Malaysia, America, Guernsey?

Last updated : 12 January 2010 By Michael Morris
The off-field shenanigans will drive you nuts if you try to delve too deep.

As it stands Cardiff City still have massive debts, the most crucial it seems at the moment is the one to the tax man. A whole load of smaller creditors are forced to wait for monies owed. HMRC have set a date to take City to court to be wound up early in February if the money is not paid.

Now this opens another can of worms because Peter Ridsdale told supporters as far back as the end of November that all this debt was under control after the initial widing up order was put in place by HMRC. Ridsdale was extremely angry at the time that the news of a potential winding up order was "leaked" - even though it was on the public record.

Since then though despite more assurances from Ridsdale the money has still not been paid. This has now had a knock on effect of the club having a transfer embargo placed on it. Dave Jones admitted it this weekend.

"As far as I know I cannot bring in any new players until the financial situation has been settled," said Jones after the 1 - 1 draw with Blackpool.

"When the finances are sorted I will bring new faces into the club."

Peter Ridsdale announced last week that the HMRC debt would be paid and that City would have at least three new players, possibly four by Jan 31st.

"We have every confidence that all monies owing to HMRC will have been repaid by the end of January."

"Dave has asked for four players to come in - three have been lined up and will come in before the end of the month.

"But in addition to that, I will not add to the liability of the club before the tax bill is paid." (ermm you can't Peter - tax bill not paid = no players coming in)

He added to BBC Sport: "There is no immediate threat to the club."

Where's the money going to come from? Well the weekend talk was that Steve Borley was going to put his hand in his pocket and help towards the tax bill. A generous offer considering on the other side of the coin Steve is owed a rumoured seven figure sum by the club for work carried out on the new stadium. There's even talk of former Directors injecting life saving cash but that may only happen if Ridsdale steps down.

What of the £3m for bringing in new players. A big fuss was made at the end of 2009 for fans to sign up for new season tickets for 2010 / 2011 season. A great deal ensuring a 5 year price freeze on season tickets and a refund if City were to be promoted this season. Quite possible with the £3m being pledged to Dave Jones to strengthen.

Those fans, myself included, were happy to pay up - over 10,000 people have bough season tickets for next season already, now find the money we thought was going to help Dave Jones is in limbo. Will that be used to pay the tax man?

So what about new investors / owners?

For a long time now the Malaysians were favourites to take over. Negotiations have been ongoing and Tien Ghee being appointed to the board of Cardiff City. They are thought to still be doing due dilligence.

But as time drags on and no deal has been concluded (most likely a straight haggle over share prices) other potential names are in the frame. Unknown American billionaires and a chap called Ben Steele from Guernsey.

Representatives of the Americans were thought to have been at the game on Saturday while Mr Steele has previously attempted to get involved at Southampton.

It all seems to be a game to those at the top level while the fans are left in fear of what may happen to their club.

What is the answer? I don't know. But there are going to be some very upset supporters if January comes and goes and we don't pay the tax and don't sign any players.

We have little choice but to hope Mr Ridsdale's pledges this time come true. Surely his position will become totally untennable if they don't.

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