VINCENT Tan has instructed Cardiff City board members to boycott their match against Wigan tonight in protest against their opponents, who he claims are owned and managed by racists.
Members are understood to support Tan’s strong position for the match against the Championship strugglers, which is set to reunite the Bluebirds with their former boss for the first time. The decision has come in light of comments made by Dave Whelan who was recently fined £50,000 and banned for six weeks after making racist comments, as well as the chairman’s appointment of Malky Mackay.
The Scot has had a colourful relationship with his former employers in the past year or so. And having been at new club Wigan since November, he is looking to move beyond the controversies, which have formed a grey cloud over his career. But, as is often the case in this extremely competitive league, the Scot is having a tough time turning around the fortunes of last season’s FA Cup semi-finalists. And he looked a shadow of his former self on the touchline at the DW Stadium on Saturday as his side was beaten 3-0 by Charlton before being booed off.
He is not expected to receive such a positive reaction from the Cardiff faithful either, despite claiming yesterday it is “just another game”.He said: “It’s never about proving a point. “It’s a really terrific city and a place I loved living and I had a great time down there.”
But many are disillusioned by the controversial texts and emails he exchanged with former City director Iain Moody when they were together at the club, which were retrospectively leaked then investigated by the FA.
The Latics are now nine points from safety, and League One football is looking more and more likely for next season. Their signing of former Arsenal and Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant looks more a sign of desperation than anything else, especially if the form shown in the 32-year-old’s recent brief stint at Indian Premier League side Pune City is anything to go by.
City themselves are not yet clear of the drop, and their poor form during Bruno Manga’s trip to the African Cup of Nations is certainly no coincidence. He not only provides excellent cover for his team mates in defence, but such a strong presence at the back breeds confidence through the entire squad, which has been proven by two solid defensive displays in the last two games.
Needless to say, Russell Slade’s side are delighted to have him back. At the start of the season, if you had told a Cardiff fan they would be satisfied with a 0-0 draw away to Huddersfield at this stage of the season, they may have laughed.
The Bluebirds had just dropped down from the Premier League, with high hopes of making a swift return to the top flight. But Saturday’s draw was in fact a sign of the times, and moved them another point away from the drop, and they now lie seven points above the relegation places.
Without a win since beating Fulham on Jan 10, Cardiff have now drawn all four of their February matches, and are hoping results are slowly but surely coming good. With their current form, City would would be delighted with a repeat of August’s result between the two sides, when Nicky Maynard scored in a 1-0 win.
Such a result could put them into the top half, level on points with 11th-placed Leeds. Defeat, on the other hand, may leave them hovering just four points above the relegation zone.