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Fans see red and plan colour change protest.

Byline: Brendan Hughes brendan.hughes@walesonline.co.uk

DISGRUNTLED Cardiff City fans unhappy with the club's change of colour are planning to stage a protest ahead of the Bluebirds' home game against Blackburn.

Hundreds of fans have accepted a Facebook invite to hold a "Keep Cardiff Blue" demonstration during the Bluebirds' home game on April 1. It comes after pictures emerged of red City scarves - which had been given away free to fans at Tuesday's game against Brighton - being set alight and left in toilet bowls and urinals.

Actor and Bluebirds fan Jonny Owen is among those to accept the Facebook invite to join the demonstration.

He said: "I absolutely think there should be a protest from the fans that want it to stay blue as long as it is peaceful."

More than 200 supporters have joined the Keep Cardiff Blue [KCB] Facebook event page since it was created on Wednesday.

The event page was created on the day after fans were offered the free red scarves which the club said was a move intended as a gift.

Supporters told the Echo about seven scarves were thrown onto the pitch by half time, while several fans dumped their free scarves in the toilets and urinals.

But thousands of fans were also pictured happily wearing the free red scarves around their necks during the match, which saw City beaten 2-0 by Brighton. And the controversial colour change from blue to red hasn't deterred fans from snapping up Cardiff City's available season tickets, which have sold out for the next season.

Cardiff City Supporters' Trust yesterday e-mailed a new survey to members asking them a range of questions including their views on the club's rebrand.

Chairman Tim Hartley, 52, of Llandaff, said: "We are hoping to understand whether or not people have changed their minds or have generally accepted the new crest and the change of colour. When we initially surveyed fans, it was split 50-50."

Bluebirds fan Tony Jefferies, 61, of Llanishen, said Cardiff City's decision to hand out free red scarves was a "complete own goal trying to ram the colour down people's throats".

He said: "I think they have upset more than were upset before. People were coming round because of the position of the club in the league. The majority of fans had accepted it but now it has kicked it all off seven months into the season. They would have been better off leaving it alone."

Yet Mike Morris, who runs www.ccmb.co.uk, said: "I was surprised at the uptake of the scarves. I thought it was a great marketing ploy for the club from their point of view to give them away for free.

"I thought there would have been a lot more people who would have objected or refused to take them because the general feeling online was that there was opposition. But the majority of the crowd took them and wore them."

Actor Jonny, 41, also said he felt the free red scarves had further divided fans of the club.

He said: "They have basically split the fan base." But he added: "I don't agree with anybody taking the scarf, but I wouldn't agree with anyone doing anything to desecrate the scarf like burning it. I don't think it needs to be in any way violent because I think that exacerbates the problem."

CAPTION(S):

This scarf ended up in a urinal

Cardiff fans with their red scarves before kick-off but some supporters are not so happy with the colour change and want to keep Cardiff blue
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 22, 2013
Words:595
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