Craig Bellamy signing not to appease Cardiff fans - Whiteley

Craig Bellamy, Alan Whiteley
Craig Bellamy, Alan Whiteley

Cardiff City chief executive Alan Whiteley has denied claims the board were trying to appease unhappy fans with the signing of Craig Bellamy.

Bluebirds supporters were furious when a new badge and plans to change the kit from blue to red were agreed in June.

The changes are part of a investment pledge from Cardiff's Malaysian owners, who funded the deal for Bellamy.

"I don't think we were looking for a marquee signing or a signing to appease the fans," said Whiteley.

"What we're looking to do is make sure we've got the quality to make sure the team has got the best chance of getting promotion.

"Most of the teams in the Premier League would have loved to have him [Bellamy] from Liverpool, so it's not necessarily a crowd pleaser.

"It's nice that he gets the crowd enthused and excited but really it's about building a team to make a challenge for the Premier League."

Bellamy, who scored 11 goals in a loan spell at the club in 2010-11, joined Cardiff City on a free transfer from Liverpool on 10 August, signing a two-year contract.

The decision to implement the rebranding proposal was taken during talks between board members, with the club releasing a statement confirming that investors Tan Sri Vincent Tan and Dato Chan Tien Ghee had pledged their commitment to the club.

As well as wearing red rather than blue home shirts from next season - for the first time since 1910 - the Championship club are looking into expanding Cardiff City Stadium and upgrading the club's training facilities.

More significantly, the investment plan hopes to clear the historical debt to the Langston Corporation, which is represented by former Cardiff owner Sam Hammam.

But fans were irate at the move to change the club badge and the team's colours, although many supporters were wearing the new red home shirt during Cardiff's 4-1 pre-season win over Newcastle United.

"It's been a long summer," added Whiteley, before the game against the Magpies.

"So it's actually nice to see the focus coming back onto football.

"I think once the football gets underway some of the controversy will die down.

"What's important for the fans is that they are seeing that the promises that were made as part of the whole exercise are actually being delivered

"And I think there's a genuine excitement that we've got probably one of the strongest squads at the football club that we've had in recent memory."

Whiteley had more good news for fans when he confirmed Bluebirds manager Malky Mackay is hoping to make further signings before the transfer window shuts on 31 August.

"I think Malky's looking to bring two or three more players in," he said.

"Not necessarily immediately but over the next few weeks and maybe one or two in January.

"Some of those will be more squad players and I think he's probably got one space he's still looking to fill in the starting line-up."

Top Stories