Cardiff City – How the hell did it come to this?

Cardiff City was a great old football club. Not in the sense that it ever won much, nor in the sense that it had a particularly huge following, but it was great in plenty of other ways.

In a small country with a rugby obsessed media it was great to feel that you were part of something that felt anti establishment and always pretty edgy. It was great that when the chips were down – as they were for much of its history – the homely underachieving South Wales club could muster almost as many supporters away from home as it could at Ninian Park. What was particularly great though was that no matter how bad things were on the pitch, no matter what factions there were in the fanbase, come match day there was a real unity of purpose. We all wanted Cardiff City to win so much it literally hurt. I swear there were times when a few thousand half pissed Welshman almost physically sucked the ball into the net when a late late goal was desperately needed.

We were in it together.

No boycotters, nobody struggling to identify with a team in the ‘wrong’ colour, no fans feeling apathetic because a good result might prolong something unwanted, nobody feeling that the experience was a tad diminished.

It was real. It was often shit but it was totally authentic. The Cardiff City experience was one of lots of lows but…oh, bloody hell! the highs were immense! Whether tumbling 30 yards down the terrace when Tony Bird stuck one in over in Liege or evading the grasps of Dai Hunt after a mental scrambled equaliser at some nondescript division 4 ground, watching the bluebirds was a nerve shredding, soup of mentalness.

Truth be told, unlike a lot of other long standing fans, I wasn’t unduly troubled by the move to CCS. I was no longer in danger of wading ankle deep in piss everytime I got caught short, nor was I at risk of catching something potentially life threatening by biting into a half time burger. We could still get the new stadium rocking too. The late derby day win over the jacks, the night we clung on against Leicester after Gabors ‘rugby’ tackle. The play off semi against the same opponents and a fervent January evening versus Palace. All life affirming, spine tingling, special nights.

Of course nothing last forever.

One man had a really terrible idea. A couple of people in a position of influence acted as apologists. Some previously respected fans gave it their seal of approval and attempts at protest were shouted down.

And here we are two and a half years later. A club up to its eyeballs in debt, in a lower league position than they were before the nonsense started and with a fair chunk of the fanbase either totally disconnected from the club or in a state of progressive disconnection. To cap it all, the bluebirds play in colours that are totally alien to the football club.

I’m fully aware that there are still fans who feel the same passion as ever. Fair play to you.

No doubt there’ll be lots of people who’ll dismiss my ramblings as those of an old sentimentalist but bring it on, as far as I’m concerned we’ve surrendered something really special here.

What’s the answer? How do we get our club back? I just don’t know. I do know that there’s nothing wrong with red, nothing wrong with dragons but they just don’t belong at Cardiff City and neither does Vincent Tan.