Tag: Cardiff City

Stick Or Twist? A Dilemma For Some Over The Welsh Cup

One of the quieter success stories of the last twenty years of British football has been the establishment of the Welsh Premier League. The foundation of this league, however, was far from harmonious with eight clubs which felt they were being corralled into leaving the English non-league pyramid ending up in a bitter dispute with the Football Association of Wales. Of those eight clubs – who were dubbed the “Irate Eight” by the press – five have since joined the league while two – Newport County and Colwyn Bay – remain in the English pyramid and one – Merthyr Tydfil – has subsequently folded without having joined the league and its successor club, Merthyr Town, opted also to stay within the English system. In spite of these difficulties, the Welsh Premier League is still with us with crowds at a reasonably healthy level and media coverage – thanks in no small part to S4C’s excellent programme Sgorio – has helped to keep the league firmly in the public eye. Still, though, there seems to be no significant pressure on the biggest of the country’s clubs to leave the English system and join up. At the end of last season, the potential benefits of staying within the English pyramid were shown to their fullest possible extent when Swansea City won promotion to the English Premier League at the end of...

Read More

How The League Cup Was Won – Liverpool Beat Cardiff City On Penalty Kicks

It has been sixteen years since Liverpool Football Club last appeared at Wembley Stadium. Much has changed in that intervening decade and a half, not least of which is the fact that the stadium itself has been knocked down and replaced by the monument to modern football which continues to justify its existence through the medium of playing as many games there as physically possible. Today, though, the cards were stacked against Liverpool. The first piece of bad news came with the news that a derailed train was blacking those travelling to London from Merseyside. Virgin Trains, perhaps with a sense of irony too subtle for most of us to be able to fully take in, suggested that people drive to Stafford or Crewe to get trains from there instead. Yet if that felt cruel, we might perhaps take a moment to consider Cardiff City’s day, a day which took in every emotion from joy to despair, from frustration to hope, and back again. The biggest surprise of the pre-match build-up was the decision of Kenny Dalglish to not start Craig Bellamy this afternoon. Bellamy, whose second half introduction reignited Liverpool’s afternoon at the exact point at which it had started to feel as if this grand day out was starting to slip away from Liverpool, was perhaps the man around whose neck the narrative of this match was...

Read More

Policing Football Fans: Civil Liberties Or Taking Liberties?

‘Football fans have been exposed to the type of policing historically that is probably unfair and untargeted. I think it’s evolved, I think it’s moved on. My football unit police with the best interests of football fans that are around safety and that’s our principle driver. It’s not you and us at all. We want to work with you. I’m really happy to work with football fans on this.’ Supt. Rick Burrows, Silver Commander, Hampshire Police Football Unit. In stark contrast to the Hampshire Commander’s rhetoric, recent reports of over-kill by West Yorkshire Police and heavy-handed stewarding by Leeds United belie the idea that policing of football fans has evolved.  Cardiff City, Portsmouth and Coventry City fans have made complaints about their treatment at Elland Road. Policing tactics may have changed  but 1980 attitudes are still to the fore. If you are an away fan in particular it is very much a case of ‘you and us’. At the Football Supporters’ Federation ‘Watching Football Is Not A Crime’ meeting in Portsmouth on October 20, this issue was raised. Supt. Burrows admitted that there seems to be a degree of partisanship in both stewarding and policing of away fans. He observed that when you have officers lining up between two sets of fans, ‘if you don’t tell them what to do, they all face the away fans. I think it is because...

Read More

Is The Worm Starting To Turn? Cardiff Fans Walk Out Of Elland Road

In some respects it was inevitable that a group of fans would collectively reach a breaking point, and take a stand at the way supporters are treated by many professional clubs. However the fact that it happened at Elland Road yesterday, and the Cardiff City fans concerned ended up boycotting the end of a game where they had already paid was still a surprise. Cardiff City fans don’t have the greatest of reputations, most notably due to the actions of the Soul Crew – one of the most notorious of the hooligan firms of the 70s, 80s and 90s – and matches between the Bluebirds and Leeds United have had flashpoints in the past (most notably the FA Cup Third Round game between the two in 2002. However, while I would never defend nor condone hooliganism, not every Cardiff City fan is a hooligan. In fact the vast majority of Bluebirds fans are law abiding citizens, and most of their away following just want to follow their team round the country, like fans of most teams. In fact, the club has brought in so many effective measures designed to reduce hooliganism at Cardiff games, that they are the current holders of the title “Football League Family Club of the Year” However, unlike fans from most other teams, Cardiff City fans have to jump through the more than the occasional...

Read More

Michael Dye: The Death Of A Football Supporter And Tabloid Values

There will be a sombre mood in the air at The Cardiff City Stadium this afternoon, as the team takes to the field for its home league match against Doncaster Rovers. The death of Cardiff City supporter Michael Dye shortly before the start of Tuesday night’s European Championship qualifier between England and Wales cast am obvious pall over the subsequent discussion of that match and several articles written in the press about Mr Dye since then have reeked of a sadly all too familiar insensitivity on the part of a section of the British press. This behaviour has led to the The Sun being banned from attending this afternoon’s match at The Cardiff City Stadium – the other two newspapers concerned, The Daily Mail and The Daily Star, are understood not to have been attending anyway – and to a flurry of complaints to the Press Complaints Commission from supporters of both Cardiff City and Swansea City. In the immediate aftermath of Mr Dye’s death, facts on what had actually happened were hard to come by and a hastily set up Facebook tribute descended fairly rapidly into a series of small arguments, some of which represented what we could not unreasonably call the very worst of human nature. At first, it was assumed that Mr Dye’s death had come about as the result of fighting between England and Wales...

Read More