Long term readers of this blog will know that I’ve been a hardcore Cardiff City fan all my life.
I’ve been going to games since I was 6 years old, and supported them through their highs and sometimes calamitous lows.
Even when we were scraping the bottom of Division Four, my passion for City never faltered for a second – after all, they were my team from my home town and I was proud to support and cheer them on.
[CCFC pitch invasion in drag, Scunthorpe away, 1993]
Such was my love for the City that I even authored a comic fanzine called Bluebird Jones, which garnered nationwide publicity for its unique format and documentation of the trials and tribulations of being a Cardiff fan.
I also ran a regularly updated section on this website dedicated to Cardiff City match reports, photos and features.
I thought nothing would ever sway me from supporting my club until the arrival of the billionaire megalomaniac Vincent Tan, who swiftly embarked on a campaign of jettisoning all the things I loved about my team.
The strip changed and the badge was replaced, as the club’s proud history and heritage was stripped clean in a quest for transnational commercial success.
Cardiff’s once legendarily robust and loyal fan base turned on each other, as arguments raged over what price was a worthwhile one to pay for Premiership ‘glory’.
But for me, the magic was gone. The amount of fun on offer had already been decreasing over the years, as success drove the fans into ever more restricted and sanitised experiences.
Sit down. Don’t drink. Don’t smoke. Don’t swear. Don’t wave that banner. Stop shouting. Enjoy the stadium experience (TM) in the correct manner.
But the final straw for me was the despicable way in which some Cardiff fans just rolled over and let Vincent Tan do his worst. For them, it was a case of anything for success and I ended up hating them.
So I don’t even recognise Cardiff City FC any more. I don’t care about the Premiership and its endless corporate sponsorship deals and I don’t want to pay for an effing ‘gold’ membership.
I’ve no interest in paying £40 to watch a game in a soulless stadium and being compelled to sit in a designated seat and forced to be a passive consumer for two hours
Most of all, I don’t want to play any part in Vincent Tan’s rebranding of the team that I’ve supported all my life.
So I’ve moved on to the joys of non league football, a place where fans matter and self expression hasn’t been legislated out of the ground. I now support Dulwich Hamlet FC (I live in south London and can walk to their ground).
I have fun again. I can enjoy a drink as I watch the game. I can stand, sing, dance and muck about to my heart’s content.
I don’t need to send in my passport to be able to buy a ticket and I can turn up at the turnstiles five minutes before kick off.
I’m meeting passionate fans who are more interested in the fun and passion of supporting a local team in all weathers than being a tiny cog in the money-churning Premiership machine.
By coincidence, there’s other ex-Cardiff fans who have joined me on the Hamlet terraces, and just like me, they’re loving football again.
So goodbye Cardiff City FC. You gave me some amazing times over the years and I met some great friends on the way, but I won’t be coming back until I can recognise you again.
Fuck modern football. Long live grass roots football.
Discuss what’s been going on at Cardiff City on urban75 (570 replies):
Cardiff City /Cardiff Dragons/ RedBlueDragonBirds 2013-2014, Bluebirds Unite and related chat
See what’s been going on at Dulwich Hamlet FC.