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New investor poised for Cardiff

Businessman Datuk Chan Tien Ghee watches Cardiff play with chairman Peter Ridsdale
Datuk Chan Tien Ghee watches Cardiff play with chairman Peter Ridsdale

Chairman Peter Ridsdale believes that an influx of new finance into Cardiff City Football Club is imminent.

Ridsdale has been in negotiations with Datuk Chan Tien Ghee and the Malaysian property magnate seems set to invest.

"We've been talking for some months, he's indicated he will make an initial investment in the next few weeks," Ridsdale told BBC Sport.

"If the initial investment means that there will be greater investment early in the new year, well so be it."

Dato Chan has been a regular visitor to the new £52m 26,500-capacity Cardiff City Stadium this season and was again in the stands to see Cardiff's 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest on Sunday that restored them to second in the Championship.

"He's [Dato Chang] working with us, so it's a friendly investment and that's got to be good for Cardiff City," Ridsdale added.

Despite a programme of debt reduction, the south Wales club still owes significant sums, with the majority the long-standing £15m debt to former chairman Sam Hammam's Langston Corporation.

Cardiff chief eyes cash boost

Langston took Cardiff to the High Court in March 2008 to repay their debt immediately but the club's barristers, who named the club's controversial former owner Hammam as the man behind Langston, successfully argued that the monies owed are not repayable until 2016.

Langston could still pursue a full hearing, but a High Court injunction prevents them taking further legal action until January.

But Ridsdale hopes the Welsh club's battle with Langston will be concluded next month after revealing they have reached an "outline agreement" - and the Bluebirds chief executive awaits the lawyers go-ahead.

The former Leeds United chief has previously stated at a press conference that Langston, who have registered offices in Panama, loaned £24m to the Welsh club in 2004 but maintains he renegotiated the debt to £15m in 2006.

"We have around £20m of debt and I'm hoping that, whether it be through the new investment we're going to get or whether it be through other financial means, we will be able to write that off by the end of 2010," Ridsdale said.

Should Dato Chang follow up any initial investment to become a significant share-holder at Cardiff, perhaps even outright owner, Ridsdale has no doubt the Malay passes the Football League's 'fit and proper person' test.


"He is absolutely a fit and proper person, he's a delightful person, we've checked out his business background," Ridsdale confirmed.

"He's the best person that we could be talking to and I'll be delighted if he makes his investment and at some stage in the future, perhaps who knows, he might end up with a majority shareholding."

Ridsdale was employed by Hammam in 2005 to solve Cardiff's cash crisis.

But he then replaced Hammam as Cardiff chairman in 2006, after leading a consortium that took over the cash-strapped club with just 15 minutes remaining before a deadline that would have plunged the club into administration.

Ridsdale rescued the club's new stadium and retail park project and the new £52m ground and associated retail outlet project opened in the summer.

Cardiff expect to double their turnover to approximately £20m moving into their 26,500-capacity home and now also boast a new state-of-the-art training facility.

The club, meanwhile, will reward the first 10,000 Cardiff fans who renew their season tickets before January with a season-ticket price freeze for five years - regardless of whether the club win top-flight promotion.

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see also
Cardiff 1-1 Nottingham Forest
01 Nov 09 |  Championship
Cardiff boss hopeful on debt deal
29 Oct 09 |  Cardiff
Fit and proper person test
31 Jul 07 |  Premier League
Cardiff deny Sullivan investment
31 Aug 09 |  Cardiff
Cardiff court foreign cash boost
10 Aug 09 |  Cardiff
Cardiff's grounds for optimism
06 Aug 09 |  Cardiff
Cardiff suffer loss of over 1m
12 May 09 |  Cardiff
Ridsdale's hint at Cardiff future
24 Apr 09 |  Cardiff
Cardiff chairman's 500,000 bonus
02 Jul 08 |  South east
Cardiff City face loan case wait
13 Mar 08 |  Wales
Hammam named in Cardiff loan case
12 Mar 08 |  Wales
Before Wembley, City's legal test
11 Mar 08 |  Wales
Cardiff warning over legal battle
24 Oct 07 |  Cardiff
Ridsdale offers to quit Cardiff
21 Sep 07 |  Cardiff
Bluebirds enjoy financial upturn
19 Jun 07 |  Cardiff
Cardiff debt deal ends Hammam era
22 Dec 06 |  Wales
Cardiff boss makes exit warning
21 Dec 06 |  Cardiff
Cardiff calm takeover hitch fear
18 Dec 06 |  Cardiff
Hammam devastated by Cardiff exit
29 Oct 06 |  Cardiff
New boost for Bluebirds' stadium
27 Nov 06 |  South east
Ridsdale to fulfil Hammam 'dream'
23 Oct 06 |  Cardiff

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