter moves to Swansea. Gypos say they don’t want him

Rhodri Morgan & Neil Kinnock propose Peter For OBE

4

Peter forced to move out of Swansea as they fear take over bid

BBC’s This Week do a programme on how nice Peter is to goldfish

3

Sam Hammam goes on Sky News to say he didn’t really leave the club & has sacked Peter

Beckham & Ronaldo want to come to Cardiff in January

2

Six Steps Ahead Peter Ridsdale 6

Peters New Rolls arrives with unfortunate Personal Reg

Peter begs Sam for his job back as everyone makes mistakes. But even Sam isn’t that stupid

Leeds relegated and go into administration. Peter asks will they give him a second chance as everyone makes mistakes

Peter Ridsdale No.1 Cardiff Knight

PR1CK

Sir Peter gets presented with OBE before City’s first game of season at The Emerites Stadium by Prince Charles as Queen once again has bad back

5


An Interview With .....

Article about Glyn Paul

Article about Glyn Paul

Photographer

Photographer

At

At

Ninian Park

Ninian Park

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Matchday photographer

GLYN PAUL

Article about Glyn Paul

Photo

Photographer Photo

At Ninian Park Photo

Photo

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My favourite Ten Ninian Park goals 1963/2006 by Paul Evans (the other Bob Wilson) When I first thought of listing my ten favourite goals, I automatically thought of "favourite" as equalling "best", but, then as I considered it more, I decided I would list the ten City goals I have seen at Ninian Park that meant the most to me then and now. Some of these goals would also find their way into my best goals list as well, but there are also some pretty scruffy ones that are only in there because of their significance;-

Brian Clark v Real Madrid 10/3/71 Clark's match winner is really just remembered for it's significance now, but, actually it was a very good goal with Bobby Woodruff beating an opponent on the half way line in front of the player's tunnel then hitting a pass down the line to 17 year old Nigel Rees who burst between a couple of defenders and delivered a perfect cross that Brian Clark powered into the net with his head to give us the win that gave countless City fans decades of bragging rights! Peter Sayer v Spurs 8/1/77

I grew up thinking that other teams used to knock out big clubs in the FA Cup on their own ground, but not Cardiff City -

Peter King v Middlesbrough 3/10/70 Still the best goal I have ever seen us score as a looped clearance by a defender off a King corner taken on the Bob Bank side of the Grange End was promptly volleyed straight back into the net from just outside the corner of the penalty area! I have recently got a DVD of some matches from the 70/71 season and this goal is included - it really was as good as I remember it being!

- at least I did until Peter Sayer's goal in the third minute was enough to see off Spurs in my fourteenth season as a City fan! Sayer's shot from just outside the penalty area at the Canton Stand end (which was featured on the opening titles of Match of the Day for the rest of that season) made him a star in the same way that Nathan Blake's effort into the same goal against Manchester City did seventeen years later.

My Favourite Ten Ninian Park 1963/20 GOALS 06 singing the blues 28


John Buchanan v Swansea 27/12/80

Peter Thorne v Bristol City 10/5/03

I'm not sure if I should really include this one because with City 3-1 down in the dying minutes, my brother and I decided to leave the game early (something I don't do very often honest!). As we were walking behind the Canton Stand we heard the crowd roar as Peter Kitchen pulled a goal back for us, we then ran around onto Sloper Road where we were able to look at the Grange End goal through the gate that had been opened to let people out - we got there just in time to see a shot rocket past Dave Stewart in the Swansea goal, but we had no idea how good the goal was until we saw it on telly a couple of days later!

Thorne's header from Willie Boland's cross was a huge goal in Cardiff City's recent history for obvious reasons, but, for some long suffering supporters it meant even more than that. Because the jacks were so poor back in the 60s and 70s, we never used to play them, so for fans of a certain age, Bristol City will always be our biggest "rivals". We had last beaten the wurzels in the league in 1971, but Thorne's goal gave us victory in the most important match between the two teams in decades - little wonder that many 40/50 year olds celebrated that bit more than other City supporters when the ball hit the net!

Brian McDermott v Crewe 2/5/88

This tremendous thirty yard volley past a startled Ed de Goey came at a time when everything Earnie touched turned to gold. The team were playing some tremendous football back then, we had some very talented players in the our side and anything seemed possible, but, within a year Earnie had, gone and, within eighteen months, we had to sell our captain to pay the wages!

McDermott used to take a mean corner - a month earlier he scored direct from one against the soon to be defunct Newport County and he did it again to put us 2-0 up in the game which sealed our promotion from the old Fourth Division. McDermott's corner flew in over the head of the brilliantly named Dean Greygoose in the Crewe goal and supporters hoped that we had left the basement behind us for ever! Nathan Blake v Man City 29/1/94 From back in the days when City goalkeepers used to save penalties, Blake's exquisite turn and shot deserved to win any match, but to do it in a game which was seen as the the Cup giant killing shock of the round made it all the sweeter. It was typical of City back then that, by the time they played in the next round four weeks later, Blake had been sold for a relative pittance Scott Young v Leeds 6/1/02 Despite the worst efforts of some of the meatheads who claim to support the club, Young's scrambled goal four minutes from time against the team that topped the Premiership signalled to the country that Cardiff City were on their way back - I would rate this win above the Real Madrid game as the greatest Cup victory by a City team in the last half century.

Earnie v Stoke 8/11/03

Steve Thompson v Southampton 17/10/06 This goal said so much about the 06/07 side. With five minutes left they still had the belief and bravery to work the ball patiently up field stringing together twelve passes before Thompson's fierce left foot drive from twenty yards won the game.

Who knows, it could be that the current side don't end up being promoted and supporters will be spend years debating what went wrong just like those who are old enough to remember do about the 70/71 team - if that does happen though, the early months of this season still need to be remembered for some of the best and most entertaining football a Cardiff City team has played in ages.

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Cheat! Cheat! Cheat! What a contrast ! I’d just got myself back together again after watching Darren Clark hole out on the 16th at the K Club, with the Ryder Cup already tucked away in the proverbial European golf bag. I had been amazed at the dignified way the Americans took a sound thrashing and still had the decency to console Darren, who finally gave in to his emotions over the recent death of his wife Heather.

In contrast during the summer we witnessed the Italian idiot ******, goad Zinadine Zidane about his mother and sister. I then watch Tottenham v Pompy on SKY and witness the worst piece of cheating television viewers have had the misfortune to see this season.

Or was it. It’s hard to tell because we’ve all lost count of the number of times a player has conned the ref and linesmen. I refer you back to the comparison with golf and the Ryder Cup in particular. The players state openly that the pressure of playing in this team event far exceeds anything they normally experience on their respective tours, and yet the play the matches in the best possible spirit, whilst trying their damndest to beat their opponents. There is no thought whatsoever of cheating, indeed the player would call a penalty on himself rather than have the indignity of being found out by TV at subsequent screenings and analysis.

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Colin Montgomery was accused of cheating last year. If he did or not was open to question, but there was murder over it. What was refreshing about the Zokora incident was the reaction of the pundits in the SKY studio. Jamie Rednapp actually mentioned the word cheating. He didn’t go as far as to actually call the guy a cheat but he did imply it. The other pundit Glenn Hoddle came out with his usual phrases like cute, situation and clever, but even he to found it impossible to defend a Spurs player, which in itself was remarkable. So how do we stop this cheating culture in football? Do we want to stop it at all? After the game Harry Rednapp called for the use of video technology to get decisions right. But has he and all the other managers missed the point. If players had any self esteem, moral code or principles of fair play there would be no need for videos. Would Harry have been calling for video footage if Loa Loa had gone down in the box under suspicious circumstances.


The answer to that is a very big no. Indeed he probably would have said there was slight contact and his player had told him so.

Ivory Coast

In that case all teams should learn to take the rough with the smooth but no they want the best of both worlds. They want a foul when they dive but want the opposition booked if they try the same thing, it’s farcical! There seemed to be some hope a few seasons back when it became the fashion to kick the ball out of play when an opponent was injured if your team had possession. This was fine for a short time then players started to take advantage of the gesture. The Arsenal v Sheffield United FA Cup game had to be replayed because of this. Now players, strikers in particular, have realised that if their team looses the ball whilst on the attack and the other team break away, all they have to do is go down and the ball is kicked out of play. If it’s not kicked out the players and their fans go mental at the side who play on. Where do you draw the line. Easy, just let the referee deal with the whole situation.

One way to stop cheating mat be to name and shame players caught out. The question is do they have any shame. Instances are highlighted week in week out but the same players cheat the next week. They don’t give a shit.

Zokora

The FA need to get tough with the cheats. Players booked for diving should be banned for a few games to start and if that doesn’t work then refs should sit down after games and examine footage retrospectively, then make their match report, highlighting any obvious cheating. Managers will soon get the message when they loose their best players for a few weeks. You never know they may even instruct their players not to dive and shirt pull. It has to be better for the fans also. Would you rather win by fair means or foul. I know you don’t give a ****, But when the boots on the other foot we feel so hard done by it hurts. I found this quote on tinternet from a Pompey fan. “”Mendes didn't touch Zokora. But this Ivory Coast player is learning the art of diving to perfection from his compatriots Drogba and Eboue( Champions League Finals). These players are disgrace to football.”

Never mind Didier we’ll cheat better than them next time

France

Pires

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Licked Her Spine at the millennium stadium

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Singing The Blues