Football Management

Commentary on the management of over 160 English football clubs by Dr John Beech, winner of the FSF Writer of the Year Award 2009/10 Twitter: @JohnBeech Curator of! Football Finance

The Spinmeister unspun? ;-)

Posted by John Beech on December 12, 2009

A new message has come through from Planet Ridsdale (1). It reads:

Cardiff City are delighted to announce that they have signed a settlement agreement with the Langston Corporation regarding the loan notes that were taken out in 2004.

This agreement, signed by both parties, therefore removes the threat of any further legal proceedings in the foreseeable future.

Cardiff City chairman and chief executive Peter Ridsdale said: “On behalf of Cardiff City Football Club, I would like to thank the Langston Corporation for their co-operation in this matter and Mr Sam Hammam for helping to facilitate this agreement.”

What could a ‘settlement agreement’ mean?  Was it the debt or the dispute that had been settled?  How come Sam Hammam, previously the arch-villain, was suddenly Peter’s new friend?

Even Auntie seemed puzzled when reporting this on her website.  With the judicious use of a pair of single quotes, she went with ‘Cardiff City ‘settle’ with creditors Langston‘ (2). The interview with Peter there gave some glimpses of what was actually meant though.

A crack team of lexicographers, grammarians, syntaxologists and even former NASA employees (decoding Peter Ridsdale is rocket science!) have managed to remove the spin and come up with the following translation. I can’t vouch for its accuracy, but, for what it’s worth, here it is:

‘Langston could have dragged us back to court again if we didn’t start paying them back some of the money they lent us five years ago.  We might have lost, and been forced to actually start paying them their money back, plus we could have been lumbered with more legal costs.

‘Now this would prove a tad, shall we say, inconvenient, especially as we’ve lost money every year bar one since 1999, and just had an embarrassing little disagreement with the tax man (and please don’t mention 777).  We came up with this cunning plan to get our new chum, Mr Munto TG, to sub us.  Problem was, he wasn’t very happy with us still hanging around with Big Sam.

‘So, we gave in and said we’d start paying Big Sam back so we could get TG to start paying us to pay Big Sam back.  Brilliant or what!

‘Unfortunately our solicitors said we’d have to sign the agreement with Big Sam and his mates as well as get them to sign it. Still, January’s another year.’


One Response to “The Spinmeister unspun? ;-)”

  1. John Beech said


    The club has issued the following statement:
    We can confirm that the High Court today formally dismissed the winding up order that had previously been brought by HMRC. This was as a result of amicable discussions between the Club and HMRC. We are grateful for their co-operation and support.
    ” (1)

    For the all important detail of what these chummy discussions have resulted in one has to turn to WalesOnline (2), where one learns that the club has only paid off roughly half of the £1.2m tax bill, but has “agreed a payment schedule which will see the rest paid off by the end of this year” [which surely can’t be right – the end of 2010? JB].

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