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Before you next criticise Doncaster, Munby et al you might want to read this news from Cardiff…

From BBC Sport:

Cardiff City chairman Peter Ridsdale received a £500,000 bonus during a period when the club lost almost £4.7m.

The payment was made for renegotiating the terms of a loan owed by last season’s FA Cup finalists and getting the new stadium project up and running.

The accounts for the 12 months to the end of May 2007, which have just been published, state that the bonus was in addition to a payment of £534,000.

Mr Ridsdale said the bonus was a fair reward and was invested in club shares.

“I was approached to come to save the club,” said Mr Ridsdale.

“This is what I was offered. I could have taken the cash and walked away but I have stuck around and re-invested the money in the club.

“Given what was achieved, I think it’s a fair reward.”

The payments were made to WH Sports Limited, which is Mr Ridsdale’s company.

A note to the accounts states: “During the year WH Sports Limited provided consultancy services, in relation to Mr RP Ridsdale’s role as director, totalling £534,490 (2006 £201,745).

“In addition WH Sports Limited were paid £500,000 as a bonus for successfully renegotiating the size and terms of the loan notes and achieving unconditionality on the new stadium project.”

The accounts go on to say that the bonus was “immediately reinvested into the football club”.

Cardiff City’s new stadium is currently being built over the road from the club’s current ground, Ninian Park, and the Bluebirds hope to move in for the start of the 2009/10 season.

Cardiff City Supporters’ Club spokesman Vince Alm said he did not have a major problem with the bonus because Mr Ridsdale reinvested it into the club

“From a business point of view it’s a small bonus for what he achieved,” said Mr Alm.

“From a supporters’ point of view, when the club is losing £4.7m, it’s a big chunk but he reinvested it into the club.”

Keith Morgan, an accountant with PKF and a Cardiff City fan, said he believed that the payments were “somewhat excessive” when you took into account that the club was a relatively small business with a turnover of £10m.

Seems like a lot of money to me, but I don’t know the ins and outs of Cardiff City Football Club (surprisingly enough). Any comments?



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