Fans view of Sam Hammam

Last updated : 31 December 2006 By Michael Morris

Its been an interesting interlude, there were times when I thought he is was a saint and other times a sinner. I am just glad the rollercoaster ride is over, and look forward to seeing who the new owners are and trust that they will back Dave Jones to the hilt because I believe he is the best thing that Sam did for the club.


I think overall Sam has been good for the club - at least we have a good chance now of a new stadium which would have been unlikely without him.

Yet, it's a big 'overall' as I agree that ultimately he was in it for a profit (as with Wimbledon) ... would he have sent us into administration ... who knows?

Tim of Wootton Bassett

Personally, I have always felt that he was, and is, a businessman, the reasons for coming to Cardiff were to make money.

He came at a time when Cardiff needed financial backing desperately. So on the one hand, he was important to us, as we were to him.

Like him or loathe him, me I have never liked him, I always felt he was underhand, and his concerns were for himself both financially and for having his name plastered everywhere, gaining exposure, which may have helped in his outside ventures.

Sam as gone and me, I feel better for it.

Let's get on with people who want a successful football club.


Hammam saw City as a business venture and nothing more. I know of Wibledon fans who warned what would happen at Cardiff. They were right. For a man of his means to take a final £500,000 cut is disgraceful. Good riddance. But will Ridsdale be any better.................


Football is all about entertainment, ups and downs. We've all (fans) been treated to great entertainment from Sam Hammam.

No-one's perfect and i believe that the profile of the club is at a greater level than ever before, due to Hammam.

He's made mistakes but so do all Chairmen. with the benefit of hindsight, it's easy to slate him, but he's given us the platform to become a bigger club.

Hopefully the debts will now be managed and the moneymen can assist Dave Jones to taking the club to new heights.

We must now focus on the club, the new stadium and let the boys do the talking on the pitch....the future is now clearer and brighter!

Chris - Cardiff

Sam tried to live the dream at almost the clubs expense. I for one would not want to have changed the last few years, it has been enormous fun. Despite the current criticism I would be surprised if anyone would prefer to be in the dungeon today.

John, Paignton, Devon

I think the Hammam era has been super! He is a businessman at the end of the day, and he didn't have to choose Cardiff to invest his money. He saw potential, and has helped realise this with his money. I don't mind him taking something for himself, as he has given us plenty.

He has laid the foundations, and if these were not laid we would have be rotting in the second division with gates of 2,000 - 3,000.

The publicity he has got for club has shown everyone how big this club could be and this can only attract investors, players and people of quality within football towards the club.

Ok, at times it was not easy, and when Kavanagh was sold, it was very disappointing, but without Hammam, would we have ever dreamt about signing such a quality player.

In my view Hammam was the best thing that could have happened to Cardiff, he leaves us in the best position we have been in for years. It was always going to be costly and without his finances we would never be here now! Thank You, Sam.

Richard, Brecon

I think Sam made big mistakes in trying to get us our dreams.

Over the last few years we all see more children walking round our streets in Cardiff City shirts other than Man U Liverpool & Spurs we are playing in a great league and we are competing in that league.

We are talking of going in the premiership and having a new stadium if we talked about this 10+ years ago you would have heard the laughs everywhere.

Remember the joke where would Cardiff play swansea in the FA cup final; FANTASY ISLAND we were a joke in the english league and if it was not jokes it was our idiots fighting that was cardiff city.

Under Sam this changed but he made big mistakes that will cost the club with the debt and we are getting the wrong press since Black Friday.

We will never know the full truth on all this but lets just hope our great club can go forward now


I don't know if my opinions are of any interest but here I go.

I think that without Sam you might have languished in the lower leagues, but the club has had to pay a hell of a price to get where they are now. Given thirty odd million to spend I think most of us could have done better.

I never trusted him from the time that he bought the club. He had no history with the Bluebirds, and yet here he was trying to make people think that Cardiff "was his child". He was only ever in it for the shops, and if, as a consequence could have taken you to the premiership it would have been a bonus, but his love of CCFC would always come second to his love of money.

I think he was also very naive. I remember he said that Cardiff would be a team which all of Wales would support, he even came to Swansea to ask us to become bluebirds. How out of touch with reality was that!

I think you are well rid, but administration might have been a less painful way out. It would have cost you ten points, that would have meant no Premiership next season, but you would not have gone down. And, do you really want to go up now? Ninian is great but would you want to play there in the top flight? You can also bet that the thirty million from Sky would have gone into Sam's pocket, not for playing staff. I don't know what the financial ramifications would have been, had you gone into admin', but I really do think you would have been better off.

Hope all is clearer after 15th January. Good luck for the rest of the season.

Jim - Swansea fan

I travel from Haverfordwest to most home games. I remember when sam took over , we were going nowhere, so i suppose we have gone somewhere. Lets face it whos not in it for the money, were in the championship would we be there without sam who knows?


Though I was grateful that he stepped in at a time when CCFC didn't have a pot to pee in, I was never really happy having a man like Sam Hammam as our owner.

From the start, he couldn't keep his big gob shut and most of his public utterances were embarrassing to say the least. Fair enough, he raised the profile of the Club by shooting his mouth off but personally, I would prefer our executives to behave with more dignity and decorum.

His biggest mistake was to appoint a series of old pals as manager, who proceeded to waste huge sums of money on players who were nowhere near worth the money. Me or my Granny could have got us promoted to the Championship spending the sort of sums we did. Unfortunately, due to Sam's shrewdness in not spending much of his own cash, we are still saddled with a massive debt, which may yet be our downfall in the years ahead. Yes, I have enjoyed finally getting back to the Championship, which I've always felt is the natural level for CCFC but Sam has left us in a very parlous state financially and for me, when I weigh things up, that means he ultimately did more harm than good.

I never really trusted him from the start but the day he sold Earnie, having said many times that he would never do so and to West Brom, who he had called our "feeder club", surely even the most ardent Sam supporter could see that he was not to be trusted. That was the day I lost all respect for him and after he sold Collins and Gabbidon too, I was amazed that some people still supported Sam.

I was not at all surprised that he was apparently prepared to let the club die this week - CCFC clearly didn't mean as much to him as he wanted us to believe and I'm mighty glad to see the back of him. He's lucky to have walked away - I'm amazed he wasn't found hanging from a lamp-post in Sloper Road many months ago, to be honest.


Sam Hammam has probably lost a lot of respect among City fans over his golden handshake deal. However, the bottom line is that none of us really know whether Sam is in credit or in debt from his time as owner as Cardiff City, and let's not forget he paid about £3million to rescue the club in the first place. He has left us with huge debts, but these seem to be under some sort of control thanks to the management of Peter Ridsdale. Sam had the charisma and leadership to take City from the middle of the league's bottom division to the top six of the Championship and, I suspect, there are few very other football businessmen out there who could have achieved that. I'll always be grateful for his time with City, although the manner of his departure has left something of a bad taste,

Mark from Bath (35 years a City fan)

We have had five years of unexpected excitement, culminating in this season's roller coaster. If you want an uneventful life in the lower reaches of League One don't let Sam on board. We have to be grateful for what he did, and be thankful that, unlike Wimbledon, we still have a club. This complex character can be ruthless.

To my mind the real villain of the piece is not Sam but the apathy that pervades much of the city and its catchment area. Despite Sam's charisma and genuine attempts to encourage support, last season's average attendance of around 12,000 was pitiful in relation to the city's size. How can we compete with smaller places like Norwich, Ipswich, Derby, Southampton, Leicester to name but a few who attract double that number? Let alone the big names with three or four times our gates. As Rick Wright said 15 years ago (or words to this effect) "Why should I put my money down when most local people don't want to know?" Sam has exploded the Cardiff City a sleeping giant myth among his other achievements.

Peter, Cardiff and London

In summary, I thank Sam for the following;

Promotion and stability in the Championship

Increased crowds - whether you like it or not they have doubled in his time at CCFC

Increased expectations and being allowed to dream

Increased profile of the club locally and nationally

An unforgettable day at the play off final

The arrival of some quality players - Kavanagh, Thorne, Gabbidon, Legg etc.

On the negative side then I suggest;

Inappropriate and often embarrassing comments

Failure to keep promises and lengthy bull that came with them

A huge debt around the clubs neck

Sale of star players

Signing of a number of players patently not good enough

A failure to deliver the stadium

An image of a businessman consumed by power and greed, totally tarnished by his final days pre Dec 22

A failure to get the club moving forward in the commercial areas.

Paul, Cardiff

Whatever anyone thinks of him if he hadn't bought the club we wouldn't be
where we are now.
We now however need to move on to a new level without the hinderance of the
baggage that Sam carries.

Malc -Cardiff

Im a City fan living in the West Midlands and try to get down to NP as much as possible,but when I heard that Hammam was off i thought "thank god",I could see us sliding into obscurity just like Wimbledon a few years ago.True he did put money into the club,but was that stadium ever going to be built during his reign?So many clubs around the UK have had their new stadiums planned and builtwithin 3 or 4 years,so why not us?On balance i think it is the correct move.

Haydn, Birmingham.

I think we can all thank Sam for his original gesture in pulling Cardiff City out of the basement, and getting us to the Chamionship. No-one could deny that we could have fallen out of the league, never to return !

However, since Black Friday, and the removal overnight by helicopter of Graham Kavanagh, I have had no time for this man, who is a stranger to the truth when talking about finance and football. He has been at City to line his pockets, and has "groomed" his loyal disciples over a long period of time, telling them they are "family", ringing them at home, making them feel "in the know". They are now in denial that this man could have hoodwinked them, and nothing can make them see the full picture.

All I care about is that Cardiff City get to the Premier, get their stadium, and become a financially secure football club

Richie - Pontypridd

Before Sam came along nobody wanted anything to do with City. We were loathed by the media here, the rugby establishment (including BBC Wales), the council have always hindered rather than helped anyone trying to better the club and we were going nowhere. He might be greedy but look what he's done for us during the short time he's been in charge. Two promotions, ground improvements, Play-off win at Millennium, that win over Leeds United, record signings of quality players, City players playing for Wales, Ireland and Scotland, England (when did that EVER happen since the twenties?!) and now we're higher in the league than I can ever remember (since my first game in 1974) with a new stadium around the corner, people willing to invest in us, the council on our side and even Cardiff rugby club cotemplating sharing a ground with us! I can't remember such good times as a City fan as we've had these last 5 years and it would never have happened without him, never. I just wish I was still living here to witness it all. So, he can have his £500,000, I think he's earned it! Cheers Sam

Ian, Utrecht, Holland

He took a club who has had many previous false dawns and in a somewhat self styled way got us to where we are today. This wasn't without some bad things happening along the way. It is rather ironic that he quotes himself as a man of his word and yet frequently does something he promises he won't (living in America I am used to this - but Cardiff fans are less gullible). The sale of Earnshaw and Gabbidon spring to mind. But perhaps even more so with the sale of Collins - only for the excuses to follow shortly after. Lets face it there are so many quotes you could dig up that would be laughable now.

However, I think behind the scenes he got a lot of things done. But his greatest achievement was probably raising the spirits of the fans. Not to mention some good stuff in between (Promotion, ground improvements, hooliganism reduced etc.). I think he will always be remembered for being the catalyst of a successful football club and the new stadium will in part be his legacy. As Mike Hall said recently Football is a murky world and Sam is a great representation of that.

Finally, let us not forget he only got involved in the club because of the revenue opportunity. For better or worse he steered the club to where we are now. I think in a way so called "local" financial muscle are probably only interested now that the club are so much more successful than in recent decades (even though they are saddled with huge debts). It makes you wonder where these people were before and if they would have got involved had it not been for Sam.

I will always remember him for turning things around at Cardiff, but doing it his way. Which was great in some ways but overall not without it's problems. His qualities are never more well represented in the fact that Dave Jones is Manager - Sam sold the club to him and he is no fool. It may not have gone the way Sam would have liked but I would rather be where we are now than watching City play in the lower reaches of the league with no prospects.

David, Boston. USA

Sam Hammam brought a little crock of gold to your club and had fun playing with it. But that crock was bought with the life blood of my team Wimbledon. He sold the only thing that guaranteed our existence, Plough Lane. Then he cashed in, shipped out and left the remains to a bunch of incompetent Norwegians and a South African. They got us relegated and physically moved to Milton Keynes leaving the fans here with nothing except our memories.

Let's hope he has picked a more competent bunch to hand your club on to. If Norway or Charles Koppel feature in your new ownership, be afraid, be very afraid!

John, Richmond

The road has been much rockier than we were aware of, success built on a mountain of debt. We all believed he was a great benefactor of the club, but ultimately he was a businessman first, Cardiff City fan second. This is clear given the dealings of the last few days.
Ultimately the answer to the question lies in the position the club is in today, compared to when he took over.
In the 30 years I've followed City, on the field, things have never been so good. From the depths of the lowest division, to within reach of the Premiership. For that he does deserve significant credit. He has also left a legacy for the future in the recruitment of Peter Ridsdale and Dave Jones.
If Sam had not bought the club we would probably be still at the bottom end of the football league. The consortium looking to take over would unlikely to have been interested.
So the road has been bumpy, but we are now in a better place.
Overall, Sam Hammam has been good for Cardiff City. Thank you Sam.

Kevin, expat in England.

Without Sam Hammam, I have no doubt, that we would still be enjoying a festival of basement football.