Seeing red | Cardiff City supporters are incensed by their club’s decision to undergo a re-brand. (Image | Sky Sports)

Cardiff City have undergone a hugely controversial re-branding exercise, involving altering the club’s home kit from blue to red, and changing the badge from a bluebird to a dragon. Previously, when the plans were made known to supporters, complaints were registered to the club’s owners and a petition was started against the proposed changes. The move has attracted significant anger among Bluebirds fans.

Responsibility for the move lies with investors in the Championship side, Tan Sri Vincent Tan and Dato Chan Tien Ghee. The Malaysians, who took over in 2010, are also looking to redesign the club’s training ground, pay off City’s debts, expand the recently-constructed Cardiff City Stadium, and provide significant transfer funds for manager Malky Mackay.

A statement issued by the club earlier today read as follows: “From the start of the 2012/13 season, Cardiff City’s primary home colour has been changed to red, while the squad will wear blue shirts as an away option. A third change kit will be shown here at a later date.

We didn’t start the fire | Changing a club’s badge is always risky, as the club’s owners have proven by opting for a dragon over the traditional bluebird, which is Cardiff City’s nickname. (Image | Daily Mail)

“Our investors have been impressed with the passion and commitment from Cardiff City supporters for their team and want to harness these strengths to create an affinity between the club and the cultures of Wales and Asia. With that in mind and as a part of the significant investment made to give the club the best chance of succeeding in this area, they believe very strongly that there is a need to make some radical, but important changes to our brand.”

Perhaps the most controversial part of this statement will be the word “brand”, one which has a certain stigma attached to it by the actions of foreign investors and ruthless chairman, who tend to disregard history and tradition in favour of increasing revenues.

There was more to come from Cardiff, who unquestionably have a PR disaster on their hands following this controversial decision.

“Key to the strategy is to ensure that the club representing as it does the capital city of Wales projects a national identity which will resonate with potential audiences abroad.

“The colour red is widely recognised as being synonymous with Welsh culture and heritage, with Cardiff the proud capital of the country. The colour also holds strong spiritual significance in Asia, where it is seen as a symbol of prosperity, power and good fortune.

“It is believed that this fusion of identities and values will reinforce our strength as a visual brand across both cultures. As outlined in the club statement, Cardiff City, through our investors strong connections will be exploring ways in which to maximise brand awareness of the club across Asia, thereby delivering local success.”

Made a Tweet of themselves | Supporters have taken to social networking to register their anger at the owners’ decision. (Image | Twitter)

For supporters somewhat alien to the significance of the colour red in Asia, the move is nothing short of a betrayal of all the club stands for. Comments on Twitter attest to this conclusion: “The Cardiff City rebranding really is sickening”, said one poster. “Unbelievable what the investors have done to Cardiff City”, tweeted another.

User @JoshRoy7 probably summed up feeling in the Welsh capital most effectively, however: “An embarrassment to Cardiff City and our history, all history practically thrown away by a bunch of deluded Malaysians.” I couldn’t agree more.

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