CARDIFF CITY fans have been warned not to think of the new Malaysian investors as ‘sugar-daddies’, but were assured the days of financial turmoil threatening the club’s future are over.
The message comes from Paul Guy, the property developer who has returned to the Cardiff City board and whose company, PMG, was involved in the construction of the new stadium.
Guy’s firm is the club’s major creditor, owed £9m by the Bluebirds, with a portion of that sum having been converted into shares as part of the takeover deal involving Malaysian businessmen Dato Chan Tien Ghee and Vincent Tan.
And as well as urging a commonsense level of expectation among the club’s supporters, Guy also warned that after the exits of two high-profile chairmen in Peter Ridsdale and Sam Hammam, that Cardiff City’s business side would now be looking to operate in a far lower key manner.
Guy, speaking to Wales on Sunday from Spain, did stress that while the Malaysians will mix ambition with prudence, they have saved the club in the short term.
He said: “If TG (Dato Chan) and the Malaysians had not put their loans into the bank last month or this month, then the club would not have been able to pay the wages, or for that matter the pending tax bill.
“They have been absolutely fundamental in securing the club’s future. But this is a long-term plan and people must understand however much money these people have, it doesn’t buy you success. TG has a very good expression, he often says, ‘Let us get our house in order before we invite our guests in.’ And that is a very good way of putting it.
“There is a lot of hard work to be done and we need to re-build our business reputation out there.
“That is not going to be an overnight issue. But these are football people (the Malaysians) who love the game.
“They have invested in their own country at grassroots level and also at university level. They see Cardiff City as a growing club and the club will take part in many things over there in the Far East in the future.
“I think the club now has the best future it has ever had in its history.
“We have sorted out a huge backlog of problems by these investors coming on board and the future for this club looks very bright.”
However, Guy was at pains to stress the Malaysians will not entertain the kind of reckless spending that is seen in so many parts of the modern football world.
“These people are very successful business people and active investors, but they will be sensible and will not be throwing away stupid amounts of money buying players that we can’t afford to keep,” added Guy.
“We will live within our means because in the past it’s been absolute madness.
“Of course we will take some risks, but football is about two years behind the rest of the country in respect of the credit crunch and that is going to hit football in the next year or two.
“But whatever happens, this club will be run as a proper business from now on and not be led by figureheads.
“We have had two very high-profile chairmen at this club and I can assure you that TG is the exact opposite in terms of having a profile like the last two people in charge.
“The club is in desperate need of some tighter financial control.
“That is our number one priority – to get things sorted out and done in an orderly fashion.”
Many supporters fear that an asset-stripping exercise could take place at the club when the new investors take control with key players such as Michael Chopra and home-grown player Joe Ledley being sold.
But Guy is adamant that will not be the case.
“I have never had any such conversation with TG or any of the new board,” he stressed. “It is the last thing they want to do, it’s a million miles off the mark, not even on the agenda. “The running of the team is totally down to Dave Jones, who he keeps is up to him. It’s his call, nobody else’s.
“All I can say is that there is no doubt that I, the Malaysians and the rest of the board want Premiership football at this club. It may happen this season, it may happen next season or the season after that, there is no guarantee, however much money is spent.
“But come what may this club will have a sound financial footing, a viable financial income, and we will not go from one catastrophe to another.
“The club hasn’t known whether it is coming or going. Well, those days are over.”
Guy said that the returning of Cardiff City to an even financial keel cannot be done overnight.
“The first thing we have to do is stabilise the company and that will take time,” he continued. “We know what we are doing and we will get there in the end.
“There are very exciting times ahead for this club and these people are major players in the business world who will want this club to be successful. Year on year this club will get stronger in all departments both on and off the field.
“We have been straddled with a huge debt from the Hammam years and it’s been around the neck of this club for years. Now we can say it’s all been sorted out.
“Its been a very long journey, there are a lot of bridges to repair and even rebuild.
“We know the reputation of the club needs to be rebuilt and we know that will not be done overnight. But it will be done.”