View from the South Stand - Cardiff City 21/08/12
The first game at The Amex of 2012-2013 see's serial
play-off failures Cardiff City visit. They've seen the
dream of Premier League football quashed in the
end-of-season lottery in each of the past three seasons.
The solution? Getting more money by taking a
controversial decision to change to a red home kit for
this season. We got the lowdown on a summer that could
have been straight from the scripts of Sky One's Dream
Team from Michael Morris of
City - the name conjures up images of a team in the
Welsh capital playing in blue. Yet this season your
owners have made the crazy decision to change to red.
What was behind their thinking and how has it been met
by the Bluebirds faithful?
The best answer we've
received is that red is a better colour to market in
the far east and can attract better sponsorship
opportunities. It's even suggested that red is the
owners lucky colour. Either way it's been changed on
the instruction of one man who only became aware of
the club in the last few years.
We've gone from being a small club to a bigger club
in a very small space of time which has led to a
lot of debate about what Brighton fans would be
willing to sacrifice from the old small, friendly
club feel in order to make it in the corporate world
of the Premier League. Would Cardiff fans ever
accept the change to red if it meant top flight
football every season?
There are those of
course who have bought this change and are now just
waiting for Premier League football to happen. There
are others who have given back their season tickets
and in a few of my friends cases have taken up
season tickets at their local non-league / lower
league clubs (they live away from Cardiff). The
majority are not overly impressed with the change
but are accepting it because it's been sold to them
as a deal breaker for a financially secure football
club. What has amazed me is the general apathy of
the fans who have just gone along with it. (Although
I do find myself slipping into that mode now. I
don't like the colour but just want to see my team
play). Those who did attempt to make a stand against
it were intimidated, bullied in a couple of
instances and a planned protest stopped by the club
from happening near the stadium. It has become the
most dividing issue the club has ever faced. Just be
careful what you wish for.
Park was one of the few remaining proper football
grounds. How much difference has moving into your
new stadium made to the club as a whole?
Now the move from Ninian Park has been a huge success for the further
development of the club. That's one big change that
has been welcomed by most. Of course there are those
who long for the days of the terrace, the close
compact nature of the older ground and the history
that went with it but to be honest for every game
where the ground was a cauldron of passion that saw
teams like the 2002 Premier League leaders Leeds Utd
scared into defeat there were times that 2000 fans
stood in the rain seeing us beaten by a Hartlepool
or a Rochdale. The move has taken us from one of the
most hated clubs in the Football League to Family
Club of the Year.
Cardiff City and play-off heartache has been the
headline in the last few seasons. What do you need
to finally get over that line in the race for
Premier League and could this year by the one?
January has been something we've failed to do and I
think it's been the difference. We have had quality
squads with excellent players who just couldn't see
it through. Dave Jones' teams were called 'Bottlers'
after getting so close each time. Malky Mackay
introduced a bit more grit into the side last year
but we were never going to beat West Ham who were a
class above us over two play off legs. The Carling
Cup also took a lot out of the team. Can Malky do it
this time? Well he's been allowed to buy players.
Craig Bellamy is back and will play against BHA.
Because of the way the owners have said we need to
change colour to succeed there's a lot of
expectation for promotion to come this season.
had your fair share of interesting characters in
charge down the years. What's the opinion of Sam Hammam and Peter Ridsdale?
Sam woke the club up
from it's lower league slumber but then went on to
rack up debt and now, some six years after his
departure from the club, we are still haggling over
how many millions we still owe him. Ridsdale
appeared to bring an element of organisation and
professionalism with him but he was just lurching
from one crisis to another robbing off Peter to pay
Paul and infamously sold season tickets early with a
promise of all the money to go to Dave Jones to buy
players when in fact he used it to pay other debts.
Some fans took him to court over that and Ridsdale
had to appear before the beak but he was never tried
and the case was closed. He also faced a number of
high court appearances (as the representative of
CCFC) to avoid the club being wound up. There were
tax questions about how he paid himself. All very
unpleasant. This is why many fans now are happy to
change to red if it means the off-field problems go
Malky Mackay has done an impressive job at both
Watford and with you in his short managerial career.
How high do you think he can go?
He had a good first
season. Cup final and play offs. He needs to up his
game though. Teams that go on and get promoted are
strong all season. Not just for parts of it. He has
the managerial world in front of him.
looks like being another wide open season in the
Championship. Who would you pick to shine and
I'd expect Bolton and
Wolves to be strong although both lost their opening
games at the weekend. Birmingham and Leicester
should be up there and Cardiff and Blackpool too.
The bottom could well see Bristol City, Peterborough
and maybe even Palace struggle. I think the three
promoted teams from League 1 will all be OK.
Apart from Craig Bellamy who had an absolute stormer
at The Amex last season for Liverpool in the Carling
Cup, who would you pick for Brighton fans to look
Peter Whittingham, he
scored a cracker against you last season, Jordon
Mutch and Aron Gunnarsson will control the midfield.
Heidar Helguson or Etien Velikonja (either/or will
play up front) will be keen to get their first
League goals for the club.
much do you know about the current Brighton side?
You will always be a
danger with Craig Mackail Smith and Craig Noone in
the side. Also Wayne Bridge is a big name that all
visiting fans should recognise.
Finally, a prediction
for the game please?
1 - 1
Many thanks to Michael for his insight into
the forthcoming fixture. You can Tweet him at
Cardiff City Mad on Twitter
congratulating him on his superb
footballing knowledge by predicting that Palace will be
relegated this season!