Why do you support your football team? Why do you let them dictate your emotions week in week out? For me I started supporting Cardiff City as they were my local team. They weren’t a good team, they didn’t play in a state of the art stadium but they were my local team, MY team. As soon as I set foot inside Ninian Park I was hooked, the smells, the atmosphere, the mates, the feeling of belonging to something special. Win, lose or draw I would support the team on the pitch til the final whistle and clap every single player off the pitch at the end. The Bluebird became MY Bluebird, the colour blue became MY colour and Cardiff City’s colour, the badge became a permanent tattoo on my arm.
Since leaving Ninian Park I have struggled adapting to the new stadium, it’s a soulless bowl and change a few colours and it could be mistaken for a few stadiums in the league at the moment, Coventry and dare I say it our most hated South Wales rivals Liberty Stadium. I was just about coming to terms with this move forward (in footballing and financial terms) and then Vincent Tan came along and ruined everything.
The last time I have felt any sort of emotional attachment to Cardiff City was on an away trip to West Ham in the playoffs, we had lost the first leg 2-0 at home and no one held any hope for us in the second leg; this cynicism was well founded as we got spanked. Another loss in the playoffs, I should be upset, I should be angry but the overwhelming feeling that day was of pride. Every player gave 100%, the fans sang til the last, we were outclassed on the pitch but it didn’t matter. The last chant I can remember from that day will always stay with me, “It’s Barnsley away, it’s Barnsley away, **** Man Utd it’s Barnsley away”! We’d lost out in the playoffs for the 98th time in a row (it seemed at the time) but we were still Cardiff City and I had a tear in my eye that day. This defeat followed another at the hands of Liverpool a few months earlier, lost in the Carling Cup final on penalties, tears were shed that day but once again tears of pride that my club was once again in Wembley and taking a Premiership team all the way. I have not celebrated a goal like I celebrated Ben Turners extra time equaliser for years. What a proud moment to be a Cardiff City fan.
If only I had known what was coming whilst singing my heart out in Upton Park, I would have been in floods of tears not just pride but also despair as on the way home on the coach the “rebrand” news broke and that trip was to be my last watching Cardiff City FC.
The next day the new red shirt and shocking beer mat badge were revealed, I was in shock, surely Cardiff City fans wouldn’t allow this, surely the most vociferous and proud fans in the league wouldn’t allow a foreigner with no footballing knowledge whatsoever to ravage their club. Sadly, it happened with little or no resistance, a Keep Cardiff Blue group was started only to be met by threats and bullying from certain “well known” fans. Since these initial changes rumours of name changes and further re branding have surfaced with our owner coming out with the classic line that he was willing to lose 25% of “customers” and that others would buy into the new brand as the old Bluebird brand had failed in the past.
Modern football is what it is, money rules the roost but I never ever thought that it would swallow and kill my club as it has, Cardiff City is dead to me, it’s unrecognisable as the club that I fell in love with, we have sold our souls for success. Being a Cardiff fan used to fill me with pride, all my mates supported Man Utd, Liverpool etc but I was different, I stood out, I supported my local club come hell and high water, success or no success.
After this rebrand we may as well all support the team with the most money, if success is the be all and end all of football then I am sorry, I am out.
Cardiff City was a massive part of my life, in fact it was my life, for 20 years but last year it died, RIP Cardiff City FC.
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