The anniversary of the failed attempt to form a European Super League recently passed with a fresh set of articles and documentaries analysing the failed coup. Last April, a group of 12 football heavyweights, including six from the Premier League, pooled together with plans to break away from the domestic game in order to play each other regularly and enjoy the financial benefits.

Already incredibly rich, these clubs sought to ringfence their wealth and eliminate any future unpredictability. The fact every other side left behind would likely wither and die in their absence did not appear to be a consideration.

This proposal lasted about 48 hours out in the open because supporters, even those of the clubs that stood to benefit the most, rallied and with a show of united force, starved the idea of oxygen. Without them, football would look very different now.

READ MORE: Cardiff City issue brutal response to Supporters’ Trust

Whether coincidentally or deliberately, this idea was implemented at a time when most of the world was isolating from Covid, so supporters were absent from games. It was a taste of football without fans and the whole exercise felt rather soulless and pointless.

Supporters are the lifeblood of a football club and often the conscience, too, sadly. They have the club’s best interests at heart and while they might get a little bit carried away at times in terms of spending and ambition, they’re in it for the long haul. With their little pick and shovel.

In order to have a voice, supporters clubs and trusts exist to allow fans a say on what happens at their club and also to organise travel to and from games. These people sacrifice their own time to do this and their efforts are not always appreciated like they should be.

The Supporters’ Trust is a democratic, non-profit collective that exists to create a link between the club and the community. They don’t rant and rave, so when they speak, it is always worth taking note.

On Saturday, the Trust issued an open letter to Vincent Tan due to what they said was an ongoing lack of engagement with the club’s top brass. Personally, I feel it was measured and fair, raising valid points and asking pertinent questions. The hope was that this would encourage more active and open dialogue.

The board’s response on Monday was instead to dismiss the letter as “unhelpful, inaccurate and disruptive”, while discrediting the Trust and their members, despite continuing to house them at the stadium. It was a response as volatile as it was unexpected.

It was the sort of statement that draws a line in the sand and asks whether you’re with the club or against them, but the reality is that we’re all on the same side. You can question the timing or method of the Trust’s actions, but not their motive. The aim is for the club to be healthy and thrive. For the club to be better, and the club certainly does need to be better, I feel.

There is a certain irony in shutting down an organisation for requesting better lines of communication, when that is why they exist in the first place. Cardiff’s fantastic away support is also regularly championed, but it is largely made up of these same frustrated supporters.

At one of the more recent supporters meetings, Mehmet Dalman was asked about Cardiff’s strategy and he conceded “we don’t have one.” This was during Mick McCarthy’s time in charge and Dalman admitted that the club were “a work in progress” and stated that “when we do have one, we will be more than happy to share it with you.”

A strategy has yet to be revealed, so either the club still don’t have one, or it has yet to be shared. My view is there is a sense that the club is drifting.

Off the back of a poor season, there is a shared feeling that Cardiff are once again pointing in the right direction, whether by accident or design. The appointment of Steve Morison, which appeared to be a decision driven more by circumstance than desire, has worked and he is relishing the substantial squad rebuild he now faces. The immediate future feels uncertain, but in a safe, exciting way.

In many respects, though, Morison is succeeding despite obstacles. He was a temporary appointment, that became a short-term appointment and eventually slightly longer term. He inherited a squad where almost half of the players were heading out of contract and, until recently, had very little control over their fate. His best player was also sold in January, with the club in the midst of a relegation battle.

It’s my opinion that a lot of the problems that Cardiff have faced in recent years could have been managed with more communication and an open dialogue with supporters. That is what the Trust are pushing for.

At the end of the day, owners and directors are custodians of a football club. Supporters are their stakeholders. They’re not passing through, they’re here to stay, through the thick and the thin. Without them, the Premier League wouldn’t get such enormous worldwide TV deals. Without them, the Super League proposal would have passed unchallenged and football would be dealing with the fall out. Without them, Cardiff would still be playing in red.

My hope is that a resolution and common ground can be found because a public falling out and continued bad blood is not a good look. The situation cannot be allowed to fester and bonds need to be restored, for the greater good of the club. This need not be a touchy subject because we all want the same thing, which is for the club to be open, inclusive and successful.

Ultimately, nobody wins when the Cardiff City family feuds.



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