Cardiff Metropolis have paid tribute to their former chairman Tony Clemo, who handed away on the age of 78.
Clemo grew to become synonymous with the Bluebirds in the course of the 1970s and ’80s, typically preventing what appeared a lone battle at instances to maintain Wales’ capital metropolis membership afloat as numerous takeover bids collapsed.
He was additionally actively concerned with the Wales soccer group, arranging their journey plans through his Cardiff primarily based firm Pink Dragon Journey, whereas he additionally served on the FA of Wales.
The Bluebirds stated in an announcement: “Cardiff Metropolis Soccer Membership is saddened to be taught of the passing of former chairman, Tony Clemo.
“The spotlight of Tony’s time with the Bluebirds was the 1987-88 season, on the finish of which Metropolis achieved promotion from the previous Fourth Division and accomplished a double by advantage of a Welsh Cup triumph.
“Cardiff Metropolis FC wish to supply its honest condolences at this tough time.”
Clemo, from Dinas Powys on the outskirts of Cardiff, was a mover and shaker in Welsh soccer circles.
In addition to being on the Bluebirds Board from 1973-91, with 5 of these years as chairman, he helped dealer the deal to herald Sam Hamman as Cardiff proprietor firstly of the millennium.
On the time Cardiff have been a decrease league membership, however the Hammam period kickstarted the rise by the divisions which has subsequently seen the Bluebirds entice bumper gates, twice attain the Premier League and stabilise themselves as a Championship outfit.
Clemo was additionally influential in serving to John Toshack turn out to be Wales supervisor, whereas he labored intently with Toshack’s predecessor Mark Hughes on professionalising the off the sphere set-up with the Wales soccer group.
Wales’ journeys to video games typically had been considerably haphazard, however Hughes labored with Clemo to insist upon personal constitution flights and the very best inns and coaching amenities overseas for the group.
Clemo was a former schoolteacher and wonderful athlete, representing Wales on the half-mile, earlier than occurring to turn out to be a businessman. He was a very good pal of Olympic gold medallist Lynn Davies.
He first joined the Ninian Park board in 1973 and stood down in 1992 when Rick Wright took management.
Throughout that interval Clemo is claimed to have tried to influence his shut pal Toshack to go away Liverpool and turn out to be supervisor of his home-town membership Cardiff. For some purpose the transfer fell by and Toshack as a substitute went down the highway to arch-rivals Swansea Metropolis who he famously took from Division 4 to the highest of what’s today referred to as the Premier League.
Then Swans chairman Malcolm Struel as soon as stated the soccer membership had outgrown town and felt Cardiff Metropolis may have turn out to be a roaring membership had Toshack achieved an identical feat within the Welsh capital.
With an eye fixed for a very good supervisor, Clemo appointed Frank Burrows as Bluebirds boss, with the group successful promotion and the Welsh Cup in the course of the 1987-88 season.
Clemo additionally introduced Len Ashurst and Eddie Might to the membership. Might, after all, additionally gained promotion in the course of the Rick Wright period in what many Bluebirds nonetheless regard as their best reminiscence watching the membership.
Clemo had come beneath hearth from Cardiff followers due to an absence of funding within the Bluebirds, however Barry Island Vacation Park boss Wright stepped in to repay the money owed and take over, kickstarting a golden couple of years.
Regardless of standing apart as chairman, Clemo stored in shut contact with Cardiff and was concerned behind the scenes in serving to prepare the deal which noticed Hammam take over as chairman in 2000.
Clemo watched matches from the administrators’ field as Cardiff lastly started to march up by the leagues and gained promotion to the Championship.
(Picture: Stu Forster/Getty Photos)
He admitted instances have been tough throughout his personal tenure as chairman, saying: “We have been nearly retaining our heads above water.
“In my first 12 months we made a small loss and within the second a little bit of a revenue as a result of we bought one or two gamers.
“Cardiff earned promotion and that’s after we began to hit issues financially.
“We had not talked about administration, but when Rick Wright had not come alongside then, sure, that most likely would have been the end result.”
On the time of his resignation, Clemo described the previous couple of years as: “An horrific time. The funds of the membership have been horrible and I needed to work arduous to easily preserve issues going.
“However I even have many pleased recollections too.”
It’s potential that with out Tony Clemo sticking in there, and Rick Wright then bailing them out afterwards, Cardiff Metropolis might have gone out of enterprise.