Cardiff City Football Club issued an apology for their 2013/14 home kit, which featured two shades of clashing red, along with the news that season ticket holders were to be balloted on a choice of replacement shorts.
It quickly became evident, that given a free choice, that choice would be blue.
A kit combination I pointed out with a glint of mischief that had been good enough for Roy of the Rovers fame’s Melchester United and also for current world champions Spain.
Also that in the English league it would have the uniqueness the club said they had been striving for with the two shades of red.
Mock ups of how the kit would look quickly surfaced, everyone agreed although it was less than ideal, (that would unquestionably be a Bluebird blue strip) it was smart, vibrant and contemporary. It was a kit to be proud of, a compromise which everybody could live with!
However when the emails arrived the following morning to just under 12,000 of the 22,000 season ticket holders – which the club insisted they appreciated was not ideal, but they had contacted everyone they had on their database, the blue option was a glaring omission
The opportunity to vote on a limited choice of colours for the shorts that would complete next season’s kit was viewed as a further vindication to the supporters who subscribe to the school of thought that the feelings of the Bluebird faithful mean very little and the choice offered was merely piece meal – a show for the watching world to make the club look good.
Others felt the club had its hands tied on the issue of blue by main investor Vincent Tan, who seems to harbour an almost pathological fear of Bluebird blue.
Those fortunate enough to receive an email to vote in the choice of colour for the shorts for the forthcoming season faced slim pickings, in the form of one photo which consisted of a line up of photoshopped images of club captain Mark Hudson in different coloured shorts -Beside each image there was a number.
1 – Was the dark red shorts they were voting to replace
2- Shorts of a red which matched the shirts red
3 – White shorts
4 – Black shorts
Supporters again complained bitterly there was not only no choice in the shirt colour – some had somewhat forlornly hoped in the wake of the force of the outcry an option for the traditional blue kit would be included, there was no option for blue shorts, which most people had hoped would be there and had the blue shorts option been it would have been a landslide victory for them.
In the end the voters plumped for the black shorts, which will have (unlike the ones depicted in the email sent out to make the choices from) white stripes to match the white stripe on the shirt.
So the kit will differ from last season’s red and black and will be two shades of red, black and white
Cardiff City Football had this to say drawing a line under the matter:
“The votes have been tallied and verified for the 2013/14 home kit shorts following our email to over twelve thousand season ticket holders on the Cardiff City database.
“From the votes received, the clear favourite was option four, with many of our voting Season Ticket holders opting to retain the black shorts from our memorable Championship winning season.
“It’s a decision that Tan Sri Vincent Tan and all at the club fully supports, and we will next instruct Puma to work on supplying the shorts as soon as possible. Once again, we thank all supporters who took the time to vote.”
It can now be said the Cardiff City fans chose the home kit for the 2013/14 season, however only a fool would do so..
The more cynical amongst supporters feel that the dirty red shorts were just a rouse to deflect from the terrible design and red home shirt that the club knew full well what the reaction would be, that they had hyped the fans up more than any other season teasing, repeatedly reminding fans when the big reveal would be, that they knew they would be faced with a barrage of negativity from supporters regarding the look of the kit. The clashing shorts would become the focus of the foray by fans, that an offer to change the shorts would be perceived as them listening to the fans, and that they knew full well given a limited choice of looking like Liverpool, Manchester Untied or old new Cardiff City, the look of last season and the black shorts would win out, that the red and black had been the plan all along.
Although if that was the intention it has backfired, because if they had they truly been listening to the fans then blue shorts would have undoubtedly been offered amongst the choice of colours to be chosen from.
Despite many questioning why the blue had not been included in the choices as soon as the emails were issued the club remained silent on the issue, they did however comment that a return to the traditional home Cardiff City Bluebird blue home kit was impossible, as Vincent Tan has made it clear on many occasions, he will not have a blue home kit.
As far as I am concerned it was a missed opportunity by the club, who should have used the debacle and turned it around to their benefit scoring a massive public relations coup, satisfying thousands of disgruntled fans in the process by changing the shorts of the home kit to Cardiff City blue, a compromise which would have eased tensions, which would have gone some way to prove that they do listen and value their supporters – for Cardiff City Football Club it would have restored some respect from the watching world!
Vincent Tan in particular could have shown he is a reasonable man one, who does care about the football club and its supporters which is currently in his hands, that is he a noble intelligent man who is willing to take on board and embrace the history and traditions beliefs and culture of the people of the city the club comes from, that he understands that the needs of the many outweigh the wants of the few or one!
There is more honour in admitting you have misjudged something than there is to be stubborn and bull headed that your way is the only right way.
A true fusion of old and new although would not be ideal for either side would have been a reasonable compromise, a red shirt and blue shorts would have looked unique, smart and been a starting point to begin rebuilding bridges that have been all, but raised to the ground between himself and steadily growing number of Bluebird supporters worldwide.
Instead, regrettably the supporters remain at loggerheads; the club, the fans and Mr Tan, furthermore are once more the butt of jokes by the footballing world!