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Cardiff City Fans - Young Female Leader Makes Her Mark

17/06/2013 13:27 BST | Updated 16/08/2013 10:12 BST
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Bluebirds fans opposed to the controversial rebranding of their football club, have a new leader in their battle to see their traditional home colours restored.

Locally born Sian Branson - one of the founders of 'Bluebirds Unite' - addressed a meeting full of diehard Cardiff City fans last week and spoke with passion of her desire to see the return of the football clubs historic blue identity.

The thirty year old, Health and Safety Area Manager, received several loud ovations from the six hundred strong crowd, as she talked of the movement that she fronts offering "the last chance" to see the return of the clubs traditional identity and of her desire to "keep on fighting until we win."

A couple of days later, I caught up with her at her West Cardiff home.

On first spending time in Mrs Bransons company, one is immediately struck by her warmth, energy and drive, plus her unbridled enthusiasm for the cause that she is championing.

When quizzed on why a blue home shirt and club crest are so important to her, she is unequivocal, "The blue shirt and bluebird represent our city and have done for more than a century. We are a proud nation and as Wales' capital city football club we feel that to desecrate our identity is entirely wrong. It's like taking the Welsh rugby jersey and turning it purple. We feel that our identity should be equally respected. We like to think of ourselves as the Cardiff City conservation society."

I then asked how, specifically, she plans to deliver on her aims; with barely a pause, she answers, "it's going to take lots of hard work, no question about it, but we plan on holding blue themed family fun days and campaigns to encourage as many fans as possible to wear blue to matches. We're really keen to show just how much our identity means, but in a positive way."

She smiled and added, rather cryptically, "and there are one or two things 'in the pipeline,' which we think City fans are going to really enjoy..."

I push her on the final point, but to no avail. We'll just have to be patient!

So, what are her chances of success?

Well, it's pretty clear that the challenge facing 'Bluebirds Unite' is a tough one. Cardiff City's controlling shareholder Vincent Tan has vast financial resources on his side, plus, of course, he would regard his decision to rebrand the club as entirely vindicated following City's recent promotion to the Premier League. He can also point to record season ticket sales following the clubs elevation to footballs top table.

That said, 'Bluebirds Unite' have certainly tapped into a more rebellious vibe that is permeating the rank and file City fans at the moment. Worries over the clubs financial future have been assuaged, somewhat, thanks to the influx of the Premier League booty. There seems to be a feeling that now is the time to speak up.

It would also appear that 'Bluebirds Unite' have 'touched a nerve' in the clubs boardroom. Shortly after last weeks successful public meeting, a prominent, locally based club director, launched a stinging attack on the organisation through an unofficial Cardiff City messageboard. Amongst a host of rather spurious claims, the director in question, accused the fledgling organisation of being "against the club."

Whether it was his intention or not, it certainly gave the impression that the football club was rather 'rattled.'

Following this provocation, a number of 'Bluebirds Unite' supporters initially responded 'in kind,' until Sian Branson, very sensibly, swiftly defused the situation by issuing a public statement calling on her organisations supporters to draw a line and not get involved.

A wise move from a lady who has barely put a foot wrong, thus far.