Hated by his own supporters and ridiculed by the media, Vincent Tan seems to have burned his bridges with Cardiff City. Our resident image consultant Iain Macintosh is here to tell him exactly how to turn it all around.
Change the kit back
Look, Vincent. I know that Cardiff were promoted within a year of changing their shirts from blue to red, but that really doesn’t mean that they were promoted because of it. I had a gingerbread latte on Christmas Eve and within 24 hours I was opening piles of presents from my friends and family. The two events weren’t related. I had another gingerbread latte yesterday and look at my stocking. Empty. You’re wearing red shirts, you’ve won just one of your last nine games. Seriously, how do you think this is working out for you?
You’ve upset the supporters, so you need to make a big gesture to win them back. You could do that in an instant by announcing a return to blue shirts for next season. Your most important market isn’t Malaysia, it isn’t Asia, it isn’t anywhere but South Wales. Manchester United and Liverpool didn’t build up a huge foreign supporter base because they wore red shirts. They’re popular because they won a lot of football matches. And you’re not winning many at all.
Get good people to do stuff that they’re good at
Vincent, every soul on this earth was sent here to do something. Some people can play musical instruments, some people can design buildings.
Me? I make an outstanding cup of tea. You? You look awesome in black leather driving gloves.
Football management isn’t for the likes of us. You need to pick someone who knows how to do it and then back off and leave them alone. If they need help with the transfer market, as managers do these days, appoint someone who knows the transfer market. Don’t try and do it yourself and for heaven’s sake, don’t ask your best mate’s kid to do it.
Obviously, your treatment of Malky Mackay is going to make this harder. You’re in a position where prospective employees are going to be interviewing you, rather than the other way round, but you can make this work. Announce that you’re taking a backseat now, that your business interests elsewhere require your time. That should allay some fears. Then hire someone good. No, Vincent. Not Sven.
You’re the figurehead of a proud club that was formed 114 years ago, you really need to act like it. Stop tucking football shirts into your trousers - you look like someone gave you a wedgie. Wear a proper suit. Stop booing your own players for drawing a game, that’s something only the worst kind of arriviste supporter does. Keep wearing those black leather driving gloves though. They are awesome and I will fight to the death anyone who disagrees.
The impression you want to give is of a confidant and assured captain, calmly guiding his crew and his ship through troubled waters. The impression you are currently giving is of a troubled six-year old who has gorged himself on cheap sweets and is now throwing his own faeces at the television screen because his favourite cartoon ended.
Count your blessings
You own a football club that is, despite your meddling, still two points above the relegation zone in the most lucrative league on earth. The club is supported by men and women so loyal that even you and your machinations haven’t kept them away. You could appoint your cat as the new manager and they would still come streaming through the turnstiles. No, Vincent, that’s not a dare.
Football supporters are a remarkable group of people. Expediency is their religion. In any other industry, you’d be reaching for the landing skid of a hovering helicopter now as their numbers closed around you. In football, you’ll be forgiven if you learn from your mistakes and produce a winning team. It’s not too late. You can still turn this around.
Oh, and Vincent - those driving gloves? Awesome.
Bet now on Cardiff to be relegated at odds of 2.50
Read more from Iain Macintosh