Fans were in uproar on Saturday night after controversial Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan appeared to boo his own team – or even the fans – after a last-ditch equaliser saw them held to a 2-2 draw by Sunderland.
In the first match following the deeply unpopular sacking of head coach Malky Mackay, Tan was roundly jeered by Bluebirds fans:
Even before the firing of Mackay - who led the club to a League Cup final and promotion from the Championship - Cardiff fans had already been angered by Malaysian businessman Tan’s decision to change the club’s colours from blue to red.
Then there was the replacement of director of recruitment Iain Moody - accused, with Mackay, of overspending on transfers - with an unproven university graduate who happens to be a family friend:
Vincent Tan is such a scumbag, sacking Malky Mckay, he was possibly the best manager @CardiffCityFC have ever had.
— James Oliver-House (@JSOH13597) December 28, 2013
Despite the abuse, eccentric billionaire Tan seemed to be enjoying himself, joining in with the celebrations when Cardiff took the lead through Jordon Mutch. He got more excited when Fraizer Campbell doubled their lead, leaping around in joy with bemused supporters:
But when Jack Colback’s deflected effort found the net in the final seconds of injury time, Tan reacted with disgust and – as some supporters booed – he appeared to join in:
Tan's football credentials have been questioned by supporters and pundits, with some circulating unconfirmed reports that he asked why goalkeeper David Marshall was yet to score a goal this season. Given that level of ignorance, he may not have realised that fans were aiming their bile at him and not the team.
That is a best-case scenario, however – if indeed Tan was aware that he was the target, it would seem more likely that he was aiming his boos at the fans themselves.
Either way, he appears to have grossly misjudged the mood of British football. Tan's next managerial appointment had better be a good one, or supporters could well protest in the manner feared most by executives – by boycotting matches and merchandise.
Vincent tan is a proper circus act he Is destroying a great club — Joe (@Joepae93) December 28, 2013