There are a rapidly diminishing band of Cardiff City fans still supportive of the seemingly hapless and gaff prone Vincent Tan. Periodically, in the face of detailed critiques of Mr Tan's stewardship of the South Wales club's affairs, we still hear calls for objectivity from this small group of 'believers.' The billionaire knows best etc etc.
But do they have a point?
In my opinion, the best way to gauge Tan's ownership of the club is to compare it with that of Sam Hammam - an owner who, given what we now know about the manner in which he ran City, is rightly vilified by the vast majority of bluebirds supporters. Hammam's reign at Cardiff was notable for excessive spending, overblown ambition and cronyism.
Looking at things in a cold eyed manner, one really has to ask, "what has Tan done differently?"
It's certainly true that they both threw money at the club (loans as it turned out...), achieved some transient success, but ultimately - and here is the important part - ran up enormous debts. In Vincent Tan's case the staggering debts and astronomical administration costs continue to accumulate, this despite previously issuing frequent promises to convert the debt to equity. Oddly, Vincent now seems more reluctant to honour this pledge...
Both Tan and Hammam have also managed to divide the fanbase, although Tan, who actually carried out his ludicrous intention to rebrand the club, has managed to cause a chasm amongst the fans on an altogether different scale to the one that Hammam created.
The Malaysian businessman has also demonstrated a penchant for looking after his mates, the best (and most comical) example saw him hand the role of head of player recruitment to a friend of one of his sons. Not immediately humorous i hear you say but when you add in the bit about said 'friend' being a work placement kid, employed, amongst other things, to paint the stadium, then the story increases significantly in comedy value.
So, there we have it, a smattering of nepotism under Tan, together with even bigger debts and an even more splintered fanbase than we saw under the man generally accepted as Cardiff City's most reckless ever owner. Oh, and of course the bluebirds now also have the ignominy of playing in alien colours with a clip-art red dragon at the heart of their club crest. Let the good times roll...
Amongst the continued calls for objectivity when it comes to appraising Tan's ownership of the club, I would politely suggest that even the most one eyed 'believers' in the Malaysian and his 'vision' for Cardiff City re-evaluate their position and wake up and see what to the rest of us is crystal clear.Suggest a correction