Cardiff City fans rejoiced on Friday after controversial owner Vincent Tan made an astonishing U-turn and announced the ‘Bluebirds’ would be back in a blue home kit with immediate effect.
Tan’s decision came as a surprise to most, considering it was just Christmas Day when he announced the Welsh club will be staying red. The Malaysian tycoon’s well documented talks with his mother over the festive period, as well as poor results and serious fan backlash , was a compilation of factors behind his shock decision.
The Bluebirds’ fans have seen it all over the last few years – an FA Cup and League Cup final, a Play-Off final, promotion, relegation and a season in the Premier League. But there’s one thing that has eclipsed all of those achievements, and that’s the long-awaited return to their 100-year historic colours. Many teams would be envious of Cardiff’s recent success, but they also wouldn’t have accepted all of those recent accomplishments for a loss of identity. Finally all the protests and the dwindling Cardiff City Stadium crowds have had the fans’ desired effect on the owner, and the feel-good factor is well and truly back n South Wales.
Now the Cardiff supporters have got their wish it’s up to them to turn out in force and give the side the 12th man the team have been in desperate need of for quite some time. Slade’s side celebrated the news with a hard-fought and extremely important home win over fellow underachievers Fulham on Saturday. The former Leyton Orient boss praised the City fans in his post-match press conference, telling BBC Sport; “It was a totally different atmosphere to any I’ve witnessed so far this season. I was very proud.
“Although the game was very tight throughout, as it’s always going to be at 1-0, the fans were fantastic, awesome, right behind us from the first minute until the last. I was told about the passion of the fans when I came to Cardiff City and what a good group they were, and they were overwhelming today.”
Cardiff City have no excuses now, and must kick on to try and regain their Premier League status as soon as possible. In Vincent Tan’s recent statement, he showed no signs of leaving the Welsh capital anytime soon, and it seems a very apparent case of ‘let’s finish what we started’ for Tan at Cardiff. The charismatic owner, who’s been in the spotlight ever since taking ownership of the Bluebirds, has pumped an awful lot of money into the club, with transfers, facilities and a stadium expansion – it’s up to Slade now to get the club back to the promised land.
The last time Cardiff were in the Championship, Malky Mackay guided them to the Premier League as Champions in 2013 – that looks very unlikely this term, but the play-off’s are a real possibility with Cardiff currently seven points off in 11th.
Russell Slade undoubtedly knew the enormity of the challenge that was ahead of him when he took over at the Cardiff City Stadium from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in October. January is set to be a very busy month for Slade as he attempts to bring in the players that he feels are the right acquisitions for the club. Cardiff have recently signed Scott Malone from Millwall, and Alex Revell from Rotherham – they may not be the calibre of players the Bluebirds’ fans are used to seeing in recent years, but they could potentially be exactly what the team needs.
Now all of the off-field shenanigans have left the club, Cardiff City and Russell Slade can focus on getting things right on the pitch. After two-and-a-half years of painful ups and downs – the Bluebirds faithful are finally all pulling together, and Cardiff could now be set for a bright, blue future.