The Bluebirds confirmed their promotion to the Premier league as Champions by gaining the point they needed at Turf Moor, but it was a case of things still being all up in the air for Malky Mackay as his players chose to celebrate by giving the big Scot a dose of the bumps!
Cardiff City travelled to Burnley looking for at least a point to clinch their first Championship title, with promotion confirmed on the previous Tuesday night, all Bluebird eyes were firmly on the prize of the Championship trophy.
The usual fantastic away support packed the away end with 95% of them dressed proudly in blue and expecting their team to trot out in the proper Cardiff City kit against the claret and pale blue wearing Burnley, they were aghast then when the Bluebirds ran out in their third kit of black and red. It could have been predicted – this was after all a televised match and woe betide that the media should see Cardiff City not wearing their “Lucky red.”
In the end Craig Conway’s first-half strike gave Cardiff the lead to delirious scenes in the away end as Cardiff City supporters hugged each other and sang their hearts out, but the hosts who were still not assured of safety from relegation were not simply going to roll over, they fought to the end.
In the 90th minute The Bluebird defence, once again this season, switched off too early, allowing David Edgar to score for Burnley. City supporters were forced to endure another three minutes of play. So nervous were some they were unable to even look towards the pitch, as Burnley pushed on. When the final whistle blew, the party began – this time it was the Cardiff City players who ran wild with The Bluebirds already having clinched Premier League promotion, the point they had just earned ensured the Bluebirds had won their first league title since they topped the old Division Four in 1992-93, that season Manchester United became the first champions of the newly-formed Premier League with Aston Villa and Norwich finishing second and third.
After the fans had their personal celebrations invading the pitch at Cardiff City Stadium an action I am proud to say I took a part in, the players took their turn to be boisterous and unruly, scooping up manager Malky Mackay and throwing him repeatedly in the air! The big Scot screamed, but after realising his charges had no intention of dropping him he relaxed and began to laugh and enjoy the moment.
The moment belonged to the man being thrown in the air, there have been times this season like every other when I’ve not agreed with things he’s done, decisions he’s made, but the title is of his making.
The investment has helped, but its not been the biggest player in the success, most of the big money signings have for one reason or another failed to live up to their expenditure.
Matthew Maynard cruelly having what was a very promising season brought to a premature ending, Fraizer Campbell his replacement who had looked just as exciting a prospect – soon suffered the same fate, both men had taken to and embraced what being a Bluebird is about and were quickly taken to the supporters’ hearts.
While Etien Velikonja who was signed from Maribo for £1,574,373 made on only two first team starts for The Bluebirds and the two million pounds signing from Birmingham City Jordon Mutch also had season that didn’t live up to expectations his price tag alluded to; He made his debut as a second-half substitute, replacing Joe Mason in the 2–1 defeat at Northampton Town in the first round of the League Cup on 14 August. Mutch was off the field when Northampton scored their winning goal, having fallen foul of the new rule that protective tape had to be the same colour as the socks! then in September, Mutch suffered a nerve problem in his foot which kept him out for the next two months.
The more bargain basement signings that Mackay signed from his former clubs, however turned out to be the wiser investments and almost all made an impact along side the core of the squad from his first season in charge, but his biggest signing and undoubtedly the most influential player Craig Bellamy joined his home team properly on a free transfer from Liverpool.
The simple fact is Cardiff City’s promotion would not have happened had anyone other than Mackay been at the helm.