Cardiff City manager Dave Jones has told the club’s board that he wants to sign four new players, after it was confirmed that the Bluebirds’ transfer embargo has been lifted.
“The embargo is off,” Jones said. “That has all been sorted so we are now able to register players.”
As such, summer signings Tom Heaton, Danny Drinkwater and Jason Koumas have been cleared to play in Sunday’s opener against Sheffield United – a game Cardiff are 11/10 to win.
And with 5/1 promotion candidates Cardiff in urgent need of strengthening their side, Jones is looking to sign new players immediately. “If we can get four more in then it bolsters the squad,” he added.
Cardiff chief executive Gethin Jenkins, however, has warned that the club could face future repercussions.
“We’ve met the conditions that put us in the embargo in the first place,” Jenkins said. “But we can’t rule out another embargo, that is certainly a possibility.”
Cardiff’s debts are estimated to be between £15m and £30m, and the embargo was imposed on them in May due to a delay in paying a £1.3m bill to HM Revenue and Customs.
The club also owes money to other clubs in unpaid transfer fees, such as a proportion of Mark Hudson’s £1m move from Charlton last summer.
Having faced five winding-up orders at the High Court over an unpaid £1.9m debt to the taxman, Cardiff will now face another winding-up order on August 11th over the £1.3m bill.
With another embargo potentially looming on this date, Jones is working against the clock to bring in as many new faces as is possible.
For the time being, Cardiff can take heart from the lifting of their initial transfer embargo, and Jones can now focus on on-field matters. The Bluebirds are 16/1 to win the Championship title.
The good news in Wales follows Portsmouth’s victory at the High Court, which secured the club’s survival. Can Pompey return to the Premier League at the first attempt? They are 6/1 to win promotion. See the full Championship 2010/11 market.