Last week Cardiff City announced their intention to change the colour of their home football kit from the traditional blue to red.

Fans are definitely seeing red.

Cardiff Flag
They have also decided to remove the bluebird as the main picture from the badge, to be replaced with a big red dragon. The bluebird is still there, just a lot smaller and underneath the dragon. And the new moto: “Fire & Passion”.

cardiff badgeThis has been met with mixed feelings amongst the fans, not least because their nickname has been ‘The Bluebirds’ and they have played in blue since 1910.

The reason for this momentous change in Cardiff’s image, could have something to a ‘major significant investment’ by two Malaysian investors – Tan Sri Vincent Tan and Dato Chan Tien Ghee (also known as TG).

The club said they were doing it to increase the club’s attractiveness in international markets and to put the club on a safer financial footing, with a view to getting them to the Premier League via a nice transfer kitty for manager Malky Mackay.

The change to the badge and the kit will help the Cardiff City brand to develop. The red dragon is thought to be a nod to the club’s Welsh nationality, and the red kit could be a nod to the Far Eastern investors’ country, red traditionally being lucky in Far Eastern cultures.

The Malaysian investors have also opened negotiations with the Langston Corporation to pay back what is an estimated £30 million of debt. This has been hanging over the Bluebirds’ head for years and has looked to be a major reason for the investment proposals being accepted. The club has been thought to be bleeding £1 million per month; if this had continued then their stadium could have ended up without football nets and the team could have ended up playing in rather more cheap football kits.

This colour change could be a compromise the fans will be willing to make. Sacrificing over 100 years of traditional blue home kit for a place in the greatest league on Earth, a clean bill of financial health, and a very bright future. Not only do they expect a Premier League place, but they are also looking into expanding the club’s stadium and also planning new training facilities. And surely more football training equipment can only be a good thing.

The scale of opposition to this change prompted the club’s chairman Alan Whiteley to say that he and the directors understand the history and commitment that goes with being a Cardiff City fan; but at the same time fans must be prepared to be realistic and progressive: “Sometimes in difficult economic times… in order to survive and progress, brave, bold, compelling decisions and sacrifices need to be made.”

He’s right, this sacrifice is certainly both compelling and bold. The real test of worth will be if they manage to achieve promotion next season. If that happens I doubt the fans will care if they play in fluorescent yellow.


Image Rights: joncandy, eamoncurry

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