Cardiff City have been described as being ensnared in football's Catch-22. Without Tan, it is unlikely they would be preparing for a first top-flight match at Anfield since 1954; with Tan, however, they are no longer what they were what with different coloured shirts, a different badge, and a club whose future remains uncertain.
It all began in 2010 when Tan was persuaded to buy into Cardiff. The magnate, listed as Malaysia’s 10th richest man by Forbes, spent £6 million (RM32.5 million), buying 35% share in the club.
The Independent reported that initially he showed no great interest; his focus was on his franchises. As his stake in Cardiff grew, which now stands at 51%, he interest grew as well.
And so the changes followed. First the new kit in red. Second the firing of Iain Moody, the club’s head of recruitment. He was replaced by a 23-year-old inexperienced Kazakh.
And despite bringing Cardiff out of the red, recent events have drawn Tan more criticism than ever, including one by Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, who said the magnate “knows nothing about football.”
Rodgers was responding to the way Tan sent as angry email to manager Malky Mackay over the way the Scot had been managing the club particularly regarding his spending, signings and results. Jumped or be pushed, he ordered, The Independent said.
Tonight Cardiff City play Liverpool (8.45pm, Malaysian time). The match will be at Anfield. Tan is scheduled to catch the match. Will this be Tan’s last slapstick act?
The daily reported that there is talk among supporters’ groups of staging a protest at the next home game, against Southampton on Boxing Day. One supporter suggested the atmosphere could be “poisonous”.
Cardiff sit four points clear of the relegation zone ahead of the important Christmas fixtures. The last 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion last Saturday gave Mackay and company some distance between themselves and the Premier League’s stragglers.
However, one Cardiff season-ticket holder who was quoted as saying surmised the sentiments of the club’s fans well:
“You wait 50 years for this and now… Why did it have to be us?” – December 21, 2013.