Hammam deal spares Cardiff administration

December 22, 2006

Cardiff have avoided going into administration after the club brokered a deal to sell former chairman Sam Hammam's controlling stake.

There were fears the Coca-Cola Championship side could have been put into administration if a deal was not completed by midday.

However, club director Steve Borley has confirmed an agreement was struck for the £27million buy-out of Hammam's majority shareholding, clearing the Bluebirds' debts and leaving manager Dave Jones with a budget to strengthen the promotion-chasing team.

The new investors have not been formally identified, although new chairman Peter Ridsdale and backers were keen to take control of the club.

Borley said: 'A deal has been done - we got everybody to see sense and we got an agreement right at the 11th hour. It's sorted and we can go forward.

'The uncertainty surrounding the club has disappeared, the manager can get on with his job and the players don't have to worry about whether they are going to get paid at the end of the month.'

Failure to sign the takeover deal today would also have scuppered the club's plans for a new 30,000-capacity stadium opposite their current Ninian Park home.

Cardiff Council had been reluctant to give the go-ahead to the retail scheme until they received assurances over the viability of the plans.

Jones had warned he could consider his position had the takeover deal failed as a cash injection in January and a new stadium to follow were crucial in his decision to commit himself to Cardiff.

He admitted the delay had been cause for concern. 'I was sold the dream [of a new 30,000-capacity stadium] and I'm sure one or two of the players were also sold the dream, so they must be concerned as well with what's going on.'

With planning permission for the stadium now granted, Ridsdale said in a statement: 'I am delighted to be able to confirm that an agreement was reached just before noon today whereby Sam Hammam and his company Rudgwick have signed an irrevocable undertaking to vote in favour of the club's financial and management restructuring proposals at the forthcoming EGM.'