In Arsenal news, I was a little surprised to hear that Aaron Ramsey has decided to sign for us. After United did the double this season, I thought it would be hard for Arsene to get the Welsh youngster on board, but the gaffer said his speech and the boy agrees - the future of Arsenal Football Club is where he sees himself... I wonder what Arsene said? I'm sure we'll find out one day!
Could this be an omen? We've won the battle for Ramsey, now it's time to win the Premiership and the Champions League!
Here's the full transcript from the BBC inteview with the Cardiff chairman:
BBC: Clearly Arsenal has been chosen as the best option in Aaron Ramsey’s mind. Is it the best option for Cardiff City?
Ridsdale: Well just goes to say because clearly we would’ve much preferred Aaron to stay with us either as a Cardiff City player or on loan; had he gone somewhere else, the only option of a loan back was with Manchester United, but ultimately it’s up to the player to decide where he wants to go.
BBC: Did you try to push him in Manchester United’s direction so you could have him loaned back?
Ridsdale: We clearly said and I think I’m already probably on record as saying that in an ideal world I would of wished him to go there were he to leave – but also I’ve got to be very careful because obviously we have relationships with Arsenal football club and many others and we want to do business with them in the future. So I try to be even handed, but made it clear that Cardiff City’s best solution would have been if he had gone to Manchester United.
BBC: Could you explain the ins and outs of the deal to us?
Ridsdale: It’s five million cash in fact on a straight cash basis. Arsenal’s was the best bid on the table, Manchester United’s in our view equalled it because it also included the loan back option. But in pure cash Arsenals was the best option on the table.
BBC: It must be a bitter blow for somebody like Manchester United too and for Alex Ferguson?
Ridsdale: Well that’s nothing to do with me; my job is to be Chairman of Cardiff City and to do what is right for Cardiff City. We knew we had a talent, clearly the Premiership clubs knew that there was a talent there. Aaron is still very young, he hasn’t played many games yet and clearly from our perspective it would of been far better were we to lose him, to then still have him on loan.
But that’s not to be. The lad has made his decision, he gave me the courtesy of ringing me himself and talking me through why he has made that decision and clearly we wish him well. What we’ve now got to do now is to do what I’ve promised all of our fans and go into next season with a stronger squad than last, and this now gives us more financial flexibility to do so.
BBC: How many more could be leaving do you think before next season?
Ridsdale: Well I don’t want anybody to leave, The fact is you want to keep the team together. I think when you get someone like Aaron it’s very difficult to not give him the opportunity to go to one of the top Premier League clubs, in terms of the rest of the squad I’ve made it clear to all of them that I want them to stay and all those players with a year to go we’re offering new deals. Only if a player turns round and says I don’t want to play for Cardiff City anymore would I expect anyone else to leave.
BBC: One last question, does the five million pounds now give you immediately more firepower in bringing in new players into Cardiff City, thinking in particular about a new striker or two?
Ridsdale: Well it actually gives us a bit of a problem because we do have now more cash flexibility but everybody in the world now knows we’ve got cash in the bank and will be holding out for bigger prices. So it means that the job will be more difficult, but my job is to make sure when we start the new season we’ve got a balanced squad. Everybody knows we are looking for strikers and we have already made enquires about two over the last weekend and my job is to try and get them for Dave so we can look forward to the new season.
It’s intriging, I didn’t think Arsene would pay £5m in cash for a player such as Ramsey, who hasn’t really set the championship alight… but he has, so it’s time to find out more about the player, how he plays, where he can play, how he’ll fit into our team, will he play straight away…?
Time to think.
I’ll be back with more later…]]>