Malaysia? America? Or British Steele?

Last updated : 23 January 2010 By Michael Morris
The long time linked Malaysians with a member already allegedly on the Cardiff City board, the mysterious American billionaires that no one seems to know anything about and Guernsey property investor Ben Steele.

Day after day we hear in the papers that a deal is set to be done by such and such a date and so and so is doing this and then he's doing that but the bottom line is that with around 8 or 9 days to go until the transfer window closes we've heard nothing from CCFC to say whether 1, we have paid our tax bill, 2, we are allowed to sign players (bear in mind the sales pitch for buying season tickets) and 3, whether or not these supposed investors are serious (or even exist).

Well Ben Steele seems to exist he's been quoted in the press this week saying how he'd like to take over the Bluebirds. Steele was previously linked to Southampton FC.

"I am a football fan who is excited about an opportunity to buy Cardiff City," Steele told last weeks Wales on Sunday.

"I have the funds available and my aim is to help take Cardiff into the Premier League.

"I tried to buy Southampton last year and felt then I was stabbed in the back," he said.

"They told me all along I was the front-runner and then it didn't happen.

"I was ready and I wanted to press on, but it wasn't to be.

"Cardiff City is now ripe for investment. I know all about the other parties interested in buying the club, groups from Malaysia and America, but I really believe I would be good for Cardiff.

"I love football. I was an Arsenal fan as a kid and still follow the Gunners.

"I go to matches occasionally, but not as often as I used to.

"Ever since I first made contact I have followed Cardiff through everything that has happen."

The full comments from that article can be found here.

Steele was due to meet Peter Ridsdale at the FA Cup game with Bristol City in midweek but a family illness kept him in Guernsey. Now the pair were due to meet on Friday on the eve of the Cardiff v Leicester FA Cup clash.

Chairman Peter Ridsdale explained: "Ben Steele's daughter was hurt in a fall and taken to hospital. He rang me immediately and we have now arranged to meet up on Friday.

"He was bitterly disappointed to miss the game, but it was perfectly understandable that he had to be with his daughter and we send them our best wishes."

News of Ben Steele's interest has met with a mixed reaction. The most common first response is Who? and then is he rich enough? Taking over a football is not cheap with success not guaranteed.

News of the scepticism of the Cardiff City fans filtered through to Guernsey with the local paper giving our messageboard a mention and then a stinging response from Steele who told the Echo

"I seem to be getting abuse from a few Cardiff City fans.

"Why? They don't know me and don't know much about me.

"They ask do I have the money? If I have, where did I get the money?

"And there are detrimental comments from people who don't know what's going on.

"That disappoints me. I was angered by some of the comments made by people who simply don't know me and don't seem to want to give me a chance.

He went on to suggest that people Google his name to find out all about him. Well doing that was quite surprising. Surprising to see that until his name was linked with Cardiff City this week he hardly registers a hit. A few links to the Southampton failed takeover but nothing else.

I remain totally underwhelmed by the efforts of the press to convince me that any of these parties are potential saviours of the club. With time running out I hope I'm proved wrong. I don't intended to insult Mr Steele by being wary, at least we have a real person to relate to unlike the "mystery" American billionaires.

My gut feeling is that most of what we are seeing is a charade by the club who are getting more and more desperate to raise funds as bill upon bill drops on the mat. Over 10,000 fans parted with their money to help Dave Jones get players to go for a Premier league push. It seems that 10,000 fans have been duped unless something happens soon.

If the money is needed to pay the tax bill then the time for smoke and mirrors and other illusions has come to an end. Just stand up and tell the truth.

All this going on and we are in the 4th round of the cup later today, in the top 6 of the league and playing in a shiny new stadium. We should be revelling in those facts and not living in fear that each day we wake up could be the last of the football club.

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