Bluebirds to play in red
10:37am Wednesday 6th June 2012 in Sport round-up
CARDIFF City have confirmed that the Bluebirds will now play in red after the club's Malaysian owners formally unveiled a new image for the side.
The switch - which also includes a new club crest and takes effect immediately - comes after the club's hierarchy approved the decision at a board meeting.
The club have unveiled three new strips - a red home shirt, a blue away strip, and a third kit, which is mainly black.
All new kits bear a redesigned badge, incorporating a main image of a dragon, with a small bluebird inserted underneath, and carrying the slogan "Fire and Passion".
In addition to the new kit, the club have announced plans to build a brand-new training ground, pay off the historical Langston debt, provide manager Malky Mackay with a substantial transfer kitty, and explore the possibility of expanding the Cardiff City Stadium.
A statement on Cardiff's official website, cardiffcityfc.co.uk, said: "Following a comprehensive review of wider supporter feedback via email, letters, media coverage and polls run via the official Supporters Club and Media Wales and as a consequence of the above commitment, Cardiff City Football Club will also reactivate rebranding proposals with a view to exploiting and maximising its brand and commercial revenues in international markets, which it is hoped in turn will bring success to the club locally, whilst also attracting new partners and investors.’’ Cardiff chief executive Alan Whiteley said: "This is a major and significant financial commitment and we are grateful to our investors for their continued confidence in this football club.
"Concerning the commitment to developing the crest and to switch our primary colour to red, as directors - and as fans in our own right - we recognise that there is a history and commitment that goes with supporting Cardiff City and we are conscious and proud of the loyalty, bond and passion so many share for this club.
"At the same time, we also have to be prepared to be realistic and progressive. Sometimes in difficult economic times and challenging market conditions, in order to attract investment to survive and progress, brave, bold and compelling decisions and sacrifices need to be taken and made. By securing this investment we can safeguard the immediate and long-term future of this club.
"The changes to the home kit and badge introduced as a consequence of the investment package are designed to help the club to develop its brand and to allow it to expand its appeal to as wide an audience as possible, with a view to delivering local success via an international and diverse market.
"As a board, we believe these changes, in the light of the benefits that will be demonstrably delivered, have been or will be accepted by the vast majority of supporters as judged in the light of the numerous emails and letters of support, backed by recent poll results from the Supporters Club and Media Wales.
"We are only too aware that the change of colour is a radical and some would say revolutionary move which will be met with unease and apprehension by a number of supporters, along with being seen as controversial by many. To those I would like to say that this was not a decision that has been taken lightly or without a great deal of thought and debate.
"There is no getting away from the fact that history and traditions are the lifeblood of any club and as such should be jealously guarded and preserved. Both the board and our investors fully understand and respect this and will do their utmost to uphold, protect and promote the values and virtues which the club stands for.
"However, the changes are believed to be vital to enable the club to progress to the next stage in its development and very much in the club's best long term interests.
"Judged in the context of the overall commitment and financial support, we believe it is the right decision for this club and where it currently stands.
"We hope that all supporters will appreciate these sentiments and will embrace the changes in that spirit and continue to support the club in the same loyal and passionate manner as before but hopefully with some greater feeling of security.’’ Cardiff chairman Dato' Chan Tien Ghee added: "I know and understand that there have been reservations in certain quarters over the changes accompanying the investment, but sincerely hope that all of our loyal fans will come to accept the changes in the spirit in which they are made and continue with their passionate and fantastic support.
"This club will always be Cardiff City Football Club and its name and heart will never change nor are any of the changes meant to destroy any part of its history or culture.
"The adoption of the new badge incorporating the proud symbol of the Welsh dragon, which was the symbol on the club's badge on the only occasion the FA cup left England with the iconic bluebird and the new red home strip very proudly places Cardiff as the capital city of Wales, whilst also recognising its history and creates a symbolic fusion with Asia which will allow us to fly the Welsh flag on behalf of Cardiff wherever we go.’’ Bluebirds boss Mackay welcomed the news, saying: "It's great news. The investment will allow us to take forward the exciting plans for the future of this football club which we have all been working towards.
"Since coming to Cardiff, I have been hugely impressed with the commitment and passion of the fans here.
"The securing of this package of investment and the breadth of vision which it encompasses should enable us to build on the progress already made in my first year and puts us in a position to take Cardiff City forward in the way which the fans deserve.’’