Cardiff City fans face an anxious 24 hours as their club’s future is debated by the owners who last week withdrew their offer of a major financial investment in return for changing the club’s short colour.
ITV News understands that the club's Chairman, and representative of Malaysian owner Tan Sri Vincent Tan, Dato Chan Tien Ghee arrived in the Welsh Capital on Monday evening to begin talks early today.
The Agenda is expected to be dominated by the owners’ controversial plans to “re-brand” the club in return for a cash injection thought to be worth around £100m.
That rebranding had been proposed to include altering the club crest to incorporate an Asian dragon, as well as changing the clubs home colours from blue to red next season.
These plans though were met with vitriolic derision from some quarters, as fans flocked to Internet message boards and social media sites to display their anger at what many saw as “selling out” 100 years of history.
The opposition lead the club’s Malaysian backers, led by principle investor Tan, to withdraw the proposals late on Thursday, 24 hours after the club confirmed the plans were actively being pursued.
In an open letter to fans chairman Tien Ghee apologised for any offence that was inadvertently caused and to emphasise the plans were in the best interests of the club:
“ The new club crest and home colours which were being discussed were intended to demonstrate the symbolic fusion of Welsh and Asian cultures through the use of the colour red and the predominant featuring of a historical Welsh dragon under the Cardiff City FC name.
– Tien Ghee, Chairman of Cardiff City
This was not meant as a slight in any way shape or form on the club's traditions or history which we recognise are the lifeblood of any club. It was intended as a positive change to allow us to adapt and embrace the future.
The change in tact has however thrown the club’s financial future into doubt with Cardiff’s outstanding debts of around £30m having been planned to be paid off, effectively leaving the club debt free.
Vincent Tan currently funds the club to the tune of around £1m a month, an input that has already totalled close to £40m. That figure would also have been wiped out by the proposals with the club’s backers willing to turn their debt into shares instead.
The precarious financial position was acknowledged in Chairman TG’s letter to fans:
“It is clear to all concerned that the club simply cannot continue to function and exist in its current state, effectively losing large amounts of money each month, while acquiring more and more debt. We have continued along this path until the end of the current season, but the club inevitably now faces bold and real world decisions should we want to see the club survive. "