Cardiff on verge of a return to blue

Last updated : 09 January 2015 By Michael Morris

Around 80 people joined the Cardiff City board at CCS on Thursday evening. Those in attendance included local MP's, local reporters, business leaders, sponsors, Trust members, Supporters Club members, messageboard representatives, travel organisers and fans of the club.

On top table was Chairman Mehmet Dalman (pictured), Chief Executive Ken Choo, Michael Isaacs, Steve Borley and manager Russell Slade.


A selection of speakers delivered a passionate, heartfelt and pragmatic set of opinions as to why the club has been ripped apart because of the rebrand. Economically and emotionally there was overall unanimous agreement that the red is detremental to CCFC and a return to blue would start to rebuild the club the fans, the community and the trust between all parties.

A show of hands produced a 100% call for a return to blue with the majority accepting a red away kit so Vincent Tan would still have part of his wish to see the side in red.

The words of the Chairman at the end, who will now report back to VT via a board meeting on Friday morning, would already appear to accept that he must insist to the owner that change is the only way forward.

In fact you could even be forgiven for thinking that they already knew what had to be done.

The final decision is the owners. We mustn't forget the amount of money he has invested into CCFC. But if the club is to succeed it needs a degree of unity that will only come from the club returning to it's traditional colours.

Those present at the meeting showed a level of respect to the board and the owner and appealed for change via articulate but passionate statements and all must be commended.

Friday's Echo are running with the follow front page:

The following Q & A is also from Friday's Echo. You can judge for yourself the thoughts of the chairman.

Q: What are your feelings after hearing the passionate views of fans?

MD: The whole evening was professionally conducted by everybody and overall it was a good night for our football club. The overwhelming feeling among fans was that Vincent Tan needs to turn the club kit back to blue and restore a prominent bluebird on the badge.

The overwhelming feeling which came across to me was the level of gratitude and respect for what he has done for the club. There is a high level of respect for a man who has put in a lot, and not just financially. He has committed time and is emotionally involved with Cardiff City.

The feeling I took away was that fans want to unite with Vincent Tan. That desire was clear. If that means we have to reconsider the kit colour and badge then we must. Only a strong character, a strong man like Vincent Tan could ask for a forum like this to meet.

I think he will be touched by what happened at this meeting.

It was about building bridges. We gave fans a platform to air their views and it was a very constructive meeting. I also hope the fans appreciate some of the views the club have. The meeting was about listening and finding ways we can be together.

It was clear from the audience they want to find a solution. That is very good for Cardiff City.

Q: You knew what would be said by fans, but was it the manner in which it was said which impressed you?

Absolutely. Without any shadow of a doubt. I could have predicted what would be said because we all know the issues, but it was the manner points were put across. The people who attended did a great job representing fans and we are grateful to them. I was impressed by the quality of the words spoken by those who addressed the meeting. Their argument was strong with good substance. There were no hot-heads or rudeness. It was a professional meeting. If Vincent had been present I think he would have been extremely touched. The people who came along did a fantastic job for the credibility of Cardiff City.

There was a lot of respect for Vincent Tan. The fans are simply asking him to reconsider his position, and I think he will. He is an incredibly fair man. I have known him for many years. He will do the right thing. He wants a united club.

Vincent is absolutely committed to Cardiff. He is not a man who leaves anybody in the lurch.

Q: How likely is it that there is a decision for a return to blue?

Ask me again over the weekend.

Q: Will Cardiff City be blue by the weekend?

MD: Let me put it this way, I wouldn’t want to be a Fulham player by Saturday.

Q: Are there any circumstances in which Vincent Tan would leave if he keeps the red and many season ticket holders don’t renew?

None. Vincent Tan is not a man who leaves anything half-done. He is committed and socially responsible. He will do the right thing. He will never leave Cardiff City in the lurch. It’s not his style.

Q: What is the next step?

My job is to report back to our predominant shareholder exactly what the fans said and that’s exactly what I will do. I will also, of course, have my own recommendations.

Q: Is there a timescale?

You are running a little ahead of yourself. You want to do things as quickly as possible and we all want to get our football team motivated again. We want to go out there and start making our stadium a Cardiff fortress again with major noise levels. My recommendation to Vincent Tan will be ‘don’t take too long’. But then he doesn’t take long. He is a decision maker.

Q: Is it now simply up to Vincent Tan?

It’s up to all of us, not just Vincent. This is a two-way street. Vincent will make the right decision, I am comfortable with that. This meeting was an amazing step forward in making sure the fans get what they want and that we are all part of a united club.

Q: How committed is Vincent Tan to Cardiff City? He hasn’t attended a match this season.

Vincent is 100 per cent committed to Cardiff City. I have known him for a while and he is a great friend. He will never walk away from any unfinished business. Vincent is extremely committed to building up this club. Rest assured on that. He has not been to matches, but that’s not because he doesn’t want to be here. He has been extremely busy. He would love to be at matches, but has been incredibly stretched.

Q: There was an overwhelming vote – 100 per cent – for a return to blue kit. What are your thoughts on that?

It’s unfair to call it a vote. There was a show of hands and that makes it easier for me to see where the strong views are. It was absolutely clear what came out of this meeting. First, there is an enormous respect for Vincent Tan and a lot of thanks to him for rescuing the club. He invested when investment was needed and has continued to do so. What surprised me was the level and depth of feeling they had towards Vincent. Blue is the traditional colour of Cardiff City and there is no doubt fans at our meeting would like their team to be back wearing blue. There was also a recognition that Vincent Tan likes red and that, too, should be respected. On the badge, fans want the bluebird to be a predominant factor. Again, there was respect that there is a contribution from Vincent Tan, who has invested a lot of emotion, time and effort here.

The badge can be something that incorporates the bluebird in a far more predominant way and will also reflect their gratitude towards him and that he is owner of the club.

Q: There was a suggestion that Cardiff City could play in red kit for away games. Could that sort of concession be accepted?

The word concession is wrong. This is about bridging the gap and I think Vincent wants unity, harmony and success for this club. I believe he will give this a great deal of consideration. He is a strong individual and only strong people can make these type of decisions. Only strong people can lead in this way. He will listen and consider.

Q: What are you going to recommend to Vincent Tan?

Why would I tell you that? I have to respect that we are having a board meeting. The members will make their views clear and I will report those views to the owner. I will, of course, also have my own views.

Q: What surprised you at the meeting?

I expected people to talk about the kit colour and badge, but I was surprised and pleased at the level of affection towards Vincent Tan. There was a level of support from the fans which was wonderful. There was no doubt about the message, but it was delivered in a respectful way. That will have a massive effect. The chief executive (Ken Choo) said that if Vincent had been here he would have been moved by the affection shown towards him. That’s good.

Q: When it comes to Vincent Tan turning debt into equity, is it correct you would not advise Vincent Tan to do that right now?

Correct. I would not advise him to turn debt into equity at this stage. We have some work to do before we get to that. There are issues which need to be cleared before I would advise that. What I can assure everybody is that we will only take financial decisions which will benefit this club and nobody else.


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