A scarf for your soul? Part 7

1 06 2013

Even though there’s an excellent article on this issue from 200% I thought I’d carry on with my series.

Cynics tell us that democracy is a sham because our voices are never truly heard. Well, it turns out they’re wrong, the events of yesterday prove that democracy does work!!!


“Cardiff City Football Club on  Wednesday May 29th launched the first images of the 2013/14 home kit,  which featured two shades of red, the darker of which was carried in the  shorts.

The decision had been made as  a means to help visually distinguish the club in the Premier League, while  continuing the theme of our successful 2012/13 Championship winning season.

The resulting response carried  across social media quickly indicated that a large number of supporters were  unhappy with the choice of colour concerning the shorts. For that we apologise.

As a club, we would today like  to address this issue by giving all 2013/14 Season Ticket holders held on our  email database a vote on varied shorts options for next season.

Although this will not result  in every single season ticket holder voting, the size of the email based survey,  reaching over 12,000 Cardiff City fans will give a clear indication as to the  majority view.*

Voting,  based on the image below, starts today via email and will last until 2pm, Friday  May 31st, from which we will  publish details of the winning option. We will then liaise with Puma to get the  shorts put into production as quickly as possible.

Please note that all  votes will be fully verified against our database. All duplicates will be  discarded, while multiple votes will result in all votes for that person being  deleted.

Thank you all for your  cooperation in this matter.

 One city, one  community, one club. #WeAreCardiffCity

 *  Please note that it is not possible to run telephone voting or personal callers  to the ticket office.

Here was the choice;

cardiff 8

What, no blue option Vinny bach?

A few hours later we had our answer!!!

The votes  have been tallied and verified for the 2013/14 home kit shorts following our  email to over twelve thousand season ticket holders on the Cardiff City  database.

From the votes  received, the clear favourite was option four, with many of our voting  Season Ticket holders opting to retain the black shorts from our memorable  Championship winning season.

It’s a  decision that Tan Sri Vincent Tan and all at the club fully supports, and we  will next instruct Puma to work on supplying the shorts as soon as possible.  Once again, we thank all supporters who took the time to vote.

Pre-order your 2013/14  shirt now – CLICK HERE

I hope you didn’t click the last two words as I’m not hawking the bloody kits.

Do you remember Harry Lime’s famous conversation with Holly on the Prater ferris wheel? Well the suckers and the mugs are out there. You see them on twitter;

@sam james – Yes no red/purple shorts in Cardiff‘s new home kit now back to black! #lovethat

@Marc Belli – Impressive politics by Cardiff City to retract on kit. Consultation after original posting. Back to black shorts I hope!!!

@themidfieldviewVincent Tan listens to Cardiff City fans I’m shocked. But that two tone red was awful looking, black shorts a safe option. #cardiffcity

You see them on the Cardiff City Mad Messageboard

On the Holier than thou ‘fans’ thread.

– Bigbluebird typed “A bit like the clowns who think they’re better than a fellow fans who have reluctantly accepted the change.”

– FugPugly typed “Continuing to support your club is not the same as bending over backwards……………..Some people just want to go and watch Cardiff City, they don’t really give a shit about all of this crap.  It’s not the same as gobbling Tan’s sticky white love piss you know.”

On the “Black shorts’ thread

– Trudders typed “I thought that was the worst part of the kit.  What a hideous design, and now we have the two-tone shirt with black shorts.  The lines on the shirt collar are just so random, there’s no need for them at all!!……………….Was really hoping they wouldn’t go with that Puma template (having seen Wolves etc), but now I find myself hoping the dark red on the collar turns black…………………I’ll buy the blue kit if it’s a different template, but will be so upset if that has the same silly lines.

On the “So the colour of the shorts matters -Really???’ thread

– Puteulanus Pennipotenti typed “Having reluctantly accepted red shirts 12 months ago the furore over a weird shade of red shorts is a bit odd. Surely even those who are going to buy a new Premier League red shirt are not going to buy the shorts as well unless you are a junior bluebird and they dont care anyway…………….If this is now the biggest bug bear with the club then things must be good…………..Yes the kit is vile but just don’t buy it.”

You see them in the media at large;

“As far as I am concerned, the club, and Vincent Tan in particular, could have used the turnaround to their benefit and satisfied thousands of disgruntled fans by making the shorts of the home kit blue.

Tan would still have his ‘lucky red’ top and we, the lifeblood of the club, would have had a small but meaningful compromise with blue shorts.”

Why do I care more about this issue than some Cardiff fans?

A scarf for your soul?, Part 6*

30 05 2013

*Disclaimer: If you read the When Saturday Comes message board, or use twitter, parts of this post may look plagarised. They’re not. I assure that I came up with the ideas independently, honestly yer honour it’s the truth I tells ya.

Yesterday Cardiff City released pictures of their new kit;


A lot of twitter users didn’t like the two-tone colour scheme, you know as if there’s something intrinsically wrong with tone-tone colour schemes. Well there’s nothing wrong with two-tone colour schemes, a fact that SV Hamburg prove with this lovely ensemble from a few seasons ago.

Soccer - UEFA Cup - Quarter Final - Second Leg - Manchester City v Hamburg SV - City of Manchester Stadium

While two tone colour schemes are often great, they only become great in the right circumstances. Cardiff’s two-tone colour scheme is  a different matter. I think my friend Phil said it best when he tweeted.

“This kit is an absolute insult to the memory of Cardiff City, the Bluebirds.”

The marketing spiel put it somewhat differently.

As promised, here’s the first look at the 2013/14 Cardiff City kit as supplied by Puma, ready for our Premier League campaign in August.

The kit can be seen, modeled by members of Cardiff City’s senior, Ladies, DS Active and Futsal teams, led by ‘City skipper Mark Hudson and forming part of our all-inclusive ethos at the club. As supporters, players, staff, whoever we are, we are one City, one community, one club. #WeAreCardiffCity

The unique, classic and stylish looking kit can be pre-ordered from Friday May 31st through our official Superstore website, with deliveries set to be processed in time for your holidays in July.

The club decided to maximise on the Puma King design and adopt a two-tone red home kit this season, helping us stand out in the Premier League crowd. The two Puma King stripes reflect the fans loyalty to the club, which is appreciated by all.

We hope you all enjoy the results and look forward to seeing you all wearing your new shirt – with quite a few optional sleeve badges we think – as the season gets underway.

Don’t forget to tweet #WeAreCardiffCity this season. The fixtures and first game aren’t too long away now!!

I love the way marketing people assume that the public love to read complete bollocks. I mean look at this;

“The kit…….. forming part of our all-inclusive ethos at the club. As supporters, players, staff, whoever we are, we are one City, one community, one club. #WeAreCardiffCity

It’s lucky that I’m fluent in marketing bollocks so I can translate. The following

 “…….all-inclusive ethos at the club. As supporters, players, staff, whoever we are, we are one City, one community, one club.” 

actually means;

“We all wear the same coloured clothing so it looks like we’re are all on the same side.”

I wonder if the inclusivity includes the Cardiff fans that don’t like the red kit? Now, let’s turn to this;

“The club decided to maximise on the Puma King design and adopt a two-tone red home kit this season, helping us stand out in the Premier League crowd.”

Standing out in the premier league crowd with a kit that looks a bit like Liverpool’s, that’s absolutely brilliant!!! The following is nearly the worst piece of marketing bollocks in the piece;

“The unique, classic and stylish looking kit…”

This phrase is complete rubbish, ahem, has been written under too much artistic license. The design isn’t unique; Wolves, MotherwellRaith Rovers, Chesterfield and probably most of the Puma supplied clubs will be using a similar template nest season. (Incidentally, if you’ve ever wondered why clubs have template-based Puma kits, it’s because the same company, Genesis Sports, supplies them all). Judging from the reaction on twitter the kit isn’t considered a classic or a stylish design either. The worst piece of marketing bollocks in the piece is this line.

“The two Puma King stripes reflect the fans loyalty to the club, which is appreciated by all.”

Firstly, it sounds like something a mealy-mouthed politician or penitent tax-fiddling chief executive would say. Secondly, within the contest of Cardiff’s rebrand,  it’s a hollow attempt to curry favour. Lastly the phrase sounds like Cardiff City have actually written the line themselves, you know in order to make it look as though they care about the opinion of the fans. In reality Puma came up with the line, similar language was used when Wolves’ new kit was unveiled.

The PUMA King shirt, includes the famous two stripes within  the neckline, representing the passion and loyalty of the fans.

They don’t really explain how the two stripes actually reflect the fans loyalty to a club do they? Why the hell isn’t good enough to be truthful? Something like “Well we needed some kind of design around the collar area.” would have sufficed.

Overblown ideas are typical from Puma, see how they market football boots;

“Performance is the lifeblood of football.

The better we perform, the more we enjoy it. And the more we enjoy it, the better we perform. 

But at PUMA, we create boots that don’t just boost performance, but reflect your footballing nature, and the way you play the game. We call this the Nature of Performance, and it’s at the heart of everything we do. Our boots elevate their wearers, releasing them from their shackles for 90 minutes every Saturday.

Take Agüero, the Speed Junkie. Blurrily quick feet that leave defenders in a daze. Does that sound like you? Sergio likes the lightweight, responsive evoSPEED. You might do too.

Fàbregas is power hungry. Powerful long-range screamers, powerful tackles, powerful runs . The kind of stuff you see him doing each and every match. The PowerCat 1 is his partner, driving him on to deliver the goods. 

And then there’s Yaya. He doesn’t just own the ball; he casts a spell over it. The man is all about running the game, owning the play – you could call him a control freak. If you like being in charge, then his King boots are for you.

Now it’s your chance to tell the world about the nature of your performance. Visit PUMA’s new Nature of Performance Facebook app and show your allegiance. 

Make a statement and join the team that best represents your nature – Sergio’s speed junkies, Yaya’s control freaks or Cesc’s team of power hungry individuals. 

Get personal after-game messages, virtual training sessions, exclusive competitions and all the latest news and info about your team and your captain. You won’t find this stuff anywhere else.

So there’s just one question to answer… which team are you going to join?

And again… 

Looking back through the sands of time, there’s one character trait that defines the human species – the desire to improve. We want to be better, stronger, faster. It’s in our nature.

At PUMA we’re driven by the same hunger. Every time we get in the lab and create a new boot, we need to break boundaries, defy convention and evolve.

There’s no doubt that the PUMA evoSPEED has revolutionised the game. But did we sit back, pat ourselves on the back and say job done? You know us better than that.

We wanted to break the speed limit, creating a new evoSPEED that was lighter, more flexible and even faster. But how do you take the speediest boot around and inject it with even more blistering pace? Simple – you go to Ducati, or as we call them ‘The Godfathers of Speed.’

Puma are simply transfixed by their own significance . I don’t think we should be too harsh on Puma however as bullshit production is rampant in the sports manufacturing industry.  Mind you bullshit production is vital if you want to get on with visionaries. It certainly looks like Vinny boy and Puma are a perfect fit. They’re both living the dream.

A scarf for your soul? Part 5

28 05 2013

I was looking at Stand AMF’s Facebook page earlier today and I noticed that there had been a protest in Cardiff a few days ago;

cardiff 1

cardiff 2

The photo provoked a little bit of a reaction;

David Jones Let it go fellas I wasn’t happy about it but where would you rather be? Let it go. (Pissing into the wind sort of springs to mind)

Lindsay Williams That’s right let it be look at what as happens

Glyn Stone Waist of time, were red, and thats how we are going to stay, red and in the prem or blue and in the lower leagues or non existant.

Liam John Hogan A bit late

Liam John Hogan We play in red now about time you guys stop complaining and get behind the team

Sean Tempah Marks Too late now your making a biggy outta it u got back the team no matter what color they are

David Davies-Evans Huge turn out. Lmfao. Time to move on. Ive been supporting the BLUEBIRDS since the 70’s I have my opinions. But it is what it is.

Lee Chant bore fest yawn

Jiffy Davies Can u ask the guy who owns that house does he want his pine end cleaned its bogging lol

Ryan Lewis wish these small numbers of people would quit it,we had to send a party of people to convince the malaysians to return without them wed be screwed and probably playing welsh leauge etc ffs were in the premier leauge

Kris Is-Vile Iles Yaawwwnnnn, Are people STILL crying about this? Such a shame that this minority are attempting to spoil the clubs success.

Richard Faulkner I am not happy about the colour change followed ccfc home and away since i was 12 . A bit late to start something like this just shows in the numbers that attended. Blue till i die. but red till the Malaysians fuck off . Ps never have or going to buy a red shirt tho .

Steve Davies-Evans Another laughable turnout! Do people really believe this will change Tans mind?

Dai Jones cracking pic,fuck the red tits,sell out wankers I hope the prem is worth it

Gareth Chino Edwards Liam john hogan obviously not a true fan at heart

Phillip Greenslade Some of those in the picture refuse to follow City in the Premiership because they are not wearing blue. Whose missing out those who want to have a day out in Torquey or the ones that are going for a day out in Everton?

Richard Faulkner Too little too late ga. We should have done it as soon as the change came last season . X

Richard Faulkner Liam john Hogan only looks about 12 . What the heck does he know about ccfc . I will never accept it . But will support our football club blue army.

Jason Turner I support Cardiff City fc..i really like the red shirt so come on get over it lol

Gareth Chino Edwards Would rather a real day out in torquay then a sit down no atmosphere in everton, I love the club but it aint the same! We should follow german laws on football as its done them no harm

Phillip Greenslade What if Cardiff are winning in Everton? German fans understand that the Colour of your team be it Blue or Red is what ‘s needed to build an atmosphere. We should ban Brands on the terraces! OUCH….

David Ccfc Fleming Keep trying u wont get. Nowhere. I love Cardiff but these protests are only going to ruin the club if vt walks away just. Accept it i loved the blue kit but people. Need to accept the change

Kyle Cudgie Cullen I can see myself with my vest on lol

Kyle Cudgie Cullen Could at least keep away kit blue ! There just taking the piss if they make that yellow aswel

Geraint Lewis Should be aloud to say how we feel this was at the end of the season no games and it to celebrate the history nothing was said about tan so what a matter with that

Simon Underhill Some of you make me sick to my stomach

Lewis Matthews I can’t believe the crap people write on here, a group of supporters get together to celebrate our once proud history and all some people want to do is moan and have a pop. It’s clear as day that the premiership means more than the traditions/identity and integrity of what a football club should be

Joe Mackay once a blue always a blue. Lots of kids on here that have sold out. we would have survived with or without his money. Was there really any need to turn red! Shame some of you on here never came and told us your opinions yesterday.

Liam Blundell Top quality boys keep Cardiff blue AMF

Lee Chapman If that’s all there is out of our HUGE fan base all I can say is find something more exciting to do with your time yawn

Lee Chapman Gareth Edwards your an arrogant prick fair play, who are you to tell anybody they ain’t a real fan?? For 11 years since the old 3rd tier of football iv travelled all around the country had season ticket after season ticket spent thousands and thousands of my hard earned money following city. I’m sat here today with the red top on, if given the chance to chose I would prefer to stay blue I just realise bitching about it won’t do nothing and would rather not let something eat me up day after day, the only person who wants to question their credibility as a fan is

James ‘Grizz’ Grieve The blue few. Plastic sell out club. Lost your soul, not Cardiff any more. Against modern football.

Simon Underhill Lee. If you want people to respect your opinions try respecting ours. Cardiff is blue and you’ll have to carry me off in a coffin before I wear anything red.

A fan with soul You can argue the toss all you like, but anyone who justifies the “red re-brand” is a soulless apologist with no respect for Cardiff’s identity and proud heritage.

Louis Williams Exactly what’s wrong with today’s fans mindset ^ you’d rather be in the prem with an owner who doesn’t give a fuck about the clubs heritage with his dirty money rather then be in a lower league with pride of your club no matter whatever the financial situation is.

Matt Hill Just wait until you realise selling your soul for the premiership isn’t worth it. Once the media get fed up of the “fairytale” angle you’ll just be another small team getting shown last on match of the day.

Why do I get the impression that the people who are angry at the protesters are really angry at themselves. You can tell from their hollow words that they so desperately want have the gumption to let their consciences guide them. If only there was an example to guide them. If only there was a club that made a design based decision and then recanted after fan pressure. Wait a minute……..

May 26th 2013 – Everton unveil new Crest

May 27th 2013 – Everton fans up in arms about club’s redesigned crest.

May 28th 2013 – Everton vow to ditch unpopular new crest after fan backlash.

A question of trust

1 03 2013

Today Ian from 200% asked if we can trust Vincent Tan. Ian simply contrasted the words of this week with the words of last May. The words of this week:

I can assure all supporters that we will not be changing our name from Cardiff City Football Club, a club I am very proud to be a part of. Our name is our identity and remains at our core. I would not want any of our supporters to be concerned that this change would be made, hoping that this personal commitment from myself removes any fears.

I believe the colour change is positive and will bring good tidings to Cardiff City Football Club. At this point of time, no decision has been made to change the club crest for the next season.

For the present day, all I would ask is that we all join together, continuing your excellent support at what is a critical juncture in our season. Our collective aim is to back Malky Mackay and his team as they work hard to bring us all success. Working together we can achieve great things in the name of Cardiff City Football Club.

The words of last May:

We have no desire to cause offence or for people to think we have no respect for the club or its history as it would appear has been suggested in various quarters including by local assembly members. We would have hoped that the significant investment made to date would have already demonstrated our good faith in that regard. Indeed, we are disappointed that anybody would think the contrary. In the light of the vociferous opposition by a number of the fans to the proposals being considered as expressed directly to our local management and through various media and other outlets, we will not proceed with the proposed change of colour and logo and the team will continue to play in blue at home for the next season with the current badge.

Can you trust the man behind both sets of words? Can you trust this man?


Can you trust any man that tucks his replica shirt in? Can you ever trust a club owner in a replica shirt? Can you trust a club owner that wears a replica shirt over a normal shirt? Can you trust a club owner that’s so anxious to win people over he’s willing to conduct a television interview looking like a darts player that’s gone to seed? Can you trust a club owner that’s allowed Kirstie Allsopp to redecorate his club office?

When I saw a video earlier today I thought that I may’ve misjudged him. Maybe he’s not so bad after all, his employees like him so much that they made this celebratory video;

Judging by the lyrics Mr. Burns could be based on Vinny;

“Come and invest in our shops, You will go rich never stop, No-one’s gloomy or complaining while Papa John’s Entertaining”

“WE LOVE HIM, WE LOVE HIM, WE LOVE HIM and where Tan Sri goes I’ll follow!!!”

“Try the latte, it’s delicious, don’t believe me? Ask Kenny Rogers!!!”

This has got to be the worst video featuring the thumbprint of a self-serving  club owner since this abomination;

The devil is in the detail

28 02 2013

This morning an article was released

Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan open to name change

Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan has said that promotion to the Premier League could trigger further “rebranding” and did not rule out changing the club’s name to Cardiff Dragons.

The Malaysian billionaire has already insisted upon a colour change from blue to red, as well as a new club crest.

“We will think about it when we know the final result of this season,” he said about using Cardiff Dragons. “Then we will think what’s the best way to brand it.”

Tan acknowledged the “rumours” that have recently emerged over the use of Cardiff Dragons but added: “We haven’t discussed this. I’ve not really thought about this in detail. But when we get there we’ll make a decision. And when we make a decision we will convey it to everyone.”

Tan, who has an estimated wealth of $1.3bn, wants Cardiff to maximise all possible revenue and marketing opportunities in Asia. After buying more than 35% of the club’s shares for £6m in 2010, the 61-year-old Malaysian threatened to withdraw his support in June unless the club agreed to ditch its traditional blue home shirts in favour of red ones. The new colours were accepted, so too a new badge as a Welsh dragon replaced the bluebird, and further investment followed.

In an interview with BBC Wales’ Sport Wales programme, he justified the “controversial decision” of the club’s colours, and stressed he is prepared to and intends to make more changes.

“A few were upset but like in any business if we get 80% or 75% of the customers happy, with 20-25% not happy, that’s fine,” he said. “If they don’t want to come to support our business, that’s fine. We need the majority.” He added: “I believe the change is for the better. And if you put in a lot of money, surely you have the right to make a call on some things you believe will make it better. If you don’t have a say, why the hell do you want to put in so much money?”

After years of financial instability, Cardiff were on the brink of administration before Tan’s takeover as part of a Malaysian consortium. The club continues to struggle financially, recording losses of £13.6m in the year up to the end of May 2012, with an overall recorded debt of £83.1m.

The accounts also show that the debt to Langston, the company represented by ex-City owner Sam Hammam, is put at £19.2m, with a one-off payment of £5m due if City reach the Premier League while the debt is outstanding. Tan said that resolving this debt is a priority for the club, and again called on Langston to renegotiate to a “fair level” and then convert the “unsecured” loan into equity. If that happens, Tan said he is willing to turn the £63m loan he has given to the club into equity. “Their loan is not secured,” he said. “If anything happens to the club, Langston will get nothing. So I will convert [my loan] if we can resolve with Langston. And if Sam Hammam loves Cardiff as he claims he does, he should come and sit down and then we’ll find a solution.”

Having failed in the Championship play-offs three years in a row, Cardiff are in a stronger position than ever to reach the Premier League. They have an eight-point lead with 13 games remaining, but Tan said he would not walk away if promotion was not secured.

“If the fans welcome me, I can stay for a long time,” he said, promising a further £25m to manager Malky Mackay for new players should they go up. “But if I find they are not welcoming and rude, then maybe I will find a new buyer and go off. But if I were to sell, I’d make sure I would leave it in good hands.”

A section of Cardiff fans continue to oppose Tan’s colour change. A protest was held at the end of the last home game to Brighton – which Tan attended – when free red scarves were handed out. Tan referred to the dissenting voices as “a bunch of mostly young kids” and argued a change was long overdue.

“Have they achieved any success under this bluebirds brand?,” he asked “So why do we hold onto something that hasn’t achieved much success?”

Another article was published at 13:40

“The Malaysian owner of Cardiff City has spoken publicly for the first time about how he plans to turn the club into a force in Asia. In an exclusive interview with BBC Wales, Vincent Tan says he will spend up to £25m on new players if City makes it to the Premier League, and defended the controversial re-brand which saw the shirt colours change from blue to red. I travelled to Kuala Lumpur where I was given behind the scenes access to one of the richest men in Malaysia. Tan made his first break when he introduced McDonald’s to Malaysia in the 1980s.

A few years later he bought the country’s main lottery, which remains the cash cow of his diverse business empire. His group, which is called Berjaya, also has interests in insurance, pharmacy and property. One of its projects is building what it claims will be the world’s largest indoor shopping centre on the outskirts of Beijing called the Great Mall of China. His investments in Cardiff have come from his private wealth.

He first put in £6m at the club after being asked by his friend Dato Chan Tien Ghee, the current chairman of Cardiff City, around three years ago. Initially he was in the background as an investor but after loaning the club more than £30m, he decided to play a far more active role when he saw Cardiff lose in the Championship play-offs at the end of last season. His first move was to carry out the controversial re-brand in an attempt to gain popularity in Asia.

He said: “You look at Man United and Liverpool and they are red – they are much more successful and have a bigger fan base than Chelsea or Manchester City.In Asia, red is the colour of joy, red is the colour of festivities and of celebration. In Chinese culture, blue is the colour of mourning. Of course it is not easy to compete with Man United or even Liverpool because they have a big fan base and they have been around so long and have won so many trophies. So far it looks tough but not impossible. So I would like to tell the fans we are doing a good job so give us all the support and have faith that we will do the right thing.

“Why would I want to do stupid things and put in, maybe by the end of the season, £70m in loans and investments into Cardiff and do stupid things? Do I look stupid? No. We want to do what is good for Cardiff and for the long-term survival, and hopefully Cardiff can be around for a long time and, God willing, be around in the Premier League.”

He has not ruled out carrying out further re-brands if the club, which is currently top of the Championship, is promoted to the Premier League, but he says he has not discussed it at any length.

He also spoke openly about the possibility of renaming the Cardiff City Stadium, with the name Malaysia being added or the name of a major Asian sponsor. But the naming rights of the stadium are wrapped up in an historic debt of £19m owed to a company called Langston which is connected to the former chairman Sam Hammam. The club’s last set of accounts show it has debts of £83m. Much of that is owed to Vincent Tan which he says he will convert to shares but will only do so once the Langston debt is dealt with. He says he will offer the former chairman a combination of shares and money to pay off the debt and will even offer him a place on the board.

He said: “If Sam Hammam loves Cardiff City like he claims he does, he should come and sit down and convert his debt into equity to show his commitment. I think it’s too sensitive to talk about the details but the principle is we’d like Sam Hammam to come and resolve this, and this is for the good of Cardiff. After all, if I had not come along and put in money, Sam Hammam would have had nothing and the club would have gone into administration. If I was Sam Hammam I would be grateful to someone who has put in so much money.”

Tan says he has caught the football bug and often travels to the UK in his private jet to watch matches. He says he has a good relationship with the manager Malky Mackay and enjoys going into the dressing room to speak to the players, particularly Craig Bellamy. His son Robin and a number of his senior managers told me they all questioned his decision to buy into a football club, but say when he makes investments he usually does so for the long term.

Tan said: “If the fans welcome me and everybody welcomes me, I can stay a long time, but if I find they are not welcoming and are rude then I may find a new buyer and go off. But I want to say this, if I have to leave then I will leave it in good shape.”

At 4:20 a statement was released;

Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan issues statement on name change fears

“Following the angry response from supporters, he said in a statement on  Thursday afternoon: “I can assure all supporters that we will not be changing  our name from Cardiff City Football Club, a club I am very proud to be a part  of.

“Our name is our identity and remains at our core. I would not want any of  our supporters to be concerned that this change would be made, hoping that this  personal commitment from myself removes any fears.

“I believe the colour change is positive and will bring good tidings to  Cardiff City Football Club. At this point of time, no decision has been made to  change the club crest for the next season.

“For the present day, all I would ask is that we all join together,  continuing your excellent support at what is a critical juncture in our  season.

“Our collective aim is to back Malky Mackay and his team as they work hard to  bring us all success. Working together we can achieve great things in the name  of Cardiff City Football Club.”

First came the boasts, then the threats (“That Tan’s ruining our club”), then the reassurance (“It’s Red or Dead and we’ll need his money to get to the premier league”).

In his mind Tan probably thinks he’s acting like normal businessman and to be fair to the lad he is. He’s blundering around like an egotistical cunt on a power trip – “Have they achieved any success under this bluebirds brand?,” he asked “So why do we hold onto something that hasn’t achieved much success?”

He’s also acting like a cuntish politician that wants to achieve an unpalatable goal; taking piecemeal steps. First the shirts, then the badge, then the name, then the ground moves closer to Heathrow, then the home games in Malaysia. Although the last two steps were probably gallows humour from the ex-Cardiff fans I know.

This morning a few of those ex-Cardiff fans felt that the name change headline grabber could be a politician-style ruse to encourage panic in order to achieve something that looks or feels less confrontational. The bold line from the statement points to this  – “At this point of time, no decision has been made to change the club crest for the next season.”

If you look at from this direction Tan can accomplish several things with a single decision; a panic would be eased (people will forget it’s a cynically created panic), Tan would look like less of an ogre and most importantly, Tan would get what he wants as his real aim would have been achieved. Rather cleverly by making the decision Tan would also be closer to the endgoal he wants – turning Cardiff City into The Cardiff Dragons – because he will have normalised the situation he’s created, people will then be ready for the next step.

From one direction it’s nice to get a glimpse of the clearheaded egotism that motivates your modern club owner.

A scarf for your soul? Part 4

19 02 2013

Tonight’s the night of the big scarf giveaway so the was only one thing to do; take to Twitter and see what was happening. I had an idea what I might see from the following interchange between a principled fan of my acquaintance and a willing dupe;

@jordanjonesy tweeted “Easy to say ‘I won’t turn up’ its another thing actually doing it”

@mirkobolesan replied “I wouldn’t turn up”, then I did it. Cardiff in red? No thanks. No one is forcing you to go.”

@jordanjonesy replied “Some people have, some people haven’t, I like going”

Sadly tonight went as expected…………..

@garethbakery tweeted “Cardiff City Stadium is littered with cheap, red scarves. I feel ill”

@garethbakery tweeted “Hundreds of fans missing the kick off to instead join a 10minute queue to get free red scarves. I’ll let you judge our fan base #CardiffCity

@elmozzarino tweetedReally disappointing to see the no. of red scarfs on display at Cardiff tonight. Handed out on entry. Acceptance optional.”

@russwilliams_uk tweeted “I’m disappointed in the people of Cardiff”

@Gwernaldinho tweeted Plenty of red scarves being thrown on the pitch now the score is 2-0.  Shows the fickle fans this new bunch really are.”

@christheseagull tweeted “Cardiff City are handing out free red scarves (new Cardiff club colours) to Brighton fans. Go figure”

@AndyNaylorArgus tweeted “Red scarf giveaway is not just for fans. A pile of them in the press room too. Good time for #bhafc to leave Cardiff feeling blue.”

@SwfcAsh91 tweeted “Cardiff fans still goin on about colour of their kit? Get a grip your top of league id happily play in red and white if wednesday was top!!’

A couple of photos had been posted too. While one was unsettling…….
……the other was far more hopeful, it was an eloquent comment on the scarf giveaway;
Cardiff 7

A scarf for your soul? Part 3

17 02 2013

If you’re like me then you’re wondering what Cardiff’s owners are up to. What are they actually doing with those scarves marked “Cardiff”? Are they merely advertising their club or are they doing something more sinister? Are the trying to own the word “Cardiff”? I think they might be.

This idea is not as fanciful as you would imagine, other clubs have tried to own the symbols of a city; Liverpool FC owns the copyright over the symbol of their city, the Liver Bird, and Manchester United™ own the combination of the words Manchester and United. Club owners start by selling merchandise then try to take over a place, that’s how it goes.

Of course clubs don’t want any old Tom Dick or Harry denying them precious money by selling “unofficial” merchandise.  Trademarking the essence and the soul of their clubs is easiest way of preventing unauthorised money-making;

“….Most of the Premier League club’s will have registered their official club badges as a trademark in order to exploit the use of it on official merchandise and to limit the use of it on unofficial merchandise.

Tradmarking means the clubs have the law on their side;

Often the merchandise sold outside football grounds consists of such things as team scarves, team pin badges, t shirts with the clubs badge etc on, t shirts showing the image of a particular player who plays for that club to name but a few.

If merchandise such as this is sold then there is likely to be infringements in relation to the following things:

– The use of the official club badge

– The use of the official club name

– The use of a club nickname

– The use of a name of a player or signature

– The use of a picture of a group of players

– The use of a picture of an individual player

If this law is infringed there can be prosecutions and most big clubs protect their income through robust policies.  Chelsea™ provide the basic rules for the use of the(ir) identity” (Read that pdf!) , Arsenal™ employ a “brand protection manager” and Newcastle United™ will not tolerate “any unauthorised use” of their trademarks. Mind you this process is not always stress free, sometimes you have to go to the effort and expense of designing a new badge;

“Fulham even changed their badge as the previous one contained the London borough council in which the club is situated and was therefore held to be too common to attract trademark protection. Their new badge has thus been registered as a trademark.”

You can see how far-sighted prospective owners are attracted to the idea of guaranteed money. Didn’t Cardiff owners go to the expense of changing the club badge? Clubs may protect income by acting like this but what do they lose? Badge collectors are one group of unintended victims;

“Over the past season or so Chelsea FC have really clamped down on badge sellers around the ground – so much so that many of those who sell from pub to pub try to disguise the fact that they even have a badge board.

Those in stalls around the ground are not allowed to use the words “Chelsea FC” or even “Chelsea” on any home made memorabillia… this means that the badges being produced are truly woeful with some just stating, “The Chels”.

They also are not permitted to use any past or present logos of the club on unnofficial memorabillia. Means badges look truly awful and there is very little choice in the club shop.”

The people behind using corporate sledgehammers to crack unauthorised nuts probably don’t care how it looks as they’re more concerned with protecting revenue streams. Far-sighted potential club owners seem to look at football in this way, they obviously aren’t attracted to football because of their memories of muddy pitches, hooligans and The Big Match live. They’re attracted by things like websites that tell them how to get on the football gravy train;

Marketing to children is the quickest way you will grow your fan base, fill your stadium, and create a future for your club.

Marketing to children is one of the smartest ways to market football. If you want to sell merchandise, focus on children. If you want to fill stadiums quickly think of marketing to children. Regrettably marketing football to children is one of is one of the least done marketing strategies. In marketing football to children you must also know that children are different at different stages of development. Pre-school children are not the same as primary and post primary children. It is therefore important to design methods to target them differently.

Children have a capacity to get what they want. This is done through nagging power. If a child gets to love your club they will nag the parents sick until they get what they want. If it is going to the stadium is what they want they will pursue the parents until it happens. If they want your club shirt they will nag the parents until it is bought for them. Whereas an old person will rationalize while making decisions, children do not do this. For them if they want it, they want it now and will not stop asking for it until they get it. It is therefore important to put children as a priority when you are marketing your football club. The children will get want they want far quicker than a grown up person that has to weigh benefits.

One other fact is that parents especially mothers want to please their children. Whatever the child wants, the child gets, especially if the parents have the means. So, if you market to the child the chances of succeeding in getting the parents buy your football merchandise is very high. If going to the stadium is the issue it will happen, all in the name of pleasing the child. Just moving in shopping centers and watch the lengths the parents go to make their children happy. Remember most of the items parents buy for children are actually chosen by the children. If your club is part of that choice it’s going to be a winner.

The fastest way to create a buzz for your football club is by marketing to children. If children love something they never stop talking about it. Look at Ben 10, Spiderman and John Cena. These characters have captivated the minds of children. One child or two start it at school and the whole school is captivated. You can do exactly this for your football club. If you reach out to these children effectively in no time they will create a buzz for you that goes beyond their school boundaries, it continues to friends at home. In no time your club becomes part of their lives. You will get many into stadiums and you will sell a lot of merchandise. Look at the merchandise that Ben 10, Spiderman and John Cena sell. They have focused their energies on children and they are winning hands down.

If you get them young you are going to get a life time fan – ‘cradle to grave’. If you keep your marketing and relationship with these children you will keep them for life. Think about the amount of money you are going to collect from this person over a life time. It is huge.

Minorities, disconnected fans, uninterested people and all kinds of parents can only be dragged into the stadium by their children. A child will nag the parents until they get into the stadium. If for some reason they can not get into the stadium at least you will sell a shirt or any other club merchandise to the child.

The size of children is often the biggest in most societies. If you market your club to all the schools within your catchment area, filling a stadium will be very easy, because of the sheer size of the child community. Remember children do not come alone. The child will at least attract one adult and in functioning families you will get the two parents.

Marketing football to children is a brainless activity that is often ignored. Your football club should spare no effort in reaching out children. It is one of the quickest ways to fill stadiums because of the sheer numbers of children in most communities and their powers to always get want they want. It is the easiest way you will sell huge quantities of merchandise. It is the only way you will get minorities and uninterested people into stadiums. It is the best way you will get endless buzz. When children love something they talk about endlessly. You have to market to children to grow your fan base, sell more merchandise, attract sponsorship and develop the business of football.

The handy website also tells you how to involve the whole family in the experience,

“If you have influenced and won over a family it is easier for them to dedicate every weekend to your home games than having one person within that family going for these games. If you have only one fan in the family he will always have to fight other members of the family if they have differing interests.  They would want him or her to go to their own amenities as opposed to coming to the stadium.

Families often have better organized financial structures that a football club can tap into than non family groups that usually make erratic decisions that often lead to them leaving from one month to another.”

how to turn fans into evangelists,

“One of the best ways to grow a fan base is to turn the converted into recruiters. Religion is thousands of years old and growing strong because they deciphered this marketing technique a long time ago. Jesus walking along the Sea of Galilee found Peter and Andrew casting their nets. He told them: ‘come and follow me and I will turn you into fishers of men’. That was the beginning of turning of converts into evangelists (advocates). This is one of the greatest marketing techniques ever discovered because it uses friends to bring friends, brother to bring brother and sister as well as acquaintances. In no time the following has multiplied. Nothing grows a fan base like this technique if applied properly. All religions have utilized this system since time immemorial. This explains why religions keeping growing from strength to strength. In my own neck of the woods every space in which a shop fails, a church has sprouted and they all seem to be thriving. Any team that uses this technique will grow an enthusiastic loyal fan base very quickly.

and most importantly how you go about “Monitizing Your Football Fans“. (If you’re unfamiliar with the word “monetize” it means turning stuff into money). You can monetize with merchandising;

“…..go beyond the traditional club T shirts. Cater for all your fans needs. Cater for the teens, cater for the ‘tweens’ (pre teens), cater for the children and do not forget the women. Not all people like T shirts, for example recently Wolves became the first side to launch an official lingerie range for female fans. By widening your product range you stand a very big chance of reaching your fan base. If a person does not want or can not afford a T shirt at least he will buy cup.”

Of course would-be club owners are reminded about protecting their income.

“One thing that you have to do when you start merchandising is to protect your products from pirating. The more popular your club becomes the more products you are going to sell and the more attractive you are going to be to unscrupulous business practises. People are always looking for a quick buck and they will definitely create cheap replicas of your products. You have to pursue them vigorously because they will kill your business. They do not care how expensive it is to run a club; they are only interested in lining their pockets. Educate your fans about the genuine thing and sensitize them about pirate products. You should convince them to be the eyes and ears of the club. As long as you have a relationship with your fans they will be vigilant and report pirated products to the club, swing into action immediately to discourage the practise.”

The best part of the website is an aspirational quote from Mark Twain;

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

Far-sighted prospective club owners will really love that message. I imagine that Cardiff’s owners have brightened the club offices with bright corporate posters featuring these golden words.

%d bloggers like this: