Cardiff City shirt change proposal angers fans

Andrew Taylor of Cardiff City in the current blue shirt Andrew Taylor of Cardiff City in the current blue shirt

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A Cardiff City supporters' group says a change in the club's traditional colours and badge is a "fait accompli".

The club's Malaysian owners have proposed investing £100m on the team, a new training ground and increasing the stadium's capacity.

But it would come on condition the home kit changes from blue to red, with a dragon instead of a bluebird crest.

Cardiff City Supporters Trust is "very disappointed" at the proposed change and lack of consultation.

Tim Hartley, chairman of the trust attended a meeting with other fans' representatives where Bluebirds chief executive Alan Whiteley explained the proposals.

Mr Hartley told BBC Wales: "We were told in no uncertain terms that this was a fait accompli.

"This investment is going to come into the club. We were shown a design of the logo, Cardiff City will be playing in red, they will be wearing a dragon on their chests.

'Lack of consultation'

"This is going to happen whatever us supporters think about it.

"It's great news about the investment, very disappointing about the change of colour and the change of the logo and the lack of consultation with fans."

Mr Hartley also urged a rethink in a statement released by the supporters trust where he said changing from the Bluebirds to the Dragons and wearing red shirts is "perhaps a step too far".

"We are grateful to the Malaysians for their continued investment in Cardiff City," he added.

"But, personally, I would urge them to think again and respect some of the central traditions of what Cardiff City has been and is."

Cardiff City fan Haley Evans told BBC Radio Wales: "I feel like they've got us over a barrel and we are not going to take this lying down.

"By the time they've paid for this stadium expansion, training facilities and this rebrand, how much is going to be left for the playing side?"

Blue and red badge graphic Could the club colours turn from blue to red?

The proposals for the Championship club include increasing the capacity of the Cardiff City Stadium to 35,000 by 2014, as well as new training facilities and money to buy players.

But there has been a mixed reaction to the rebranding from supporters so far.

It is proposed Cardiff will play in red shirts, black shorts and red socks with a blue away kit, while the club's badge would have a dragon on it instead of a bluebird.

The club's Malaysian investors believe red is a more dynamic colour for marketing in Asia, as well as of more national significance in Wales.

While the shirts and club badge could change colour, Cardiff City sources categorically deny that the club - whose nickname is "the Bluebirds" - will become known as "the 'Red Dragons''.

Start Quote

As a club we also appreciate the importance of our history, along with our position within the community”

End Quote Cardiff City statement

Sports and heritage minister Huw Lewis AM tweeted: "Football ownership isn't a business like any other. Dealing with people's hopes, dreams & tradition. Should respect that."

Former Cardiff City captain Jason Perry believes Cardiff's home shirt should remain blue.

"The Malaysians are very successful business people in terms of raising money and in turn you can invest more into the football club in terms of facilities and players," he said.

Soul

"But it's not for me. I think football is about identity. I wouldn't want to see the soul of the club sold for millions to be invested in.

"Cardiff City is blue and should always be blue."

A spokesman for Cardiff City said the proposals were part of an annual review of the club which is due to be completed next week.

"We would like to assure supporters that any decisions will include the long term interests of our supporters, our community and the survival and development of Cardiff City Football Club in a highly competitive and modern sporting industry," a statement said.

"As a club we also appreciate the importance of our history, along with our position within the community.

"We fully recognise the legitimate interests of the fans, supporters and media in the affairs of the club and their right to information in respect of the same.

"On Tuesday we met with and held discussions with representatives from the local media, along with recognised supporter group and messageboard delegates.

"During these various meetings we discussed the various options going forward, all of which are to be ratified in upcoming board meetings as already mentioned.

"As such we will communicate any decisions made as quickly as possible, but it serves no interest to comment in depth at this time until those decisions have been taken."

We asked you what do you thought of the proposed change in Cardiff City's colours from blue to red and the reasons behind it. Here are a cross section of your views.

I have supported Cardiff City for nearly 50 years. Our supporters are known as some of the most recognisable and passionate supporters in the country, the blue and the bluebird is Cardiff City

Colin Dale, Cardiff,

Very strange that only a week after Swansea City announce their new away RED kit that Cardiff want to follow. As all Welsh fans know the four major clubs' colours are: Wrexham, red, the oldest of the four clubs; Cardiff, blue; Swansea, white; Newport, amber. It seems the Malaysians have no idea of Welsh history

Stephen Osullivan, Felixstowe

I am a lifelong Cardiff City fan and am fully behind the idea. If it means heavy investment and a greater chance of becoming a really successful club it is a no-brainer. Football teams for over a century have changed kit colours and emblems. Remember Manchester United's green and yellow strip that some of its fan wear even today.

Andrew Richards, Cardiff,

I believe the main colour of the strip should remain blue. Blue is what the team have been wearing for over a hundred years. I agree that red is important for our national identities so why not subtley integrate red into the jersey? For example around the collar or sleeves? I'm really pleased to hear the club's investors are dedicated into expanding the club in terms of training facilities, bringing more players in and expanding the stadium (in the hope 35,000 seats can be filled each week.) Once the money is spent it cannot be used again so I hope they spend wisely! Overall though, no matter if Cardiff City wear Blue, Red, Green or even Rainbow colours I'll still support them.

Jonathan, Stirling, Scotland,

I feel that the spirit of compromise is what is needed here. As supporters we have to remember where we would probably be without our Malaysian investors. Certainly not in the healthy position we currently are. On our part to lose some of our heritage would be upsetting. How about a new home strip incorporating red and blue, an away strip predominantly red and a new badge. Let's not forget that we have an awful lot to gain and if we dig our heels in too deeply we could prejudice our relationship with our owners who have done a really good job so far and have been so supportive. Look at Blackburn?

Jeff Reynolds, Beckenham, Kent,

The fact that this has even entered into anyone's head is beyond me. Marketing in Malaysia? How many Malaysians will be flying in to watch us play each week?! And being closer to Wales?! Its a team from Cardiff, with supporters from Cardiff and the surrounding areas. The whole of Wales will not come flooding in if we change out kit and our nickname, but they will if we can get promotion. If Portsmouth changed to white and called themselves the White Knights does that mean the whole of England will suddenly go an support them? A red away kit - no problem. Market that in Asia, but do not take the clubs identity! It will have catastrophic consequences!

Adam Perkins, Blackwood,

This could easily turn a large majority of loyal fans on the owners, they have done a lot for the club in a short time but this is a step to far for myself and many a Bluebirds fan. I cannot see to many Cardiff fans running out and buying the new kit. Fans can easily choose to wear the old colours like Man Utd fans with the yellow and green. I partly understand their reasons for the rebrand with Man Utd and Liverpool both having a large fan base in Asia, But we are still a championship club. Is there a need to increase the stadium size when we are not selling out every game?

Connor Cupples, Cardiff,

I'm not entirely opposed to the idea of the red kit but we need to remain the bluebirds....have two badges on the shirt or one badge comprising of a blue bird and dragon....whats wrong with red & blue or vice versa...why change everything we stand for

Emma Gulley, Cardiff,

The owners need to respect the views and traditions of the supporters to gain respect themselves. The work the owners have done thus far is laudable and I'm sure the fans acknowledge this. The Dragon and the colour red is a national symbol and not the symbol of Cardiff. The city is a blue one, both football and rugby.Why not form one large supporters club for fans from Cardiff, similar to the 'Valley Rams', called the 'Cardiff Dragons' to show ther fans fiery spirit. At least there is a meaning attached.

Steve Trythall, Rhondda,

It is fair enough they are looking at ways to make more money for the club and are making such investments, however are increasing shirt sales really going to make that much difference to such wealthy owners? It's not like people don't buy the blue kit & I am sure many fans would choose to wear there old blue kits rather than the red anyway as a statement of the club's history and their view on the changes. However much anyone disagrees with the decision I think it is important not to protest and make the owners look bad and damage the relationship with the owners.

Jonny Gillan, Welshman in Exeter,

What a waste of money. We have just built a stadium full of blue seats.We are nick named the Bluebirds and have already got a very popular and distinctive brand. Surely nobody who cares about the club would ever get behind this idea.

Owain Jones, Cardiff,

It's great the owners are going to put heavy investment into the club but I'd rather be watching the bluebirds in league 2 than the red dragons in the premiership. But I'll still be there no matter the outcome just like I was when we were in division 2 and 3 playing against teams like York City and Lincoln etc

Kav Catterson, Caerphilly,

I'm very happy about this. I know we are the Bluebirds but we also Welsh and I think we should have a Welsh side with a Welsh dragon - really good idea for the club and the future, bigger players want to come and he's willing to bring players in. I'm very happy about this, time to change and I think it be a good chance to push for the Premier League. And Cardiff should also change there stadium name to Bluebird Stadium to remember the Bluebirds. Come on City - time to change.

Thomas James, Cardiff,

Regional rugby swept away traditional brands and fans for that matter, not sure thats a great business model to follow, potentially alienating your fan base? Promotion is the key to improved marketing not this kind of tinkering. What next, a move to Milton Keynes, its a bit closer to Malaysia after all.

Gareth Jones, Cardiff,

We should stay blue and all this just so we can sell more shirts in Asia. We're never going compete with Man Utd or Liverpool. If Chelsea can't compete with them what chance have we got. I'm happy that they want to invest in the club and we need strenthen the side for promotion challenge next season

Lee Richards, Cardiff,

As a Blackburn Rovers fan I can empathise with Cardiff City fans over this. Even if new owners say they want to invest £100m, a significant amount more than Venkys promise Rovers fans, icons like the home strip are priceless. If Venkys decided to remove the famous blue and white halves the fans would be devasted and would not recognise the club more so then they already do. I also lived near Wrexham and remember how fierce the rivalry between Wrexham FC and other Welsh clubs were and so red would clearly be a bad choice of colour. There is always an opportunity for owners to make their mark on the kit, and that is the away strip.

Richard Godley, Oxford,

Get with the project people. In a couple of seasons this debate will be academic. It's time for some new traditions: like success!

Ric, Cardiff,

Surely this is easy to compromise? A red and a blue strip, a bluebird and a dragon? (already one in badge). The old badge could be used alongside a newer badge. As a fringe supporter (of 30 years) I like to see new changes.

Tony Morgan, Bridgend,

There is a reason why I sat through the recent painful experience of Cardiff's defeat at West Ham; and why I did not even watch the FA Cup final. It's not about the quality of football, nor the entertainment value. It is because the team I support is Cardiff, the team that I identify with. Players come and go, as do managers, supporters, stadia and owners. So what is the only constant? The club's history, its identity, its soul - all enveloped in the club's colours and badge. I am extremely grateful for the current owner's investment. But are their proposals for investment conditional upon implementing the rebranding? The owners continually praise our passion, so why put it to the test? There must be some compromise to be found. I am also concerned that individuals are putting themselves forward as learned spokespeople. An electronic survey of all Ambassadors will provide a cost effective and quick collective view from which we can all move forward.

Martin Gibson, Barry,

Having lived and worked in the Far East several years myself, I completely agree with Vincent Tan's proposal. This will be a huge publicity coup for the club in the Far East. Red is Wales's national shirt colour and a very auspicious colour in the Far East. Cardiff City has been knocking on the door of the top flight now for a number of years. If the club is to go up it must go forward. If the club is to succeed it must tap its potential. Therefore let us capitalise on these fortuitous coincidences, or would the traditionalists prefer we moved back to Ninian Park too? Winning is what the club exists for, not mere symbols.

Nicholas Marks, Cardiff,

Whatever happens with Cardiff City, changing the colours they play in shouldnt be a problem but it surely should be a decision taken WITH its loyal supporters, and not pushed through without any consultation or supporters input.

Steve Jones, Wrexham,

What price a club's soul? Another example of the sordid nature of the business of football at the moment. The owners need to understand that Cardiff City are not Manchester United (and I mean that as a compliment!) but a club rooted in its community. They need the local support onside because they can't just sell millions of shirts, or TV rights, in the Middle East. Alienate a loyal support base at your peril.

Jason Heaver, Brighton,

The owners have so far been very astute and respectful and have helped us get to the stable position we ate currently in, but like every bluebirds fan I have spoken to soo far, think this is a needless step too far. What we new to be successful is the premier league. Soo don't waste money on needless rebranding which is doomed to fail, and spend money on giving us a quality team that can get us to the premier league

Dean Russell, Cardiff,

I have been a supporter for over 40yrs. I respect the comments made about our history etc but it's the future that now concerns me. Let's be honest with ourselves if it were not for the investment already made by the Malaysians we would not have a club and we would not be having this debate. This strikes me as a once in a lifetime opportunity. Our club has come to be a respected force in the Championship over recent years. Now is the time to build on these foundations and move forward. The Malaysians deserve our support and backing.

Clive Tucker, Cardiff,

I am all for the investment and development, but I hope it is done with a mode of decorum and sense with all parties - a happy compromise can certainly be reached with a rebranding, and the good reputation of CCFC (and Wales) out in the East would be a very good thing. And if this achieves another Welsh club successfully taking on the Premiership, I think it can only be a good thing. The Dragon and red colours are in keeping with Welsh spirit... In return, if the away kit remain blue true to tradition, couldn't the dedicated away supporters conceivably become known and synonymous as "the Bluebirds" thus keeping tradition alive? Either way, we are finally seeing Cardiff on a very strong footing, getting ready to push on successfully and sustainably for the first time in...how long?

Alun Ponting, Cardiff,

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