Faustian Pacts down Cardiff way.

6 06 2012

Cardiff’s owners have done the unthinkable!!! They have changed the club’s colour from blue to red;

The blue kit you see there is next season’s away kit. As you can see they’ve also changed the club crest from this……….;

………to this;

Nearly every Cardiff fan I know on twitter has reacted very angrily to this. Phil’s reaction speaks for a lot of people. He designed this;

Rather frighteningly the new badge could have been worse than that piece shoddy clip-art rubbish. This could have happened;

In case we needed more evidence about the thinking behind Cardiff’s new image the marketing spiel from the designer presents it;

“I was approached by BrandBank – a branding agency in Kuala Lumpur to design a new club badge for Cardiff City Football Club. My brief was to make it a bit more appealing to the Chinese market, but also to keep a bit of Welshness in too – hence the red colour. The new brand researched well in the Asian markets, and the new motto went down well too, it’s an old Chinese proverb, I think it was chosen by the head of the investment fund in Kuala Lumpur on his morning commute, it translates as ‘In Ten Years Luck Will Come’, with the meaning being that success comes to those who wait patiently for it. I hope the real City fans love it as much as the Malaysian investors.”

Unfortunately I haven’t made any of that up.

Today Cardiff’s owners have tried to defend the indefensible with a statement;

“On behalf of the board of directors and after constructive and positive  discussions with our principal investors, Cardiff City Football Club are  delighted to announce that Tan Sri Vincent Tan and Dato Chan Tien Ghee (“our  Investors”) have pledged their continuing commitment to enable the club to plan  for the future.

Following a comprehensive review of wider supporter feedback via email,  letters, media coverage and polls run via the official Supporters Club and Media  Wales and as a consequence of the above commitment,

Cardiff City Football Club will also reactivate rebranding proposals with a  view to exploiting and maximising its brand and commercial revenues in  international markets, which it is hoped in turn will bring success to the club  locally, whilst also attracting new partners and investors.

As part of this commitment, funds have been earmarked to finally resolve the  historical Langston debt issue which for so long has cast a dark cloud over the  club and its future. Negotiations have been continuing and a final offer has  been made to those representing Langston and Sam Hammam which we believe is both  fair and reasonable…………….

…………………Subject to resolution of the Langston issue, work will also continue in  earnest to improve the balance sheet by driving new revenue streams, attracting  new investment and converting existing debt to equity. At the same time, plans  will proceed in respect of the proposed new training ground and facilities,  whilst feasibility studies will continue in respect of the expansion of the  stadium at the appropriate juncture. Our Investors have also fully reaffirmed  their support to enable Malky Mackay to strengthen his squad for the season  ahead in line with the viable and prudent budgets agreed with him.”

Of the news, Cardiff City Chief Executive Alan Whiteley said,

This is a  major and significant financial commitment and we are grateful to our investors  for their continued confidence in this football club. In recent years the  support and commitment from our Malaysian investors has given the club a much  needed stability that has allowed us to move forward and away from the brink of  administration, whilst allowing the club to challenge at the highest levels of  the Championship….

………….Concerning the commitment to developing the crest and to switch our primary  colour to red, as directors – and as fans in our own right – we recognise that  there is a history and commitment that goes with supporting Cardiff City and we  are conscious and proud of the loyalty, bond and passion so many share for this  club.

“At the same time, we also have to be prepared to be realistic and  progressive. 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. By securing  this investment we can safeguard the immediate and long term future of this  club.

“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. 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.

“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. 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.

“However, 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. Judged in the context of the overall commitment and financial  support, we believe it is the right decision for this club and where it  currently stands. We hope that all supporters will appreciate these sentiments  and will embrace the changes in that spirit and continue to support the club in  the same loyal and passionate manner as before but hopefully with some greater  feeling of security. ”

Speaking of the proposals, Cardiff City Chairman Dato’ Chan Tien Ghee said;

“I am delighted we have been able to finalise this further investment which  subject to final resolution of the thorny Langston issue, should promise  exciting times ahead for Cardiff City. I am very grateful in particular to Tan  Sri Vincent Tan for making this possible and for his continued commitment and  support.

“I know and understand that there have been reservations in certain quarters  over the changes accompanying the investment, but 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.

“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.

“The adoption of the new badge incorporating the proud symbol of the Welsh  dragon, which was the symbol on the club’s badge on the only occasion the FA cup  left England with the iconic bluebird and the new red home strip very proudly  places Cardiff as the capital city of Wales, whilst also recognising 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.”

On hearing of the finalisation of the investment plans, manager Malky Mackay  commented,” It’s great news that Tan Sri Vincent Tan and our chairman Dato Chan  Tien Ghee have reaffirmed their commitment and investment which will allow us to  take forward the exciting plans for the future of this football club which we  have all been working towards. It is a testament to their vision for what this  club can become and achieve.

“Since coming to Cardiff, I have been hugely impressed with the commitment  and passion of the fans here. The securing of this package of investment and the  breadth of vision which it encompasses should enable us to build on the progress  already made in my first year and puts us in a position to take Cardiff City  forward in the way which the fans deserve.”

As a club, we feel that this is a historic moment in our history and whilst  some of the plans are radical, this course of action will give us the security  and long term backing to enable us to look forward to the future with confidence  and excitement. We will all work together to implement this strategy to deliver  the ultimate goal of seeing our team compete as a long term fixture in the  Premier League.

The prospect of Cardiff City Football Club eventually operating on a debt  free basis and with further investment to improve all aspects of our club is a  turning point in its history and a moment we have all been waiting for. As a  result of the investment to be made, all associated with Cardiff City Football  Club can look to the future with renewed vigour and be proud to represent the  capital city of Wales.”

Or as the edited version might say; “MONEY, MONEY, MONEY!!!! We own the club and we don’t care what anyone thinks. FUCK YOU!!!! MONEY, MONEY, MONEY!!!! FUCK YOU!!!!”

Obviously this is a disgusting situation. Football clubs are not solely public -profile maximising machines for the super rich. Football clubs are significant repositories of a shared social history that resonates across the entirety of their local areas. In short; football clubs mean something. Football clubs don’t mean something because an oligarch owns them they mean something because they mean something to people. Football clubs mean something because of the actions of players, because of the good times people have, because of the memories people share, because the club colours mean something.

Some people may argue that club colours don’t mean that much but they do. The colours connect people. Some could say that clubs have changed their colours and still flourished. They could talk about Leeds becoming all white under Revie or Liverpool becoming all red in 1964 did but there’s a big difference between those examples and Cardiff’s example; neither Liverpool nor Leeds changed their kits because a board wanted to appeal more to the “Asian Market”.

Unfortunately some Cardiff fans are excited by all this change, just like the ones I saw on the news last month. This morning I clashed swords with one of them on twitter. I first noticed him when he disagreed with this statement;

“If I see anyone in a Cardiff City red shirt next season, I will instantly think you’re a twat.”

I couldn’t see what was wrong with the statement so I told him so. The bloke came back with the platitudes that would make Cardiff’s owners very happy;

#Whats History Without A Future?

“it might be wrong but it’s the way it is I’m afraid and it’s never going to change back. Like in everyday day life you either roll with the times or get left behind and forgotten.”

When people operate with this logic there won’t be much left of society, never mind football.  It’s bad enough that the whims of the super-rich dictate so much in sport. When their actions are tolerated because they can possibly “deliver a holy grail of the premier league”, no matter what damage they do, it’s depressing beyond belief. When you care more passionately about an issue than some of the fans of the club concerned that’s depressing beyond belief as well. When I think about these attitudes a line from the bible comes to mind;

“What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?”

Maybe I shouldn’t judge fans like him too harshly. We are living in a world where the rich not only think they have the right to be unaccountable, they think their ideas are the only ones that matter;

That too is depressing beyond belief.

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