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Tuesday, 8 January, 2002, 19:50 GMT
Hammam to stop pitch-side walks
Sam Hammam
Hammam celebrates Cardiff's win over Leeds on Sunday
Cardiff City chairman Sam Hammam has told BBC Radio Five Live that he intends to stop walking around the pitch at Ninian Park during matches.

Hammam has been severely criticised by club managers and Football Association officials for watching the final few minutes of Cardiff's enthralling 2-1 FA Cup win from behind the Leeds goal.

"Clearly a lot of people in the football world, some of whom are very good friends of mine and others who I have a lot of respect for, and the general consensus is that I should not be doing it," he told BBC Radio Five Live.

"In view of that, I feel I really should stop doing it because if I don't it is going to become a very major issue.

"Even though it is within my right to do it, even though it has never caused a problem - including the Leeds game - I have decided to stop.

I've been doing this for years and years and we've never ever had any problems whatsoever
Sam Hammam
"We need to preserve the good name of football."

A Football League official claimed they had asked Hammam to stop his pitchside walks earlier this season after a Nationwide club had lodged a complaint against his antics.

John Nagle said: "The League acted fairly early on in the season following complaints from visiting clubs to Ninian Park, and wrote to Sam Hammam asking him to desist from walking around the goal.

"There was a response to the letter but not actually acted upon and following further complaints later in the season a meeting was held to discuss the matter of the staging of games at Ninian Park."

But Hammam denied he had acted against the League's wishes, insisting an agreement had been reached and that Nagle was therefore incorrect.

"This guy is wrong in what he is saying," said Hammam.

"They did say that after receiving a complaint and then when our chief executive contacted them it was absolutely clear that was superseded and they said there was no problem in doing it.

"I only stopped doing it I think for one game and after that it was very clear that I am allowed to do it.

"I've been doing this for years and years and we've never ever had any problems whatsoever."

The Football League's John Nagle
"The Football League wrote to Sam Hammam and asking him to disist from walking behind the goal"
Cardiff chairman Sam Hammam
"Even though it is within my rights, I will stop it"
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