Yesterday evening there was a meeting held at Cardiff City Stadium between representatives of the club and members of the Supporters’ Club, Supporters’ Trust, the Travel Group and representatives of the two main Cardiff City messageboards. Here is a report on what was said and, as someone who was present last night, here is a message I posted this morning regarding my feelings on the matter now;-
“I was at the meeting to discuss the proposed changes to our kit and badge last night and I thought I’d give my feelings on the matter following what was said there.
Before I do though, I’ll just quickly set out what my position was beforehand – I didn’t want the changes and was concerned about whether what we were seeing was the thin end of a wedge which has worse to come in the future. However, as long as it was only the kit and badge that was being changed, then I could live with that and was prepared to give the Malaysian investors the benefit of the doubt.
I must admit that as I listened to the passionate views of the majority present who were against the proposals I did think to myself “What’s wrong with me? I love the club as much as these people do and yet I cannot get as worked up about the colour blue and a bluebird as they are”.
I did take on board what was said by all and there were some very good points made, but I can only go by what I feel and I genuinely can’t get as excited as others about matters which, to me at least, are incidental to why Cardiff City are my team.
Before I finish about the meeting, I must say that the way the changes have been foisted upon us leaves a sour taste – that’s not meant as a criticism of the club staff present last night by the way (they were given a thankless task, but made the best job they could of it under the circumstances). I believe the lack of consultation with supporters groups beforehand was a mistake by the Malaysians which has only served to harden attitudes against the proposals – an explanation as to why they feel these changes are needed would I’m sure have got some supporters at least onside with them.
As to where we go from here, well, first, I’d say insulting and abusing those who feel differently to how you do does nobody any good – these are personal matters for all concerned and I’d go as far as to say that there isn’t a right or wrong in this argument if you arrive at your decision by thinking about what Cardiff City means to you.
Groups like the Supporter’s Club and the Trust are consulting with their members to get their views, but, although this will, hopefully, produce a decent sized sample, there’s more amongst our present support that don’t belong to these organisations than there are who do.
Therefore, what I think would be great is if just one online poll could be set up with three answers (“Yes”, “No” and something like “I can live with them”) to a question which read along the lines of “Are you in favour of the proposed changes to our kit, badge and nickname?”. Ideally this could be run independently of messageboards and other City websites and there would be mechanisms in place to ensure you could only vote once.
This wouldn’t be perfect because there are still large numbers of supporters who don’t have access to the Internet, but if it did take off then I believe it would definitely provide an opportunity for supporter’s representatives to go back to the club with a verdict which would allow them to say that the stance they were taking was the legitimate view of our fans.
Whatever happens though, it is essential that as many supporters as possible make their views known. I think it goes without saying that the most vociferous group will be those who are against the changes, but, in a way, it is more important that those in the “Yes” and “I can live with them” groups I mentioned earlier get their views over as well.
I say this because the nightmare scenario for me is that, through no fault of their own, supporter’s representatives go back to the club with a strongly anti change attitude (because that’s what their consultations told them) which eventually drives Vincent Tan and TG away when there might have been a majority in the “I can live with it” camp who just sat on their hands and didn’t get involved.
Based on what I’ve seen so far, I would say that those of us who can live with these changes are in a minority, but, let’s try and make certain that as much as possible is done to ensure that this really is the case. It’s often been said that those of us who post on messageboards are not truly representative of your “average” Cardiff City supporter and there has to be a chance that this is true on this matter – I’ll go along with the majority view if it turns out to be a different one to mine, but let’s try and do as much as we can to ensure that it is really a “majority”.”