Although it doesn't seem like it now………
By Paul Evans
Updated Wednesday, 25th July 2012
What happened at last night's disrupted KCB (Keep Cardiff Blue) meeting might just turn out to be a good thing
if it becomes the moment when people involved with Cardiff City decided to take a step back and take in exactly what is happening to the club this summer.
I mean this to those on both sides of the kit debate. Although it’s not true of all on the blue side by any means, it would be good to see some at least acknowledge that those who don’t think like them are not sell outs – at a fraught time like this, coming over all superior does not help things one bit.
However, if we have to play the blame game, it seems that the blue side were blameless last night. I wasn’t there, but the testimony of people who I respect and have posted on City messageboards for years will do for me. Those who were there just to heckle and, seemingly, intimidate only had disrupting the meeting on their minds and, in doing so, it seems to me that they scored a massive own goal against their “cause”.
Some of the more idiotic people on both sides of the argument appear to view this needless conflict as some sort of a war, so let’s indulge those who feel that way on the red side by analysing the tactical thinking behind last night’s escapade.
Your enemy are committed to their cause, in some cases it would appear fanatically so, but, despite their best efforts, they are small in number. They only amount to around 2% of the club’s support and just 120 were present last night. Yet, by acting like they did, those who were there because, apparently, they don’t want to keep Cardiff blue, have ensured that a Wales online journalist is portraying the “enemy” as completely the innocent party in last night’s events.
One of the most effective arguments the pro re-brand camp can come up with is the one that asks what will happen if Vincent Tan decides he’s had enough and walks away from the club. The anti re-branders have never been able to answer that question effectively in my book, but argue that, given his level of financial commitment, that’s not going to happen. They might be right in thinking that, but if they are not, can I ask what would be more likely to drive him away, a peaceful meeting involving a tiny minority of the club’s fanbase who are opposed to the change of kit he has imposed on us or reports like this?
It’s been commented on at times about how the vast majority of City fans are fairly oblivious to what is happening or, at least, not as committed to one faction or another as your typical contributor to a Cardiff City messageboard – they have their opinions, but they have, by and large, steered clear of the dispute because all they’re really interested in is watching their football team play.
However, if what happened last night attracts the headlines in a way I suspect it might, how many of those are going to be converted to the pro re-brand side by the actions last night of those six or so who disrupted the meeting – precisely none would be my guess, if it did get any of them more fired up, it would be to join the anti re-brand side I’d say.
More likely though is that there will be some who are parents who read that story and decide they won’t bother taking their kids, and possibly themselves, off down to Cardiff City Stadium any more if they think they are going to be faced with the sort of threats and intimidation described by those who were at the meeting last night.
One of the best things about the last few years has to be the increase in the number of young fans coming to games – we stand to lose many of the younger element amongst that group if this crap keeps up. Also, you just have to wonder what the slightly older group who are able to go to games without their parents (e.g. 13 to 16) think about a bunch of old men (because that’s what we are to them) who will qualify for bus passes and be able to pay the same as them to get into games soon, saying what they are going to do to other old fogeys if they display a banner during a game? I’d say it was pathetic if I were their age and I say it’s pathetic at the age of 56!
If last night makes a few stop and mellow their approach a bit, it will have done some good because it means less of the support will be at each other’s throats. However, there are those at the club who should be realising that their actions have, at least partly, contributed to this mess – I don’t just mean Vincent Tan there either.
The club should have been far more proactive than it has been and, frankly, holding consultative meetings at which the change of kit cannot be discussed is a complete waste of time. I also believe that at least some of the frustration on both sides of the divide boils down to matters such as why a settlement to the Langston dispute (which was described as “imminent” by a club official nearly three months ago) appears no closer now than it has ever been.
One of the parties involved in those negotiations has been telling us of his love for Cardiff City for more than a decade now, I wonder if the sight of supporter versus supporter, friend against friend and father arguing with son will persuade him to accept a settlement of the debt which is at the heart of virtually all of our financial problems – somehow I doubt it.