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Page last updated at 06:33 GMT, Tuesday, 25 May 2010 07:33 UK

Robert Earnshaw fears for Cardiff City's future

Robert Earnshaw celebrates scoring for Forest
Earnshaw celebrates scoring for Forest in a manner familiar to Cardiff fans

Ex-Cardiff striker Robert Earnshaw has spoken of his fears for the club after Blackpool crushed their Premier League dream.

Blackpool beat the Bluebirds 3-2 at Wembley on Saturday to win the Championship play-off final and reach the top flight.

Nottingham Forest's Earnshaw, 29, said Cardiff needed promotion more than the Seasiders.

"It was bigger for them to go up than Blackpool," he said.

Earnshaw scored 105 goals in 205 Bluebirds appearances after making his debut in 1998 and is the only player to have scored a hat-trick in all top four divisions of the English game, as well as at international level.

He left the Bluebirds for West Bromwich Albion in 2004 and his travels have since taken him to Norwich, Derby County and Forest, who he joined in May 2008.

Forest finished third, one place above the Bluebirds in the Championship, and were also beaten by Blackpool in the play-offs, the Seasiders winning 6-4 on aggregate.

Len Day

Earnshaw says because the Bluebirds missed out on a £90m jackpot, their financial plight continues to be a concern.

They have already faced winding up orders over a £1.9m debt owed to Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs, which has yet to be cleared.

And outgoing chairman Peter Ridsdale has admitted the club are £15m in debt while some reports have suggested they owe as much as £30m.

But Ridsdale hands over control to a Malaysian consortium headed by Dato Chan Tien Ghee on Thursday, ending his five-year spell in south Wales, which could bring fresh financial hope.

"I fear for them a little bit," said Earnshaw. "You don't know where it could take them.

"You see Crystal Palace [in administration] and you see Portsmouth have been relegated now [after going into administration].

"It's hard because of the financial side - you have to keep on top of it now because it could kill a club.

"I'm concerned for them because they need to sort that out and then they can concentrate on the pitch.

Can Cardiff offer Joe Ledley a good deal to stay because he wants to stay?

Robert Earnshaw

"But it's going to be interesting, what happens in the next few months because it's going to be very tough for them and you don't know where the club's going to go now."

There has been speculation over manager Dave Jones' future as well as leading players such as Joe Ledley and Jay Bothroyd.

Earnshaw says out-of-contract Ledley has a "huge" career decision to take.

"I spoke to Joe the other day," he added. "I was happy for him and cheering him when he scored against Blackpool because he always seems to pop up on the big games and he'd have been happy about that for all of four or five minutes.

"But it's going to be a big decision for him because it's his career now. A lot of it is going to depend on where Cardiff are on the financial side.

"Can they offer him a good deal to stay because he wants to stay? But it's hard for him to stay.

"It's going to be huge. I think he needs to spend a couple of weeks thinking about it - and I'm sure he's thought about it anyway.

"It's a big decision for him. It's a big decision for Cardiff as well because the thing is, can they offer him a contract now they haven't gone up? Can they do that?

"If they can't he's going to have to go anyway. It's hard. He's going to be a big loss. If he goes, I think it's going to be a huge, huge loss for them."


Cardiff backer upbeat after loss

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see also
Jones 'best man for Cardiff job'
24 May 10 |  Cardiff
Cardiff cash must flow - McPhail
23 May 10 |  Cardiff
New Cardiff backer's plea to fans
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Cardiff hope on Far Eastern Promise
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Blackpool 3-2 Cardiff
22 May 10 |  Championship
Ridsdale to step down at Cardiff
30 Apr 10 |  Cardiff
New Cardiff investment 'by April'
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Cardiff fans' administration fear
18 Mar 10 |  Cardiff
Cardiff chairman Ridsdale to stay
28 Jan 10 |  Cardiff
Ridsdale in for Hammam at Cardiff
22 Oct 06 |  Cardiff
BBC Sport Wales coverage
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