Vincent Tan interview: What Cardiff owner told the BBC
Malaysian businessman on Malky Mackay, red shirts, the 'racist' press and his bond villain outfits
CARDIFF CITY owner Vincent Tan, who has become a hate figure among some football fans, has insisted that he is not "a villain" and accused the British media of being "racist" towards him.
Under Tan's stewardship Cardiff City earned promotion to English football's top flight for the first time in 51 years, but he has become a divisive figure after changing the club's colours from blue to red after 100 years, in order to appeal to the Asian market, and then sacking popular manager Malky Mackay in December.
In a rare interview with the BBC, the Malaysian businessman, who took control of the Bluebirds in 2010, said: "Without me, Cardiff would have gone bust. Because of my investment, we got promoted."
Dismissing his detractors, he declared: "No matter how much good you do, there will always be a few per cent of people who don't support you."
Here are some other highlights from the interview:
Tan on Mackay:
"[Previous manager] Dave Jones actually did much better. So I think Malky got lucky when he came to Cardiff. I invested a lot of money and then we went up. Do you think that Malky would have got us promoted without my investment? Without me giving him money?"
Tan on red shirts:
"Perhaps they can find an owner who likes blue, pay up and buy me out. Sure they can go and change it to blue after that. I go somewhere and build another red club... In Asia, red is a colour of success, festivity, joy. After we changed it we got promoted. I think that was a good omen, a good sign."
Tan on the British press:
"[They] have has been misled by some people, feeding them wrong information and saying what a terrible person I am and trying to make fun of me and paint me like a villain... I will say that the British press is unfair and maybe they are unfair because we didn't tell our side of the story that well. And sometimes the British press [are] maybe a little bit racist."
Tan of Cardiff fans:
"The majority are very supportive. I go to the club, many people come and shake my hand, want to shake hands with me, want my autograph, so generally I think it is not too bad."
Tan on his future:
"Some of my family members really want me to leave. They think it's not worth it. They think no-one is grateful, but you have to be patient, accept the criticism and sometimes the insults... Right now at this point of time, I will stay, unless the fans really p*** me off so much. Then I will leave."
Tan on his 'Bond villain' reputation:
"I wear sunglasses because of the glare of the spotlights. I wear gloves because it is very cold in the UK. Frankly, sometimes I think they are nuts making all these comments."
Tan on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer:
"Although we're not doing very well now, we are in the relegation zone, I'm convinced and believe that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be able to keep us in the Premier League."