South East Wales

Cardiff City Malaysian owners to meet after shirt row

Major Cardiff City investor Vincent Tan and chairman Dato Chan Tien Ghee
Image caption Major Cardiff City investor Vincent Tan and chairman Dato Chan Tien Ghee

Cardiff City chairman Dato Chan Tien Ghee is in Cardiff to discuss the club's future at a crucial board meeting later.

Last week, the club's Malaysian owners ditched plans to change the team shirts from blue to red, considered lucky in the Far East.

It came after "vociferous opposition" from some Cardiff fans.

The chairman, known as TG, said an investment strategy said to be worth £100m would now be reassessed.

But he warned in a statement that the club could not afford to continue losing money.

He said it was "unfortunate" the proposals were leaked before being finalised by the board, and said the proposed colour change would not proceed.

TG added there was never any plan to change the club's name, but confirmed that there had been discussions about the crest and home colours.

The plans were said to be designed to increase revenue, which would in turn allow manager Malky Mackay to strengthen the playing squad, improve training facilities and increase the stadium capacity.

Former Wales and Cardiff striker Ian Walsh said the reaction from some fans was "over the top" and hopes the Malaysians will maintain their interest in the club.

"The game economically is on its backside and without finance, you've got no chance," he told BBC Wales.

"These guys had a plan, they looked at the situation. They plough allegedly over £1m a month just to keep the club going.

'Outburst'

"There are no other investors with that type of money in the locality that are going to survive the club at that level."

He added: "Everybody went overboard with that outburst of feeling from some Cardiff City fans.

"There's a new rule coming in next year that you can only spend a certain percentage of your turnover - they were trying to generate turnover to promote Cardiff City globally.

"You have you have money and this would've been their way forward.

"I sincerely hope the Malaysians take a breath, listen to Cardiff City fans that want to see the club go forward, get together and make Cardiff City a Premier League club."

Image caption Cardiff City will keep their traditional blue shirts, say the club's Malaysian owners

TG's comments about reassessing the investment strategy led to a warning from one finance expert who said City fans have to agree a compromise between "tradition and commercial reality" if the club is to clear its debts.

Geoff Mesher, a partner at Grant Thornton, said the club's financial position has "not been great" with big debts still to clear.

He added that the "risk is owners reassess what they are putting in the club" if they could not raise money through mechanise in new markets.

Proposals for a colour change to the traditional blue shirts and bluebird logo sparked a fierce debate and split supporters' opinions.

Former Cardiff City captain Jason Perry added: "Everybody now that's connected with Cardiff City are frightened about the future."

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