Cheer up Peter Ridsdale, Joe Ledley is at Celtic


Reading Peter Ridsdale bleating about Joe Ledley’s departure from Cardiff would be comical if it wasn’t for the fact that the former Leeds United and Barnsley director takes himself so seriously.

Having guided Cardiff City towards the brink of administration to find Ridsdale discussing financial management is hard to take seriously.

Whilst in charge of Leeds the talkative Yorkshireman had agents beating a path to his door to sign up their clients such was his generous manner in negotiations.

Ridsdale’s grand plans saw Leeds mortgage off their stadium to offer players ridiculous salaries as he helped steer the club from the semi-finals of the Champions League into a points deduction to accompany relegation to League One.

Cardiff’s visit to Ellend Road should certainly be an interesting clash in the season ahead.

Whinging on about losing Ledley for token compensation Ridsdale bleated: “Two years ago, Cardiff City turned down an offer for Ledley on transfer deadline day.

“He phoned and begged me to let him go to Stoke but we already had sold Glen Loovens and Aaron Ramsey that summer and had no need for further sales.

“Despite this, the offer was tempting, but it came too last-minute, the final day of the transfer window gave us no time to replace him.

“Since that day, I tried to interest Ledley in signing a new deal and numerous different offers were put to him through his agent.

“Far from keeping a distance from him, I regularly saw him at the training ground and on matchdays but every time I raised the question with him, he said, ‘Talk to my agent’. I did and got nowhere.”

Those confessions must make troubling reading for any Cardiff fan as their chairman reveals another error of judgement that has cost the club a potential transfer fee of £3m.

A year further down the line and with no breakthrough on the Ledley front the bold Pete was again making headlines with his unique transfer dealings.

Not content with making a £5m profit on selling Michael Chopra to Sunderland Ridsdale decided to shell out £4m and Premiership wages to bring the striker back to Wales.

At the same time he turned down a £4m bid from Hull for Ross McCormack just 12 months after picking up the Scotland striker on a Bosman (or Ledley) from Motherwell.

Ridsdale was quite happy to use the cross-border loophole to take McCormack to Cardiff but when the boot is on the other foot he has been quick off the mark to try and deflect the blame onto the player.

Ledley, like Ross McCormack and Liam Miller have exploited the system for their own personal benefit.

There is nothing undercover or illegal about their actions. Players under 23 are free to make cross-border transfer moves with only a token compensation fee paid back for the years spent developing the player.

Clubs know the rules, if they want a player to stay they make sure that they are signed up or cut their losses and sell them while under contract.

Rather than bad mouthing Ledley, Ridsdale would be better off spending his energy trying to prevent HMRC from putting Cardiff out of business owing to unpaid tax bills.

Once he has sorted that out he could perhaps apply to the Football League to lift the transfer embargo currently hampering Dave Jones hopes of putting together a team capable of challenging for promotion.

Having worked closely beside his Chief Executive even Jones is at a loss to explain how Ridsdale operates in the transfer market.

The Cardiff boss said: “I had a working relationship with Peter. It worked pretty well but you find things out when people leave that are a little bit annoying.

“I’m just looking to the future now and what has gone on has gone on. I have got new people in, a new board, and I am working for them now. I just need to get on with my job and do my best like I have always done in my management career.

“It’s just sad that we couldn’t have sorted this (Ledley situation) out well over 12 months ago because he’s a Cardiff boy and I feel his heart is still at Cardiff and he would have loved to have signed.

“But by all accounts there was never an offer made, or a substantial offer which would have kept him. We did do that but in Joe’s eyes it was probably a bit too late. He’s not our player now.”

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