Cardiff defend decision to change kit colour from blue to red
Wednesday 06 June 2012
Chief executive Alan Whiteley believes Cardiff's decision to change the colour of their home kit from blue to red represents progress rather than a disregard for the club's traditions.
The Bluebirds' Malaysian owners formally unveiled a new image for the club via an announcement on the official website, cardiffcityfc.co.uk, on Wednesday morning, stating that the changes would take 'immediate effect'.
The switch - which also includes a new club crest incorporating a main image of a dragon, with a small bluebird inserted underneath, and carrying the slogan 'Fire and Passion' - is designed to make Cardiff more marketable in Asia.
In addition to the new kit, the club have announced plans to build a brand-new training ground, pay off the historical Langston debt, provide manager Malky Mackay with a substantial transfer kitty, and explore the possibility of expanding the Cardiff City Stadium.
However, despite the investment plans, the colour change has angered many Cardiff fans, who have accused the club of putting money ahead of history and tradition.
Whiteley, while sympathetic to the supporters' feelings, disagrees and insists the move will make the Bluebirds more attractive commercially and therefore help the club in its bid to reach the Barclays Premier League.
He said: "We are only too aware that the change of colour is a radical and some would say revolutionary move which will be met with unease and apprehension by a number of supporters, along with being seen as controversial by many.
"To those I would like to say that this was not a decision that has been taken lightly or without a great deal of thought and debate.
"But at the same time, we also have to be prepared to be realistic and progressive. The changes are believed to be vital to enable the club to progress to the next stage in its development and very much in the club's best long term interests.
"Sometimes in difficult economic times and challenging market conditions, in order to attract investment to survive and progress, brave, bold and compelling decisions and sacrifices need to be taken and made.
"The changes to the home kit and badge introduced as a consequence of the investment package are designed to help the club to develop its brand and to allow it to expand its appeal to as wide an audience as possible, with a view to delivering local success via an international and diverse market.
"By securing this investment we can safeguard the immediate and long-term future of this club."
Whiteley insists he and the rest of the board of directors will continue to uphold the club's heritage and is confident that, in time, supporters will accept, and welcome, the changes.
He added: "There is no getting away from the fact that history and traditions are the lifeblood of any club and as such should be jealously guarded and preserved.
"Both the board and our investors fully understand and respect this and will do their utmost to uphold, protect and promote the values and virtues which the club stands for.
"As a board, we believe these changes, in the light of the benefits that will be demonstrably delivered, have been or will be accepted by the vast majority of supporters as judged in the light of the numerous emails and letters of support, backed by recent poll results from the Supporters Club and Media Wales."
Meanwhile, chairman Dato' Chan Tien Ghee says the changes are merely superficial and do not interfere with the club's traditions.
"I know and understand that there have been reservations over the changes accompanying the investment, but this club will always be Cardiff City Football Club and its name and heart will never change, nor are any of the changes meant to destroy any part of its history or culture," he said.
"The adoption of the new badge recognises its history and creates a symbolic fusion with Asia which will allow us to fly the Welsh flag on behalf of Cardiff wherever we go.
"I sincerely hope that all of our loyal fans will come to accept the changes in the spirit in which they are made and continue with their passionate and fantastic support."
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