Cardiff’s Play Off

Friday, 16 May 2003, 0:00
4 mins read

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Now let’s get something straight at the start. Just to appease the Cardiff fans. I personally am not concerned whether they go up or not. If they win the play off final a week on Sunday then good luck to them, if they don’t then I won’t be shedding any tears or feeling any of their pain. But of course, we should be supporting them, according to some of their own, because many of them wished us well when we fought our own final on May 3rd. And?
Let’s get this right, the two situations are completely different. I have no affinity to Cardiff City, Swansea are my team and always will be. The one club I wish success on is Swansea City. We went through the mire this season and I felt every moment of it. If Cardiff were in the position we were in then, I admit it, I would want them to stay in the league. However, the challenge for Cardiff fans at the moment is – “if the roles were completely reversed would you want us to go up?” I suspect the answer from the large majority would be no.
And let’s remember one more thing. Did we ask for your messages of support? They were well received and much appreciated but did you hear our board spouting that Cardiff fans should abandon the game at Crewe and focus all their attentions on events at the Vetch Field? No. Reason why? Because they know that club allegiances are too strong. Fans of clubs only have their clubs interest at heart. Sure there are some who have a second team but in reality how many fans have their second team as their local Rivals? Can you imagine a Gooner going to White Hart Lane when his team are away or a Rangers fan in Seville this week supporting the Hoops in the UEFA Cup Final? I can’t see it.
Of course, many Cardiff fans will have us believe that we aren’t their Rivals any more. On that basis, why do they insist on saying we should support them? If we aren’t Rivals then what is the problem and why aren’t they asking Wrexham to support them with the same argument? After all, Wrexham was in Wales when I was taught Geography at school.
Maybe there is a degree of paranoia at Ninian Park and an overwhelming desire to be loved by everyone. Perhaps it means that much in Cardiff that they lie awake at night and wonder why people don’t like them. There is an arrogance that comes out of the City these days that they are destined for huge things. Maybe they are but they should also remember that sometimes a fall from grace can be long and hard and the more people that alienate on the way up is the more people that can ignore them on the way down.
Cardiff fans also need to remember that the eyes of the watching football public will be on them on May 25. This is a play off final being played in their own city. At a ground from which you can see Ninian Park. Sure it will be a great day for them if they win and the parties will go on for several nights I have no doubt. But what if they lose? What if people cannot take that – segregation at Ninian Park is a damn sight easier then at our National Stadium. A message to all their support on the day from the people of Wales is if you lose take defeat in the manner that it is supposed to be taken and let the people of West London enjoy their celebration. Don’t let your City down and sadly bad news will always reflect on all of us.
As I stated at the start I am not really bothered who wins the game on the 25th. I know that many Swans fans will be behind QPR and I have no doubt that some of them will be behind Cardiff. There is no allegiance for us to support a fellow Welsh team. To Cardiff fans that do not understand that it means that we are Welsh and proud of it but because of that we do not have to support every Welsh club side. Maybe it will be good for Welsh football’s profile if Cardiff go up but I challenge any Cardiff fan to give me a logical, sensible reason why it would be good for Swansea City.
For the sake of decent Cardiff fans maybe I hope you do go up. Your club has spent plenty to get out of what is generally a mediocre second division, possibly you need to win promotion this term. Will the likes of Earnshaw and Gabbiadon be there next season if you don’t? But whatever happens I hope you enjoy the day. I have seen us have success and failure in the play-offs, I know what both feel like. But please, messages of support from fans of our club to yours is a matter of choice and far more likely to come if you stop spouting the rubbish and comparing it to our situation just two weeks ago.
Wales needs league clubs – I fail to see what difference it makes whether that league status is second or first division.

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