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Fans relief amid fears for future after U-turn; WHAT NEXT FOR THE BLUEBIRDS? As another amazing week at Cardiff City takes another incredible twist, SIMON GASKELL gauges the latest reaction from the Bluebirds' faithful.

Byline: SIMON GASKELL

CARDIFF City fans last night expressed relief at the club's U-turn on rebranding plans - but many said they were now gravely worried for the very life of the club.

In a shock revelation contained within an open letter to fans issued by chairman Dato Chan TieS n Ghee (TG) yesterday it was revealed leaked plans about rebranding would now not go ahead.

Soon afterwards hundreds had posted messages claiming victory after fans had waged an online campaign including petitions to "preserve the Bluebird" and the club colours - worn since 1908.

But many others voice their fears for Cardiff City's financial future after the chairman's letter warned the club faced "bold" and "real-world" decisions about how to survive.

There are now questions over whether the Malaysians' reported pounds 100m planned investment on players, training ground and stadium expansion will materialise.

Reacting to the news on Twitter, Match of the Day host Gary Lineker said the decision was a victory for "common sense".

He said: "See Cardiff fans have won their fight to keep their shirts blue. A rare triumph for common sense."

But City fans themselves were far more mixed in their reaction and many offered differing views on what it meant for the club.

Online, many fans quickly welcomed the decision.

"I'm grateful that they have seen sense and our identity remains intact but what I cannot understand is why the changes are seen by TG and Tan as fundamental to continuing to invest in the club anyway," one said. "Surely when they got involved with the club in the first place they could see we play in blue!

"Why not choose a red team to start with?!" On the Cardiff City message boards there was a palpable sense of relief among fans.

Ian D said: "Phew... can sleep better tonight."

Harry Truscott said: "Excellent news. Well done to all who fought it and especially to the leaker, he's saved the identity of the club.

"Now let's work together as a club to build something sustainable that doesn't rely on the whims of a sugar daddy."

Ork 1927 said: "They made an error with the rebranding, didn't realise there would be a backlash.

"Now they know they can formulate a new plan."

Cardiff North Assembly Member Julie Morgan, who had co-signed a letter with other local AMs calling on Vince Tan to "actively engage with the club's fan base" before "destroying more than 100 years of history", said she was delighted.

She said: "I think it's great news. "I think obviously they must have realised what a strong feeling there was.

"It's ridiculous to get into conflict with the fans but I'm delighted, really pleased and hope they will be going on with the investment and all the things they considered they were doing."

But others disagreed and said it could spell a bleak future with no other investors showing an interest in the club.

NickoBlue23 said: "I just hope that everyone who protested against the changes are also as vigorous in thanking the Malaysians for their U-turn and also for their generosity in bankrolling all of that history by a million pounds a month.

"There seemed to be a lot of 'was' in that TG statement!

"I am really fearful that unless they see how grateful we are for their support then the team I have supported since I was six will cease to exist."

Bloop Eater said: "All of a sudden I feel more afraid for our future than ever before."

Another user called Blue Again Since 2012 said: "Damn all you selfish people for killing the red dream."

On Twitter, @nbutteo said: "The withdrawal of the investment is the biggest worry, it looks very bleak if Tan walks."

Matthew Thomas said: "Nice blue kit and no players to wear it.

"Hope the fans are proud. #gutted."

And Robert Moss said: "Tamping, somebody tell TG we're not all small-minded message board trolls, some of us want bigger and better!! #CardiffCity."

And one post summed up the torn feelings of many fans who wanted to keep the traditional blue the team has worn since 1908 but also welcomed the investment and clearance of debt.

Blueeddy said: "After all us fans have been through in the last four or five years we finally had good news of investment a few days ago.

"Now narrow-minded fans have quashed what could have been the best thing to happen in the capital for years."

Another post, by colitwist, said he didn't think the Malaysian backers would take kindly to the reaction they had received from fans over the past week.

He said: "Whoever leaked details of the interim private meeting, regarding rebranding of Cardiff's logo and shirt colour, has basically put the club under a great deal of financial pressure.

"Anybody who knows anything about Malayan culture will know that the losing of face is unforgivable and casts a shadow over the family or business that the aspersion is directed at."

Cozoni wam, posting on the Cardiff City message board, said: "If only they had consulted the fans about this first....I just hope they haven't been offended too much by the resulting outcry."

Last night, Kevin Brennan, MP for Cardiff West, told the Echo he had previously met with the Malaysian investors and been impressed by their vision and hoped they would not now walk away.

He said: "I think fans will want more clarity. They will very much welcome the decision not to go ahead with the change.

"Really the soul of the club is important at any football club. "It's unfortunate the way it has been handled.

"I met with the Malaysian owner and have been impressed with their commitment and desire to do things.

"I would hope just because of this dispute over the colours that doesn't mean they are going to walk away.

"I don't see why some clever marketing couldn't achieve a very similar outcome towards them."

ONLINE POLL * CARDIFF City fans have been torn right down the middle on this emotive issue - according to a poll on our website WalesOnline.co.uk.

In one day 1,300 people (50 per cent of those polled) agreed with the radical proposals, claiming the cash injection was too big a carrot to turn down, no matter what.

On the other side of the coin, 1,206 (46 per cent) voters insisted the ideas were tantamount to selling the soul of the football club and should not be considered, while 98 (four per cent) claimed they were undecided.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 11, 2012
Words:1091
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