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Cardiff City
Cardiff City FC logo.png
Full name Cardiff City Football Club
Nickname(s) The Bluebirds
Founded 1899 (as Riverside A.F.C.)
Ground Cardiff City Stadium
(Capacity: 26,828)
Chairman Peter Ridsdale
Manager Dave Jones
League The Championship
2008–09 The Championship, 7th
All-time top scorer Len Davies (148)
Home colours
Away colours
Current season

Cardiff City Football Club (Welsh: Clwb Pêl-droed Dinas Caerdydd) is a football team based in Cardiff, Wales. Cardiff are currently playing in the Football League Championship. Cardiff City play their home games at the Cardiff City Stadium. Until May 2009, Cardiff played at Ninian Park.

Cardiff City were founded in 1899 and are the only non-English side to have won any of the three major English competitions. They won the FA Cup in 1927, during a decade when they were one of the strongest sides in the English league, finishing runners-up in 1923–24 and also losing 1–0 to Sheffield United in the FA Cup Final of 1925. They have also been regular winners of the Welsh Cup, and as the winner of the Cup in 1966–67 gained entry to the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, reaching the semi-finals in 1967–68.[1] They played in old Football League First Division periods of 1921–29, 1952–57 and 1960–62.

Their history in recent years has been less successful but they have made some improvement in the last few seasons. In 1986, they were relegated to the Fourth Division, and over the next 14 years slipped into the league's basement division three times. In 1996 they were the league's third lowest placed team. However, a Football League Second Division playoff triumph in 2003 lifted them into the Football League First Division; In the 2008–09 season they failed to make the play-offs for the Premier League on goals scored to Preston on the final day of the season.



Cardiff City was formed in 1899 by Bartley Wilson as a way of keeping players from the Riverside Cricket Club together and in shape during the winter months. Their first season saw them playing friendlies against local sides at their Sophia Gardens ground, but in 1900 they joined the Cardiff & District League for their first competitive season. In 1905 Cardiff was granted city status by King Edward VII, and as a result the club put in a request to change their name to Cardiff City, but the request was turned down as they were deemed to be not playing at a high enough level. To combat this they arranged to join the South Wales Amateur League in 1907 and the following year they were granted permission to change the name of the club to Cardiff City.

Interest in the club began to rise during this time, but they were forced to turn down the opportunity to join the newly formed Southern League Second Division due to the lack of facilities at their Sophia Gardens ground. Over the next two years Cardiff welcomed many of Britain's top sides to Cardiff, including Middlesbrough, Bristol City and Crystal Palace, with the matches being played at various grounds in Cardiff and nearby towns. The club would eventually move into their new ground, Ninian Park, in 1910. The club made its first signing the following year with the acquisition of Jack Evans from fellow Welsh club Cwmparc FC.

With the new ground in place, Cardiff joined the Southern League Second Division, and Bartley Wilson was quick to hire the club's first manager in Davy McDougall, who became player-manager. Their first match was a 2–1 defeat to Aston Villa, in which new signedd Evans scored the only Cardiff goal. They went on to finish in an impressive fourth place in their first year in the league. They stayed in the division for the next decade, apart from when the league was suspended due to the outbreak of World War I.[2]


Early glories

Cardiff are one of a handful of Welsh sides to play in the English football league system, rather than the Welsh system. The other teams are Swansea City, Wrexham, Newport County, Merthyr Tydfil and Colwyn Bay. Their most successful period so far was the 1920s in which they finished runners-up to Huddersfield Town in 1924 in the old Football League First Division on Goal Average,[3] followed by two FA Cup Finals in 1925 against Sheffield United[3] and 1927 against Arsenal.[3] The Final against Arsenal saw Cardiff become the only team to have taken the FA Cup out of England with a 1–0 victory over Arsenal.[3] The final was also notable as it was the first to be broadcast to the nation by BBC Radio. Cardiff City and Swansea City are the only Welsh football clubs to have played at the highest level of English football. The last season they spent in the First Division was 1962.

Cardiff ended the 1914–15 season third in the Southern League table, before league football was suspended during the First World War. On the cessation of hostilities, Cardiff spent one final season in the Southern League, finishing fourth, before being invited to join the Football League Second Division as the strongest team in Wales, with the remaining Southern League clubs forming the new Football League Third Division.

On 30 August 1920, Cardiff City played their first Football League match at Ninian Park, when 25,000 supporters showed up to watch a scoreless draw with Clapton Orient. The first ever Football League victory for Cardiff City, at Ninian Park occurred only 5 days later, when Stockport County were beaten 3–0.

This early Cardiff City team showed more than enough class to match others in the League, and they were promoted to the top flight of English Football at the first attempt. In fact the Champions, Birmingham City only pipped Cardiff City to the title on Goal differential. The average gate for this season was a very impressive 29,000. They also had a great run in the FA Cup reaching the semi-final stage, where they went out to Wolverhampton Wanderers after a replay.

Cardiff City now found themselves in the top tier of the Football League (at this time known as the First Division). On 21 January 1922, Len Davies scored the Clubs' first ever top-flight hat-trick in a 6–3 win over Bradford City. Even though their first taste of top-flight football got off to a miserable start, recording only 3 points from the first 7 matches, Cardiff City's form improved fantastically and they eventually finished in fourth position.

1923–24 has proved to be the best ever in the league for Cardiff City. After a dramatic season in which themselves and Huddersfield Town tussled for the Championship title, Cardiff went in to the last game of the year, one point ahead of second placed Huddersfield.

Huddersfield eventually beat their opponents on the day, Nottingham Forest by a scoreline of 3–0, meaning for Cardiff City to lift their first ever league title they would have to overcome Birmingham City. With the scoreline deadlocked at 0–0, Cardiff City were awarded a penalty. Top scorer Len Davies took the spot kick, however missed form 12 yards and Birmingham City held out for a draw, meaning Cardiff would have to settle for 2nd spot on goal average. Although having scored 1 more goal than Huddersfield during the season, Cardiff also conceded 1 more meaning they had a worse scoring to conceding ratio of 1.794 compared with Huddersfield's 1.818 which eventually meant Huddersfield went on to be the First Division champions of the 1923–24 season.

The following season was the first time Cardiff City appeared at Wembley Stadium (1925). In the first round of the FA Cup (then known as the English Cup) Cardiff City beat Darlington and this was then followed by a 1–0 home win against Fulham in round two. The Bluebirds then traveled to Meadow Lane in Round 3 where they defeated Notts County 2–0 before an epic Quarter-Final tie between Leicester City almost dashed Cardiff hearts. With the scorelines locked at 1–1, Welsh international Willie Davies scored directly from a corner with the last kick of the game to send Cardiff through to the Semi-Finals against Blackburn Rovers. Cardiff City tore the Rovers defence apart and raced away with a 3–1 victory to set up a final against Sheffield United. After a dour final played out in front of 91,763 fans, the game was decided by an England International Fred Tunstall who scored the only goal in a 1–0 victory for Sheffield United.

The 1926–27 season was Cardiff's worst performance in the top tier of English Football since they had entered via promotion six seasons prior. They had a fairly miserable time in the league, by their high standards, finishing in 14th position. However the 1926–27 season did not go down in the history books as another year, in which Cardiff City ended it without a major trophy to show for their efforts.

Cardiff entered the competition in the 3rd round, where they met and defeated Aston Villa 2–1 at Ninian Park. Trips to Darlington and subsequently to Bolton Wanderers in the 4th and 5th rounds respectively, both finished with the same scorelines; 2–0 wins for Cardiff City.

In the Quarter-Finals, Cardiff met a youthful and promising side, in another away fixture, this time against Chelsea. A goalless draw was played at Stamford Bridge, in front of a massive 70,184 people. At the replay at Ninian Park another 47,854 people crammed in. Having led 2–0 thanks to goals by Sam Irving and Len Davies, Cardiff City allowed Chelsea to get back into the fixture, and soon after half-time the scores were once again level at 2–2. As the tie began to look destined for another draw, Hughie Ferguson netted the winning goal from the penalty spot. At the Semi-Final stage, Cardiff City met Reading at Molineux and Cardiff ended up as comfortable 3–0 victors.

The 1927 FA Cup Final

On St George's Day, 23 April 1927, Wembley Stadium, London; the FA Cup was taken out of England for the first and only time when Cardiff City won the 1927 Final, defeating Arsenal, thanks to a goal by Cardiff City cult hero, Hughie Ferguson.

In the 74th minute, collecting a throw from the right, Ferguson hurried a tame shot toward the Arsenal goal. Dan Lewis, the Arsenal goalkeeper, appeared to collect the ball but, under pressure from the advancing Len Davies, clumsily allowed the ball to roll through his grasp. In a desperate attempt to retrieve the ball Lewis only succeeded in knocking the ball with his elbow into his own net.[4] Ernie Curtis, the 19 year old centre-wing said of the goal:

"I was in line with the edge of the penalty area on the right when Hughie Ferguson hit the shot which Arsenal's goalie ( had crouched down for a little early. The ball spun as it travelled towards him, having taken a slight deflection so he was now slightly out of line with it. Len Davies was following the shot in and I think Dan must have had one eye on him. The result was that he didn't take it cleanly and it squirmed under him and over the line. Len jumped over him and into the net, but never actually touched it."

It is believed that this cup final attracted one of the highest audiences ever, as it was the first to be broadcast by BBC Radio. Captain Fred Keenor received the FA Cup trophy from King George V only 7 years after Cardiff City had entered the Football League and six seasons since they had been promoted to the top division.

Ferguson still features on the record books for Cardiff City, having scored five goals in the First Division fixture with Burnley on 1 September 1928. In fact, Ferguson's 32 goals in all competitions in 1926–27 stood until Robert Earnshaw overtook it in March 2003. He scored the first in the 2–1 victory over the Corinthians in the 1927–28 Charity Shield and his two goals won the Welsh Cup later that same season for Cardiff against Bangor; but despite a healthy return of 77 goals during his four seasons there his days at Ninian Park were numbered.

The next few years

That FA Cup Final win, was not the end of their cup exploits this season; as they also won the Welsh Cup defeating Rhyl FC by a scoreline of 2–0, and would go on to win the Charity Shield after beating the Corinthians 2–1 at Stamford Bridge.

The following season, 1927–28, once again resulted in a top flight, top 6 finish for Cardiff City. Having led the Championship for a brief spell during mid-season, their performances began to tail off, and they had to settle for 6th place.

In the 1928–29 season, Cardiff City were relegated from the First Division of the Football League, despite conceding the least amount of goals of all teams in the division that year. However, this was only a sign of things to come for the Bluebirds, and after two seasons in the Second Division, they were once again relegated in 1931 into Division 3 South having played 42 league matches, and only managing to win 8. During this time in the lowest division of recognised league football; Cardiff City were once again able to show some promise, and in fact they recorded their biggest ever win in the Football League, when they destroyed Thames by a scoreline of 9–2. Results however continued to be below what was expected by the City faithful, and therefore in May 1933, Fred Stewart resigned after 22 years in charge of the club.

Bartley Wilson was chosen to replace Fred Stewart; however the results continued to be extremely disappointing, and in March 1934, Ben Watts-Jones, was given the opportunity to manage the club he had supported as a youngster. However, he was unable to turn the clubs' fortunes around by the end of the season; meaning Cardiff City were forced to apply for re-election after finishing bottom of the division. Watts-Jones remained in charge for another three years until he was replaced by Bill Jennings, a former Welsh international who had been brought to the club originally as trainer four years previous.

To add to the club's woes, in January 1937 the centre stand at Ninian Park was destroyed by fire. However; this caused the fans and club members to pull together, in order to save the club. Suddenly, there were signs that the worst was over both on and off the field. The teams' results began to improve over the next two seasons, and in turn; this meant that more fans were coming to Ninian Park in order to see their beloved team's revival. The 1938–39 season saw the debut of a resourceful Winger who would be a prominent member of future City sides; Billy Baker, however a final league position of 13th in the division was not thought to be good enough by new chairman Herbert Merrett, and he appointed Cyril Spiers as secretary-manager to replace Jennings for the 1939–40 season. That season; Spiers set about changing the personnel, bringing in a number of new faces including Forward Trevor Morris from Ipswich and also young centre forward Wilf Wooller, a Welsh Rugby union International who was also to captain Glamorgan at Cricket. World War II caused the suspension of the Football League in September 1939; and this suspension continued until the 1947 Season. They crowned as champions of Division 3 South and returned to Second Division in 1946–47 season.

Following the return of the Football League Cardiff chairman Sir Herbert Merrett established close links with Torquay United after being a regular visitor to a hotel owned by the Torquay chairman. The arrangement saw any players Cardiff thought not good enough would be offered to Torquay and Cardiff would get first refusal on any players who were thought good enough to make it in higher leagues. A number of players joined Cardiff from Torquay, the most successful being goalkeeper Phil Joslin, winger Mike Tiddy and forward Tommy Northcott. However the relationship became sour after Cardiff allowed Harry Parfitt to join the Devon based side in the understanding they could have him back when required. In 1954 Cardiff offered £2500 to bring him back but Torquay demanded £5000. Despite the Torquay chairman willing to let him return to Cardiff for £2500 several members of the clubs board decided to block the move until a higher price was agreed. Cardiff eventually paid the £5000 asking price but subsequentley broke off ties with Torquay.[5]

During the 1960s Cardiff began qualifying for European competition for the first time through the Welsh Cup. Their first ever match in European competition was in the European Cup Winners Cup during the 1964–65 season against Danish side Esbjerg fB, winning 1–0 on aggregate over the two legs, the only goal being scored by Peter King. They went on to reach the quarter-finals before being knocked out by Real Zaragoza. Despite their exploits in Europe, the club were still struggling in league competition under the stewardship of Jimmy Scoular, finishing in 20th position in Division Two. One high point at this time was the emergence of a 16-year old striker named John Toshack who would go on to become an important part of the team for several years, along with his strike partner Brian Clark, before a high profile switch to Liverpool.

Two years later the club would go on to reach the semi-final of the Cup Winners Cup, the furthest the club has ever gone in European competition. Wins over Shamrock Rovers, NAC Breda, and Torpedo Moscow set up a tie with German side Hamburg, whose squad contained a number of German internationals in the likes of Uwe Seeler. After a 1–1 draw in the first leg, just over 43,000 fans turned out at Ninian Park to watch Hamburg triumph with a 3–2 victory. Despite their defeat, the cup provided inspiration for the side and they managed to finish in a more stable 13th position, with their strike partnership of Clark and Toshack finishing the season with 39 goals between them. Defeats against FC Porto and Göztepe saw them knocked out in the opening rounds of the tournament during the next two seasons.

At the start of the 1970–71 season the club paid £35,000 to sign midfielder Ian Gibson from Coventry City to provide support for Clark and Toshack up front, but the strikeforce was broken up three months later when Toshack was sold to Liverpool for £110,000. The club paid £40,000 to bring Alan Warboys in from Sheffield Wednesday as a replacement but missed out on promotion by finishing third. Although the sale of Toshack did hamper the progress of the team, the club did manage to reach the quarter-finals of the Cup Winners Cup where they faced Spanish giants Real Madrid. The first leg of the tie was held at Ninian Park where 47,000 fans watched one of the most famous victories in the clubs history when Brian Clark headed in to give Cardiff a 1–0 win. Despite going out after losing the second leg 2–0 the result would still go down in the clubs history.[6] The club remained old Second Division except seasons of 1975–76 and 1982–83.

1985–2000: A barren era

Between 1985 and 1993, Cardiff were continuously in the lower two divisions of the league after being relegated to the Third Division. They relegated to Fourth Division once in 1985–86 season. They promoted to Third Division in as runner-ups in 1987–88 one. Two years later they dropped into twice the Fourth Division. Cardiff won the new Division Three championship in 1993 but were relegated two years later, and in 1996 finished in their lowest-ever league position – 22nd of 24 in Division Three, with only Scarborough and Torquay United below them. They did better the following season, finishing seventh (although they lost in the playoff semi-final), but suffered a setback and slipped into the bottom half of the table in 1998. They finished third in Division Three in 1999 and won automatic promotion to Division Two.

Cardiff struggled in Division Two throughout the 1999–2000 season and were relegated in 21st place. They finished Division Three runners-up the following season and have made impressive progress since then, helped by the investment of Lebanese businessman Sam Hammam.

Revival and promotion: 2000–03

Club badge used for the 2007–08 season

Having sold his interests in Wimbledon, Sam Hammam purchased control of Cardiff City in August 2000, for a sum believed to be in the region of £11.5 million. Sam Hammam quickly picked up where he left off with the Crazy Gang. Shortly after taking over at Cardiff, Hammam controversially pledged to get the entire Welsh nation to support Cardiff by renaming the club "The Cardiff Celts" and changing the club colours to green, red and white. However, after lengthy talks with senior players and fans, Sam Hammam decided that the best policy was not to change the name of the club; however the club crest was redesigned. This new design incorporated the Cardiff City mascot Bartley the Bluebird, in front of the Flag of Saint David; and featured the Club's nickname superimposed at the top of the crest. Lennie Lawrence guided Cardiff to promotion via a Division Two playoff triumph in 2003 against Queens Park Rangers Cardiff City finished in 6th position and played Bristol City in the Division Two playoff semi-finals. On 10 May 2003; Cardiff City beat Bristol City 1–0 on aggregate, having won the match at Ninian Park 1–0 , and drawing the away leg 0–0 on 13 May 2003. Queens Park Rangers drew with Oldham Athletic away from home 1–1 on 10 May 2003, before claiming the advantage at Loftus Road on 14 May 2003; going through to the playoff final with a 2–1 aggregate victory.

On 25 May; the Millennium Stadium, in Cardiff, hosted one of the most unforgettable playoff finals in history. Both Cardiff City and Queens Park Rangers had been set up with defence minded formations. The game was comparatively scrappy with only occasional glimpses of class shown by both sides. However after a nerve-wracking final, substitute Andy Campbell came off the bench to guide Cardiff past Queens Park Rangers with a spectacular lob after 114 minutes of play.

The former Middlesbrough striker, who had replaced Robert Earnshaw in the second half, shrugged off Danny Shittu and then calmly lobbed Chris Day, the Queens Park Rangers Goalkeeper to ensure Cardiff returned to Division One after an 18-year absence. Chances had been few and far between in normal time, but as both sets of players tired, the game opened up in those nail-biting final 30 minutes. No more so than when Day made a superb one-handed save from a Spencer Prior header after Graham Kavanagh's in-swinging free-kick.

2003 onwards

Cardiff City have remained at Championship level ever since. However, Lawrence was relieved of his duties to make way for David Jones in 2005.

The Bluebirds established themselves in Division One during 2003–04 season as they finished it off in an impressive 13th position. They struggled to a 16th position finish at the end of the 2004–05 campaign and saw renewed hope as they were impressive in the 2005–06 season with an eleventh position finish

The record transfer paid by Cardiff City for a player is £4 million to Sunderland for Michael Chopra in 2009. The previous record was £1.7 million for Peter Thorne, from Stoke, in 2001. The club have also paid fees in excess of £1m for Defender Darren Purse from West Bromwich Albion, £950,000 for striker Andy Campbell from Middlesbrough and £850,000 for another striker, Alan Lee from Rotherham United.

The record transfer fee received is up to £5 million for Michael Chopra which activated a release clause in his contract. This transfer occurred on the 13th of July during the summer transfer market of 2007–08 when he transferred to newly promoted Premier League side Sunderland In 2006 the club received £3 million for Cameron Jerome when he transferred to Birmingham City. Cardiff also received a similar amount for the sale of Welsh International striker Robert Earnshaw and a combined £3.5m fee from West Ham United for the services of Welsh International defenders Danny Gabbidon and James Collins.

After failing to get the new stadium plans agreed by Cardiff Council due to concerns over financial security in 2006, Hammam agreed to a £27 million takeover by a consortium led by new chairman Peter Ridsdale and including the lead developer of the new stadia Paul Guy. However, the takeover was in doubt until 22 December 2006 with the club in threat of administration until the consortium agreed to pay Hammam's company Rudgwick an extra £500,000 and £90,000 to Hammam's brother. Ex-Wales rugby captain Mike Hall said after the deal was completed: "That was money which would have been spent on players. But instead it's gone into Sam's pocket. It was the only way the deal was going to be done. I know people say he's a complex character, but at the end it was total greed and self-interest. It was amazing, but football is a murky world."[7] In 2008 Cardiff made it to the FA Cup Final, where they lost to Premier League Portsmouth. They finished their Football League Championship campaign as 12th with 64 points in the 2007–08 season. In the following 2008–09 season Cardiff sustained an automatic promotion bid throughout the whole season, only to see a very poor last four games not only dash automatic hopes, but to fall out of the playoff picture too.

In recent years Cardiff City have been establishing a healthy tradition of cut-price hidden goal-scoring gems that have been unearthed at Ninian Park. These include Cameron Jerome who was sold for £4m in the summer of 2006 to Birmingham City and Michael Chopra who was sold to Sunderland AFC for a fee of £5m the next summer. £120,000 summer signing Ross McCormack is looking to continue that tradition after making a storming start to the 2008–09 season, netting nine goals in just 11 starts.

Cardiff City had many fine players at their disposal at the start of the 21st century, including Robert Earnshaw, Jason Koumas, John Robinson, Graham Kavanagh, Danny Gabbidon, Michael Chopra and youth academy products Chris Gunter and Aaron Ramsey.

After the FA Cup final, Cardiff have built on their success, nearly qualifying for the 2008–09 Premier League playoffs, finishing in seventh position in the Championship. During the January transfer window they kept hold of star players, such as £7M rated Joe Ledley and added Quincy Owusu-Abeyie, Chris Burke and Michael Chopra to the side. The fee for Chopra, which is in the region of £3m–£4m, dwarfed the previous record transfer fee paid by the club for a player which stood at £1.75M for Peter Thorne from Stoke City in 2001.[8]

Before the 2009–10 season, Ridsdale travelled to the Far East to try and get a business deal which he promised would see Cardiff's debt problem dealt with, and creation of an academy in the Far East. No investment was forth coming, but Malaysian businessman Datuk Chan Tien Ghee was an addition to the club's board. Having staved off a winding up order from HMRC under a payment agreement, in November 2010, Ridsdale offered a "Golden Ticket" scheme to fans, in that if they bought their 2010/11 season ticket before January 6th, 2010, then they would not see a rise on prices for two years, and all monies raised would be spent on players in the January 2010 transfer window.[9] However, on 27th January 2010, Ridsdale admitted he was eating humble pie, and that in addition to the "Golden Ticket" monies not being spent on players, club assets would be sold to fulfil a £2.7M tax bill, and avert another winding up order.[10]

New ownership

Cardiff City playing against Nottingham Forest during the 2008–09 season

The new ownership has brought a degree of stability back to the club. After being £40 million in debt, most of which has been cleared, Cardiff City will hopefully be playing for years to come. Despite a promising start to the 2006–07 season, when Cardiff were early season pace-setters, a miserable run of form towards the end of the season was responsible for causing Cardiff to plummet down the table; finally finishing with 64 points and 13th position.

The Cardiff City manager, Dave Jones promised a clear-out during the summer holidays, with around 17 players being shown the exit door, either by contract termination, transfer to another club or no contract extension. Although many may have considered Cardiff to be worthy promotion contenders, their lack of top-class training facilities, an over reliance on Michael Chopra and a small squad cost them dear.

The club added several big name signings in the likes of Robbie Fowler, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Trevor Sinclair for the 2007–08 season but a mediocre start to the season saw them hovering above the relegation zone by mid November, before they managed to pull themselves out of a possible relegation battle to become one of the form teams in the division by January as they sat on the brink of a play-off place, settling into a mid-table place by early March. The season was boosted by Cardiff reaching the semi-final of the FA Cup for the first time in 81 years after beating Middlesbrough 2–0 on 9 March. After coming through their semi-final against Barnsley with a 1–0 win at Wembley Stadium on 6 April with a goal from Joe Ledley,[11] eventually lost 1–0 to Portsmouth in the final.

Throughout that season the club were involved in a court case with financial backers Langston over the repayment of a £31m loan taken out by former chairman Sam Hammam in 2004.[12] The Langston Corporation claimed that the club had broken its agreement with the company and began legal proceedings in order to force Cardiff to repay the loan back immediately. In March the two parties attended a meeting at the High Court as Langston sought a summary judgement meaning that the club would be forced to pay back the loan without a full trial, but the claim was rejected by the High Court judge. During the procedures the club told the High Court it believed that former chairman Hammam was behind the company.[13] Chairman Peter Ridsdale has called for talks with Langston in an attempt to prevent the case going to a full trial in the future.[14]

Possible alternate route to European competition

In recent years, with Cardiff on the verge of a place in the Premier league, doubts have been cast on the opportunities for Welsh clubs playing in the Football League to qualify for European competitions. The FA had previously stated that they would not nominate Cardiff for a place in Europe should they earn one on the grounds that they don't have the option. However their words were contradicted by a UEFA spokesman saying that Cardiff could play in Europe as European countries are allowed to nominate teams even if they don't play within its boundaries, UEFA president Michel Platini later pledged his support to Cardiff should the FA refuse them entry to European competition, commenting: "If England don't do anything, we will."[15]

Following Platini's statement the FA announced that they would be reviewing their stance on the situation.[16] UEFA also commented on the possibility of the club being given a wild card entry into Europe,[17] but the FA eventually backed down from their previous statement and confirmed that it would allow the club to play in Europe should they win the FA Cup final.[18] However, Cardiff lost the FA Cup final 1–0 against Portsmouth, who hadn't already won a qualification place.


Cardiff City's most significant rivalry over the last 25 years was with neighbours Newport County and Swansea City; though traditionally there is also plenty of ill-feeling between the club's supporters and followers of Bristol City, known as the Severnside Derby, (and Bristol Rovers to a lesser extent). In April 2006 relationships between Cardiff City supporters and Swansea City supporters were not helped after Swansea won the Football League Trophy final against Carlisle United 2–1 in the Millennium Stadium Cardiff. During their celebrations, Lee Trundle and Alan Tate brandished a Welsh flag with an anti-Cardiff obscenity written on it in huge black writing. As well as carrying the flag, Trundle was also seen wearing a T-shirt with an image of a Swansea City player urinating on a Cardiff City shirt.[19] The Football Association of Wales (FAW) said the images paraded at the match, which took place at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on 2 April, were "of an extremely offensive and insulting nature and such behaviour is totally unacceptable". After committing these deeds the two players in question were arrested by the Police on suspicion of section four public order offences, fined £2,000, and handed one match suspensions.[20] Lee Trundle did play for Cardiff's Severnside rivals Bristol City. but has recently been transferred back to Swansea.

Over several previous meetings between Cardiff City and Wolverhampton Wanderers fighting has broken out between the two sets of supporters resulting in 17 arrests during one meeting last season. This has led to the 20 January 2007 meeting being moved forward to 1.00pm with no Cardiff City fans allowed to attend the match. This decision, which was taken by Wolves' Chairman Jez Moxey, was met with widespread criticism from many supporter groups throughout the UK, including the Football Supporters Federation (FSF).[21] A peaceful protest, organised by the FSF, took place in Wolverhampton on the day of the game and was attended by fans of many clubs who wished to show their opposition to such a ban. An FSF statement read: "We are appealing to all football supporters who can make it to be there to show their opposition to all away fan bans. It could be your club next. Time to reclaim the game!"[22]

Similarly, there has also been a significant amount of bad feeling between Cardiff and Leeds United, which stems from the FA Cup tie at Ninian Park on 6 January 2002. On this occasion, Cardiff (then a Second Division side) beat Premier League Leeds 2–1, and shortly after the late winning goal was scored (but before the full-time whistle had blown), Cardiff's then-chairman Sam Hammam walked around the edge of the pitch, gesturing to the crowd – an act Leeds fans saw as his gloating over their defeat. Following the conclusion of the game, a riot broke out both inside and outside the stadium, and a number of arrests were made. Three years later on 15 January 2005, Cardiff played Leeds at Elland Road in a Championship fixture, and a hardcore hooligan element amongst the Leeds fans saw this as an opportunity for revenge; again there was rioting, leading to a high profile court case two years later, in which several dozen so-called Leeds fans received banning orders. Relations between the two clubs have also not been helped by the presence of former Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale, now in charge of Cardiff. Ridsdale is widely held responsible for the reckless spending that plunged the Yorkshire club into financial meltdown and relegation.


Ninian Park

The front of Ninian Park

Cardiff's first ground was at Sophia Gardens recreational park where they played from their founding in 1899 until 1910[23] when, due to the lack of facilities at the ground and the increasing amount of support for the club, Bartley Wilson contacted Bute Estate, who owned large amounts of Cardiff at the time, in an attempt to find land suitable for building a stadium. They eventually agreed on an area of waste ground on Sloper Road. The land was a former rubbish tip and required extensive work to get a playable surface, but with the assistance of Cardiff Corporation and volunteers the work was completed. The ground was originally to be known as Sloper Park but was instead named after Lord Ninian Crichton-Stuart, who was a large force in helping the club get the ground built, and became Ninian Park.

The stadium was initially built with one stand before the opening of another in 1928 which could hold 18,000 people to replace an earth embankment. The club record attendance in the ground is 57,893 which was achieved during a league match against Arsenal on 22 April 1953. The record has stood for more than fifty years and is unable to be beaten due to the scaling down of the ground throughout the seventies and eighties due to safety fears which have seen the ground capacity fall to 22,000. In its final year in use, the ground was the only one above League One level that still contained standing areas.

Cardiff City Stadium

In June 2009, Cardiff City completed a state of the art 26,500 seater stadium on the site of the now demolished old Cardiff Athletics Stadium. The project also includes a retail park and required the rebuilding of the athletics stadium, to be known as Cardiff International Sports Stadium, on the opposite side of Leckwith Road in Cardiff.

The plan required the demolition of the Cardiff Athletics Stadium, and the council initially insisted that its replacement be built before the start of construction on the new football stadium, which would allow the city to have a major athletics facility for the 11 months between the demolition of the old stadium and the building of a new athletics facility nearby. But developers said that the main infrastructure work including highway improvements, drainage, gas supply and electricity cables could be carried out in a way that would allow Leckwith to remain open until July 2007.

On 20 September 2007 it was announced that the Cardiff Blues rugby union club would leave their Cardiff Arms Park home to become tenants of Cardiff City at the new Leckwith stadium.[24]

Construction began on the new Cardiff International Sports Stadium in January 2007, and that venue was opened in January 2009. The new football ground, officially named Cardiff City Stadium, opened in July 2009. It has a maximum capacity of 26,828. [24]

Club logo history

The club crest featuring a daffodil and dragon was resurrected for the 2008–09 season and onwards after being selected by a fan vote organised to decide the clubs badge and style of kit for their final season at Ninian Park.

Backroom staff

As of 28 August 2009[25]

Current squad

As of 10 March 2010[26]

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Scotland GK David Marshall
2 Scotland DF Kevin McNaughton
3 Republic of Ireland MF Mark Kennedy
4 Scotland MF Gavin Rae
5 England DF Mark Hudson Captain sports.svg
6 Hungary DF Gábor Gyepes
7 England MF Peter Whittingham
8 England FW Michael Chopra
9 England FW Jay Bothroyd
10 Republic of Ireland MF Stephen McPhail (vice-captain)
11 Scotland MF Chris Burke
12 Northern Ireland DF Tony Capaldi
14 Scotland DF Paul Quinn
15 England DF Anthony Gerrard
No. Position Player
16 Wales MF Joe Ledley (vice-captain)
17 Nigeria MF Kelvin Etuhu (on loan from Manchester City)
18 Nigeria MF Solomon Taiwo
20 Finland GK Peter Enckelman
23 Wales MF Darcy Blake
24 Guadeloupe DF Miguel Comminges
26 Northern Ireland FW Warren Feeney
27 Wales DF Adam Matthews
28 England MF Aaron Wildig
29 Northern Ireland FW Josh Magennis
32 Wales DF Aaron Morris
44 Scotland FW Ross McCormack
49 Wales MF Jonathan Meades

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Republic of Ireland DF Darren Dennehy (at Gillingham)

Notable former players

Players with international caps in bold

Players with over 200 League appearances for Cardiff City


PFA Team of the Year

The following have been included in the PFA Team of the Year whilst playing for Cardiff City :

Football League 100 Legends

The Football League 100 Legends is a list of "100 legendary football players" produced by The Football League in 1998, to celebrate the 100th season of League football. Two former Cardiff City players made the list.

Welsh Sports Hall of Fame

The following have played for Cardiff City and have been inducted into the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame :

Manager history

Name Nat From To
Davy McDougall Scotland 1910 1911
Fred Stewart England 1911 1933
Bartley Wilson England 1933 1934
Ben Watts-Jones Wales 1934 1937
Bill Jennings Wales 1937 1939
Cyril Spiers England 1939 1946
Billy McCandless Northern Ireland 1946 1948
Cyril Spiers England 1948 1954
Trevor Morris Wales 1954 1958
Bill Jones Wales 1958 1962
George Swindin England 1962 1964
Jimmy Scoular Scotland 1964 1973
Lew Clayton (caretaker) England 1973 1973
Frank O'Farrell Republic of Ireland 1973 1974
Jimmy Andrews Scotland 1974 1978
Richie Morgan Wales 1978 1981
Graham Williams Wales 1981 1982
Len Ashurst England 1982 1984
Jimmy Goodfellow & Jimmy Mullen (caretakers) England England 1984 1984
Jimmy Goodfellow England 1984 1984
Alan Durban Wales 1984 1986
Jimmy Mullen (caretaker) England 1986 1986
Frank Burrows Scotland 1986 1989
Len Ashurst England 1989 1991
Eddie May England 1991 1994
Terry Yorath Wales 1994 1995
Eddie May England 1995 1995
Kenny Hibbitt England 1995 1996
Phil Neal England 1996 1996
Kenny Hibbitt (caretaker) England 1996 1996
Russell Osman England 1996 1998
Kenny Hibbitt (caretaker) England 1998 1998
Frank Burrows Scotland 1998 2000
Billy Ayre England 2000 2000
Bobby Gould England 2000 2000
Alan Cork England 2000 2002
Lennie Lawrence England 2002 2005
Dave Jones England 2005 present


Cardiff currently runs a highly successful youth academy, with a number of youth groups from ages seven to eighteen years. Recent players to come through the youth system include current senior team members and Wales senior and U-21 internationals Joe Ledley, Darcy Blake, Aaron Morris and Adam Matthews as well as former players such as Chris Gunter and Aaron Ramsey. Notable players coming through the youth system just prior to Academy status being granted include Robert Earnshaw and James Collins.


Original colours


First Division

Second Division

Third Division South

Third Division

Fourth Division

Southern Football League Second Division

  • Champions: - 1913

FA Cup

FA Charity Shield

Welsh Cup

  • Winners: - 1912, 1920, 1922, 1923, 1927, 1928, 1930, 1956, 1959, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1988, 1992, 1993

FAW Premier Cup

  • Winners: - 2002

FAW Welsh Youth Cup

  • Winners: - 1990, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006
  • Runners-up: - 1992, 2005, 2008

FAW Invitation Cup

  • Runners-up: - 1998

Centenary Cup

  • Winners: - 1999

Algarve Challenge Cup

  • Winners: - 2008

VansDirect Cup

  • Winners: - 2008 (shared)



  • Collins, David (2002). Born Under a Grange End Star (Illustrated ed.). Wilmslow: Sigma Leisure. p. 126. ISBN 1850587876. 
  • Shepherd, Richard (2002). The Definitive Cardiff City F.C.: A Statistical History. The Definitive. 17. Nottingham: Tony Brown. p. 124. ISBN 189946817X. OCLC 52143309. 
  • Lloyd, Grahame (1999). C'mon City!: A Hundred Years of the Bluebirds (Illustrated ed.). Bridgend: Seren. p. 288. ISBN 1854112716. OCLC 42366942. 


  1. ^ "The Scoular Years". Cardiff City F.C.. 2008-11-24.,,10335~61933,00.html. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  2. ^ "The Foundations and early years". Cardiff City F.C.. 2004-11-17.,,10335~61928,00.html. Retrieved 2008-02-19. 
  3. ^ a b c d McLean, Kirk. "Queens Legends: George McLachlan and the 1936 Overseas tour". Queen of the South F.C.. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  4. ^ (WMV) The 1927 FA Cup. [Television news production]. BBC. 1927-04-23. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  5. ^ You scratch my back..." The Cardiff City Miscellany pg.32
  6. ^ "The Scoular Years" Retrieved on 2 September 2008
  7. ^ "BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Cardiff City | Hammam accused of Cardiff 'greed'". BBC News. 2006-12-23. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  8. ^ "Thorne joins Bluebirds". BBC Sport. 13 September 2001. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ McKenzie, Andrew (2008-04-06). "Barnsley 0–1 Cardiff City(FA Cup Semi-final)". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  12. ^ "Cardiff chief rejects debt claim" BBC Sport Retrieved on 19 May 2008
  13. ^ "Hammam named in Cardiff loan case" BBC Retrieved on 19 May 2008
  14. ^ "Ridsdale calls for Cardiff talks" BBC Retrieved on 19 May 2008
  15. ^ "Platini makes Cardiff FA cup vow". BBC Sport. 2008-03-12. Retrieved 2008-03-12. 
  16. ^ "FA to review Cardiff's UEFA case" BBC Sport Retrieved on 18 March 2008
  17. ^ "Uefa offers Cardiff Euro lifeline". BBC Sport. 2008-04-07. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  18. ^ "FA approves Cardiff for UEFA cup" BBC Sport Retrieved on 25 April 2008
  19. ^ "BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Cardiff City | Swansea insults disappoint Hammam". BBC News. 2006-04-03. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  20. ^ "BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Swansea City | Swans pair arrested over insults". BBC News. 2006-04-05. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  21. ^ "Wales | Call for Cardiff fans' ban U-turn". BBC News. 2006-12-29. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ From Sophia to SWALEC" Retrieved on 2 November 2008
  24. ^ a b "BBC SPORT | Wales | Cardiff teams agree ground share". BBC News. 2007-09-19. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  25. ^ "Cardiff city fc management" Retrieved on 16 April 2008
  26. ^ "Profiles". Cardiff City F.C..,,10335,00.html. Retrieved 2007-10-26. 
  27. ^ "Striker Chopra to be a record signing for City". Western Mail. 2009-07-01. Retrieved 2009-07-02. 

External links

Simple English

Cardiff City F.C.
Full nameCardiff City Football Club
GroundCardiff City Stadium
(Capacity 26,828)
ChairmanPeter Ridsdale
ManagerDave Jones
LeagueLeague Championship
2009/10League Championship, 4th

Cardiff City F.C. is a Welsh football club who play in Cardiff. They play at Ninian Park stadium and have the nickname "The Bluebirds".



  • 1899-1902 Riverside F.C.
  • 1902-1908 Riverside Albion F.C.
  • 1908-present Cardiff City F.C.

League position

2000/01Third Division2nd
2001/02Second Division4th
2002/03Second Division6th
2003/04First Division13th
2004/05League Championship16th
2005/06League Championship11th
2006/07League Championship13th
2007/08League Championship12th
2008/09League Championship7th
2009/10League Championship4th

Former position



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