CARDIFF CITY chairman-elect Dato Chan Tien Ghee has insisted his proposed £6m cash injection could be just the start for the Bluebirds as the club stand on the brink of the big time.
And, having made a flying visit last week to witness Dave Jones’ men move to within 90 minutes of
the Premier League, he has vowed to give his full support to the club “for as long as they want”.
The Malaysian property magnate is set to takeover from Peter Ridsdale when his investment, counter-signed by millionaire Malay entrepreneur Vincent Tan, goes through at a shareholders meeting later this month.
The money is needed to secure the club’s financial future, with the latest adjournment on a winding up order dependent on a £1.9m tax bill being paid.
But, speaking for the first time since details of the deal were revealed, Dato Chan has hinted he and Tan could be ready to go further than their initial outlay.
“It is £6m for the moment,” said Dato Chan, known to fans as TG. “But you never know, we will help this club as long as they want us to.
“And we will support the club both in terms of moral support and financial support because this is a tremendous institution.”
The Malaysians have put £2m of their £6m into the club so far as an advance, the remainder of the funds to be released after a meeting of shareholders on May 27 that will formally approve the purchase of new shares – giving them 30.46 per cent of the club’s capital.
And when asked for reasons behind his desire to invest in the Bluebirds, Dato Chan replied: “There is a connection. It feels good to be here and there doesn’t have to be a reason if it feels good.”
Dato Chan was at the Cardiff City Stadium on Wednesday to witness the win over Leicester, Bluebirds boss Jones claiming he was in tears of joy at the final whistle.
He was also hugged by celebrating players after the penalty shoot-out victory that booked the club’s trip to Wembley to faceBlackpool and keep alive promotion dreams.
Of course, success in this Saturday’s Championship play-off final against Ian Holloway’s men would trigger an incredible financial windfall for Cardiff with the huge prize on offer for competing in the Premier League.
But the Malay involvement is still being seen as crucial with the deal set to be finalised five days after the Wembley clash.
That will open the door to further cash injections from Dato Chan or Tan, whose business empire sprawls Malaysia and takes in a myriad of interests including media, telecommunications and property development.
Tan has not yet visited the club but his son, Eugene, accompanied Dato Chan at the Leicester game and there is speculation he will make the trip from his Kuala Lumpur base for the all-or-nothing fixture with Blackpool.
Victory would mark an amazing turnaround in fortunes for Cardiff, supporters harbouring genuine fear for the future of the club before the Malaysians confirmed his investment.
But Dato Chan has played down the involvement, preferring to hail the effort of Jones and his players ahead of the biggest game in the club’s history.
“(Wednesday) was a absolutely great night and it was a tremendous credit to the fans and everybody who has made it possible,” he said. “It is not me who has made a difference, it is the club. There is a great, new buzz here and it is going to continue.
“We have been given an opportunity and the players have shown they can take it.”