Red or dead: Cardiff forced to ditch tradition with kit colour change
Thursday 07 June 2012
Cardiff City supporters are coming to terms with the financial ramifications of the club's unfulfilled ambition that comes as a stark warning to other Championship clubs.
The controversial decision to cast aside 104 years of tradition by ditching the blue jersey and club crest sparked outrage among fans but is the legacy of chasing the Premier League dream – and failing. Cardiff's Malaysian owners have now convinced the majority of loyal Bluebirds that a change of colour is required to safeguard their future.
The reality is supporters had little choice but to grudgingly accept, although some are already demanding refunds on season tickets. Having taken over in April 2010, billionaire owner Tan Sri Vincent Tan and chairman Dato Chan Tien Ghee threatened to withdraw funding and ultimately the simple choice put forward was red or dead.
From next season Cardiff City will play in the alien colours of red shirts and black shorts, emblazoned with a Welsh Dragon logo rather than the traditional bluebird, relegated to an afterthought on the badge. However, the owners believe the re-branding will broaden the club's appeal in "international markets".
In return, the Malaysian businessman Tan, worth an estimated $1.3 bn (£860m) according to Forbes, and Tien Ghee have pledged to clear the club's debt – estimated at £70m – upgrade training facilities and strengthen Malky Mackay's playing squad.
"If you look at the context of what it brings, the whole investment package secures the future of this football club. It's as short and bold as that," said the Cardiff chief executive, Alan Whiteley.
"The financial problems the club has had in the past are well documented and have sat over us like a dark cloud. This gives us an opportunity to rectify those historical debts, invest in the infrastructure of the club and bring in new players who can help get us to where we want to be."
The priority is clearing £26m owed to the former Cardiff owner Sam Hammam – who triggered an era of decadence at Ninian Park when he took charge in a blaze of publicity in 2000. Cardiff have reached Wembley four times in the last four years, including the Carling Cup Final in February, yet the riches of the Premier League have proved elusive.
Latest in Sport
Pornhub: Cheeky Liverpool fan uploads Philippe Coutinho wonder-goal video to adult website
Ireland 19 England 9 player ratings: Jonathan Sexton? Devin Toner? Alex Goode? Who was the star man in Dublin?
Eden Hazard didn't like the champagne on offer in the Chelsea dressing room
Why Manchester City could turn to Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers if Manuel Pellegrini is dismissed
Arsene Wenger on Francis Coquelin: 'You don't have all the qualities but you have to express what you're good at'
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Ed Miliband less influential than One Direction's Louis Tomlinson by official Doncaster power list
- 3 Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
- 4 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'