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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 October 2006, 10:25 GMT 11:25 UK
Cardiff set out new stadium plans
Cardiff City's planned new stadium project
Cardiff expect council confirmation of the deal next month
Chairman Peter Ridsdale says Cardiff's new 30,000-seat stadium at Leckwith will be ready for December 2008.

The Bluebirds' new boss made the announcement after confirming that construction firm Laing O'Rourke had won the tender to build the 38m venue.

Ridsdale, who wants the deal to revive his reputation, expects the council to sign off the plans next month.

Longer term, he hopes to float the club on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) to deliver ownership to the fans.

We plan to start the 2008/9 season at Ninian Park, before moving across the road to the new venue before Christmas 2008

Peter Ridsdale

The Bluebirds have not ruled out the possibility of the Cardiff Blues regional rugby side moving from their Arms Park home to ground share the new stadium.

The stadium project, which includes a 438,700 sq ft retail development on the 60-acre site, has been dogged by delays and negative publicity for many years.

Cardiff City council have been reluctant to give the project the go-ahead until the Bluebirds could provide assurances over the viability of their proposals.

"We expect the council to sign off the plans in November, then there will be a 13-week judicial review period," Ridsdale told BBC Sport Wales.

The new details which are emerging seem to signify a significant new era for the Leckwith Stadium development

Cardiff Council statement

"Work should then start on knocking down the old Leckwith Athletic Stadium early in the new year, with the new stadium being started next summer.

"We plan to start the 2008/9 season at Ninian Park, before moving across the road to the new venue before Christmas 2008.

"Laing O'Rourke won the tender process and have a fine record, having built the Ricoh Arena and the Millennium Stadium in recent years."

Cardiff Council say they are waiting for details of the business plan for the new stadium.

"The Council has always believed that the key to the CCFC development moving forward is a robust business case and the new details which are emerging seem to signify a significant new era for the Leckwith Stadium development," said an official statement.

"Cardiff Council remains fully committed to helping CCFC deliver a stadium and will continue to work with the club to ensure this happens.

"The Council awaits with interest the details of the new funding arrangements which have recently been agreed."

We will look to float the club on the stock market and give it back to the people and fans of Cardiff

Peter Ridsdale

Ridsdale, who took over from Sam Hammam as chairman at the weekend, has brokered a deal with "two or three" London-based financial institutions who specialise in hedge funds - a process using high-risk techniques in an effort to make extraordinary capital gains.

They should provide an initial financial input of 12m, 9m going towards the club's 24m debt and the other 3m going to the team, currently top of the Championship.

Ridsdale says that naming rights and other revenue streams associated with the new stadium should eliminate the rest of the debt.

If all goes to plan, the club will be floated on Aim within a period of two-to-five years, the time-scale dependent on success on the field.

Cardiff chairman Peter Ridsdale
This is definitely an opportunity for me to show I know a bit about football and how to handle a business

Peter Ridsdale

"If we can deliver Premiership football we will look to float the club on the stock market and give it back to the people and fans of Cardiff," said Ridsdale.

"Such a form of investment gives the supporters the chance to have true transparency and a direct say in their club."

Former Leeds United chairman Ridsdale joined the club last year as deputy executive chairman.

The controversial character is keen to restore his reputation after he left Leeds with the club 103m in debt.

"This is definitely an opportunity for me to show I know a bit about football and how to handle a business," he said.

"I've never denied that I made mistakes, but that is the only way you learn."

SEE ALSO
Blues could share with Bluebirds
24 Oct 06 |  Cardiff Blues
So what are hedge funds?
14 Dec 05 |  Business
Ridsdale to fulfil Hammam 'dream'
23 Oct 06 |  Cardiff City
Ridsdale in for Hammam at Cardiff
22 Oct 06 |  Cardiff City
Hammam leaves Cardiff legacy
23 Oct 06 |  Cardiff City
Cardiff stadium 'ready by 2008'
07 Jul 06 |  Cardiff City
Ridsdale backed in Leeds fall-out
21 Aug 06 |  Cardiff City
BBC Sport Wales coverage
18 Sep 06 |  Wales


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