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Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust contact Vincent Tan directly to call for boardroom changes amid ‘mistrust’

Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust have written an open letter to Vincent Tan asking for a number of changes to be made following a “break down in communication” with the club’s management.

The letter, which was sent directly to Tan’s office last week, highlighted some positives, including Steve Morison’s tenure as manager so far and Darren Purse’s return to the club in the capacity of under-23s’ manager, and CCST were also sympathetic to how the Covid-19 pandemic had impacted the owner’s leisure business.

However, they have pleaded for change in a number of areas. Firstly, they urged more transparency so that the ownership and the supporters “share a clear vision for the club” with a “realistic strategy to realise it”. They believe the club are “sadly falling short” on that as things stand.

READ MORE: Exactly how Cardiff City will conduct summer transfer business

The letter added: “We see several reasons for this. Firstly, you, as the owner of the club, are seen by many supporters as too distant from the club. We appreciate that with travel restrictions over the past two years it has been very challenging to be a regular face at the club. Other clubs have the same issue, but the difference will be the directors at the club. Whilst we do not wish to criticise or judge the individuals on the level of competence for the roles that they fulfil we would suggest the following is absent.

  • “Directors with their time 100% dedicated to Cardiff City.
  • “Directors with a background in the executive management of a football club.
  • “Directors empowered to make key decisions.
  • “Directors focused on the strategic direction of the club, alongside operational issues.”

CCST claim their communication with the club’s management has gradually disintegrated and believe it has led to growing frustrations.

“There seems to be an issue of mistrust, of broken confidences, that for our part is entirely unjustified,” the letter said. “We have recently even had the farcical situation where correspondence between the board and the Trust was conducted through a solicitor. The directors appear reluctant to engage or provide any clarity. More recently they simply continue to reject the opportunity to meet or answer any of the questions put to them.

“This situation is generally unhealthy and will drive a greater wedge between the club and the most important of stakeholders, the fans.”

The Trust also put forward some changes they would like to see made as a result. They have called for a chief executive to be appointed who can be “empowered to make all the necessary decisions through the club board”.

They said of the proposal: “Naturally, the key objectives for the role are to secure the long-term financial stability of the club, to establish success on the field commensurate to the club’s ability to trade playing staff, and to inspire a collective vision for the club.”

Secondly, they wish for the club to add a Supporters’ Trust director to its board. A move, they said, which would help to hear the voice of the supporters at board level more regularly and which could help keep fans more informed than they currently are.

They said: “We believe by appointing a supporters’ trust director on the board, Cardiff City will lead the way forward on this, setting an example for others, as we have done in the case of safe standing.”

The Trust added they would welcome the opportunity to discuss the current issues and proposed changes with Tan himself and hope to see him at a Cardiff City game at some point in the near future.

Quite what the future holds for Tan and Cardiff City Football Club is still a point of discussion. There has been at least one interested party in taking over the club in recent months, while some reports claim as many as three bidders have taken an interest. You can read more on that here.

The Malaysian businessman has been at the helm for 10 years now, but with his leisure empire having been deeply affected by the recent pandemic, as well as awaiting the outcome of two legal matters pertaining to the club — one involving Nantes over the Emiliano Sala transfer which has been heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland and the other centred around a share issue dispute with ex-director Michael Isaac — a big few months off the pitch lie ahead.

It all appears to be coming to a head in that regard and the club penned their thanks to the principal in the conclusion of their letter.

The letter concluded by saying: “We would like to reiterate our thanks for all you have done for Cardiff City in the past 10 years. We are very mindful that our situation would be very much different but for your generosity. We just feel that changes can be made to your senior team’s working and thinking to further improve the functioning of the club moving forwards.

“We feel compelled to write to you directly as there are changes that can be made to further improve the functioning of the club moving forwards; the club that means so much to us and the local area.

“We look forward to welcoming you back at the stadium for a match in the very near future.”

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