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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 March 2008, 15:33 GMT
Bluebirds saved from loan crisis
Peter Ridsdale with Ninian Park behind him
Peter Ridsdale said the club would go into administration if it lost
Cardiff City Football Club has been saved from a financial crisis after a High Court judge rejected a bank's bid to force it to repay 24m in loans.

Swiss investment bank Langston is suing the club over the loan and had sought "summary judgment" - meaning the club should pay up now.

But Mr Justice Briggs, sitting in London, dismissed the claim.

As a result, the case could now go forward to a full trial if both sides cannot resolve the issues.

Cardiff's former chairman Sam Hammam has been named by the club's barrister as the man behind Langston.

Peter Ridsdale, Mr Hammam's successor at the club, said he was "relieved" and pleased with the result.

I sincerely hope they will sit around the table and realise that an amicable situation is the only way forward for both parties
Peter Ridsdale, Cardiff City chairman

"We feel that the actions over the past few months have been strangling the club and have been unnecessary," he added.

Langston wanted 24m of a total 31m in loans to be repaid immediately.

However, the FA Cup contenders claimed the loan is not repayable until 2016 and it could face an uncertain future if it lost the case.

The judge said the case was "clearly unsuitable for summary determination".

A two-month delay on any trial has been agreed in the hope that it can now be resolved without the need for further court action.

'Amicable conclusion'

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Ridsdale said: "I sincerely hope they will sit around the table and realise that an amicable situation is the only way forward for both parties."

The club's counsel, David Wolfson, said: "It has always been the club's aim to reach a settlement without incurring further legal costs and, over the next two months, we hope very much to do that so we can concentrate on matters on the field where, I'm glad to say, we have enjoyed some success."

Sam Hammam
Sam Hammam was named as behind Langston

The judge extended the time limit for Langston to renew its application for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal until June 10.

Langston will now have to pay the agreed costs incurred by Cardiff City in contesting the summary judgment application after the judge refused to delay payment pending any renewed application for leave to appeal.

The ruling comes at a crucial time for the Championship club, who face Barnsley in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on 6 April.

Mr Ridsdale had said administration would be a realistic scenario if the club lost the case.

That would lead to an automatic 10-point deduction which would threaten the club with relegation and affect plans for a new stadium near their Ninian Park ground.

Langston's counsel, Michael Driscoll QC, had told the court it was common ground that the investment bank was a substantial creditor of the club and that the debt owed to it was in excess of 15m.

It was also common ground that Langston loaned 24m to the club in 2004, and it had yet to be repaid anything.



SEE ALSO
Court case most likely - Ridsdale
04 Mar 08 |  Cardiff City
Cardiff awaiting March court date
12 Dec 07 |  Cardiff City
Pressure grows on Cardiff finance
07 Dec 07 |  Cardiff City
Langston calm administration fear
15 Nov 07 |  Cardiff City
Hall parts company with Bluebirds
29 Oct 07 |  Cardiff City
Cardiff warning over legal battle
24 Oct 07 |  Cardiff City
Hammam 'casting shadow' over club
25 Sep 07 |  Cardiff City
Ridsdale offers to quit Cardiff
21 Sep 07 |  Cardiff City
Cardiff facing court over '30m'
15 Aug 07 |  Cardiff City
Cardiff chief rejects debt claim
15 Aug 07 |  Cardiff City

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