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Last Updated: Monday, 15 January 2007, 14:03 GMT
Cardiff takeover ends Hammam era
Cardiff City's proposed new stadium
The new investment will allow Cardiff to build a new stadium
Cardiff City has been taken over by new investors who have pumped 6.5m into the Championship club.

The takeover was approved on Monday by shareholders after voting unanimously to accept a financial restructuring that brings an end to Sam Hammam's era.

Hammam agreed to sell his 82.5% share last month after six years in charge.

Peter Ridsdale has been confirmed as the new chairman of a board of directors that includes Mike Hall, Alan Whiteley and Steve Borley.

Former Wales rugby captain Hall is a director of the company planning to build Cardiff's new stadium; Whiteley has worked as the club's legal adviser, while Borley is a former Cardiff chairman.

Ridsdale said the club will now go be run by the board in a "totally open and transparent" way, and he would be the public face of the board.

But the former Leeds United chairman said he was unable to reveal the identity of the new investors at this time.

We will continue to do our best to satisfy Dave in his transfer requirements as long as we can afford it and we don't over-pay

Cardiff chairman Peter Ridsdale

"The majority of the new investors are happy for their names to be known, but there are a couple who want to remain private," said Ridsdale.

"Apart from one exception, they are locally based, high-net worth individuals who have invested.

"All Cardiff City supporters can be assured that the majority of the club is now in local hands and with people who have got a particular commitment to Cardiff City succeeding."

The takeover was crucial to Cardiff's hopes of building a new 30,000-capacity stadium and retail park on ground adjacent to their current Ninian Park home.

The project stalled under Hammam's leadership and failed to gain planning approval from Cardiff Council.

But the council gave the green light last month after Hammam agreed to give up control of the club.

Cardiff manager Dave Jones is also likely to be given funds to strengthen his squad in the January transfer window once the new financial structure comes into force.

Ridsdale confirmed they had a reported 1m-bid rejected by Luton for striker Rowan Vine, before he went to join Birmingham for 2.5m.

"We will continue to do our best to satisfy Dave in his transfer requirements as long as we can afford it and we don't over-pay."

When Cardiff first announced plans in October to restructure the club, Ridsdale said the new money would be raised from institutional investments through hedge-funds.

I think there are times in life where you have to get on a move on. I think that applies us and to Sam

Ridsdale on former chairman Sam Hammam

He said that plan fell through because of concerns over how the club's 24m debt would be handled.

"We had to change tact because they felt the debt we had to the loan notes holder and our ability to negotiate that debt down made the investment less attractive," Ridsdale added.

"Clearly the loan note debt has been one of the key issues that we faced in being able to restructure the football club.

"So we've changed tact and gone for individual investors. We have addressed the loan note debt in a different way but without diverting income stream from the club.

"It's a far better solution to the loan note debt. We're in a position now where there is money coming into the football club."

Cardiff had originally suggested Hammam would be given a role as life vice-president under the takeover deal.

But Ridsdale, who was brought to the club by Hammam to help push through the new stadium project, said the former chairman had no direct role in the club.

He added: "I think there are times in life where you have to get on a move on. I think that applies us and to Sam.

"I've suggested it would be easier for him to forge a new life if he would not come here. That clearly is up to him.

"I'm not one of these people who gets into banning people and I'm sure if he wants to buy a season ticket or sit in the stands he would be as welcome as anyone else."



SEE ALSO
Hammam accused of Cardiff 'greed'
23 Dec 06 |  Cardiff City
New boost for Bluebirds' stadium
27 Nov 06 |  South east
Hammam devastated by Cardiff exit
29 Oct 06 |  Cardiff City
Ridsdale to fulfil Hammam 'dream'
23 Oct 06 |  Cardiff City


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