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Last Updated: Monday, 21 August 2006, 10:55 GMT 11:55 UK
Ridsdale backed in Leeds fall-out
Cardiff owner Sam Hammam hopes to heal the rift with Leeds
Cardiff owner Sam Hammam hopes to heal the rift with Leeds
Cardiff City owner Sam Hammam has defended deputy chairman Peter Ridsdale in the row with Leeds United.

Former Leeds chairman Ridsdale claims he was banned from Elland Road for life by United owner Ken Bates after celebrating Cardiff's 1-0 win.

Bates denies he has banned Ridsdale from the ground, but confirmed he was no longer welcome in the boardroom.

"I am totally satisfied that Peter's behaviour at Leeds was impeccable," Hammam told the Cardiff website.

"Having spoken to four witnesses... (and) Cardiff City officials who were in the boardroom, I can confirm that they witnessed Ken Bates using foul and abusive language in telling Peter Ridsdale that he was no longer welcome in the boardroom.

"Peter reacted by saying he obviously was not welcome and proceeded to shake Ken Bates' hand and wished him all the best and left."

I sincerely hope that Ken Bates, on reflection, will regret his action

Cardiff City owner Sam Hammam

However, Bates' account paints a different picture of the disagreement between the two men.

In a statement, Bates countered: "As ever Mr Ridsdale continues to be out of touch with reality.

"My words, in front of a number of witnesses, were 'you're no longer welcome in the boardroom at Elland Road'.

"If he was ever banned from Elland Road it would purely be for safety reasons."

Ridsdale quit his post at Elland Road in March 2003 with the club more than 100m in debt.

Cardiff recruited him last year to help them drive through their new stadium project, which has been plagued by delays and financial uncertainty.

With the return Championship match at Ninian Park set for 17 February, Hammam is keen for the spat to be laid to rest.

"I sincerely hope that Ken Bates, on reflection, will regret his action on the day and accept that it was an in the heat of the moment outburst," Hammam added.

"In the correct spirit and camaraderie in football, Peter has asked that Ken and his partner be welcomed if they choose to come to Ninian Park.

"I have known Ken for over 25 years and he remains a friend that I respect and I put what should not have happened as just one of those things."

"Peter and I would like to wish Ken and Leeds all the best for this season."

SEE ALSO
Ridsdale handed Leeds 'life ban'
20 Aug 06 |  Cardiff City
Leeds 0-1 Cardiff
19 Aug 06 |  Championship


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