Cardiff and Bolton forced to listen
12 June ~ It is just over a year ago that their Malaysian owner Vincent Tan ripped the heart and soul out of Cardiff City. Gone was the famous blue shirt and bluebird badge, with red shirts and a red dragon as their replacements, supposedly to make the club more marketable in the Far East. Despite the initial fans' uproar, the change was eventually accepted by many. Move forward a year and the owners have got it wrong again but, this time, the fans aren't having it.
For their debut season in the Premier League, the Bluebirds' new kit was to be all red, with a darker shade of red for the shorts. This led to many complaints and criticism from fans on social media and, finally, their voice was heard.
The club released a statement on their website apologising, before leaving it up to season ticket holders to decide the colour of the shorts – they opted for black. The victory, however small, will give supporters some hope that they can once again influence their club's decision-making in some way.
The same can be said at Bolton Wanderers. Last month the club accepted a deal with pay-day loan company QuickQuid to be their shirt sponsor. The decision was instantly condemned by supporters and local MP's and the matter was made worse by the fact that Sheffield Wednesday had previously turned down the lender on "ethical grounds".
Fan power came to the rescue again though, this time in the form of a petition which received nearly 4,500 signatures, while two local firms pulled their sponsorship from the club in protest. The club accepted the feedback on the issue and duly dropped the lender, opting for a Bolton-based energy company called FibrLec instead. Chairman Phil Gartside insisted on the club website that: "We don't want our commercial relationships to come between us and our community."
These small victories aren't going to send shockwaves across football but the voice of the everyday fan is beginning to be heard – now they just need to keep getting louder. Ben Wier