Stephen Doughty – the Labour and Cooperative MP for Cardiff South and Penarth – has openly criticised the Malaysian billionaire-owner of Cardiff City Football Club, Vincent Tan, in the House of Commons.
In a second-reading debate on the Football Governance Bill, Doughty said he felt “particularly passionate” about the subject. He told the House he wished to declare an interest as a member of the Cardiff City Supporters Trust, Cardiff City Supporters Club, and Supporters Direct. He said that as a Labour and Cooperative MP “I find this issue particularly interesting”.
Doughty went on to say “I have a particular interest because of the recent, but also longer-term, experiences of my own football club, Cardiff City, which I have supported for 28 years this year, and for which I have been a season ticket holder. My father was briefly its club secretary during a quite turbulent period of ownership.”
He told members that Vincent Tan, “has made significant changes to the club, particularly to its colour, its badge and many other aspects of its heritage. Personally, I opposed those changes and I have made that clear to Mr Tan and in public.”
Doughty said that “specific issues have included the change to the club’s shirt, colours and badge, and now red seating is being installed in the new stand being erected at Cardiff City football club, even though the traditional colour is blue.” and asserted that ” Cardiff City fans care deeply about such things”
He welcomed Mr Tan’s investment in Cardiff City Football Club and said his donation of £1,000,000 to local charities was “a compelling offer” . However Doughty said that on other issues including “regular consultation with fans” and “the engagement of club officials” there had, “sadly, been a lack of understanding”.
Doughty asserted that the heritage and history of Cardiff City Football Club had “faced huge challenges and changes” and hoped that “some serious changes are made to get the balance right and to increase fans’ involvement in the ownership and operation of their clubs”.