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Destruction the game at Bluebirds.

Byline: By James Corrigan

Depressing does not begin to describe what's going on down at Ninian Park at the moment - destructive, sadly, does.

Just when you think Cardiff City are turning a corner, a juggernaut comes into view, out of control and seemingly seconds away from splattering the Bluebirds into oblivion.

So far the club has managed to avoid being buried under those wheels of big business. So far.

Whether they will be able to do so up to and, indeed, beyond the much-mooted court case with that mysterious company, who may or may not be demanding back pounds 24m, is to be seen.

Having read and re-read the intricacies of a row that may or may not be threatening Cardiff's future, I am none the wiser.

Can anyone tell me exactly what is going on? Does anybody truly know? If so, you may feel inclined to e-mail me at the address below.

There appears to be only one certainty right now and that is the challenge facing manager Dave Jones.

Should his side lose the next few games then he is, purely and simply, "out".

The overwhelming feeling among supporters is that he is lucky to still be in a job and that chairman Peter Ridsdale was on the brink of sacking him last Monday.

The fact that quality newspapers printed articles declaring, unequivocally, that "he will be sacked today" only fuelled the anticipation.

So fans waited for what they believed to be the inevitable "parted amicably" statement.

When it didn't come, the message boards accused Ridsdale of "bottling it".

Well, The Times and The Guardian don't make up stories, now do they?

Actually they don't, but this time it seems they were fed a bum steer by a journalist who could at best be described as "enthusiastic".

Perhaps the said scribe was led up the wrong path by his source in Sloper Road. Whatever, it doesn't really matter.

What does is how the snowball rolled and rolled, grew and grew, because of these erroneous reports.

If Jones' position had been untenable before, then after a few hours of the footballing world wondering why he hadn't yet been given his P45, it became unsustainable.

Thus a picture was painted of a manager hanging on by his fingertips and supporters don't have much sympathy for desperation.

In many ways, that is understandable as managers are highly paid and live and die by results. Cardiff's have been the sleepy side of moribund.

In fact, their form over the last 12 months has been among the worst in all four divisions and, for this reason, Jones should have thought long and hard before mounting a defence that had belligerence written all over it.

Telling a local reporter - however tongue-in-cheek - that "you'd like to knock his head off" is hardly the best way to extricate yourself from a corner.

He would have been far better off detailing exactly what has improved since he took over.

If Jones had done this then I believe his position would not look quite as hopeless.

For starters, there are the training facilities Cardiff now boast.

It was Jones who moaned and moaned about the disadvantage under which his boys were labouring, having to prepare in inadequate surroundings that would often be nothing greater than a Portakabin and a piece of turf.

Had he stayed tight-lipped and merely got on with his job and collected his salary, as some mercenaries would have, there is little doubt that they would still be practising on cabbage patches and not at the state-of-the-art complex at the Vale of Glamorgan Hotel.

This is one area for which the Bluebirds' faithful should definitely thank him.

They won't be in a hurry to do so, of course, because right now the only thing occupying their minds is retribution.

It is and always has been a common trait of the football fan that whenever the team is performing badly, they seek to blot out the pain with indignation.

It is all too easy to turn the negatives of a losing run into the positives of seeing the man to blame being replaced.

Cue the mutterings of, "I'm glad we lost today because now they'll have to get rid of him".

How many times have you heard that? Countless, if you've been a Cardiff, Swansea or Wrexham supporter for any period - and I'll bet you'll carry on hearing it.

That is the way of the down-at-heel club, for whom success is always, but always, temporary.

Jones must understand this and if he doesn't then, no, he shouldn't be employed.

It's all very well banging on about what goes on unnoticed, but essentially this is why it is "unnoticed", because without a satisfactory end product it adds up to a whole load of nought .

Witnessing the big-money captures, such as Fowler and Hasselbaink, fall way short of the hype has been a humbling experience for the boys and girls who invested so much hope in the dream.

Somebody has to pay for this and unless he can turn it around very quickly and very emphatically, then that somebody will be Dave Jones.

Who knows, if he does go, then perhaps he'll prove to be the lucky one.

This current legal wrangle could very well spell the end of Cardiff City.

Then again, it could very well herald a new beginning.

Don't ask me; like you and most other people who may or may not admit it, I am totally in the dark.

Yes, uncertainty is rife at Cardiff City. It is also pretty wretched.

"Sack the lot of them and start again."

If only it were that simple.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 18, 2007
Words:941
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