So now it’s official. Cardiff City will go back to wearing their traditional blue shirts from Saturday’s home match with Fulham.
Owner Vincent Tan reportedly arrived at the decision to switch back from the unpopular red strips he forced them into two years ago following a chat with his mother over Christmas, with the 87-year-old Mrs Tan urging her son to go back to blue in a bid to restore the harmony at the club.
It’s unclear if this advice was coupled with a swift telling off for the chastened Vincent, but at least the Malaysian owner has now arrived at the right decision and the club can seek to move forward.
Tan’s shirt swap is far from the weirdest decision we’ve seen a football owner make, though, and here are just five examples of others:
Mohamed Al-Fayed’s Michael Jackson Statue – Fulham
Fulham Football Club’s Craven Cottage: a south-west London institution and one of the oldest, most traditional grounds in England. The perfect spot, then, for a tribute to the King of Pop.
Michael Jackson – apparently a friend of Fulham owner Mohamed Al-Fayed – once famously visited the ground in 1999 to take in the spectacle which was Fulham v Wigan Athletic. That was enough to convince Al-Fayed to commission an odd-looking statue of the admittedly odd-looking pop star upon his death in 2009, and when he wasn’t allowed to display it at Harrod’s he moved it to Fulham’s ground in 2011.
After much head-scratching, it was removed two years later.
Dmitry Pietrman Becomes The Official Photographer – Racing Santander
When Ukrainian-American businessman Dmitry Pietrman bought Racing Santander in 2003 he assumed that meant he’d be allowed to manage the team, only for his pesky lack of coaching qualifications to get in the way.
He found a way around it though, and appointed himself as the club’s official photographer so he could be near enough to his appointed ‘manager’ Chuchi Cos to shout instructions to him. Genius.
Delia Smith Heads Out Onto The Pitch – Norwich
Norwich City were battling against relegation in 2004/05, and so going 2-0 up after 16 minutes at home to Manchester City thanks to Dean Ashton and Leon McKenzie was a pretty big deal.
Antoine Sibierski and Robbie Fowler brought the visitors level before the break, though, and so a ‘tired and emotional’ chairwoman Delia Smith felt that she had to act.
The result? Fowler scored a last minute winner, Norwich lost 3-2 and later went down.
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Luciano Gaucci Signs Colonel Gaddafi’s Son – Perugia
He’d previously tried to sign female forward Birgit Prinz and once pulled out of a deal to buy South Korea’s Ahn Jung-Hwan when he scored the winner against Italy at the 2002 World Cup, but Perugia owner Luciano Gaucci surpassed himself with his move for Al-Saadi Gaddafi, son of former Libyan leader Muammar, in 2003.
Gaddafi junior apparently appointed Diego Maradona as a consultant and Ben Johnson as a personal trainer but even with such steadying, calm influences around he just wasn’t very good. He made one substitute appearance then failed a drug test and that was it.
Gigi Becali Is… Well Gigi Becali – Steaua Bucharest
Romanian MEP and Steaua Bucharest owner Gigi Becali is the mad owner’s mad owner.
He’s got up to far too many things for us to list them all here, but his controversial views on homosexuality, race, religion and violence make sure that he’s never far from the news agenda in his country and beyond.
Seriously, just Google him. Then delete your Internet history immediately.