Ridsdale defends Ledley exit

20 July 2010 10:09
Former Cardiff chairman Peter Ridsdale has defended himself against accusations that he was to blame for Joe Ledley's summer exit to Celtic.

The Wales international sealed his free transfer move to the SPL giants this summer following the conclusion of his Bluebirds contract.

Ledley has suffered a backlash from Cardiff fans after his transfer was confirmed, but he claims Ridsdale messed him about for two seasons.

While Ridsdale has confirmed Cardiff rejected a last-minute offer from Stoke two years ago, he also states that he held talks with the player's agent in the ensuing period attempting to thrash out new terms.

Although Ridsdale has apologised for publicly criticising Ledley's form he insists that he did everything possible to secure the talented midfielder on new terms and did not mess anyone about.

"Two years ago Cardiff City turned down an offer for Ledley on transfer day," Ridsdale told the South Wales Echo.

"He phoned me and begged me to let him go to Stoke. We had already sold Glen Loovens and Aaron Ramsey that summer and had no need for further sales.

"Despite this, the offer was tempting but it came too last-minute. The final day of the transfer window gave us no time to replace him.

"I was with the manager Dave Jones in London as the calls came in and we each agreed, as did the board, that it was wrong to sell at that point.

"Since that day, I tried to interest Ledley in signing a new deal and numerous different offers were put to him through his agent.

"Far from keeping a distance from him, I regularly saw him at the training ground and on match days. Every time I raised the question with him, he said, 'Talk to my agent'. I did.

"I even took Ledley into my office at the training ground last season for a private chat and asked him if he would sign a new deal. Again he said, 'Talk to my agent'.

"There are two specifics of what he has said that I wish to highlight. I was asked at a supporters' club meeting last autumn about his performances which at the time, in my opinion, weren't up to his usual high standard. I made a comment, which was my personal view, but I wish it had not been made public. I did pull him to one side shortly afterwards and apologised.

"On the second comment that I supposedly said, that his agent was in Canada. I think that if Ledley checks the facts, it was Dave Jones who said that.

"I have no problem with any player seeing out their contract and moving on; that is their right.

"In doing so, however, they should then have the ability to stand up and say why they have made that decision.

"He had made it clear for some time that if Cardiff didn't get promoted he would move on. He has done so.

"Trying then to blame me is a sad end to a great career at Cardiff."

Source: Team_Talk