Last night a meeting was held in the Roath area of Cardiff with the intention of bringing together those who feel Cardiff City should play in blue and have a bluebird as the main focus of the club badge. The hope was that these like minded people could formulate a plan to make their voices heard in a peaceful manner. What actually took place over the course of the evening represented how divisive this issue has become amongst Cardiff City fans.
After the defeat at Upton Park, rumours arose of a rebranding of the club on Cardiff City forums. Most dismissed this as nonsense but the coming weeks saw the rebranding confirmed, withdrawn and then revived. Where we stand currently is that Cardiff City’s first choice strip will be red for the coming season and the badge will predominantly feature a dragon.
A number of fans decided that the identity of the club was important to them and thus, a movement was born. Keep Cardiff Blue‘s objective is to have the club’s identity restored as soon as humanly possible. Those involved in the campaign are determined to ensure that any protest and all action undertaken is in a peaceful, non-violent and non-radical manner. The campaign started a little over a month ago and in this short amount of time those involved have been accused of radicalism, on occasion they’ve been accused by someone working within the club. I know a small number of those involved with the campaign, and from my experience last night, I can tell you that there are no radicals involved and any radical or violent actions taken in an attempt to return Cardiff City’s identity will not have been sanctioned by, and will be quickly condemned by Keep Cardiff Blue.
The meeting took place in Cardiff’s Municipal Club which lies just on the outskirts of the city centre. The aim of the meeting was to discuss potential methods of peaceful protest at the upcoming game at Forest Green Rovers and at the first Championship game of the season against Huddersfield. The meeting was led by Scott Thomas who quickly found that a number of people in the room had turned up with an agenda to disrupt and intimidate.
Scott attempted to set the agenda for the meeting but found himself quickly interrupted by the group intent on disrupting the meeting. It seems that the matter of the club colours/badge and the investment that has been promised have been dissolved into one. I see the Keep Cardiff Blue campaign as a means of expressing my wishes that the club returns to playing in a blue kit with a bluebird badge. I do not wish the club lose the investment they have been promised and I believe nobody in campaign wants to see the club fail, be that on or off the pitch.
The meeting was attended by Ben Dudley, who was recently on Sky Sports News for the auctioning of his support for the coming season. It wasn’t long into the meeting that Ben felt he had to leave as a peaceful discussion could not be achieved. As probably the most well known face to support a return to blue, Ben also felt that some in the room may have targeted him should things turn sour. I may have been naïve in thinking that the club’s fans would all be supportive of a return to blue, as time went on, this certainly seemed to be the case.
The main concern for those opposed to the campaign’s aims was that the players would be adversely affected by protests that take place inside the ground, and as such, may harm the team’s chances of promotion. The debate was getting more heated and despite repeatedly being asked to leave, the dissidents insisted on staying. There were two points in the meeting that clear threats were made, the first was when the man seemingly representing the small group of people there to disrupt the meeting informed the room “if you disrupt the team, you are the enemy. I want people here to know, it will not be tolerated”. Later on in the meeting, the subject of protesting inside the stadium was broached, which was met with “if anyone holds a blue banner up in front of me, I’ll bury them”. These comments were met with derision from the room, but I still fear that there are a lot of Cardiff City fans who feel the same way.
Threats of violence from fans of Cardiff City, towards fans of Cardiff City, I didn’t think it possible until last night. There have been suggestions that there may be trouble at Cardiff’s opening game of the season, I would sincerely hope not as this will ultimately be humiliating for the club and steps need to be taken to ensure this doesn’t happen. What I do know is that there will be a peaceful demonstration outside the Cardiff City Stadium on August 17th, and I’ll be there.
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