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2002/03 Season Newsletter 1, July 2002

London and South-east England Branch
PO Box 161, Wembley, Middlesex, HA0 1FW

When the World Falls Apart

Oh Cardiff, why did we ever think you were the ones to make us happy? We knew it was doomed last season, but then Lenny came in with his new formation, his unbeaten run and the hype, and we threw ourselves back into your seductive clutches, it'll work out, surely you won't mess us up again.

"They'll let you down at the last minute", the sages said, "they always say they'll change but they never do, they've done it before and they'll do it again".

No they won't, we insisted, they've really changed this time, it's all different, and this time it's for real. 12,000 of us, week after week, throwing ourselves into the unequal relationship with all the doomed pathos of an Eastenders audition for so many desperate ham-actors.

Sure enough, the cynics were right, and the mustachioed Stoke hordes laughed all the way back to their dark satanic kilns that hateful, fateful Wednesday night as we traipsed, hollow and silent along a punishing M4, a long night of the soul to end them all.

I sulked for a week before I realised Graham Kavanagh was probably a lot less worried about it than I was and I might as well get on with having a laugh. Like as if Spencer Prior gives a toss about me.

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It could have been so different though, with that astonishing run all the way to the Brittania for a glorious win and the best singing ever (in the world) against Stoke's super furry arteried lard guzzlers, a beautiful 2-1 win that should have been 3-0 and goodnight.

Big players yet again went missing in the return leg (usual suspects), and our promotion hopes were left slumped angst-ridden and alienated by the playground wall like the gawky teenager that never quite made the first-team. Yeah I know relegations have been worse, but boys, to give in so meekly, you could at least pretend, like.

Thank God for a close-season, and a World Cup where I didn't have to invest energy in anyone who would lead me along only to leave my heart in tatters on the floor. Only 3 weeks to go and we can all do it again.

Marvelous. We may be mugs, but would you really have it any other way? I wouldn't, especially now I've seen the new kits. A veritable orgy of ill-fitting Puma nipple rash, so exclusive you can bet they won't sell them in their Carnaby Street flagship store. Denizens of style, us, see.

So we have a year to sort it out, and to be fair that's probably a good thing (it says here). On the field things have been slow, partly due to the transfer market going belly-up (no Rio Ferdinand holed up in the Post House in hushed talks for us). First making his gladatorial entry into Ninian is Gareth Whalley, on a free from cash-strapped Bradford.

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Seasoned Ninianites will muse that 28-year old left-midfielder Gareth will be far from the first Whalley to grace the home of Welsh football in recent years, but he comes to us with a good reputation and it is a position where we have been crying out for someone good for ages. Less your fancy Dan than your good grafter, he should do a great job for us.

Shortly after him we were off to Oakwell, where young left-back Chris Barker was given the old Barnsley chop as City moved in with a £500,000 deal that the cash-strapped Tykes couldn't resist. He too is highly-spoken of (mind you when was the last time a club took the money and said "thanks, he's crap by the way?"

Note this is a rhetorical question, to save the postie the avalanche of waggish postcards citing any number of hapless clowns to have (dis)graced the blue shirt in the last 20 years). And Gary Croft has finally come back from Ipswich to make his deal permanent, on a free. Looked alright last season, should be better when he's fully fit.

So three in. Danny Coyne has been heavily rumoured in goals but the move looks set to fall through. Others will surely come dependent upon the Council giving the go-ahead to the new ground.

This, as much as anything, will determine our immediate future. We may go into the new season a prohibitively short 7/2 at the bookies, and we should mount a strong challenge from the off in a Division even shorter on quality than last time round, but all of that amounts to not a lot, especially for Sam, if the ground doesn't go through.

Decision due in the next couple of months, and we should all hope like hell that it gets the nod. Let's just hope the media don't drag out any more hoolie stories in the next few weeks. Come on City, Come on...

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1927 Club Membership / Cardiff City Football Club Membership Scheme

Membership of the 1927 Club remains fixed at £6 individual and £8 family membership. Form is attached, please send to the PO Box address given (note please put your fan number on the form, as we are all now mere numbers).

Thanks to those members who have offered to help out with organisation in the coming season. It is proposed that the Committee remains the same for this coming season, namely Chairman Mark Ainsbury, Travel Officer Rob Hughes, Membership Secretary Robbie Thomas, Treasurer Steve Lyell, Social Secretary Stuart Allen.

Richard Shand and Matt Gabb have offered to help us to improve our service to our members. Anyone else who can help in any way should get in touch either at the match, at a meeting, to Rob Hughes by email or via the PO Box.

Monthly meetings will continue, Newsletters will be back more regularly and we will also be working hard developing a decent website. Please help us to make the Club better by getting involved in any way you can.

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Cardiff City Football Club Membership Scheme

As you will all know, a lot of things have changed in the last 12 months, chief among them we are getting big crowds and there is a high demand for tickets.

With this in mind, and with an imperative to make money and get everyone's details on computer for security and marketing reasons, CCFC introduced the £20 membership scheme, to be continued this coming season.

The 1927 Club strongly urges all its members to join this scheme (or buy a season ticket) as these are the 2 best ways of ensuring that you will be entitled to tickets this season. We have been in talks with the ticket office at Ninian about the fact that by definition our members live a long way from Cardiff.

With this in mind they have granted a special concession to 1927 Club members, who are allowed to apply for membership by post. This creates considerable work for ticket office staff and, whilst we are grateful for this concession, I would still encourage you, if you are going home or to a game any time soon, to apply in person at Ninian where your card and photo will be made digitally.

If applying by post PLEASE make sure you send 2 passport photos (with your name on the back of each) and a photocopied passport or driving licence, and telling them you are a 1927 Club member. This applies to members living more than 100 miles from Cardiff only (yes, Reading counts, TVBs).

As I said though, please do it in person if at all possible as it is quicker and easier for all concerned. IMPORTANT can you please let us know when you join the '27 Club whether you are a member of the Football Club or a season ticket holder, this is so we can keep our records up to date. If you join the Football Club during the season please let us know by mailing us.

And please note, just having a fan number on your match ticket does NOT mean you are a member of the Football Club, you have to part with a score for that. Do it if you can.

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Since last time...

Thanks to all those who voted in the 1927 Club player of the season awards, Gabbidon strolled the young player award, with Kavanagh scooping the main gong in a neck-and-neck tussle with Young and my personal choice Willie Boland, a man who never stops running.

Sex and the City
Glory unbounded to the 1927 Club 6-a-side team who got to the semis of the 24-team Leyton Orient CHAOS Cup, by far the best performance in the 9 years our select band of hungover halfwits has been entering this prestigious tournament. Player of the tournament, Ceri "Mae'r Byd yn Grwn" Davies, tidy daps, Barca socks and never gets out of puff.

A total footballer for a new generation. Player of the decade, Scott "the cat" Thomas, who sealed our passage to the semis by saving the final kick in the penno competition before marching imperiously up the other end to score the winner, to the delight of the Cardiff squad and the incredulity of local geese. Well done boys.

More 6-a-side glory to be had on Sunday 28 July where we are taking part in the APFSCIL sixes down in Norbury (on Astroturf). Marc Thomas, a man so inspirational that they're knocking up a statue of him in Seoul as you read this, is as usual in charge of this and will be ringing you to see if he can prise you away from Hollyoaks omnibus. See you down there.

Big thanks to Scott Thomas, who spent a whole week of his life brilliantly sorting the coach to Stoke, it was a hell of a job, and much appreciated by everyone who was able to comply with the eligibility criteria set by the football club. Diolch yn fawr iawn, Scott.

Pob hywl, Mark

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