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It’s a worrying sign when a club is known more for the difficulties off the pitch than on.

Cardiff City news? Owner Vincent Tan. Birmingham news? Former owner Carson Yeung.

What's in an owner?Portsmouth news? Something related to finances and another former owner, Vladimir Antonov.

Football clubs and fans have not always lived in peace together. Even one of the biggest clubs in the world, Manchester United, has had a rough ride involving the club’s Glazer family ownership; there was so much going on that Red Devils legend David Beckham went as far as to wear a different coloured scarf to try sort the whole situation out.

Headlines for the wrong reasons

More recently however, one owner making the headlines for all the wrong reasons has been Cardiff City’s Vincent Tan.

In 2010 Tan bought a majority 35% stake in the Welsh club, and while promotion to the Premier League has been a tremendous achievement for the club since, Cardiff City more recently has built itself a reputation of being a chaotic and irresponsibly run club.


In June 2012, a re-branding of the club led to home jersey colour being changed for the first time since 1910. The ‘Bluebirds’ were given red kits to appeal to ‘international markets’.

While the argument was of course there for the investment strategy and re-branding of the club due to reported losses of £1m a month by Cardiff City prior to the changes, such a radical and disrespectful move against club history was a step that Malaysian owners, including Vincent Tan were all too willing to take.

From threatening to leave the club in February this year if fans annoy him, to offering players an illegal bonus if they avoid relegation this season in the English Premier League, Vincent Tan has been a figurehead at Cardiff that has stood out for all the wrong reasons.


In late February this year, Tan was quoted as saying: “My message to the fans is – I came to your town, I saved your club, I put a lot of money in and I took them up to the Premier League. Without me, this club will have gone down.”

A club owner can certainly have an opinion. Anyone can have an opinion. But for the big boss to be telling fans what to do and what not to do? Vincent Tan is unprofessional and childish in expecting no bad press or for fans to sit back and just nod their heads because he’s the majority owner of their club.

What is Tan saving the club from exactly? The financial struggles of the past? Yes. But for how long?

With Cardiff sitting in 19th place after 28 games, relegation is definitely on the cards. As Tan is praising himself for the rise of Cardiff, so too must he be able to take the blame if the club does return to the Championship. Will he be telling the fans that ‘without him’ the club would not have been relegated too?


To go into the relegation of Cardiff is another story in itself, with discussions about signings, tactics and everything else in between having to be taken into account.

The headlines can tell us a lot about a club though, and Tan has taken up too many headlines for all the wrong reasons in the recent past.

Come the end of the season, will articles be published that discuss Andreas Cornelius, who joined Cardiff for a reported record fee of £8 million and scored no goals before being sold back to FC Copenhagen? Yes.

Will those articles mention how Vincent Tan labeled former boss Malky Mackay as a man who went “berserk” with transfer cash? Yes.

However many articles there are though, it’s easy to say right now that too many will involve an owner who divided a club – an owner who should have taken a step back a long time ago.

Originally published at fourfourtweet.co.uk

Post written by Marcus Higgins (@MarcusAHiggins) for FourFourTweet
Blog: fourfourtweet.co.uk, Twitter: @FourFourTweet

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