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Page last updated at 17:11 GMT, Friday, 5 March 2010

Peter Ridsdale riled by Cardiff City protest march

Cardiff City chairman Peter Ridsdale
Peter Ridsdale is expected to bear the brunt of the fans' anger on Saturday

Cardiff City chairman Peter Ridsdale says the planned protest march before Saturday's home game has been designed to "destabilise" the club.

Some 2,000 fans are expected at Cardiff City stadium to voice their concerns over the club's financial plight.

But Ridsdale says the protest will "drive away" potential investors who could solve the current problems.

The march organiser said the fans are unhappy that questions regarding the club's finances have not been answered.

But Ridsdale claims those concerns were covered during the club's recent Extraordinary General Meeting and says he welcomes any "constructive dialogue" with concerned supporters.

"We are currently seeking external investment," said Ridsdale in a statement on the Cardiff City website.

Cardiff will 'scrap out results'

"Will a march against the current management or the Club assist that? The answer is simple. No."

He added: "Anyone thinking of joining this march should look themselves in the mirror and ask if they really care about Cardiff City Football Club and its future.

"If the answer is yes, then come straight to the ground, enjoy the match and support the Club. If the answer is no, then join the march."

Ridsdale is set to bear the brunt of the supporters' anger before Saturday's game with Middlesbrough after breaking a pledge to use money raised by advanced season ticket sales on buying new players.

The funds were instead used to finance part of the club's unpaid tax bill as Ridsdale attempted to fend off a winding up order in the High Court.

Cardiff managed to have the case against them adjourned until 10 March after paying £1m of the £2.7m bill to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

But many fans have grown disgruntled with the current regime and they plan to make their feelings heard during Saturday's demonstration.

"This will be a march to show our passion for the club," said the march's organiser, Annis Abraham. "We will be here way beyond the tenure of the present chairman Peter Ridsdale."

The increased concerns over the club's financial viability has coincided with an alarming slump in form on the pitch.

606: DEBATE
Hilts

Since having the first winding up order dismissed in the High Court in mid-December, the Bluebirds have won just three of their 11 Championship games.

Consequently, their hopes of securing a top-six finish appear far more fragile as they occupy the last play-off spot - one point ahead of the chasing pack.

Manager Jones warned in January that the "negativity" among the fans was manifesting itself on the pitch, with players no longer playing with a smile on their faces.

And although he respects the supporters' right to protest, he has reiterated his belief that unity is they key in the face of adversity.

"Football is a great breeding ground for blaming somebody else, whether it be on or off the pitch," said Jones, who will be without four key players against Boro on Saturday.

"We've just got to put all of that to the back of our minds. I believe there'll be a lot of people demonstrating so hopefully then they'll all come into the ground so we'll have a full house.

"We need the backing of all the supporters. It is a difficult time here at the moment - difficult on the pitch and off the pitch.

"So what do you do? Do you lie down and blame somebody else, or do you rally around and get behind each other and try to look at the good things?

"There is always a negative so let's try to turn everything into a positive."



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see also
Cardiff 1-0 Middlesbrough
06 Mar 10 |  Championship
Cardiff launch latest ticket deal
03 Mar 10 |  Cardiff
Cardiff meet FAW over unpaid cash
01 Mar 10 |  Cardiff
Cardiff win land sale green light
24 Feb 10 |  Cardiff
Cardiff fans hold finance protest
30 Jan 10 |  Wales
Cardiff winding-up order delayed
10 Feb 10 |  Cardiff
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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