“Happy St. David’s Day” and “You do know that we can see through your corporate football”

1 03 2014

Aaaaaaaaaah St. David’s Day.

To be born in Wales, is to be born in Wales, in the rain, in a hospital that’s now a Matalan, accepting an inheritance of a sparkly cowboy hat from Tesco and a football club owned by Vincent Tan.

The best thing about being Welsh is the quiet satisfaction that Churchill, Cameron and John Terry belong to someone else.

Here’s a song that just about sums it all up;

Happy St. David’s Day!!!

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus I chi!!!!

And so to corporate football.

If you’re one of those people that’s into corporate football you’ll be hopelessly in love with corporate football. You’ll love it so much you eat, sleep and breath it. You’ll think you’re dead clever and everything as well, as Phil’s tweets show us.

CHORTLE! @ijgolding: The fan journey at Cardiff was designed by the fans for the fans – by the people for the people @thgorringe

SPLUTTER! “@ijgolding: Cardiff create personal relationships with all fans – they are not just numbers @thgorringe #cxretail

LOL! @ijgolding: Cardiff painted the walls inside their new stadium blue as a direct result of asking customers what they want @thgorringe

LMAO! “@ijgolding: If your own people do not understand your brand & what you are trying to achieve, the experience will suffer @thgorringe

Hahaha! “@ijgolding: Cardiff’s fan experience transformation is actually very inspirational – great presentation from @thgorringe

A corporate football person just doesn’t understand why people would have a problem with corporate football;

Cardiff City owner insists he is not a ‘villain’

Cardiff City’s controversial owner Vincent Tan has insisted he is not the “villain” he is sometimes portrayed as.

In an exclusive BBC Sport interview, the 62-year-old Malaysian businessman has even accused the British media of being “a little bit racist”.

Tan, who upset Cardiff fans by changing the club’s colours and sacking manager Malky Mackay, said the “vocal minority” who oppose him should “apologise”.

Vincent Tan and Malky Mackay celebrate promotion to the Premier League

And he is adamant he will not quit unless supporters drive him out.

“One day we are a hero, another day we are a zero,” Tan, who bought the Welsh club in May 2010, told BBC Sport. “Without me, Cardiff would have gone bust. Because of my investment, we got promoted.”

In a rare interview, and speaking for the first time since sacking Mackay in December, Tan also said:

  • He has the backing of 90% of Cardiff fans
  • He will never change the club’s colours back to blue from red
  • Mackay “got lucky” when he landed the job as manager
  • He is “convinced” manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will save Cardiff from relegation
  • Foreign owners are good for British football
  • Plans to list Cardiff on the Singapore stock exchange have been abandoned

Did you hear that ungrateful bastard Cardiff fans? Apologise to the man who developed your club without further ado. Say what you like about corporate football people but at least Cardiff are at present living the premier league dream, they are quite literally in dream culture territory. You have to admire these corporate football people, not many people would have the balls to criticise a lucky manager for being lucky in shirts of a lucky colour.

Corporate football people love success because it proves that their version of the world is correct. For example they will have absolutely loved the fact the Salzburg franchise of an energy drink empire beat Ajax 6-1 on aggregate in the Europa League this week. They will really loved the fact that people were posting tributes to one of the franchise’s goal in the first leg as this will allow them to think that their version of the world has been accepted.

The thing that corporate football people love most of all is when their ideas are accepted by those with power.  For example last week the FA announced that the Milton Keynes franchise of the bullshit industry would host the women’s FA Cup final; This was such great news for everyone.

“Football Association women’s committee vice-chairman Elaine Oram said: “We thank Milton Keynes Dons for hosting the biggest and most high-profile domestic women’s match of the season.”

The FA Girls’ Youth Cup final will take place on the same day.

Oram added: “We were impressed with the enthusiasm MK Dons showed to stage the final on our behalf and we are sure they will do a magnificent job, with the help of the City Council and the Berks and Bucks County FA.”

Corporate football people are cunts, it’s that simple. Don’t listen to the shit they come out with.

Why are corporate football people cunts? Firstly, they are cunts. Secondly. they just don’t get it. Thirdly, they don’t understand the culture of football. Fourthly, they seem to think we’re only here to help satisfy their greed or fit their profiles. Fifthly, they moan when we resist their ideas. Lastly, they are cunts.

They might persuade the craven and the feeble-minded but decent fans will never truly accept their viewpoint, we will never be assimilated. We will always know what’s what.

rb leipzig

rb leipzig2

I’m sorry to break it to Vinny Tan  but this kind of thing doesn’t come over too well;

Vincent Tan: Cardiff owner dispels his Bond villain image

By David Ornstein BBC Sport in Kuala Lumpur

When Vincent Tan takes a seat in the directors’ box to watch his Cardiff City side at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, there is unlikely to be much fanfare.

Perhaps a few camera lenses trained on the Malaysian, possibly some banter dished out by Spurs fans and potentially a dose of now-familiar criticism from supporters of his own club – but nothing out of the ordinary.

Which is probably quite tough to get your head round when the last time you appeared at a high-profile public event you were the centre of attention – for all the right reasons.

Indeed, it is not until you spend time with Tan in his homeland that you realise just how sharp a contrast there is between the perception of him in United Kingdom and Malaysia.

Cynicism gives way to celebration, anger to admiration, ridicule to respect and protests to parties. Tan could hardly be more popular in his native country; it is a very different picture in Cardiff.

A long-standing interview request was granted when Tan agreed for me to visit him in Kuala Lumpur on Founder’s Day, an event held annually since 2011 to honour his business and charity work through Berjaya Corporation – the conglomerate he established from scratch in 1984.

Starting out as a steel company, Berjaya has expanded into areas such as property, retail, food and drink, leisure and gaming, with a turnover of £5.4bn and 30,000 employees around the world.

Founder’s Day was an idea conceived by Robin Tan – one of Vincent’s 11 children, who has been chairman and chief executive of Berjaya since 2012 – and he purposefully organised it to coincide each year with his father’s birthday, thus maximising the merriments.

It was an extraordinary experience, providing a rare glimpse into the life of a man who has been the subject of such controversy in British football and, specifically, the Welsh capital.

On Founder’s Day, people packed into a festival bazaar at Tan’s Berjaya Times Square complex despite 30C heat and 80% humidity

The first hint of his standing at home arrives early on the flight over, when I mention to a member of staff on the national airline that I am going to see Vincent Tan and he excitedly describes ‘Tan Sri’ – the second most senior federal title in Malaysia – as a “hero to my people.”

On Founder’s Day itself, plenty of those people packed into a festival bazaar at Tan’s Berjaya Times Square complex despite 30C heat and 80% humidity. There is a palpable sense of excitement surrounding the festivities, but more so about the entrance of Tan.

“We’re all waiting for our boss!” enthused Siew Wan Mah – a member of his senior management deployed to look after us – before noticing Tan already greeting guests in the auditorium.

He had arrived ahead of schedule and was getting on with things, which appears to be his way; there may be huge fuss around Tan, but he is surprisingly down-to-earth and hands-on.

After ushering family, dignitaries and royalty to their seats, he made a beeline for me. Nerves and apprehension were rife until Tan – burgundy shirt, rib-high trousers, slick side-parting and pruned moustache – offered a firm handshake and warm smile. His English is excellent.

No dark sunglasses. No black leather gloves. The Bond villain image dispelled.

Tan looked on approvingly from a front-row chair – the royalty either side of him sat on thrones – as an array of singers and dancers entertained the crowd, and the now customary video tribute produced by Berjaya staff  was beamed out from a big screen.

Trouble loomed when he stepped up to make a keynote speech and promised to deliver it “off the cuff”, but Tan spoke eloquently of his philanthropy and passionately about Cardiff.

Echoing the ‘Believe in Yourself’ theme of this Founder’s Day, Tan said: “I like the team this year, believe in yourself. I must tell the Cardiff team, believe in yourself. We are going to make it.

“God willing, we want to be in the Barclays league next season.”

A handful of people came decked in Cardiff colours – Berjaya employee David Loo, wearing red, admitted he switched allegiances from Manchester United after Tan’s 2010 takeover, while his colleague Fazrol Wira, in blue, claimed to have supported the club since before Tan became involved and was therefore determined to “stick with tradition”.

But, in truth, Cardiff fever is not exactly sweeping Malaysia and Tan knows it.

“I hope Malaysians will support me,” he said, drawing applause from the crowd. “I know for some of you this is not your first club. Most of you are Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United fans, but surely you can accept Cardiff as your second club?

“Then hopefully one day we will do well and you will upgrade us to your first club and chuck away your current club. God willing.”

Tan later presented £4.7m to various charity causes and the benevolence continued as 15,000 pieces of birthday cake were handed out to members of the public at Times Square, a 48-story building that features a hotel, condominiums, an indoor theme park and a shopping centre.

There is little doubt Tan enjoys the limelight and if being serenaded with a lively rendition of ‘happy birthday’ was insufficient then being presented with a 20 metre dragon cake should have done the trick. It took nine chefs 20 days to make, using 150kg of dark chocolate, 200kg of chocolate dough, 2000 eggs and 75kg of sugar. He took great pleasure in slicing it open with a sword.

The design paired two intricately-designed dragons – one Chinese and the other Welsh – with a globe in between to symbolise ‘East Meets West’. As Tan inspected, stroked and posed for photos with both, it felt like an appropriate symbol for the businessman’s life at present.

“When Cardiff were promoted to the Premier League I was a hero and now I’m a zero,” said Tan, speaking just hours before his side’s crushing 4-0 home defeat by Hull City. “You’re a hero one day, you’re a villain another day. They say that’s football.

“When a manager does well they’re applauded, when they don’t do well they get the sack. Football is a tough world. Those who watch enjoy it – for everybody else there are a lot of challenges.”

These are challenges to which Tan is not accustomed. In his other businesses, he is used to succeeding and what he says goes. In British football, he has encountered a new culture and unfamiliar obstacles. He is clearly still coming to terms with it all.

But Tan is determined to make up for lost – and damaged – time, bringing success to Cardiff and making his country proud. He is listed by Forbes as Malaysia’s 10th richest man with a net worth of $1.6bn (£956m). The prospect of failure brings a look of disgust to his face.

The adoration for Tan continued as he guided me through an exhibit area set up to showcase some of the charities he backs. The beneficiaries I spoke to – like so many of his Berjaya employees – could not more grateful for his contributions. In Cardiff, it is largely the opposite.

And that disparity proved to be one of the key themes of our interview. I never believed it would actually happen until the camera started rolling, but he said he would arrive at 5pm and was bang on time. No PR advisors or assistant in tow. Just Tan. He wanted to speak, to give his version of events.

Whether people like him or not, Tan let me throw any question at him and answered each one that did not not relate to the legal case between Cardiff and former manager Malky Mackay.

He did not impose any time restrictions, attempt to sway our coverage or ask to know what material we would be using. Love him or loathe him, he was simply speaking his mind.

In the UK and Malaysia, it seems, he will continue to split opinion.

Let’s reflect on this bit;

“……..A long-standing interview request was granted when Tan agreed for me to visit him in Kuala Lumpur on Founder’s Day, an event held annually since 2011 to honour his business and charity work through Berjaya Corporation – the conglomerate he established from scratch in 1984.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Founder’s Day was an idea conceived by Robin Tan – one of Vincent’s 11 children, who has been chairman and chief executive of Berjaya since 2012 – and he purposefully organised it to coincide each year with his father’s birthday, thus maximising the merriments………”

“……..I hope Malaysians will support me,” he said, drawing applause from the crowd. “I know for some of you this is not your first club. Most of you are Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United fans, but surely you can accept Cardiff as your second club?

“Then hopefully one day we will do well and you will upgrade us to your first club and chuck away your current club. God willing………..”

Vinny Lad, it’s not that we’re rude, it’s just that we can see through your egotism.

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