Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
---------------
---------------
CHOOSE A SPORT
 
RELATED BBC SITES
Last Updated: Sunday, 29 October 2006, 19:59 GMT
Hammam devastated by Cardiff exit
Sam Hammam does the 'Ayatollah' for Cardiff fans at the Derby game
Hammam bid an emotional farewell to Cardiff fans at the Derby game
Sam Hammam says he has done the right thing in stepping down as Cardiff chairman - but that he feels the pain.

"I'm devastated, but like any father I was prepared to sacrifice myself for my family," he said, having stepped aside last week for new investors to come in.

"I'm envious of the new people who have little financial risk and the team and staff here to achieve great things."

Hammam, who says it will be hard to invest in another side, urged fans to believe the club can achieve greatness.

I know I've done the right thing and I have the inner satisfaction of doing what is right for my family

Sam Hammam

"This is a massive club representing all Wales, it can be as big as any team in the world," said Hammam in an emotional interview for BBC Sport Wales.

"It will take 10-to-15 years, but it can be done. Keep the faith."

Hammam agreed to sell his majority shareholding stake in the Bluebirds last week, with Peter Ridsdale replacing him as club chairman.

The Championship-topping side said the move was needed to bring new investment to build a 30,000-seater stadium, and to immediately wipe out a significant chunk of the Bluebirds' 24m debt.

Lebanese-born businessman Hammam, who saw the club to two promotions in his six years at the helm, received a standing ovation from the 17,371 fans at Ninian Park in Saturday's 2-2 draw with Derby.

"I know I've done the right thing and I have the inner satisfaction of doing what is right for my family," he said, with tears welling in his eyes. "I'm keeping my integrity.

Sam Hammam flanked by Neil Kinnock and Peter Ridsdale at the Derby game
I want to stick around as much as I can, but I have to give the new people the room to get their feet under the table

Sam Hammam

"The club is bigger than one man. It's aiming to reach the pinnacle, and I had to move on to make that possible.

"The new people will bring in the financial clout to make the stadium move a much smoother process than if I stayed in place.

"They also have the fiscal muscle to improve the team. Although we managed, money was always tight in my time and we had to sell the likes of Danny Gabbidon and Rob Earnshaw.

"I'm jealous of the new owners, they have little risk and in Peter [Ridsdale] they have an outstanding administrator who is a football man to the core.

"Dave Jones is a complete football manager rather than just a coach.

"He gets the right blend in the team, knows when to buy and sell players, is superb tactically, an excellent and practical administrator - he's a real leader.

"And alongside them we have a great team and top-class people working at every level of the club.

"Everything is in place for the new stadium, and our aim is not just to reach the Premiership - that's just one step on the way of where this club can get to."

People ask me about other clubs, but it is as if my wife is dying and you are asking me if I am thinking of going with another woman

Sam Hammam

Hammam, who has been made honourary president at the Bluebirds, insists he cannot think of joining another club at the present time.

"I want to stick around as much as I can, but I have to give the new people the room to get their feet under the table," he said.

"They will do things their way. Some things I will like, others I won't.

"But I would mostly like to stick around to be with the fans, this has always been about them.

"People ask me about other clubs, but it is as if my wife is dying and you are asking me if I am thinking of going with another woman.

"Of course, a married man always has temptations, but I am not in that frame of mind and investing elsewhere seems highly unlikely."

SEE ALSO
Cardiff 2-2 Derby
28 Oct 06 |  Championship
Jones welcomes Cardiff progress
26 Oct 06 |  Cardiff City
Cardiff set out new stadium plans
24 Oct 06 |  Cardiff City
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
BBC Sport Wales coverage
18 Sep 06 |  Wales


RELATED BBC LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

BBC PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Daily and weekly e-mails | Mobiles | Desktop Tools | News Feeds | Interactive Television | Downloads
Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

Help | Privacy & Cookies Policy | News sources | About the BBC | Contact us